AvocaD&D and Tabletop RPG Thread: Curse of Strahd Campaign Journal, Week 31

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 tabletop 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.


I just have a pretty simple question this week.  How did you find your game group(s)? Maybe you’ve been playing with the same group of friends for years, or maybe you’ve just recently joined a new table. What advice would you give someone who’s interested in starting to play D&D (or any other game), but doesn’t have a group to play with?

Our AvocaD&D group is playing through 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)
  • 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 (The Wasp)
  • Wickerwelt Tanglewood, a Halfling Ranger/Rogue; 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)
Spoilers for Curse of Strahd

After visiting the Abbey of St. Markovia, we returned to the village Krezk to spend the night.  The town didn’t have an inn, but the burgomaster had a couple of spare rooms in his house, and some other townsfolk kindly offered some beds as well.  The next morning, we decided to see what had been holding up the wine deliveries, since that seemed to be all that was on anyone’s mind in Krezk. We made our way south along the road, encountering nothing but a single blood-stained teacup in the road.  No one knew what to do about that, so we just left it alone.


As we approached the winery and made our way through the grape fields, we saw someone in a black feathered cloak beckoning to us from the woods. Thinking that this person might be related to the wereravens who had helped us previously, we went over to talk.  The man led us into the woods a ways, to a group of others in similar cloaks.  They were the owners of the winery, but had been attacked and forced out by a group of druids. They asked us to help them drive out the druids.  We decided to try and sneak up to the main building, and Wick cast Pass Without Trace to boost everyone’s stealth ability. We made it up to the main building without attracting the attention of the twig blights and needle blights we could see infesting the grape vines.

We decided to sneak in through the open loading dock, where we could see a large cart loaded with a few wine barrels. A door leading inside the building had been obviously forced open before we arrived. We entered a narrow hall leading to a spiraling ramp going both up and down.  There was also a door one the west side of the hallway.  Wick quietly opened the door to find a large open room with 4 big vats and a balcony along the south wall. Ravens lined the rafters, and he could see a druid woman pouring something into one of the vats from the balcony.  Wick reported back to the others and we came up with a plan.  Wick would move into the main room, keeping below the balcony, while Peter followed the ramp up to the second floor, and made his way along the balcony towards the druid, using the benefits of the Pass Without Trace spell to surprise her.  Once he got close enough, Peter allowed Kragen Tempest to take over and rushed the druid, knocking her into the vat below with his maul.

The druid screamed as she fell, and out of another vat came pouring 2 dozen twig blights.twigblight  Then, from inside the vat she’d fallen into, the druid transformed into a dire bear. She broke out of the vat, reached up, and clawed at Peter from below.  Wick hit the bear with Hunter’s Mark and two arrows, and Peter jumped down off the balcony and smacked the bear with his maul.  ENGR-23 came into the room and cast Burning Hands, roasting a bunch of the twig blights, and Txan followed with Shatter to take down a bunch more (along with one of the vats, which exploded and covered with Wick in wine and sawdust).  The remaining blights attacked 23 and Txan, but only managed to give 23 a scratch.  Txan’s spell was loud enough to alert a second druid, who came up the ramp from below with a handful of needle blightsneedleblight. From the top of ramp, Cara attempted a Hold Person on the new arrival, but the druid resisted the spell. Meanwhile, the bear druid bit and grabbed Peter, allowing Txan to teleport over and take a swing with his hammer.  Wick’s and Peter’s next attacks hit and left the bear reeling, and ENGR’s crossbow bolt knocked the druid out of bear form. Kissi attacked the druid with her Sun Blade, and Txan’s Magic Missile did some minor damage.  The second Druid tried to summon a boar, but Txan’s Counterspell put a stop to that. Wick got stung with needles from the needle blights, and Txan got hit with a Blight spell from the first druid.  Wick’s next shots killed off the first druid, and the ravens from the rafters descended to pick off the last of the twig blights.  Peter and Kissi rushed over to crush some of the needle blights, and Txan hit the second druid with a Firebolt.  The druid caught Kissi with another Blight spell, who then got a nasty bite from a needle blight on top of it.  Cara retaliated by hitting the druid with a Guiding Bolt, which lit him up nicely for Wick’s next shots.  Peter squashed a needle blight, and 23 hit the druid with a crossbow bolt.  Txan hit the remaining blights and the druid with Thunderclap, killing the druid and one blight, and Cara finished the battle by roasting the last needle blight with another Guiding Bolt.

Since the noise of our battle hadn’t seemed to attract anyone else, we gathered some gold off the druids’ bodies and decided to go down the lower level wine cellar.  The basement was extremely cold and a low mist hung over the floor.  We found a few bottles of wine that had escaped the destruction of Txan’s magic.  Peter drank one to make sure it wasn’t poisoned, and it seemed safe.  Wick also found a secret door, leading to a passage covered in mold and a shallow cave.  Though it didn’t appear that the druids had been in this passage, Wick went to investigate. As we walked over the brown mold, it drained the heat from his body causing a large amount of pain.  We considered burning the mold away, but Txan recognized the type of mold it was and told us that fire would only make it worse.  We’d need to freeze it away, but none of had anything that could really accomplish that.  We briefly considered having Txan explore the secret cave using a spell that would let him resist the cold damage from the mold, but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it.  We headed back upstairs and explored most of the first floor, but didn’t find much of interest.

We ended the session there.  Next week, we’ll move into the upper floor of the winery, to see if we can figure out what the druids were doing there in the first place.