Module AGLA1-1: Aglarond: Lost Temple of the Fey Gods (1-4) (High Difficulty)
Characters:Kryla Bloodfang (Matt) - Level 1 Dragonborn Sorcerer (Cosmic)
Rhogar Bloodfang (Bryan) - Level 4 Dragonborn Fighter (Great Weapon)
Vanri - Level 2 Genasi Stormsoul Swordmage
Pak'Cha - Level 1 Thri-Keen Shaman (Dark Sun Pregen)
Hooo boy. This was a doozy.
We knew in advance that it was this DM's first time running LFR. And I want to mention in advance that he did a great job for a first-timer. Anyway, we started out with an abundance of players, and an extra DM who just wanted to watch. With such a large party, it looked like we were going to breeze through the session. We did our introductions, found the plot hook, and were just about to leave town when... another player showed up.
This put us over the max limit, but we had an extra DM so we split into two tables. Ours was the "high" table, because we had the only Level 4 character (Rhogar), even though there were only four of us and most of us were Levels 1 and 2. One of our players (Pak'Cha) had never played 4e before. He still impressed us with his strategies (especially since he was playing a complicated class), but it still put us at a disadvantage.
The first encounter was a bunch of skill challenges. We had to entertain some creatures. And not a bard in the group. Rhogar thought it would be funny to throw his sister Kryla up into the air. Rhogar nailed his Fastball Special roll, but Kryla fumbled the landing. The good news is, that probably made it even more delighting to our audience.
Without wanting to go into too much detail for those who haven't played the module, there were three more encounters in the session (all combat). They took a lot longer than they probably should have. Now, I would have expected the combination of small/low-level party + high difficulty + 1 new player + newbie DM to equal a long session. Not to mention we had a lot of bad die rolls, which wasted some of our best attacks.
However... the game was scheduled for 12:00 to 4:00. We got out of there sometime well after seven. We had fun, and if it weren't for real-life concerns (we were hungry and Bryan needed to walk his dogs), we would have been happy to play all night. But as it was, the nearly double-length session made us a little impatient towards the end. But I don't blame anyone. I think both players and DM did a great job, all things considered.
Btw, this was our first time playing at The Next Level Games in Rivergate. It is very nice, clean, and surprisingly large. I know gaming stores tend to do poorly, but I really hope this one manages to stay in business for a long time.
Rewards: 560 XP & 100 GP