AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: Yig Snake Granddaddy, Part 16

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 we’re finishing off the Bard subclasses by taking a look at the College of Creation. Bards of this college believe that they can tap into the primeval Song of Creation, the music that literally called the sun and the moon into being. By harnessing this power, these Bards can make music that causes ordinary objects to come to life.

Starting at 3rd level, when you give your ally a Bardic Inspiration die, you can also give them a Note of Potential. A tiny intangible mote floats around their head, looking like a music note, a star, or any other symbol of art or life that you choose. The note adds an addition effect when the creature uses your Bardic Inspiration die, depending on what is use for. If used for an ability check, the creature can roll the Inspiration die twice and choose which results to use. If used for an attack roll, the target of the attack and creatures of your choice within 5 feet of the target must make a CON save or take additional thunder damage equal to the amount rolled on the die. Finally, if used on a saving throw, the creature gains temporary hit points equal to the amount rolled plus your CHA modifier.

Also at level 3, you can channel your magic into a Performance of Creation. As an action, you create a nonmagical object in an unoccupied space within 10 feet of you. The item must be Medium or smaller in size and can have a gold value no more than 20 times your Bard level. The object glimmers softly, and creatures can hear faint music when touching it. It vanishes after a number of hours equal to your proficiency bonus. You can use this ability once per day for free, but must expend a spell slot of 2nd level or higher to use it again before a long rest, and you can only have one item created at a time. The maximum size of the object increases to Large when you reach level 6 and Huge when you reach level 14.

At 6th level, you can use an action for an Animating Performance, brining a Large or smaller object to life for an hour. The Dancing Item has its own statblock, but shares your initiative, acting immediately after you in combat. It does require your bonus action to command the item to take an action, otherwise it can only Dodge (unless you are incapacitated, in which case it can act freely). Whenever you use your Bardic Inspiration feature, you can command your Dancing Item with the same bonus action. You can use this ability once per day for free, but must spend a 3rd level or higher spell slot to use it again before along rest. You can only have one Dancing Item active at any time.

Finally at level 14, you can raise your Performance of Creation to a Creative Crescendo. You can create more than one item when you use your Performance of Creation, up to a number equal to your CHA modifier. Only one can be the maximum size you can produce (the rest are Small or Tiny), but there is no longer a gold value limit on the objects that can be created.

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
Assault on the Sauropod

An excerpt from the notes of Bastian Updelver…

After a few days of traveling through the grasslands, we finally saw it. It was the biggest beast I’ve ever seen–100 feet long, at least 25 feet at the shoulder and with a neck so long that it’s head 40 feet above the ground! Strapped to its back was a wooden structure with a few crenulated towers where we could plainly make out some serpentfolk archers. Another serpentfolk was seated in a saddle of sorts near the beast’s head, and in a smaller wooden tower directly behind the driver was another archer.

We ducked behind a low hillock before the serpentfolk saw us to come up with some kind of plan. We knew this thing was carrying a pair of giant lizard skulls that Gehir was planning to reanimate somehow. We couldn’t let that happen, but how could we hope to stop something so massive? Our best bet would be to knock the castle off it’s back, but we’d have to deal with the serpentfolk first or we’d be shot full of arrows before we even got close. Hazel came up with a plan: she would turn herself invisible, climb up the beast’s leg, and try to incapacitate as many of the serpentfolk as she could with a Hypnotic Pattern. That would hopefully give the rest of us time to close in. With time running out and no other ideas, she set off. Before she left, I gave her an elixir that would make her a little more resilient should any of the serpents attack while she was alone out there.

Well, a few minutes after she left, we saw her Hypnotic Pattern flash in the sky above the structure. Unfortunately, instead of being stunned, the serpentfolk all started looking around to see what had happened. Hazel was clinging to the back of the beast, underneath the structure, but it wouldn’t be long before they found her–the battle was on.

Minty, Gunner, and Enni all sprinted towards the beast as fast as they could, while Leah and Anton focused their shots on the driver. I shot a Flaming Sphere up at the archer behind the driver, lighting the wooden bucket he was standing in. All the time though, poisoned arrows and javelins were raining down on us all from the snakes.

I saw Enni try to climb up the large beast’s foreleg, but she fell to the ground and was nearly crushed to death when the beast stomped on her. It was a miracle she survived long enough for Ku to use her healing magic. In the meantime, Hazel was still hiding below the structure in the back and using her Shatter spell to snap the long tough leather straps holding the structure to the beast. Minty threw a grappling hook up into the structure and started climbing up the rope, while Leah and Anton managed to kill the driver. One of the snakes on top of the forecastle pulled out a golden whistle and blew it–it didn’t make any sound, but I knew that couldn’t be good. I hid myself underneath the huge beast, well away from its feet, and gave Minty a dose of a potion that made her grow to twice her usual size. The dart-based delivery mechanism I designed worked perfectly!

Between Hazel’s Shatter spells and and Enlarged Minty’s axe, most of the straps were soon broken and the structure was starting to slip off the beast’s back. As those of us still on the ground started to back away, we saw a pair of enormous flying reptiles heading our way, with more serpentfolk riding on them. Hazel Shattered the last strap and the whole structure finally collapsed to the ground. Luckily it tipped to the opposite side of the beast from where I was standing! Enni, Minty, and all of the serpentfolk were dumped onto the ground as well, along with the two giant skulls.

As we engaged with the serpents on the ground, the two large flying beasts landed on the ground near us–each one was about 20 feet tall. Hazel quickly scared one of them off with her Dissonent Whispers, but the other landed on top of one of the fallen skulls and prepared to carry it off. Leah and Anton both started shooting at it, and Minty pushed through the serpentfolk surrounding her to get to the flying lizard and chop its head clean off. Then, the other flying lizard swooped back in to grab the other skull. Again, Anton and Leah blasted it, but Minty was too busy cutting down snakes around her to reach this time. With the beast about to take off into the air, I aimed the Upshot and sprayed it with a concentrated ray of serpent venom that I’d been experimenting with. Thank the gods that these flying reptiles weren’t immune to their master’s venom! The winged beast fell to the ground dead!

After that it was just a matter of killing the remaining serpentfolk, but I won’t bore you with those details…