Welcome back guys,
Here I’ll tell you guys about my very first character in this system and our very first real campaign as previous sessions was just one shot encounters that either the DM was still new playing the mechanic of the game or was just reluctant to even run. Each time I played in those one shots, the DM always tried to tpk (Total Party Kill) every time. Which as a DM myself don’t believe in that style of play. I believe that players should have challenges but those challenges should not be deadly every single encounter. Whether they be fights (monsters and the like), traps or talking encounters.
Like for example 5 players against 5 bandits should be a fair fight right? But with many DMs I had met prior to playing this campaign 5 vs 5 battles were near or very impossible to defeat. And even if you managed to defeat them the reward was very low.
The standard experience points for fighting bandits is 25 per bandit but since the experience points are divided among all players (that survive?) it means the fight was only worth 25 exp. In the older system of D&D to level up to level 2 was 2000 if it was a normal campaign 1500 for a quicker campaign (as you can see I didn’t say Easy/Easier) and 4000 for a hard campaign (this was for longer campaigns with heavy lore involved but not many players were able to use such lore at all whether it be for good or bad plays). In every campaign I played, I was only ever awarded 10 exp per bandit and the bandits were tough to beat. Like having superly ridiculous powers or hit points or was some kind of demon. For all of our trouble, we only ever got 10 exp so back in the day I was very reluctant in playing D&D at all. But enough about the crappy past, let’s start with the new experience I had in this system of 4th edition D&D.
Now my first character was a Barbarian, a dragonborn barbarian. We all started at level 1 and I was the striker in the group. Meaning when we were deciding who got to play what I was lucky enough to play the one who would deal the most damage. But unfortunately the character only lasted 2 encounters. It was one session of Scales of War campaign. The first session was held on a public holiday when the store I now play at was closed for the whole day. The DM was my good friend Caps and had planned a 6 hour long one shot D&D session. I brought along my good friends Josh and Chris as well as the crazy amount of snacks. Another good friend of ours was Andy and Caps had brought along his friend Aaron. I hadn’t known Aaron at the time but we did need a fifth player to make the game even. So here are the details of all of our characters:
Me: Dragonborn Barbarian, who worshipped Bahamut god of protection and Justice
Josh: Tiefling Mage; who worshipped Sune goddess of Beauty and the Arcane
Chris: Human Swordmage; who was named John Doe (forever known as John Doe)
Andy: Elf Druid; who worshipped Silvanus god of nature
Aaron: Dryad Warlord; I don’t actually remember who he worshipped but I think it may have been the same a the Druid. Not Sure it’s been a while and I dont have that character sheet anymore. Probably lost in my room or thrown out from the last clean up we did.
Caps had also asked us beforehand to write a backstory. I still have it and it was the first time I ever wrote any kind of creative piece that wasn’t for school or Uni. I went a little overboard and wrote a 5 page back story. That was probably the start of my interest and obsession in all things writing. (I will post that Back story in a different post “Barbarian Back story”)
Both Caps and I had high hopes for that character as he had already started a story route for me. But contrary to our belief he died straight away. It was just bad luck on my end as I wasn’t able to hit the monsters at all in the second encounter.
His stats were actually good as I was a Min-Max player at the time due to all of the experiences I had prior. But here is the recount of the events that day.
We all started in a tavern in the town of Brindol in the Adventure of Rescue at Rivenroar. We had our introductions and few interactions with the bar and the people inside to set the proper tone of the situation. Then all of a sudden crash, the wall of the building explodes with goblins raiding the tavern and town. Most of us were pretty ready to handle the situation as we managed to roll high enough on our Insight or Perception to see or sense what was coming. Our Elf was the only one to fail in the check and was behind and startled.
Then we all rolled for initiative, and this was the start of where the Winston Roll came to be and started to be call “The Winston”. If you are wondering what a Winston is, it is when a player (usually me or most commonly me) rolls a natural 2 on a 20 sided-die or d20. I got the lowest intiative but I was able to act during the surprise round just last. The initiative order is as follows:
Warlord = 1st,
Goblins = 2nd,
Druid = 3rd
Mage = 4th
Swordmage = 5th
Human rabble = 6th
Me (Barbarian) = 7th
Everyone at the table including me was laughing at my crappy roll. Saying I suck and what not. Then in the Suprise round we reacted to the goblins by either attacking the pests or just equiping our weapons. I shot 2 of the goblins with my lightning breathe. There were 12 goblins and 10 human civilians. The goblins were here to kill and harrass the town through a raid. Since I was a a character that believed in protecting the weak I rushed to block the monsters from getting in further to allow the citizen to escape. Our Swordmage was more interested in looting the tavern and the Mage was more interested in escaping with her life. The Warlord on the other hand couldn’t care less to humans as she too had a conflicting relationship with them. So in the suprise round I was the only one to attack the menance. I also had to convince the Mage to aid me and was successful. Rolled a 19 on my check to get the Mage to aid in stopping the immediate threat. The Swordmage also helped after he had finished the looting the coins on the tables. After the first round all of us were in combat with the goblins and the Mage was the most effective as she was able to kill 2 to 3 goblins at a time. I managed to hold one of the bigger goblins with the help of the Druid and the Swordmage. The Warlord by round 2 was using her support powers to make us more effective. By the 4th round we had finished depatching the little nuisance and found out that outside there was another threat. We had no time to take short rests so many of our powers and abilities weren’t recharged/replenished. We had been healed during the fight and many of us didn’t to be healed.
Here in the secound encounter is were my dragonborn Barbarian dies. The encounter was us (5 level 1 characters) verse 3 goblins on a wagon and an ogre. Now an ogre is a level 8 monsters and would have slaughtered us but the balancing conditions were that the monster could not move from the wagon it was chained to. So naturally I charged the creature. I was playing the Barbarian the way it should be played (at least in my opinion). My friends Aaron, Josh and Andy were using their range attacks to defeat the ogre. While Chris and I decided to handle the creatures on the wagon via melee. I on the other hand had a lot of hit points (well I thought I did in the least) to just take on the monstrous ogre one on one. It was going well until I started getting a stroke of bad rolls. I kept rolling lower than a 7 each turn. So I would miss the creature by either 1, 2 or 3 points.
Now you all might be saying “how did you know the creature’s AC or defences? Were you cheating or meta gaming, perhaps?”. Well the answer to the first question is Caps our DM kept hinting it with his fingers everytime I missed. And no, of course I wasn’t cheating (or meta gaming). We all figured it out after someone missed with an 18 but hit with a 19. So the target to hit was 19 for AC. All of my attacks were against AC so I didn’t care about the other defences. Will was very easy to hit as our mage constantly hit with every attack. And since the creature was an ogre we all assumed that its Fortitude was very high.
After the 4th round of combat, I had been bloodied (which means I had taken damage equal to or greater than my maximum hit points) luckily only the swordmage had taken damage as well but he had used his second wind to heal himself instead of attacking that turn. I hadn’t used my second wind at this moment as I was “instructed” to keep up the good work (even though I had only hit the sucker twice). I think at the time everyone including me had forgotten that the ogre couldn’t move. I continued the assault.
Once the 6th round of combat had started, the warlord (our designated healer) was out of healing and I had about 2 hp left. So I decided to retreat, just before the swordmage would light the wagon’s barrels aflame to set the creature on fire and kill it as well. But I needed to run away so that I too wouldn’t be blasted with the monster.
The ogre gets an opportunity attack since I was leaving a space adjacent to it. The swordmage had an ability to mark the creature and while it was marked he would make it less accurate if it attacked any creature other than him. As well as reduce the damage of the incoming attack by 7.
I tried to make a run for a safe area but the attack catches me. The damage was 9 points to my hit points which was then reduced by 7 but it was still not enough. I go down. Since I was in the line of fire with the plan the guys decided not to go through with it as it would have killed me out right.
So they left the last barrel of oil on the wagon just out of reach of the ogre so that it wouldn’t be able to throw it.
Round 7, the ogre was still alive with it still not being bloodied. I make my saving throw and I succeed.
Round 8, the ogre is finally bloodied but I fail my first saving throw. If you fail 3 times you die. There was only one way for me to get back to life and that was to roll a natural 20.
Round 9, the guys were now unning out of every power they had and the ogre was still alive. Luckily it didn’t regenerate. I fail my second saving throw. Just one more and I had to make a new character.
Round 10, the ogre only had 15 or so hit points left. If combat ended here I would not have died but the druid and swordmage missed the ogre so we were only dealing 5-8 damage per turn. I succeed my saving throw. It was an 18. But what I needed was a critical to get back up.
Round 11, the ogre was on 3 hit points left and this is the round that ends my character. I failed the saving throw by 1. I rolled a 9.
After my character died. The ogre was defeated with the mage’s turn. It was only revealed to us that turn that the ogre only had 3 hp left and I just laughed at the predicament of making this character and backstory but was just not lucky enough to survive.
Well thats about it for this part of My Adventurers series. Next time I will tell you guys about the Rogue (my next character) that caused a lot of mischief. That character didn’t die for at least 2 1/2 years. My friend Josh and Caps helped me build it. So until next time.