Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lost Crown of Neverwinter - D&D Encounter #6

Our table for Session 6
This week's D&D Encounters session follows the party into the Blacklake region.  There have been changes to the party line up this week. The Drow Bladesinger is gone, and so is Broxa the Ranger. The party's original Bladesinger Adrie is back and a regular player joined us from another table giving the party a second priest. We also have a first time encounter player who took Kiera from the pre-gens. The most exciting change this week however is the return of Fondle the Great. Apparently the Raven Queen wasn't done with his skills at the blade and brought him back as Revenant Blackguard, and he was now truly Fondle the Dead.

The player of Fondle made a new miniature
for Fondle the Dead. In the background
you can see a couple of the mirrors.

I described the groups arrival in Blacklake with an emphasis on the changes between what they'd seen in the enclave and what was happening out here in the rest of the city. The table had both a Harper Agent and a Dead Rat Deserter; so I pulled both of them into the side room one at a time and gave them a bit of extra background on the location. Neither of them opted to share anything with the group so I won't be sharing it here either.

Before the group arrived at the evening’s destination it was time to see who was wearing what badge. The regions description had been enough to send the Lord Protector’s badges to the bottom of backpacks and pouches. For a few, it had also been enough to make them dig out the amethyst badges of the Lost Heir. Only Darbek the Dwarven priest had kept on his badge from the Lord Protector and had decided to balance it out by wearing the both at the same time.

Their arrival at House of a Thousand Faces was a met with slightly mixed feelings. Darbek, the Harper Agent,  wasn't thrilled at the idea of returning here and waited outside the inn while rest of the group walked in through the front door. They were offered rooms and welcomed to the House Inn of a Thousand Faces.
The mirrors are home made, while the
mannequins were borrowed from the
board game Zombies.

They filtered into the common room and mingled with the others in the bar. A few of them went over and listened to the Half-elf telling stories in the corner. Some of them relaxed and enjoyed a drink one of the empty tables. A couple of the players wandered off to examine mannequins and mirrors. All of this was done while Darbek watched from the outside the bar by peering through a window.

All of the mannequins were placed on the map with blue poster putty.  I didn’t want them getting slid around as we played.  For the map pieces I had planned to make little triangles that were folded at a 90 degree angle and had foil glued onto them.  I never got the chance to make these. Once my eldest daughter saw what I was doing she basically took over and did it all for me the night before.  Thank you dear.

It was Locke who decided to approach a brother Halfling first. Although others had already singled him out and were keeping a close eye on him, none had the courage displayed by Locke to walk up to him. Charl was well into his cups and had been boasting half the night of his association with the Lost Heir.  Now he was trying to use that connection to convince a lovely Halfling lady to join him for the evening.  So far he hadn't had much luck at all with her.

Locke's arrival did little to change his fortunes.  Charl and Locke briefly exchanged words, but Locke was more or less dismissed b Charl.  In a last ditch attempt to get Charl to give him the information he wanted, he talked with the lovely lady Halfling to encourage her to spend the evening with Charl.  It might have gone much better had his choice of words and Diplomacy check had only been better.  Instead, for his trouble he was part of a two person slap that began with Locke and ended with Charl.

Furious at both the interference and loss of the lady's company, mixed with his own eagerness for a fight was enough to set off Charl. A smoke pellet exploded around him and he took Locke by surprise with a perfectly placed a attack.  A natural 20 was more than enough to drop Locke into unconsciousness.  Of course Locke being the speedy Halfling that he is was up next and it was time to make a death save.  Locke's player is never one to be out done by me, he rolled a natural twenty of his own and was on his way back up.  

The patrons scattered to the front end of the bar. They hoped to find safety around the front desk. However they weren’t the only ones to stand up, Charl had friends scattered about the tavern that were ready to fight for him. The party scattered among them and the melee ensued.  As opening rounds of combat went, it was fairly slow.  To my surprise the party didn’t just leap in and attack anything with a miniature.  Some of them held back, waiting to figure out just who was the enemy and who wasn’t. Darbek was still on the outside of tavern and he ran for all he was worth to try and get around to the far side.  He wanted to get close enough to Locke to try and help him.

When the bandits were up they wasted no time and jumped the nearest party members.  Their tactics were simple; where ever possible work in pairs, hit them hard, and using flanking to their best advantage. It limited the number of people they could attack, but when they hit they tended to hit their victim that much harder.  The major problem was that I couldn’t hit much in the opening round.  The group’s new cleric found herself the victim of a flanking attack, while a table of Rangers were also attacked.

Next round, the mannequins started to have an effect on the party’s choices.  There were a limited number of targets and a lot of those were near mannequins.  Charl rushed out from the cloud of smoke and hid among the tables as his cloud of smoke disappeared. Locke was up and looked around the room for Charl.  He was hungry for revenge but couldn’t find him anywhere, so he took out his frustrations on the nearest bandit.

Adrie,  the group’s bladesinger, fought for all she was worth and swung her sword.  No matter how hard she tried there was nothing but air.  Others in the party had more luck, and did a little damage to the bandits. None however were taken out of the fight just yet.

The bandits continued to hit the party hard and press their advantage.  A pair double teamed the new cleric and took her out of the fight, while another kept working on the Ranger. The one who had stayed behind in the early part of the fight moved in and took a swing at the bladesinger and was about as effective as she had been.
Darbek finally made it around to the back of the bar and offered some healing to Locke who was still hurting badly from the initial attack.   A moment later another cloud of smoke exploded around a mannequin and Charl rushed in out of nowhere and slashed Kiera.  Then Locke took the opportunity and twirled his sling and struck Charl with a bullet.
The new cleric’s turn came around and it was time for her death save.  She followed Locke's lead and rolled a natural 20 on it.  These players had the bloody luck of the Irish with them.
Fondle the Dead found himself flanked by a pair of bandits. The first one hit him pretty squarely.  It was the second one that dealt the killing blow.  He hit him hard and dropped Fondle, the damage he absorbed in that single round was enough to take him from perfect health to death. Fondle the Great, had become Fondle the Dead, and now lay on the floor as Fondle the Deader.
The bloodied Charl took one last swing
at Locke
Despite the punishing attack Charl had received from Locke no one was able to follow up on it.  As soon as he was able to he ran off a hid under another table.  There wasn’t much he could do as he watched his friends take a beating at the hands of the party.  A couple of the bandits dropped.  At the start of the next round, Charl tossed a smoke pellet in front of a doorway to try and draw the party away from him and to mislead them. He was still safely hidden under a table on the opposite side of the room. His trick worked, several party members moved cautiously towards it, while the rest finished off the remaining bandits.

When the time was right, Charl took one last swing at Locke and missed.  As soon as it was clear he had no chance he dropped his weapon and dropped to his knees to beg to be spared.  It was a tense round, Locke was still furious at him and wanted blood.  No one was certain how it would turn out.
It came back around to Locke and the rest of the party seemed comfortable in letting Charl live and turning him over to the authorities.  Locke still took his swing, only to miss.  The player turned around and spent an action point to swing again and clubbed Charl with the flat of his blade.  I was glad to see him use the action point in a way that was really only for the sake of role-playing.

The session ended with Charl spilling his guts about where to find the Dead Rats lair and the party taking an extended rest at the inn as thanks for dealing with Charl.  Glasses were raised and Fondle was remembered by all for his sacrifice.
In the end I was disappointed with the way this encounter turned out.  There was so much great terrain in play but none of it came up. It was for the most part completely ignored except by the bandits, as far as I could tell.  One the plus side, it did make for an interesting looking encounter and I guess that has to count for something.


  1. Fantastic write up--sounds like you guys are having a real blast at the table!

  2. Thanks for the feedback Given, and thanks for being the first comment on the new blog.