“Should we grab the cloaks as well in case we need to pull a sleight of hand?”



  • Flaming dragons, splashing dolphins
  • Ambushed from the trees
  • “We’re going to put him in the cells downstairs”
  • Storming the farm

Photo showing the cast of Lobster Role

Image of Coffee Tree Farm assault

Episode 19: It’s a Ruse!


We left off just after gaining entry to the basement of Coffee Hole Farm by equal measures of creativity and brute force. Helja stands guard just inside the barred door where Tibboh left a redcloak’s slouched corpse in a reasonably convincing nap pose. “When you came before,” Helja asks, “did you hear voices?”



After completing a long rest and emerging at level 4, the party gathered with other early risers around the morning fire. Tibboh put on a show for the kids. Striking three matches as he cast them into the air, Mirna’s family and Carp were all “oooh!” and “ahhh!” as the flames expanded. The first took the shape of a dragon and the second merged with it in the form of a hobbit riding the dragon which proceeded to engulf the third flame, in the form of an evil elf, to the cheers and laughter of the young ones.

Accompanied by Helja, the four set out for a nearby spring where they spotted a red-cloaked elf kneeling for a sip of water. Hag sought to address the elf, but he refused to respond to the human and instead smirked and prepared to draw a pair of short swords. Little Pocket and the elf charged headlong at one another, Little’s staff beginning to glimmer like sunlight reflecting off of water and she conjured three mirror images of herself just as the elf struck out, dispersing two of the images as soon as they were created. Tibboh and Enya hurried into position to provide backup, leaving the enemy with a grave arrow wound and diminished self-esteem to boot. Two additional elves then stepped out from the cover of a stand of trees and struck Hag with a pair of arrows before he had the chance to close distance with them and put a javelin through one of their shoulders. Little Pocket finished off her opponent and rushed toward Hag just as the two remaining ambushers dropped their bows for blades and took positions on opposite sides of him. Hag deflected two blows from the elf in front of him just as the elf behind him got caught in his cloak with their first strike before sinking a short sword into Hag’s side. Hag entered a rage, eliminated the wounded target before him and running circles around the lone survivor as the mirror image of Little Pocket added to the chaotic scene. Outnumbered four to one with attacks coming from all sides, the redcloak disengaged and ran only to be clubbed down by Hag and left to rot in the sun in a puddle of chaw.

The party prepared to move on to the farm proper, but not before Little took the opportunity to play at the spring, sending a magically formed trout and even a small dolphin leaping up and out of the water. A plan took shape where the bodies were stripped of their cloaks and the two elven comrades donned them as a ruse. The sailor in the group tied a nifty little trick knot around the big guy so that they could present him as a prisoner to sneak past the inattentive guard. With Tibboh and Helja in hiding, Little and Enya talked their way into the doorway to prevent the guard from calling for reinforcements. With a wink from Little Pocket, Tibboh and Hag combined to make quick work of the redcloak and advanced inside the building.

Once inside, Helja shared what little she knew about the basement, including to keep an eye out for secret doors and passages. And one more thing: “When you were here before… did you hear voices?”



Any interesting challenge is bound to have multiple solutions, and our party is great at finding both creative and direct solutions to challenges. There’s nothing to teach here, just keep on approaching problems with an open mind and with an eye to your growing repertoire of abilities. For those who enjoy learning from watching other people play, here is a very creative and fun combat sequence from the first campaign of Critical Role. It’s another chance to glimpse higher level play (yes, you heard them correctly, the bard begins this combat in the form of a triceratops). There’s nothing in particular to take away from this, just enjoy seeing another table of creative players and think about your own ideas for big moves you can pull out in an extraordinary situation. The wild & crazy combat with the dinosaur/bard lasts just about an hour. With no further ado, enjoy!  Gunpowder Plot: Part 1 | Critical Role: VOX MACHINA | Episode 31



When the party succeeds in reclaiming not just the spring but Coffee Hole Farm, it will begin to reshape the geography of the region. While Phandalin has been a minor nuisance to the island’s authorities so far, our ability to support a growing community of free people has been consistently undermined by the presence of the redcloaks who often intercept runaways before they ever reach us. And as Phandalin expands in influence and if Helja is able to establish a second base at the farm, our impact on the world will only continue to grow. As you and your comrades become more influential in this world, as you begin to see more clearly the major conflicts shaping the lives of our characters, think about how your character fits into this developing story. Are there people or places or events in the story (or from your character’s past) that shape how your character makes decisions? What does your character want in the world? What do they fear or worry about? Why do they choose to adventure with this group instead of alone or with others? Think about these questions and keep an open mind about how your character might change over time in connection with the world and with the other characters. And as always:

Be heroic,
Be creative,
Have fun together,


See also: Enya’s Letters #19

See also: Tibboh’s Diary #19


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