We are going to be ending Dead in Thay a week early, due to Comic Con, so I sped up a bit of the campaign. With 3 tables, the second half of the campaign has been going quickly, and we’ve had at least 1 table in the Temples of Extraction for the past 3 weeks.
Last week, I had car trouble (dead battery– happens every 2 years in Las Vegas’ summer weather) and had to miss the game. It’s very nerve-wracking as the organizer and a DM to miss a game, but my co-DMs Mike and Josh picked up for me and carried on!
Anyway, between missing last week and needing to end the season early, I came into the game this week with just 2 sessions left. The module is clear: the parties need to clear out the Temples of Extraction and disrupt sufficient black gates by the end of this session.
On the other two tables, Mike and Josh ran their PCs through the Temples of Extraction. Due to a miscommunication, they both went in the same directions, freeing the same remaining Chosen. I handwave and say they took care of all of the remaining Chosen.
My own goal was also clear, even if it wasn’t part of the bigger picture: I have three PCs who are undead, including one who has been played since the Neverwinter campaign 2 years ago.
There is one room in the Doomvault proper where the soul-bound dead can be restored to full life. I told my PCs which sector it was in (the Master’s Domain), explained they really wouldn’t have another chance to restore their lives if they wanted to do so. They took the bait.
Because they started at a black gate a bit far from the room in question, I gave them a “random encounter.” It was far from random, though, since the alert level of the dungeon was high enough to automatically cause a random encounter. In this case, the dice came up with “special encounter.”
The rules in the Dead in Thay module are really poor for “what to do about special encounters.” There are instructions for the organizer to make a special encounters table, but no idea what is probably going to be on it, or how to use it.
I decided that the PCs get into a special encounter with the hezrou they released earlier, and the little squadron of quasits. They encounter these in the room with a monument that disrupts physical abilities (disadvantage on STR and DEX checks), but enhances magic. They parlay with the hezrou, who makes a bargain to trade information on where the resurrection room is, in trade for their spare glyph key and information on how to get out. When they lie (badly) about not having a key, the quasits steal it from the cleric. The cleric hits the quasit with a lance of faith, and the key falls. An opposed dex check between the crossbow-wielding rogue and the hezrou results in the hezrou beating him, but only barely.
The hezrou tells them anyway, because he doesn’t care as long as he can get out of here. The hezrou heads for the black gate, to eventually head out to Thay and, in time, to find a portal home.
The party heads up to the laboratory where they find a red wizard torturing one of the named NPCs, and a bunch of wights on the stone tables of necromancy. The party tries to bluff her, but she doesn’t quite buy their story. The wights get up to attack. Combat starts. The mage draws aggro from all the wights (our wizard has been an amazing tank through this campaign– he regularly takes the attacks and survives them!)
The druid blasts the shit out of the red wizard, who yells “hey, let’s not be hasty, here!” She bargains with them to teach the wizard the ritual for restoring life via the necromantic tables.
Unfortunately, after they raise the druid and cleric, they tell the red wizard to GTFO– without the NPC, and she resists. The monk punches through her sternum, bringing her down to negative hp, but the cleric stabilizes her so they can question her for more information. She makes a second deal to be let go; she’s not going to fight them for the NPC now.
The druid cures the NPC’s wounds while the wizard brings the rogue back to life. The party disrupts the black gate, then heads up to the sanctuary vault and, to start next week, the gatehouse.
Next week: The Phylactery Vault!
(Full article contains spoilers!) I bought the D&D Stranger Things Starter Set, and I was all kinds of excited to run it. I read through it a few times, thought “hmmm…” about some of the choices, but overall it reads like a fairly straightforward adventure.
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