We had the first session of my 5E playtest game on Saturday and I have several things to say, but first the play report.
We opened with a diceless sequence of 'meeting the heroes' as they escaped confinement on a pirate/slaver ship on the Inner Sea. I opened with describing their current dire circumstances of the five of them being chained to the wall of a small cell in the hold of a large ship and asked everyone to give me two cool things they did to get the five of them off the ship during a sudden tempest.
(Being players they immediately started asking if they could free all 80 other prisoners, take over the ship from the 30 pirates and otherwise push things well past the boundaries of the scenario. You're first level, people! This is you're very quick origin story that sets up the villains, not the big boss battle! I don't know if this is the downshift from playing kick ass Feng Shui PCs last time we met or something about players no longer remembering that they should run away from some stuff.)
Deldiira, the Halfling Guild Artisan, was the most recent addition to the cell, and once there are no guards present reveals her hidden Sorceress skills (and in shaking her head reveals the small horns on her hear that are evidence of her wild fey heritage) and sets herself to casting ray of frost on her chains repeatedly, gritting her teeth at the conveyed ice burn on her wrists until the chains snap from the pressure.
She yanks and they shatter, sending chunks of metal around the room. Brock Grimsbreaker, a Dwarvish soldier, nags a flying bit of metal and, after conveying it to his teeth, uses the shard to pick the lock on his chains. He quickly frees the other occupants of the cell, uttering curt orders tokeep quiet and stay calm while they assess the situation.
Once he frees the long haired, wild eyed Elf Hermit Tebryn that figure grabs another shard and worms it into the wood holding what once were his chains. By the time Brock frees the other two Tebryn worked the length of chain free and is spinning it expertly, watching the door and ready to deal with anyone coming through.
Brock frees the slender Human Acolyte Roberto - who has a bit of a glazed expression - and then the broad shouldered Human Warrior Olan Gethbriar. A whispered word in Olan hear from Brock and Olan nods, charging the door just as a guard passes it, knocking the door down, and the guard. Olan grabs the slavers sword from its scabbard as he falls and snags the top of a water barrel as an ad hoc shield.
Tebryn charges past him up the stairs to the deck, apparently planning to deal with both pirates clinging to the doorway with his chain. Instead both collapse at the sigh of his approach - he thinks they have fainted in terror of him but actually felled by Dildiira's enchantment. Olan is directly behind him, snagging a second sword from a fallen pirate and tossing it to Tebryn, who snags it effortlessly in the dark and driving rain and commences to wield both it and the chain to clear a space from the others.
Roberto, still somewhat glazed, emerges carrying a small pack that he gathered on instinct from the guard's room, and waves a hand towards the pirate trying to keep control of the ship. Divine radiance falls from the sky at the gesture, throwing the pirate from the wheel. Deldiira grabs the humans hand and yanks him into one of the ship's rowboats.
Brock yanks open the chest holding carpenter's supplies for ships repair and snags a hatchet, which he uses to cut the rowboat free. He leaps in while Tebryn and Olan give them cover. Olan interposes his shield on an attack on Tebryn and pushes the elf into the now descending rowboat. He then takes a viscous sword hit from one of the pirates and falls, more alive then dead, into the pitching rowboat.
Seconds after he lands Roberto lays his hands on the dying human and, with a prayer and the full force of Ilmater's might flowing through him for the first time, restores Olan to life and health.
We'll continue next time....