(Post #2 will have combat numbers)
The principles tonight:
- 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)
- Dunkin – Dwarven Honor Guard (Protector Fighter, Guardian)
- Orion – Human Knight (Protector Fighter, Guardian)
First, you will not not a lot of combat tonight... and not just because of a lot of RP... no, it was just one of those nights where we didn't have a lot of time (90 minutes) and most of it was used just goofing around, telling jokes, and typical banter. Focus on D&D was low as we were all a bit punchy.
Having just returned from a bit of a tussle with Kobolds, the group was ready to try their luck again in the Caves of Chaos. There were still rumors of a merchant being held there and something about “Bree-Yark” meaning surrender.
Arriving at the ravine, they didn’t have any real clues as to where to go next, so they arbitrarily chose to investigate one north and west of where they found the kobold lair (ignoring caves both nearer and/or lower). A quick search of the slope up to and around the mouth revealed booted prints of some very active humanoids. Once within, they found more signs of activity… and trouble. Nine orcs were a bit into their cups (beer) and not overly alert at so docile a time (mid morning). Rarely did they see trouble from the other clans of the ravine except very early or at night. The were alert enough, though, to hear the loud approach of the party (well, most the party actually rolled quite well on DEX or Stealth, even with disadvantage, except the Sun Cleric who also seemed to be into his cups quite early… he was too loud and unsteady to be anything close to quiet – DEX check result -> 3).
Combat ensued as Orcs don’t like intruders, Orion didn’t like reports of orc raids on farms, and Dunkin simply hated orcs with blind passion.
Encounter Summation: The group had a natural choke point where they could keep Orcs at bay, offering them no possible escape. An intersection near the choke point offered quick cover for the three in back and the two up front held the focus, in fact dominated the proceedings
Two critical points to be made here. One, our rogue was very distracted with a fussy baby, so her attention was divided to say the least. She never remembered to use her Sneak Attack despite having Thug Tactics make it constantly available (and I would have reminded her had I remembered myself that she had it.) Two, man, did I goof up the orcs. This encounter was created during the first packet using the original CoC as a basis, but with Next details. Problem is, I forgot to switch it over from packet #1 to packet #2, so the Orcs were different than what they should have been. They had same AC and HPs (13 & 11), but the orc I used was +3 with 1d8+1 damage and +2 with 1d6 ranged, instead of the +2 with 1d12+2 and +0 with 1d6 ranged. They only granted 125 XP each, instead of 460 XPs each. Honestly, the old ones were tougher for the XP rates, so maybe I didn’t cut them much of a break. They did less damage, but with Furious Charge and a better to-hit, their overall output was probably close. Especially since many went to ranged attacks due to combat layout.
Anyway, to sum up combat I will say just this: Two Protection Fighters working together is simply overpowered. Protect and Guardian’s Defender should both include clauses that say they can’t be used to protect or defend someone who also has this trait.
The two fighters were attacked repeatedly, but Defender and Parry negated the vast majority of damage or potential damage (in fact, one critical hit was turned into a miss because of the disadvantage from defender). I took one shot through cover at the Wizard when he tried hocus pocus, but Defender turned away the attack. The rest of the combat details can be seen numerically below.
[Edit:] Just noticed that the battle lasted 6 rounds... fairly long in comparison to many before this. Orcs being tougher, but I also think Aly not using Sneak Attack on at least 4 of her 6 hits made a difference on how fast they would have dropped.