Tobold's Blog
Thursday, June 07, 2012
The Favorites of Selune campaign - Level 2 - Session 3

In my 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign we ended the last session with the group having eliminated a tribe of bullywugs threatening the Barony of Harkenwold. They spent the night with group of Vistani, traveling folks living on a barge. This session started with our wizardess having her fortune told by a Vistani matron. The fortune teller foresaw danger (safe bet, that), and advised the wizardess to look out for a ring that could help her. After that the group returned to the druidess who had send them to fight the bullywugs. Asking what else they could do for the rebellion of Harkenwold against the Iron Circle, the group was directed to Dar Gremath, an ex-adventurer who was organizing the rebellion from his stable / postal service in Albridge.

Dar Gremath told the group that he believed it to be essential to provoke the Iron Circle, to make them leave the Iron Keep in Harken. He proposed that the group could ambush a supply wagon going from Albridge to Harken the next day, and suggested a location near some standing stones where they might hide in the bushes near the road for the ambush. The party agreed, but first wanted to do the quest that had originally brought them to Harkenwold, delivering 200 gold pieces to Sister Sondal in Harken, who is being extorted by the Iron Circle and threatened with eviction.

Trying to not draw too much attention, the cleric of the group decided to go alone and unarmed into Harken, as this was the center of power of the Iron Circle. By that means he avoided any confrontation, and was able to deliver the money safely to Sister Sondal, so she could pay the special tax levied on the temple. On this occasion he also learned that the Iron Circle had transformed the chapel of the Iron Keep into a temple of Shar, the evil sister and antagonist of Selune.

After the return of the cleric, the group planned the ambush. They prepared a log to be pulled over the road to stop the wagon, and hid in the bushes and behind the standing stones. The halfling ranger hid on top of one of the dolmen. Narrowly succeeding in their stealth checks, they gained surprise on the arriving Iron Circle supply train. But the two character on the side of the wagon decided to not use their first round, to rather draw the attention of the Iron Circle mercenaries to the main group in front before attacking them from the side as well.

The wizardess had for that day decided to switch her daily spell from Sleep to Flaming Sphere. Wizards in 4th edition get two instead of one spell for every daily and utility slot, but have to decide which of these to take for the day (a rule designed as a reminder of the previous spell memorization rules). That turned out to have been an excellent choice. Sleep in 4th edition isn't a great spell, as you first need to succeed an attack to just slow the enemies in the area of effect, and then they still have a 55% chance to succeed their saving throw before falling asleep. The Flaming Sphere was a lot more effective, especially since the wizardess rolled two crits with it over the battle.

Although I had added an additional Iron Defender (a kind of clockwork dog guarding the Iron Circle Adept), the group had a rather easy time with this fight. They were well prepared, had a good strategy, and kept rolling on the high side. Although they had usually an about 50% to hit, they must have hit at least three quarters of the time in this combat with consistently high rolls.

One highlight early in the battle was the wizardess moving the Flaming Sphere next to the horse drawing the wagon, and burning the horse. The horse bolted, but I decided there was a chance that it would break out of its burned harness. That in fact happened, leaving the enemy standing on a wagon without a horse. As the main enemy was the adept on the wagon, who could now be attacked from the front, that worked out well for the party. The adept never got to use his AoE spells, and I was barely able to surprise the group with the adept shooting two magic missiles instead of one in one round before the players killed him. The iron dogs and Iron Circle brigands were then quickly dispatched. The group needed some heals during combat, but had nobody going down.

Looting the adept the wizardess promptly found the ring foretold to her by the fortune teller, a ring that gave her +2 to hit on her Magic Missile spell to hit, plus a power to once a day cast two magic missiles instead of one. (That was my way to bolster the Magic Missile spell for my campaign, as I found it rather feeble in 4th edition). The group also found a healing potion, some gold, some sun rods, and a lot of supplies useful for the rebellion. Thus they decided to catch the horse and go back with the wagon of supplies to Albridge to Dar Gremath. There we ended this session.

Sounds like an astounding victory for your party! Don't you love it when your group halfway outwits you? True, you decided to give the horse a chance to break away, but the fact that they spread out to avoid an AoE attack was still very smart on their part. Sounds like their adapting quickly.

Keep up the session logs. If no one else, I really enjoy them, and I'm even thinking of starting to include some of my own on my blog.
I really like them, as well. Takes me back to a great time in my life.
Just wanted to say that I also enjoy reading these session 'logs'.

I suppose there's not much contention there, so almost noone comments -- so I thought I'd post to let you know that some of us enjoy these :)
Yes, definitely! I don't play too often and reading these session reports is a delight.
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