For Extra Life 2015, I decided to have a live Dungeons & Dragons session. I’m a big fan of Penny Arcade’s Acquisitions Inc. sessions and I thought it would be nice to do something like that. The only problem was my players were all around the world, making meeting up a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, there’s Roll20.net, perhaps the best online Tabletop RPG platform out there (I interviewed them last year, by the way).
With the platform sorted it was time to get the players. I asked friends and other content producers, and came up with a nice cast for this game:
- Serena Nelson, the Hero of the Adventure Game Revival Movement and writer for Cliqist, playing her favourite class in any game: The Paladin.
- Mike Hording, Serena’s friend and part of her RPG group, playing a Cleric.
- Jamie Carty, aka Jamie the Comic from Caiminds.com, playing a very verbose and not so subtle Rogue.
- Nathan Wall, weird funny dude and a regular at the 1001Up Bromance stream, playing the Barbarian!
There is a fifth player but he couldn’t make it for the first session, so his name shall remain hidden until he appears—from dramatic effect of course!
Sadly, the session was lost to the whims of Twitch. As I moved away from that channel, prepared everything for the first LawfulGeek broadcast and sorted the prizes for the Extra Life donors, I forgot to highlight the video on Twitch and it’s now gone. So because of that, here’s the recap:
The game opens in a pub in the Village of Cas, in the Kingdom of Cassone. The characters are recovering from the battle that just happened outside.
The village of Cas is a strange one, built on top of the ruins of earlier settlements. The village was once the capital of the Kingdom, earlier dynasties thinking it was a good idea to put their capital on the border between them and neighbouring hostile nations. As such, Cas has the dubious honour of being the most assaulted, destroyed and pillaged place in the entire continent. From civil wars to those with other Kingdoms, it never seemed to come out unscathed.
Cassians are proud of this history, proud of living in a place that any day could be brought down by enemy hordes. They celebrate the bloodshed, the ravaging and raping on their homeland and people. They have the first Historical Re-enactment Society of this world. It’s a big tourist attraction, though it does make it hard to know which muggings and assaults are real and which ones are scheduled. Bloodshed was usually the guideline, but in the last few years the society’s upped their game, making the enactments more realistic, for greater entertainment.
On this last enactment, a Goblin army decided to invade…so of course, everyone started to cheer for them…until the first few heads started to roll. The characters leapt into action and helped defend the town once they realised something was off.
The village Elder asks the players to go into the mountains to look for his son. He, along with others in the village, were kidnapped days before and efforts to get them back had failed. The players didn’t look convinced, so he offered them a lot of money, but before they could respond, the local priest of Aggravan, the Aggravated, the Ever-Wounded, God of Healing (and Leeches), interrupted. He explained he sent out the last search party of adventurers, with a side mission of investigating the strange spiritual activity in the Goblin Mountains, but none had returned. The spirits were hurting, he said, and he needed them to go check it out, mentioning that the caves were probably full of gold, jewels and items the Goblins had taken from villagers and travellers alike over the years.
With the sound of Cha Ching and dollar signs in their eyes, the party decided they should uphold justice and set forth to the mountain.
In the Goblin caves they found women and children, and the Rogue got the stern Goblins to talk with the most perverse of tortures: ear licking. The old matrons, in their Brooklyn accents, pointed them to the King’s throne room when questioned. On the way they fought a trio of spear-wielding Goblin warriors, easily dispatched after each member of the party struck the ground with their weapons, asking the gods for favour—something they kept doing for the rest of the game, coincidentally every time they missed an attack.
The last thing before they could meet the Goblin King was his champion, a Goblin Barbarian almost the size of an Orc, but even this beast was no match for four adventurers ganging up on him. Seeing this four-against-one bout as a righteous and fair affair, they butchered the champion and moved on.
The King’s Throneroom was freezing cold and brightly lit by green flames (GREEN FLAME!), with a giant brazier in the centre of the room. The Paladin turns on her sense evil ability and sees the wailing spirits in the giant vortex over them. The rest of the party can only feel the chill in the room.
As they approached the throne, they see it’s hidden behind a thick veil of smoke, with only a bulky shadow visible through it. The smoke is oddly cold, freezing them with its touch. The party attempts to negotiate with the King, but he mocks them and offers the bodies of the victims in exchange for one of their lives. With nothing more to say, the King stands and the smoke disperses. To their surprise it’s a human, wielding a sword of ice and another of fire (It’s fantasy, of course there’s going to be a fire sword!).
The Goblin King takes them all on, but even he is no match for four-on-one, so he retreats. A servant appears just then and the party watch an ancient human spirit possess the Goblin, cast a shield over the king and summon the Council of Elders, four spectral Goblins with varying abilities.
It takes all they have, and many more calls to the gods by striking the ground, but eventually they defeat the Council and the possessed Goblin, breaking the shield on the King and undoing the barrier’s healing effect.
The King surrendered and opened the way to the temple below. He said some might still be alive, but that they’d need more sacrifices to delay what he and his companions had wrought. In their haste to complete their mission to stop the Goblins from summoning what they were told was a hell beast, they’d failed to see that this clan was different. They were guardians, keeping the seals on the Savage Gate, a portal to a hellish dimension. The seals were broken now and the Goblins were working frantically to delay the invasion coming from the other side, if not restore the seals altogether.
But they needed more blood.
It’s always about blood.
We’re planning to of course continue the adventure and you can watch us play on the LawfulGeek Twitch channel, with new episodes then popping up over on The Mental Attic’s YouTube channel…if I don’t forget about them…which I shouldn’t…again.