THE FOLLOWING SESSION FOLLOWS THE PUBLISHED 4TH EDITION ADVENTURE “TOMB OF HORRORS” AND WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. PLEASE AVOID THIS POST IF YOU WISH TO AVOID SPOILERS.
The party of six ends their short rest in the Dead Gods Tomb and continues to push forward. They take a nearby magic portal and it puts them in a strange room full of hulking metal constructs charging in to attack! Half the party is bashed to the ground by large shield-wielding guardians yet when an old friend crashes through a portal into the room for backup, the party manages to come out on top. Aetius has ignored Three’s advice that his head is too clouded to help here and returns to the party. “Your anger cannot overtake you or you doom our party, Aetius.” He agreed to keep a clean head yet he wanted revenge on the tomb.
The party sends Jinroy through a portal attached at the hip to a rope in case of emergencies. Suddenly the rope goes limp and the portal closes! They rushed around the tomb and with a stroke of luck find the right portal. Jinroy is surrounded by servants of Vecna and an aspect of Vecna as well. The party manages to save the day once again and free Jinroy from almost certain death. Pressing forward, the party ends up in the Shadowfell through some sort of planar crossover portal but being smart, they get the gem they are looking for and get out before being trapped. Expended of almost all powers and healing surges, the party wishes to take their extended rest yet Three demands one more room. “I have plenty left to heal you, my friends.”
The last room of the night pits the party against an aspect of Demogorgon and an aspect of Orcus. The fight gets ugly from the beginning with the players getting beaten around yet they manage to restrain the two aspects for a round or two. Stelian goes stealth and sneaks up behind Demogorgon. In a brilliant display, he leaps atop him, slashing in a fury. His action point allows him a second action in which he takes full advantage. On his way to the ground, Stelian delivers a deadly kill shot to Demogorgon by slicing clean through his heads. The party has no problem teaming up against the aspect of Orcus and finishes the fight quickly. An extended rest follows and the session comes to an end.
This session was a fun one. Props to Stelian (played by Mac) for his attack on Demogorgon. Stelian hit crit on a killer attack the put him atop the aspect and used his action point. The table lost it when he rolled crit again! In one round, Stelian dealt over 200 points of damage, killing the aspect.
We stuck to a shorter play time (7:30pm-1:30am). As a DM, the real challenge was in running a game for 7 players. That’s right, we had 7 players show up! The encounters were probably a bit too easy with their great numbers yet I did what I could to make it interesting. The portals say nothing about being able to be shut down but I figured that Jinroy could use some excitement. Everyone roleplayed quite well. The fights went very smooth this week due to a new strategy.
The new battle strategy is extremely simple. At the beginning of each round, the players shout to each other (while roleplaying) what they intend to do that round. That way everyone knows what everyone else is doing and things run smoother during the round. Example would look like this:
“Gauthak, what are we doing?” shouts Three.
“We take the big one! You go high, I go low!” Gauthak grins.
“I’ll fly to retrieve the gem!” shouts Lomian.
“Watch for me in the shadows, friends,” Stelian says with a smile.
“I’ll hold the perimeter for you, guys,” says Shadow.
“Shadow, I’ll cover you with a magic missile,” says Aetius.
“And I’ll bring down the front runner! With Vicious Mockery I shout at him, ‘Over here you bucket of rust!'” And with that, Jinroy starts the round of action.
I was skeptical when my player (Max) proposed this system but it worked out so well. Try it out in your games and as always bring your feedback here. Comments are appreciated and I promise to respond!