Last Sunday night I ran encounters with the doppelganger freak and the updated laughing lambchop lizard. The map was still Dwarven Outpost from the Miniatures Game Starter Set. The party started in the outpost building after their rest.
To showcase the freak I used a simple wolf pack style encounter with two freaks and three goblin warriors (all skirmishers). The group of monsters tried to sneak up on the party but blew a stealth check. We rolled initiative with the monsters creeping up on the side of the outpost away from the water. The warden won initiative and got between the party and the monsters, then got swarmed.
The two freaks spent pretty much all their time trying to get sneak attacks on the warden. Their confusing shift power worked nicely, targeting the warden's weak Will. Once in melee, the combination of confusing shift and combat advantage gave them sneak attack damage on most every hit, and they also used it to simply shift around into flanking positions. The last one almost managed to prolong his pitiful life by hitting the ranger with confusing shapeshift, but the warden just dragged it to its doom when the ranger found herself unable to both move and attack. Overall the freaks felt interesting and threatening without being overwhelming.
For the lizards I used the same sample encounter with the updated stats. They also didn't start the encounter all crammed in the outpost like last time (they started by crawling out of the water and over the bridge as the party came around the building again). Befitting their new status as soldiers, the regular lizards formed a wall around the party while the lightning lizards stood back and threw directed shocks. With the updated stats, a pack of lizards now makes a good double line style encounter.
The lightning lizards never got into a good position to use their lethal shock bursts, but they managed to do a lot of damage one target at a time anyway. Again, I forgot to use cheshire fade when I should have, but that's a minor issue. None of them used sideburn flare, either, but the fight was pretty static once joined so immobilizing party members wouldn't have changed much. I'm not quite as happy with the lizards as I am with the freaks, but they're miles better than they were.
Design Flow: One on One Play
20 hours ago