D&D Encounters Field Reports (Week 7)

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Use this thread to discuss your experiences with week 6 of D&D Encounters Dark Sun. 

Please realise that both players and DMs read these threads, so do not put spoilers in your posts. If your post goes into enough details, then you absolutely must use spoilers. Enclose the spoilery bit in [*sblock=spoiler stuff][*/sblock]  (just remove the *) spoiler block tags so that players who haven't played yet don't have the surprise ruined for them. 

[*sblock=spoilerey stuff]

blahblahblah

[*/sblock]

will produce

spoilerey stuff


blahblahblah


once you remove the *.
Mudbunny SVCL for DDI Before you post, think of the Monkeysphere
A few of our regulars happened to be away this week, but we had two brand new players and we still had four tables (though not filled). Our tables on other days continue to be full.

This sessions seemed pretty ideal for new players. Beyond that,

spoilers for 2-2:

The encounter was pretty easy for all of our four tables, and pretty short for them as well.

In general, the tons of minions can go down fast, even if you remember to have the tiny critters use their shift power. You can introduce them in phases, but at all our tables they went down really quickly. Now, when they hit, the tiny guys pack a strong punch. Three of them can be a lot of pain and at my table Yuka took enough of a beating to decide to pick up a shortbow for the rest of the encounter.

But, I had a table of four and with no scaling down they had an easy time. So easy (and without twitter buffs!), that I bumped up the big bad's HPs by 10 and added another claw without it being hard. The big bad is fine, but it is hard to entice the players to go after it, especially if the ranged PCs roll well on the minions.

I did a few very minor things.

First, I reminded myself and all judges of how the web works. It is a move for every square, but it only provokes on OA, regardless of how many squares a PC moves. So, a move and a move would only provoke once, since a creature can only take on AO on a given foe's turn.

Secondly, I had a wave of crawling hands go attack one PC from hiding. I did not use the shift. This was kind of cool, since Yuka had a nice four of six attacks hit, if memory serves. This gave the battle a nice feel, and I only counted the ones that made it in as actually "used" in the encounter. So, of six claws, four died, only two were there, leaving four more in reserve. In the next round I had four shift in, using their power to avoid OAs. (You could also ready for a PC and charge in, since a readied action would not provoke on the PC's turn, thus retaining your shift power for later). My overall advice is have fun with the claws, use them in cinematic fashion, and don't be afraid to give yourself more for free if they didn't get to do anything.

Third, I gave all undead hiding. This was very important to even have a chance of their getting to do something. I had them actually animate, such that blasts and bursts would not take them out before they act, then de-animate when killed.

I placed the Crystals where Nick mentioned them, and both were used by PCs. This seemed enjoyable.

Overall, it was an easy but good encounter. I think chapter 1 could have used more like this. While I am sure some tables will find it is too easy, this is a nice way for them to preserve resources so that a later battle can be that more thrilling. And, as my two new players can attest, the level of challenge was excellent for them. The terrain, features, and monsters were fun and captured the imagination. Everyone had a good time. I suspect we have two new regular players... and really need to finish the store's expansion so we can get a seventh table each week!

The one difficulty with this encounter is scaling. Adding another spider or trap does not work well. Adding more minions is ok, but not very challenging. If you want to make the combat harder, one thought is to give the spider 16 more HPs, and change the burst to be a pull rather than a push as it draws things into the web. Maybe extend it to a burst 3 so it can be inside the web but pull things that are outside. But, again, one of the nice things about this encounter is that it is not too challenging and won't use up resources.

Oh, one more thing. I pulled some hands off of my children's Lego figures and used those for the claws. It was pretty funny.

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*braces for the wave of "OMG, this is too easy, i quit" posts* Laughing
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We actually ended up with a 6 person party so I threw in a few more hands and another couple skeletons. The party still steamrolled everything. Castri got piled on after charging in and took a beating. But everyone kept getting good rolls and the spider just managed to get the crap kicked out of it before it could do anything. Since they rolled everything so fast, I had another spider and some more hands appear after the web was shattered. The spider was dead before it got a turn and the hands only managed to damage a couple people who hadn't been hit. Everyone kept rolling high (except the two defenders) to-hits and I mostly rolled crap.

Since everything ran so fast, everyone wanted to play next week's Encounter, but that's another story (it is also got steamrolled relatively since the party was obviously alot smarter than my Monday group [not D&D Encounters])

It was too easy, so I changed it!


Patriot Games, Huddersfield, England

Characters:Yuka (brawler fighter)Morg (barbarian)Vinara (warlock)Pak'cha (shaman)and Suldan (wizard).  The Wizard was another new guy.  Picked up the mechanics fine but didn't do much.

Team Monster: 
2 Crystal Spiders - as one of them is PATHETIC.  Two of them can at least set up attacks for each other.
Spiderlings (MM3) - fluffed as baby Crystal Spiders.  Got the party to fear minions, if just for a little while.
The web is gone, the pit is 40' deep, but strung with webs so falling in is just 1d10+restrained.

I started the group exactly where they left off, in the bridge-and-undead room.  In suitably paranoid fashion, the group dithered, then advanced, then back-tracked, then advanced, then fiddled with light sources, then advanced around the corner (without light source) and finally got organised and saw the crystals.

A high dungeoneering check got them "sometimes, natural crystals form in underground caves... but sometimes unnatural crystals form too..."

Somewhat foolishly Vinara the Warlock moves into the room first, to examine the crystals.  She gets to drain the baneful power from the nearest crystal when the 2nd nearest crystal unfolds into a cat-sized Crystal Spiderling!

The Spiderling gets a surprise round and bites.
GM: you take 2 poison damage
Player: 2?  fine.
GM: and vuln 5 to poison.
Player: (looks puzzled for a moment, then his eyes go wide)

The 1st adult spider gets nat1t1 with it's frikkin' laser and embarrasses itself.  The 2nd adult spider remains hidden.  The 1st spiderling gets it's mind scrambled with Phantom Bolt, then the horde descends on Vinara.
2 poison and vuln 7 poison.  2 poison and vuln 9 poison!  (getting bloodied by minions, that's embarrassing)

The party counterattacks: Vinarara moves out of the way (and closer to the second spider spider) while Morg rushes to the spot where Vinara had been mostly surrounded and cleave his way through three spiderlings (getting a renown award).Yuka moved to grapple the spider (that's something you don't hear everyday and the fight continued.

The 1st adult spider blinds Morg, then the second spider fails to sneak up behind Vinara (got 1 lower on the opposed roll) so it couldn't bite.  It blinds Vinara instead.  The last two minions unfolded and moved in, biting Vinara (2 poison and vuln 11 poison!) and Morg.

The party counterattacks, finishing off the spiderlings and the 1st spider (Morg had great luck, even though he was blinded). Pak'Cha moves Vinarara away with a shaman power, then Yuka grabs it, keeping it away from bite-able people.

The last round has the last spider surrounded and almost dead, but it's blinding-burst is put to good use, pushing Morg into the pit, before it gets smushed by Pak'cha's elemental conjuration.


Still a short fight, but more interesting than the original would have been. Yuka upgrades his armour (again) and the PCs look into clearing the web-strung pit.


Gave the players a little preview of the map for next week, you could see the "Tombs=Treasure" equation lighting up their eyes.

My group found this one pretty easy to steamroll as well. 

Spoilers


Given that last week we found a pile of corpses, and they rose up and attacked, we were using the Thrikreen to scout.  He went ahead of us, and found, surprise, another pile of corpses.  Also crystals strung about, which clearly indicated some sort of crystal spider (confirmed by good K(Nature) rolls).  He backed up, and I was playing the sorc, so I dropped an area burst fire in the middle of the corpses, which started us off at range.  The claws and skeletons died relatively fast to the range, and one of our players (Playing the battlemind) decided to go and provoke what was certainly some big spider.

It was.  And it did, in fact, maul him pretty good (25 or so damage including the ongoings), but then the entire party moved in, Yuka did a grapple, and it was mostly just over at that point.

We finished the entire run in about 45 minutes.

Had the spider been a surprise, it would have been much worse - we even left a rearguard because we expected something ugly behind us....

Session recap
So I had read all of the previews for tonight and was aware that it could be a cakewalk. With only 5 players (Castri's player didn't show) it was still tough to keep the monsters alive. I'm not the most tactically skilled DM, especially as I am new to running games with 4e, but man. I even added more minions at the back of the group to sort of attack from behind once they entered the main chamber. That didn't help. Folks seemed to have fun feeling all powerful and everything so I think that was fun for them.

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Goldpiece will post the POV blog soon but I had some observations.

Some session notes: [spoiler] I read about the ease of the encounter and for my 5pm table I turned the Spider into a "semi elite" I set his hit points to 70 and gave him an action point .  Turn one all minions but one dead turn two spider drops on Jarvix has some fun bloodies Jarvix and the party bloodies him next turn the spider is dead.

For my 7pm session I turned the spider into a "semi solo" Set hit points to 108 added one to all def and 2 action points. I also had the decrepit skeletons the only turn one monsters to rise and be apperent. The crawling gauntlets were "lurking" to attack when players came forth. Sure enough Yuka and Phye race across the room to engage the decrepit skeletons and three CG's go for each meanwhile the spider was creeping across the ceiling notices Yuka is alone and damaged Brilliant rays him climbs down, APs and bites him. Yuka is bloodied and looking at 1o ongoing poison which would have knocked him unconcious. Party is scrambleing to save Phye and Yuka both. The spider the Close burst power to knock folks away and reposistion with spider climb. The party beat it but was a nice tactically stimulating battle compared to my 5pm tables questions of "That was it? What else is there"
I'm second from the left in the picture.


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Check out my blog post for a full Recap/Review, but suffice to say...

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We had pretty much the same experience as everyone else - blowing through the encounter in less than two full turns. I (as Shikirr) moved out front and took a bit of damage, drew most of the enemies towards me, and after the spider took some damage from other PCs I managed to catch three minions and the spider in my augmented bull's strength, used an action point to finish off the spider, and let the rest of the party mop up.
*braces for the wave of "OMG, this is too easy, i quit" posts* Laughing


Ha! I totally thought of you in that situation as I wrote my first post! The brutal rewards of being an author...

Folks seemed to have fun feeling all powerful and everything so I think that was fun for them.


That's what it is all about! Easy encounters can be a lot of fun for players. Ideally, they get a few easy encounters, a number of medium challenge encounters where a few PCs are tested or the group is tested in certain areas (such as having to think about positioning or needing to overcome terrain), and then a few challenging encounters where as a group they fear the possibility of death or failure.

Easy encounters can give the DM the time to explore a few concepts. Need more time to review the rules for new players? Wanted to review what weapons look like on Athas? Wanted some time to drop hints about the Green Age through some found artifacts and skill checks?

Edit: One of the things we can do for easy encounters is to plan ahead for some filler. For example, the door concept I used in Undermountain can be used in any setting (and is based on two RPGA adventures from which I stole and transmuted to create the concept). You can pretty much drop it in any underground session. Here is the concept modified for Dark Sun:
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A door suddenly materializes before the PCs. This door is very unusual. Ideas:
  • Made completely of obsidian, carved in the shape of a face

  • Made of hard packed sand, a face forms in it, as if sculpted in the sand

  • Made of strange plants, seemingly moist and unusually verdant

  • Made of bone, the bones do not resemble the anatomy of any creatures they know. A strange skull in the center animates


The PCs probably approach cautiously. Allow skill checks and RP to take place, and they can identify it as an artifact from the Green Age of Athas (a near-mythical time before the land turned to desert, back when it was supposedly filled with green and before magic destroyed it... if you believe such wild crazy talk).

Eventually, it speaks to the PCs. (The voice might be deep, or like the whisper of a cool wind, or it might be psionic, etc.). It asks each PC one question. There are several ways to go about this.
  • Go around the table, presenting each player with their PC's question, then go back and ask the first for their answer. This is a good format for new players that may be uncomfortable with role-playing or that may need more time to formulate an answer. Allow players to get more time and come back to them as needed. This is a low pressure way, but can be less dramatic.

  • Ask one PC at a time, putting that player on the spot. This can create some tension, so consider allowing a PC to dwell on the question and the door goes on to another with no repercussion. In general, this method can create some very cool responses that the players think up on the spot.


If PCs try to attack it, it may simply push the PC back or shield itself from a ranged attack. Skills show this to be nothing like any power they have heard of before. This is just an RP device, so it cannot be defeated by combat.

Each PC must answer the question. You may roll randomly or assign a question. This is all meant to make the players think about their PC:
  1. Which team member do you admire most, and why?

  2. Tell me something of your past, which made you that which you are today.

  3. What is best? Freedom or Wealth? And why?

  4. What do you hope your future will hold for you?

  5. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

  6. Tell me of a lesson you have learned; what has Athas taught you?

  7. Who are you? What defines you? What is your essence?

  8. Would you prefer to become an arena champion or never thirst again? For what reasons?

You can modify these, of course. As each PC answers a part of the door/wall seems to shift or change. Eventually it allows passage (perhaps by allowing PCs to press through, or by disappearing, or by transmuting in some way).


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Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

I changed things for challenge; my players had fun.

Our session 2-2


We have two newbies (they are doing great and having fun) playing Kindrok and Vinara from the Bloodsand Arena. And one of my regulars (who doubles as my son) playing the alternate character: Ixyllblat.

I removed the 3rd skeleton, and had instead 2 Corruption corpses follow the party from the cavern in 2-1. This drew Phye, Vinara, and Ixyllblat back into the sloped hall to deal with them. Ixyllblat had already dealt with the gauntlet minions (thank you by the way, to Alphastream for the lego hands idea!) laying down a "suppressing fire" with Elemental Spirits. (Renown!)

So, Shikirr and Yuka took on the spider, while the rest fought with the corpses. Yuka ran about, getting slashed by web and smashing crystals for the energizing effect, and shikirr leapt on the spider for one round's worth of "wild ride" before radiant agony lived up to its name. Shikirr lay prone at the base of the cavern wall and the spider vanished into the cieling.

Phye took down one corpse, which exploded in Kindrok's face, Vinara took the other, and Ixyllblat returned just in time to put a fiery ring on the newly risen skeletons! Yuka took a spider bite in the neck and Kindrok smashed the spider to pieces after heroically charging back in to the cavern. A great time had by all, cheers all around, and I also previewed the next map for them when they finally chopped their way through the web to the pit.

Ixyllblat dropped a ring of fire in the pit to cover their entrance, and Yuka nudged him in the back with his boot, saying, "You go first..." :-)



Inconsistency and procrastination...in practice.

when the

spider died, it let out a shriek and, in response, 2 more came out from behind the web, very upset that they're nest mate had been slain.


even then it still wasn't too tough and everyone really seemed to enjoy it.
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The most important change I made was to use dungeon tiles instead of the poster map.

I started the players on the stairs and only revealed the map as far as the light of their torches extended. I used the diagonal hallway tile from Dire Tombs at the bottom of the stairs and lined it with traps (after starting the session with a little forshadowing by telling them how to avoid traps). And I described how the necromantic energy of the tomb was clawing at their minds, making them feel ill and uneasy, and hearing screams and moans in their heads that no one else seemed to hear. The result was the players crept along and were clearly nervous and paranoid.

Using the tiles I was able to make the web larger so the spider had mobility the player's did not. And the spider could reach and range through the web, but players' weapon attacks were stopped by the web (the web took damage if they hit). That made the fight with the spider much more interesting, even if it didn't do much more damage to the party.

I also put in a false exit behind the web that made solving a mystery the climax instead of the combat. If this were a home game, I would have had the defeated skeletons and spider start spawning gauntlets, along with all the other bones in the room, a round after they fell to put a little more urgency into finding the way out. But the session was pushing up against two hours so I decided against it.

Finally, I didn't end the session when they saw the room below through the collapsed floor. I made them figure out a way to get down, too, since they don't have any rope. The mul and elf tried to outdo each other by just jumping down. The others gingerly helped each other down. Just about everyone ended up falling and taking at least a few points of falling damage.

The players ended up taking more damage trying to get through the web and then down through the collapsed floor than they did from the combat. And they loved it!





Overall a very enjoyable session.
To repeat and edit myself:

It was probably a little below average difficulty but significantly below the expected difficulty.  A couple player still took a good beating. This one was really dependent on how the dice fell for both the DM and the players.
There is nothing wrong with PC's being powerful IMO

In any case here is the battle report where we have almost figured out the concept of teamwork and knowing our roles in the group

round by round


 We had 5 this week.   Yuka, Jarvixx, Phy, Barcin and Shikker (Me)


-Pre Battle-

We walk in slowly rolling perception, when we get to the first corner we check the first set of rocks,  Shikker and Yuka stop at a natural choke point before the room opens up and the other PC's crowd in behind us.

Barcin tosses his AE fire AE into the bodies and killed one of the skeletons, then we rolled inititive

-Round 1-

Monsters rolled well for initiative, which would be really the last good rolls the DM made tonight 

Hands ran forward but only 4 could engage in melee because of our position.  3 missed one pimp slapped Yuka.

2 skeletons fired bows and missed.

Yuka missed

phy hit with reach and gave yuka some temp hps killing one hand.

Barkin fired killing another hand.

Shikker took the opportunity to shift into the dead hands space and use 2pts in Bulls strength to Close burst 4 of the hands killing 3.


Jarvix shoots and miss everything.


-Round 2-

Hand runs up and misses, both skellies fire and miss

Yuka smacks down a hand (he says he beat it at paper scissors rock)

Barken fires and misses everything again.

At this point everything is going very well so Barkin decides to run directly at the skeletons instead of staying behind the defenders.

He spots 3 more skellies around the corner and the spider

Spider bites him, skelllies pepper him with arrows and he is bloodied.

Shikker gets between the 2 original skellies and the spider and attacks them all with thri-keen claws RAWR unfortunately he only hits one skellie which drops.

Phy heals barkin, stabs the spider and gives barkin some temp hps

Jarvix uses a double augment mid thrust on the spider to give it -3 to all defenses.

-Round 3-

Yuka engages the spider and misses.

Barken tries to burn the webs to no avail

Phy swings at the spider and misses

Skelles swing, and shoot and Shikker but they all miss.

Spider AE's blinding and pushing Phy and barkin
It then moves to the back of the webs

Shikker takes out another skeleton

Jarvixx diheartens the spider

-Round 4-

Yuka tries to move the the webs and takes a ton of damage bloodying him.

Barken shoots at something an misses

Phy heals Yuka and holds position

Skelles all shoot at shikker again and all miss again.

Spider blasts yuka blinding him and re-blooding him

Shikker moves to the 3 skellies in the corner and smashes one.

Jarvixx diheartens the spider


-Round 5-

 Yuka stands around looking confused.

Barken shoots at the spider and hits

Phy heals Yuka but can't reach the spider

Skelles both try to stab shikker again and all miss again.

Spider bites yuka and then moves away, eats an op attack from yuka

Shikker smashes another skeleton

Jarvixx misses a mind thrust on the spider

-Round 6-

Yuka starts smashing webs

Barken shoots at the spider and hits

Phy starts smashing webs

Last skelli tries to stab shikker and misses

Spider laser blasts phy blinding him but doing minimum damage 

Shikker ,isses the last skeleton

Jarvixx hits a mind thrust on the spider

-Round 7-

Yuka starts smashing webs

Barken shoots at the spider and hits

Phy tries to smash webs but is blind smashing webs

Last skelli tries to stab shikker and misses

Spider moves up and tries to bite yuka but misses.

Shikker  kills the last skeleton

Jarvixx hits a mind thrust on the spider killing it.




aftermath


We got some crystaline scale which after some debate was givin to shikker mostly because yuka thought boosting his low will was a waste of time.  (

Some nice banter
yuka "I'm a bulldog, giving me a set a pretty crystal armor is like putting bows and a bulldog you don't put bows on the bulldog you put them on a poodle."

Shikker (Looks at all the fleshy humanoids) "Thats true, I am clearly the most attractive one in this group of soft skinned pinkies"

YA BOWS and lots of arrows.   We distributed bows and kept one for Castri,  now everyone has some ranged weapons.   Yuka and shikker took bows phy got all the remaining javalins.

Shikker also grabbed a longsword and shield, hello +1 to hit and more AC and reflex save.



thoughts


This fight was easier but what mobs where in it had less to do with the ease that some other factors.

1)  We had a choke point

This allowed the defenders to not have to run around trying to grab mobs and keep them from smashing us.  It also made their superior numbers not matter much.

2) The DM doesn't use a screen

I've seen arguments why or why not a DM  should us a screen.   The fact is, once the hand hit yuka and he said take 6 with no rolls we knew they were minions and we acted accordingly.  Had the DM had a screen, rolled a die and then said take 6 it would have delayed that information and we may have acted differently

3) We are working better as a team

with the exception of Barkins wild targets we co-ordinated better people used their abilities well.

 


Easy encounters can give the DM the time to explore a few concepts. Need more time to review the rules for new players? Wanted to review what weapons look like on Athas? Wanted some time to drop hints about the Green Age through some found artifacts and skill checks?



This is just what I needed at this session.  We gained 3 new people, and by new I mean new to Tabletop Gaming, not just Encounters or D&D.  So we took some time before hand, to give them the basics for D&D, and also to review everything that has happened in the story up to this point (with more detail than I usually do).  This way they were caught up to speed in what was happening, and wouldn't feel quite so lost.

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I had decided to go the spiderling route instead of using the gauntlets.  I brought them in gradually, as their initiative came up, instead of dropping them all on the board at once.  They still were torn apart rather quickly.  So I kept a couple in initiative after they were all dead, in order to spawn additional ones throughout the encounter.  Basically maintaining pressure on the players, without being overly threatening.

This allowed the spider to have time to do more than just be the prime target.  He was able to use the ray, the burst, and bite.  The bite though was his last attack, which allowed Phye to get in a heal check to remove the ongoing before it started to eat away at Shikirr.

This was perfectly timed session for my group, in allowing the new people to adjust to the game and learn the rules, without being overtly threatened.



Always a GM, never a player (not really but sometimes feels like it).

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DungeonScape

Our group enjoyed the change of pace of an easier encounter.  Here is a link to the summary of events in session #7.

adayinthelifeofanadventurer.blogspot.com...
I also found it far, far too easy.  I modified it as follows, and it turned out to be a whole lot of fun:

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Every turn, after a PC acted, a psychic copy of itself appeared (but only if there wasn't already a copy).  Each copy is a minion, had only the at-wills that character possessed (at the same to-hit and damage), and the defenses of said character.  There were no undead.

The crystal spider was empowered with the psyches of countless victims trapped in the crystals in the cavern.  This was no ordinary spider, being much more intelligent.  It stayed hidden and moved about to remain hidden within its web.  Any time its ranged attack recharged it blasted someone, and whenever someone moved adjacent to the space within the web it was in it made a poisonous bite attack.  If enough people were nearby, it used its close burst and retreated in to the web.

Any character who destroyed one of the crystals on the wall would not have gotten a bonus to psychic damage, but instead could spend a standard action to either automatically destroy a minion,  or automatically destroy one square worth of the web they had a direct line of sight to (in other words, no blasting the squares behind another square of webbing with that attack).  Unfortunately, no one even tried to shatter the crystals once combat started.  One person broke a single crystal before combat had begun.

Once the spider was killed, the minions no longer respawned after their "parent" PC took his or her turn.

This may sound really powerful, but there was only two deaths all night, out of seventeen characters. 

This ended up being a very fun encounter for me and for the players alike.  Challenging, but not overly deadly.  Once they figured out they needed to find and kill the spider, it wrapped up quickly. 

The last session of the night ended with a very cinematic moment.  After watching most of its web shatter, hidden down the hole like a trap door spider, the crystal spider made a lunge at, appropriately, one of the thri-kreen (insect hunted by spider!!!), missed, and shifted down 1 square so that it was down in the hole.  Then, the fighter made an epic charge jumping on the spider's back.  The blow connected, killed the spider, and the shattered remains fell right down the hole...along with the mul.  She took some falling damage, looked around, and the party NOW knew the way out, having thought until this moment that the room was a dead-end and they missed something.

I'm betting these players will be very, very wary of crystal spiders from now on, even though they are never likely to face one like this ever again.  ;)
I played in this and it only took us half an hour or less to kill everything, whereas normally a D&D Encounter lasts us an hour and a half to two hours. I really expected there to be a skill challenge to run alongside it, or a social encounter, or something!
Being so disappointed that our evening of gaming ended so quickly, we took on an encounter from Dungeon Delve too, with added humour to make up for the lameness of the Dark Sun action!
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All of the minions were dead by round 3. I had changed the spider's power to pull instead of push, which was good for getting Yuka stuck in the web. Another player critted on the web though, so the web was only around for 2 rounds. I had the spider make stealth checks when it moved the requisite spaces to gain concealment. This allowed me to damage the party a bit, but seemed to irritate the players as they couldn't make the perception checks.
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this is fun
this week was one of my play weeks, was going to field super-castri, but the table already had one so i brought out barcan(t) instead.

our dm brough the minions out in waves, the spider engaged and was very effective with its close blinding attack.

phye drew many opportunity attacks from being too mobile in combat, barcan(t) missed on all the encounters and the daily, and shikirr stepped into the web after the last monster was dead to get his 50 damage achievement (pro meta gaming :D).

a number of the players were bloodied, none incapped, and overall a good time of it. it was easy, but no one complained and it was im sure a welcome change compared to some of the encounters in chapter 1.


we are losing a few players as the summer college semester is ending, and a few people are leaving town. right near the end of season 2 right before season 3 is when our population should surge again.
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*braces for the wave of "OMG, this is too easy, i quit" posts* Laughing



well we beat it and took less than 10 total damage. no joke.

we all had crazy init tho.

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our group had been doing so well... 

this past week we only had 3 people,  jarvix, phye, and me playing Barcan.

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i was the first one in,  with phase of the sun active [a excellent choice] and i pulled "aggro" on all the skellies and hands, but NOT the spider...   which worked out great... i took some hits, but alot of misses, so it worked out well.   my turn popped up [rolled a 1 for init ]  and half of the minions burst into flame and died,  by the end of the second round, everythng was dead except for the spider, who was not agressive toward us.

we spent alot of time trying to break through the web without making the spider angry and bite our heads off.  after calming it, soothing it, talking to it... we started throwing rocks at the web over the hole,  the spider was slowly starting to not like us very much. 

finally phye decided to take a running jump and cannon ball through the web into next weeks encounter,  she was sucessfull, and also sucessfull in making the spider VERY angry.  so i decide to follow our fearless leader with a running jump into the hole she had made on her way through.  except i failed my acrobatics check and landed face first into the web just short of the way through.
i took a fair bit of damage from the fall into the razor sharp web, but nothing super life threatening, but i couldnt spend much time in there with the 5 ongoing damage.

at this point jarvix saw my body lying there and thought "GREAT A BRIDGE!" and decided to run OVER my prone body and jump in the hole.  he ALSO failed his acrobatics check, tripping on my head and landing next to the hole skidding through the web taking a decent lump of damage.  of course the DM also decided that I should also take damage from jarvix crushing and grinding my body deeper into the web, leaving me with exactly 5 HP left...  meaning at the start of my next turn i was going to be unconscious...   then it was the spiders turn,  he came down and bit Jarvix, doing some more damage, and adding 10 ongoing to him,  so we were BOTH going to be unconscious at the start of our turns with nobody to save us.

the DM allowed us to make checks to see if our unconscious bodies would fall into the hole, allowing us to make it to the next encounter unconscious, but we both rolled poorly, and as such, were food for the spider.  it was a very entertaining encounter, even if i died.



This session was a twofer because I couldn't make it the last 2 weeks to play.


So the players were rather happy they got a easy fight ,but things did take a turn for the worse.


spoilerey

I set the description of the crystals and the carvings on the wall. They started to explore and pick up a few crystals and that is when the skeletons rise and the hands craw out of the rubble.

The fight didn't last long because Barcan drops a few AoE and it took out alot of the minions.

Now the spider makes an apperance and blinds 2 players off the bat. the striker and the leader. So they can't target anything for a turn and flail blindly to kill the darn spider.

The spiders lockdown power of blindness agravated the party for their offence is pretty much knocked out for a turn or so.

The spider retreats into the far corner of the cave so the ranger goes after it and walks right into razor web and takes max damage from it. He then tries to go  another direction and bouces out of the razor web again. He is down to single hp.  The monk and leader step up and kill the spider ,but they still have a web to deal with and Barcan just blasts it from a distance with his fire attacks.

The party finds the magic armor ,but no one can wear it. They decend into the hole into the ground for next session.

James Playing D&D since the Red Box of '83.
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