That's what mortars do!
Greeting friends, as we "spring forward" I'd like to talk a little bit about player tactics. Our title comes from a character on wednesday shouting at his dwarven friend "That's what Mortar do!" as he backed way up and ducked behind a cave wall after throwing some blasts towards a bone naga's face and it really got me thinking about how little we talk about tactics on the game board.
I see a lot of articles and such lately talking about character creation and what spell combos do what and how this multiclass thing "breaks the game" or "dominates enemies" and honestly I just grow tired of all that stuff. Min-Maxing is a thing, and it's fine to do with your stat blocks with standard array and point buy games but there is a trend online of giving players ideas to beat enemies using stats, or even worse exploits. I think it's way more fun to beat enemies with your wits, ducking in and out of cover and thoughtful use of spells and special abilities. Its way more satisfying for one and it's also a thing that ANY character (or even monster!) can do.
Squishy ranged folks should generally stay back, and that's what our Warlock on Wednesday does. Now, that plan can backfire with teleporting monsters and group separation so even the most well laid plans will fail at times but being smart about your character's position, spell slot usage, and what they can do to help the entire team over "dominating the battlefield" as a single entity can make for a really enjoyable time playing this game we all love to play.
So maybe next time you roll up a character, think, how do you want to play them, and how would they fight as you pick skills, spells, abilities and class...and ignore the "do this thing" articles trending online and think what sounds the most fun tactics wise.
I am trying a "D&D tutorial" one shot for players who are brand new to the game. I designed it to slowly introduce game concepts as the session goes on to catch all the major things that happen and prep folks to play with confidence as they sign up for longer adventures. Normally I throw it out here on the server when I have something new but this is specifically for brand new folks, who have never played but want to and y'all are veterans of the game at this point. If you have a friend who wants to learn to play let them know, the first two to sign up receive their seat at half price which is a fun new feature startplaying.games has rolled out.
Alright, enough of all that its time for game recaps!
PIFONs departed waterdeep and went to Everlund and spoke with their contact for their next leg of adventure finding them on the high seas! A very young kraken attacked them about a day from their destination and a cool maritime battle ensued. The party is now tracking up ten trail to investigate the latest events in the frozen landscape of ten towns. Will they find a yeti? Is the vampire they encountered ages ago up here? What is going on with the recent attacks? We will find out this week!
Monday mad mage was an entire session of role play and I aint mad about it. What a lovely and funny time I had with our characters as they explored one of my favorite locations of the realms, Skullport. The team received a very dangerous mission from a spy posing as a barkeep and we left the session off about to have dinner inside of a petrified purple worm. Only in the Undermountain...
The weather has been nuts and I was out in it leaving me without much of a voice for Tuesday night so we will resume our monster hunting this week. Im working on prepping for a Thay campaign that will start in April.
Wednesday we returned deeper down undermountain exploring some swampy mess and a group of ornery bullywugs. The comprehend languages potion sure came in handy as the team avoided what would have been a for sure grand battle against an entire group of these frog people and instead got to help them out with a little bit of a problem they have to the south. We continue that quest this week.
Thursday morning I hosted a corporate event where wild magic was surging and the team had to find the stolen load stones that would fix it. The group got some good RP and combat in the short time we had together and saved the day. It was an absolute blast!
Rangoon Platoon on Thursday was nothing short of razors edge stealth and suspense as the party fought their way out of a sticky situation and turned their tactics to silent and stealthy. "pass without a trace" can be a lifesaver and this group used it to their full advantage. We also got to witness the first time I ever saw an artificer create a jug of mayonnaise... which was interesting to say the least. They found what they were looking for and teleported to an unknown location, far away from the eastern mountains of the spine of the world.
Saturday night icewind dale was a load of fun as always as the team caught up with a serial killer on the loose with an unexpected backstory. Just about every character got to go into some of their past in this session and we spent most of it on the road exploring moral quandaries and RPing our way to Dougan's hole where they are investigating another mystery.
We had another great week of games and I can't wait to get back at it starting monday to see what the PIFONs will do with the baby yeti they just found in a blizzard...
Adventure in courage friends and thanks for playing!