So, this story takes place before the events of The First Time I Rage Quit A D&D Campaign that aired previously by All Things DnD. During that story I briefly mentioned the campaign the DM ended abruptly, all so he could begin work on ‘that’ campaign.
So here is that story….
So, this was the first proper campaign I had played of D&D. During the last year of highschool we had played occasional campaigns during lunch hours that lasted usually 2-3 sessions before whoever was DMing gave up and wanted to be a player. A year or two after school ended the same group got together and we decided to make a weekly online game. At this point, the campaign had been going on for about a half year when this takes place.
We had been investigating some strange occurences as elemental goblins had been appearing around the place. They were sieging towns and attacking supply lines, each seemingly empowered with abilities related to an element, and rumor had it they were working for an ancient lich named Sarborous. These enemies were homebrewed by a DM with very little experience at the game, who was taking the basic stat block, giving them extra abilities but keeping them the same challenge rating. This also should have been our first red flag for the next campaign, because at this point our other DM who he would come to steal the idea for the lich ambassador from, had been running a story involving strange goblin slimes that had been appearing and attacking supply lines.
At this point I was playing a Tiefling Paladin build for full tank, I had plate armor, 18 con and the tough feet. We were level 4 at this point, so I had in the realm of 52 hp. On average we would fight 6-8 of these goblins per fight, and as our frontline I would take the brunt of the damage. The issue was that each of the exploded in a 10ft radius when they died, dealing 10 flat damage of their element with no save. This meant that I could effectively fight 5 of them without taking a single hit before I was out of the fight. After a few sessions of fighting these creatures I gave up, and changed characters. I went from our frontline tank to our artillery backline to get me as far from these exploding goblins as I could, using the critical role gunslinger that had just come out. My new character was an ex human mercenary, who had turned to adventuring to bury his past. He was fascinated by automaton and tinkering, and sought to use his understanding of mechanics and gunpowder to revolutionise the world. And, because at this point the party had made level 5, I was given it as well.
After a few sessions with my new character we were tasked to go to a wizard named Fenjon’s tower. He had been developing a weapon that could kill Sarborous if he ever returned, but mysteriously dissapeared a few weeks ago. We caught a ship to the town nearby and were attacked by elemental goblins and shipwrecked, then slogged through days of jungle and desert encounters to arrive at the tower, and recieve level 6. We found it in ruins, trapped and defended to the teeth. After nearly TPKing on the first of five floor to traps, we decided to try other methods. I rigged a bunch of my gunpowder to make charges, and tried to blow our way through the tower. The walls were totally impervious to the blast, not even a scratch. But he did mention that some of the roof broke apart. It was too late now, I knew if he stated that it could chip the roof but not break through the other players would chuck a hissy fit, so I blew through the roof….. Didn’t work….
After 20 minutes of arguing with the DM for railroading, he allowed it upon which it triggered every trap in the corresponding room above and dropping them on us, nearly killing us. The rooms didn’t even allign on the map, he had just picked the room with the most deadly traps to punish me for finding creative sollutions. I painfully blew through each of the rooves, got to the top, secured the weapon and left the tower as it began to implode in a sphere of annhilation self destruct. It was at this point that he first announced his next campaign, causing things to go downhill quick.
We returned back, recieved level 7 and then used the wealth of valuables we stole from the tower to buy items for every resistance we could afford. Before the town was attacked by goblins. This time they brought a giant elemental worg to try and kill us, sent specifically by Sarborous. We decided the town was screwed, and just to leave, at which point the worg jumped hundreds of feet towards us and lashing at us with elemental attacks. It breathed elemental magic at us, dealing elemental magic??? As we all sat there baffled, we asked what specific element, to which he replied “All of them at once, which ignores your resistances.” At this point one of our players cracked it. “You can’t just go changing the fundamental mechanics of the game like that, making up new damage types because we bought items that negated the types you were already using”. The DM caved and made it deal each element individually. Instead of dealing 5d10 it dealt 1d10 of each the 5 elemental damages. We killed the worg and headed to the mage guild in the center of town. Apparently they had created a small shield over the inner town and let us in. They told us they could hold out, but Sarborous would bring down the wards soon, we had to confront him. They asked if we would kill him, at which point they opened a portal directly to his lair.
We arrived at his lair, and were given two levels up to 9. We found out it was an ancient crumbling temple with not a elemental goblin to be seen, thank Bahamut. We entered the randomly generate donjon full of hundreds of corridors that went in circles to the same room they originated from, hundreds of flame skulls and series of pointless rooms that offered nothing in the way of story but endless combat encounters. As we travelled, we got into a bad encounter with some mummy lords, which nearly killed one of our party bards. In a panick he dimension doored out of the room to safety, to which the DM had both mummy lords role dexterity saving throws as they both forced themselves through the doorway. The bard was turned to dust and was given my old tiefling paladins sheet, whos god just deus ex machina’d into the situation. The player had never seen the character, and had no idea how to play them, so the running joke was the bard possessed him on the way in and just took control of the paladins body.
To avoid the encounters at this point, we just abused the Leomund’s Tiny Hut spell, by continually ritual casting it from the edge of its own radius to have a turtle shell that moved 10ft every 10 minutes through the dungeon. We arrived upstairs, in the halls of Sarborous. Now, to put in perspective, we had all been getting ready for this. A lich is a CR 21, and we are a party of 5 lvl 9 players. This is a deadly encounter by nearly 3x the deadly threshold. We arrived in, he immediately first turn cast Power Word Kill. Our highest Hp character had 90, so it would have killed anyone in the party. But he specifically targeted the other bard, who had specifically taken silence and counterspell to even the odds of the fight, which the lich would have had no way of knowing because neither of them had been used in combat or even talked about in game, only out of game. We gave the amulet weapon we got from Fenjons tower to the fighter, who couldn’t get close to the lich who was teleporting around the room as a legendary action the DM had given it. The fighter used the amulet once, the lich rolls a save, and loses half his Hp. The fighter then action surged, used it again. The lich died, campaign over. It had used none of its legendary resistances, just died in two shots on the fighters second turn. Didn’t even have to find its phylactery, the DM told us his soul was consumed by the weapon and he was dead forever.
The DM then gave a short campaign wrap up, apparently we went on a quest to ressurect the first fallen bard, apparently we never attempted to ressurect the second fallen bard as he had been sent straight to the nine hells when he died. The DM was laughing about it after the session, saying his next campaign was set in the same world but 30 thousand years later. And how our now devil bard was going to come back and be an antagonist to the new party. The player lost his shit about how his character had done nothing to send him to hell, and if he ended up there would have done everything in his power to ensure his soul was destroyed before he was turned evil. So he never did return for the next campaign. But apparently my inventor gunslinger made a league of gunslinger assassins that survived 30000 years without at all revolutioning technology with the gunpowder and tinkering techniques I founded, even though that was the sole goal of my character…
And that was the end of the campaign. In under 6 sessions we went from level 5 to level 9, killed a BBEG in a two turns and ended a campaign. It was an abrupt and terrible ending to the campaign, and we hoped the next one would be better. Little did we know the end of this campaign, was the beginning of a far worse campaign.