AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Forge of Fury, Session 5

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 we’re talking about the Barbarian following the Path of the Totem Warrior.  The Totem Warrior is a Barbarian whose personality, skills, and combat prowess are governed by their spirit animal(s).  TotemWarriorThe spirit animal serves as a guide, protector, and inspiration, and it adds magical fuel to the Barbarian’s rage.

Starting at level 3, as you begin to attune to the natural world, you become a Spirit Seeker.  Your affinity with animals allows you to cast Beast Sense and Speak With Animals, but only as rituals.  This means that they don’t use spell slots (which is good, considering Barbarians don’t generally have any spell slots), but the spells take 10 minutes longer than normal to cast.

Also at Level 3, you choose a Totem Spirit.  This involves making or finding a physical totem object connected to the animal you choose, such as a tooth, claw, or bundle of feathers.  There are 5 official totem animals to choose from, each of which gives you a different bonus ability during your Rage.  The Bear spirit gives you resistance to all damage types, except psychic.  The Eagle lets you Dash as a bonus action and also gives disadvantage to any opportunity takes made against you, as long as you’re not wearing heavy armor.  The Elk increases your movement speed by 15 feet, as long as you’re not wearing heavy armor. The Tiger adds 10 feet to your long jump distance, and 3 feet to your high jump. And the Wolf gives your allies advantage on melee attacks against creatures that are within 5 feet of you.  All of these abilities are only active while you are raging.

At level 6 you gain an Aspect of the Beast, again choosing a feature from the list of totem animals.  You don’t have to choose the same animal that you chose at level 3, and these features are passive abilities that are always on.  The Bear, this time, doubles your carrying capacity and gives you advantage on STR checks made to push, pull, lift, or break objects.  The Eagle lets you see for up to 1 mile with no difficulty, discern fine details from as much as 100 feet away, and cancel the disadvantage on Perception checks made in dim light. The Elk doubles you and your allies’ travel pace (note that this is not the same as walking speed). The Tiger grants proficiency with two of the following skills: Athletics, Acrobatics, Stealth, or Survival.  Finally, the Wolf allows you to track other creatures while moving at a fast pace, and move stealthily while traveling at a normal pace.

When you reach level 10, you are a Spirit Walker.  You gain the ability to cast Commune With Nature as a ritual, to summon one of your spirit animals to give you the information you seek.

Finally, at level 14, your Totemic Attunement is complete.  Again, you choose a new feature based on one of the 5 animal spirits (either the same animal you chose previously or a different one), which activates along with the level 3 ability when you Rage.  The Bear gives hostile creatures within 5 feet of you disadvantage on attacks against targets other than you, as long as they can see or hear you and are not immune to being frightened.  The Eagle gives you a flying speed equal to your walking speed, but you must end your turn on the ground or fall. The Elk allows you to use a bonus action to move through the space of a creature of size Large or smaller.  That creature must succeed on a STR save or be knocked prone and take damage equal to 1d12 plus your STR modifier.  The Tiger lets you make an extra attack as a bonus action, as long as you moved at least 20 feet in a straight line towards the target, and the target is of size Large or smaller.  Finally, the Wolf lets you use a bonus action to knock a Large or smaller creature prone when you hit with a melee attack.  Note that there’s no saving throw associated with this ability.

I took over the GM’s chair once again, this time running the group through the D&D 5e adventure “Forge of Fury,” found in the Tales From the Yawning Portal book.  The PCs are:

  • Gash the Furious, a Half-Orc Totem Warrior Barbarian (played by Otto)
  • Slowclap, a Kenku Kensei Monk (played by Josephus Brown)
  • Seraphina Lathander, an Aasimar Light Cleric (played by The Wasp)
  • Oona Maku, a Half-Elf Hunter Ranger (played by Wafflicious)
  • Fritzi Flickerfling, a Gnome Evoker Wizard (played by The Hayes Code)
  • Edith Stitch, a Gnome Forge Cleric (played by Spiny Creature)

Another shout out to Spiny Creature for writing up our recap this week.  Thanks Spiny!

Klaus, darling, you know I hate to tell you your business – you know I hate to tell
anyone their business. But I needed to talk to you about that lovely woman you’ve been seeing – Pippa, is it? Frankly, she concerns me. Dating the daughter of a succubus seems so exciting until she introduces you to her sire and her family kills you in an orgiastic ritual of bliss, you know?
Oh, I know you think an old woman like me doesn’t know what she’s talking about, Klaus. But I was young once – an apprentice, just like you! And even in my old age, I’ve tangled with plenty of lust fiends. Did I ever tell you about Gash’s bad day in that forge?
After we had climbed to the duergar’s level of the mines, we killed the ogre skeletons and undead there, as well as the spirit of a dwarf mage. With that done, we started opening all the doors in the place, clearing it out. There was one room with a rug Fritzi and I identified as an enchanted rug of smothering, which we avoided, but otherwise all the rooms were empty and full of tragic old orc and dwarf corpses from the mines’ takeover battles. armorAfter so many empty rooms, Gash got a bit sick of waiting and checking for danger, and barreled right into an armory which had enchanted suits of armor. Fritzi cleverly cast Shatter on them and I tried Heat Metal, which worked a neat bit at melting and hurting one of the armor pieces… but since Gash kept hitting it and burning herself, it was rather a short- sighted move.
Barging into the next room, we were shocked to see a very much alive, and beautiful, woman! She introduced herself as Idalla, a simple human peasant who had been captured and trapped in her room by an evil wizard on the floor below.1 Something about her story and demeanor itched at me right away, but I couldn’t put my finger on it, and we all felt it was better to trust a fiend than to mistrust and hurt an innocent woman.
So we played along. The woman kept insisting one of us should stay alone in the room with her to ‘protect’ her, and while Seraphina and I found excuses, Gash actually volunteered. We left poor Gash alone in the woman’s rooms, but Fritzi decided to hide her weasel familiar to spy on them in case of the bad kind of hanky-panky. Well, as soon as we exited, Idalla charmed Gash and ordered her to kill the hidden weasel – she had known of it all along! succubusWith proof of her fiendish nature, we rushed back in as fast as we could, but the succubus had the most irritating habit of magically fleeing whenever Oona or Seraphina hurt her, which irked poor angelic Seraphina to no end. She used Gash to do her dirty work, of course, ordering her to hurt Slowclap. With the fiend seemingly vanished for good, we knocked out Gash, revived her, and slept for the night so
she could recover from the lasting effects of the succubus’s cursed kisses.
The next day we stumbled into the duergar leader’s chambers, and she called her guards on us; all of them cast Enlarge on themselves, and I tried to reason with them, but we fought back and defended ourselves, deciding to spare and tie up only the leader in case we could talk to her… but I am getting hungry. Where’s lunch, Klaus?
Anyway, the point of the story was that you must never trust a succubus, or a human distantly related to a succubus, or the mail system.