D&D Encounters Field Reports (Week 1)

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Reporting in from Chantilly, VA:

Session 1

5 players; I believe we had one 4e newb, two Encounters newbs, and two returning players from Season 1. Group makeup ended up being Rogue, Cleric, Ranger, Wizard, Fighter. I want to say the Ranger probably shouldn't have been allowed since this is supposed to be Essentials only, but Ranger is a pretty core striker so I allowed it, and we needed the ranged anyway. Plus the kid was like 12 and hardcore about playing it, and this is about having fun, not rules.

Opening RP in town went alright, though none of the players had any semblance of Streetwise so they gleaned absolutely nothing about the town or its inhabitants. They managed a History check for some basic knowledge about the keep as a whole but that's about it. Got their quests from Benwick, slept, and set out the following morning to take on their first task: rescuing Geordi.

Rogue and Ranger managed to Stealth in, spotted every monster (even the ones in concealment in the back Q_Q), and proceeded to bloody the Guard Drake in the surprise round lol. Backstab+Sneak Attack is vicious. >_>

I had heard about how brutally PCs were getting beaten up in the Dark Sun season so I tried to take it easy with some of the more potent powers; saved Kesk's dragon breath as a bloodied-only action, but he went from bloodied to dead before he could use it   I'll know better for next time >:D

Thankfully I got a little mileage out of the Poisonscale Needlers. It was fun too as the way they were set up in the encounter I just held them with readied actions until the poor cleric moved into range and got pelted by all 4 of them at once Innocent

I was a little nervous and slightly underprepared insofar as I was having to fill out my initiative tables on the fly instead of being able to just say "ok go" once initiative started, so I actually ended up missing the Trapper entirely for a whole round which kind of sucked since he had some of the interesting moves.  Once I remembered and got him involved things got more fun since I kept trying to drop them in the hole (which they irritatingly kept saving the fall).  I couldn't find anything that said the PCs couldn't attack the Trapper while they were netted, much as I would have preferred it, so the PCs who were stuck in the net were still free to beat on the guy...but he was at least able to avoid CA thanks to the net letting him slide people around more or less at-will.

Closing RP didn't go nearly as well, I kind of botched the dialog for Kesk, whom they took prisoner. I don't think the players noticed, but it just didn't go as smoothly as I'd have liked with regards to actually linking PC action to narrative information. It worked out in the end but they ended up bringing back the dragonborn despite my very clear warnings (which I was smart enough to give a setup for earlier in opening RP) that there is a risk that someone at the keep will identify him and notify Ronnik of the turn of events, or possibly even set him free. I'm pondering how I'm going to punish them for that; perhaps bring the dragonborn back in the next encounter since it's basically a street brawl. Start him at bloodied value maybe so he already has access to the fun powers and isn't too beefy.

Encounter 2 looks to be a lot of fun with as many combatants as there are, and the table is pretty smart so I'm looking forward to it. I'm probably going to spice it up a little, get some environmental effects going, like the rainslicks and puddles mentioned in the other thread about it.
I just re-ran session one for a store that is a little behind. The best move I saw was when a mage used her 'Mage Hand' to snatch the net from the trapper's hands. I made a straight opposed strength check and rolled an 8 against her 11! She sent the net straight to the ceiling! instant 'moment of greatness' there. I had him scramble back to a pile of furs where he 'had and extra net', but he was downed before he could use it. Great Play!
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