AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Kids on Bikes, Part IV

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 taking a closer look at the Warlock’s Hexblade Patron.  As printed in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, this patron is a mysterious entity from the Shadowfell that usually manifests as a sentient magic weapon.  hexbladeHexblade Warlocks are generally more melee-focused characters than other Warlocks, which is reflected in their skills and abilities as well in the expanded spell list options.  At certain levels, the following spells are added to the Warlock spell list for the Hexblade:  Shield and Wrathful Smite at 1st level, Blur and Branding Smite at 2nd, Blink and Elemental Weapon at 3rd, Phantasmal Killer and Staggering Smite at 4th, and Banishing Smite and Cone of Cold at 5th.

At level 1, a Hex Warrior gains proficiency with medium armor, shields, and all martial weapons.  They can also use their CHA modifier instead of STR or DEX for attack and damage rolls made with a particular weapon. You can choose a weapon at the end of a long rest, and the benefits will last until your next long rest. Any weapon you create or bond with using the Pact of the Blade at 3rd level automatically gains these bonuses.

You also get the Hexblade’s Curse ability at 1st level, allowing you to use a bonus action to place a curse on a target for 1 minute.  While cursed, you can add your proficiency bonus to damage rolls against that target, any attack roll against that target will count as critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20, and if the target dies you regain hit points equal to your Warlock level plus your CHA modifier.  You can only use this ability once per short or long rest.

At level 6, you can create an Accursed Specter from the spirit of a humanoid enemy you kill.  When you bind a spirit to your service, you create a specter with temporary hit points equal to half of your Warlock level and a bonus to its attack rolls equal to your CHA modifier.  The specter acts on its own initiative, but follows your commands.  It lasts until your next long rest, after which it vanishes into the afterlife.

At 10th level you get Armor of Hexes, which increases the potency of your Hexblade’s Curse.  Now, in addition to the normal affects of the curse, if the cursed enemy hits you, you can use your reaction to roll a d6.  If you roll 4 or higher, that attack misses you instead.  You can even use this to turn a critical hit into a miss.

Finally, at 14th level, you become a Master of Hexes.  When the target of your Hexblade’s Curse dies, you can choose to move the curse to a new target instead of regaining hit points.

We’re taking a break from D&D to try a new game, Kids on Bikes!  Otto took over GM duties this week, to give The Wasp a chance to play her own character.


The Case of the Pet Killer

It had been a few days since we rescued Foot-Foot and brought him back to his family in the woods.  Dino had taken Alice back to his grandma’s place, where she could hide from her evil parents, or whoever it was that would be looking for her.  Other than that, things pretty much went back to normal, except that Tiffany wanted nothing to do with any of us.  I guess that wasn’t too different for Mindy or Dino, and honestly, I didn’t mind a break from her constant flirting with me.  I guess maybe it was hard for Monica, but then, they never seemed that close, especially for being twins.

Anyway, things were getting back to normal.  Until I heard from another guy on the team that someone had killed Steve’s dog and left its head nailed to his front porch.  How fucked up is that?  Everyone at school was talking about it.  I told Mindy about it myself.  And Susie Quince, the girl who wrote that article for the school paper last year–her mom picked her up from school early.  I heard something might have happened to her dog, too.

Dino found us–Mindy, Monica, and me–after lunch and told us that something had attacked his cat Dave last night.  He didn’t get a good look, but he said it was something big and spiky.  He also said he’d thrown a hammer at it, and was sure he’d hit it, but it didn’t seem to stop.  Luckily, the cat got away with just a chunk missing from its ear.

We made a plan to meet up at Dino’s after school, and ask Alice to talk to Dave and see if he could tell us more about what attacked him.  Dino suggested that we bring Susie along too, since she has a real good tape recorder.  I piled everyone into my car again, and we picked up Susie, but she had to bring along her little brother Chris, too, since she was babysitting.  I mean, the kid’s 14 years old, but he did look pretty upset about people’s pets being murdered.  Susie’s dog was fine, by the way, but we made sure she was safe inside the house before we left.

Anyway, we found Alice at Dino’s place, and she’d already been talking to Dave about everything.  I guess she was bored sitting around the house by herself all day.  She said that Dave said he didn’t know what it was.  It wasn’t a person, and it also wasn’t an animal.  He also said it smelled very old.  I think maybe it’s a dinosaur.

But anyway, Mindy and Monica thought that maybe Alice could talk to this thing, too if we could capture it.  We’d need something to use as bait though, and neither Dino nor Susie would agree to using their pets.  Monica suggested buying something from the taxidermist’s shop in town, but it would have to wait until morning, since the shop was closed by then.

I felt pretty good about the plan, until I woke up the next day.  Something else had happened over night–the main street in town was covered with smear of blood and meat from the sheep farm on the edge of town.  It looked like the entire flock had been torn apart and dragged down the road…