Session 5 Field Report

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Field report for D&D Encounters: The Elder Elemental Eye (Week 5) now available at Dungeon's Master.com. Check out our D&D Encounters Archive for weekly write-ups, actual play podcasts and new pre-generated characters.


It was a very tough fight for the striker-heavy, no leader party. A combination of bad dice rolls and poor tactics made things especially difficult.

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I really like these reports ;) I must say it is good to see PCs tear down terrain, because more often than not those aspects of the terrain are rarely used.

How did your group like the exploration part? It is a bit of an experiment, and relatively difficult to pull off in Encounters due to its setup (constantly changing players make it necessary to force PCs into a direction instead of giving them a free choice).
Those bolters are vicious.  They've been far-and-away the biggest source of grief at my table to date.  Bravo to the encounter design on this last one - there were some ugly decisions to be made regarding target priority.

The terrain tips and interesting options (like the scaffolding in this encounter) have been much appreciated.  The guy playing a warpriest at my table took significant pleasure in ripping the support out from underneath the remaining bolter - from his reaction, that was the high point of his evening.
I was actually sad when the party ripped Azryg apart before he even got his second turn.  I remember when I went over his stat block, seeing how well his abilities and tactics synergized, and I was really impressed with his design.  Then he went down like a punk.

Oh well, I guess I had it coming, I am always telling my players they need to focus fire more!   
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
I really like these reports ;) I must say it is good to see PCs tear down terrain, because more often than not those aspects of the terrain are rarely used.

How did your group like the exploration part? It is a bit of an experiment, and relatively difficult to pull off in Encounters due to its setup (constantly changing players make it necessary to force PCs into a direction instead of giving them a free choice).

@Madfox11


The exploration after combat didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. Experience has shown us that players want to end the night with the fighting. Whenever there’s stuff to do after the fight, whether it’s role-playing with an NPC or exploration of the dungeon, the players just aren’t into it. I ran this week’s encounter twice and both groups rushed through the exploration. It was very unsatisfying. The “Disney Table” I ran with mostly 10-14 year-olds has zero interest in exploring after the fight. I think the exploration should have been left for the beginning of week 6.

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Past seasons have conditioned players to start putting all their stuff away when the fight ends.  Each time we have post fight items to cover I have to tell everyone to sit back down as we are not through.  It made sense to have the exploration after the fight, but given the way encounters have been run in all the previous seasons perhaps doing that at the start of the next session would work better.  But if the future seasons will keep mixing up the order of encounter, exploration and role play which I actually prefer than I will just have to start training the players that it is not all over until we call it over.
We were short on bodies this week and due to time constraints and the combat taking a bit longer (due to explaining almost everything to a new prospective player) we didnt have time to run the exploration part so I'm planning on running it at the start of the next session, may also be an opportunity to introduce any new characters (two pc's dead in the combat plus the prospective player has said they'll be coming back - yay a new convert!)

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

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I'm traveling this week, so I got to drop in on a new location. We didn't get to the exploration, because our encounter ran over our time, and when it was over, people needed to pack up and head out. 
The exploration after combat didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. Experience has shown us that players want to end the night with the fighting. Whenever there’s stuff to do after the fight, whether it’s role-playing with an NPC or exploration of the dungeon, the players just aren’t into it. I ran this week’s encounter twice and both groups rushed through the exploration. It was very unsatisfying. The “Disney Table” I ran with mostly 10-14 year-olds has zero interest in exploring after the fight. I think the exploration should have been left for the beginning of week 6.

Makes sense. The order had more to do with logic of guardians at the door and not halfway the dungeon. It works better in the next part were you do start with exploration and the real fight is at the end.

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