AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: The Convergence Manifesto, Part 20

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.

We’re closing out another round of subclass discussions today with the Barbarian’s Path of the Berserker. Berserkers are perhaps the most generic of the Barbarian subclasses. They don’t a lot of flashy stuff, just channel their rage to dish out damage.

Starting at 3rd level, as a Berserker, you can choose to turn your Rage into a Frenzy. While raging, on each of your turns you can use a bonus action to make a single melee weapon attack. It does come at a cost though–if you choose to go into a Frenzy, you suffer one level of exhaustion when your rage ends. Note that this only applies once per use of your Rage (ie, it’s not a level of exhaustion for each bonus action attack you make). Also, since the extra attack takes your bonus action, you won’t be able to make that extra attack on the same turn that you activate your Rage.

By level 6, your fury is so overpowering that it becomes a Mindless Rage. You can’t become charmed or frightened while raging, and if you are charmed or frightened when you enter your Rage, those effects are suppressed for the duration of the Rage.

At 10th level, you can use your action to frighten a creature with just your Intimidating Presence. You can choose any creature you can see within 30 feet of you and force that creature to make a WIS saving throw. The DC for this save is based on your proficiency bonus and CHA modifier.1 On a failure, the creature is frightened of you until the end of your next turn. If you choose, you can use your action on subsequent turns to extend the frightened condition on the creature for the next round. Note that while this effect uses your action, you can still use your bonus action for Frenzy attacks, so you still have the possibility of dealing some damage every round.

Finally, at level 14, you can use your reaction in Retaliation to an attack. When a creature within 5 feet of you deals damage to you, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature.

Players and Characters

Josephus is back as DM to continue his Eberron adventure. The members of the Clifftop Adventurer’s Guild in Sharn include:

  • Sly, a Wildhunt Shifter Druid of the Circle of Dreams from the mysterious and exotic continent of Xen’drik (CleverGuy)
  • Cherri Bomb, a pink Tiefling Rogue, who may or may not have once been a pirate (Waffle)
  • Uda Haserrea, a Summer Eladrin Paladin hailing from the Fairy Court of Thelanis (Wasp)
  • Petie, an Earth Genasi Ranger, who grew up in mostly Dwarvish community that was unfortunately built too close to a Xoriat manifest zone (Spiny)
  • Scylla, a Half-Elf Genie Patron Warlock, who a found a curious patron in a back alley market near Morgrave University (Hayes)
The Tower Falls

Dear Patience,

We made it. Well, most of us made it, and we should be able to bring Cherri back without too much trouble, thanks to that crystal she picked up in the dracolich’s lair. And it was a very near thing for the rest of us. The Mournland is a terrible place that I do not wish to return to. It’s wonderful to back in Sharn, where at least magic does what it’s supposed to do!

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. We had entered Ash Tower looking for the Steel Heart, following close behind a party of Warforged who were presumably here for the same reason. After fighting our way up three floors, we needed a rest, so we set up camp on the third floor after meeting a deva named Gabriel and helping him out a bit. Before Gabriel took off to find his friends, he told us that some kind of creature had taken up residence in the floor directly above us (though he didn’t know what it was). And at the top of the tower there was a huge mechanical spider guarding the Steel Heart, which had killed most the deva’s party and nearly killed him. This wasn’t going to be easy.

We rested for the night, and woke up to find a notebook in the middle of the camp. Petie took a look, thinking the angel left it behind, but she found it was full of sketches of various humanoid hearts. At the end of the book, someone had sketched Petie herself. At least, that’s what Petie told us–when I looked at it I saw me! Cherri wisely advised everyone to drop the book and ignore it. Knowing that there two monsters waiting for us, we though it might be best to try and sneak past whatever was on the fourth floor. Petie cast Past Without Trace, and we thought we had a pretty good chance of sneaking all the way up to the top of tower, grabbing the Heart, and leaving before anything saw us. We were wrong.

Uda led the way up the stairs, and we could all hear a weird droning sound that got louder as we climbed. As soon as Uda reached the top of the stairs, she was overwhelmed and fell unconscious. I climbed up quickly to try to figure out what was wrong. I knew had something to do with the sound, and I could tell it take some force to wake her up again Scylla said there was some kind of demon that did something like that but couldn’t remember the specifics. Cherri had snuck further into the room in the meantime, hiding behind some smoldering crates, but before Petie could make it up the steps a huge mosquito-like demon swooped down on Uda, followed by a handful of vargouilles. Luckily they couldn’t get through Uda’s armor even though she was sleeping. Cherri sliced one of the vargouilles in half as it flew by. Petie kicked Uda awake, blocking her hears, and tried to Misty Step into the room, but her spell didn’t work. I got up the stairs and used a Thunderwave to push the demon away from Uda, and Scylla blasted another Vargouille to bits from the bottom of the stairs. Cherri stepped up to attack the demon, and it stabbed her with its long proboscis. Cherri managed to dodge out of the way, taking only a glancing blow, but even that drained some of her life force away. The last remaining vargouille let out a piercing scream, stunning Uda, Cherri, and Scylla. Thankfully, Petie’s axe cut through the vargouille and took it out. I tried to pull the mosquito demon away from Cherri with a Thorn Whip, and managed to hit it, but the damn thing was hell-bent on Cherri. She was still reeling from the vargouille’s scream, and couldn’t do anything as the demon plunged its proboscis into her and she fell.

Petie and Uda closed in an destroyed the demon, helped by Uda’s divine magic that seemed even more powerful than usual. Cherri was still breathing, but just barely. I gave her some Goodberries to bring her around, but she was still very weak. The demon had taken away most of her strength–she’d need a good long rest to recover, but we didn’t have time. We had to press on.

At the top of the tower, we saw the party of Warforged in pieces, with the giant metal spider hanging in a huge web above. In the heart of the web, suspended about 30 feet in the air, was a glowing orb, which had to be the Steel Heart. Knowing Cherri was hurt, I tried to turn into a spider myself and hide in the web, hoping that I could get to the Heart without attracting its attention. But it had already seen us. The spider shot some kind of a beam from its head, and Uda was suddenly locked in place. Then it rushed over and swiped at me with its metal forelegs, knocking me out of my spider form and back to the ground. Scylla Hexed the spider and started firing, and Cherri tried to distract it by shooting into the webs. I was able to cast Lesser Restoration on Uda to un-paralyze her, but the spider did not like that at all. It came after me, paralyzed me with a beam and laid into me, very nearly killing me right there. Then it lifted me up and wrapped me in its web.

Ironically, that might have my saved my life. Petie tried to Misty Step into the orb hanging in the web, but a crazy wild magic surge instead caused a Fireball to go off in the middle of the room. Scylla and Uda were burned, and Cherri who was already severely weakened was immediately killed. When the fire cleared, where Petie had been standing there was fern in a pot! The Fireball also ignited the webs, and as they began to burn we could see the ceiling start to shudder. It looked like the webs might be all that was holding this tower together. I was still stuck in the web on the other side of the room, but Uda managed to cut me out with a Fire Bolt and caught me as I fell. Then Scylla used Shatter to blow giant hole in the wall of the tower, damaging the spider a bit and more importantly, shaking the Steel Heart loose from the webs. The spider disengaged and grabbed the Heart, but Petie managed to wrestle it out of the spider’s grasp thanks to Scylla’s Hex and book it toward the hole in the wall. While Uda tried to close in and keep the spider at bay, Scylla dragged Cherri’s body towards me and the hole. She shoved her lamp into my hands, and then disappeared inside it, along with Cherri. I was nearly unconscious, but Petie handed me the Heart and I jumped through the whole in the wall as the tower shook behind me. Brother Eagle was looking out for me–I still had a Feather Fall token. As I drifted to the ground, I saw the spider burst through the wall after me, but Uda’s spiked chain connected with it as it started to move and there was a huge explosion of divine energy. The spider was blasted out of the tower and plummeted to the ground, dead. As the tower collapsed, Petie leaped out, an unconscious Uda over her shoulder, and drifted down to the ground with another Feather Fall token.

Lying on the ground, I ate as many Goodberries as I could fit in my stomach. Petie landed next to me, and poured some of her Goodberry wine into Uda’s mouth. As we all caught our breath, we saw coming around the rubble of the tower Gabriel, the angel who had helped us earlier. With him was the woman we’d seen turning into a vargouille the day before. I guess Gabriel found her and reversed the vargouille’s curse. Gabriel was amazed that we’d survived and even killed the metal spider. He offered us a way home in the form of a giant roc that would carry us back to the edge of the Mourning, and we gladly accepted.

Scylla was able to keep Cherri’s body safely in her lamp for the journey back, along with the crystal that now housed Cherri’s soul. That should make it easier to bring her back to life, if we can find someone willing to try. I supposed we’ll go back to the wizard who helped us bring Petie back when she died. Unfortunately, my trip to the Mournland didn’t really help me understand what happened there. But I did learn one thing–I’m never going back there again! I can still conduct my research from outside the Mourning.

Your brother,