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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Scourge of the Sword Coast Session 1

Not comfortable with this!
I spent some time today further preparing Scourge of the Sword Coast for tonight's D&D Encounters session. It was very dull, and this "pdf only" business is going to take some getting used to. I always take extensive notes (5 pages just for tonight!), which helps me retain everything as well as have something i can glance at so i don't need to rummage through the module.

Anyway... I get to the store. They haven't received any of the free stuff. This season was supposed to start last week, but I couldn't make it and apparently only a couple people showed up. I was aware that I might not get enough people for a game this week - but I also know some of them come really late. Sometimes an hour or more!

So I get there, and I have 2 players. I take the opportunity to ask them questions about their "real lives" (I am one of these nosy people who likes to learn people's secrets). One of the store regulars, a fellow best described as "eccentric" came over and joined us. He told us about all sorts of things which made almost no sense, such as:

- Starching your collar
- Origami sundial watches
- A guy in England who wanted a vegetable burrito and had to go to another country
- That straightjackets in Washington DC have the presidential seal on them

Ahhh, the joys of public gaming! I told him my worst nightmare would be waking up at night to find him standing there watching me sleep. This guy once blindsided me with the question: "Would you like to buy papercut insurance?"

After about 30-45 minutes after start time, 4 more players arrived. And so we began. I was kind of pumped, as this session involves a village that was raided by goblins/hobgoblins/bugbears. All of the villagers were enslaved and shipped out, and now the goblinoids inhabited the village and had built some defensive fortifications. Very cool, very classic, but not a scenario I've actually run often.

We started with a homebrewed attack on their caravan by goblin wolf-riders. This took much longer than expected. The players just couldn't roll above a 10. They took a lot of damage.

It took so long that when they got to the farmstead, I removed the monsters so we could move on. 

The guy who does these maps is awesome
They arrived at Daggerford the following day. The refugees were angry that the guards wouldn't let them in. One guard was nervous and had a twitchy finger. Our heroes walk into this scene and take action:

- The evil cleric egged the guard on, telling him to shoot
- The hack and slash warrior started punching out refugees
- The good cleric tried to calm the twitchy guard (rolled a 1)
- The warforged slapped the guard on the back
- The good paladin called out for everyone to stop this madness (rolled a 4)

So the warforged slaps the guard on the back, the crossbow is fired, a refugee dies, chaos ensues... pretty fun.

Long story short, our heroes are allowed into Daggerford. Evil cleric decides to wait outside Daggerford with the refugees. Why? Because he wanted to kill them. He ended up killing 3 refugees before other refugees beat him down with a rock and a guard on Daggerford's wall shot a crossbow bolt into his brain, killing him. Everyone asked him why he did this, he said he was just "playing his character". He plays in my Monday Dungeon Crawl Classics game, and I wonder if he just wants to play that and doesn't care about this game anymore...? I don't know. It was pretty random.

Then our stalwart adventurers entered the vastly disjointed and wordy section of the module, where a halfling shows them around town and 5,000 adventure hooks are dropped on them simultaneously. I streamlined this, putting them on a monorail express to the "village we haven't heard from in a tenday", aka Julkoun the goblin town.
5b... the BARN OF DOOM
They took a fishing boat there, and crept into the outlying areas. I realized I need a printed-out map to show them this rather complicated, difficult-to-describe town. So I let them explore some shacks and the barn. They walked right in to that collapsing-loft trap. When I read that one, I thought that would never happen, but it did. How would two of them end up in a barn loft, I asked myself.Answer: The door was barred and they had to climb in the loft window.

We ended it there, as it was getting late and the mood had kind of gotten weird due to the evil character's murdering of refugees, but mostly because I needed a map.

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