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.
Discussion topic: Chess is one of the oldest tabletop games in existence, dating back to the 6th century. Two players face off against each other, each controlling 16 pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 bishops, 2 knights, 2 rooks, and 8 pawns. On a turn, a player can move a single piece, and each piece moves in a different way. The goal is to capture your opponent’s king, usually accomplished by capturing other pieces until you can surround the king such that he cannot move to safety. The size and shape of the Chess pieces can vary, from the classic shapes pictured above to just about anything–including characters from Star Wars or Mario games. There are also variants of the rules, including 3-dimensional sets and sets that expand the playing field to have 4 players at once.
Do you play Chess? Are you any good? Do you have a really nice and/or especially nerdy Chess set that you like to play with or just display?
The Hayes Code is jumping back into the DM seat to guide us through the Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign, with the setting adjusted to a fantasy version of 1930.
- Sgt. Vivian Aequoreus, a Dragonborn Sorcerer, an admiral’s daughter and naval officer serving as representative of the Navy in Saltmarsh (The Wasp)
- Rainn Cloud, an Air Genasi Bard, of uncertain origin and purpose (Wafflicious)
- Festuca Glauca, a Human Cleric, raised on a floating brothel and now striking out on her own (Otto)
- Constable Renard Muldoon, a Half-Elf Paladin, a life-long resident of Saltmarsh assigned to this new task force as liaison to the local town guards (TheCleverGuy)
- Rielle, a Human Druid, who’s definitely NOT a mermaid transformed into a human through magic (Anna Nomally)
- Dr. Nickel Ferrous Testling, a Kobold Artificer, a scientist currently working for the WPA in their cultural archivist project, primarily focusing on folklore and legends, local religious cults, and regional variations in spellcasting technique (Josephus Brown)
After bringing our captive bandits back to town and having a good night’s rest, we reported in to Capt. Fireblood. For killing Sanbalet, we earned a reward of 200gp, which we divided among us. The captain asked that we go back to the house and make sure it was completely clear, and we borrowed a truck from the constablury to bring us there. Before we leaving, we also had to give Finch Foley the bad news about his boss’s death.
We also met Rielle, who joined our team, and we headed back to the Alchemist’s House. We went in the front door and started moving through the place room-by-room. Most of the house was empty, with nothing but old broken furniture in the rooms. It had probably been pretty thoroughly ransacked over the years. In the library, we did find a handful of books stacked up in one corner. Dr. Testling picked them up, finding a book on the magical properties of gemstones, another for magical plants, and one about complex mathematics. There was one loose page in one of the book, though it was heavily water-damaged. Testling was only able to make out two words: “Beyond skeletons.”
The rest of the first floor had been pretty well cleared out. Rainn did a trap door in one room, leading to the basement kitchen we’d been in previously. There was another ghostly voice warning us to go back when we opened the door, but it was nothing we didn’t expect. We decided to check out the upper floor before going back to the caves. In an old wardrobe in the master bedroom, we found an old cloak that was covered in yellow mold spores. Dr. Testling and Rielle were both exposed, but both managed to shake off any effect. As we crossed from one side of the house to the other, a section of the balcony dropped from under Sgt. Aequoreus, but she was quick enough to make it to the other side without falling. The rest of jumped across the gap as well, except for Rainn.
In another bedroom, Sgt Aequoreus found something sparkly in a fireplace, but roused another swarm of spiders when she went to pick it up. It took a while to clear the spiders off them, but eventually we did it. The Sergeant found a rounded crystal that Dr. Testling recognized as being used in alchemical work. In the last bedroom, we found a young girl tied up in a bedroom. We knew from the captive cook that this was Neddy the Nife, and was meant to be a distraction. Muldoon arrested her and left her locked up in the back of the truck, then we went to check out the attic.
We reached the attic through a trap door in the ceiling above the back stairs. Rainn levitated up with a rope, and we were all able to climb up without any trouble. The attic was filthy, covered in cobwebs and animal droppings. All we found was a couple of old sacks, though in one of those we found a creepy porcelain doll with gemstone eyes. As we moved about, though, we were attacked by a flock of stirges. If a stirge bites you, it attaches and starts sucking your blood, but luckily they’re not hard to kill. Rielle killed one immediately, but she and Rainn were both bitten, and Muldoon got a stirge attached to his face as well. Dr. Testling electrified the one attached to Rielle, and Rainn took care of his own. Sgt. Aequoreus blew up the stirge attached to the Constable’s face with a well-placed Chaos Bolt. Rielle cured Muldoon’s wound, and he splatted another stirge. The last stirge managed to avoid all of our attacks, but then flew off through a hole in the roof. We grabbed the creepy doll and headed down to clear out the basement and the smugglers’ caves.
In the basement, there was a barred door, which the captured bandits had told us held back a group of skeletons. We decided to skip that and search the caves first. We encountered some corrosive green slime and found an underground beach, where the smugglers entered the caves from the ocean, but it looked like they’d pretty much cleared out on their own after we killed their leader. We took a short rest to ensure that we were all at full health before clearing out the skeleton room.
Constable Muldoon lifted the bar and opened the door. As as went in, six skeletons stiffly shambled toward us. Sgt. Aequoreus blasted two of skeletons with her lightning breath. Rainn tried to stop one with Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, but the skeleton was able to resist the spell. Rainn was able to give a bit of inspiration to the constable though. Dr. Testing threw an enchanted boomerang at one of the skeletons and hit, while Rielle ran into the room to swing her own enchanted Shileligh. As the skeletons moved toward us, we saw a strange blue light coming from the wall behind them. With the skeletons swarming toward the door and Rielle, Rainn, and the Sergeant in the way, Muldoon couldn’t get close. He threw a javelin and hit one, then shouted for everyone to get behind him. Rainn stabbed one skeleton to death and then backed out of the room, along with Aequoreus and Rielle. Muldoon blocked the door with his shield, then smashed the closest skeleton with his hammer. Aequoreus shattered another with her thunderous Chaos Bolt. As we fought. the blue light grew brighter and a glowing skeleton in robes with a long ghostly beard appeared through the secret door. Muldoon smashed another skeleton, then ran up to engage with the skeletal alchemist. Vivian’s Ray of Frost and Testling’s Shocking Grasp couldn’t quite finish off the last skeleton, but Rielle’s Shilaighly did the trick. The Alchemist pulled some glass vials out of his robes and tossed them over Muldoon’s head toward Rainn and Testling. Testling managed to duck out of the way, but Rainn had acid splashed all over him, hurting him badly. Muldoon smashed the alchemist with his hammer, breaking a few ribs. Aequoreus launched another Ray of Frost, leaving the skeletal figure nearly frozen but still alive. Rainn got the last laugh, when his Viscious Mockery caused the skeletal figure to die of shame.
We ended for the night there. Next time, we’ll see what we’ll find beyond the skeletons and move up to level 2!