AvocaD&D and Tabletop RPG Thread: Curse of Strahd Campaign Journal, Week 18

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 table-top RPGs that you nerds 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.

Pray to whatever god you wish, because our discussion topic this week is the Cleric.

melisandre

A Cleric is a chosen vessel of any one of the various deities in D&D. Like Lady Melisandre in Game of Thrones, their power comes from the gods they serve.  The magic granted to a Cleric by his or her chosen deity can be used in a variety of ways–to heal or aid their allies, to strike down their foes, or to send undead creatures running back to their graves. Clerics must pray to their gods daily to receive the gift of divine magic, which allows them to choose which spells they will use every day.  Although they are often the primary healer for an adventuring party, they’re fully capable of dealing damage as well.  Depending on the path they choose, a Cleric can hang back and call down divine fury from afar, or don heavy plate armor and get up-close and personal with the enemy.  All Clerics can channel divine energy directly from their gods, which can repel the undead, or be used for other effects depending on the deity in question.

dwarfcleric

At first level, a Cleric chooses a Divine Domain, which is a particular area of focus for their chosen deity.  The chosen Domain shapes the path that a Cleric will follow, giving them a few permanently prepared spells, a new way to channel divine energy, and boosting their abilities with magic or melee combat.  The Domains you can choose from include:

  • Knowledge–study ancient tomes and forgotten lore
  • Life–focus on healing and restoration magic
  • Light–use the radiant energy of the sun to burn through enemies
  • Nature–serve as protector of the natural world
  • Tempest–harness the divine wrath of the storm
  • Trickery–servants of gods of mischief who use deception and stealth to their advantage
  • War–holy warriors who excel in melee combat
  • Forge–use blessing from smith gods to create magical weapons and armor
  • Grave–followers of gods of death, who work to ensure that life meets its natural end
  • Arcana–learn the secrets of arcane magic and combine them with divine power
  • Order–enforce the law, and mete out divine justice

Cleric Build

Dreali Ethanasath, Wood Elf Cleric (Light Domain), Level 3

WoodElfCleric

Stats:  STR 12, DEX 10(+2), CON 14, INT 13, WIS 15(+1), CHA 8

Skill/tool proficiencies: Perception, Religion, Medicine, Athletics, Survival

Weapons: Quarterstaff, longbow

Armor: Hide armor, AC = 13

Spells:  Cantrips: Light, Sacred Flame, Guidance, Spare the Dying; Domain spells1: Burning Hands, Faerie Fire, Flaming Sphere, Scorching Ray

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Background: Outlander
Dreali is part of a nomadic Elven tribe who worship Pelor, the god of the sun.  Unlike other Elves, the tribe shuns large cities, preferring to wander the forests under the sun and stars.  His mother is the tribe’s chief elder and spiritual leader, a position that Dreali is being groomed to take on.  Like many of the tribe, Dreali is suspicious of outsiders at best, especially people of other races.  As part of his training to take over the leadership of the tribe, his mother sent Dreali to travel and live among others for a century, in the hope the Pelor would show him that non-Elves have as much to offer the world as his own people.

As a Level 3, Dreali has 6 spell slots to use per day (4 first-level, and 2 second-level), and with a WIS score of 16, he can choose up to 6 spells from the Cleric spell list (and in addition to the Domain spells) to prepare after each long rest.  As a Cleric of the Light Domain, when Dreali is attacked, he can cause a flash of light to disrupt his enemy’s action, imposing disadvantage on the attack roll.  In addition, Dreali can channel the power of his deity to dispel magical darkness and deal radiant damage to any creatures in a 30-foot radius.  Since he’s more of a caster than a melee combatant, his first ASIs will go to increasing is Wisdom score, which will allow him to use more spells each day.

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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)
  • Carabelle Longstride, a Halfling Cleric of Lathander; a Southern-accented American on a personal mission of her own (Wafflicious)
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Spoilers for Curse of Strahd

We picked up this week having just knocked a ghost out of Kissi.  She was unconscious, but holding the hilt of a longsword with a blade that looks like pure sunlight. ENGR-23 was able to identify it as a Sun Blade, a +2 sword that deals extra radiant damage to undead and emits sunlight in a 30-foot radius. The sword also seemed to have some sort of sentience, as Kissi could feel emotions coming through the hilt as she held it.

sunblade

Cara (who was a bit miffed with the rest of us for not listening to her during our dealings with Sir Pelham) healed up Kissi’s wounds, and we all decided to risk going back to the nearby town of Barovia for a rest.  As we entered the town, we immediately saw that burgomaster’s mansion2 was completely burned down, but the rest of the buildings on the main road seemed fine.  We entered the Blood of the Vine tavern, ordered drinks, and struck up a conversation with the three Vistani women who appeared to own the place.  ENGR-23 asked what happened to the mansion, and one of the Vistani told us how the undead had destroyed it.  The townsfolk all assumed that Ireena and Izmark had been killed, and no one seemed to suspect that we had been involved in any way.

We managed to convince the owners to let us sleep in one of their rooms for the night–all 6 of us in one small, very purple room.  Before we went to bed, most of us got good and drunk.  Kissi attempted to convince ENGR-23 to demand better pay and benefits from the company, until an oblivious 23 retired upstairs to do some tinkering with its mechanical lobster companion and then power down for a while.  One by one, we made our way upstairs.  Peter managed to claim the single bed, despite tripping over a footstool, which Kragen then angrily tossed out the window.  Cara took a dresser drawer, and Txan just claimed some floor space.  Kissi managed to talk her way into spending the night with one of the Vistani women.  Wick passed out at the table, and stayed there until 23 rebooted and then carried him upstairs, dumping him unceremoniously onto the bed with Peter.

Next morning, the owners charged us for the room, including the cost of the footstool Kragen had tossed.  Peter retrieved the stool, still mostly intact, but the Vistani insisted on the gold and said Peter could keep the stool.  We headed back out of Barovia toward the west, intending to finally take care of the coven of witches living in the old windmill by the road to Vallaki.  As we approached the mill, Wick cast Pass Without Trace, allowing the entire party to sneak up to the building and gain entry without being detected by anyone inside (as far as we could tell).  There was a raven perched above the door, but it didn’t seem to react at all to our presence.

windmill.jpg

Inside the first thing we noticed was a barrel full of a foul-smelling liquid in the middle of the room.  There was also a heavy trunk and a wooden cabinet in the room, and a stairway leading up, from which we could hear cackling and thumping sounds.  We quickly searched the room–in the cabinet, Peter found a few elixirs marked “Youth,” “Laughter,” and “Mother’s Milk.”  ENGR-23 and Kissi took the barrel to the front door and dumped its contents outside.  Peter then went and opened up the heavy trunk–it contained about 100 toads that started to escape.  They seemed to be natural toads, and we managed to get them all back in the chest without too much trouble.  Wick stealthily moved up to the second floor, and spotted the witch Morgantha3 alone, sweeping the floor in a room dominated by a large millstone.  We could still hear cackling coming from farther up the stairs.  We spent some time discussing strategies, but eventually decided on surprising the witch in the hopes that we could kill her before she could alert her daughters on the upper floor.

We ended the session there, so we’ll have to wait until next time to see if we can indeed take out Morgantha without being ambushed by the entire coven.

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