This week marked the beginning of the second adventuring day for the intrepid travelers in the town of Duponde. A total of eight players showed up this week, so we split into two tables of four each. My table had:
- Garro the hunter (the new player from week 1, now with a leveled-up PC!)
- Sever the paladin (the new player’s friend, brand-new to D&D)
- Markus the cleric (the replacement PC for the one I killed in week 1)
- Jarren the mage
Having survived a night in the Shadowfell, the players napped through the morning back at the beloved Old Owl Inn, feeling a little shaky when they awoke (I’m using the Despair Deck, so they all drew a card). Some of the PCs spent some time studying the mysterious journal they had discovered at Evard’s tomb; it belonged to the wizard Nathaire who had disappeared from the Old Owl, and it was written in code. They haven’t fully deciphered it yet, but they’re making progress.
A young Vistani boy (basically a gypsy) came to the heroes to tell them that his grandmother Grivelda had a vision and needed to tell the heroes about it. She saw them as being the key to stopping whatever had happened to Duponde. We had a nice bit of role playing with Grivelda, with the PCs very interested in asking her about her visions. Three of them volunteered to have their palms read (two with poor results). They got the impression that she might know a thing or two about potion making, and I allowed them to make diplomacy checks to see if they could persuade her to whip up a healing potion, but none of them were very diplomatic (the best roll was an 8; I set the DC at 10). Oh well.
Before long, Grivelda’s grandson came running into the house, crying out that wolves were coming, along with a werewolf. As written, the battle starts with the PCs inside the house, but I thought the battle would be more interesting outside (the house was tiny), so I let them move outside as a free action when we rolled initiative.
Since there were only 4 PCs and most of them were level 1, I scaled the battle down. I threw two wolves at them instead of three, and I leveled the werewolf down by one level on the fly (reduced HP by 8, reduced defenses by 1 each). I left his attacks and damage alone.
The werewolf won initiative and rushed into battle, coming after the nearest target – the cleric (whose predecessor character from the same player, remember, I had killed in week 1). He went into his lycanthropic fury, in which he makes both a claw and a bite attack and deals himself 5 damage in the process. The claw was a critical hit, dealing a bunch of damage and knocking the cleric to the ground; fortunately, the bite missed.
The hunter in the party climbed onto the roof of the house and took at shot at a wolf – and missed. The cleric used his turn to stand up, smack the werewolf, and then a minor action to increase the party’s AC for the encounter (rather than heal himself). One wolf came after the wizard while the other climbed up onto the roof after the hunter – who was quite surprised to have company up there!
The paladin and wizard went to work on the ground-bound wolf, and then Grivelda gave the werewolf a dirty look to turn off his regeneration (which ended up being hugely important) and his disease-bearing nature. The werewolf got back to savaging the cleric, who decided to heal the hunter on the roof instead of himself. This ended up being a mistake, as the werewolf dropped the cleric unconscious in the third round.
Eventually the mage started wrecking the ground foes with arc lightning and the paladin started drawing their attention. The hunter climbed off the roof and was pounced on from the roof by the wolf, who dropped him unconscious. Meanwhile, the cleric was busy failing death saves.
The mage’s dice were hot, and she started dropping the enemies one after the other. The last wolf tried to run but was met with a magic missile in the back.
Unfortunately, this was too late for the cleric, who failed three straight death saves. Pow. And once again, I killed one of Chris’s characters. Man, did I feel bad! But really, the dice just betrayed him. If he had just made one of those saves, he would have pulled through.
The other table breezed right through the encounter; maybe I should have scaled it down even farther. Well, so it goes. At least Grivelda was able to bring the cleric back with a four-healing-surge penalty, so Markus lives to fight another day!
No map this time, since I used the official Wizards of the Coast map for this one (it’s a map from Reavers of Harkenwold, which they put on their web site). If you’re a DDI subscriber, you can get the map here.