Session 6 Troubleshooting for 6 PCs

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Only 4 tests? I know I have a 6-person table expected tonight. This isn't going to work, because the guy who doesn't get to solve the test first, gets a buy while sitting and doing nothing. I'd be very unhappy if that was my encounters session as a player.

I came up with one more test, and am fishing for ideas for a sixth. Anyone clever enough to help me out?


TEST OF INFILTRATION
Text outside the test reads, "Lolth's children are her hands and eyes: tools to be used in the darkness. Prove yourself to be the tool she requires."

The room ahead is swarming with drow patrols, each carrying a crossbow. In the center of the room, designed as a throne room, sits a single person, an obvious target for assassination. The PC's weapon turns into a wrist/punching dagger, indicating he has to sneak close enough to deliver the killing blow.

HINT Dungeoneering/Stealth (13): Drow have darkvision, but they don't have eyes in the back of their heads. You're able to identify passages and paths that will escape their detection, if you're careful.

DEVELOPMENTS: Stealth and Athletics are primary, set for DC9 (per the other tests). Failure means guards are alerted and the PC is shot for 1d6+3 poison damage. Three failures is the cage. The player has to decide if they're going to try floor vents, drop from the ceiling, or teleporting tricks, whatever works - freeform, mostly, as long as they don't just charge the throne (auto-fail).


Any other suggestions?

58286228 wrote:
As a DM, I find it easier to just punish the players no matter what they pick, as I assume they will pick stuff that is broken. I mean, fight after fight they kill all the monsters without getting killed themselves! What sort of a game is this, anyway?

 

An insightful observation about the nature of 4e, and why it hasn't succeeded as well as other editions. (from the DDN General Discussions, 2014-05-07)

Rundell wrote:

   

Emerikol wrote:

       

Foxface wrote:

        4e was the "modern" D&D, right?  The one that had design notes that drew from more modern games, and generally appealed to those who preferred the design priorities of modern games.  I'm only speculating, but I'd hazard a guess that those same 4e players are the ones running the wide gamut of other games at Origins.

       
        D&D 4e players are pretty much by definition the players who didn't mind, and often embraced, D&D being "different".  That willingness to embrace the different might also mean they are less attached to 4e itself, and are willing to go elsewhere.

    This is a brilliant insight.  I was thinking along those lines myself.  

 

    There are so many tiny indie games that if you added them all together they would definitely rival Pathfinder.   If there were a dominant game for those people it would do better but there is no dominant game.  Until 4e, the indie people were ignored by the makers of D&D.

 

Yep. 4E was embraced by the 'system matters' crowd who love analyzing and innovating systems. That crowd had turned its back on D&D as a clunky anachronism. But with 4E, their design values were embraced and validated. 4E was D&D for system-wonks. And with support for 4E pulled, the system-wonks have moved on to other systems. The tropes and traditions of D&D never had much appeal for them anyway. Now there are other systems to learn and study. It's like boardgamegeeks - always a new system on the horizon. Why play an ancient games that's seven years old?

 

Of course, not all people who play and enjoy 4E fit that mould. I'm running a 4E campaign right now, and my long-time D&D players are enjoying it fine. But with the system-wonks decamping, the 4E players-base lost the wind in its sails.

We've been running the session individually. Last week, I ran three of my PCs through the session, in private. This also gave them an opportunity to tell me anything they might be doing in private, behind the other PCs' backs.

We have to cram session 6 into the after-game last week and pre-game this week, because we're losing next Wednesday due to the holiday. 

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I also plan to have two of my PCs  not go throug the skill challenge. They're being given the opportunity to ally with the drow, instead.
Not bad. Certainly better than anything I could come up with. I have the same problem with this week's session and had a meeting last week with the coordinator and the other DMs to talk about it. The coordinator said he would try to come up with some extras.

One problem I see with your idea: That would be hard to run with anything other than an evil character (maybe unaligned). Certainly a good aligned character would (should) balk at performing the task.
- Rico
I ran the encounter as written. Used only the four tests. I ran each person individually until the took the first failure, then sort of "paused them" and moved forward and around the table doing likewise at each interval. Took up the time alotted for Encounters, and everyone experienced a fair share of failure and a few successes. No one seemed put off by the fact that there were only the four rooms. And I waited until after the characters failed once before I hinted that certain skills might give them insight into it.

Everyone really enjoyed it and several commented that it was reminiscent of their gaming days of old.

All in all, I loved this session!