DDE: Undermountain – Session 1

Wednesday evening I particiapated in the first session of D&D Encounters: Undermountain. This time I stuck with the local game shop instead of going up north. The environment could not have been much different. We had seven players, and almost all of us had little to no 4e experience. This was also the first time that the DM had attempted to run anything 4e, so that was interesting. The individuals themselves were…colorful. The environment was much more casual, but the social interactions were much less fluid. It was kind of like going to a friend’s house for dinner. Sure, everyone was friendly for the most part, but you weren’t part of the inner circle. I believe the party consisted of three groups of people that already knew each other, and there was not very effective cross calaboration between groups. This may be in part to the fact that we were playing a group of with seven people.

The actual game itself was something of a blunder for me. I began by playing the counterpart to my Living Forogotten Realms character. Unfortunately, despite being very similiar characters the experience could not have been more different.

While in LFR my character was essentially a meat grinder scredding enemies like they were nothing. In DDE my character was all but utterly ineffectual. Sure, I laid in some status effects, and got a few guys with passive damage, but the minor advancements were surpassed by my plethera of misses, negating my damage roll by enlarging my spell, and the crowning achivement of the night.

During the last turn of the encounter I wanted to do something memorable, but ultimately pointless. So, I was going to attempt to do a double move and cast light on the last remaining enemy. Unfortunately, the result did not go quite as planned. I needed to cross a bridge to get close enough to cast the spell, almost the entire party crossed the bridge without a problem. Hell, one of them just jumped across the ditch. I on the other hand failed my acrobatics checked, and then failed my saving throwing landing my poor character head first into a river of sewage. Oh well, at least everyone got a laugh out of it. Before we entered the dungeon the party did a vote and determined that my character needed a bath first.

Worldwide D&D Game Day – Player Handbook 3

Format: D&D WPN
Location: Whitecap Comics (get directions)
Date: 3/20/2010 (11:30am – 7pm)
Cost: FREE

As per vanlandw’s request I am posting the details of this event. Jason and I are planning on going. We’ll probably get there after I roll out of bed and shower. Wes will probably claim to be exhausted from his fun run and not show up.

I should also note that something called “Weekend in the Realms” will be going on as well, and I have no idea what that is. I suspect it is what they call their weekly RPGA event, however I do not know if they will be running a module, or a my realms adventure.

Anyone who is interested is encountered to come. the Game Day adventure will run 1-2 hours, and you shouldn’t need to bring anything if you’re new. Players will be provided with PHB3 pregenerated characters (I assumed level 1 characters made with DDI character builder will also be valid). No experience is required, but you might want to pick up a set of dice if for no other reason that its cool to have a d4.

Meat Grinder, or Adventures in LFR

Today was my first official RPGA, and 4e adventure. Jason and I went to a local hobby shop to sit in on one of the games. However, the low level campaign was short on players, so I decided to buy punch cards so we could join. The result was somewhat amusing.

We ran the events on low, since it was our first game. Luckily for me that meant that there were minions a plenty. It worked out pretty well, because I played as a wizard that was specifically built to deal with minions. The character was built by Jason based on his struggles with kobold minions in our early combat encounter tests at home. Therefore, I was able to sweep the field quickly, or at the very least bottle neck minions so they effectively were non-factors in the game.

Of course not all battles were heavy with minions so I did get an opportunity to use wizard’s fury and just unleash a storm of magic missiles, which was rather amusing. The idea of kicking ass as a wizard just felt wrong. But, I guess I did something right, because we finished the entire adventure in two hours, and the group awarded me the player award, which was ironically a DM screen.

Now that I’ve cut my teeth, I’m looking forward to the first D&D Encounters adventure this Wednesday. Wish me luck!

4e Encounter Attempt One

Tonight Jason and I attempted our first 4e combat encounter.

First, let me say to those that are curious, the figures we’re using for player characters are old Mage Knight pieces that we liberated from their bases and then mounted on glass tokens.

Jason played the two PC’s (premade from the quick start rules): Fighty the fighter and Clericy the cleric, and I DM’d the kobold attackers. After the fact, I think its pretty obvious this battle was designed for 4-5 PC’s because I gave Jason a serious run for his money, and killed Clericy.

The highlight of the battle was the kobold slinger urinating on the unconscious Clericy while Fighty was engaged by other kobolds.

Ultimately, Jason emerged successful with Fighty surviving the battle with 4 hit points. Clericy, you will be missed.

Flexing the Geek Muscle(s)

Since my site has become hopelessly out of date I have decided to post the fruits of my evening’s activities.

Bunny’s new interest in D&D has sparked my interest in the hobby once again. I was already considering getting back into it for a similar reason (I rarely leave the house). My brother and I have been slowly picking up the 4e rules by bumming around on the D&D Insider account I setup a couple of months ago. I got to the point where I actually needed to read the rules in a coherent way so I finally opened the Dungeons and Dragons Core Rulebook Gift Set, 4th Edition that I preordered before the release of 4e. I’ve nearly finished the players handbook, so today Jason and I began constructing some materials for our initial encounter attempt.

The first Frankenstein of the evening was my new GM screen. This is something that I should have done long ago back when I actually played on a regular basis. Back in the AD&D days I just used to prop up some paper folders that I brought the adventure in. Not a very good solution, but it worked and I was a broke high school student. When 3rd edition came out I actually bought an official DM screen, which I used for pretty much everything I ran, regardless of the fact not all those games were D&D 3.0. My new solution is inspired by the Savage Worlds customizable GM screen. It is basically a binder with three panes you can just slide print outs into. However, I wanted a more flexible solution that would not require constantly swapping out reference sheets for different games. So, what I ended up doing was getting two three ring binders which I clip together with a binder clip. Inside the binders I have some document sleeves that I put the reference sheets in, and use binder clips to hold them open to the relevant pages for the game I’m playing. And, yes I did make these 4e reference sheets myself, and yes it took forever. I basically whipped it up in indesign while Jason was drawing grid lines on the poster board for the other project. Total cost for this project was under $7, which is a little less than the 4e Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Screen, which is $10.

The second creation was more of a creature of necessity. Unfortunately, since there are not many gaming places in the area you cannot really get a chessex role playing mat
so you can either order one online, or come up with a more creative solution. We chose to do the later. Basically, our solution was to draw a grid on some pieces of poster board, and them mount them to a sheet of Plexiglas. The total cost was under $20 for a 28″ x 36″ grid, the cost for a comparable chessex mat would be around $25 online (plus shipping).