Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh Gnome!

On July 4th, the 4-girl party was gathered again to face a den of evil...

The map: The Black Library from Fantastic Locations: The Frostfell Rift
The foes:
4 gnome skulks (downstairs, level 2 lurkers, 500 xp total)
1 more gnome skulk (upstairs, 125 xp)
2 iron defenders (upstairs, level 3 soldiers, 300 xp total)
1 gnome arcanist (upstairs, level 3 controller, 150 xp)

The set up: The group happened to be near the library when a bookish human came running out, calling for help and raving about "the giggling". After trying without success to get more details, the group crept cautiously inside. Once inside a quartet of small beings jumped them with fearsome battle cries of "I'm a monster! Rawr!"

The gnomes were hiding among and on top of the bookcases and in the stairwell, and used their Fade Away and Shadow Skulk abilities to great effect. Another thing that hindered the party was the wizard's specialization in fire spells, which she could only use very carefully with all the books around (I hadn't even considered this effect of fighting in a library - Jen pointed it out to me and then spent the entire fight trying to find ways around it).

Once the quartet of gnomes was defeated, the fight quickly moved upstairs. At this point both girls' dice turned completely against them. Between poor rolls and the arcanist's aura of illusion it took them what felt like forever to make any headway, and by the time they took out the skulk and bloodied the arcanist they were in a bad way (and the iron defenders were barely scratched). In the end they managed to get around the defenders anough to finally land a killing blow on the arcanist. At that point I ruled that the defenders, with nothing left to defend, simply shut down. It would have been seriously anti-climactic to have the brainless automatons TPK the party after they had defeated the BBEG.

The downstairs fight went pretty well from my point of view. I remembered to use Fade Away to get wounded skulks back to a better position where they could snipe with Shadow Skulk. I was well on my way to my goal of making 4e gnomes into feared adversaries for this party. Then the upstairs battle turned into a horrifying mudbath of bad luck. Also, I probably should have replaced one iron defender with something a level or two lower. In the end I think instead of coming out with a good hate on for gnomes, the girls hate, in order:
1) Their dice
2) Iron defenders
3) Gnomes (at least they make the list)

1 comment:

ChaoticBlackSheep said...

It's never good when your dice turn against you, whether you're a player or the GM.