December 4, 2013

Slave Galleys Suck

I had the great fortune of participating in a D&D Next game, run by none other than the illustrious Ben Robbins of Microscope and Kingdom fame. I'm going to attempt to give brief rundowns of the play sessions, to help us players out in remembering what happened and because we originally had three other people that were going to be in the party that had scheduling conflicts and this way, they can follow along until some distant point in the future when they can "for real" join in.

Ben - GM
Me - Titus, male, raised in the streets of a big city, looking to make something of himself so he can win over the daughter of foreign nobility. More of a Lover than a Fighter.
Andy - Visage, male, power hungry mage with bitterness in his heart.
Pat - Kelti, female, free-spirited, fiercely independent and stubborn, raised by gypsies.

We all played as humans who had been tricked, double-crossed, or duped onto the slave galley. Titus thought he was buying passage on a ship, but his enemies instead sold him into slavery. Visage was similarly a victim of his circumstances, the wizarding community having tired of his antics and sold him off. Kelti, on the run from not being quite as light fingered as she normally was, accidentally stowed away on the wrong ship.

A week into the grueling lifestyle that is being chained 24/7 to your bench, Visage has the good (?) fortune of having his benchmate die and while they were removing the body, Kelti helps him escape his chains by performing some amazing acrobatics and Titus also aids by sweeping the slaver's legs out from under him. Once free, Visage casts Minor Illusion to make it sound like the ship is being overrun by krakens and destroyed. Spoiler, turns out the illusion ironically turned out to be the truth. Titus uses his brute strength to pull his chains free, freeing Kelti as well, who was his benchmate. He then smashes in the skull of the slaver. Kelti immediately sets out to free as many of the other slaves as possible, but Titus grabs her in an attempt to haul her up to the deck of the ship.

This is when they realize that the ship is actually being overrun by krakens. Distracted, Titus lets Kelti go and rushes forward to kill a sailor who was holding an ax. She dashes back down into the mass of terrified slaves and manages to free almost a dozen slaves before the ship begins to sink. Meanwhile, Visage uses his magic to battle against the soldiers and sailors on the ship, toppling some of them overboard and tricking the krakens into grabbing others. Titus shoves one of the soldiers overboard, who falls right into the clutches of a kraken, plays hide and seek with several tentacles before finally grabbing up the ax and doles out his fair share of damage, at one point hurtling one of the slavers' clubs into the skull of an archer, saving Visage's life and killing the archer. Eventually, it's apparent that the battle against the krakens is a losing one as the ship slowly and then quickly takes on water. Titus and Visage both jump overboard and begin swimming for shore, while Kelti makes one last desperate attempt to give the poor wretches still trapped in the galley a chance to escape by tossing a few tools and weapons she found to them. In a final brave and foolish act of revenge, she manages to topple one of the soldiers into the galley as they were running past her. One last glance into the pit of hell and writhing mass of misery and she too jumped overboard.