11 months ago ::
Aug 28, 2012 - 3:14PM
Feb 15, 2011
So here is my 2 cents.
We have me, a DM that has DMed 4E(no other iterations as DM) and multiple other games, and 4 players with various experiences.
The party - using the basic characters you shold be able to figure it out ;-)
We normally play the campaign of Rise of the Runelords, with 4E charachters but I convinced peeps to take a step off, and try this.
I usually like the patron approach. Meaning the group arent just adventurers, they are a hired group of a wealthy patron, with a home base and a history together.
They are tasked with an imminent approach of two difficulties.
The neighbouring kingdom is drumming for war, an opportunity arise with that the prince of the warring kingdom is seemingly abducted by a cult (some say he joined them, but information diverse). This cult are rumoured to be located in the Vale. The other part is that something seems to stirr the clans of the Vale. Multiple resource transports to the would be front line is disrupted. Something is stirring in the vale.
Our heroes is tasked by there patron, the Duke of the Shimmering forests to investigate. Bring back what news and evidence you can and if you find proof? Get help and the duke will bring his army upon this threat, anything to deter a war!
From here on it's a pretty short playtest as we had a very limited time, and the group decided to go against further playtest at this point.
They arrived at the vale, and sent the scout (halfling) forward and set a base camp in in the northern forest.
They decided to scour south and quickly discovered a cave to the base of the ravine at the south.
Here the halfling with his skills detected multiple pit traps (not in the adventure) with multiple centipedes in them scattered around the cave entrance. Happy with his guiding they entered all together.
They entered the ogre's lair as first stop. As lvl 1 charachters I silently sighed, as this was indeed would be short unless they proved to be smart talking.
However, I decided low light worked in the first cave, cause of the moonlight outside. They couldnt identify the bear sleeping (failed perception) and assumed it was alive and avoided it.
The ogre however didnt fail anywhere to hear them approach.
He rumbled up quite promply and asked "What are you shorties, stunties and longshanks doing in my cave? You arent from here! Give Maga, tribute or I bash your skulls in!"
What happend then is a blur, but the halfling who was in the front somehow hid behind his comrades. The one who was in the front was the dwarf warrior (suddenly) and he announced stoutly that if you surrender now no harm will come to you!
Think the ogre oogled a whole round before he raged a "If you dont give tribute to Maga now, I will bash your skulls in!"
The dwarf didnt buy it (can have something to do with the starting money of the characters), and battle commenced.
Everyone fell down. The cleric managed to do his death ward though. Which helped. The last person standing was the human. I think the only thing I didnt really grasp was the rogue, who I allowed to sneak around the room and hide and do attacks in the same round. But it was my interpretation at the time. Guess they would all have died otherwise. But ofc I punished them with mighty crits. They faught in the doorway to the inner room which the ogre protected. He had the simple tactic to attack wichever was closest or made the most damage and was in range.
The cleric felled him with a orison when all was fallen and he had the initiative.
Healing and recupperating they started to search the cave.
Funilly enough the dwarf rummeled through the bone pile but didnt find jack (with a roll of 1) and when the halfling was finished pinshing any treasure in the room he ofc also searched the bone pile (with a 20) and found everything.
Figuring out the secret door was a call from me but they did it. A 20 helps after all. They got the drop on the goblins inside.
When the halfling found the silver in the barrel, 3 goblins had made there escape in both corridors. Luckily the others was less intent on lootin and more on surviving.
2 goblins ran to the west, to the warren the dwarf warrior charged after them but the cleric shot them down without a flinch.
The third one perished with his warcry still ringing.
The patrol and guard group from the east came at the group but they positioned themselves strategically and shot down most of the goblins in the corridor and then held it easily (2tanks) when they were upon them.
What I learned here was that the opposition towards the players when they holed up in a 2 square corridor was non existent. They really mowed downed the goblins. From half dying at the ogre they obliterated all opposition in this encounter. I think I counted to 14 goblins total.
After this the night was at an end.
So to sum it up!
The rogue felt he had one thing to do. Hide and then attack. Having played 4E thief, he simply felt he had more tactical choices then.
The dwarven cleric did one thing except dying, give death ward. He plays warlock in 4E, and says he would die to try this iteration (which wasnt available at the time).
The cleric liked it, he was the most positive. He felt he had multiple choices. Though bolting people superseeded most actions.
The dwarven warrior liked it also a lot. He managed to protect people and position himself good AND he managed to fire his crossbow with effect. Which he cant do anymore. ^^
Me as a DM?
I liked the simplicity, i could skip the board if i didnt like it (hard in 4E), I could get players to more easily think out of the box. Like what do you do? Not, I use this power, robot reply.
And the thing i have (tried) to avoid at, 4e I dont need to balance every encounter so very hard. A very simpler task in other RPGs.
Not a detailed numbercrunching for sure, but more a feel of how my players (and me) perceived it.
Have at it!
11 months ago ::
Aug 28, 2012 - 3:43PM
Number crunching is good and all but I think what you have right here is really what they want to see.What players and DMs liked and don't like. More importantly, why they like/dislike these things.
Good post though. Enjoyed reading it.