Saturday, August 8, 2015

Friday night recap: beast attack!

One of the re-occurring jokes in my D&D is about bears.  In the first adventure, the group was approached by a couple of yokels who told them they would show them where they had found a dungeon out in the woods (the Tomb of the 99 Mad Monks, as it turned out), in return for a share of the treasure.  The tomb was located in the back of a cave, and in the cave lived two bears.  The group managed to get past the bears thanks to the efforts of Calidis, a druid on the team.

Right after getting through the entrance to the tomb, the team's thief/assassin snuck back out of the cave and killed the two yokels who were waiting outside, thus preventing them from getting a share.  I was worried that this would cause friction in the group, but I did realize I needed to determine the response of the two bears in the cave.  I decided to roll randomly for it, and the result was the bears messed around with the corpses of the two yokels, making it look like they were responsible.

From them on, every time something ethically murky happened, the joke among the players was that "the bears did it."

Well, in last night's gaming session, I had the chance to run a session for the youth half of the group (plus one adult), and the group's bard has a new spell: Summon Animals.  This might be a very under-appreciated spell, because you can summon a single CR 2 beast, two CR 1 beasts, four CR 1/2 beasts, or eight CR 1/4 beasts.  The animals are under the summoners control, and stick around for an hour.

So in the first fight of the night, the bard summons four bears, all under her control.  Turns out black bears are CR 1/2 beasts.

Later, the bard uses the spell a second time,  This time, she summons eight panthers.  Eight.  The druid also has the same spell, and threatened to summon another eight panthers, but I put my foot down and said no.  I already had a PC getting eight "bite +4, dam 1d6+2" attacks going, which is a hell of a lot better than a fireball, given you can get it at its own initiative for an hour.

So in my gaming group I have a new rule I had to implement: if you are going to whip out a smart phone and monkey around during gameplay, step away from the table.  I do allow the youth to have sketch pads, however, so they can draw what is going on.  Here are some examples.

The seal of the gaming group, apparently.

The bard's player draws her own portrait from that night.  Note the bears' names.

My own photo from the gaming session.

I'm imagining at some point the group will just have the bard and druid cast the spell three times in succession, summoning 48 panthers, and just running them through a dungeon (say, the Tomb of the 99 Mad Monks) and following behind to clean up after them.

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