Our second session with Undermountain. For this round, I actually crafted a few encounters from scratch. One was challenge involving a slippery path behind a waterfall. Another was a stealth encounter to steal a box, and the last was a trapped cabin with some clues that will come into play later in the adventure.
What follows is a journal of our adventure within Undermountain. The discussion will include references to things that are happening in the story. Proceed at your own risk.
The party awoke in the tree and checked out the area around them. They found the stream and decided to look for fish. I advised that the stream was too small for any meaningful fish. DS1 was determined to check every 20 feet of the stream for anything interesting. We are still trying to work out the balance between checking for stuff and just moving on.
As he checked out the stream I advised that there was a sound in the distance like a waterfall. They responded they wanted to go back into the woods. I mentioned the waterfall again. They asked if there was anything up in the trees. I talked up the waterfall in the distance. They wondered if there were any wolves around. I said, "OMG aren't you the least bit curious about the waterfall!!!"
They both said, "let's follow the stream to the waterfall." I said, "that is a wonderful idea."
I am finding that I need to be a little more obvious with my hints.
They reach the waterfall and I describe the slippery path that leads behind it and how they have to go single file and all of that. With only a little prodding they work out that they should tie their rope to each other so that if one of them falls, the other can catch them.
DS1 does an acrobatics check and makes it behind the falls with no problem. DS2 fails miserably and falls. I then have him do another check to see if he can catch himself on the rocks. This time he suceeds. With a strength check he is able to climb up and is then behind the falls.
They find the locked box and do a thievery check to open it. Inside are thievery tools, some sunrods, and some gold. The trip out from the waterfall went identically to the trip in. DS1 makes it, DS2 slips but manages to catch himself and climb up.
I was a little disappointed because I had worked out a set of saves to cover someone catching the other with the rope and pulling them up as well as what would happen if they fell and if they tried to carry the box out rather than open it. I will save those for later.
Next they continued through the woods and a perception check revealed some nasty noises in the distance. DS1 suggested that they sneak up and see what is going on. He is catching on. I had them roll stealth against my perception and they succeeded.
Now I should note that this encounter was designed for them to try and sneak over to a sack with goblins nearby, steal something that looked valuable, and then sneak away without being seen. To encourage the sneaking, I put a bunch of goblins so that they did not just charge in. That is how I planned it. How it went down was quite different.
First DS2, ever the fighter, suggested just charging in with swords held high. I found this to be a common theme with him. DS1 suggested they sneak over. All was going accordingly to plan except that they both failed every stealth check I gave them. After a couple chances, I finally had to give in that the goblins heard them. Let the fight begin.
Now here is where my lack of experience helped out. I thought I was forcing this to be a skill challenge because of the number of goblins and if they tried to fight them they would be in trouble. As it turns out, they took care of all the goblins in just a few rounds. I had used more minions than I thought so they dropped like flies.
With the goblins dispatched, they collected the gold and a ritual book from the sack and moved on.
Soon they came across a cabin in the woods. A nature check revealed that it had not been visited in about 4 weeks (a clue to the Undermountain story). DS1 decides to go open the door. Despite my plea of "are you sure" he says "yes." So he runs up to the door, activates the floor trap and falls into a pit. Then came the lecture about being a little more cautious.
He gets out of the pit with some help from DS2 and they head inside. They find a acouple things related to the story, though they do not know it yet. Other than that it is empty and they decide to spend the night and will hit undermountain the next day.
All in all it was a very entertaining session. I was pleased with the encounters I created, the boys seemed to have fun, and I even had to improvise a little.