• COMING SOON! -- The Awfully Cheerful Engine on Kickstarter! An action comedy RPG inspired by cheerful tabletop games of the 80s! With a foreword by Sandy 'Ghostbusters' Petersen, and VTT support!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

DMG Intro Adventure - Big Spoiler!

dbm

Adventurer
So, I ran my group through the intro adventure in the DMG as a lead in to Keep on the Shadowfell.

They did OK in the Kobald encounters, though the 'conker of doom' encounter hurt them bad and one PC ended up on the deck in the boss battle against the Wyrmpriest. By this point, the party (an elven ranger, human fighter, tiefling fey warlock, human controller wizard and dwarven cleric) were pretty beat up: all their daily powers were used, the ranger had no healing surges and the fighter only had two left.

After this encounter they gamely found the secret passage and went into the icy room, making jokes about white dragons as they did so. And it all went horribly wrong for them...

No one was surprised, and the dragon got middle initiative so the fighter and ranger moved up before the young white dragon flew over to them and opened up with breath weapon and frightening aura, getting heavy damage and all the status effects on the fighter and ranger. Luckily for the rest of the party they were out of range of these effects.

The party immediately decide they were out classed and decided to bug out, dashing in and dragging back the stunned party members, using action points to move as quickly as possible. On round two the dragon's breath recharged so it breathed again, this time getting the fighter and warlock who had been dragging him out (the ranger had been cleared of the area by the cleric). In round three the dragon got lucky yet again and finished off the warlock with it's breath weapon; the fighter managed to struggle out with his superior hit points.

So, one character dead and the party completely out of ideas on how to take on the dragon. They were quite a bit beaten up by this point, and had used up all their daily powers , and the dragon got lucky with its breath weapon re-rolls. However, we are all a little concerned. Since this is an 'official' adventure and being the one in the DMG has presumably been play tested many, many times it must surely be considered a fair if challenging encounter for five first level characters. Due to time constraints our plan is to play through the WotC modules, so we need to be comfortable taking on the encounters they write (or to know how to modify them and make them more achievable).

My question is: what is other people's experience of this adventure and this encounter in particular? Have other groups taken the dragon in their stride and if so had they taken an extended rest before doing so? My group has a tendency to push on a little too much perhaps, and being fully rested would definitely have helped.

Any thoughts and experiences welcomes,
Cheers
Dan
 

log in or register to remove this ad


The Sword 88

First Post
We killed it with only 4 PCs after running the whole thing with no extended rests. A dragonborn pally an eladrin twf ranger, a elven twf ranger, and a an elven bow ranger. My party is paranoid about the BBEG at the end so we all had our dailies and action points. The dragon went after the bow ranger and the pally. The dragon breathed and feared us and only the bow ranger who had already used his daily and encounter thanks to an action point failed. Then me(the eladrin) and the elf ranger got into flanking thanks to my fey step and we layed into the dragon. I went unconcisous as did the pally but the other rangers finished the dragon off in a near death state.
 

pedr

Explorer
You should be aware that this adventure ran as 'Scalegloom Hall' at D&DXP and a range of other preview events ... and there the true threat was a young black dragon :D

I ran it three times, no party got close to killing it (though we ran out of time with the PCs very much on the losing end of the battle on all occasions). Reports from D&DXP suggest that some parties did beat it, but I have a feeling that the encounter was written to show the range of encounter options, and that while PCs are hardy in 4e, they're far from invincible!

I think that with a little luck, a group of five 1st level characters would have a good chance of defeating a young white dragon, but it looks like luck was against your players in this battle!
 

Dalzig

First Post
I never made the connection between Kobold Hall and Scalegloom Hall.... it makes sense now!

But yeah... dragons are to be feared.

The only thing you might have done differently is not using the breath every round. While Wizards tried to get rid of a lot of swingy mechanics, recharge attacks can still fit the bill. Recharging every round is just too powerful sometimes...
 

infocynic

First Post
It might help if you use the correct HP for a YWD from the MM, which I believe is 200. For an average party of PCs, that's probably 1 extra round of damage they don't have to put up with, and 1 round can turn almost dead into all dead. :)
 

Archus

Explorer
My party of 5 survived the white dragon with no deaths but almost no healing surges or HP left.
  • Human Paladin - Went down twice and was dying at the end of the battle with no healing surges (having spent his last to do a lay on hands on the rogue right before going down). Her mark was very useful during the battle (the extra damage when harming the rogue and warlock helped).
  • Half-Elf Fighter - Down to 3 hp at the end with very few surges left.
  • Eladrin Rogue - Went down once at the beginning of the fight (crit breath weapon) but was a critical part of damage during the fight and down to 2 hp at the end.
  • Minotaur Warlock - Survived the successful claw/claw/bite by 2 hp which hit despite all odds (-2 from the fighters mark, -2 because of shadow-step, but 3 19s did the trick)
  • Human Wizard (npc) - Only hit twice in the whole battle do to crappy luck.
I made the dragon match the one in the monster manual since the one in the adventure had 32 more hp.

All dailies had been expended before the battle and they had pressed through the whole dungeon with no extended rest. The good news is that since it was encounter 5, everyone had an action point.

The Warlock, Wizard, and Rogue were surprised in the first round and the dragon's fear effected the Fighter and Paladin so nobody got to do much useful that first round. In the second round the breath weapon took out the rogue (crit) and did average damage to many. Things started off poorly for our heroes.

After many rounds of exceptionally crappy dice on the party's part, they finally prevailed. Fortunately the dragon's breath weapon didn't recharge too much after early on in the fight (and they took care to be on opposite sides). The group ensured the Rogue had combat advantage (with the fighter or rogue holding an action to flank or until flanking was established).

They considered fleeing after round one but the Warlocks burning hands moved the dragon back and gave them a very brief respite shake it off (it immediately moved back and attacked but its claws weren't that effective). After they had done 60+ points of damage and I smiled and said "it isn't even bloodied yet", they considered fleeing again. But by that time they had moved into the room and wouldn't have been able to all escape. Good thing they didn't flee, I've seen that is often a deadly mistake and the route turns into a slaughter (sad that the dragon didn't hit with any opportunity bites :devil: ).

Due to their lack of a leader; I had given out 1 healing potion to each at the beginning they also found a couple because the treasure in the dungeon was too low given the DMG guidelines. My kindness came with a price, there were an additional 4 minions in each of encounters 2 to 4.

We observed a few things:
  • Solo fights can drag on
  • Solo fights can degenerate to "I hit him" because the cool abilities are expended early on and the at-will powers not be useful or even after a while don't sound any more interesting than a basic attack.
  • Many of their powers weren't very useful in this fight. Many powers chosen were the kind to move things around and they just didn't want to do that most of the time.
  • Spending an action point to miss and expend your cool encounter/daily to be ineffective isn't particularly fun.
 

Mort_Q

First Post
The dragon dropped our Dwarven Fighter and our Tiefling Rogue. My Eladrin Wizard was mostly useless since I foolishly took Ray of Frost and Thunderwave as my at-wills... both attacking FORT. Barely survived thanks to the Tiefling Warlock and Dragonborn Warlord.
 

infocynic

First Post
I've been modifying the encounters for a party of 4 (Human Starlock, Human Cleric, Dwarf Fighter, Halfling Rogue) by removing monsters and leveling down traps and the YWD (Level 2). So far they completed encounters 1-3 with using an average # of surges (the Rogue had a few accidents that he brought on himself by charging into a group of enemies) and only one daily. They got through Area 2 with minimal damage by finding a safe route and just ignoring the traps, which fired all of 3 times at them. In retrospect, I probably would have run that with 1 skirmisher and 4 minions instead of 2 skirmishers, to give them more targets and make them more apt to hit the traps.

That said, I think it will be a matter of how much abuse they take from the boulder and wyrmpriest in area 4 that determines what their odds against the YWD are.
 

Pielorinho

Iron Fist of Pelor
I'm getting ready to start running this for a party of four (ranger, wizard, paladin, warlord). They've got the healing going on, but I'm a little worried about how they'll take on the fights. I might just give them an item that grants +1 to all attacks and defenses: this should be the equivalent of knocking all monsters down by one level, right?

Daniel
 


Staffan

Adventurer
I'm getting ready to start running this for a party of four (ranger, wizard, paladin, warlord). They've got the healing going on, but I'm a little worried about how they'll take on the fights. I might just give them an item that grants +1 to all attacks and defenses: this should be the equivalent of knocking all monsters down by one level, right?
I'd knock off a few of the monsters instead of using the same number of monsters but weaker. Might be hard with solos, though.
 

Pielorinho

Iron Fist of Pelor
I'm looking for something super-simple to do. An NPC who I have to run definitely won't work for that; knocking off monsters might work, but I enjoy having a lot of targets (and don't want to have to adjust stats if I can help it). If the players understand the item is temporary, would it account for all necessary adjustments?

Daniel
 

Darkness

Hand and Eye of Piratecat [Moderator]
When I ran the adventure, 2 of 4 PCs (warforged Fighter and gnome Feylock, leaving bugbear Rogue and githyanki Wizard) went down against the dragon - at least one because of Bloodied Breath - and a TPK seemed quite possible. Then the Fighter rolled a 20 on a death save and got back up. :) He even managed to keep standing after the dragon's next hit. Ultimately, the PCs triumphed and stabilized the gnome, who had collected 2 failed death saves by that point.
 

Starbuck_II

First Post
It might help if you use the correct HP for a YWD from the MM, which I believe is 200. For an average party of PCs, that's probably 1 extra round of damage they don't have to put up with, and 1 round can turn almost dead into all dead. :)
The Monster Manual one is a lower level.

You fight a Level 4 in the adventure, but the MM had a Level 3.
 

Tellerve

Registered User
  • Human Paladin - Went down twice and was dying at the end of the battle with no healing surges (having spent his last to do a lay on hands on the rogue right before going down). Her mark was very useful during the battle (the extra damage when harming the rogue and warlock helped).

How's that extra damage for attacking two characters work when you only have one creature to mark and the mark says that the creature only takes damage the first time it chooses not to attack you? Were you doing something like having the paladin stop challenging to re-challenge the next round? Which I believe you can't do and would be really cheesy.


As for the one in the DMG being level 4 white dragon, where do you see that? I see it having higher hit points and a higher reflex save, but I think that is all I can find in differences. The level is stated at level 3 for both as well as 750xp for both.

Is this also a point where if the players had just left and rested or maybe had an inkling that something bad was back there they could have prepared themselves better? Figuring that the wyrmpriest was the finale?


Tellerve
 
Last edited:

Vempyre

First Post
Player skills in boosting each other and tactically helping each other makes a lot of difference in 4E. That's why you see so much difference from one group to another when it comes to defeat these encounters.

As they gain experience with 4E your players should get better at it. Until then I guess solo monsters are a bit much for them.
 

How's that extra damage for attacking two characters work when you only have one creature to mark and the mark says that the creature only takes damage the first time it chooses not to attack you? Were you doing something like having the paladin stop challenging to re-challenge the next round? Which I believe you can't do and would be really cheesy.


If I am reading this correctly I think you or your DM works Divine Challenge incorrectly. It does damage each round that the target is marked and chooses to attack something besides the paladin ( and of course the paladin keeps engaging it )
 

thundershot

Explorer
If I am reading this correctly I think you or your DM works Divine Challenge incorrectly. It does damage each round that the target is marked and chooses to attack something besides the paladin ( and of course the paladin keeps engaging it )

No, it says "before the start of your next turn"... which means only in the round after you used your Divine Challenge.



Chris
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
We went into this with a party of 6 PC's - Dwarf fighter, Dragonborn warlord, elven ranger-archer, human cleric, eladrin wizard, and elven rogue.

TPK - the dragon beat everyone on initiative, flew up, breathed on the entire party, hit the fear aura, spent an action point, full attacked someone. The party spent their actions healing, being stunned, or standing back up. Next round - the dragons breath weapon had recharged, so we got breathed on again, and the dragon spent it's 2nd action point, and dropped someone else. PC's repeated their actions - healing, being stunned, standing up, this round the archer is able to attack. Round 3 - dragon breaths again. Several of us used our Daily or Encounter powers when we were able to act, but most missed. The dragon didn't miss much.

By round 4 the cleric and the warlord had used all their "use a healing surge" abilities, and most people had used their 2nd wind. PC's starting landing their attacks, but it was mostly at will powers at this point.

It went steadily downhill after that.

We actually did about 75% of it's hit points before the last PC died.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top