Session 5 Field Report

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Field report for D&D Encounters: Storm Over Neverwinter (Week 5) now available at Dungeon's

The party travelled to Helm's Hold. They were unable to enter through the front gate so they went around back, picked the lock and went on in. The guards offered minimal resistance. The strikers were hitting on 2 and up for 25+ damage. A couple of PCs took crazy damage as I rolled 5 crits. Our Warlock has only 1 surge left, the Rogue only has 2. It's going to be an interesting end for those PCs.

In order to encourage exploration I photocopied the map and cut out each room, placing them like dungeon tiles as the party advanced. This added suspense and forced the players to proceed with caution since they didn't know the meta knowledge of the map.

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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Field report from D&D Encounters 4e game at Game HQ in Oklahoma City.

This week we had our largest turnout yet, fielding a full table with two of our regulars out and unfortunately, we even had to turn 3 players away. Next week we will make our first attempt at running two tables.

As for the adventure, the party was exhausted after enduring the Night of Madness They did agree to to accompany Vargas to Helm's Hold the next day, but rest was the first order, so they headed back to the Moonstone Mask. The following day, the wake for the Sword Captain was running, which the party felt obligated to attend. After that they were approached by the brother of an NPC dwarf they encountered early on in the adventure. He informed them that the young dwarf was still suffering the effects of having been abducted and tormented. When the PC's reached his home, they found him in bed and quite out of his mind. When he reached out to them, they reciprocated and triggered the Heir of Delzoun Alternate Event I detailed in the Week 3 planning thread:

Heir of Delzoun Alternate Event

This went great and the players really enjoyed it. It moved along fairly quickly too, ending with only about 35 mins having passed in the session.

After that, things moved pretty quickly to Helm's Hold. They met up with Vargas and traveled to HH with him. When they encountered the resistance at the gate with the mob, they were pretty intimidated by the readied archers in the windows. After talking successfully with a local, they learned there was a back entrance. Failing to open the door however, they looked around for an open window, ultimately opting to climb in the sunroom windows. When they finally all got into the room, the Acolytes from the next room spotted them and were alerted. Combat ensued in the areas around the kitchen area room. I opted to place a barred door over the entrance to the main room so that they would not trigger that event yet. Combat ran fairly long and I called it after the PCs had things well in hand. They did kill three of they cathedral servants, but opted to subdue most of them. The fight was fairly tough for them and they will need to spend a good amount of healing surges. Two dailies and an Action Point were also spent.

Since it was so late, we didn't get a chance to do the conclusion events for this week and the big reveal, so I will save that for next week. When the PC's went around to the back of the cathedral, they were separated from Vargas, so I will have to devise a plan to get him into the main room for my next encounter. I think I will let them find the front door open and the mob dispersed as if feared away. with every other room cleared on the first floor, they will be moved to try to enter the main room were I can then run that event and smoothly go into week 6 events. I'm open to suggestions here though.

All in all, it was a great session. Really looking forward to next week.
This week was lightly attended again. We only had a human slayer, a deva cleric templar, and a shade warlock. We needed to catch up a week so we started outside of Elden Vargas' house. The party didn't bother stealthing but charged in. The slayer got a surprise round and attacked the thug at the door nearly killing him. The cleric went in and subsequentially fell to the devil and the thugs. He laid bleeding out for two rounds until his god (a lucky dice roll brought him back ) chose to heal him. With the numbers against the players, I chose not to use two goons and to not use the devil's slide and free attack power. Elden helped them a lot until I sent him upstairs. After the fight, the party quickly agreed to help Elden at Helm's Hold but didn't demand he go. He gave them a +2 armor, a potion of invisibility (what a bad roll), and eyes of charming.

Any suggestions what to do if the party cleric with the eyes decides to dominate the bad in session 6? It will make for a quick fight or minion killer. At least it would run out immediately during the non-flyby free attack I think.

In the day off the few adventurers bought healing potions and the slayer bought a pair of acrobat boots. They proceeded to the clinic where they encountered the dazed guards and the mob. They easily stealthed to the back and observed the shaded windows. The warlock turned used thievery to open the window and then, while invisible, climbed in. He saw a magic circle with two dwarves, a buff woman with blue fire in her veins, and a little brat that he recognized within it. The slayer in round 2 did the same thing but he, being the only one who played the original Neverwinter season, saw the woman as Seldra and immediately went on the defensive. The cleric tried to climb in but failed to do it quietly, falling on his butt. This led to the hospital mage whom I switched with the acolyte leader slowly moving to the south. The cleric used arcana to discover the simple method to break the circle and he did so but received a magic missile in the back as a reward. The mage called for the guards and the fight was on. The party readied actions for the mage to come to them but he stayed back and continued magic missiling for another round. The slayer rushed in, hit him once nearly killing him and action pointed to finish the job. The leader then became the next victim. The cudgel guys were used as archers for most of the fight due to player immobilization powers. They got a couple fist hits in as the party moved around them. I called the fight right after another party had to leave dropping us to 2 pcs. They were escorted to the treasure and received the potions-liking the cure wounds potions a lot. I gave them 3 but a big party would have greatly benefitted there.

All in all after 1 session of chapter 2 the slayer is down 4 surges, cleric down 2, and warlock down 2. It will be a brutal Chapter 2 if this keeps up and we all know what is coming next.
A sudden drop in numbers due to IRL events meant we only ran one session this week.

Our players attended the Swordmasters wake and were presented with his weapon as per his wishes. While there they also spoke to a distraught Lady Nidris who told them her son had been taken to the Hold after going nutso upon their return to her compound, she asked them to deliver a letter to him as the stewards at the Hold wouldnt let her in.

When the bedraggled messenger arrived with his missive, Lady Nidris offered her carriage to speed the heroes journey to Helms Hold. Realising a frontal assault would avail them naught they invstigated the rear of the building, but rather than try passing through the back door our halfling barbarian chose to use his rope to swing and crash through through the large stained glass window into the main hall - although this was meant to be done in next session I decided to go with it and proceeded to use the Chartilifax encounter (keeping Vargas's big reveal for the finale). Even tweaking the encounter down for the reduced party size it proved to be a brutal encounter with all of them getting bloodied or worse (the druid was ripped to shreds by the dragons claw attack.

One highlight though was the players idea for the hunter to fire an arrow with her rope attached into the dragons shoulder, allowing the crazy halfling barbarian to vault onto the beast and ride the dragon around the hall. This proved most amusing, until Chartilifax fled out into the storm, but even then the halfling refused to release his grip until the mad dragon dove towards the ground. The halfling managed to leap off to safety as the lunatic beast disappeared into the storm.

"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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