Session 5 Field Report

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Posted to my blog.

I really enjoyed the party portion of the session. One of the other, more experienced players and I did a little too much "bunnying" of other PCs-- we are both prone to it and need to be careful to avoid doing that. We were careful to ask "do you mind some advice," but ultimately, we both need to sit back and say "no, it's cool-- we can survive tactics that we don't particularly agree with, too."

This was a fun session, the impromptu party (to disguise the skill challenge/trap) and subsequent fight in the close confines of the basement made for an interesting session with my players trying some heroic improvised moves which as they suited the situation we ran with and felt they really enhanced the action.

Looking forward to the few surprises next week as they go back to the Temple of the Lawbringer, they want answers!

"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

Field report for D&D Encounters: Against the Cult of Chaos (Week 5) now available at Dungeon's

We had a party of 7 this week as the numbers at our FLGS continue to swell (a good sign). The party fought in the cellar of the Golden Grain Inn last week so this week they followed the secret passage to the Temple of the Lawbringer. Minimal role-playing at the church, they pretty much just ran headlong into combat. No one died but a few came close. I managed to divide the party into 3 groups which made things a lot more interesting.

We discuss the ups and downs, what worked and what didn’t in this week’s Recounting Encounters Podcast (also available through iTunes). 

Visit the Dungeon’s Master D&D Encounters Archive for all of our ongoing weekly coverage as well as actual play podcasts and pre-generated characters.

Visit Dungeon's – The D&D Resource Blog For DMs and Players.
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My group in northern Wisconsin played encounter session 6 today. Due to a magic tournament we couldn't do two sessions to make up for not playing next week or easter week.

The party started in the basement of the church. They searched the area and found a steel plated metal sheet which they knew opened into the tunnels under the city. Because our hybrid warlord/rune priest was not present today, he volunteered to take the prisoners through the tunnels up into the town. He begrudgingly handed over the chaos blade on his way through. Without a healer in the group this session the party healed up as they could and recited the teleportation phrase. They found themselves in a tunnel that led to an underground lake. In the distance they could hear crying and screams of terror. They also saw a raft that could fit the five of them. The paladin decided to use his slippers of water walking to walk alongside the raft. The barbarian rowed his way across while the sunrod in the raft's center lit the way.

As they rowed toward the center of the map the bladesinger sensed that the water (which should have beent waveless) was ungulating more than it should be. Something was definitely up, but with the water being brackish, he couldn't figure out why. At the end of the second round, the party spotted a horse sized snake with the head of a human female surrounded by over a dozen manacled Hommel Lane prisoners. Two of them looked more closely at the prisoners and spotted a humanoid that looked like a toad trying to keep hidden. They did not immediately tell the others.

At this point I called for initiative. The barbarian rolled very well and went first. The raft was five squares from land so he rolled an athletics check to move the raft again over moving the raft 3 squares. He then moved to the rear of the raft and run-jumped to shore barely making it. The male witch went next. He announced he was going to use a daily to hit the naga with a power that would do auto damage to everyone adjacent. The rest of the players told him he was not going to kill innocents so he chose to use arc lightning and missed. The naga went next. He shot a ray of poison at the ranged rogue in the party and hit him for damage and pushed him to the rear of the raft. The naga then met his gaze and dominated him. The bladesinger moved next, teleporting himself and the witch to the shore right next to the priest. He then attacked the priest and damaged him for 1/4 of his hit points. The wight then moved through the water and clawed up at the paladin (still floating above the water) and missed him. I used a lizard folk piece to stay with the LIZARD GOD theme. The paladin then went and moved to the land, taking an opp attack and getting hit (10 damage and another surge lost (6 in two weeks and no surges left.) He then attacked the priest using holy smite and  putting him under an aura effect. The priest went but he was basically surrounded by three of the party. He attacked with a poison burst missing all the party, killing one minion, and damaging Cannoness. The brief contact with the poison did impede the three party members who now had ongoing 5 poison damage. To end the round the rogue aimed his bow at the paladin and attacked him missing. He rolled a save and succeeded.

Round two of the fight opened with the barbarian moving up to the naga to attack. He hit him for 24 damage and giving himself some temps from the sword. The witch took five damage and went nearly bloodied (20 hp is not much for a witch). He shifted one square and targeted the priest and naga with arc lightning. He hit the priest but failed to touch the naga due to the prisoners getting in the way. He action pointed and did it again but failed to hit anyone. He then failed to save on the poison. The naga went next. She flicked her tail and struck the barbarian pushing him far away and slowing him. She followed up with a gaze attack and put the barbarian under her control. She then action pointed  and poison blasted the area around the priest missing his ally and the rest of the three party members because I rolled very badly. They still took 13 damage apiece due to the bladesinger having played his Spellplague surge card again. All three of the pc's went bloodied. The Canonness went next. She spoke words to her god and magically healed the bladesinger who was now out of healing surges. With no cleric in the party I allowed the Canonness to do an extra 2 points and I also gave her a close burst two from the target 3 free hit points and a save partially healing three more pc's but the saves did not work due to bad die rolls again. The bladesinger attacked the priest and missed thereby ending the Spellplagued card but he did play a card giving all allies within 5 of him 4 temporary hit points. He chose to give all prisoners the temps too. The wight then went. The paladin had moved away so it climbed up onto the raft where the rogue was. The rogue tried to punch it but failed. It attacked the rogue and rolled an 18 missing by 1. The paladin again attacked the priest but missed badly getting only a total of 12. He announced that he was going to use his heroic effort to up it but again the party yelled at him telling him of the foolishness of it (the priest was wearing chain and holding a shield.) He chose not to heroic effort and instead just kept the aura up. The evil priest wanted to attack Canonness but couldn't due to the aura and him only having 6 hp. He attacked the paladin and hit for 11 and ongoing 5 poison. The paladin was kind of pissed since he had literally just saved from the naga's ongoing poison damage. The rogue jumped in the water, swam to shore using a rogue trick, stood up and attacked the priest downing him.

Round 3 was the gang up on the naga round. The barbarian (dominated) charged the rogue who just came on shore. He missed and then missed both his slow save and his dominant save. The witch attacked again with arc lightning hitting the naga and missing the wight on the raft. The naga failed his recharge so he used his ranged attack to hit the bladesinger, slowing the bladesinger and dropping him unconscious. He did the same thing again to the witch but missed. I did not choose to use a 2nd minor dominate this round but I could have. The power should be stated that it can only dominate one party member at a time. The wight crawled up on shore and struck the barbarian critting him and taking 2 of his surges. The Canonness then healed the paladin healing him with his last surge and giving all within 2 the extra hit points bringing the bladesinger up. The bladesinger stood up, attacked the naga and then hit the paladin ally for 4 and slid him next to the naga. . The paladin, now next to the naga, attacked and hit for some damage. As he saved from the poison effects, he told the party that he was going down. The rogue did a move and attacked the naga with backstabber doing 28 damage and putting it bloodied.

Round 4 began with the barbarian charging again since no one was adjacent to him. This time he charged the bladesinger and again missed. He rolled his saves and made them both. The witch went again targeting the naga and the wight hitting only the naga again. The naga went this time dominating the paladin too and hitting once with his tail. The bladesinger missed and moved away from the naga slowly. The wight attacked the bladesinger and hit doing 9 damage and a surge. Since the bladesinger had no surges left, he took his bloodied hitpoints in damage and went to -7. The paladin attacked the rogue and missed but he made his save against both slowed and dominated. The rogue again attacked the naga and did more damage but not enough to drop him.

Round 5 began with the barbarian attacking again the wight finally doing damage to the wight. The witch did arc lightning yet again and hit both of them finally putting the naga down. With that over the dominate ended. Everyone ganged up on the wight taking it out shortly thereafter. The rogue picked the canonness' manacles which freed her to do a heal check on the bladesinger to stabilize him. I allowed her to "heal" the bladesinger back to positive hit points even though he didn't have any surges. The party searched the area and found the crown and the red hat. They rowed the survivors back to the other side of the chamber and took a side passage.

The party then entered the skill challenge. As they followed a passage up to the surface, they spotted a large crack in the ceiling that might save them time getting home. The thief used dungeoneering and climbed up through it. He then dropped a rope down and everyone climbed up. They followed a new tunnel and then bad luck struck again. The party heard some weird noises from the rock above them. The bladesinger tried making a dungeoneering check to see what was up and failed with a 10. The ceiling started to come down hitting him for a surge of damage and killing a civilian. With no surges left, he took his bloodied value in hp and went down again. (He was carried the rest of the way out.) The next event I rolled was the rocks falling down so I kept the ceiling theme collapse idea going, only resolving it when they succeeded on the check. The barbarian tried to catch some large rocks but failed rolling a 4. Another civilian died and he took his last healing surge in damage. The latest rock fall had release swamp gas into the hallway. The witch sensed this using dungeoneering and got everyone out of the area fast. Racing down the passage, they suddenly felt a side wall give out and water rushed in pushing two civilians toward a sinkhole. The paladin acted very fast and tried to make an endurance check to swim down and save them. He failed, one civilian died and he lost his bloodied value in hit points barely being still alive. Finally, the party came to a split in the tunnel and they had to choose a path. They chose correctly and exited onto the surface. Bloodied and near death, they traveled the four hours to the city and spent the night at Wyndell's house. Even though they had succeeded, the Hommel Lane people were upset at the loss of life. The evening ended with the group having no clue what was to come next.
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