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Red Hand of Doom 5e
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Red Hand of Doom 5e
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Terrainosaur
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Post Red Hand of Doom 5e Reply with quote
My D&D 5e campaign started in the Forgotten Realms on the Sword Coast, and the four PCs defeated the villain. I decided to continue by running the Red Hand of Doom, a 2006 super-adventure by Wizards of the Coast. It's for characters level 5-11.

The players are adults but new to tabletop RPGs. They have little concept of group tactics, party balance, or min-maxing their builds. They started RHoD at level 6: a monk, rogue, cleric, and sorcerer. They start one level higher than the campaign is set for.

They have better than average magic items - several of them have +1 weapons and +1 armor. They do a lot of damage but a weakness is low hit points. They have no tank.

I'm also liberal with hero points (inspiration). During most important combats, the party can take an extra action here and there. They're particularly powerful against single foes.

I'm using this project for monster and NPC stats and these notes for story ideas. This log is for how the conversion played out, so I skip roleplaying events.

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Last edited by Terrainosaur on Tue May 08, 2018 4:39 pm; edited 4 times in total
Wed May 02, 2018 2:57 am View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 954

Post Part I: The Witchwood Reply with quote
The combat encounters in this part are one-per-day, allowing the party to expend their most powerful spells all at once. Therefore battles were strongly in the party's favor.

Marauder Attack: They started to fight the ambushers. When the hobgoblin cleric became visible, the sorcerer ran forward and lit him up with a lightning bolt. The hobgoblin's skeleton glowed bright blue and then he crumbled to ash. Two hobgoblins and a hell hound arrived as reinforcements on turn 4, but the party was finishing up the fight and easily dealt with the second wave.

Assassin Vine, Witchwood Random Encounter: The vine grabbed the sorcerer, who used misty step to escape. I really dislike that a rogue can 'sneak attack' plants, undead, and elementals. That ended the encounter.

Vraath Keep: After much planning, they sent the halfling rogue to scout the keep. They used their only scroll of invisibility on him, plus cat's grace and boots of elvenkind meant he was quieter than a mouse. He got a good look around. After much more planning, they took what in retrospect was the best strategy: they tied the stable doors shut with a magic rope, cast silence on the building with the manticore, then fireballed the insides of the barracks building. After slaying the soldiers and minotaur, then the manticore, then the worg riders, they were ambushed.

Wyrmlord Koth had slipped outside onto a roof, where he animated a giant skeleton (CR 5). Then he fireballed the party too. Unfortunately he failed his weak Wisdom save versus hold person and froze where he was. The cleric tried to climb up behind Koth to push him off, but before he got there the giant was dead and so was Koth.

Skull Gorge Bridge: After hours of planning, the party essentially charged in. The cleric cast silence, covering most of the tops of the southern towers.

The sorcerer took the DM's advice and started with a firebolt on the hell hound. A howl rose up when they realized hell hounds are immune to fire.

They easily dispatched the first hell hound though. The monk climbed one tower to deal with a hobgoblin, while the rogue did the same with the other. (Bonus actions played a role here.)

The dragon swept around and breathed poison on the cleric, then recharged and eventually did the same to the sorcerer. But the dragon died to two lightning bolts and a guiding bolt crit.

The hobgoblins ran onto the bridge, thinking they had a good chance against the adventurers. The sorcerer hit them all in a lightning bolt line and none saved. (The adventure says they stay on their side of the gorge and shoot arrows so this was a bad decision, but it probably didn't affect the outcome.) The bad guys dropped the cleric with a hell hound fiery bite and a hobgoblin's martial advantage, but the cleric popped right back up on a death saving throw 20. The monk used his many attacks to get some head-kicking in, ending the fight.

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Last edited by Terrainosaur on Wed May 09, 2018 2:25 am; edited 10 times in total
Wed May 02, 2018 4:56 am View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Seeing the Horde Reply with quote
Skull Gorge Bridge: The party was stuck, unable to find the bridge's weak spot or another way to bring it down. The sorcerer spent a hero point for inspiration so I reminded him he had a yellow Elemental Gem. They threw it down, summoning an earth elemental which has Siege Monster: The elemental deals double damage to objects and structures. With double attacks, it could do 56 damage per turn, 560 damage per minute, or 33600 damage for the whole hour it was summoned. The bridge fell into the chasm in about a minute.

(I decided the Twistusks might also be recruited to destroy the bridge, but the party never encountered them.)

The party traveled to Cinder Hill, saw the army, traveled back to the gorge, then continued east and crossed below the gorge, coming back up to the Dawn Way.

Witchwood: They saw the hydra's head atop the sunken wagon at the Blackwater Causeway, and avoided it. I think it would have been an easy fight; it's only AC 14 AND HP 157. Fresh with spells and full health, they would have burned through that in no time.

While skirting the swamp, they were attacked by an ettercap and giant spider. The cleric killed the spider with an 8d6 guiding bolt crit so the ettercap fled.

Drellin's Ferry: The shops in the conversion are packed with game-breaking magic items. With nothing else to spend their gold on, they emptied Serterien's shop.

At this point, it's a cakewalk.

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Tue May 08, 2018 4:27 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Conversion Reply with quote
I just realized the conversion project is less than half done. I'll look at others.

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Fri May 11, 2018 5:00 am View user's profile Send private message
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Post Part I Conclusion Reply with quote
Goblin Raid: I didn't change the composition of the raiding party but I changed how the encounter played out. The PCs went after the wolf riders and hell hound who were burning down a house.

Then the hobgoblins erupted out behind them, from another house. The War Adept hit most of the party with a fireball. He had used disguise self to appear as a regular soldier, so the PCs couldn't tell who to target. They returned a fireball, killing most of the hobgoblins but missing the War Adept. They struggled to hit the hell hound and disengage from wolf riders. A second spell from the War Adept was imminent.

The monk finished the last wolf and ran full-tilt to the War Adept. He missed his hits. Then he remembered he had a hero point ... spent it, and rolled a natural 20! That ended the fight, but they were seriously hurt.

The PCs left Drellin's Ferry right after Desperate Council the next morning, giving them another headstart.

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Wed May 23, 2018 4:06 am View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Part II: The Ruins of Lhesper Reply with quote
Dirty Rotten Looters: In Terrelton, they encountered looters. They decided to discourage them and warn them they're in the path of a horde of hobgoblins. I granted them some XP, about a CR 4 encounter.

Easy Skirmish: Outside Nimon Gap, they ran into a small raiding party. I was bored with the only thing that hurt them was fireballs, so I swapped out the Kulkor Zhul War Adept with a hell hound. As usual, the sorcerer's fireball killed half the hobgoblins. The rogue and monk killed the ogre. The hell hound breathed on the cleric, killing his horse. At least that slowed them down.

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Wed May 23, 2018 4:07 am View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Burst Damage Reply with quote
Road Blockade: I added traps and armour for the ogres. It didn't matter.

The PCs accidentally bypassed some traps and coincidentally I forgot about a hidden pit.

The cleric used clairvoyance to view the inside of the tower. Then the sorcerer consumed a potion of invisibility, snuck up to the arrow slit by the main gate, and fireballed inside the tower. That killed all of the hobgoblin regulars and badly damaged the sergeants. With potions/gloves/boots of climbing, the rest ran up the outside of the tower where they killed the two guards. One ogre was killed by ranged attacks including a lightning bolt. The other ogre and sergeants tried to escape but barely made it a few feet before being cut down.

The monk noted that he hadn't used any ki points.

Spawn of Tiamat: The greenspawn razorfiend leapt out and slashed up the sorcerer and monk, before bounding away (link to stats). The monk tried to prevent the jump away but the spawn's great saves helped it. That was the surprise round, and the last time the spawn acted.

The monk went first. He ran forward and spent all his ki points, stunning the spawn and doing 100 points of damage. A lightning bolt and some assistance from the others finished it off.

The PCs are walking through this adventure, mostly with fireball spam.

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Wed May 23, 2018 4:26 am View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Ruins of Rhest Reply with quote
The sorcerer asked for direct assistance with the investigation of the ruins. The elven leader sent four hunters along. They used boats. Along the way, they were attacked by bog monsters.

Chuul: Three aberrations burst from the water and attacked them in their boats. The water and boggy terrain was a real challenge for the party. They had to run to the aid of the low-level hunters too. This custom encounter kept them on their toes.

Lizardfolk Huts: The PCs slew the six occupants of a hut. I didn't bother running it, and didn't award XP since it was no challenge.

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Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:21 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Bell Tower Reply with quote
Bell Tower: This took an entire four-hour session. They crafted a complex plan then sort of followed it.

They disguised themselves as lizardfolk and rowed out during the day. The cleric cast silence on the top of the tower. The sorcerer misty stepped to a corner where he could cast spells. I think he dropped a rope of climbing, or they used potions to climb the tower. The fight was short; it's only seven hobgoblins.

They rested overnight for the assault on the Town Hall.

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Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:30 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Town Hall Reply with quote
Town Hall: They took an hour to devise a plan, then realized they had potions of flying. They scried the inside with clairvoyance and waited for night. They flew overhead, cast silence on the sleeping ogres, and attacked. They fireballed all six ogres, making the silence pointless. I was okay with that; it meant they were spending valuable resources on the ogres and had to go inside anyway.

The ettin tried to join the fray, but got caught in the stairwell, dying an ignominious death.

The hobgoblin mindbender threw open his door and cast confusion, catching the rogue but not the monk. The cleric cast hold person on the mindbender, the rogue saved from confusion, then he and the monk slew the mindbender.

Instantly, the whole building was engulfed in a thick, opaque fog cloud. The noise on the roof and the howling ettin had alerted Wyrmlord Saarvith and Regiarix. With a splash and a roar, they rose above the fog, looking for a target.

Thus began the first flying battle I've ever run. Here are some highlights.
The monk flew above the fog and evaded taking any damage from the acid breath.
The sorcerer poked his head above the fog and got off a lightning bolt, but that drew the black dragon's attention. Bite, claw, claw ... the sorcerer fell back into the fog.
The rogue also attacked but couldn't do sneak attack damage.
The cleric kept everyone alive and cast hold person on the Wyrmlord. We looked this up - hold person incapacitates the target, which breaks concentration, so the fog cloud dissipated.
The villains flew down to the hatchery and called out the greenspawn razorfiend. The Wyrmlord changed mounts, and the dragon recharged his breath weapon.

This gave the adventurers time to regroup.
The dragon came back with a roar, catching the cleric and the sorcerer in his acid breath, putting the sorcerer down again.
The monk stunned the dragon, and the party put down the beast just as the Wyrmlord and razorfiend returned.

Most of the rest of the fight was on the ground. The injured goblin Wyrmlord was easy to finish off but the party was out of almost all spells, sorcery points, chi, channel divinity, etc. Both the monk and the rogue went down at different times but were saved by their cleric. The razorfiend bounced around. The sorcerer stayed away and used fireball scrolls on it. The cleric finished off the razorfiend with his last spell, guiding bolt.

Somehow the rogue ended up at 0 HP at the end of the fight, so they healed him up.

All in all, it was a challenging fight!

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Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:38 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Bog Encounters Reply with quote
The adventurers fully rested, then took row boats back to the elven town. I wanted another greenpawn razorfiend to ambush them, but I knew they needed to be challenged a bit before that or they'd go right through it. Also, I wanted it to feel like they'd rowed quite a ways before seeing another razorfiend so it wouldn't feel like it was near the ruins.

Bog Dead: A ghost summoned forth 12 lacedon ghouls and an ogre zombie to try to drown them. The cleric turned the waves of ghouls and the big zombie. Once the ghost entered the Material Plane, the monk stunned it.

Greenspawn Razorfiend: The beast jumped at them, hit the sorcerer once, and jumped away behind some tall reeds. It was difficult to get through the bog to the monster, so it had time to pop out and spit acid at them. This hit the monk, the rogue, and the four NPCs (Tiri Kitor hunters), killing two hunters outright. Surprisingly the rogue ran and hid. The monk dashed through the water and reeds, followed by the cleric and sorcerer.

Again, the monk spent a ton of chi points to repeatedly stun and strike the monster. It didn't get another attack in.

(During this fight the party discovered their opportunity attacks and readied attacks are feeble.)

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Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:33 am View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Part II Conclusion Reply with quote
Elf Alliance: The party got 13 points, meaning the elves would send a group of Tiri Kitor hunters to aid Rethmar.

They left the Ruins of Lhesper, travelled to Rethmar, did some roleplaying and took eight horses to travel to the Bandit Wastes.

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:51 am View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Not-so-sick Spy & Mercenary Gold Reply with quote
Not-so-sick Spy: This is more of a roleplaying encounter than a combat one, so seeing as they were fully refreshed they easily captured her after figuring out she was a spy. But they gave away almost everything to her before binding her, gagging her, and putting her on a wagon bound for Rethmar. (They don't know that a few hours later she changed form into a spider and escaped!)

Mercenary Gold: This encounter uses standard goblins and ettins so I didn't need a conversion, but it was no challenge. Fireballs again.

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:58 am View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Bandit Wastes Reply with quote
The party delivered the gold to the Hammerfist Holds, then paid for a map that expedited their westward trip.

In the Bandit Wastes they encountered a friendly monk who they were determined to convince to aid in the war effort. He politely refused.

Boulder Fight: A galeb duhr attacked them, spawning jokes about rolling stones and moss.

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:10 pm View user's profile Send private message
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Post Conversion 2 Reply with quote
By this time, I've mostly switched to using a different conversion thread.

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:16 pm View user's profile Send private message
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