Descent Campaign 2 - Session 2
by Ed Rozmiarek
Over the holidays our Descent group got together for a little dungeon delving. Took a bit to get this report done, but better late then never.
Previous session reports: Session 1
The heroes had just arrived in Dawnsmoor with Nanok hurting from their last encounter. They stuck with their plan from the previous session to heal Nanok before taking on Sir Alric. Healing Nanok leaves them with 25 gold.
Of course, prior to this happening I got my weekly conquest handout and Sir Alric placed his fourth and last siege engine. The heroes' decision to not attack Sir Alric right away means that I will get one chance to roll for the siege before they attempt to force Sir Alric away from the city. Hopefully I will get lucky and raze the town on the first try. That would make up for some of the bad luck during the last session. It would also give me some flexibility during the upcoming fight. Given the lack of hero kills so far, the two conquest points a week would be really nice.
CP: Heroes: 14 / OL: 7 total / 7 unspent
The fateful week.
I gather my government handout conquest point and warm up the dice for the raze roll of Dawnsmoor. Will it succeed? I have a 1 in 3 chance. Given the way this campaign has been going, I don't have my hopes up. But, one must be positive and go for it when you have the opportunity, right. So with that, I give the die a final blow for good luck and drop it down the into the dice tower. It travels down the enclosure bouncing back and forth gathering luck from both sides of the battle, finally emerging from the randomization device and coming to rest in the tray at the bottom.
I glance down, hoping for the best. Thinking, "Please let there be a surge on the die." And what do I see?
A power enhancement.
The raze of the city fails; on to the battle between the heroes and Sir Alric.
After double checking with the gang that they really want to fight the lieutenant I shuffle the encounter location deck and draw the Haunted Trail. The main feature of the location is that all figures have -1 armor. That will help both sides get hits on the other.
I figured that it was up to the heroes to come after Sir Alric so I decided that it was best to be defensive. Therefore I set up a single group near one of the exits as I wanted to make sure Sir Alric survived. I would give up the siege to keep the lieutenant alive. I placed the soaring razorwings up front since the melee characters would not even be able to attack them. I also hoped that they would stand up long enough to the ranged attacks to allow me to bring in some extra minions.
On their first turn, the heroes took up defensive positions in the trees. After I did nothing but reinforce with a razorwing the party knew the normal battle was out the door. After examining the setup they realized what I was attempting. After some back and forth discussions the heroes decided to attempt a shot or two at the soaring razorwings in the front line and seeing what happened. Much to my dismay, Landrec was able to hit one of the razorwings and bring it down, so much for soaring. I was really hoping that they would last a few rounds and allow me to bring in several extra minions. It was not to be.
With the front line breached the melee characters were able to move up. Nanok was close enough to move up and take on the hellhound (i.e. a four legged speed bump). This brought Nanok close to the remaining minions and Sir Alric. I decided to change from a defensive stance to more offensive. I sent the beastmen and sorcerer in to soften up Nanok before sending in Sir Alric. Using threat for movement, I was able to move Sir Alric up to Nanok and battle. The two attacks did not take him out, but did some serious hurt.
The remaining minions occupied the other three heroes and left Nanok and Alric one-on-one. Although Nanok got in some damage, Alric was able to take Nanok out the next round for the Overloard's first kill of the game (+4 CP). Yea! However, it was now just Alric versus the remaining three heroes. Even with his regenerate 5, 3 on 1 was going to be tough. Alric took some damage from Grey Ker who had used a power potion. I had enough threat to battle Grey Ker and move next to the exit if things went bad. Unfortunately, Sir Alric did miss on one attack and did not kill Grey Ker. So, Sir Alric hightailed it out of town.
Not the best result for the encounter in that I lost the siege on the city, but I saved Sir Alric and got my first hero kill. Things were looking up.
CP: Heroes: 14 / OL: 12/12
Still without enough conquest to do my planned upgrade, this week starts out with the regular conquest allotment and I sent Sir Alric back out to Bitter Downs. The heroes decide to head to the Flametail River dungeon north of Dawnsmoor and on the way they have another encounter. They meet up with three trolls at a Troll Bridge near a Quiet Pond. I thought I might get another kill out of this. Three trolls, one of them a master, a decent chance. However, after reading the text, we see that they heroes can buy their way out of the encounter by paying half of their gold to the trolls in toll. And just how much gold does the party have? 25 gold. Argh! So laughing, the party flips their last 25 gold piece to the trolls and scoot on their merry way.
Flametail River Dungeon Level 1: 30 - Stuck in the Middle
I had heard that this was a good level for Overlords with the hidden web spots slowing down the heroes. I went with the minion set with the two deep elves since I have not used any in our campaigns up to now and it also came with a dark priest, always a favorite.
However, the way this started I thought for sure I was in for another bad day. The heroes were very cautious and moved up in a group just behind the first corner. And what is in my initial draw? Dark Charm. Lovely. Using the extra threat from being the Sorcerer King I can spawn a couple Lava Beetles (yea! first appearance of a Tomb of Ice creature) and charm Nanok. And what does Nanok roll? A blank to avoid the charm! Argh! I've play Dark Charm five or six times over two campaigns and it has worked only once! The odds of that happening are staggering. On top of that, the heroes easily take out the newly spawned Lava Beetles on their next turn. Sigh.
Things started to slowly turn around after that when the heroes found the "web in the middle". Nanok was the first to find some web, soon followed by Grey Ker. The best thing about this was that it slowed down the advancement of the group, giving me time to gather threat and snipe. After a round where Nanok's taunt drew some ineffective fire, the next round was more deadly. An enraged level leader master skeleton was able to plunk Grey Ker twice followed up with a back stab from a deep elf. This sent Grey Ker to the temple in town (+3 CP).
Eventually, Varikas was able to plot a course through the web zone and got to the chest which exploded in his face, but only dealing 2 damage (chest: 400 gold, + 1 CP). Next round he flipped the glyph for another 3 conquest for the good guys. The taunting Nanok found his way up to Kagus, one of the level leaders and killed him (+2 CP). Again, undying failed me so Kagus stayed dead.
As the cautious party found a bit more web I was able to spawn a beastman party near by. They rushed Nanok and the combined forces took him out (+4 CP). Funny, Nanok, the one character I was worried about is the first to be killed twice. Of course, they have not upgraded his armor yet. Grey Ker took out the two regular beastmen while Varikas and Landrec ganged up on Allina, the remaining level leader, who died and promptly failed her undying roll (+2 CP). (I still have had only one successful undying roll over two campaigns.)
With the exit door unlocked, I figured the level was over. However, still cautious of the web spots, the heroes did not run for the door. This left an opportunity to slow them down by spawning more beastmen. They rushed Landrec who was quickly sent packing (+2 CP). This encouraged the remaining heroes to run for the portal and out of the level.
CP: Heroes: 23 / OL: 22/22
After that first, lopsided session, I'd have to call today's session a draw. The heroes did force Sir Alric away from Dawnsmoor, saving the town from being razed. They also generated a decent amount of gold (about 1500). The heroes gained 9 conquest for the day and now have enough to get Nanok a power dice upgrade.
From the Overlord view, I lost my siege but did save Sir Alric, who would not have much to travel to get back to Dawnsmoor if I want. Between the lieutenant battle and first level of the dungeon I got my first four kills. All total I gained 16 conquest today and am now only one point behind the heroes.
The heroes must now decide whether to stay in the dungeon or flee. I am very close to the magic 25 conquest that will allow me to upgrade my cheapest monsters to silver. For the Sorcerer King that is the dreaded silver eldritch who caused much pain for the heroes in our first campaign. However, if they flee they give up the potential income of another dungeon and run the risk that they cannot train Nanok and get to another dungeon before I can upgrade anyway.
at January 12, 2009 11:18 AM