Poisoned Shadows: One-shot that became two.

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Last night I ran Poisoned Shadows, an adventure I created for 4th level characters using the Encounter Guidelines from the DM packet. The base thread is here: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29791537/RPGTO_DDN_Session .

With the roleplaying and set up, we only got to one of the three encounters I created in the 3 hours I alotted for play so we will be taking it up again next week but I would like to mention how things went for the initial combat.

The party spotted the lurking assassins (consisting of 5 reflavored Human Warriors, 2 Human Warchiefs, a Human Witchdoctor *EDIT I APPEAR TO HAVE FORGOTTON THE HUMAN BESERKER* and a Giant Frog [reflavoring applies to all]) so they did not walk completely into the ambush.

It was built on the xp budget for 5 4th level PCs at the Easy cost but counts as an average encounter due to the number of foes.

The PCs felt that they were adequately threatened for something that was supposed to be an 'average' encounter (almost everyone took damage, some spell slots were used, combat lasted about 5 rounds [time was extended due to connection issues]) and everyone went away feeling like they had fun.

There may be hope! 
I love to see DMs reflavor stuff.  I dig the spice.  Sounds like it was fun.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Also Naziare, one of the players, has posted a review here: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/29800655/A_few_observations_from_my_first_sessions_of_DD_Next
Here is my Playtest Report.

I played an acrobat rogue with the spy background picked out my feats (two-weapon defense shift).

I found that rogue had plenty of options that let me create the character I envision. A dirty guards man with contacts with criminal contacts. Slippery target Unassuming Threat and shift feat worked to mechanically represent his cowardly nature.

I really like the element that the background trait added to the session. Jonathon was able to use it to create a good RP opportunity that also got the party headed in the right direction.

The encounter was interesting, but I found that mechanically Slippery Target to be disappointing. Not being able to slip out the way and have a enemy directly behind me be a target (which occurred twice) just killed it for me. It just one of those things you see happen in movies and novels and was what I was picturing when I picked the acrobat feature. Having the shift help alleviate some of the cost of setup Slippery Target, but it is very weak compared to the other available options (even Assassination). 

The session cool, I'm looking forward to continuing the one-shot the became a two-shot.

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Here is my Playtest Report.

I played a skill heavy rogue with the Expert specialty customized to encompass feats that are necessary to my character (skill focus-sleight of hand and skill supremacy-sleight of hand).

I found that my level 4 wood elf rogue had plenty of options that let me create the character I envision. A rogue native to the adventure setting with multiple aliases and identities that have infiltrated the four main factions, e.g. Royal Court, Nobles, Church, and Organization (rogues).

Opting for the custom rogue scheme Con-Artist with Artful Dodger, I found it very satisfactory in damage output utilizing two-weapon fighting with two short swords to deliver martial damage dice. I found that sacrificing advantage if and when you have it did not justify the implementation of Assassination or Sneak Attack until higher levels in which martial damage dice is at least 3d6.

The options of many skill tricks provided my character with versatility. I chose Gilded Tongue, Great Fortitude, Mimic, Poison Use, and Unflappable. I further optimized my character with maximum number of skills (Balance, Bluff, Disable Device, Disguise, Gather Rumors, Listen, Search, Sleight of Hand, Sneak, and Spot) and Dexterity score of 18 and dump stat Intelligence score of 8. My character build was almost perfect only lacking enough hit points.

I really like the element that the rogue scheme combined with background and specialty added to my character's effectiveness outside of combat in the session. Jonathon was able to use it to create a good RP opportunity that also got the party headed in the right direction.

The encounter was indicative of my prior assessment of D&D Next in its current form, complete. My only gripe is that the combat balance is heavily reliant on the DM for reflavoring monsters and difficulty. Otherwise, I've always had a great impression of D&D. Actually, I love all editions!

The session was uber-fun! I'm looking forward as well to continuing the one-shot that became a two-shot.

To all that is good and worthwhile.

Thanks for the review guys.
Thank you all for testing and posting!  I love reading what others have experienced.
Well, last night ended up being pretty brutal. Team Hero entered the final battle almost out of spell slots. In the first of the battles, the second of the overall group of three, the barbarian was isolated from the rest of team hero, hit with fairie fire and beaten like a red headed stepchild. The rest of the team was stuck on the roof and a cloud of darkness was dropped on them when they beat up pretty hard on the other female ninja. Things looked bleak for a while as the heroes tried to regroup but finally they fought their way inside and beat everyone down.

Then they descended into the shrine of evil where they succeeded in rescuing the son of the Duke's chancellor at great risk. The wizard used his last spell slot to oneshot the reflavored Cockatrice I used to represent the DC villainess Cheshire (her nuking Qurac being reflavored as having gotten ahold of a bunch of scrolls of meteor swarm and dropping one on a country's capital during market day!). The battle ended with one of the rogues facing off with a reflavored cultist of asmodeus with resistance piercing while a frightened wizard tossed rays of frost from across the room. Every one else was down (some for the second time following the wizard forcing potions down their throats). The dual wielding rogue with his poisoned shortswords managed to pull through in the clutch. 
Wow that was on the edge!

I like your reflavoring...

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I wanted to let you, Jonathan, and everyone who played in your game, know how terrific your feedback was.   I really enjoyed reading everyone's observations, and I think it will only help as WoTC continues developing D&DNext.   I hope they are taking note!

Cheers all.

A Brave Knight of WTF

Thankls guys.