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Into Icewind Dale!


Problems with couriers meant that the delivery my FLGS should have received of the Launch Event kit still hadn't arrived on the Friday before the event... yes, the one on the next day. This was something of a problem for running it. I got extremely frustrated and a quite a bit angry and vented about it on EN World and Twitter. I calmed down quite a bit after several really good people at Wizards (Trevor Kidd, Mike Mearls, Greg Bisland and others) got in contact with me and sent me a pdf of the adventure. 


This allowed me to, at least, read the adventure before I ran it, give a copy to the other DM at the store, and find the miniatures I needed to run it all. Hooray!


Meanwhile, Mark, the owner of my FLGS, was frantically calling about trying to find a copy of the adventure; he was prepared to do a 4-hour trip (there and back) to Melbourne or Geelong if he could find one, but no luck. He was relieved when I told him that I had an electronic of the adventure, but he still tried to get a hardcopy of the adventure.


And then, at about 11 am, the courier decided that he'd deliver the adventure after all. Six hours before the event got underway. Mark was relieved. I was very happy - I'd have the map for the big encounter at the end of the adventure. And thanks to Trevor, Mike and the other good people at Wizards, I knew what miniatures I needed for the adventure.


Still, it was a huge amount more stressful than it should have been. My (likely flawed) understanding of the timeline is that the adventure arrived in Australia on the Monday, it was sent by the distributor to my FLGS on the Tuesday, and the courier finally got around to delivering it on the Saturday. All too close for comfort.


Legacy of Icewind Dale Launch Event - first encounter

Attack of the Snow Cat!


I picked up a second set of the Caverns of Icewind Dale dungeon tiles to help me with the icy wilderness we were sure to encounter, and we were away! As to what occurred in the session... I'll get back to that.




Just a follow-up on the courier: their Ballarat office was closed on the Saturday (and in Mark's experience, they don't deliver on Saturday). The fact we did actually get a copy of the adventure was a great surprise to Mark - he thought it was hopeless.



I feel your stress, as I'll be driving all over town today hoping to find the actual adventure for tomorrow's Encounters. Our main supplier closes on Sundays and Tuesday and doesn't receive his truck until Thursday. The place isn't a fully sanctioned FLGS, but does Magic tournaments on Fridays, which helps me not at all lol. Wish me luck! Most of the bookstores here probably only ordered one copy!

My store had a similar problem last season when they sent multiple copies of the encounters packet and we did not get the launch weekend packet until an hour before the start time. Thankfully, it was in the old encounters format and easy to run on the fly. This season my store guy missed the deadline for the Launch Weekend and the guy at the store yesterday said they did not have the campaign guide. I work 16 hours today and I won't be able to go to the store until I have to run the game tomorrow. I was planning on using the session for character building and session one so I am going to try to pull together all the info I can from previews, playtest docs, and LW recaps to cobble something together at work today. I would love to have a look at the Launch Weekend packet so I can use that but there is no way to get access to it.

Write up of how our launch event went is here.


Looking forward to how this season plays out.

"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

Nice write up Vob! I always meant to do one but always slipped my mind. Now that it is the beginning of the next season what better time to start.


First, here is a bit of background of my group. My table is fair large (normally 6-8 players), and only 1 DM with 1 season + a few events worth of experience (myself). Nobody has any real interest in running a second table, and I am fine with that. I have finally got use to working with the large group and things are settling nicely. The group has also started RPing a bit and they have actually got into some pretty spirited debates since there are a lot of different minds in play. I gave the group a decision of continuing with their MiBG characters starting at level 4, making a new character at level 4 or the group starting from scratch. All opted to continue their characters minus one who’s character caused some dissension in the group.


                The event started off with the 4 players and my bard (an NPC that I roll each turn to see how he acts and how helpful he will be to the players) picking a spot of the caravan and explaining what their character was doing. The two heavy hitters (fighter & barbarian) stuck in the middle; we had a Cleric of War & Cleric of Light in the back and a rogue up front (I know that is 5 PCs and only 4 players, one player called and said he was on his way). I put the bard in lead train sitting and talking with caravan leader (name escapes me at this time) to learn more about IWD and so that he couldn’t easily make it into combat. Only 1 of the PCs opted to say they were just being lazy (our barbarian) so I had those paying attention roll perception checks for the cat that was ready to pounce. The rogue was the only person to make the check but was too far to do anything so he started to run toward the cat and warning the caravan while the great cat leapt and took down a guard.


                Combat was on with and the party didn’t hold back. The Cleric of War burned through 3 uses of his extra attack and 2 level 1 spells (a heal and Divine Favor) and the Cleric of Light used scorching ray just to miss with all 3 beams. The fighter landed an amazing shot with his javelin as he was running in (nearly max distance with disadvantage and partial cover) and the barbarian used up a use of Rage. The rogue did not attempt to assist in the combat and instead tried to settle down some horses that were getting a bit out of hand due to the appearance of the cat, only to fail 3 turns in a row (a 2, 2 & 3) which made the draft horses even more frantic and ended up kicking him. The bard, being a small halfling and only his first time out on an adventure decided it might be for the best that he hides in the cart in case there are more around. With everyone using spells & abilities it didn’t take the group long to conquer the cat. As the cat tried to get away the fighter got an OA on it and demolished it, causing the cat to fly head-first into the embankment it was trying to jump onto.

                After the group calmed down and realized that no more cats would be threatening the group (at least that the know of) the hard the caravan leader stating that they were going to leave the cart that was tipped over and any fallen goods and would come back in the for them when they can. This didn’t settle to well with the group, they signed on to get the caravan to Bryn Shander and that is what the mean to do! The fighter & barbarian, not thinking, tried to upright the cart by themselves and failed while the rogue used leverage of debris that was lying around to lift it, brains of brawn. After that the group split up and each member took on an activity (they actually got all the suggested tasks without any input from me) and succeeded in each task easily on the first attempt. They completed the tasks so well, and pushed the forward hard that they caught up to the end of the caravan just as it was nearing the gates


                Then trouble struck once more. With the excitement of nearing the gate and the increasing snowfall nobody was able to notice the group of yeti charging toward Bryn Shander. Two of the yeti stormed right up the towers without being attacked and were able to make it up top without issue, quickly dispatching the guards that were up top. The fighter, barbarian & cleric of war all turned to face the other yeti pressing the caravan while the cleric of life, rogue & bard made for the gate. Once at the gate they noticed that the groups Mage finally woke up from his heavy slumber and was a bit confused on what is going on (had another late player join, said he was sleeping in the back of one of the wagons) but ready to help his friends get in safely. The yeti proved to be tougher opponents than they originally thought they would be so the 3 outside the gates tactically backed up toward the gate, but not inside it.


                One yeti that was atop the tower climbed down into town and pressed on the party that was inside while a group of guards charged up the other tower to avenge their comrade who was just thrown off the top of the tower and into the town. With the combat continued pretty uneventful with the party using resources like they were candy until the last of the caravan was approaching the gate and a fully matured yeti appeared. When the large yeti appeared the only person outside the gates was the barbarian (who was still 1 on 1ing a young yeti), everyone else was either just inside the gate or up along the walls & towers. The large yeti completely ignored the barbarian and charge for the gate and took up a “defensive” position so that the gate could not be closed. The fighter, who is a few cents off of having 2 cents, thought it would be a grand idea to leap off the 40’ tower and charge toward the massive yeti (he wasn’t bright enough to figure out he could have climbed down 10’ and jumped from the walkway onto the yeti). He actually survived!  I rolled all the damage for the fall which was about ½ of his HP but he was still alive and kicked, he even made the ridiculously hard check I hard in place to not break limbs or fall flat on his face. He grabbed his 2 handed sword and chopped at the yeti, but the yeti didn’t drop. Instead it swatted him twice and grabbed him like he was a ragdoll.


                With their dimwitted friend in great peril the group pulled out what little resources they had left, luckily for the fighter, one of them was a scorching ray. The beast, as big as he was, didn’t last long. The fighter even managed to break the yeti’s grasp on him only to have the yeti die right as he broke free. Unfortunately, our dimwitted friend got the reward of the dying yeti’s last meal covering him as symbol of his courage. The group quickly pulled the large yeti into the gates and backed away from their awful smelling partner. The rogue, not thinking, closed the doors with the barbarian still outside fighting a yeti. The barbarian survived, but none are sure how the yeti she was fighting was finally dispatched since the doors were closed. With the polite knock of a sharp 2 handed axe slamming against the door they let the barbarian into the town.


                The group glanced around and took in all the chaos and destruction that had happened so quickly with shock. They hard guards complain, and vendors cry but it was the plea of a dwarf that hit home with them. The group has now signed up for assisting a female dwarf get to the dwarven home in IWD, and luckily they will have a few days rest while she sells her wares before the move on.


                And that is where we will continue on Wednesday. Honestly, the group really enjoyed the scenario, although I found the combat to be a bit boring with all the monsters being the same. Still, had fun with it and am looking forward to tomorrow!


Excellent write up SublimeBW. Look forard to reading more of your groups exploits. I'd be tempted to have your NPC Bard playing cheesey action music in the background when he's not actively taking part. I did this in the opening fight for the Storm over Neverwinter season and it was great fun.

"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

Funny you mention that, I had Alden (my bard) going to town with the snare drum standing at the gates with the first push of the yetis (i actually did a little beat on the table for it too), give the party a bit of the damage boost for the first "stage"  in hopes they wouldn't blow all their resources off the bat then he stopped went to a less helpful mod of hand cross bowing when the group spread out to get battle all the yetis.

My store didnt get stuff for launch weekend, They just got the module pack today.

We were lucky enough to get our copies of the Launch Event materials on the Tuesday before. My problem is that we still have not received the Encounters books as of close of business on Tuesday the 19th, the night before the season is supposed to start. Ever since the format changed from the adventures being free to our having to pay for them, the expected delivery date for the adventures has been the day before the season is supposed to start. That gives DM's no preparation time, and when something like this happens, we get stuck having to either cancel the first week, or write something on our own and pray that it comes close to what we're supposed to be getting. I don't understand why the release dates can't be on the week before. It isn't like WotC is clueless as to when they want each season to start. It's more like they just don't care about the people who run and play these games at local stores, like we do. Last time, we got the Baldur's Gate books just hours before we needed them. If this continues, I can see a lot of people losing interest due to frustration. Can someone please bring this to the Customer Service department at Wizards? For as much as they do for the Magic community, you'd think they'd get it right for the D&D community that they say they care about.

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