AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: Yig Snake Granddaddy, Intro

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’s discussion topic is the Path of the Beast Barbarian, which can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. These Barbarians physically transform their bodies when they rage, taking on certain aspects of ferocious beasts. A Beast Barbarian could be afflicted with a mild case of lycanthropy, descended from an archdruid who passed along a bit of their Wild Shape ability, or simply be a host for an animal spirit.

Starting at 3rd level, when you rage you take on the Form of the Beast. Until your rage ends, you manifest a natural weapon, which counts as a simple melee weapon and uses your STR modifier for attack and damage rolls. You can choose one of three options each time you rage.

  • If you choose a Bite, your jaws and teeth elongate and you deal 1d8 (plus your STR modifier) piercing damage on a hit. Also once per turn when you hit with this attack you can regain hit points equal to your proficiency bonus, provided that you have fewer than half your total hit points remaining.
  • If you choose Claws, your hands transform into claws that deal 1d6 (plus STR) slashing damage on a hit. Once per turn when you use the Attack action using your claws, you can make an additional attack as part of the same action. Note that this stacks with the Extra Attack feature, so that you’ll be making three attack rolls at 5th level instead of two.
  • If you choose a Tail, you grow a lashing tail that deals 1d8 (plus STR) bludgeoning damage and has a reach of 10 feet. If a creature within 10 feet of you hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to swipe your tail up and gain a bonus to your AC equal to 1d8, potentially causing the attack to miss.

At level 6, your Bestial Soul increases the effectiveness of your natural weapons. Your Bite, Claw, or Tail attacks count as magical for the purposes of overcoming resistances. In addition, you can also transform your body to adapt to your surroundings. When you finish a short or long rest, you can can choose one of the following effects, which last until your next rest:

  • You gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed and can breather under water
  • You gain a climbing speed equal to your walking speedand can walk on walls and ceilings without making an ability check
  • Once per turn, when you jump, you can make an Athletics check and add the result to the number of feet you can cover

At 10th level, when you hit an enemy with your natural weapons, you can curse them with a bit of your Infectious Fury. The creature you hit must make a WIS saving through (with a DC based on your CON modifier). If they fail, you can either deal an additional 2d12 psychic damage, or force the creature to use its reaction to make a melee attack against another target of your choice.

Finally at level 14, you can spread your ferocity to your allies when you Call the Hunt as you enter your rage. A number of willing creatures equal to your CON modifier each gain 5 temporary hit points. In addition, as long as your rage lasts, when those creatures hit with an attack roll they can add 1d6 to the damage the deal. Creatures can only add this extra damage once on their turns, and you can only use the Call the Hunt ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus each day.

We started up a brand new campaign this week, this time with Wafflicious in the DM’s seat for a 5e Cthulhu Mythos adventure. Our players include:

  • JosephusBrown as Anton Illinois (Human Fighter), a disgraced archaeology professor who has turned to seeking arcane rituals
  • CleverGuy as Bastian Updelver (Deep Gnome Artificer), an eccentric local potionmaker
  • TheHayesCode as Hazel Green (Dhampir Bard), a flapper, séance MC, and aspiring spiritualist
  • Spiny Creature as Ku (Kenku Twilight Cleric), a local priestess of Bastet, goddess of protection
  • The Wasp as Leah Zann (Tiefling Great Old One Warlock), a professor from Miskatonic University who accepted a deal with Yog Sothoth to get an advantage over her male colleagues
  • Otto as Minty Rocksmasher (Dwarf Barbarian), survivor of an eldritch accident which decimated her tribe

Credit for the character descriptions above goes to Spiny Creature, who also wrote up the recap of our first session in the Spoiler bar below. Thanks, Spiny!

A Phonograph Recording From the Archives of Bastet

(Crackly-ass audio begins. A woman’s voice is heard.)

HIGH PRIESTESS: This arcane recording is the first chronicling the Temple of Bastet’s investigative work into the wizard Gehir Greencloak and his doings in the city of Ventissa. Date September 8, 1924.

Our temple has been concerned about Mister Greencloak since sometime in early 1922, when he first ventured into the uncharted forests outside the city with a small group of adventurers. He returned with one companion missing and the others eager to leave town.

Since that date over two years ago, Mister Greencloak has taken several adventurers under his wing for an expedition whose aim he has been reluctant to disclose to us. Most recently, Mister Greencloak took a larger group of 17 adventurers into the wilderness some months ago. He returned as the only survivor, claiming a flash flood carried his party away.

Following this alarming large-scale tragedy, the Temple elected to follow Mister Greencloak’s next expedition, were there to be one, in order to learn more about his work and stop him if necessary.

A new expedition was indeed announced, and the Temple was alarmed to note that Mister Greencloak was offering far more funding than ever before – 1,000 gold per head. The source of his new riches was unknown.

Mister Greencloak advertised for adventurers to come audition at the fighting pits. Given Ventissa’s reputation as the City on the Edge of Nowhere, we knew vulnerable out-of-towners looking for gold would be easy for him to find.

We elected to send Ku as our adventurer joining the mage and learning more about his expeditions. Despite her communicative troubles, her cool head in an emergency is well-known. Plus, the eldritch nightmares which kenku are burdened with has left her unfazed by the things in the wilderness.

I will now begin interviewing Ku, clarifying as necessary.

Ku, you ran into Bastian Updelver immediately as you went to join Gehir’s auditions, correct?

(Someone can now be heard speaking in several different voices and cooing.)

KU: Ran into Bastian. 1,000 gold is a lot of moolah!

HIGH PRIESTESS: You’re saying that Bastian was interested in joining Greencloak because he was offering more money than before?

KU: Ingredients aren’t free, lady.

HIGH PRIESTESS: Bastian is interested in expanding his potionmaking business but ingredients are expensive, yes. What happened next?

KU: We’re swinging by the River Market. Tiefling. Dhampir. You’re invited if you want to come.

HIGH PRIESTESS: You met a tiefling and a dhampir at the River Market and they were also interested in Gehir Greencloak’s expedition? Could you say their names?

KU: Leah Zann. Hazel Greene. Not from around here, ya see?

HIGH PRIESTESS: Got it. After that?

KU: Over at the fighting pits. Human, Anton. Dwarf, Minty. Little more… brawn.

HIGH PRIESTESS: You met a human and a dwarf. They were brawnier than you?

KU: Takes all sorts to make the world go ‘round.

HIGH PRIESTESS: I believe Ku is stating that the team felt a wide variety of skills – including brawn, which they presumably lacked – would be needed.

KU: You got it, sugar! Gehir will see you soon. Need a team name.

HIGH PRIESTESS: Gehir Greencloak wanted your adventuring party to have a name for these… auditions? What name was decided?

KU: The Spice Rack.

HIGH PRIESTESS: The… the Spice Rack? Can you explain the meaning of this?

(A pause on the recording. Then some squawks. Then some frustrated pecking.)

HIGH PRIESTESS: That’s a no, I believe. Well, you joined a group called “The Spice Rack” for reasons unclear to us all. This should be a fun set of interviews.

(Recording ends.)