Saturday, December 20, 2008

LFR - The Black Knight of Arabel

To date, Bryan and I have played in two "Living Forgotten Realms" games. We signed up through the Warhorn site, after learning of it through the LFR Nashville Yahoo Group.

12/20/08 - The Game Keep
Module CORM-1 - "The Black Knight of Arabel"

Rhogar (Bryan) - Level 1 Dragonborn Fighter (GreatAxe)
Voranna Elun (Matt 1) - Level 1 Eladrin Ranger (Archer)

The maximum number of people showed up for this game, so the DM ran it under a harder difficulty, which meant more XP at the end. This session had a lot more roleplay aspects to it than the first one, but LFR is still a combat game. We did a lot of running around the city and asking people questions, and I even got to fix an old woman's roof. It required an Athletics check and an Acrobatics check, both of which Voranna is trained in. The DM said it was the first time in his experience that a player had succeeded in both checks.

So there was at least some story factor this time. In fact, at one point we started to get so far off track, that the DM had to subtly guide us back to the storyline.

The funniest thing to happen this session - There was a NPC donkey present at one of our combat encounters. One of the monsters tried to walk behind the donkey, causing the donkey to kick (attack of opportunity). The donkey rolled a crit, killing the monster instantly.

It's difficult to explain this without spoilers, but at one point we met a cursed man (think Ghost Rider), and we helped him to break that curse. The final encounter took place in a church (IIRC), and the boss was up on stage. I used my teleport ability to get up on stage, but was immediately knocked back off the stage by one of his spells. That hit was the most damage I've taken in the LFR games so far. I even had to use my second wind. But we survived, and someone else got to be the hero this time.

We each received 560 XP. We both took the same rewards package: 175 gold.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

LFR - The Rotting Ruins of Galain

11/22/08 - The Game Keep
Module AKAN1-1 - "The Rotting Ruins of Galain"

Rhogar (Bryan) - Level 1 Dragonborn Fighter (GreatAxe)
Voranna Elun (Matt 1) - Level 1 Eladrin Ranger (Archer)

This was the first time either of us had played 4th Edition.

There were four or five other players in our group. We started out by going around the table and introducing ourselves. Bryan and I were a bit short on background information, so that was a little embarrassing. I don't remember much about the other players, except that one was playing a Gnoll. I also remember that one of the players wasn't really into it, and kept getting distracted. He was paying more attention to his phone than to the game, and sometimes when it was his turn, he would answer with an "I don't care, whatever" attitude. This pissed a couple of the other players off, but I was glad because it kept the attention away from my newbie-ness.

My first impression of the game itself - it felt more like a board game than a role-playing game. But that's probably just because of the time constraints of the LFR games. I only remember one encounter that involved roleplaying. I don't want to post any spoilers for those who might play the module in the future, but it involved interrogating a goblin.

I had drawn up the character sheets for both Bryan and myself, along with a power spreadsheet in lieu of power cards. I did a bit of the math wrong - I had Bryan's greataxe doing double-damage for a while. Chalk it up to bad handwriting: I had written 1d12 someplace, but it looked like 2d12, and I'd kept copying it over from that source to fill out his power descriptions. But the DM was nice about it; he didn't make Bryan reroll anything. (But for this reason, I'm very glad for the new Character Builder program. There's just too many factors in determining damage, and it's nice to have a computer figure it out for me.)

There was some confusion between me and the DM on whether you can move and attack in the same turn. The DM seemed to think that any time you move and attack in the same turn, that's charging. But in the RAW, you can make a move action (up to your speed) and a standard action (most powers & attacks) in the same turn. That's a fairly basic thing for the DM not to know, but I will concede that it might have just been a communication error.

As an archer in a group of mostly melee fighters, I didn't take very much damage at all. Which is good, because I wasn't doing much damage either. My "Twin Strike" At-Will Power confused me, so I mostly relied on "Careful Attack", which grants a +2 attack bonus, but it actually does less damage than a basic attack. I also kept forgetting about my Encounter Powers, so I missed a lot of opportunities to be more helpful to the party. But this is how we learn.

While I may have been ineffective for most of the session, I ended up being the hero of the game. On the final encounter, the boss fired off some sort of area effect spell. I was on the opposite side of the AoE, a good 15 squares away, and the only way to reach him was to move through the affected area, or shoot across it. I stayed where I was. Once all his minions were dead and the boss was bloodied, I decided to use my Daily Power. I fired off my "Hunter's Bear Trap" ranged attack (2d10+5) from across the battlefield. Crit! The 25 damage finished him off. Later I realized I had forgotten to make him my Quarry, which would have added even more damage. A moot point, really.

All in all, it was a great time.