D&D4E Game Notes

Last night, I tried something new with my D&D game: I prepared a "calculated" encounter, rather than winging it.  Well, sort of.

I'd noticed that this party was cutting through my made-up stats too easily, so I thought I would try an encounter one level over what the book recommends for an average encounter.

The party is third level.  The book didn't have any formulae for the kind of encounter I wanted (just brutes), so I thought two brutes would be easy, four would be normal.

I browsed through the MM and found an appropriate Level 4 Brute (Orc Berserker), and that's what I used: two in the first encounter, four in the second. I added a decent stealth skill to them, to let the Orcs get the drop on the players in both cases. I also gave them throwing axes to use from the shadows before closing.

In the first encounter, the party wasted the pair of Orcs very quickly, taking only two HtH hits, and a handful of axes.  Hardly any damage... they had to spend a few healing surges after the encounter.  No biggie.  Definitely an easy encounter.

The second encounter did not go so smoothly for the players.  They ended up taking pretty massive damage.  Four of them withdrew for healing surges during the encounter.  One of them fell two rounds before the end, another two were down to single-digit HPs before the dust settled. Everyone used their daily (except maybe the cleric). At one point, things were looking so bad, I let a character kinda cheat: his die landed at the edge of his book with some low number, and he whisked the book away to essentially re-roll it, and it came up high. He was clearly joking (everyone laughed), but I was so worried about the characters that I gave it to him.  ...Dutifully, later in the fight he expended a daily that he didn't really have to, role-playing that his character was really pissed off... which I think was a fair trade.  (He's one of the most decent players I've had the pleasure of GMing for, actually.)

Defintely a Hard encounter.

So, lesson: Level (party_lvl +1) Brutes are Easy x 2, Hard x 4.  ...I would imagine that means Average x 3.  : )

On a personal note: I kinda like the new D&D, as long as one treats it as the hack-and-slash that it is.

That said: I am hoping we end up shy a player or two in the next few sessions, so I can run a quick game of Paladin (Star Wars setting) or Great Ork Gods.

No comments: