This session was the best of the game so far and we had less than two rounds of combat the entire time.
Speaking from experience, travel sessions and rolling random encounter tables are incredibly boring. They take too much prep because of the random element and there is no story or emotional pay off at the end. “My character died because of random encounter” is pretty annoying. However, the DM did just use the random encounters as opportunity to run the set piece encounters. Everything played out really well and everyone got a chance to try out their character’s ingenuity and strengths. The roleplay was great, there was tons of laughter at the table, and we trampled over the non-player characters with combination of words, carefully concealed spellcasting, and force-of-personality. I got to use fog cloud, sleet storm, and gust of wind in really amusing situations. We even planted items so we can track them later with locate object. It was a good session.
Player-wise, we had two missing people this week, but added a guest appearance of a friend from Philadelphia. He joined us having never played D&D since 2nd Edition and never gamed with any of us at all. No problem, he slipped right into his character and was comfortable with our brand of madness and joking right away. While the session was not particularly rules heavy, he managed to glide into the rules from just the character sheet with no problem. His half-elf ranger, Handa, was picked up as a teamster for our caravan trek up the road. The dice gods were good to him and he even led a few scenes. The DM is really good that way, spreading out the attention and interaction so that all players get to have their fun and face the circumstances. Like I said earlier, totally a win session.
So now Velkyn is 5th level. Major changes include 3rd level spells, proficiency bonus increase, new magic items, and booming blade increases in damage. This is where the Tempest cleric and booming blade combination begins to take shape. However, there has been no opportunity to use them in combat yet. I found myself swapping spells around for utility–something I do not do often or at all. None of our characters are battle tested, but next session is a dungeon crawl-ish and I need to level up Velkyn again.
Side note: These articles are posted one week after completing the session, but written a couple days after in order to write while the memory is fresh.
But… what do I know…?