The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Encounter #34 Random Encounter- The Red Eye Gang.
Click on the Links to see the Monster Stat cards.
Ettercap Webspinner (Controller 5)
Rage Drake (Brute 5)
Bugbear Warrior (Brute 5) x3
Encounter Level 5- 1000 XP
Sunday, 23rd of Fireseek, 2000.
And so the PCs head off into the Labyrinth in search of the Duergar fortress- Grimmerzhul, the guys are still under the impression that this is the end game, I think they’re expecting a huge fortress full of the grey Dwarves.
I’ve made the journey through the Labyrinth a Dungeon Delve of sorts, with a difficult Skill Challenge- another improvised one, thrown in. The players seem to like the linear (easy on the brain) nature of these sort of adventures (Delves), so I’m just going to try to kick their arse a bit, beat them badly as it were. The Skill Challenge was slightly strange, and apologies but I’m working from memory here, in that it just required the guys to make four successful skill checks in a row, every failure however lead to something bad happening- an encounter or else a natural phenomena (that did them a chunk of damage), or else… something.
I used randomly selected tiles from Skeleton Key Games again for this, and the random element was almost true this time- although I did have a few things planned ahead at times.
And so the guys spend two days traversing the Labyrinth to the area, best guess, Charrak thinks the fortress may be located- and now the Skill Challenge starts, and the DCs are set to high, every failure reduces them by one however. I think they started at 25.
The guys get two successes before a failure, and a wretched failure at that, a ‘1’ from Winstanley.
The guys wander into a larger chamber- with multiple levels, and straight into an ambush, they’re all surprised… well, except for Kaspard & Dirty.
Suddenly a swathe of cobweb, like a great net, flutters down from above and coats the adventurers- all five of the guys are covered with the sticky stuff, and immobilised. High on a ledge above the Ettercap Webspinner does a little jig.
The guys gawp and tear at the webs for a second- until the screaming begins, suddenly three Bugbears, all hollering their war cries, Charge at the guys- or at least two of them do. The lead Bugbear Warrior is riding on the back of a savage looking Rage Drake.
The guys gawp some more- how cool is that Bugbear.
The Drake rears before Winstanley and Claws repeatedly at the Halfling- miracles do happen, the Rogue is only caught once and then only a glancing blow. The other two Warriors makes straight for Dirty- the Dwarf dodges one attack but gets thumped by the other.
Rage Drake- Tetchy!
The stuttering Kaspard sends out her Hands of Radiance, alas only one of the appendages is on target a Bugbears is tagged and burnt. Thank Bahamut- Kaspard breaks free of the webs. Dirty meanwhile forlornly flails, working himself deeper into the tangle.
Winstanley spins out a dagger with a Sly Flourish- the blade thumps into the Drake, the Rogue nimbly skips through the ropey strands of the web and is free in seconds. Grey lights a fire under the attackers with his Scorching Burst- two of the Bugbears and the Drake are caught in the blast- the mage however is far from done, he flings over his Fireball. The great web is mostly consumed in the flame, all four of the attackers are likewise subject to the inferno- although none of them are yet bloodied.
Note Grey rolled great for the damage from his Scorching Burst = 13 Fire, and crap for his Fireball = 15 Fire. To tell the truth we were all a little underwhelmed with his first Fireball.
The web entangling Grey is gone, caught in the edge of the blast- the Wizard is free. Phrenic catches on, and follows suit, the Warlord’s Scorching Burst catches the Rage Drake and one of the Bugbear Warriors- both are now burnt and bloodied.
The Drake backs up a way, and is stabbed by Winstanley for its efforts, and then is spurred back in to action- and straight at the Halfling, by its hollering Bugbear rider- it rears up and Claws again, but this time Winstanley is ready for it and dodges aside just in time. The two other Bugbear Warriors wail on Dirty, or at least they try to, the Dwarf keeps both of them at bay.
I made four attack rolls for the bad guys there- my highest unadjusted roll was a ‘4’.
Kaspard bathes the attackers in her Divine Glow, although its only the mounted Bugbear that succumbs to her radiant power. The Priestess scurries for cover, away from the webs- she’s not fast enough, Kaspard is struck and stuck by a lightning fast lasso made from the same sticky web, she’s covered in the goo. The restrained Priestess looks up as the Webspinner clambers down to a rock ledge just above her, the strange creature stabs down with its longspear and draws blood.
Bugbear Warrior- Big Bad Goblins.
Dirty lashes out with a Cleave at the two Bugbears before him, one is rocked and staggers, the other suffers a glancing blow, the Dwarf at last, breaks free of the webs.
Winstanley Tumbles under the Rage Drake and then scurries up and onto the back of the great beast, the creature bucks and leaps- the Halfling however hangs on and then with a Sly Flourish buries his magical dagger in the Bugbear rider’s back. The goblinoid slips and falls beneath the creature’s feet, the Drake tramples its former master.
Grey shuffles a little way forward, positioning himself in exactly the right spot, he then swirls and is suddenly surrounded by flame- his Fire Shroud searches out his enemies and burns. The Rage Drake is singed and almost spent, while another of the Bugbear Warriors is burnt almost black by the flame (a crit), both enemies continue to smoulder.
Phrenic issues his orders- a Commander’s Strike, the Tiefling is alas still stuck in the webs, Dirty obeys and swings with all his might.
And rolls a ‘1’- Dave, who plays Dirty, snaps. He attempts to crush his D20- he stamps on it, alas he has no shoes on and so this procedure elicits only a scream of pain- no harm to the icosahedron. The D20 has the last laugh when Dave’s follow up half-arsed kick sees the offending die scuttle under the sofa.
It’s at this point Dave realises he has no other 20-sided dice with him, and that no-one will ‘lend’ him a dice.
The game stops to allow Dave to swear profusely and then move the sofa.
For your info Dave would have been in his late 30’s when we played this session- married and with a very young child, and holding down a proper job. Personally I wouldn’t trust him to use a can-opener without exploding in fury and smashing something (anything- maybe even everything). But he’s a mate, what can you do…
Sigh. Where were we?
The Rage Drake stomps off- backing up again, and with Winstanley still clinging on to the back of the beast- it’s also still burning in places- it bellows in pain and then Charges and Rakes at Kaspard- the Priestess is cut terribly, slathered in her own blood (down to 9 HP from 40-something). She calls upon Bahamut and gasps her Healing Words, seconds later her armour pulses- a double dose of Healing and the Priestess feels like new again, although she’s still stuck in Ettercap’s sticky lasso. Just to remind her of this fact the Webspinner reaches down with its longspear and skewers her again.
Dirty furiously swings at a Bugbear Warrior, catches the creature a glancing blow with his Reaping Strike.
Dave (Dirty) goes and gets himself a drink of squash from the kitchen- before he explodes.
Winstanley (because he’s a nice guy) leaps off the Drake and then scuttles around the Bugbear Dirty is attacking, seemingly mocking the Warrior, the goblinoid swings with its morning star and thumps the Halfling. Dirty is immediately provoked into action (and called back from the kitchen)- the Dwarf smashes his maul into the Bugbear Warrior, nicely done. Winstanley isn’t finished yet however, the Halfling dodges back around the goblinoid and leaves his dagger in the creature’s back- the Bugbear Warrior drops dead.
Grey sends out a carpet of flame, his Burning Hands- the Rage Drake screeches terribly and is consumed, the last Bugbear standing is scorched and left bloodied. Phrenic, still stuck in the webs, delivers more orders to Dirty- another Commander’s Strike, seconds later the last Bugbear is barely standing, for good measure the Warlord shares a few Inspiring Words with Winstanely, and the Rogue’s wounds are forgotten.
The Bugbear runs, it doesn’t get far- Dirty smashes it down.
Ettercap Webspinner- Spiderman!
Kaspard mutters more Healing Words, her wounds are swiftly forgotten, for good measure she aims upwards and bathes the Ettercap in her Daunting Light, the terrified spider-creature makes a sound like a siren, and then scurries up the walls high above and eventually out of sight, lost to the black
The encounter is over.
The guys take a hard earned rest- search and recover a few trinkets and coins from the fallen, and then with Charrak leading, head back into the Labyrinth to continue their search for the Grimmerzhul.