I was out of town last week, so I wasn’t running or playing in D&D Encounters. But hey, since I had already put the maps together for Week 6, I figured I might as well share them here.
For Week 7 tonight, I had a table of seven players. Six of them had apparently played together last week (including David, the die-hard who was brand new to Encounters but who’s been there every week so far – rock on!). The party last week had fought a bunch of tieflings who had apparently taken up residence in the home of the long-dead wizard Vontarin, and this week they were delving into the house’s basement via a trap door.
Below the trap door was a long, skinny staircase with an imp statue at the end of it. Our warpriest had a high enough passive perception to realize that there was a trap at hand, triggered by a very faint glyph on the floor at the foot of the stairs. The party’s thief tried to disarm the trap, failed horribly, and set off flames all over himself and the warpriest (oops). The hunter in the party then remembered the password they had discovered upstairs and said it… and then stood there, rather than walking past the statue. Nothing happened.
The thief took another crack at disabling the trap and succeeded this time, so the party moved into a room with three pits – dry cisterns. This is something new that I loved about this evening’s session – for the first time, the party had a chance to do some exploring of a location where each opened door didn’t lead immediately to a fight.
Beyond the cistern room lay a hallway with a big cloud of purple smoke. It turned out to be remnants from an already-triggered trap. At the far end of the hall were two sets of iron doors – one to the east, and another to the north. The northern doors showed signs of having previously been chained and sealed with a bronze plaque to Pelor. The eastern doors were unchained. The adventurers decided to go east.
To the east was a room filled with empty cages, but very lively tieflings, two of whom soon turned into clouds of smoke. The party started beating on this room of enemies…
Only to be surprised when the northern doors burst open and a tiefling warlock started wrecking them with flames. Bwah ha ha!
The hunter did some quick thinking and dropped a zone of mist in the hallway intersection that provided the party with a lot of protection. He then took a shot at the warlock and hit – but the warlock’s infernal wrath dropped the hunter to unconsciousness. The party’s knight fell soon after, but they were taking turns with unconsciousness, letting the warpriest bring them both back.
I had a ton of fun running this fight. I loved the “round one – bad guys to the east; round two – bad guys to the north” which gave the battle a good flow. Lots of moving around, lots of careful thinking. Minions that deal damage on a miss were also intriguing – I’ve never seen that before. The battle ended with the hunter completely out of surges; some of the party expected that this was the last encounter before an extended rest. Oh no no no…
I was also happy that the adventure designers are finally handing out some loot to the PCs. This battle gave out a magic staff, magic armor, and a bunch of cash. Now back to town to spend it, trying to figure out where the possessed wizard has gone.
People out of town on vacations meant we had a small group tonight, only 3 (with a 4th that dropped in briefly before taking off again). Once the warlock got involved things went downhill and a few bad rolls of the dice later everybody was on the floor unconscious. Well, all the good guys, anyway. And after that, well…
Tonight I learned what TPK stands for. 🙂
This is my first time playing Encounters and my first time really playing DnD — and even though I got killed tonight I’m still having a blast.
Ouch! I’ve seen other reports of this encounter being especially hard, and upon reading it as the DM I expected it to be tough, too, but my party did a good job. Two PCs spent some time unconscious and several were bloodied, but there was never much danger of a TPK.
RIP, Jay’s party.