Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
Dragon on a Hot Tin Roof
Hoard Of The Dragon Queen Episode Six, Part Three
Steve as Gatt (Gnome Rogue & Spy)
Alex as Mablung Raventree (Half-Elf Wild Mage & Noble)
Lee as Gesh (Dragonborn Fighter & Acolyte)
Jacob as Willen Kingsley aka Mockingbird aka an Elven Cultist (Human Bard & Charlatan)
Vinnie as Joggi Hvolner (Dwarf Monk & Outlander)
Liftron the Magnificent (Human lifter of all things)
Tony the Weasel (Gatt’s familiar, a compulsive liar)
The party have been hired to find out where the Cult of the Dragon are taking treasure they’ve plundered from across the Sword Coast. They have allied with Snapjaw and some lizardfolk who are the outsourced labour of the Cult and their bullywug friends. A Glorious Lizardfolk Revolution has begun in the centre of Castle Naerytar while the group are stuck in the central keep tower, set the bottom of it on fire and are trapped in the observatory with a bunch of gargoyles.
Steve drew this picture of the party, just as a reminder of what our heroes are like:
We started in the middle of the action (after a quick question from the players about whether they levelled… no. Finish the episode and you get to level). Joggi attempted to judo a gargoyle through the wall, providing an exit for everyone. The only way out currently was the slit in the domed ceiling where the telescope once was, not really the perfect size for a morbidly-obese dwarf or for Liftron who was just a collection of muscles and a head.
Looking at the smoke, Gatt asked Mablung whether magic fire burns like normal fire and he said that it didn’t, this must have been someone else’s fire. A poor attempt at lying, but luckily his target was the gnome.
Mockingbird turned himself and Liftron invisible, in the hope that he would be safe and the target of the gargoyles wouldn’t be attacked. Unfortunately the gargoyles were programmed to attack anyone in the room when the telescope was ‘stolen’. We started the initiative for a fight which would last pretty much the entire session, as D&D combats are wont to do. Even the fire got an initiative track. When the fire’s initiative came round, characters needed to make increasingly high Constitution saving throws to now be at disadvantage for the rest of the round thanks to smoke inhalation. If they sailed a couple of times, then I would have to think of a new consequence.
Gesh was critted in the face by a gargoyle which is pretty much the only way to hit him these days as a natural 20 is an automatic hit. Angered by this, Gesh decided to launch more fire into the wooden interior of the keep. He missed a gargoyle and hit the star charts on the wall which started to burn. Mablung saw the thick smoke rising from the floor below, looked out of the hole the telescope left and decided it was time to go outside. The worst thing out that way was all the way at the ground level where there was a big old ruckus going on between the lizardfolk and the bullywugs. Joggi grabbed the telescope from the invisible Liftron, readied an action to fling it into the wall and ended up throwing it at a gargoyle instead. Gatt joined Mablung on the domed metal roof of the observatory, which was beginning to feel a bit hot. Mockingbird was already trying to walk across a crumbling wall to a nearby roof. Inside the burning keep were Joggi and Gesh, the two largest members of the group, who were being clawed at by gargoyles. Gesh saw how badly things were going for Joggi, grabbed his unconscious body and clambered out of the hole in the roof. Mablung launched a ton of fireballs inside after them.
They were free from the inside of the keep, all they had was the old keep wall to walk across to get to where Mockingbird was stood. The first across was the invisible Liftron. He didn’t really have stats of his own so I assumed a +2 modifier to his attempt at balancing, rolled a d20 and got a one. Oh dear. He fell, or at least people assumed he fell. A bullywug and lizardman were crushed under his mass and the players asked whether he would become visible if he died. Jacob checked the rules for his spell and it would end if he died, but not the subject of the invisibility.
Gatt looked at the crumbling tiles and realised that Joggi would have real problems getting over the wall. He was unwilling to be flung across as he was not to be tossed, conscious or otherwise. Gesh tied Joggi to himself and wandered over. Gatt, who had already gone over the wall once by know, climbed back and fed Joggi a potion of healing which woke him up. Joggi freaked out, causing them to fall down the side of the wall until he grabbed some hand-holds, keeping the trio suspended in the air. Gesh foolishly looked up and saw under Joggi’s robes, “All the way to Narnia,” as Vinnie put it, providing a lot of nightmare fuel for the next time they rested.
Gravity took over and Gatt fell to the ground level, so Mablung decided to feather fall down and feed him a potion of healing. They were outside the doors to the feast hall, which had no windows to look into. Mablung found Liftron’s body which was dying but not dead. He healed Liftron, too.
Up top, the gargoyles had broken out of the observatory and started to attack Mockingbird. He cast the spell, “dissonant whispers,” which somehow works on non-sentient gargoyles. Fine, I rolled damage and it punched its head off, trying to get the voices to stop. The gargoyle’s head fell. I rolled a dice to determine where down below it hit. Sadly it was Liftron, knocking him out again. The body fell onto the tower, finally smashing apart what was left of the keep.
We rolled dice to see which way each of the walls held up by the keep would fall. More on that in a moment.
Mablung and Gatt opened the door to the feast hall where cultists were running away with armfuls of the loot the players had been chasing. They were heading downstairs, all apart from two cultists; Kevin and Tony (the human). Mablung tried to act like he, Gatt and Liftron were all cultists too, but nobody was convinced. Mablung cast sleep which dropped Tony the human, then Gatt gruesomely murdered Kevin and his sleeping friend. Outside Joggi landed on the ground level, followed by the wall. He dodged it as the massive structure tumbled down, although there was one thing which had been forgotten. Liftron was crushed to death under the collapsed wall.
Gesh uncovered and found the body, lifting it up and cursing the heavens as his best friend was dead. Gatt was already inside and looking for any loot which they might be able to find. And Jamna, who had been smuggled in a treasure chest and no one knew where she went, probably with the cultists wherever they were heading.
The group met up and saw that the glorious lizardfolk revolution was a victory. The cultists had all fled downstairs somewhere though, which was going to be a problem. The group decided that they’d used up a lot of their abilities and needed to rest in the feast hall for 8 hours to regain all their abilities. That would grant their foes a massive headstart, but those previous spells and class abilities weren’t going to reset themselves, especially with a third of this episode left to go. They rested, having guards posted on the feast hall doors. Gesh buried Liftron and Gatt had a quick look at the staircase the cultists fled down. He saw an opening to a network of caves. It was the start of a dungeon.
Gatt started to bang his head against the doorway again and again.
Notice: This is an entirely subjective experience both of Hoard of the Dragon Queen and of the session. Readers; if you think the sections I love or hate of this campaign are wrong, you’re welcome to your opinion as I am to mine. Maybe post your own account, I didn’t see many online and varying campaign reports could be interesting. My lovely players, this is how I remembered it all from behind my screen and from my half-legible notes.