AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: Yig Snake Grandaddy, Part 11

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 Path of the Battlerager Barbarian, a subclass found in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Barbarians who follow this path wear special spiked armor and fight by literally throwing themselves bodily at their enemies. In the Forgotten Realms, Battleragers have a particular role in Dwarven society and culture, so generally only Dwarves can become Battleragers, though of course the DM is free to ignore or enforce this restriction as they see fit.

When you choose this subclass at 3rd level, you gain the ability to wear Battlerager Armor, and to use this spiked armor as a weapon. Spiked armor is classified as Medium armor, with a base AC of 14 + your DEX modifier (to a maximum of 2), and does impose disadvantage on Stealth checks. While wearing this armor and raging, you can use your bonus action to make a melee attack using your STR modifier with the spiked armor, dealing 1d4 piercing damage plus your STR modifier (and rage bonus) on a hit.1 In addition, whenever you use the attack action to successfully grapple a creature, that creature takes 3 piercing damage.

Beginning at level 6, you can attack with Reckless Abandon. When raging, if you use your Reckless Attack feature you also gain temporary hit points equal to your CON modifier. These last only until your rage ends.

At 10th level, you can use your Battlerager Charge to take the Dash action as a bonus action while you are raging.

Finally, at level 14, whenever you’re hit with a melee attack, you can give out Spiked Retribution. If you are raging and wearing your spiked armor and are not incapacitated, the attacker who hits you takes 3 piercing damage.

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
Dash to Freedom

An excerpt from the notes of Bastian Updelver…

Thanks the gods that glyph on my hand has finally faded. It seriously hampered my experiments–mixing alchemical reagents requires an extremely steady hand if you don’t want to get poisoned or blown up. And that glyph made my hand shake so much I didn’t dare to even brew up a simple healing salve. Objectively speaking, it was a rather interesting effect… Arcane in nature, of course, but I wonder if I could find a way to replicate it alchemically.

Anyway, we made it out of that godforsaken snake-pit. After narrowly avoiding a pack of small carnivorous lizards thanks to Anton’s quick reflexes, we made our way down the hall towards a set of big important-looking stone doors. They were locked, but Anton got them open with no trouble. He warned us that he’d heard some voices on the other side, so we prepared ourselves to run in and start fighting. Minty burst through the doors and the first thing I saw was daylight. We were back at the mouth of the cave where we’d been captured. But between us and freedom was a small army of snake-people and anchorites, all watching Gehir performing some kind of ritual–he had a dagger held over the bound forms of a couple of our dwarven companions. I heard a voice in my ear–Dandelion, the cat! It said, “You can’t save them, RUN!”

Everyone else must have heard it, too, because they all just broke for the door. Minty tried to to throw a javelin at Gehir as she went, but one of the anchorites suddenly appeared between them and took the hit while Gehir continued his ritual. As we started to try and run out, the anchorites closed in on Minty. Most of the others were able to make it out, including Bitey who ran off into the woods. Luckily, we’d freed that monk, Enni, along with the others, because she grabbed me and literally carried me out of there. Over her shoulders, I saw Hazel take a couple arrows, looked really bad, but she managed to climb over the wall and out with the rest of us. Leah and Minty were still trying to disrupt whatever Gehir was up to, but the anchorites were in full defense mode, stopping Minty’s javelins and countering Leah’s magic. Just as Enni made it to the lip of the cave, Gehir finished his ritual by slashing the throats of the two bound dwarves.

What happened then was like something out of a nightmare. Gehir’s already serpentine form started shifting and writhing. His skin tore off as his body expanded, revealing more shiny green scales underneath. He screamed in triumph, an 8-foot-tall scaly body, a serpent’s head and two more snakes sprouting from his shoulders.

Luckily we’d all made it out of the cave, because the stone snake’s mouth started closing. I kept the Upshot trained behind us as Enni ran, in case there was any pursuit but no one came. By some miracle, Gehir’s wagon was still parked nearby, and the horses hadn’t been eaten! Ku and Minty managed to hook them back up and we followed Dandelion into the woods towards the sanctuary she’d told us about…