Everyone else is doing it after all…
So, get my set of core books from the lovely people at Leisure Games just in time for my two weeks holiday. Sweet. Gives me time to settle down and give them the attention they deserve. I’d already been following the forums and picked up the preview scenario Keep on the Shadowfell, so I had a pretty good idea what I was getting into.
Since then I’ve been getting more and more anxious to get some actual play done, becuase the theorising was doing my head in. Go play! I’ve ‘rolled up’ a few characters and I’ve played thorugh a couple of encounters . Now all I needed was some players.
So I chucked Trail of Cthulhu in the bin as it was not going anywhere, and doing that quite slowly. Spoke to the group and we decided to pitch in with the new game.
We have: Dan, the lapsed gamer, back and loving it. After chargen with me and Julio has got straight online and ordered up a Players Handbook and a set of rather fetching dice. Hes running a Tiefling Warlock and is loving the zappy curses he can sling at will.
Julio: My old gaming buddy who, again, bought his own PHB, and more important brings the tactical nous the team will need. He’s playing Quinn, the dirty human rogue.
Steps, AKA Mrs King, who is new to gaming and enjoying herself with this strange hobby. she’s Kallista the wizard. Lesbian stripper ninja style. Say no more.
Stivi: Another old friend who got into gaming with 3rd ed and has jumped on board with the new edition too. He grabbed the Dwarf Fighter pregen, called hin Alaric, and got to fighting.
Tracy: another newbie, who I think is slightly overwhelmed by all the options, so was happy to let the group decide for her. she plays Clara the half elf cleric.
And off we go. Took a little time to explain the basics, and soon found that actually, you just need to get stuck in and see how it goes. The character sheets look complicated but that’s only because they are so thorough. Next time I’ll take a highlighter to the most used parts to make it easier. It will come with practice.
The first encounter is an attack by Kobold bandits on the Kings road (not the one in Chelsea). An archetypal set up for any level 1 game, with the potential to have all the experienced gamers nodding off. But no. We took it slow so the encounter took about an hour, but it was a really good story, full of flavour and cool stuff kicking off as the players got a handle on their spells, prayers and exploits. Notable images include; Kallista using burning hands to flush a horde of Kobold minions out of the woods, one jumps out of the undergrowth and grapples her round the neck. Now they are both on fire. Clara prays to Pelor and her Lance of Faith burns the Kobold off her mate with the power of the sun.
Quinn finds that Kobold Dragonshields are shiftier than they look as they lead him a merry dance arond some rockpiles. i loved hearing Julio say “bugger, they’ve flanked me again!” Payback’s a bitch mate!
Kallista sneaks around a rock just in time for a Kobold Slinger to paste her with a gluepot. She’s stuck fast as the Kobold draws a rusty blade and advances. She grabs her wand and sends a bolt of silvery force right between his eyes burning out his tiny brain.
The fight over, all agreed there was lots of coolness and imagery. A success. Then onwards to Winterhaven to pick up a beer and a room for the night. Gossip with the locals provides a couple of hooks for next week, and we call it a night.
Executive summary: a great system that really rewards the players working together and knowing their stuff. A lot easier to DM, I had 8 monsters of three different types and kept it all running smoothly. Also, I only had to look up one rule all night. That’s a big win. The players enjoyed it bigtime (probably the fellers more if i’m honest?) and all are looking forward to the next installment.