D&D Enc Hoard of the Dragon Queen Session 1-2

Posted in D&D, Encounters, D & D 5e with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2014 by Mik Calow

DnD_HOD_300x300This week we only had my table down at Tabletop Tyrants, but what a table.

As with recent sessions I was running a double length game (and will continue to do so fortnightly) and had a full table of 7 players. Not just my newly converted wargamers from our Phandelver sessions, but a couple of returning players from our 4e era along with one totally new face (though not voice, as I had gamed with Sarah in an online campaign).

  • Jon – Dwarf Cleric of Ilmater
  • Lee – Dwarf Paladin or Tyr
  • Jack – Human Fighter
  • Matt – Human Warlock (Dark Pact)
  • Patrick – Human Warlock (Fey Pact)
  • Sarah – Tiefling Warlock (Ancient Pact)
  • Daniel – Dwarf Fighter

Some of the players have chosen to take bonds from the optional ones included with the adventure but in conversation after we realised that the adventure itself doesn’t actually have a good reason for the heroes to be together and heading into Greenest at the start so post-session I came up with good old Sir Isteval of Daggerford, a paladin of some renown and because of their personal backgrounds and experiences, “invited” them to head to Greenest to investigate rumours of cultist activity. Sir Isteval feared it may have been further machinations of the Red Wizards of Thay, but the subsequent situation would indicate otherwise.

Greenest

Approaching the town as night falls the party find it under attack by kobolds, cultists and a blue dragon! Moving closer to find out what the hells going on they find a family fighting a retreat against a bunch of kobolds and step in to help. They realise its going to be too dangerous to let the family continue roaming alone and agree to escort them to the towns central keep, on the way they are attacked by more kobolds and cultists, taking heavy casualties en route. Thankfully once they reach the keep they are able to purchase some healing from the resident priests tending the wounded defenders.

The town leader, Governor Nighthill, and his seneschal, Escobar, are very happy to see the heroes and thankful for their help. Escobar asks for their further help, letting use an old escape tunnel to bypass the majority of the invaders in the hopes of rescuing further trapped townsfolk in the temple of Chauntea. The tunnel had become home to a number of rats but the heroes scared them off with burning torches (and eldritch bolts).

Climbing the river bank towards the church they find a trio of townsfolk hiding amidst the brambles and tell them to head to the tunnel and the safety of the keep but the trio are too scared to leave their hiding place. Taking cover at the churchyard wall the heroes prepare to scout the area but are surprised by the attack of a vicious green scaled drake. The reptile takes a massive bite out of the heroes before they are able to deal with it, luckily they havent attracted further attention. They spot a group of enemies trying to batter the main doors open, and another  group (with 2 of the green drakes) making a patrol around the building. Through judicious use of their magics they make the patrol think there’s something in the bushes south-east of the church and the kobolds and co run eager for easy targets.

Meanwhile the heroes charge the group at the doors, half a dozen kobolds attacking the door under the urgings of a human dressed in pink/purple robes and wielding a wicked looking scimitar. Sticking with a tactic that had been working well so far the warlocks target the kobolds with ranged attacks while the fighters charge into the human. However no-one told the kobolds to play along and they quickly swarm around the combatants despite the continuing warlock barrage. The human proves quite handy with his scimitar, laying a couple of the heroes low before finally succumbing. The refugees inside had seen the combat through the windows and open the door when the heroes ask, but take a little convincing to leave their sanctuary, but eventually agree to follow them to the tunnel before the patrol returns. The trio from the brambles join them this time and everyone heads to the tunnel entrance.

Unfortunately a large group of kobolds have decided to lay in ambush and begin pelting the heroes and refugees with their slings. It’s a war of attrition with 2 of the warriors still unconscious from the fight outside the church, and things look decidedly grim once Jon’s cleric also gets taken down. During this battle the kobolds also manage to score a pair of critical hits on Sarah dropping her too. Luckily with no cultists to rally them the kobolds suffer enough losses to cut and run, allowing the heroes and remaining refugees to make it to the tunnel and into the keep for safety.

After just shy of 4 hours gaming we called it there and completed our session logs while I tallied up the xp, they had earned 253 each, a little short of the capped amount for the chapter (I still don’t like that but hey ho) and had completed 3 of the parts of the chapter. However they are severely low on resources, healing in particular and still have no time for a rest. I had read on the DM forums how deadly this chapter could be and my rolling multiple crits hadn’t helped – but that’s the deal with dice games, sometimes they’re in your favour, sometimes not.

The players still enjoyed themselves so I’d count that as a win. As a DM I’m a big fan of the kobolds pack tactics, it seems to balance out their inherent squishyness nicely and the players soon realised that not dealing with the annoying little snappers could leave them in worse danger than the accompanying cultists posed. Good fun.

D&D Exp DDEX1-1 Defiance in Phlan

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Gaming events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2014 by Mik Calow

DDEX1-1This afternoon saw Tabletop Tyrants hosting the first of our D&D Expeditions – Defiance in Phlan. The expeditions adventures debuted at GenCon earlier this year but are now being made available for in store play, a fact that I’m really happy about as the city of Phlan was a regular feature in my early 2e campaigns using the brilliant Ruins of Adventure module (which I happily still have).

We had a few last-minute cancellations so instead of the 2 tables of 7 players we had planned we ended up with 2 tables of 4 players.

My fellow DM for the day was Vipin, with Oliver, Heather, Liam and (first time player) Emily on his table. I had three of my Encounters players, Jon, Lee and Jack, accompanied by David.  Here’s how we got on – note that this will include spoilers if you havent yet played the adventure for yourself.

  • Jon – Wood Elf Monk, Lords Alliance
  • Lee – Dwarf Ranger, Emerald Enclave
  • Jack – Dragonborn Barbarian, Zhentarim
  • David – Dragonborn Warlock, Zhentarim

We started with the first mission, the heroes get hired by a harper to attend a night-time meet to buy a dragon egg and plant a magical tracking device on the seller because Lee has a passing resemblance to the person that was supposed to be making th buy. They even managed to persuade the harper to up the reward to 300 gp (before anyone starts screaming about changing the rewards in AL play, wait till the end of the write up – trust me). David manages to pocket one of the diamonds meant for the sale and they head off to their destination.

Arriving they find a scruffy female elf and a pair of guards as they begin the trade the elf looks closer at Lee and exclaims “wait a minute….where’s your scar?” Lee’s response of “What scar?” causes it all to kick off. It doesn’t help when more rough-looking guys appear (apparently members of the Phlan thieves guild) and they want the egg too and offer David a deal to help take out the elf and her guys in return for the egg. The fight pushes further towards the back of the barn and Lee is finally able to snatch the backpack with the egg off the elf before she flees out of the back door (her guards having been disposed off). Luckily Jon had managed to plant the tracker before being dropped unconscious.

The remaining thieves guilders still wanted the egg and after David foolishly mentioned the diamonds, those too. With Jack quickly joining Jon on the floor Lee and David grabbed their companions and made a dash for the door the elf had left by (David getting stabbed by one of the thieves for his troubles as he ran past). Thankfully the guilders fear that the noise of combat may attract the Black Fist (mercenary force that were the city’s nominal police) and so didn’t give chase.

Rather than head straight back to the harper they sought healing for their comrades first, but finally made it back to the Teapot and the harper. There they handed over the egg after receiving their 300 gp but the harper examined the egg and revealed it as a fake. “Just as well, so were the diamonds” he said, to heroes surprise. Jon was now more than a little wary and checked the cash he’d paid them with, discovering it to be gold painted silver pieces. Even though they were still hurting from earlier the heroes prepared to face off with the harper but he diffused the situation by paying them the originally offered 200 gp and bid them farewell (see I told you to wait, only the official reward gained).

So, first mission under their belts we took a brief break for those that wanted it. Following the advice from the various forums we had decided to run each mission as a separate adventure, so although the events were all happening during the course of a single day, the players would be refreshed at the start of each as though they had taken a long rest in between.

Mission two saw breakfast being disturbed by a screaming woman in the street. Turns out goblins had raided her peat farm and kidnapped the rest of her family, dragging them off into the swampland. A pair of Black Fists arrived to see what the fuss was and declared as it wasnt in the city it wasnt their problem but if the heroes wanted to check it out the city would pay them 50 gp for their trouble. The woman drove them back to her farm in her horse and cart and Lee’s ranger easily picked up the goblin trail, leading to a cave mouth in a hillock.

As they approached they saw a goblin talking to a cloaked human, the human said the goblins were to bring him any draconic artifacts and then magically disappeared, the goblin strode back into the tunnel. The heroes followed after a few minutes but were hit by some hidden goblin archers. Moving further in Lee and Jack trigger a trip wire dropping half the ceiling on the party (knocking jack unconscious) and blocking the exit. Using the rubble they make a temporary barricade while waiting for Jack to recover. A nervous pair of goblins were pushed through the curtain leading further into the cave and took shots at the heroes but were easily dealt with by return fire.

Eventually the heroes advanced into the next chamber to find a caged wolf, but more worryingly, a large worg and a trio of goblins. Jon managed to calm the caged wolf but the worg needed a more direct approach. Lee, Jack and David focused on the worg, even when the goblins began attacking them and once it fell the goblins were easily dealt with.

Battered and bruised they moved on to find the next chamber to find it well-appointed and a bugbear sitting on a “throne” waiting for them. Another trio of goblins stood ready and the heroes felt they were in no condition to tackle these foes directly. Luckily David makes a deal to buy the slaves for the (fake) diamonds and the farmer and the others are set free. There is also another prisoner that David realises is also a zhentarim agent and asks for his freedom too. The bugbear says if one of them can defeat him in single combat the prisoner will be freed, should the other heroes interfere he orders his goblins to first kill the prisoner then the heroes. Jacks barbarian steps forward to accept the challenge, but falls to the bugbears first blow! The bugbear allows the heroes to leave but will still not release the other prisoner. The heroes reluctantly take Jack and the slaves back to Phlan.

Following another short break we have an hour and a half left so we start what will be our last adventure or the day, appropriately the final, fifth mission. The heroes are engaged by a gnome to find if his daughter has been taken to a secret prison used by some unscrupulous members of the Black Fists for torturing prisoners. Having paid some shady fellows he had discovered the suspected entrance to this prison. The heroes entered, finding a number of cells and their occupants began clamouring to be freed. One female prisoner caught David’s attention as she appeared to be hiding something in her hands. Opening her cell caused her to fly into a rage and attack the dragonborn, screaming “you’re not the true gods” over and over until Lee knocked her out with the flat of his axe.

Moving on there were 2 doors leading further, one barred from this side, one unbarred. The heroes went through the unbarred and David spied a body sleeping in one of three bunk beds at the far side. He tried to make his way stealthily across the  room  – however the three guards and their big angry dog hiding in the room could see him quite clearly and the sleeping guard proved to be quite awake. In the ensuing fight Jack was dropped by a vicious dog bite but the heroes eventually prevailed. Once jack is revived they move on to the remaining door, finding the gnome girl sitting in a cage in the middle of the room beyond. As they approach her a large grick attacks, despite having only Davids magic available they eventually kill the beast and even overcome the frightening effect of the obelisks and pillars in the room before dragging the girl to freedom.

As they come back into the next room an elven woman with drawn bow awaits them, demanding they turn the girl over to her. It looks like it’s all going to end in blood until they are able to snap the girl out of her “nightmare” and she confirms the elf is her friend. The elf gives the heroes some coin and another healing potion before she and the gnome leave.

The heroes return to the Teapot and tell the gnome whats happened, and though his daughter is brought to him he is relived to know she is free and healthy. He pays the reward and bids them farewell.

And so that’s where we ended things. The heroes had earned enough xp to become 2nd level and so they will (hopefully) be bringing these characters to the next expeditions game (which we shall be running next month).

I’m hoping we’ll also get another volunteer to DM at the next session else I shall only be able to run a single table, but we’ll see how it goes between now and then.

All Scars Doubles mini-tournament 2014

Posted in 40k, Gaming events with tags , , , , , , on September 8, 2014 by Mik Calow

B_L_Chaos_biker Speed_Freak_Warbike

This weekend saw the All Scars gathering for our first Doubles event, though through attendee attrition it became more of a mini-tournament with 6 pairs of warlords taking to the field to prove their worth.

As I mentioned previously, I was teaming up with our resident greenskin for a biker only force – maybe not the most competitive list we could have put out but certainly a strongly themed one, consisting of units from our last rumble to determine our pecking order.

With the revised fixtures on the day our first game would be against a team of Space Wolves and Tau commanded by Edd and Ross. Both of us had suffered under the guns of Ross’s Tau but this would be my first time facing Edd across the battlefield.

Ina very un-biker like fashion we spent the first 3 turns skulking around the terrain to limit giving away points to the foes but in turn 3 they finally scored first blood and we decided to just go for it.

To our horror, one of Simon’s ork bike mobs rode over terrain to get into assault on a crisis suit team, getting reduced to a single man by the end of overwatch and then getting taken out in hand to hand by the tau before even landing a blow!

A brief spark of light in the dark came as my remaining unit assaulted another crisis team containing the tau commander and my sorceror (who had proved a worse wizard than Rincewind and Ron Weasley combined up to now) took the space-smurf out in a frenzy of force staff blows.

At the end of 5 rounds it was 12-10 to the Wolves/Tau and we prepared to fare better in our next game.

This came in the form of a strange team up of Demons and Blood Angels (fielded by John C and John S), the demons had a bloodthirster and I rather selfishly commanded my ork ally to “take him down” while I faced the hated Sons of Sanguinous who had even dared to bring a trio of bikes – the damn cheek of it!

Again my sorceror proved as adept a caster as a squashed slug but he led his unit into a glorious combat firstly against their vindicare assassin and then at the Blood Angel captain.

The orks held the bloodthirster up temporarily but eventually they were left as just more skulls for the throne of Khorne and the demon came after my warlord.

Unfortunately time was the enemy of all of us and we had to call it once we had all completed our 4th turns with the result standing at 7-7 – my first draw in 40k ever.

Edd tallied the results and I’m happy to say we did not finish last (thanks to eeking the draw), though we were just above it. The battle for the top spot had been decided on the table next to us as Edd/Ross faced off against the team of our last two tourney champions Paul and Andrew! But by the will of the fickle dice gods the Wolves/Tau stole the win.

It had been a fun day, as always, made even more entertaining with the banter amongst all the players throughout.

Next up is the first round of our Ryder Cup – the fours, which is the only round I’m participating in, unsurprisingly on the side of the dark forces with my Black Legion.

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D&D Enc Lost Mine of Phandelver session 5-6

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2014 by Mik Calow

PhandelverThis week our other table was a little light on numbers with several of the players deep in preparation for Alcon, however we also had a new member join us – Daniel had contacted the store after finding us via the WotC site and the store had put him in touch with me.

Sadly I didn’t get to chat much as I was running my table but I have since chatted via email and it sounds like he’s happy to come back next time so we must be doing something right.

Back in the Redbrand hideout the heroes decide it would be safer to leave the family they rescued in the room with the cells (after dumping the two bodies in the pit they discovered) until they knew it was safe for them to leave and then explored the north door. They were very cautious of the seemingly empty corridor, Lee bowled a couple of the skulls down it to see if the floor was trapped, before they moved up to find the door was locked (with a fairly newly replaced lock too). Lee easily picked the lock and they entered the room to find racked weapons (which they proceeded to try and cripple so as to prevent further use by the Redbrands). After searching the room and corridor but finding nothing (with truly abysmal rolls) they return to the cells to collect the family as they can lead them out on the way to the secret door they had previously found.

Unfortunately this meant getting past the pit. Lee, Jack and Patrick agreed to tie ropes to each other and jump across then use the ropes to assist the family skirting the edge ledges, but their luck with rolls continued with 2 of the 3 falling into the pit! It was only then they realised they had left Jon’s mage to hold the rope on the other side all on his own. Thankfully Jon had the idea of lowering the family one at a time into the pit and then lifting them out the other side, repeating the process until everyone was across (for this I gave him an inspiration die) and shortly the pit was bypassed.

The family left the hideout with advice from the heroes to avoid the main path and seek out Sildar once back in town. With the family disappearing into the night, the heroes turn their attention back to the Redbrands.

Going through the secret door they follow the corridor until they come to a chamber split by a crevasse, with a pair of wooden bridges crossing it. Jon began to “hear” a voice in his head telling him it was hungry and he only had to give up one – not as if he hadn’t done so before. While Lee and Jack probed further and Jack spotted a sickly green orb which made him vomit  violently after looking at it, then it disappeared. A glimpse of something slipped over the edge into the crevasse.

Eventually Jon is able to find that the voice belongs to a Nothic and a deal is made to give the creature the 2 rebrand bodies to feast on for information (the Nothic tells them that Glasstaff is working for someone called the Black Spider). Lee leads the way over one of the bridges – and it falls away under his feet, dumping him into the unnaturally cold crevasse. While he climbs out he notices a large chest at one end. Once he’s out and the others cross the other bridge safely he tells them of the chest.

Investigating the 2 corridors they hear noise coming from beyond each set of stairs, one a number of guttural growls with an annoying whine, the other sounds like a group of humans engaged in recreational activities. They decide to head towards this area and find 2 doors, the first has the sounds of the humans while the other has a solitary squeak like that of a rat.

Choosing to investigate the squeak they open the door to find a rat in a cage on a workbench along with various alchemical equipment and a bookcase full of various papers and another door leading further onwards. A brief examination of the bookcase gains them an interesting book on the Mines of Phandelver and some alchemical reagents.

They press onward and open the door to reveal a well-appointed room occupied by a calm looking wizard holding a glass staff. Jon seizes the initiative and uses thunderwave to knock the wizard flying before his allies charge in. When the wizard finally climbs back to his feet he surprises the heroes by calmly surrendering to them – but his captivity is short-lived as Lee stabs him without warning and kills him. Despite their shock they search through his paperwork and footlocker gaining a rather cryptic note and a fair bit of loot.

Jon then has the idea to try and intimidate the humans they heard into surrendering using the dead wizards staff to prove that he was defeated. This works, until the fourth of the humans recognises Lee – it’s the Redbrand thug that fought him in the street outside the Sleeping Giant. The thug and Lee face off, Patrick tries to help but is heavily wounded for his trouble and backs out while Jack and Jon make sure that the cowed thugs leave quickly and quietly via the tunnel in the Nothic’s chamber. Once the thug is dead Jon offers the Nothic another pair of juicy bodies in return for the chest, after a moment the Nothic agrees asking Jon to lower a rope as it is too weak to lift the chest out itself.

Jon lowers the rope and the Nothic goes to tie it onto the chest, though it takes it more time than one would expect, but eventually it tugs to indicate it can be pulled up. The corpses of the thug and wizard are dropped over and the over-cautious party eye the chest warily. Jack fires an arrow at it, nothing happens. Lee checks it for traps, finds none and so decides to flip the lid open.

At this crucial point I decide to take a bathroom break – ooh you could have cut the air with a spoon!

Ok, so back to the action. Lee flips the lid and reveals…..an empty chest! Jon hears the Nothic chuckling as it feasts on the wizards remains ” you asked for the chest, yes you did, but not for its contents, oh no you did not”.

By this time the heroes resources are severely depleted and while they know there is a trio of bugbears here somewhere they don’t want to face them. So they take the tunnel out and return to the town.

Jon heads directly to the Inn to inform Sildar of their findings, waking the sleeping warrior which doesn’t impress him over much, before retiring to a room of his own.

Patrick and Lee head to Lee’s contact at the Mining Exchange, she’s not impressed to see Patrick but he chooses to take her withering gaze a signs of attraction and sort of flirts ineffectually with her while Lee reports his escapades and gains the reward. Then they head to the Inn too.

Jack heads to the woodworkers family home, disturbing the returned family as he wants to make sure they got home ok and let Sildar know what had happened. The widow tells him they headed straight home, it being the middle of the night and all, Jack apologises but just needs to ask her about Thundertree and if she can remember any details of her old home, but as she reminds him she left as a young child and in somewhat of a hurry. He too returns to the Inn.

And that is where we left it. The heroes will resume their adventures in Phandalin when we get spare sessions as next time we’re beginning (albeit a little late) the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure. We may possibly also have 2-3 more players joining us  – a returning Encounters player (Daniel) and his better half (Sarah), and another of my All Scar cohorts (Gary) who used to play 2e with me many moons ago.

Before that though (as we play double sessions, fortnightly) we will be playing our first Saturday Expeditions adventure – DDEX1-1 Defiance in Phlan. I’m really looking forward to this as the original Phlan adventures (Ruins of Adventure for 1e and the Pool of Radiance pc game by SSI) were long time favourites of mine (and I still have my original copies of both).

 

More information on choosing adventures to play in the D&D Adventurers League

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2014 by Mik Calow

vobeskhan:

A fellow blogger of D&D has written a great article on organised play available.

Originally posted on Merric's Musings:

We’re almost at September, which is when the first adventures of the D&D Expeditions become legal to play. I was hoping to run a special session of them on September 1st, but the store is going to be a bit busy that day. Instead, we’ll have a couple of tables available to run on Tuesday, September 2nd and again on Monday September 8th. (I’ve got more details on our local D&D page on Facebook).

All of the three adventures we can run are for levels 1-4 characters. All are set in Phlan, a small town on the northern coast of the Moonsea in the Forgotten Realms. Players are quite welcome to bring their D&D Encounters characters in to play in the adventures, as even playing all three of the adventures at present won’t get you past 4th level. Starting a new character is…

View original 1,091 more words

Lets get ready to R-U-M-B-L-E!!

Posted in 40k, Gaming events with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2014 by Mik Calow

BLNext up for the All Scars is our Doubles Tournament and I shall be teaming up with fellow petrol-head Simon and his orks who are almost as bike mad as my SAMCRO warband.

We have often commented between ourselves as to whose bikes are better and who’d got the most, so Simon suggested we have a bikers rumble to decide which of our respective warlords would be the overlord for our team-up.

We both thought we could make around 1,200 points and so this afternoon the air was rent with the high-octane roar and chemically enhanced fumes of our engines kicking to life.

I decided to split my forces by 3, with my usual nurgle marked lord leading a unit of nurgle bikers, a tzeentch sorceror leading a tzeentch unit and for a first time trial a slaanesh sorceror leading a slaaneshi unit. Each of the bike units had champions with power mauls, 2 meltaguns, and 3 boltgunners.

We agreed to play one of the Maelstrom missions as practice for the Doubles, and rolled a 6 giving us “Deadlock”. We also agreed to only use 4 objectives and minimal scenery (Hidings for gits as the orks would say), if we drew any tactical cards for objectives that couldn’t be achieved (ie taking out vehicles/flyers etc, or for objectives 5 and 6) we could discard and redraw (This is one of the major factors amongst the All Scars players – a sensible approach to the game to make it fun for everyone). After traits and psychic powers were allocated Simon won the roll off for deployment and went first.

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I failed to seize the initiative and Simon opened with his deffkoptas (basically ork jetbikes) turboing past me to claim an early objective card, Simon knew they would most likely get hammered but it felt orky.

In my first round I destroyed 3 out of the 4 koptas by psychic and shooting before finishing the fourth off in assault. Rather than be disheartened the orks appear to be  energised by the carnage and begin to close.

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Remembering the old adage “‘Tis better to assault than be assaulted” my Tzeentch unit surged forward opening up with gun fire and psychic assault before weathering the orks overwatch and closing into combat. This is where the sorceror proved his worth (and would continue to do so throughout the game). The orks break but rolling on their special chart the nob finds his bravery by smacking his sole remaining squad member (It’s your fault we lost!) and killing him.

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Simon’s remaining 2 units assault mine, with mixed results. His warboss and nob bikers obliterate the slaaneshi unit at the cost of the nobs (leaving him a unit of independent characters – not to be sneezed at). His other unit assault in to my nurgle unit where my warboss challenges the nob and takes a hammer of wrath hit for his trouble. However the Chaos Lord proves how brutal he can be by smashing the nob with his power maul into a pulp. Most of the squad fares as well and the orks break, only to be cut down as they flee.

The character squad charge into my warlords unit and the only overwatch shots that hit are my meltaguns.

CAM01128Unfortunately this is the end of the units luck and they too are added to the growing pile of casualties (though Simon’s own pile is growing too).

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As we near the end of the game Simon splits one of his characters off to claim an objective while the other three head towards my remaining unit that has claimed objective 3 in the ork deployment zone – if it all ends we’ll both get linebreaker.

Then the dice gods turn their fickle attentions to Simon. He gets a card that scores him a point if he completes a charge of 11 inches or more and so his painboy, mek and warboss charge me – well try to. The painboy and mek make it unscathed but the warboss fails to make the distance and sits there to see my bikers tear his riders apart (thanks once again to the sorceror and his amped up abilities).

With a lack lustre shooting phase I decide to take the fight to the warboss and charge forward, my sorceror bellowing a challenge. Again he was bumped up with Iron Arm and his activated Force staff and his strength 9 Ap 2 attacks prove just that little too much for him. My unit consolidates back into the ork deployment zone just in case the game ends (this was turn 6) which proved lucky as our friend Patrick rolled for us and the game did indeed end.

Final score was 15-11 to my chaos forces but it was a great close game. It has given us both a good idea of the strengths and tactics that will prove useful in our team and more importantly – another tick in my win column!

D&D Enc Lost Mine of Phandelver session 3-4

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2014 by Mik Calow

PhandelverWell my players and I have all been armed with shiny new PHB’s and I have also bought my copy of the Hoard of the Dragon Queen too, but we continue running our Lost Mine adventure here at Tabletop Tyrants for now (I want to complete chapter 2 and have slightly modified it to link to the HotDQ Encounters adventure.

This week Patrick brought his new character and so the roll call was:

  • Jon – elf mage (evoker)
  • Jack – elf fighter (archer)
  • Lee – elf rogue (thief)
  • Patrick – half-elf bard

On Sildar’s advice they head straight to the Inn and arrange modest rooms and over hear a few grumbles about a band of thugs in town, three of whom are in the inn. Subtle as a brick Lee approached them but they quickly left. They delivered the mining equipment to Barthen’s Provisions and gathered more gossip on the thugs (called the Redbrands). Recognising the symbol of the blue lions face outside another building they inform the owner of the Lionshield Coster that several crates of their goods can be found in the goblin lair and mark its location on a map for them.

It quickly becomes apparent that most people in town are too scared to stand up to the Redbrands, though they seem scared of the owner of the Mining Exchange. Everyone points that the majority of the thugs hang around the Sleeping Giant tap-room. Again subtlety is optional as Jack and Patrick sneak up under cover while Jon and Lee march boldly down the street. Rough words are exchanged briefly before blades are drawn. At the end of the fight 2 Redbrands are dead, one is asleep and captured and the gobby leader escaped, while the heroes are Jon and Jack on their feet with Lee and Patrick bleeding on the floor. Jon uses his healers kit to stabilise them before Jack drags them to the local shrine to see if they can be healed while Jon drags their prisoner to the town hall for incarceration.

Lee and Patrick are healed and Patrick makes a huge social blunder when he notices the healer has a harp brooch similar to his own, commenting on it. Meanwhile Jon finds that the townsmaster reluctantly locks the Redbrand in the small goal.

Returning to the inn they gather their meals before retiring to their rooms, Lee had a cryptic note pushed under his door inviting him to a midnight meeting behind the Mining Exchange. He asked his allies to follow after waiting 10 minutes. His meeting proved to be with the owner of the Exchange who turned out to be a ranking member of his own faction and gave him a mission to assassinate the Redbrands leader and bring her any of his correspondence. Lee was able to head back and meet his comrades before they caught up with him. As they regrouped they spot the Redbrand Jon captured being released into the night.

Returning to their rooms they made a plan to tackle the Redbrands. Next morning Lee secretly leaves town and takes up a position in the woods where he can watch the comings and goings from Tresendar Manor’s basement. The rest of the heroes make a big show of leaving town, fully aware of a pair of Redbrands watching them, eventually heading round to meet up with Lee. They continue to watch for a few hours, seeing a quartet of figures enter, one of which is obviously a goblin. Satisifed that there are no hidden sentries the heroes head in.

PhandalinThey cautiously enter the cellar and after a quick, quiet search uncover a secret door that wasnt marked on the map Lee’s contact had supplied them with. Jack investigated one of the normal doors finding a trio of sleeping Redbrands, and with Lee and Patrick’s help quickly and quietly despatched the thugs. Jon was still watching the corridor beyond the secret door but everyone else headed through the door which led under the stairs and into the corridor leading up to the doors with a grieving angel carved on them. Lee spotted a pit trap and he and Jack circumvented it and passed through the doors while Patrick waited to see what would happen.

The room beyond had a three sarcophagi and a trio of skeletal remains, the heroes passed through to one of the other exits keeping a wary eye on the bones. Unsurprisingly the skeletons rose up and attacked. Despite driving them back to the doorway the skeletons were dealt with reasonably easily but when Patrick saw his allies engaged he went back to call Jon for aid. As the bard and mage caught up with their friends, they had searched the sarcophagi and smashed the remains within (just in case they too were animated) and had found a platinum ring.

The party decided to investigate one of the doors as it had a little bit of light showing from the room beyond. Listening carefully Lee could hear a woman sobbing. upon opening the door they could see the room had a cell at each end and Patrick rushed forward to aid the distressed woman – and was attacked by the pair of Redbrands that where hiding beside the doorway, their combined strikes killing the eager bard before his body even hit the floor! (Oh oh. Two sessions running and I’d killed Patrick, could this be a recurring trend?) the remaining heroes dealt with the thugs handily though at the cost of Lee falling unconscious to a lucky blow. Going through their foes pockets they find a vial of shining platinum liquid which Jon identifies as a fabled Tear of Bahamut (using one of the special items from my DM’s pack) and he risks using it in an attempt to revive Patrick. Happily the magic restores the bard to life and the heroes settle into a short rest while they await Lee to regain consciousness (We’d rolled a 1 for how long he would be out for after being stabilised).

Time had caught up with us and so we left it there, with the heroes facing a choice – do they lead the woman and her daughters to safety or leave them to their own fate while continuing to explore the Rebrands hideout. I think we’ll be able to complete this chapter in our next session and maybe begin HotDQ too, but that wont be for another fortnight, aargh! The tension is unbearable!

Jon’s own write up from his pc’s perspective is up on his blog.

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