Session 8 Field Report

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Field report for D&D Encounters: The Elder Elemental Eye (Week 8.) now available at Dungeon's Check out our D&D Encounters Archive for weekly write-ups, actual play podcasts and new pre-generated characters.

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As I wrote over on Dungeon's Master, I actually was able to play this at Guardian Games in Portland. We had a good time, though it was a fairly easy encounter. Three things really influenced that. First, the DM didn't realize the two main foes could teleport through the obelisk. Second, one elemental came out to meet us and we were able to keep the fight on the stairs. Third, we were able to use party tactics to keep the other elemental immobilized or prone on the catwalk for two rounds and when it finally acted it took the long way around. It never reached us. The elemental still did enough damage to drop the Cavalier, but the rest of us fared very well (even with a party of four).

This was a big difference from when I ran basically the same encounter during the playtest. I had the main foes use their movement to push a melee striker against the obelisk for automatic cold damage, then the other melee PCs came to the first PCs' rescue... meaning a lot of automatic cold damage for the PCs. I kept pushing them adjacent and they kept going unconscious. It was a TPK.

So, I'm curious how much variance tables saw on this fight. I like combats that can be very tactical like this (and I appreciate how this season have various encounters that allow for that).

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I played at the kids' table this week, which was very interesting.

We split the party for the skill challenge, so we started on opposite sides of the obelisk. That was kind of cool, actually; 2 smaller combats went well, with the sole exception of needing to have the healer (me) in two places at the same time. When we split the party, we split the sha'irs, so half the party had resistance to cold, and half had resistance to fire.

The DM at our "Disney table" modifies the encounter quite a bit for the younger players. Monsters are a little less tactically minded, and there are a LOT more minions available, always grouped up in a nice, tight formation for the 3-minion renown (we have 4 players with AoE attacks in the younger group). Which is great, since as-written, there's been exactly 1 encounter with minions who were grouped close enough to multi-attack at all.

Anyway, at this table, the lashers turned into swarms of minion-spiders upon their deaths, which led to the 3 wizards and 1 scout rushing for the minion renown (action denial!) The elementals came up to us pretty much as a second wave, after the lashers had been dealt with.

This week, I changed characters and played a warpriest with a lot of fate/luck/reroll cheese. Elf with Blessing of Corellon, so I had an extra healing surge to give out. I triggered 3 surges on the PC who earned the 50-hp renown, and was on my way to help one PC taking ongoing fire damage-- thank goodness for the sha'ir, who had granted resist 4 fire to him during the skill challenge! He failed 4 saving throws on that ongoing damage, and was down to 3 hp at the end of the fight. Whew!

In all, it was kind of a "squeaker," but we made it through. About the only problem we're going to face is healing surge economy-- at least two PCs used 4 of their surges this session.
Our session 8 write up

a fun encounter with our hapless cavalier triggering the attack once again.

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

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

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