Game Day Report

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Game HQ, OKC

Since I started Encounters at Game HQ, we have added an additional table each season, and this season is no different. We have 5 full tables of players ad a very successful Game Day.


My table actually started their caravan from Baldur's Gate because of backstories. We are playing at the recommended level starting at 2nd and we have:

  • 2 Gnome Mages
  • Gnome Bardsotsc game day 1


    sotsc game day 2


My entire post was exploded. I had a pretty big write up. I think it was because of the images. I'm not rewriting all that... Suffice to say there was a big battle at the gate with raiding gnolls the night they arrived. As you can see, Star Wars minis were used for wagons to maintain realism.

We had two tables of more manageable size for the launch event, a nice change after running LotCS with 7-9 players each week.


I haven't done a full write up yet as I'm going to combine it with this Wednesday's session write up, but in brief:-


  • The players chose to investigate the farmhouse, and found the goblins ransacking the house, though one had hidden inside the scarecrow to keep watch and caught the ranger by surprise.
  • Reaching the town gates they quickly overpowered Gengrel after he shot a refugee, paid for the pregnant couple to stay at the inn for a week and got the tour from Curran.
  • The cleric visited the temple of Chauntea, the rogue won some cash at cards and dice. Next day they visisted the jail, spoke to Sherlen and agreed to investigate Julkoun.
  • Reaching Julkoun the rogue took out the goblin sentries easily and they discovered the hobgoblins in the mill. The cleric set fire to the mill and as the hobgoblins raced out they cut them down.


We played for 3 hours and as all of my players are regular Wednesday attendee's I happily continued past the suggested content of the launch as it would have felt like a very short and to be honest pointless event.


As others have said, I think the Launch Events have become less entertaining since the Vault of the Dracolich, and dont do a lot to entice any new players to continue through to the regular Wednesday sessions.


Though I am loving the setting as I have used the old N5 Under Illefarn adventure as a jumping off point many times in the past and am glad to see Daggerford "back on the map".

"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

And so it begins. The third part of “The Sundering” series of adventures started around the world this weekend with the D&D Encounters Launch Event for Scourge of the Sword Coast. We at Good Games Ballarat had our largest turn-out for some time: fifteen players and three DMs. And we were still missing potential players who couldn’t attend!

All the tables were running D&D Next this time around, which makes moving from table to table a lot easier. Ben and Paul were my co-DMs; they’ve played D&D Next, but I don’t think they’ve DMed that much of it. I’ve DMed a lot of it thanks to the last year or so of D&D Encounters programs.

The session started with character creation. Some of the players chose to maintain their characters from Legacy of the Crystal Shard, or return to their Murder in Baldur’s Gate characters, but there was a lot of character creation going around. I aided as much as I could, and there were a lot of gadgets being handed around with the rules on them (my Surface, other peoples netbooks or iPads), as well as my printed copy of D&D Next playtest rules. At last everyone had the approximation of a character and we could begin.

Scourge of the Sword Coast, like the last two Encounters seasons, has a lot going on. It isn’t written particularly well for Encounters play, as it is quite freeform in nature. There are several plot threads and encounter sites to engage with, and so the order of approach for each table can be quite different, which makes it hard to go between tables. On the other hand, it looks like it is a very good D&D adventure, and so, given we have a high level of stability at our store, it will work very well for us.

My friend Glen joined us for his first game of D&D in… a very long time. He chose to play a ranger, specialising in archery. Tim retained his paladin, Tait and Harry chose to play rogues, and Kalum retained his barbarian. Glen and Tim quickly showed themselves to be strong role-players, which made my job so much easier as the DM. I’m not the strongest natural role-player in the world (my strengths as a DM generally are with story and session structure and rules knowledge), but I can role-play a little, and it gets kicked up a notch when I have good players.

I explained the basics of the adventure set-up to them: Sir Isteval, a renowned knight and ex-adventurer, had called for aid for his town of Daggerford. Apparently the local humanoids were being more restless than normal. My adventurers had met up in Waterdeep, and were travelling with a caravan south to the town. Along the way, they’d picked up several more travellers, including many displaced farmers who had fled their homes due to the attacks. As the adventure began, the caravan came in sight of an abandoned farm, a day’s travel away from Daggerford.

Glen asked me if his character, Calib, knew the area well (his background was as a guide). I decided that this was the case, and so for most of the adventure, the key NPCs tended to know who he was, allowing for quick entry to interaction (parlay!). He set out to scout the grounds, whilst Tait and Harry investigated the house proper. It was quite obvious that it had suffered an attack by humanoids – gnolls, it seemed to be – and there was no sign of the family who had lived here. The attack had taken place a couple of days previously, and only a few food stores and items remained. The caravan master cautiously asked Calib if it would be safe for the caravan to stay the night there. Calib decided it would be, but made certain that enough people were on watch.

Not particularly surprisingly (this is a D&D adventure after all!) the party were attacked during the night – a group of goblins and wolves had come down to loot the place. The goblins were entirely surprised when, after they’d done nothing but set the scarecrow on fire, they were attacked from the house by the adventurers! They quickly recovered and charged into the fray, and inflicted several good blows on their adversaries, but accurate arrow-fire ad sword-play soon saw all the goblins and all but one of the wolves dead. The goblins were carrying a fair amount of gold, which the adventurers pocketed. They were undisturbed for the rest of the night, but it was certain that it just wasn’t gnolls that were causing problems for the settlements around Daggerford!

The next day, the group came to Daggerford proper. It also presented me with a challenge: there’s a lot of information to impart here. The adventure gives quite a bit of advice for the structure of this section, but the pacing for this session was going to be a problem, especially as there wasn’t a big “end” combat to finish the section with. (The best first Encounters session has definitely been the first of Murder at Baldur’s Gate – it was stunning how it worked).

The first indication of the internal problems besetting Daggerford was immediately apparent as the caravan swung round to enter the main gate of the town: the town guard weren’t letting in any of the refugees who were seeking safety. The group discovered when they inquired that the gates had been barred to any who couldn’t pay to get in, with the local lord suspecting everyone as potentially responsible for the theft of a dwarven relic in his keeping. Everyone was nervous and irritable, and the adventurers were particularly drawn to the plight of a pregnant young woman and her husband. Tim and Glen talked to the gate guards, and offered to pay for the young family; the guards were initially reluctant, but they recognised Tim’s paladin from the tales of his good deeds in Legacy of the Crystal Shard and also knew Glen’s ranger from his time in the town, and so eventually allowed the group passage. This angered the rest of the refugees, who surged forward. Glen and Tim calmed down the refugees, but things almost got a lot worse as one of the guards prepared to fire his crossbow at the refugees! Tait’s rogue was the only one to notice, and he was fast enough to act and talk the guard down. The guard seemed quite shaken by his actions, but the group were able to pass into the city.

The group were accompanied into town by Curran, a Halfling devotee of Tymora, who had aided them at the gates. Curran took them on a tour of the town, pointing out a couple of taverns and the shrine to Tymora. He invited them to stay at a gambling tavern, the Lady Luck tavern, but the group preferred the high-class River Shining Tavern, where they also settled the family, Tim’s paladin paying enough for the family to stay for three months!

Dinner at the Inn saw them learning more about the troubles besetting the area: Sir Isteval and his companions had left Daggerford to investigate rumours of gnoll attacks along the Trade Way, there had been no contact with Julkoun for some days, a trade town further along the river, and there were a lot of orcs approaching the grounds of the Floshin Estate. They also met Jekk, a dwarf who had wanted to acquire the “Bloke”, a dwarven relic – indeed, the one that had been stolen – from the Duke. He told them he’d had a copy made by a sculptor in town, and he was leaving to see the dwarves in Firehammer Hold to see what they could tell him about the sculpture. Curran and Jekk were quite friendly, and the adventurers quite liked the rich dwarf.

The next day saw the group resolved to leave the town and go and find some adventure – to Julkoun, in particular. Further investigation in town? No thanks, they just wanted to leave! However, the town wasn’t quite done with them yet. This was the trickiest part of the adventure to run, because the group wanted to leave, but it was quite important to have these events happen. The first thing the group learnt was that the guard at the gate who had almost attacked the refugees, Grengel, had killed himself, and had complained of hearing a voice in his head beforehand. The second was that the Duke was annoyed – he was forcing his guard to search the refugee camp for the dwarven relic. I didn’t take overlong with either, but they did take time – and I was running out of time in the session.

With the group approaching the next adventure site, it felt like time to end it, but we needed just a bit more action. A group of wolf-riding goblins provided that excitement, coming upon the group as they approached the town. This was made more interesting by the fact that Harry and Glen were scouting ahead, and so ended up fighting the goblins before the rest of the group caught up to them. The pair wanted to withdraw back to their friends, but the superior speed of the wolves caught them; they were hard-pressed, but Kalum, Tait and Tim came through the brush and slew the remaining wolves and goblins.

The session ended with the group coming within sight of Julkoun. I described how it looked like it had been recently fortified, with pits of stakes, guards on the walls and suchlike, before ending with the revelation that the guards weren’t human… they were goblins!

That was the first session of the new seasons of D&D Encounters for us. It was a problematic one to run, primarily because of the information overload: so many problems! So many places to investigate! In fact, having so many options is a great thing for the game, and will likely provide a very memorable season of adventures, but it’s hard to present it all in the first session. Not having a Big Damn Combat to round things off with is a disappointment; I probably should have made the last combat a bit bigger if I’d really been thinking about it.

I’m particularly pleased by the role-playing in the session, and I’m really glad to know where the group are – it will make preparation for the next session a lot easier!

So, it’s been an encouraging start for the new seasons of D&D Encounters.

Excellent write up MerricB and a shame that yours took a crap on itself Spykes. Here is my report and I will try to get the pictures of my battle mat uploaded when I get the chance.


A nice and sunny afternoon made for pleasant game day at Fun4All in Ann Arbor, MI. Had a smaller table due to several players not being able to make it due to work and family conflicts. DAMN THEM FOR HAVING REAL LIVES (of course I kid)! When all was said and done we had a table of 6. And excluding a small hiccup in the beginning with table space (that was resolved within 10 minutes) the day went off without any snags.


Meet the Adventurers:

  • Drea – Orcling Barbarian
  • Mike – Half-elf Cleric of Light (switched from Battle, he is still trying to get the hang of Next)
  • Trevor – Highelf Evocationist
  • Derek – Half-orc Fighter (Krug)
  • Rob – Dwarven fighter
  • Tom – Human Cleric of Light


After leaving Icewind Dale the party made their way back to Luskan in hopes that their boat, the Salty Camel, would be ready to sail. Sadly, the group found out that the mast and sail haven't arrived yet (special order from Daggerford since the shipwright made so much money on the inventory that was in the boat). He offered the party 3 ballistic turrets (thus outfitting their ship for ship to ship combat) if they go down and bring the items back via caravan and to make up for not having the boat ready as promised. The adventurers agreed.

When the caravan neared Daggerford the party went and investigated the dilapidated farm. They found most of the clues and determined that it the attack was made by gnolls but they never tried to determine which way they came from. After searching they returned to the caravan for a restful night’s sleep. Or so they thought. After settling down for the night a few of the players that were standing guard noticed a small fire off in the distance at the farm around the area of where the scarecrow was at. After a small discussion with the caravans main guards the group scurried off back toward the farm.


As they approached the farm they were able to pick out a few high pitched, ugly sounded, giggling voices that gave a bit of hit of mischief even if some couldn’t understand the words. Rob was able to quickly discern that the fire starters were goblins, probably to scavenge of the gnolls left overs. Combat began and my dice were HOT (as were the rolls made with this season’s dice by any player) I felt bad in the fact that I was landing about 90% of my hits due getting 16 – 19s nonstop but Krug took the brunt of the damage, and with having Heavy Armor Mastery he gladly soaked the damage from the puny goblins. The fight wasn’t anything too hard for the group but if wasn’t for Krug being a meat shield it may have been a far more dangerous encounter. After a few rounds of goblin bashing the fight was over with (1 got away as it was hidden in a tree and continued to hide as its group was slaughtered). A search of the loot turned up a few coins for the party, a potion of healing (2d8 + 2 HP restored) and tons of small shards of colored glass that the goblins thought were precious gems. Having got their exercise for the day the group went back to the caravan once more to get some rest.


The next day the caravan packed up and reached the gates of Daggerford. As the party approached the gate the scene of the pregnant woman and her husband’s plea for admittance into the city played out. They party didn’t really feel it was their place to interfere with this and choose not to pursue any information. Curran entered then and brought some information to light (as in why people aren’t allowed in and how the woman was clearly in dire need of a good bed), still the party remained silent and watched the scene unfold.


Just as things seemed like they were going nowhere I let the bolt from Grengel fly at Tom, which barely missed him. I also had Grengel drop his crossbow and grab a spear and charge at Tom, which missed as well. Tom attempted to retaliate but against the attack but did not succeed. At that time, Sherlen shouted above the crowd that Grengel should be apprehended as peacefully as possible. Rob took it upon himself to tackle Grengel and severely over powered Grengel and easily took Grengel down. Upon hitting the ground Grengel gave up all fight and began sobbing uncontrollably buried beneath Rob’s beard and went peacefully into captivity.


Sherlen approached the party and apologized for Grengel’s actions and offered them admittance into the city if they could pay for the Hotel (I raised the cost to 10g per day since have a decent amount of gold but explained it comes with all the fancy trimmings). The party agreed and even offered to pay for Anise & Jon’s room, sadly as they did so they realized that Jon was injured during the short uproar. Sherlen accepted the offer and Curran said he would send someone over to look at Jon’s injury once they have settled in a room.


The party prepared to march forward when Krug decided to open his mouth. Krug was unhappy that the group had to pay for rooms after a member of the guard attacked them and attempted to intimidate Sherlen which failed miserably. Sherlen retorted for the party to control their “beast” which lead to another attempt of intimidation which failed once more. The second attempt sounded more forceful and so the guards reacted by raising their crossbows at Krug while Sherlen stared him down. Neither side would budge nor did any of the party attempted to calm Krug. After some time, Rob looked up to the walls and noticed that there was about 30 crossbows all trained on Krug and was able to defuse the situation. Due to Krug’s “thug” trait I let the incident slide with a warning to not let it happen again and to be happy that he is being let in.


From there the story followed the laid out path, with Curran giving the tour and taking them out to Lady Luck. I laid out the adventure hooks and the party invited Jekk over for drinks with them and Curran.


The next morning they meet with Sherlen at the jail and she informed them of Grengel’s unexpected suicide. Tom took the opportunity to use Speak with Dead and as able to communicate with Grengel and get some information but not everything. They know that he was not in control of himself, that “she” told him to do what he did, the command came telepathically and that this was the first time that he had such an intrusion.

After communing with Grengel I played out the other events and allowed the party to gather information on whatever they want. They pursued all the hooks and watched the search of the shanties by Maldwyn but didn’t investigate any of the Natyssa leads and didn’t even find out about her since they felt they got as much as they needed from Grengel himself.

That is where we ended the session. The party will now have to decide how they want to proceed, either adventuring to Harpshield (the table Rico shall run) or Julkoun (the table I shall run).


Thoughts: I really liked the feel of this game day/launch event. It had a good mix of combat and role playing where the LotCS was mainly combat and the MiBG seemed a bit too chaotic and without reason for the players’ liking (although I loved it). Although I would have like to end with something a bit more exciting than lying out the adventure hooks. I am excited to see how the two tables will play out and working with smaller parties for the entire season.


Here is the battle map I made for the farm battle. I had one for Daggerford's gate as well but I erased it before snapping a picture of it.


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