Rime of the Frostmaiden - **MAY CONTAINT SPOILERS**

DISCLAIMER: There’s bound to be some spoilers in this thread, so don’t read any further if you don’t want to know anything about this adventure ahead of time

My friends and I have begun playing thru the RotF adventure. On Dec. 20th we rolled up our characters (the DM had us roll 4d6 six times, drop the lowest die result & place the numbers where you want) and our first session was on Dec. 31st.

Chris is the DM. And with me are Daryl, Jaime and Tony as players. I’d like to post about our games sessions here, and if anyone else is playing it too, please feel free to post about your exploits.

The characters involved (and their respective players) are:
Radovir, a human bard with a pet mastiff (Daryl)
Undriss, an old human wizard (Jaime)
Ryzn the crow, an elven ranger (Tony)
Sallathar, a half-elven warlock (me, Stephen)

4 Likes

First session: Our group meet up in Termalaine and are hired by the town reeve to investigate the nearby gem mine.

Our DM wants us to be in character as much as possible and has set up the Fantasy Grounds tools in such a way that we don’t see the exact HPs of foes and allies. If someone I’d hurt badly, we should say something like « Sall is grievously wounded and close to death » instead of down to 2hps.

During the fight with raiders in the mine, one of them surrendered (Grek) and one ran away to warn their leader. Ryzn and Radovar pursued while Undriss and Sallathar stayed behind to deal with Grek. It was speaking in a language Sallathar did not understand and it pulled a dagger, possibly to attack Undriss. So Sall dispatched it with an eldritch blast. Radovar seemed to hear and deduce what may have happened. Looks like the next session will have an interesting exchange between Radovar and Sallathar.

1 Like

Here’s the link to my friend Jaime Pierson’s YouTube channel. The Brewery. Adult language / NSFW

1 Like

“Our DM wants us to be in character as much as possible and has set up the Fantasy Grounds tools in such a way that we don’t see the exact HPs of foes and allies. If someone I’d hurt badly, we should say something like « Sall is grievously wounded and close to death » instead of down to 2hps.”

That’s a cool idea - It makes the decisions on healing, retreating, keep on fighting, etc. a bit more narrative and less “well… I’ve got 10 left and they don’t do more than 8 a hit so let’s go another round”

Not that folks are doing that or prone to do that, but without an factual number and only a descriptive of how close to dead you are I think that might provide some cool events.

2 Likes

All joking aside, this hasn’t had the desired behavioral effect when I’ve used this approach. It just effectively reduced “close to death” as == 1 hit remaining - better get healed. The same thing that happens when I’m down to < 5 HP or so. I gave up after 2-3 sessions, it just stressed the players for no positive RP gain.

YMMV.

2 Likes

Though I was not a fan of 4e at all, I still use “bloodied” to describe someone at half hit points. I sometimes even say “double bloodied” when that are down to 1/4 hp.
It’s a quick shorthand that doesn’t take you out of the game as much.
:slight_smile:
Rory

5 Likes

I get that too. I hope we don’t backslide into that mode. And my friend Jaime made a very similar joke during PC creation when the DM was setting up his expectations. Fingers Crossed.

1 Like

Yeah, we’re trying to cut down on the Meta. We’re all interested in the role playing aspects and telling a good story, but sometimes we have to be realistic and acknowledge that the mechanics do exist.

1 Like

One of the rough bits with D&D and this description stuff is that, by the rules, you’re PC is just as effective at 1HP as they are at full HP. However, I still think if the group gets into it and has fun, even if there’s some jokes and such, it will add to the experience.

1 Like

If that’s the problem, masking the number of remaining HP won’t solve it.

Perhaps look for decreased effectiveness alternative rules?

Spitballing (untested, may not even like after thinking longer about it):
At “Bloodied” (1/2 hp): AC -1?
At “Double Bloodied” (1/4 hp): Saves at disadvantage (not Death saves)?

Something like that may make in game-healing more urgent/contentious.

I know that the “1HP == Fully Functional” bugs some folks, but every more-complicated method creates tradeoffs of complexity and play-distraction.

Personally, the super-simplified HP system in D&D5e is perfectly clear to my players (from their very first session), and the “meta play” surrounding HP/Healing is just fine.

Honestly, you don’t want to drop to 1HP in my game, as I’ll burn one of my DM ±1 tokens and you’ll be making death savings throws toot-sweet. :slight_smile: That always creates some urgency.

1 Like

@Dragonspawn - One of the things I’m really interested in, as you get further into it, is the parts of the adventure that you like/find the most interesting, and if there are any bits that you would classify as “filler” or “not needed.”

What I’m trying to get at here is that sometimes, in published adventures, I often read them and find something and think, “I don’t know if I’ll use that” for one reason or another. I’m looking forward to your reports and what you like and what you don’t like.

3 Likes

In our last session (parts 3 & 4 on YouTube) my character Sallathar was attacked by a Grell, almost died but was rescued (but not without it’s own risks) and healed. But finally died when the groups encountered the Grell again. The creature was defeated and fell into a chasm, but also took Sallathar’s body with it.

So, on our next session, I will be playing a dwarven cleric of Lathander named Henmead Onyxriver.

2 Likes

“…was rescued (but not without it’s own risks)…” Is there a mechanic you all are using that made this risky?

(Or maybe I’m just not up on the resurrection rules as written :slight_smile: )

You missed a word Brent…
:slight_smile:

1 Like

The risk was that he was grappled by the grell, KOed and had made one death save, failed one, and the grell was about to throw his body down a chasm but his fellow adventures managed to catch him and heal him.

1 Like

I like how your DM uses monsters - sorry for the character death, but that does sound like a great session - very tense.
:grinning:

1 Like