Field Reports: Week 10 (SPOILERS)

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Encounters at Red Castle Games in Portland, Oregon


"Another statue in the shape of a harsh angelic guardian watches over this room~ which also contains a well brimming with dark water."


I walked into the store today and got to rapping with the owner.  He asked how its going.  I said, "Oh yeah its been great.  A couple of kids have been at every session.  Good regular group."  Of course they didn't show up this time.  Luckily, one of my regulars did, about five minutes late finding me sitting at an empty table with battle-mat and dice at the ready.  


We waited for a bit and finally her friend showed up, another newbie to the D&D.  Usually I call three players a quorum, but for Encounters, two was fine.  There I was, playing Dungeons and Dragons with two girls, a first in my long gaming career!  I tried to drag the cashier into the mix, but he had to catalog Magic cards, so I just added a Knight to the Thief and Cleric party.  The Knight's tag line was "Don't you DARE ignore me!" which is fitting for an NPC.  After a quick recap, the heroes entered the Crypt below the Monastery.


I didn't mod the encounter for the 3 PCs.  This made for a tense fight, with all the heroes bloodied by the end, and some close calls along the way.  This was a "connected room dungeon" battle.  My goal was to get the players to explore a bit of it as the battle progressed and keep it from getting static.  I was able to guide it in that direction and I 'm glad I did.  These are the little DM lessons to be learned from Encounters.  


There were some memorable moments.  The thief, on fire thanks to a Blazing Skeleton, jumped into a Holy Well to find that this holy water gave her a blessing as well!  The cleric had to make some decisions about healing herself or the knight, and finally there was a bit of discussion about whether to desecrate a coffin to get some treasure.  Pragmatism won. 


On reflection, I've been really lucky with the continuity of the player group so far.  Today was the first time I sat down and wondered if anyone would show up.  I'm sure glad that didn't happen the first week I showed up to DM Encounters. 


Tonight I won at D&D because one player on her fourth week of  brought in another new recruit, so the Encounters plan is working.  Huzzah!

Had some fun at the Game Matrix. We've been consistently one short of splitting to two tables again for several weeks (real life horning in).

I was playing a half-orc slayer using a longspear (one of the things I like about the level 3 limit on Encounters is you can experiment with some stuff with out worrying about not using your class features at higher levels). My dice rolling was rather strange. Initiative 3. First attack 20, 12 on the viscous crit die and using power strike or furious assault killed the monster. Second attack 1, Third attack 1, fourth attack 20, 12 on the crit die. Killed it before I used whichever was left of my furious assault and powerstrike. last attack, 7, hit so rolled a 2 and then a 7 on my final encounter attack power. killed it. Didn't have to attack any minions. Our Sun Warpriest did a lot of the tanking, getting the 'take 50 damage' reknown and a moment of greatness.
We had more new players and split out a third group, which I ended up with.  We had a small party, two 4e (Warlord, Fighter), two E (Warpriest, Theif).  The encounter was not adjusted down.  The Warlord won initiative and charged a blazing skelleton in the next room (dragon-breathing away two minions on the way), and was promptly cut off and beaten on by all the non-minion monsters in the encounter.  The rest of the party tried to reach him, and the warpriest got close enough to heal and grant some temp hps to everyone, but he endured the second round of beatdown only through 'Ignore Pain' (a skill power).  Once the party had managed to clean up some minions, and the Fighter peeled one of the dark ones off the Warlord, the tide turned and the monsters went down fast under a flurry of action points and encounter powers.  There was some good teamwork, the Warpriest made good use of all her powers, healing, granting saves and giving out damage resistance to keep everyone up (not an easy task), the Theif and Fighter benefited from the Warlord's Bravura Presence.   A rousing combat all around.

The Warlord just needs to write "DON'T TANK"  on the inside of his visor, because he went and won initiative the following session, too, with similar results.

 

 

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The Warlord just needs to write "DON'T TANK"  on the inside of his visor, because he went and won initiative the following session, too, with similar results.


One of my regular players - who has played only a Thief and a Vampire so far - has a similar affliction. He rolls an amazing initiative, shoots off like a rocket into the first enemy he sees, and promptly gets dropped (or nearly so) for his efforts. My other regular players have taken to not-so-gently reminding him of this trend every time he reaches for his d20 after I call for intitiative checks
Yeah, 'hanging back cautiously' just doesn't scream "Bravura Warlord," though.  Tactical would be giving out as many extra attacks, and not taking so much damage...  :shrug:  ...just happy to have a warlord allowed, really.

 

 

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