D&D Encounters Web of the Spider Queen – Week 3

Previous Week: Week Two / Following Week: Week Four

Our intrepid heroes gathered again this week to chase the drow into the underdark, in search of the Pendant of Ashaba that the drow had stolen. The same six players as last week were once again at the table, although we did see one player switch characters and another change his character’s name. We also had a seventh player at the table this week. I’m never one to turn away a player!

  • A goblin hunter named Snipe (formerly known as Ferrin)
  • A goblin scout named Squintch
  • A goblin slayer named Snarl (who doesn’t speak but just, well, snarls)
  • A svirfneblin warpriest named Ziti
  • A drow mage named Zin
  • A dwarf fighter named Thoradin (replacing Lloyd the eladrin wizard from last week)
  • A dragonborn slayer named Draco (new to my table)

I’m pleased to note here that the nameless player who introduced himself to me last week and mentioned that he had read my blog did follow up with an email. He’s Justin. Hi Justin!

A puzzle!

Anyway, my gang headed down the stairs from the bottom floor of the Tower of Ashaba and found themselves following drow tracks through a dusty cellar. The tracks led to a large room full of tombs – clearly a crypt – but here the tracks stopped because the crypt was enchanted by a spell that kept it dust-free. The biggest tomb was labeled with the name Lord Ashaba, whom our drow historian recognized as the first lord of Shadowdale. Lord Ashaba was also known to be a water wizard.

The group started looking for secret doors and soon discovered a slight crack where Lord Ashaba’s tomb met the ground. They tried moving the tomb out of the way with brute strength, but it wouldn’t budge. Searching for magic, they noticed some kind of magic sensor that seemed to be focused on a bowl-shaped indentation in the lid of the tomb. Eventually, remembering that Ashaba was a water wizard, they tried pouring water in the indentation… and lo and behold, the tomb swung aside! Stairs led down into darkess, covered with dust, cobwebs and drow footprints.

Arise, my dead kinsmen

At the bottom of the stairs, the group found themselves in another crypt – this one much older. They were on a small upper level with stairs leading down to a larger chamber lined with stone coffins. To the south, a longer stairway stretched into darkness, and on this stairway was an unfriendly-looking drow priestess of some sort. She tossed her pretty necklace to the ground and called for her dead kinsmen to rise up and fight the intruders.

White mist began billowing out of the necklace, and skeletons began moving about in the coffins. The fight was on!

Hall of the Dead - Gridded

Hall of the Dead - No Grid

The adventurers did a good job of rolling well on initiative, and the drow priestess, despite her retreat down the stairs, soon found herself being mauled by two slayers before she had even acted. Ouch ouch! She dropped a cloud of poisonous spiders on them, swung at one with her totem, then tried to retreat down the stairs. She was dying by the end of the first round.

She was not alone, however, as skeletons started clambering out of their coffins whenever the white mist reached them. These were soon found to be minons however, and even in large numbers (eight to start with, and three more each round) they weren’t too scary.

We also had a few drow archers in this encounter, who made life much more miserable for the party – especially Snarl the goblin, who came into the encounter with only two healing surges left. Poor Snarl got wrecked by a critical hit from an archer in the third round and found himself on the ground, dying. He was soon revived by his goblin brethren, and ended up spending both of his remaining surges. He will enter encounter 4 with no surges and 11 hit points. Eek!

That didn’t stop the little dude from wrecking foes left and right. He charged right after the archer who had dropped him, all by his lonesome. That was worthy of a Moment of Greatness for sure.

The rest of the party wasn’t waiting idly, either. Zin the mage became the first PC I’ve seen to earn the “kill three or more minions with a single attack” achievement for toasting some skeletons. Ziti got to smite some undead. Squintch and Snipe kept the pressure on the bad guys, and Thoradin and Draco did their best to soak up damage for their more fragile friends. It was a great team effort and a well-deserved victory.

-Michael the OnlineDM

Post script – a new game by the OnlineDM

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen me mention a new dice/card game that I’ve been working on. This game is the reason I haven’t been blogging much in the past week.

I came up with the idea and the first prototype last Thursday (May 31) and have tried it out with several different groups since then. In the last two days, I’ve had two different groups of strangers at the local game store play the game, and both times had people asking me when they can buy this thing.

So, I’m actually developing a game! It’s fun, too. I’m not ready to share a ton of details just yet, but I will say that it’s themed around alchemy, that it uses both cards and dice, and that it’s designed to be quick to play (15 minutes for two players and up to about 45 minutes for five players). I plan to do a small print run in the next couple of months, and if things go really well I plan to eventually run a Kickstarter to fund a bigger print run and some nice, professional artwork for the cards.

I’m in the process of looking for artists right now, so if you know anyone, send them my way!

Wish me luck!

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