Last Sunday was the latest installment of the Storm Point campaign, and it wound up being a bit of a frustrating throw-back for me. This was all my fault: first of all, I was late to the game, so we were kind of rushed. Secondly, I put together a pretty big fight, which I knew would take a fair bit of time, and the late start, along with the big fight, made things drag at a couple of points.
Now, I mentioned in previous posts that I was trying to use smaller combat encounters, to get through more in a single session. I deliberately used a larger one this time because I realized that, although the group had just hit 9th level, I still had not given out the bulk of the treasure for 8th level. Rather than just exacerbate that problem, I put all the treasure in a big pile and gave it some tough guardians.
The game-reason I came up with for the encounter is that, though Silverfalls had been taken by invaders centuries ago, and looted at that time, there were still periodic scavenging parties going through the many, many mansions, tunnels, and buildings. This one party had accumulated a pretty good haul, and were gathering it at a staging point to carry it down deeper into the dwarven ruins.
So, the party is not all that stealthy. The bad guys figured out pretty quickly that there were interlopers, and set up a bit of an ambush. Our heroes found the pile of booty, guarded by a gang of troglodytes and a single drow. Once they were engaged, a few more drow popped out of the scummy pool of water where they had been hiding, and a drider dropped out of the shadows to join the fun ((7 troglodyte maulers, 1 drow cleric of Lolth, 3 drow adventurers, 1 drider fanglord – 3725 xp, an 11th-level encounter for 6 characters.)).
I could tell early in the game that the fight was going to stretch longer than I had anticipated, so I ignored some of the more complex ((And, unfortunately, more interesting.)) abilities of some of the combatants – the drows’ darkfire, for instance. Still, it went on longer than I really wanted it to.
But we got through it, and now the gang is looking at pressing into the Lower City, still searching for the bones of Thrun’s ancestor, which should lie where he fell defending the evacuees.
And what could go wrong with that, right?