D&D 5e: Curse of Strahd Campaign Hennessey :^)

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D&D 5e: Curse of Strahd Campaign Hennessey :^)

Postby flufffage » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:08 pm

Uhm hi so guess who picked one of the hardest adventures to run for their first time DM'ing?
(It's'a'me)
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If you follow me on tumblr, you can catch up with all of this nonsense, but I thought I'd post here too cause why the hell not?

Stay tuned for updates, we play Friday evenings.
Spoilers.

Here's the cast:

Haus: Quelenna Bobina, wood elf Grave Cleric (UA)
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BadBishop: Therim Lumis, half-elf rogue
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SomeoneSpecial: Kendel Injiros, half-elf paladin
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PeopledMage: Hunter Hudson, human Shadow Domain Sorcerer (UA)
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Spatan: Caster Mhief, warforged arcanist (UA)
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Hodgepodge: Lucifer Belmont, Neko fencing magician (homebrew)
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JOYRIDE: Kriiv Lokirr, red dragonborn barbarian
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Last edited by flufffage on Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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pinkmins more like saltmins amirite
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Re: D&D 5e: Curse of Strahd

Postby flufffage » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:09 pm

Chapter One: Dinner in Daggerford and Death House
If you’re wondering who each character is, please look at earlier post.
long post warning
---

I used the Mysterious Visitors hook, having my players in Daggerford for approximately a week prior, to use some solo encounter/side quest nonsense as both practice and filler and free money.

Upon first sight of the Vistani, Kriiv Lokirr wanted to burn down their wagons .

After everyone (even the alcoholic) declining the Vistani’s offered wine, they hear a story and decide to help the Vistani try to break their prince’s curse.

Five uneventful days later, mists gather and the players are transported to Barovia, where Stanimir (the caravan leader) asks the party to scout up ahead, as something is spooking the horses. Spoiler: the horses were never spooked, he deceived you! They find the messenger’s dead body with the Burgomaster’s letter. They head back to the road on fear of wolves and find themselves in Barovia, meeting two strange and slightly spooky children.

The players are persuaded to help and, albeit begrudgingly, enter the obviously spooky house.

On the 1st floor: Lucifer notices the all of the spooky motifs in the wallpaper. Caster Mhief finds himself a top hat, which he dons. Therim successfully picked the locks in the den, and you get a crossbow, you get a crossbow, everyone gets a crossbow! Therim has a wild hunch and flings one of the playing cards he found out of the front door, watching it age rapidly before his eyes, “Aha!”

Up to the 2nd floor: The players knock each of the helmets on the suits of armor, they’re all inanimate. Noticed the portrait of the family, Therim makes a quip about noblemen to Lucifer’s dismay. Into the study, Kriv finds a key in the desk while Therim, and Lucifer upon his shoulders, find the secret room. Therim and Lucifer check out the skeleton. Lucifer pockets the will and deeds.

The party finds the conservatory, wherein Kendel strums the harp beautifully and Therim plays a Mozart concerto which brings a tear to all musically-inclined ears. However, Kriiv the chaotic idiot Dragonass hates music and swings his great axe to chop the harpsichord in half.

Spoiler: the house rebuilds the harpsichord by the time the group escapes the dungeon so suck on that, asshole!

3rd floor: Kriiv strolls right up to the suit of animated armor to inspect it but surprise! triggers it. Its beaten but thanks to Hunter Hudson’s acid splash, it is too ruined to actually wear, to Kendel’s dismay. In the master bedroom, the group finds treasure of which Therim pockets 100%. Into the nursemaid’s suite, the group pokes around, Lucifer finds the hidden staircase to the attic. Caster Mhief opens the nursery and surprise! Mary Spookins shows up as a specter.

After putting her to her eternal rest, Lucifer realized she was likely the mistress. Caster wanted to go see the spooky baby, and even against the rest of the party’s warnings, pulled back the shroud. Now, I should clarify, that the party is convinced that this stillborn baby is probably the boss of this house, likely the result of some necromantic ritual. Caster ignores his friends’ warnings and goes to poke the bundle, only for the rags to fall apart to reveal no baby. Kriiv found a dusty closet and wanted to clean it out, the absolute madman, and triggers a broom of animated attack. Half the group didn’t help fight as they believe this is karma for the damage to the harpsichord. He ends up setting the closet on fire with his fire breath.

Up secret stairs to the attic, and for some strange reason, the party goes to the ONE. LOCKED. DOOR. FIRST. Luckily (?) Kriiv has the key, and unlocks what is revealed to be the children’s room. Kriiv, our loveable chaotic idiot looks into the dollhouse, only to trigger the arrival of two ghosts! The children whine about being left alone, but want the party to kill the monster in the basement. Eventually, Kriiv got possessed by Thorn, and kept failing his intimidation checks to remove the ghost, and Therim was possessed by Rose. He dealt with it. Quelenna determines they need to put the ghosts to rest somehow. They find the nanny’s skeleton and the secret staircase. Boom, level two!

Down, down, down to the basement, and the party finds the crypts only to realize they forgot to bring the skeletons, Quelenna and Hunter back to pick those up. Therim had a heartfelt moment before putting Rose to rest, Kriiv slammed his kid into the coffin. As they explore the cultist’s quarters, Therim manages to pick all but one lock, “I’m gonna steal everything except this human skin pouch, that’s messed up.” The party discovered evidence of cannibals. Kriiv triggered a Grick, I, the DM, got PTSD. Then, the party fought some ghouls for like, six years. It was effectively a meat pile with a lot of, “Excuse me, pardon me.”

Into the Cult Leader’s quarters, Therim finds treasure and triggers the ghasts of Gustav & Elisabeth. Fought the ghasts of Gustav and Elizabeth. Caster wakes up from his nap on the bed, rolls a critical hit on his artificer gun at Gustav, obliterating him without even aiming, and falls back asleep on the bed. Thankfully, Therim managed to put on the cloak of protection and at the end of the fight was nearly dead, so Lucifer poured a healing potion down his throat, saying that Therim owes him that cloak. The party got their loot and divvied it up and moved onwards. They find the portcullis, manage to raise it to view the altar room, and Caster has a brilliant idea. He’ll shoot
“ENERGYZER!” into the water, under the idea of killing anything that might be in it. However, little did he know that electric damage actually heals the shambling mound sleeping at the far end of the room, thus awakening Lorgoth the Decayer who came over to give Caster a hug. As the mound shambles slowly towards the group, Therim has an amazing super sonic idea. He dashes up to the altar where he saw a shiny gem, only to see dozens of shadowy figures demanding a sacrifice. Sadly, Therim had to say goodbye to the pet mouse he had in his pocket all along, to appease the house. It takes Therim about a dozen tries to get the gem out of its slot in the altar but he eventualy pockets the shiny. Lucifer is convinced the gem is evil. They’ll find out later.

Outside, the town is not actually super spooked. The party says collectively, “that’s bullshit.” Lucifer now owns house, and plans to turn it into the lovely Belmont House B & B.

And everyone succumbed to their narcolepsy until next week’s session.
Last edited by flufffage on Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: D&D 5e: Curse of Strahd

Postby Hodgepodge » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:09 pm

Spoiler alert:

This is the worst.
Did somebody call for the resident pessimist and doctor?
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Re: D&D 5e: Curse of Strahd

Postby flufffage » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:11 pm

Hodgepodge wrote:Spoiler alert:

This is the worst.

Spoiler alert:

Hodge is actually the most excited for the next session so let that say what it will.
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Re: D&D 5e: Curse of Strahd

Postby Hodgepodge » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:11 pm

flufffage wrote:
Hodgepodge wrote:Spoiler alert:

This is the worst.

Spoiler alert:

Hodge is actually the most excited for the next session so let that say what it will.


This is unfortunately true.
Did somebody call for the resident pessimist and doctor?
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Re: D&D 5e: Curse of Strahd

Postby flufffage » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:40 pm

Aahahahahaha so guess who forgot to update this.
Ok so, where was I?
Chapter Two: Barovia Village and Vistani Camp
This one was rather anticlimactic buuuut entertaining because I got to put on a shiddy Jamaican accent. Because I forgot how to Romanian accent.

The party wakes up from their narcoleptic slumber in/around the Death House.

First, Quelenna fucks off by herself up to the church, goes in regardless of the scorch and claw marks obviously ominously decorating the doors and ends up stealing candles*. From a church. A cleric. Stealing from a church. She immediately is able to identify a god specific to this region that no one has remembered for centuries. Spoiler: The Morninglord is Lathander.

Meanwhile, Therim, Lucifer and Kriiv head off to the tavern. Lucifer sees a noble-ish man drinking by himself. The man invites the male catgirl over, and, of course, because he is a proper NPC and this new guy looks like a proper adventurer, buys Lucifer a drink before asking for his help. Therim eavesdrops like an eavesdropper while trying to keep Kriiv from throwing a temper tantrum because the tavern doesn't sell anything stronger than wine. Kriiv almost gets them kicked out, but Therim smooths it all over with a gold coin and a charming (read: sleazy) grin.

The noble-ish man introduces himself as Ismark, and asks Lucifer's help in protecting his adopted sister, Ireena, who has somehow managed to get herself the attention of the Big Bad Vampire Man. Lucifer agrees and all four now meander back out into the town, managing to not burn down anything after all.

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Ismark

They join Quelenna up at the church, where they learn the priest has a son who attempted to fight Big Bad Vampire Man™ and ended up a vampire himself, who is in the basement.

"Father, I'm hungry."

Also meanwhile, Caster, Hunter and Kendel went off to investigate some awful weeping from a townhouse, meeting Mad Mary, weeping for her lost daughter, Gertruda.

Now, the group meets up by Mary's townhouse. They all agree to head to the Burgomaster's mansion to meet Ireena and form a game plan. However, on their way through the town, Kendel, Kriiv, Therim and Caster get distracted by an old woman pushing a cart full of pastries. They roll stealth to follow her, somehow manage to pass, even the paladin in chain mail. They watch her attempt to hawk her wares, coming up to a house, to recieve payment in the form of a child, stuffing him into a stack. When she sees the guys she makes a bird noise.

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Caster immediately draws ENERGYZER! and takes aim and Kriiv pulls out a javelin to attack, while Therim asks to buy a meat pie, and for some reason the old woman goes, "I will sell you my meat pies". Therim attempts to haggle the woman's pies. Meanwhile Caster tries to steal the sack and the woman goes "Please don't do that." Kriiv comes back from being afk and strangles the woman who coughs, "Please let me trade the information written down in this book that I know so that I don't have to do this encounter anymore." They let her go and she vanishes around a corner, leaving her cart of pies. Caster took a few.

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My headcanon for Ireena.

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Jk actual Ireena

So, they end up at the Burgomaster's Mansion, and are introduced to Ismark's lovely adopted sister, Ireena Kolyana, and his father the Burgomaster, now recently departed from this veil of tears. Ismark explains he wants to take Ireena somehwere safe, the next town Vallaki, perhaps, because she keeps being visited by Big Bad Vampire Man™, but doesn't remember the encounters. It's all for her safety. Ireena refuses to go anywhere while the Burgomaster lies in their sitting room, so everyone but Lucifer escorts the departed in his handmade coffin up to the cemetery for burial. While Caster and Kriiv are shovelling dirt back over the coffin, Kendel is talking to the priest, trying to convince him to kill his vampire son, however the priest refuses, "I'm saad."

Anyway, the Burgomaster buried, the party heads back to the Mansion, only to interrupt Lucifer showing Ireena "card tricks." They decide to spend the night at the Mansion so they dont have to travel in the dark on their way to Vallaki.

At midnight, watchpeople Kendel and Lucifer look out the window to see a hundred spirits rise from the cemetery and walk Old Svalich Road. A faint glow can be seen up at Castle Ravenloft, so leads them to think the spirits walked all the way up. Spooky.

Sunday morning dawns foggy and dismal. The group travels uneventfully as they make their way to the Vistani camp. And by uneventful I mean Therim and Lucifer argued over the glowing green rock. They came across a drunk man running from Vistani, who begged Therim to take his place. When he declined, the man disappeared. Kendel had to bury his corpse after he stole from it. What a cool guy. Therim finds a sack of 207 gold pieces, no strings attached. They found a bundle of clothes just hanging out in a tree and everyone became so confused they spent 15 minutes discussing. They ran into a fork in the road with some gallows. All of a sudden, there was a body dangling from the noose where there was nothing before. Hunter goes "It's'a me!" and everyone else goes "I think you're insane."

Having been told by Stanimir (cool guy who doesn't afraid of anything) to visit Madam Eva, the Vistani leader and fortune teller, they follow the path to the camp. They're greeted by said cool guy who goes "Ayyyy, you made it!" and offers the party wine. The group is understandably upset at being abandoned in the fog. Stanimir: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Stanimir

Stanimir tells another story, this one about some amazeballs wizard who rallied villagers against Strahd and suprise! Failed. He fell over Tser Falls and is presumably dead.
You know what they say about presuming.

The players make their way into Madam Eva's tent for the finale of tonight's spookfest. Without delay, Madam Eva shows each player how creepily she knows each individual person, then draws some tarokka cards to foresee where the artifacts/ally are that will help the players defeat Big Bad Vampire Man™ and stuff.

There's a holy symbol of great hope or something in a carnival wagon owned by a man who is not who he seems.
There's a sword of vengeance in some wizard's tower?
There's history of the ancient. Something about a kneeling woman, a rose plucked too soon. Something about a master of a marsh.
Their ally is a wandering Vistana looking for her mentor. She does not stay in one place for long, seek her out in the Abbey of Saint Markovia.
The final confrontation with Strahd will occur "in the depths of darkness, the one place he must return."


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Madam Eva
The group is creeped out and kinda isolate themselves, half of them drinking themselves to sleep, where they have spooky dreams elaborated upon next time!
Last edited by flufffage on Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:01 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: D&D 5e: Curse of Strahd

Postby flufffage » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:37 pm

Chapter Three: Journey to Vallaki

Monday morning dawns and our protagonists (or antagonists, depending on your point of view) wake up thoroughly spooked from creepy dreams. Except Lucifer, who just really wanted to give someone a hug. He hugs Ismark. I ship it.

Stanimir shows up with a cast-iron pan full of fried potatoes, cheese, bacon and eggs. Mmmm, breakfast foods. He asks which way the group plans to travel. The group responds that they didn't know there were two ways. Stanimir explains a very dangerous shortcut that practically scales the cliffs up behind the waterfall, but Quelenna would have to leave her cart. The group debates for well near six hours (not really) and decides to risk falling to their death rather than brave a little 100 foot wall of choking fog and whatever monsters live in the woods. Stanimir nods sagely at their response, pointing out the trailhead, and giving them a few extra provisions, some tents and 100 feet of rope.

The party set off at the trailhead. There were some arguments about the rock. Again. Lucifer attempted to smack Therim in the face with his glove, but he accidentally threw it. They find an empty grave. Kendel feels a nudge to his left hip. They find some really, really massive ferret tracks.

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They've gotta climb 1000 feet up. Ooof.

The party ties themselves together and takes the steep, rocky, narrow path. Therim rolls a nat 10 to determine how high they've gotten, and the answer is hella. He hollers back to share the good news, only to trigger a rock slide. Everyone makes their saving throw except Kriiv. Alas. On the bright side, Quelenna and Ismark manage to pull him back up from his tumble near down the cliffside. Thank Stanimir for that rope. Quelenna notices Kriiv is missing a scale from the back of his neck. Kriiv notices she is missing a lock of hair. The party make it to the top to see creepy gargoyles on either side of the bridge. Lucifer attempts to inspect them but the black moss growing on them is too thick and he doesn't even think to scrape it off.

They set off, only to come to a crossroads. Typical "road less traveled" stuff. The West path is clearly well traveled, but unkempt. The Eastern path is pristinely maintained cobblestones, not a blade of grass out of place. At this side, there's an unmanned black carriage pulled by two black draft horses. The carriage door swings open on its own and Ireena and Ismark NOPE out of there, recognizing it as belonging to Big Bad Vampire Man™. Lucifer attempts to close the door to the carriage only for it to open back up. The party takes this as the hint it is and heads up the western path.

Up the slight hill, they see a small grouping of tents and wagons, a campfire or two. These look like commonfolk travelers, though their dress is slightly different than typical Barovians, and their complexions vary a little more. Therim speaks to one of the travellers, turns out they are traveling traders who camp at this summit until the fog lifts. At this time, the lookout yells out that the fog has lifted. What a coincidence! The travelers pack up and head on east through Barovia. Our characters head through another spooky set of gates and down a gently descending path through a forest where they encounter all kinds of spooky shit but manage to fight nothing. Amazing. They see some muddy mountain folk run away from them, and then meet a revenant dude from the Order of the Silver Dragon who acted like Caster's twin, sharing an invitation to Argynvostholt, an old mansion housing the Order.

Yet another crossroads, this one with an old crusty windmill to the left, and several dozen acres of scorched earth to the right, a tall noble man gazing over the still-smoking wreckage. Ismark tells everyone that man is Vasili von Holtz, known as Strahd's right-hand man, the one who keeps the mundane boring stuff going on, like maintaining Strahd's properties and interests, etc. Boring stuff. Math, probably. Ismark nods, the man nods back, and everyone carries on.

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Vasili von Holtz


The party continues on, running into two burly guys warning our protagonists about werewolves. Therim said "We've got silver" and Caster says "I've got a gun". The guys go "Cool. Good luck," and heck off.

Next comes a lady in a bridal gown with a dagger in her heart. Everyone was spooked. Caster said, "Ma'am did you kno you have a dagger." The lady goes "Oh nooooooooo" and decomposes before their eyes. Caster picks up the dagger from her now-dessicated corpse and puts it into his head. Literally into his head. Ismark recognized the crest on the dagger as that of the Buchvold family of Vallaki.

Then the group makes their way into Vallaki. Lucifer asks the guards, "Caaarnival?" and the guards go, "Did you mean festival?" and give them the low down on the festivals and hot spots in town. Moving through the town they see a stockyard. Lucifer peeks in and finds.... A CARNIVAL WAGON!

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Planning to come back to the wagon later, the group moves on. Kendel and Kriiv stop at the smithy of Oskar Osborn, where Kriiv tries to buy chainmail, only to be too poor. Kendel stables his horse, is a generous tipper to the stable boy, and earns himself a discount on a set of plate armor. He has his measurements taken along with a lock of hair. Ow.

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Oskar Osborn

The group all heads up to the Blue Water Inn, touted as the best stop in Vallaki. Lucifer bursts in the door, "I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO A MAN ABOUT A CARNIVAL WAGON," and a half-elf in a funny hat looks up from the bar he was sitting at. Lucifer suggests they talk in private and the DM cries.

Eventually, Lucifer learns that this man is Rictavio, a half-elf bard looking for stories to tell. He is very interested in Madam Eva's fortunes, and invites Lucifer to search his wagon to attempt to find what he's looking for.

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Rictavio

Back to the stockyard go Lucifer, Kendel, Hunter and Caster, where Lucifer learns there's a saber-toothed tiger rattling around in the wagon. There's a torn doll dressed like a Vistana. Hunter inspects super good and finds a secret compartment under the wagon seat, containing what looks like monster hunting paraphernalia? Under it all is... aha! The Holy Symbol of Ravenkind!

Ding! Level Four!

Lucifer casts identify on it and learns it can be used to fight vampires if attuned to a cleric or paladin. He then heads back to the tavern, a bard to interrogate. He finds out a bit of lore, really boring stuff tbh, and tells Rictavio that the party now owes him a favor. Rictavio finger guns at Lucifer. He's very interested in the rest of Madam Eva's fortunes, so Lucifer shares his own storytime. Bardman suggests that the tower is the one on Lake Baratok, but its heavily trapped and warded. The marsh is likely the ruins of a town down on the Luna River, but its a pretty damn spooky place so be careful. Rictavio also gives some advice: don't insult the wine, don't insult the festivals, don't insult the burgomaster and All Will Be Well™.

The group plans on heading to the church at dusk, but that's for next week.

Stay Tuned!
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