Michael's Earth 5E
2-18-905: Campaign start. In two days, it’s Fantastic Founding Day! — the annual celebration of the founding of Equinox.
2-20-905: Fantastic Founding Day. Sack race. Ring toss. Can chaos. Archery competition. Woodcarver’s Prize.
2-21-905: Olla, Molli, Elli, Buzzleby scouted west of Equinox and ran into 3 bugbears. The four heroes took care of the trespassers. Buzzleby randomly flew off after the fight. They camp in the forest.
2-22: At first light, the three sisters break camp and head back to Equinox. Late afternoon, 3:00-ish, Buzzleby attacked the gnome sisters, and they drove him off. Right after, Elli spotted Jykpog skulking in the woods nearby. When she told Olla, he ran in a panic. Olla shot him with an ensnaring strike, which choked him to unconsciousness. Molli used her silver raven to fetch Papi, once there he let the girls try to decide the goblin’s fate. Elli formed a fast attachment to him, Molli didn’t want to kill him, Olla wanted to just kill him. Papi helped them decide to have Jykpog help them track down the other bugbears to deal with them, and he also told them they were heading into gnomish turf b/c they were driven away by a green dragon. Papi and Molli went back to town, Olla and Elli stayed in the woods just out of town for another night, not wanting the prisoner to see the location of their village.
Buzzleby ran into a large boar and attacked. It nearly gored him to death, but he killed it and brought it to the gnomes. She promised not to attack them and wanted them to cook the boar. Olla agreed, asked Buzzleby if he would help fight the bugbears, and he agreed.
They eat and camp.
2-23: pre-dawn, Papi comes back. Head out to find bugbears. Morning storm, cold and nasty, but no harm done. Travel all day, make camp again.
2-24 to 3-1: A couple of sessions went by, and I took zero notes. Jykpog got introduced to society at Equinox. The Saztevil the Stupendous meeting/mini-adventure happened, and he wound up lingering in Equinox, typically lurking around and giving Elli the crazy eye. Elli arranged Jykpog’s very first birthday celebration. Elli was very proactive in making plans for her mother’s birthday bash, which occurred the day after her arranged celebration of Jykpog’s birth chosen on an arbitrary day. So the specific days escape me, but Jykpog and Elli’s ma’s bdays are locked in at two consecutive days late in Alturiak. My best guess is 2-27 and 2-28.
3-1: Met Gundren Rockseeker and Sami Sparkswagger. Olla, Elli, Buzzleby, Jykpog agree to escort Gundren’s wagon to Ironcrank w/ Sami, while Gundren and Sildar ride ahead, worried about the safety of Ironcrank with the green dragon afoot.
The following are copy and pastes where I described what happened in my Facebook D&D group:
First day of summer has me bright and early running Ariana and Aislyn’s level 2 characters through my modified version of Lost Mine of Phandelver. The opening scuffle, the goblin ambush, they crushed. Ariana’s male champion fighter dragonborn Buzzleby is like I have a mix of Carlton R Wells’ recklessness/fearlessness and Jason Workman’s impatience for action all rolled in one at the table. I admire it. Buzzleby was a beast in the combat, took a majority of the attacks, and from Aislyn’s forest gnome druid’s healing and second wind, managed to end the fight at full health. They have a goblin prisoner stabilized by Elli (Aislyn’s gnome), that they will shortly question to likely learn the location of the Cragmaw Hideout. The goblin prisoner they have was almost guaranteed to get away, except that Elli turned into a dire wolf and took full advantage of dashing and a 50 speed to chase the little buddy down.
Lost Mine of Phandelver is a very slick, well done module. It was an early birthday present to Aislyn.
Then:The Cragmaw Hideout was risky business. After clearing the sentries, pushing in to clear the chained wolves, they decided to pull back and rest (still a little expended from the goblin ambush on Triboar Trail previous).
Stat on the morrow they came back to find very, very ready goblins. 5 sentries, 2 of whom escaped the PC wrath and got into the cave, alerting the entire complex. Now, the module assumes 4-5 level ones, and the party I ran was 4 level 2s, so I had almost +50% in goblin #s for the run. PCs knew it was about to go down in a Mexican standoff, and set up shop at the cave entrance using cover. Elli early on lit and tossed a torch with a 19 roll down the main cave corridor to reveal the lead 4 goblins trying to stealth approach the PCs, and it was off to the races. Buzzleby, having pilfered a goblin short bow and arrows, advanced a bit to tank and shoot, and proceeded to get lit the eff up. Elli charged forward like a boss, thunderwaved the goblins, used her bonus action to healing word Buzzleby. Buzzleby used second wind, charged up and used a breath attack. Goblins were fucking dropping like flies, but there were just so freaking many being spurred on by the bugbear boss and his goblin sub-boss. The entire “dungeon” all came to a head at that main entry corridor, both parties choked off and grinding each other down. Buzzleby dropped, got healed by Elli, dropped again. Their goblin rogue and forest gnome hunter ranger companions using half cover at the cave entrance were dropping goblins like flies. After Buzzleby was done for, Elli (who luckily despite her reckless bravery had yet to get hit), shifted to dire wolf and tanked the corridor. She couldn’t hit shit as a wolf, but took a ludicrous amount of attacks and dmg, bringing her to 2, before she disengaged and retreated out the cave. By then it was 3 wounded goblins (they started out at like 25 trash), and the uninjured bugbear leader and his uninjured pet wolf and the uninjured goblin captain.
At this point all 3 wounded goblins failed a morale, and defied their leaders, and that was that. The goblin capt. and bugbear leader weren’t about to try to finish the issue. Buzzleby proceeded to fail a death save, and then FUCKING ROLLED A 1 on his next death save.
Now, I shit you not, Aislyn was so committed to the fight that as Buzzleby was set to die, she stood up and just started crying. Tears streamed down her face. She didn’t want Ariana’s first ever character to die.
I already had an NPC 2nd level sorcerer that was traveling with them who up to that point was hanging back and guarding the wagon as a DM’s ace up the sleeve to swoop in and save the day. Given the situation, and given how incredibly great my girls had been, and how crazy heroic they were, they already earned an inspiration point in my book. So I in the moment awarded the group each an inspiration point, allowing Buzzleby to get advantage on that death save, and proceeded to roll a not-1. Olla, Elli’s older sister (aforementioned hunter ranger), charged up and crushed a medicine check to stabilize Buzzleby, being very vigilant to any further encroachment in the main corridor. For the record, the monsters were beyond all done with the invaders, and were a hot mess of bitching and regrouping, what was left of them, so the PCs were good for a bit. Elli, in dire wolf form with 17 str, snapped her jaws around Buzzleby’s tunic, and the little forest gnome ranger and the rather cowardly goblin rogue NPC ally via lifting the huge dragonborn’s legs, managed to drag Ariana’s PC out of the cave and into the woods. Then the hour on Elli’s wildshape expired, and she nearly flat out died from her wounds (19 2nd level health, 37 wolf health, she had taken 35 damage). Olla again stabilized a PC, this time her dying younger sister.
They rested and recharged overnight, and when they went back to explore the Hideout, it was cleared out, with no treasure, and Sildar was dead in room 6 with his throat slit. But now the PCs and their 2 NPC stalwarts are level 3. Onward to the town.
I’m kind of shocked how gritty/epic that fight was. I’ll never forget it.
So it was 3-4 when they faced the ambush and first found the hideout. They got some sleep, came back 3-5 and had the epic fight at the cave mouth. It was 3-6 when they came back to find the cave abandoned (3 wounded goblins, the goblin boss, the bugbear boss, his pet wolf were the survivors who got away, abandoning their hideout). They left w/ the treasure chest, but left behind all the Lionshield Coster stolen goods. The PCs gathered up tons of crummy goblin weapons, the Lionshield Coster goods, and then headed to Ironcrank (Phandalin) with their one goblin prisoner. During that last leg of the journey, Sami told the group a little bit about the legend of Wave Echo Cavern and the Forge of Spells.
They got to Ironcrank by the end of the day (3-6). They delivered the goods to first shop, and there Sami learned that her father Snorri had died in a laboratory accident/explosion). She left the group in a huff, distraught, to go home to see for herself. They donated the stolen goods to the Lionshield Coster, collected payment for the first delivery, collected reward for the second delivery, then went to the Stonehill Inn. Over the evening meal, tons of villagers came in and eventually got the whole story of the hideout adventure described to them. The group became renowned heroes to the village that night. Olla previously delivered the goblin prisoner to the townmaster where the prisoner was placed in jail. She learned from the townmaster that he is offering 100gp if Wyvern Tor is cleared out.
They quickly learned in their first evening in Ironcrank about the nasty Redbrands. They learned about that gang murdering the woodcarver and the disappearance of his family. Elli very brazenly announced that they would handle the Redbrands.
Initially the plan was to deliver the two sets of trade goods off along w/ the wagon and the large mule, and then go back out to try to track down the survivors of the hideout. But, the next morning, having stayed the night at the inn, the morning of 3-7, Buzzleby having woken up early, eaten, and wound up in the grassy field next to the town square giving children flying rides on his back, six Redbrand ruffians (concerned at the news that heroes were in town and had plans to deal w/ them, and quick to try to handle the two little lady forest gnomes and their goblin friend with the mammoth dragonborn away) entered the inn and made it clear they were there to pick a fight. Elli brazenly defied them, initiative was rolled, Olla won, and she knew they had come to fight. Without missing a beat, she placed her hunter’s mark on their leader and shot him, then backed up. Unfortunately the six ruffians went next. The leader, wounded, fled outside to take cover and told his men to attack. Jykpog and Elli got swarmed and were both wounded. Jykpog disengaged and backed up, firing. That left Elli with no allies and four Redbrands nearby, and she slammed out a 2nd level spell slot thunderwave. Off to the races. Elli got splatted down to 2 hp before she shifted to dire wolf, and despite hard and fast wounds to the trio of heroes, killed five ruffians, the last one a gnome trying to flee, but the dire wolf/druid chased him down and ripped him asunder. The leader got away, mainly b/c Olla knew they were all hurt and needed to get Buzzleby back. In the first round of combat, Olla had shouted that somebody needed to fetch Buzzleby. Pip had jumped at the chance to be a hero, but after the thunderwave his father (innkeeper) barked at him to get back into the kitchen. Some old gnomes in the inn, having previously finished breakfast and were in the back corner puffing on pipes, left to fetch Buzzleby. Session end, morning of 3-7.
Buzzleby rejoined group, Pip told them about Carp, they made haste to Alderleaf farm, met the middle aged gnome female, saw the imperial zeppelin fly over on its every other day schedule coal pickup, Ms. Alderleaf told group that the green dragon is for a fact in Thundertree, and mentioned her druid bud already left to Thundertree. Carp showed them tunnel, nothic was intimidated by Buzzleby. Buzzleby denied nothic any insight, and just attack the monster. Nothing wanted to trade his magic sword away. Nothic withered under the group, but a couple of its screeches were overheard by the bugbears. Droop left behind, 4 bugears attacked. Buzzleby’s great axe broke. Bugbears managed handily. They found nothic’s chest, Buzzleby now wields Talon, + 1 long sword. Still 3-7.