Sunday, October 12, 2008

Into the Demonweb Forest, Part 2

Having defeated the goblins that tried to take the shards from them, the girls rested overnight and then entered the Demonweb Forest itself. I created a custom battle map on 1" grid easel paper of a simple animal path snaking through the woods. Only the path was NOT difficult terrain, and some squares were marked as having large tree trunks in them.

I kicked things off with a simple Wolf Pack (DMG pg. 59) encounter of four skirmishers:
4 deathjump spiders (level 4 skirmisher, 700 xp)

The ranger spotted one spider, and she and the wizard fired at it. The we rolled initiative and all the spiders came charging out of the trees, two in front and two behind the party. Poor Laurel's characters took the brunt of the assault, with the ranger in front and the warlord bringing up the rear. The first death from above attack did a bunch of damage to the warlord and knocked her prone. The wizard cut loose with fire shroud and set three spiders on fire, but in the second round both spiders on the ranger hit and did massive damage.

It looked grim for a moment, but the paladin and warlord brought all their healing powers to bear and managed to keep everyone on their feet. The paladin marked one of the spiders on the warlord, taking some pressure off her. The first time a spider missed the ranger, she used unbalancing parry to move it front of the wizard, who barbecued it with burning hands.

At our table, and I suspect many others, the raw power brought to bear by the characters seems to be directly proportional to the amount of panic felt by the players (note to self: tell the story some day of the unfortunate duergar who attacked happy naked cleric in our 3e game). After the first couple of rounds, I thought the group was in trouble, and I think they were thinking the same thing. Then the encounter powers got trotted out and the girls quickly got things under control.

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