Field report for D&D Encounters: Web of the Spider Queen (Week 10) 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.
This week's encounter seemed overly complicated and unnecessarily punitive. I had to make some serious adjustments to make things more balanced. I dumped the combat all together and focused on strong role-playing and skill checks. It still took 90 minutes. No one took excessive damage (from the spiders) or lost too many surges (from the patrols).