I Played Lair Assault and Won - Spoiler Free

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So... I played Lair Assault tonight with my usual group, and we won.  We had a great time.  I'm not going to spoil it for anyone, though if anyone has any questions I'm happy to answer some.

Here's a bit on the group.  We had the standard 5 players and a solid, smart, though not extremely experienced DM.  The players have been playing 4e since it first came out (and some before it came out - myself included).  I'm primarily a DM but I wanted to play this one.

I'd say the characters were 80-90 per cent optimized.  No one in my group is a munchkin or CharOp man, but we make solid characters (and followed the instructions to buff up what we would normally play by a degree.)

The party was
Human Executioner (Wizard's Apprentice theme) (my character)
Teifling TacLord (Guardian)
Dragonbord Sorcerer (Noble)
Goliath Warden (Noble)
Dwarf Hybrid Fighter Runepriest (some kind of devil theme? Can't remember)

Some of us (myself included) are very tatics-minded, and we won in six rounds (might have pulled off the five-round achievement, but I rolled a 2 two rounds in a row)  I got the kill.  The dwarf died, but it was the Sorcerer who took him out.

My first thought is that it was easier than advertised, but then, I've read the module (though I didn't really use any of that knowledge) and I talked to the DM and there was a few things that just plain worked out in our favour by sheer fluke.  Despite the fact that the DM crited us five times, we also rolled a few crits (three I think) and a few fortuitous saving throws, and we did all the right things at the right time.

I'm going to be running it a few times with other players in the coming month(s) and I look forward to seeing how different it can be.  I'll come back here and post some thoughts on those as they happen (Next one is on Saturday) and I will give more details once more of you have had a chance to play it (I don't want to ruin it for anyone).

Thanks for reading! 
I'm scheduled to run this thing later in the month.  Having looked at the module, it's definitely the sort of thing that'll be easier the second or third time - assuming you blunder into the really bad choices the first time, of course.   Any foreknoweldge of the good and bad choices would be a major help. 

 

 

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Thanks for the report, I can't wait to play this. I'm surprised it took WotC so long to come up with this public play program. Better late than never

I want to ask a hundred questions but I also want to play it for the first time without any influence. This challenge is something that I know a lot of people are looking forward to. I'd like to remind everyone posting to please put in spoiler warnings if you're going to reveal details or strategy hints for this encounter. I know there's a lot of players who want to face this thing fresh and come up with their own ideas.
I thought this wasn't due to started until the 2nd Sept ...? Don't tell me your store/s is one of those 'favourite premium stores'.

Our store still hasn't received it yet, and I waiting with baited breath to give it a read (yes I'll be the one running it and yes our store owner has scheduled it the moment he was able).

All this aside ... thx for the report and well done on doing it first time around. Do you think having a slightly inexperienced dm running it helped? Don't want to take away the glory of the '1st time through' kill but was wondering if whether you had a more experienced dm would have given a different outcome? 
GMT +10 (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ....)
For those of you interested in more information about Lair Assault, Dungeons Masters at the link below is doing and will continue to do some write ups about the event. The latest preview talks a little about character generation, be forewarned however, that he drops some very minor hints about how to build your characters for the event.

dungeonsmaster.com/
you got all 200 glory on one run?  I call shenanigans!  ;)

I think for real savvy veterans a win on normal on the first try is definitely manageable, particularly with good luck, fortuitous monster placement, and DM idiosyncrasies that end up working in the players' favor - for instance, in my store the players don't get to see the entire map on their first try, so they don't get to see the next "room" and start planning their route until they open the door/climb up/turn the corner/swim down/phase through the wall/whatever.

I think the real challenge is going to be twofold:  folks going for the tougher Glory awards like a Commando + Slayer run on Nightmare mode, and finding a way to incent the players to take a run at the tougher Glory awards.. 

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

And people wonder why grognards ramble on about 4e being like a videogame...
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Lair Assault could be run on any game system chassis let alone particular edition chassis and it would still be Lair Assault.  Tell the grognards to look up the scoring rules for the original C2 or S1-4, GDQ (at least the GD part), A1-4, or really any tournament module from the 70s and 80s, but replace "points" with "glory."

On the other hand, you might be right since grognards will ramble on about anything new, whether it's 4E, horseless carriages, letting women vote, or how things just plain used to be better in the old days.  If one is just going to base their entire uninformed opinion on bad assumptions and incomplete facts, we can't hope to stop them;  we can only hope to put up with them.

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

Tell the grognards to look up the scoring rules for the original C2 or S1-4, GDQ (at least the GD part), A1-4, or really any tournament module from the 70s and 80s, but replace "points" with "glory."



If anything, Lair Assault is a return to the old "championship modules" of 1st/2nd editions. But of course, if you tell the grognards that their very own "old school games" were also "videogamey" back in their time, they'll get angry :P.

Are you threatening me master jedi? Dungeons & Dragons 4e Classic - The Dark Edition
And people wonder why grognards ramble on about 4e being like a videogame...



Do people really care that others play a game as a game?  It's not a novel simulating life-style. It's a g-a-m-e.  pssst... 1st ed had tourney modules too..
Not as a game.  As a videogame.  It's the 4e=WoW thing.  I don't usually see it myself, but this kinda rings a couple of bells in my head.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Bottom line question, is it enjoyable?  WoW is a helluva lot fun. If D&D can be that fun and capture 1/100 of the audience and $$$$$$ that WoW does it would be a roaring success imo.

 
And people wonder why grognards ramble on about 4e being like a videogame...


I take it you never played the AD&D Open at Gen Con!

-O
I'm scheduled to run this thing later in the month.  Having looked at the module, it's definitely the sort of thing that'll be easier the second or third time - assuming you blunder into the really bad choices the first time, of course.   Any foreknoweldge of the good and bad choices would be a major help. 



It's true.  There was ONE thing I did (or more specifically, didn't do) in character creation that was because of information I had having read it.  I hadn't read it all the way through and I didn't remember many of the specifics, so I would say I possessed less information than anyone would have if they had played it once through already.

I certainly know more about running it now, in time for my Saturday game. 
I thought this wasn't due to started until the 2nd Sept ...? Don't tell me your store/s is one of those 'favourite premium stores'.

Our store still hasn't received it yet, and I waiting with baited breath to give it a read (yes I'll be the one running it and yes our store owner has scheduled it the moment he was able).

All this aside ... thx for the report and well done on doing it first time around. Do you think having a slightly inexperienced dm running it helped? Don't want to take away the glory of the '1st time through' kill but was wondering if whether you had a more experienced dm would have given a different outcome? 



No, I just happen to own the store, so I took the copy we recieved and had a buddy run it first with our usual private group.  (Gasp!) Unsanctioned!

First "real" run of it I will be DMing on Saturday. 
you got all 200 glory on one run?  I call shenanigans!  ;)

I think for real savvy veterans a win on normal on the first try is definitely manageable, particularly with good luck, fortuitous monster placement, and DM idiosyncrasies that end up working in the players' favor - for instance, in my store the players don't get to see the entire map on their first try, so they don't get to see the next "room" and start planning their route until they open the door/climb up/turn the corner/swim down/phase through the wall/whatever.

I think the real challenge is going to be twofold:  folks going for the tougher Glory awards like a Commando + Slayer run on Nightmare mode, and finding a way to incent the players to take a run at the tougher Glory awards.. 



Actually, I hardly got any glory at all. (IIRC, I got the one for winning and a crit, and that's it).  Some of the players did pretty well in that department, though.  Gonna play it again on Nightmare mode next week to see how we do.
Not as a game.  As a videogame.  It's the 4e=WoW thing.  I don't usually see it myself, but this kinda rings a couple of bells in my head.



Ah, whatever. It was fun. I've never played WoW, nor do I own an X-Box (which I hear has "acheivments" much like the glory points), so I've no knowledge of these things whatsoever.

I play D&D.  As a D&D game, it was fun.  It's supposed to be a little one-off fun.  Not ever painting has to be the Mona Lisa.

Sure, it's combat heavy, but my group did plenty of role-playing (not to mention drinking beer and eating cake.)  Of course, all of that is probably why it took 2 hours or so to run 9 rounds (we kept playing after we'd "won" to see if we could also get out alive, which we did.) 
 

But but but but... I wanna play DnD, not WoW. I can already play WoW





So play D&D and quit your belly-aching! Laughing

 

But but but but... I wanna play DnD, not WoW. I can already play WoW





So play D&D and quit your belly-aching! 




That is what I would do... if 4th and lair assault weren't pen & paper WoW.


I'm sorry, I truly am, but I've heard this sob-story long enough.  I'm having plenty of fun with both 4th and Lair Assault.  I don't know a thing about WoW but I've played D&D at least once a week for 25 years and I'm just not having whatever problem you're having. 

It's not 4e or Lair Assault.  It's you.  Kindly go find somewhere else to moan about it.
I would suspect that the DnD forums are the right place to talk about... DnD. Especially when I want to raise a point that roleplay, treasure and fun are enough rewards and that achievements... I mean glories, make it feel like an another game. A game that I do not want to play when I play DnD.

Maybe if you would have played WoW you'd understand, so no need to be impolite and aggressive about it.



I'm sorry if I come off impolite or agressive, but *I* was the one talking about D&D. *You* turned my thread about having fun playing Lair Assault into a discussion of WoW.  Who's the one being impolite?

I was kidding (hence the smily) about "quit your bellyachin'" until you came back with yet another whine about WoW.  I'd like to talk about Lair Assault, which, unless you've got some kind of WoW-comparison obsession, plays like a nice fun game of D&D.  It's not a great story-campaign, but it's not supposed to be.

Sometimes it's fun to take a break from a story-campaign (like the one I was running the week before, where we are epic level and have played the characters for three years, with breaks) and play a little one-off for fun, where you're not over concerned about the survivability of your characters (in this case because you expect them to die).

I just don't see why Lair Assault existing is somehow stopping you from playing some other kind of D&D if you can't just enjoy something for what it is without having to negatively compare it to something else.

Besides, the only reason D&D can ever seem like WoW is because WoW took everything it has from D&D.

Can we talk about Lair Assault now?

That is what I would do... if 4th and lair assault weren't pen & paper WoW.

http://www.d20monkey.com/comics/2011-05-11-20100511.png
Cartoon


Now THIS post is relevant.  Lair Assault is all about getting torched. Wink
Please keep your posts polite, respectful and on-topic. Thanks
So... if anyone out there is willing to talk about Lair Assault...

After reading the module (to prepare for Saturday) I DID notice a few things my DM did "wrong".  I also now understand how downright lucky we were in doing things in the exact order we did them.  I'd like to be more specific, but even if I put it under spoilers I think it will still spoil some things for people who can't help but look.  I'll do a play-by-play when more people have had a chance to try it.

My Advice:

I recommend to DMs to give a lot of thought to creature placement (and don't just use the example placement in the book) 

I suggest to players that you try to keep moving forward. Delay is very much not your friend. This may seem obvious, but it's more true than ever. If you take too long you will die.

SO I recommend to DMs to do your best to delay the PCs as much as possible. 
Well, a gnoll scout, a elf seeker, a dragonborn paladin, a tiefling bard, a vryloka warlord and an vryloka  hybrid rogue/ossassin walked into Lair Assault. Despite taking the wrong way (hello Dungeon Mapper) and getting to the final boss on turn 17, my gnoll zapped the BBEG on turn 19 (Go go people who understand focus fire and teamwork). We're looking forward to trying again and maybe getting monster slayer and a couple other rewards under out belts. Fun was had by all at the Game Matrix in Tacoma WA. (session took about 6 hours to complete and was nail bitingly tense at times).

I went in expecting to hate Lair Assault and to never want to play it again.  Wrong! Can't wait to try again. Dagnyr and his bridge of roots really helped the party (one of the more artistic players actually drew a picture of Dagnyr on a bridge of roots labeled Dagnyr and his bridge of saving everybody.
And people wonder why grognards ramble on about 4e being like a videogame...

To be fair, it is actually listed in the challenge booklet as "Nightmare Mode"...  I am really looking forward to running this next week!  There are so many death-preventing safety valves in 4th edition, that as a DM I play monsters with the purpose of putting a decent scare into the players (assuming the monsters are smart enough or just plain mean enough).  Now I really take the gloves off and see how many rounds it takes me to wipe out the party, although I don't think it's THAT tough...  We'll see how the first run goes before anyone talks about "Nightmare Mode," at any rate.

One thing that WON'T happen at my table is a six-hour session(!?)  Twenty rounds (four minutes of game-world time) shouldn't take 20 minutes per round of tactics discussion with the other players, mulling over power choices ON YOUR TURN, etc.  A player's turn, even controllers with ridiculous recursive effects, shouldn't take longer than a minute or two at most.  A striker who's done his attack math in advance can finish their turn in 30 seconds or less.  (Shortest turn: "Magic Missile that guy for 8 points- is he dead?  I'm done.") Throw in the DM's turn, and for an experienced party that's 6-8 minutes per round, MAX.

I keep a clearly marked GameMastery initiative tracker on the table at all times.  Smart players help me out by moving the little turn arrow and prompting their fellow party members when their turn is coming up. (Think of it as the 4th-Edition "Caller".)  If a player doesn't start announcing actions, moving minis, and/or rolling dice within 10 seconds, they've delayed their turn until they're ready to do something.
-Alveric "And the sword that had visited Earth from so far away smote like the falling of thunderbolts; and green sparks rose from the armour, and crimson as sword met sword; and thick elvish blood moved slowly, from wide slits, down the cuirass; and Lirazel gazed in awe and wonder and love; and the combatants edged away fighting into the forest; and branches fell on them hacked off by their fight; and the runes in Alveric's far-travelled sword exulted, and roared at the elf-knight; until in the dark of the wood, amongst branches severed from disenchanted trees, with a blow like that of a thunderbolt riving an oak tree, Alveric slew him."
Alveric, some of those rounds are more exploratory, which way are we going, what door are we taking, than a normal combat round. No one was taking long turns except when people where using unfamiliar concepts (the hybrid) or almost brand spanking new to the game (the seeker and the paladin) IIRC.
Alveric, some of those rounds are more exploratory, which way are we going, what door are we taking, than a normal combat round. No one was taking long turns except when people where using unfamiliar concepts (the hybrid) or almost brand spanking new to the game (the seeker and the paladin) IIRC.




Good job winning with two new players in the group.




Well, a gnoll scout, a elf seeker, a dragonborn paladin, a tiefling bard, a vryloka warlord and an vryloka  hybrid rogue/ossassin walked into Lair Assault. Despite taking the wrong way (hello Dungeon Mapper) and getting to the final boss on turn 17, my gnoll zapped the BBEG on turn 19 (Go go people who understand focus fire and teamwork). We're looking forward to trying again and maybe getting monster slayer and a couple other rewards under out belts. Fun was had by all at the Game Matrix in Tacoma WA. (session took about 6 hours to complete and was nail bitingly tense at times).

I went in expecting to hate Lair Assault and to never want to play it again.  Wrong! Can't wait to try again. Dagnyr and his bridge of roots really helped the party (one of the more artistic players actually drew a picture of Dagnyr on a bridge of roots labeled Dagnyr and his bridge of saving everybody.




Sounds like fun.  I'm a little surprised you can go the "wrong way" and survive, so good on you.  (You'll all know the wrong way when you see it.)

The six rounds we did it in took almost 2 1/2 hours so your six hours wasn't long by my count.  I'll have to speed it up as much as possible when I run it tomorrow.  We MUST finish in three hours tops.  (The lack of beer might help. Tomorrows' game is while the store is open.)  Also, I'm probably a much faster DM than what we had, though there are a few really slow players coming.
I ran a 6-player group through it today.  TPK by round 9 (3 hours) in the final room (though some pcs died earlier).  Some bad tactics with the party pretty much splitting up and going multiple ways at the same time.  Everyone had fun, though.
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