Sunday was the latest installment of the Storm Point campaign. It was an encounter that I had been planning for quite some time, eagerly anticipating building an impressive structure for the fight, and having a lot of fun with it.
The plan was for a fight reminiscent of the Bridge of Khazad-dum scene from Fellowship of the Rings, with a desperate battle on a set of precarious stairways, platforms, and bridges, over a pool of lava. I had intended to build the encounter area using the Sewers of Malifaux Terraclips from WorldWorks. Unfortunately, they weren’t available at GenCon as I (and, I think, they) had hoped, so I was forced to fall back on my Dungeon Tiles. These work just fine, but they lack the 3D elevation stuff I was really hoping for. Now, I also have a bunch of .pdfs from Fat Dragon Games, which are very nice, but I have found that I just suck at building the paper terrain, so…
Anyway, I went with the Dungeon Tiles.
What I wanted in this encounter was to have the party very constrained in their movement, but have the monsters less so. I looked through the books for some good flying monsters and monsters with good ranged attacks, but nothing really fit what I had decided this part of the Silverfalls ruins would contain. Then I remembered the phase spiders.
Phase spiders worked perfectly. The popped in for a surprise attack when the party had made their way out of the entryway and onto the stairs, and they kept up a nice hit-and-run attack pattern that drove the players nuts. I put in a couple of spider webs on the platforms, too, both to hamper movement and to give the spiders some place nasty to teleport characters without just dropping them in the lava (which would give a save, which would prevent the teleport, etc.).
I messed up the way they phase spiders’ defensive teleport thingy worked for the first few rounds, though. The new version of the Monster Builder, while it uses the new monster format which I like, is still pretty buggy, omitting some minor elements from the stat blocks. Little things, like when a power recharges, or the climb and teleport speeds, or what triggers a triggered action… you know. That last one caused a few problems, because I had overlooked it when printing out the stats for the game, and got it wrong the first couple of times. But we straightened it out.
The combat itself was everything I could have hoped for. Characters were getting teleported all around the area, spiders were popping in and out, a couple characters were dropped unconscious from the venom, they were jumping over the lava from platform to platform, knocking spiders over the edge, everything very cinematic and exciting.
They managed to dispatch the spiders, and make their way to the exits, where they opted to head through the entry to the mines, rather than the entry to the caverns. I’d planned some fun stuff for each, and they’re going to run into that next session.