Session 6 Field Report

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Cast of players and their characters for early group:-




  • Bryce Palmer, playing Human Mage

  • Glenn Waters, playing Eladrin Thief

  • Me, playing Kobold Scout and Dming

  • Adam Burgess, playing Drow Warpriest

  • Lee Burgess, playing Drow Hexblade


Refreshed and revived the heroes continue through the drow tunnels, coming to a dead end with a large sculpted face of a dragon/demon mix, its eyes containing rolling flames and its huge maw open wide enough for a man to walk through, containing a silvery portal whose surface ripples like liquid.


As each hero stepped through they found themselves alone in a darkened chamber, faintly glowing words on the wall provided each of them a clue to how to pass Lolth’s test and progress through into the deeper realms. Most of the party passed with minor injuries but the mage suffered quite severe wounds before being dumped unceremoniously into a waiting cage. He was soon kept company as Skrit appeared in an adjacent cell.


They weren’t there for long before the remaining heroes appeared in the corridor outside the cells. The drow hexblade teleported into mages cell, intending to teleport the pair of them back out, but something prevented him doing so. The eladrin rogue soon spied the cleverly disguised locks and proceeded to spring the trapped members of the party free while the warpriest administered aid to the wounded.


The heroes then proceeded to the end of the tunnel and the entrance of an Underdark chamber leading onto a high ledge, as they climbed down to the cavern floor they heard a female voice call out for their surrender.


 Cast of players and their characters for later group:-



  • Robert Cleale, playing Dragonborn Hexblade

  • Chris Norris, playing Dwarf Knight

  • Tom Wright, playing Dwarf Sentinel

  • Simon Hunter, playing Human Mage

  • Phill Norman, playing Elf Thief

  • John Gray, playing Drow Hexblade

  • Matt Mawdsley, playing Dwarf Knight


Refreshed and revived the heroes continue through the drow tunnels, coming to a dead end with a large sculpted face of a dragon/demon mix, its eyes containing rolling flames and its huge maw open wide enough for a man to walk through, containing a silvery portal whose surface ripples like liquid.


As each hero stepped through they found themselves alone in a darkened chamber, faintly glowing words on the wall provided each of them a clue to how to pass Lolth’s test and progress through into the deeper realms.


The individual heroes managed to pass the tests of Lolth without taking any serious damage, reappearing in the central corridor, after a brief discussion of their experiences they proceeded to the end of the tunnel and the entrance of an Underdark chamber leading onto a high ledge, as they climbed down to the cavern floor they heard a female voice call out for their surrender.


Both sessions were over relatively quickly this week as the skill challenges weren't particularly long, it would have been nicer to have more than just the four different challenges as the late group actually had 2 people go through each challenge, thus giving the second person an advantage – though not in Phill’s case, arriving late just as the others had finished  but still managed to blow the Test of Shadows away with awesome dice rolls. No photo’s this week as not really anything to take a picture of!


"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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This week's session was interesting. We had a lot of fun with it, but I was shocked by how long it took. A friend of mine ran through it in 10 minutes when he played it. I played through it with a group of DMs on Monday, and I think it took us about 5 or 10 minutes. I fully expected this session to take no more than 15 minutes, and then we would launch into session 7 (which would be good since next week is a holiday for most of us). It took my table of 6 an hour and a half!
- Rico

We had a table of 6 and a table of 4.  The 4 got done in about an hour.  The 6 an hour and a half.  The puzzles only took 5-15 minutes per person.  Some of us got through quickly and some took longer.  Resistances for our genasi arcanist and vyrloka avenger mitigated half the failed test damage to the party as a whole.  dwarf slayer and elf bladesinger took a bit of a beating.  The dwarf had the Lloth statue and bathed in fire and went in a cage.  Elf had the balor and while making great knowledge check made some mechanical errors to get shock, burned.  Avenger had Lloth statue sucked up the necrotic on bad bluff checks.  genasi got rats, and absorbed fire damage before going in cage.  Eladrin warpriest and my sverfneblin warden both had black and white floor.  I aced my athletics checks and she missed only one with only slight damage.  


Rest of the time was breaking the two out.  Step Together from the warpriest got one.  Arcanist put Tensors floating disc below the other cage and the lock was popped and he landed safe.


I really appreciate sessions like this one.  They are a real change of pace from the constant battles.  Puzzles were interesting.  Some harder than others, but it was a fun session.  One of the best this season.


TjD

Field report for D&D Encounters: Web of the Spider Queen (Week 6) 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.


What a welcome departure from the norm! A week without combat was not what the players were expecting but for the most part they really enjoyed the change. For the first time since this season began we didn't come anywhere close to a TPK.


D&D Encounters: Web of the Spider Queen – Chapter 2 Reward Summary (up to and including encounter 7) now available.

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My table of evil PCs did not disappoint on this one!

Show

I kept Khara and Tharinel in the party for session 5, so they were there for the extended rest. Because of the holiday, we ran session 6 in 2 parts-- half of the PCs last week, half this week, and I ran each PC through the encounter in private so they had a chance to also tell the DM whatever plots they're engaged in.

Before the skill challenge, each PC was given the opportunity to tell me what they did during the extended rest, and whether they were acting against any of the PCs or NPCs. I have 7 players on my table, and they all had something they wanted to do to Tharinel (I've played him up as annoying and pompous, though he's obviously still competent and not a *bad* guy). It wasn't till the last PC that Tharinel died, though-- our infernal slave elementalist burned him in his sleep. Poor Tharinel, R.I.P. Also, go Team Evil. This was the first major betrayal of a fellow party member, unless you count robbing the bard of all her worldly possessions.

I did not roll for who got which test-- I picked their tests based on what was most appropriate for the PC, and what they would have the most fun with.

Last week, the elven bard had the test of deceit and did fine, once she realized she was going to take damage for telling the truth. The slayer took the test of darkness, and took some damage, but really did a good job of puzzling it out (lack of a map for this test really hurt us). Finally, the hengekai shapeshifting kitty had the test of rats, which was awesome because she has a native climb speed-- she took damage at first from spiking the rats without chasing them down the webs.

This week, I had 4 players who needed to run through the challenge. One of them swapped out his blackguard (for meta reasons) for a lawful good avenger-- we're basically watching for his chance to turn evil. He failed the  test of deceit, spectacularly. The other three were given the test of demons.

The infernal slave elementalist had a good time puzzling out  the test of demons. The player knows what a balor is, and was terrified that putting the weapons in place would result in being locked in a small room with a pissed-off balor. The character, having spent most of her life in the Abyss, also knows about balors, and is also suitably concerned. She took quite a bit of damage in trying to puzzle it out, though not as much as she took when stealing the gems!

The other two are the elf seeker and the warforged swordmage in our party. I had something special planned. I already knew they had an alliance, so I did their challenge together. They were both teleported into the test of demons. The seeker's backstory has him knowing the drow from the end of last season, so two of those drow were there in the demon test room (crowded room). The male drow is a friend of the elf, and basically said "the drow are going to win this one, but I wouldn't mind having a little help. Do you want to be on the winning side?"

They struck a deal with the drow. Basically, they are now on Team Lolth. The drow that these two command will not kill them (though they will go for unconscious), and they'll provide some poisons for these PCs to use against their party, in exchange for the PCs doing everything they can to murder the rest of the party, when the time comes. They also gave the warforged an enchanted weapon, uniquely fitted for a warforged. Then the male drow gave them the cheat code for the test of demons, and the drow hid in the shadows of the room while the PCs left to rejoin their party.


With my campaign officially, and happily, well off the rails, we proceded to run Session 7, which was abusively horrible for the bad guys (er... the drow), I have to say. The PCs rolled REALLY WELL, and I rolled below average. Nothing really spectacular happened in the skirmish, aside from the PCs operating as a team-- something they have not done before.

I look forward to seeing how the rest of this plays out. I feel like I've already had a small victory, in getting one PC to betray a fellow party member. It is now only a matter of time before they're all at each others' throats. 
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