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Author Topic: Dizzy's Lost Mines of Phandelver Mini-Review & Campaign  (Read 1521 times)

Offline Dizzy

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Dizzy's Lost Mines of Phandelver Mini-Review & Campaign
« on: March 31, 2016, 11:05:51 PM »
I recently managed to convince some of my Basic Fantasy RPG players to try 5e for me. I keep hearing from people in the OSR that is really is quite good, and I haven't played it yet, even though I've owned the starter set and the PHB for quite some time now. After reading through the Starter Set, I got some nostalgia from the basic box that I learned on for 3.5 back in high school. I used to run my friends through the basic box every time a new person would come around and say they were interested in playing. I'm not sure why I felt it was easier to teach through it, over and over and over, rather than just introduce them into our 3.5 campaign, but that is what we did at the time. The 5e Starter Set, seems to be much better than that basic box was however.

I was pleasantly surprised by how it seemed to be a very stripped down 3.5, didn't require a grid. I feel like Wizards did a great job with the Starter Set, but the basic rules .pdf would have been a nice handout.

After I read through the starter set, I was pretty hooked and read through the PHB the very next day. Don't get me wrong, some things really worried me at first look. Free cantrip casting that does damage was something that irked me a lot. On some level, it still does, because it doesn't seem to match the literature of the Appendix N (especially as I'm in the process of reading the Dying Earth series now), but I get it now.

I decided that I wouldn't house rule anything off the bat and that we'd run the Lost Mines of Phandelver with the pre-gens to see how we liked the system. We're a couple of sessions in and my players are really starting to like it. I think at first it was because I built their characters into roll20, and I think they liked how automated everything was. Now that they're reading into it and feel more comfortable with their powers, they're growing to enjoy it even more. My only fear is that they might get trapped in the box of staring at their sheets instead of thinking outside of the box like they currently do in our BFRPG game. I'm hoping this doesn't happen.

I'm surprised by how well balanced 5e seems so far. I get why spell casting classes have these powers. It isn't 'Vancian', but for the balance of 5e it makes sense. I quickly ended up picking up the DMG and was VERY surprised at how this seems to be the best DMG written for the game since the 1e one (though it would be very difficult to one-up Gygax' DMG). This does offer plenty of interesting things that you don't normally get in the DMG though.

We're currently 2 session into LMoP, and I reckon it'll take at least 4 more to finish, unless like our 2nd session, we continue to go for double our normal session length.

In our first session, the players got the basic setup, the goblin ambush, finished the passage to Phandelver, got paid, learned some information about the Rockseeker's, met Sister Garaele, learned a bit about the Red Brands, and were given some tips about how they might go about finding Gundren. Lots of RP, a taste of combat (which was beautifully deadly for WotC D&D). The players had a great time, but I don't think they really dug in until our second session which I'll write more about later.

I've recently ordered the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide and am waiting for it to arrive. I need to pick up a MM as well. I know my players will be interested in a campaign, but I still want to finish LMoP, because I feel like it is going to become the B2: Keep on the Borderlands of this era. I'm curious what of the hardback adventures people enjoy for 5e? I thought about picking up the Tyranny of Dragons set, but people seem 'meh' about it. I'm trying to decide between all of them, or just planning out my own adventure in a more traditional OSR style campaign format. I'm not sure if my players would really want my traditional sandbox style more, or an AP layout, but I think I should at least let them try the AP style setup.

Anyway, if you're interested, you can watch our first session online here:

NSFW

Offline Fjw70

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Re: Dizzy's Lost Mines of Phandelver Mini-Review & Campaign
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 05:36:10 AM »
Glad you enjoyed it. 5e is tied for my favorite version (with 4th).

I like Phandelver too but haven't tried the other adventures yet. I do my prep through PDF and they aren't available electronically so they just sit on the shelf for now. I am running old 1e adventures for now.

Offline Dizzy

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Re: Dizzy's Lost Mines of Phandelver Mini-Review & Campaign
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2016, 12:00:47 PM »
What can I say about D&D 5e? My group loves it, and I have to admit I'm quite fond of it too. I haven't purposefully houseruled anything yet, but I'm sure some exist from our mutual lack of understanding of all the rules. I am absolutely positive that I will be running a 5e campaign after we're done with this adventure. This session had some hard moments, but still nothing quite as deadly as what I'm used to in the OSR. We'll see what happens!

We're still running the Lost Mines of Phandelver.

This session saw my players make it out to the Cragmaw Caves to try and find more information on Gundren Rockseeker. They went back to where the ambush took place last time. The dead horses were still on the roads. The party split up trying to search through where they thought the goblins were hiding before and after some time found a trail. The character who found the trail quickly called the others. They decided that everyone but one would walk on the side of the road while one walked on the road. Luckily they managed to discover the 2 traps hidden on the way and disabled them.

Eventually they found a cave mouth with a stream coming out of it. Upon approaching the cave mouth, they were set upon by arrows through the brier patch. Quickly the Wizard turned and aimed his burning hands at the bushes as the others let loose some arrows in that direction. Soon afterward they watched the brier patch burn and they checked to find some dead goblins laying in them. The party decided to take a short rest and wait to see if anyone approached.

Eventually the group decided they would head in to see what else was there. They soon found the 2 dogs tied up, and killed them from range with the dogs trying to break their chains but failing. The group checked out the cavern, but then continued their way up. It wasn't very long before they caught a goblin running across a bridge. The group took their chance to fire some shots, but failed. Soon afterwards they were caught off guard by the sudden rush of water. Most of the party managed to dive into an alcove and keep their grip, while the cleric was washed back out of the cave. Dazed and confused he slowly crept back to the others. From here the group saw they climb up this passage and went on to do so. Once up they saw a chamber with Goblins. The Wizard cast sleep and 3 of them managed to fall asleep while the other 2 engaged. Shortly after killing 1 of the 2 left, the leader of this group of goblins appeared with Sildar in his possession with a knife at his throat. He managed to convince the party that if they took out the leader Klarg, that he would give them the human, and information about Gundren. The party requested that one of the goblins go with them, so he picked Slurry (totally not stolen from the WotC videos) and he helped them get through the rest of the caves.

With Slurry's help they easily dispatched the goblins near the pools, and Klarg and his minions and wolf. The fight with Klarg was pretty rough and they nearly lost some characters, but Slurry managed to help them defeat them, and got some revenge. Yeemik was so thrilled he gave the players their information, and even promoted Slurry to his 2nd in command. The players over-exaggerated to Yeemik about Slurry's exploits, so that when they left with Sildar in hand, he came out and hugged the halfling and waved them off. The group made their way back to Phandalin so everyone could rest up.

Overall, we are really enjoying 5e. My players like the action. I like that it still seems tough, but because they can heal more often, and easier, we get more action going. So far it has been so action packed, my players have pushed to keep the game going past our 2 hour sessions (both in the 2nd and 3rd session, haven't had our 4th yet). I prefer playing longer, but find online games that ADD starts to kick in past 2 hours. We've been having a ball, and I know the players really had a good time with the goblins at cragmaw cave.

NSFW
Part 1:
Part 2: