Dateline – Storm Point

First off, I’m going to be running some D&D 4E demos at Imagine Games & Hobbies again. These will take place on Saturday, November 29, and Saturday, December 13. If you’re in Winnipeg, and want to try out D&D 4E in a friendly, non-threatening environment, come on down and bounce some dice with us. I’ll post more details here as I hammer them out with the store.

Anyway, on to the main topic.

I ran the second session of my new Storm Point campaign this past Sunday. Again, it went quite well. We were one man short, so one of the other players took over running his character for the session. These are the rules we hashed out at the start of this campaign, mainly to make my life as GM easier:

  1. I keep a copy of all character sheets.
  2. We run as long as four out of six players show up.
  3. The characters of absent players get played by someone who is present.
  4. No one ever plays more than two characters.
  5. No one ever has to double-up on characters twice in a row.
  6. All six characters get equal shares of the XP.

This set of rules prevents a couple of things that we ran into in the 3.5 campaign, when we would leave out the characters of absent players. First, I don’t have to try to adjust the encounters on the fly based on who shows up. Second, we don’t wind up with an XP gap between characters.

So, we had the full party when they got to the main adventure site. I threw a combat at them as they made camp for the night, a group of representatives from the Empire Reborn trying to take their map to the ruins by force. This was more of a challenging fight than they’d had up to that point, because the foes were of a more appropriate level, and were intelligent and unsurprised. They got worried a couple of times during the combat, which was good.

After that, there was a skill challenge to wend their way down through the treacherous chasm to the actual ruins of an Arkhosian outpost. Each failure they rolled produced some sort of setback: a rockslide, an attack by a cavern choker, etc. Also, each round of the challenge, they had to make an Endurance check or lose a healing surge from fatigue, random battering, bad air, etc.

Waiting for them at the bottom of the chasm was the toughest fight so far: a Level 3 encounter with a nest of kruthiks. Four hatchlings, two adults, and a hive lord. This was a close fight, with the cleric actually dropping at one point, and everyone rather battered and torn at the end, but they prevailed.

Again, everyone had fun, it seemed, and the various encounters worked well and were exciting. I’m gonna close this post with a quote from the player of Thrun the Anvil, dwarven fighter, who also ran Milo Tarn, human swordmage, in this session:

Lessons I learned:

– Thrun needs to pay more attention to protecting the healer.

– Thrun needs to stay closer to the pack in combat. I think what I *should* have done was to maneuver to force the critter he was fighting into the group via tide of iron instead of hanging out over by the pillar, just the two of us.

– I’d like to get/ask for/make a power card for Thrun’s challenge.

– Fighter’s challenge + enemies with reach = win. Thrun just hammered the crap clean out of that poor choker.

– Gaining healing triggers should be a priority for Thrun as I advance him through levels. Because of this, it’s also probably going to work better if I don’t burn the feat at second level to get him the craghammer and instead take a feat that extends his survivability either by mitigation (heavy armor or the like), or by endurance.

– Greenflame blade can be an awesome mook eraser.

– Aegis on one target at range + booming blade on a different, adjacent target = nice control.

– Aegis on one target at range + booming blade on a different, adjacent target = a big dent in my HP.

– Being hit by status effects sucks.

– For each additional status effect you are hit with, the suck amplifies as a product of cubes into the ultrasuck range.

Looking forward to the next game.

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