UPDATES: Birthdays, Sad Farewells, Dinosaur Racing and an Awesome New Table

This post has been a long time coming, as it has been a while since there has been an update and much has happened in the last two months! First, with regards to our D&D 5E game, our adventurers find themselves staring their journey in the darkness of the Jungles of Chult! We have also somehow (miraculously!) all survived a whole three levels in Meatgrinder Mode. Yay for us!

Just before leaving (possibly forever) into the dark arboreal canopies that cover the majority of the continent of Chult, we decided to spend one last day in the warm, comfortable embrace of Port Nyanzaru ?, the last bastion of civilization for the foreseeable future. We went shopping for canoes for the long river journey ahead and grabbed a armful of quests in the process.

Desperately in need of coin for our journey, we made a final stop to the the casinos and bet on the dinosaur races! Many of us even participated:

The setup for the dino races.
The starting line.
Everyone is tense as bets are made and riders mount their dinos. I lost all of my money to Hank’s riding skills. What kind of cowboy can’t ride a dinosaur?! I’m still bitter.
The first race!
The second race!

The following week, we took on a ghoul bounty from Fort Belluarian with the help of our new druid guide Qawasha and his little sidekick Weed.

After some searching, we find some ghouls hiding in the jungle and attack. Each head is worth 25 precious gold!
The ghouls advance at a “28 Days Later” speed and surprise us with their alacrity. Some of the party is briefly knocked down in the fight, but thankfully nobody dies!
Theo hunts down a ghoul in the tunnels.
It was Sam’s birthday, so Mikaela made a dragon-themed cake. It didn’t just look awesome…it tasted great!
The birthday girl enjoying her cake.
Ash and Brett set up our awesome new gaming table with an embedded screen! So cool. I’ve wanted one of these for us to play on for ages. Thanks again for the holiday gift Sam and Anthony! You guys are the best!
Just as we finally muster up and decide to embark on our jungle journey down the river, the city gates of Port Nyanzaru are attacked by an army of zombies! We help the city watch drive off the invaders then set off into the wilderness.
Our first day into the jungle we run into a goblin scouting party. We exterminate it with prejudice.
Tavsirak teleports onto the top of a tree at the first sign of danger. Sorcerers are delicate.
Look at that gorgeous terrain. Well done Grant.
The goblins get revenge later when they attack in the middle of the night, catching us off-guard while we sleep.
The next day, Aubry (Mikaela) almost gets air-lifted away as food for hungry harpies after she eats a fruit that causes her to laugh so hard she debilitates herself as she is foraging for the groups’ food. We all look in horror as they carry off her paralyzed body.
We all disembark off of the canoes in a hurry and are (barely) able to successfully rescue her before she is flown off to who-knows-where. Later that night we camp in some local ruins, hoping to finally get a good nights’ sleep, ending our session for the night.

This post ends up on a sad note, as our long-time friend and playing companion Mikaela is moving away from the area. We are sad at your leaving at the same time joyous at to your new-found opportunities. Regardless, you will be missed Mikaela, and I think I speak for everyone when I say we always will have room at our table for you.

The Strahd Campaign affected us all in different ways.

At the same time our good friend Matt has also moved before the start of the current campaign as well. While you might not have moved across the entire country, you are already missed during the games and a spot is ready for you at any time.

Good night, sweet prince.

As Milo would say:

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May Cyrrollalee hold you in the palm of her hand.

– Old Irish Proverb

New Campaign Start! Tomb of Annihilation

What kind of dinosaur are you hoping to acquire in Chult in Tomb of  Annihilation and what will you use it for? - )
Answer the question above in the comments section below if you have an idea!

Well, its time to start a new Forgotten Realms campaign, and by group vote we have chosen to do the Tomb of Annihilation! Prepare your tears and pray to your gods, because hard core meat grinder mode is coming your way, and we are all probably going to die. Fun times!

We started Session 0 being sent by sea to Chult and being stopped by both pirates and a giant turtle dragon demanding taxes. Session 1 continues as we romp around Port Nyanzaru as we get our bearings in the last bastion of civilization before entering the savage jungles of Chult. Most of the session ended up with us searching for survival supplies and scrounging for information about the jungle before we are openly mugged in the streets of the town by thugs. For more details, feel free to read the Game Journal.

Amazing new jungle terrain! Damn good job, Grant!
The Lions are ambushed by common street thugs. Which is about all we can handle at level 1.
Our DM judges the battlefield like the Hand of God.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to mention what dinosaur you want below!

Halloween Game: Strahd is Dead (Again)!

Yesterday we had the final session for our Curse of Strahd campaign! We all decided to dress up as our characters.

Even Vader got into the mix. He’s a good boy.
Try to guess who is playing what character!
Andy as Telchur the Ranger.
Brett as Gary Gygax(?)…or Mordenkaiden…or something. Anyway, he had a beard and a sword.
Mikaela as a vampire.
Matt going all in as Archdruid Drip.
Patrick as the halfling High Cleric Milo Blossombrace.

Grant as the wizard Alethra.

Anthony as Rook-113, the Warforged Fighter.
Sam as the Warlock Faust.
Andy compares himself to his character. Pretty damn close!
Grant kept cracking me all night with his getup.

Finally we got to the game itself! We continued down the dark castle of the vampire lord Strahd, culminating in a huge battle against his vampire hordes!

Rook leads the charge as we are assault Strahd’s army of vampires.
Room after room of undead awaited us.
Milo’s Coatl and Deva watch from above as the skirmish continues.
Eventually Strahd himself showed up (far left), taking to the skies and taunting us.

Eventually, due to a slight mishap in dimensional travel ,Alethra is forced to use her 9th level spell Wish mid-battle to get everyone back into the fight with Strahd:

The two Solars bearing down on Strahd were too much for him and he was forced to flee into his coffin, where we staked him in the heart!

A great game to end a great campaign! For more details on the actual storyline, feel free to head on over to the game notes. Also, thank you everyone for bringing the food! I would like to personally give a shout out to Mikaela and Matt in particular, the former for bringing just a ton of food and drinks and the latter for bringing the unique bear stew out of a bear he hunted himself.

We ate this bear.

With the end of this campaign we are also seeing some players leaving. Know that you will always have a spot on the D&D table at any time, and you will be dearly missed.

And one final shout out to Cartman, Andy’s dog that sadly passed away over the weekend. You’ll be missed, you little monster.

Goodnight, sweet prince.

I hope we see everybody who is coming next time for our new campaign: Session 0 of the Tomb of Annihilation! I know I’m excited. See everyone on November 12th!

If you have any images you want to share, feel free to do so in the comments section below!

Updates: The upcoming finale to “Curse of Strahd” and the continuing space horror in “Star Wars: Smuggler’s Run”

It’s been a busy bunch of weeks in our various games on the weekends. For many of us, we are nearing (or have surpassed!) level 20 in our Forgotten Realms campaign. A few of us have been playing their characters for several years since level 1. That’s a pretty damn cool achievement! The last few sessions we have been wrapping up the final mysteries of of Barovia. We have been seeking the origins of the Old Vampire himself and destroying a coven of witches preying upon the poor citizens of Velaki. We even saved a basement of children in the process. In addition, we did a short sidequest to free 111-Rook’s brother, 13! For more details, don’t hesitate to head on over to the 5e game notes, written by our wonderful stenographer Sam. Later tonight, we finally step into the depths of Strahd’s castle itself. Personally, I am super excited. Adventure awaits!

Our cordial DM turtles up during combat.

In regards to our Star Wars: Smuggler’s Run, the space horror continues as our intrepid crew is forced into a bizzarre cube of living biomass the size of a planet floating in space. In a last ditch attempt to repair their ship enough to leave the horrific Otherspace in which they find themselves after a catastrophic hyper drive failure, they encounter the mysterious organisms that call themselves Karon. For more details, feel free to check out the star wars notes.

The Crew faces off against the mysterious Karon, which don’t seem to be affected much by blaster fire.
Explosions and flamethrowers seem to be the only thing really effective against the weird aliens. Kill it with fire!
The crew fights a room full of convicts and rebel soldiers driven insane by the environment inside the Giant Flesh Cube.

In the interim, a few of us also attended the local Rennaissance Faire. We had an archery competition in which I beat Grant, watched musketeers demonstrate their shooting skills, bought nicknacks, and of course…the food!

That’s a giant mug of mead to accompany that turkey leg.
Entrance to the Renaissance Faire.
I’ve never seen as many people get compliments on a shirt like I did that day with Grant. Everyone loves their pumpkin spice.
That is a fuckton of fries for only $7. Gabriel certainly seems happy.

Star Wars Meets Space Horror

In the latest episode of Star Wars: Smuggler’s Run, we find our intrepid Bantha Squadron being commissioned to escort a Nebulon B Frigate full of high-level political prisoners. Just as they arrive at the Nav coordinates for their escort target, everything goes terribly wrong. Instead of their escort target, they find themselves nose-to-nose with a Star Destroyter. In a catastrophic hyperdrive failure during the escape, our unfortunate crew find themselves shuttled off into some unknown dimension were time and space work differently and alien horrors abound. With the damaged ship “The Miss Adventure” ready to fail at any moment, the crew is forced to dock with another, unknown ship floating in this Otherspace. For more details, read the game notes!

The aliens look weird as fuck.
We get ambushed by Otherspace aliens.

Milo Almost Died Last Night

The D&D group got together last night for what might be the penultimate session before taking on Strahd, our vampire nemesis. In search of one of the Emeralds stolen from the Wizards of Wines, we ended up in mortal combat with Acererak the Lich…and I, at least, got pretty fucked up. Technically, I died twice, and almost met my end with a third death via Disintegration, which would have been rather final. I took some pictures of our fight, which made use of gorgeous terrain at Casa del Reese.

The setting: As we crest Yesterhill, we arrive just in time to see Faust’s previous demonic Patron being summoned by a pact with the grand necromancer Acererak. Faust’s “betrayal” of the pact (that the former didn’t even want) set the mood as an army of demons and undead set upon us.
Acererak and Asmodeous’s Avatar in the temple with their army of undead and demons at ready.
Our friendly House-Dragon takes flight as we prepare for the incoming army of undead. I cast Holy Aura on the group to protect us from the incoming evil as Faust turns into a Golden Dragon with True Polymorph to join his subordinate copper dragon in the skies.
The undead army continues to shuffle forward as the epic bridge battle continues.
I confront the demon at the bridge, hoping to hold on long enough for my allies to kill the incoming army.
The undead get close enough to the holy battle at the foot of the bridge for me to Turn them.
Faust, in his badass Golden Dragon form (the blue dragon model), eventually grabs the Pit Lord off the bridge for an aerial grappling battle in which he ultimately prevails. Dragon Faust then proceeds to land behind me as I desperately attempt to heal myself. Acererak, who is now flying in an Anti-Magic field, continues to throw high level Fireballs at us, only stopped by Alethra’s continued Counterspells. Meanwhile, Drip’s fire elemental starts single-handedly wiping out the army of undead and fiends, who are now Turned at the far end of the battlefield.
We eventually take to the skies via a bizarre Druid spell by Prince Drip. He somehow creates a stone bridge in the sky to somehow both restrain Acererak and allow us passage into melee range. Eventually it required Divine Intervention from Cyrroollallee to banish Acererak from this plane of existence.
Matt really likes to smoke. (Just kidding, it’s terrain)

Overall, it was an intense battle that could have gone either way. At the end of the day, Acererak was vanquished along with Faust’s old Patron (for now!). Next up: the Windmill of Corpses and the last Emerald of Power before taking on the big bad Strahd himself.