Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lost Crown of Neverwinter - D&D Encounter #8

What’s a little Filth Fever among friends?

We were a smaller table this down to five players.  Yet again the two Bladesingers must have coordinated who would be attending beforehand as we only had the one.  Although I must say we did have the prettier of the two options.  Sorry @Sithlordyoda, but it is true you’ve got to admit it. The evening was plagued by odd little tech glitches; my iPhone where I takes notes that I use to make this blog post after the fact ate all the notes about the skill challenge.  Then the program I use on my tablet DM’s Assistant wasn’t updating the changes to the monsters hit point totals. I had to leave the program and came back into it after each change to see the effect. It made for a frustrating evening.

The group arrived at the cottage and pulled the rug aside with the flourish of a magician.  Everyone felt the hidden tunnel under the rug was pretty much over done. We quickly moved on in to the decent portion of the tunnel exploration. This was intended to be a difficult decent but the players poor rolls certainly made it worse. Of the five tests they need to make they failed four.  Adding insult to injury was the fact that three of those failures resulted from eighteen on their checks, the target number was nineteen. In the end they made it to the bottom through tight tunnels filled with filth and noxious smells, but at least they made it.

They arrive in the sewer tunnels of the
black lake district.
It opened up into a flight of stairs that lead deeper into a portion of the serer that was still active.  Right before the entrance to tunnel was a statue, which someone had gone to great lengths to keep clean.  Locke admitted to having some inside knowledge of the Dead Rats when he told the group it was a statue of their leader.  Mr. E Meat collected a handful of sewer slime from the wall and splashed across the statue.  Both Locke and Cogniteo, the groups ranger, made offerings to the statue. It didn’t respond in anyway at all to any of them. 

According to a post from the author of the module, @erikscottdebie on the Wizard’s forums the statue was original intended to be the home of a Spector.  This would have explained why it was as clean as it was.  However the Spector was removed from the adventure for whatever reason and the flavor text was left the same.  I think the Spector would have made for an interesting Encounter, but since they’d taken it out I wish they would have fixed the flavor text.

Once they had finished with the statue the group moved on down the tunnel. Locke rushed and nimbly crossed the narrow pipe to get to the other side.  Cogniteo climbed up and over the large pipe and took up a place near the rear, as the groups resident archer this isn’t uncommon for him.  The rest of the party moved cautiously along the ledge. Then all hell broke loose and the walls and floors came alive with rats, and the sewerage bubbled and two crocodiles rose up out of the water.

The monsters arrive and combat begins.
Background walls are papercraft.
Mr. E Meat took a swing with his sword and killed a couple of rats in the swarm but others rushed in to take their place.  For his efforts he found himself covered in tiny rat bites and forced into the sewage.  A couple of other Rats were also amid the swarm, only these were larger and operated independently. One went after Adrie and bit a chunk out of her leg. The other one tried to take a piece out of the nimble but missed.

Locke found himself in the unpleasant position of having a crocodile pop out of the water right beside him.  He did his best to attack but missed.  The most his attack did was to grab the attention of the crocodile which had suddenly developed a taste for Halfling. Darbek was the dinner of choice for the other crocodile and both party members found themselves in the grip of a crocodile. 

Cognitoe shifted back away from the rat and fired his bow.  The force of the impact from the arrow was enough to knock his dire rat attacker prone. He wasn’t the only one to want revenge on his attacker, Adrie slashed her sword across the beast and then set it a lit with dancing flames. The poor dire rat nearly cut in two by the ferocity of her blow. That was crit one. Unfortunately her closeness to swarm left her on unsure footing and she ended up in the sewage. Darbeck whispers a prayer to his god and Locke with a brief burst of healing energy. After helping others he steels himself to face the upcoming damage from the crocodile. Once the healing is taken care of the smashes his hammer down on the crocodile.  This was crit number 2, it was not a good round for the monsters.

Mr. E Meat dangerously risks bites from the swarm to get into a position to flank one of the crocodiles. In the end even with Locke as a taste distraction it didn’t help and he still missed. The rat swarm still underfoot took its toll and forced him out of position. Then one of the Dire Rats rips a piece out of Adrie and drops her. The other rat gets back up and charges at Locke missing.

Perhaps it was fear of the new attacker, or an odd familiarity at the sight of another rat, whatever it was Locke was able to escape the grasping jaws of the crocodile. Once he was free he tumbled as far from both attackers as possible. The crocodile that had been eating halfling moved with stagger speed and through the sewage and rushed Cognitoe, the nimble elf wasn’t going to be on the menu.  Darbek on the hand seemed more than happy to be dinned on.

Cognitoe once again finds himself in a situation where his bow is not the best choice of weapon, but he takes the shot anyways. For his trouble he gets bitten by the crocodile, and takes a poor man’s crit.  He quickly escapes to climb up on to the large sewer pipe. Spending his action point, he pins the crocodile in place with arrows. Darbeck prays again for a party member and is able to bring Adrie back in to the fight with the gift of healing from his god.  After the healing he smacks crocodile for good measure.

Mr. E Meat continues to exchange attacks with the rat swarm, his blade has been having only minimal effect.  There are just too many of them for his attacks to have full effect.  The party’s current lack of anyone with area attacks and the confined space was really hurting them when it came to the swarm.  After his attack the swarm continued to bite at him and shifted into the same square as him.

Locke kills the crocodile that was dining on Darbeck and then shifts into his rat form to hide.  The death of the crocodile couldn’t have happened at a better time for the party.  Out of nowhere the main sewer line bubbled and gurgled for a moment and then a torrent of sewage.  The sudden flood sent Adrie down the tunnel and landed her on the smaller pipe holding on for all she was worth.

All of the rats attack Mr. E. Meat.  The swarm missed, and the first dire rate does as well.  It is the second dire rat who bites down hard enough to leave him bloodied in the sewage.  That was to be the last valiant attacks by any of the rats.  Locke took out one of the dire rats with his sling, Cognitoe punched an arrow right through the remaining rat.  Adrie finished off the swarm with a magic missile.

The encounter ended with saving throws being made by Adrie, Cognitoe and Mr. E. Meat to see if they came down with filth fever.  It was only Incognitoe who failed.

I’m just curious is the term Poor Man’s Crit in common usage or is that just a local thing?


  1. Another great write up--thanks!

    Max damage rolls clearly require special recognition-at my table we generally refer to them as Ghetto Crits.

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