Played July 22nd, 2016
After heavy casualties, the enemy has been repelled, but they’re already regrouping. It seems clear that the raiders will eventually overwhelm the keep. Those refugees in the courtyard who are of fighting age have been armed with spears from the armory for a last minute defense, but Governor Nighthill, now sporting a gash running from his ear to his neck and one arm in a sling, asks Ront and an unlikely ally to help secure an escape route. Arvensis Cotula, having already retrieved his life’s work and secured it in the castle, has offered his services in seeing the village and its inhabitants through to safety. Governor Nighthill doesn’t trust the tiefling at all, but as he explains to the equally skeptical Ront, “I trust him more than the kobolds who are already attacking us.”
Played July 20th, 2016
Thaemin is in a general store restocking for the temple when a cottage outside bursts into flame. A quick examination of his surroundings reveals a blue dragon flying circles around the outskirts of town, breathing lightning down. Caravans that have come through both gates have begun to attack the town, pulling off the waterproof tarps covering the wagons to reveal swarms of kobolds.
Last Christmas, my older brother got my younger brother the D&D 5e Starter Set. We’ve been running sessions of the Lost Mines of Phandelver with my older brother as GM whenever we all get together, but as my older brother has inconveniently decided to go to Yale’s law school, these get togethers are few and far between. To fill in the gaps, I recently started GMing Hoard of the Dragon Queen for him.
I made a few efforts to find other players, but ultimately abandoned all of them. When you try to gather up new players, a large chunk of the people you’re looking at are people who are looking for a group because they aren’t welcome at other game tables. The ones who aren’t are unlikely to especially want the same style and tone of game as you do, although running a store-bought campaign does alleviate this. On top of this, you have to consider the prodigious attrition rates of your average pick-up group and on top of that, the incredibly difficult scheduling associated with getting 4 players and a DM to show up at the same time. Every new person added to the group makes this harder. With just two people, you can plausibly get together 3+ times a week. With a full group of five, you’re lucky to get one or two.
I decided to run for just my little brother. The standard D&D solution for duet campaigns is to power up the PC, but 5e’s bounded accuracy harshes that mellow like whoa. Instead, we created a complete party and he’ll run all of them, like this was a Gold Box game. Occasionally I take control of one of the party members for the sake of roleplay within the party, usually so that noble Thaemin or good-hearted Ront (usually played by my brother) can have a conversation with cynical Arvensis or sardonic Robyn (usually played by me). As a happy side-effect, since no free XP has been given out and we’re running a published adventure, all characters are completely rules-legal for use with the Adventurer’s League any time we want to head down to a hobby store or to a convention or whatever (note from the future: preserving this happy side effect would end up taking a lot more effort than I thought it would).
So here’s the party: