This blog is about the world of gaming miniatures, as seen from my perspective. I've been collecting and painting for over 30 years now, and while my primary focus is miniatures for D&D, I also enjoy many other games that use minis, so we'll be covering those as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Year, New 3.5 FR Campaign

OK, so we actually played on 12/30/17, but let's not split hairs, shall we?

We wrapped up our long-running (2009-20017) 3.5 FR campaign last year in New Orleans. New characters were rolled up on 2/25/17, and then we took a long break to allow our DM time to decompress and regroup for another tilt. It seems only appropriate that we ended one campaign and started another to coincide with my birthdays, does it not? Here is our new party:

Human fighter
Half-drow cleric
Human rogue/sorcerer
Gnome rogue/wizard
Aasimar druid

The new campaign kicked off with our intrepid adventurers enslaved by drow in the Underdark! We were captured individually (at least my druid was alone when ensnared by a goblin trap and captured by some drow, so I'm just assuming the rest of us met similar fates). We slaves led predictably miserable lives as miners and laborers, doing our best to survive each day as we toiled for our harsh masters in Llurth Dreir.

We escaped our captors when we were attacked by some mind flayers and their humanoid minions. While the slavers were busy fighting off the incursion, we broke our shackles with tools and sheer strength and fled down a tunnel. It was a small gaggle that fled, with the five of us plus three orcs, three dwarves, and a human. Our armament consisted of some light picks and clubs.

The tunnel led to an open cavern at the edge of an unknown Underdark sea. As we were scrounging for food and water, some sahaugin raiders emerged from the sea and set upon us. The sea devils probably thought we looked like easy prey, but we fought with the frenzied determination of slaves who had no wish to return to that life. We prevailed, although a few NPCs died during the melee. Some tridents and a net were added to our arsenal, although we cut up the net in order to fashion a crude rude so the chimney in the ceiling above could be explored by our sneaky type.

Pressing on, we were attacked a second time by yet another band of sahaugin while crossing a narrow fjord. The fight whittled down our already meager resources, along with more dead NPCs. We added more tridents and another net to our equipment pool, and our fighter donned some seashell armor taken from a dead sea devil. It is the equivalent of banded armor. Perhaps our biggest score was the discovery of a spellbook looted from the dead sea devil wizard. It is waterproof, of course, and has a read magic spell that cycles through several languages on the page in real time! What this means for us is our rogue/wizard will now be able to cast his arcane spells that he was previously unable to use.
As we continued to work our way through the endless tunnels of the Underdark, we caught a break when we discovered an illusory wall that concealed a small, worked crawlspace that led to some stairs going up. We rested and recovered on the stairs, and then made the 1/4 mile trek up them until we reached a landing that branched off and continued up.
Battle Armor Little Mermaid! 💜 Sans wig unfortunately. I got a lot of Aquaman but oh well, it was still fun to wear! #cosplay #cosplayer #dallasfandays #dallascomiccon #littlemermaid #mermaid #armor #disney #aquaman
Sahaugin shell armor?
At the top of the stairs, we found the remains of an ancient city that was buried below ground and mostly covered by a lake. The side passages at the landing led to areas that were sealed off, as they were obviously below water level. So we entered the lake, swimming to and from stalactite and stalagmite alike, until we reached the top of a tower that was poking up from near the middle of the lake.

There wasn't much to see in the tower, as the lower levels were magically blocked (to keep the water out). In the one interesting room we found, the statues therein turned out to be very helpful! The warrior, rogue, and arcane caster statues are some sort of automated trainers, so the fighter and the hybrids were able to train up to level 2. The cleric and my druid were not so fortunate, but every little bit helps, so not to worry.

We left the tower and found a passageway that led upwards. A tower rising up through the ground alongside a river was discovered and explored. A pitched battle with many, many goblins was fought and barely survived. Pretty much the only reason we didn't perish was due to the fact that everyone was carrying a dose of healing goo (I think it came from some fungus that one of the dwarves was able to identify and harvest). As we somewhat foolishly continued up, an encounter with a few drow was enough to exhaust our spells and give us reason to leave the structure.
Image result for indiana jones nazis i hate these guys
Drow. I hate these guys.
Our last encounter for the session nearly proved our undoing (again). We entered a cavern complex that was the lair for a tribe of goblinesque barbarians. Soon after we routed a small force of natives, reinforcements arrived from two directions, forcing us down a third passage. And OF COURSE that led to a dead end! Time to hold the narrowest part of the tunnel and make our last stand.

But how did we escape? Well, tucked back at the far end of the room attached to the tunnel was a creature that resembled an earth elemental. The elemental was shacked to a circle of runes on the floor and held by bonds of energy, it appeared. With nothing to lose, we attacked the bonds with our weapons and freed the elemental. It summoned the six of us (one lone dwarf remained out of the original count of 7 NPCs) to its side and whisked us away from certain death, right through the very earth itself!

Turns out the elemental was actually an earth genasi who was captured by the goblin things. He brought us to the hidden refuge of Earth's End, an enclave that is a haven for creatures of the earth and for a few friendly allies. There is no physical passage in or out of the area, so you need natural or magical abilities to move freely through the earth to come and go.

Once we rested up, our host was able to get us directly to the dwarven city of Iltkazar, where we leave off until next time.

We achieved our two main goals: escape captivity and survive the perils of the Underdark. I imagine we will be able to get portaled or safely escorted to the surface from here. There is a total of 66sp and 30gp in gems to share, along with the armor and weapons we liberated from drow, sahaugin, and goblin. Isn't it funny how a few simple upgrades make your 1st level characters feel almost invincible? Well, when you go from no armor to chain shirts and banded mail, and from light picks and clubs to tridents, a rapier, daggers, a shortbow and hand crossbows, you sure feel a lot more secure. There is also a magic cloak and three potions to identify.