Session 12 Field Report

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Field report for D&D Encounters: Beyond the Crystal Cave (Week 12) now available at Dungeon's Check out our D&D Encounters Archive for weekly write-ups, actual play podcasts and new pre-generated characters.

It was a tough fight this week, especially without weapons. Those who insisted on being armed faced serious punishment from the animated statues. And did anyone else voice Kalbon like Mr. T? He called the PCs "fools!" and from then on he spoke like Mr. T at my tables.

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Our table was lucky. We had him bloodied before he got to his turn. Of course, we were armed, and the statues knocked two of us (including me) unconscious. The rest of the party was able to deal with the big bad, and I rolled a 20 on my death save, but he was down before I could get back into the fight.
RS: 60/60 CS: 60/60 RotS: 60/60 U:60/60 CotF: 60/60 BH: 60/60 A&E: 51/60 TFU: 53/60 LotF: 37/60 KotOR: 37/60 CW: 26/40 IE: 31/40 JA: 17/40 G@W: 7/40 DT: 7/40 Good trades with: Lily_Wan, creme_brule, suki_jedi_apprentice, Ephant_Mon
The fight was tough, because two of the five players at my table were coming in as new players.  Not only did they have 1st-level characters, but they were both new to 4th edition D&D.  Unfortunately, if there isn't group balance, things get a little dicey.

I had the statues clomping around like ED-209, telling characters to drop their weapons.  When a double-hit took one of the characters from bloodied to dead-dead, I let him run the two pixies, so he'd still get to have a role in combat.  There's nothing I hate more than for a player not to have anything to do.

For next week, if I've still got those two brand-new players, I'm thinking I need to come up with an even-simpler character sheet; they were both overwhelmed with the choices, even with Essentials characters.
FYI to all GMs. Just Auto level your players, being at L1 or 2 for any of these encounters is asking to be killed.

I had my players search through the rooms until they figured out the puzzle at which I had Kalibon come down and attack them. I voiced him like The Rock even giving the Fey Eyebrow at one point. He charged into the party did some damage and then the party took him to blooldied, and Kded him. He then took to the air after charging into the group once again and took to the air where he activated the statues who then proceded to turn the Halfling Slayer into paste. The players could not reach him until the druid did the unthinkable.

"I summon my bear...above his head!"

I told him there were no rules for that, but I was not going to say no, so I gave him a penality and stated to hit the enemy with his bear he would make an attack roll vs. reflex using ony his level (3). He rolled a 1. But being an Elf asked if he could Elven Accuracy it, leading to the question?"

"Can you elven accuracy a falling bear?"

I allowed it and he crit dropping Kalibon, who landed with the bear on top of him. The Minotaur charged in, jumped on top and held him while the chaos sorceress turned him to ice.

The Statues shut down and the pixies left.

The players are now taking on Soryith with a total of 4 surges between 5 characters. I made the two potions found Cure light wound potions and told everyone to level up to 4, but surges and such would remain unchanged.
All of the PCs went before Kalban and the statues and wouldn't you know it?  Three strikers, a leader and a defender annihilated the SOUR BEAST before he even got to take a turn!  They took a bit of damage from the statues before they all put away their weapons, though.  And they didn't have to face the pixies since they were friends of the Fey ...

I was pretty surprised, actually.  I thought this would be a much tougher battle.  But I guess that's what happens when the whole party rolls very high on init!

Anyway, riding high on this victory, the party rolls into next week feeling very confident.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

This was the fight my wilden battlemind was looking for, the challenge of going against a demon.  And I rolled great starting with the second highest initiative of the party, but kalban still go the drop on us, except my daughter's chaos sorceress, and blasted a bunch of us across the room.  I used perstitant harrier to stay on him then drop my daily (living fortress) along with my theme encounter (takedown).  I did 37 damage and not him prone in the first round.

With some good forced movement from the party and marking from me, we managed to keep all the enemies on my defender and minimized the damage.  After my nova and some solid focus fire kalban went down pretty easily, we dropped our weapon and the statues left.  My character wanted more of a fight, but was happy that the rest of the party, all low on surges, have something left for Soryth.  I can't wait.

My wilden battlemind and our satyr skald have developed some serious teamwork (Ragnar's camp would be proud) that has help me make the best of marks and let him throwdown in melee while reduce the chance of getting attacked.  His teleports have helped me get after the baddies.  

The witch has been a pleseantly effective class, I've been impress by what one of our players has done with it.  I am looking forward to what happens when Soryth gets hit with her daily, along with Dazzling Ray from the sorceress and fountain flame from the my son's shardmind pyromancer.  Everytime my daughter has used dazzling ray, she has one-shotted a xivort - the second time she combined it with dark reaping (radiant and necrotic) against the controllery one when they attacked our camp site.

Big props to our DM,  you're awesome Bill!


Great session tonight.  We had a good turnout and everyone enjoyed themselves.

The party sheathed their weapons when they realized the statues would attack.  They explored hall and the adjoining rooms.  A couple of PCs ransacked the bedrooms looking for valuables.  They found some gold and a rusty dagger for their efforts.

After checking out both rooms they went to the fountain to get a closer look at the nymphs.  They tried drinking, attacking, and standing in the fountain but to no avail.  The nymphs provided a clue how to proceed when asked.  The party decided to tackle the room with darkness first.  They found a candle from the bird room and entered the dark room.  The candle immediately went out confirming their suspicion this was magical darkness.  The Warpriest and Thief went into the room and examined the runes.  Aiding each other the Warpiest extracted the arcane energy out of the runes allowing the Thief to carefully remove it physically.  Almost immediately sun light began pouring into the room.

No sooner had they done so when Kalbon descended from above with 2 pixie archers.  The party was a bit shocked and scared because they were hanging around the fountain.  The fight was on.  The PCs realized the pixies were being controlled although our new Half-Orc Monk seemed out for blood. 

When the party drew weapons to attack Kalbon the statues actived.  They started attacking the PCs who had acted first and drew their weapons.   The Drow Hunter shot Kalbon staggering him back into a pit trap.  Kalbon was furious and flew out of the pit in a burst of fire and unleashed a massive assault goring and slamming the PCs to the ground.

After 2 rounds of fighting the pixies noticed the yellow flower on the Dwarven Knight Bob.  They soon rezlied these were the people who saved Ariel and the other fey from Soryth's control.  Not wanting to fight friends of the fey they managed to break Soryth's hold over them but couldn't aid in attacking Kalbon so they retreated.

Soon after Bob the knight decided to stow his weapon in the middle of battle to test his theory.  His theory was soon proven correct as the statues ignored him and went after people using weapons.  Thus began several busy turns as PCs focused attacking Kalbon and pulling out or stowing their weapons every time.  They soon managed to drop the orange devil and quickly put all weapons away.  The statues went back to their original posts and deactivated.

Knowing they needed to have rock teach bird to sing they wondered if the rock was the statues.  They tried several times to lure the statues into the bedroom by brandishing weapons and dropping them when the statues were close.  After doing this a few turns they let the statues go back.

Next they tried using the decanter on the table and managed to successfully teach the birds to sing.  A circle staircase of water sprang out of the fountain and went to the ceiling.  The scream of a woman was heard from above.

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FYI to all GMs. Just Auto level your players, being at L1 or 2 for any of these encounters is asking to be killed.

That's what I do. Anytime the module says to level, I just level everyone, and I level up the pregens I have for anyone new to use. 

My group had a pretty good session.

I had the leprechaun/redcap from session 4 show up along with the pixies and Kalbon. As the module said, since the PCs had been sparing all the enchanted fey throughout the season, these fey refused to fight for Kalbon. The pixies flew out, and the redcap went outside, but stuck around and watched (I was going to use him if the PCs were doing really badly).

Kalbon was alone against 6 PCs, so he only lasted two rounds. I should have augmented him to a Solo. 

They pulled the "knock prone and daze" trick on him right away, but he stood up and used an action point to use Relentless Assault against the pixie rogue, bloodying him in the first hit, and taking him down to 2 hit points on the second hit. The Caryatid Columns stepped in at the end of the round, and one walked right up to the pixie, who was holding a potion of healing that the fighter had just passed off to him, and the Column hit him and did enough damage to bring him to his negative bloodied value. 

So, that was one dead pixie rogue, and my first true death of the season!

It didn't take long for them to finish off Kalbon after that, but he did get to use Horned King's Assault one more time before the Drow Ranger put an arrow through his eye with a critical hit, killing him.

They easily cleaned up the Stewart's Room after that, and next they face Soryth herself!

I'm gonna make the leprechaun/redcap into a berserker character for a PC to play in the next session, if someone wants to.
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