D & D & K (Dungeons & Dragons & Kids)

So, if you’ll recall the last entry about my sons D&D campaign I’m running the group had strapped a single session under their belt.  A couple of them nearly went down to zero HP, but they’d managed to kill the foes and follow their tracks to the bad guys hideout where they camped down for the evening.

Since then we’ve gotten through another three sessions.  Two of these were getting through the first dungeon area of the campaign.  This led to their first ordeal in the dark since one of the characters doesn’t have Darkvision.  Sadly, the other three do, but the point is they were forced to deal with a torch and the light spell which naturally leads to accidents.  A couple of them got washed out in a flood trap before walking into what equates to a Goblin warren where although they’d managed to kill 5/8 Goblins two of the party went down as well and having been reduced greatly in health and running out of healing spells the party was forced to use diplomacy and talk out a solution.  Probably one of my favorite things about D&D is taking the expected and throwing it on its head to take the characters off guard.

The Goblins boss (who if the PC’s had pressed on, they may have actually killed) gave the characters time to rest and recuperate before letting them go and kill the gang’s leader (a bugbear) so that he could take over.   I was expecting the group might double cross the Goblins when they were refreshed but they kept to their word and went on across the cave system to do their job and dutifully so.  The Bugbear who has the potential to meet out massive damage found himself quickly overwhelmed and while he did manage to put the groups Halfling thief down (she stabilized) he found himself trying to flee with his life which he was unsuccessful in.

After clearing the caves, they moved on to their original goal which was saving a human captive from the Goblins who having adhered to their part of the bargain was forced to keep his.  The party took the captive and headed on to the town they had started the game heading for and left the Goblins alive, which is great because it leaves me a character to bring back later to harass them with.
They reached the town where after a bit of group work they split their different ways to pursue different ideas and leads to their characters and their personal backgrounds/plot points.  Its interesting hearing people who are uncertain how to role-play trying to do their best at it while having no idea what they’re doing.  After gathering many bits and pieces of information (quests that is) they met back up at the local inn to prepare to move on with a new goal.

The group decided to go onto what actually turns out to be a side quest from the campaign first which is fine and they chose to pursue a group of Orcs.  Along the way they encountered an Ogre in the wild whom they dispatched quickly before easily tracking the Orcs to a cave.  They neutralized the Orc lookout easily with a Sleep spell and moved on to deal with the rest of the baddies.  Sadly, they debated on what to do and how to go along with it for so long I began rolling to see if someone came out to relieve the lookout and eventually that happened, which triggered the combat.  With seven more Orcs and another Ogre charging out of the cave into combat the tide turned pretty hard against the Heroes.  The Ogre scored a critical on the Wizard taking him down while the others struggled against the Orcs.

The Thief went down next after inflicting some pretty grievous wounds to the leader Orc and a few more Orcs went down.  We had a new player join in at this point who is the brother of one of the players and was interested in playing, and since the starter box comes with five pre-gens we were going to figure out a way to work him in later but I decided this was probably a good place to.  We used him as a captive of the Orcs who had beaten him up and held him inside the cave, I let him make a roll to escape his ropes which he did, then he came charging out of the cave to get the Ogre doing a damned good amount of damage to him before going down.  The Cleric soon after hit the ground leaving just one Fighter to go on.

At this point in my head I’m working out how to let the PC’s live after they all fall unconscious but then the new fighter gets back up with second wind and the thief pulls (using inspiration she’d just earned this game) a natural 20 out for her death save regaining 1HP!  She proceeds to shoot the Ogre finishing him off as the last 2 Orcs and the wounded leader decide that perhaps it isn’t worth chancing to finish the combat out and retreat.  It was a really cool way to introduce the new PC and give the characters a real life and death encounter where there were a number of death saves which could’ve ended in permanent death.

The group sat in the now overtaken Orc cave and licked their wounds before returning to Phandelin.  This wasn’t my plan.  I thought surely, they would explore a different side quest that was near them, however they did not.  Instead they returned to town and spent an entire session mulling around there obtaining yet more side quests and doing a lot of roleplaying talking to townspeople and bantering about over rewards for killing Orcs or obtaining certain other objectives.  The local thugs in town eventually confronted the so called “adventurers” and found themselves a grisly end which I thought would’ve galvanized them to move on which is technically the main storyline, but no, they’ve decided to continue the side quest string.  We’ll get there eventually I suppose, but its funny because they think that the ruffians are the big goal and they are really only about the ½ way mark.  I am still loving the game and the boys are all enjoying it too which couldn’t please me more.