Session 5 Notes (DM Only)

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Here's where things get tricky. 

The adventure splits here, and the party can choose one of two directions. There's not really a way to optimize the choices in this one--it depends on which of the fey agents you care to visit. In each session I've tried to provide something weird, quirky, or fun where I was able.
Session 1: Apart from the role-play, this is something of an exception. It's mostly about setting up the adventure.
Session 2: The oracle; the original had more to do with the echoes as living sounds created by the characters.
Session 3: The crystal cave. 
Session 4: Rhyming with the leprechauns, some exploration.
Session 5: Stealing unicorns or "bearbaiting"

Session 5 was one of my favorites because depending upon which fey you chose to visit, you were going to be doing something weird. The unicorns and the bears are both creatures from the original UK1 module, I just needed to decide how to use them in this one. Returning to the Shakespeare theme, the most famous stage direction in the history of theatre is "Exit, pursued by a bear" from The Winter's Tale. The whole bear/satyr path was created around the idea of making that happen. Plus, it ties into the idea of fey creating mischief (this time via the characters). And busting up a satyr drinking party with a group of MARUADING BEARS sounded like too much fun to pass up. Finally, I wanted to shake up standard combat mechanics and goals, throw some new elements out there (breaking the mead barrels or wrangling the unicorns), and so forth. When I think back on this Encounters season, this is the encounter I always think of first.

In one draft, the characters were working for either the Green Lord or the Summer Queen, rather than their agents. UK1 put a god in the garden (The Green Man), so I included his 4e incarnation (The Green Lord). Synchronous with the theme of this adventure, the Manual of the Planes defines Oran as D&D's version of Oberon; his consort Tiandra, the Summer Queen, is 4e's version of Titania. The coincidence was too much to ignore. It seemed to fit like a puzzle piece. Nevertheless, I think the archfey were removed because playtesters felt the archfey were too powerful to be affected by the problems occurring on the island. Even if I was wrong and it was the worst design choice of all time, I'll admit to feeling wistful about that one. I'd have loved to deal with them throughout the season. As to the reason for their presence and the nature of their feud, I'll get to that another time.

Questions about session 5, post them here!
Does anyone have a page number for the Spidersilk Sack? I didn't find it in the Compendium or CB to print a card for my players.

58286228 wrote:
As a DM, I find it easier to just punish the players no matter what they pick, as I assume they will pick stuff that is broken. I mean, fight after fight they kill all the monsters without getting killed themselves! What sort of a game is this, anyway?

 

An insightful observation about the nature of 4e, and why it hasn't succeeded as well as other editions. (from the DDN General Discussions, 2014-05-07)

Rundell wrote:

   

Emerikol wrote:

       

Foxface wrote:

        4e was the "modern" D&D, right?  The one that had design notes that drew from more modern games, and generally appealed to those who preferred the design priorities of modern games.  I'm only speculating, but I'd hazard a guess that those same 4e players are the ones running the wide gamut of other games at Origins.

       
        D&D 4e players are pretty much by definition the players who didn't mind, and often embraced, D&D being "different".  That willingness to embrace the different might also mean they are less attached to 4e itself, and are willing to go elsewhere.

    This is a brilliant insight.  I was thinking along those lines myself.  

 

    There are so many tiny indie games that if you added them all together they would definitely rival Pathfinder.   If there were a dominant game for those people it would do better but there is no dominant game.  Until 4e, the indie people were ignored by the makers of D&D.

 

Yep. 4E was embraced by the 'system matters' crowd who love analyzing and innovating systems. That crowd had turned its back on D&D as a clunky anachronism. But with 4E, their design values were embraced and validated. 4E was D&D for system-wonks. And with support for 4E pulled, the system-wonks have moved on to other systems. The tropes and traditions of D&D never had much appeal for them anyway. Now there are other systems to learn and study. It's like boardgamegeeks - always a new system on the horizon. Why play an ancient games that's seven years old?

 

Of course, not all people who play and enjoy 4E fit that mould. I'm running a 4E campaign right now, and my long-time D&D players are enjoying it fine. But with the system-wonks decamping, the 4E players-base lost the wind in its sails.

Check out the thread earlier in this forum topic entitled spidersilk bag.  It isn't in the published Heroes of the Feywild, but we got a look at what it was intended to be in that thread.
Thank you. I missed the thread below.

I had replaced it with a Handy Haversack, a magic item of similar level to the fey gift given out in the altnerative encounter.

58286228 wrote:
As a DM, I find it easier to just punish the players no matter what they pick, as I assume they will pick stuff that is broken. I mean, fight after fight they kill all the monsters without getting killed themselves! What sort of a game is this, anyway?

 

An insightful observation about the nature of 4e, and why it hasn't succeeded as well as other editions. (from the DDN General Discussions, 2014-05-07)

Rundell wrote:

   

Emerikol wrote:

       

Foxface wrote:

        4e was the "modern" D&D, right?  The one that had design notes that drew from more modern games, and generally appealed to those who preferred the design priorities of modern games.  I'm only speculating, but I'd hazard a guess that those same 4e players are the ones running the wide gamut of other games at Origins.

       
        D&D 4e players are pretty much by definition the players who didn't mind, and often embraced, D&D being "different".  That willingness to embrace the different might also mean they are less attached to 4e itself, and are willing to go elsewhere.

    This is a brilliant insight.  I was thinking along those lines myself.  

 

    There are so many tiny indie games that if you added them all together they would definitely rival Pathfinder.   If there were a dominant game for those people it would do better but there is no dominant game.  Until 4e, the indie people were ignored by the makers of D&D.

 

Yep. 4E was embraced by the 'system matters' crowd who love analyzing and innovating systems. That crowd had turned its back on D&D as a clunky anachronism. But with 4E, their design values were embraced and validated. 4E was D&D for system-wonks. And with support for 4E pulled, the system-wonks have moved on to other systems. The tropes and traditions of D&D never had much appeal for them anyway. Now there are other systems to learn and study. It's like boardgamegeeks - always a new system on the horizon. Why play an ancient games that's seven years old?

 

Of course, not all people who play and enjoy 4E fit that mould. I'm running a 4E campaign right now, and my long-time D&D players are enjoying it fine. But with the system-wonks decamping, the 4E players-base lost the wind in its sails.

Ack! Sorry I didn't catch that on time.

Hope y'all have fun. I'm having a glass of mead in your honor.
Quote of the evening: 

Cleric:  "Dude, there is this AWESOME UNICORN PARTY just over there!  You should come with us and check it out!" (fails bluff check)
Unicorn 1:  "There ain't no such thing as a unicorn party.  We'd know!"
Unicorn 2:  "He's full of it!  The only unicorn party is where ever WE ARE!"

Next round

Cleric:  "For reals, I'm super serial about this AWESOME UNICORN PARTY!  Do you want to come?  All unicorns get in for free!"  (nat 20 on bluff check)
Unicorn 1:  "A unicorn party?  Of course I want to come!"
Unicorn 2:  "Yeah, me too!  You seem basically honest."

For making us laugh so hard, the Cleric got a moment of greatness! 

 

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

HAAAAAAA!!!!

That's amazingly awesome.
Drama aside, quotes like that are what keep me getting together with friends over the years to play RPGs. Laughing 
My players convinced the unicorns to come help lure the bears into the satyrs camp.  Much havoc and delight, all around.
Now that is something I could never have foreseen. Well done! And kudos for being flexible enough to allow them to try anything. Awesome.
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