D&D 4th Edition Running player commentary on PCat's 4E Campaign - Heroic tier (finished) - Page 8




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  1. #71
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    Ahem...I mean, I plan to watch this thread with interest since I'm soon kicking off my own 4e campaign.

 

  • #72
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    Hey Blackjack

    Thanks for the response--it must be kind of a strange (perhaps really cool?) feeling that SOOO many people on these boards feel like they "know" your character through the story hours. I know that I've spent a lot of time reading them. You guys must have a blast when you play. I for one will continue to steal for the benefit of my game.

    Thanks loads
    For the morning will come. Brightly it will shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn. -WSC 10/21/40

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  • #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
    Heh! I think it helps that
    * Piratecat is really good at creating long story arcs, so that we continue to stay engaged over long periods of time. If we'd stopped his Defenders campaign after a few years, there would have been too many unresolved storylines!
    * the players are folks with a dramatic bent who really enjoy getting into & developing their characters. I played Malachite in the Defenders, and really dug watching him evolve from his original concept. If I'd stopped playing him after 2 years, he wouldn't have changed that much! That's why I've written my new PC with a bunch of "blanks", so that I can fill him in over time.
    Off-topic, but Malachite was a great character man. True paladin, not a Miko-style stick-up-the-butt class feature, but at the same time, always felt really really close to taking the smiting just a BIT too far and falling. (Haven't read his early years, just the White Kingdom part of the storyhour, but still very enjoyable). Congrats.
    I for one welcome our 5e overlords.

  • #74
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    New game tonight! Wherein the PCs journey to the small halfling fishing village of Grat, to discover what seems to be eating their dogs...

    Details after the game.

    EDIT: Actually, details after Sagiro has weighed in.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Friday, 17th October, 2008 at 03:16 AM.

  • #75
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    Run #2 of Piratecat’s Capria game was tonight. Great fun, unsurprisingly.

    A quick plot-summary: we embarked on a mission to hunt down and (presumably) kill a legendary “dog gobbler” that was plaguing a nearby halfling river-village. Several dogs had vanished from homes in the past few days, and so we, fresh recruits of the Grey Guard, were sent to investigate.

    On arrival, we discovered that, during the two day canoe trip to reach the village, an actual halfling baby had been kidnapped (silently, while the parents were sleeping in the same small hut), and a baby-sized doll-like construct made of twigs and reeds had been left in its place.

    In the course of investigating the crime scene, we ended up in a combat with the doll. It had some brutal ability that did significant damage merely by dint of being examined. (We initially thought it was contact poison, but it turned out to be some kind of psychic attack). Even thinking about it and keeping track of its whereabouts required checks. Still, after some fumbling around and taking psychic damage, we found it hiding under a bed. We flipped the bed over and pummeled it to “death,” though not before taking more psychic damage, and with the stick-doll confusing Dr. Caldwell into stabbing Cobalt with his rapier. (Over the course of the encounter, Cobalt was reduced from 24 to 9 hit points, without the thing ever making an obvious attack roll. Sheesh!)

    That night, having posted guards (and with all village babies kept in the town hall under PC watch), the paladin Toiva noticed a shadow down in the water. After sounding the alert for the rest of the party to wake, she Challenged the whatever-it-was and jumped into the shallow water to confront it. Turns out “it” is actually several “its,” small but with huge mouths full of teeth. PCat left us on a cliffhanger – Toiva surrounded by monsters with the rest of us charging out to join the battle. We hope the paladin survives until we arrive!

    It was another fairly rules-light game, with just the one small combat, and lots of perception rolls. Now, granted, we’re investigating a crime, so Perception is clearly the prominent skill here. But, combining this game and the previous game, we’ve easily made more Perception rolls than all other skill-roll types combined. There’s nothing wrong with PCat’s adventure design, mind you – I’d guess it’s more to do with our play style, though it’ll be interesting to see if and how other skills become relevant. (My character’s Perception roll is a “-1,” but I can still assist, which is most of what I did.) For the record, we also made checks this run for Insight, Nature, Streetwise, Stealth and Arcana. Oh, and Bluff, as part of impromptu rules for playing cards. Bluff and Insight checks were rolled for each participant, and combined into a “how well are you playing tonight” composite score. Nifty and sensible.

    The combat was less than two rounds long, though intense. I used an Action Point and my Encounter power, while the paladin used her Daily Power. (And I did manage to score a hit this game... hooray!) I had a 28 initiative score, so on the first round, going first, I used a standard action to flip the bed out of the way, and my Action Point to attack with Torturous Strike. I hit, and with the Sneak Attack damage from being a rogue going first, did 18 points of damage. (And my die rolls were crap – 4, 2, 1 and 1 on 2d8+2d4) Toiva actually missed with her Radiant Delirium, but even her half-damage was significant. A third hit from either Logan or Dr. Caldwell (can’t recall whom) finished it off.

    Figuring that we'd likely only have one (at most) more combat before getting extended rest, we surged ourselves back to full after the battle. Cobalt had to use 3 of his 7 surges during and after the fight -- I suspect the others had to use one or two.

    Also, after the battle, our Grey Guard cloak pins -- made of some mystery-substance called "Witch-water," glowed with power, and became +1 cloak pins (neck slot) -- woot! (And a very cool way to deliver a treasure parcel.)
    Oh, and I almost forgot -- before we set out, our Commander gave us each a book-standard Healing Potion, which I'm guessing will be largely consumed before the night is over.

    Still nothing but positives to report – the little combat was brisk and exciting, the role-playing was entirely unhindered, and the skill checks were plentiful and meaningful. We haven't yet delved into a bunch of secondary systems (Rituals, Diseases, stuff like that), and our two fights thus far have been against single foes, though that part is clearly about to change!
    Last edited by Sagiro; Thursday, 23rd October, 2008 at 08:58 PM.

  • #76
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    I think the hefty perception checks go hand in hand with (a) an investigation, and (b) encountering foes who are stealthy by nature. The PCs did quite a bit of aiding one another, with four of the heroes aiding the one person who had the best scores. It resulted in some fairly impressive DCs at 1st level, including a DC 28 perception roll at one point. Not too shabby.

    This session was my attempt at experimenting with a "I-thought-this-was-lame-at-first" monster. The bundle of sharpened river-sticks, mud and reeds that they fought was a clay scout homunculus (spoiler in place for the moment for Sagiro and my players) that had a different appearance. It looked more like the stick bundles from the Blair Witch Project, and never explicitly moved when anyone was looking at it. That gave it a creepier, more mysterious feel than I had originally expected.

    I'm finding that my players have requested overhead area maps of their locations at both sessions so far. This is clearly something that I'm going to need to start preparing with more frequency. In both cases so far I've already had a mental image of the towns, so it hasn't been a problem to just sketch it out on a note card. I think there's some benefit to preparing these, though. It may be worth doing something formal for Floodford, the town they'll spend quite a bit of time in.

    While this game featured less combat, it had quite a bit of character development from everyone but Stront (whose player is ill and who slept instead of gaming.) I treasure these moments.
    - Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now Kickstarting TimeWatch, a time travel game - please go check it out!

  • #77
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    So are you guys using a battlemat and minis/counters? I know from talking with you and playing your games, that you trend away from using them, PC. But 4e is designed with them in mind so I wondered if you are using them for this campaign. Granted, the combats thus far could easily have been handled without them. Just curious.

  • #78
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    Perception has been far and away the most dominant skill check in my 4E campaign as well... much to the chagrin of my players, who don't have a decent Perception score between them. This is a situation I'm sure one of them will rectify soon. Cool update!
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  • #79
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    An additional note about the stick doll monster: because it was a (seemingly) inanimate doll, and because at first we thought it was damaging us via contact poison while we handled it, the thing managed to get in several psychic attacks before the PC's even knew there was a combat going on!. So, basically, it got something like 4 or 5 free attacks on us before we even thought to roll initiative.

    I see on the wiki that the "Bundle of sharpened riversticks" was a level 2 Lurker, but it did much more damage to the party than the level 4 Soldier Crocodile from the previous combat. Damn you Piratecat!

  • #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat View Post
    Stront (whose player is ill and who slept instead of gaming.) I treasure these moments.
    me too. It is so much less hassle when some or your players are sleeping, at least that is what I've always found

    I love the repurposing of the clay scout. It sounded really nifty. The business about not moving while being watched reminded me of one at the greatest new Dr Who episodes, called "Blink"
    Plane Sailing
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