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


Rodent of Uncertain Parentage
100 to 200 weapons. You aren't sure how many humanoids there are out there - too dark! Your best guess was about 50.
Ah, got it. Well, assuming the five of us can collectively toss 1 weapon into the tower every 2 seconds (seems realistic once we get a moving-chain going, and since we're not trying to stack them neatly or anything), it would take between 3 and 7 minutes to get them all in... which is about how much time we think we have before the mob arrives, yes?

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Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
Heh - me talk pretty one day. 100-200 weapons total, combining what's already in the tower with what's in the barges. These were weapon shipments 6 and 7 according to the notes on the cashbox; you'd guess that the barges are filled with almost 50 well-made spears, axes, swords, blowguns, and other weapons. You should be able to shift them into the tower within two minutes if you don't care about where they land. It'll make noise, though. Sound travels over water.

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
Alas, Strontium doesn't know Animal Messenger. According to his sheet, his three rituals are: Comprehend Languages, Tenser's Floating Disk, and Make Whole. Plus, we have a 4th ritual that can fix leaky boats and help with fishing.

In any case, we don't have any ritual components, so it's a moot point.

Ah well, c'est la vie!

Hey, it would be funny if the approaching army knew that there was a 'war golem' in the tower, but didn't know what a 'war golem' looked like, giving Strontium the opportunity to pretend to be their war golem :)


First Post
Ah well, c'est la vie!

Hey, it would be funny if the approaching army knew that there was a 'war golem' in the tower, but didn't know what a 'war golem' looked like, giving Strontium the opportunity to pretend to be their war golem :)

Actually, it's funny you should mention that. The final door at the bottom of the tower is barred from our side, and has a crude stick figure of a creature with curved sword arms. The Lizard men said it was a war god and only their leader could command it.

So good news, yes, there probably is a golem. Bad news, they know we don't control it.

Worse news? Figure with two curved swords? I'm just hoping they don't have Drizz't locked down there. Or I am hoping they do, and he ran out of food and water and had to eat Gywnhvar.

Besides, I mostly used the joke so Stron could say "Is it not risible?" Because THAT was the joke.

Ha! I played with Piratecat at AnonyCon this weekend in a game where he was playing an android, and he used that exact joke-- a fairly dumb set-up joke followed by "Is it not risible?" I attributed it to his awesome role-playing, but clearly you deserve the credit. :)


Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
Ha! I played with Piratecat at AnonyCon this weekend in a game where he was playing an android, and he used that exact joke-- a fairly dumb set-up joke followed by "Is it not risible?" I attributed it to his awesome role-playing, but clearly you deserve the credit. :)
If it makes you feel any better, I blatantly stole KidCthulhu's vocal pattern for that PC as well. A blatant rip-off from start to finish! But I did tell her when I got home. :)


First Post
the group chose not to pursue my big plot hook for the evening. I expected that might happen and had a backup plan prepared, but I hadn't really expected it. It creates interestingly plotty stuff for the future, at least.
My group always seem to go for the side-quests, and some of our best sessions have been on inconsequential dungeons (although they always add to the flavour of the campaign.)


First Post
Terrible terrible mental images of Vanna White as a War Golem who only unleashes powerful magical attacks if you can guess/spell the phrase hinted at with glowing blank rune stones on her breastplate....


First Post
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.

To quote my DM's response when my Wizard/Sneak of Shadows did the same thing...

"Holy s*&^! He wasn't bloodied before, and now he's dead."

Rolling a critical on a sneak attack is the most beautiful thing ever. :)


Rodent of Uncertain Parentage
Hoo boy.

We’ll call this, our sixth session, “Tower Defense.”

A couple of notes before I describe the session:

1. I’m a total doofus. We hit second level at the end of last run, and I eagerly updated my sheet almost the very next day. I picked “Nimble Blade” as my new feat. And then I forgot all about it during today’s session. D’oh! While I think it only cost me one hit, that’s a mistake I won’t be making again.

2. I see now from reviewing last session that we had a bound prisoner in the tower with us. Both DM and players forgot about him, too. I guess he hasn’t managed to escape!

Here’s the brief summary of what happened. As usual, I’m probably missing details and getting some stuff wrong – Piratecat and the other players are free to contribute.

Realizing that the approaching mob of lizard men could easily outrun us in a swamp (either on foot, or on the heavy weapon barges), we decided to make our stand inside the tower. With about five minutes to prepare, we hastily flung all of the weapons from the barges, as well as the bodies from the previous attack, into the tower. Then Logan (a budding alchemist in addition to a fine rogue), set out three of the barrels of flammable oil, with fuses rigged to blow them if touched by fire. He wasn’t sure what the blast radius would be, but guessed about 10’ One was on the lip of the tower roof, and one more was set atop each barge. We propped open the trap-door at the top of the tower with a spear, with a rope tied around it so we could close it in a hurry.

Inside the tower we had another two barrels of oil (un-rigged), and a small fire so we could light arrows and javelins before throwing them at the oncoming enemies.

Finally, Toiva confessed her secret to us, by briefly changing her appearance to look like a lizardman, and then back again. Whoa, she’s a Doppelganger! But there was no time to gawk and babble much about that – the mob was in range!

We started with some small attacks when they were about 15 squares away – a burning javelin, a sling stone, a magic missile from Strontium – and killed a couple of minions. One of the leaders in back exhorted the rest of the mob to charge the tower, and by the light of some torches carried by the mob, we could tell that there were well more than the 50 we had initially estimated. It seemed like the swamp was crawling with lizard men, mostly small ones (halfling sized), and a few bigger ones.

The mob charged.

Strontium cleared out a few in the middle with a scorching burst. Cobalt dropped one with a sling stone.

Then Logan lobbed a burning stick down at the barrel atop the tower edge.


The blast radius was larger than we thought – big enough, in fact, that it set off the other two barrels! The resulting three explosions took out about 30 minions (and possibly some bigger ones – we couldn’t tell in the dark), as well as burning some of us inside the tower from blowback.

The rest retreated a bit, but stayed nearby. In the distance we heard the sound of our boat being chopped to pieces. Dang.

Some spokeslizard then tried to parlay with us, offering us clearly-bogus promises of safety if we’d abdicate the tower. He also tried to pretend that he was uninvolved with the incipient attack on Floodford, but we didn’t buy that either. Toiva did the talking, and told the lizardman that “we were not going to deal with flunkies – let us talk to your leader.”

Well, eventually we heard lizardmen crawling along the top of the tower. They were faster than we anticipated, and four non-minion lizardfolk managed to swing in through the open door before Cobalt kicked out the spear holding it open. It closed upon a fifth who was partway through the door.

Hey... close quarters with two rogues, a paladin and a ranger! Despite the lizards’ ability to shift around, we had nearly ubiquitous combat advantage over them, and Logan helped by using his Blinding Barrage. We were in striker heaven, and it was over quickly, and our healing potions and Doc Caldwell’s first aid kept us pretty healthy. Toiva also helped sow some confusion by mimicking one of the lizardmen.

The only dicey moment came when the last lizardman alive realized he was standing over a barrel of oil, and not far from the fire we were using to light our ranged weapons. We could see him deciding to sacrifice himself to take us out, so Logan endured an OA to leap upon the fire with a cloak, putting it out. The lizard still managed to jam a spear into the barrel before we killed him. So there was now a slightly-oozing barrel sitting in the corner of the top tower level.

That’s when the Boss, also atop the tower, muttered “Sometimes you have to do things yourself,” yanked open the trap door, and swung into the tower with us. He was an extremely oversized lizardman with a greatclub and more Hit Points than our whole party combined. He also had a second attack every round with his tail. This was Sarothic, the one we had heard could control the “War God” sealed in the lowest level of the tower.

That fight lasted about four rounds, and was another festival of sneak attacks. Big and scary as he was, we pretty much had him surrounded, and carved him up like a steak. We were aided immensely by Toiva’s challenge, which meant that with every tail-slap against a different target, lizard-king was taking additional damage. Logan also gave us all a round of Combat Advantage against him with Dazing Strike. Strontium polished him off with a last magic missile.

Which is not to say he wasn’t dangerous, or we came out unscathed. He landed a couple of times with the club, and each hit was enough to knock a full-strength PC down to half-health or so.

(There was a second harrowing moment in that last fight, again caused by that oil. Strontium realized part way through that he could actually use burning hands – the first time it was tactically feasible. What we all forget was that the oozing barrel was in the blast zone! Since we hadn’t rigged that barrel to blow, it merely caught on fire, but probably would have blown in another few seconds. But Strontium redeemed himself by using prestidigitation to snuff out the flame.)

We hacked off Sarothic's head, intending to throw it out, but a bunch of lizardlings were sitting on the door, shutting us in. With a huge heave, Logan and Cobalt and Elijah forced it open, sending the lizards spilling off. Toiva heaved out Sarothic’s head, exclaiming “I said, we don’t deal with flunkies. Let us speak to your leader!”

So, we were feeling pretty bad-ass at that point, since Sarothic clearly was the leader, right? And we had killed about 50(!) lizards without suffering any deaths ourselves. But the negotiating lizard, who had been hanging back this whole time, responded calmly: “Very well. He was been sent for. He will be here shortly.”

And we don’t think he’s bluffing.

Oh, and there’s a new wildcard as well. On the body of Sarothic, we found an amulet that shares a marking with the sealed door behind which lurks the “War God.” Can we use it to control whatever lurks at the bottom of the tower? We may have to, if it turns out the 200 HP monstrosity we just fought was only a sub-boss...

Tactical notes:
- This game showed us the awesome power of the wizard to clear out minions. While the exploding barrels took out some 30 guys, we killed about 50 lizards altogether, and Strontium probably accounted for 10 just on his own. Scorching Burst for the win!
- But he was still frustrated by the lack of opportunity to use Acid Arrow, which I don’t think he’s been able to break out yet.
- Sneak attacks still rock. Yes sir, they surely do.
- Cobalt made good use of his new utility – Adaptable Flanker from the Martial Power book. It’s effectively an Encounter Power that does 2d8+3 extra damage on a hit.
- 6 games in, and not a single combat that hasn’t been exciting from start to finish. Still no dragging.
- Skills used this game: Acrobatics, Bluff, Endurance, Heal, Perception, Insight
- I think Strontium is the only one left with a Daily Power. We’ve used a bunch of our healing potions as well – I know Cobalt had two and used both of them. Next fight will be tough, if it’s against a Big Boss, and with us somewhat depleted.
- The small minion-y lizardmen were, mechanically, repurposed kobolds. The larger more dangerous ones with Greenscale Hunters – Level 4 skirmishers. Sarothic, Piratecat tells me, was a Blackscale Bruiser (Level 6 Brute) advanced to Elite status and “tweaked.”

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