Weekend D&D 4e Gaming

Well, another weekend – and my parents are back from Europe. More on that later. I also had my regular D&D 4E sessions, and both were excellent in very different ways.

The Castle Zagyg campaign was wacky and really enjoyable. Martin and Peggy were fairly tired, so it was left up to Adam and Nate to do the running… oh, dear. They reached the attic, and had a great time exploring through all the assorted junk and weird items Zagyg had left behind. Then they found a crate with a "bump" inside it. It was secured by three boxes filled with lead on top of it.
Adam and Nate immediately wanted to open it. Martin & Peggy immediately wanted to leave it alone. They argued for a while, then they bored a hole in the side of the box. A bloodshot human eye peered out from the other side. Hmm. Martin, Peggy & Rich, even more convinved of the error of opening the box (the other two were currently singing "What’s in the box, in the box?") left the attic, leaving the two boys to do as they wish. One floating head attacking them later, they fled the attic as well, with Nate having teethmarks in his arm now. They locked the attic behind them, with the head now having sole dominion.
Down to the cellar, where they had the fun of being attacked by rats. Twice. Many bite marks later, they’d gotten rid of the rats, and they’d found the mirror. Seeing a trapped goblin inside made them a bit cautious, and they refused to release him, and carefully stepped away…
More in a fortnight.
Meanwhile, I had five players for the first time in a long while in the Thunderspire Labyrinthcampaign. Ben was back from Melbourne, for his first session in a year. This was his first 4e game, but he showed no problems in adapting to the new rules and playing an extremely effective warlord. The session went for about five hours, and we got through five combat encounters as the group went through the duergar fortress looking for slaves.
This was something of a grind for the group, because they had a few attacks that did fire or poison damage. Guess what the Duergar were resistant to? That’s right. As a result, Adam’s wizard, in particular, was down to a lot of individual attacks rather than the group attacks that would have really sped things up.
One of the highlights of the session was when the group faced a bunch of orcs and an Ogre. The first orc was bloodied, and then Greg decided to intimidate him into surrendering… and did so. I described how the Ogre immediately killed him. A round later, and the Ogre was bloodied. Ben intimidated him, he surrendered, and the entire group went with him. That was glorious. (Apparently, you can actually make an intimidate check against an entire group of monsters – you roll against each one, although only the bloodied ones will surrender).
The group rescued a couple of slaves, though not the ones they were looking for. Ben safely guided them onto the path which wasn’t guarded by duergar, and so they were able to attack sort of with surprise. When the group opens a door, I make them all make Stealth checks; if they beat the passive Perception checks of the opponents (with a +5 bonus to their checks due to the door), they surprise the group. It’ll happen one of these days.
Finally, they fought the duergar leader, and that was a really tough battle. Ben’s healing abilities were really useful. Splug also did a fair amount of damage, taking out the theurge almost by himself (the theurges were hideously strong against the group, as they rarely had enough room to spread out). Josh and Greg got into the front lines and as fighter and paladin, they laid down the attack on the duergar. Eventually the group were able to succeed – but it was a very close thing. 

The prisoners remained unrescued as the group was bloodied and bleeding. They headed to a safe place to rest, and will return the next day (session). Don’t know if we’ll have Ben next session, but it was fantastic having him here for this one. 

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