Week 7 – A New Phase

With all the running around before Christmas I didn’t write up about the end of the previous D&D campaign – which ended up with the intrepid adventurers finishing their assault on the leadership of the Orc invasion. This turned out to be a dragon, leading to an epic fight in which the group’s wizard perished. One hasty use of a wish by the group’s cleric using an artefact recovered from the lich encountered earlier brought the wizard back – as another dragon…

So, drawing a swift veil over the carnage that then ensued, we ended that phase of the campaign with the battle won, the leadership of the invasion thrown back and the heroes returned home to heroes’ welcomes. Aside from the new dragon, who flew off to pursue other interests.

Fast forward to this year, and we’ve started the next phase. The adventurers are once more called forth, this time to hunt down war criminals who aided the invasion. Our first target is a rogue wizard who turned coat, joined the invaders and massacred innocents. We are sent to capture him alive if possible.

With the wizard out of the picture (and the player unavailable at the time we were restarting due to other commitments), I stepped in to play his replacement – my monk shuffled off in-game to rebuild monasteries and oversee court cases and in came my new persona, the vice chancellor of the wizard’s guild, muttering about underlings having no sense of duty these days.

Effectively I switched roles from stealth close-quarters combat and recon to heavy artillery. These have so far come in handy as we’ve breached the wizard’s fortified defences. We’ve encountered various orc and ogre shock troops, undead and elementals, and in our session last night an awkward combination of constructs, treacherous terrain and aquatic trolls. We had exploding statues, dwarven fighters enlarged to giant size, telekinetic shenanigans and debates over the effectiveness of combining spells such as Tongues with Command. If it all sounds gloriously exuberant, that’s because it was.

We were also using Roll20 in a new way, and it made a huge difference. One of the issues we had previously had was with sound levels, or with some people not being audible to other players with no apparent rhyme or reason to it. This time we used Google Hangouts, which integrates with Roll20 and was a lot smoother. Our GM set up a Hangout, invited us all to it, and then we launched Roll20 as an app inside the Hangout. There was a brief pause the first time while plug-ins installed as I’ve not used Hangouts before, and then we were away. By and large we had no sound issues and only the occasional drop out, but doing things this way did seem to be a lot more stable and to handle the different bandwidth capabilities of each of us smoothly.

Can’t wait until next week

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