Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dungeons & Dragons Encounters: Lost Crown of Neverwinter, Episode 2

When last we saw my heroic alter ego for this season of D&D Encounters, Quendalon the Eladrin Bladesinger, he and his companions were catching their breath after having survived an attack of spellplagued drakes and zombies in a Neverwinter market square. Just as they managed to regroup and get their bearings, what should appear flying down from the sky but a spellplagued white dragon, come to angrily avenge the death of the drakes!

Thus picks up this week's episode of the Lost Crown of Neverwinter. 

Thank to some weird charm mojo by the mysterious plate-armored-and-lost-crowned Heir of Alagondar, Quendalon and the party managed to eke out a short rest before the dragon engaged, using up some of our healing surges and recharging our encounter powers, then it was time to roll up our sleeves and get to work defending the city from the dragon. The composition of our party was a bit changed from last time, with the addition of a drow Avenger and a human  Mage to our returning members of a longtoothed shifter Thief, a human Cavalier, a warforged Barbarian, a human Warpriest and yours truly. Eight heroic adventurers (counting the crowned NPC) against one spellplagued white dragon. Who would remain standing? Who would fall?

Well, turns out that the eight of us were up to the task at hand. The frontline fighters stepped up to engage the beast, while the thief, mage and I (with top initiative for the combat - 24!) attacked from a distance - thrown daggers for the thief and magic missiles for us wizardly types, to start. Being unfamiliar with 4e dragons, I was unsure of how many times the monster would get to breathe its cone of cold at us, so I hung back out of range under partial cover and let the frontliners bear the brunt of the dragon's initial barrage so I could see what we'd be dealing with. Things got to bloodied really fast for our Warpriest and Cavalier, so I unloaded my remaining daily on the dragon. Unfortunately, it was the cold-based Chill Strike, so I didn't do much damage to the monster. I did manage to daze it, however, which slowed down its rampage of terror through our group enough for our frontliners to expend Second Winds. The martial types then kept pounding away at the beast, eventually bringing it down to bloodied, but at this point it looked as if things could go either way depending on the dice, as the monster gave as good as it got, including a nasty tail swipe at our Cavalier.

So my heroic (and as yet undamaged!) Bladesinger decided to exit ranged combat, close in at max speed and enter the melee, naturally! One Bladesong and melee attack with Lightning Ring proc later, and the dragon was down for the count, with the Heir of Alagondar providing the coup d'grace finish by  polymorphing the near death dragon into a stone statue. I was actually surprised that the encounter ended so (relatively) quickly, and with no casualties among our party, given the fact that we were up against a dragon, and a spellplagued one at that. For our trouble, we were each rewarded with an amethyst badge of association (worth 50 gp) by the mysterious heir. We tucked them away for later use or sale until we can get a better sense of the score - no need to go and declare ourselves on anyone's side regarding a claim to the crown just yet, especially seeing as how we have our own Neverwinter noble in our party (the Cavalier) to support.

This episode flew by quickly, with a relatively straightforward melee against a solo boss monster ending in what I would qualify as a smashing success for our adventuring party. Last week's episode took much more time, and was actually the more difficult of the two encounters, though whether that fact was owed to poor dice rolling or people just getting familiar with their PCs and gelling as an adventuring party, is debatable. Still, I'm not the type to look a gift horse in the mouth, and a win is a win, easy or difficult. I'm not sure what's on tap for next week's episode, but I imagine we'll get to do some investigating and maybe some Skill Challenges to bring some of our Background Themes into play now that we've successfully defended the city from two attacks and earned a little local renown for our valorous deeds!

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