Reign of Fear: A NeoGAF DnD 5e Play by Post Campaign

By some miracle, the hobgoblin's arrow manages to find its way into Keranos's shoulder, between the plates of his armor. He flinches, and grabs the arrow to pull it out. It did not go nearly as deep as might be expected, given its pinpoint accuracy and the force at which it was propelled.

Keranos scowls ahead, looking past the archer who pulled the bowstring and locking eyes with the commander of the opposing forces.

His eyes glow light neon purple.

The overcast clouds grow dark, and thunder can be heard rumbling. Out nowhere, wind rips through the battlefield in all directions, whipping loose clothing every which way.

"You shall regret your decision, infidels," Keranos booms with supernatural fury. "Taste the wrath of the Storm God!"

He raises his arms and maneuvers them around like an orchestra conductor. The wind seems to bend to his will, moving in tandem with his arms, until finally he thrusts it forward, directed single-mindedly toward the ringleader of the hobgoblins.

Eldritch Blast - Ranged Spell attack: [20] + 5 = 25 vs ?? (I'm not sure yet what ranged spell attacks oppose)

Critical Hit: 2d10 + 3 = [6] + [7] + 3 = 16

The funnel of wind is laced with a charge of neon-purple lightning, which tears across the battlefield and barrels into the foul creature, sending it reeling back 10 feet. Whether it lands intact or as a corpse is for fate to decide.

Keranos walks forward menacingly.

((Heavy Armor mastery reduced the damage from the arrow down to 4. Eldritch Blast vs Hobgoblin Boss Dude, with Repelling Blast and Agonizing Blast active. I'll push the Boss Dude back 10 feet if he's still alive

Map: ))
((I was gonna cast a spell or something, but screw it, i'll just hit things.))

Suddenly a lion climbs out from under the wagon and pounces at Hobgoblin C.

Claw: 1D20+5 = [13]+5 = 18
1D6+3 = [1]+3 = 4

((i was hiding, but idk if I get advantage on this attack or not... but if i do the roll i got was crap so w/e.))
Pounce: DC 13 str saving throw or knocked prone

((already used my bonus action, but if I hadn't I could have thrown out a bite attack as well, if the guy was sent prone. oh well.))
((to lazy to make a lion token... or fix my opacity))
The hobgoblins’ opening volley accomplishes little, and the delegation’s reprisal is swift and fierce:

Ludwig thunders to the front of the hobgoblins and brings to bear his physical and mystic strength both against the hapless grunt, ending his life in a single, crushing blow that sends his corpse sailing like a rag doll.

Sagishi targets one of the distant archers and lets loose an arrow of his own, one that sinks deep into the exposed flesh of the archer’s thigh and bleeds in arterial spurts.

Fheiss shouts a bit of helpful advice for Sagishi before rushing around the back of the wagon to make it as though the wound suffered by Keranos never happened at all.

Keranos moves purposefully toward their attackers and appears to summon a fraction of his purported mastery of storms to strike against the captain with an attack that would likely fell a creature of lesser stature. The captain weathers the literal storm and remains standing, but the damage he endures rocks his balance enough to allow him to be pushed back against his will.

In an act that seemingly defies the laws of physics, a lioness explodes from beneath the bottom of the wagon, where there was decidedly not enough room to conceal one, thus putting to rest the mystery identity of the one that appeared the previous morning. Nyx pounces on the nearest hobgoblin, knocking it down and dragging her claws across his snarling face.

((Begin round 2))

((Hobgoblin C gets up and attacks Nyx
Attack: 1d20+3=21
Damage: 1d8+1: 2
Hobgoblin A moves to Ludwig and attacks
Attack: 1d20+3=14
That’s a miss

Hobgoblin Captain moves up and throws his javelin at Ludwig with Martial Advantage:
Attack: 1d20+4=21
Damage: 4d6+2=17
Hobgoblin Archer B moves to cover in the bushes and shoots at Nyx with Martial Advantage:
Attack: 1d20+1d4+3=14
Hit: 1d8+2d6+1=16
Hobgoblin Archer A moves up and shoots at Keranos:
Attack: 1d20+1d4+3=12
And another miss.

Hobgoblin A and C have half-cover from Sagishi so long as they are adjacent to Ludwig and Nyx unless he gets a clear line of sight where they’re not in the way. Archer B has half-cover no matter where you’re shooting from.))

Undeterred by what happened to his compatriot not ten seconds previously, one of the remaining sword-wielding foes screams a battle cry and rushes at Ludwig. He heaves his sword in a brutal, but sloppy, arc that does little more than knock himself off balance. His compatriot has slightly better luck, getting back to his feet and scoring a scratch against Nyx's tawny hide.

The captain capitalizes on Ludwig’s engagement with the smaller enemy and hurls his javelin. It whistles as it slices its way through the air in a shallow parabolic arc and scores a solid hit in the flank of the mighty J’Raffa. The archer wounded by Sagishi has the presence of mind to duck back into the brush for added concealment before firing upon Nyx, and also scores a serious blow

The second archer moves to the side to attempt to draw a bead on Kearnos, but the point of his arrow glances off his gleaming pauldron.

((Updated map))
<There seems to be confusion on the internet on what the AoE of Thunderwave is supposed to be. Some (myself included) interpreted it as the caster being in the center, but some believe it can be positioned with the caster on the outside middle. I figure it's a good time to ask for a ruling on this before I position myself for it.>
((Thunderwave, to me, reads as centered on the caster. Opportunity attacks are only triggered when targets leave your reach as a reaction.))
The javelin leaves a major gash in Ludwig. Grunting, he concentrates, his hooves glowing with the same faint blue hue his greatsword did moments ago. The large wound from the javelin begins to close, and while it doesn't vanish completely, it has been significantly diminished down to a much more mild cut along his flank.

((Using lay on hands hooves to heal 10 hp. If I interpreted 5e action economy right, Ludwig can't attack after that, but it shouldn't incur a reaction either.))
Keranos ignores the rest of the battlefield and focuses solely on the insolent creature that just survived his initial onslaught. This time, he calls for lightning to strike the captain from above. A bolt careens down from the clouds, accompanied not long after by a deafening clap of thunder. This time, Keranos taps into the pulse of fate itself, in a bid to manipulate the result of his attack to his liking.

((Cast Eldritch Blast again, spending my Inspiration point to gain advantage on the attack:

First Roll: [6] + 5 = 11. Second Roll: [14] + 5 = 19

Damage: [5] + 3 = 8

If that succeeds and he's still alive, I will push him back 10 feet again. I am staying where I am))
((That'd require dropping prone, crawling, and getting back up, which probably won't leave you enough movement left to get clear. You're level with the driver's seat, though, I'll allow you to spend 10ft to climb up that first square, and you can run across and over.))
As the battle starts to heat up Sagishi loses sight of his target. With Ludwig's size and the generell confusion he isn't able to focus on any target at all. So he quickly jumps up and onto the driver seat of the wagon hurrying over and down on the other side where he gets a clean shot at the other archer.

Attack on archer A: 1D20+5 = [17]+5 = 22

Damage: 1D6+3 = [4]+3 = 7

Updated map
As the tide of battle continues to ebb and flow, it becomes apparent that the hobgoblins are made of sterner stuff than one may have first thought.

Fheiss works up the nerve to enter the melee, drawing his sword and slipping between Ludwig and Keranos in the hopes of skewering one of the hobgoblins with his rapier's slender blade. Better trained in the traditional arts than the martial, however, his jab fails to find its target and slides uselessly off the hobgoblin's breastplate.

Ludwig, arguably the juggernaut of this encounter, is forced to take time away from swinging his mighty sword to channel some of his divine energy toward reversing a portion of the damage done by the Captain's projectile.

Keranos--having identified the captain as the single greatest threat--summons his power once more, focusing on it to ensure that it strikes true. Once more, the captain is buffeted by the fury of the storm and driven back, but remains standing. Fury burns in his eyes.

Nyx shrugs off the arrow to her flank and instead wraps her jaws around her plaything's arm and attempts to crush the bones within. Her teeth strike only the metal of his gauntlet, however, and find no purchase in his flesh.

Fleet-footed Sagishi vaults onto and across the wagon to take up position on the opposite side, nocking, drawing, and releasing an arrow in a single smooth motion. The projectile whistles past Kerano's ear and buries itself into the shoulder of the archer that stands some distance before him.

((Begin round 3))

((Archer A targets Keranos:
Attack: 1d20+1d4+3=5
Archer B leaves cover to take up position and also target Keranos:
Attack: 1d20+1d4+3=11
Hobgoblin Captain draws his greatsword and moves forward to attack Nyx:
Attack 1: 1d20+4=14
Damage: 5d6+2=24

Attack 2: 1d20+4=15
First hit exceeds the lion's HP and reverts her to normal (minus 2 HP), second hit misses because her AC is back to normal.

Hobgoblin C closes in on Nyx and attacks:
Attack: 1d20+1d4+3=11
Swing and a miss.

Hobgoblin A attacks Fheiss:
Attack: 1d20+1d4+3=17
Damage: 1d8+1=8
Doing good guys, keep it up!))

The captain bellows an order, and the wounded archer emerges from cover to take up position alongside his counter part. Together they let their arrows fly at Keranos, but their crude stone arrowheads are once again insufficient to penetrate a full plate of finely-crafted armor.

The captain marches forward, unsheathing his greatsword. He abruptly turns to the side and swings a heavy blow at Nyx in her lioness form, driving its point between her ribs in a mortal blow. The lion vanishes, and Nyx remains with nothing more to show for the captain's attack than a small laceration. The captain blinks uncomprehendingly, apparently ignorant of the workings of druidic magic. His surprise is enough to make his follow-up attack swing wide.

The hobgoblin who had previously been contending with the lion moves in to press his newfound size advantage, but he too is too slow to land a blow on the spritely forest gnome as he roars in fury.

Fhiess's attack is more than enough to draw the attention of the hobgoblin who had been attacking Ludwig, who instead turns his attention to the artistic bard. "Reh vaq 'ej!&#8221; he shouts as he swings his sword and slashes the meat of Fhiess's arm. "Reh vaq 'ej!&#8221;

"Reh vaq 'ej! Reh vaq 'ej!" echoes in the elf's mind as the left arm suddenly jolts in pain and begins shivering away feeling uncontrollably.

<I am tempted to move to get a Thunderwave off on the two hobgoblins, but one of them is the stronger leader and I would most definitely be killed by archery. I might have to delay my turn a bit.>
Seeing that Fheiss and Nyx are potentially in trouble, Ludwig seeks to turn the tide of the battle. Deeming the captain the greatest threat and still mad about the javelin he moves to kill him and begin a route. "Hold on guyf!" With a mighty upward diagonal swing, Ludgwig attempts to slice the captain in half, once again coating his blade in the pale blue light that accompanied the last swing.

((Burning inspiration to get advantage on the hobgoblin captain. Using smite with the attack.))

[url=]Attack: 1D20 + 5 = [5]+5 = 10
[url=]Advantage: 1D20 + 5 = [20]+5 = 25

[url=]Crit damage: 6D6 + 4D8 + 3 = [5, 5, 1, 4, 3, 3]+[6, 4, 2, 6]+3 = 42
[url=]Great Weapon Fighting Reroll: 1D6 = [4] = 4
((That makes a total of 45 damage. This fucking dice guilt holy shit))
Still ignored by their foes Sagishi looses yet another arrow. This time aiming again at the first archer.

Attack on Archer B: 1D20+5 = [9]+5 = 14

For a moment though he feels a rush of fear and panic wash over him and his hand shakes.

Bardic Inspiration: 1D6 = [5] = 5

But then Fhiess' words from before resonate in his mind and his hand steadies and his focus returns.

Damage: 1D6+3 = [6]+3 = 9
((I am going to assume that Ludwig just took out the captain. If he survived that somehow then we might have to redo this turn))

Keranos is ready to continue his onslaught against the Hobgoblin Captain, but when Ludwig slices the beast in twain it becomes a moot point.

He briefly considers focusing his wrath on the other nearby adversaries, but then he notices that the painter is suffering. He also would like to make it to the Archers, but that would be impossible to do quickly.

He mulls it over for a second and then nods decisively. He presses his palm against Fhiess's shoulder. The bard is suffused with holy energy, and he feels his wounds close before his eyes.

"One good turn deserves another. Let it never be said that Keranos does not look after his people."

Cure Wounds on Fhiess: [3] + 2 = 5 (I added the wrong modifier in Coyote Code. This is the correct value)

That being done, Keranos marches forward and locks eyes with the archers, hoping to draw their attention.

Map, assuming that the Captain died
<Oh! I found out where it says in the rulebook that the cube's point of origin is on one of the faces, not the exact center. This means I should be able to position Fhiess to not have to be adjacent to the hobgoblin to cast the spell.>
<Oh! I found out where it says in the rulebook that the cube's point of origin is on one of the faces, not the exact center. This means I should be able to position Fhiess to not have to be adjacent to the hobgoblin to cast the spell.>
((Then if I am understanding this right... I can move over a space and hit both hobgoblins with a thunder wave without having to stand in between them. If this still provokes an attack of opportunity in 5e, I can not find the rules on that.))

Nyx moves over and blasts the hobgoblins(A and C) with lightning.

Thunderwave - Con save DC 12: 3D8 = [6, 7, 2] = 15

((Geez, does everyone have Thunderwave? I was considering doing that this turn too, but healing seemed more strategically sound))
((It looks to be my only direct damage level 1 spell option so I didn't have much choice(doesn't help that the spell list is really lacking in general so far(imo)).))
<Yep, I don't get Magic Missile, so it was my only real damage option.

I need to see how Nyx's turn resolves since Thunderwave will push the hobgoblins if they fail the save.>
((Hobgoblin A and C are toast, and that ends combat.))

The skirmish ends in a flash. Ludwig delivers another crushing blow, finally felling the uncannily resilient captain of the hobgoblin forces, while Nyx unleashes a spell that slams into the other two to knock them off their feet with lethal force.

The last hobgoblin archer standing looks between the corpses of his fallen companions, blinking as though seeing them for the first time. His breathing turns panicked and rapid as he backs away from the party. With a shrill squeal, he turns tail and runs into the woods, clutching at the wound in its side.

Bleeding and careless as he is, a child could follow the path he’s leaving.
Despite his wound being closed, the elf continues to have a slight panic attack and continues to breathe heavily in the aftermath. He soon falls seated onto the ground, holding up his arm with thin streaks of blood drying.

Once he is finally able to start coming to his senses, he mutters, "I-I think one of them h-had something against me.. He kept yelling the same thing at me."
Keranos watches the lone survivor hobble away, debating on whether to snuff him out here and now.

Ultimately, a cooler head prevails. The neon glow fades from his eyes, the clouds return to their typical midday pallor, and the wind recedes.

"We ought to follow that one back to its lair, where we can mete out retribution to the whole unholy tribe," he says, turning to the others. "What say you? Shall we leave now, or take a moment to regain our bearings?"

((Out of character, I'm asking if anyone would like to take a short rest. It'd have to be an hour in order to get the benefits, if I understand things correctly.

Advantages of taking the rest as I see it: I can blow all my Level 1 spells to heal everyone up completely, and they will return after the rest, thanks to how Warlocks recover spell slots, and that would save DP and KM from using their spells (I don't think anyone else would recover their spells with only a Short Rest).

Disadvantages: Waiting an hour could cause the hobgoblins to vacate their lair and make following them much less effective.

I'm leaning slightly toward following immediately, but I'm also completely topped off already, so I'm biased.

Another option is to forget about the Hobgoblin and continue on the trail, but I know a plot hook when I see one.

So what do you guys think?))
<We have a horse and carriage to escape with, I don't see why we couldn't get rest while riding in that.>
((That's true if we choose not to follow the wounded hobgoblin, but it doesn't work if we try to tail him into the woods.

Also, regardless of what we decide, we should definitely search the leftover corpses for treasure and clues))
((I'm all for pursuing. Ludwig's used up most of his lay on hands pool and smites, but he has a few spells and tricks left. Going back to in character...))

Ludwig puts his sword away and looks over the party. "We should pursue now, we're in fair shape overall. If we strike quickly, we can make sure no one else gets ambushed along this stretch of road. Sure seems like the Rangers won't do that."

((EDIT: technically, if we pursue, most if not everyone could ride on Ludwig, so he's the only one that doesn't get a short rest))
((I actually have taken 0 damage because wildshape just gives me hp, so I am good to go.))
((Hm, not by my reading.))

When you transform, you assume the beast's hit points and Hit Dice. When you revert to your normal form, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. However, if you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. For example, if you take 10 damage in animal form and have only 1 hit point left, you revert and take 9 damage. As long as the excess damage doesn't reduce your normal form to 0 hit points, you aren't knocked unconscious.
((You had already taken a good hit before the captain's attack that would practically OHKO a lion, so if anything I think I goofed and didn't ascribe enough damage. Now that we're out of combat, it's not likely to matter, though.))
Fhiess frowns when they talk about pursuing the hobgoblins further.. he had already came halfway to dying, and isn't sure he is cut out to be a combat Bard yet.

<Fhiess is pretty cowardly but I won't protest if everybody wants to go after the goblins>
((Hm, not by my reading.))

((You had already taken a good hit before the captain's attack that would practically OHKO a lion, so if anything I think I goofed and didn't ascribe enough damage. Now that we're out of combat, it's not likely to matter, though.))
((huh? the only other attack was the other hobgoblin that only did 2 damage. combined I only took 26 damage, the exact amount of the hp the lion has. unless I missed an attack.))
Fhiess tries to pull himself together and reconcile with the fact they're going to visit the Hobgoblin hideout.

Okay, okay... it would be wiser to just tell the Rangers that there are still hobgoblins around and just go to the kingdom right away, but.. but that's just being the knight with just a shield. Nobody wants to be known as the swordless knight of the group.

"Following the goblin.. is it such a good idea?" He asks, finally. "I mean, I guess that's part of being a bard, isn't it?"
That everyone suddenly wants to go after the last hobgoblin comes as a surprise to Sagishi. Having to defend oneself when attacked is one thing but actively seeking out a conflict... he doesn't see the use in that.

"Erm... are you sure this is a good idea? We have no idea how many more there are. We could easily find ourselves in a situation that is more than we can handle."

He sees the determination on the other's faces and realises that there is little use of talking them out of this. Afterall even Fhiess seemed to agree, though the elf was shaking visibly.

"We should at least scout the situation first."

((Sagishi didn't take any damage and does not have any notable spells to use anyway so he's all good to go.))
When Sagishi speaks, Keranos looks at him like he has two heads at first, but his expression normalizes when the discussion shifts to the optimal pursuit strategy.

"A fair point," he concedes. "A more tactical approach may be warranted in this case. You appear to be the stealthy sort; perhaps the rest of us could follow behind while you perform scouting duty? Unless another - preferably not Ludwig, no offense - would care to join Sagishi in his covert pursuit."
Ludwig looks to Fheiss and says "But of course! The best tales are the ones you have a personal role in, after all. Besides, we can't just leave a goblin den free to ambush more people, and I think it's safe to say the Rangers won't handle it on their own."

When Sagishi speaks of a more cautious approach, Ludwig initially thinks of it as a chance to tag along and resolve that bout of confusion from the skirmish. Keranos's words remind him of the imprudence of such a course. He laughs and says "None taken. Stealth has its places, but for obvious reasons it's not my strong suit. Yes, a cautious approach to this pursuit seems perfectly reasonable."
Sagishi nods. He was pretty confident that between the five of them he probably really was the right one for the job. When Nyx offers to come along he is inclined to to tell her no, since he could be much more effective alone but seeing the eagerness on her face he can't bring himself to tell otherwise, besides, there are some questions about her earlier transformation that he is curious about.

"OK, then the two of us will follow the one that has gotten away." He points at the obvious splotches of blood. "Which should not pose much of a problem. The rest of you'll stay behind until we get back to you." He looks at Nyx. "You want to go right away or do you need a little bit if rest first? We should at least care for that wound of yours I'd say."
"Good point." She then points at the obvious splotches of blood and well... they don't disappear, but she gets healed anyways.
((spending 2 level 1 slots to heal up. that should be 20 hp(d8+2 x2).))

"Nook, stay here, while we find these mean hobgoblins." the druid commands her companion as she begins to grow bigger(but not lioness big) and hairier... soon replaced by a panther. She takes a quick sniff around the hobgoblins bodies(just in case) then returns to Saigishi and nods as if to say "Let's go."

((i'm thinking +6 stealth and +4 perception might be helpful here.))
((Mike M:
Does Sagishi get the stealth and perception bonuses from his fox form on top of his usual bonuses or instead of them?

I'll be driving to the airport in a few hours and won't have internet until sometime tomorrow. But I guess I might be able to get in one more post before I leave.))
Keranos frowns inwardly: he had been hoping to merely give the scouting duo a small head start, not to stay behind and wait for them to return. However, he sees the wisdom in the alternate approach and nods; a sixteen foot tall j'raffa could easily blow their cover no matter how far behind it followed.

While the two of them head off on the Hobgoblin's tail, Keranos gets down to the business of post-battle cleanup. Starting with the captain, he proceeds to search each perished hobgoblin for valuables and curiosities. He also attempts to discern the root of their bizarre behavior by collecting a drop's worth of blood on the tip of his finger and tasting it, hoping to detect irregularities in its composition, in addition to inspecting any suspicious substances that he might find on their person in a similar manner.

((Perception: [5] + 4 = 9

Medicine: [19] + 2 = 21))
((OK, time was sparser then I thought.Since Nyx has transformed there isn't much chance to talk anyway and I guess Mike can just make any checks necessary. Mike M
Sagishi would only transform if he is alone, say if they were to split up further.

Will check in again as soon as I have internet again.))