AvocaD&D and Tabletop Gaming: Yig Snake Granddaddy, Part 25

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 I’m taking a close look a the Grave Domain Cleric subclass. Clerics of this Domain serve deities that preside over the transition between life and death. Graveyards and cemeteries are sacred places to these Clerics, where they watch over and protect the peace of the dead. Grave clerics might travel abroad to put wandering spirits to rest, destroy undead monsters, and ease the suffering of the dying.

All Clerics get a list of Domain Spells that become active as you reach certain levels. These spells are always prepared and don’t count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. For the Grave Domain, these spells include Bane and False Life at 1st level, Gentle Repose and Ray of Enfeeblement at 3rd, Revivify and Vampiric Touch at 5th, Blight and Death Ward at 7th, and Antilife Shell and Raise Dead at 9th level.

Starting at level 1, your knowledge of the Circle of Mortality allows you to more easily manipulate the line between life and death. You learn Spare the Dying as an extra cantrip, and you can cast it as a bonus action and at a range of 30 feet. In addition, whenever you cast a healing spell on a creature with 0 hit points, you can restore the maximum amount of hit points automatically instead of rolling.

Also at 1st level, your Eyes of the Grave let you sense the presence of undead. As an action, you can open your awareness, and until the end of your next turn you know the location of any undead creature within 60 feet of you that isn’t behind total cover or protected from divination magic. This doesn’t tell you anything about what kind of creature is there, or its capabilities, just that it is present. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your WIS modifier, and you regain expended uses with a long rest.

At level 2, you can use your Channel Divinity to mark an enemy on the Path to the Grave. You can use your action to curse a creature within 30 feet of you until the end of your next turn. The next time you or one of your allies hit the cursed creature with an attack, the creature has vulnerability to all of that attack’s damage (meaning, they take twice as much damage), and the curse ends.

When you reach 6th level, you become a Sentinel at Death’s Door. When you or another creature within 30 feet of you suffers a critical hit, you can use your reaction to cancel the extra damage and any effects of the critical hit, instead treating the attack as a normal hit. You can use this reaction a number of times equal to your WIS modifier, and regain expended uses with a long rest.

At level 8, you gain Potent Spellcasting, which allows you to add your WIS modifier to damage rolls from your cantrips.

Finally, at 17th level, you can become a Keeper of Souls, allowing your to transfer the vitality of a parting soul to another creature. Whenever an enemy dies within 60 feet of you, you or another creature of your choice within 60 feet can regain hit points equal to the number of the enemy’s hit dice. This doesn’t require an action or reaction on your part, but can only be used once per round (refreshing at the start of your turn) and doesn’t function if you are incapacitated.

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
The Spider

Excerpts from the notes of Bastian Updelver…

Well, we had destroyed nearly all of the snake totems that we knew about, but it seemed prudent to check on the one that we had sent our companions after. On our way down the mountain, though, we were ambushed by a handful of gricks. One of them grabbed me with it’s tentacle and tried to take a bite out of me, but I was able to pull away. I threw a Flaming Sphere up the path behind it, and let gravity pull it down to burn the grick. In the meantime, Leah and blasted one to bits, and Anton had completely skewered another. I turned around just in time to see Hazel actually biting the last one, before Minty chopped it in half. Hazel must have got something out of it, because she seemed pretty pleased afterwards, but in my experience grick meat isn’t really good to eat even when it’s been thoroughly cooked.

We set up our camp just inside the tree line at the bottom of the mountain. Anton had picked up another set of manuscripts from that cave with the honeypot trap, and we all pitched in to study what we could. I read something about some ancient alien ooze monster called a shoggoth, which sounded absolutely terrifying. Ku read to us about the conflict between her goddess Bastet and the serpent-god Yig, which Bastet is said to have won. Though apparently Yig seems to be growing stronger lately. And Anton learned about yet another ancient race called the Yithians, who were apparently enemies of the serpentfolk and the Elder Thingsm though they don’t actually sound very pleasant themselves…

As we neared the place where the last totem should be, we started noticing thick webbing in the trees along the trail we were following. We even saw one web that appeared to be holding a dead velociraptor! Eventually we saw a the opening of a cave that led down into the ground. As we slowly entered the cave, we saw that it was lit by some glowing fungi and absolutely covered in webs. The totem stood in the center, also covered in webs, and we could just make out another skeleton wrapped up near the base of it. As I moved in to collect some samples of the glowing fungus, we caught some movement along the walls–four giant wolf spiders were moving in to attack. Hazel quickly cast a Hypnotic Pattern and managed to stun most of them, and Anton killed the one spider that wasn’t affected. With the other spiders stunned, I figured we shouldn’t waste too much time and decided to start taking out the statue with acid. But as soon as I did a much larger, much grosser spider dropped from the ceiling–this was The Spider we were warned about.

Minty and Anton pushed their way through the thick webs on the ground as fast as they could to attack the giant spider, while Ku cast a Moonbeam on right on top of it. The Spider caught Minty in its poisonous mandibles, and then slashed at her with one of its blade-like appendages. One of the wolf spiders had managed to break free of Hazel’s hypnosis while I wasn’t paying attention, and bit me. I was able do douse it with acid though, and that finished if off. In the meantime, Ku had been wrapped up in some toxic webbing from The Spider but Hazel’s Dissonant Whispers forced it to retreat for a moment. I tried to cut Ku out of that webbing before anything awful could happen to her, but my hands were shaking so much that I think I just managed to stab her a little bit. Minty saw me having trouble and came to help, and while she was cutting away the webs from Ku, Leah went and turned herself into a tyrannosaurus and started to chase down The Spider! As the giant spider and giant lizard locked horns, Ku lit up The Spider with a Guiding Bolt and Anton darted between The Spider’s legs to stab at it. Hazel again made The Spider flee with another Dissonant Whispers, and the tyrannosaurus took a bite out of it as it ran. I managed to peg it with an Acid Arrow as it scurried up the wall. Leah chased down The Spider and tore it open, while Minty and the rest of us finished off the last of the dazed wolf spiders.

With The Spider dead, we set about destroying the statue. It was a pretty simple procedure this time, with Leah still in the form of a tyrannosaurus. Anton and Ku started pulling the webbing (and some loot) off the skeleton, and also discovered a pit trap hidden under the webs around it, than thankfully no one fell into during the battle. We also uncovered a pair of purple tiefling’s horns, apparently all that remained of our erstwhile companion, Maxx. Of Enni, there was no sign. I certainly can’t fault Cathbad, Gunner, and Sarai for wanting to go home after that.

That evening at camp, as we were discussing what do to now that all of the totems were gone, Dandelion appeared once again. She said she was protecting the rest of the party as best she could, but possibly had more allies for us. She urged us all to go to sleep, not to worry about setting a watch–and that was first time we entered Dreamland….