Thursday, 21 August 2014

5th Edition first session of Tyranny of Dragons, in which KSL will become a known term...


So on Tuesday I got to play 5th edition D&D for the first time, the party consisted of my character (Dragonborn Paladin), a Dragonborn Barbarian, Half elven warlock, Half elven Bard, Half Elven Rogue, and a Human fighter.  We were playing the first part of the Tyranny of Dragons scenario and while I’m new to this particular system, I’m not new to playing, so I wasn’t thinking I was going to learn anything new in this session.

Interestingly enough, I was very wrong.

I’d read through the character creation rules enough to make a character, but not enough to minmax it or design other characters that could work alongside it to make a far more potent combination than one character alone could do.

For example, do you know that it’s possible for Rogue’s to make sneak attacks in broad daylight whilst in the middle of a ten man fight as long as they have a friendly backup within five feet who also is engaged against the same enemies?

I didn’t...

Or that it’s possible to use the cantrip of Vicious Mockery against a group of Rats (to quote the player, “It says that they don’t need to be able to understand me...”)

I didn’t...

Two weapon doesn’t need proficiency any more, you just get the second weapon and start hitting things, the only penalty is that you don’t get your bonus to attack on the second hit, no other penalties at all...

I didn’t...

I do now...

My shield’s going in the bin shortly, count on it...

So we started along the way, arriving straight away at the town that was being attacked by a Blue Dragon, and encountering a variety of Cultists and Kobolds, most of which were slaughtered out of hand by the Rogue/Bard combination doing multiple attacks and additional damage on every hit.  Meanwhile the rest of us were just racing to catch up with them and by the time we got a few civilians into the keep, the dragonborn had both expended their breath weapons and both they and the warlock needed a short rest (that’d be an hour for those not familiar), and so the Rogue/Bard combination went rampaging on through the scenario without us, now admittedly it was only to go down a tunnel and do the inital recon, but five minutes of recon took up half an hour of actual time and so we were left waiting for our abilities to come back. 

Then the revelation that almost every race in the book has Darkvision...

Except Dragonborn and Humans...

*sigh*

So, towards the end, the three of us new to the whole thing were having thoughts about the possibilities that we may have missed by just looking to make an interesting character rather than looking for combat advantage in everything. It’s been some time since I played the game and while the other players were somewhat younger than me (and so therefore probably doing the same thing I did when I was that age), it did seem like every encounter was Kill, Shank the captured, loot the dead, move to the next encounter, Kill, Shank, Loot...

Three such encounters in the first missions, and even with some of us knowing what we were doing with the game system, we’d killed more than twenty different creatures, got ourselves a hundred and fifty Xp, and spent two hours literally rolling from one encounter to the next...

So even by other estimations, there was a lot of combat in the first part of the scenario, and we didn’t have much else to do, so I’m hoping that next weeks encounter set will yield something more than Kill, Shank, Loot.  I’m not reading ahead in the scenario, even though I have it here, but I want to see these things through new eyes again.  I want to believe that there’s more to these games than KSL (as it will be henceforth known as), and I’m hoping for a chance to do something more than hitting things, so it’ll be next Wednesday when I come back with the next report...

And we’ll see how it goes... 

2 comments:

  1. I'd like more than KSL too. I think the adventure design is intended to get players, who may be new, to get to grips with the basic mechanic through some repetition to start with - and, from listening to some of the Kobold Press seminar from GenCon, to give the impression that things are tough here & that they've really stumbled into something strange.

    I may reconfigure us into three smaller groups next week, too, which can make interaction within the party work better.

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  2. All to the good either way :)

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