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D&D Encounters: Session 11 May 27, 2010

Posted by elopingcamel in 4e, D&D Encounters, Forgotten Realms, Narrative, PC.
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Info Dump

Last night I went to my second session (session 10 write-up here) of the new weekly in-store adventure/game from Wizards of the Coast (the company that currently makes D&D). The current adventure is called Undermountain and is set in the Forgotten Realms. The way it works is you go to your Favorite Local Gaming Store (FLGS from here on out) on Wednesday nights and play through one encounter in a short-but-ongoing, 12-encounter campaign. These adventures are divided up into “seasons” like a TV show. So, Season 1 is Undermountain and there is one encounter left (next Wednesday will be the last session). Season 2 will start in early June and go for 15 weeks. If you are interested in joining in, there is a store in Henderson that hosts them and  you are welcome to come tag along with me or go on your own. Games start at 6 p.m.

Gameplay

The games tend to be geared heavily toward battle/combat. I enjoy the combat encounters tremendously (who doesn’t?) but normally when I play I try to weave more plot/story and what not into it. These encounters tend to be pretty straightforward, “You walk into a room and see monsters. Kill them. Oh and you find some treasure.” There has been a little story weaving, but it has not been focused on too much.

I do feel like my familiarity with combat and terrain is improving though, because now I get to play on the PC side of things and find fun ways to use the terrain to my advantage. These adventures are in some ways meant to showcase certain elements of D&D 4e (Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition), so terrain, which plays a huge part in what makes 4e cool, comes into play a lot. Skill Challenges find their way in as well.

Elevation and Fire

Last night’s encounter saw us chasing the villain into a sort of stepped cave. Rises occurred in a couple of places, granting the monsters on top of those rises an easy view of us their targets. One flaming skeleton mage in particular was up higher than all the rest, shooting down fiery attacks on us, which wreathed different members of our party in flames throughout much of the encounter.

Our party has two healers (me–a minotaur runepriest–and a cleric–who did not take a feat that would give him turn undead…yikes). The flaming mage skeleton guy kept attacking our cleric, which made for some scary moments; our cleric was running out of healing surges and thus his healing resources were very limited. Our dwarf fighter was doing a good job of being a meat shield for the most part, but was rolling very poorly and just not hitting anything. In fact, quite a few of us were rolling poorly all encounter long.

Things Turn Around

Mid battle we learned that we could take an extended rest (we did not think we could before the final fight and we were scared  to use up our daily powers too early), which changed everything. Our cleric burned a daily that basically gave each of us resist 5 to damage for the rest of the encounter. Right after that I burned through two dailies, causing some nice damage and converting my damage to radiant damage for the rest of the encounter.

Our rogue did some attack that yanked the flaming skeleton mage off of his high perch and brought him down to our level (which was pretty cool). After a few rounds we dispatched him and took a much needed extended rest, which–according to our DM–would mean that our final encounter would be more difficult because the villain would have more time to prepare for our arrival. So be it.

My Favorite Moment

No one struggled with their rolls more than our human rogue. At one point he was taking two different kinds of ongoing damage: 5 fire and 2 necrotic. Our cleric had just used a power that would allow the rogue to make two saving throws (which would obviously end both conditions). The rogue rolled…Snake Eyes! We couldn’t believe it. Two 1s rolled on two d20s. I’m no expert on odds, but that seems really amazing to me. I’d certainly never seen it before.

Enders

I had a lot of fun. It is nice to be able to play for three reasons: it is fun, I learn how to DM better from both the good and bad aspects of our DM’s style, and I appreciate my role as the DM more. Playing helps me enjoy DMing even more.

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D&D Encounters: Session 10 May 21, 2010

Posted by elopingcamel in 4e, D&D Encounters, Forgotten Realms, PC.
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Last night I went to my first D&D Encounters session. It was great fun! I am not used to playing the game with people that I am not very close with, so that was a change. Also, my games tend to be very descriptive, whereas the DM for this game talked very little and focused more on just moving us through the rounds. There were lots of cool/fun elements in the room that I also felt like the DM could have made better use of but none of this is actual complaining; I felt like the DM did a great job of focusing on what mattered more in this game which was moving 8 players through a tough encounter in about an hour and a half. We actually didn’t finish in time, but we were close enough; success was a given.

I played a minotaur runepriest. From reports I had read, it seemed like there were too few players playing leaders, so I though that might be a good addition to the group. It turns out that my minotaur runepriest could also deal some heavy damage. He had some fun powers and attacks and I left feeling satisfied with him. Our rather large party had a cleric, so I was not needed to provide heavy duty healing, but what was nice is that I COULD do some healing while inflicting damage and I also didn’t have to burn any daily powers to do so. I still have my dailies and my action point. I also have 13 healing surges. This runepriest will be able to contribute greatly to the cause, methinks.

All in all, I had a lot of fun, I stepped out of my comfort zone to do so (as I said, I have never gone to play games at my Favorite Local Gaming Store (FLGS), I got to finally play 4e instead of just DMing it (which I really do love doing btw–DMing 4e is a treat), I was able to learn much from another DM of both what I do and do not enjoy while playing that will hopefully help me improve as a DM as well, and I will be ready when Season 2 kicks off. Woohoo!