Session 13 Field Report

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I had to book after we got our wishes at my table tonight at Game Matrix Tacoma WA so I don't know the session title.

We had 4 new players and 5 level 1 characters for tonight's session (I missed most of the season due to Real Life). 3 of the new players and 2 of the regulars played at our normal DM and organizer's table, I and my daughter played at the other table with the rest of the regulars (everyone was very understanding of my daughter's behaviour and she was much better behaved than I expected). We managed to defeat Soryth in 4 rounds with some GM connivance so that my character didn't get taken out at the beginning of his turn for missing with his basic attack. I have to say she was a very nasty solo, even without her minions (I mean her henchmen xivorts and her twig blight literal minions).
our two tables were both wiped clean by Soryth. Both would have been wiped last week against Kalbon until a bit of DM fu reduced the pressure.

I really liked the sotry behind this adventure, and it seemed other players also did. Yet, as the combat intesnified towards the end, particularly as the opponents had more magic tricks such as teleport and shift and summons, the story was becoming lost in the long combats that were too drawn out.

I supect others were feeling similarly as the numbers began to drop from the normally overfull two tables to this past week in which there were only three players at each table (plus a DM to handle them). Within the first ten minutes, a fourth player showed up for each table, yet the combat started poorly enough that even the added PC just couldn't pull us out of the crap.

In fact, several of us had no remaining healing surges and were not entering combat with full health besides. This meant that healing was severely handcuffed and second wind was unavailable to some.

I think that the story was fantastic, and the added easter eggs of Shakespearean references was fun to see. In addition, the riddlesome elements gave some twist without becoming overburdensome to solve. It was especially nice that a few good rolls could illustrate that our PCs could interact with that world and learn things about it, even if we were a bit less capable of understanding the scene and the puzzle within it.

I also do sense that the magic was indicative of the feywild (lots of psychic, teleport, charm, dominate, force, weather, transformations). It gave a sense of setting just to see how the creatures acted in their combat mechanics. Regardless, there simply were not easy tools for the PCs to hamstring the opponents' capabilities and place themselves closer to even footing. In other words, 'If you go to the hometurf of fey creatures to fight them, you will likely be boned.'

I enjoyed the season overall, but saw some areas that could be improved if I were to re-run the adventure in the future.
We were supposed to get wishes?! What kind of wishes were we entitled to?

Soryth was tough, but the Avenger in the party pretty much kicked the crap out of her, and really screwed her over with one of the Feywild fortune cards that removed her from play just before her turn in the initiative. My Sentinel used a readied action to "Direct the Strike" (Dilettante power) when she reappeared, giving the half-orc berserker a melee basic which killed her.
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
Well, for us they were mostly fluff, my character wished for peace between Crystalbrook and Sildane, my Daughter wished for Prosperity for the towns, the Hunter wished for a bow, the witch wished for the parents of the lovers to recognize there love and accept it. I don't remember what the Pixie Skald wished for, my daughter was acting up right then.

Field report for D&D Encounters: Beyond the Crystal Cave (Week 13) now available at Dungeon's Master.com. Check out our D&D Encounters Archive for weekly write-ups, actual play podcasts and new pre-generated characters.


A very satisfying conclusion to the adventure. The wishes were particularly fun (and mostly selfish).

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Thank god this season is over!

Our party went into this encounter with 4 guys (Minotuar Grapple Fighter, Eleadrin Lazy Lord, HalflingSlayer, and a Sorcerrer). It was a brutal combat as I actully dropped the cow and halfling and took everyone in the party to 1 or 2 surges left. In the end the big bad was taken out by the cow, who after having been dropped and healed by a potion to the thoat, stood up, leveled her crossbow and popped the hag in the face.

The players went back to the fey and made their wishes. Most of the players wished to have never gone on this quest in the first place and to have their 13 weeks back.

The other tables also won, but one table took 3 hours as the DM made the players use basic attacks to throw thier weapon thus depriving them of their turn.

I atleast made her aura an attack as opposed to automatic or it would have been a table wipe. In all, not impressed. Hope next season is better.
I DMed one of our "Disney Table" groups last night.

We had 4 PCs, the same 4 I've DMed throughout this chapter. For personal reasons, my heart wasn't entirely "in it," and I noticed we were running really late. One of the players was kind of ADD last night, very distracted, humming, etc. He's also one I need to wait while he does the math, because he needs the practice, so his turns take extra time. Which is FINE-- it's why we have the Disney table.

After almost 2 hours of combat with Soryth only barely bloodied, I decided to wrap it up. The party was out of heals, dailies, everything. Two of the PCs had already gone down and been saved. I made kind of a critical mistake with the xivorts, so they had way too many hit points, and only realized it when they were both killed. There wasn't a good on-the-fly adjustment I could make at that point, and I really needed a way to end this encounter without a TPK.

I stopped the encounter and said "I don't really want a TPK, guys. So. I am asking for a sacrifice. Someone who will make a deal with Soryth--"

"I'll do it," says the ADD player. I look at him and nod. Everyone else is kind of "Uh, what?"

"Okay." Soryth uses her teleport-invisibility thing and they go off. He agrees to serve her the way Kalban did (I leave this vague, cause they're kids). The spell is broken-- for now-- and the rest of the PCs get their wishes. The cleric rolls high on his Heal check to save the downed rogue, and he rolls a 20 on his check to save Julianna.

I offer the sacrificing PC (named Drander) a wish from Soryth, but he will be unable to leave the Feywild if he accepts (Soryth doesn't have Uma's power). He shakes his head and says no.

One of the PCs takes gold, and I storytell that his old mentor died peacefully of old age and left him an inheritence.

One of the PCs wishes for "Drander to be free!"  AWWWW!

The last PC wishes "for Drander to be with us!" AWWWW!

I storytell that those two remain in the Feywild and have several adventures before rescuing their friend and companion from Soryth's clutches.

The End.
Our last session was disappointing - at least for me as DM.
I worked up an extended finale back in the real world and the players spent so much time beating on the Xivorts and 4 complete sets of minions that we basically ran out of time.

Soryth had most of the party down to single digits with no healing available when a pair of critical hits finally finished her off after 2 hours and 20 minutes.
This left me 10 minutes for the wrap up

I quickly talked through the final getting back together of the lovers and that they were staying on the island but the party was free to go. I also had the fey invite them to a massive party and the players decided to stay for 3 more days for a total of 6.

I planned on using the whole time-is-different thing and had the party show up 60 years after they left.
The town and the elves had gone to war after a couple of years and it spread which attracted the attention of an evil warlord and his army.
I had created a small encounter in the middle of now destroyed forest with a couple of different draconians and one would have flown away to get the big boss.
I was going to have the party arrive at the town and talk to one of their kid sisters (now an old lady of almost 70) when I would put out every draconian and lizardman figure I had (over 40) and finish with dropping my HeroClix Fin Fang Foom on the board before showing them a big "To be Continued..." sign I had printed out, and fading the Season to black.

Oh well, there's always next season

Thanks to Steve Townshend for writing a great salute to UK1 and coming to share his insights here!
I planned on using the whole time-is-different thing and had the party show up 60 years after they left.
The town and the elves had gone to war after a couple of years and it spread which attracted the attention of an evil warlord and his army.
I had created a small encounter in the middle of now destroyed forest with a couple of different draconians and one would have flown away to get the big boss.
I was going to have the party arrive at the town and talk to one of their kid sisters (now an old lady of almost 70) when I would put out every draconian and lizardman figure I had (over 40) and finish with dropping my HeroClix Fin Fang Foom on the board before showing them a big "To be Continued..." sign I had printed out, and fading the Season to black.

Oh well, there's always next season

Thanks to Steve Townshend for writing a great salute to UK1 and coming to share his insights here!



Hey, thanks to you for posting this awesome idea! I'd only planned to advance the story 20 years, but I think you just kicked my butt.

I'd have loved to see the looks on their faces when you put that dragon down. Surprised
My party was also TPKed ... at first.

Given Soryth`s connection to dreams and nightmares, I played up that element by asking each character to describe their character`s worst nightmare. Then, when they met Soryth, she threw her knowledge of those fears in their faces. Also, I had a row of wooden heads with golden circlets identical to the ones they found on Argus and Hamish. Soryth`s intent was clear, she would break the minds of the party and then mentally enslave them.

So, as PCs dropped, rather than dying, they each entered a personal nightmare based around what the players had provided. The lacivious Satyr Bard found himself surrounded by his previous conquests, who all found him ... lacking. The so-called fearless Assassin had the most trouble trapped in a complete void ... and the Minotaur fighter was stuck in a maze with no exits. As each PC conquered their greatest fears in an impromtu skill challenge, they shook off Soryth`s mental dominion and then surprised her and struck her down.

So while I haven`t been the biggest fan of this season, the ending was sweet for the players, and they were all pleased.
This session was bitter-sweet for me. 

My party survived. They had a lot of fun with it. Soryth kept them on their toes, using her teleport whenever she could, and getting the PC she dragged along with her in as much hot water as I could. 

One PC went down, late in the fight... the halfling rogue. So that the kid playing him wouldn't be left out of the rest of the session, I had a redcap suddenly come up the watersteps and enter the fray. It was the ex-leprechaun that they'd fought in Session 4, after Soryth turned him into a Redcap/Spriggan!

I gave the kid the stat block of the Spriggan I used for him, and let him play that character for the rest of the fight. He ended up dealing the killing blow too, knocking the hag down and punting her across the room!!

The downside is that I'm moving back to the Toronto, Canada area, and it was my last session running games at FCB Comics & Games. They bought me a "Canadian Cake", which was actually a Red Velvet cake, but it was red and white, and that's what mattered... also, it was delicious. heh.

I had a lot of fun running the last two and a half seasons at FCB. The staff are great and my players were awesome. It was a real pleasure to game there.

I'm not sure what my gaming opportunities will be like when I'm back home in Toronto, but likely I'll end up playing a bit of this new season. I'm looking forward to running tables again in seasons after that, though.