Culture Magazine

D&D Campaign Update – The Terror in Cragmaw Castle

By Manofyesterday

Here’s the latest update in my session reports of my journey through D&D5e’s Lost Mines of Phandelver campaign. I’ve tried to keep these as spoiler free as possible but there are going to be some spoilers, although given the nature of D&D some of the events I talk about might happen differently to you and your party.

It’s been a long time since our last session, so it took a little while to get back in the swing of things. I do wish that we played more often because it helps to keep things straight. In the last session, when we first entered the castle we actually forgot why we were there.  But we’d already cleared out half of the castle so we did the other half, and managed to rescue the dwarf. We also ended up killing our Goblin companion Droop though, after he was a complete mummy’s boy and took his mother’s side against us. And sadly it was my Monk who landed the killing blow, after I had done my best to bring him around to the noble side.

Ah well.

There were a few good battles in the castle. My friend Dave, who is playing a Half-Orc named Tripp, got a feat called Polearm master, which means that he’s able to take an opportunity attack whenever a hostile creature enters his threat zone. While we were playing it seemed quite overpowered as he slashed people that came at him, and mowed down a hoard of Hobgoblins. We didn’t realize at the time that an opportunity attack counts as one action, and you’re only allowed one of them on your turn. We were starting to think that the feat was overpowered but that seems to make it more manageable.

I think we’re more powerful than our DM would like, so he’s taken to boosting the enemies we face, and I suppose it’s the challenge of a DM to keep the game competitive while not making it too hard. He’s doing a really good job though, and I appreciate the job he’s doing. We’re actually going to be losing a played after the summer as he’s moving away, and I doubt we’re going to get more than one session in anyway, so when there’s only three of us it may be different, although we were missing a player yesterday as well.

After the castle we headed back and took care of a few little things. I had been approached to join the Harpers, and I accepted the invitation so I’m looking forward to seeing the effects of that. We also have the deeds to a mansion in town so we’re starting to think of a business plan, which my fellow adventurers want to be a brothel. As a Monk I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Speaking from the progression of the character, I was a little wary when I started out as a Monk because if you read a lot of the articles it’ll say how Monk’s are underpowered and other classes are better but I’m really enjoying it. I don’t always hit, but I seem to have a knack of delivering the final blow to a lot of our enemies. I’m loving deflect missiles as well. With this if a ranged attack hits me I get to reduce the damage by 1d10 plus my DEX plus my Monk level, which at the moment is 1d10 + 8, and if I reduce that to 0 then I have a chance to catch the missile and attack with it myself. We’re not quite at fifth level yet, but I’m looking forward to that as I get another attack and stunning strike, so I should be able to move through the field of battle and set things up nicely for my allies.

It was a very combat-heavy session but one that was enjoyable, and it’ll be good to finally get to wave echo cave, although we won’t be playing for at least another three weeks because the DM is going to Spain.

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