Session 12 Field Report

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Field report for D&D Encounters: Web of the Spider Queen (Week 12) now available at Dungeon's Check out our D&D Encounters Archive for weekly write-ups, actual play podcasts and new pre-generated characters.

The heroes did remarkably well this week. A misunderstanding of how a Cleric power works gave the PCs a huge edge and led to a quick and relatively easy victory. The majority of the combat happened near the PCs’ start area (again) leaving most of the map unexplored and unused during the actual combat.

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It all came home to roost this week.


Those who have followed the exploits at the "Magnificent Bastards" table know that my PCs are almost all evil:

Team Drow (a group of PCs who have allied with the drow antagonists)
*Faral, the Elf Seeker (present this week, absent the past 2)
Eight, the Warforged  Swordmage (absent all of chapter 3 so far)
*Jess, the Human Slayer (present this week, absent next week)

Team Demon (a group of PCs who have a background tie to a demon prince)
Alyanna, an Eladrin Bard (absent this week and last) - doomed to become an infernal warlock
Sidnarb, a Human blackguard - killed by:
*Alora, a Tiefling druid with a background as an abyssal slave (absent last week, present this week)

Team Good-Guy (a group of PCs and NPCs who are actually trying to save Shadowdale)
Khara, the NPC
Tharinel, the NPC, killed by Alora at the end of Chapter 1
Lance, a human avenger, sucked into the Abyss in Session 11.

Not on a Team
*Mittens, the hengeyokai cat-person druid. Usually hangs out in the bard's handbag, so is on Team Demon by default, but is mostly on Team Mittens.

Playing an NPC: the guy who played Lance was present this week, and was given Khara to play. After Khara died, he switched to the demon prince, making a cameo appearance.

* indicates the PC was present this week.

I changed the adventure last night quite a bit. I made it that the pendant of Ashaba was in one piece, and that it went into the Abyss with the drow torturers.

Team Drow was given instructions that they want the pendant to not reach the surface.

The demon prince was briefed before the game that he has an interest in getting the pendant to the surface and restoring the protections on Shadowdale. He doesn't want Lolth to win. So we had 2 competing objectives within the party.

I modified the golem to be resistant to fire, and vulnerable to radiant, since he's inside the Abyss and all. I changed the snifverblins to demonic minions, following Beezen, the demon prince. Beezen is powerful, and has been directing Team Demon all along in efforts to thwart Lolth. He knows he "owns" a couple of the PCs already, but doesn't know that about the drow alliance.

The stage is set. Alora is teleported in (the player is often absent, so his has been the most bamf-happy PC so far), and realizes that she can open a portal to the Abyss. Perhaps she can even go home! Excited, she opens the portal and the party sees the web golem and the pendant.

Team Drow exchange a few knowing glances and wait for the rest of the PCs to go through the portal. When everyone else is inside, they say "ok, we close down the portal, to trap them inside." What?!? The betrayal! The cruelty! Everyone rolls initiative!

Faral the Seeker shoots Alora several times with poisoned crossbow bolts, killing her in 3 or 4 rounds (she bled out). She was bloodied immediately, but just wasn't going to make it, considering she was trying to keep the portal open using her superior arcana skill.

Khara, who has been in the first area of the cave, runs up to the web golem and steals her longsword out of his webs, then engages in combat with Alora (she's in the abyss and doesn't realize Alora is on her side... to be fair, though, Alora did kill Tharinel, even though Khara doesn't know that). She is soon killed by the golem.

Mittens rushes over and saves Lance, who is lying unconscious on the ground. The spiders focus fire on Mittens, because she is smaller than they are, and therefore looks a lot like prey!

Lance gets up and charges, in slow-mo, the web golem, doing extra damage with his radiant encounter attack.

Just as Khara goes down, the demon and his minions make themselves known from the second area (my NPC player takes over his character sheet). The minions rush up, and the demon starts barking orders. He steals the pendant from the web golem's webs, and then throws it out through the portal.

Meanwhile, a battle of skills is going on at the portal. Jess is trying to shut down the portal, despite having no arcane knowledge (she successfully summoned a demon last session, so we know she can get a lucky roll). A deathjump spider has leapt out of the portal and is attacking her. She has to use her actions to either shut the portal or fight back, and she chooses the portal.

Faral, having successfully killed one of Team Demon, says "I got your back" and then runs away, abandoning Jess to her fate. Double betrayal!

Mittens makes it out of the portal, and a second later, so does Lance, brushing off the opportunity attack that Jess makes as he comes through.  Mittens is already making bargains with both Team Demon and Team Drow to decide who will give her more fish if she helps them.

As the portal is collapsing (I gave it 1 more round of being open before it will collapse), Jess picks up the pendant and throws it back in, but not very far. Lance is horrified, and is leaping towards the portal as it closes forever, the pendant on the wrong side of the Abyss.

Lance (now on Team Demon)
Jess (Team Drow)
Mittens (Team Mittens)
Faral (Team Drow)
Alyanna (Team Demon)
Eight (Team Drow)

Of these, Jess' player will be absent next week for sure, and Alora's will also be gone, so I don't need to pull in another NPC. I have to rewrite next week's stunning conclusion, because at this point, with the Pendant "safely" stored in the Abyss, Team Drow can think they've won and are ready to sit back on a hilltop and watch Shadowdale burn....
Last night was laughs. I want a web golem in every encounter.
He smacked the striker with the defender. They both escaped, so he grabbed the healer and beat the defender senseless with him. After another escape, both the ranger and the first striker, a thief, got grabbed again. He then walked through the whole melee, denying op attacks, using PCs as human shields. That' my kinda monster.
Me and the guy playing the paladin have an ongoing feud about defender aura, as he always tries to use it in sneaky ways. Last night, I explained that when he was grabbed, he was putting out an "offender aura" that helped the golem. Before the group realized I was just BSing them, a couple players almost had a heart attack.
Good times. Tons if damage, tons of chaos, but all players will show up to the final battle with 2 to 4 healing surges apiece, so it should be a fair fight.
Session 12. Warden of the Pens


1x Lesser Web Golem
4x Deathjump Spiders
8x Deep Gnome Slaves
(Khara Sulwood)

24 VARIS: (Male 1/2 Elf Ranger):
20 KEIRA (Female Elf Rogue):
15 BELGOS (Male Drow Ranger):
4 CALISI PHAER: (Female Drow Wizard):
4 KRYSTALLINE: (Female Elf Paladin):
2 SOLVENOR: (Male Deep Gnome Warpriest):

The characters arrive at the slave pens to find a large web enshrouded beast which attacks them. Spiders also attack! Help! An encounter ensues.

24 VARIS: (Male 1/2 Elf Ranger):
Shoot at web golem, miss, shift away.
20 KEIRA (Female Elf Rogue):
Use tactical trick to gain combat advantage. Attack with short sword to spider 1 sneak attack 11 damage total.
15 BELGOS (Male Drow Ranger):
Attacks spider #1. Aspect of the dancing serpent, clever shot – 11 pts of damage – slides creature 2 squares and prone! The warden of the pens is slammed. Big creature attacks Belgos – 11 pts of damage and he is grabbed!
4 CALISI PHAER: (Female Drow Wizard):
Attacked by deathjump spider – missed! Attack warden of the pens with fountain of flame – hit with fire damage for 22 points and 10 ongoing for being in the zone. Moved 2 squares and put up my cloud of darkness. Used great confidence to gain 5 temps.
4 KRYSTALLINE: (Female Elf Paladin):
Warden of the pens lurched at my face – he crit my face for 22 damage. He entangled me. Then on my turn I easily pulled off the webs. I used a move action to escape. Activated defender’s aura, then used my standard action to back up out of the web. The cleric used a heal on me to go from 21 hp to 34 hp.
2 SOLVENOR: (Male Deep Gnome Warpriest):
Attacked by deathjump spider #2 for 9 damage and ongoing 5. Stood up and hit spider #2 with resurgent sun healing Belgos for 6 hp. Then healing word to Krystalline for 13 hp and 4 temps. Praise be to Pelor the Shiny!

24 VARIS: (Male 1/2 Elf Ranger):
Shift to swords, move to the prone spider that Calisi hit once for 10 pts, strike again for 10 more, shift away 2.
20 KEIRA (Female Elf Rogue):
Repeat same actions to attack spider 2 for 15 pts of damage.
15 BELGOS (Male Drow Ranger):
Will use a move action to break from the grab – missed. Attacked warden of the pens with clever shot and misses. The warden moves and takes Belgos with him. He is slammed and took 10 points of damage – bloodied Belgos!
4 CALISI PHAER: (Female Drow Wizard):
Attacked warden with shock sphere “Crit!” 16 points of dam! Placed an area 2x3 of glittering crystals – creature ends its turn and dazed until start of next.
4 KRYSTALLINE: (Female Elf Paladin):
I attacked and killed spider #2!
2 SOLVENOR: (Male Deep Gnome Warpriest):
Missed with blessing of battle! 

24 VARIS: (Male 1/2 Elf Ranger):
Shift back to bow, shoot spider that was trying to flee by going up the wall, hit him and kill him. Move up and join my companions.
20 KEIRA (Female Elf Rogue):
Move through sparkly zones and throw a dagger at the spider golem’s face for a natural 20 crit.
15 BELGOS (Male Drow Ranger):
Tries to break the grab and fails. Tries to break the grab again - success
4 CALISI PHAER: (Female Drow Wizard):
Move 6 squares to gain line of sight to the warden. Attacked with magic missile 6 pts of dam.
4 KRYSTALLINE: (Female Elf Paladin):
Moved then charged a spider. Then crit it in the face!
2 SOLVENOR: (Male Deep Gnome Warpriest):
Double move and convince my sverfneblin brothers to attack for us and Pelor! The way is the light!

24 VARIS: (Male 1/2 Elf Ranger):
Move up to web golem, shoot and miss.
20 KEIRA (Female Elf Rogue):
Tactical trick to flank and backstab for 18 pts plus sneak attack to another spider. The web golem double moves (ap) and attacks me with a double slam for 18 damage. Krystalline gives me 8 temps.
15 BELGOS (Male Drow Ranger):
Attacks scorpion and hits for 10 pts of damage.
4 CALISI PHAER: (Female Drow Wizard):
Attacked by a retarded spider for 9 pts of damage / 5 ongoing save ends. Crawl 1 square and attack the warden with phantasmal assault for 3 pts of damage and failed save against ongoing.
4 KRYSTALLINE: (Female Elf Paladin):
Got knocked prone by a spider. Then stood up and flanked the web golem. I hit him for 10.
2 SOLVENOR: (Male Deep Gnome Warpriest):
Pelor granted me the ability to hit the golem with levy of judgment for 11 hp of damage!

24 VARIS: (Male 1/2 Elf Ranger):
Switch to swords, hit with long sword 13 pts of damage, use power strike to do another 15 points, then web golem dies! Yeah! SucK on that mother @#!er! Then after I go through remains and find other ½ of pendant!
20 KEIRA (Female Elf Rogue):
Spider golem explodes upon us!
15 BELGOS (Male Drow Ranger): Look for treasure
4 CALISI PHAER: (Female Drow Wizard):
Look for treasure.
4 KRYSTALLINE: (Female Elf Paladin):
After combat I used a diplomacy check to a 24 to get escorted out of the underdark!
2 SOLVENOR: (Male Deep Gnome Warpriest):
Varis destroys the golem! Sverfneblin slaves show us and Khara to the surface. Pelor shines on us!


Session 12 write up, with the tension between a couple of the characters heating up in the late session it may be harder for them to overcome the next session - obviously as DM I wouldnt take any advantage of that (bwah ha ha).

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

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog

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