The Road to War
by, 11-06-2009 at 12:59 AM (927 Views)
So we finally kicked off the Scales of War Campaign after a month delay and numerous player changes do to people having other commitments. Four players showed for the first game, a fifth stopped by after work to tell us he had the flu and was going home. So not to bad of a turnout.
First off, this is the 3rd or fourth game I've DM'd in about 10 years, so I suck, and I know it. Hopefully I will get better with the narration and other aspects of DM'ing soon. The game got off to a bit of a rough start, but I think everyone had some fun.
Other than that though, the biggest problem was that two players are unfamiliar with 4e. The two other players and I kept forgetting this, and so the new guys may not have been aware of all of their options etc, until well into the second encounter.
As for the game
The character all started at the local inn, the Antler and Thistle. They were all sharing a warm meal and drinks with friends, family and associates, on a chilly fall night (Nov. 15th) in the city of Brindol after having spent the day participating in the activities of the Harvest Home festival.
The characters were
Erik the White. A Human Ranger who was accompanied by his half-brother and his loyal wolf companion.
Ruckus Ironheart. A Dwarven Fighter, formerly of some renown for bravery and courage during the Red Hand war, but now primarily a bar fly and known drunkard. Accompanied by three drinking companions of low repute, and a local strumpet.
Thorfin Hammerfist. A Dwarven Cleric. Who was sharing a meal with the four other members of his adventuring band.
Reverre. A local halfling wizard who was meeting a fellow arcane associate concerning some unfinished business.
When quite suddenly the door burst open and in rushes four hobgoblins. The first hobgoblin stabs The Secretive Wizards associate in the neck sending blood spraying across the table. The second and third each attack members of Hammerhand's adventuring band at the table on the right. Shortly thereafter, more hobgoblins and goblins enter, from both the front and back entrances, attacking patrons and setting fire to the inn. Chaos ensues as fighting breaks out and people flee for their lives. Most of the hobgoblins are killed in short order but many of the bar patrons lay dead (approximately 12 or so) and the fires burn uncontrollably by this time.
One serving wench was abducted by the hobgoblin commander. Ruckus Ironheart gave pursuit while the rest of the group finished off the remaining hobgoblins.
After the combat encounter ends the characters decide to organize a bucket brigade to douse the flames. It is an inn and tavern after all, and it would be a terrible waste if the city had only four drinking establishments. They are however pressed into service by the city militia to help quell further hobgoblin attacks, and so they quickly race off in the direction of the nearest market square and the sounds of combat.
Ruckus Ironheart, because he pursued the fleeing hobgoblin with the tavern wench, did not get to take a short rest between encounters so he received no healing between encounters. He came on the scene below first. Then decide that discretion was the better part of valor, then turned around and ran back towards the inn. He was met here by the rest of the party and the two members of the city militia.
When they reach the square they find an overturned wagon near the central fountain and statue and at the road at the northern end of the square a large catapult, a museum relic of the Red Hand War being pulled down the street. Well, at least the Ogre attached to it was trying to pull it down the street, but it had become lodged between two houses. The Ogre launched a flaming cask at the group but his shot went long and hit the wall of the house next to them. All of the group escaped damage except for one of the city militia who was doused in flames and died a fiery death. So the group charged headlong into battle, their only real path of retreat cut off by flames. They killed the hobgoblins and the ogre, but not before they took some serious damage, with both Dwarves nearly getting killed.
After the encounter ends the PC's are met by a second group of city militia coming from another direction. They are on their way to the bridge to help with the fighting there. The characters take a short break and then head for the fighting on the bridge. They reach the bridge only to find that the fighting is over and that the resurgent Red Hand has fled into the night.
The rest of the night is spent; tending to the wounded, put out fires, recovering the dead, determining who else is missing and assessing the damage. What day break will bring, only the Gods know. Rumors abound that this was just a raid and that the rest of the resurgent Red Hand Army will arrive shortly. The citizens of Brindol are in a near panic. It may have been 40 years since the Red Hand War, but enough people remember the terrible Siege of Brindol.
The personal toll was a heavy one for the PC's.
Ruckus lost two companions, but the strumpet made it out the door to safety. First, if I recall correctly. The other, a local farmer, made it out alive also. Good drinking buddies are hard to find after all.
Eric the White's half-brother was killed in the tavern.
All of the Cleric Hammerhand's adventuring associates were cut down by the Red Hand.
The wizard, lost his associate and nearly his own life at the tavern.
[End of session one]
On the up side for the PC's, they took and on and survived two 2nd level encounters designed for six characters. But just barely. I upped the XP totals a bit and got rid of all the minions.
The wizard was made just prior to game play and so doesn't yet have a name. The Dwarven character Hammerfist, is rlutke's character, and I have forgotten the characters first name. A situation I will rectify at the next session.
As for the character themselves, I am allowing for some customization beyond the normal rules. Ruckus, has a custom feat called Faded Glory. This feat is more of a flaw than a feat really. It allows the character to start at third level and has all of the normal attacks and feats a third level character would have. However, the kicker is that, he losses 2 points from each primary stat, for each level under 3rd level. So his STR, CON and WIS are all 4 points lower than they should be. When he reaches second level, the character gains back 2 points in each stat and at 3rd level the last two points for each, and trades in this feat for a regular feat. Ruckus is a fat, old, out of shape, alcoholic dwarf. For now.
I also allow for a bit of idiotic humor as well. Ruckus has a second feat, Dwarven Tavern Brawler, that allows him to use a tankard as an off-hand weapon or a light shield. So his Shield Bash power would be more appropriately called Tankard Bash.