AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming Thread: Carnival of Shadows, Episode 15

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, we’re talking about the Eldritch Knight Fighter. EKs are Fighters that dip their toes into the world of spellcasting to both boost their defenses and give them some more options for ranges and area of effect attacks. If you want to add just a hint of magic to your martial character, this is probably the class for you.

At 3rd level, the EK learns a Spellcasting ability similar to the Wizard’s, with a focus on evocation and abjuration magic. When you choose spells, you pick from the Wizard spell list. Your spell attack modifier and spell save DC are based on your INT score, so if you plan to become an EK, make sure to choose your ability scores wisely at character creation. You start with two cantrips, learning a third at level 10. You also learn three 1st level spells, two of which must be evocation and/or abjuration spells. You’ll learn additional spells from those schools as you level up, though your rate of progression is only about a third that of a full caster, and at certain levels you’re free to choose spells from any school.

Also at 3rd level, as EK learns a Weapon Bond ritual. You can form a bond with any weapon of your choice during a short rest. When the bond is formed, you can’t be disarmed of the weapon unless you are incapacitated, and you can use a bonus to instantly summon the bonded weapon to your hand from anywhere, as long the weapon is on the same plane of existence as you. You can have up to two weapons bonded in this way at a time.

When you reach level, you’ve mastered a certain level of War Magic, allowing to both attack and cast minor magic in the same turn. Whenever you use your action to cast one of your cantrips, you can then make a weapon attack as a bonus action.

At level 10, your Eldritch Strikes can disrupt your enemies’ magical defenses. Whenever you hit a creature with a weapon attack, that creature has disadvantage on its next saving throw against a spell you cast before the end of your next turn.

At 15th level, you gain the Arcane Charge ability. Immediately before or after you use your Action Surge, you can teleport up to 30 feet.

Finally, at level 18, you have mastered your technique of combining magical and physical attacks. Improved War Magic lets you use a bonus action to make a weapon attack whenever you use your action to cast a spell of any level.

The Hayes Code is currently DMing our group, running an original campaign in the Eberron setting. We’re playing as member of a traveling carnival/spy network for House Phiarlan.

Cast of Characters
  • Tinka, the Warforged Battlesmith Artificer, who performs tricks with the mechanical animals she creates (The Wasp)
  • Wind Over Sand, a Tabaxi Open Hand Monk and contortionist (Wafflicious)
  • Clo Fullia, a Shifter Battle Master Fighter, a bearded lady who also has a tendency to shift into strange beasts (Otto)
  • Tano Lyrimasyl, a blade-juggling Elven Bard of the College of Swords (TheCleverGuy)
  • The Shill, a Changeling Trickery Cleric who works the crowd looking for easy marks for the rest of the carnies (Josephus Brown)
  • Annabelle and Shirley Fredricks, conjoined twins, one of whom is a Human Divination Wizard (Spiny Creature)
Von Pique's Deliveries

While we rested, Tinka sent her flying frog into the small rat-tunnel that the undead assassin had escaped down. After a few minutes we heard the frog loudly chirping from behind a wall, and Tinka started hammering on it with her giant wrench. Clo happily joined in, but the wall was thick stone. Luckily, Tinka has a good eye for masonry–she was able to find a weak spot and bust through the wall. The wounded assassin didn’t stand much chance.

Once we were all rested, we followed the map to the chamber that was marked for deliveries, where we found a handful of medium sized crates, and a couple larger ones. We didn’t see anyone in the room, so Wind and my giant weasel friend, The Professor, went inside to poke around. The Professor’s keen smell picked something up in one of the boxes, and Wind heard something move and jumped up on another crate for a better look. It just her luck that a zombie broke out of the crate underneath her and grabbed her, just as three other boxes burst open, revealing more zombies and ghouls.

The Shill dusted off their holy symbol and called on the power of the Traveler, turning three zombies into dust and leaving only a single frightened ghoul. Wind started to attack the fleeing ghoul, and Annabelle used some of her mind magic to incapacitate the creature. But then another large crate exploded from the inside as an undead ogre emerged, swinging a huge morningstar at Wind! I sent The Professor to help Wind by attacking the ghoul, drew my swords, and rushed at the ogre zombie, driving it back towards another large crate.

As I moved in to press my advantage with the ogre, the other crate burst open as an undead beholder emerged! Tinka reacted immediately and shrank the beholder, but it blasted Clo with a beam from one its eye stalks, draining her energy and vitality away from her. Between the enervation ray and the suddenly shrinking form of the beholder, Clo couldn’t connect with attacks. Luckily, Shill was there to give Clo some much-needed healing.

In the meantime, Wind had knocked the incapacitated ghoul’s head off with her staff. She turned toward the ogre and swung for its knees, trying to knock to the ground, but the ogre managed to keep its feet and catch me with a blow from its morningstar. As Annabelle summoned and angry little fey creature to help us, I cast a spell of my own and blinded both the beholder and the ogre.

For a moment the shrunken, blinded, undead beholder could bite ineffectually at whoever was in front of it, while we all took advantage of the distraction to attack both of the undead creatures. Wind crushed the ogre’s skull with her staff, and the rest of us surrounded the beholder trying to kill it. The beholder shook itself and blinked its many eyes, clearing away the spell that was blinding it. Seeing it was surrounded, the thing shot another ray at Annabelle and Shirley, but Annabelle had foreseen the blast and knew to duck at just the right time. The sewer wall behind the twins disintegrated where the ray had hit it, just inches above the twins’ heads. Thankfully, Clo managed to puncture the beholder’s central eye and deflate the thing before it could do any more harm.

With all the undead creatures destroyed, we spent a little time looking over the room. The remains of the crates all had markings confirming that they came from the Von Pique estate. But why was this dwarf sending crates full of undead creatures to the sewers under Little Cyre? We needed to pay him a visit. But first we needed a bath and a rest. I hope we can rely on Brother Marcus from the Silver Flame to procure us an invitation to Von Pique’s next gathering.