Control of Skullport

We had another entertaining session of D&D this week. This one felt especially well-rounded from the perspective of character role diversity. The rogue snuck around, spying out the landscape while the battle master scouted the enemies for strategic knowledge. In one fight, there was an epic mage duel, and the halfling monk got to run through the effects of a Cloud Kill spell to end the threat.

Overall, the session had great party dynamics with creative use of individual skills and abilities. They also did a great job of leveraging their contacts and connections to minimize their risk of exposure while still taking action to gather the needed intelligence. I next need to figure out what that intelligence will be, but this approach also gives me more time to make the information more dynamic. This part of the role-playing of D&D is fun for me, and I’m enjoying how the players are interacting with the world.

The latest decision on their plate is “Who should control Skullport?” None of their options are good. It is Undermountain, after all. Xanathar’s Guild, their current nemesis, holds sway over the underground town. A Drow house from the Underdark is making a play for it, but they are limited to river access, with a long-established group of hobgoblins controlling the other primary access points from level three of Undermountain.

Those hobgoblins have asked the players for help recovering something stolen. The recent theft has placed them at a distinct disadvantage, and the group finds themselves caught between the Drow threat and continuing pressure from Xanathar’s Guild – who the players find out have already been infiltrating the hobgoblins via strategic placement of intellect devourers. Azrok, the hobgoblin leader, is already hosting an unwanted guest from Xanather that he cannot afford to refuse.

The hobgoblins are likely the ideal group of the three to help give control of Skullport, but they might already be too far gone to help. Xanathar’s Guild wants them dead on sight, with a bounty on their heads for the “theft” of massive wealth up in Waterdeep. Then again, are Drow who attack intruders on sight likely to be good and gentle stewards who will allow them free passage if they gain control? Can any of them be trusted?

Probably not, but it makes for interesting gameplay. Skullport is likely to be a recurring visit as the group continues, so I’m excited to see the long-play on this and how the situation evolves over timeā€¦as long as they don’t TPK before then.