Tour of Gox’s Barbarian Dojo

Gox the Kobold Barbarian, by JenGox is a Zealot barbarian kobold that I played in the Pack Tactics campaign. After that, Gox decided to open a Barbarian Dojo. This blog post is from Gox’s point-of-view, explaining why he opened a Dojo, and giving the reader a tour.

Hi! I’m Gox. Welcome to my Barbarian Dojo! I’m a follower of Bahamut, and my understanding is that Bahamut wants us to protect the weak. One really great way to do that is to make the weak stronger. That’s what my Barbarian Dojo is for.

Let me show you around! This grassy area out here is used at night for training practice. Things like practicing battle stance, learning how to use different types of weapons, and some light sparring with a partner. There’s always a few clerics of Bahamut standing by, just in case someone gets hurt.

The Dojo was built with kobolds in mind, so you might have to duck after we go inside. The entryway is always kept clear, to make it easier for groups of excited kobolds to get in and out without trampling each other.

Gox the Kobold Barbarian, by RhysThe passageway to the left leads to the barracks. Every kobold gets their own bunk bed. I can’t take you in there right now, because kobolds sleep during the day. They’ll start waking up for breakfast when the sun starts going down.

The cafeteria is off to the right. It takes a lot of food to feed all these barbarians, so I’ve got some partnerships with local farms. They provide surplus food in exchange for protection from thieves, zombies, and the like. We have a rotating group of cooks that are sent here by a local cooking school. I hear they consider feeding this many barbarians to be an interesting challenge. Something to brag about.

Let’s go check out the armory. We’ve got pretty much anything a barbarian kobold would need, from weapons to armor. The dinged up stuff is for the newbies, to get them used to wearing armor and carrying a weapon. As they improve their skill, they get access to heavier stuff.

This hallway leads to a gymnasium, where one-one-one challenges can take place and barbarians can show off their skills. Crowds will gather on the bleachers to watch. The rule is a match cannot begin without at least two clerics present.

Over there is a huge bath area. Turns out, many barbarians don’t really care much about personal hygiene. Trust me, there are some things that not even prestidigitation can remove!  Turns out barbarians can be enticed to get into what looks like a swimming pool with soap bubbles.

Down here is a huge amphitheater that was made thanks to the efforts of spellcasters who can do mold earth and barbarians who can lift heavy stone. This is where I turn into an ogre, or worst dog, or a dragon, and fight ten to twenty barbarians. It’s a safe way for them to learn what to watch out for when fighting a particular creature.

Escape from Triassic Park

Escape from Triassic Park is a game where players become dinosaurs and try to get free. Here’s what happened when we played it, from the viewpoint of my T-Rex.

Wake up. Head blurry. One people runs away.

I stand. Noisy metal tube people put me in is next to me. I hates it. I kick it!

Something moved. Friend Triceratops charges small door one tiny people went into. Makes hole. I try to poke my head into room with people.

Why they scream?

Watch friend Triceratops charge the big doors. We go outside!

Friend Triceratops eats tree leaves. I eat a people.

Loud, screaming, flashy thing on pole awakes. I hates it. Friend Triceratops and I try to break noisy flashy thing. We cannot. Feeling nervous now.

Large fast-tapping noise appears. In sky, metal creature with weird wings that go in a circle hovers. People inside bird holds up an ouchie-sleepy and makes tiny things fly out.

BIRD! I chomps it. I eat a people. Feel better.

Friend Triceratops moved fence. Find wide, smooth, rock. Black like night. Smells of burning. Yellow markings down middle.

Small metal dinosaur, with spinning feet, appears. Another people, holding ouchie-sleepy, is inside. I go towards metal dinosaur and chomp it.

Tastes awful! Smells bad! Shake head and spit it out. Friend Triceratops charges the other metal dinosaur with spinning feet. Flips it over. Bad smell gets badder. We go away.

Friend Triceratops charges new fence. Stands for a minute and… disappears? I am alone in this world! Kick the fence that took my friend and ROAR!

Something moves. Friend Triceratops has magically returned! Friend charges fence and breaks it.

We find place with people caves. Air smells of people food. Loud, screaming, flashy things on polls awaken. I wants to kick them.

What’s that? I put face closer to small cave. Baby dinosaurs are trapped behind barrier that I can touch but not see. We must set them free! I kick barrier and break it.

Cannot reach the baby dinosaurs with my little arms! Very nervous now!

Large fast-tapping noise appears. BIRD! I chomps it. I eat a people. Feel better now. I kick a pole that has screaming flashy on top. Sparky things come out. Air smells funny.

Friend Triceratops charges a screaming flashy pole. Misses. Runs through cave with baby dinosaurs. Comes out with baby dinosaur on nose horn, spinning around.

Carefully pick up another baby dinosaur with my teeth. It has no scent and don’t taste like meat.

We’ve been tricked!

Tail swipe small cave and break it more. All lights go out. Screaming flashy things are quiet.

We walk on. Find bigger, rectangular caves. Friend Triceratops charges through metal dinosaurs with wheels. One zooms away and we follow it to water.

Giant metal fish in water. Small dinosaurs with round feet crawl inside. I am confused.

Large fast-tapping noise appears. BIRD! Friend Triceratops runs up my tail, over my back, and to my snout. Charges into bird! Both fall from sky and into water.

We find forest with big trees and no peoples. Escaped!

Gaming in the Time of COVID-19

Social Distancing ClericCOVID-19 caused many of us to be under “Stay at Home” orders. People are working from home and social distancing has become an important practice. This makes it hard for people to spend time with friends or to meet new people.

It is entirely possible to play Dungeons & Dragons online with friends. D&D Beyond has almost everything you need to start a new campaign, or continue one that got dropped when everyone got too busy to play. A free account gives you a few character slots – complete with adjustable character sheets for each one.

At the time I am writing this blog post, D&D Beyond has Quarantine Resources that include some free adventures. At a glance, it looks like a person who has been a DM before, or who wants to learn how to do that, could use any of these adventures to start a campaign.

Discord is a chat program that people can use to talk with their friends. It can be very useful for D&D games. There are some dice bots that can be used by those who lack physical dice. Discord is also a good way for people to talk to friends while playing video games. You don’t even have to be playing the same video game.

Isolation tends to make people feel lonely and/or depressed. We can’t go outside and give our friends hugs right now. Talking with friends online is a good way to keep in touch, check in on each other, and have some fun together.

What about dating? Some people are finding each other on Tindr, and then going on dates in Animal Crossing: New Horizons together. They can explore each other’s islands, pick up items they need, and have a relaxed conversation in a beautiful (virtual) location.

How to Learn to Dragon

Gox the kobold, by Rhys
Gox, a commissioned artwork by Rhrys! Click the picture to see their commission prices!

Gox, my kobold Barbarian, was turned into a dragon by Daldain the Bard, (played by Ellie). The overall result was extremely helpful to the party, who could now enter every battle with a dragon on their team. That said, there is a bit of a learning curve when your character suddenly becomes a dragon.

Long story short, Daldain used a True Polymorph spell to turn Gox into an adult gold dragon.

True Polymorph allows the spell caster to turn a creature into another creature. The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the new form. The original creature retains its alignment and personality.

The number of hit points the True Polymorphed character has becomes equal to that of its new form. Gox the kobold had 214 hit points (at level 19). As an adult gold dragon, he now had an extra 256 hit points.

The way to keep track of it to put the extra hit points onto the temporary hit points part of the character sheet. Don’t change anything else, just in case your character loses the True Polymorph and reverts to their original form. Make sure to have the adult gold dragon stats accessible when needed. Yes, this sort of feels like using two character sheets, but you will get used to it.

My big, dumb, kobold Barbarian started with a wisdom modifier of +0 and an intelligence modifier of -2. As an adult gold dragon, his Wisdom became 15 (+2 modifier) and his Intelligence became 16 (+3 modifier). This opened up a lot of possibilities that were not previously available. Gox loves bacon, so one of the first things he did was come up with a wide variety of recipes that featured bacon. He started recognizing his brother Sox’s familiar when it appeared.

He figured out that using a Wing Attack in battle might work to blow a cloud of poison back at an enemy. Gox used his Tail Attack to fling zombies against buildings. Being able to fly his friends away from a battle gone wrong was another advantage (and something he couldn’t do as a kobold).

Your experience may vary, especially if your character started out with a much higher intelligence and wisdom than Gox did. Perhaps your character was smart but weak, and they need to learn how to use their new strength.

To really learn how to dragon, a player needs to understand the size difference between their original form and their dragon form. For example, Gox learned why it wasn’t a good idea to turn into a dragon while inside a building.

Dragons get extra turns in battle, in between the turns of everyone else. The extra turns are called Legendary Actions and include Detect (wisdom perception check), Tail Attack, and Wing Attack (which costs 2 actions). Dragons also can use Legendary Resistance (three per day) to turn a failed saving throw into a success.

At first, I found it hard to remember all of Gox’s new dragon options in battle, and often forgot to take the extra turns. With some practice, I started getting the hang of it.

Escape from the Monastery

This is another great blog post by Jen!


Escape from the Monastery was a one-off that three of us played. We all created a monk character who was living in the monastery. This story is from the viewpoint if my human monk, Jaylee. She is not very smart, and talks like a “valley girl”.

The monastery is like, super quiet this morning? I mean, it never really gets loud, but this is a new kind of quiet. Wait, was there something I was supposed to do today? Can’t remember.

The best thing about living in the monastery is that no one cares about clothes! I can walk around in last season’s dresses, without getting laughed it. Today, I decide to put on the most colorful dress I have. I pick up my hand loom, and prepare to spend the day making potholders.

My family is in the weaving industry, but no one told me what a potholder is. Like, maybe is wasn’t important? Whatever they are, I find it calming to weave them.

A lizard monk is making a painting. It’s so beautiful! Another monk, who looks like a big kitty, is punching things. The lit fireplace keeps the room very toasty, and I start feeling sleepy.

Suddenly, the fire started making noises. A strange, green, creature fell out of the fireplace and started speaking.

“Is that a talking frog?” I asked.

“It’s a goblin,” I was told. The talking frog ran away, and jumped over the balcony.

We followed. Kitty monk went after the goblin, who was hanging from the balcony. A loud noise – Boom! Boom! BOOM! – echoed outside. I know that sound! Drums mean there’s a party, and I kinda wanna go….

The drums were not a party after all, and that was disappointing! Bad people were coming in. So, I jumped over the balcony like Kitty monk did. But, I didn’t land so well. Flat on my back on the floor, I realized my dress totally matched the carpet. Now I’m invisible? Like, I wouldn’t find me here!

A very ugly person marches in and steps on me. Being invisible is dangerous! Kitty monk starts punching the mean person, and I try and help. Together, we knock this one out.

Oh no! My dress is covered in blood. Not feeling so well, I go the infirmary, in search of bandages. No one is here to help me, so I pout while bandaging.

My fellow monks have gathered by front door. It is blocked. I see gigantic feet, and legs, and part of a tummy. That one’s too big to get into the monastery! But, the tree trunk he was holding fits. Lizard monk walks right up the tree branch and starts fighting the giant. Kitty monk and I start punching the feet, and together we knock out this one, too.

More noise from outside. They are getting closer! We decide to run into the forest, as fast as we can. We cannot punch them all, for we are only three monks.