Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Into the Demonweb Forest, Part 1

The all-girl party, informed by Mungo Sandybanks of how to destroy the shards in their possession, headed off toward the Demonweb Forest. As they walked a remote road toward their goal, they noticed a goblin waiting in ambush. The ranger called out to it, but it disappeared into the trees. Figuring the ambush was meant for the road, the party moved off the road directly toward where the goblin had been spied. When the ranger spotted another goblin behind a large rock and shouted its location to the party, the goblins attacked.

The encounter was:
2 goblin sharpshooters (level 2 artillery, 250 xp)
3 goblin warriors (level 1 skirmisher, 300 xp)
2 goblin cutters (level 1 minion, 50 xp)
Map: King's Road from H1 Keep on the Shadowfell

This was intended to be a pretty easy starting encounter, and it didn't disappoint. The girls are still a well-oiled machine, setting up the bad guys to get mowed down by the wizard. They were foiled only by Jen's dice, which managed to roll truly impressive strings of natural ones during both this encounter and the subsequent one whenever she unleashed large area effects.

When the easy goblin encounter was taken care of, the ranger spotted goblin tracks leading to the ambush site, but the party ignored them. Instead they moved off the road and on toward the forest. As they walked along a small stream a while later the dense forest came into view on the horizon. They were confronted at this point by a goblin spellcaster who leaped out and yelled "Take the shards for Drogo!" A rustling of more goblins was heard in the nearby trees, and we rolled initiative... which the goblins lost. Badly.

This encounter (which was intended to take place in the goblins' lair after the ranger tracked them there from the last encounter... but oh well) was:
1 cavern choker (level 4 lurker, 175 xp)
1 goblin hexer (level 3 controller, 150 xp)
2 goblin skullcleavers (level 3 brute, 300 xp)
1 goblin sharpshooters (level 2 artillery, 125 xp)
2 goblin cutters (level 1 minion, 50 xp)
Map: The outdoor 1/4 of Caves of Chaos from Fantastic Locations: The Frostfell Rift

I thought I was in big trouble in round 1 since the hexer was just dangling out in front of the full might of the party. I... umm... fudged a bit and gave the choker its own initiative roll (on which it rolled WAY better than the goblins) and placed it hiding in the stream right next to the paladin. It burst out of the stream and attacked. Even though it missed, it kept the whole party from bearing down on the hexer as a unit. The choker and the paladin slugged it out for the entire fight, the paladin unable to hit and the choker unable to do enough damage to make the dwarf break a sweat. There were some scary moments for the ranger, who tried to take out the hexer by herself and wound up double-teamed by the skullcleavers. Eventually the group (including the paladin, who by this time was grabbed and being choked) started ignoring the choker and mopping up the goblins. Once all the goblins were defeated (and the paladin was barely bloodied after four rounds of choking) they finished the choker off as a team.

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