View Full Version : Some 4E First Game Reflection

May 5th, 2010, 21:03
Quick Back Info
Me and a group of friends used to play table tops back at home. Me and my bro moved away though, and we got FG as an attempt to continue our adventures. This was our first shot at 4E, or even DnD as a whole, because we were intimidated by it's complex rules. However, I read the rules for 4E several times over and am quite the stickler as a rules DM. We use skype to talk to each other by voice.

It took me about a week to prepare. I had to figure out parsing (Without Doc Zues' help, I never woulda' got this done. Also anyone new to DMing, make sure you organize your parser files properly haha). I built a dungeon, drew a map out, and spent a day helping them build their characters, and entered all my data into FG (Which was quite smooth I must add). The basic dungeon design I wanted was a balanced mix of encounters, puzzles, loot, and situations that would be interactive to the group. So how did thing turn out?

The Game Begins
The characters met each other on the fly. Basically they had their own reasons for being in the local area, and I did a small prologue that took about half an hour where they'd meet up for a common goal. The group was thrown into an encounter with a local shopkeeper whose son went missing in some nearby mountain ruins. The kids been missing for nearly a month, but the keeper hears his boy playing music from the instrument that he made him.

So the adventurers head to the ruins. There was two random encounters between kobolds, that the group routed with no issues. In fact, I feel these encounters were the low point. They seemed boring and drab. I believe that this was because I just chucked the critters at the players with no strategy.

I used a puzzle involving a talking book, but the players didn't succeed at the skill challenge, and I decided that the book would only give some valued information about the area, rather than a piece of treasure. They really enjoyed the encounter, and played their characters personalities very well.

There was a point where I had a trap that the players all rolled really low on, and they walked right into it. A collapsing floor trap the landed the warrior onto a gelatinous cube (The kobolds managed to capture it, and I even had a note in their camp that warned the party of its presence). The players instantly clammered to hoist him up with a skill challenge involving a grapple hook. He took some scrapes, but got out just fine.

There were other surprise tricks in the dungeon, a small tomb with skeletons, a rotting corpse of a monster that had spiders in it, and a puzzle involving gongs. All in all, the party managed to slip by it all with minimal difficulty. After about 4-5 hours in the dungeon the party had just touched on their third levels.

Then came the final room. The boy was being kept here, and had a small living establishment set up. The room was a wide circular area covered in thick heavy snow. The players call out to the boy, and tell him to come with them, but he refuses. He'd much rather stay. The bard botched his persuasion, and the warrior got restless and picked the boy up and tryed to walk away. Mistake for him, because a young white dragon springs out of the snow and makes a sneak attack on him. (The dragon had the boy brought to him by the kobolds, because it enjoyed the music the boy played.) The party was terrified to say the least, and tryed to calm the dragon down, but failed. Eventually they escape from the hall, but the dragon snags the warrior and drops him from an extreme height injuring him pretty bad. (The party actually injured the dragon down to half hp also, I think they were just scared they wouldn't be able to win). After all was said and done, the rogue tries to sneak back in and save the warrior, and rolls two 20's on his sneak rolls. So the party makes a valiant? escape and decided to just leave the ruins. Kinda anticlimactic, but they had a blast (Especially the final encounter).

To be honest, I could have had the dragon grab any of the people at the end. But, the warrior provoked the dragon the most, and was a fairly disruptive player (He didn't really pay attention to what was going on, and was playing some flash mmo in the background, which kinda irked me alot, because we had to tell him every time when his turn came up). I was really just gonna expect them to leave him to die. But the rogue role played his character very well, and wanted to help him, so I didn't penalize him, and let both characters make their way out.

I'm really on edge about the disruptive warrior, I'm most likely going to do a group vote to see if we want him to continue playing with us, because I know he was annoying the whole group.

I realize that the way enemy groups are hashed together are what makes combat exciting, and the tactics they use. Throwing enemies mindlessly against the party is boring, and I think I'll avoid those encounters. Interactive environments seem like a must (For both player and monster)

Non lethal Puzzles/riddles are good if used sparingly. I know the players really enjoy taking the time to interact with each other, and these things seem to fortify the bond a lot.

Otherwise, we had a lot of fun. : ) And I'm sure I'll get my moneys worth of my ultimate license as time rolls on. (Maybe I'll host a game on the FG forum when I get a better grasp on the rules)

May 5th, 2010, 22:57
Unsolicited Advice to follow, read and use or discard as you see fit.

Talk to the Fighter player directly 1st. Discuss the good things he brought to the table (hopefully something...), and the things you did not enjoy him bringing to the table. Let him know your position on what you do and don't want in your game (inattentive players, playing MMO during a session...) and advise him your apt not to invite him back for session 2 if it occurs again. Unless all of you guys are a tight group, I find that is the best way to handle these types of players.

Your Mileage May Vary

Sounds like you have the start of a beautiful story, hope you don't have to give the fighter player the 'Boromir' treatment...

May 5th, 2010, 23:41
Sounds like a fun first adventure. If you decide to give him the boot let me know, I'd love to roll up a defender. I still need to buy FG, but I'm just waiting to be sure I can find a game and what not. Depending on the times you plan to play I'd love to join if you end up needing another.

If not, then happy gaming ^_^

May 6th, 2010, 00:34
Sounds like a fun first adventure. If you decide to give him the boot let me know, I'd love to roll up a defender. I still need to buy FG, but I'm just waiting to be sure I can find a game and what not. Depending on the times you plan to play I'd love to join if you end up needing another.

If not, then happy gaming ^_^

I might add another player sometime.

But I'm not too confident in my DnD DM abilities yet. : )

As for the disruptive player. He's been a close friend to our group awhile, but he's naturally disrespectful. I just think it's because he's not very good with people. It's a crossroads, but I'm sure we'll resolve it. Maybe having the dragon beat on him was a little uncalled for, but his character did provoke it.