Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Public Dungeon Master: Encounters at the Red Castle #12

Tonight I had a full house for the penultimate encounter of the Dark Legacy of Evard.  There were eight players at the table, the largest group yet.  Any more and we'll need another Dungeon Master.  Once again, people brought their friends, people new to the game but who picked it up quickly enough.

The battle took place as the world once more fell into shadow, and a dark library appeared.  The players went ahead and knocked on the front door.  They were answered by a butler who refused to open the door at first, but soon succumbed to the authority of a Suggestion spell cast by the new Wizard player. 

Entering the library, the heroes bantered a bit with the possessed wizard Vontarin/Nathaire.  He claimed that he would break the curse himself, that he didn't need their help, but they saw through the lies and the battle was joined. 

This was a neat little two tiered battle, made all the more fun by the precarious book shelves and the bookshelf models I brought along to fall down on the minis.  The books did a lot of damage!  We ended with the spirit of Vontarin whispering from his dark prison, offering undreamt of wealth and power in exchange for a new bodily vessel.  What will the heroes do?

Even with 8 heroes, I only added a second Dark Butler on the second floor and it was still a close fight.  One player went down, and many were worried at various points.  I spread the hurt around and did a lot of public rolling to determine which character I would attack.  No one has died this encounter season, so I think I had better be merciless next session.

A couple notes:
I need to establish a quick primer for new players:
  • How to read a the character sheet
  • How to read a "power"
  • The basics of combat tactics etc.  
Along the way it wouldn't hurt to establish some table rules as well:
  • Don't tell people what to do on their turn
  • Try to describe your actions narratively 
  • Make sure you know your basic attack bonus 
  • Do your own math and tell me the total number etc
A single "Welcome to the Dungeon" page might go a long way.

It feels like this is gaining a bit of popularity, but I know attendance will still fluctuate wildly.  Nevertheless, I love it that people are bringing their friends.  I dig that there's a group of ladies who are ditching happy hour to roll the dice.  Soon they'll be painting their own minis.

I do have some critiques of the adventure itself, but I will save them for next week.