Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
 
The Favorites of Selune - Gardmore Abbey - Session 14

In the previous session we had made a rules error, thinking that if the two parties in a fight couldn't see each other, they wouldn't know where the others were. It turned out that in 4th edition D&D you not only need to be out of sight, but also do a stealth check if you want others to be unaware of your location. So in this session we started with all the tokens on the battlemap, with only the enemy rogue's location being unknown. But the rival group had retreated into the room, so the heroes first needed to drop their cloud of darkness and enter the room. [That also meant they were actually fighting ON the battlemap, and not on the squares outside the door. Woot!]

The room had a lot of interior walls and features, which was good for a session which we had started by discussing rules of line of sight, line of effect, and visibility. So the fight started with some ranged combat, with the targets frequently having some sort of cover bonus. The heroes knew that the enemy rogue was somewhere invisible in the room, stealthed (hidden), but in the first round nearly all of them forgot to use a minor action for a perception check to look for him. Only the sorceress tried, but as she didn't have perception trained, she couldn't locate him.

Now, as frequently the case, the rogue of the Favorites of Selune was ahead of the others. And as the rivals used the same tactics as any adventuring group, concentrating their fire, he was quickly surrounded by enemies. And then the invisible drow rogue stabbed him in the back, bringing him to negative hit points. Fortunately he was in view of the cleric, who had an immediate heal power from a holy symbol for situations like this, but the rogue decided it was wiser to keep playing dead.

Although the players discussed tactics heatedly, they managed to stick to a concentrated fire strategy as well, and quickly downed the enemy half-orc fighter. The evil dwarven cleric of the rival group went next, and one by one the enemies died. Every time an enemy died, one of the survivors benefited from a new card effect, while the heroes still hadn't learned how to control their cards. The drow rogue enemy tried to sneak invisibly into the group's back, but had a low stealth roll and was seen by the ranger. He managed to do some serious damage to the sorceress, but was then pushed into a well and died from the fall. Not wanting to offer the remaining enemy wizard a chance to surrender, the group killed that last enemy. They recovered the four cards the rivals had, as well as the gold that the rivals had taken from the temple.

Now finally the Favorites of Selune started trying whether they could in some way control what cards would appear in combat. That turned out to be a simple matter of wishing a card effect of a card you hold to appear and doing an arcana check as a minor action. Not ideal for characters without that skill, but a lot more useful than having no control at all. So the players decided to make a list of all the cards and distribute them to those characters who could use them best for their regular combat tactics.

Having sorted that out, the group descended into the vaults. The first room they entered was empty, except for one big bronze door and another door. Empty rooms are suspicious in Dungeons & Dragons, so they started looking for secret doors, traps, and the like. As they could see frescoes of minotaurs, the sorceress wanted to know whether there was some sort of "cow smell" in the room, but could only pick up a different smell. The cleric identified that smell as being sulfur (sulfur dioxide to be exact, several of the players have a background in chemistry). The rogue, investigating the big bronze door felt that it was warmer than expected, and heard some snoring behind it. That was enough hints to let them conclude that there was a dragon behind that door, even if there was no "there be dragons here" inscription, as the sorceress jokingly asked.

Well, a dragon is one of those monsters I don't like to spring on my group as a total surprise, there should be some warning. But as usual in the face of danger, the Favorites of Selune decided to walk away and try something else first. They knew that the vaults had a second entrance, so they left the dungeon and headed over to that other entrance. At that point we ended the session.

Comments:
Lol the favourites of Selune are certainly not fearless except perhaps for one gung-ho rogue.
 
Hey Tobold, I know I started talking smack about your players - but do they read your blog?

Now I'm feeling a bit sorry for them.
 
Hi Tobold,
I'd love to +1 your blog, but I'm reading it to help my own perspectives on Gardmore (which I'm running in 13th Age, and logging on Obsidian Portal), not to help my players who follow me on G+ -- so I hope a friendly Comment can make up for me NOT publicly sharing it.

Taking out the Rival Adventurers like that -- what a coup!

Loving reading these, keep it up!
--Nev.
 
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