AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Session 10

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.

Today I’m shedding some light on the Monk that follows the Way of the Sun Soul. This Monk channels their ki into searing bolts of radiant energy that can be thrown at enemies. sunsoul If you want to play a martial artist who can also shoot fireballs, a la Ryu from Street Fighter, this is the way to go.

Starting at level 3, the Sun Soul Monk can create a Radiant Sun Bolt. This is a special type of ranged attack, with a range of 30 feet.  The bolt deals radiant damage in an amount equal to your martial arts die (which starts at a d4 and increases as you level) plus your DEX modifier. You can also spend a ki point to throw two more bolts, similar to how the normal Flurry of Blows feature works.

At 6th level, the Monk learns the Searing Arc Strike technique.  Immediately after taking the Attack action, you can use 2 ki points and cast Burning Hands as a bonus action, and if you like you can use more ki points to raise the level that you cast the spell at.  There is a maximum of ki you can spend in this way, equal to half of your monk level.

When you reach level 11, you can create a Searing Sunburst.  Your hurl a ball of radiant energy up to 150 feet and it explodes in a 20-foot radius.  It only deals 2d6 worth of damage (after a failed CON save) at it’s base level, but you can use your ki to increase that by an additional 2d6 for each ki point spent, up to a maximum of 3 points.

Finally, at 17th level you gain the ability to make a Sun Shield.  As a bonus you can make yourself glow, illuminating the area with bright light for 30 feet around you plus dim light for an additional 30 feet.  While glowing, you can use a reaction to deal radiant damage to an enemy that hits you, equal to 5 plus your WIS modifier.

This is a really cool class from a flavor perspective, and I like that it gives the monk a way to attack at range without having to rely on throwing darts.  But I think overall, the damage output of the higher level abilities is somewhat lacking.  Note that enemies that succeed their CON saves against your Searing Sunburst take no damage, as opposed to half damage.  And the damage from Sun Shield is limited to once per round, since it uses up your reaction.  Even Searing Arc Strike is a little underwhelming at it’s base, costing 2 ki to cast a 1st-level spell.

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)
Mission Accomplished

From the Report of Const. Renard Muldoon…

After killing the Ettin and fending off the assault of the harpies and giant bats, we were all pretty banged up.  Most of the harpies had fled deeper into the cave, but we didn’t dare follow without at least taking a short rest.  We gathered in the Ettin’s cave, and Dr. Testling set up some sort of contraption that he said would alert us if anything came close. We took some time to recuperate, and Rainn played a soft soothing tune on his trumpet that seemed to help.

When we all felt sufficiently rested, we started off into the cave to track down the remaining harpies.  I took the lead but I’m sorry to report that I did not acquit myself well in this endeavor.  I should have known that these flying monsters would have laid traps on the floor of their lair.  Almost immediately, the floor gave way under me and I fell into a spiked pit.  I wasn’t too seriously hurt, and I climbed out easily, while the rest of the group skirted their way around the edges of the pit.  Moving forward more carefully,I uncovered found a couple more pit traps with my javelin before anyone fell in. The harpies had fled through an opening high in the cave wall, with a small ledge in front of it. Rainn was able to levitate himself up to the top of the ledge, and lowered a rope for the rest of us to climb.

When we were all up, I led the team down a narrow corridor, keeping my eyes open for more traps.  Eventually we came to a cavern, where I could see stacks of broken crates.  batharpyThe corridor continued, but I thought it best to check out the smaller cavern and see what sort of goods these harpies were hoarding before moving on.  Luckily, I just managed to see the harpies hiding among the boxes in time to warn everyone.

Rainn reacted fast and used another Shatter on two of the harpies, killing one that we had managed to injure in our previous skirmish.  Two of the harpies swooped in to attack Sgt. Aequoreous and myself, but the last one started making a strange noise, almost like a song.  I don’t really recall much of what happened after that.  I was under some kind of enchantment, I think.  I just remember feeling the need to get closer to that sound.  I finally came to my senses when Rainn’s magic put the singing harpy to sleep.  I found that the group had killed all but one of the other harpies, and that one fled out of the just after I came around.  Dr. Testling put the sleeping one out of its misery.  I’d normally be opposed to killing a defenseless enemy, but these monsters are too dangerous to be left alive.

With the monsters defeated, we looked through the crates in the cavern, finding all sorts of stolen goods.  Most seemed to be from Xendros’ missing shipment.  shieldThere were some green Chinese silks, a copper stein of dwarven make, and a set of gold bracelets.  A few items had been damaged by Rainn’s Shatter spell, including a mirror with a gilded frame and a small statuette carved from bone. There were a handful of gems and coins, and a potion of some kind.  And most importantly, we found the enchanted shield that I had been looking for.

Before leaving, I felt it was prudent to see what lay further on down the corridor.  Not long after a sharp turn, the cave opened up into a fairly large space.  The floor was mostly covered in harpy guano, and the smell was as foul as you can imagine.  Across the way, we saw a figure lying on a shelf of rock.  Upon closer inspection, it was another harpy, unconscious and reeking of alcohol.  alchemy-jugThe beast didn’t respond to being poked, so we tied her up to drag out of the cave.  As we dragged her away, we found she’d been lying atop a ceramic jug with many spouts.  It sounded like there was still some liquid inside, though it looked empty.

We dragged the bound harpy out of the cave and left it in the care of the dryads on the island.  The dryads thanked us for ridding their home of the harpy infestation.  We sailed back to Saltmarsh and returned the stolen items to Xendros.  As a reward for recovering the shipment, Xendros offered us the Sentinel Shield and Alchemy Jug for half her usual asking price.  I gladly accepted that offer and took the shield, while I believe Dr. Testling purchased the Alchemy Jug.  I’m not sure what use he sees in it, but who am I to judge?  I trust that he won’t overdo the wine like that harpy apparently did.