So I guess the first thing you’ve learned about me is that I’m a terrible procrastinator. So players, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to hassle me if I’m taking too long to post anything.
So I’m the new and fairly novice DM. I played Nox in Graham’s campaign and am his fiancée. Hi. We’re playing the “Scales of War” Adventure Path from Dungeon magazine.
Our tale begins in the Antler & Thistle tavern (of course) in the small town of Brindol. About 10 years ago, this was the site of an attack by a goblin army known as the Red Hand. They were attacked and sent into retreat by adventurers, and the area has known relative peace since then.
With one exception, our PCs have not yet met each other, they just all happen to be there tonight. So scattered around the tavern we have:
- Rouge the Half-Elf Rogue – yes the name came up when the player spelled Rogue that way.
- Seisha the glaive(-glaive-glaive-guisarme-glaive)-wielding Tiefling Warlord
- Ralia the Elven Druid – a re-flavoured wizard. For example, her Magic Missile is called Thornburst.
- Alabaster the Tiefling Cleric of the Raven Queen – played by our old friend Nonnie, but isn’t pure, unadulterated evil this time *sigh of relief*
- Aaaaand… Gah, the Gully Dwarf Paladin who you have already met. He is the faithful companion of tags along with Alabaster.
Question: Does our group ever play humans? Answer: Not usually, no.
As the PCs (minus Ralia, who had to miss the first session) and other patrons are enjoying a quiet drink, the front door flies off its hinges, knocking one of the nearest patrons to the floor, and in rush four Hobgoblins who attack and kill a couple of the nearby townsfolk. The PCs attack, and a couple of the Hobgoblins fall (gotta love minions). As they are mopping up the last couple (or so they think), another 3 Hobgoblins and a Goblin Blackblade come in.
Now here’s where my first mistake starts rearing its head. For some reason, the minis I picked were the opposite size as what they should have been, ie. the medium-sized Grunts were small minis and the small Goblins were medium minis *facepalm*. I think my brain went “tougher enemies should be bigger, duur” :p. So, being a very visual person, things like the Hobgoblins charging under tables were happening. Lesson learned.
So anyways, the Grunts attack and the Blackblade throws his bitumen torch at the bottles behind the bar, hits them, and sets a square behind the bar on fire. The bartender naturally takes his next turn to start escaping (NPCs are doing random things like running, quivering in fear, or attacking with improvised weapons).
As the fight progresses, 2 more Grunts, then 1 more Grunt and another Blackblade enter the fray. The second torch is thrown at the back corner of the room, where 3 NPCs are zealously guarding their table, as they were playing cards and there’s 30 gp sitting there (naturally, the rogue started near this table too ). Understandably, they now abandon their stuff in favour of, y’know, staying alive.
The creatures are fairly easily dispatched, but not without an example of the new-found coolness of 4e fights, which tend to lend themselves well to what I shall call “improvisational techniques”.
At this point, the entire area behind the bar is on fire, one of the Blackblades is on the other side of the bar, and Rouge is nearby. So he decides that instead of just attacking the goblin, he’s going to toss him over the bar and into the fire, in true bar-brawl tradition. Grapple attempt succeeds, strength check succeeds, and we have one crispy fried Goblin.
Win for 4e: even as a wet-behind-the-ears DM (and I never could get the hang of running 3.5), I was able to adjudicate this scenario fairly easily. I did get some help from Graham with getting exact numbers, but it still felt really straightforward.
Fight over, the PCs move outside to find out what’s going on, and after discussion with some nearby citizens (which counts as a short rest ) an ogre rounds the next corner pulling a cart full of casks and ridden by 2 hobgoblin archers. The ogre throws the cask in his hand, which hits a wall nowhere near the PCs (really bad aim – I basically decide where he is trying to hit, roll a d8 to determine direction and a d4-1 to determine the distance from that spot, which is what he actually hits. It breaks apart and causes a small explosion (burst 1), lighting the target square on fire.
The PCs start moving up and the fight starts in earnest.
One of the hobgoblins fires an arrow, while the other hands off another lit pitch cask to the ogre. The PCs naturally concentrate their attacks on the ogre, who throws the next cask and starts fighting back in melee.
The cleric though, sees potential elsewhere. So he move forward, and uses one of his powers to hit the cart with fire :evil:. So the pile of casks starts to explode (burst 3 each round from one of the 4 squares in the back of the cart). The hobgoblins, caught in the initial explosion, jump off of the cart and they and the ogre start to remove the ogre from his harness attaching him to the cart. This occupies them for the next 2 rounds, giving the PCs some breathing room.
Once they get free, but before the ogre gets a chance to move, Gah gets an interesting idea: push the cart at the ogre :D. He does so, crushing the ogre between it and the wall. This does enough damage (ruled using the DMs best friend: DMG page 42) to kill him! Heh… it seems to be a tradition with Graham’s Gully Dwarf characters to kill monsters in unexpected ways… maybe someday he’ll have enough time to tell the story behind that.
So that fight ends, and so does session 1. Sessions 2 & 3 to come throughout the week. There is not going to be a game tomorrow (boo work and school), so I will be caught up then. Yays!