D&D Encounters Field Reports (Week 9)

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Use this thread to discuss your experiences with week 9 of D&D Encounters Season 4 - March of the Phantom Brigade.

For more reports and reviews of Encounters check out these blogs (and please suggest more):
Dungeon's Master
Glitterdust
Perpetual Geek Machine
Wielding a Bohemian Ear Spoon
Sartredes


Please realize that both players and DMs read these threads, so do not put spoilers in your posts. If your post goes into enough details, then you absolutely must use spoilers. Enclose the spoilery bit in [*sblock=spoiler stuff][*/sblock]  (just remove the *) spoiler block tags so that players who haven't played yet don't have the surprise ruined for them. 

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once you remove the *.

Alternate Realities Games & Entertainment (Wichita, KS)

We had 3 tables of 5 each this week. My table consisted of:

Drow Hexblade of the White Well
Halfling Spring Sentinel Druid
Elf Hunter
Human Mage
Half-orc Slayer

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This week was once again a tough battle for us. It was 3 Orc and 3 Dwarf Ghosts against us. Unfortunately the DM missed the part about Force and Radiant damage making them substantial for a period of time.  This made the combat last a bit longer than it probably should have. Even still had the Hexblade hit more than just 1 creature with his daily power the combat could have turned right there as just one more hit would have taken a Ghost out of the encounter courteous of another Ghost making a basic attack against it. In the end the Hexblade died (missed 3 saving throws) and the Druid and the Slayer were unconscious at the end.
At the Game Matrix, Tacoma, we once again had 2 overfull tables. My table (level 2 human sun warpriest, level 1 dwarf earth warpriest, level 2 Dragonborn Slayer, level 2 dragonborn hexblade, level 1 human Mage evoker, level 1 elf hunter, and a level 1 human knight) saw the knight playing the part of the mole in Whack a Mole (one out of 6 mobs did not target him with encounter powers, he also got critted twice, took 93 damage [defender at the other table took 75]) over the course of the session. Lot's of radiant and force powers along with some dailies being dropped (and action points) saw a battered team hero emerge victorious.

I ran two tables in Fort Wayne, Indiana...

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Table 1: 6 players- At first they had a good stratagy....everyone attack the same enemy until it dies and then move on to the next target. They started targeting the first Orc. The first 4 hit him pretty good to knock him down to 3 hp. Then the orcs went and dished out some damage. The fifth party member then attacked a different orc. So the rest of the party followed suit and dropped that orc to under 10 hp before the orcs went again. They dished out some more damage. The next party member attacked a dwarf. The rest of the party followed suit and dropped the dwarf to under 10 hp. Eventually they had all of the enemy bloodied with very few hit points without killing any of them. They didnt have any healers in this group, so several people got bloodied and had to use thier second wind. They eventually killed all the baddies and no one died. On to the Library...

Table 2: 8 players- This party had a cleric that was intent on using his turn undead spell to maximum effect. He kept telling the other players to move the bad guys closer to him to they were in his burst radius. This group also had two rangers. They picked an orc to lock down out of combat. They pushed the orc back and immobilized him. Every time he got to move, the other ranger would lock him down again. He never made it to actual melee combat. It was pretty funny. I was able to bloody several of the players, but this group had 3 healers. They took care of everyone quite well. They took care of the rest of the baddies and continued on to the Library...

We ran 2 tables again this week at The Game Depot in Tempe, Arizona.

 I had a full table of 6 players for the first time this season. My table consisted of:


 Brandis – level 2 Human Cavalier
Kiera – level 2 Elven Rogue
Nyla – level 2 Elven Slayer
Valenae – level 2 Eladrin Warpriest
Jarren – level 1 Human Mage
Quinn – level 1 Human Knight


 

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The session started off with the group manning the walls of Hammerfast as a vast Phantom Army approached the fortress. They were rather confident despite the size of the army, as they assumed the ghosts of Hammerfast were on their side.

Salazar made his appearance and his demands, just as a messenger came to fetch the characters for an emergency meeting with Faldyra. Just as they were setting off for the Library, they heard screams from within the fortress and realized that Salazar had commandeered the ghosts of Hammerfast into his service as well.


They came across a group of 5 ghosts (2 dwarves, 3 orcs) trying to enter the Library (which was protected by a magical lock, preventing them from phasing inside). I asked the group to make 2 skill checks, a Religion and an Arcana. Ironically, the mage succeeded at the Religion check and the warpriest succeeded at the Arcana check.


The Arcana let them know that they would need to align the runes on the lock properly to allow the doors to open so that they could enter and then presumably lock the doors again once they were safe inside. The Religion check let them know that the ghosts were acting against their own will, and that they were vulnerable to both force and radiant damage and getting hit with either would make them vulnerable to all damage for 1 round.


We went to init and I rolled a 1 for the ghosts. Armed with the knowledge about force damage making the ghosts vulnerable certainly informed their tactics for the session. All the characters delayed their actions until after the mage. He would nail 1 ghost with magic missile at the top of the round (doing force damage as an auto hit). That made the ghost vulnerable and the rest would dogpile and focus fire on that one. It was a very effective tactic and they were taking out 1 ghost per round using that method.

The ghosts hit back pretty hardcore, though. The Knight had all 3 orcs in his defender aura on round 1, so they all attacked him. All 3 hit and he took 35 damage total. He only had 34 HP, but a fortune card gave him +3 temp HP so he was still up with only 2 HP remaining after only 1 round! Not surprisingly, he switched his defender aura off after that and the priest using Healing Word on him right quickly.


They managed to take out the remaining ghosts using the Magic Missile at the top of the round and then focus fire method, the ghosts bloodied more than half the party but no one went down.


They turned their attention to the magical lock after that. The messenger (who hid behind a bench when the ghosts attacked) emerged and explained that the lock must have automatically triggered when the ghosts tried to get inside the Library.

More ghosts began to emerge onto the streets and head for the Library. I produced a magical runes version of a Sudoku puzzle (shamelessly stolen from the Gravemyst adventure over at slyflourish.com) and slapped it down onto the table. I told the group they had 3 minutes to solve the puzzle and open the lock or they would be attacked by the oncoming ghosts.


They managed to solve the puzzle correctly just in time, rushed inside and shut the doors behind them and re-engaged the anti ghost lock just as the horde of oncoming ghosts was swarming up the steps of the Library towards them.




A very fun session and excellent teamwork from all the PC’s this week. Only a couple of fortune cards played this week but the ones that were played were all very useful to keeping the whole party up and healthy despite the heavy damage output from the bad guys.
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