Episode 22: Little Calimshan

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 22, the adventurers prepare to leave their home city of Baldur’s Gate, and we finally learn what really happened to Doctor Holk Thinster at Cliffgate Hospital.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Play a free online D&D game with a Cast Party Dungeon Master: https://cast-party.com/play-dd-online-with-cast-party/

Join us on Discord, follow us on social media, join our email list: https://cast-party.com/sign-up-for-news/

Episode 21: Heavensfall

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 21, in the aftermath of the battle of Vanthampur Villa, the adventurers plan an escape from Baldur’s Gate.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Commander Liara Portyr

Play a free online D&D game with a Cast Party Dungeon Master: https://cast-party.com/play-dd-online-with-cast-party/

New on Dungeon Master’s Guild: Acererak’s Collection of Complex Traps: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/370803/Acereraks-Collection-of-Complex-Traps?affiliate_id=1137493

Join us on Discord, follow us on social media, join our email list: https://cast-party.com/sign-up-for-news/

Episode 20: Double Kill

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 20, a climactic battle rages beneath Vanthampur Villa to determine the fate of Baldur’s Gate.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Odious, the barbed devil

Live event: Dungeons & Dragons at Antoinette’s on 10/23 (2 tix left): https://cast-party.com/live-events/

Play a free online D&D game with a Cast Party Dungeon Master: https://cast-party.com/play-dd-online-with-cast-party/

Play SECRETS OF THE BLIND PALACE online with author Tal Aviezer as a Halloween adventure for your group: https://cast-party.com/play-dd-online-with-cast-party/

New on Dungeon Master’s Guild: Acererak’s Collection of Complex Traps: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/370803/Acereraks-Collection-of-Complex-Traps?affiliate_id=1137493

Join us on Discord, follow us on social media, join our email list: https://cast-party.com/sign-up-for-news/

Episode 19: Gargs

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 19, the adventurers finally come face-to-face with Duke Thalamra Vanthampur, architect of the plot to drag the city of Baldur’s Gate into hell.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Duke Thalamra Vanthampur

Episode 18: I, Thavius

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In Episode 18, the adventurers finally come face-to-face with Thavius Kreeg. Is he the savior of Baldur’s Gate – or its destroyer?

WIN A FREE ONLINE ADVENTURE

Come play with us! Enter our new contest & you might win a free online D&D game DMed by Cast Party for you and up to three friends! Click here to enter >>

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Thavius Kreeg
The Shield of the Hidden Lord

Episode 17: Falaster Fisk

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 17, the adventurers face infernal foes in the tunnels below Vanthampur Villa.

WIN A FREE ONLINE ADVENTURE

Come play with us! Enter our new contest & you might win a free online D&D game DMed by Cast Party for you and up to three friends! Click here to enter >>

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Falaster Fisk

Episode 16: Slobberchops

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 16, the adventurers come face-to-face with Thurstwell Vanthampur and meet the Vanthampur’s very unusual house pet.

NAME AN NPC FOR A FUTURE EPISODE!

It’s time for the first-ever Cast Party fan competition! It’s your chance to name an original NPC to appear on PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus! Enter here for a chance to have your NPC go to hell with us.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Thurstwell Vanthampur and the infernal puzzle box.
Slobberchops the tressym

Episode 15: The Vanthampening

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 15, the adventurers infiltrate Vanthampur Villa in a desperate attempt to save Baldur’s Gate from a one-way trip to hell.

NAME AN NPC FOR A FUTURE EPISODE!

It’s time for the first-ever Cast Party fan competition! It’s your chance to name an original NPC to appear on PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus! Enter here for a chance to have your NPC go to hell with us.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Episode 14: The Girl Who Lived

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 14, the adventurers pick up the pieces – literally – of their disastrous interview with Amrick Vanthampur – and meet a mysterious survivor from Elturel.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Reya Mantlemorn at the Low Lantern
The Shrine of the Suffering, as it appeared in the 1998 Baldur’s Gate computer game.
Map of Baldur’s Gate

Episode 13: My Dinner with Amrick

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 13, the adventurers confront Amrick Vanthampur at the Low Lantern to learn what he knows about the crisis facing Baldur’s Gate.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

A spined devil
Map of the Low Lantern

Episode 12: The Low Lantern

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 12, the adventurers follow the trail of the Vanthampur conspiracy to the lair of their erstwhile benefactor.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Amrick Vanthampur
A kenku

Level Up: Kenku

In this episode, the party meets some unusual bartenders at the Low Lantern. Kenku can mimic the sound of anything they hear. A kenku asking for money might make the sound of coins clinking together, and a kenku referring to a busy marketplace can reproduce the cacophony of hawking vendors, barking dogs, bleating sheep, and the cries of street urchins. When mimicking voices, they can only repeat words and phrases they have heard, not create new sentences. To converse with a kenku is to witness a performance of imitated sounds and almost nonsensical verse.

Kenku speak to one another in much the same way. Because they are adept at interpreting one another’s glances and gestures, the sounds they make to communicate complex ideas or emotions can be succinct. Groups of kenku also develop secret codes. For example, a cat’s meow might be the secret code for “Prepare to attack!” or “Flee for your lives!”

Their talent for mimicry extends to handwriting, and criminal organizations often employ kenku to forge documents. When a kenku commits a crime, it might forge evidence to implicate another creature.

You can make a kenku player character in Dungeons & Dragons 5E using rules found in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. In the third episode of Cast Party’s bonus Discord audio show, POWER WORD TALK, Tal Aviezer admits he is too intimidated to play a kenku.

Episode 11: The Druid, the Doctor, and the Divine

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In this episode, Hylan, Ofelia, and Corbin discover secrets – and keep a few of their own.

Interior of the Blade & Stars tavern, as it appeared in the 1998 computer game Baldur’s Gate.
Ofelia Liadon; original artwork by Carolyn Fox.
Hylan D’ore and Gregarious Nell; original artwork by Carolyn Fox.
Painbearer Corbin Shiv; original artwork by Carolyn Fox.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Episode 10: The Seer

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In this episode, the adventurers have escaped the Dungeon of the Dead Three – but was the raid a set up from the start? Plus, some of Renascence’s secrets revealed.

Tiamat, goddess of evil dragons.

Some music and sound effects in this episode are from the Monument Studios Fantasy Pack.

Level Up: Why does Renascence have two names? In this episode, we learn that Renascence was renamed by his brother Tomas. The Player’s Handbook has this to say about tiefling names:

“Tiefling names fall into three broad categories. Tieflings born into another culture typically have names reflective of that culture. Some have names derived from the Infernal language, passed down through generations, that reflect their fiendish heritage. And some younger tieflings, striving to find a place in the world, adopt a name that signifies a virtue or other concept and then try to embody that concept. For some, the chosen name is a noble quest. For others, it’s a grim destiny.”

The book goes on to suggest some possible “Virtue Names” for players who choose this third naming convention for their tiefling characters: “Art, Carrion, Chant, Creed, Despair, Excellence, Fear, Glory, Hope, Ideal, Music, Nowhere, Open, Poetry, Quest, Random, Reverence, Sorrow, Temerity, Torment, Weary.”

Renascence is a real word. It is the rarely-used English form of Renaissance, and means “a new birth or life; a rebirth.” Both Renascence and his brother pronounce the word “incorrectly” because they learned it from a book and hadn’t heard it spoken aloud.

The name was inspired by a 1917 poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Episode 9: My Brother’s Keeper

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 9, Mortlock Vanthampur explains what’s REALLY going on in the Dungeon of the Dead Three – and the role his family has played.

Mortlock Vanthampur
Map of the Dungeon of the Dead Three – can you trace our route through episodes 3-9?
A dragon cultist, follower of Tiamat.

Dissonant Whispers music:
From the Eventyrsuite (Fairy Tale Suite) for violin (1932) by Bjarne Brustad 
Played by violinist Carrie Rehkopf, CC BY-SA 3.0 
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0

Vicious Mockery music:
“Whiskey, you’re the devil” 
 Uploaded by: Roger Zenner 
Played by: Edit Kovács *Instrument: Violin 
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/de/deed.en

Partita No.3 J.S.Bach (Minuet_1) by Vicond
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License,_version_1.2

Episode 8: The Choice

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 8, the adventurers face the loss of one of their own beneath the streets of Baldur’s Gate.

A soul coin, courtesy of Beadle & Grimm’s Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus, Platinum Edition

For your consideration, below: the contract offered in this episode, in PDF form. Would you have signed it?

Episode 7: Dark Waters

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the Blood War.

In episode 7, the adventurers approach the heart of the Dungeon of the Dead Three – but the mission takes a desperate and deadly turn.

Magic sparkle sound effect by YleArkisto at freesound.org
Used under the Attribution 3.0 license:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode

Undead skeletons stalk the Dungeon of the Dead Three

Level Up: Death Saving Throws.

In Dungeons & Dragons, whenever a player starts their turn with 0 hit points, they must make a special saving throw, called a death saving throw, to determine whether they creep closer to death or hang onto life. Unlike other saving throws, this one isn’t tied to any ability score. You are in the hands of fate now, aided only by spells and features that improve your chances of succeeding on a saving throw.

Roll a d20. If the roll is 10 or higher, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail. A success or failure has no effect by itself. On your third success, you become stable (see below). On your third failure, you die. The successes and failures don’t need to be consecutive; keep track of both until you collect three of a kind. The number of both is reset to zero when you regain any hit points or become stable.

Rolling 1 or 20. When you make a death saving throw and roll a 1 on the d20, it counts as two failures. If you roll a 20 on the d20, you regain 1 hit point and become conscious.

Damage at 0 Hit Points. If you take any damage while you have 0 hit points, you suffer a death saving throw failure. If the damage is from a critical hit, you suffer two failures instead. If the damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum, you suffer instant death.

Stabilizing a Creature

The best way to save a creature with 0 hit points is to heal it. If healing is unavailable, the creature can at least be stabilized so that it isn’t killed by a failed death saving throw.

You can use your action to administer first aid to an unconscious creature and attempt to stabilize it, which requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check.

stable creature doesn’t make death saving throws, even though it has 0 hit points, but it does remain unconscious. The creature stops being stable, and must start making death saving throws again, if it takes any damage. A stable creature that isn’t healed regains 1 hit point after 1d4 hours.

Episode 6: Choke Point

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the planes-spanning Blood War. In Episode 6, the adventurers fight their way through the Dungeon of the Dead Three.

Initiative sound effect by Humanoide9000 (Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LuisHumanoide.)

Used under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

A zombie; one of the less fortunate denizens of the Dungeon of the Dead Three.

Episode 5: Fun Volcano of Blood

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the planes-spanning Blood War. In Episode 5, the adventurers continue their raid on the Dungeon of the Dead Three.

Initiative sound effect by Humanoide9000 (Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/LuisHumanoide.) Used under the Creative Commons Attribution license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode

Level Up: You’re Not Helping. Our campaign uses a house rule with regard to characters helping each other during skill checks. In standard Dungeons & Dragons 5E, characters can generally grant each other advantage on skill checks by taking the Help action. However, with our house rule, characters can only assist with a skill check if they are Proficient with that skill. When a character attempts to Help with a skill check, you may hear the Dungeon Master ask whether that character is “trained” or “proficient” with that skill. In the first part of this episode, Corbin, who is proficient with the Religion skill, helps Renascence to make a Religion check.

Episode 4: Into the Depths

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the planes-spanning Blood War. In Episode 4, the adventurers explore a secret temple hidden in the sewers below Baldur’s Gate.

A black hand, the symbol of Bane
The symbol of Bane, God of Strife and Tyranny
From L to R: A white-haired priest in ragged robes holds a skull dangling from a chain. A mailed warrior with an eye-patch wields a morning star and a shield. A black-robed figure holds a curved dagger.
Left to right: Necromite of Myrkul, Black Gauntlet of Bane, and Reaper of Bhaal

Level Up: Darkvision. In this episode, Corbin calls upon the power of his god, Ilmater, to help the adventurers see in the dark. He does this using a special ability granted to clerics of the Twilight Domain, introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything:

Description of the Eyes of Night domain feature granted to Twilight Clerics. These clerics have 300 feet of dark vision, and can share that ability with allies for one hour, once per long rest.

Episode 3: For Mom!

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the planes-spanning Blood War. In episode 3, the adventurers continue their investigation into the cult of the Dead Three. But first they must survive a deadly fight with pirates at the Elfsong Tavern.

Map of Baldur’s Gate with the locations of Basilisk Gate, the Elfsong Tavern, and the Bathhouse.
The insignia of the Flaming Fist, the mercenary police force in Baldur’s Gate.

Level Up: Why does Renascence have cantrips? Listeners may have noticed that Renascence uses the Guidance cantrip in this episode. In previous episodes, he has made liberal use of the Thaumaturgy cantrip, which he can use as a result of his fiendish tiefling heritage. But longtime D&D players may be wondering where his additional cantrips come from. Since the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons was released in 2014, paladins have not had access to cantrips. But that changed in late 2020 with the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, which included new Fighting Style Options for paladins. One of these options is “Blessed Warrior”, which allows the paladin to select two cleric cantrips:

…so Renascence has had the Thaumaturgy cantrip since level 1 because he’s a tiefling. At level 2, he chose the Blessed Warrior style and learned the Guidance cantrip…as well as one additional cantrip that will be revealed in Episode 4!

Episode 2: Dead-Eye

Welcome to Cast Party’s actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the planes-spanning Blood War. In episode 2, the adventurers arrive at Elfsong Tavern to question a spy named Tarina about the cult of the Dead Three. But surprises both supernatural and extremely physical await.

Map of Baldur’s Gate with Basilisk Gate and the Elfsong Tavern
And here’s the floorplan of the Elfsong in our campaign. Note that the layout used for the tavern here (created in 2019) is almost identical to the 1998 game!

“The Song of Elturel” heard in this episode was performed by Arianna Ferrara Gennari (used by permission). Thanks Arianna!

Lyrics (by M.T. Black):

O sing a song of Elturel

Of water, woods, and hill

The sun dawns on her ruddy cliffs

And fields green and still.

This land of long-abiding joy

Home of the strong and brave

Renowned by all, across the realms,

And never once a slave.

O sing a song of Elturel

When foes are at her door

Her fields torn by cloven feet

From some infernal shore.

Arise the mighty Hellriders

Take up your swift, keen swords

Then charge into the hellish fray

And scatter devil hordes.

O sing a song of Elturel

And when the night does fall

Sleep safe beneath Companion’s light

Until the dawn does call.

We’re bound by mortal covenant

That only ends with death

And so we’ll sing of Elturel

Until our final breath.

Episode 1: The Gate

Welcome to Cast Party’s first actual play podcast. In PodCast Party: Descent Into Avernus, Dungeon Master Matt Gordon leads players Tal Aviezer, Andy Cannistra, Carolyn Fox, and Rachel Tamarin from the shadows of Baldur’s Gate to the front lines of the planes-spanning Blood War. Do the adventurers have what it takes to turn infernal war machines and nefarious contracts against the archdevil Zariel and her diabolical hordes? And can they ever hope to find their way home safely when pitted against the infinite evils of the Nine Hells?

Our story begins in the corrupt city of Baldur’s Gate
Corbin, Hylan, Ofelia, and Renascence
Map of Baldur’s Gate