Friday, December 5, 2008

Into the Demonweb Forest, Part 4

It's been a while since the girls were over to continue their slog through the spider-haunted forest, but this past Sunday we met again. I said last time that I should try the giant webby spider again with one instead of two and more other spiders, so this time that's what I did. I also recently picked up the Ruins of the Wild dungeon tile set from WotC to see what the tiles are like, so I used all the stream ones to make a creek across the same homemade forest battle map, with a log across where the path crossed it.

1 giant webby spiders (level 5 controller, 200 xp)
2 deathjump spiders (level 4 skirmisher, 350 xp)
4 crab spiders (level 4 minion, 175 xp)

One of the crab spiders blew a Stealth check and earned a charging smackdown from the dwarf before the battle was actually joined. The webby spider waited until the ranger crossed the log (first there was a lengthy discussion about finding a way to not use the log), then used webbed terrain, hitting the dwarf and clogging the path with webs. The ranger was free to close on the webby spider and began to make its life miserable while its friends came out of the woods all around the party.

The girls made pretty short work of the spiders, though the deathjump spiders gave them a few tense moments by using death from above to shift long distances and come down on party members isolated across difficult terrain. The memorable moment in this fight was the end, when the last deathjump spider was taken out by a charging flaming sphere (can a flaming sphere charge? I'm still not sure...).

After the fight I used Mike Mearls' "fancy" wandering monster skill challenge rules. I started at a base 15+ on d20 chance for an encounter and let the girls roll Stealth, Nature, or whatever against DC15 to increase the number. They got it up to 18... and I rolled a 19. Another deathjump spider and two more crab spiders attacked. It wasn't a tough fight, but it happened when they were already low on encounter powers so it packed a little extra punch. I thought it conveyed the "crawling with spiders" nature of the forest nicely.

The single webby spider with more allies worked a lot better, and the creek with the log was a nice extra touch. The tiles worked pretty well as spice, though I'm not sure trying to make a big outdoor map with just them would work all that well.

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