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Murder Hobo Squad: A Lost Mine of Phandelver/Dragon of Icespire Peak & Beyond D&D 5E record (Beware Spoilers!)

Murder Hobo Squad: A Lost Mine of Phandelver/Dragon of Icespire Peak & Beyond D&D 5E record (Beware Spoilers!)

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S4: In To The Redbrands Hideout

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 3
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Wary of being watched, the party go on full alert as they ascend the hill towards the ruined manor.  The split in two and encircled the manor, heading towards the back where they had been told the entrance to the cellar will be.  Talindra took a short detour in to the main building to see if another way down would be apparent, with nothing grabbing her attention.

They descended down the stairs and found an unlocked door which opened in to a dark room with more stairs down, and a large cistern and a door on the opposite wall, and another door under the stairs under them which they did not notice at first (Because it was hiding under a character on roll20).  There were some crates and barrels stacked up in the corner of the room, near the opposite door.

The group spread out around the room, with Bilba and Thorovir covering them from the internal stairs.  Araloth investigated the cistern, and noticed a cord running in to the tank on the other side.  He gestured over to Devere who pulled the rope up and found a waterproof leather satchel containing some coins, clothes and two vials of unlabelled liquids.

As Karson prepared to open the door by the Cistern, Talindra stays back and uses an illusion to turn herself in to a barrel.  They kick open the door and surprise 3 resting bandits in a cramped room with double bunkbeds and more barrels and crates.  Karson and Araloth burst in and beat up one of the bandits.  Araloth ends up climbing on some crates to make room for more people to enter the room.  While party overwhelmed the bandits, Bilba noticed the other door and opened it in to a corridor lined with decorative pillars, and rusted copper plate double doors, emblazoned with the image of a mighty oak tree.  Bilba remained in the doorway until the party rejoined her.

S4: In To The Redbrands Hideout

While Araloth remained to loot the bodies and search the room, the party moved in to the new corridor and Karson went ahead to check the door, but as he stepped forward the ground gave way beneath his feet.  With quick reflexes he as able to grab a ledge and pull himself up on to the other side.  Seems someone had dug a 20 feet deep pit trap with a narrow ledge down each side.  They spent a while working out who to safely get everyone over the trap and Devere decided to cast Guidance on everyone as they went across the narrow ledges.  One by one, they went over, and most people could not maintain their balance, but always just managed to grab the ledge in time to avoid damage.  When the armoured paladin with minimal dexterity came to cross the ledge (DM: While his player was AFK) they tied a rope around his waste as a back up, and Melandrach held the other end.  Ramond dropped straight in the pit and missed the ledge.  The rope as the only thing that saved him.

(DM Note: This pit trap proved to be a huge obstacle.  Almost everyone failed their check to walk along the narrow ledge even with Guidance but thankfully no one took falling damage.  It was really painful to watch them fail DC10 acrobatics checks)

There was only room for 4 people across the trap, so Ramond, Karson, Melandrach and Araloth opened the doors and entered the next room to allow the others to cross.  They discovered a crypt, with 3 stone sarcophagi and a skeleton slumped lifeless up against each of them.  There were 2 doors at the north end of the room.  As people stared crossing the pit, Ramond detected the room for evil and announced that the 3 bodies are undead.

Melandrach sprang to life and started beating up the nearest skeleton, who did not react, except to crumble apart after a couple of blows.  Ramond engaged the one in the north and Araloth jumped up on a sarcophagus to attack the third.  As he jumped up, the remining two came to life and started attacking the intruders, but they had already taken blows and did not last long.  Araloth and Karson listened at the doors, hearing nothing.  Karson opened the north door and found a short corridor with a locked door at its end.

Araloth stepped out of the way and let Melandrach open his door.  As he stepped in he saw a Redbrand standing to his right.  As he turned to attack him, a second Redbrand brought his sword down hard on his back (DM: Natural 20 on a surprise attack), downing him in a single blow.  As he celebrated his mighty kill, multiple arrows came through the doorway, followed by deadly swords.  Talindra healed Melandrach back up, and the party made short work of the enemy, and found themselves in a jail with 3 prisoners.

Have you tried googling for Have you tried googling for "Women prison fantasy". Lets see what images you can find that's not sexualised or too modern.

The prisoners appeared to be the dead woodworkers (Thel Dendrar) wife and teenage children, dressed in sack cloth.  Clothes from 15-20 people were piled up against a wall.  They are clearly not their first prisoners.  They picked the locks and escorted them back to the pit trap, before realising that if mighty adventurers cant cross it, three exhausted commoners will die.  They figured out how to set up a hand rail using rope and pitons (DM: Finally!), and Talindra escorted them to the exit.  On her way out, Mirna Dendrar thanked her rescuers and wished she could offer them a reward.  She paused for a moment and said that when she was a child she used to live in the town of Thundertree but her family had to flee due to the eruption of Mount Hotenow and the related zombie problem.  They had to flee in a hurry and left behind a jewelled necklace in a box under the counter in the family’s Alchemy and Herbalism shop.  If the heroes are ever in the area they are welcome to take it, if its even still there.

Dungeon cleared?  They were expecting around 20 Redbrands, possibly including those outside (Assuming their prisoner can count)Dungeon cleared? They were expecting around 20 Redbrands, possibly including those outside (Assuming their prisoner can count)

Talindra returned to the party as they were opening the remaining locked door, to find a small storehouse of basic weapons.  Reviewing the map, they realised there were no more doors and there had to be more.  They spread out around the dungeon and started searching for secret doors.  Melandrach found one in the entrance room, by the cistern.  The party gathered up behind the scouts, and Karson opened this new door to reveal a large room with a 20 foot deep chasm running its length.

The party spread out in to the room (DM: A chaotic mess I had difficulty keeping track of.  We are discussing better ways to handle this over Roll20 and voice chat.  I don’t want to have to roll initiative every time they open a door) and as Karson crossed the southern bridge he noticed creature trying to hide behind one of the two main pillars holding up the ceiling.  As Karson approached this creature clung to the pillar and tried to stay out of site, until it realised it had been spotted.

This weird hunched over, almost lizard-like creature had claws on its hands, irregular spikes down its back, no lips but razor sharp teeth, and one huge central eyeball.  No one had any idea what it was.  As the party filled in to the room, Karson could hear its words as a whisper in his mind.  It asked him what he was doing there.  As Karson responded, the others filed over, at first unknowingly surrounding the creature, and asking Karson who he was speaking to, until they got close enough to see the eye monster (EM).  The party (P) joined in the chat, asking questions, all the while the eye monsters was looking around the group.(DM:   I think there as more chat, but I can’t remember it all):

P: Are you with the redbrands

EM: Sometimes

P: What do you want

EM: got any food

P: You won’t like what I have.  All I have is rations.

EM: I like meat.  Got any fresh meat?  Mine’s getting a little old

(He casually gestures over to the rift, where people can make out a humanoid shape in the shadows at the bottom)

Talindra: I cast Eldritch Blast!

Such a happy looking eye monster.  Who would want to hurt him?Such a happy looking eye monster. Who would want to hurt him?

The eye monster was not entirely taken by surprise by this, and as it weathered the blast, it furrowed its brow and glared at Talindra, who became visibly weaker and sickened, her skin going pale and clammy (Necromantic damage).  The party then got in battle stances (rolled initiative).

The party had positioned themselves to box the eye monster in, and it was visibly looking around for an exit where it wouldn’t suffer lots of free strikes.  Seeing no other options, it made a bolt past two people, taking hits as it went, and got down in to the chasm, below reach of the party.  It glared at someone before running, hoping to remove them from the fight before they could swing.  Talindra retreated to behind the north pillar, visibly shaken by what had happened.  Melandrach chased after it into the rift, and attacked it as it ran, noticing something shiny in the rubble as he ran.

Araloth moved to cut off its exit to the east, and make an attack, while Bilba and Devere blocked its southern exit.  Bilba tried to engage it in conversation, asking it to surrender, but the monster only replied, “Surrender?  We were having a conversation and you attacked me!”.  Devere just stood there, looking deep in thought, uncertain about what was happening.  Ramond held his action, ready to act only if an ally fell.  Thorovir tried to fire an arrow down to the beast, but it sunk in to the southern bridge, and Karson went off to explore a new corridor to the west.

Finding himself boxed in again, the monster tried unsuccessfully to clear a path behind him by glaring at Melandrach, and took a new round of attacks from Mel and Araloth, while Talindra healed herself up.  Healed, she stepped out from behind the pillar on to the north bridge, ready to fire and the bridge collapsed, dropping her 20 feet on to the floor of the rift.  the creature then glared at Araloth for no effect, and stepped through the gap between him and Melandrach, making a final break for freedom, but they both landed blows, and as he ran out of their reach he slowly lost momentum, and his body fell backwards and slid back down the sloped sides of the chasm.

End of Session 4End of Session 4

DM: With adrenaline high, the monsters last heartbeat ended at the feet of his killers and we had to call the end of the session.  The party clearly has mixed feelings about what just happened.  Only half of them attacked it, the others did nothing, walked away, or tried to talk to it.  I hope we can get everyone back in this mindset at the start of next week.

I know I dropped the ball on this encounter.  It’s a really interesting creature and potentially a really cool social encounter, but its a hell of a lot to drop on an inexperienced DM with a party that probably don’t have detailed back stories, and haven’t had time to have done much in game.  He shouldn’t be in a starter set adventure, at least without better guidance, and should probably be scaled for higher levels to give people a chance to have a history.  He’s really cool and a better DM than me could do so much more with him)

They have started asking about future down time, specifically item creation as per Xanathars Guide to Everything.  I think I’m OK with that, but it lacks actual recipes.  I don’t want to be overly harsh or generous, so I’d love to see any links people have to what people have used in the past.  You’d think they’d at least make a suggestion for basic +1 weapons or armour.  I think I only really have to worry about basic potions and perhaps scrolls at most for a while anyway.

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Gerry / OTT: Any chance we could get the option for spoiler text that stays hidden unless someone clicks on it?  This could be useful in all chat areas, not just projects.  I’d like to reveal what the monster is and have a better conversation about it, but I don’t want anything my players can casually see, just in case they see this.

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I’m having a hard time remembering the dialogue after the fact.  Anyone got any advice on recording the audio for personal use only?  We chat through Discord and my computer is old (8ish years?), but doing well, and running Windows 7.  Drive space might be an issue, so raw audio of 4 hour long files might be a problem.  This won’t b a podcast, I just want to refresh my memory on some points for this project.  Maybe an option to stop an start recording as we hit chat sections, that doesn’t require me to set up new files as we go.  Convenience and speed are key.

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