Today was the first day of our new campaign! I worked diligently to get the Out of the Abyss campaign set and I'm really nervous about it! More nervous than I was about running Tomb of Annihilation (see entry here). I mean... annihilation sounds way more intimidating, right?
My daughter, husband, and I spent the last week preparing our new characters. We have another campaign where two characters are the same race. Two dragonborns! My husband, though, is a supermassive randomizer and rolls for many things, so he didn't pick a dragonborn to copy my daughter. I, personally, was irked, because I like diversity, but who am I to really be upset about it. Whatever makes them happy, because the game is really about them.
I adjusted some things to fit the situation better, but I also figured I could adjust things as he levels, too, like adding back in the original regenerate. My husband's character could discover it does THIS or has another secret charge, etc. Really excited about this item and it's so beautiful!
Speaking of neat items, I was scrolling through my twitter feed and I found a Dinosaur Cat that will find its way into my daughter's campaign.
Adorable Dinosaur Cat. Good for a caster's fimilar or possibly a companion for a BeastMaster. #dnd #dungeonsanddragons #dnd5e #dndhomebrew pic.twitter.com/YgebDjNEvB— LgbtDnD (@LgbtDnD) July 9, 2020
Clearly, my daughter who loves cats and dinosaurs is going to need to encounter these and she'll have to attempt to coerce it for a pet. I can see her using all the little cat luring strategies her grandma taught her. That's a story for another day.
Today's story, though, is a sad one of defeat and heartbreak. For the GM, not the players. I completely dropped the ball and felt completely out of sorts running this adventure. All of my optimism going into this just flew out the window. I think my head was just in a bad place and it made it difficult to stay organized.
So we played Chapter 1 of Out of the Abyss. The characters were dropped into a prison cell waiting to be transferred and sold to the people of the Underdark. They had been in the cell for 4 days and were just dying to get out. And therein lies the problem. They're supposed to be looking for information and planning an escape, but they'd been in the cell for 4 days. Part of me feels like I messed up that part of the story, but then again it did say to roll that kind of thing. So that was the first big no-go.
Second was trying to get my two players to talk to the people. This adventure was definitely made for way more people than 2 and a DM-PC. I tried to do my part as a PC and gather and share information, etc., but it just broke my heart when things didn't come together. My husband was trying to get information and talk to characters (I forgot there was a magic block on the cell and he accidentally spoke with a spider). My daughter didn't know how to gather information and struggled to remove herself as a storyteller and just become the character. She'll get there. I mean, she's only 9yo. Granted she's had four years of being in numerous plays a year, so.... But she did slip into it as we went, but she always just wanted to explain. I get the comfort zone thing, because I still do it with Marvel when I get to play. Even though you love your family, sometimes it's just hard to be truly vulnerable in an RP way.
THEN when somethings finally did happen (I scraped the day-to-day cell thing and immediately switched gears to break-out-day), the creatures that showed up were way too powerful for Lvl 2 PCs. The PCs broke out of the cell with the help of a drow traitor. The drow guards were distracted by an attack of chasme and a demon, which weren't supposed to show interest in the escaping prisoners if nothing drew their attention to them. So it was a mad scramble and the worst part was that my husband's character was knocked out by the chasme immediately, because he failed his CON save. I gave him the orc, Ront, to play as part of our "attack team."
None of them had weapons, either, so they had to raid the guard rooms to get things, which is fine, but they weren't the types of weapons that felt like they would be effective on the chasme. My husband, though, was thrilled that they were hand crossbows. He had wanted to buy one when he made his character, but here there were tons of them! There were also tons of bolts! When they did get their weapons, they didn't need them, because they had enough rope to try to climb out of the place to safety and now have to fight the supermassive big bad guys. (My husband used his scarf to float down. Yeah... I left that spell on the scarf just for this.)
We didn't actually get to encounter any of the main people, like Asha. It just wasn't in the cards for how things were playing out. I was so flustered. My husband and I were working together for rules and how things worked to the point where my daughter said, "It's like you two are the DMs and I'm the only player." Oh gosh that hurt my heart. It wasn't even that I didn't know all these things. My husband was doing his own "I'm a veteran D&Der" and wanting to do this and this and this, so he was looking up how to do this and this and that. Then all of my information went out of my head, because I was so flustered I could barely hold a thought.
My saving grace was my characters, at least. I do a great spider voice and I had my distinct voices for the dwarf, my firbolg, and some other characters. My daughter absolutely loved the spider voice, because she likes cute high-pitched voices like that (reminded me of Twiggy on Episode 45 of Critical Role - Campaign 2, which I'm watching right now).
I also like playing my firbolg. I think I got a little bit of the personality I want going already. I'm attempting to make him a practical person. Fingers crossed for that.
At least, when it was all over, my daughter had a good time and enjoyed the experience and is excited for the next one. And really... that's all that matters in the long run. We're doing this for her and if she's getting joy out of it, then we're good as gold.
By the time we finally wrapped up around 8:38PM, both myself and my husband were exhausted. Our daughter, though, was gungho to keep painting her minis! So at a very early 9:30PM, I made my way to bed to fall asleep while my husband wrangled the wee warrior away from her paints and to her pillow.
We usually start our campaigns around 4ish. Today I had wanted to start earlier, because all of the players were just us and time wasn't an issue. But someone (or ones) needed a nap and we didn't get going until 4/4:30PM, which I'm learning is the WORST time to RPG in our house. One, the dogs eat at 5PM, so what are they doing from 4-5? Whining for their supper. Then the phone was ringing with all these non-personal phone calls. My mom was also texting me AND called, which is fine, but add all that together and it was rough getting focused. I actually had to turn my mom away and felt bad about it, because I know things are rough for her, but I know she'd understand that it was a family thing and Isabelle is so into it. When we see her next, Isabelle is going to go crazy showing her all her cool stuff.
So the second campaign is maybe not going as comfortably as the first, but it could also just be due to all the external and mental elements that threw up roadblocks. Dunno, but our daughter had fun. WINNING!
|Having to unequip her things, because she was captured!|
She had just bought them an hour ago.
Non-D&D Related Events Today
I finally sold my bike kiddie caddie for $75! Boy do we need the money. Only took 5 years!
My Disney Marvel Masks came! So I now have the Hulk mask! The rest are patterns, but whatever. I still agree with my husband that these are soft and almost feel like comfy undies for my face. Haha!
My husband's friend, out of the blue, asked him to tell me, "he wished he had a teacher like you growing up." Awe!
Grant Imahara, who I love and adore, passed away last night. He was only 49. 10 years older than me. I always hate saying stuff like that, but it's a mortality thing. Live life and all that. I loved all the amazing work he did and he was just such a fun guy. I wish I had met him or known him, but I was and always will be a fan of his amazing mind at work. He touched my life in more ways than I can list or explain, which is a feeling many people out there are experiencing. My heart goes out to those who knew him, for the pain they are feeling at the sudden loss of such a wonderful person.