Saturday, December 6, 2014

Friday Night Gaming Recap, or "I only have seven hit points?"

We decided to add a game night to this month so we could try another go-around with Fifth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons.  We've got two new players in the group, two who played in the first trial session of D&D Next (I hate that name).  That raises the pool of potential players to ten.

For Friday, however, we had seven people show up to play.  I don't have any photographs, but we began the module The Crucible of Freya by Goodman Games, converted to 5E.  Goodman had released a 5E version of the mini-prequel to The Crucible, called The Wizard's Amulet, which we had done the last time I ran 5E.  Converting the module isn't too hard, except that orcs have changed a lot in two editions.  I think they might be a little undervalued at a CR 1/2 monster, given that when they hit with their greataxes, they are doing 1d12+4 damage, which is usually enough to drop a first-level PC.  With 15 hit points themselves, fighting an orc is usually a matter of who hit whom first to see who loses.

I did an introductory skirmish to see how powerful orcs are.  Three orcs knocked two out of seven PC's to 0 hit points in the fight, which informed me a lot.  After that much of the session was spent with the PC's wandering about the town of Fairhill, where the adventure takes place.  After the crucible was stolen in an orc raid, the PC's chased the orc raiders down, killed them (taking advantage of a surprise round), and brought the crucible back.  At that point we had hit the end of the gaming session, and so decided to postpone raiding the orcs' lair until the next session.

There's a whole different feel to combat in 5E for players who were used to playing level 12-15 PC's in 4E.  Before people could just jump into combat willy-nilly figuring they were tough enough to take whatever was dished out (or at least could coordinate with the group without difficulty).  Now the group is being forced to be careful, scout enemies, etc.  That feels more reminiscent of earlier editions, and I like the edgy feeling of concern (if not terror) that it brings with it.

More on what I'll do with ten players later.

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