Session 3 Field Report

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Field report for D&D Encounters: War of Everlasting Darkness (Week 3) now available at Dungeon's Master.com.

We had a lot of fun this week. I DMed 1 table and played at another. Many groups decided to split the party to play to everyone's strengths. Combat against the Orcs was map-less which encouraged a lot of great descriptive role-playing. Both my groups took the side door and ended up facing the puzzle. It was a little on the easy side but it got everyone involved regardless of who was playing smart or dumb characters. I used the letter handouts provided here and it was a very well received (thanks for those by the way).

Now that we've got a better idea of how long these sessions take we've cut down on the run time. The group I DMed was on track for 90 minutes until the players decided to do something stupid pushing it to 2 hours. The group I played only took about 1 h 15 minutes.

We discuss the ups and downs, what worked and what didn’t in this week’s Recounting Encounters Podcast.

Visit the Dungeon’s Master D&D Encounters Archive for all of our ongoing weekly coverage as well as actual play podcasts and pre-generated characters.

Visit Dungeon's Master.com – The D&D Resource Blog For DMs and Players.
http://dungeonsmaster.com
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We had a few players not show so I combined my players into one group.

We had:

Eladrin Warlock
Succubus (Tiefling) Warlock...hexblade
Halfling Warlord (the Talker)
Drow Hunter
Halfling Assassin (Solid Snake)
Dragonborn Slayer


The players made their way to the strong hold. I described the siege reminicent of the siege at Two Towers. At which point our Assassin raised his hand "I have not seen those movies." We thought about kicking him out...lol
I descrbed the siege command tent, but our players focused on getting in...our players rolled stealth aided by our hunter and snuck up to the wall of the fort. They then snuck right by the Orcs guarding the side entrance. The logic puzzle was fast and no hints were needed. They walked right past the statues and down the hall to find two dead dwarves. One was hacked appart and the other Garotted.


The players CSIed the bodies and the assassin attempted to gleam more info, but rolled a one and found nothing. They moved up and followed the Orc tracks in the dungeon. They turned the corner to be greated by Frouth who screamed and charged. All 6 players missed! I described the scene as nothing phased this guy as blades bounced off him and magical energy fizzled upon him. They were worred and then scared when he charged the Halfling did max damage, then bounced off and charged the warlock to a tune of near max.

The Drow snuck around the corner and attempted to put a garrote around the halfling's neck, but aimed high and missed. The players bloodied and killed off the orc eventully. The drow missed again and then was charged by the Dragonborn who also missed. The halfling walked up and used Destructive Surprise on the Dragonborn who imediatly used it and critted the drow dropping them. Playing a dumb character we described as being a very 3 Stooges action as the Warlord told him to attack and he turned to look at the halfling accidentally beheading the drow.

The players met the king, but were interupted by the note from a Dwarf Mystic, I had the king act very embarassed by the letter as he commented "Ug Sister's Nephew, but he is kin." The players rested and move to the fort next week.

I was hoping it would go longer, but in all the encounter took less than an hour and everyone had fun, which is what matters.
Both of our groups made short work of this session.

Early group decided to try a side entrance and most held back while our half-orc beserker blagged the guarding orcs, convincing the leader and 2 others to go and confirm his orders, then the mage used hypnotism to make the remaining pair of minions kill each other.

Entering the dwarf tunnels they encountered the pit trap (the half-orc "discovered" it and the "broken rungs" of the ladder) before tackling the riddling statues. This was a fun little test of their logic and they paid quite a bit of attention to it before passing without injury.

The orc and drow in the tunnels posed very little threat to the group, the combat lasting barely 3 rounds, before a dwarven patrol heard the noise and took them before the King. The heroes readily offered to assist in defending Mithril Hall before setting out for Citadel Adbar.

The late group chose to hunt for a secret entrance, however their group stealth was attrocious and so they stumbled upon an orc patrol (used the side entrance band).

Eventually finding an entrance they make their way through the dwarven tunnels (after realising that Garls Poppet and the Tears of Helm dont light up indoors) and encountered a trap (of both magical and physical nature) which fired metal darts up from the floor, which struck the pixie skald as it flew over (thinking it was safe if it didnt touch the floor - wrong). Eventually disabling the trap, they moved on to the statue puzzle where the very logically minded hexblade worked the puzzle out quickly.

The fight with the orc and drow took a little longer but heroes were victorious. Again taken before the King of Mithril Hall before "negotiating" to aid in the defense of the hall until they left to travel to Citadel Adbar.


I liked the setup for this session with the different choices on how to access the Hall, though none of my group chose to try the horn or command tent, once inside the dwarf halls the statue puzzle was fun but a little too easy. The fight with the orc and drow was short and I was a little bemused as to why the drow commander of the seige would either try this with only one ally and/or be such a low threat himself (I know the encounters have to be balanced), this would have made more sense if it was just one of his assassins with maybe a small orc escort.

"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!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

Field report for D&D Encounters: War of Everlasting Darkness (Week 3) now available at Dungeon's Master.com.

We had a lot of fun this week. I DMed 1 table and played at another. Many groups decided to split the party to play to everyone's strengths. Combat against the Orcs was map-less which encouraged a lot of great descriptive role-playing. Both my groups took the side door and ended up facing the puzzle. It was a little on the easy side but it got everyone involved regardless of who was playing smart or dumb characters. I used the letter handouts provided here and it was a very well received (thanks for those by the way).

Now that we've got a better idea of how long these sessions take we've cut down on the run time. The group I DMed was on track for 90 minutes until the players decided to do something stupid pushing it to 2 hours. The group I played only took about 1 h 15 minutes.

We discuss the ups and downs, what worked and what didn’t in this week’s Recounting Encounters Podcast.

Visit the Dungeon’s Master D&D Encounters Archive for all of our ongoing weekly coverage as well as actual play podcasts and pre-generated characters.


My group spent a lot of time debating how to use the horn to get the orcs to withdraw completely. I ended up telling them that these guys are orcs. There is no such command as 'retreat'.

Then they ended up going down into the maze and not interacting with the horn or the commander tent at all.

The maze was really a let-down. It turned into just a repetitive drag. The die rolls for avoiding the traps and avoiding the orc patrols were horrendus. The loss of healing surges was painful, but ended up having no real effect, since no one had so few they couldn't stand to lose a surge every single round. Navigation and Obstacles were almost guaranteed successes for my group. The extra endurance check after a failed athletics check for obstacles came up once, and it didn't affect a single character.  After the 4th round of losing a healing surge, and fighting off a group of minions, I just called the maze completed and moved the session forward, skipping the 5th round.

The maze has been the thing that I disliked most this season so far. If I were to do it again, I would totally ignore it and go with the gem/weapon riddle. 

 After 4 rounds of minion killing, the big fight with the drow assassin and the orc reaver was not really a welcome event. It was a good mini battle, and the assassin was used to good effect, but after that much combat, it felt a little forced.

The royal meeting went well, and the delivery of the message went well. Afterwards, they tried to convince the dwarves to let them use the horn to try and help funnel the orcs to a specific place. I ended up allowing them to do this, to the Dwarf King's pleasure. He got his bloodlust on, and slaughtered many orcs before finally having to retreat back into the mountain as the adventurers made their escape. 
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