AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: Yig Snake Grandaddy, Part 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.

This is week’s subclass for discussion is the Oath of the Crown Paladin, which originally appeared in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Paladins who take this oath stand for order above all else, and often work to uphold the laws of their sovereign ruler or deity. They dedicate themselves to serving society and standing against the forces of chaos that threaten to tear down civilization. Swearing this oath means living up to the following tenets:

Law. The law is paramount. It is the mortar that holds the stones of civilization together, and it must be respected.

Loyalty. Your word is your bond. Without loyalty, oaths and laws are meaningless.

Courage. You must be willing to do what needs to be done for the sake of order, even in the face of overwhelming odds. If you don’t act, then who will?

Responsibility. You must deal with the consequences of your actions, and you are responsible for fulfilling your duties and obligations.

Choosing this Oath at level 3 grants you access to the following Oath Spells, which are automatically prepared each day when you reach the appropriate levels and don’t count against the number of spells you can prepare based on your level and CHA modifier: At 3rd level, Command and Compelled Duel; at 5th, Warding Bond and Zone of Truth; at 9th, Aura of Vitality and Spirit Guardians; at 13th, Banishment and Guardian of Faith; and at 17th level, Circle of Power and Gaes.

You also gain access to two different ways to Channel Divinity. First, as a bonus action, you can use your Channel Divinity feature to issue a Champion Challenge, compelling other creatures to fight you. Each creature of your choice within 30 feet of you must make a WIS saving throw. If they fail the save, they can not willingly move more than 30 feet away from you. The effect ends if you are incapacitated or if you are ever more than 30 feet from the creature (ie, if you move out of the effective range or if the creature is somehow forced outside of the radius).

Alternatively, you can choose to use your Channel Divinity to Turn the Tide of battle. As a bonus action, each creature of your choice within 30 feet regains hit points equal to 1d6 plus your CHA modifier, as long as the creature can hear you and has less than its maximum number of hit points.

When you reach level 7, your Divine Allegiance allows you redirect damage that your allies would take to yourself. When a creature within 5 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to magically substitute your own health for theirs, taking the damage instead. You can not reduce or prevent this damage to yourself in any way (ie, even if you are resistant to the damage type, you still take the full amount that your ally would have).

At 15th level, your Unyielding Spirit grants you advantage on saving throws against becoming paralyzed or stunned.

Finally, when you reach level 20, you have become an Exalted Champion, and your presence on the battlefield can inspire your allies in combat. As an action you can gain the following benefits for 1 hour:

  • you have resistance to nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage
  • your allies gain advantage on death saving throws as long as you are within 30 feet of them
  • you and your allies within 30 feet of you have advantage on all WIS saving throws

This effect ends early if you are incapacitated, and you can only activate this ability once per long rest.

Players and Characters

Wafflicious is in the DM’s seat for this 5e Cthulhu Mythos adventure. Our players include:

  • JosephusBrown as Anton Illinois (Human Fighter/Rogue), a disgraced archaeology professor who has turned to seeking arcane rituals
  • CleverGuy as Bastian Updelver (Deep Gnome Alchemist Artificer), an eccentric local potionmaker
  • TheHayesCode as Hazel Green (Dhampir Spirits 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 Berserker Barbarian), survivor of an eldritch accident which decimated her tribe
The Tower of Purple Porphyry

An excerpt from the notes of Bastian Updelver…

We’ve finally made it out of the Karstlands, but not without a little help. We had discovered a pentagonal tower made of purple porphyry in the middle of a large clearing. Leah seemed very interested in the tower and started off toward it immediately, setting off some more of those shrieking fungi, then more and more until it sounded like every mushroom and toadstool in 10 miles was screaming at once. When the noise stopped, I worried that I’d gone completely deaf. Until I picked up on a different sound–the sound of hundreds of slime molds squelching out of the Karst walls and up from the tar pits dotting the land around us. It seemed like the only shelter was the purple tower itself, so we fought our way through the slimes toward the entrance.

Minty reached the entrance first, and yelled that she’d hold the doorway for us all to get in. We did managed to take down a few while we retreated , but we were completely surrounded and cut off from the only path out of the area. We all ducked inside the tower, and while there was no door, there was a round slab of rock that Minty was able to roll in front of the entrance to keep the slimes outside, at least for a short time–the tower itself was 150 feet high but had lots of windows starting.

But what we found inside was the most shocking thin of all–a crystalized Elder Thing! I recognized it from stories I’d heard in the clan, but never expected to see one in person. It was sort of barrel shaped, but with five tentacles and five wings coming off the body, and a five-pointed star-shaped head at the top. The Elder Things are ancient beyond all reckoning; they were even here before the gods themselves. The walls of the tower were carved with bas-reliefs showing the Elder Things ruling over a vast city, and the two back walls were covered in cup-shaped stones, about 5 feet around, and sort of arranged as a staircase all the way to the top of the tower.

In one corner, there was a gold-inlaid circle on the ground, and looking up from there we could see a series of gold hoops going up every 10 feet. Leah said it looked like this machine would still function if we could power it up and the rings seemed to be made to absorb electrical energy. While Hazel climbed up the inner walls of the tower, I tried to make a chemical battery to power the lift, but it ended up being too caustic to really be of use–it would have just destroyed the device.

Hazel’s report was that the slimes were still swarming the tower and some were starting to climb the walls. We had to find a way out, so we started looking around for a hidden exit or something. Hazel broke off one of the tentacles of the crystalized Elder Thing, and it started to glow a bit, but that’s when the slimes started appearing the windows. While the others started fending off the slimes, I decided to try and break off more of that statue, since something had happened when Hazel did it. I smashed off a crystalized tentacle with my hammer and the five-pointed head started glowing with a purple light, almost blindingly bright and directed toward the top of the tower. It only lasted a few seconds though. I shouted to everyone to keep breaking off pieces, and we eventually got all five of the arms off. Each time one broke another pulse of light would flare through the tower–but nothing else seemed to happen. At least the slimes seemed to not want to get too near the Elder Thing.

As we continued to fend off the slime molds and ochre jellies, Anton sent his owl familiar out the top of the tower, to get a look at all the slimes out there, and narrowly avoided colliding with Turu, Greencloak’s winged-lizard familiar. Turu swooped in to see what was happening, then flew off to report to Greencloak. A few minutes later Greencloak and the rest of our party arrived to rescue us, the wizard and all of our traveling companions making short work of the oozes.

Apparently we’d had the roughest time of scouting. One of the other teams found a much easier path for the wagon, and only encountered a majestic long-necked giant lizard that didn’t even try to kill them. Although, they did also mention seeing a red-stone snake statue, which sounded very much like one we had encountered previously. It gave them a bad feeling, and they even went so far as to recommend we destroy any more of them that we might see. In the meantime, Greencloak decided that the tower was safe enough to set up camp in. The glowing crystal Elder Thing didn’t seem to bother him at all–he compared it to a chicken running around for a bit after you cut its head off. I could see Ku was trying to get an idea of whether Greencloak had seen this place before, or the Elder Things, but he seemed to be telling the truth about never having seen this place before. While Anton climbed to the top of the tower to map out the area from on high, and Hazel settled down to read her tarot cards for some of our companions, I set up my brewing equipment near the fire to start working on replacing some of my preparations for the next day, and do a little experimentation with some of the interesting things I’d collected…