I would like to start this whole thing off by stating that i’m a new adapter to the DnD 5e format of play, I’m a DM in various other circles, mainly homebrewed games just for the fun of it, then call of Cthulu, but now making my way into dnd after having watched streams amist running other games or playing video games, absorbing information as time goes on. My current group are all a bunch of teens, while i’m in my mid 20’s, so there’s a dynamic of them just learning what roleplay games CAN be, and we gather on my days off to play our main campaign, however, this session was going to be much different than the others.
Our group struggles to respond to announcements on our discord as is, particularly the younger two players, however, this week, half of our player base had stuff going on for our game, so I had decided to run a halo one off using a Halo (5e Campaign Setting) I found on DandDwiki’s website, I’ll include the link below. As an interesting side note, we used Halo Forge mode to play this version of the game.
I set the following table rules for the game.
1. If you are playing a hunter, you must have a buddy play one with you, to play up the bond brother’s concept from the halo lore.
2. If you make your character sheets, have a couple extra in case you die. If you want, I’ll make you character sheets instead.
Only 2 people noticed this announcement ahead of time, so when the 4 that did show up, did, they assumed we were playing the main game, despite private dms having been sent out. Needless to say, thankfully, I had planned ahead and created some lvl 10 characters for them, using the Covenant soldier class in the setting to create each one.
The Party ended up as follows
2 Hunters, armed with a Type-33b Assault Cannon and Shield, named Wakoka and Umeko
1 Elite named Lito “lorahm who was built to be a more intrique based character, with a rough and gruff attitude with a Charisma of 7, armed with a Type-51 carbine and an energy sword
1 Brute female (He’d be upset if I didn’t specify, but he was unaware that was the halo wars 2 character’s name, it was just suggested as one) named Atriox, who was your classic brute grav hammer wielder, She had a plasma rifle and pistol but never used them.
The party had been soldiers in the human covenant war for years, some of them only a couple, others having been in the war for a good chunk of their lives, serving in various boarding actions or invasion over their service, leading them to being praised as zealots for the Covenant army, and thus, when the invasion of Reach occured, while their brothers were sent out to fight en mass down in the streets of the city below, their squad was carried via phantom to the top of a sky scrapper before being deposited upon a T junction of helipads, with the two hunters landing on the pad opposite of the building, and the other two ended up on the platforms opposite of each other. Their goal was simple, infiltrate a biolab to recover a disease the humans had been creating with the intent to introduce it to non phrophet species of the Covenant, whom would carry the disease symptom free, before it was introduced to a phrophet, which in response, the symptoms would result in a painful death.
Instantly, initiative is rolled,Umeko, who is the stronger and more constitutive of the two hunters rushes up first, taking cover behind a large steel cover that you’d recognize if you’ve played the halo games, peaking around and popping a shot off with his assault cannon, wiffing the shot and blowing out the wall and a section of the upper floor, which dropped down into the chaos below. He fires a second shot as an extra action, which also wiffs, crashing into more flooring above, leaving an opening for the first marine to unload onto him, though thanks to benefits of the race and his shield, Umeko managed to block the incoming rounds on both bursts of the assualt rife while Wakako rushed forward and hunkered down behind the cover, choosing to be innert for this turn to let his friends shine. The Marines were destracted by the hunter choosing to unload their ammo onto him to no effect while Lito ran forward to the nearest one, doing a spinning slash with his energy sword, and ending up by impaling him in the torso, grabbing him by the neck and throwing him off the building, leading up to Atriox to rush towards a marine on the other side of the platform, swinging at him to use the knockback feature to bump him off the platform, rolling a 1 in the attempt.
Atriox had to then go through a Dex save to see if they managed to keep enough balance to not tumble away completely, crashing and breaking the rail away in the effect, and looking down at the fall they nearly experienced, then proceeded to use the rest of their movement to stand up and go for the second swing, which failed to a less spectacular effect. Slowly but surely, they slaughtered their way through the human marines, as the AOE from the hunters stripped them of cover and their health rather quickly, as the weapon uses 3d12 with decreasing 1d12 per five feet away from the target, which was strong enough to vaporize most of the direct targets of the weapon, to the hunter players great glee.
As the squad pushed forward, down the main corridor, a stray shot blew out a wall closer to the interior, allowing for a glance at a marine taking pot shots from the hole from behind a small mobile steel cover, drawing the attention of the brute, who proceeded to send the first marine flying off the platform, and while Lito and Umeko pushed down the main entry hall, Atriox used the evade ability (it ads 10ft of movement flight speed to 3 rounds, think the jetpack ability) and jumps over the gap, followed by the weaker hunter, Wakoka, who leapt across and activated the 8 more marines on that side of the jump.
Thankfully for Atriox, the majority of the 5 marines who went in a row failed to strike her with their weaponry, with the exception of two who managed to pop their energy shields, which mechanically are shown as 20 temp HP that will refresh to full after 3 turns of no damage. They chose to push the cover down on top of the human, and after a successful strength check, manage to crush the cover enough over him that he was stuck for 4 rounds of comabt as people ignored him.
This is where tensions got messy, as Umeko rounded the corner and decided to use his assault cannon, popping off his two shots, one of which hits a targeted piece of cover, which burns Atriox in the 15ft radius range, dealing a combined 15dmg, and then proceeded to do so again, burning the brute horribly in the effort, who barked from behind burned armor and charred flesh and fur that if that happened again, he’d kill the hunter, which would inspire Wakoka to pick up a battle rifle on his next turn, disarming his assault cannon to allow him to do so with his wormlike arm to manipulate the weapon, which he failed to hit anything as he was attempting to understand the crude, human weapon. This allowed Lito to gain glory as he charged the more imposing marines in the room, catching a 3d8 shotgun blast to the chest, twice, and managing to decapitate one man after having stabbed him in the stomach, and then pulling out his carbine to pop the head of another human who had been hiding behind cover. Atriox, with her heath having been burned away from her own teammates, dropped to a prone position as the soldier she had trapped finally successfully got out from under the cover, stood up to realize the brute was there, and took off running towards a door in the back of the room. The Brute got his AoO on him, cracking him in the leg and shattering it with the strength of the blow, leading him to weakly turn around once he slammed into the cover he was heading too, and shooting back with smg rounds that rip into Atriox’s leg from their proned position.
Umeko and Wakoka took a more defensive posture towards the back, covering the majority of the other two with their massive AOE attacks, however, Wakoka was still attempting to figure out the battle rifle, managing to land the only shot they had with the gun the entire game, ripping into one of the marine’s torso with the weapon, with great glee from the player.
As Attriox and Lito cleaned up the survivors, the last 3 marines made a break for a door off to the side of the main room, one of which stopping to shoot back before running into the doorway itself, the bullets bouncing off the hunter uselessly. Umeko proceeds to shoot him with the AC, blowing the poor marine into radioactive dust, but the doors main control pannels melted in the heat of the blast, dropping the heavy quarentine door and triggering an alarm.
Umeko, having missed a shot, had blown out a section of the wall to expose durasteel that was too heavy to blast through, so they knew they couldn’t blow through the wall, so Atriox attempted to wedge fingers down there and brute force their way in, to no avail. The group went to loot, finding various weapons, only a few of which in working condition, and ammo clips for them, which Umeko and Wakoka took for themselves. Lito, at this point, was more interested in finding a healthkit for Atriox and all the gernades in the group of marine corpses strewn about, collecting 5, keeping 2 and handing the rest to the other players, as well as keeping a rocket launcher with a single rocket that a marine had been carrying.
Meanwhile, Atriox had found a side panel that allowed for an emergency release, activating the switch and causing the door to open up a bit before coming to a creaking halt as the gears jammed. After a short deliberation period, and a quick reference to their Character sheet, they realized they have the eel body trait, which allows them to fit into a size under their creature size, which was labled as medium, and thus he chose to leave his hunter gear behind to slither throughout the electrical system until he came to the electrical gears to figure out that some of them had been jammed by the melting wire covering getting into the gear, and set his worms to work clearing things out. Meanwhile, his team were trying to cleam information from the door, as Wakako and Atriox attempted to lift the door manually, using brute strength, Lito decided to go prone with his carbine and look under the door, and with a good perception check, he saw a pair of heavily armored human feet meet up and discuss arming the door to explode.
At this point I left the chat to direct the person handling the halo in what I wanted him to build for the room, which I came to regret later as he points shit out that I, as the DM, never said was there to them, but that’s besides the point. We built the room while the others discussed things, and the party had come to the conclusion that they should roll gernades under the door, which they proceeded to do, though only one person was close enough to catch the blast from behind half cover, as well as detonating the traped fusion coils on each side of the door, destroying sandbag fortifications next to the door in the effort, before throwing the switch.
They were instantly met with a dex save as the trap triggered, and the turret that had been set up in the room behind the door unloaded a ripping tide of bullets, opening initiative as Lito and Wakako took the brunt of the dmg, with Lito choosing to ignore the dex save to take the rounds, allowing him to fire a reactionary rocket in the opening phases into the room, which missed the target he amed for and flew into the back of the room, blowing up a work station, which will be important later. The pair realized as they dove out of the way that it was a Demon, a Spartan, manning the turret, as well as another with a sniper rifle hiding in the back of the room, near a scientist. as well as 5 marines. The rocket’s explosion managed to kill the scientist, and popped the further back spartan’s shielding, and with that the fight was on. Umeko rushed into the room, firing his first blast into the heavy armor aimed at the door on the right side of the room, with Atriox rushing in to engage the Spartan on the turret, smashing into his cover with the first blow and going wide with the second blow. Wakako attempted to help, with no real luck, to shoot with his battle riffle, leaving Lito and Atriox to pick up the pace as Lito charged in and leapt over one sandbag to pin then stab a marine through the chest, choosing to stand up and decapitate the bleeding man with the rest of his movement, while Umeko aimed at the turret spartan, firing a round and catching Atriox in the immediate blast radius for 18 dmg, which was followed up by Lito rushing to the back of the spartan, slashing him and then cutting him in two at the waist.
Earlier, there had been threats of violence towards Umeko if that had happened again, which Atriox kept as he then chose to rush his “ally” and smash up against his hammer against the Hunter, which took him out of his range with allies and made his AC drop from 22, down to 20, allowing the Brute to abuse him for an attack against the wall before rushing off to smash a marine into pulp. At this point, the last spartan had used an imposing fear on Wakako, who was taking horrible potshots at her and failing due to the disad from the fear affect, and ran to check on the pulse of the scientist, who had died from the explosion, and once her turn came back around, she was too close to engage with her sniper rifle, and swapped to her assault rifle, unloading a full burst of two attacks into atriox, who had engaged with a swing of the hammer, shredding his combat harness and ripping into his stomach with the rounds, though at this point, the poor woman stood no chance as she was tackled to a prone and grappled by Lito, who proceeded to punch her face plate open, revealing an attractive woman with greey eyes and black hair, whom Wakako walked up on, and with a straight roll, managed to explode her face into the helmet with the burst of rounds, splattering Lito’s face with blood.
At this point, I ask for a con save check for everyone who entered the room, with Wakoka being the only one who succeeded, and I announced that the three failing players were now infected with a disease with no noticable symptoms.
This left the party to search for their objective, as the foes all died, and they looked around the place, noticing many different vials and various objects and machines for the purpose of doing experimentation on the various diseases, but after just looking around blind, Atriox decided to make attempts to hack the computer, failed. Then Wakako attempted to do so, and failed. There was a warning that lockdown would be initiated if the last attempt failed, and after a bit of bickering, it was discovered that Atriox had the highest int at a +2, and Wakako decided to help him, and thanks to the pair working together, they were able to brute force their way through the computer, pun intended to great sighs throughout the party.
As Atriox went to read through files, discovering the disease was heat and vaccuum resistant, and that it was airborn, how it transmits, and the symptoms of how the infected die, he looked at the computer, then to the blown work desk, then to the computer, and then announced his fears that the disease was released by the rocket and that it had a chance to survive and that it was meant to get to the prophets with the intent to kill them. Now, the Hunters had been communicating between themselves, using their colony link to, pretty much, fuck around and just had random ass conversation in their mind talk while people were interacting with them, so Atriox ended up getting heated up and kept repeating what he was saying to try to get their attention, as they clearly were looking around, or at each other, making motions that suggested they were ignoring him, but Lito had been listening the whole time everything was being said, and chose to inspect for a panel on this side of the room.
Lito discovers that the panel had been blown open on this side of the room, and that there is wires similar to the other side’s panels, but no switch to close the door like on the other side, so he leans around the door, flips the switch to activate the close function, and after a quick dex save, slides back into the room as the quarentine activates once more, and the room is sealed shut, instantly causing the party to look at the door as Atriox, repeats her theory that it didn’t matter if they were infected, if they had managed to be infected, that as long as they reported it as a success and then made a point of staying away from others, that the Phrophets would be safe, which made Lito realize how futile his last action was, and thus, he slunk off to pout about his stupidity for awhile.
This lead to unloading several assault cannon rounds into the door, panicking, attempting to find something to increase comm strength after stating that their signal was dead when the door sealed, Umeko attempting to enter the vent to force the door open, which this time he realized that it was a closed vent system with internal wiring systems in place to keep energy and the like in the room, which nearly ended up with him being sucked into the rebreather fan, taking 7 damage and losing several dozen of his worm colony in the effort. Him and Wakako decide to play electrician next, and after an Arcana roll we flavored as playing with ‘alien’ tech, he rolled a 10 and I gave him a selection of wires that, “He KNEW” were important. He chose to use the red wire, the main electrical wire, to rip out, taking 4d8 lightning damage as the current arched into him, which he gleefully giggled about, to which they gave up on the wires for awhile as Lito finally got up and began to make multiple attacks to the door with his energy sword.
While he hacked away, chipping at the HP for the door, Wakako’s player had to leave, leaving Umeko being the only one who was playing electrician at the door, the player of which had been showing attention problems the whole game, as he had been the room editor for Halo, then asked, “Well, what are the rest of the colors?” to which I listed off many colors, including the actual wire that the release would be activated by if it was cut, which had not been an original color option, but they decided it would be best not to focus on cutting any more wires, as the room was already dark and they now had a limited amount of oxygen due to the rebreather having failed.
They heard large explosions as something hit the building, as time was taking too long, and then their progress really started to increase as Lito described how manic his character would be getting to cut through the door, which he played off as rolling multiple times for multiple attacks, doing 30-40 dps every time he rolled, which eventually allowed him to cut enough of a path for his head to stick out, then his arm with his comm unit, to which he requests aid and then sees a pair of banshee’s flying outside, chasing down and firing upon a hornet, before he retracts his body and goes to sit down and meditate on the day. It was at this point he also realized that the building had been hit with serious ordinance, as the helipads, the main hall and half of the room outside the biolab had been blown away by ship fire.
Umeko decided, now that the door was clear, to blow the door open with his AC, which it blew out a hole big enough for a small creature to get outside. Choosing to leaves is armor behind once more, he slides outside and activates the door, which goes up a foot before getting stuck, this time, on the betal blown and bent outwards by the black allowing his escape. Lito realizes something at this moment, and asks if the computer was still open, to which Atriox said, “Yea, I just walked away from it and have been watching you all try to get the door open since you all don’t care what I have to say.” to which Lito goes and looks up alternate information about the virus, discovers it’s parent disease is kept in a safe fridge off in the corner of the room, as well as the code to open it, and proceeds to collect the parent sample, as well as labeled blood vials that were marked as clean or infected varients of grunts, elites and brutes, as well as the black Plague, Small Pox, the Cosmic Plague, and a mysterious sluglike creature he failed to inspect, choosing to collect all of it and place it into a vial cooler for transport. Umeko then slides back in, this time, under the door and goes back in his suit, noticing as two elites drop out of cloak and begin to approach the door. After a short half hours worth of work, then reinforcment, lead to the door being taken out and the group being saved, the session ends and we go into epilogue mode, starting things off with a con save for everyone who was infected before I went down into the history of their character’s fates.
Umeko went back to his ship with Wakoka and spread his disease among other hunters, which jumped cross species until the command of the ship was infected, the prophets having ruptures appear on their skin, followed by blood vomiting that would cause to throat swelling, leading to a death that was a combination of dying on your own vomit and choking from a closed wind pipe. The ship would be self desctructed by the elite commander to prevent further infection.
Lito, the high dex, high con investigative Elite reported the fear that he may have been infected to the elite in charge of his ship, and was sent off into quarentine, ordered to give a blood sample and then marked as diseased, along with all of the elites he had been in contact with, which resulted in him becoming an arbiiter who lead his new personal battallion in suicide missions against the humans, unsupported, until they were slain on Reach.
Atriox would be the only survivor of the squad. Having been ratted out by Lito, they would be tested as well, but as being the only one who succeeded the con save, Atriox didn’t seem to infect anyone of his species on the way out, but was still identified as a carrier of the disease and was sent off to a penal work colony with a life sentence, a banishment if you would, where she would be barred, like many of her kind on the moon, from ever leaving the planetoid, where she’d be in a constant cycle of hard labor and violence for her days to come.
We all had a lot of fun, and the pace was a lot quicker than previous fights, as our player base was cut down by half. Truth be told, I had another encounter to trigger off, one with 6 more spartans having snuck up and booby trapped the room, but as it was pushing towards 12m, and the players are still in school, I ended up using the end game plan of a Frigate being called to blow the place up as the ending to be called in, playing it off as the Spartans seeing the fact the covenant locked themselves down, retreating and calling in the strike they would have called if they were losing, which was supposed to be the end to the single shot, but since I had stated the lab would survive a direct shot from a frigate, as well as what happened in the cannon of Reach’s fate, the frigate blew up too quickly to have taken the whole building down, allowing them to actually win, even if they didn’t manage to pull back the vial in the intended manner.
I really enjoyed this one shot, and it has me interested in the idea of running off a 1-20 campaign where the group is treated like an actual covenant squad and they must prove their mettle by going into various combat situations and slowly being given more gear, but for now, I’m content with this excellent story we’ve earned ourselves.