D&D Encounters: Lost Crown of Neverwinter (Week 10)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on October 13, 2011

The PCs began this week’s encounter wet, dirty and in a very foul mood. Last week they faced off against members of the Dead Rats and the fight ended when the only surviving member of the gang managed to open a floodgate which flushed everyone through a series of underground sewer pipes.

The PCs finally got spit out in an underground cavern alongside the unconscious Dead Rat and the loot from the hideout. They tied up their unconscious prisoner and prepared to interrogate him. After all, they needed his help to navigate back to the surface because as it stood they were completely lost in the depths beneath Neverwinter.

Because encounters 9 and 10 were so short we ran them back to back last week. This meant that the party was unchanged between the two encounters. Our table consisted of a Human Wizard, Eladrin Cleric (Valenae pre-gen), Tiefling Bard, Tiefling Battlemind and Tiefling Warlock.

When the Dead Rat awoke he showed genuine fear of the party. He was outnumbered and out matched. He immediately agreed to cooperate in exchange for his life.

The Warlock and Bard were angry and bloodthirsty, and they wanted to kill him. The Warlock suspended the Dead Rat over the pit and threatened to drop him if he didn’t cooperate, even though he’d already agreed to spill his guts. The rest of the party remained silent.

The Bard then asked a lot of very general and broad questions like “Tell us everything you know,” which produced no meaningful answers. The Dead Rat eventually told the party information that they did find helpful. The Lost Heir approached the Dead Rats and the Sons of Alagondar separately and asked them to work together for the common goal of ousting Lord Neverember from power. The Lost Heir promised the Dead Rats the power of blue fire if they helped him.

At first the PCs didn’t believe the Dead Rat. They felt this was too preposterous to be true. However, they reflected back on the fight against the White Dragon and remembered the Lost Heir displaying power over the spellscarred wyrm. The heroes concluded that the Lost Heir was controlling the dragon all along and that the fight was orchestrated so that he could gain instant support from the grateful townsfolk.

The neutrality that the party had maintained until that point quickly fell away. The party felt played and betrayed by the Lost Heir. They wanted a confrontation where they could battle him. Unfortunately they were still lost.

When the PCs asked about where they were and how to get out the Dead Rat didn’t have much useful information. He confirmed that they were in a reservoir but the only way he knew would definitely lead out was down the shaft. He confessed that some opening were too small for normal people to squeeze through. However, in his rat form he knew he could get out.

He said that the Sons of Alagondar operate out of these tunnels and if the party just started wandering around the Sons would find them.

Realizing that the Dead Rat had no further useful information to share the Bard and Warlock decided to kill him. The Dead Rat figured this was going to happen so as soon as he had an opportunity to do so he transformed into his rat form, slipped out of his bonds, and then jumped down the shaft in an attempt to escape with his life. The Bard was exceptionally angry that he escaped.

The PCs took a minute to figure out how to proceed. While they mulled about the room, tentacles shot out from the nearby pools of water and attacked the PCs.

The Warlock guessed that these tentacles couldn’t be too powerful so he suggested the party allow him to act first. Before his turn came up three tentacles reached for the party and attacked. The Battlemind and Wizards were both grabbed and pulled towards the water.

On the Warlock’s turn he moved to a strategically ideal location and used his Hellfire and Brimstone power from his Devil’s Pawn theme. All creatures (or in this case, tentacles) in a burst 2 took 5 damage. This destroyed all but one tentacle which the Wizard managed to destroy.

Before the party could better assess the situation, two slimes dropped from the ceiling and attacked the Warlock and the Bard. While engulfed they took ongoing acid damage.

The engulfed PCs learned the hard way that while grabbed any damage dealt to a slime was split between the slime and the grabbed character. This made breaking the grab with forced movement a lot more difficult because almost all of the powers the party had that could push, pull or slide dealt damage. The only exception was the Wizard’s At-will. It could slide a monster but inflicted no damage.

PCs that tried to escape on their own had a lot of trouble doing so successfully. Between the damage from friendly fire and the ongoing acid, grabbed PCs lost a lot of hit points really fast. The party’s healers could barely trigger healing surges fast enough to keep the heroes conscious.

I didn’t expect the party to have so much trouble fighting the two slimes, but they did. Once grabbed, few PCs escaped on their next turn. The ongoing damage really started to add up fast. The PCs came up with some good tactics and managed to keep the slimes separated. The Warlock took on one slime all by himself while the rest of the party focused on the other.

The group working together kept pushing the slime away and moving back which kept them from getting engulfed. Until they found themselves backed against a wall. Suddenly the slime was close enough to grab the Battlemind. He selflessly allowed the group to attack the slime knowing he’d take half of the damage. It was a close call, but the slime fell before the hero.

The Warlock managed to lure the other slime away from the party by running in the other direction. While avoiding its attacks, he searched one of the bodies on the ground. He confirmed that the corpse was killed from a tentacle attack. On the body was a medallion that had a Kraken on it.

The slime finally caught up to the Warlock and engulfed him. He was unable to escape and nearly fell unconscious before the rest of the party came to his aid. By the time the party defeated the final slime they were at the end of their resources. Although no one died this week, a few of the PCs came very close. If they’d not focused fire and killed the first slime so quickly I think they could have all been killed.

As the battle ended the PCs heard the sounds of booted feet heading in their direction. Eight armed men rounded the corner – none had blades drawn. The leader stepped forward and introduced himself as Arlon Bladeshaper, leader of the Sons of Alagondar. He recognized the PCs as the heroes who fought alongside the Lost Heir in the battle against the White Dragon.

He invited the PCs to come with him and said he could give them a safe place to rest and recover from their recent battles. With two men injured and the rest of the party still badly wounded, they happily agreed to accept the invitation.

The heroes were led to the rebel base from where the Sons of Alagondar operate. Arlon offered the PCs food and a private room where they could sleep. Before he left them to rest he asked for their assistance. He knew they were looking for the Lost Heir and he offered to help them do just that.

The Sons of Alagondar were at first completely on the Lost Heir’s side and fully supported him. However, his push for a bloody confrontation and his use of ruthless tactics has made them reconsider their position. Arlon wants to meet with the Lost Heir and try to talk some sense into him. He doesn’t believe that such violence is necessary. There has to be more peaceful ways to facilitate change in Neverwinter.

He’s going to meet with the Lost Heir tomorrow and asked the PCs to accompany him. The Lost Heir is planning to attack the Protector’s Enclave. The Sons of Alagondar will not participate. They will try to talk the Lost Heir out of this poor course of action. If he refuses they will try to stop him and the attack. He asks the PCs if they will join them in stopping the Heir through dialogue or blades. The PCs agreed to help without a moment of consideration.

So ends Chapter 3 of the Lost Crown of Neverwinter. The final chapter begins when the PCs awaken from their extended rest. There are still four deadly encounters remaining before the PCs reach the adventure’s conclusion. By now most of the PCs are level 2 and level 3 so the encounters are going to be more difficult.

The final chapter looks to have a good mix of role-playing opportunities and combat. One of the upcoming encounters is designed as two back-to-back mini combat encounters which should be interesting. Players who have been with the adventure since the chapter 1 or even the Game Day adventure should find the final chapter satisfying.

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1 Kenneth McNay October 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm

The drow of our party immediately shot a crit from his hand crossbow at Arlon Bladeshaper as soon as he presented himself to the adventurers. I was so furious.

2 Randilin October 14, 2011 at 10:00 am

I was honestly surprised when my party didn’t attack the Sons of Alagondar. I love the way your players have gotten invested in the story. Mine have really fought the whole hook in nose and railroading of the story. In the end I’m excited about see this adventure through to the end.

Over all I think it would be a more interesting adventure if it was spread out over a long period of time. When the events of the season don’t feel so compressed and where the players could feel more involved in the over all store and really see the effects of things. Instead of just having them told about them in flavour text.

3 Carlo October 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

This was a brutal encounter for us because we didn’t have the themed Warlock so magically destroying almost all the tentacles was impossible. We had a wizard who kept missing on Reflex to the point that we just started hitting the tentacles in melee instead of leaving them to the controller.

Personally I disliked this encounter because of the slime engulfing rules and all the constricting. I hate automatic damage as it removes choice from the player and is just inevitable. “Okay I take 10 damage and there is nothing I can do about it because I failed to escape”. It’s like monsters that throw Dazes around…no fun for the players even if it’s “thematic”.
That and the damage the engulfed character took from allies was silly…I would think a spell that says “Affects enemies only” wouldn’t suddenly hurt allies because they have a slime around them. Nor would adventurers be dumb enough to hit the slime in a way that would wound their ally (especially strikers who are hitting with 25+ on their attack roll). Again I just found it annoying but I think that’s because the encounter included two or three elements I really dislike.

4 Sunyaku October 15, 2011 at 12:51 am

This encounter probably would have been rather boring for our table, if it weren’t for the fact that our DM had a bunch of playdough, and made about a dozen awesome tentacle arms. 😀 Of course, blobs were easy enough as well…

5 Sunyaku October 15, 2011 at 12:52 am

***Lol, “blobs”, not “blogs”.

6 David Argall October 15, 2011 at 3:37 am

Legendary Leadership – 10. A touch of Kraken

The flood ended with us in a chamber with that last wererat, who was much more peaceful when he was by himself. He told us the alleged Lost Heir was conspiring to commit violent rebellion and treason [assuming he can’t prove his claim to be the Heir, which seems somewhat suspect at best.] We tried to question him further, but he panicked and fled, rushing down the passage way.
This proved a lucky break for us as he was attacked by the kraken and his screams warned us. The Count, a vampire, rushed out to rescue?/capture? him and got attacked by a green slime.
That was enough for the rest of us. We stayed back out of the reach of the kraken’s tentacles and let the green slimes come to us. The count managed to stagger back to us and we battled the slimes until we had pulped them. Our wizard was almost killed, but our ranger did well.
We tossed a few missiles at the kraken until it got the idea that it couldn’t catch us and it went away. We gave it plenty of time to go away and then cautiously continued. We soon made contact with the rebels, who happily proved reasonable. [In the long run that may be bad, as they do have the goal of deposing Lord Neverember and will likely do that violently some day. But at least they don’t want to start killing now and many a rebellion has died out while waiting for the perfect time for revolt.]
They said the Lost Heir was wanting an immediate revolt, which was going to be bloody and unsuccessful, so they wanted us to try to persuade him to delay. Since we have no duty to arrest the lost heir, this seems like a good idea. It is possible we will be able to settle the matter peacefully tomorrow.

Luck of Chuck-10. Big Victory

We beat up a kraken! Stomped it! [Well, if you want to be technical, we beat it in the same way a mouse can beat a man by hiding out of his reach and biting his finger when he gets close. But we were the ones who were on the field at the end.]
Anyway, we came out of the flood bedraggled but alive, and found ourselves with a prisoner, who told us he had seen the lost heir, but didn’t know where he was. He did let us know of this bad of rebels who might know. So after we rested up a bit, we headed off to find these rebels.
That was when the kraken struck. A whole forest of arms came after us, as did this green slime. Variance the bladesinger got all the glory as he managed to kill that slime and a couple of arms too. Markessa, Zyzxx, and I chopped up an arm or two each, and what was left of the kraken decided we weren’t worth the bother and slunk away. Total victory.
We figured we would not wait for a rematch and headed off to find those rebels, only they found us first. Friendly group. Gave us a nice place to stay the night.
Seems they had been backing the lost heir, but he’s been getter kinda frisky and wants to go charging in and beat up Lord Neverember. They figure that can’t work, and a lot of people might get hurt in the process. So they want him to cool it and figure we might be able to talk some sense into him. Sounds good to me. We don’t want people getting hurt, and Lord Neverember is a reasonable guy. We should be able to settle this peaceable like. [And that way, I gets the rest of my 500 gold.] Anyway, right now, I’m getting me some shuteye.

7 Bobbydrake75 October 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Question: If was grabbed by a tentacle and because they had reach the DM said that they attacked and grabbed me from 2 squares away which I thought was fine but then he said that because I wasn’t adjactent to the tentacle base that I couldn’t make a melee attack?!? How is it that you can’t attack something that has you grabbed?? The session was awesome other than this point. My 2nd level inspire skill power kept my group up when we had no leader character. Looking forward to next week.

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