D&D was pretty intense last night. In waves.
First, we were down a player – technically two, because two of our normal players were out, but we had one of our players’ brothers fill in, so we still had three players. Also, we ran the Warden sort of on auto-pilot, just marking enemies, taking opportunity attacks, and using his encounter powers.
I will admit I’ve been pulling encounters out of the air since the party decided to head for Delphi. I guess it works out, they had their introductory adventure with the whole … thing, … and now they’re heading out into the world to see what kind of damage they can cause. And quasi-random encounters work at this stage.
The evening was a mix of Skill Challenges and Combat Encounters – which is pretty much every game session, but now you know – first they made an overland journey (using Endurance, Perception, Nature, and some oddball skills) and ran into some cannibal savages and gnolls, and an ogre on the outskirts of a tribal village.
After they made camp that night, they were ambushed by a villain out of one of the characters’ backstories – a bugbear werebear brawler (try saying that five times fast) who dragged our unfortunate shaman halfway across the battlefield and nearly slaughtered her before the party caught up to him. They ultimately managed to beat him…
…But in the throes of defeat, he “beared down” on our monk, and his jaw locked as he fell unconscious, forcing a scrambled attempt to pry him loose. The monk actually fell unconscious from the ongoing damage before they healed and feed him.
Since we only had half our regular party present, and they were pretty evenly split between slaying the bugbear on the spot and letting him go free, we decided to defer the judgment until the following week, and continue on as though he’d been left behind one way or another. The characters entered a new, hillier environment.
The session ended with them navigating an abandoned clay pit and being ambushed by a girallon and some ape-beast minions. The monk got himself thrown off a cliff repeatedly – first falling twenty feet, then again, then he climbed back up and got thrown clear off to fall another forty feet. He almost died. It was pretty intense.
The party decided to retreat, with the monk slung over the warden’s shoulder. Next week, we’ll start out with them escaping farther into the clay pit. Fun times!