I’m a player in a D&D 5e campaign, and I’ve decided to lay out our adventure because while the stories are well trodden paths, I love how different groups experience published adventures so differently. Hopefully, even though most of you know these stories, you’ll enjoy our version too.
Tegan, our DM, ran a Pathfinder campaign for a group of four/five players (including me) off and on for years. That campaign ended a little abruptly, and Tegan wanted to keep gaming and wanted to maybe try out 5th Edition rules because we’d heard good things about them. I asked to join the new game, but the others of our group couldn’t commit to playing regularly for various reasons (we all work in the entertainment industry and scheduling anything regular with working actors is really difficult).
After a couple of months, Tegan got familiar with the 5e rules set and recruited a new group of players. There were six of us initially. We got together for a Session Zero, and talked about how the 5e rules were new to many of us, and that the game would be mostly an experiment, and we’d just see how everything worked out. We talked about character ideas, rolled up our characters and thought we had a very well-rounded party… with 6 characters in 5th Edition, it’s really hard not to have all the bases covered.
We decided that, because of our newness with the rules, we’d start at 1st Level and play the introductory scenario/module/thingie, The Lost Mines of Phandelver. That way, Tegan didn’t have to invent a whole lot of stuff. Plus, it got really good reviews online, so we were pretty happy with the decision. It also means that not a lot of what our characters have experienced will be new to most of you… and if you’ve not been through it, this will be your Spoilers notice.
Most of this tale is going to be told from my character’s point of view (because that’s how I remember it), and so it will likely seem like I’m focusing everything through him, but such is often the way of things. Those who report history, make history.
Another thing that people need to be aware of is that, for the most part (and certainly on Tegan’s part… thus for all concerned), we are not followers of the Forgotten Realms’ stories, history, and mythos As a result, we don’t subscribe any of the source material except that we use place names found in the adventures. So the names are just names, and the places are just places. They have a history, but it’s not necessarily a canon.
In our party, we had…
Andrew – playing Princess Akarra Amastacia (aka Lady A), a Sun Elf with the Noble background. Princess Akarra is elven royalty and a Light Cleric following the Goddess Sune. She’s out in the world, traveling relatively incognito, on a quest to test her faith, conviction, and power. She’s built as more of an undead slayer and warrior than is typical of a cleric. Her dump stat is Charisma, and Andrew plays that by having Lady A be very direct and a little insensitive to others’ reality. The effect has been as hilarious as you’d expect. The stereotype of the haughty elf lives on in Lady A in spectacular fashion.
Jeff – playing Seth (aka Seth), a Human with the Sage background, specializing in Astrology. Seth is a Warlock who has made a pact with the Astrological entity Leo (Great Old One). His personality is like a cross between a zen master and Tommy Chong. He routinely stops our group before we do anything so that he can check with the alignment of the stars. Seth chose the Pact of the Chain, and his familiar takes the form of a cat whose name is Zorra, which is Spanish for “Fox” in its female form (so… “Vixen?”). His spells tend to have feline (and particularly lion-like) type special effects. His dump stat is Strength.
Jenna – playing Yesheira, Human with the Urchin background. Yeshira is a street rat who keeps to herself. She’s a Rogue and is calmly and efficiently deadly. She begins on the adventure because she’s bored with town and the opportunity that travel out of Neverwinter provides is too much for her to pass up. Her dump stat is Intelligence, but that seems to make her in-character choices all the funnier.
Keith (me) – playing Terrynon, a Half-Elf with a bastardization of the Courtier and Courtesan backgrounds. Terrynon starts the adventure ostensibly on the run from his old life. Mechanically, he’s built as a Half-Elf and a Bard, but as he grows, it turns out he’s actually neither of those things. His dump stat is Strength, and he’s smart enough to never try anything physical.
Hannah – playing Lt. Colonel Yajerit Surina, a Bronze Dragonborn with the Outlander background. Surina was part of the dragonborn army, but she was in the logistics area, so she never got to fight anything. As she grew older, she felt the need to go out into the world to prove herself. With a little irony, she left her army and her people so that she could find herself and what it meant to be a Dragonborn warrior. She’s built as a straight-up Barbarian. Her dump stat is DEX, which has nearly killed her several times in stunningly entertaining ways.
Jared – playing Verin, a Drow Half-Elf with the Haunted One background. Verin was a put upon member of Drow society, and he saw all their cruelty, violence, and torture and rejected it. He had some facility with magic, and he used that to escape the Underdark. He’s built as a Wizard, and Jared plays him as a man haunted by the horrors he’s seen, dedicated to stopping unnecessary violence and bloodshed whenever and wherever he can. Spoiler alert, this does not go well. As I recall, Verin doesn’t have a dump stat. He rolled 2 17s and 4 11s…
As the story of our adventures is laid out here, some of it’s going to be from Terrynon’s perspective, some of it’s going to be from an omniscient, 3rd party perspective, and some of it’s going to be from an out-of-character/player’s perspective… This is mostly because I remember things from my point of view, partly from Terrynon’s point of view, and I’m pulling some of these memories from nearly three years in the past. I’ll try to be entertaining and accurate, even if the voice of the piece wanders. Apologies in advance for the unprofessional form.