Player feedback - loving the themes/background

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I’ve been out of D&D Encounters for the past couple seasons.  Happy to jump back in as a player for Neverwinter.  I just gotta say, I’m really liking the whole themes/background component this season.  It helps gives Encounters the story depth and roleplaying opportunities that earlier seasons didn’t have.  The background/theme cards were a great idea.  Even if you don’t have the campaign book, the card helps give you the relevant background information you need.

I’m playing a Harper, and I’m hoping to weave the background into my character decisions and actions.  I’m excited.  Well done!

I’m playing a Harper, and I’m hoping to weave the background into my character decisions and actions.  I’m excited.  Well done!

Oh yes, I suspect you'll not be disappointed.
Harper Agent is one of my favorite themes, both in concept and in design. (I did that one having watched a lot of Burn Notice. There's a resemblance!)

I agree-- the themes are really nice and do a good job of standing in for a low-level magic item. Most of them, anyway.

One of our DMs flat out said, about Devil's Pawn: "Enjoy it while it lasts-- if that's not errata'ed in 2 months, I'll eat my Fortune Cards." (I'm paraphrasing about the Fortune Cards.)

Hellfire and Brimstone is way over-powered for an encounter power, especially compared to the other themes. Auto-damage in a close burst 2? Which then leaves a nerf-zone behind? One table had 2 PCs with that theme. Second wave of Maniacs? What second wave?

My warlord gladly took the 5 fire damage and the nerf, just for the advantage of seeing all those minions burst into flames. When you have 6 zombies crawling all over you, each of which does 4 hp of damage if they hit, you don't mind taking 5 hp to clear them out.

Compare that to "you give one ally +2 to defenses and 5 temp hp." Or "add 1d6 to your missed roll." Not a mass damage-dealer. The only way Devil's Pawn would not be OP is if everything you face in Neverwinter had Resist 5 Fire.

Though, given the fact the drow theme gets to fly, maybe it's just that some of the other ones are more under-powered....

Not to argue the powers, but rather just to explain some of my reasoning here:

The Devil's Pawn power seems extremely powerful to me in a situational way, and this battle is one of those situation it comes in very handy: it's really good for minion clearing, and taking out six minions with one shot is still often fairly rare (if he got them to swarm without killing him outright, then he did a good tactical job). But generally speaking, monsters are going to have LOTS more hit points than PCs, so trading your hp for theirs is often a losing game.

There's also a strong RP limitation to using that power: in a Neverwinter game, the Devil's Pawn should be hesitant about revealing his/her devil powers, as those around might get the wrong (or right!) idea.

As for the levitation--meh, it doesn't seem all that awe-inspiring, because of the limitations placed upon it. If you can only do it briefly, then yeah, it gets you out of one tricky situation, but it's not like you're flying all over the place. (I have less to say about this one, as I did not design it myself.)

Compare that as you did to the other powers, and you'll see that "defensive buffs+temp hit points" and "add 1d6 to a roll" are the sorts of powers that are *always* useful. I see it mostly as a question of general use vs. situational strength.

I do appreciate the feedback, though!

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