(DM/PC) Field Reports : Week 1 - Marketplace Attack

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I enjoyed seeing these, so I'll help keep it alive.

This season, I am running a table of dwarves. That are some related - some not. Including a dwarven prince. And a dwarf who up until recently did not know he was the rightful heir to Neverwinter's throne. (Themes went across racial boundaries at this table for the hilarity.)

Several of the players had played the Game Day event and were piqued by the events. The prince simply saw his defeat of a Red Wizard as a good enough event to impress his King father who had never been proud of the fifth son. A couple of the party stayed in Neverwinter (one a devil's pawn and the other a Harper Agent) to learn what they could of the city and it's political leanings. When the King told the prince he was unimpressed, he sent the prince back to Neverwinter to attempt to prove himself once more. With him he sent the gardener (dwarven druid), the prince's friend's older brother (what's that make us?), and a dwarf who up until now everyone including the dwarf himself thought was simply the cousin of the prince. Before being sent off, the King took the 'cousin' into his chambers and explained that the cousin was actually the rightful heir to Neverwinter. The former king had a lust for Dwarves and his mother was a highly regarded noble in the city. Shortly after meeting with each other in a local bar the group began their roleplay and telling each other the bits of info they had - including the noble's new info. Upon his declaration of being the heir to Neverwinter's throne, the druid immediately said, "We aren't drunk enough for your 'oh I'm the king' shtick" and went back to drinking. He finally semi convinced the group of his blood but they all agreed they probably shouldn't call him 'Your Highness' yet. Particularly since no one has called the prince that yet. Two of the group also happen to be Harper Agents but neither knows the other is one.

After getting a few drinks, they went to the market in search of news and rumors of the local political climate to further their knowledge of the situation. They made fast friends with armorer but just a meek meeting with the weaponsmith. One of the harper agents helped fix the broken wagon but remarked that the repair was incredibly simple after he was finished. A little odd to him he thought as the cart meandered out of sight. The druid had been getting a few provisions from the halfling and was then offered a story for only ten gold. Without looking up from his pack, the druid's bear advanced on the halfling who then jumped into his cart and yelled out FIVE! FIVE GOLD! ONLY FIVE FOR A STORY! The druid weighed his pouch and decided it was a deal and heard a couple stories. Interestingly enough he heard a story of unrest within the Harper's and that one had possibly killed another and become a traitor. What the halfling didn't know was that this was one of the Harper's... Then as the group began to meet back up the spellplagued attacked!

The druid and the noble both sensed the coming threat and were able to slightly better defend themselves from the maniacs and the drakes. Two of the drakes however quickly knock down the harper who had fixed the wagon while the druid and his bear were cut off and separated from the group. The prince valiantly threw himself into the fray in an attempt to draw their ire and protect his friends and family from the obviously deranged creatures. The group began to pick the drakes off one by one as the bear made dinner of the maniacs. Suddenly as the wagon Harper was near death, a figure ran in from between the buildings and saved the dwarf from a certain death blow. He quickly helped dispatch the remaining enemies and began saving the other townspeople. The noble, not to be outdone by this false claimer to the throne, also quickly began healing and aiding the other wounded townsfolk. Suddenly, just as the last townsperson was removed from the scene as the dwarves approached the Lost Heir to ask their questions, the dragon descended and made it clear that IT was the one who would finish the adventurers.
good story!  I was waiting for a bunch of "Guards! Guards!" references, and hoping one of the non-dwarves was named Carrot.

I love the way this session ended.  The experienced guys at the table were showing off all the esoteric corners of the rules of 4e for the newer players, and the newer guys were doing all the cool things that players with fresh eyes do, but everyone got a little wide-eyed when the dragon landed in front of them with murderous intent in its eyes.  "A dragon?!  We're level 1!  It's only the 1st week!"  I bet they wished they didn't spend their action points finishing off the last poor drake, either. 

Plus, ending it there earns Erik a renown point for a Moment of Awesome.  The players have to stew for a whole week knowing the very next thing they do will very probably be to roll initiative against a dragon! 

INSIDE SCOOP, GAMERS: In the new version of D&D, it will no longer be "Edition Wars." It will be "Edition Lair Assault." - dungeonbastard

Ah, the dragon. I thought, why not kick things off with a bang?

Cheers 
@ Eric, I loved the 2nd week Dragon, it is unexpected. My players had a heck of a time interacting with the side character including the Seeker/Cleric making a Nature Check to see what was in the meat pie.
That dragon recruited one of my DMs into running regularly. Seriously-- my backup DM last night saw "DRAGON" and emailed me this morning asking to run the rest of the season. I'll make sure he has someone who can switch-off periodically so he doesn't burn out, but yep. He's just so excited to finally get to use his white dragon mini!

As we were wrapping up last night, while the DM of our late table described the dragon flying in, the clerk at the shop said "That sounds like a great way to end the session!" Of course, he was saying that cause he wanted us to pack up and GTFO (the shop had closed 10 minutes before), but he was also so very right.
My half-orc pyromancer says, "Bring it on!" to next week's dragon. Yell
RS: 60/60 CS: 60/60 RotS: 60/60 U:60/60 CotF: 60/60 BH: 60/60 A&E: 51/60 TFU: 53/60 LotF: 37/60 KotOR: 37/60 CW: 26/40 IE: 31/40 JA: 17/40 G@W: 7/40 DT: 7/40 Good trades with: Lily_Wan, creme_brule, suki_jedi_apprentice, Ephant_Mon
Yeah, having the dragon swoop in was a great cliffhanger.

I had an interesting first week DMing. Striker-heavy parties require the players to be more conscious of their teamwork. That is so not these players. We don't restrict players to Essentials only, so this is the party that sat down at my table:

1. Dragonborn Knight
2. Human Scout
3. Human Blackguard
4. Drow Monk
5. Changeling Vampire

So, yes, 4 Strikers and a Defender. Aside from the Monk, who joined just before Initiative had been rolled and actually started in the "PC start area", the PCs were a little scattered over the map, the Scout was trying to peer into the windows of the houses, and the others were by the cart as the Vampire (disguised as a barmaid) was trying to negotiate with Nagda, which was a little odd.

What ended up happening was that the Vampire and Monk went after the Guard Drakes while the other three engaged the Plaguechanged Maniacs. This was not the ideal setup. The Vampire stayed at range, so the Monk got dogpiled by the three Drakes, who knocked him into negatives. They'd repeat this next round against the Vampire, who had ample opportunity to flee, but instead was also knocked out (I realize now that Vampires are simply destroyed, but we had him rolling death saves, which he would eventually fail). 

When the Lost Heir showed up at the beginning of round three (I removed 4 minions from the second wave), the situation was grim. Two PCs in negatives, and the Blackguard badly battered by three still unbloodied Drakes (there was also a lack of focus fire from the party), and about 6 or 7 minions on the battlefield. The Knight was holding off the minions, but the Scout wasn't having much luck popping more than one minion per round. The Heir ended up spending an action point to revive the Blackguard in the 4th round, and then two rounds later reviving the knocked out Knight.

The PCs, with the Heir's help, did manage to defeat the monsters, but every PC spend at least a round of rolling death saves. The Vampire ... died. again. The Monk only got up due to a Natural 20 death save, but did manage to drop one of the Drakes. Before being knocked out again.

This, of course, was a stark contrast to the other table, where the Heir showed up, only to find the situation well in hand. Between a Mage with the Devil's Pawn theme, and a Sorcerer with splashing attacks, the minions were taken out with brutal ease, and the Drakes were not such a serious problem. The party's leader only used a single healing word and none of the PCs were dropped, though the Mage was reduced to a single hitpoint.
Oh yeah! The dragon cliffhanger ending was fanstastic! My players were all shocked by that. "What! A dragon? You can't leave us hanging like that!" I just smiled. I didn't actually bring my white dragon mini with me, but that actually worked out in my favor (I'll just rewind a bit next week and introduce him). I went home last night and painted the blue Spellplague lines on my mini (copied from the cover). So, when he does show up, he'll look right.
- Rico

@Vael: That sounds rough! The monk probably should have stayed to do minion control, since his flurry is pretty effective at that, but sometimes tactics just get away from a group.


It probably would have been kinder to have the Heir appear earlier, but in this case, he gets to look like the real savior--as though if he hadn't appeared, the party would all be dead. Best of luck with that dragon! :D


Cheers

Yesterday was my first experience with Encounters ever, and I was fortunate enough to DM one of the two groups.  It was a last second thing; I was fully expecting to play, so I wasn't at all prepared to DM.  But I spent 10 minutes reviewing the campaign and the encounter, and away we went.

I had 4 players in my group, 2 guys and 2 girls, and they were all friends in real life.  We spent about a half hour role-playing introductions and NPC interactions, which helped me to get to know them and vice versa.  The party composed of one of each role (although I can't remember the exact class composition at the moment) so they came prepared and well-balanced, and it showed when combat broke out.  Everyone knew what their role meant and performed it to the letter, improvising when needed.  Combat lasted about 45 minutes, and was highlighted by the Ardent using an action point between wiping out 2 groups of 4 minions that had just exited the sewers in a second wave of attacks, before the minions could even react.  In hindsight, if I would have known that they were that competent as a team in combat, I would have waited until the minions' initiative to reveal the second wave, but considering that they were 1 person short, I felt it appropriate to give them a bit of a headstart on them.  I wasn't expecting the entire wave to get wiped.  

All in all, when the encounter was finished, we all were disappointed that we had to end the session, so I chalk that up to a great experience for everyone, and we're all looking forward to next week.

@Erik: the story looks great.  Thanks for including all of the thematic flavor and intrigue.  It made picking it up and running with little to no prep time much easier.

Celebrate our differences.

We managed to recruit some new players this season thanks to the Gameday and "lapsed" DND players getting back into the fold. This kicked us up to 3 tables total and The Game Depot in Tempe, Arizona.

I switched out my DM Shield for a player hat this season, with one of my former players taking over DM duties. We had 4 players this week:

Dwarf Warpriest (Sun Domain)(Heir of Delzoun)
Tiefling Hexblade (Infernal Pact)(Devil-touched)
Tiefling Mage (Evocation school)(Harper Agent)
Half-elf Druid (Spring w/ Wolf buddy)(Harper Agent)

So no Defender but we actually managed pretty well. We started out with a recap of recent events in Neverwinter and the Gameday adventure stuff. On to the marketplace from there, talking to merchants and collecting gossip and rumors.

The Dwarf (my PC) heard strange sounds coming from the sewers, and shouted a warning just in time to the Hexblade, who happened to be standing on a sewer grate! He skedaddled just in time as 8 plague-changed dudes erupted from the sewers in 2 groups of 4 each. 3 Drakes also emerged from the water into the marketplace.

The Dwarf, the Druid, and her wolf took on one pack of 4 plague dudes, the Hexblade and the Mage the other pack. No one went after the Drakes at first. My Dwarf was trying to do non-lethal damage at fist and only knock them unconscious so that they could be "saved", but they were too far gone so he deemed it mercy killing. The dudes went down in short order (minions) though the Mage was the best at it with her AoE spells.

The Druid turned her attention to healing townsfolk who had been downed by the Drakes while the other 3 of us and the wolf went after them. A much more difficult battle, the Mage got cornered next to a cart and went down into negatives for a round but my Dwarf used Healing Word to get her back onto her feet just in time as more plague dudes came out of the sewers.

The mage turned her attention back to minion-sweeping, helped out by a mysterious knight with a crown atop his head who entered the fray. The Hexblade finally scored a crit to turn the battle with the Drakes into our favor, and the Druid finished healing townsfolk and helped us finish them off. 

And then, of course, just when we thought the fight was over, the White Dragon swooped down from the sky...

All in all, a very fun opening chapter. Lots of roleplay at the beginning and I am digging the themes already. Good news for the Dragon fight is that no one had to use any Action Points and only the Mage was seriously injured (the Hexblade did get bloodied twice but never went down). The Tiefling Fire Resistance proved to be an excellent boon due to the use of blue flame fire damage from the bad guys.
Here’s the Week 1 field report from Dungeon's Master.

For weekly recaps, character themes, and actual play podcasts of D&D Encounters, check out the Dungeon's Master D&D Encounters Archive.









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I started this season at a new venue. The place has never held Encounters before, but did host Gameday this last Saturday. We had a new 4E DM (had DM'd mostly through 3.5) and 4 players (1 of which had never played 4E either).
Human Knight (myself)
Dwarf Warpriest
Drow Hunter
Human Wizard (pregen)
It was awkward at first trying to get everyone into RP at the beginning, but I think most of us gave it at least a shot. But once the combat started, we slowed down trying to make sure everyone understood how it all worked. Once the attacks started flying people were getting into it. Wizard (new to 4E) was happily blasting all the opponents with AoE and our hunter was doing his best to fend off the enemies that kept coming into melee range. But his lack of STR was really hindering his ability to hit with a sword decently. Luckily, the maniacs had bad rolls too! My knight stepped in and lured all the drakes into my Aura and managed to keep them off the others. Our warpriest did everything to keep me up and alive! But in the end we prevailed and I managed to soak up 50 points of DMG for the renown). We took a breather and wouldn't you know it a Dragon lands in the square! That got everyone excited and then there was the cliffhanger!

I hope this takes off at this store. It is much closer than the other one I traveled to.

Our Encounters vetrans weren't too interested in the roleplay, unfortunately, so after some Minotaur-exclusive RP love (the townsfolk weren't too happy!), we jumped right in. After the Eladrin Star Warlock got pinned by some of the drakes, he fey stepped as far to ranged as possible.

Then a big melee clump formed right around the halfling's food cart, caught between the sewer and the cart itself. This is when the Heir jumped in, moving to quickly dispatch (and killsteal) anything that was already looking bad, and elicting ragged cheers from the townsfolk watching from the buildings. 

As for the dragon...
"Hey, you can use your dragon mini collection now!"

Unfortunately, this group is almost entirely about chucking dice, so many of the things I love about this season probably won't get much attention. But, once I take it home, I'll have a captive, RP-heavy audience to encore with! 
I've posted my session #1 report to my blog.  You can stop by here to check it out. betweentheticks.blogspot.com/2011/08/los...

Randilin
Between the Ticks
No healers in our party, so it could have been bad. As it was, two drakes got lucky and knocked the Dragonborn knight (paladin?) way into negative hit points right after his first turn, but that was the only major wounded. 

One of the party with a theme-based power "snapped his fingers" and killed the four maniacs who had him surrounded. Another Drow in the party blinded 3 maniacs around him with his Cloud of Darkness and then someone attacked a drake and slid him into the cloud as well. Those guys got picked off quickly (by the Drow and then others when they shifted out of the cloud).

I levitated and then shot at drakes with my crossbow while out of reach (I took no damage in the fight).

If the DM had blinked he'd have missed his chance at having the Heir come on the scene -- everybody was dead before the end of the third round. It was a fun encounter, but I had just two turns -- that sucks.

We got our short rest while the Heir (and the nice guys in our party) checked on the wounded townspeople, and then we all couldn't believe it when the dragon landed in the square. 

How do you get ready for a dragon??? What, in my limited adventuring experience, qualifies me to take on a freakin' dragon?!?

As I said to the other's in the party, "Maybe he's friendly."

We'll find out next week, but I'm not going to be the one to try and pet him.

 Jay
Awesome! I am really enoying what is going on at some of the other tables & I am picking up a lot of really fun ideas. Sounds like so far everyone is having a real good time!

My table at Brookhurst Hobbies also had a lot of fun, but one thing I struggled with is players with more Lore knowledge then me--I have picked up the Nevewinter book, but have not read it where as several of my players had read it cover to cover and knew the Theme's inside and out--something I hope I will get better at as the season progresses.

I had Six players at my table:

Player     Character                    Race      Gender  Class               Theme  
Jace        Dartanian                      Human   Male       Rogue             Harper Guild
Jack        Barrian Winterbreeze    Eladrian Male       Blade Master
Thomas  Stormcrow                     Eladrian Male       Hex Blade        
Scott       Freya                            Elf           Female   Mage              Ogham's Faithful
John        Jasc                              Human    Male       Knight             Barbarian
Brian       Alergon                         Human    Male       Mage              Fallen Arcane Kingdom


This week I plan to focus more on the themes, because I will have read the material.

During 'what did you do for the last month' I awarded lots of magic--the Divine Boon's mentioned elsewhere if I could figure out which theme the player had or if the mentioned something on the card directly. Healy potions for anyone claiming to be doing work--simple stuff to make the Forgotten Realms feel much more magically charged the Core or Dark Sun.

I felt market roll play section went well--I posted my thoughts on my WotC Blog.

Combat was great--players were not rolling that hot & I did get them to burn ~4 healing surges and drink two healing potions, which I felt was fairly decent considering the challange. I did not really try to get that tactical with the monsters mainly just charging what ever was close. I did drop 5 town people, including one NPC the players had spoken to, which really got them emotionally involved in the game, I think.

The final cliff hanger went over awesome on my table. I had created an on the fly skill challange for the replacing of the manhole covers so people were burning action points trying to make arcana checks to replace the seal--thinking more Plaguescared Lunatics were coming through and then the realized what did come through & they were very bummed that they had used them!

Fun start to what looks like an AMAZING season. Thanks, David S. 

Copyright does not protect the idea for a game

We had three table.  One of a tight group of regulars who always play together, and two pick-up tables.  Mine started with a balanced party - Warlord, Knight, Slayer, Bladesinger (controller in name, at any rate), then added another bladesinger and a hunter, so we're half 'controllers.'  (Either that or almost all strikers, I'm not sure.)

Three of the character (the Warlord, and the extra two controllers) were from Game Day, so already into the story.  We got an overview of Neverwinter, made introductions, and kicked around the market until the monsters obligingly showed up. 

The fight didn't go badly, though one of the Bladesingers had a heck of a time figuring out his character (the WotCese for 'you get to use one of these when you hit someone' was understandably beffuddling - but, given the realities of 4e keyword-driven rules, entirely called for).  The Knight occupied two drake, while the confused Bladesinger became lunch for the other two.  The minions, when they arrived, didn't last long with Rapid Shot and bladespells flying about.  The Warlord kept the Knight and unintentionally-defending Bladesinger up, and buffed the latter do some serious striker level damage to finish off a drake.

/Then/ the Heir showed up, and we were a bit taken aback...

...then the DRAGON showed up.



(Seriously? 1st encounter of a 1st level story, and we get a supposed lost ruler and a dragon?)

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Erik,

You posted somewhere that you would be running this adventure yourself at your local game store. I'd love to hear your field reports for each session.  
- Rico

A New Season Starts Strong




Searching for the Lost Crown of Neverwinter at Red Castle Games: Session 1
Season Six of Dungeons and Dragons Encounters started off strong. More and more people kept coming in the door. I believe we had 11 players when all was said and done. Luckily my own DM, @Robtheman stopped by the shop and stepped into the breach just as I was about to be overwhelmed! We made two tables, I with my regulars and Rob with a bunch of new kids and a dad. From what I could overhear I could tell he ran a great session.

It is really gratifying to see the turnout increasing, and I hope we continue to have strong attendance and get people excited about this game. I like seeing folks buy dice after an Encounters session. D&D is rad!

Red Castle didn't do the Game Day last weekend, and no one is using the new Heroes of Neverwinter book, but most of my players brought their own characters to the table anyways. This had it's pros and cons. On one hand I'm stoked the players were into it and are dreaming up their own heroes, but on the other hand they made somewhat complicated characters. The casual players in the group were quite slow to grok their multi-page character sheets. This should smooth out in future sessions as people familiarize themselves with their new options, but combat felt slow to me. There was also a bit of horsing around between players, grabbing dice and sheets that I need to clamp down on next week. Just kids being kids, but I'll be bringing my "Guidelines for a Polite Gaming Society" next time.

The heroes consisted of a Shifter Barbarian, a Dragonborn Warlock, a Dragonborn Druid, an Avenger, a Duergar Barbarian(conceived as a dwarf undergoing a punk rock mid-life crisis, tattoos and liberty spikes etc), and an Eladrin Cleric.

The party began in the market by the docks, new to town. They spent some time talking to various vendors of armors and meat pies, learning a bit about the town, its history of cataclysm and the locals ambivalence about the civic improvements brought by the current Lord Protector. The Druid helped a man with his broken wagon wheel and received 10 gold coins for his troubles.

Then all hell broke loose. Spellplagued men came pouring out of the sewers grates. They were mutants with distended limbs, yawning mouths and claws that burned with a blue fire. If these were once Men of Neverwinter, they had long since lost their souls. The spellplagued maniacs were joined by three lizards the size of small ponys, with dagger teeth and eyes of blue flame. The barbarians and avenger engaged the lizards toe to toe, all three of them going down beneath the iron jaws of the beasts during the fight. It was all the Cleric could do to keep the warriors on their feet. The mutants came in waves and threatened to overwhelm the party until the timely appearance of a helmed knight, wearing a crown that sparkled with blue flame, his purple cloak billowing about him as he cut a swath through the melee to lend a helping hand to the fallen dwarf. "For Neverwinter!" he cried with a voice like gravel bouncing down a cobbled road. With the help of this mystery knight the attackers were driven off and surviving townsfolk began to cry out in shock and disbelief, "The King! The King has returned! It is as foretold, the Heir that Was Lost has returned!"

All talk died as the knight pointed his sword into the air and spoke, "Hark! The leader approaches to do battle!" All turned their eyes to the sky and beheld a white winged figure that passed across the sun and swooped low toward the dock, it was a mighty beast, a dragon! White of scale, its eyes burned with a blue flame...

__________________
neradia.blogspot.com/
I ran a table of four players:

Male dwarf warpriest of Amaunator (Heir of Delzoun), run by one of my regular players (male)
An eladrin bladesinger (Ilianbruyen Guardian), run by an encounters vet (also male)
The dwarf slayer pregen (no theme apparent yet), run by an experienced lady gamer
The elf thief pregen (no theme), run by the slayer's deaf sister

Playing with a deaf player was an interesting dm challenge in and of itself, requiring a good deal of patience, gesturing, and eye contact. Fortunately, the slayer could translate.

The rp went pretty well, with the pcs split between several of the merchants. Jarvy and the priest competed for best story told to frighten children, the slayer and Aothir traded life tales (the way two dwarves do), and Nagda hit on the bladesinger a little and chr him a great deal to "borrow" a +1 defender longsword of shadowy appearance. (There was also a suggestion cantrip involved!) Unbeknownst to him, the sword is actually of drow origin, even getting a little crispy in the sunlight.

When the fight broke out, the pcs were scattered and didn't know each other, but they had one of those "band together for the common good" moments. The plaguespawn got two townsfolk before the pcs could stop them, mostly by stealing their attention with some beats. The bladesinger handily controlled one drake repeatedly into the river, while he and the warpriest beat up on the other. The thief chased a few of the maniacs around Jarvy's cart, while the slayer amassed a group of them surrounding her. The heir appeared in time to save her from being overwhelmed, and together they dispatched the last of the maniacs. The waterlogged drake finally climbed out of the river for the third time and met a shortsword to the brain, courtesy of the thief's sneak attack+backstab.

I used my icingdeath mini for the dragon's appearance, and boy were those adventurers freaked and excited!

Cheers
Playing with a deaf player was an interesting dm challenge in and of itself, requiring a good deal of patience, gesturing, and eye contact.



One of the players at our table is blind and he sits there running his fingers over Brail stat sheets.

Most games our DM brings a Scrabble board with him (the kind where the pieces sit down into a grid) and he recreates the game map with Scrabble tiles (walls, obstacles, etc.). Then we put markers in the right spots for all the PCs and monsters and our player can then feel where everything is. When we update the "official" map someone just updates the Scrabble board at the same time.

It's a pretty good system.

 Jay

One of the players at our table is blind and he sits there running his fingers over Brail stat sheets.



I am really curious, how was the scene described to him?

One of the players at our table is blind and he sits there running his fingers over Brail stat sheets.



I am really curious, how was the scene described to him?



Using the Scrabble board I mentioned -- the DM is describing where we are and what we see anyway, so the blind player (that phrase sounds awkward but I don't want to use his name) can feel the "walls," "obstacles," and characters on the board with the Scrabble tiles and other markers.

It works really well and our DM deserves accolades for taking the time before each game to set things up special for that one player. There are times when the scene can't be recreated with the Scrabble board, but most games it and the "official" map are both on the table.

 Jay
 
The scrabble thing is really clever. I'd like to see someone write a DDI article sometime about D&D for disabled (differently abled) players.

Anyone else have such an experience?

Cheers

Snipped awesome

 Jay
 



I see. That was indeed really interesting. Thank you for sharing this with us.
The scrabble thing is really clever. I'd like to see someone write a DDI article sometime about D&D for disabled (differently abled) players.

Anyone else have such an experience?

Cheers

At Gencon we had a blind DM and he was simply awesome. He ran combat with most enimies using their attatcks vs. Defenders, AOE bursts vs. the most clumped targets, and quite frankly knew what was going on better then some LFR DMs I have had who did see. It was a facination experience.
You are probably writing about Jamie. He's a Seattle-area judge and judges all the big WotC conventions (as well as Seattle and Portland ones). He's a great guy and it is just incredible to see how he handles everything. He shows up at cons like D&DXP and handles things like hotel changes with incredible ease. He's a great judge, knows his rules, and runs the game with a very good tactical mindset. It blows my mind every time and I've been watching him, judging him, and played with him for several years.

I have also DMed at PAX last year for a very good deaf player. It had me on my toes to always face towards him... when making voices it is easy to look at another player and when discussing tactics it is easy to look down at the table. That was all on my end. Once I improved that he could read my lips fine and I could understand him fairly well (his friends helped when I couldn't). It was a good experience for me and I hope I can remember these lessons next time I have a deaf player.

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