The first session of D&D Encounters has come and gone â€“ weâ€™ve all been introduced to the Yawning Portal and the mission that will take us into the depths of Undermountain. It was great to read through everyoneâ€™s experiences, seeing how we all tackled the adventure differently or where we were all thinking the same thing. All you monks who jumped over the pits and people who were pushed off the bridge know what I'm talking about. Here's a couple of the stories and pictures that really got my attention.
Below is an excerpt and pictureÂ of Alphastream1's (Teos Abadia) experience, found in our own D&D Encounters forum.
I then talked about the setting of Waterdeep and Undermountain at a highÂ level, giving them everyday knowledge. I started them as having heard the rumors and sought each other out - they then could ask questions andÂ make skill checks to learn more. This gave them a way to see that each PC had different strengths and weaknesses, gave nearly everyone a chanceÂ to shine, and no question/skill was a bad one - they would at worstÂ lead to their understanding what skill and PC might have that answer.
The combat went well. The terrain was fun. I used actual tiles on top of 1" blocks so that the raised tiles were actually raised and had a 3-D feel. It wasn't super-stable, but I was happy and it did survive the combat. The players seemed to enjoy it.
Now, Teos has written/designed some adventures before, and itâ€™s obvious heâ€™s got a good head for DMing. You can see his attention to making sure the players have the best possible experience - his efforts to improve the terrain, give the characters some background to the world, the Yawning Portal and Undermountain, touching up the combat to make it more suitable for the party. It was awesome to see the extra work and effort that can be put into such a short session. Awesome job to Teos and everyone else who went the extra mile.
Iâ€™ve touched on the people that went way above and beyond in one way, so letâ€™s talk about on the other end of the spectrum â€“ the ones that dropped in and DMâ€™d at the last minute because there were soooo many interested people. Our very own Chris Tulach organized an event at Uncleâ€™s Games, a gaming store here in Renton, and had so many people (over 40 if I remember correctly) show up that he had to step in as DM and sequester some tables outside the store in the mall proper.
I saw so many stories of DMs grabbing the material at the last minute and running the event smoothly with very little prep. Kudos to everyone who jumped into the DM saddle and ran a great table!
As to player stories, there areÂ too many awesome ones for me to do them justice in this small space. Drop in to twitter and check out #dndenc or check out this conversation on the Wizards site to read over some of those. One of my favorite pictures comes from Johnny Wizard in the D&D Encounters forums, who played D&D Encounters as his first 4th edition D&D experience at Dragonâ€™s Lair West in Omaha, Nebraska:
Look at all those people, playing through the same adventure! Now picture that happening all around the world â€“ everyone sitting down at the same time (roughly) to play through the same encounter! I feel like we all united to take down Waterdeepâ€™s largest group of ruffians.
One of my favorite D&D Encounters stories comes from @Krypt0nian through twitter. Instead of taking out a small chunk, Iâ€™ll just point you to his write up so you can check out the entire thing. There was spell flinging, sword clashing, and damsel rescuing. What more could we ask for?
In the end, I want to thank everyone for coming out and making D&D Encounters such a huge success. But the story has just begun - keep posting and tweeting about your adventures! Keep sending us stories and pictures. We want to hear about the amazing triumph, funny quote, or â€śoh no!â€ť moment you just had.Â