D&D Encounters: Keep on the Borderlands (Week 14)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on December 23, 2010

Do you want to know more about the upcoming D&D Encounters Season 4? Following this week’s recap, we’ve got new information for you from Wizards of the Coast. This week’s encounter was all business. No small talk, just fighting.

We had a larger than normal party as our numbers swelled to seven. Berrian, Hagen and Sola were accompanied by some familiar companions including the Dragonborn Sorcerer, the crossbow-firing Human Rogue and the Human Wizard. They were also joined by one new party member, a Human Cavalier.

As the PCs arrive at the banks of a river, they were beset upon by lizardfolk waiting in ambush. During the surprise round one of the Needlers managed to score a critical hit on the Cavalier knocking him unconscious. Welcome to the party. Fortunately the Rogue, who’s Perception was high enough to be alerted to the ambush, got to act during the surprise round. In a truly selfless and heroic act, he made a Heal check on his fallen comrade in the adjacent square and allowed him to save, which he did. Crisis averted.

Three big lizardfolk Savages emerged from the nearby pool and engaged the party, attacking the nearest opponents with their greatclubs and tails. Sola, the Cavalier and Hagen all got hit and were knocked prone.

Then the party kicked into action. The Cavalier and Hagen stood up and pounded on the Savages. The Rogue moved away from the melee and fired his crossbow from a safer position. The Wizard used Hypnosis to have one of the Savages attack his ally. Berrian used Beguiling Strands to push the Savages away from the party and into a tight grouping. The Sorcerer moved up and basted them with his breath weapon and blast of ice daily power. Sola stood up, charged and scored a crit.

All in all, a good first round. We managed to deal a lot of damage but it was spread out among all three opponents. Regrettably, a lot of the heroes remained bunched up which was about to hurt us.

Two lizardfolk Magi emerged from the far pool and summoned a poisonous rain to fall down on the adventurers huddled together. Sola and the Cavalier avoided the rain, while the other five PCs all took some damage and gained vulnerable 5 to poison.

The Needlers, who had been waiting patiently in the bushes, now fired at the PCs hitting some, doing extra poison damage because of the vulnerability.

The Savages retaliated against the PCs who hit them the hardest. The Cavalier was closest so he took a hit. Hagen was the next target and he too got the business end of a creatclub. The Sorcerer who needed to move closer in order to get the blast attacks off took the third hit.

The Cavalier, Hagen, Sola, the Sorcerer and the Wizard worked together and took down two of the Savages this round. Berrian used Arc Lightning to hit both Magi. The Rogue focused on the Needlers in the bushes, hitting and killing one.

The remaining Savage, who was pushed and didn’t start his turn next to any of the PCs retreated back to a better position with some cover. The two Magi hit the Rogue and Cavalier. The Needlers all focused on the Rogue. With the poison vulnerability still affecting him, he fell unconscious from the damage.

The Cavalier and Hagen worked together, charging the Savage and killing him easily. The Wizard and Berrian took cover from the Needlers and blasted the two Magi using Arc Lightning and Magic Missile. The Sorcerer took out the closest Needler. Sola moved closer to the Rogue in order to heal him and grant him a save.

The Magi focused their attacks on the Cavalier and Hagen, both within only a couple of squares and likely to kill the Magi with one more attack. The Cavalier fell. The Needlers shot the Sorcerer and Hagen.

Hagen moved in and killed the closest Magi. The Wizard and Berrian again brought the heat and two Magic Missiles later the final Magi was dead. The remaining Needlers took off.

Regrettably we didn’t think to keep any of the lizardfolk alive for questioning so we were still no closer to completing the information gathering aspect of our quest. We took a lot of damage over the course of the combat and healing surges were running low.

There was very little role-playing during this encounter as the party was jumped and then killed all the combatants. After a couple of short rests to maximize healing we continued down the path, following the markers deeper into the swampy brush.

D&D Encounter Season 4: March of the Phantom Brigade

Yesterday Chris Tulac from Wizard of the Coast shared some details about the upcoming season 4 of D&D Encounters in his article Rolling Into 2011. I’ve copied the relevant section below for your convenience.

D&D Encounters Marches On — New Season February 9th!

The March of the Phantom Brigade is an exciting 13-week season that finds the characters facing off against an ancient evil in an effort to save a newly-founded frontier community from its depredations! If you’re into D&D’s storied legacy, you’ll note the nods to classic locales such as the Ghost Tower and Castle Inverness. If you’re just starting your 4th Edition experience, D&D Encounters is a great place for you to get your weekly D&D fix as you learn the game. Characters begin at 1st level and advance normally, so you can jump in anytime with a 1st-level character and you won’t be overwhelmed.

Character creation is once again a breeze this season, with a focused set of rules options available for you to reference. You can use Heroes of the Fallen Lands and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms to create your character. In addition, D&D Insider subscribers can use the Character Builder to generate a character that uses only the above rulebooks with the D&D Encounters campaign setting option, and get additional access to rules options presented in Dragon magazine articles affiliated with those books.

The biggest development next season is the introduction of D&D Fortune Cards. This new gameplay enhancement gives you the opportunity to alter fate as you face off against deadly foes week to week. Consisting of 8-card booster packs, D&D Fortune Cards are an evolution of the cards already given out in D&D Encounters kits, but they are usable in any D&D game. Decks can be constructed right before the weekly adventure begins. Rules on using the cards will be available online and in pack inserts when the cards become available in February.

We’ll have even more juicy details on the March of the Phantom Brigade, as well as information on our annual D&D spotlight show, D&D Experience, next month. Until then, stay warm and have a great holiday season!

Visit the Dungeon’s Master D&D Encounters Archive for all of our ongoing weekly coverage as well as other great D&D Encounters articles and resources.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gormal December 24, 2010 at 12:46 am

Hey thanks for the update on the adventure Ameron. I loved this weeks encounter and loved playing the new class. I wish wizards had put them out before starting this season of encounters. I would rather play the paladin teifling than a dwarf assasin. I wonder whats in store for us next week. He he

2 Al December 24, 2010 at 8:55 am

I have to say all the classes as done in Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms are very well constructed and just as fun to play as their non essentials counterparts. So are the classes in Heroes of the Fallen Lands, however as a DM I must say that “Beguiling Strands” is the bane to my existence.

3 Jeff December 24, 2010 at 10:34 pm

I played Marz the Dragonborne Sorcerer.

I think the encounter went well. Though being a striker hiding in the back most of the time, I feel safer than the rest of the party. I got very worried with those clubs knocking my character prone. Our poor rogue was bleeding to death.

I think one or two of us is very much going to die when we finally encounter the dragon. I’ve got a bad feeling. :(

I’ve used up my daily powers in the first two fights and so have many of our allies. Our healing surges are low. We need a really good strategy to come through with optimal results on the following encounters.

Maybe there is a back door into the lair?

Maybe we can pull a Bilbo Baggins on the dragon? Where is a burgular when you need one. *looks at the party’s rogue thoughtfully*

Jeff.

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