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Thursday, 4th December, 2008, 08:16 PM #211
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Why, oh why, did I never see this thread until today?
Stupid day job keeps me to busy, or something like that. Thanks for sharing the writeups, the story, and everyone's thoughts about the new system, house rules, etc.
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Saturday, 6th December, 2008, 11:31 PM #212
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
Great write ups as usual. It is a lot of fun to see how others DMs are handling 4e.
I too will have to try to emphasize the interactivity of the environment for my players although there were some good moments in KotS.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Ronald the English Mastiff 1999-2007
Always in Our Hearts
The Mountain That Woofs
Sunday, 7th December, 2008, 10:04 PM #213
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Friday, 12th December, 2008, 05:06 AM #214
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
New game tonight! Stay tuned for Sagiro's analysis. There were bad dice rolls aplenty... And my 4th lvl lizardmen got spanked.
Friday, 12th December, 2008, 05:39 AM #215
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
Tonight was our 5th session, and the first in almost a month. Huge amounts of fun, etc. etc. Here’s a brief summary of the action. All the usual caveats about my poor memory, and how this is known to be incomplete, and how the other Pcat and the other players should chime in, apply.
At the end of session #4, our heroes had rescued a halfling baby from a warren full of goblinoids, and then sealed them in their underground lair. Tonight began with the party back at Grey Guard HQ, proudly giving our report to Commander Pikeline. She expressed admiration for how well we did, given that we’re such rank amateurs.
She also gave us the opportunity to investigate the strange light in the swamp, the one we had failed to look into during the first run of the game. The NPC Grey Guard party had apparently looked around, found nothing, and accused us of either making it all up, or being fooled by “swamp gas.” Pikeline sent us back into the swamp to find out what was going out there.
(Sidelight: while we procured new supplies from the Guard stores, Pikeline convinced Cobalt that every party should have at least one 10’ pole. Being outrageously credulous, Cobalt followed her advice, and is now carrying it around every where we go. (And, for all of his powers, he looks for ways to incorporate it. It’s great, and I totally get mocked by the other players.)
Anyhow, after some fumbling around in the swamp, Doc Caldwell recognized a hillock overgrown with a kind of plant that wasn’t native to the area. Investigation showed it was actually a mostly-submerged tower covered with an illusion. We guessed (correctly) that this was the source of the light, so we opened the trap door at the top and went in to search. We found three things:
1. Weapons. Lots of weapons.
2. Several barrels, some containing an alcohol-like substance, and some containing pitch.
3. Hostile lizardmen guarding them.
A quick, bloody battle ensued. Toiva made herself the main target, and was reduced to (I think) 3 hit points even after using a healing potion, but she also used radiant delirium that gave the rogues more sneak attack opportunities. As with most of our battles to date, our high offensive output overcame our lack of defense and healing.
We discovered that the bottom floor of the tower was locked and sealed with a strange symbol, and the lizardman we questioned hinted that there was a golem, or warforged, or something scary behind it. We didn’t investigate, because we also knew that someone was going to be arriving any minute to pick up or drop off more weapons.
And, in fact, that’s what happened. There was a knocking on the heavy trap door, and some annoyed humans yelled at us to open up. Doc Caldwell, who speaks draconic (like the lizardman), managed to stall them until they decided to open it up themselves. (“We’re drinking. You open it!”) That worked out great for us, tactically. We could wait in the dark, while they clustered around the opening holding torches. We launched a devastating assault once the door was opened, and killed a couple of them before they realized we weren’t the lizardmen betraying them. The rest were soon mopped up, with one prisoner taken.
We found that the humans had brought barges loaded with weapons, presumably to make a sale with the lizardmen. We knew from our questioning that there was going to be a “march” on our base town of Floodford, and here were the weapons to be used. Then Toiva spotted a mob of soldier-types out in the failing light, maybe 5 minutes from us, and headed this way. Looks like the attack is tonight!
So, there we are, surrounded by bodies, with one bound prisoner and a sunken tower filled with weapons, and five barrels of some kind of pitch that we intend to light on fire ‘ere we flee. Can we escape ahead of the mob, and pole the barge back to Floodford in time to warn them? We’ll find out next game!
Some tactical notes:
- As mentioned above, our tactics were particularly good in this run, especially in the second combat against the humans. Piratecat gave us a neat little “dungeon” to fight in and around – a four-level mostly-underwater tower, canted at an angle, each level 3x5 squares, and with an open stairway between each floor in the center of one wall.
- Strontium finally had a good situation for scorching burst, with enemies clustered together and not intermingled with her allies.
- Logan managed to do (I think) 30+ points of damage with a single critical-hit sneak attack. And we’re still first level!
- Skills used this game: Athletics, Arcana, Endurance, Heal, History, Insight, Intimidate, Nature, Perception, Stealth, Thievery
- The fights once again were quick and exciting. Five runs in, and still not the slightest hint of a drawn-out, dragging fight.
- The night is (possibly) still young, but we’ve only used two Dailies among the five of us: Cobalt’s blinding barrage (popped two minions) and Toiva’s radiant delirium (the rogues love it – hurray for dazing attacks!) It occurs to me that we’re now five runs and probably something like 8-9 combats into the campaign, and I’ve yet to see Doc Caldwell (the ranger) use his Daily.
- I think the three lizardmen we fought were Greenscale Hunters (Level 4 Skirmishers). I don’t know how tough the humans were, though several were minions and one was a caster who used a multi-target lightning bolt on us.
- As of next game, we’re all 2nd level! Woot!
A final note: KidCthulhu, playing Strontium, does an absolutely amazing job voicing her Warforged character. She manages to convey a clearly non-human, machine-like voice without being the slightest bit hokey, and delivering plenty of inflection and personality-appropriate humor. It’s really cool.
Friday, 12th December, 2008, 06:39 AM #216
Superhero (Lvl 15)
As a DM, I have to say that Daily powers don't worry me too much - unless they are really useful in the current situation (elite with Lead the Attack or minions vs. Armour of Agathas).
What really messes up my bad guys is all those positioning powers! That and Action Points.
I guess my point is that you don't have to worry too much about having expended your Daily powers. Especially with that 10' pole - I can think of a lot of fancy tricks to pull with it (push or trip someone with reach 2, mess them right up).
How did you guys resolve stalling the lizardmen?
"If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
-- Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell to Arms"
Burning Empires: Boldaq
Keep on the Shadowfell
Friday, 12th December, 2008, 07:02 AM #217
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
Friday, 12th December, 2008, 12:41 PM #218
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
If you need to email me click here
I'd like things to go back and forth from "ARGH!" to "WOOO!" more frequently. - Kamikaze Midget
Friday, 12th December, 2008, 03:21 PM #219
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
Friday, 12th December, 2008, 03:30 PM #220
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
So, a few comments.
1. Do not underestimate the might of a party full of strikers. Five 1st level characters took out three 4th lvl lizardmen in an astonishingly short time. The Defender (Toiva the paladin) sucked up most of the attacks and barely stayed conscious due to a healing potion, but he did what needed to be done in order to keep the lizardmen split.
2. A critical hit when sneak attacking, especially with an encounter or daily power, does glorious amounts of damage. Logan brought a lizardman from unbloodied to dead in one shot.
3. A small amount of hit points make a huge difference. Toiva stayed on his feet due to his toughness feat, and three or four of my baddies died when they were reduced to -1 hp. A few more, and they would have stayed up and attacking.
4. My dice were hot, and the players' were not. Stron the wizard missed something like three of his four attacks (and was mightily disappointed that magic missile is no longer an auto-hit, let me tell you.) I, on the other hand, rolled two criticals in the same round with two monsters.
5. I missed some opportunities. The inside of the tower was on a steep slope, and my original plan was to have everyone automatically shift one square downwards each round, making the fight a little more complicated as people struggled to keep their feet. I totally forgot about it in the heat of battle.
6. If there's a mystery, people are going to get interrogated. A lizardman got knocked out and questioned (and then killed), and one of the human weapon smugglers had the same - although he was then killed by one of his cronies, who in turn was knocked out!
7. The roleplaying to convince the human weapon smugglers that they should enter the tower (one joking suggestion was "Come innnsss! Weeesss hass hookerss and cheap beeersss!") was just wonderful. Half of them were dead before they realized that they weren't fighting lizardmen.
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