How a party of 4 level 3 characters took down a dragon

Alt title: nuking a dragon and somehow surviving


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Our party is running on the 5e system through discord and, at the time, consisted of 4 players. A half-giant barbarian named Maximus, a goblin warlock named Fig, a human warlock named Midha and A half-elf nature cleric named Falkon. We were generally accompanied by a few NPCs at a time and the DM had a house rule that we could use a bonus action to call in an NPC to help us fight. it was limited to 1 NPC per combat encounter to try and keep from overwhelming everyone and make it so we didn’t have to wait forever for our turn to come around again. Overall a solid system. Since we play through discord we use a dice bot. everyone’s rolls are public, even the DMs. 

While our party was Level 3, our main ally Moss went missing. Moss is a level 20 druid, he doesn’t really do much aside from rest at home and patch up the party for free, so for him to go missing was unusual. While Moss didn’t do much he was a good deterrent that kept less than savory folks from bothering the small village we took up residency in. The party along with Moss’s two children, Willow and Bark, left to go and look for him in an abandoned town to the side of Neverwinter called Thundertee.

The place looked awful and there were signs of a large battle taking place in the area recently. The party was cautious with their approach but they were ambushed shortly after by a group of twig blights. We’d gotten about half-way through turning them into kindling before the DM pointed out that they were making strange chittering noises and that the party Cleric, Falkon, was able to understand them since he spoke Sylvian. 

The twig blights were accusing the party of serving the great swamp that was poisoning them. Upon hearing this Falkon called to the others to stop. and thanks to a high persuasion roll, the twig blights stopped as well. The remaining twig blights explained that their home was being poisoned and that if the party truly wasn’t serving the great swamp that they should help. and in return, they’d share the treasure they’d collected from the abandoned city. 

Falkon relayed the message to the others and with that the party eventually agreed, more so because they felt that they could get further information from the blights if they helped… That and one of the twig blights we named Root, had taken a liking to Max the barbarian to the point that it started budding flowers. it was so cute we just wanted to make sure the little guy would be ok after we left. [Spoiler alert we took him with us anyways] 

With 3 NPCs in tow, we made our way to the building, had to clear out some venomous spiders along the way but eventually made it through town to a large hill where we found a house with a strange tower-like spire attached to the side. 

The DM explained that the building looked pretty bad and that most of the Spire’s roof was gone. Root confirmed this was the home that the great swamp was hiding in and the party all shrugged and walked inside. The main room of the house was pretty baren there was a door that led to the spire and we were told “that we felt a strange breeze from behind the door”

“NOPE” Falkon’s player said aloud on voice chat “that’s got to be something breathing… I’m going back outside to find more information.” the DM agreed this was allowed and added that there was a second door to access the spire from outside with a similar but weaker breeze leaking through it.

At this point, the party was pretty well terrified and everyone was silent. We had no idea what was in there and whatever it was. It was huge if Falkon’s player was correct that the breeze was from the creature’s breathing.

“Can I use channel divinity? I have the charm animals and plants option… I’d like to try and grow a thick vine that I can climb to the roof” Falkon’s player asked

the DM thought it over “I’m not sure if that’s how that ability works… but. Roll for it and that will determine if it works or not I guess?”

Natural 20. the dice gods smiled upon us. 

“Well… in that case Root waddles over and places his hand on the wall and a thick and sturdy vine grows up the side of the building, you are free to climb it” The DM states his voice sounds like he’s smiling.

“Ok, well. I’ll do that then” Falkon’s player states and so up the cleric went on to the roof.

“You see, sleeping at the bottom of the spire, a young green dragon” The DM announces. The party collectively craps themselves. There was NO WAY we could handle that.

Falkon’s player has him climb back down and at that point, the rest of the party is outside waiting for him.

“What did you see?” Fig asked

“There’s a dragon in there…” Falkon states clearly going a bit pale. The DM was silent but we could tell he was rather happy with the sense of dread he’d managed to build up. That quickly changed to shock.

“You know that recipe I told you all about, for the philosopher’s stone. It requires a young dragon’s heart… We. kinda need to fight this thing if we’re going to complete it” Falkon’s player pointed out.

“the scales could be useful for armor as well.” Fig’s player pointed out in turn.

“I want one of Its teeth!” Maximus chimed in. At this point, the DM remembered he was working with a bunch of beginners that didn’t really know just how bad of a situation they were in and they were going to try and fight the thing he wanted us to run away from.

“How are we going to do this?”  Fig asked and the party puzzled over it “We get a sneak attack round since it’s asleep and prone right?”

“That. is true yes. you get one sneak attack round if you choose to fight it” the DM agreed

“OK so. one person at each door and two people on the roof. we can attack all at once…” Falkon’s player suggested.

“if we go on the roof. we could get knocked off… it would mean death at our level” Fig’s player pointed out. the party was silent. 

 “Do we still have those Vials of Alchemist fire from before?” Falkon’s player pointed out. The party collectively checked its inventory. between the 4 of us, there were 20 vials of alchemist fire. Moss had given each of us a few as payment for rescuing his daughter from vampires. [Thats a story for a different day though] ” if we each throw all 5 vials at the same time. that would be 20 d 4 damage. “

Suddenly this seemed a lot more possible. The DM was silent.

“Hey, that could work. but. we’d lose all of our sneak attacks… can we try just giving all 20 vials to one person and just. drop them on to the dragon from the roof?” Fig’s player suggested.

“We’d need a way to hold them all together though so it’s one action…”Falkon’s player pointed out.

“Ok so we’ll put them in a bag and drop the bag of alchemist fire on the dragon” Fig’s player stated and the party all agreed. “and Max still has his oil of sharpness. if he puts that on his ax that would be +3 to attack and damage rolls”

“Is that what you want to do?” the DM asked and the party all agrees “Ok… so who is going on the roof”

the party was silent again… we all pretty much agreed going up there was a death sentence. In the end, Fig and Flakon’s player’s volunteered to go up. Max went to the inner door and Midha went to the outer door. with everyone in their place The party waited.

“We’re probably going to die huh?” Fig asks Falkon.

“Probably” the cleric replied with a shrug.

“Ok,” fig’s player said “I drop the bag on to the dragon” the party was silent as we wait to hear if our plan worked or not.

“….. Roll for initiative…. and roll 20 d4” the party cheered we dealt 52 points of damage in one go with that move and the dragon woke up. the order ended up being Fig, Falkon, Dragon, Max, Midha. “ok, continue with your sneak attack round”

Falkon used a level 2 guiding bolt which by some miracle hit dealing 25 points.
Max quickly threw his oiled up Ax at the dragon dealing 15 points of damage, and Midha went with good old Eldrich blast which missed, By the end of the sneak attack we’d dealt  92 points of damage.

“Sneak attack round is over.” the DM announced. at this point, even he seemed to have a sliver of hope that maybe just MAYBE this wouldn’t completely KO the party.

Fig goes to attack and misses but uses her Bonus action to Call in Willow, one of the NPCs, which put the NPC right at the end of the initiative list. 

Falkon got in another Guilding Bolt in dealing 18 more points of damage. 110 points total. it was still alive. and it was the dragon’s turns. The dragon was pissed. Seeing as Falkon and Fig were close together it fired a blast of poison breath at the two, rather then Multi attacking for its first turn.

“I’d say you both had about half cover from your position on the roof…” the DM’s interpretation of the attack was more of a sludgy spit attack rather than a noxious gas and we were not going to argue the protection of half cover. he rolls for the damage “that will be 27 points of damage each since you failed your con saves.” given our stats. we were both down to 1 or 2 hit points each. before we could get in a sigh of relief “However it did knock you back, please roll Dex saves to keep from getting knocked off the roof from the force of the attack”

Falkon managed to save leaving him clinging to the edge of the roof. Fig However. landed on the ground with a resounding, Thud.

“Well, it was nice knowing you guys” Fig’s player stated a bit disappointed but, not overly upset since she knew the risk.

Max uses his other Ax to attack the dragon dealing 7 more HP of damage.  117 total.

Midha’s turn came around “I cast witch bolt at level 2” the player states and with the blessing of the dice gods themselves. lands the hit.

“Rolls for damage” the DM states and the player goes to the dice chat room to enter the code. for a 2 d 12 roll

“An 11 and a 9. So 20” Midha’s player states hesitantly.

“How do you want to do this” the party once more cheers and shouts from the victory. the dragon was electrocuted and fell dead before it could get the chance to take flight. Since Willow was called in, she hurried over to Fig and used a stabilizing spell to bring her back and heal her.

“You guys are absolutely insane you were supposed to run away… but that was brilliant… Welcome to level 4” the DM announced and further cheering was heard through the voice chat. we managed to take on our first dragon and everyone survived. 

Maximus

art by Lunar-Hourglass on DeviantArt

Midha

art by Lunar-Hourglass on DeviantArt

Falkon

Art by Lunar-Hourglass on DeviantArt

Fig

Art by Nebeaula on DeviantArt


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