Friday, September 5, 2008

Off to Castle Rivenroar

But first our heroes threaten to waterboard a prisoner.
Sick guys, our heroes...

In the aftermath of the previous evenings dramatic events, our heroes spend half the night helping the slightly shell shocked city guard watch the main bridge for any mor hobgoblins. In the morning they are approached by Councilman "Generic Patron" Eoffram Troyas, who informed them that seven townsfolk had been kidnapped by Sinruth's band, who also absconded with several priceless historical artifacts from the towns "Hall of Great Valor". Would the PC's help track down their treasures both material and personal? (or Personell?).

Sure they say, having nothing better to do. This was our first encounter with 4th editions
"Skill Challenge" system. Just allow me to say...icky. Did we really need to add a lot of die rolls to roleplaying encounters? I think this may be 4th editions "bridge to far", replacing almost all the player skill with character skill checks. It is my opinion that any halfway decent GM should be able to adjudicate a rp encounter with minimum die rolls. To make a long story short, the pc's were eager to kick some bad guy butt so they gladly volunteered in exchange for a small reward.
Since our group has rarely worried about provisioning, I assumed that the Councilman provided for basic adventuring gear like torches and rope and food.

One Hobgoblin was captured duringthe raid and with some roleplaying involving the threatened use of "extreme measures", he was convinced to craft a crude map to the Red Hands hideout, the ruins of Castle Rivenroar, about 8 hours away. (this involved another skipped skill challenge)

Without further ado, the heroes set forth. This time we did use a rough skill challenge to simulate the treacherous nature of the terrain. In situations like this, I could see the skill challege system to be a bit useful, although its still way to much dice rolling for my taste.

At the location specified on the map, they find the ruins of the once proud Castle Rivenroar. Nothing above ground remains but a series of small walls, however a quick search revealed the stairs downward.

At the bottom of the stairs we meat our first combat encounter of the day. And boy was it a doozy! 2 Hobgoblin soldiers and 2 archers. The Hobgoblins are individually nastier than any one pc, they are planted in the middle of the room, and they have AC22 (!) when they are standing next to each other! The fight completely bogged down as our heroes basically waited for the dice to turn their way. The rather elaborate flame shooting brazier trap in the back of the room never came into play. Jo-Fang was taken down by the Archers in the back. It was just too damn hard to hurt the Hobbo soldiers! When Daisy's Sleep spell failed, i though I might be able to TPK the party in th first fight of the dungeon! Eventually numbers prevailed, and the evening ended with our battered adventurers taking a short rest before heading further in.

That fight took 8 rounds, which is almost unheard of in 3rd edition. On the flip side, only one daily power was used, so mayhaps the next fight will go alittle easier on the PC's, because we were all a bit discouraged by the way this encounter went.

No game until 9/11 so until then, have fun!

1 comment:

Hamlet said...

Extreme rendition from adventuring parties? What'll happen next?

Remember that a properly applied torch will lead to good information every time.