We once again had 2 session this week but for a change both were surprisingly similar. Both groups took considerable damage from the pair of trolls in the introduction to Nesme but they also came up with ways of making sure they did fire damage every round to ensure that the trolls didnt regenerate.
Once inside the town they set about bolstering the defenses, following tips from one of the DM’s forums I reduced the number of days to 5 to increase the sense of urgency. Both deciding that flaming catapults were an essential and restoring order to the fabled Riders of Nesme as a good idea (though each group had different success at this particular task). Wen it came to driving the darkness back to aid the sharpshooters the first group succeeded with use of the wand but the second having failed to retrieve it had to find other ways (using Garl’s poppet). Both groups also chose to aid in training the militia and improving their morale, again with success.
The main difference came with reconning the troll horde. The first group sent out their elven ranger who spent his five days gathering as much information as he could, appearing as nothing more than a shadow amongst the wilderness. The second group didnt devote as much time to this but did send out two seperate heroes to gather information, one succeeding but the other getting spotted and chased by ravenous trolls – rather than play out the fight I had already decided that any scouts that got caught would take two surges worth of damage between them, but as the player had chosen to go alone this immediately bloodied him. On his return to Nesme he was allowed tobe healed by the party using their healing powers but they were made aware that, as with all sessions this season, encounter powers would not be refreshed.
The troll hordes attacked and the heroes bolstered defences were put to the test. Both groups were called upon to tackle a break-through group of trolls that had entered the city. The first group electing to send their dwarven slayer into melee while the rest of them climbed onto roof tops and rained death from above. The second group fared better than expected as the dragonborn hexblade had saved his dailies and almost dropped a troll singlehanded in the first round. Again both groups had taken steps to ensure fire damage was inflicted every round but the fights were still took a toll before victory was theirs.
I did like the battle value mechanic and although not being a huge fan of skill challenges in general thought that this one really fit the situation and worked well to resolve a large scale conflict while still giving the players a felling that their contributions made a difference.
I was very happy that the second group had a succesful session, especially as with the last couple of sessions ending in failure and defeat it gave their confidence a bit of a boost. With only two sesssions of the season left to go, the fate of this corner of the realms truly rests in their hands.
"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)
It's not a party till the screaming starts!