Field Reports: Week 9 (SPOILERS)

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Red Castle Games in Portland, OR

This Encounters season has been humming along.  I'm proud to say I've  had a majority of returning players for the last couple months.  We  must be having fun!

At the end of Chapter 2 the heroes have been  investigating the Curse of Evard that has been laid upon the town and  now defend the populace from the depredations of a second night in the  netherworld known as the Shadowfell.  This night the townsfolk have  barricaded themselves into the Armory, and other safehouses, but rumour  stirs (confirmed by the interrogation of a grey goblin with cloven  hoofs) that an army of the dead is marching upon the town.

The  group for the last few weeks has consisted of a Shade Binder(Warlock), a  Drow Hunter (Ranger), a Paladin (who has willingly been corrupted by a  devil's sword to become a Blackguard), a Cleric of Pelor, and an Elven  Thief.

During their patrols the heroes felt a malaise and deep  despondency drag at them, and though they shook it off, they were  obliged to help prop up the moral of the local militia, who seemed ready  to pack it in.  The Cleric showed them the light of Pelor, while the  Blackguard, Drow and Warlock told of much worse tales than theirs, and  that combined with a whiff of rum perked them and they had a small army  of their own to command!

Each player received a small card with  Militia Minion stats and got to choose a mini fig.  I suggested they  name them but nobody did.

The band of defenders returned to the  Armory to discover it was under attack!  Swarms of skeletons with spears  battered the Armory doors, and two blazing pyrotechnic skeletons  orchestrated the events.  A lurking shadow stalker waited for an  opportunity to strike.

The ranged abilities of the monsters  combined with the big building made for a different sort of fight.  The  heroes were hurt and very vulnerable to being in a fire corridor,  especially when the fire skeletons started lobbing mortars.  However,  the army was mostly minions and the militia's firepower was quite  effective against them.  The thief ended up defeating the shadow stalker  upon the roof, while the Cleric unleashed Aspect of Wrath to slay all  skeletons who approached, and take down both Blazing Bones as well (I  think).  The Blackguard caught on fire and jumped in the river.

The army was defeated, no one died, and dawn broke over the town.  Just another night in the Shadowfell.  Everyone made 3rd level and everyone got a random Fortune Card.
I named my minion.  She was the first to die.

I may have chosen poorly.
The Blazing Skelletons targeting reflex took their toll on our front-liners, who have abysmal REF, but they survived (fortunately we had two healers).  For a party with multiple controllers (Necromancer, Binder, /and/ a Hunter), the minions stuck around for a surprising amount of time.  Our Binder managed to very nearly die, again (he's a revenant), and the Hunter was jumped by the shadow thingie (we're really learning to hate those things). 

The combat was an interesting one, the large building and bridges made for some tactical decisions.  We succeeded in the skill challenge - mainly through intimidation and bluff (we're almost through it, this'll be your last night in the Shadowfell, I swear) - and got the help of a few guards (minions).  Learning from past experience with minion helpers in a prior season, we mostly had them hang back, seek cover, and use bows to pick off the other minions.  They all survived. 



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