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KotS Session 3: Death to Ninaran – Part 2 June 2, 2010

Posted by elopingcamel in 4e, DM, Keep on the Shadowfell, Narrative.

Part 1 here.

Battle Tested, Mother Approved

Heeding Sister Linora’s directions, the party heads down into the temple cellar where they find a secret door hidden behind a linen shelf. They follow the tunnel well below the temple until it leads to a bend, where they can see a three-way intersection ahead. Kat sneaks up ahead to scout the tunnel, but she ends up triggering a False-pit Trap (from the DMG). She narrowly avoids falling in, but right afterward the PCs hear a female voice cry out, “Now!” A soft click follows and then another trap is sprung; the ceiling of the tunnel caves in on them (the Rockslide Trap from the DMG). No one took damage from the first trap, but everyone takes lots of damage from the second. Then the fight breaks out! Four level 2 PCs against Ninaran (level 4 archer), 2 kobold dragonshields (level 2 soldiers) positioned perfectly just on the other side of the pit trap as to block the PCs from getting across easily and also making flanking positions more difficult to come by, and a kobold minion (which became a kobold skirmisher, because Ronen expended a daily on the minion (Contagion) and I didn’t have the heart to have it kill the minion before it had the chance to inflict some damage). The Skirmisher has only half HP instead.

Ronen’s Contagion doesn’t work exactly as planned, though. It effectively damages the kobold Skirmisher, but on the Skirmisher’s next turn he attacks Thotham, who is standing right next to the pit. The kobold rolls a 1. In keeping with my tradition of 1’s being auto-failures because it means that something went wrong with the attack, the Skirmisher loses his balance as he swings at the massive Goliath Bard, and slips over the edge of the pit (taking damage in the fall). I didn’t realize it until afterward, but this meant that Ninaran was now out of distance to have the Contagion spread to her. Ah well…sorry Ronen; it was unintentional but well played on my part nonetheless.

The kobolds and Ninaran focus their early attacks on Luna, dropping her unconscious within the second round. Thotham revives her with a healing or inspiring song. Luna had a rough night at first because the monsters were laying it on thick against her and she was not rolling high enough to attack back really. Sierra grew frustrated. I made it worse when she failed an attack roll, decided to use an action point, and then failed that roll. She was one shy of the target DC of the kobold dragonshield’s AC. She was NOT pleased that I didn’t let her have that attack be successful but she got over it quickly. Her Form of the Fearsome Ram daily/encounter duo power once again saves the say and makes Luna look like a formidable foe. After all the rest of the monsters (kobolds) are dead, Luna jumps onto a mound of dirt and launches herself at Ninaran, while in her ram form. She knocks into Ninaran and pushes her back 3 squares. She deals a lot of damage and it is immediately apparent that Ninaran is quickly dying. They kill her after she swears at them, begins to cry, and mentions that they had killed her boyfriend, Helvec.

The party recovers the book, gold and XP, Ninaran’s small silver dart blower, and Kat takes Ninaran’s shadow-black, leather armor. They head back up to the temple to rest and recover before further exploring the tunnels beneath the temple.

What I Learned

I’m going to look into how minions deal with saving throws. Looking back, I probably didn’t need to change the minion to a skirmisher on the fly–I could have allowed the death of the minion to be an automatic failed saving throw. This would have allowed Ronen’s use of his daily to actually work without me accidentally messing up its effectiveness. I do have some concerns about this approach though, just because if a minion is weak enough to be killed from a single damage point, then perhaps they are meant to not be affected by saving throw-type effects. We will keep the current ruling until there is evidence that it needs to be changed. All in all I felt like changing the minion to a skirmisher worked out alright. It did mean less daily power damage overall, but it allowed for the swift slaughter of a mangy kobold foe whose own stupidity launched him helplessly into a pit from which there would be no escape.



1. KotS Session 3: Death to Ninaran – Part 1 « Learning How To DM - June 2, 2010

[…] will get Part 2 up asap, because that is where the battle (and thus fun) really […]

2. KotS Session 4: The Shadow Key « Learning How To DM - June 21, 2010

[…] They come to the T-section where they had battled and killed Ninaran the night before (part 1 & part 2). Footprints are visible heading up the path to the North, while the path to the Southeast is bare; […]

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