Saturday, 10 June 2017

Eberron s1e1: Those who forget the lessons of the past are doomed to get stabbed in the face

One short session in, the players are now in the posession of a priceless Hobgoblin artifact. With Joesky tax at the end to make up for the session report.


After rolling up characters the hard way (3d6 in order), the players picked their way through DnD 5e's races, backgrounds and finally classes. Including time spent to go over the map of Eberron, highlight different countries and discuss their share history and flesh out motivations, this took some 90 minutes.

Roll call

  • Falco, Human wizard 1 out of Karrnath, former acolyte of the Church of Vol, looking to become a freelancer of the Finder's Guild. Ultimately: in search of immortality. If he doesn't die first of being crushed by falling trap doors.
  • Merrick, (Lightfoot) Halfling rogue 1 out of the Talenta Plains, an outlander guide and merchant who helps visitors find their way and interact with the local tribes - when not wildly misjudging maps or ignoring burial and danger markers.
  • Rathan, (Stout) Halfling ranger 1 out of the Talenta Plains, an outlander warrior searching far and wide for news about his disgraced, outcast family member (who at this point has neither name nor background).
(Short note for my players: noone in the party has taken the History skill, and I tend to add lots of historical hints to sites. I will happily describe old rock carvings or tapestries, but you might miss out on nuances. Never necessary, might be useful. Up to you to make do, retrain, or hire a historian to tag along.)

Session report: apply now and become a henchman

There's been no carousing yet to spread the group's exploits far and wide, so this will have to be a short and skinny version of the first session:

"I need you as experts on local customs and history" sounds so much better than "you can soak up trap damage and hold a lantern while I go exploring".


  • Players accepted a job as henchmen for Hedrak, a scholar from Morgrave U. Only less scholar, more flunked student looking to make a name.
  • Lead: map of 9000 years old Dhakaani goblinoid ruins near Gatherhold, Talenta Plains. Mysterious note on this map is to look for the thirteenth of twelve. No clue how Hedrak got hold of this map.
  • Set out with two goblin porters, Bugduff and Vrotmort (latter is a history nerd and nuts about the glorious old days).
  • Ruins: in a sandstone mass a few days out of Gatherhold, near a Halfling burial site and a nest of Glidewing dinos. Both avoided. Smart choice, although there might be interesting loot in the refuse from the nest. The wind is making weird, low noises.
  • Quick look around shows the remains of a small Dhakaani village in twelve separate rock dwellings. In one of the rooms, a natural tunnel winds its way (deeeep) underground. Maybe that's where the nightly voices come from? (Stupid random encounter rolls mean the party manages to stay blissfully unaware of other goings-on at the site.)
  • Poking around finds the group a hidden thirteenth cave. It contains a table for six, five sober monk cells, and a library of sorts with two hobgoblins buried standing in their armor together with enormous weapons out of purple-grey metal.
  • Carvings in the walls shows ancient Dhakaani heroes losing a couple of battles to monstrous legions and finally fleeing in disgrace. The two goblin porters start to become pretty agitated.
  • The party finds a secret room (almost killing Falco when the stone door slips off its 9000 year old hinges). In it, a dessicated hobgoblin woman's corpse holding a three foot horn. Ghostly voice in ancient goblin welcomes the two porters when they step inside. The pair claim the artifact for themselves and turn on the party.
  • Some stabbage, calls for truce, more stabbage and magic missiles later, the gobins are knocked out and the players are left holding a relic of the ancient hobgoblin empire. Now where to sell it?

Behold my megadungon.

Joesky tax

To speed up shopping, the party as a whole has the option to put aside money for their go bag. Whenever someone needs a common item that is not on their inventory sheet yet, they can decide it was in the go bag all along. Write down the item on the inventory sheet, deduct its price from the go bag's total value. Final say to the DM whether the group actually went and bought a masterwork pipe organ to woo the sweet harpy ladies with.

Of course the group happily nodded along while I explained this and promptly forgot to prep a go bag. Don't look at me when you're asking each other who forgot to pack the rope.