Session 3: Golbin Greed and Kobold Kings
So after a misadventure with too powerful hobgoblins the troop decided to press their luck with the remaining goblins who'd barred themselves in the Chieftain's room. Picking the lock with absolutely no effort on the thief’s part, the fighter burst into the room just as the goblins were arguing fiercely about something or another. The Chieftain’s mates quickly latched onto the adventurers as the guards and chieftain beat on them, but in short order the guard was dispatched. Without too much trouble the mates were also dispatched, save one, whom the fighter decided to grapple with and use to threaten the Chieftain. The Chieftain's response was to run like hell, leaving women and children behind. Completely baffled and caught by surprise the goblin mates ended up riding the dwarf fighter into unconsciousness despite his best efforts to shake her... the dice gods were cruel.
The wizard and cleric rounded up the Chieftain in short order. Ray of frost we’ve discovered is the only way to stop anyone from running away besides some sort of tripping contest or ball bearings, which makes me think that OAs are not so bad. Anyway they tediously questioned the Chieftain using comprehend languages and some interesting charades, to find the location of every copper in the goblin warrens. Fortunately, the thief finally got frustrated and stabbed him.
What to do with 7 goblin children. Sell them obviously. First the brought them to the church, but the church didn't want them. So they decided to take a shortcut through the alleys to the market to see if anyone wanted some ugly servants. After a run-in in the alley with a beggar, and then a mugger, the thief used his Thieves Cant to learn the location of the local guild. The party managed to sell the goblin children for 1gp each and three doses of poison. If you’re wondering why they got such a good deal given that poison sells for 100gp, its because poison now sucks. It does 1d4 damage that you can save against with a Con check DC 11, yeah, that’s totally worth the cost of 2 healing potions! Boooooo! Here take three. I also let them changed up all their money and random items to a gold standard for a rounding fee that was somewhere between 5-10%.
After the shopping montage the party went back to the cave, this time for the kobolds. This was an interesting playtest for the rogue. For good measure I added in some more traps and locked doors using the same DCs given. What a pile of pointless nonsense. The thief has a +3 skill check using dex for a +6 total and uses 10 as a minimum dice roll for checks. What this means is he automatically picks any lock or trap presented in the campaign or purchasable in the how-to guide. I'll see how this scales... but that was annoying.
So Kobolds… First thing happens is they're ambushed, kobolds get advantage but every round at least two die from auto damage by wizard and fighter. They were really weak, but nevertheless they managed to nearly take down the group twice. It all comes down to surprise. The kobolds get advantage with superior numbers so the attacks have to count in the first few rounds or they have no chance, since this is how kobolds roll, it was fun to have them hit and scatter… and now the PCs level up.
By act of map (meaning as they drew the map based on my description they picked directions that wouldn't send them off the edge of their paper), they ended heading straight for the kobold leader. That was such a fun yet short lived battle. The kobold dragonshields really surprised them with their toughness in comparison to the others, even the goblins lacked anything close to the defenders. They defended giving disadvantage to anyone who attacked a nearby ally. This made them prime targets to divide and kill. It would have been easier with some abilities to slow/stop movement, but it didn’t last long enough to matter. The wizard again saved the day with his AoE fire x2.
The chieftain left and half the party down, the thief slashed across his eyes blinding him as he was (not permanently, but I was letting the blood blind him as he couldn't wipe it away and was restrained by the fighter). The party again looted and decided this would be a good place to rest.
What I've discovered is that the enemies seem to have more clear advantageous tactics than powers. This I like as you get a feel for how goblins fight or kobolds fight, and then there are a few elite troops in each. It plays very well and the players learn to adapt. For example it's sometimes better run, focus attacks, or spread out depending on what type of creatures you're fighting. The fighter now doing two actions (attacks) per round really makes him feel better and the cleric's smiting was nice too. The wizard’s spells were more utilitarian which struck a nice balance too. Anyway, best session yet, players are coming around to the system and I’m getting the hang of adjudicating all the random things players may try to do. Fortunately I’m playing with players who understand that because something worked this time doesn’t mean it will work next time, as this is a playtest and sometimes an on the spot judgement may be determined to be unbalanced later.