Session 6 Field Report

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Field report for D&D Encounters: War of Everlasting Darkness (Week 6) now available at Dungeon's Master.com.

Of all the encounters I’ve played or run since D&D Encounters started, this was my favourite. It was also the longest session I’ve ever played at D&D Encounters (3.5 hours). The groups really had a good time with this session. They got the hang of the Battle Value mechanic right away and had a lot of fun role-playing the various scenes in the town. The fight with the Trolls at the beginning was fun and set the pace for the entire night. The final fight was one of the most entertaining fights we’ve had in the past few seasons. I can’t say enough good things about this week’s encounter.

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.

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I had been looking forward to this session all season (next week, not so much). For the map I used the forest portion as well as the full town with some dungeon tile walls inbetween.

The party came accross the trolls assualting the walls and attacked the rear. An angered troll turned and charged the hunter who decided to take point. As usual the Dragonborn ran in to be the hero. The combat lasted for a few rounds before both were taken down and set aflame. I allowed players to give up their full actions to douse with oil and set aflame.

The players were given 4 days to prepare for the attack. In that time they went to work gathering assests. Our Primal characters and Warlock used the wand to control and embue fireflies with magical energy to light enemies positions. Consider this a cheap form of "painting" a target. The Warlord walked in on the Riders of Nesme and gave an impashioned speech of how they should set aside their differences in real life then rolled a 30 Diplomacy. so the riders maxed out at 5 for a value. The Dragonborn used his martial prowess to train the troops and preceded to crit his roll. +2. To improve morale the Tiefline (half succubus) whored her self out to the troops (we are running the adult table mind you). I figured that was a creative way to do it. +2. The Halfling assassin reconed for the next few days and with a few history checks from the Warlock was able to figure out where to station troops. Only on the last day did they think to check on the catapults. Which in one day was noy enough time to get them ready. Even without them they had enough BV to slaughter the trolls.


For the battle I let the players as a minor action use a skill check to command their asset to attack the trolls for a set amount of damage. If they crit they could do it again as a free action. This lead to the milita just dog piling and killing off a troll. Even with the extra help our Slayer went down and we almost lost our warlock. The crits were flying hard. The players in the end had a fun time.

We once again had 2 session this week but for a change both were surprisingly similar. Both groups took considerable damage from the pair of trolls in the introduction to Nesme but they also came up with ways of making sure they did fire damage every round to ensure that the trolls didnt regenerate.


Once inside the town they set about bolstering the defenses, following tips from one of the DM’s forums I reduced the number of days to 5 to increase the sense of urgency. Both deciding that flaming catapults were an essential and restoring order to the fabled Riders of Nesme as a good idea (though each group had different success at this particular task). Wen it came to driving the darkness back to aid the sharpshooters the first group succeeded with use of the wand but the second having failed to retrieve it had to find other ways (using Garl’s poppet). Both groups also chose to aid in training the militia and improving their morale, again with success.


The main difference came with reconning the troll horde. The first group sent out their elven ranger who spent his five days gathering as much information as he could, appearing as nothing more than a shadow amongst the wilderness. The second group didnt devote as much time to this but did send out two seperate heroes to gather information, one succeeding but the other getting spotted and chased by ravenous trolls – rather than play out the fight I had already decided that any scouts that got caught would take two surges worth of damage between them, but as the player had chosen to go alone this immediately bloodied him. On his return to Nesme he was allowed tobe healed by the party using their healing powers but they were made aware that, as with all sessions this season, encounter powers would not be refreshed.


The troll hordes attacked and the heroes bolstered defences were put to the test. Both groups were called upon to tackle a break-through group of trolls that had entered the city. The first group electing to send their dwarven slayer into melee while the rest of them climbed onto roof tops and rained death from above. The second group fared better than expected as the dragonborn hexblade had saved his dailies and almost dropped a troll singlehanded in the first round. Again both groups had taken steps to ensure fire damage was inflicted every round but the fights were still took a toll before victory was theirs.


I did like the battle value mechanic and although not being a huge fan of skill challenges in general thought that this one really fit the situation and worked well to resolve a large scale conflict while still giving the players a felling that their contributions made a difference.


I was very happy that the second group had a succesful session, especially as with the last couple of sessions ending in failure and defeat it gave their confidence a bit of a boost. With only two sesssions of the season left to go, the fate of this corner of the  realms truly rests in their hands.


 

"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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