So Adam and Ian don’t feel like they play enough D&D. To rectify this, they started playing a text-based adventure with a couple of friends, still using the 5th edition framework. We thought it would be fun to clean up the transcripts of this adventure and start publishing it in weekly chapters here on the site. Let us know what you think, and please share around! If you missed Chapter 1, check it out here!
Disclaimer: This is the transcript of a text-based D&D game played over a period of 6 months. Bad language included. Picture based dice rolls/media omitted. Names changed to preserve anonymity. Goblin based violence frequent. You have been warned.
DM: As you reach the top level of the tomb and look out into the night, you know hour immediate task will be to retrace your steps to Al’shash and meet the secretive trader. It will take you at least five days of travel
Faustus: Fuck we probably should have asked about the gem too
Bronan: Head back downstairs and ask?
Faustus: Sure actually.
DM: What you go back down and down into the lowest secret chamber? Hunter and his hyena are still there by the campfire
DM: Forget something hunters?
DM: Come to seek my knowledge in slaying a foe?
Faustus: Yeah I think so. I’m just a little wary of handing the gem over to a random dude if it’s world endingly powerful.
Faustus: Yes hunter, we also found this gem. Can you tell us about it?
DM: His eyes go hard
DM: Stealing, are you?
DM: Desecrating Hunter Ptonos’s tomb?!
DM: Get out before I show you what my spear can do. There is honour in the hunt. See if you can redeem yourself in my eyes. Hunter is disappointed in you, initiate
Faustus: Haha ok. Balls.
Faustus: That was all out of character.
Faustus: I bow and leave again.
Bronan: I thought he might get prissy, at least I didn’t offer him the withered head of Ptonos
Faustus: Haha yeah I did think that might happen. Ah well.
Bronan: If you don’t ask, you don’t get (murdered by a one armed gnoll)
DM: What is your plan? Through the plains and the gulch and the desert to Al’shash? Off to the mysterious smoke a few miles north?
DM: Or further across the red grass plains west or south, and the unknown?
Constance: Look guys, this thing is clearly more valuable than the cash that wizard a-hole was going to give us. Maybe we try to find another buyer?
Bronan: Bronan does not care much for money, just want to keep you guys happy, should we go look at smoke for now? Maybe find purple worm?
Faustus: Shall we do that now? Then if it’s all fairly low key we can rest for the night and figure out our next step.
Constance: Sure. The smoke may just be a campfire, or something more sinister.
DM: You are heading for the smoke? It is a few miles off, will probably take an hour walking. Torches lit or unlit?
Constance: It’s day now right?
DM: Nope. You reached the tomb as night fell, and were in there for maybe 3 hours? It’s the middle of the night
DM: Starlight and three crescent moons above, no clouds in the sky. You can still make out that thin trail of smoke to the north easily enough
Faustus: So light enough for us to see our way? I guess no torches then?
Constance: I extinguish my torch. “Don’t worry gents, we can still see our way” and pull out my crystal which flows in moonlight.
DM: Light enough to see the way
DM: Constance, what crystal?
Bronan: “hey constance, that’s a cool crystal, would be great at an outdoor tribal rave”
Bronan: Can you get ones in different colours?
Constance: I’m not sure. I just have this one.
Bronan: Ok, nevermind, should we be sneaky like dogmen to get to smoke?
Faustus: Sure. Well, we don’t need to be sneaky, just not bright and loud from miles away.
Constance: I would say we are fine right now, but let’s err on the sneaky side when we get closer, at least until we can work out what’s going on there
Bronan: Ok no worries bros, just let me know
DM: Okay, after an hour or so you are maybe 600 yards from the smoke, which is rising across a small hill
DM: What do you do
Faustus: Slowly move up to get a better look, trying to remain hidden
DM: Okay. You can all stealthily make it to the lip of the hill
Constance: Pocket my glowing crystal for the time being.
DM: Below you is a scene of destruction
DM: A dozen dead camels, and two dead human traders
DM: The smoke is coming from a covered wagon which has been set ablaze from below and is now a smouldering ruin
Faustus: Any immediate signs of danger or of how long ago this happened?
DM: You saw the smoke rising hours ago, before sunset- it’s now almost dawn
DM: No sign of life or movement except the flame
Constance: Is this on a road? Or an encampment?
DM: Just open plains
DM: This bit is between two small hills…ideal to ambush traders, perhaps
Constance: Let’s skirt around to the other hill to check there is no danger, then we can see if we can’t find out what happened here, and give these gentlemen the burial they didn’t get.
Constance: Then give the perpetrators the burial they deserve.
Faustus: Agreed on both counts
DM: Sounds good
DM: You swiftly circle to the other hill but there is no movement or life, though some grass up there is trampled as if a group of people or creatures was lying on it
Faustus: Any tracks around to indicate a direction of travel?
DM: Can roll perception for me? Or investigation
Constance: Or any indication as to the size of the creatures and how many?
DM: Same, make roll of what you think appropriate skill is
DM: Can’t tell. Maybe if you looked again when it was light
Bronan: I see him fumbling in the dirt and say “no,no,no, Faustus, tracking means you do this…”
Bronan: Can I use survival? I think it’s the same as my perception but want to do that whole due south mounty thing
DM: Sure thing
Constance: 15 + (if wis then 2 if int then 0) I was rolling investigation
Bronan: I got a 11+3, 14
DM: Bronan, there are no tracks aside from your own on the hill, except this area where clearly something was lying
DM: Constance, you find a feather half buried in the dirt and red grass where the ambushers waited
Constance: “Look a feather”
Bronan: “hmm, don’t think they walked out of here, either that or they’re sneaky”
Bronan: Have I read a comic about birdmen?
DM: History check
Bronan: I got a 2
DM: You read a comic about birdmen! But it had a sexy barbarian in it and that’s the only bit you remember
Bronan: Bronan wistfully looks into the dawning sun, sighs, and rearranges his loincloth before saying “we had better go bury those guys then huh?”
DM: In the time it’s taken you to check tracks etc, it’s now just about sunrise
DM: You guys are pretty tired, you’ve been up all night!
Bronan: Take a rest first guys?
DM: (a short rest would let you use hit dice to heal and mean Sun was up for investigation of caravan)
Constance: Yeah let’s do that, I’m not keen to sleep here, it’s difficult to defend and surrounded by dead things.
Bronan: (the one they used for the bnbn adverts)
Constance: I rolled 2 on hit dice putting me up to full (10)
DM: Cool , you can all heal by one hit dice and rages spells etc reset as they go
Bronan: I got more than enough to bring me to full, a 6
Faustus: My two things reset after a long rest. Womp womp.
Bronan: Rage does too, we had one before going into the tomb? If so I have a rage in the chamber, if not then no rage will be had this day
Faustus: Yeah we did
Constance: I don’t have anything like that, during the hour we rest I give the amulet to one of the guys
Constance: “Here, my jaw hurts too much from this thing”
Faustus: I’m happy to take it but not wear it?
Constance: Well we know what it does now
Bronan: Hmm, Bronan would like to be able to cool beer down quick, and finds world funny, Bronan happy to wear if no-one wants
Faustus: Go for it
Bronan: Ok, can I use my inspiration to get advantage on the wis save?
Bronan: 12 and a 14, so 14 it is!
DM: You start laughing
DM: By the end of a short rest, it has died down to the occasional giggle. You can now cast Ray of frost, but it makes you laugh when you do
Bronan: Awesome, I am most likely only going to use it for beer
DM: Yup, superb
DM: Now that the sun has risen fully, it starts to get hot
Bronan: But everyone likes a nice cool glass 🙂
DM: And you can see the scene more clearly
Constance: Yo. Bronan. Hit us up with some ice cold brewskis to start the day right.
DM: There are a couple of broken arrows sticking out of the camels, though many many wounds on each creature
DM: The two men have also been slain by arrows
DM: The cart fire is now almost out
Constance: I’d like to take a look at the other wounds on the camels please
Bronan: Of course, where’s the cookpot? Bronan pours ale into the cook pot, and Ray of if frosts the ale
DM: Investigation please constance!
DM: Bronan, you can easily start a cookfire from the smouldering caravan pieces
Bronan: Ok, I do that and start making breakfast to go along with the ice cold ale
DM: Uh oh
DM: Can you roll intelligence for me bronan?
Bronan: Sir dribbles gets all excited when I get out the cheese, so I break him off a piece
Bronan: Ah crap, noone has heard of barbarian scholars!
DM: Constance, these are clearly arrow wounds as well, but the arrows have been removed. Only the broken arrows remain
Bronan: Ah yeeeess, got an 18-1, 17
Constance: You realise it’s not good to give dogs cheese, it gives them dog nightmares.
Faustus: Can I have a look for tracks in the daylight?
DM: Is that true? Out of game?
Constance: Fucked if I know mate
DM: Bronan you almost freeze the first beer solid, but since it is beer you are paying very close attention and save it in time
Bronan: My friend feeds her dog cheese all the time
DM: Faustus sure thing
Bronan: Awesome, does it count as practice (advantage) for the next beer chilling?
DM: There are no tracks leading away from the caravan in any direction, but some interesting tracks around the camels, the cart, and the bodies of the men…talons marks!
DM: Bronan I think it’s fair to say you are now proficient in chilling beers
Bronan: He knows that salt water and ice trick and stuff
DM: Salt water and ice trick? Don’t feed dogs cheese?!
DM: Faustus, based on the feather Constance found and the talons marks you found and the lack of tracks on the ground anywhere but the kill site and the ambush hide, you think…
Constance: (OOC I fucking know)
Bronan: (it’s fucking harries right?)
DM: Can roll me a nature or history check if you guys have shared all the info between yourselves, which I think you would
Bronan: Or a shit load of English princes
Faustus: Yeah we share
Faustus: Nat 20
DM: Based on the lack of ground tracks and talons marks, some sort of bird thing. But, harpies wouldn’t use arrows or ambush, they’d shred stuff. Also the ambush tactics and the retrieval of the arrows…
DM: At THIS latitude?
DM: You think Aaracokra bandits. You’ve heard rumours of a group called the Blessed Wind who have been assigned blame to all sorts of shady stuff, west and east of the obsidian shard wall
DM: Ambush tactics, resource preservation, it all fits
Come back next Monday for Chapter 6 of The Cursed Tomb!
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