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

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.

Our discussion this week is on the Paladin who follows the Oath of Redemption, a holy warrior who vows to use violence only as a last resort.  A redeemer always tries to turn their foes back to the light, though when confronted with true evil in the form of devils, demons, and undead, the Paladin can still unleash their righteous anger.  RedemptionPaladinA Paladin who follows this oath is charged with the following tenets:

Peace.  Violence is a weapon of last resort. Diplomacy and understanding are the paths to long-lasting peace.
Innocence.  All people begin life in an innocent state, and it is their environment or the influence of dark forces that drives them to evil. By setting the proper example, and working to heal the wounds of a deeply flawed world, you can set anyone on a righteous path.
Patience.  Change takes time. Those who have walked the path of the wicked must be given reminders to keep them honest and true. Once you have planted the seed of righteousness in a creature, you must work day after day to allow that seed to survive and flourish.
Wisdom.  Your heart and mind must stay clear, for eventually you will be forced to admit defeat. While every creature can be redeemed, some are so far along the path of evil that you have no choice but to end their lives for the greater good. Any such action must be carefully weighed and the consequences fully understood, but once you have made the decision, follow through with it knowing your path is just.

The Oath of Redemption gives the Paladin access to new defensive and control spells at certain levels, including Sanctuary and Sleep at level 3, Calm Emotions and Hold Person at level 5, Counterspell and Hypnotic Pattern at level 9, Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere and Stoneskin at level 13, and Hold Monster and Wall of Force at level 17.

When you take this oath at level 3, you gain two Channel Divinity abilities.  First, as an Emissary of Peace, you can use a bonus action to grant yourself a +5 bonus to all Persuasion checks for the next 10 minutes.  You can also Rebuke the Violent, using your reaction when an attacker deals damage to another creature within 30 feet of you to force the attacker to make a WIS save.  On a failed save, the attacker takes radiant damage equal to the amount of damage they just dealt, while on a success they take half that damage.  Remember you can only use Channel Divinity once per rest, so if you try and talk your way out of the fight with Emissary of Peace and fail, you won’t have the Rebuke the Violent ability available during the ensuing combat.

At level 7, your Aura of the Guardian allows you to sacrifice some of your own health to protect an ally.  When a creature within 10 feet of you takes you damage, you can use your reaction to take that damage on yourself instead. The range of this aura increases to 30 feet when you reach level 18.

At level 15, your Protective Spirit allows you to regenerate some hit points during combat.  If you end your turn with fewer than half of your max hp and aren’t incapacitated, you regain hit points equal to 1d6 plus half your Paladin level.

Finally, if you make it all the way to level 20, you become an Emissary of Redemption.  This gives you resistance to all damage dealt by other creatures (from attacks, spells, and other effects), and whenever another creature hits you, they take radiant damage equal to half the damage you take from their attack.  However, if you target a creature with an attack or spell, or deal any damage to it other than the radiant damage dealt by this ability, this benefit stops working against that creature until your next long rest.

The Redemption Paladin is a great choice for a player who wants to take on the role of the support character, but still lay down the occasional divine smite every now and then.

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

The Creatures in the Woods

Our idea to ask the Sasquatches for help didn’t go the way we thought, but it wasn’t a total disaster.  We just had to wait for Foot-Foot’s mom to signal us.  Of course that meant a possibility of more attacks in the meantime.  I decided to stay up all night to see if anything went down.  I must have passed out at some point, because I woke up in the morning when the phone rang.  It was Mindy.  She said that Dino had called Monica, who had called Susie, who had called her to say that Dino had a visit from Foot-Foot around sunrise.  Apparently Foot-Foot told Dino to come to the Sasquatch village around sunset that night.  I guess Mrs. Foot had arranged things so we could meet the “First People.”
We’re just kids though, we can’t really make promises for the whole town.  Susie managed to convince her dad, Mayor Quince, to come out with us.  Apparently, he already knew about the Sasquatches–he’d been working with the loggers for years.  We arrived at Sasquatch village just before sunset.  Mrs. Foot was a suspicious of Mayor Quince at first, but Dino was able to convince her that we’d need him. Foot-Foot’s mom guided us deeper into the forest as it got darker and darker.  Eventually, we came to a clearing with a big flat stone in the middle of it.  Mrs Foot told us to wait and then disappeared into the trees.
After a long wait, we started hearing sounds like rustling and scraping in the trees around us.  It got really loud, and then suddenly stopped.  Dino pointed his flashlight across the clearing, and there was a wall of forest debris across the clearing from us, strung with jaw bones from various animals and mouths made out of twigs.  At first it just stood there, and then a little tumbleweed-looking thing with a couple of animal jawbones jumped out and approached the stone in the center of the clearing.  None of us really knew what to do, until Mindy stepped forward to meet it.  twigblightAs two more of these twig creatures creatures then moved forward, and me and Dino followed suit.  One of the smaller creature suddenly jumped onto the stone and started rushing at Mindy, but I immediately jumped in front of her.  The wooden thing leaped up and started crawling all over me.  I totally froze, but the thing just seemed to be checking me out–it didn’t hurt me at all.  Once it was done it ran back and combined itself with the big wall of twigs across the way.  After another long period of silence, the wall-thing suddenly separated into dozens of individual creatures, and they all started scratching at the ground.  It looked like they were trying to dig a hole or something, but their twig-like hands couldn’t really get through the dirt.  After a minute, Dino started to dig with his hands, too.  They froze for a moment, and two of them approached and started to dig next to Dino.  After another minute, the creatures scattered into the forest, but two of them stayed close and seemed to be waiting for us to follow.
We followed the creatures through the forest in the dark.  Eventually they led us to another big clearing.  We were pretty deep in the forest, and I was totally lost. Thankfully Dino had learned enough about navigating by the stars that he felt like he’d be able to lead us home if we needed to.  Anyway, in the middle of this clearing there was a massive tree.  Its roots were partially exposed, almost as if the tree itself had been trying to push itself out of the ground.  The twig creatures we’d followed here all started digging around the roots of the tree. It looked to me like these creatures wanted our help freeing the big tree from the ground.  I started to help dug, but I guess I was too close to the tree.  TreeI accidentally touched a root, and the whole three started thrashing around.  It knocked me down, but I wasn’t badly hurt. Mayor Quince freaked out though–he’d been almost catatonic since we saw the twig creatures, but now he remembered he had a gun. He took a shot, but I don’t think he hit anything.  A bunch of twig creatures jumped on and smothered the mayor, pinning him to the ground.  More of the twigs climbed up onto the tree and seemed to act to calm it down.  Once it stopped thrashing, the twigs resumed digging, and the rest of started to help.  The big tree itself was also attempting to free itself as we dug, but we weren’t going to make much progress with just our hands. There was just too much to do.  The twig creatures were tireless, but they didn’t hurt us.  When Mindy laid down to rest, they prodded her a few times, but eventually just left her alone. We stayed in that clearing all night, digging until we were exhausted.  When the sun came up, the twig creatures had all disappeared.
If we were going to help dig out this tree, we’d need tools and maybe even more help.  And there was no guarantee that we were doing the right thing.  It seems to me that the big tree just wants to move and get away from the loggers.  But I dunno, if we do free it, it could probably destroy the whole town if it wanted to.  At least the twig creatures didn’t seem to want to hurt us–I just hope that the big tree feels the same way.