D&D: Wipe Out

So, we had our first character death in Dungeons and Dragons today. Actually, we had our first, second, and third character deaths and a fourth character who was so disgusted with the whole ordeal that he went off into the unknown.

It’s actually possible that the other characters might not have been able to get away but at the time it seemed probable so they high-tailed it and lived to fight another day. It did teach us a couple things however.

  • Swarms are nasty. The party was able to dispatch the elite and the two skirmishers that were with the two swarms of spiders but the spiders themselves were really their undoing. In fact, the elite looked rather pathetic as he got kicked around by daily powers.
  • In a party of six, two Defenders are better than one.

I am not a big fan of killing of characters in role playing games but in this case there was little besides an actual hand of god that could have saved the players. With two characters still around the plot I have been trying to develop, such as it is (I’ve been mostly learning the system and playing around with the nifty tactical encounters, I admit the plot is rather weak), can go on.

None of the players seemed all that broken up about dying at least. Some actually seemed quite interested in trying out a new role. Until next time, avoid swarms of ants unless you have lots of close or burst powers!

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    Matt Says:

    I was one of the victims, Karsh the Dragonborn Cleric of Kord is no more. It was a good learning experience both in character design and how to play that style of Cleric (the battle cleric). First thing is it’s important to have a plan, especially for the feats you end up taking. Though the heroic feats aren’t that huge you get a lot of them, and making sure they all take you where you want to go is important (one or two for character reasons is fine too). Mine were kind of all over the place (Weapon Spec Battleaxe, Dragonborn Fury, Multiclass Fighter) and I wish now that I had started with Toughness and Armor Specialization Scale adding Dragonborn Fury last. I wanted to be a frontline fighter to show my strength to Kord so he would bless me with even more powers. In order to do that I needed more AC (Chainmail just doesn’t cut it) and HP. So a couple slight changes would have made a big difference and would have molded my character to be closer to his concept. A little foresight in your feat choices can go a long way.

    Next is what I learned about the battle cleric style. First of all, again you need AC and HP, but you also need was to get more bonus to attack. Most of your powers work off of hitting things, this means a high strength, feat bonuses, magic weapon bonuses, and good tactics (aka combat advantage) are all necessary to make sure you stay effective as you fight harder monsters.

    I think next time I’m playing a Cleric I’ll want to try the ranged version. They seem to be more about weakening enemies while buffing your party. Although they seem to have less ways to give out healing surges (it was brought to my attention that the melee versions get them more because they’ll need them to give surges to themselves) they seem more powerful as they can affect a larger area of the battlefield. Plus they can just concentrate on Wisdom and Charisma while the battle cleric needs Strength, Wisdom, Charisma, and Constitution. Besides I am finding it’s not the damage part of combat I like it’s the status effects which have a lot more strategy. This is why my replacement character is going to be a Wizard that is more about controlling the battlefield.

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    Colin Says:

    Barackas told you all it was a bad idea to go trekking into a land full of webs and zombies, but did you listen?

    Seriously though, it was a series of unfortunate events that ended that Ettercap, timing was on our side for that part at least: which is fortunate, I might add, because if it hadn’t been, it would have probably been the end of all of us.

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    Matt Says:

    Before I get caught on this one I meant Armor Proficiency and not Armor Specialization.

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    It is kind of amusing that the Defender, Controller and Leader all died while the three Strikers survived.

    I think with one of those Strikers leaving and the party make up changing as it is, things will probably go better in the future.

    What was kind of funny is that the old party (Paladin, Wizard, Warlock, Melee Ranger, Melee Cleric, Rogue) was amazing at destroying solos but had trouble with larger groups. The new party (Vengeance Paladin, Two Handed Fighter, Warlock, Wizard, Warlord, Rogue) will be a bit better at keeping the bad guys where they want them.

    It’s also cool that we get to see both of the classes we were missing.

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    jim Says:

    bursts = wizard. of course the wizard actually has to hit the swarm.

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    ojiepat Says:

    I think the fighter is going to be sword and board, wizards, in their infinite wisdom, has decided that Halflings have no reason to wield anything 2-handed… not sure what I get to compensate, still looking for the lowered gear costs section for small characters, the build in AC bonus for being harder to hit… the anything to prove that the designers don’t spend their days singing, “Short people have no reason to live.”

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    Matt Says:

    Come on you get that annoying “Oh you hit me, reroll it” power. Halfling definitly goes against the grain for fighter, although they did make changes so small races weren’t completely useless in melee roles like they were in 3.5.

    The Wizard is coming along, and it looks like I’m going Cold based. I almost went for the Illusionist powers that WotC put out, but the cold spells stood out to me a little more. Lots of slow and immobilize effects. Thunderwave looks good as an At-Will power (Close Blast 3, 1d6 + Int and push X squares) to keep things away from me.

    I’m a little disappointed with the picks for Wizard Paragon. Nothing stands out to me like the choices for Cleric did.

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    Matt Says:

    Jim, that was the problem, I think Dave (our Wizard) missed on every Area or Close spell he had on the swarm. If one or two of those had hit I suspect that most if not all of us that died would still be alive.

    By the way, I like what they did with swarms. It’s very flavorful and in line to have them be half damage on normal attack and vulnerable to Area and Close effects. Kind of like getting a head shot on Zombies when you crit. I really like what they did with creature types so far.

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    jim Says:

    agreed on the creature respecs. and i understand dave’s miss problem. i’m playing a wizard in toms game. so far i can manage to hit with magic missile, everything else is iffy.

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    Colin Says:

    We called Dave’s wizard the lightshow in reference to his utility; ie – he made pretty lights, and that was roughly it, most of the time.

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    David Says:

    Yeah, sure. Blame me for all the party’s problems. :-P

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    Some people do seem to think that the “re roll” power for halflings is their compensation for not making the best defenders in the world. Fighter or Paladin halflings seems kind of rare and these two seem to be the most common Two-Weapon wielding classes so far.

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    In a way it’s kind of good that so many people died at once. If only one player dies they might need to come back as the same role, if not the same class. Since there is only one Controller at the moment if Dave had been the only one that died he would have been pushed (if not forced) to play another Wizard.

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    ojiepat Says:

    well, to be fair, I would have volunteered to switch to wizard if Dave hadn’t wanted to do it again. leaving him the choice of any other role to replace my striker. ;)

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    David Says:

    It would have been appreciated, Pat. It’s very rare for me to play the same class, race, or concept twice in a row.