August 2011


There’s a good group of D&D players at my D&D/board games FLGS (there’s another one that does wargaming) and we usually have two full tables for the weekly  Encounters games. I’m playing in the current Neverwinter season, but I agreed to DM the follow on adventure Evards Shadow, a continuation of the Shadowfell season. We ran the game Wednesday and our first reaction is that this adventure is brutal.

At the table there was a Blackguard, Hexblade, Warpriest, Binder, and a Thief. There was some good role playing during the first skill challenge, but we always find skill challenges to be slightly awkward. It’s hard to disguise the mechanical nature of them. They succeeded on the challenge, but only one character spotted the hiding wraiths.

The party handled the zombies well, with the blackguard and the binder controlling the zombies effectively. The wraiths were a different matter. One of the two waited until the second round to attack, so for the test of the fight the wraiths were staggered in their appearances (one this round, the other next round, etc). With their at will power to turn invisible and teleport after taking damage they were impossible to lock down. Add in the insubstantial quality and it was a nightmare for the PC’s.

The first PC to die was the Warpiest, as he got critter by their special “when invisible” damage. The next round the other wraith finished off the unconscious warpriest. The wraiths used the same tactic when they dropped and killed the Hexblade. The Binder was their next focus fire victim, buy the party killed the wraiths before they could finish off the unconscious Binder.

Using the Encounters rules for dead PC’s the warpriest and Hexblade spent 4 healing surges to come back to life, and then had to spend more to heal themselves. Those two characters are almost out of healing surges and there will be 3 more fights before they can take an extended rest, unless they flee and run back to town.

The players had fun, as did I, but I’m seeing at least one TPK in their future before the adventure is over.

Last weeks Dragon Age session went great. We had two players, though there will be three tonight. Last week the guy playing the fighter made his character in about 5 minutes and after the session he was really pleased with how effective his warrior was at being the tank. Right out of the box he had meaningful damage reduction and a good knock back effect.

It was a short session so we had 1 fight, an ambush on the way to the Keep. The combat was fast and interesting. The only thing that slowed it down was the lack of copies of the stunts for each player to see. I’ve got photocopies of the stunt chart so that should go faster this time.

The session ended with the party arranging with the Keeps Priest to go into the Caves of Caos to help him find a religious artifact that was stolen. I’m adding house rules to make a Priest class. It loses arcane lance, and gains a Lay on Hands type ability and the ability to vast in armor, along with some bludgeoning weapon proficiences. The other characters are a Thief and a Mage, so we’ve got the 4 basics covered. I’m really excited about running this old school adventure using the Dragon Age rules because they have an old school feel to them without having to mess with Basic D&D.