During hiatus I'm revisiting the WWtH monsters and trying them out in actual 4e combat encounters. We tested out the beelion earlier in the week. I ran another encounter Wednesday evening. The party is still:
A goliath warden
A gnome bard
A longtooth shifter ranger
A deva invoker
We got through one encounter again: this time the sample encounter for the doppelganger freak. Again, the map was Dwarven Outpost from the Miniatures Game Starter Set. This time the monsters were scattered around on the far side of the water from the PCs.
This starting position was an abject tactical fail for the monsters. Even though they won initiative, only two of the monsters had any ranged attacks, and they started too far away for even those guys to get a good shot without moving closer. The only advantage the monsters had was that since they were spread out the invoker couldn't mow down all the minions in one blast, but that really didn't matter since the minions came trickling in one or two at a time anyway as their initial position allowed.
The goblins managed to nickel and dime the ranger down by concentrating their ranged attacks on her, but the bard got her right back up. By the time the doppelganger even got near the fight it was basically over. The doppelganger tried to daze the ranger with confusing shapeshift but only got its minion ally and spoiled his ability to flank. The doppelganger also missed its sole good shot at a sneak attack due to a well-timed blades of astral fire from the invoker. After that it got pulled into a flank by the warden and beaten like a red-headed stepchild.
As a fight, this gave the party a chance to kick some ass and take some names, and after the tough beelion battle I think they appreciated that. As a playtest for the doppelganger, it wasn't worth much. I'll probably have to throw another doppelganger encounter at them in closer quarters and with more freaks to get a good test.
Design Flow: One on One Play
20 hours ago