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  • Writer's pictureericvansingel

Teenage Polymorphed Ninja Turtles

Greetings adventurers! Today's newsletter features a new addition, "Spell Spotlight," where I write a little bit about a D&D 5e spell and how it has worked recently in a game during the week, or just one I think is fun in particular. I hope you enjoy it and get a chance to use this week in a game soon!

Spell Spotlight:


Polymorph is one of those spells folks tend to celebrate the most when it unlocks at higher levels, and for a good reason. The caster can turn a creature into something less threatening or more apt for the situation at hand.

A wizard turning a friend into a Tyranasaurux Rex to enter a challenging fight can be a game changer, as it also stacks up some hitpoints to soak some damage. This is especially useful if you have an ally in low health and must keep the pressure on in a fight. In the last few weeks, we have seen a giant ape, and a T-Rex shows up in games to give an excellent thumping to some baddies.

The flip side is turning a creature into something less threatening, which we saw twice this week, with a player turning into a turtle on each occasion! The first involved a fight with some Cloakers; the turtle "grappled" its tail by biting it. This was less than ideal for our heroes but par for the course on Monday nights as well. A baddie turned the same player into a turtle on Saturday night in a different game! This time an enemy caster was cornered and was left to do their best to reduce the party's threat. She turned the monk with multiple attacks into a tiny turtle with one small bite. More on how they get out of this jam in the game recaps, but it made for a fantastic combat and puzzle session.

Polymorph is also one of those spells that one must read closely as there are specific rules in how it works. Just like all spells, it does what it says it does. No, you can not turn a familiar (CR0) into a giant ape (CR8), but it is a beautiful spell with many utility and combat uses.

Photo by David Dibert

Game Recaps

I can't wait to get Team PIFON in front of their finale next week.

Monday Night Mad Mage. The party investigated some of the histories of level six on Monday night, admiring dwarven art and architecture, when an arrow let loose telling them to "get out" on an attached note. They were lured into a library room and attacked by a duergar and a Cloaker but ended up with the upper hand. The rest of the session was spent trying to survive a team of rival adventurers; it looks like we are headed into a mad mage interview when we start up again this week!

Tuesday night in Thay. The group has found themselves in a pickle; the Supreme Ruler Szass Tam wants them to do a bit of his dirty work with a promise of meeting their inner desires. Sure to backfire, the party works to find their way out of this arrangement but only seems to go deeper as one of the members is promoted unexpectedly to Voskir of Nethjet! A raid on a Zhent safehouse resulted in yet another unexpected meeting that might be able to get them out of this mess. The question is, at what price?

Wednesday Mad Mage. The group has a bounty for turning into an eccentric gnome artificer when they run into a giant mechanical worm! The worm was quite the fight as it spewed elementals and electric smoke and had quite the stinger. It also had a bit of a puzzle to take it out, which was quite fun to run! This week we delve into level 14!

Platoon. The team continued the investigation of the "Haunted House" only to find more trouble. They uncovered some clues that point to the stars in unexpected ways. Instead of wiping out their opponents, they convinced a wizard to sit down for a chat over some elderflower wine. He explained the cosmos in incredible detail and offered them a job as smugglers who could work off their debt on an impressive ship. The next time we meet should be out of this world!

Frozen Few. The team continues to infiltrate a fortress in the frozen mountains of Icewind Dale and run into some unique treasure after disarming a sure-fatal trap in a hidden compartment. The team continued investigating and ran into a Duergar spellcaster who was pretty handy with the polymorph spell. This fight also became a puzzle when the polymorphed monk (read ninja turtle) was tucked into their jacket and turned invisible. The team figured it out and rescued their friend, but not without a final trick from their foe. We continue exploring next week a little light on resources after some challenging encounters on the first floor.

Ghosts of Spelljammer PBP. This group is coming together and developing a dynamic, which is always an incredible thing to witness. They know where a journal and treasure might be and find themselves up against the question of sneaking or speaking as they stake out a home that only they know holds some secrets. What will they discover if they find their way into the cellar?

Wrath of the Storm Giants PBP. The team beat the challenges of the Blue Alley in Waterdeep and have a nice little set of matching tunics and flower crowns to prove it. Their dice have been on fire as they conquer challenges this week and are now on their way to Goldenfields at the direction of Lady Waterdeep herself.

Wise Witches of Rashemen PBP. Our friends find themselves in a relatively remote fishing village seeking shelter from an incoming storm. They chat up with the Innkeeper and locals and discover quite the ale and mead menu. The local fisherfolk shares stories of danger in the woods and on the lake, and our team will work this week to figure out what is happening around this small town.

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