Sunday, February 27, 2011

Itropa and Dusk

Game Date: 2/26/2011  
DM: Matt

The Party (Level 5):

Amnesis (Jesse) - Based on Human Psion.  Amnesis looks like a child, but is actually suffering from an aging condition. 

Salador (Nick) - Based on an Earthsoul Genasi Swordmage. Salador is an intelligent mass of stones. His mind came into being at the end of the last war, when an EMP burst caused several strange effects across the continent.

Sycconus (Bryan) - Based on Dragonborn Paladin. Sycconus is a member of a reptilian alien race called the Scallen. He's a shock trooper / battle medic, from a long line of Scallen warriors. His Divine Challenge ability is now called "Psychic Taunt": He uses psychic powers to mentally compel his enemies to focus on him. This telepathic taunt is so powerful that it actually causes his enemies pain if they attack someone else instead.

X42 (Rick) - Based on Drow Executioner. The Drow as a race don't really exist in Itropa, but of course you can pick any race and justify it through their background. X42 is an experimental prototype clone, grown in a lab. He was created by a criminal organization known as the Inner Eye, and was designed to be the perfect assassin. But X42 was too strong-willed to stay under their thumb, and he escaped. He has the natural ability to control shadows by absorbing light rays (Cloud of Darkness).

This is the first PnP game I've run based on Itropa, a cheesy sci-fi world I created for NeverWinter Nights.  You can find more information about the world in this blog.  I briefly considered running it using Gamma World, but in the end I decided to just use plain ol' D&D 4e, and reflavor everything.

I went a bit overboard with the props. I'm used to gaming on Saturdays, so when a few sessions were canceled in a row, I just didn't know what to do with myself. So I got into my wife's crafting stuff and played around. That's how I ended up with the hovering transport, the gravestones, and some of the other 3D elements. I used Star Wars dungeon tiles for a couple of the encounters.

I was a bit nervous at first - I hadn't been a DM in nearly a year, and I'd only DMed for people who had less D&D experience than I do.  But I think it went pretty well.

I was hoping for about 6 players, but we only had 4, with no Leader role.  So for the first encounter, I used the minimum number of bad guys, and nerfed a couple of their more powerful moves.  My players blew through it with just a few scratches, so I went ahead and used the maximum difficulty for the next two encounters.  Encounter 2 worked out pretty well; it was just hard enough to nearly drop one of them, but they still managed to get through it in a reasonable amount of time.  Encounter 3 may have been too difficult for this party.  All of them were bloody by the end, and the battle took a very long time.  I finally allowed them to use a skill-based solution to terminate the last few enemies.  There was supposed to be a fourth combat encounter, but we ran out of time and had to end the session.

I'm not going to post any specific details about this adventure just yet, because I might end up running it again.  I'll post all my notes from the module at a later date. But in the meantime, here's some pictures from the session (click to enlarge):

XP Rewards:
Encounter 1: 500+62+100=662
Encounter 2: 380+200+400=980
Encounter 3: 400+600+350=1350
Total 2992 XP
748 XP Each

After the game, a few of us weren't quite ready to call it a night, so we played a short game at Bryan's house.  We decided to have everyone roll up Essentials classes.  Bryan played a Half-Elf Hexblade, Rick played a Longtooth Shifter Knight, and Misty played an Eladrin Mage.  Misty doesn't get to play very often, so I looked around for an adventure she'd enjoy.  I finally chose to run "Dusk", which is a 4e Twilight parody written by Gabe of Penny Arcade.  We only got through two of the three encounters before we had to call it a night, but they did manage to save the character they were supposed to save.  The bad guys got away, though.

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