Sunday, September 29, 2013

13th Age: Wyrd of the Wild Wood, Chapters 2-3

The last thing henchman Drogan saw before he was ripped in two.

I ran a group through the second and third chapters of "Wyrd of the Wild Wood" tonight. Attendance was low again: Sundays really do just bring out the board gamers. But we decided to persevere and go ahead with just two PCs. I augmented the group's numbers with a suggestion from the Google+ 13th Age community, giving them a panther animal companion reskinned as a human fighter henchman. If the players had rolled better, I think "Drogan the Fighter" would have been a bigger asset to the group. Unfortunately, while the players were rolling low all night, I kept rolling high. Given that the party consisted of two adventurers and a wimpy henchman, I tweaked numbers when necessary. This was especially the case with the "feral halfling" fight: the original number of "feral halflings" and "halfling madminds" appearing in the encounter was too high, guaranteeing some TPK action. But even with the correct numbers for a party of 2.5 adventurers, we felt that the "feral halflings" were too potent by half for level 2 mooks: their poison dart attack did both damage and "dazed (save ends)" on the first attack and then knocked targets "unconscious (save ends)" if they failed their first save against the poison.

The other fights went better . . . well, for certain values of better. The dark elf wizard found a ring of defense in the ruins of a blue dragon lair. Good. But in taking the ring he triggered the lair's magical defenses. Bad. The adventurers cleverly used a "Ray of Frost" ritual to cross a gaping chasm by constructing an ice bridge, and they deftly avoided the dangers of the Swamp of Flame Spurts (with its perilously close-to-copyright-violating Vermin of Unusual Size). Good. But the gnome rogue didn't see the otyugh in time and came within a single hit point of being swallowed alive. Bad.

The deadliest battle was the one with the emaciated owl bear. The creature was too much for a pair of adventurers and their henchman. So when it rolled a natural 20 on its attack against the henchman, I ruled that the owl bear treated the henchman like a strongman treats a phone book. The hungry creature got to return to its lair with half a henchman and the adventurers got to live to fight another day. Owl bears in 13th Age are creatures of respect.

I'm switching the game to Wednesday nights starting October 9th. We'll see if going head to head with the D&D Next Encounters crowd allows us to seduce a few folks to the 13th Age Side of the Force.

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