Half of my adventuring group continued on their quests and met up in the Dark Citadel. This blog will be about their experiences with a giant hole, strange stone, and the Peter’s issue with the balancing of races.
My three players, Peter the Dragonborn Barbarian, Max the Wizard halfling, and Mason the human fighter who acts like a bard, were all heading separately to the Dark Citadel to meet with a man named Eyesore. Once again I employed a starting battle to bring all three players together. They versed an Ettin that was rampaging in the city after being broken free from its master. Max’s hafling at the time was still tied up after being captured on his journey. The three petrified eggs he had rescued were still with them and through magical powers of the eggs he broke free of his bonds.
Peter and Mason worked together to trip the Ettin defeating it in the end. Afterwards the Ettin’s master came out and thanked them in a rather snide matter. Afterwards all three realized they were heading to the same place and went together. Meeting Eyesoar, they learned that slaves in the city had been disappearing and if they were to help collect information on what happened they would be rewarded with knowledge and items.
Taking on this task they spread out searching for answers and all trails led to one man. They went to his house, which was made of a peculiar dark stone that absorbed magic and spit it back out randomly. After attempting to break in the door was opened and a servant peculiarly led them to where they kept the slaves. Tricking them, the servant put them in chances in a huge underground room that had a massive dark hole in the middle.
Max’s eggs came to the rescue again as he was able to free himself and his companions from the chains. They explored down the dark hole, finding that it lead to an underground armory where zombie like people worked endlessly on making weapons. Unsure what this all meant they continued on their way down some back passages.
The popped up in a bedroom and found a trap door that led to a small dark room that Max’s character was very familiar with. They had a choice to release a demon or not and in the end chose to release him. The group was interrupted during this by the master of the house, the same slave owner of the Ettin from earlier. Mason’s character knocked him unconscious. Worried about his magic casting ability Peter suggested breaking his arms to keep him from casting.
This brought up an interesting point. If a mage’s hands are broken can they cast somatic spells? How intricate are the hand signs needed for casting? As a DM it was an interesting question as it is not addressed in any of the books. I suggested that each time they cast a spell with a broken hand they have to make a concentration check to not mess up the spell. Others argued other ways we might deal with this situation in the future. In the end it did not matter because the servant from earlier showed up and revealed himself to be the true mastermind and spell caster.
They traded their lives for the unconscious master they had taken captive and barely escaped. Hurrying to Eyesoar they relayed the information they had found and Eyesoar set them on a boat down a river to the City of White, where they would enter the Kings Competition with hopes of finding out more information about the disappearing slaves and connection between the Dark Citadel and City of White.
Afterwards Peter, a rather hardcore D&D fan, had written up his thoughts on the races. He worried that certain races were more powerful than others. Variant humans were one of his biggest concerns. As many of the abilities of other races are condition, and in many cases never come up or are useful in a quest or campaign. This was a matter that I looked over quite a bit but I find the races much more balanced than in other editions of D&D. While there still may be discrepancies between races, in many cases they end up being inconsequential compared to class traits.
The next part of the campaign is the river boat meet up of the two separate groups into one large group whom will work to unravel the mysteries and secrets I have put before the group.