AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Session 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.

This week, I’m looking closely at the Oath of Vengeance Paladin subclass.  This Paladin is different from the default ‘shining-beacon-of-lawful-goodness’ Paladin–a Vengeance Paladin’s oath is to punish those who have sinned and set right what they have wronged, by any means necessary.  The core tenets of the Oath of Vengeance are as follows:vengeance

Fight the Greater Evil. Faced with a choice of fighting my sworn foes or combating a lesser evil. I choose the greater evil.
No Mercy for the Wicked. Ordinary foes might win my mercy, but my sworn enemies do not.
By Any Means Necessary.  My qualms can’t get in the way of exterminating my foes.
Restitution. If my foes wreak ruin on the world, it is because I failed to stop them. I must help those harmed by their misdeeds.

A Paladin’s oath also comes with additional spells at certain levels.  The Vengeance Paladin gets Bane and Hunter’s Mark at Lv3, Hold Person and Misty Step at Lv5, Haste and Protection from Energy at Lv9, Banishment and Dimension Door at Lv13, and Hold Monster and Scrying at Lv17.

At 3rd level, the Vengeance Paladin gains the ability to Channel Divinity for one of two effects.  Abjure Enemy lets the Paladin use an action to force one creature to make a WIS save.  If they fail, the creature is frightened of the Paladin and cannot move.  If they succeed, their speed is halved for 1 minute or until they take damage.  Alternatively, the Paladin can use Vow of Enmity, which is a bonus action and grants advantage on all of the Paladin’s attack rolls against a single creature for 1 minute.

At 7th level, the Paladin becomes a Relentless Avenger.  Whenever they hit with an attack of opportunity, the Paladin can also move half their speed without drawing opportunity attacks against them.  This helps keep a fleeing enemy within reach for smiting.

At level 15, the Soul of Vengeance feature allows the Paladin to use their reaction when the target of their Vow of Enmity attacks to make a melee attack of their own against that creature.

Finally, at level 20, the Paladin can become an Avenging Angel.  The Paladin can use an action to sprout wings from their back, granting a 60-foot flying speed, and projecting an aura of menace in a 30-foot radius.  Any enemy in the aura has to make a WIS save or become frightened of the Paladin for 1 minute or until it takes damage, and all attack rolls against the frightened creature have advantage.  The wings and aura both last for 1 hour after activation.

The Hayes Code is guiding us through the Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign, with the setting adjusted to a fantasy version of 1930.

The Saltmarsh Situation Solvers
  • 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)

Thanks again to Wafflicious for our game recap this week!

Pirate Harpies!

Rainn is taking notes again

We get ourselves outfitted before leaving in search of a group of Pirate Harpies that have been troubling local ships. It will be two days at sea and I am happy to report I now have a spiffy set of crocodile skin armor made from the very beast we slayed not too long ago.

It’s two uneventful days at sea, which none of us can complain about. DryadWe leave the ship outside a beach and head in toward the forested interior. Immediately we’re seen by a few lovely ladies of the forest. Renard can speak and understand them so we use him to translate a few questions and answers. They are most helpful, pointing out where the harpies can be found and warning us about their type (bat winged harpies, sounds terrible). They also warned us of a guardian with two heads that kept the harpies from being surprised during the day. We agreed to take the last bit of daylight to attempt to surprise the harpies but ran headlong into the giant we’d been warned about instead.

After an admirable but unsuccessful effort by Festuca to charm the giant it attacks. Nickel is knocked down, Renard charges with his weapon lit in holy fire. ettinBut none of it is making much of a dent. Festuca is taking a lot of damage and dealing back some of it in the process. So in desperation I attempt to take it down with a blast of sound.

We continue to hack away at it (and be hacked) until Renard’s holy fury leave it burning like a foul smelling candle.

Wouldn’t you know it though? We all and not me specifically but all of us made enough noise in the battle that we woke things further in the cave. We have little time to lick our wounds and catch our breath before they get here. But it’s not harpies that find us first, but massive bats. We can’t decide how we want to choke them off and decide to simply hold our ground as they come.

We try to get off a few distance shots and stab at the ones getting closer to us, but the harpies are not too far behind the bats. They assault us with song but we’re too panicked mostly to take the bait, I think. harpyLuckily for us, they end up lining up so that Vivian can take a shot at them with her lightning breath. And I give them another taste of pure sound.

After what feels like an eternity of hacking away at them we’ve managed to turn one away and fell another as it tries. Weary and maybe even feeling a bit foolish we finish off the bats that remain and determine to rest as best we can.