(Quick note, if you just want to see combat numbers, skip to post #2 in this.. this part will be kind of long despite me trying to keep it abreviated).
- Virgil – Human Paladin (Protector Fighter, Acolyte, Knight)
- Drunkey – Dwarven Sun Priest (real name is unknown to the group)
- Aly – Halfling Rogue with Cute Smile but Nasty Reputation (Thug)
- Rickard – Human Wizard, slightly insane, talks to a skull (Necromancer, Noble)
- Tai’Marvee – Elven Archer (Sharpshooter Fighter, Archer)
- (Later) Dunkin – Dwarven Honor Guard (Protector Fighter, Guardian)
First, a quick synopsis of how the evening went:
The group’s adventuring career starts with them all gathered at young Lord Virgil’s family estate where he’s brought some friends of his over to discuss how they can best serve the greater good. Drunkey is there simply because the Temple of Pelor hopes some vigorous activity will break him of his alcohol problem and he was pretty much forced upon Virgil (who believes he can set a shining example for the cleric). Aly finally pushed the wrong buttons in the local thieves’ guild and needs to get out of town fast. Rickard, well, no one is quite sure what his motivations are, the skull seems to be his only confidant. Tai seeks to do more than watch quietly from the forest and is maybe the only one there who sees Virgil’s aspirations as worthwhile.
After some nice “meet and greet” roleplay, eventually they set for the borderlands where Virgil’s Chapter of Knights indicated trouble was stirring. The journey was more than cool and wet, it eventually was not without conflict as a group of starving wild dogs, lead by a rather large mongrel, desperately attacked the party on evening. Fortunately, the ever-alert Archer gave ample warning to the imminent danger and the group was ready enough for the attack.
Combat 1 Summation: Really, the group did extremely well, though it wasn’t too difficult a scenario. Their Initiatives were pretty high, so they took out quite a few of the dogs before they had much time to react, and the desperate animals must have been weakened by their starved state based on their poor attack rolls in general (ironically, the only attack to actually hit was the one on the best defensive character, Virgil – and he deflected over half of it with Parry (8 reduced to 3)). With barely a scratch, they settled in comfortably for the rest of the night.
From there, the group travels safely to the borderlands keep. However, not long after reaching there, a desperate farmwife shows up in town, clearly distraught by the sounds of her wailing. Her husband and oldest son are dead. Bandits on the road as they came to market with their goods. Youngest son, daughter, and her escape to town. With so little militia to spare at this keep, Virgil volunteers the group to help.
With Tai’s ability to track and scout, the group quickly finds the crumbling, deserted guard tower that the bandits call home. Expecting trouble, though, the bandits were not surprised by the group’s arrival.
Combat 2 Summation: There were 8 bandits at the ready outside the tower, more dangerous at range, they engaged the group from distance at first. Unfortunately for them, one important turn of events happened when the Wizard rolled extremely well for initiative (17) and then equally well on his Sleep spell (15). Four were put to sleep right away. Virgil closed on two quickly, leaving only 2 free to do what they wish. Alarm was raised, and the Bandit Leader, a couple of Elite guards, and 2 more regular bandits would enter on round 3. With thirteen total creatures, this seemed like it would be a tough fight… but it wasn’t. Parry deflected 4 damage, the Rogue (Aly) was knocked down (dying), but a small heal got her to her feet, and of the 13 attacks against the group, only 4 landed, Meanwhile, the group made good use of spells (sleep + many MMs and Radiant Lance), Deadly Strikes, and Parry, along with generally decent attack rolls. Fight lasted only 5 rounds.
Having avenged the farmer and son’s death, the group returned to the keep, reported the success, and settled in at the Lord’s residence in the inner keep as honor guests (deeds plus Knight’s feature).
Unfortunately, Virgil needed to stay and discuss interests of the kingdom the next day, so when the group set out looking to do good deeds, he had to stay behind (player departed). Luckily, a hill dwarf heard of the group’s good deeds and decided to join them knowing they already welcomed as an equal another dwarf into the party. Thus entered in Dunkin. Unfortunately, Tai fell sick with an unexpected illness and he, too, had to remain behind.
After a bit of rumor gathering, research, and investigation, the group decided to head towards the infamous Caves of Chaos in the area. Reports were that another adventuring bad had met there end out there and also that a merchant was being held captive for ransom by goblins, so they decided to follow up on the information gathered.
Reaching the caves, the quickly scout the area and find clear evidence of a great battle in or around one of the closer northern caverns. Investigating, they find a smoldering pyre with the remains of many bodies but some further evidence of recent activity, so they enter the caves. After finding most of the small warrens deserted, they happen upon a chamber where a large group of enormous beetles pick through the remains.
Combat 3 Summation: Eight fire beetles were trapped in an area with one exit. When the group came upon them, the beetles reacted by trying to bash their way through the party to reach safety. With Dunkin now at the point, the first couple tried to blast their way through him, but failed to get through. Again, Rickard had a good initiative score but an even more impressive Sleep spell roll, putting 6 into slumber immediately. The two remaining were fairly easily dispatched and it was quite a boring encounter.
The group debated letting the sleeping six go free, but decided against it as they couldn’t be sure that the creatures wouldn’t harm others if let loose. After Rickard recovered glands from the beetles to test their uses and properties, the group continued on with their exploration.
What they failed to notice was a simple, yet evidently effect, trip wire trap that let loose a simple swinging blade that also created quite a lot of noise. Worse yet, the trap managed to find a vulnerable spot in the dwarf guardian up front (hit for crit). Unable to parry the blow, he took the full brunt of the sweeping battleaxe. It also lead to an immediate conflict with the remaining kobolds of the complex.
Side Note: There were 7 kobolds left in total, 4 normal and 3 elites. They had been out of the caves scouting and foraging for food when the first group of adventurers had come through and slain most of their numbers. They were debating on whether or not they should just scavenge and leave or try to find other survivors when the party showed up. Luckily, they had set a pretty simply trap to help warn them of intruders and it worked to perfection.
Combat 4 Summation: Combat started with 4 outer room kobolds reacting to the intrusion by carefully investigating. Unfortunately for them, what the dwarf missed with a bad spot on the trap, he more than made up for it by catching glimpse of the kobolds ahead. Combat ensued with both sides ready (though the fighter had moderate wounds already after that axe strike, 8 of 18 HPs left). Dunkin managed to get a very high initiative and closed on the kobolds fast, engaging two of the four and effectively closing off escape at the entrance to the narrow hall. Aly, who had been expecting trouble, opened up with a quick kill from advantage as she has been stealthing along using the dwarf in front of her for cover. Dunkin’s close and attack, killed another, but he took a thrown dagger in a soft spot (crit) and only a parry kept most the damage off of him (only 2 of the 5 damage went through). The battle was really joined when the backroom elites entered combat at the start of round 3. In the end, Dunkin had to get some healing and go into Dodge while Drunkey supported him and the two damage dealers hopped in and out of full cover to strike at the pinned foes. The fact that the kobolds could use Mob Tactics and ranged weapons as often as not helped them, but Dunkin’s defense and parries were too tough get through, especially when he started to Dodge.
That was it for the night… all-in-all, the group did pretty good. With 5 in party, I tossed them a warm-up fight (9 creatures worth 650 XPs, but not overly dangerous) then a more challenging one (13 worth 1030 XPs) and both were handled fairly easily despite the mobs having some advantages. The party of 4 ran into a natural encounter (8 creatures worth 400 XPs) then a bit of a tougher one (7 creatures worth 640 XPs).
As you will see in the chart report to follow, Dunkin & Virgil took the most abuse (21 times attacked), with Aly and Drunkey each getting targeted some and Rickard avoiding the most notice (mostly because he used some very poor magic missiles and hid a lot). Winning Initiative and Sleep both played key rolls in two battles, though. The fighter classed characters dominated damage done, but when the rogue can line up a sneak attack, she really deals it out. The wizard averaged the least damage of all, but that’s not counting how battle turning sleep is.
I’ll post the summation of combat results next.