Last night’s game was a slug-fest. I mean, I knew it would be but I never imagined the fight would last the entire session! The guys went toe to toe with some of the nastiest denizens of Velkynvelve and scrapped out a win… as in they survived long enough to flee into the depths of the Underdark.
Thankfully my prep for this adventure was supplemented mostly by Adventure One’s prep. I already had all the monster tokens I needed for the fight and had printed off the bulk of the monster stats from my scanned MM pages. There were only a few other items of note.
OTHER ITEMS OF PREP:
- I needed a battle map so I did what I typically do. I use the one inch by one inch excel sheet I made to craft one
- Here’s my take on the ledge overlooking the drop-off where the lift runs. I made it a little bit larger than the map in the book dictates because things would have been incredibly crowded for the fight. If you take issue with my deviating from the written source material just remember that I typically don’t run pre-made games anyway.
- I devised a roll system to determine how long the guys would have before the following things occurred. Essentially, at the start of the fight I rolled a d6 to see how many rounds it would take for the Vrock and the Chasme Demons to finish their little spar. After that I used a D4 to determine how many rounds until reinforcements and a D6 to see what kind of reinforcements would show.
- D6 for what kind of Reinforcements
- D1 – Ilvara, Asha, Shoor, and Jorlen Show up
- D2-3 – Three Drow
- D3-4 – Two Quaggoth
- D6 – Two Drow & a Drow Elite
- D6 for what kind of Reinforcements
- I also figured that for every person on the lift beyond 5 I would make it a 20% chance the lift would break under the additional strain. I told the guys it looked like it could fit 4 people comfortably but I knew it could handle the weight of 5 easily.
- I decided it would take 8 rounds for the lift to get to the floor and return.
- Solaris – Half-Elven Bard
- Hunar Brawnanvil – Dwarven Cleric
- Brother of Rurick, from Mithral Hall
- Rurick Brawnanvil – Dwarven Barbarian
- Brother of Hunar, from Mithral Hall
- Ander – Half-Elven Paladin
- Spent some time in the Underdark before his capture
- Corbin Honeyhump – Half-Elven Sorcerer
- Has sworn revenge on Ilvara for her role in the deaths of Tosy & Turvy
Battlebards Cue: “Dark Elf Temple” by Mike Bridge
Not much to tell story wise, merely a play by play of action. The guys equipped themselves while the outpost continued to defend itself from the rampaging demons that flew above them. They attempted to deliberate and come up with a plan but their time was short as the Vrock fell from the air, crushing open the side of the stalactite they were taking refuge in. This left them fully open to the contingent of drow and quaggoth on the ledge near the lift. A battle began.
The first thing they did was ignore the stunned Vrock, and with good reason as the beast decimated a drow before it took back off into the air. The fight was a good one though and only two of the heroes were ever dropped, our paladin Ander and the Dwaven NPC Eldeth. Hunar was able to heal Ander, getting him back into the fight, and Edleth was stabilized last minute by Shuushar.
The PCs were not alone during the fight, the NPCs helped as well. Prince Derendil gave in fully to his quaggoth nature and dropped a number of enemies with assistance from Jimjar and Eldeth as well. Shushaar remained true to his pacifist nature, Buppido simply held back near Stool, Sarith spent most of the time muttering to himself and clutching his head, and Ront…well Ront decided to be a right bastard.
At about the midpoint of the fight Ront fled directly to the lift and used the distraction everyone else was providing to escape to the floor below. Solaris attempted to stop him but was unable to battle against the orc’s brute strength. The players watched with no small measure of rage as the orc fled into the darkness below.
From there it was a matter of clearing out the enemies left over, doing a bit of searching, and sending a number of groups down the lift. Solaris was fortunate in finding something he thought odd on one of the Drow warriors. A lute imbued with magical power, quite the treasure for the Bard. As the last group was heading downward there was an attempt above to stop the lift. At least they’d learned one thing from Ront’s cowardly act, they know they could counteract the braking mechanism. Soon they were all fleeing into the Underdark wilds themselves.
POST GAME THOUGHTS:
THINGS I SHOULD HAVE DONE:
Can’t say I went in unprepared here. The fight was long but it went smoothly.
THINGS I LIKE/DISLIKE SO FAR ABOUT OOTA: Chapter One
- The start off point is solid and different. Throws the players directly into survival mode.
- A few solid ideas were given for potential escape points. The Jorlen concept is great and I love that even though the players may never know the full reason he’d be willing to release them they ensure the DM knows exactly why.
- I really like the next part, Chapter 2, but I can’t really go into great detail about that.
- The Players had very little chance of getting out of prison without a DM push for them. My group noticed Jorlen and pursued getting him on their side but not a lot of groups would think to do that.
- The NPCs should come with stats. All it would have taken was one extra page in Appendix C.
- Would have been nice to detail some daily routines in the Outpost.
- Wizards of the Coast needs to give us the ability to purchase .pdfs of their Monster Manual at least. Having to choose to flip back and forth between two books for monster stats is terrible and I know for a fact their core books are already available for illegal download anyway so I really don’t grasp their fears in this arena (Barely a commentary on OotA and more of an “overall” complaint I know but… c’mon Wizards).