AvocaD&D and Tabletop RPG Thread: Curse of Strahd Campaign Journal, Week 12

Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop RPG thread!  Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other nerdy table-top RPGs that you might be into.  Tell us about the games you’re playing, speculate about future expansions, recruit your fellow Avocados into new groups, whatever you want.

Let’s talk a bit about one of the more fantastical of the fantasy races in D&D–the Dragonborn.


Dragonborn are sort of half-human/half-dragon people.  They’re powerfully built, standing over 6 feet tall and weighing over 250 pounds, and they have scales instead of skin.  There are 10 major types of dragons in D&D, 5 chromatic types (red, black, blue, green, and white) that are usually evil and 5 metallic (gold, silver, copper, brass, and bronze) that are generally good.  Depending on what type of dragon they were born from, Dragonborn have resistance to a specific type of damage and a corresponding breath weapon.  A Red Dragonborn, for instance, can breathe fire and resists fire damage, while a White Dragonborn breathes ice and resists cold damage.  Dragonborn get a +2 to their Strength and a +1 to Charisma (I guess because dragons have really forceful personalities?), which makes them shine as Paladins especially.

I think Dragonborn are cool in theory, but they require a more specific setting to use.  For instance, I don’t think a Dragonborn character would really fit in well in our current gothic horror-type game, whereas I have less of a problem with elves and halflings (and even Warforged).  Tell us about your Dragonborn characters!

Our AvocaD&D group is currently running the Curse of Strahd adventure module.  Our version takes place in a pseudo-historical 19th century Earth, and the group is playing as representatives of a railroad company sent to the tiny Eastern European nation of Barovia (ruled by Count Strahd von Zarovich) to negotiate the expansion of the railway through the country.

Dramatis Personae

Our Dungeon Master is The Hayes Code, and the party consists of:

  • Txan Einreique, a Half-Elf Stone Sorcerer; the Company Representative and nominal party leader (Josephus Brown)
  • Kissi Farwood, a Human Fighter; a former solider hired as a bodyguard by Txan (forget_it_jake)
  • Edwin Potts, a Human Cleric of Torm; a government agent sent to oversee the deal and make sure the company isn’t doing anything shady; deceased (torn to pieces by vampires) (Nope)
  • ENGR-23, a Warforged Artificer; a living machine employed as a railway engineer (our only non-Avocado party member)
  • Peter Peregrine, a Human Barbarian; a Professor of Antiquities with a rage-filled alter ego called Kragen Tempest (Doctor Nick)
  • Wickerwelt Tanglewood, a Halfling Ranger; a Barovian native brought along as a guide (TheCleverGuy
Spoilers for Curse of Strahd


We opened this week having just rescued a child from drowning/being eaten by merfolk, but earned the wrath of said merfolk in the process.  This week, we started with a battle. As the two merfolk called Mr. and Mrs. Silver rushed towards our boats, Kissi swung her Morningstar, but missed badly, almost falling into the lake herself. Peter managed to catch one of the two mer-creatures with a javelin, but Mr. Silver retaliated, lunging with a harpoon (which was attached to his arm in place of a hand) and catching Peter in the shoulder and dragging him into the lake.

Mrs. Silver jumped over the side of our boat trying to bite Wick, but the halfling was too quick.  ENGR-23 missed with a crossbow bolt, then Wick cast his Hunter’s Mark and shot Mrs. Silver with 2 arrows, both striking true. Meanwhile, the cold water sent Peter into a rage, releasing Kragen Tempest!  Still in the water, Kragen jabbed Mr. Silver with his javelin, stabbing the mer-man twice.  The creature’s return hit was particularly nasty, but Kragen hardly felt it through his rage.  Txan, meanwhile managed to catch Mrs. Silver with a blow from his hammer, and a thunderclap rang out lifting the fish-creature and out of the water and send her flying through the air. She recovered and rushed back to strike Txan with her claws, scratching at his stony skin.  ENGR-23’s next crossbow bolt glanced of the male’s side, taking a few scales with it, while Wick managed to hit the female in the chest, sending her to a watery grave.

Seeing his mate mortally wounded had a strange effect on Mr. Silver.  He dove under water, and pulled Mrs. Silver down with him.  A sudden trashing and torrent of blood told us that Mr. Silver had sated his hunger after all.  The merfolk seemed to be gone, so we made our way back to shore with the Vistani girl, Arabelle, safely on board our boat.  23 commandeered Bluto the Fisherman’s boat (Bluto being the man who’s kidnapped Arabelle) and brought him back to shore with us, and we made our way back to the Vistani camp to return Arabelle to her people and offer up her captor for justice.


Rather than drag Bluto through town and risk raising the ire of the Vallakian natives by taking one of their own to the Vistani, we decided to make a beeline through the woods straight for the camp.  Naturally, we were attacked by a pack of wolves on our way. We quickly helped Arabelle into a nearby tree as the 9 wolves surrounded us.  Wick followed her up, while the rest of the group fanned out.  Wick tried to restrain the leader of the pack with his Ensnaring Strike, and though his arrow found home, the wolf was able to break free of the entangling vines.  Peter followed up by letting his inner Tempest out and slashing at the wolf with his greatsword, cleaving it in two.  One wolf down, 8 to go.

Up next, Txan cast a Shatter spell, making an earsplitting noise that caused 2 of the remaining pack to just explode right there, and 2 more to be seriously hurt.  Kissi put her morningtar to good use, giving one wolf a good head-ringing, and ENGR-23’s crossbow finished off one of the injured wolves.  We’d managed to take out 4 of them before any of the wolves got a chance to move, and it was enough to send the remainder of the pack running. We gathered up a few wolf pelts and continued to the camp.

The Vistani leader, Luvash, was pleased to get his niece back safely, and to have the kidnapper delivered as well.  He offered us a choice of anything in one of the Vistani wagons as a reward. Among the options were a beautifully carved throne, a rolled up rug with a unicorn pattern, a chest of gold, another chest full of electrum coins, a set of 12 stoppered gourds, and a onyx box filled with gems and a vial of poison. After some debate, we decided on the chest of gold coins, since the carpet and chair would have tough to carry around.  Luvash mentioned that the gourds were mostly for selling to the villagers, and we figured a single vial of poison wasn’t very useful.  The chest turned out to have 650 gold pieces.  After presenting us with our reward, Luvash also advised that we seek out Madam Eva in the Vistani camp close to the village of Barovia.


With our new-found wealth, we did a bit of shopping/haggling with a store owner in Vallaki.  We noted a padlocked wagon by the store, painted with the words “Rictavo’s Carnival of Wonders,” which we can only assume is something for the next festival to be held in town.  Our business concluded, we decided to check in on Ireena before turning in for the night.  We found her a the church, unharmed.  We showed her Blinsky the Toymaker’s creepy Ireena doll (which Wick had not-very-quietly stolen), and she was duly creeped out, especially since she hadn’t actually met Blinsky yet.  She asked us to investigate, and we agreed.  Then we finally turned in for the night.