Playtest: B1 Into The Unknown

This thread contains a detailed description of our play sessions followed by After Action Reports on the mechanics.  If you are only interested in our take on the rules then check out this thread instead:

If you want to actually read about our game as well, then read on!

So just so sum up who our group consisted of:

DM: This guy has been playing since basic edition and hated 4e, thought 3.5 was too powergamey.  Favorite past edition was AD&D.

Borin Holderhek: A mountain Dwarf wizard with the disarm traps feat.  Also wears scale mail and wields a hammer.  Played by Me,  I usually end up DMing, but get to play this time.  I run a 3.5e Stormwrack based game every Wednesday night for our group.  I have enjoyed different things about every edition.  If I had to pick one favorite I would say 3.5 below level 15 with heavy restrictions on splat books. 

Yazay: A sturdy halfling cleric of the lightbringer. Played by my wife.  My wife is pretty much new to tabletops, but plays MMOs, she approaches her cleric like a WOW priest.

Oskar:  A Hill Dwarf Barbarian.  Played by a co-worker of mine, has played D&D a bit, plays in the game I run as a rogue.

Lynx:  A human fighter.  Played by the DM's son, he is 16.  He has a little experience with D&D, mostly 2e.

So we started this in the D&D Basic just me and my wife, then when the playtest came out we decided to do the rest of it as the playtest, so I will start there.

Borin and Yazay hired Lynx and Oskar to protect them as they delved the stronghold of a wizard fighter duo who went off to fight in a war and never returned.

First we went into the ruins and a series of magic mouths went off warning us about death to all who enter.  The first time in the Yazay and I had explored the west wing some, so this time we went into the east wing.  Even though I was the wizard I was still in point as I am also the trapper.  The second corner we come around I got hit by a carrion crawler and paralyzed.  Then combat began Lynx struck the monster for a decent amount of damage, as did the barbarian.  Yazay used lance of faith for a bit of damage.  The carrion crawler attacked the fighter, swoard and board with a bastard sword, and missed. This round everybody missed their attacks except Yazay, who used lance of faith again for minor damage.  The Carrion crawler retreated 30 feet, the fighter chased it but missed, the barbarian stayed back to protect the paralyzed wizard, me, and then Yazay finished it off with Lace of Faith again.  After the fight Yazay used cure minor wounds 4 times to heal up Borin.  Then we continued.

Moving down the passagewaywe came to a hallway with 2 doors ahead of us on the left.  As I went up to inspect for traps two humans beserkers burst through the first door.  I cast burning hands on them and immediately ran behind the melee.  This fight was pretty cut and dry, but the beserkers hit HARD.  As with the last fight, Yazay ended it with a Lance of Faith.  This time the party had taken a lot of damage so we used a short rest.  Then we continued through the second door on the right. (N)

After I made sure it was not trapped we entered into a large bedroom.  It clearly had not been used for sometime and the mirror had an inscription that made it clear it was a gift for a lover.  After searching the room we found 2 gemstones and a secret passage.  Proceeding through the secret passage was a hallway...with ANOTHER secret passage.  It opened up into another bedroom, clearly that belonged to the fighter as indicated by 4 tapestries in the room that depicted him and the wizard saving a village and rescuing a woman, presumably the one whose room we just left.  After searching the room we found 2 scrolls of clw, and a mace, which I identified as being +1.  Further search of the room yielded another secret door which took us to a connecting hall that intersected with a previous location. 

Going through a south door we entered into a "throne room" whith many decorative columns.  Inspecting the thrones yielded no results and we went through another door in the room.  Inside of this room was a trophy room with dragonskins, a petrified cockatrice, a strange door with religious symbols, a giant's shield, a barbarian flag with crossed swords, and a dwarven skeleton.  Oh, and 9 kobolds.

So we roll initiative, and I act first.  I step in and cast burning hands, melting 5 of the kobolds right off the bat.  The rest of the party quickly mops up the rest of them.  Yazay uses recall lore to identify the door as having symbols of the goddes of fungus, the barbarian recognizes the flag as being from his tribe and he takes it.  After searching the room Borin finds a hidden bone case with a map and a letter than nobody can read with a yellow eye on it.  Borin recalls fighting some gnolls on his first visit that had drawn a yellow eye on their cloak, and presumes that the language is gnoll.  He takes it with him.  At this point it is getting late IRL and we decide to go loot the tapestries, which the DM said were worth 100 g each, and head back to town.


We all like the Advantage/disadvantage system (A/D).  We feel like it really has the potential to make a big difference in an action's success and makes us care about having the advantage.

At will cantrips.  Love them.  Always having something to do is nice, and I feel like having at will prestidigitation let me roleplay my wiz more (frosting over his mug at the bar and the like).  Yazay liked having lance of faith at will.

Thief skills need clarification the feats specifies that they give thieves tools proficiencies and let you add your skill die, but some does that mean you can use the thieves tools on other things just without the skill die?  This was how we inerpreted it.

Yazay felt like the she did not have alot of choice in combat, but I told here that I thought it was mostly because of how fast the battles were, she never even had to heal in battle.

Skills need to have their descriptions in their own chapter, not with the primary attributes.

Everyone felt that charge being a feat was asinine. 

Couldn't comment on the fighter's abilities as he never used them. 

All in all a short session, but we will be continuing this through to the Temple of Elemental Evil.  I will say that so far we all really like this edition.

To read about my playtest sessions click here:

D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Thief skills need clarification the feats specifies that they give thieves tools proficiencies and let you add your skill die, but some does that mean you can use the thieves tools on other things just without the skill die?  This was how we inerpreted it.

This is correct; proficiency with thieves' tools lets you use them for any task for which they're required, but the feat you use to get proficiency determines which of those tasks you're actually better at.
Thief skills need clarification the feats specifies that they give thieves tools proficiencies and let you add your skill die, but some does that mean you can use the thieves tools on other things just without the skill die?  This was how we inerpreted it.

This is correct; proficiency with thieves' tools lets you use them for any task for which they're required, but the feat you use to get proficiency determines which of those tasks you're actually better at.

Good to know!
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Session 2:

So our intrepid party sold/stored their ill-gotten gains and buries the bones of the dwarven skeleton.  Borin heads to find someone to translate his map and letter.  A sage said he could trvel to another town and pay someone he knew to do it but his fee would be 60g.  The party declined, Borin is going to get Comprehend Languages on his level up anyway...  Back to the dungeon!

The barbarian announced to the DM that we were proceeding to the first intersection, before I could say I was searching for traps.  A trap was triggered, but we all saved.

Continuing through the dungeon, looking for traps, the party returns to where the beserkers were.  We come across a door and since Borin has kinda been dominating the game I let the barbarian break down the door after I verify there are no traps.  He rolls a Nat 20 and completely and uneccesarily demolishes the door.  Inside is an abandoned wood shop.  A quick search of the room reveals nothing of value.

Continuing down the passage we come to a large door with the name Erig on it.  A quick search verifies no traps, and the fighter opens the door.  Inside is a bedchamber with three beserkers sitting around a fire.  The fighter yells "who goes there?!" and they rage up.

Initiative!  Yazay goes first and tired of Lance casts command and tell one foe to drop his weapon.  Aiming to interrogate oneof them Borin casts sleep, and gets the one who dropped his weapon.  Combat ensues and in the process the fighter is reduced to 1 hp, but then healed by Yazay using her channel divinity.  The battle ends quickly, and the sleeper is bound.

Looking around the room yields a +1 shield, given to the fighter who also got the +1 mace, and more importantly a cask of ale, untapped.  Borin proclaims that he taps it.  The DM asks if I have a tap.  I reply that I have an adventurer's kit, and that surely for a dwarf that includes a tap.  He likes it, I tap the keg and Borin and Oskar have some of the ale, which turns out to be a dwarven stout.  I grab a mug from nearby, fill up, and then sit down in front of the tied up beserker.  A short, and fruitless, conversation is had, where it is discovered that the beserker has no tongue, and can not write.  Borin asks the priestess to check on the hall, and then they execute the prisoner.  Onward!

At this point they return to the throne room and open a new door, where they find a statue of the goddess of fungus and a stairwell descending, which they decided to return to later.  Returning to the location of the trap they seethree kobolds run past, a quarrel, a ray of frost, and a lance of faith make short work of them while the barbarian tees up with two more running down the hall.  One of the two is dispatched and Borin calls for the last to surrender, which he does gladly!  A brief questioning of the kobold reveals that they are hearing "the lady's voice" presumably the goddess, and that more of them come everyday and they have been here for 5 days.  They also discover the eye is here symbol.  True to their word the party releases the kobold.

Continuing through the door they ran through the party sees three kobolds destroying an old kitchen.  Casting minor illusion, Borin makes the image of a ghost in the kitchen, and two of them flee out the opposite end of the room.  The remaining one is dropped and the party pursues.  A kobold comes flying out of the room and collides with the hill dwarf barbarian, dying.  Many jokes are made about him having a confirmed kill with his beard.  Into the next room are two troglodytes and a kobold.  Due to line of sight we greatly over anticipated the difficulty of this fight, and used bless, a rage, and a magice missle.  The fight lasted 2 rounds.

In the middle of the room was a statue of a naked human female, which when searched triggered a secret door.  Passing through the door they returned to a previous hall.  There was a door near the fighter's bed chamber that had not been opened yet and we returned there.  Going through we found a room with 14 pools of water, each about 10 feet around, and 5 ft deep.  They were filled with various things.  One of them with a pink liquid that cured wounds, another with wine, one with acid, one with fish, one with an illusion of gold coins.  Nothing was discerned about what to do with them.  Search of the east wall yielded another hidden bedchamber, with a locked desk.  A search revealed a trap, and the drawer was unlocked.  Borin failed to disarm the trap and a green gas filled the room which stank and drove everyone from the room for 3-4 hours, no save. 

At this point the party decided to take a long rest in the pool room, shutting the door and propping up the pilfered mug as an alarm and posting a watch.

After Action:

DM:  Likes the flow of battle, feels the pacing is improved, and really likes the short rest mechanic as it keeps people adventuring longer.  Dislikes the lack of monster balance.  Dislikes unlimited cantrips and feels they are overpowered.  Ranks Next as a 8/10.

Lynx:  Likes the simplicity of the system, felt that character creation was simple, and enjoyed picking backgrounds.  Felt the fights were too easy.  Ranks Next as a 9/10

Oskar:  Likes the A/D system, enjoyed the skill selection, and liked Weapon mastery - he does however feel like it is a little bit OP.  Like the rest of the party feels that combat was too easy.  Ranks Next as a 8/10.

Borin:  Enjoys unlimited cantrips, arcane recovery, the rest mechanics, A/D, and the skill system.  Ranks Next as a 8/10.

So to touch on some of the overlap...

Skill system:  we like it.  Less skills means more assumption your character can just do stuff if it makes sense.  Also, we feel like with a starting die of d6 if you don't have the skill your are not at a huge disadvantage.  Reminds me and the DM of non weapon proficiencies from AD&D.

Cantrips:  What can I say, as the caster I like them.  The DM hates them, but I told him straight up that without them I would not be playing a level 1 wizard.  Even with it cheesed up with scale mail and trap skills. 

Encounter difficulty:  This was the biggest dislike, but...I feel like it may have been more to do with the conversion of a very old module to Next done somewhat on the fly.  We haven't fought anything particularly challenging yet, from a meta or in game perspective, so I am reserving judgement.  I do note that many other posters have had similar problems.

Still enjoying the playtest, and looking forward to some spicier encounters next time we get to play in about two weeks.
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Nice report. I agree with the DM and the players on the ease of combat. This is especially true when the PCs are not overwhelmed by numbers. Once the DM starts using multi-attack creatures or spellcasting foes, or creatures with Area of Effect attacks, it gets much more dangerous. I've been reskinning some monsters (goblins, orcs, kobolds to make witchdoctors and shaman and that can really change the feel of a combat). I'm sure when WoTC works on the monsters they'll add those or standardize a way for DMs to add them when they want to do so.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"


Rhenny's Blog:



Nice report. I agree with the DM and the players on the ease of combat. This is especially true when the PCs are not overwhelmed by numbers. Once the DM starts using multi-attack creatures or spellcasting foes, or creatures with Area of Effect attacks, it gets much more dangerous. I've been reskinning some monsters (goblins, orcs, kobolds to make witchdoctors and shaman and that can really change the feel of a combat). I'm sure when WoTC works on the monsters they'll add those or standardize a way for DMs to add them when they want to do so.

Thanks, Rhenny! 

I can see how minor tweaks in the monsters can make a big difference.  The toughest things we have fought so far were those beserkers, which were only as tough as they were due to the DM letting them rage like a barbarian.

To read about my playtest sessions click here:

D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

So its been a bit but we played on Tuesday.

We continued through dungeon and had some combat with a couple of mobs.  Pretty much more of the same. Found out that the DM, just made the dungeon to familiarize himself with the rules and has dropped alot of hints and in game things about the Temple of elemental Evil.  Tomorrow we will play almost all day and head to the Village of Homlet.

Playtest notes:

Combat:  the DM feels like he has to really beef up enemy stats in order to challenge us in any way, and we are far from a min/maxed group.  For DMs playing with optimized characters I can only imagine how hard it is to balance the encounters.

Spells:  the more we play with the At-will cantrips the less I like not making attack rolls for my spells.  When almost every turn I cast ray of frost I feel like I am doing less, and it also means the DM can fudge the enemies defense easier, which due to the easy encounters I suspect has been happening more.  I think I would rather attack the stat than have them roll saving throws for some spells.

Barbarian:  We dig that he gets to add his CON mod to AC. 
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

So yesterday July 5th, we got together and played for like 8 hours.  The DM's daughter joined us for a session, but she was so busy texting on her phone and listening to music on her headphones that she basically didn't even play.  She's 16, what you gonna do?  Also, his son was at Scout camp, so I NPCed Lynx the fighter.

Anyway, we made all of our purchases and departed for Hommelet.

We time lapsed the month journey and arrived.  After arriving we sought out the Inn of the Welcome Wench.  Entering the tavern Borin approached the innkeep, Ostler, and inquired about the price of the rooms.  One of the open private rooms was equipped for 4 people so after making sure Yazay didn't mind sleeping in the same room as the men, we purchased that for a week, and Borin haggled out a free day.

The party noticed an Asian looking man and a guy with a large maul mean mugging us, and Borin turned and gave them a great big wave with a smile on his face.  Borin ordered a glass a ale, and went to take a bath.  Oskar ordered a 7 course meal for himself, and sat down at a table with Yazay.  Lynx stood in the corner not being played.

While Borin was a away a 6'2" Elven girl approached the party, enter Enna, the Druid played by the DM's daughter.  She briefly inquired as to why we were there, but Yazay being suspicious (and my wife being new to in-character roleplay) decided to wait until Borin returned before volunteering information, and Oskar made it quite apparent that he had only a great enough attention span for his leg of roasted lamb.  Yum!

So Borin cleans up after his bath, braids his beard, and leaves on his scale mail, because his only "clothing" is a robe, and he does not wish to advertise that he is a wizard.  On his way down the innkeeper asks for his help in exposing a cheating gambler named Fendark, in return for 2 months of no rent. Borin says he will consider.  He rejoins the group.

Sitting at the table Borins strikes up a dialogue with the elf.

"And who might you be whom I have never met that invites themself to our table?"

"I'm Enna."

"I'm Borin.  Nice to meet you Anna."


"Whatever, so now again I don't know you, but you have invited yourself to join us...?"

(After consulting her Dad) "I work for Gerue, the druid and he is asking me to keep tabs on travellers."

"I see, we we are travellers, and our affairs are our own Hannah-"




"Whatever. I am curious why your employer is so interested in our business."

(After consulting the DM)  "He's nosy."

(After quite a few laughs out of characters) "Well you are certainly blunt.  The thing is Anya-"


"Yes yes, the thing is, I don't share my business with strangers, so I would appreciate you leaving."
(Enna refuses to vacate the table and now follows a long staring contest, which I do out of character until she says she leaves the table.)

The second the elf leaves a scuffle strts up near Fendark and an angry farmer accuses him of cheating and then storms out of the inn.

 Oskar looks at Borin, "you should not have given the Elf, such a hard time."

Borin scoffs," telling your affairs to strangers is how you get waylaid on the highway, friend."

"You're paranoid."


At this point Borin leans in and tells them about the innkeeper's offer regarding Fendark.  Oskar wants to go intimidate him, Borin proposes that he can use magic to cheat at dice, and possibly expose the gambler, but that after that he will probably need Oskar's intimidation to keep things from getting violent.  Oskar likes this plan.  Borin looks at Yazay "all for the greater good of course!"

Borin and Oskar go and requisition some clothing from the tailor and then the party calls it a night.  At some point a wizard offered his services to the group if we went adventuring, but only in exchange for all the scrolls we found....yeah right!

Next morning we all head down to eat.  After leaving the group the previous day Enna went and reported back to the Druid Gerue on the party and was told to join us somehow.  She approaches us at breakfast and asks to show us around town.  Oskar agrees before Borin can refuse.  Borin turns his frown into a big grin and asks in Anna can come back in two hours, she corrects her name, he brushes her off, and she agrees to come back.

The party heads out and looks for the local stonemason (Borin is a member of the mason's guild and his father was a very successful and influential Guildleader.)  Finding a small Castle under construction Borin looks to see if there is anything in the process that can be improved upon.  The DM responds that he doesn't see anything, though it's not up to Dwarven standards.  The Party spots the Mason giving out orders, and Borin moves closer to the structure to make sure he is viewed while he closely inspects the work.  The Mason hands his papers to his apprentice and heads over "hey you!  What are you doing!"

Borin explains that he is a mason as well and was admiring the fine stonework.  The mason expresses his surprise and asks if Borin knows the secret handshake, but of course!  Pleasantries and trade talk are exchanged and Borin learns that Melbert, the mason, is having problems with his shipments not arriving or being wrong, and suspects banditry and sabotage.  Borin offers to help Melbert, for compensation.  He also asks about the druid Gerue, and Melbert says the druid is a fair enough guy, but that the group should stop in to see Bernie and Rufus, the adventurers who commissioned the castle.  The DM tells Borin that he notices one of the workers paying very close attention to their conversation.

The group returns to the inn and Enna rejoins them. First she takes them to meet Gerue.  Ensues a long, but not funny conversation where the druid asks us to go and undertake a quest for him, and then suggests that we leave a donation to his grove for the needy of the village.  Borin points out, that he sent his acolyte to spy on us, and that when we came to introduce ourselves to the guy spying on us, he offered us a task and then wanted us to pay HIM!  Oskar is similarly outraged, however there is a giant black bear with the druid, so we pay him 6g after arguing about it and leave.

At this point we roll back to the castle to meet the adventurers.  We introduce ourselves, Bernie is a wizard, Rufus appears to be a paladin.  Borin gives Bernie a heads up about the suspicious stoneworker and they agree to go check out the "Moathouse" to clear it of bandits.  Borin also asks Bernie to not tell anybody they are going, and to not advertise that Borin is a wizard.

The Party heads back to the inn to grab their things, and a large man who is clearly drunk greets them.  He introduces himself first as Otis, then as Elmo, and says he heard the party is going to the Moathouse.  Borin frowns at this and who told Elmo this.  Elmo replies that a birdy did.  He offers to grab his big axe and come help if they pay his bar tab (40g) .  Elmo also mentions that his dad is the head of the town militia.  The party agrees to let him accompany them, but they will only pay half his bar tab, and he gets no treasure found.  Elmo agrees.

The party exits the town and heads to the Moathouse!
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

On the way to the moathouse the party passes a bog and 6 giant frogs jump out!

The druid is in the front as a guide and is attacked by a tongue, and the creature starts trying to pull her into its mouth.  A second one attacks Yazay at the back of the group, but Yazay makes her grapple check.

Initiative is rolled, and the barbarian goes first.

Oskar attacks the frog that has the druid, he hits, but the frog does not let go.

Borin steps to the side and thunderwaves two of the frogs, almost killing both.

Yazay uses Sacred Flame, but the creature saves.

Lynx shoots his crossbow at one of the mobs Borins hit and it dies, he reloads his crossbow.

Elmo slices the tongue of the frog attacking Yazay.

The frogs attack!  The druid is snatched up into the frog.  Yazay is bit.Two frogs attack Lynx, but both miss.  The survivng one that was thunderwaved flees.

The druid tried to cut her way out of the frog's mouth with her scimitar.

The barbarian kills the frog that has the druid, and moves to engage another. 

Borin uses Ray of Frost but misses.

Yazay uses Sacred Flame on the frog attacking her, but only deals 1 damage.

Lynx shoots another frog and drops his xbow to pull out his sword and shield.  DM rolls to see if the xbow rolls into the bog, it does not, and I tell him Lynx is going to tie it to a lanyard attached to his belt to prevent that in the future.  Hell that's what we do with M9s!

Elmo finishes off the frog attacking Yazay.

One of the frogs attacking Lynx hits, but he uses an XD to parry it.  The other frog misses.

The druid now free of the frog, attacks another one with her scimitar.

The barbarian kills another frog.

Borin Ray of frosts the remaining frog, which is finished off by Lynx. 

The Party coninues to the moathouse!

Arriving at the Moathouse we see a dilapidated building that is in a serious state of disrepair.  There is a moat, a drawbridge, a courtyard, a tower, and a main building.  Fearing an ambush Borin uses a minor illusion of militia walking up to the bridge to see if there is any reaction from the building.  There is not.

The party crosses the bridge and enters the main building.  We see a large room with a door to the north, and hallways to the west and south.  We head west.  At every door Borin searches for traps, and Oskar opens the door.  In the first room we encounter several giant rats.  They die quickly.  In the next room we see a chest!  Borin heads over to the chest to inspect it.  The DM has me roll a dex save, which I make.  A giant Lizard drops from the ceiling behind Borin and bites him!  Oskar slays the lizard in one hit, but feels his axe collide with something in its stomach.  Borin loots the chest and finds a crossbow and a few coins.  Oskar searches the lizard and finds a magic shield!  Since only Borin and Lynx use shields, and Lynx already has a magic one, Borin takes the shield, after first washng it off.

In the next room there is a cask that possibly has ale or wine!  Borin searches the cieling for lizards.  No lizards.  Borin searches for spiders.  No spiders.   Borin searches for giant insects.  No insects.  Borin searches for bats.  No bats.  Borin walks to the cask and a giant tick falls on him.

(Side bar:  that actually happened.  This was followed by a mild dispute between me - Borin's player - and the DM.  I not only took spot AND search as a skill, but I even specifically said I was searching the ceiling SEVERAL times.  Rather than have me make a skill check he rolled the 50% chance to see the tick that was published in the original adventure, I pointed out that this was in an edition that didn't even have skills, and that there is no point in having skills if we can't use them.  I was irritated.)

Oskar slays the tick.  For the rest of the dungeon Borin furtively looks at the cieling from time to time. The cask has nasty beer in it that is warm.  Yazay suggests borin uses ray of frost on the keg.  Wife of the Year Award!  Unfortunately it is still nasty and Oskar and Borin both spit it out.

We continue to search Moathouse and find a few uninteresting pieces of treasue and slay a few more giant animals.  Until the room with the corpse.

We enter into a large room with a bloated corpse in it and a large whole in the ground.  Enna recognizes it as an adders next.  The party begins discussing how we can get the drop on the snake by dropping burning stuff in its nest.   I hadposted Lynx at the entrance as a watch and he sees a 12ft snake coming down the hallway while the rest of us are talking.  It moves quickly and he attacks it then backs away while yelling out a warning.  We win the init roll and it doesn't survive to make even one attack.  At this point combat has not lasted more than 3 rounds, and most are resolved in one round.

We loot the nest and corpse and find a very expensive dagger, a armor upgrade for the druid and see that the corpse is wearing a black cloak with the yellow eye emblem we kept seeing in the first dungeon.  After a listen check we hear a noise like footsteps or rubble being moved elsewhere in the moathouse.  The only remaining locations are the pantry and the door to the north of the first room.  We head north.

When we get there Oskar hears people talking about getting the treasure and escaping behind the door.  After some brief coordination Oskar rolls break object on the door (24) Borin casts thunderwave into the room 15 damage and ducks behind the doorway.  Oskar rages, and he and lynx run into the room.

In the initial thunderwave Borin killed 4 of the 7 brigands and severely wounded a 5th.

Oskar crits the leader and DEMOLISHES him.

(Side bar:  we were surprised by the changes to crits, I think we preferred crits just doing max damage.  It prevents you from wasting a natural 20 with a 1 for your damage, while still not making it an automatic death sentence for whatever you are fighting if you roll high.)

Borin peeks around the corner and casts Ray of Frost on the guy that is almost dead and finishes him off.  Oskar's player makes a joke about how I'm a battle mage with the highest AC in the party and that I am hiding behind the doorway.  I respond that he has twice my HP and takes half damage from attacks while raging.

Yazay commands the seargent to sit, and Lynx bashes away the brigand's weapon and places his sword at the guy's throat.

Borin goes to tie up the brigand and asks Yazay and Enna to watch the door.  The monk and fighter who were eyeing the party in the inn had snuck up on us and knock Enna out cold, and by knock out I mean 0 HP.  Yazay is by herself with these two guys.

(Side bar:  This was our first experience with the death saves.   Not sure how we feel about it...

Oskar rushes out into the hall and attacks the fighter, and Lynx starts fighting the monk.  Borin is out of spells and Yazay only has two left.

This is where I discover Lynx has interposing shield and weapon mastery.  (Side bar:  Interposing shield is awesome, I'll talk more about it at the summary, but it's pretty boss.)

This fight was rough The fighter had an 18 AC and was tough to hit, not to mention he hit hard.  Oskar got knocked down to below half HP for the first time and Yazay burned her last spells using healing word on Enna and Restore Health (Channel Divinity) on Oskar.  The enemies are hitting us but we just can't seem to hit them.  The druid spent the whole session texting on her phone and never prepared any spells, so she has no CC, healing, or attack stuff prepared and she just keeps swinging her scimitar and missing.  Borin is out of spells, Lynx and Oskar keep missing, and Yazay is almost out of healing.  The monk uses stunning blow on the barbarian, Oskar fails his save.  I have Lynx use interposing shield on the monk, but the DM no crap rolled TWO nat 20s.  He even showed us the roll.  So the only thing keeping us going at this point has been the barb's DR, but now that he can't attack next turn he will lose his rage.  Yazay uses command on the monk, but he saves.  Elmo, who has been mostly useless this whole time, got a good hit on the fighter and then Borin hit with ray of frost and finished him off.  The monk makes a comment about how things are not looking good, and Lynx moves to cut off his escape.  Oskar crits the crap out of the monk and the combat is over. 

In the next hour the party takes a short rest and loots the room, the bodies, and Borin searches the room.  We find various treasure totalling about 200g in value buried under a stone the brigands were digging up.  Borin also finds a secret door.  They follow the secret door down into an small empty room.  Borin searches for secret passages and finds one to the east and one to the west.  Party heads east and comes to a passage where Borin notices a grate that loos like it could fall from the ceiling (think portcullis) so he searches for traps, but finds none.  He tells the party that he suspects a trap, but can not find one, he proposes they head back the other way, and if they encounter something similar they head back to town and return later.  It is late in the day, and the party is depleted of resources.  Literally having one 1st level mage spell, 1 XD, 1 channel divinity, and 1 rage left of their daily resources.  Oskar agrees that they should plan on heading back soon.

Oskar opens the passage that lead west and a giant hand reaches through the door and tries to grab him.   He tries to slam the door shut, but the arm wedges it's elbow into the door to prevent it from being closed.  With the arm trapped in the door Lynx uses his bastard sword with to hands to attack the arm.  I rolled 5 damage, but thanks to weapon mastery it ended up being 12 damage.  The monster smashes the door, knocking away Oskar and strikes Lynx for 11 damage, half his HP.  Ogre time!

At this point out of character we had a real "oh ****" moment.  We have one heal left for the whole party, and this thing just did half our fighter's HP in one attack.  We briefly discussed running, but figured it would catch us anyway since most of the party are dwarf and halfling.

Its next attack was on Oskar, who raged and took the hit pretty well, but unmitigated it would have done 16 damage, enough to kill Borin in one hit.  Borin got it pretty good with burning hands, and Oskar and Lynx both hit it pretty hard, and we ended up dropping it fairly quickly.  We looted its room, notingthat it wore an ill fitting cloak bearing the yellow eye, and high tailed it back to town!

We recieved our EXP, and those of us who were level 2 were only 76 EXP from levelling.  We decided that even though Elmo had helped out a bit in the fight with the monk, next time we would not bring him - after all, we would have levelled if we hadn't brought him! 

End session!
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After Action Report:

CRITICALS:  We were surprised by the changes to crits, I think we preferred crits just doing max damage.  It prevents you from wasting a natural 20 with a 1 for your damage, while still not making it an automatic death sentence for whatever you are fighting if you roll high.

DEATH AND DYING:  This was our first experience with the death saves.   Not sure how we feel about it.  The DM does not like it, in the 3.5 game I run for our group I have houseruled that you die at negative your constitution score and we use the normal 3.5 rules for bleeding out and stabilizing and he prefers that.  I think I like the IDEA of the death save, but having to track three successes and three failures is wierd, not to mention the wording in the packet is kind of bad, does a success take away a failure?  Logically it would seem so, but due to the wording we just went with tracking success and failure seperately.  So not sure what I'd rather see, but I don't really care for this.

Ok...  I don't want to get too heavy into this, but I must wade in some.  Why the heck charge and disarm are feats is beyond me.  When playing Lynx's fighter I was shocked in a way to discover I couldn't do either of these without feats.  This is asinine, and it should change - ESPECIALLY since DDN proposes to make feats optional.  Some feats are awesome, interposing shield is really cool and kinda poweful, especially if combined with combat superiority.  I like that shields are actually good again, BUT these kind of things should be fighter class traits - not feats that are available to everybody.  1. It gives fighters something unique, and 2. this protects fighters from being useless in game's that don't use feats.  I feel the same way about hafted weapon and similar things. 

I liked 3.5e.  I liked AD&D.  I even liked some things about 4e.  I think feats have great potential to be a good addition to the game, BUT some things SHOULD NOT BE FEATS!  Examples:

Disarming Attack
Disarm Traps (and other rogue abilities what about games without feats, which is supposed to be an optional thing?)
Find Familiar (Really? See above comment.)

Bottom line is that right now feats are NOT optional.  If we were to play without feats fighters suck, and rogues are just damage dealers.  This needs to be addressed.

EXPERTISE DICE:  I would rather see this..
If I have four XD...

I make a jump check to jump on to the dragon.  I roll my XD and add it to the check.
The dragon barrel rolls to knock me off, DM demands a STR save.  I roll and add XD to my save.
I stab the dragon where his wing attaches to his back.  I roll and add XD to my attack roll.

The Dragon, unable to fly now is forced to land down by my party.

At one point while levelling I selected a special ability for warriors called warcry.  I spend an XD and give my entire party +1 to attack and damage for the next turn.  Spend 1 XD.

After the fight I can short rest and get back one XD, or long rest and get back all of them.

This lets my warrior be good at all things, as needed, but for short bursts of superhuman capability.  I would let them be used to power certain TOB style moves that mostly focus on controlling the battlefield, temporary buffs/penalties, and in a few cases extra damage.  By default the XD can only be added to skill checks, saves, and attack rolls, not damage - damage bonuses may only come in the form of selected moves.

I am tempted to even houserule this into my games after 5e is published if they leave fighter in the state it is in.

Also, rename the fighter a warrior.

This all I can think of now, but we will have another marathon session Sunday, so I will be back!
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So we went back to the town.  After getting back we clean up and begin to eat dinner.  As we walk in Fernok, the gambler, invites us over to the table for a game.  We decide to play a game of dice and Borin will use prestidigitation to prevent him from cheating.  We walk over and Oskar starts dicing with him while the rest of us eat.  He pushes the pot until its big and then wins.  Borin gets up and walks to the bar while keeping an eye on the table so that he will not be present when he causes Oskar to when.  The other spellcaster comes over and starts talking to Borin.  Borin has gone through great lengths to prevent being found out as a wizard thus far.  While Borin is talking to the other caster Yazay catches Fernok throwing his dice up his sleeve and pulling out new ones.  She casts command on him and tells him to freeze, but Fernok saves.  Borin rushes over, and the party basically agrees to not oust Fernok if he quits swindling people and comes to help them at the moathouse.

The innkeeper asks the party if they have seen the fighter and the monk since they said the party forgot something and left to go return it to them.  Borin remarks that the only things they didn't take were locked in their rooms and it would be most strange if they had any of the party's stuff, but that they had not seen the monk and fighter.  Borin pulls aside Fernok later that night and works out a deal to teach Fernok some magic, if Fernok teaches Borin how to open locks.  They also break into the room of the monk.  After they leave, finding very little, someone sneaking in the hall bolts downstairs and out the front door.  The man was tall.  Borin and Fernok agree the man was probably up to something himself, not watching the two of them.

The next day Oskar goes to work for the smithy for the day, Borin and Yazay sell off what they can of their loots, and the stop in to meet with the cleric at the temple of Cuthbert.  The cleric meets with the party and recognizes Yazay as a cleric of the New Gods (apparently Jaroo, the druid, is a follower of the Old Way and he and the cleric compete for converts.)  After talking for a while the party accepts the cleric's sidequest of retrienving a pin that he lost in the battle of Emery Meadows years ago.  He warns the party that the meadow is full of undead.  Borin gives the cleric a heads up about the army reforming, and the cleric tells them their cannoness has gone missing.  The party assures him they will keep an ear to the ground.

The party decides to wait until the following day before heading out so as not to get stuck out after dark.  Oskar buys a maul to deal with any skeletons, and Yazay prepares holy water.

The next morning the party heads out.

Takes the group about half the day to get there and they make their way down a cliff path over looking the meadow.  The DM tells party that they pass a cave and hear growling from within.  (We opt to keep going since we just want to finish the quest and level - but the DM is not having it!)  A giant bear comes out!  Lynx, NPCed by me, shoots it with his crossbow.  It roars and we hear a rumbling voice in Giant from inside the cave.  "Do you see somebody?"

A hill giant walks out, and Borin promptly magic missiles it in the face.  Combat ensues. 

Oskar charges in and strikes the giant, as does Lynx.  Borin and Yazay both use their cantrips.  Then the giant goes, he swings at Borin - miss!  He swings at Lynx - 11 damage!  Next round goes through about the same, but the giant hits Oskar twice and drops him! (Side bar - we had anticipated a quick fight, so Borin has only used two spell and Oskar was saving his rage.)  Lynx interposes himself between the giant and Oskar's unconcious body. Borin casts Burning Hands, Yazay uses a heal on Oskar, and Lynx parries an attack from the giant.  At the top of the next round Lynxducks through the giant's legs and hamstrings him with deep wounds.  Oskar rages and attacks the giant, The casters use cantrips, The giant attacks the barbarian, but Lynx uses interposing shield.  Next round the melee drop the giant.  MVP for the fight - the fighter.

After looting the cave the DM awards xp - we level!  However the casters can not get their new spells until we go back to town.  I propose that we go back, but the party votes to do a short rest and finish the quest.  Democracy FTW!

After a short rest we descend into the meadow.  After we get down we search around for a bit and the DM asks if we have a way we are going to look for it.  Borin ritual casts detect magic and runs around.  He finds it!  However, after he picks it up undead sprout up all over the field.  Archers open up on the party and Borin gets MESSED UP. 

So to paraphrase hours of combat there were 8 archers, and 32 foot skeletons.  Borin runs back to the party with a hustle and Yazay runs towrds him to heal him, Borin was way out in no man's land.  The party starts getting ripped up by archers who are all too far away to engage and starts running out.  It quickly becomes apparent that we are going to die.  We decide to start using run with the defend option, Oskar rages for the DR and stays behind for two rounds to slow the enemies down.  Lynx bounds back up the path to start clearing it.  When the casters get up on the cliff they step back and drink a healing potion each.  Lynx dispatches a skelly and Borin runs past him and thunderwaves one off of the cliff.  Oskar starts running to catch up with the group and Yazay uses the channel divinity Restore Health.  This whole time the party has been getting shredded by the archers and Oskar has been in melee as well, his DR is the only reason he is still up.  As he gets up on the path Lynx runs ahead and shield bashes a skeleton over the side of the cliff.  In between the rest of the party and Oskar three skeletons climb up onto the path.  Borin runs back and thunderwaves two of them off the cliff and the third smashes against the cliff wall, with Oskar dispatching it as he runs past to maintain his rage.  Finally the party starts running out as a group, the undead in pursuit, and the archers stop shooting. 

After enough of a lead has been gained Borin ties a rope to Oskar and hands the other end to Lynx.  To pull out his corpse if he goes down.  The undead are strung out and Oskar rages and runs to the front of their line.  Between his cleaving and the caster cantrips the party methodically kills the rest of the undead, minus the archers.  The party retreats to the Giant's cave to rest and head back to the town the following morning.
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After Action Report:

Ranged Combat - The archers were frustrating.  Oskar's player definitely felt like running t double our movement should provide some kind of penalty to hit us.  I have mixed feelings, on the one hand that has not been a traditional rule mechanic, but on the other hand even using a firearm it is significantly harder to hit a running target than a stationary one or one that is walking.  If I were the DM I may have imposed disadvantage.

Healing Word - This spell saved the day.  Making this a ranged heal that is a swift action is awesome, even if the amount it heals is fairly small. 

Fighter class - I want to re-emphasize what I said above, the fighter is headed in the right direction, but needs moves past level 11, and needs to allow the adding of XD to non manuevre combat actions.  Though the Barbarian right now is the king of melee.

WIZARD - ok....first I like the current semi-vancian system, I do.  But to never get more than one level 6 spell is CRAP, to never get more than 4 level 1 spells after level 3 is CRAP.  I will never use most of the spells published because I can prepare so few and cast so few.  Other than the number of these and the limited spell selection currently (which I'm sure will be different at release) I like the wizard.

Melee Class "Capstones" - Barbarian's capstone combined with regenerative rage is just stupid.  Monk's making all their stats 20, is just stupid, and while I am on the topic.....

***Attribute increases through levelling:***
Ok.  I get that this is something some people expect now, but its a bad idea.  I think it should be taken out all together, but at the very least it needs to be reduced.  By level 20 you get to many stat increases, and it will lead to all characters being homogenous and never having an advantage for build choices.  Who cares that you have a 20 str?  I have a 20 dex, plus every strength melee guy has 20 str and then either 20 dex or 20 con.  This is a bad design choice in my opinion, I think it should be done away with all together as in AD&D (and this is as a guy who thought that 3.5 was awesome)  it worked in 3.5e because of the scaling math, in a system with Bounded Accuracy it makes all characters mathematically very similar.

Death and Dying - Not having a hard "I die at this number" made reaching 0 hit points more of an inconvenience or irritant than a fear.  When Oskar went down we weren't "worried" we were irritated.  When we almost had a TPK on the skeletons that was much different.  I feel like nobody wants to die, but the threat of death should be there at least.  Just my 2 cents.
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So we woke up the next day to Jaroo's bear watching us from the cave mouth.  After preparing we headed back to town and he followed.  We reached a river and at the place to ford it he began pawing at the water to show us something.  When Lynx investigated he found a wallet.  After questiong the bear (he understood common) we determined he knew who it belonged to and he would take us there.  We followed him up river and came upon a group of river pirates!

Lynx snuck ahead and scouted the camp, reporting that there was about 12 or so.  Borin snuck up within range of a sentry and casted Phantasmal Force.  He made the sentry see half of the pirates turn into demons, and with a yell he began firing his weapon at his comrades.  The bear charged in and Borin caused it to appear as a Solar.  Long story short we killed all the pirates except the one who was magicked, and we convinced him that he had been chosen by the Gods to give up his life of crime and be a holy warrior.  He praised Cuthbert and left to go join the church.  Searching the camp we found a prisoner, the other caster Spunwah (probably misspelling it).  A breif negotiation period revealed that he was a horrible wizard and had nothing to offer by way of thanks.  Borin gave him some spell casting tips and both wizards agreed that Sleep is a crappy spell.  (Side bar - I know some people on this board think it is overpowered, but I have yet to land it more than once.)

With this the party headed back to the town. 

While back in town we sold stuff and returned the cleric's item.  In return he gave Yazay a sweet cudgel that did an extra 2 damage vs. undead, was ghost touch, and let her cast one more level 1 spell a day.   Sweet!  In a parlor room of the tavern Fernok showed Borin a secret room that held a small armory.  With nowhere to sell the stash the party left it, just in case we need to arm the peasants!

We headed out back to the Moathouse, bringing Fernok with us.

When we arrived it was being guarded by a band of gnolls, and we could see at least 10.  (Lynx's player suggested I use phantasmal force again the same way I had last time, but I replied that if I were a DM and I saw a player repeatedly trying to abuse a spell or utilize it the same way I had repeatedly that I would put a stop to it.  The DM laughed and said it was funny the first time but that he felt the same way.)  We opened with scorching ray on a gnoll in the gate's arch and engaged in a ranged standoff battle with the gnolls on the moathouse wall and that came to assist the wounded gnoll.  Eventually a group ran across the drawbridge to assault us but Oskar and some ranged attacks made short work of them.  Borin ran across the bridge and took cover along the wall just outside the courtyard.  The leader of the gnolls ran out to fight Oskar on the drawbridge, leaving his back to Borin.  (I was going to scorching ray him, but the thought of the barbarian soloing the warleader on the drawbridge was prettyawesome, so instead I thunderwaved each group that tried to run out and interfere with the combat.)

We made short work of the remaining gnolls and called it a night!
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

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After Action Report:

For this session I decided that rather than me give my opinion on stuff I took down what the others wanted me to say.  My wife and the DM's son said they didn't have anything to compare it to, so it will just be Oskar's Player and the DM:


 -Feels the barbarian is OP, specifically he feels like the damage reduction in rage is too strong - compunded by the fact that historically rage made you have LOWER defenses.  He thinks an alternative may be to have a flat DR amount equal to your con mod.

- Feels like a 10 ft push on thunderwave is a bit much and should probably only be 5 ft.

- Thinks weapon mastery is OP (we all agree.)  At the least thinks that you should have to select a single weapon for it to apply to.

- Dislikes the monk capstone and feels that the amount of stat increases will cause characters to be samey at high level.


- The HP on monsters is too low and monsters are weak.  Has to beef up monsters or throw a ton of them at us to make combat interesting.

- Does not like unlimited cantrips, particularly for dealing damage.

- Dislikes the lack of spells and low number of spells/day that casters can get at higher level.

- Wishes there were rules giving guidelines for researching spells and creating new ones.  (We expect this will be included at launch however.)

- LIKES the exp balance.  Feels like the XP is handed out and we level at a pace he likes.

Obviously this being a playtest we are emphasizing things we dislike to try and get them changed, but overall we are having a great time with this system.  Game on!
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

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So this session we were able to recruit two new players:

Player one was playing an elven ranger, can't remember his name, the player had played 3.X a few times, but that was it.

Player 2 was brand new!  Never even played an RPG video game before, but a heavy background in fantasy literature.  He ended up playing an elven paladin.

So after we smoke-checked the gnolls two naked elves bound and gagged hopped out of the building.  Borin, fearing it may have been an enemy ploy, called Oskar over to deal with the elves.  They apparently had been part of a caravan headed to Hommolet.  The rest of the caravan was killed, but on account of them being PCs, they were miraculously spared!

Recovering their arms and armor, immediately we began to get peppered by arrows being shot into the courtyard from inside the building.  Boring ran up the stairs and took cover next to the door.  The paladin ran up and took cover on the other side.  A troll runs into the courtyard and starts causing all kinds of mayhem!  The DM rules that only the elves and Borin know about the trolls vulnerability to fire and acid.  The first round progressed with the courtyard party engaging the troll and being shot from the guys inside the building.  A group of 2-3 gnolls exited the building and started meleeing the paladin and Borin.  (Side-bar: the new guys were both level 1 and we were level 3, so **** got real for them pretty fast!)  The following round Borin thunderclaps the gnolls engaging him and the paladin down the stairs.  The paladin had gone incap, but Yazay gets him up with a healing word, and drops a cure wounds on Oskar who, now not able to rage, is taking quite the beating.

The party continues to take fire from inside the building (MOUT: Fatal funnel!) and the troll is tearing people up in the courtyard.  The paladin drops a LOH on himself and Yazay. Borin casts scorching ray on the troll, and the melee are duking it out (unsuccessfully) with the troll and the gnolls that got knocked down the steps.  Oskar chops an arm off of the troll, and immediately after everyone is done cheering his success, then moan in horror as the arm attacks someone!  The leader of the gnolls exits the building and engages the paladin and Borin.

The top of the new round, Borin casts Phantasmal force on the gnoll leader, and makes him see his team betraying him!  The archers start shooting him (1d6 damage/round until he saves) and the troll is turning on him as well!  He fails his save and engages the troll.  Borin shouts for everybody to get out of the courtyard and take cover.  The party coninues to take insane hits, the ranger gets incapped, and Oskar drops to 1 hp.  The only thing keeping the party on their feet at this point is the ranger and Yazay.

The last archer disappears into the rest of the building, presumably to find an ally.  Borin casts a ray of frost at on of the few remaining gnolls, the paladin rolls down to start attacking the troll, and knocks him down with a divine smite.  Yazay throws healing around and the party hears a scream from inside the building.  The gnoll comes running outcovered in a green slime and screaming, and it appears to be melting.  The sound of large movement echoes out of the building. 

Not eager to fight whatever is coming out of the building, Borin yells for everybody to run and starts heading out of the courtyard, stopping by the trolls body, and the arm which is growing into a new troll, to throw a flask of lamp oil on the ground under them and cast burning hands on them!  Troll down, troll arm on fire, but still up!

The new threat does not appear, and the party slowly finishes the arm off.  Needing a place to rest the party asks what the elves saw in the tower they exited.  They said large spider webs and cessicated husks....

The party decided to go post up in an interior room of the moathouse, post a watch, and take a long rest.

End Session!

To read about my playtest sessions click here:

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Session 7:

After Action Report:

Well  this session was ALL combat, and we had two new guys.  The game table was pretty chaotic.  Honestly I missed a whole bunch of stuff other players were doing in my write up, because while they were taking their turns I was helping my friend (the BRAND new guy) understand the game, explaining rules and the like.  As such I can't really give as specific of a review as I usually do.  What I will do instead are simple pros and cons.


-  Combat was fun!  It was quick paced, dangerous, and hectic.  Granted it was only all of those things because it was a back to back battle with a ton of enemies and the Barbarian couldn't rage...but still!  We had fun all the same.  My take away from this is that if Next can get the balance with the enemies right the combat will be in a very good and fun place.


- Actions.  I understand we are trying to keep actions simple: one action, one move, per turn.  The thing is that this results in nothing but hit, hit, hit, spell, battle.  Our DM is pretty cool, and lets us improvise actions on the move and stuff, but it would be nice if the system had something to say about it too.  For example:  When Borin moved, threw the oil flask, and cast burning hands.  Technically that wasn't permissible because of the rules, but the DM allowed it because it was cool.  If the DM had not allowed it it would have simply been burning hands.  I feel like there needs to be some kind of secondary, non "combat" action allowed each round.

New Player:

I asked him how easy it was for him to take it all in and he said it was pretty straight forward.  By the end of the session he really did not need me to explain much, understand where most of his composite numbers were coming from (to hit, damage, etc) and knew what to do on his turn.  To me this is a huge plus.  This guy had never gamed before at all, was a little unsure of the whole thing, came in and got thrown into it all, and now he's a player at our table, and he will be there next week.  This is what it is all about.

See you next week!
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

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sounds fun
Well done, G. We all need to introduce 1 new person to the game and keep the hobby growing. Cheers.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"


Rhenny's Blog:



Thanks for reading, guys!
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

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When we resumed, we found that a strange slimey substance was slowly oozing its way down the hall towards us.  One of the elves squeezed though a narrow window and went out into the courtyard.  The ooze had eaten through the bodies of the gnolls.  He slipped back through the window and reported what he saw. 

Borin exited into the hall and began ray gunning Ray of Frost at the ooze, which shrank away.  Borin proceeds to ray the group a path through and into the pantry.  Once in the pantry the group went down a set of stairs.

In the area below there were more oozes, which were also rayed.  As the party ventured further into the room zombies began to appear.  The melee dealt with them pretty efficiently, but every round two more would appear. Borin noticed a a letter pinned to one of the zombies which warned the group against further incursion.  Yazay used her Light of Heaven ability and did a sizable amount of AOE damage to the mob.  After the group finished the zombies they pushed into the next space and found several empty cells.

In the room with the cells there was a torture chamber.  There was a trail of blood and Borin found a hidden door.  (At this point due to the majority of the party not having darkvision there are torches being thrown around all over the place....)  the hidden door opened a piller with a ladderwell leading into a tunnel.  Borin sent his familiar (an owl to scout the passage and the group proceeded.  The paladin and the barbarian rolled out to check the end of the passage.

They got to the end and found some catacombs, the paladin immediately went back to get the group, and the barbarian was attacked by 4 ghouls!  The barbarian yells for the group to hurry and backs into a corridor toprevent them from mobbing him.

The group catches up to find the barbarian paralyzed and being gnawed on.  Yazay uses Light of Heaven, and Borin uses burning hands.  The melee quickly finish them off.

In this room the group also sees a burrowed tunnel, but it is very small.  Borin sends in his familiar again and it becomes apparent that it is a maze of tunnels that would be a deathtrap to the party.  The group destroys the tunnel entrance and Borin freezes it.

Heading back to another passage inthe zombie room, the dwarves realize that at a fork the path to the right slopes down, upon further investigation there is the sound of rushing water.  Enter the Owl!  The owl shows there is an unfinished well and a giant crayfish in it.

One of the party runs down the stairs and into the room and lures it back up the stairs by splashing the well.  The party easily kills it on the stairs.  In the well there are a few items and after Oscar swims around he discovers some scrolls, money, a longsword and some valuable trinkets.

The party heads back through the other passage way. and finds a fork the party goes straight as opposed to left.

Oskar kicks a door off its hinges into the room, announcing the party's presence to whatever is there.  The party sees a hallway opposite them and a passageway obscured by a tattered tarp.  The party hears movement on the other side of the tarp.  Oskar goes to investigate and several javelins fly through the tarp at him!  Bugbears!

TBH I don't remember all the little details of this fight.  I remember Yazay doing alot of healing, Lynx doing alot of interposing shield, and Borin using a thunderwave after the party lured the bugbears into our room.  It was late and the ranger's player had some wife aggro about how late we ran.

XP reward was disappointing with so many people.
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Session 8:

After Action Report:

With how late we ran I didn't get time to ask the new guys about their impressions.  Hopefull next session I will.

One thing I am noticing is that the only thing keeping me and the cleric in the game is her swift heal, and my cantrips and rituals.  If I didn't have those then I would have either utility or offense, but not both.  The cleric's swift heal allows her to keep up with the incoming damage from multiple sources alot easier.

Also, every session we play we like the rest mechanic more and more, it lets us keep pushing on the game, and less time actually "managing" the game.

Anyway, short report this time, I'll make up for it on the next one.
To read about my playtest sessions click here:

D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

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