AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Murder in Skyway, Week 9

Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop Gaming thread!  Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other tabletop games 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.

Since we recently finished playing through the Curse of Strahd module, I spent the last week or so reading through the book.  There was so much that we missed, including entire dungeons that we never even encountered.   We never met Rictavio or the Mad Mage, we never found Van Richten’s tower, and we only explored a small fraction of Castle Ravenloft itself.Tower

One of the coolest things about this module is that there’s a built-in mechanism for making it at least somewhat re-playable.  At the beginning of the adventure (or before it even begins), the books lays out a method of determining random locations for a handful of important items, as well one NPC who’s especially important to your party’s time in Barovia.  Most of the details of the adventure will be the same, of course, but there’s a pretty good chance that if you replay the module, you’ll need to head to at least one location that you missed on your first go-round.

How often, if ever, do you replay an adventure module?  What about playing in a module that you’d previously DM’d?  Does it take out any of the fun to know what surprises may be coming, or is there enough random chance (either written in, as in Strahd, or just inherent to die-rolling) to make the experience different enough from group to group?  On a related note, how often do you buy and read adventure modules that you may want to run and/or play in the future?

Cast of Characters

The AvocaD&D group is currently running through a set of Eberron adventures, DM’d by Josephus Brown. The player characters (all at Level 5) are as follows:

  • TheCleverGuy as Cybin Stoneswift, a Hill Dwarf Wizard who’s singularly obsessed with the study of various forms of mushrooms
  • Otto (our only non-Avocado party member) as Magz, a Changeling Rogue, a native of Sharn familiar with the city’s seedy underbelly
  • The Hayes Code as Cassidy Cody, a Tiefling Bard who makes a living busking in the lightning rail stations with the talent passed down to her from her Pa’s deal with the devil
  • Wafflicious as Pizzazzle, a Dragonborn Druid who just wants to clean up the planet so it’s fit for consumption by the all-powerful Nexu
  • The Wasp Woman as NRS-K80, a Warforged Cleric who discovered a passion for healing after serving as a living weapon in the Last War
  • Mr.ImMyOwnGrandpa as Marcus Tor, a Half-Orc Barbarian and former athlete with a rage-inducing magic spike lodged in his chest
  • Anna Nomally as Annya, a Human Rogue who failed at being an assassin because she kept befriending her targets

This week’s recap was written by The Hayes Code.

To Stop a Murder

Joining the party this time are Tor, a half-orc barbarian with a spike driven into his chest as a result of strange experiments which causes him to go into a rage, and Annya, a human rogue.

Our characters were returning to the city following the last adventure when a dead shifter plummeted out of the sky and landed on our air-car. She had a broken neck and had apparently been hit by another vehicle at a higher altitude (which had already fled the scene.) Examining her, we found poison knives, a map of a warehouse, and a photo of Erol Potellas, husband of one of Sharn’s council members. Erol was in the company of a beautiful and not-his-wife woman. We determined that the shifter was possibly an assassin (maybe hired by Erol’s angry wife) and decided to hurry to the warehouse in an effort to prevent the other assassins from carrying out the killing.

We stopped off briefly at the safe house apartment, finding the door open and the place reeking of smoke. Tor entered first to find Heiyoo the kobold, sitting in a pile of debris and holding a golem’s head. After that quick detour, we went on to the scene of the planned crime.

The site was a potion warehouse on top of a large walkway with chasms on either side. The map helpfully laid out the plan of attack – an assassin codenamed ‘Rabbit’ was waiting in a getaway carriage, ‘Cat’ was on a nearby watertower covering the guards on the roof, ‘Ox’ and ‘Pig’ were to ambush the tour group containing Erol, ‘Dog’ was to infiltrate and unlock the main gate, and ‘Rooster’ was to run distractions in the street.

Cassidy spotted a shadow slinking around on the water tower. Pizzazzle turned into a squirrel, investigated a hooded figure waiting in the carriage, then scaled the water tower. Cybin turned himself invisible and also went to investigate.

We took a bit too long investigating, and the assassins attacked before we could prevent it. Cassidy and Tor rushed into the building to find an armed gang menacing Potellas, whose own guards were protecting him and exchanging fire with the attackers. Tor let out a scream, informing Potellas the ‘Interlopers’ (we decided this name on the spot) were here to save him and attacked.

Pizzazzle engaged with the ‘Cat’ on the water tower. The Cat managed to shoot a guard, but Pizzazzle cast Entangle and proceeded to sit on her, not wanting to actually kill a suspect. Meanwhile, Annya and Cybin engaged the ‘Rabbit’ in the carriage, and Magz encountered someone in the alleyway outside the main warehouse floor.

Tor got shot and enraged. Cassidy tried to help Magz out with a spell, but it fizzled, and the assassin got a blow in on the changeling with her dagger. Meanwhile, one of the other assassins missed Tor with an attack and hit a shelf of alchemy supplies, splashing himself with random potions. He proceeded to float up to the ceiling like a balloon.

Magz hit her attacker with a rapier, and Annya finished off hers, leaving her and Cybin free to come to the rest of the party’s defense. Cassidy insulted Magz’ attacker, and Cybin blew some poison spores on her. Meanwhile, Pizzazzle is still engaged in a lone battle high on the water tower…

And that’s where we left it – it was getting pretty late. Next time, the thrilling conclusion!