Let's Play D&D 4th Edition...
Let’s Play #004
Goodman Games DCC54
Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)
Encounter #9 Company of the Blackhammer (1-23)
The Company of the Blackhammer are located in area 1-23 on the map (see below).
Ragnarr quietly ensures the door is unlocked and will open easily, it has after all been well-maintained- Tordek readies his boot.
And they’re in, the chamber is a barracks room, there are eight dwarves present- four of them in bunks, asleep; two are knelt on the floor in prayer and two are chatting in the middle of the chamber. The two standing are armed with greatswords, sheathed; the others all have similar weapons within reach- all of them are armoured, even those asleep.
Bad Guys 800 XP Level 3 Encounter.
Dwarf Cult Warrior Level 1 Soldier x8
Ragnarr spins out a dagger with a Deft Strike and the first is bloodied, Fenchurch’s Staggering Note shakes the same dwarf up with its thunderous attack- the rest of the adventurers scuttle in to the action but are ineffective in their attacks.
Ragnarr spins out another dagger but its high and wide- the foul dwarf guards react, rolling out of their beds and/or grabbing out their greatswords; Tordek is slashed and cut twice.
Koda skitters in to the centre of the chamber and unleashes his Five Storms in to the mix- all three of his targets take a beating, one of the nasty fellows crashes to the floor, another two are injured in the Flurry.
Grimm sees his opportunity and launches his Thunder and Echo (Daily), alas again he’s mostly off target, one of the foul dwarves is left bloodied and battered, flung in to a wall; another is only slightly injured.
Tordek fails again to land his Steel Serpent Strike and so tries once more with a Weapon Master’s Strike (Action Point), he slices and another foul dwarf is bloodied. Fenchurch’s Shout of Triumph is still underperforming, another of the dwarf guards clutches at his ears- left bleeding and bloodied- but the rest of his enemies are unaffected by his roaring menace. The bard however adds some Majestic Words to the mix and Tordek’s wounds heal over.
There was a brief chat at this point between the players, their conclusion- time for their daily powers, not so much because they’re desperate but because they think this is going to be the last fight before another Extended Rest- some of them are low on Surges.
Ragnarr unleashed a Blinding Barrage, but again with only limited success, two of the dwarves a cut- actually scratched, a third is killed.
Two of the guards double team Tordek, the fighter is very swiftly bloodied- another two attempt to get past him- to the softer Fenchurch back in the doorway. Tordek is having none of it- he cuts both of the foul dwarves, stops them in their tracks and leaves them bloodied for good measure.
Meanwhile Ragnarr and Koda are sliced and cut- it’s a real melee now, and Koda is perfectly placed- Five Storms and Flurry follow, two of the guards are killed outright, another left staggering (on 1 hit point) and a fourth is injured.
Tordek slashes at another, leaves it staggering and bloodied (on 2 hit points), and then sucks up the hurt and gets his Second Wind.
Fenchurch finishes off another of the enemies with a Staggering Note, actually on his second attempt (Action Point), the first being a bum note.
There are only three guards left, make that two- Ragnarr cuts one down with a Clever Strike.
“RuUuNN!” the first guard groans and then follows his own instructions, en route the foul fellow is chopped by Tordek, punched by Koda, and then finally just as he’s opening the door taken out as Koda comes again, Opening the Gate of Battle on his ass.
The second guard, the last guard, is in motion- trying to escape; Grimm, at last, gets in to the action, he swears his Oath and brings a Focussed Fury, and the last guard is cut down.
800 XP Level 3 Encounter.
Dwarf Cult Warrior Level 1 Soldier x8
The adventurers are pretty low on resources, and they can hear a loud rhythmical chanting coming from the open door, through which the guards tried to escape. Ragnarr is ordered to take a look- he’s helped by the fact that the doorway is covered by curtains, or else a tapestry- either way he hides behind the hanging and observes.
The chamber beyond is massive…
Ragnarr spies on area 1-24 on the map (see below).
The chamber is an enormous temple, ahead a towering stone statue of a mad looking dwarf with a beard seemingly made of writhing tentacles, the statue is at least fifty feet high- stretching all the way up to the domed ceiling. Hissing steam escapes from the statue’s mouth- Ragnarr shudders.
Scattered around the chamber are easily a dozen bedrolls, towards the far side a trio of dwarves pray before the statue- there seems to be a ledge above also, possibly for the temple priests to stand upon to conduct their foul ceremonies, there’s movement up there.
One by one the other draws are ushered in to the doorway to take a moment to stare at the defiled temple.
The guys are not sure- they have enough XP for level 2 and they’re very low on resources, two of the players have only one Healing Surge, another only has two. They’re also worried that this chamber could prove to be very dangerous, and so after talking amongst themselves, after a little light searching of the chamber and a short rest, they have a proposition- for me.
The guys don’t want to lose another comrade and so they propose to stay in this chamber, to try and take an Extended Rest, and level up- but they will constantly observe the temple, after wedging the waterlogged door behind them, they will abandon their rest if anyone approaches, or else it looks like something untoward is going to happen (particularly to another of the prisoners).
I realise there’s a fair amount of OOC information that has been thrown in to the mix here but, it’s a game- and fun, and while it would be fun for me to see them go against what I have in store for them in this chamber with their PCs level 1… I figure, what the hell, there’s a good chance it’s going to be a TPK even if they’re level 2- go for it.
And so the guys settle down to rest, to watch and to wait.
Comment: An odd encounter, in that eight bad guys all the same, shows you how much Goodman Games had not got the hang of the different rolls for monsters, but hey-ho, short and bloody and brutal will suffice.
Looking forward to the next encounter, meantime to follow the PCs are level 2.