Friday 19 August 2011

Lost Crown of Neverwinter - D&D Encounter #2

The evening started off when I heard a couple of the other dm's discussing short rests.  I told them about the skill challenge I had written and both were interested in trying it out.  Then after looking again at the Neverwinter Campaign Guide, I'm still debating with myself if I want to buy it or not. We head down stairs and got set up.

I made a few announcements including the upcoming Lair Assault, and Isles of Rot continuing this coming September.    It will be interesting to see how both of those combined with the school year effect  attendance at Encounters.

Tonight my table was missing a fighter and had gained a Bladesinger, otherwise it was the same group of players. 

Opening positions were based on where
people ended last session.
The bladesinger opted out of the skill challenge and called the dragons attention to her.  It gave the group their first success and her the dragons attention.  Another party member threw a stone at and tried to shout it down (he failed his intimidation roll) The groups thief Locke tried a different tactic and attempted to bluff the Dragon into believing a Gold Dragon, this also failed.  

At this the group was on the verge of failing the skill challenge.  The next 3 checks however were successful and they ended the challenge with a win.  An insight check gave them an idea of where the dragon was going next. And the clever use of Mage Hand distracted it with a lit sun rod. 

The Heir then did his thing with the dragon.  Sadly the battle of wills was short lived when the players took the opportunity to pile on some opening damage. Afterwards thanks to a poor initiative the Dragon's beat down continued.

The heir charged in shouting a valiant battle cry to the effect of "Never in my city!" Our new bladesinger rushed in as well and hit. Not keen on fighting 2 blades, the dragon turned and trampled over several party members.  The beasts claws dug deep into flesh as it moved.

Two dwarves both War priests were caught in the dragons trample.  Only 1 was able to still strike it.  Then the Drow Hunter who had taken a pounding the week before, this was able to stay at range and stay out of the dragons reach.  He was able to hit it consistently through out the combat.

Then it was time for some revenge on the part of the Dragon.  Most of the group was clumped together nicely, including the heir.  I described the breath weapon as looking like super hot blue flames. Then the players were surprised when it dished out the cold damage.  I rolled the damage and was grateful for some decent rolls.  The players look crushed when they heard the numbers.  Then I described the crown drawing in the energy of the blast and they were all very grateful for half damage.

As a DM I just wish we had a theifling in the party, that wood have made the surprise perfect.   In hopes of finishing off one of the dwarfs it double clawed as it was still smoldering.

The rest of the encounter was pretty much a slow-motion blur.  Most of the pc's had a hard time shaking of that effect.  One was stuck slowly rushing to heal the bladesinger. He'd used up his healing words already and had to give her a portion of healing he carried.  Besides of that the highlights include the dragon's trample attack that kept the players hoping and did account for a decent amount of damage and some repetitive hack & slash.  
The final moments of the combat could have flowed together better if I had hand scripted them.  A massive trample attack from the dragon knocked down several party members and the heir.  It even killed one of them.  This final attack was enough to bloody the heir.  It ended it's trample snarling at the halfling who stood two squares away.  The little halfling twirled his sling about and moved to a better position and let fly.  The stone hit him for the finishing blow.  All of that happened at the same time as the Heir was standing back up and starting his magic and turned the Dragon to stone. After the battle there was a brief exchange between the players in which the heir where he rewarded them and thanked them for their assistance. Then he left disappearing into the city.

I wanted to comment on one of our other tables as well. We have one table of really young (around 12ish) players.  They all came in as a group and like to play together.  A few of them were at my table for Gates of Neverdeath.  They didn't do all that well in the encounter. Out of a table of 6 only 2 survived and they had less then 10HP each.  What is really important about the table is how it ended. In the end the players who had died were still around the table.  They were excited for the survivors and cheering them on. It was great to see them that into the game and what was happening.

I was excited for this encounter and thought it would be a lot of fun. In the end I felt it was a bit of a let down.  Fighting a dragon is a great way to kick a campaign off, but you need to be invested in your characters to make it a real threat. The players, with the exception of those who played Gates of Neverdeath, were to new to the characters and had no real attachment to them.  I also felt that they needed more of a reason to be there and more importantly to stay an fight. I over heard the player of Locke comment about running away.

Well that sums up this week for me. Sorry for the lack of photos this week, I had a couple of others but no matter what I did with them Blogger kept turning them upside down.  Anyways I am off to work on a new Shadow Run Campaign now so later.

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