D&D: Githzarai Monks, Orcish Wrestlemania, Research in the Library

Session Summary

The group is headed towards Big Shire, hoping to sell the location of Deadshire, an ancient and deserted hobbit shire, to well-to-do halflings in their most metropolitan settlement. On the way they ran across The Monastery of Dor Amon and stopped to sell the books they had stolen from a dwarven caravan last game.

Gorgolog leafed through the Axe Bible, written by the Saint of Axes. Turns out the Saint was a knight who tossed aside his blade, threw off his spurs and beheaded his king, traveling the land to become an axe-wielding bad-ass. Once the orc heard he was human, he lost interest. Orc are finicky readers.

The Githzarai monks were treated to a display of wrestling entertainment as Gorgolog and the Drow/Acolyte Monk, Saav, put on a display of martial prowess. Traditional orc rules say that when the loser is thrown from the circle, they are fed to dogs but since we didn’t have dogs, we’d have to change the stakes a bit. Then Gorgolog took on the monastery’s martial arts instructor, Master of the Thoughtful Fist and lost to her in two punches, both delivered in the first round. Githzarai are NASTY. A total of 3d8 damage from each punch and the ability to throw two in a round. 2d8 of that damage is Psychic damage. Ouch! It is CR 2…hmmm, are the CR’s broken?

It was all in good fun and Gorgolog got up and rocked out like a solid wrestler, leveraging Bret’s passion for sports entertainment.

They traded this night of entertainment for 24 hours of access in the library. I had their Drow/Rogue/Scholar, Fal’ethon. She got 3 questions and rolled appropriate skills for each. She had an advantage die because she had the scholar they rescued from the Ghoul Knight in our first game, who is now traveling with the party. Laura made a roll to convince Yon, the scholar, to change her thesis to be about the underground and its denizens.

Things they learned:

  • The 12 above-ground cities and the basics of what has happened with them in the past 1000 years. Very basic. I’ll draw a map for the next game.
  • The elven aristocracy has left the planet, leaving behind elven thieves and scoundrels. They grew ships from seeds and took to the stars.
  • The big money on this continent is run by the city-state, Vault, owned by a dwarven merchant house.

Next game we will continue to head towards Big Shire, hoping to sell the information of the Deadshire’s whereabouts and then perhaps set off for Vault to make some Big Money from the economic nexus.

Session Thoughts

I’m having a great time, though two hour sessions are rough. It felt slow and it felt like not everyone in the 5 person party got to make a meaningful decision this session, not everyone got to roll dice, which vexes me.

I’m wondering if I’m peppering my hexcrawl map with enough delving and door kicking opportunities. I’m going to go over my map a bit in the week between games and just think it over.

5e Thoughts

Advantage dice and Disadvantage dice are a really neat tool. I can’t get enough of them and I’ve been a fan of them since I first saw them in Whitehack.

Backgrounds are a great way to ground the party in the real world and connect to the setting. I have to be careful because these characters are all from deep underground and so they aren’t linked to the above-ground at all. I still want them to be able to connect to the world through their Backgrounds when it makes sense.

I was mindful of this when Bret proposed trading expensive library access for a wrestling exhibition. I could’ve said that the monks were too staid and not into it but I took his background into account and made the more-fun decision, that kung-fu monk/scribes from another dimension would love to watch an orc kick ass and/or get his ass kicked, allowing the group to party with the monks, drink terrible beer from the Astral Plane and just have a fun night. They never delved into the deeper secrets of the place and that is fine. They got what they wanted. Onward to Big Shire with Hobbit crimelords and sherrifs.

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