Tuesday, September 2, 2014

5E Stonehell TPK

On Sunday 8/31 I ran D&D 5th edition at Titan Games. Last week I started the Lost Mines from the starter set, but I spent the week thinking about it, and decided that an open table, which is how I want to run it, doesn't work so well with such a structured adventure. I need something more... open. I only came to this conclusion a couple of hours before the game, even though it had been niggling at me all week.

A megadungeon campaign offers the ability for players to make forays into the dungeon, and return to town at the end of every adventure, making it easier to swap out players every session. This is going to be important in the future since I know at least one of the players will only be able to attend every other week.

Now, I have multiple megadungeons to choose from, including Stonehell, Barrowmaze, Dwimmermount, The Black Stairs, and even my own. There are also a number of mini-megadungeons out there like Dyson's Delve that I could snag. Since I had planned to run a Stonehell flailsnails game on G+ later that night, I had it with me, so that's what I decided to run. 

I quickly skimmed again through the entire first level, and especially the antechamber quadrant, while a new player rolled up a character. I also decided to steal the Yawning Portal Inn entrance to Undermountain for my game. This got the players into the dungeon (and into the action) much faster.

The characters for this past week:
Wood Elf Ranger
Wood Elf Thief
Human Paladin

The party gathered in the Yawning Portal Inn, paid their gold to enter the dungeon, and were winched down the 60' into the entry hall. They then headed south east, encountering an empty room, then some suspicious dwarves, and then a room with a giant rat. The paladin strode in to kill it, at which point 7 more emerged from the trash piles. The fight was painful and fast, dropping the paladin and the ranger over 2 rounds, and injuring the thief. Deciding that discression is the better part of valor, the thief ran back to the dwarves, and had just enough time to cry out for help before he was jumped by a giant rat, bringing him to zero.


I decided that the dwarves would help, so all the characters woke up several hours later with 1hp each, and owing the dwarves for their lives. They returned to the surface to rest.

After resting his 4 hours for the night the thief tried to pick some pockets which resulted in him spending most of the night hiding in an alleyway. 

The next morning the adventurers returned to the dungeon, exploring the ruined rooms to the north east, and then venturing through the ogre mouths. They avoided some territorial snakes, passed through an ancient battleground, and then shoved their way past a large stone double door. The 8 fire beetles on the other side of the door were a challenge, especially since I started using Giant Crab stats instead of Giant Beetle stats. Once I corrected my error, the adventurers prevailed, removed the glowing glands and then scurried back to the surface to sell them.

I look forward to seeing what they're going to do next week...


  1. You have different definition of TPK than I sir. ;)

    Stuff written for pre 3.x editions probably needs number of baddies reduced 3/4 or 1/2 when used in 5e. Or, there will be too much running away and resting and not enough butt kicking for greatness.

    1. Mostly I just didn't want to have to sit there while the 3 of them rolled up new characters. Had the thief not made it back to the dwarves, they'd all be rat food.

      Also, that was half the number of rats!

  2. I enjoyed this. Stonehell is chock-full of ways for characters to die, in any edition.