AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: Wild Sheep Chase

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, we’re talking about the Light Domain Cleric subclass. Light Clerics are those who follow deities of the sun, and can often channel the sun’s radiant and fiery energies. They are less likely to join the front lines in combat than they are to hang back and blast enemies with destructive light from afar.

The Light Domain grants access to the following list of Domain Spells as you reach the appropriate levels: at 1st level, Burning Hands and Faerie Fire; at 3rd, Flaming Sphere and Scorching Ray; at 5th, Daylight and Fireball; at 7th, Guardian of Faith and Wall of Fire; and at 9th level, Flame Strike and Scrying. Once you gain these spells, they are automatically prepared each day, and don’t count against the number of spells you can prepare. At 1st level, you also automatically learn the Light cantrip, on top of the other cantrips you know.

Beginning at level 1, you can protect yourself from attacks by using your divine light as a Warding Flare. When you are attacked by a creature within 30 feet of you, you can use your reaction to cause light to flare up in the creature’s eyes, imposing disadvantage on the attack roll. Creatures that are immune to the blinded condition are also immune to this affect. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your WIS modifier, regaining expended uses on a long rest.

At 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity feature to harness the Radiance of the Dawn, banishing darkness and scourging your enemies with radiant light. As an action, you can dispel any magical darkness within 30 feet of you. In the same radius, all hostile creatures must make a CON saving throw or take radiant damage equal to 2d10 plus your Cleric level. Creatures take half damage on a successful save, and creatures who are behind total cover aren’t affected.

When you reach level 6, your Improved Flare allows you to use your Warding Flare feature to protect others, instead of just yourself. You can now use the Warding Flare to impose disadvantage on an attack roll against any creature, provided the attacker is within 30 feet of you.

At 8th level, you get Potent Spellcasting, allowing you to add your WIS modifier to the damage roll of your cantrips.

Finally at level 17, you can activate a Corona of Light around your self. As an action, you emit bright light in a 60-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet beyond that. All enemies in the radius of bright light have disadvantage on any saving throws against spells that deal fire or radiant damage. Note that this is includes spells cast by your allies as well as by you. This aura lasts for 1 minute, unless you use another action to dismiss it early.

Wild Sheep Chase

I got to run a one-shot adventure for the group this week, since Waffles couldn’t be there for our regular session. I picked up the Wild Sheep Chase adventure for free from WotC back around the start of the pandemic. It’s a pretty short adventure, really meant to be plugged in to an existing campaign, but it works as a standalone module as well. Everyone brought a 5th level character, including:

  • JosephusBrown as Rituximab, a Goblin Armorer Artificer
  • TheHayesCode as Boomer, a Halfling Arcane Trickster Rogue
  • Spiny Creature as Vib, a Goliath Drunken Master Monk
  • The Wasp as Lady Perpetua, a Time Lord1 Chronurgy Wizard
  • Otto as Lynn Burgess, a Human Tempest Cleric

Since this was just a quick one shot, I’m not going to do a full recap, but I think it was a pretty fun little adventure. The party starts off hanging out in a tavern, enjoying some downtime, when a sheep suddenly comes charging into the place with a scroll in its mouth and beelines straight for the Wizard. Taking the scroll from the sheep’s mouth, they find that its a modified version of the Speak With Animals spell, which allows the whole party to speak with the sheep. The sheep is actually a wizard who has been subjected to a Wand of True Polymorph by his rebellious apprentice. Before he can tell the full story however, a half-orc enters the bar looking for the sheep with the aid of three wolves and a brown bear, also all polymorphed humanoids working for the apprentice.

The party makes quick work of the wolves and bear, and the half-orc tries to flee, but is surrounded and forced to surrender before he can escape. With the danger passed, the sheep tells his full story. He is actually an elven wizard named Finether Shinebright, and his ungrateful apprentice, Ahmed Noke, stole his prized Wand of True Polymorph and turned him into a sheep two years ago. Now that he has finally escaped, Shinebright asks the party to confront Noke and retrieve the wand, which is the only thing that can turn him back into an elf. The party agrees and travel to Shinebright’s tower in the forest nearby, which is made from living oak trees and has been taken over by Noke.

Noke has a company of loyal guards whom he has transformed into apes. As they arrive at the tower, the ape guards sound a warning and Noke comes out to see what’s going on. It’s not long before combat ensues, and Vib and Perpetua make quick work of two of the apes. Noke flees into the tower, locking the door behind him as more ape guards join the fight and another bear emerges from the outhouse. While some of the party engages with the apes and bear, Rituximab and Boomer break down the door to follow Noke, but they’re not quite quick enough to reach him before he makes it to the bedchamber in the highest tower.

I really wish I had found this token before I ran the adventure!

He uses the wand to turn the bed into a large wooden Bed Dragon, which bursts through the roof to engage the party, breathing a cone of splinters at them, Noke riding atop it. Noke doesn’t stay mounted for long though, as Rituximab pulls him off with a Thorn Whip. Noke casts Feather Fall, but this allows Vib to get in a couple of punches as he drifts past, and when he reaches the ground he finds himself starting at Rituximab, who had leaped down from the second level of the tower. Noke manages to hit Vib, Tux, and Lynn with a Slow spell and starts to run away, leaving the Bed Dragon to deal with the party. However, Perpetua is able to knock him prone with a Sapping Sting, causing him to lose concentration on the Slow spell. Vib knocks out Noke, and Boomer arrives to try and tie him up, but the Bed Dragon is still active and it’s splinter breath catches Boomer and Vib full blast, knocking Vib unconscious. The breath weapon also finishes off Noke, whose unconscious form was caught in the blast. Lynn is calling down lightning on the dragon, but it’s Rituximab who manages to finally destroy the Bed Dragon, leaping up with the aid of Jump spell and punching it out of the air with his thunder gauntlets.

With the wand recovered, the party discovers that it has been heavily modified and damaged in the process. It’s probably only good for one more use. They bring it back to Shinebright at the tavern, who says that he’s willing to take the risk if someone from the party can use the wand on him. With some help from Lynn’s Guidance cantrip, Tux is able to successfully transform Shinebright back into an elf (though somewhat shorter than he once was).

I was a bit worried by how quickly the party brought down the wolves in the first encounter and the first few apes in the second. Those creatures just don’t have that many hit points. I thought they might just steamroll through the whole adventure. But it turned out pretty well, thanks in large part to them not having much time to rest ever. Noke himself isn’t terribly powerful–he’s got a decent number of buff spells he can use on his minions, but as they all require concentration, he can only do one at a time, and the way the map was laid out he had a hard time getting any of his minions in range, or keeping them alive long enough for his buffs to do much. The Slow spell could have been a game changer, but he lost concentration after only one round. The Bed Dragon was decently powerful though, and it got to do a lot of damage with its breath weapon. I was a little disappointed that Noke never got the chance to use his wand on himself, at which point it would have backfired and turned him into a Gibbering Mouther. There was also a chance that Shinebright would be turned into a Gibbering Mouther at the end of the adventure, if the Arcana check to use the wand had been low enough. But as it turned out, the whole session lasted about three and a half hours, which is a decent length for a game, and I don’t think it was ever boring. I’d definitely recommend this adventure if you’re looking for a quick one-shot or as a filler for a longer campaign, though maybe consider running for slightly lower level characters.