I’m a sucker for a good adventure, and I love D&D. So when I heard about officially sanctioned D&D Encounters being run at Ace Comics in Annerley, I decided to embark on a quest to see what it was all about. When I arrived and explained that I wanted to play the encounter, I was warmly welcomed and ushered over to the gaming table. There I met Wiggy who was our Dungeon Master, Craig who played a Halfling Barbarian and Shay who played a Halfling Rogue. After a bit of chat to introduce myself and get to know the group we were ready to begin.
This was also my first time playing Fourth Edition D&D. I had previously switched directly from 3.5 D&D to Pathfinder, but I have also been curious about how Fourth Edition plays for a while now. The answer is that it plays at a pretty fast pace. The encounter was frantic and action-packed compared to a lot of games I have been in, which impressed me. There are things about 4E which still seem odd to me, but overall I enjoyed it a lot.
Korzon – Human Cleric
Our adventure began in a dark stairwell; I was a valiant human cleric accompanying two Halflings. Because I joined while the others were half-way through a story arc, my cleric presumably appeared out of thin air and confused the heck out of the two Halflings. Nonetheless we approached the top of the stairwell and exited into a large room with windows which revealed that we were inside a precarious tower, and it was stormy outside. Very stormy, so stormy in fact that the windows imploded and bolts of lightning reached INSIDE the tower. To make the chaotic scene even more intimidating, the bolts of lightning turned out to be lightning elementals who wanted nothing more than to fry us to death, and so combat had begun!
We all chose an enemy and squared off against them, but the nimble rogue had combat initiative and zipped around the room stabbing the elementals from behind (as any good rogue should). My cleric was soaking up a lot of damage but was unable to deal much in return. I was playing a Battlepriest of the Storm God and all of my high-level powers dealt ineffective lightning damage, so apparently the Storm God was against me in this case.
Things got serious when our barbarian was cornered and in severe trouble. The rogue took a break from whizzing around the room killing things to back him up but to no avail, he was dropped. Sensing that someone was in need of a bandage dispenser I used what little healing powers I had left to get our barbarian back on his feet, which proved wise because he immediately made a spectacular charge attack and destroyed one elemental.
Valiant Combat – In Progress
Even after all of this valiant combat we were still outnumbered and outgunned, so our party reformed at the center of the room and attempted to hold off the last of the elementals. The barbarian and I hunkered down in our places and fought defensively while the more agile rogue slipped behind enemy lines and provided flanking advantage. But all of our cunning strategy was not enough to save the barbarian. He had already been injured, and eventually fell once again. The rogue and I fought back to back as fast as we could, but the barbarian bled out just as we were about to clean up the last enemy.
It was an extremely close combat; one which I’m sure was very tragic for our characters, who had just lost a comrade. We were all really pleased with the game, even Craig didn’t mind losing his barbarian too much, and the rest of us enjoyed having such a neck-and-neck battle. We weren’t done yet however, from across the table the dramatic voice of the Dungeon Master boomed. After nobly looting the corpse of our deceased companion and climbing the crumbling staircase in the center of the tower, we reached the roof and were about to fight the fiercest foe yet… next week. Yep we ended on a cliff-hanger, a classic way to end a D&D session.
All in all it was an awesome event, and a well spent evening. One thing I will definitely say about Fourth Edition D&D is that it’s easy to learn and perfectly suited to no-frills, social games. Exactly the sort provided by D&D encounters, if you ever have a Wednesday evening free and are nearby Ace Comics and Games in Annerley, I highly recommend heading over and having a go.
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