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…
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.
- 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.