Tonight’s session went really well. Almost everyone showed up early and ready to play. We had to make some quick additions to the characters as no one had picked magic items. That one was my fault. We started at 2nd level so they should have had level appropriate magic items and gear, but they assumed they wouldn’t have any. No problems though, we leafed through the books real quick and picked out some basic items.

After character and adventure introductions we started the session with the first encounter in the book – the brigands and the farmhouse that I talked about a few posts ago. I was a little worried that the implementation of the non-skill challenge in combat was going to be clunky but it worked out pretty well. The mage went over to put out the fire right out the gate, except of scooping buckets from the well he used Prestidigation to put out portions of the fire. I figured that was equivalent, if not better, than single buckets of water, so after 4 rounds of him doing that I said the fire had been put out.

While he was putting out the fire he kept trying to convince the NPC to come out of the house and run to safety. Through dialogue with her he picked up that she wanted the brigands to be far away from the house before she would leave, so the party worked on pushing the brigands away from the house. After a few rounds the path was clear and I had her and her sons run out and hop over the fence to safety.

So without much prodding and very little OOC talk about the situation the party managed to accomplish both of the tasks and I rewarded them with some extra XP. They also prevented the escaping brigands from getting away in a climatic running battle. I considered pulling the DM card and just saying that he got away but I felt that it should be played out, so they ran him down and got him.

The highlight of the battle for me was when I got to push one of the PC’s into the well. It was pretty funny, and the ranger got up out of the well the next round, dripping like a wet elf.

The NPC interaction later and the second battle at the tavern went good as well. That battle was a cakewalk for the party so I think I’m going to have to beef up the encounters to make it more challenging. The party composition was: Elf Knight, Eladrin Enchanter, Elf Hunter, Half-Orc Paladin, & the Halfling Cleric. There was a mix between Essentials and regular 4e characters, but I didn’t notice a power difference.

Everyone had a good time and was eager to interrogate the Iron Circle brigand they kept alive, but I called it there for the night because the game store was closing, and it was past our stop time anyway. Overall it was a very successful first session and a very pleasant first time experience in DM’ing 4th edition. After years of DM’ing 3rd edition it was great that I didn’t have to find ways to make sure certain classes were able to contribute. The system works right out of the box. I’m not saying there aren’t flaws or rough spots, but for a group of 2nd level characters it worked great.

Tomorrow: Revenge of the Iron Lich. Anyone want to place bets on how long the PC’s last? 🙂


Good gaming!