Well, it’s at least a month and a half after the first posts about people’s first experiences with this adventure started popping up, but I’m going to talk about it anyway. We actually did play about a month ago, but our game was kind of short and we were also short on players so I didn’t do a write up about it at that time. We finally got to play again yesterday, and although we were still rather short on players, we did manage to get a decent bit of gaming in. At this point my game group looks to consist of three other players and myself. Not ideal, but that’s where things are. Hopefully we can get at least one other person back in the mix soon, but right now we’re gonna play this damn thing whether there are an ideal number of people at the table or not. We’re using the pre-generated characters from the starter box, and a couple of us are doubling up on characters for the time being. Here is the rundown:
I’m playing Anastrianna Goldlilly, the elven wizard, and Dirk Fletcherson, the human folk hero fighter with a knack for the long bow.
Tyler is playing Marcus (I don’t have the character sheet handy so no surname), the human noble fighter, and Darro (again, no surname) the dwarven cleric.
Johnny is playing Nill Locks, the halfling thief.
Corey is our Dungeon Master.
The adventure plot is common knowledge for anyone who cares to find out about it at this point so I’m just going to gloss over those details. Our group was hired to deliver some supplies for a mining expedition to the town of Phandelin. Everyone thought this was an excellent idea so we headed out with our oxcart full of said supplies and faced the by-now-infamous goblin ambush. We didn’t totally suck in our first encounter, with Anastrianna putting several goblins to sleep, while everyone else did a not entirely mediocre job at hacking and slashing. Of note was the fact that Dirk Fletcherson, bowman extraordinaire, managed to roll a one for his very first attack roll with his bow, snapping his bowstring (thanks, Corey). Undaunted, Dirk leapt from the oxcart, drew his great sword (this guy is a long bowman with a great sword for a sidearm? I love this guy!) and shouted “For Thundertree!” as he charged into the nearest goblins. Dirk performed so well here that “For Thundertree!” became his battle cry anytime he had to resort to melee. Also of note: Marcus was played by a different player during our first session and second session, but in this first battle he established a precedent of making consecutive, abysmal rolls that has apparently carried over.
We were able to discern that our employers had fallen victim to a goblin ambush before us, what with their horses being used to block the road while we were assaulted. We could also tell from drag marks that they had been hauled off to points unknown. We made our way up the trail that the goblins had used, with Nill Locks taking point. Nill deftly set off every trap along the route, managing to both get caught in a snare and to skillfully warn the party of a pit trap by almost falling in it himself. With all the critical fumbles and missed traps, things were looking great for our collective futures as adventurers, and everyone felt real swell about our chances for survival. Another display of sub-par heroics at the mouth of the goblin cave convinced us that we should probably think of our glass as half full, and head back to the oxcart and call it a night. That was the end of our first session.
Eight hours (and one month) later, we decided to head back up to those goblin caves and take a stab at rescuing our employers again. We had to dispatch a couple of wolves that were chained up at the entrance, and then we plowed ahead into a chamber full of – you guessed it – goblins. Anastrianna once again put several of our foes to sleep, but we still had a rough time of things. Finally though, we had the goblins on the ropes, but then from an alcove above the main chamber the goblin in charge of things stepped forward with some lackeys and one of our employers. He threatened to kill that poor fella unless we took him up his offer of killing the bugbear who was really running the show in these caves, thus leaving this goblin in charge. We thought we probably could have taken this guy, but not before he killed our benefactor, so we agreed to his terms. We also got a short, but tense, rest out of the deal. Then we did something stupid. We decided to split the party.
We had learned that there were two routes of egress into the bugbears chamber – there was the direct route, and there was a sort of chimney-garbage-chute-thing. We sent Nill and Dirk up the chute while the rest of us walked up to the front door. Anastrianna did manage to convince the goblin sentries posted outside of the bugbear’s chambers to let us by, since we were on a mission to kill Klarg (sp?) the bugbear in the name of Yimmic (sp?) the goblin. Things kinda went downhill after that.
We did manage to burst into the chamber at about the same time that Nill managed to clamber up the garbage chute (with Dirk right behind him), but we had not been informed that Klarg had a wolf as a pet. This information would have been of great value to Nill in particular, who proceeded to pop his head out of the chute and get it mauled by this wolf, whom had clearly heard Nill and Dirk clambering up said chute. So we started the fight with Nill, falling and unconcious, back on to Dirk, while Marcus charged Ripper the wolf and managed to not fumble his attack by rolling a two. We were doing awesome, as usual.
We were fortunate in that the hidden bugbear missed us with a few missile attacks while we dispatched the goblins and the wolf, and Dirk managed to eventually hoist the unconscious halfling off him and make his way into the chamber to join the fight. Dirk then proceed to thunk an arrow into Klarg for max damage! Klarg took his anger about this out on the cleric, dropping him like a stone. Things were touch and go there for a bit, but Marcus managed to land a blow and Anastrianna was able to bring Klarg down with a magic missile that did exactly enough damage to put ole Klarg at zero hit points. When it was all said and done, the cleric and the thief were down, and Marcus had one hit point to his name. We felt super awesome about dragging our mostly-dead asses across the caves and talking to Yimmic about our deal.
Bargaining from the superior position of looking like we had just thrown ourselves off a cliff, Yimmic agreed to give us his captive (our employer) as long as we left him Klarg’s loot (we had pocketed a jade statue and some potions) and all the supplies the goblins had stolen from other caravans passing through. We really couldn’t argue, so we accepted the terms and left the caves with one of our employers.
I don’t have to tell you that after rescuing half of our employers and surrendering a big pile of loot to a pack of goblins, we all felt like pretty big damn heroes. I can’t wait to see how these guys all meet a horrible death in a future adventure.