12 months ago ::
Jun 07, 2012 - 9:24AM
Dec 20, 2011
Well first of all I will point out that this was me and a friend testing with me as DM and him playing all the characters. And off the bat I'm impressed that controlling 5 players can still run smooth and quick.
I set the scene describing a town besieged by bandits from the hills and rumours of a dark power and he immediately decided to set out to the area. Searching for the entrance brought them to the kobolds lair by chance when the rogue rolled a 20 (only the rogue was rolling as he was bragging about being able to find anything earlier so it was left to him) which in the spirit of things thematically worked perfectly, however perhaps add a background where highest abil modifier bonus rather than wis bonus goes to searching so if you really want that as a core skill you dont just get overlooked.
All players entered straight away and we ended up with three players in the pit straight away, but it was quickly opened and wedged open with a bundle of the nearby planks. The kobolds threw themselves at the party and fell in pretty short order, without time to retreat and the chieftan was taken captive (well actually the chieftan was beaten to 1hp while it was crying in the corner until the cleric stepped in and tried to befriend him) and he made a deal to allow the players safe harbour in their cave if they stayed their weapons and kept their promise to clear out the darkness in the other caves.
Bad planning on my part lead to me explaining how some kobold scouts had seen a dark ritual at an alter higher inside the mountain. To which the party demanded to know exactly where, planning to cut off the head so the rest wouldn't be an issue.
Straight to entrance K...
The party took this part of the game head on charging in, wiping out the young acolytes with only a few minor scrapes, other than the fighter who soldiered on with 8hp. Heading straight to the cultists who used command on the first party members to get close, causing a bit of mayhem with a crit melee basic on the wizard, but a few potions and some improvised shield slams pushing cultists into the fire pit left everyone with barely any life left in them.
After a night in town the players came back they moved to the altar room and tried to destroy the relics sensing the evil present within and as they burned the wares (to no effect) and hearing a deep ringing sound vibrate through the halls. I knew what was coming and how underprepared they were, albeit their choice I let them hear the footsteps a little earlier than they should have and their choice was to make the room with the fire pit defensible, leading to a prolonged battle with no chance of escape...
... they won...
It was close fought, players were wounded regularly but good use of the defender cleric and turn undead kept most of them alive long enough to hold out.
I skipped over a lot here and did this quick as im not wholly keen on walls of text. As for what I thought.
First of all, the speed of the game.
We spent six hours playing and got though six combat encounters, some roleplay and quest research in town as well as a while spent gleaming information from the kobolds, as well as breaks being common place for us for food and whatnot, overall we got FAR more done than we would have in our usual games (4e) with four players. This was a huge plus as hopefully it will avoid those games where you feel you havent made any progression at all however it will also put a bit more strain on the DMs to plan a bit further ahead.
The few I got to handle in that session had rather uniform attacks and stats which made most of the combat quite smooth, the disadvantage on attacks was quite a burden to bypass but with the low intelligence of a lot of the creatures it made sense. The basic magic of the cultists was fun but not OP with the 2/day with several options (so not all casters will fall into the same attack pattern which I found to happen subconciously in 4e). Some of the monsters were a little tough to hit but ill put that down to basic equipment against tougher enemies.
Poor guy, there seemed to be almost no point in using melee attacks and the sling had issues with range in some of the more cramped corridoors. As for stealth, as an action it seemed to just waste time for a potential sub par ammount of damage.
I've heard a lot of people complaining about the wizard but shocking grasp was the ability of our game, lots of the tougher foes were finally brought down by it, and the cantrips arent too powerful which is a good sign for me. I always felt the mage should be spike damage, rogues should be smaller spikes but more often and fighters just a stream of damage at a good level.
Anyone else find the fighter as slayer OP for the playtest? 2d6 damage, guaranteed 3 damage on a miss, good to hit bonus as well as good AC / health when he gets some new armour. He hit hard and often
Cleric / Pelor
Bit underpowered in healing but we can see at level 3 that takes a huge turn around and we have been promised more potent healing with levels. The potential for fighting was there but he didnt want to risk "the healer". Seemed a bit bland.
Cleric / Moradin
Definately a good showcase of the defender powers. A solid defender power wise, though defenses needed shoring up (but thats the players job) but I think a second fighter as defender would have been better.
Overall it was fast and still fun, we had a few gripes and made some makeshift houserules to bypass them but over all four thumbs up. Main issue was the lack of AoO... it sped up the game but it made the tougher characters feel a bit redundant at times. As a quick fix I just made readied melee attacks prevent all further movement after a hit.