Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Keep at the Source and some 4e reviews.

I was able to participate in D&D Encounters at The Source on Wednesday Night. They have a large groups of not only roleplayers but a table playing Magic the Gathering, a 3.X table (I think they were playing the Wheel of Time RPG), and two grognards slugging it out as Romans vs the Germans.

I had my dice with me but little else. Luckily they had pre-gen so I picked up a Eldarin Wizard to play. D&D Encounter are weekly with each session centered around a single encounter in a larger adventure. The current set of encounters is focused on D&D Esstentials adventuring in the venerable Keep on the Borderlands.

The session was refereed by Bryan, and my comrades in arms were Rachel playing a thief named Merrick, Caleb playing a priest named Hagen, Mike who played the lady fighter Eldits, and finally Rob who played a dwarf (I think) named Trollay. I played Berian, an Eldarin Wizard.

The session picked up where the last encounters lefted off which was picking up some cultists left in a grotto outside of the keep. It was noisy and I am partly deaf so it was a miracle that I picked up any of the back story. It appears there was some underground cult worshipping Tiamat in the Keep and the eventual goal was to bust it wide open.

Written from Berrian point of view.

So we picked up the cultist who turned out to be poisoned and so we had to hurry back to the keep. Nothing unusual happened and the person feeding the info was a herbal so she was able able to take the cultists under her care. Somehow it was revealed that the Banker was the possible leader of the cultists and one of his guards was a secret ally that we can turn too for help.

We retired to the tavern to eat and during this several of the party noticed a halfling keeping a careful eye. I believe it was Hagen and Trollay who noticed this first and decided to approach him. The halfling bolted, the two raised a hue and a cry and the chase was on.

We stepped out of the tavern and we were ambushed by several rogues, the halfling's buddies. Every body but Merrick and I charged into the town square to battle the ambushers. When it came around to me, I decided that halfling needed a little lession in etiquette. I succeeded on calling on Mandos, and succeeding in weaving a Charm of Misplaced Wrath around the halfling. Stumbling in a daze he attacked one of his comrades successfully scoring a critical. Through his daze the halfling saw the threat of my power and tumbled (or something like that) and hit me with a fierce blow.

The next round Merrick came out and missed the halfling while the fight was raging several feet away in the town square. I stepped to flank the little scum, but decided my power was better used in the main fight. Calling on Manwe I unleashed a Fountain of Flame in the midst of the Ambushers severely burning several of them. Unfortunately before Merrick could strike the wily halfling tumbled away. I moved around the edge of the main battle calling on Eldereth to unleash Arc Lightning which killed several of the Ambushers.

The halfling ran through the still gushing Fountain of Flame to attack me one last time leaving me bloodied. Hagen was aware of my plight and was able to heal me of my wounds. The rest of the party charged the halfling and in a few quick blows brought the little beast down. Calling on Eldereth one last time I sent Arc Lightning down on the few remaining survivors and smote them down.
Bryan and the player did a great job and a fun time was had by all. Mike generously let me use his Rule Compendium and it is a great reference to use during play. If you play D&D 4e you will find this book invaluable.

I got to look through the store copy of the Dungeon Master's Kit. Thanks to the Source staff for letting me do this. I It is $40 boxed set. Half the price is the DM book which give DM advice and goes into the nuts & bolts of creating encounters, adventures, and campaigns. The other half are the adventure books, counters, and maps also a solid $20 value. Combined you get the $40 price for the box.

The adventure books are about Harkenwold in the Nentir's Vale. One of the thing I thought that 4e missed out on was following up on the sandbox setting they laid out in the 4e DMG. The DM Kit corrects that oversight by giving you details on the Harkenwold area and a couple of linked adventures. I think a lot of 4e referees will be quite pleased at what in here. Harkenwold portions details a small sandbox region and while the adventure are organized in 4e fashion they appear to be more a natural part of the setting.

For myself I spotted a copy of Troll Lord's Fields of Battle for $20. I am fan of BattleSystem from AD&D days so I decided to pick this up for myself. I will review this in a later post.

1 comment:

JeraldSr said...

We are trying to run D&D Encounters weekly at Gold Star Anime, preferably on Wednesday evenings starting about 5:00pm. What we most need is an experienced DM, and of course more players! We had a group playing when here when WOC first started Encounters, but there haven't been enough players recently. This Wednesday, (Yesterday) we DID have two hopeful players show up looking to play! They promised to be back next Wednesday, so if we can get two or three others coming, we can get it going again!