Saturday, November 26, 2011

Adventures In Dark Sun 4E

Tonight was the first official meeting of our new 4e group, and I think a good time was had by all.

Scott: Evil DM
Chris: Shah - Male Genasi Bladesinger
Jeff: Torin - Male Dragonborn Warlord (*Edit* Found out it is Torrin)
Kim: Sadine - Female Human Rogue (*Edit* Found out it is Sadime)
Myself: Finnan - Male Halfling Ranger

[Note: I may have spelled names wrong and gotten the exact Race/Class wrong, but it is what I understood at the time. I also slip in and out of first and third person a lot... sue me.]

The following recap is based on my tired recollection, from the perspective of a corn-rolled  black haired, heavily scarred, beaten, and mad (read psychotic) cannibal Halfling....

We started off with an introduction encounter to learn the ropes. It was an ambush encounter along a path in the woods, by some "Ambush Spiders" - eight to be exact - if I recall correctly. Kim and I were the only two left standing after the encounter, and I think it could have been a TPK if the DM would have played the spiders to the hilt. Being used to older editions from years ago, I wanted to push just how far I could take the new rules and the DM. Seeing the Genasi, a race that I - nor my character - were familiar with, become a translucent form of sandman and sand-step across the battlefield, I had to try it! They all looked at me as if I were mad, and maybe they were right. I told the DM I wanted to do what he did, and describing myself spinning like a dust devil and trying to 'slide' across the sand. I rolled well, as I recall, and went into an attack were I then rolled a '1'. A critical fumble based on the house rules...Dizzy is what I got! good times!

But, basics were learned and lessons taken away...

Primer out of the way, cards were handed out to individuals that set the stage for our current predicament. I still don't know what the others cards read. Mine explained that following the events of my self created back-story, where I was kidnapped by Tri-Keen slavers, I was sold to a Templar of Tyr named Gorix, where I was badly beaten. A Human Female named Shantee sheltered me and took care of me while imprisoned as a slave. For whatever reason, I was packed up and shipped out in a caged caravan heading to who-knows-where.

Arriving at an oasis in the desert, our caravan housing; Torin, Sadine, and I, stopped to trade with another caravan who held Shah. Our caravan leader, a nasty Tri-keen, began to barter with the caravan leader of the other caravan, who was Elven.

Mid negotiations, a desert storm kicked up blinding us and choking us out. When we came to, we prisoners were all that were left alive. Shah sand-shifted through his bars, Torin ripped his cage apart with brute force, and Sadine picked the lock of her cage. I tried to kick the roof out of my cage to no avail and went a little Halfling mad, bouncing around my cage like a wild chimpanzee.

Seeing Sadine (a Human Female) scavenging the bodies outside my cage, I telepathically asked her to help me out. I suppose I shouldn't have referred to her as "Shartee" when I did though.... after some role-play, I believe she thought me mad. As they were about to depart they discussed what to do with me. Reluctantly Sadine picked the lock to my cage and set me free. I knew nothing of the group dynamic from a character perspective. I had spent my time rocking in the corner of my cage until freed.

I gathered my gear and discovered that Shah had appointed himself as guide and leader of the group while taking all items from the Elven caravan as "his personal" equipment. He is a smug SOB in character... Anyway, I kinda took a shine to Sadine, aka Shantee to me, and when Shah asked me what I could provide to the group I suggested I could help carry some gear. He wanted more, but I just stared at him. He asked again. I just moved my mini over behind Kim's, gave her a 'puppy-dog' look, and stared back at Shah's Player. Sadine didn't come to my aid, but Shah finally relented and allowed me to "tag along", and leading, headed out South-South-West....

"Wait! We're going the wrong direction." I say. I had looked at the map earlier. Tyr was South of the Wildernes Mountain Ridges that I was from. South of that was desert, and more desert. We didn't know how long we had been in the desert, but I knew (or wasn't told by the DM) about going through the mountains either. So based on this, I assumed we were heading deeper into the desert... Sadine was not too excited about going back to her home of Tyr, nor was Torin too keen on returning to his place of origin either. Figuring Shah was a self professed 'desert guide' they followed him, and I them. So, we followed Shah.

After several hours of travel we setup camp in some rocky outcroppings. Torin volunteered to take first shift and Sadine suggested that we work in pairs. I moved my mini to hers, but the group agreed that I would stand watch with Torin. Nothing happened our first five hours and we switched out. Just a half hour later, Shah perceives something. Torin, wearing just his shield as a blanket, and I, in my studded leather, got caught in a surprise assault of two large scorpions that came scuttling out of the darkness toward us. Sadine snuck around an outcropping to come in on their rear, but they moved faster than I thought they would.

One each attacked the Dragonborn and I. Getting a buff for the one that Torin had stood to attack, I rolled so as to not be attacked by the scorpion on me (5' shift), and dual attacked the one that he had bloodied. It went down the next round, either by Torin or Shah's Magic-Missile from above (he had taken watch from the outcropping above that we had sheltered under, but not before it grabbed me. So now I am held by a large dead scorpion while Torin got dressed no less!

Sadine sneak attacked the other and it turned on her. "No you don't" and I rolled back the other way toward it, after freeing myself, stating I was going to grapple the tail before it stung her. BAM! a 20! I immobilized it just about the time another GIANT Scorpion climbed up on the outcropping to attack Shah. Shah moved down and over onto another smaller outcropping to engage the larger scorpion when he discovered that it was "a beast" of a monster. Far worse than the "LARGE" ones that began the assault. It came over the edge for the three of us after Shah's retreat. I managed to pull off great rolls on a daily power; Sure Shot and Shah popped it with another Magic-Missile. Down it went.

Shah catches sight of another GIANT scorpion coming in from the other direction and Sadine moved to intercept. It grabbed her and Shah hit it with a Magic-Missile. Sadine broke loose as Torin closed and I tried to fire off a dual shot. Natural '1'!  (In Dark Sun weapons break. I could have tried a re-roll, but if I missed, my bow was toast. I chose not to risk it. Torin then gets caught up in the pincers of the Scorpion as he blocked for Sadine, and Shah closed, receiving a second attack attempt from the pinned Warlord's buff. It missed. Having the Scorpion 'bloodied', Torin decides to spit his acid breath on the giant scorpion! Template attack, and Shah is caught up in the attack but saves taking no damage. The Scorpion went down in a rig-goring pile of carapace and jellied entrails!!!

I still think we are going the wrong direction, but at least I am halfway to 2nd level!

*Que victor music*

All-in-all, great role-playing! Interesting using minis, which I wasn't used to, and combat didn't take as long as I had feared it would. Three large combat/role-play scenes between four and ten o'clock, with about a half-hour break to order pizza. It should go faster now that we all have a good grip of our character sheets (a must IMHO for fast combats in this version of D&D). Koodoes to Scott, the DM, for making all the role-play possible and not letting it be the 'board-game on steroids' I thought it could be!


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