First Session Playtest Recap from DM point of view.

First play test session:

1st Encounter = Kobold Encounter

Terrain was outdoors at dusk with one tripwire trap, and one 10' pit trap for hazards.

Characters Tested:
Dwarven Priest of Moradin (Players named Morag)
Halfling Rogue ("Squeak")
High Elven Mage (Kaelwyn)
Dwarven Fighter (Drus)

Had lead character make Awareness check.  My group is immediately thrilled that the fighter has the trained ability of awareness.  The lack of Fighters having awareness has long been a complaint so we are off to a good start with morale.

The fighter promptly fails the awareness check and is backed up by the next person in the marching order who is the Dwarven Priest of Moradin.  Morag rolls, and sure enough spots a couple of kobolds hiding beside the road under a small "lean-to."

Morag tells Drus that there is trouble ahead in Dwarvish and it is decided they are playing it cool and they do not want to alert the kobolds that they are aware of the trap.  I decide this is a good time for a Bluff check and ask the players to roll using charisma.  I set the DC at 11 and the fighter fails miserably, allowing for the kobolds to make for an awareness to check to realise they are spotted.

I roll once for the kobolds in the hide which are the only ones with a decent view of the road.  The kobolds promptly fail this miserably as well so all are oblivious that they have been spotted.

The party moves down the road a bit and Squeak (the rogue) slips off into the bushes to the right of the trail trying to see if there are any more, and if so to slip in behind someone for some good old fashioned backstabbing.

Sure enough after rolling his spot he sees a couple more kobolds lurking in the bushes but they are not aware of him.  He holds position.

The party moves forward pretending to be unaware of the ambush and after making another spot check they see a poorly covered pit trap precended by a trip wire in the road.

Being close enough to close with the kobolds in the hidden shelter the fighter, Drus, calls "Attack!"

I rule that a surprise round isn't really appropriate for anyone here since everyone is planning to stab someone soon.

Initiative is rolled!
Order = 
Kaelwyn the Mage at a total of 18
Squeak the Rogue at a total of 15
Drus the Fighter at a total of    10
Morag the Priest at a total of    5
and finally
The kobolds collectively with a total of 5 (Suddenly this "ambush" is going badly for them since Morag has an higher bonus than the kobolds so they are still last.)

Kaelwyn opens by casting the shield spell on herself.

Squeak slips up on a kobold and stabs him.  I rule he has Advantage and he does far more damage than the kobold has life (which is 2pts). Since he has stealthed up behind the kobold he adds his sneak attack damage and easily dispatches him.  I allowed Squeak to make an immediate stealth roll at disadvantage to see if perhaps the next nearest kobold didn't hear this assassination.  He rolls well and the kobold does not roll well at all so the player is tickled that he has managed to be stealthy.

Drus steps around the pit and walks right up to the shelter that 2 kobolds are hiding under.  He attacks one of them through the lean-to itself.  I rule that he has advantage on the attack because the defender is really not very mobile at the moment.  I also rule that the defender has a +5 AC bonus due to cover (3/4 cover).  Drus rolls well and with his greataxe does a ton of damage which I decide cleaves the hiding kobold dramatically in two through the cover of the hide itself.

Morag isn't quite sure what to do since the kobolds are mostly still hiding in the bushes and out of line of sight so he readies an attack if a kobold comes in range.

Luckily that is exactly what happens when the kobolds are on the move and the kobold who failed to see Squeak comes running at Morag only to be slammed in the face with the readied attack from his warhammer.  The damage bonus alone is enough to slay the kobold but I am having everyone roll for damage anyway because that is always good times.

3 more kobolds emerge from the left side of the trail and all move to engage Morag.
Due to the terrain I decide that one kobold has forgotten about the trip wire and I make him roll a spot check in the heat of battle.  He fails so he falls over his own trap and comes up short of reaching Morag.

The kobold under the hide springs up just out of reach of Drus and flings a dagger at him.  He misses but I realise that kobolds have the Strength in Numbers which gives them advantage if they outnumber their foes.  I roll again for a hit! First blood is drawn on the players and I roll max damage. 

2 more kobolds enter the fray from the right and run up with their spears and stab at Drus.  One connects with a natural 20 so again that is max damage.

Round 2

Kaelwyn the mage sees three kobolds lined up near Morag so she slides up... and unloads a burning hands on the three poor souls.  Even if they had made their saving throws... half damage would have been more life than they have so WOOOSH up go three kobolds.  They have just lost the numbers advantage so they will no longer have Advantage when attacking.

Squeak has quite a bit of terrain to get through so he stealths through some woods towards the ruckus for over by Drus and the ambushing kobolds.

Drus raises his axe high and lops off the head of the kobold who was so excited that he had scored a crit.  I decide he is still smiling as his head flies through the air.  Drus also mentions he is looking forward to higher levels when he has cleave, and the ability to follow up with more attacks after killing a foe.  

Morag moves forward next to Drus and uses the healing word spell.  This heals Drus for 4 points of damage, and Morag also takes a swing on a kobold since he is allowed an attack in conjunction with the spell.  This starts a quick conversation about how we are happy to see that Clerics aren't relegated to ONLY healing. 

Kobolds... Things aren't looking good.  They are down to 2 kobolds and normally they would just flee for the hills but I have decided that there is a greater threat that is pushing them to raid these roads and they are more afraid of certain death than the possibility of dieing against the heroes.

These two kobolds take swings at Drus and miss.  We forgot to consider the possibility of using the defender ability of Morag (disadvantage for a foe attacking a friendly within 5 feet of the defender) but in this case both swings fail to hit regardless.


Round 3
Kaelwyn fires a magic missle into the chest of a kobold... he rolls a 1 for damage but it turns out that with the damage bonus this is enough to kill the kobold yet again.  We are all immediately intrigued by that fact that mages can cast magic missile indefinitely as a cantrip.

Squeak moves in stealthily behind the last kobold and attacks with advantage again slaying him handily.  It's a bit unclear how far and fast someone can move while stealthing... or whether or not there is "difficult terrain" but we roll with it.

This only leaves the treasure dividing which is 1D6 silver per kobold... and the players are pretty much universally pleased with how things went. 

There were a couple of comments that this felt "old school."  Which we felt was a good thing.

The only real complaint is that the Fighter character sheet felt a bit light in comparison to the others. 

I created a seperate thread in the Players forum for ideas for the fighter including: Maneuvers, Backgrounds etc.

Comments welcome.

*I first posted this in the player forum but on review it seems to make more sense here. 
Seems like what my group did today, only we went up against the goblins at first. We all noted the few odd things, but were able to re-grasp them the best we could with out a full rule set. The one guy who never played a true spell caster (he's only played DnD for a month, and it was only a 4ed Paladin) enjoyed the hell out of the Wizard and took to it with ease, only asking for help if he was truly confused. The only thing the two new players really wanted was a chance to role play, but we're doubting there will be any actually in depth role play with this play test module. That's just us for now anyways. Glad to see at least someone else had a good experience with the play test so far.
My group of two ( the wizard and the rogue) totally came so close to starting with kobolds but instead found the entrance to the Dark Shrine of Evil first and fought the zombies. Though they eventually ran into the kobold ambush while fleeing the orc's cave entrance and noticing the old "head in the wall trick".

My player had fun trying to think through every situation and there was plenty of suspense and run-around. It went very well and I'm glad you had a good experience as well.

On the rules side of things:

The wizards never ending magic missile was nice and used often. Though I found it to be a welcome help in this 2 man pro-run of CoC, The spell I'm aware eventually scales to such a degree that the wizard will be really forking it out at later levels. Should be interesting to see.

The rogue is the rogue. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

I have to agree on the fighter having perception, good stuff there. Though I do find the fighter to be light on abilities, he can do so much damage, by examining his character sheet, its silly!

I also am more intrigued by the Dwarf cleric and how he resembles a paladin in nature. If I was playing, its the dwarf cleric who'd I want to play as. 
Lots-O-RPG's Played: D&D (Advanced 2nded, 3.0, 3.5, 4thed & Pathfinder), StarWars (RCR & Saga), Scion, Shadowrun (4thed), Call of Cthulhu (Original % & d20), Warhammer, BESM (d20-3.5 compatable), Fudge (Fudge on the fly variant).
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