D&D Encounters Field Reports (Week 12)

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Use this thread to discuss your experiences with week 12 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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Two full tables at the Game Matrix again. Both tables have PCs that will be struggling for Healing Surges next session.

funtimes

The combat started with the Dragonborn slayer, Grimmunder attacking one of the guards. The guards then flamed up their warhammers and struck back. One Ghetto Crit Grimmunder and the battle was fierce. The 1st level Elven thief was knocked unconscious  by a scout early in the second round and she ended the fight the same way (although she did get one nat 20 on a death save the first time down).
Another fun week at The Game Depot in Tempe, Arizona.

Rather slow this week, as table 1 only had 2 players plus the DM. I had 4 players and 1 more showed up about a third of the way through the night. At my table tonight:

Brandis – level 3 Human Paladin
Kiera – level 3 Elf Thief
Nyla – level 3 Elf Slayer
Valenae – level 2 Eladrin Warpriest (Sun)
Sola – level 2 Elf Warpriest (Sun) 


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The group made a cursory check of the hallway but quickly made their way to the meditation room. They opened the doors and observed the time-stuck Duergar and the vision of Salazar’s wizard buddy explaining the time trap ritual plan. The vision faded, the Duergar became animate again, and it was on…


The group quickly went to melee with the Duergar guards, particularly the thief wanting to use her first round combat advantage. The 20 AC proved to be harder to hit than they were planning on and the guards were able to absorb the hits pretty well.


One scout stayed at range using his crossbow but could not hit anything. One guard missed his flaming hammer attack, the other hit but only rolled minimal damage. The other scout made it interesting in round 2 when he managed the invisible/hidden double whammy against the Paladin and rolled a crit. 38 damage later the party’s only defender was unconscious.


They finally managed to take out the guards (a crit by the thief on a Backstab took one guard from just above bloodied to dead in one hit), the clerics got the Paladin back on his feet, and the slayer used power strike on the melee scout to finish him off.


 That left the ranged scout (who still had not managed a single successful attack roll yet) all by his lonesome. He went invisible and made a break for it but some vey nice perception checks by the party and they managed to surround him. Sola the elf priest got the final hit to put him down for the count.


 They party then explored the staircase and saw the vision of Salazar making his plan to sacrifice himself to save his allies, and taking the Arrow of Time with him down into the caves and the earthquake dragon…


 The Paladin is low on healing surges (only 2 left) for the final encounter but most have 3-4 surges or so. This was also the 4th encounter (2nd milestone) so almost everyone earned another action point and will have it to use next week.


 Not much use of the cards this week as most of what they drew just did not apply to their tactical situations. Everyone is looking forward to the conclusion next week!

Table of 4 at Game Parlor in Chantilly VA.

Malkyr - Level 3 Drow Scout
Varis - Level 3 Half-elf Sentinel of Summer
Mebber - Level 1 Halfling Wizard
Simon - Level 3 Human Slayer (funny story -- he's one of the PC-controlled minions from Chapter 5 last season. The same player managed to have his minion survive every encounter! So now he's got PTSD from all the trauma he suffered there but has grown stronger from his experiences...he just drowns his nightmares in moonshine. :P)

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I elected to take out one of the Lurkers instead of one of the Soldiers; two out of three monsters constantly going invisible and smashing people wasn't going to be much fun I figured. I almost wish I hadn't though since they walked all over the Soldiers.

The one Lurker that was left still did an insane amount of damage though; in just two rounds he dealt out almost 60 points of damage thanks to the shadow attack and PCs failing to spot him before moving around and provoking OAs. Malkyr went down but Varis picked him right back up.

It didn't/doesn't help that the Wizard is really non-optimized...he only has 16 INT so he's having accuracy issues. He's not new to the game so I'm not sure where his head is at.

Regardless, I think everyone had fun.


I'm not sure where we stand on surges and the like -- I know most people have blown daily powers at this point. Last fight will certainly be an interesting one.
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My criticism from the first Dark Sun encounter stands - there ought not be critters in these adventures that can one-shot PCs.  The lurkers did enough to kill first level characters (negative bloodied) with a lucky damage roll or crit.

That being said, the table had a good time. 
My criticism from the first Dark Sun encounter stands - there ought not be critters in these adventures that can one-shot PCs.  The lurkers did enough to kill first level characters (negative bloodied) with a lucky damage roll or crit.

That being said, the table had a good time. 



Heck we had 6 players and had 3 lurkers and 2 guards.  And the DM used their quill attack every round instead of once an encounter.
We had three tables, two tables of six, one table of five at Modern Myths in Northampton, MA.  We had a new player or two and some younger boys who showed up for the second week in a row.  I DMed one of the tables of six with 4 regulars (3 who have played all season and one who joined midway) and the two boys.  The damage levels were staggering.  Most of my PCs are down to their last couple surges. They came through the encounter alright (they have two leaders in the group), but their resources are fairly severely drained. 

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when they found the treasure cache at the end of the encounter I gave them the option of allowing their dwarven fighter to recover two surges or taking a treasure roll.    I had to pull some punches this week.  I knew the damage figures were going to be brutal, but in round two I had bloodied half the party.  My group had it good... the fighter at the next table over was killed outright on the second round.  The group took the surges for the fighter over the treasure roll, and I can't say I'm surprised.  Next week is going to be a difficult encounter for them with their resources down so badly, but hopefully with two leaders they can stretch their healing surges.
We had two tables this week.  One had a TPK, the other got through it OK.

I was at the table that survived.  We had two leaders one of whom had just gotten a new Encounter healing power, a Paladin who had just gotten a daily healing power, a Mage, a Slayer and a Hunter (who ended up being called away from the table on the second round, so we faced the 5-player encounter with 4 players).  The party tried to get tactical on the scouts (seeing that they were ranged), with the Slayer charging one in preference to the guards, and the mage sliding the other next to the Paladin, but, they just turned invisible, and unleashed instant-death-to-a-1st-level-PC damage on the second round.  Fortunatly, the targets were 3rd level, so while one was instantly dropped, neither died, and copious healing was forthcoming.  I understand that they only get to pull that trick ever-other round, but it still seemed excessive.  Anyway, between concentrated fire getting one of the guards out of the way quickly, and some controller harrassment of the scouts, we managed to get through it, but all 5 leader surge triggers, the paladin's healing daily, and some second winds and action points were used.

As I understand it, the other table included a first level character (not new to D&D, but new to Encounters, and my guess would be Not Coming Back), had only one leader, only a Hunter for a controller, a Hexblade whose powers the monsters were resistant to, and took too long splitting their efforts between the two guards.  They were whiped out.

 

 

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We had a rough week at Game On in McCook NE. We were short our rouge, called in to work, our human fighter was MIA aswell. And our Shaman, who is a youngn, was about to get slaughtered by the end of this by our party. DM blew the encounters on the first round and nearly wipped out our conrtoller (elf ranger with crossbow) and super striker(drow ranger with double axes). My striker (Drow Assassain) and the Dwarven Paladin never got hit and our Drow Paladin held his own pretty well. All in all a good encounter against some challanging foes who I thought were a little over powered but since we survived I am not gonna complain lol.