Campaign update (part #1): We’re finished.

Posted on October 25, 2010

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We’re Finished!

Okay, not as a group.   I think we’re all enjoying it and really getting into learning and playing (again).

We finished the first module of our campaign yesterday.  It was our seconds session.  This seemed a bit weird to me as I have memories of dungeons that took months to finish, when I was younger.  I suppose it has a lot to do with the module, and the fact that all the characters were first level.

Anyhow, it’s neither here nor there, just feels a bit odd.

Our Story So Far

Let me update you on the campaign so far:

We started playing the Red Box dungeon, continuing the story of Treavus and the dark horseman.  Our first session ran long (of course) as we learned about making characters and got the basics of the system laid out for the newest adventurers.  Most of the concepts were easy for the younger players (11 & 12years old) to pick up on rather quickly, and so after I was (finally) ready with all my DM stuff, the party let out from the city of Fallcrest, intent on returning the stolen box to Treavus.

Before the game, I had made a few pre-generated characters to to make things go a little slower.  My son Daniel had chosen to be an Assassin (from Dragon #391) and had built his character a few days before.  Dave (my brother-in-law), who plays regularly, was new to Essentials, and went with the Fighter(Knight) build.  Alex (my friend) took the Cleric (Sun Domain) and his daughter, Jenny chose a Rogue (Thief).  Okay, no mage???… no problem.

The party was set:

  • Lee (Human Knight)
  • DonWarden (Elf Cleric)
  • SteeleWolfe (Human Assassin)
  • Buffy (Halfling Thief)

First Encounter:

I thought that the Red Box DM’d guide did a nice job with easing the players into playing with the “build your own character” adventure, and again with the first encounter, where our party walked into an ambush by two wolves and two kobolds.  Play went as expected, the Knight and Cleric worked together on the wolves, and the two younger players scattered, both going after a separate kobold.

Luckily the kobolds were just minions, and were easily taken out.  The wolves however were a different story.  The Knight and the Fighter were holding their own, but taking big damage (for first level characters), and Lee fluctuated around 1hp with DonWarden doing his best to heal and beat off the Wolves.

In the end, all was well and the wolves were dispatched.

Into the temple:

When presented with the two entrances to the temple, the party was able to give me some good practice at honing my DM skills.  Instead of just choosing “door #1” or “door  #2”, they searched, listened, asked about footprints in the dust, door height and make-up,  could they see under the door, etc.  It was nicely done, and I wasn’t ready for it, so I learned a thing or two about making up on the fly.

Finally, they chose door number 1, heard some shuffling on the other side, and then decided to pull a “Leeroy Jenkins” and charged into the room.  Amazingly, this worked, surprising the kobolds in the room enough to allow the party to dispatch them rather quickly, before they could rally and do any real damage to the party.

After a little discussion, the party chose to leave the room via the door they came in, instead of opening the door to the north…  So they went back out, and listened, asked, looked at and lock-picked the “door #2”, which, when opened led them to…. the same place that the door to the north led.

When the party entered the northern door, they spent a bit of time discussing amongst themselves about how to proceed.  They could see a few kobolds, and didn’t know whether to just attack or try and talk with them.  This gave me as the DM another opportunity to practice my craft.  Every two sentences that the party uttered, I rolled a d20 and after my second 10+ roll, I decided that the kobolds had surrounded them, and moved the figures to show that.  Luckily, the assassin (SteeleWolfe) spoke a little Draconic and was able to understand the kobolds orders to “Follow! You Follow, No talk!”.

The kobold led the adventurers to a young white dragon.  In conversation, they were able to convince to him to let them go, and they would destroy the necromancer that was inhabiting the lower parts of the temple.  This was the first time that I have run a Skill Challenge, and I thought it went quite well.

After learning all the dragon had to offer, the dragon became frustrated and ordered them to leave him, or else.  And “or else” almost happened.  Seems that the thief is a little too intent on pressing the issue and with a final demand to leave, the dragon stood and unfolded it’s wings, ready to attack, thus convincing the party to hot step it out of there….

And right into another fight (Is there a door that doesn’t lead to a fight???).

Three kobolds and a bugbear attack the party as they stumble into what was probably a pantry or storage area.  And again, the Lee (Knight) and DonWarden (Cleric) move together, while the younger folks split from the group, each taking a kobold.  These koblods aren’t minions however, and don’t go down with a single shot.  As the battle drags on, the kobolds are slowly eliminated, while the bugbear beats on the knight, taking him to negative hp’s no less than 3 times.  DonWarden (Cleric) heals as fast as he can, attempting to undo the damage that the bugbear is doing, but not making much headway.

In what is to be the major turning point of the game so far, SteeleWolfe (assassin) sneaks up behind the bugbear and uses a viscous Garrot-Strangle that not only incapacitated the bugbear, but does sustainable damage to him each round.  This holds the bugbear (failed save) and the rest of the party can stand there and wail on him.

Once the bugbear dies, the party scouts the room and finds the +1 Life-Drinker Great Axe dropped by the bugbear, some coins, some chain and a few candles.  They decide to bed down for the night and set up sentries…

This is where we stopped the first session.  Feedback was favorable, seems that everyone had a good time.  They liked the voices and facial gestures that I did when talking to them in the roll of the kobolds and dragon.  The enemies weren’t too hard, and the party was moving along nicely.

Some thoughts on this session from me:

  • After reading up on Temporary HP’s I realized that we were using them wrong.  We added them to the score, not to the temporary HP stack.
  • I felt good about how I did as GM, but need to be a bit better prepared so we can start on time.
  • I like DMing, but want to be in the battle as well…

Next: A mage walks into a dungeon

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Posted in: D&D 4e