4E: Keep On The Shadowfeel - My experiences

Go down

4E: Keep On The Shadowfeel - My experiences

Post  BR3AKR on Fri May 30, 2008 4:54 am

Howdy all, glad to have the opportunity to make my first post!

I'm not usually a forum... person... mostly because I don't usually have much to say I try to spend more of my time doing. BUT I wanted to share some of my excitement for the new edition and give you guys some details on my experiences with 'keep on the shadowfell'.

First off, the adventure starts at level one (no big surprise of course)... and then works its way up to level 3. The players don't have much choice with the premade characters, and I don't think all the rules are quite there. I'm not overly familiar with the the 'marking' rule is supposed to work... and things like ongoing damage and whether they stack or not. This isn't a big deal, I didn't expect to get ALL of the rules in a PREVIEW of the rules lol Wink. Either way, what I did get is plenty playable and there is very little confusion (after the first fight or so).

Secondly, going back to the 1st level thing... WOW they don't feel like 1st level characters at all. To be honest, I think some of the players that were expecting your typical 'first level' character were a bit overwhelmed and spent quite a lot of time for the first couple battles just soaking in what their character could do. Almost every character has approx. 1 or 2 daily, and 3'ish encounter powers. And then a whole slew of at will powers (this part varied the most between players).

The character choices involve the following
Halfling Rogue
Dwarven Fighter
Dragonborn Paladin
Half-Elf Cleric
Human Wizard
Tiefling Warlord (Walord if you guy by what's actually written on the character sheet Smile )

The characters all feel pretty interesting (especially considering their level), and left the players (all but one) feeling hungry for the actual player's handbook to come out to get a real feel for some of these choices.

As far as the adventure itself goes, the story is pretty regular... overlord wizardish (cleric in this case) is trying to unleash dark unholy power and oppresses the nearby land pissing the people off. Adventurers need to stop wizardish character before unholy power gets opened. At least, that's the overarching story. There's a lot of background there (they used some really old demon names from back in 1st ed. and the priest is also a throwback to other editions) so if the GM wants to do a bunch of digging on his own and get the deepest feel possible he can. Kind of neat... but I (to be honest) really wanted to get to some crunchy rules... stories don't change because of editions changing.

So it wasn't long at all before the players ended up in their very first combat vs a couple of the (highly controversial in my group) minions (critters that always go down in one hit, no matter the level or what-not), and a couple not so miniony kobolds. This combat was pretty strait forward with a couple rocks, but no hindering terrain or pits or anything crazy like that. The kobolds jumped the players immediately shocking them when I announced 'a kobold pops out and slings you for 9 damage!' (a crit on a 1d6+3... crits just do max dmg now).

To give you a sense of what kind of damage that is - the wizard starts with 23HP's, and the fighter starts with 31.
That's %39 of the wizard's HPs... which if you look at 3rd ed... is a little less HPs... the players however didn't really do that math and kind of bocked at it.

Anyhow - the kobolds actually proved to be pretty formidable opponents, and had a decent variety for combat #1... a ranged one... 5 minions... and two shield kobolds...

After that the combats just got a lot more interesting and much more difficult. I'm not really sure if the 'builds' for these premade characters are just not all that good... I'm a good roller... or the players are good rollers... or a combination of it all... but combat felt nail biting every time. Which was pretty fun since the players have the ability to bounce back pretty rapidly right in the middle of combat (with the cleric spending some action points, and players using their second winds to get 1/4 hps). It could feel down to the wire and then the players suddenly pull something out and really get things done.

Later in the first evening, the players DID die however simply due to a bit of overzealous haste fighting one combat and rushing right into the next without even taking a moment to breathe. This being the 'boss' battle of the night fighting an elite (yeah I said it... if you play MMO's you know what I'm talking about... and it means the same thing) goblin. The players in this fight made short work of the minions (some well placed AOEs) but the combination of the whole area being alerted, a couple added kobolds due to some well thought retreating by the little bastards and you have a party getting roasted by kobold firelight that evening.

Well... rather then closing the adventure and calling it quits we just pretended (lol...) the players won and allowed for them to continue into the dungeon proper.

We just did the dungeon proper last night and that has been my favorite part so far. The players are really getting a feel for their characters now and can do some very creative things with all of the abilities granted to them, plus the flexibility by the built in action points, second wind, and minor actions. They (when needed) can just be HEROIC and really turn the tide. As my example (and final cite for the adventure) I'll use our second to last combat to show just how important these abilities can be.

The players had chased some goblins into a chamber that was being excavated by a few more goblins (none of these are minions). The excavation site has two levels, one ten feet above the other. The players enter the large chamber on the second level. This level looks more like a series of 10-20 ft platforms bridged by some precarious planks, on some of these platforms are a few goblin sharpshooters (plus 9 to hit... good god). The lower level has a goblin sharpshooter as well, and two guard drakes. Added to the dungeon because some goblins retreated here is a melee goblin, and another sharpshooter. Well, needless to say this setup proved to be remarkably nasty because the two closes goblins held the players (at least for a round or two) right at the doorway while the goblins called the drakes up the ramps and got position all while laying down a hail of arrows on the poor players. After dispatching the goblins the players then rush forward into the room and are met immediately by a guard drake who can take a hell of a beating. The players decide before the goblins can do something about the planks, or get the other drake in an even nastier position that some of them should rush the drake. Well they do but through all of the hellfire of arrows and drake nastyness the players are looking pretty screwed.

WELL OUT OF NOWHERE THE CLERIC GOES CRAZY!

After the drake upstairs is called to guard a nearby platform the cleric leaps (and tumbles with a good roll) into the 10 foot pit to aid the dying warrior and warlord on the lower drake. Due to taking the shortcut of jumping he's able to arrive at the drake, SMASHES it with a critical hit (that ALSO heals a nearby ally). Then uses his action point to do the same action AGAIN and heals the other player up to full and finishes off the drake allowing the players downstairs to move forward confidently and without the hindering of the drake.

Meanwhile upstairs the PALADIN COMES OUT OF NOWHERE AND GOES CRAZY!

And rushes over the precarious plank just BARELY making the athletics check and rushes forward smashes the drake finishing it off. Then the Paladin uses one of his either daily or encounter abilities, and smites the nearby goblin nocking him off the ledge and killing it as well and opening for the last character to follow from behind and get a better position against the sharpshooters. Then on his very next turn heals himself as a minor action and marches forward and smashes into the last of the goblin sharpshooters killing them a couple rounds later.

I don't know if I emphasized enough about how close these players were to dying again and again during this battle but it always seemed there was this last ditch shot to pull themselves up out of the dirt and continue their epic duel with the goblin sharpshooters.


I know I didn't get to detailed about any rule SPECIFICS but if you guys have any particular questions I'll try to answer 'em for ya.

Thanks for reading my ridiculously long post,
Sean

BR3AKR
Cloudless Day

Posts : 1
Join date : 2008-05-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum