The Abtruse Chronicles

Assault on Agatónica Hall
Part 5 and counting! Time for some "mind" games

A strange session where only 3 people showed up: LOT, Morein, and Soap

The PCs found themselves back in Agatónica Hall, facing off kobolds. This time with a twist though, the tricksty kobolds were armed with a skull adorned pendulum designed for inducing head trauma.

XP: 133

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Showdown at Frostdale
Fear the unrelenting horde of zombies

Wow, a long gap between this session and last week’s session. A “real” location is introduced: Frostdale.

The farming village needed to be fortified, and its inhabitants needed to be motivated to take a stand against the oncoming zombie horde.

XP: 150

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Premonition

Today, everyone woke up ready for anything. While LOT and Fai slept in the Inne, Morein and Rei slept outside. LOT had a very relaxing and invigorating sleep, and gained an additional healing surge. Morein and Rei slept outside, because the short bartender had a problem with dragonborn, and he only offered to house them if they paid double for staying over. They didn’t want to feed his racism, and Soap set up his tent anyway, so Morein and Rei took turns taking watch and resting. Everyone caught up on their sleep, and Shava, and Zier appeared. Suddenly Morein had to run on an errand and she left. Everyone got ready, and was discussing their plans. While they were doing this, LOT had a head start and started scouting and looking for anything on the trails. He picked up a stench, and alerted the others. Soap was still in the town, eating a breakfast made of chicken, bread, and small, diluted mug of ale. They rest came, and ventured forwards into the woods. The PCs encountered a strange woman with the scent they reacted from before. They asked her how she got there, and she replied that she just came back from a Biology test, and was waiting to take a Sports Medical test. They PCs looked at her like she was crazy, and she started to cackle manically. They moved on until the crone’s cackling faded into the sounds of the forest. LOT again picked up the stench, except this time it was stronger. She even detected hints of a zombie, and peering into the distance, she saw a humanoid. Informing her friends got them to be very concerned, and they debated for a while if they should go to this thing or not. Eventually they planned on approaching it with caution, and had their hands near their weapon hilts. They saw that it was a pale humanoid, who was clutching his right foot, and was limping away from the village. Rei engage the discussion by calling out, “Hey you! Are you OK?”

It turned around, startled, and fell onto its back. “Stay away!” exclaimed the human, whipping out a dagger to keep the PCs away. He apparently didn’t see Rei as a non-hostile being. The party came forward, and Soap returned from his midmorning brunch to the back of the group. The group now tried to reason with him. LOT threatened to kill him if he wasted any of her or her group’s time. She even started forming a Ray of Frost around her fingertip to really intimidate this character. Fai also jumped in, and told him how stupid he was, and how he, with a useless leg, stood near nil chance of facing off versus a team of five allies. The guy got totally scared, shat in his pants, ad started to scamper off again. Shava and Soap noticed how a god-awful smell mixed in with the previously detected undead musk, and questioned it. Questions got asked, which confused everyone. Shava and Zier tried to reason with him, but they failed, as the guy stopped trying to defend himself, and tried to scamper away. His leg impeded his movement though, and he didn’t move very far.

LOT wanted to really scare the guy into submission, and with her other hand cast a Icy Terrain in from of the guy, before vocalizing a bestial roar. The lame person completely stopped in his tracks, white as a ghost. Soap walked up to finally, and assumed that his rival-comrade was attacking the helpless person. He pulled out his recently acquired Perfect Shot Longbow, and drew an arrow. Rei yelled in a high pitched girly tone, and told everyone to give him one more chance, since he felt that he could make an impression on the guy, to appease him. Rei attempted, but it didn’t make much difference, since the human continued dragging himself on his elbows and one knee.

LOT unleashed her readied Ray of Frost, and Soap, not wanting to be outdone, also released the bow’s taught drawstring. The arrow coursed through the air, faster than the cylinder of cold, embedded itself deep into the spine of the prey. He fell onto his chest, spread eagle, and was frozen in that position when the Ray of Frost also hit him. Fai jumped in, using his Witchfire to sear the soul … of the unfortunate soul. Limping man clawed at his eyes, and yelled in agony, and then was silent; both body and soul limp forever. Walking up to his corpse, many noticed the raised, wet patch on his posterior, and also noticed how the bizarre flesh of his right leg. The calf had a bite mark on it, and the surrounding flesh was completely blackened and corroded. This smelled like rot, and flaked off very easily.

“This makes a bunch of sense” replied LOT. “Everybody, run! There are zombies in the vicinity.” Everyone ran back, halfway between their encounter location and the town, and slowed down. LOT pointed out their options, “We can:
  1. Fight outside the town, to reduce the town casualties
  2. Form a barricade, and with the assistance of the townspeople, to pick off zombies one at a time
  3. Screw the town, and flee.”

She further explained, “each of them have their advantages and disadvantages. Fighting outside in the woods allows us to minimize town casualties, but it impedes our movement and we will have to fight on unknown ground. Fighting in the town will cause much collateral damage, and some of the townspeople are guaranteed to be hurt, but we will have their assistance during the fight. Running away would solve our problems in the short run, but with the entire town massacred, the necromancer/evil person who’s responsible for this will have other fresh corpses to animate. The threat will get bigger, and we will have to face it one day.” After the other PCs offered their ideas, and everyone collaborated, they decided to barricade the town, and enlist some townspeople to help them in the upcoming battle.

The first hurdle they would have to jump would be to convince them of a zombie invasion and also then to tell them to effectively mobilize and not panic. The group split into 3 pairs; Soap and Shava would be the scouters; Rei and LOT went to the town to fortify it; and Zier and Fai went to convince the villagers of the impending invasion and get them to mobilize everyone: get all the old, women, and children in a safe location, such as a church, and get the able bodied men to assist in the upcoming battle. Soap and Shava hid themselves in the foliage; Soap jumped up high, 15 feet up in a tree, while Shava remained on the ground, actively hearing for any rustling of leaves or snapping of twigs.

The rest of the gang approached the town, and realized that people might not take their word for signs of a Zombie invasion. They backtracked up to the human corpse, and Zier, Fai Rei, and LOT picked him up. Rei realized it was a dead body, with decay on it, and freaked out. The rest started to carry him towards the town, but LOT thought it was useless and stupid, since most the necrotic flesh was only on the guy’s calf. With the body propped up on their shoulders, LOT took out her knife, and started hacking away at the corpse’s thigh. Fail also pulled out his sickle, and cut at the thigh. Rei saw her comrades fail at their task, so he pulled out a Falchion and mightily swung at the vastus lateralis of his felled foe. He cleaved the limb clear off the trunk in a spray of red, miniscule flesh chunks. The heaviness of the blow caused the corpse to flail and thrash violently, as its weight was shared equally between the three people. This violent motion rubbed off the deceased’s morbid smell on them. LOT remedied her own aroma by turning it into the sweet scent of roses, with the aid of her Prestidigitation spell. Everyone lightened their burden by dropping the desecrated corpse off of their shoulders. LOT then took the amputated limb and concealed it within her cloak. They approached the town all prepared, for better or for worse…

XP: 50

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Assault on Agatónica Hall
Part 4ish?

Wow, still in the cave…

The players have to get out of here soon. A very early morning session.

XP: 153

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Too Many Cooks Ruin the ... Game?
8 People = a DM hell

Gawd… 8 peeps. Also, this weeks writeup will be kinda late because a certain someone forgot to write something, and their excuse was that their computer crashed. Yeah, like anyone would believe that…

XP: 0 … yeah, because there were too many people, literally NOTHING got accomplished

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Enter, Camilla!
cont'd Reversal in a Halfling Reverie, and an additional interesting occurence

Scheah Boi! To be updated soon…

XP: 50

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Reversal in a Halfling Reverie

We started off with making Morein’s character, since no one showed up. LOT unable to join us in person came on through the internet, and we decided to run some mini battles to get Morein familiar with 4E mechanics. So LOT and Morein found themselves in a wooded setting, making their way on a winding dirt path. This dirt path had potholes, suggesting recent carts, horses, wagons, and marks from other heavy things. Picking up this fact, the PCs were cautious, they suspected that danger was afoot since the path they were walking had recent signs of a skirmish. They moved forward, when suddenly from the bushes jumped out a halfling. He started speaking in a high pitched voice and forbade the PCs from going any further. He demanded them to state who they were, what they were doing in the forest, and what business they had. To determine if they were worthy of passing through the forest, the halfling posed a riddle. He asked,

What is it, that we love more than life, fear more than death, the rich want it, the poor have it, the miser spends it, and the spend-rift saves it?

Morein guessed that “time” was the answer. “Wrong,” responded the halfling. Morein wanted to take another shot at the riddle, and asked the halfling to repeat the query. “Ungrateful humanoid, what makes you think I will repeat the riddle to you? Impudent fools…” squeaked the halfling with contempt. LOT assisted her associate Morein, and reiterated the riddle. “Happiness,” guessed LOT, hopefully. “Nay, that is not the answer either.” LOT and Morein further pondered the conundrum in front of them, taking their time. “My patience is wearing thin from your reticence. Time is ticking, and your end draws near, in 10, 9…” warned the halfling. Out of desperation, LOT guessed, “Nothing.”

Awestruck, the jaw of the midget hung open. “W-w-what? Nothing? Why yes, ‘nothing’ is the correct answer. I do apologize for mistaking you noble folk for the nefarious ones that roam these paths. Please continue along your way.” The halfling did a curt bow, and then jumped back into the forest underbrush, disappearing from the PCs vision.

They continued on the path, but around a bend, they suddenly heard cries and screeching. Immediately followed thumps, and deep vicious snarling sounds. The PCs cautiously moved forward but were identified by the unknown danger ahead of them. As they turned the bend, two giant, four-legged creatures sprang at them from out of the forest canopy. Quickly LOT and Morein assessed their fur-soaked-soaked-with-fresh-blood enemies, and rolled nature checks. Morein identified the beasts as giant mice, while LOT recalled that these creatures were known as gray wolves. The wolves got a surprise round and they attacked both Morein and LOT, LOT was knocked prone prom the ferocity of the blood-crazed wolf, putting her in a bad situation. Initiative was rolled, and the wolves went again. This time they surrounded LOT, and really mauled her, she was bloodied immediately, and almost dead when she teleported away. She Second Winded, and Thunderwaved her foes. Her pain fueled her electrical discharge, and the blast of electricity from her palm set both wolves skittering, one even collided into a tree.

Morein went, and smote her warhammer into the closer beast. It got back up and along with its friend, flanked and attacked Morein. Her armor proved to be extremely effective against the wolves, and the bites dealt no damage. LOT took a step back, distancing herself from the creatures, and used Ray of Frost. Morein marked a beast, and positioned herself out of her flanked position, but was still adjacent to both wolves, and she used Valiant Strike. Her mighty smite put the wolf almost out of commission, and seeing its bites not making an effect on the heavily armored warrior, it shifted away, to bite at LOT. Unfortunately, it was also marked, and so it took 6 radiant damage for attacking someone other than Morein. While the wolf was lunging towards LOT, it spazzed and fell onto her. She did dodge it in the nick of time.

The last wolf pussied out (HA IRONY!). It tried to run away, but its legs couldn’t move; LOT had slowed the beast last turn using her Ray of Frost. It only moved two squares, got an opportunity attack, which connected, and it died, a terrible, terrible, gory, brain-explodey death.

HURRAY!! End of Encounter

The party saw the bloodied, unconscious stump of the halfling, and decided to trek over to find and safely deliver him to his tribe. They were almost done, when a whole tribe of halflings surrounded them. They safely negotiated with the tribe and received Tiflits. Everyone faded away, and the party woke up from their reverie.


I was not so pleased with this second session. Mainly because only one person showed up, and another participated in the game, through a webcam. But otherwise, Morein, new to the game got a nice introduction to the mechanics of 4E. There was an interesting twist though: The characters were … NICE?! This surprised me, since I clearly established that this (as of now) was an EVIL CAMPAIGN. I continued anyway without telling the characters this.

This session, I introduced a Hershey Kiss Point system. People would get little treats, such as Hershey Kisses whenever they did something “not required” such as: helping the DM, roleplaying well, or contributing something helpful towards a character. These would be redeemed by being eaten, and would have two benefits, one in game, and one out of game:

  1. Out of the game, when the person would eat a Hershey Kiss (or a similar substitute), they would … get to eat a delicious treat o_0
  2. In game, a minor, sweet, chocolaty taste would manifest in a PCs mouth, boosting morale, and driving them to further succeed at their task. A character would have a +1 bonus to their next roll.

People liked this rule, since being “good” is rewarded. Secretly, it also benefits me, since people are more vested in the game. Muahahahahaha

XP: 150

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Assault on Agatónica Hall

The PCs were injected into the story, and Achkala, under the orders of their mysterious employer, acted as the leader for the group, and goaded the party into hunting down a neighboring kobold infested location. This location, named Agatónica Hall, was found after a short trip on a meandering, forested path. Achkala, proudly in the lead; Rei, nonchalantly reading his novel; and LOT, ready to get paid for her assistance, approached the entrance to the cave, the game’s first roll was asked for. The PCs attempted moving silently through the natural path, and rolled a Crit. With the utmost care, the PC’s tip-toed towards the kobold location. As they passed a bend in the road, they saw a cave entrance, surrounded by two identical statues of a decorated kobold posing on a 3 foot plinth. Guarding the entrance were 6 very stoned (as in high on narcotics) kobolds; 4 were hanging around the mouth of the cave, and two others with spears were lazily leaning against the statues. All the kobolds were fully focused on their drugs, and didn’t notice the approaching PCs. This was when LOT, Rei, and Achkala started formulating an attack plan. Their discussions were overheard, and the PCs were noticed.

With the element of surprise lost, everyone rolled initiative, and for the 2nd roll of the game,Achkala rolled Crit. Using his free turn, he double moved towards a spear toting kobold, positioning himself to charge it. The real initiative started, and LOT stepped forwards to cast a Magic Missile. A cone of force erupted from her fingertip and embedded itself into the spear toting kobold. Next in line, Achkala charged the kobold, now with a gaping wound in the chest, and further damaged the reptilian vermin. Rei went next, and choosing to hang back within the woods, he whipped out a novel and started reading, uncaring about the ongoing conflict.

“¡Aaargh! Necesito ayuda, el me mata. ¡Lucha conmigo!” exclaimed the kobold. The two spear toting kobolds moved into position, flanking Achkala. They lunged towards him: one making contact. The other sadly rolled an EPIC FAIL. What proceeded was the following: “Ja ja ja ja ja. ¿Te gusta mi lanza? Nadie va a matarme, porque ¡SOY EL ZORRO!” exclaimed the boastful kobold. He leaned into his stab with all his might, but tripped. Luckily, the kobold broke his fall… on the business end of his spear. He died from the mortal wound in the chest. Two other kobolds scampered around, and also damaged Achkala, bloodying him. Seeing that they were close proximity to an enemy that could seriously hamper them, the kobolds all shifted one square away from their adversary.

LOT stepped forwards, used Ray of Frost, and then interestingly cast light on Achkala’s warhammer. With a glowing weapon in his grasp, Achkala stepped towards a new foe, swung with determination, and smote the fragile beast, shouting a war chant in defiance. Rei emerged from his nonchalant stupor, dropped his novel, and walked “casually” up to the bunched kobolds. With his fiery Dragon Breath unleashed, the hides of two kobolds were charred, while the remaining two were burned to a crisp. Pulling out his falchion, Rei slashed at the only remaining spear toting kobold, bloodying it. With 2 reptiles remaining, the kobolds changed their plans from the offensive to the defensive, and the unengaged kobold made a beeline towards the inside of the cave, shouting “¡Ay Carámba! Diós mio, me da más koboldos para matarlos a ellos enemigos.” The other kobold exclaimed, “¡Corra, Corra! Voy a suicidarme, para darte más tiempo. ¡KAMIKAZEEEE!” The kobold charged at Achkala, but to no avail. He was blown apart with LOT’s Ray of Frost, and finally eliminated when his head was knocked asunder by Achkala’s warhammer swing, to the head.

At the end of the encounter, LOT’s injuries were practically nonexistent, Rei had minor scratches, and Achkala was battered and bloodied. Wanting to recharge his health, Achkala waited around for a short rest. LOT noticed that the kobold that fled back into its cave was probably going to return with reinforcements, and so LOT started chopping down branches from the neighboring forest to create an obstruction. Rei returned to read his novels. The party crafted two similar bushes in front of the statues. This provided concealment to both Achkala and LOT hiding behind the statue and bushes: LOT anticipated another kobold attack and wanted to ambush them, while the bloodied Achkala wanted a safe hiding spot, to ensure that a full 5 minutes elapsed, in order to burn healing surges. Rei hid into the forest thicket, ever watchful of the cave entrance.

Soon the party started hearing footsteps and hissing sounds. 11 kobolds emerged from the cave, but got ambushed by LOT’s Icy Terrain. With the floor around the cave mouth covered in icicles, the area became difficult to traverse, and movement to engage the PC’s was hampered. Most of the kobolds died in droves, with only four surviving long enough to surround Achkala and LOT. LOT fled, teleporting away and then chilled her foes with Ray of Frost. Rei managed to get right into the middle of the action, and hacked away at kobolds in the Icy Terrain patch. Achkala emerged from hiding, burned his Second Wind and stood ready, once more for battle. A few kobolds remained, and most went for Rei. Some tried to be sneaky and tried to stab Achkala from the other side of the make-shift bush, but their efforts were stymied by the intervening scrub. Two Firepots were flung at Rei, but only one managed to collide and break upon impact. Rei was covered with a viscous, burning substance that clung to his frame, which melted the Icy Terrain beneath his feet. The kobolds were then eliminated one by one by the ticked PC’s, and the encounter ended.

The PC’s spent a well deserved short rest, to use some healing surges and eat. They went off the beaten path to a nearby stream to catch some nourishing seafood. In the steam they saw a few, brown scaled fish swimming downstream. Achkala waded into the middle of the stream, while from the banks LOT zapped at the fish with her Ray of Frost. LOT’s ray made contact with a fish in the gut, and the frozen fish-sickle rose up to the surface, floating with the current. Achkala successfully swam after the fish, caught it, and tossed it to LOT. The eladrin wizard selfishly started to prepare her obtained fish; she proceeded to scale, gut, and clean it. The others didn’t want to wait, so Rei started a cooking fire by breathing flames from his gut, while Achkala tried some kung-fu-style grabs to catch some fish. Sadly, Achkala’s Asianness wasn’t enough, and he completely failed at catching fish in that manner. Next, he tried swinging at the submerged fish with his warhammer, but failed to do jack shit. LOT finally finished preparing her fish, and then helped out the group. She zapped two other fish with her Ray of Frost, and Achkala once again dived after their bobbing, fishy carcasses. He caught one, but fumbled with the other. It went underwater, to reemerge behind him. Achkala attempted swim upstream, and he succeeded. He walked back ashore, handing the fish to his cook, Rei. The chef diced the fish, and transferred the minced meat onto the makeshift frying pan, made from Achkala’s inverted shield. He cooked the fish with some wine, but in the sautéing process, dropped half of the meat. Altruistically, Rei decided to give his culinary piece to Achkala. Achkala and LOT ate their fish, while Rei munched on some trail rations.

The sweet aroma of the cooked food did not go unnoticed. A kobold arrived, holding back two collared beasts, curious to see what was cooking (HA! Pun intended). The winged beasts were white in complexion, very excited, and were foaming at the mouth. Combat had started with the two beasts launching into the sky by being let go of their tethers. They flew towards Rei, and swooped down to Flyby Attack him. The kobold slowly made up the ground covered by his fast allies, while the Rei got into position, and started attacking the winged monstrosities. LOT aimed to Ray of Frost one of her adversaries, but it somersaulted in midair, and avoided the chilling beam. Achkala realized his lack of ranged weaponry, and eagerly ran at a foe. He jumped up an impressive six feet off the ground, enough to have the beast in the swinging range of his warhammer. He heaved his mighty warhammer, but sadly rolled an EPIC FAIL. His hammer just missed its target, but it continued to swing downwards. The inertia of the mighty hammer abruptly changed the course of Achkala’s descent back downwards. With a “thunk” his hammer embedded itself into the loosely packed dirt, and with a mighty “THUNK,” Achkala landed, face-flat onto his hammer.

One of the airborne beasts made another Flyby Attack against Achkala, while the other descended and raked at Rei. Both were successful in causing damage. Another round of fighting ensued, with the kobold still estranged, and running towards the combat. During the next round, the kobold finally arrived, and felled Achkala. The beasts seeing their master, snatched Achkala’s Alchemist’s Frost, and then grabbed Achkala himself and started flying upwards. They took Achkala airborne, and were barraged with arrows from Rei’s longbow. The kobold sparred with Rei, while the creatures, with Achkala struggling in their paws, flew in the direction of the campfire and river. LOT was intent on stopping their flight at that moment. She cast Freezing Cloud, knowing that even though Achkala was in the affected area, he would benefit in the long run. She made her attack rolls against the creatures and Achkala, respectively; 19, 16, and … an EPIC FAIL. Her Freezing Cloud took its effects on the beasts, and didn’t do any damage to Achkala, but during her spell, LOT miscast, and also created a small, yet equally potent area of Freezing Cloud in her own space. Her adversaries were unhappy, and LOT moved out of the frigid space. Achkala went next, and decided to muscle his way out of the clawed grasp. He was valiant and successful in his effort: he was freed… 15 feet above the ground. Achkala thought fast, and tried rolling upon impact to soften the blow. Victory, this time, was not with him. He failed, and crumpled like a lifeless doll, dying from the damage.

One of the beasts died from the frigidity within LOT’s Freezing Cloud, while the other cruel, winged beast dropped its held Alchemist’s Frost from its maw, aiming to maim Achkala. The vial didn’t break, instead dropped like a rock, onto the unconscious dragonborn’s head. Achkala was very close to dying, when Rei was also felled by the stabby kobold. LOT, alone at this point, was desperate. She used Thunderwave to scatter the kobold away, an Action Point, and Ray of Frost at the last remaining pet, killing it. The kobold ran forward and stabbed the wizard, when miraculously Rei rolled a Critand got up from his comatose state. He hacked away the last reptilian foe, and ran towards Achkala, in a desperate attempt to save him. He got lucky, and Achkala awoke from his deep, deathly trance. The session wrapped up nicely with the end of this encounter.


I reminded the players that they were actually going to roleplay, and anything that they said, their characters also said. But still, the players continued talking, sometimes raising their voices to get their point across, to formulate an optimal plan. Again I reminded that their discussions continued in the game itself, and even made a ridiculous house rule that to differentiate OOC discussion from IC discussion, people had to wear a large Macy’s shopping bag on their head. Still players inadvertently were chatting merrily OOC. After the 3rd reminder went unheeded, their discussions, during the stoned kobold scene, were overheard by the not so inebriated kobolds.

I was surprised to see that players absorbed the rule holistically for their most part. They knew that they had to heal, so they waited for a short rest. On a positive note, I saw the party working together to maximize benefits during the reinforcement encounter. Their teamwork really paid off when everyone was hidden behind cover and they ambushed the kobolds. The kobolds were supposed to keep the party engaged for multiple turns, but with the casting of Icy Terrain, their movement was hindered and the PCs were able to easily pick off each kobold.

About dropping subtle hints regarding the future encounters, only LOT picked up the fact that the runner would bring reinforcements, while the rest of the party had no clue what was in store for them. I was hoping they would eliminate the messenger allowing them time to rest, but it was not so. Once again, I realize that I must make the goals more direct, to get stuff done.

I noticed how Rei wasn’t playing her paladin as a defender, and was hanging back reading, but later realized that she was role playing her character, instead of directly going into hack-n-slash. Also I noticed that Achkala was playing a defender instead of a leader, but that might have been because Rei was hanging back and/or the lack of players; there were only three people who showed up. LOT was playing his wizard well, staying afar and utilizing his spells to their full effect. Maybe there was a lack of Thunderbolting kobolds away to negate their flanking, but that might have been because LOT could have been afraid of failing to hit, and during subsequent turns getting owned by spear toting kobolds. It wasn’t too bad either, since LOT’s Ray of Frost slowed enemies down anyway.

Using Spanish was entertaining and added to the session. (Did I mention that Spanish = Draconic in my games? ). Even though people had difficulties coming up with gisted Spanish on the spot, overall it was a good addition, and it also happened to work out that those that understood Spanish also spoke Draconic.

The fish catching part was unexpected, but it worked out to be a fun mini skill challenge. It helped build teamwork, synchronizing zapping the fish, catching them, and then preparing them for consumption. It also allowed the players to better understand the capabilities of their characters. This also allowed character development, and I better understood what each character stood for. While the skill challenge eventually degenerated into petty arguments because of rigid role playing, the setting allowed me to progress the story into the next encounter; the kobold and his flying pets were introduced because they could smell the scents of Rei’s cooking.

XP: 350

Good Lord this is almost 2,500 words.

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The Disaster at Bugbear Cave
Somewhat decent intro to DnD
So today started off being not so interesting, but that was expected. One player knew all the rules and just hadn’t played 4E yet, another was only familiar with 3.5, and the third was completely new to the concept to role playing, so we had some group reading time. Players lost interest and their minds started to wander, so we blazed past the remaining rules and jumped into character creation. We finished creating multiple characters:
  1. Lona Treigan, an Eladrin Wizard who specializes in freezing spells
  2. Achkala, a pissed off Dragonborn Warlord who was exiled from his home
  3. Mosif Mandroc Zier, a Human Fighter who helps Achkala accomplish his goals
  4. Raiden (as of the brawl, unfinished), an Elven Ranger

With some time to kill, I pitted the players against an angry Bugbear with his 3 Hobgoblin Grunts, supposedly an equal fight. But today’s battle proved otherwise.

The players found themselves in a circular cave reeking of rotting meat. Three armored creatures and another larger, hairy monster had their backs towards the players. The hairy creature was on a raised section of the cave, furiously working on something on a dais/table. Both he and his minions seemed to be pleased, as they could be heard laughing softly. To the right side of the cave, several square facets about two feet across were barely visible, and in place of one facet, emerging about seven feet from the roughly hewn cave interior, was a stone stab. It was smooth, but something was piled on this surface…

Everyone was aware of their surroundings and the battle started. LOT successfully made a nature check result, and identified the four monsters to be a bugbear and hobgoblins. Initially, Zier was to go first, but he didn’t know what to do, so he delayed his action. The Bugbear started battle first, by hurling a javelin at Achkala. Achkala angrily responded by charging the Bugbear. Zier also went to engage the hobgoblins. The battle proceeded, until Achkala was flanked and terribly surrounded by the Bugbear and all of his hobgob buddies, where Big Snarling Bugbear (BSB) mauled Achkala with his encounter power. He dealt massive damage (where I think Achkala went from almost max health to like 1/4 health) and dazed Achkala in the process. Achkala tried to do many things at once during his turn:
  • use his second wind
  • get out of the flanked position
  • deal some uber damage to the bugbear

So hopeful Achkala was … until he was reminded that he was dazed. He chose to use his second wind. LOT was aware of the danger her comrade was facing, and she used her daily power, Freezing cloud to engulf the bugbear and a hobgoblin. In the process, LOT rolled an EPIC FAIL, so she also cast freezing cloud in her own square. Luckily she still hadn’t moved, so she shifted out of the damaging square. With the group’s prompt, Zier bull rushed a hobgoblin. He rolled spectacularly, and bludgeoned the goblinoid hard enough to send him flying two squares, and then proceed to crash into another hobgoblin, pushing him back too. They both landed in the area with the freezing cloud, and immediately died. Sadly there was a remaining flanking hobgoblin, and he got lucky and finished Achkala off.

The BSB didn’t like being chilled to the bone, so he charged the wizard. Yet the bugbear got too eager during his charge, so he swung his morningstar around wildly, failing to make contact with LOT. It was a last stand in the cave entrance with LOT, Zier, the BSB and his hobgob. LOT chose to get the fuck out of there, teleported away, and then fled. Zier chose to be a hero by braving the disgusting barbaric creatures, and swung at the BSB. He failed. He was knocked unconscious. Bound. Blinded. Gagged, and taken as hostage…


In hindsight, the party could have survived this brawl. Achkala shouldn’t have been that ballsy, and shouldn’t have charged the bugbear. Zier shouldn’t have continued fighting when his enslaver died. And even though LOT did well, she could have helped deal more damage by maintaining the freezing cloud so that Zier could go bull rush others into the affected zone. I was being a bad DM by being a good one. I should have railroaded the players more by telling them the most probable results of their actions, then proposed better actions to deal more damage and make use of their powers better. Instead, I forgot that this was an introductory game, where most didn’t know the full extent of their abilities, and it was my mistake of letting the players do whatever they wanted.

Overall, I thought this was a fun pre-trial session. I learned that I need to keep track of effects better, and need more props to represent conditions and terrain. Hopefully Achkala learned one method of how not to use his character, and everyone just got familiar with Dungeons and Dragons 4E in general.

For the next session, I have to cope with this again with other new players, and will have to do a better job railroading players, to tell them what would work most effectively.

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