Posted by : David Guyll June 08, 2013

Cast 

  • Atticus (wood elf druid 3)
  • Corvus (human ranger 3)
  • Iola (wood elf monk 3)
  • Perseus (human paladin 3)
  • Yllian (high elf wizard 3)
If the dwarf was understandably unwilling to explain his reasons for freeing a specific prisoner, then the characters would have to try and figure it out on there own. Thankfully he left a room filled with seemingly deranged scrawlings, so they started out giving Intelligence a shot. Since it was established before the game even started that Perseus is a demigod, his 20+ result indicated that his mother had told him stories told to her by his father, namely that the world was formed in a cataclysmic battle between the primordials millenia ago.

He was also taught some old words, and between this and Yllian's knowledge of primordials and forbidden lore, they were able to deduce that the prisoner knew of a method to harness the dormant power of at least two primordials in order to open a gate, or perhaps punch a hole in a barrier. The only problem was where the prisoner had gone. The guards said that he had been interred some thirty years ago by officials from Argos, but that he was irrevocably insane and so no one interacted with him beyond feeding him and cleaning his cell.

Despite this he was important enough for the dwarf to go through a bunch of trouble to rescue him, and he was not talking. They tried to hatch a convoluted plan in which a prisoner would stage an escape and tag along with the dwarf, who would hopefully go to wherever the prisoner had gone, giving them a trail to follow. This might have actually worked, but a stone giant named Skorres arrived, wanting to investigate the cause for the earthquakes he had felt hours ago.

The stone giant was apparently no stranger to the town, who readily offered to help them with repairs in exchange for some goats. He also helpfully pointed out the direction that the elemental had gone after leaving the quarry: the Green Hills. They asked him if anything was in the Green Hills that he knew of, but he said that he never went there because the stones were too noisy. At least they had a direction to go, and the session ended after they made the halfway mark and fended off a mated pair of manticores.

Behind The Scenes
Since Yllian does not have identify, I caved and allowed Josh to use detect magic with a magical lore check to deduce what the magical boots could do. I think it is stupid to require a wizard to both know and have one specific spell prepared. 4th Edition allowed a person trained in Arcana to both detect magic and identify magic items. Some people felt that this was too convenient, but I think it helped keep the game's pace going and avoiding a bunch of tedium.

I would structure items so that they had capabilities that are revealed by a short rest and/or a magical lore check (or similar knowledge skill), as well as others that are revealed by a long rest. You could make it so that if you analyze a magic item quickly you get a roll, while if you spend a lot of time you get a bonus or advantage. Wizards could have bonuses to identify items with effects linked to schools they can use. This could also be a prolonged task build into the exploration rules, or a downtime task. You could also have capabilities that are not revealed by this, allowing you to conceal features if you want.

One of the manticores died in the second round, even though the first round was a surprise round that only Yllian got to act in, and on the second round Iola missed it and Perseus did not even get a chance to do anything. I decided that despite an Intelligence of 5, the second manticore determined that it would just be a Large flying lamb to a slaughter, and had it just fly away. I really wish that 5th Edition had an elite and solo system, so that maybe paired monsters or "bosses" had more staying power.

I have some in-depth stuff to say about the druid, but it ended up being so much that I am moving it to its own article.

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