As it turns out, running two groups through Lost Mine of Phandelver, each fortnightly and each offset from the other by a week is not entirely conducive to me remembering everything that happened in a session. These reports, therefore, are terribly important for reminding myself of what occurred in the previous session!
We had five players at this session of the Saturday group: Jesse, Tait, Djoran and both Joshes. (There’s actually a third Josh in the D&D games, but thankfully he’s running his own session and not making this even harder to describe without confusion!) One Josh is playing a fighter named Gaston, the other is playing a fighter named Vjrn.
The group had captured Iarno the Glasstaff and the leader of the Redbrand Ruffians last session. This session began with them delivering him to Iarno, who was very pleased with their work, although saddened that a member of the Lord’s Alliance would fall into working with those the Alliance was sworn to stop. Iarno paid them their reward and escorted Iarno to the Townmaster’s hall for safe-keeping until he could be returned to Neverwinter for trial. Meanwhile, the group went to see Halia at the Mining Exchange and handed her a copy of the correspondence they’d found in Iarno’s bedroom, although they’d also made a copy for themselves. She was happy to get the correspondence and, although she concealed it from the players, she wasn’t all that happy that Iarno wasn’t yet dead. She did pay them the agreed-upon gold, however.
The players then had to decide what their next step was. Iarno had told them that he really wanted his friend, Gundren Rockseeker, to be freed from the goblins, as reopening the lost mine would do wonders for the prosperity of the town; he’d also offered them a reward for doing so. Meanwhile, the group had also accepted a quest (last session) from the halfling cleric of Tymora to find the location of a spellbook from a nearby banshee. As with my other group, the two quests coincided: to get to the banshee, they’d have to pass along the Triboar Trail, where goblins from Cragmaw Castle would likely be raiding. If they captured some goblins, they could find the castle… so walking along the trail to get to the banshee and possibly getting attacked seemed like a really good plan.
It took a few days to reach the banshee’s lair, and along the way the group was attacked – by orcs, not goblins. Orcs are quite dangerous in this edition of D&D to low-level characters, but the 3rd level PCs were doing pretty well against them. Vjrn had taken the Battle Master path for his fighter, and was using the Riposte ability to get extra attacks against the orcs that missed him; he wasn’t always hitting in return, but he was enjoying the mechanic. It’s the first time I’ve seen the Superiority Dice in play, and they certainly seem to make for interesting battles with the fighter. Tait’s rogue, Milo, was far more about hiding in the brush and sniping at the orcs. Djoran was playing a wild magic sorcerer, and made the mistake of trying to hit one of the orcs with a ranged attack spell when he was adjacent to it rather than using a touch attack spell like shocking grasp; the disadvantage he had on the roll ensured his attack missed, despite him counteracting the disadvantage with the Chaos Tides ability.
A couple of the party were fairly hurt by the orcs, but they were able to rest unhindered that night and regain their hit points.
The group reached the banshee without further incident, and were able to flatter it enough (and give it the trinket they’d been given by the halfling cleric) so that it revealed it would answer any one question they asked. Unlike my Friday group, these players asked about the spellbook instead of using their question to find out about Cragmaw Castle; it’s nice to see they have a little more honour! The banshee no longer had the spellbook, but she did say where she last saw it. Was that going to be enough for the cleric?
On the way back, the group were attacked by goblins and were able to capture one in the fight. That goblin revealed where Cragmaw Castle was, and though the party wanted to take him as a porter, I indicated that probably wouldn’t be a very good idea. I actually don’t know what they did with him and I’m happy not knowing. Wolves attacked that night, but didn’t fare very well against the party!
Instead of heading directly to the castle, the group returned to Phandalin, where they informed the halfling cleric about where the spellbook had been (about a century ago!) She was happy with the information and gave the group the agreed-on reward; a number of potions of healing.
We left the session there, and next session the group will proceed to Cragmaw Castle and attempt to rescue Gundren Rockseeker!