Session 6 Field reports

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We had our two groups again this week, the first tackled the Temple of the Lawbringer, but the second chose to head directly into the fens in search of the Death Circlet so I had to improvise which given the way this season has been written was relatively easy to do.

Details recounted in my regular blog

"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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My group reached the Cavern of the Reptile God.

I got confused and thought that the battle map represented an island in the cavern. For some reason I imagined the cavern be a huge black underground lake. I think I pulled it off though :p

The players really loved the series of obstacles to get the villagers out of the collapsing tunnels. One player tried to reach out to a falling villager, but rolled a 1, and ended up actually pushing the villager into the chasm :p
My group also did the Cavern of the Reptile God. (Using Next)

It was very brutal. The Reptile God recharged it's poison breath twice decimating nearly everyone. I had my first PC death of the season thanks to this. Unfortunately it was a lapsed player who hadn't played since Crown of Neverwinter. I hope he isn't too discouraged with dying.

I haven't discussed it with my players but the skill obstacles were the lowlight of the session for me. I've never been comfortable running skill challenges and I'm sure it showed. I tried to convey a sense of urgency with my descriptions but it felt like one tacked on danger after another. I'd be interested in any advice people have for similar situations.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

I don't think it is a skill challenge per-se, just a series of problems the PCs have to overcome to save as many villagers as possible.

I said something like this:

"As you continue leading the terrified villagers along the collapsing tunnel, you hear a loud cracking sound, and a deep fissure suddenly opens up in the rough tunnel floor. One villager near this fissure loses her balance, and starts windmilling her arms as she starts to topple into the chasm. What do you want to do?"

I think these kind of events are role playing at its best, it really gives the characters a chance to shine.
I agree with Chimpy20. It is an opportunity to role play. If you read what I posted about this encounter in the week 5 summary you will see that my group was failing their rolls big time but they still enjoyed the situation. Since they kept failing very simple skill rolls I had to keep the tunnel collapsing theme going for a while and used various challenges to simulate the collapse. I used falling rocks, fissures opening up, and the water rushing in. The water part reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom a bit.
I don't think it is a skill challenge per-se, just a series of problems the PCs have to overcome to save as many villagers as possible.

I said something like this:

I presented it in nearly the same way but it just didn't feel like my execution was right. I suppose it's possible my players don't think it was the disaster (no pun intended) I felt it was. I'll ask them next week.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

I don't think my players were unduly worried about losing villagers. Their feeling was "we rescued their **** and killed the monster that was brain-washing them, they should be grateful anyway" :p I think they were just pleased to do something that wasn't talking to NPCs or hitting monsters.

Field report for D&D Encounters: Against the Cult of Chaos (Week 6) now available at Dungeon's

This week the PCs faced the Reptile God. I had to double the Naga's hit points for our striker heavy party and they still had minimal difficulty defeating the encounter. Everyone still had a lot of fun, including the Barbarian who scored 65 damage in one round.

We discuss the ups and downs, what worked and what didn’t in this week’s Recounting Encounters Podcast (also available through iTunes).

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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Not a lot to report. We went to the Lawbringer temple-- a pretty straightforward fight. My trap-monkey goblin didn't see the prison cells till after the fight was over (the bad guys didn't drop back to draw us in, so we pretty much kept the fight in the first room).
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