Session 9 Field Report

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Field report for D&D Encounters: The Elder Elemental Eye (Week 9) 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.

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Unlike many other weeks, this week was really not a fun session. The dreamscape idea did not go over well for the group and most players were uncertain of the purpose behind it all. In time, the DM needed to ask my help to get things on track. (I'm the store organizer and by chance was a player for this session).

The overall idea of a familiar location providing alternate perspective on the overall quest is a good attempt at bringing the adventurers behind the curtain. In our table's case, it went very badly. Few became engaged, and most were bored of the entire adventure when we reached this point.

I expect that this sort of thing happens. We're kinda an outlying stray mark of data for this week. Still, I think this lends a point on the adventure modules behind D&D Encounters: a short scene once a week drives so little of the story and offers so little complication that the players forget what is going on and characters aren't connected to a quest.  
When I read through this season, this session was what I looked forward to the most. It's just a shame that we weren't able to run straight from one session to this one, maybe with a drink break for a little well-needed confusion.  Regardless, the party seemed to just want to get to the inn and have a drink, not at all surprised to be back in the town. Thankfully, the material seemed to have it pretty well laid out that things occur in such a manner as to draw one's eyes as they pass.  I used this to my advantage.

As they progressed, I pointed out the burned building. They passed their Insight check and realize what's going on.
As they got to the temple, they tried very hard to take out the statue, but I made it impermeable just to watch them try all of their powers on it. Seeing as it's not an actual world, I felt not a jot bad about nerfing their attempts. They finally made it to the garden and back out, interacting as they went and passed the Insight check.
At the odd shrine, they cleansed it, but were unable to pass the Insight check. Darn.
The inn they found fake and was much amusing to see them try to make sense of it.

The fight was kind of brutal. While no one died, the first person in three seasons lost more than 50 HP in a single encounter. Really liked the Mindwarp's powers =)

Ready for it all to come to a head in the penultimate session! 
The exploration went well at our table. I had one person who realized the fire should have spread to the other buildings thus seeing them blow away like dust in the wind. When he told the rest of the party they thought he was crazy. Fast forward to the fight and the Nothic attacked that PC first. So when he told everyone he was being attacked by a monster that no one else could see they though he had gone off the deep end.

@feetz_grande on Twitter

@Dun Tracker: It is a shame things did not go as well for your group. I knew it was a bit of a risky scene, but I wanted it to fit the theme of exploration and the Elemental Evil (and its madness inducing powers), rewarding people that play all sessions and at the same time let the players realize what would happen if they were not there to help. (Another reason btw is that I was asked at a late moment to add two encounters, but with the same number of maps. This was a way to keep using the same map fresh. Fact is that the dungeon maps are a tad too specific for a repeat use beyond what was already done with the altar. This way it made sense to use one of the outdoor maps.)

Cast of players and their characters:-



  • Tilly Calow, playing Ardeth Bey (Hunter)

  • Daniel Creed, playing Sir Osric (Cavalier)

  • Matt Mawdsley, playing Valorite (Hexblade)

  • Simon Hunter, playing Rendar (Slayer)

  • Robert Cleale, playing Eliza (sorcerer)

  • Chris Night, playing Gauldoth (Warpriest)

  • +1 prospective new player – John


As the party’s vision cleared they found themselves back on the road just outside Easting, however now all the buildings showed signs of fire damage and in the light of a darkening sky nothing appeared to be moving. As they approached the temple its white plaster walls began to warp and moulder and the sorcerer gingerly plucked a black crystal from the hands of the robed statue before it with the cavorting demon-figurines around its feet. Before any further exploration could take place other members of the group approached the darkened inn.



 


In the blink of an eye the sky turned blood red, all the buildings in town apart from the barn appeared to have been reduced to rubble, the plants and trees reduced to ashen stumps and small predatory figures were approaching from the edges of the party’s sight. Their gaze was drawn towards the barn once more as a quartet of plague demons appeared within the decrepit structure, looking in the party’s direction eagerly.


 


Sir Osric tried to hold off one of the outlying fiends as Rendar and Valorite took up position in the battered doorway of the barn, unfortunately one of the abyssal creatures decided to exit via one of the broken windows and skirt the edge of the building.


The various demons closed on the party, taking heavy losses but injuring  a couple of party members. One sinking its mandibles into Sir Osric’s leg with abandon, while others bit Rendar, Valorite and Gauldoth respectively.


 


Another creature revealed its presence in the barn, it resembled a humanoid made of wet clay with a single huge eye dominating its face. As it approached it moved as if unused to have a bipedal (or even corporeal) form.


Its presence seemed to bolster the plague-demons but even this didn’t prevent the heroes from sending them screaming back into the elemental chaos that spawned them.


 


As the cyclopean creature fell to the heroes flurry of blows the world around them seemed to shift again, like a painting that had water thrown upon it. As new surroundings began to materialize around them, a familiar red-haired dwarf in purple robes glares at them “Why does it remain silent?” he demands.


Following this weeks session the number of players wanting to take part in Encounters has swollen beyond our capacity. So after discussion with the store it was decided that a second table wasnt feasible due to limited space available but by shuffling times I could run 2 back-to-back sessions per week instead.


So starting with Session 10 we will have 2 sessions a week (as long as attending numbers warrant it) and hopefully continue to do so into the next season of Encounters too.


"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

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