Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ToEE 4E Session 8 - Back in the Swing of Things

It's been months since our last ToEE session but over the holiday weekend Apprentices Red and Blaster wanted to get D&D rolling again. Last time they had help from Apprentice Who and a friend but this time it was just them. Starting back in the carnage of Lareth's audience room they sorted out gold and magic items:

Deep in the catacombs beneath the Moathouse, our heroes arise from an extended rest:

  • Torgor Bearkin, Dwarf Sentinel Druid with his bear companion "Po" (Apprentice Red)
  • Isaac, Human Swordmage (also Red)
  • Torinn, Dragonborn Sorcerer (Apprentice Blaster)
  • Apollo Magewood, Elf Bladesinger (Also Blaster)

Among other treasure they find some mithril armor, boots of freedom of movement, and a staff of striking - thank you Mordenkainen's Magical Emporium for making these conversions easier.  Two players, four characters, three magic items - just like the good old days, this took some time to settle.

Once that was handled they moved out and backtracked to check some of the corridors and ways they had bypassed earlier. Another close encounter with the unseen Orcs from last time almost turned into combat - the boys were looking for a fight - but they recovered nicely and headed for the northwest section of the dungeon.

After some searching and some false alarms (and due to being rusty) they completely forgot their usual level of caution (perception checks for listening and looking for tracks, attention to light sources, some concern with stealth) and blundered into a room where something was waiting for them - five bugbears.

With all 4 PC's surprised, the first round went quickly - a volley of throwing axes thunked into the swordmage, bloodying him before he could even taunt mark an enemy! Four of the bugbears then formed a line that blocked further access into the room, engaging in hand to hand while the leader stayed back hurling axes at the most threatening target. There was not a ton of maneuvering in the first part of this fight as both sides went toe to toe.

During the fight the swordmage dropped, was revived by the druid, dropped again and was revived again, and was in pretty bad shape at the end, though he was conscious. The sorcerer reminded everyone what he's about as he stepped over the fallen defender (move), unloaded a lightning breath attack (daily standard), inhaled (free), unloaded another lightning breath attack (racial minor), action pointed, and blasted out another breath attack! This left one bugbear dead and two others bloodied, gave the Druid time to heal the Swordmage, let him soak up a thrown axe, and then he backed off to provide supporting fire for the rest of the fight! The bladesinger slashed about and laid various effects on the bugbears. The Druid spent some time healing but as the tide turned he managed to get in some hard hits too.

As the bugbear line collapsed the leader charged into melee as well but it was too late to change the outcome - with no way out the bugbears fought to the end and were slain. The party took a short rest and debated which way to go next ...

DM notes: This was a relatively short run intended to get us back in the groove after taking a long break from this campaign. We probably would have played some more ICONS or M&M but with Apprentice Who unavailable the older boys had mayhem on their minds and it was time to finish up the moathouse. 

Observations: Bugbears hit pretty hard whether at range or up close, and they have a pretty good chance at surprising a party, especially one that's not paying attention. I have a lot of bare stone rooms in here too and while I will add some crates or debris if it's noted in the room description I'm not going to turn every encounter into an exotic funhouse ala White Plume Mountain. Sometimes you're just fighting in a fairly plain stone room - that's just how D&D works in some old school dungeons. 

We didn't actually finish but there isn't much left  and they got enough experience to level up so I think the next session will see a return to Hommlett and an expedition to Nulb or the temple itself. It also means I have some work to do as I only have outlines for the areas beyond the moathouse - time to get to work!

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