Jared and I are participating in the Fourth Edition D&D Encounters program at Game Night Games, a local hobby gaming store. We’re both signed up as Game Masters, and last night was the first session of “The Elder Elemental Eye,” an adventure aimed at characters from 1st to 3rd level.

The Encounters are set in Fourth Edition’s updated Forgotten Realms, which is set several hundred years after the Realms from Second and Third Edition, as I recall. I flipped through the Campaign Setting book, and it looks like they cut down the previous list of eighty-some deities to about eighteen. We had a decent turnout.

Of the six (five?) game masters we had last night, I think we had three full tables. Rather than running a table myself, I filled a seat at Jared’s table and helped one of the players build his character, a red-scaled dragonborn slayer called Pollux. For myself, I grabbed a fastplay dark elf hunter I named “The Shadow.”

After flipping through the Adventure, I guess I’m surprised how literally it approaches the “encounter” nature of the event — each session is literally one encounter, with a little bit of lead-up and a little bit of conclusion. I guess I’m surprised because I expected something more in the order of two to three encounters, at the very least.

Still, it was nice to sit around the table and jaw with some new players, interact with, and banter in-character. The story is centered around some kind of demonic plague that transforms its victims into horrible monsters that then transmit the plague to their victims, spreading and wiping out communities.

I promised each party member a swift death if they contracted the disease. I think they took it pretty well. Our group was composed of two dark elves (myself and a knight), a high elf warpriest, and the dragonborn slayer. In the end, we cured one knight of the disease, for which we declared Pollux to be “the Merciful,” so he could boast a title.

All in all, a fun little event. We’re looking forward to next week.