AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: Yig Snake Grandaddy, Part 8

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, I’m looking at the Circle of Dreams Druid subclass, published in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. Druids of this circle are closely tied to the Feywild, and use their magic to heal and protect their allies and the natural world around them. I have some first-hand experience with this class, as my character from our most recent campaign, Sly, was a Dreams Druid.

Starting at 2nd level, you can bolster your allies and heal some of their wounds with the Balm of the Summer Court. You have a pool of fey energy represented by a number of d6s equal to your Druid level. As a bonus you can draw upon this pool to roll a number of these dice equal to half your level or less, to cause an ally within 120 feet of you to regain hit points equal to the amount rolled. That creature also gains temporary hit points equal to the number of dice rolled. Expended dice are refreshed at the end of a long rest. At low levels, this ability it somewhat less effective than a Healing Word spell, and it scales up sort of slowly, since you can only ever use half of your pool at any time. But bonus action healing that doesn’t cost a spell slot is never a bad thing.

At level 6, whenever you take a short or long rest, you can call on the power of the Gloaming Court to make a Hearth of Moonlight and Shadow. At the start of the rest, you can create an invisible 30-foot radius sphere of magic. While inside the sphere, you and your allies gain a +5 bonus to all Stealth and Perception rolls, and any light from open flames inside the sphere can not be seen from the outside. The sphere fades at the end of the rest or if you leave the sphere.

Beginning at 10th level, you can travel through the Hidden Paths of the Feywild, or guide your allies along the way. You can teleport yourself up to 60 feet as a bonus action, or you can teleport a willing creature that you can touch up to 30 feet as an action. Whether you target yourself or an ally, you can use this feature a number of times equal to your WIS modifier, regaining uses on a long rest.

Finally, at level 14, you are a Walker in Dreams, and your connection to the Feywild allows you to travel through the dream realm both mentally and physically. When you finish a short rest, you can cast Dream, Scrying, or Teleportation Circle without using a spell slot or material components. If you cast Teleportation Circle this way, rather than opening a portal to another permanent teleportation circle, it brings you to the last place where you completed a long rest, as long as you’re on the same plane of existence. Note that you can only use 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 Inquisitive Rogue/Fighter), 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
Divine Intervention

An excerpt from the notes of Bastian Updelver…

My friends and I woke up in a cell. At least that slimy turncoat snake Gehir kept us all together. But we were trapped, no doubt about it–only a single strong wooden door with iron bars, and a small barred window; no way to escape that I could see. Maybe if I’d had the right reagents and ingredients I could have melted through the bars with a strong acid, but Greencloak had taken every last vial and flask I had along with all of our weapons and gear. And top of that, we soon discovered that most of us had some kind of mageward glyph enscribed on our hands, which prevented us from casting magic that required somatic components. It even stopped me from administering my concoctions correctly. The only other thing in the cell with us was the corpse of a desiccated cat. When the dead cat started talking to us, I thought at first that it was just an after effect of whatever Gehir had used to knock me out. At least until Ku answered it back.

The dead cat said her name was “She Who Pounces From the Shadows,” but that most people called her Dandelion. Ku actually recognized her then–it was the very same cat that had been found dead on the temple steps back in Ventissa, before this whole crazy adventure began. Dandelion was a messenger of Bastet, and said that she’d been sent by the goddess to help us escape. Apparently, Bastet thought that the six of us would be able to stop Gehir and the other snake-people from doing whatever it is they’re doing out here. If we could get free of this cave, there was a temple to Bastet nearby where we could find sanctuary.

The cat opened the door to our cell, and was also able to remove the magewards from Ku and Leah (somewhat reluctantly in her case). Between those two and Minty, who seemed as ready to fight as ever, we were in pretty good shape. Anton doesn’t use much magic anyway, and Hazel could get by without her hands for the most part. I would be totally useless until I could recover my materials and tools though. But we had a chance, and no one seemed to be roaming the halls at the moment, so we slipped out of the cell and started searching for the exit.

We quickly discovered a few other members of Greencloak’s troupe in cells like ours. Cathbad, Gunner, and Sarai Ninefingers were each in a separate cell, but no one knew where any of the others had been dragged off to. One of Cathbad’s hands had been severed, while the remaining hand had a mageward just like the one on my own hand. Clearly Greencloak wasn’t taking many chances–thank Bastet that the guards weren’t patrolling too frequently.

We were still the only ones free, so we set about trying to find the keys to the cells, and all of our gear. In what can only be described as a torture chamber, a few of us were able to pick up makeshift weapons. Anton seemed very comfortable with the whip he grabbed, while Minty and I both made do with some iron bars that we could use as clubs. Hitting people with blunt objects isn’t normally my forte, but I did feet a little better having something to protect myself with.

And I needed it, as the next door we went through was the guardroom and there were two snake-men on duty. Minty rushed ahead to attack, of course, and like a fool I followed her. Not sure what I was thinking–all I could really do was wave the club I’d picked up in the snake’s face to try and distract it. Thankfully, Hazel let out a scream that caused the snake-man to flee, giving Anton and Minty an opening. Ku summoned up a Spiritual Weapon and managed to take the first snake out. Another snake-person bit Minty, and while Leah and Minty were busy blasting and bashing it, I ducked under the table and started searching the dead one. Sure enough, I found a key, along with a small bag of gold and a dagger.

When the other snake-person had been killed, we were able to unlock the chest in the corner of the guard’s room and thankfully recover all of our gear. We sorted through everything and re-armed and armored ourselves as quickly as we could. I handed the key over to Anton to go release the other prisoners and sat down to check over the Upshot–it’s a delicate instrument and I had to be sure that these snake brutes hadn’t damaged it too much. Before long, Cathbad, Sarai, and Gunner arrived and started gathering their own gear out of the chest–I could see some of our missing companions’ weapons among the pile as well.

I was watching as Sarai was looking through the pile, and I noticed that she seemed unsure of which gear was hers. Maybe the trauma of being captured could cause some confusion, but it didn’t sit right with me. I made my suspicions known (as we say in the Underdark, “see something, say something”), and Hazel smartly started asking Sarai some questions about our time traveling together and how we all first met back in the fighting pit at Ventissa. Sarai couldn’t answer, and Hazel strangely seemed ready to let it go all of a sudden, but just then Anton finished the Detect Magic ritual he’d been working on–he told us he could sense a transmutation effect coming from Sarai, as well as an enchantment effect on Hazel. At this, Sarai turned and bit Ku and then started running for the door as another snake-man appeared to crawl out from the under the table. Before Sarai got too far, Leah cast some kind of spell that stopped her in tracks–it looked like Sarai was struggling against invisible bonds of some kind. In the meantime, Cathbad swung his scimitar into the snake-person that crawled out from the table, and discovered that it was just an illusion. The fake Sarai was continuing to struggle, and managed to let out a scream that surely alerted anyone in this cave of our escape before we could finally bring her down…