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Month: May 2010

57. The Worst of All Snares (AGLA 1-3)

We finished up the day with The Worst of All Snares, run by Susan, which left Amanda, Jimmy, Mark, Hudson and me to play. The location was convenient – coming off a successful struggle against undead horrors, we just had to move over a few neighborhoods and fight a street gang or two. There was also a nice thematic link to some previous villains, which was a pleasing coincidence.

As an earlier module, this sucker was definitely less challenging than Twilight Ambitions. This is good, since we were all pooped. We had a hard enough time dealing with the fact that one of WotC’s bear miniatures has a distressingly suggestive tuft between his legs. Tonight we are all fourteen years old!

Great street flavor, though, and a totally awesome capper to a long day. We finished up right around midnight, cause we started a bit late and because Twilight Ambitions ran quite long. 

56. Twilight Ambitions (AGLA 1-7)

Our second game of the day was Twilight Ambitions, which only just came out. We had a couple of people who were eager to play it for the sake of a major quest, so the timing was good. Hudson DMed; Susan, Amanda, Jimmy, Mark and I played.

I found it an interesting module, not entirely in a good way, although I think I enjoyed it a bit more than the others. The first fight was quite cool, and the skill challenge was reasonably entertaining. The second fight was OK – really mostly filler. The third fight was a serious bear of a battle that kind of turned into a grind.

The big boss has a lot of defensive powers, plus regeneration, plus she can use second wind. The tactics for the module explicitly call out the second wind and encourage the DM to use it. This is bad. Second wind, for monsters, is something you can use to prolong the fight if the PCs are trampling all over the monster and you want to get some tension back. In most fights, where the PCs are moving towards a win at a reasonable pace, it’s just a way to extend the fight. Layer it on top of regeneration and an ability that’ll negate a couple of attacks, and ew.

I enjoyed the fight because we had to work our butts off to win it. When Collin breaks someone out of dominate three times because I took Heal and remember the rule about granting saves, that’s satisfying. Good use of terrain from all players, likewise satisfying. But I definitely would have enjoyed it more with a somewhat better constructed monster.

All kudos to all the players and Hudson for making it pretty darned tolerable.

55. Incident at the Gorge of Gauros (CORE 1-6)

We had another game day at our house on Memorial Day weekend; tons of fun. It gave me and Susan a chance to play with Amanda and Jimmy, which was also cool. 

The first game was Incident at the Gorge of Gauros, with Amanda running. Mark and Hudson joined Jimmy, Susan and me as players. Susan and I had played this one before with Reed and Faral, who did the entire Szass Tam questline, but I never mind a bit of repeat. Also this puts Collin on the road to finishing that quest himself, which is cool.

It was fun. At level 7, Collin was a bit low to play it on high, but his accuracy is good enough so that it wasn’t awful. Also, Come and Get It is cheatyhax of the highest order. Mark played his fighter, which meant we could hold down two knots of opponents at once. Good times.

Flaming Sphere and Wall of Fire do a number on a couple of dracoliches, and maybe hold back the lich. Go go AGLA 1-7!

April Wrapup

Hella belated, I know.

I played 7 games and DMed 4 games in April, which continues to be a pretty happy ratio for me. In a stunning upset, Xalcairn and I played together more than anyone else, thanks to a bunch of H2 games online for Collin. Both he and Susan played with me three times, but I DMed for him twice. Go figure. Meanwhile, Matt J. ran 3 games for me.

I just didn’t get as much play with the locals, sadly. Legends play was on the downswing. Of the 11 total games, three were face to face and eight were online. On the other hand, I’m not counting D&D Encounters here, so overall there was still plenty of local play – it’s just the LFR which tipped sideways. I think I’ll have more face to face games in May, though, when it’s all counted up.

I’m gonna change the target to 100 games at this point, since I’ve hit 50 already. 75 would be a pretty trivial goal. Go for the gusto!

54. Dancing Shadows (CORE 1-10)

Susan and I went down to Games and Stuff last night to get some more Ensa/Collin play in. Peter kindly bailed on his drow game to run Dancing Shadows for us. Along with Susan and I, we had Tom B., Chris, David L., and Doug L. Lotta drow, huh? House Rilyntel represent!

We may remember Chris from The Night I Called The Undead Out. I’m pretty sure he was choosing his encounter and daily powers on the fly in this game. Mild sigh.

Peter, however, is an awesome DM and fighting dragons is always cool. Every time Collin fights a dragon, I wind up trying to get on the dragon’s far side so that he can’t breathe on me and other people at the same time. It’s just like fighting Onyxia! So good times.

53. Finding Harmony (CORE 1-17)

We finished up with Dave Guerrieri’s Finding Harmony. Geoff ran; me, Susan, Jeff, Emily, and Meaghan played. I bet you could see that list coming. I dug the plot, I didn’t mind the somewhat disjointed encounters, but I gotta say, that last fight, boy howdy.

I think the thing is that Fell Taints sound cool. It’s a new, unusual low level monster. They do some neat stuff. They’re not overused. Except at this point having DMed fights with them twice and played a fight with them once, all in the space of a month? I can do without ‘em.

The fight was OK, I didn’t feel like we were being stomped, but it did drag. I gotta point out one issue – the method for bringing the Fell Taints to the ground requires them to be within 5 squares, but they can fly at 6 squares of height easily. Easy DM fix, but confusing. I almost wonder if the intent wasn’t that they should be within 5 squares of horizontal distance? Dunno.

On the other hand, I really did like the plot. I was playing Collin and he settled down to hang out with the new settlement for a few months post-adventure. So that was a cool bit of roleplay enabling.

52. The Missing and the Missed (WATE 1-7)

The second module of the day was The Missing and the Missed, which I ran. Emily, Susan, Meaghan, Geoff, and Jeff played. It’s a solid Waterdeep module with a pretty challenging pair of combats. The first one has the best use of minions I’ve seen to date: four minions who provide combat advantage against anyone they’re next to, and a bunch of normal monsters who get bonus damage with combat advantage. So I demonstrated the joy of focus fire by burning down Jeff’s Thick Eddie. I ran two leaders out of healing. Booyah.

I let up a bit on the second fight, with lots of monsters going in many directions, but it was still fun. Weird to see a combat-oriented Waterdeep module, though! I like the way the authors (Jeanette Martin and Sara Green) build combats; I hope to see more of their work in the future.

51. Silver Lining (AGLA 1-5)

Oh, I am so far behind. Bad blogger. Last Saturday (5/8) we trucked up to Wilmington to play LFR with Jeff and Emily and people as a housewarming thing. They have an awesome house! And it’s good for gaming. So we played three games. The first one was Silver Lining, with Jeff running. Emily, Susan, Meaghan, Geoff, and I played.

Fun little H1 module. I played Cine, my eladrin noble psion who hasn’t been allowed out of the ancestral manse for 45 years. He’s a bit naive but very bright. I discovered the awesomeness of the telekinetic psion encounter power; being able to slide someone as a free action is superb. I’m definitely upgrading to twice per encounter.

And, as they say, “save the goblin, save the world.”