D&D Lost Mine of Phandelver – Epilogue and Retrospective

After giving the Black Spider the boot (ba-dum-bum-tssh), Loki and Grimdark returned to Phandalin, with the battered and bloody Pyke and Nundro, and the bodies of Droop and Helga; Grimdark was unfortunately unable to resurrect them with his newly-learned revivify spell, because obviously he lacked the required 600 gp worth of powdered diamonds. This is why material components for spells make me sad.

Upon return to Phandalin, Droop and Helga were laid to rest, and the Black Spider’s spear was added to the growing collection of trophies over the fireplace in Barry’s Barrel Room. With the Spider gone, the town could finally start to get back on its feet.

Nundro, the last surviving Rockseeker brother, took over management of the mine, and gave Loki and Grimdark a share in the mine’s profits. The word went out across the provinces that the fabled Lost Mine of Phandelver had been found, and  a new workforce was recruited. On the recommendation of Sergeant Pyke, Nundro recruited a full regiment of Mintarn mercenaries, on permanent retainer, as security for the mine.

As for Loki and Grimdark? They were lauded as heroes for all their work. With the money they’d “acquired” from their adventures, they made even more improvements to the Barrel Room and funded restoration work for the dilapidated Tresender Manor. Sildar’s guild, the Lord’s Alliance, approached them with offers of membership and work, but they refused, happy to retire from adventuring and settle down in Phandalin as landlords of the pub and shareholders of the mine. Their adventure was over. For now…

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Remember that Red Wizard of Thay who was wandering around with a small army of undead? Yeah, he’s probably Lawful Good.

The Treasures of Barry’s Barrel Room: Tattered Redbrand cloak, cask of dwarven brandy, the “crown” of the bugbear King Grol, Tested (the trident that slew the green dragon Venomfang), the skull of the green dragon Venomfang, Raid (the magical spear of the Black Spider), the painting Thundertree Resplendant, Hew (magical battleaxe), Lightbringer (magical mace), Earful (magical rapier), Ball Slicer (magical short sword).

The “Ears” of Loki’s Necklace: Wolf, goblin, bugbear (one burnt, one “fresh”), human, orc, ogre, hobgoblin, nothic, giant spider fang, green dragon fang, stirge proboscis, spectator eyestalk, ghoul, elf (specifically Aelya’s).

 

All in all, a pretty good way of spending ten months and several dozen hours! If you and some friends are just getting into D&D, you couldn’t really ask for much better than The Lost Mine of Phandelver; it’s a really well-designed adventure, with a plot that’s not too constricting if your players want to go “off-script” (buying a pub, for example). For the money, the starter set is excellent, and if you get the free basic rules from the D&D website, you could theoretically run a campaign of levels 1-20 for a tiny cash investment.

Me? I’m too capricious to be tied down to a level 1-20 slog. Instead I’m going to be running campaigns that peak at level 5; this to me seems the sweet spot, and means that a campaign can be finished off in about ten to twelve sessions… perfect for when I want to move on to the next one!

So what does my D&D future hold in store? Well, these are the campaigns I have in mind to inflict upon my group…

  • San Diablo : A supernatural action adventure where the heroes are modern-day knights and mages fighting off the creatures of darkness. Lots of influence from RWBY here, because I am a weak and impressionable man-child.
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Hot blonde? Shotgun boxing gloves? Hnnnngh.
  • Shining Kingdoms : Oriental Adventures/Wuxia style game, and all that entails. Samurai, ninja, oni, geisha, warrior monks, HONOUR… all that stuff that weeaboos jerk it to.
  • Gladius Umbra : Sci-fi conspiracy/special ops style setting. Lots of infiltration/sabotage/assassination style missions. A sort of Mass Effect vibe, sans aliens and biotics. Might tie it with the Brahma Circle, a nascent sci-fi setting/narrative universe I’ve toyed with the idea of for ever.
  • Poison Earth: Gamma World ruleshacked into 5th edition. Loves me some Gamma World.
  • More D&D! : Maybe set a few decades after the events of The Lost Mine. Maybe there’s a new threat in the region that new heroes have to deal with, like that aforementioned necromancer from Thay and his Red Wizard buddies. Or a new setting. Because fuck Forgotten Realms.
  • Sixguns and Sinners: Weird West. A load of spaghetti westerns mixed with occult horror. This what we’re doing next, probably starting next month; Joe’s already got plans to show up occasionally as a mysterious wandering preacher, and Darryl is nursing a boner for being a rootin’ tootin’ gunslinger, because he has apparently developed a lust for dual-wielding…

All I can say is that the dice haven’t stopped rolling, and won’t for a long time yet.

If you’ve been reading about our Phandelver adventures from the start, then thank you; it’s been a real blast, and I wasn’t expecting it to be as popular as it has been, if my stats are anything to go by. I just hope that our next foray into the world of tabletop RPGs is just as entertaining for you!

May you always roll 20s.

Gareth

 

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2 thoughts on “D&D Lost Mine of Phandelver – Epilogue and Retrospective

  1. Absolutely fantastic storytelling! My friends and I recently finished LMoP, and I was more than thrilled to read how someone else’s playthrough went!

    We had a slightly larger group of 5 adverturers: Levolis, a half-elf Bard (me); Timbers, a gnomish Cleric; Xerjulos, a tiefling Warlock; Falros, a half-elf Ranger, and Apocylous, a human Barbarian. And Tim, the DM. Tim and myself played casual bits of AD&D and 3.5 more than a decade prior, but nothing too serious. The rest were fresh noobs.

    Here’s how our first encounter went in Cragmaw Cave at the very beginning of the campaign:

    *We walk in, because of night-vision we immediately notice a big hole in the ceiling about 30 feet up*
    Apocylous: I run up behind Lev and throw him straight up at the hole!
    DM: “Ahhh.. you’re human without night vision, so you blindly throw Lev up towards a hole surrounded by stalactites…”
    Me: *ashen faced*
    DM: Roll your strength check.
    Apoc: 21!!
    Everyone in unison: Wow!
    Apoc: Does that do it?!
    DM: Of course it fucking does. Lev, acrobatics check.
    Me: *rolls a 19*
    Everyone again in unison: Wow!
    DM: Well, somehow Apocylous blindly chucks an elf half his size 30 feet straight up into a hole with pinpoint accuracy without killing him, who is able to grab onto the ledge and hoist himself up. He sees a clearing ahead with a few archers and a larger, hairier creature in the mid-
    Me: STEALTH! I tie my rope around a rock and drop the rope.
    Also me: *rolls* ….natural 1
    Everyone: ……
    DM: *mutters* I didn’t see this happening AT ALL. Soooo, in your disbelief at just being manhandled against your will, you’re still shaky and trip over a rock and smash your face, taking 1 bludgeoning damage. Also, the noise immediately garners the attention of the BOSS ROOM right in front of you, and the bugbear in the middle runs at you to take an attack with advantage, since you’re prone and that’s his racial trait.

    To sum it up, I got one shotted and we should have gotten TPK’d.. but it was glorious and amazing. And also wildly nerfed. After giving me a new face, he jumped down the hole and chased the rest of my friends as they scrambled to kill it. Our DM played it off well and it ended up being one of the more memorable moments of the entire campaign. Ironically enough, the other most memorable moment happened in WaveEcho at the very end.

    With that one, we decided to start by perimeter checking to the left of the entrance. 4 rooms and a few oozes later we were already in front of the Black Spider, whom we dispatched of with relative ease. Bard level 2 Silence is a wonderful thing. The dragon was about 5x harder for us. As we pushed further through the cave and fought the spectator, doppleganger, evil green-floaty skull thing by the billows that chucks fireballs (he might’ve added that), etc. we completely exhausted all of our spells, healing pots, and were down to under 10 HP each and could not rest. That’s when those damn mosquito bats struck in the dining hall.. with an added golem for good measure. We noticed our Cleric being picked on pretty hard (turns out it was a treasure golem and he was wearing 3 unique items), and between the golem smashing him every turn, the bats latching on, and an unfortunate natural 1 from our Warlock’s Eldritch Blast, he ended up KO’d with two failed death throws.. and rolled a 7 for his third one. Our first natural death of the campaign, and it happened in the very last scripted room we could have explored. We hastily finished the fight and our DM sat quiet and wide-eyed, clearly at a loss for words. I scrambled out loud for ideas to spurn creative juices..

    “HEY, he befriended Lady Gorell at Phandolin.. she might know a divine blessing or someone else that does!.. Uhh.. We have like ten million gold, we could try to buy ingredients and try to concoct our own revival potion with experimental notes an apothecary might have.. Ohhh!! OHH!!! APOCYLOUS STRAP HIM ON YOUR BACK! We’re going to the green flame!”

    So we carefully laid his still-warm body on top of the green flame (which we did not yet know was the forge), took out his Lightbringer flashlight mace and shined its light upon him, then sat around his body in a prayer circle and prayed to Pelor for a miracle..

    ..And that fucking cleric, surrounded by friends in game and in real-life as we anxiously looked on, rolled a natural 20.

    There was about three full seconds of silence and shocked glances before all of us, DM included, jumped up and started screaming, shouting, and high-fiving like we did when we collectively watched the Penguins win the last Stanley Cup. It was an intensely powerful moment shared between all of us that we’ll never forget.

    Looking back, our group is unrecognizable now from when we started 7 months ago. From players brashly shouting out things they wanted to do and getting us in trouble, to working together quickly and efficiently to overcome obstacles. From being nervous and afraid to “get into it”, to heartily adopting accents and playing different personas for our characters. The story itself might be a bit too vanilla for seasoned vets, but I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking to get their feet wet with D&D.

    Thanks for sharing your story man!

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