Let's Play #2 4e Goodman Games DCC53 Sellswords of Punjar Obsidian Portal Link- NOW WITH PICS OF THE PCS

Goonalan

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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 3.


Encounter #13 The Shadow Dragon.

[sblock=The Map]


The adventurers move on to the finale in area 3-1.​

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Onto the roof of the now unstable tower, the adventurers scatter as the entire structure lurches hard left, which leaves a great ragged rent in the center of the fortification. The guys are above the roofs of the slums, and before them- facing away from them, is the recently birthed Shadow Dragon (or Umbra Drake), trying desperately to take to the air. The ferocious creature is being prevented from fleeing by an incredibly thin filament of shadow which leads all the way down to the Beggar King who holds tight with his deathgrip.

[sblock=The Shadow Dragon]


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The Bad Guys... 750 XP Level 4 Encounter.
Shadow Dragon Level 3 Solo Lurker

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


[/sblock]

Erais stops muttering his prayers and begins yelling them- each of the adventurers is briefly encased in a glowing shimmering force field, the Sunlord’s Shield of Faith.

Tira’s Eldritch Blast and Riardon’s Twin Strike all target the shadow dragon; alas only one of the ranger’s arrows manages to find the mark- the creature turns to see…

Kathra charges, leaping the rift in the center of the tower, and attempts to smash her warhammer in to the dragon; the shadowy menace alas proves to be a dextrous beast and avoids the dwarf’s blow.

Erais hits the thing with her Divine Glow, burning a small portion of the shadow away, the Sunlord follows up with his Lance of Faith (after an Action Point)- but again the dragon dodges aside.

Tira is all action but no menace- the tiefling Curses and then launches her Witchfire followed by Blazing Starfall (Action Point)- neither of her powers make a mark on the umbral beast.

Tira, whisper this, is dice-cursed.

The large drake lurches around, its tail lashing out and sending Kathra spinning, the dwarf is knocked prone, she looks up to see the dark dragon’s head- jaws wide, the creature bites down, at the last moment Kathra rolls aside.

Riardon scurries back- keeping his distance from the beast, the eladrin fires twice again, his Twin Strike- both arrows hit with devastating effects, punching great holes in the beast.

Riardon rolls max damage on his first hit and a Critical hit for his second arrow.

Kathra leaps to her feet Unstoppable, and slams her warhmmer… but no, she misses again, the dwarf growls her anger and hatred.

Erais’ Lance of Faith shoots well wide while Tira at last smashes the dragon with her Cursed Eldritch Blast- the tiefling teleports away from the creature with her Ethereal Stride.

But not far enough away.

Kathra and Tira are suddenly engulfed in a shadowy mist as the umbral drake breathes down on the pair- the dwarf is unaffected but Tira is left blinded and staggering. The dragon’s tail sweeps around but Kathra leaps just in time, she likewise avoids a second bite attack (Dragon with an Action Point).

Riardon fires again- another hit.

Kathra fights back at last- smashes her warhammer in to the shadowy creature, her Tide of Iron also pushes the creature back- away from her friends. The dragon emits a piercing scream, furious and bloodied.

Erais fails again with his Lance of Faith, the blind Tira continues to take necrotic damage- her Eldritch Blast is way off target also- the tiefling cannot lift the veil of shadow which fogs her vision.

The dragon comes again, and breathes again- the same pair are caught in her gasp, but again it’s only the tiefling that is affected. The foul creature rages, Kathra jumps over another Tail Swipe and dodges the dragon’s Bite.

That was the second Action Point for the Shadow Dragon- one hit on Tira, and of the other three dice rolls the highest was a ‘3’.

Riardon fires two arrows again- the eladrin’s missiles rip through the shadow creature.

Riardon again manages to roll maximum damage on his first attack, and then maximum damage on his Critical hit second attack.

Kathra smashes the dragon again, the creature staggers, shudders and mewls like a kitten.

Erais’ Lance of Faith (if at first you do not succeed etc.) shreds one of the creature’s wings, the Sunlord waves his holy symbol in Tira’s direction and suddenly the tiefling can see again.

Just in time… the Cursed dragon is engulfed by her Eldritch Blast, it staggers.

But is not yet done… the shadowy breath comes again and this time its Kathra that is hurt, and floundering- blind; Tira escapes the blast.

Riardon’s arrows flash wide.

The dragon growls and makes ready to launch its attack.

Kathra blindly swipes and smashes the beast; the dwarf shakes her head and the mist clears- she can see again.

Erais and Tira fire their magic in to the fracas, and again their aim is off.

The umbral drake tries again with its Tail Slap and Bite attacks, both aimed at Kathra, but somehow, the dwarf is too quick for the beast.

How can that be? Aaaaarrrghhh!

Riardon aims, and fires- one moment the great drake is there, the next moment the shadow, patterned with a myriad rents and gashes, is gone.

The shadow dragon is destroyed- a loud moan echoes up from below the last mote of life leaves the creature that was the Beggar King.

750 XP Level 4 Encounter.
Shadow Dragon Level 3 Solo Lurker

Comment: That was slim pickings... And felt a little cheap in the way of a climax, however (and serious now), it didn't detract too much from what was an excellent scenario. Also it could have proved to be an excellent denouement if it wasn't for the fact that no-one (with perhaps the exception of Riardon) seemed to be able to connect with the dragon.

That said, if I was going to play this scenario again I'd beef up the Shadow Dragon a little, or else have a few versions to hand- depending on how the PCs were situated Power and HP wise.
 
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Goonalan

Legend
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

The Book of the Dead.

PCs Level 1.

PCs killed by Monsters & Traps etc.-


Corrin Reedson Level 1 Halfling Paladin of Tymora (played by Iain)


Scurvy Dyk Level 1 Dwarf Rogue (played by Becky)


Skamos Redmoon Level 1 Tiefling Wizard (played by Dave)

Monsters killed & Traps bested etc. by the PCs-

25 XP each
Otyugh, Grub Level 1 Minion x10.

31 XP each
Human, Beggar Level 2 Minion x10.

100 XP each
Human, Dog Brother Level 1 Skirmisher x5.
Human, Eunuch Bodyguard Level 1 Soldier x2.
Human, Sentry Level 1 Skirmisher x5.
Trap- Spear (on chest) Level 1 Warder.

125 XP each
Human, Tough Level 2 Brute x4.
Rat, Swarm Level 2 Skirmisher x2.
Trap- Arrow (on chest) Level 2 Warder
Trap- Camouflaged Pit (in Throne room) Level 2 Warder.
Trap- Scything blade (on chest) Level 2 Warder.
Trap- Spiked Gate (on gate) Level 2 Lurker.

150 XP each
Bat, Shadow Swarm Level 3 Lurker.

175 XP each
Human, Fighter- Irocar Level 4 Soldier.
Human, Rogue- Arthuro the Fence Level 4 Skirmisher.
Human, Rogue- Black Shet Level 4 Skirmisher.
Otyugh, Old- Timmy! Level 4 Soldier.
Tiefling, Warlock- Zeb’oltha Level 4 Artillery.

400 XP each
Trap- Demon Maw (on gate) Level 9 Warder.

PCs Level 2.

PCs killed by Monsters & Traps etc.-

None.

Monsters killed & Traps bested etc. by the PCs-

25 XP each
Goblin, Archer Level 1 Minion x6.

100 XP each
Hobgoblin, Slaver Level 1 Skirmisher x7.

125 XP each
Gnoll, Overseer Level 2 Brute x2.
Skeleton, Cinder Level 2 Artillery x5.
Trap- Hail of Needles (on chest) Level 2 Blaster.

150 XP each
Ape, Great Desert Level 3 Brute.
Bat, Shadow Swarm Level 3 Lurker.
Dragonborn, Warlord- Orliss the Goat Level 3 Soldier.
Drow, Thief- Drazen Level 3 Lurker.
Eladrin, Mage- Vermouth Level 3 Controller.

200 XP each
Trap- Caustic Spear (in cramped Chest chamber) Level 5 Warder.

250 XP each
Trap- Poison Needle (on chest) Level 6 Warder.

400 XP each
Human, Beggar King (Shadow) Level 5 Elite Controller.

750 XP each
Dragon, Umbra Level 3 Solo Lurker.

For the Scenario-

PCs killed by Monsters & Traps etc.-


Corrin Reedson Level 1 Halfling Paladin of Tymora (played by Iain)


Scurvy Dyk Level 1 Dwarf Rogue (played by Becky)


Skamos Redmoon Level 1 Tiefling Wizard (played by Dave)

Monsters killed & Traps bested etc. by the PCs-

25 XP each
Goblin, Archer Level 1 Minion x6.
Otyugh, Grub Level 1 Minion x10.

31 XP each
Human, Beggar Level 2 Minion x10.

100 XP each
Hobgoblin, Slaver Level 1 Skirmisher x7.
Human, Dog Brother Level 1 Skirmisher x5.
Human, Eunuch Bodyguard Level 1 Soldier x2.
Human, Sentry Level 1 Skirmisher x5.
Trap- Spear (on chest) Level 1 Warder.

125 XP each
Gnoll, Overseer Level 2 Brute x2.
Human, Tough Level 2 Brute x4.
Rat, Swarm Level 2 Skirmisher x2.
Skeleton, Cinder Level 2 Artillery x5.
Trap- Arrow (on chest) Level 2 Warder
Trap- Camouflaged Pit (in Throne room) Level 2 Warder.
Trap- Hail of Needles (on chest) Level 2 Blaster.
Trap- Scything blade (on chest) Level 2 Warder.
Trap- Spiked Gate (on gate) Level 2 Lurker.

150 XP each
Ape, Great Desert Level 3 Brute.
Bat, Shadow Swarm Level 3 Lurker x2.
Dragonborn, Warlord- Orliss the Goat Level 3 Soldier.
Drow, Thief- Drazen Level 3 Lurker.
Eladrin, Mage- Vermouth Level 3 Controller.

175 XP each
Human, Fighter- Irocar Level 4 Soldier.
Human, Rogue- Arthuro the Fence Level 4 Skirmisher.
Human, Rogue- Black Shet Level 4 Skirmisher.
Otyugh, Old- Timmy! Level 4 Soldier.
Tiefling, Warlock- Zeb’oltha Level 4 Artillery.

200 XP each
Trap- Caustic Spear (in cramped Chest chamber) Level 5 Warder.

250 XP each
Trap- Poison Needle (on chest) Level 6 Warder.

400 XP each
Human, Beggar King (Shadow) Level 5 Elite Controller.
Trap- Demon Maw (on gate) Level 9 Warder.

750 XP each
Dragon, Umbra Level 3 Solo Lurker.
 
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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

The End.

And so Goodman Games we love you, I particularly like DMing these early offerings, seemingly rushed out at the start of 4e with only a limited understanding of the edition and how it works/plays. The scenario seemed to offer a number of interesting encounters, mostly lightweight, that are parked so close to each other that they’re just bound to overlap- if the DM desires.

I like this style because it makes it easy to make the players feel heroic (maybe even epic) in-game, for example in the fight in the Bazaar, we start with Arthuro and a couple of Toughs, drag in Timmy the Otyugh, wait till the players get about clear and then throw the Dog Brothers at them- how cool is that. Obviously the addition of the Otyugh Grubs is just the icing on the cake- some players will perhaps not appreciate this ‘tough love’ style DMing but the adventurers are fighting with their back to the exit, I think they should be able to figure a way out if they need to leave in a rush.

My guys didn’t fare too well in this encounter, but again this was at times down to ‘heroic’ play- they had lots of chances to withdraw a little and leave their enemies with only limited opportunities to get at them. The floorplans (in-game) for this section included shelves and racks in the shop that could be climbed, and which also allowed the guys control the flow of the attackers- they only used this tactic once or twice, and then usually when a PC had taken a beating.

I like PC deaths; there I’ve said it- I like the lower levels to be tough, really tough if I can get the players on board with it. Back in 3e in a scenario I managed to kill an entire party of 1st level PCs two-and-a-half times with one Ghoul, 13 PC deaths courtesy of a 2 HD Ghoul- a little too tough perhaps.

Goodman Games scenarios are also full of junk (for which read flavour), that kooky stuff that reminds me of much older editions, the d100 tables of trash along with level inappropriate magic items. You never know what you’re going to get. It’s this kind of treasure/gear that ends up being part of the story. The same goes for the bad guys, for the most part in Goodman Games scenarios the bad guys have personality, or else a leader who makes it easy to sound off and make dumb threats to your players.

I also like the fact that in-game the players had no idea that there was a second level to explore, it wasn’t until the pit trap opened in the Beggar King’s throne room that they had any inclination that there was more.

I think in some ways this scenario is a blast from the past, or at least my past- it’s not big, bad or overly clever, it has a lot of simple encounters that combine well together, and it has heart- clearly written by a guy who likes to see heroes tested.

8.4/10
 

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

The Characters at Level 3- Scenario End.

Note the following have been recreated using D&D Character Builder and so are slightly different to the guys we played in game, however for some strange reason I didn’t keep details- or at least complete character sheets for all of the PCs- therefore I’ve had to re-do them.

Note I allowed the PCs to spend some of their hard earned cash, and also to swap out or else sell/exchange various magic items they found along the way.


Riardon Brightvale
(Played by James)
Male Eladrin Ranger Level 3
HP 40 Surges 6
AC 19 Fort 16 Ref 18 Will 16
Str 14 Con 11 Dex 18 Int 12 Wis 14 Cha 10
+1 Targeting Longbow & Longsword (x2)
+2 Cloak of Resistance, +1 Screaming Hide Armour & Potion of Healing
Trained Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Nature, Perception & Stealth.
Feats & Class Features: Defensive Mobility, Eladrin Will, Hunter's Quarry, Improved Initiative, Lethal Hunter.
Powers:
At Will- Careful Attack, Twin Strike.
Encounter- Evasive Strike, Fey Step, Invigorating Stride, Covering Volley.
Daily- Split the Tree.


Erais the Sunlord
(Played by Paul)
Male Human Cleric of Amaunator Level 3
HP 45 Surges 8
AC 17 Fort 15 Ref 14 Will 19
Str 14 Con 12 Dex 10 Int 12 Wis 18 Cha 12
+1 Mace & Dagger & +1 Holy Symbol of Battle
Chainmail, +1 Amulet of Protection & Potion of Healing
Trained Skills: Arcana, Heal, History, Insight & Religion
Feats & Class Features: Channel Divinity: Power of Amaunator, Human Perseverance, Ritual Casting, Toughness.
Powers:
At Will- Lance of Faith, Righteous Brand, Sacred Flame
Encounter- Channel Divinity: Divine Fortune, Channel Divinity: Power of Amaunator, Channel Divinity: Turn Undead, Divine Glow, Healing Word, Daunting Light.
Daily- Cascade of Light, Shield of Faith.


Kathra Ironforge
(Played by Iain, after the death of Corrin)
Female Dwarf Fighter Level 3
HP 50 Surges 13
AC 21 Fort 18 Ref 15 Will 14
Str 16 Con 18 Dex 12 Int 10 Wis 14 Cha 9
+1 Warhammer & Throwing Axe (x5)
+1 Scale Armour, Heavy Shield, +1 Amulet of Protection & Potion of Healing
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal & Streetwise.
Feats & Class Features: Cast Iron Stomach, Combat Challenge, Combat Superiority, Dwarven Resilience, Dwarven Weapon Training, Stand Your Ground, Toughness.
Powers:
At Will- Cleave, Tide of Iron.
Encounter- Passing Attack, Crushing Blow.
Daily- Brute Strike, Unstoppable.


Tira Duskmeadow
(Played by Becky, after the death of Scurvy)
Female Half-Elf Warlock Level 3
HP 40 Surges 9
AC 16 Fort 15 Ref 15 Will 17
Str 10 Con 16 Dex 11 Int 15 Wis 8 Cha 18
+1 Dagger & +1 Magic Wand & Zeb's Magic Rod.
+1 Leather Armour, +1 Amulet of Protection & Potion of Healing
Trained Skills: Bluff, Insight, Streetwise & Thievery.
Feats & Class Features: Action Surge, Group Diplomacy, Fey Pact- Misty Step, Implement Expertise (Wand), Prime Shot, Shadow Walk, Warlock's Curse.
Powers:
At Will- Eldritch Blast, Eyebite.
Encounter- Blazing Starfall, Ethereal Stride, Witchfire, Otherwind Stride.
Daily- Curse of the Dark Dream.


And still no Dave!
 
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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)



The PCs End

Erais, Riardon, Kathra and Tira divide up the spoils, they also manage to sell all of the items they found in their adventure that are of no use to them. They then report back to the Fallcrest City Watch- a job well done, they receive their reward, but at the same time are made to feel like they’re just the hired hands.

After a week’s rest, including a little light shopping, the adventurers are ready for more…

Although, perhaps, they may need to find a fifth member before they head back in to the dungeon.

These adventurers continue their exploits in Let’s Play#12 4e Dun158 The Tariff of Relkingham (Level 3)

See you there.
 
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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Just a short note to say this story is also available at Obsidian Portal (in the Wiki section but just follow the links), as well as the write up the PC stats (in Characters section) and the Monster stats (in Items section) are also available there.

I'll add the other stories etc. when they are completed here- check the Adventure Log section to see what's been completed.

Thank you Goonalan.
 

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