Home > My Game, Roleplaying > Level 2 – Satyrs, An Old Elven Druid, and an Owlbear

Level 2 – Satyrs, An Old Elven Druid, and an Owlbear

We pulled together my 5th Edition group again recently and I finally got to run my second adventure. Today I’m going to discuss how that went and some things I’m doing a little bit differently in my game.

The Start Of Something Magical

This particular adventure really worked my improv skills over. I had an outline for what I expected to happen, but, as so often happens in tabletop RPGs, the players started winging curveballs at me from the start. The adventure opens with the characters still enjoying the hospitality of the town’s inn after rescuing the daughter of the local gem cutter from the kobolds. Over several days, they begin to notice that the quality of the drink they’re being served declines. On talking to the innkeeper, they find out that the caravans that usually bring wine and beer into town have not been showing up, but another one should be due in the next day.

This is where the first curveball came sailing for my head. I’d forgotten that one of the characters, the Dwarven barbarian, was proficient with brewer’s kit. So he immediately offers to start brewing beer on premises for the inn-keeper. I made a save by claiming that good beer grain really didn’t grow in this area. Unfortunately, my players know a little too much about how various alcoholic beverages are made, so now they’re buying honey to make mead.

The fight against the satyrs who were hijacking the caravans showed me an oddity in the system. I didn’t expect the satyrs to last long, but they have a pretty decent armor class (14) and 31 hit points, so they’re hardier than their CR 1/2 would make them appear. Add to that their Magic Resistance (advantage on saving throws against spells) and even a few of them is a force to be reckoned with. Compared to a later fight against a CR 1 ghoul, the satyrs were much better combatants. However, they also felt like they overstayed their welcome for the role I wanted the encounter to fulfill.

The party ended up working for a druid who wanted to close a portal to the Feywild that the satyrs were coming through. To that end, they had to retrieve an object from a cave that the druid needed for the ritual. After a brief roleplaying encounter with the nymph who occupied the pool outside the cave and finding out about the undead who had entered the cave, the party ventured behind a waterfall and into the cave to face the undead inhabitants.

The fight against the ghoul was particularly disappointing and that’s possibly because I arranged it badly. The ghoul was hiding near the front and the party saw him hiding and beat him on initiative. With fewer hit points and a worse AC than the satyrs, the ghoul didn’t even last a round against the party, so the zombies that were with him ended up being a follow-up encounter. I really loved the zombies though. Their ability to save against damage that would kill them is a lot of fun and really gives the “implacable undead” vibe you want from zombies.

The final battle to protect the ritual ended up getting cut short because the party used good tactics and I was tired of running satyrs who overstayed their welcome. So out came the rainbow-plumed owlbear to thump the party. Unfortunately, the dice were not with me and the owlbear only hit once against the barbarian. Even with the regeneration I added to the owlbear (he was born and bred in the Feywild, so he was suffused with life energy), the party whittled him down over a few rounds, finally ending the combat.

The party is now level 3 and looking to head to a big city, following a note they found near a grave in the waterfall cave. The note implied that the grave belonged to a Dwarven wizard who had been leaving a place called Brighthammer, which the bard believes was just a myth. The note indicated that some of the survivors from Brighthammer may have head to the nearest major city, so that’s where the party is headed next.

Final Thoughts

Even with the disappointments in the creatures this session, I continue to be pleased with the underlying system of 5th Edition. It’s simple and easy to work with when certain things aren’t covered. Now that all the characters have hit 3rd level and are coming into their own as heroes, I feel like I can up the ante a little bit on them. The next adventure should test me a bit as it’ll be a more urban adventure than the dungeon crawl and wilderness adventures that I ran for the first two sessions. I expect the bard and the rogue will shine more in this environment. I also plan to introduce the rules for inspiration in the next session, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that will work out.

  1. August 14, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    I enjoyed this experience (and the D&D 5 system) enough that I have started running my own 5th ed adventure.

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