Tuesday, July 5, 2011

SR50: Final Session – Fall of the Dragon

This session happened Friday, July 1, 2011, and was the only session I ran this past weekend.

Adventuring Group:
Su Bel (human cleric)
– Dame Yasha of Bereste (Su Bel’s human cavalier cohort)
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Tycho von Helmont (elf alchemist)
Agnes Sunbeard (dwarf rogue)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorcerer)
 – Kainen (Thorngrim’s human fighter cohort)
 – Halfgrim (Kainen’s stone giant warrior cohort)
Sal Ty (elf wizard) [via Skype]
– Maenwen (Sal’s human wizard cohort)
Alys Kaah (gnome summoner/cavalier) [via Skype]
– Mr. Boodles (Alys’s owlbear-looking eidolon and mount)
– Thomin (Alys’s gnome bard hireling)

Note: the list of player characters is in player sitting order, from my left and then clockwise around the table and then on my laptop via Skype.

“I really expect a couple of PC deaths this session.” The DM overly optimistic at the dragon's chances

In-game Starting Date: April 1, 23rd Year of King Nikola V

After thoroughly exploring the Banshee Copper Mine and finding the stashed treasure of the previous inhabitants, the adventurers spent the entire month of March having Sal, Maenwen, and Xin craft magic items for the fight against the red dragon, plowing all of their funds into the effort.  It would pay off.

The first morning of April, the magic-item-bedecked adventurers were teleported by Sal to the entrance of the Banshee Copper Mine.  From there, Halfgrim led the group to the Dragon's Mountain, a march of some four hours.  Along the way the group finalized their attack plans.  This conversation took up most of the trip [and a large part of the game session].

Approaching the mountain, the adventurers could see a main entrance low on the mountain and several potential exits up high on the mountain.  There was some discussion of Thorngrim using wall of stone to seal them off, but it was decided to wait on that as a small group [6] of stone giants was exiting the main entrance cave.  These turned out to be giants providing food stuffs for the dragon returning from that errand.  They asked Halfgrim who the short people were.  Kainen took this moment to step forward and declare himself their chief by right of combat, displaying the ruling stone he had taken from the previous chief.

The stone giants as one looked at Halfgrim to see if the runt was serious.  Halfgrim indicated Kainen was serious.  The leader of the stone giant group was skeptical to say the least and stepped forward to take the stone from Kainen and a fight between the two started.  The stone giant was only able to land a single blow, despite the large number thrown, while Kainen was able to hit often and repeatedly trip the giant.  After getting thoroughly bloodied and knocked on his ass, the giant yielded.  He and the other giants agreed to spread word that Kainen was now chief.  Kainen was informed that to make the claim stick, the dragon had to be killed without help from the rest of the tribe.  Also, there were some die-hard supporters of the dragon guarding a stone bridge over a chasm that was the only way to get to the dragon's lair on foot and Kainen would have to kill them before getting to the dragon.  Those giants were arrogant and abusive, so the rest of the tribe would not hold that against their new chief.

With this information and the neutrality of most of the other stone giants secured, the adventurers entered the mountain.  After making their way through the entry caves, they came upon a large cavern cut in two by a VERY deep chasm.  Guarding the stone bridge across it were four stone giants with breastplates, shields, and morningstars.  Kainen stepped forward and announced his claim as chief and the giants sneered.  The expected fight ensued.  Su Bel put up a wall of fire behind the far pair of giants to keep them from fleeing [and burn them some].  Sal summoned a huge earth elemental that wrestled with one of the giants [and got in Mog's way the entire fight] while the rest of the party took out the other giants with a combination of spells and melee attacks.

Once past the sentinels, the adventurers advanced deeper into the mountain to the dragon's lair.  Shortly before they expected to arrive, they cast the last of their preparatory spells and advanced in a rush to confront the dragon.  They found the lair to be an immense cavern with a partially exposed river of magma crossing it.  Tycho and Sal were able to spot the invisible dragon with see invisible and true sight, respectively.  Sal immediately cast greater dispel magic on the dragon, canceling three of the spells it had cast on itself in preparation for the fight.  This was when the dragon really should have fled.  It didn't and paid the price for its arrogance.

The dragon had based its attack plan on being able to fly and a greater invisibility spell.  Sal took out the latter immediately and the former was nullified by potions of flying taken by several of the adventurers, notably Mog.  Mog flew into combat, raging, and buried his huge axe in the dragon's ribcage [150 points of damage on a confirmed critical hit].  The dragon, enraged beyond intelligence attempted to eliminate Mog by concentrating all of its attacks on the half-orc.  Mog laughed like a maniac under the dragon's assault.  Alys, riding Mr. Boodles and wielding a dragon's bane lance gifted to her by her father-in-law-to-be, the Iron Baron, made two successive charges at the dragon, the second one killing the beast.

After the [distressing short – at least to the DM] fight with the dragon, the adventurers searched the adjacent caves for the stone giant hostages the dragon had taken and freed them.  Kainen led the hostages to back to the stone giant village and was confirmed as their new chief.  The adventurers spent the next couple of days ferrying the dragon's treasure back to Drop-off Keep.  Thomin, having been dragged along by Alys, immediately (immediately after a quick change of pants anyways) started composing songs to commemorate the victory against the dragon.

*End of session*

[I have some thoughts on the final game session, but it's been a busy holiday weekend here in the States and I'll need some more time to get all my thoughts written down.]


  1. This happens frequently to my DM. It is usually accompanied by a number of rather foul accusations as to our ancestry and/or about the dice. :-)

    A rogue of mine (fairly early in his career) rolled a 20 to sneak up on a very nasty, wizard, multi-session BigBadEvilGuy. Then rolled an instant-death (19-20) on my Sneak Attack. The look on his face was priceless as my (lvl 4?5?) Rogue killed the level 8?9?10? wizard in one hit.

    For the dragon, I probably would have tossed in a sudden summoning of a huge earth/lava/fire elemental or something like that when the first Greater Dispel Magic got tossed. The lava river sounds like a great source for those. (The players don't need to know that wasn't a spell the dragon was supposed to have, especially if they didn't realize he had several spells already cast, and summarily dispelled.) Maybe toss in a cohort/servant/slave of some sort too.

  2. Oh, and awesome on Mog and Alys! I love the description of Mog laughing like a maniac while fighting the dragon, and the image of Alys charging in against the dragon with the lance.

    Any chance you could give some behind-the-scenes DM info on what the dragon's stats were?

    Looking forward to the final-thoughts and the next series!