LURU 2-4 Need to Know – Spoilers ahead
The final adventure I ran at TactiCon 2011 was LURU 2-4 Need to Know. I had a full table of six players, including my friend Nate, another couple of players who I knew from Enchanted Grounds, a player I knew from other convention games, and a couple whom I hadn’t met before.
I began by asking the players to introduce their characters to one another, and Nate led things off by doing so in-character. This set the tone nicely for the rest of the table, as all of the PCs came to life. All of them mentioned their race (although the changeling in the party explained that she claimed to be an eladrin, hinting that she wasn’t really), though most did NOT mention their class. Instead, they let this become clear from the way they behaved in battle. One introduced himself as an actor (later revealed to be a hybrid bard-warlock), one as just an adventurer (later revealed to be a rogue), one as bloodthirsty bug (a ranger) and one as a princess (a hybrid bard-warlord).
The princess in the party is my favorite PC I’ve seen so far in an LFR game. She rode around on a Tenser’s Floating Disk and made excellent use of Direct the Strike to boss people around and make them attack. It worked really well. She was also able to leverage her “royal status” to bluff her way into a guarded city along with some of her allies during the adventure.
The best part of this adventure was the opening combat encounter, which took place in an inn that was soon set on fire. The growing fire and the lava elementals that arose from it were a ton of fun.
The final encounter was less fun, as it involved a beholder in a pretty boring 10 square by 10 square room (with an attached sewer area). Every time a player started their turn, they were subject to an eye ray attack (unless they ran into the sewers). They couldn’t flank the beholder, nor could they take opportunity attacks against it when it used its eye rays.
It got frustrating, but having learned my lesson from an earlier adventure I started changing the beast up a little bit. I tried to cut way back on the most devastating control effects from the beholder – the sleep ray knocked out the fighter for several rounds, and the petrification ray took away at least two PCs’ entire turns. The adventure made it clear that you need to go easy on those during the beholder’s turn, which I did, but when it rolls a random ray at the beginning of a PC’s turn, the odds are good that a controlling power is going to come up. So, I switched to more damage and less control later in the combat, even on the random rays.
Ultimately, everyone had a good time, and using MapTool and the projector to project the spreading fire onto the map in the first encounter was a big hit. It was a good way to end an awesome TactiCon.