D&D Day at Infinitas May 2009

23rd May 2009 saw Infinitas host D&D day again. Games started around 9:30am and most finished around 3pm. We had 4 parties / tables play in one session. We set up in the arcade in front of the shop, which works well as Saturdays are quiet and this allows plenty of room without crowding the shop. At appropriate times tables took breaks, being in the heart of Parramatta we are surrounded by take-aways to source coffee and food.
The 5th level module provided by Wizards of the Coast was titled Journey Through The Silver Caves. They sponsored the event as a product launch of Monster Manual 2 and the module featured monsters from this rulebook.
Players got to keep the miniature of the character they played. DMs got to keep the miniatures of the monsters and the module. We also had some extra miniatures which we shared out amoung the players as each table finished.
The DMs were all experienced and it was interesting to see their different styles. Various aids were seen employed during the games - various cards and transperancies, little fluffy balls as markers and red sticky dots attached to characters once they were bloodied.
One party almost all died in the final encounter, with all characters bloodied and out of healing, but with a lucky roll (critical hit) they just survived to complete the dungeon. Another party survived to the same point but it was the monster who rolled better, resulting in a total party killed. From this it appears it was a well balanced module.
Thank you to those who contributed tables or chairs for use on the day, and thank you to the Dungeon Masters who ran the games. All involved appeared to enjoy the day.
Our next D&D day will be September 2009. Contact the shop for details.

Making the most of failure

The party set off upon the raft. They followed the orc in the canoe along the river and beneath the cathedral of overhanging trees. The flow was slow, but there was an immense unstoppable power in the chill deep black waters.

The warlord and the barbarian were paddling with improvised paddles. The wizard was standing on the prow keeping the distant orc in sight. The rouge was looking for landmarks, while at the same time, attempting to decipher the map found on the orc body in the first cave. The paladin was holding everyone’s stuff, including his own freshly repaired suit of armour. He’d wisely decided not to put it on until the end of the voyage.

Before too long the river’s meandering flow began to pick up speed. From somewhere not far downstream they could hear the ominous thunder of rapids! They hit the first patch of turbulent water when the raft rounded a narrow bend in the river. All on board managed to hold fast, except for the dragon born thief, who pitched head first into the deep black waters. She barely managed to stay afloat. Acting quickly, the paladin threw a rope out to the thrashing dragonkin. Meanwhile, the warlord looked up from his paddling and saw the raft was on a collision course with a large rock. Travelling at this great speed, the impact would surely destroyed the flimsy craft and doom all to drowning. He yelled a warning and began to furiously back paddle, the barbarian followed his lead, and they managed to narrowly avoid the giant monolith. As they swept past, the warlord overreached and tumbled into the swirling cauldron of the river. Now with only one oarsman, the raft began an uncontrolled spin. The paladin’s rope began to loop out and around the raft in a long lazy spiral.

Despite the thunder of the cascade the wizard, with his keen feyborn hearing, noticed the wailing of forlorn spirits! He checked to make sure his warlord friend could swim in the turbulent current, and then he asked the voices what was wrong. He was answered by a vision of despair. He calmed the spirits with his voice, assuring them that he and his friends would drive the evil from the river.

Suddenly the tumultuous waters subsided. The river flowed into a wide and calm section of the river. The bedraggled rouge and warlord clambered back onboard; as they did so the raft came to a shuddering halt...

Motto of the story: Skill challenges are usually most fun when someone rolls successive “ones”. In this case the warlord rolled a 1 when taking an endurance check to navigate the raft. This meant a critical failure so I decided he would need to roll and athletics or acrobatics (whichever was better) check to see wether he tumbled into the water, and he rolled another 1; and pitched head first into the cascading river. He was then faced with making a successful swim check or drowning. He passed. For which I was thankful; as I was hoping all players would make it to the last encounter.

From D&D World Games Day Encounter 3
Story by Jim Paterson, one of the DMs on the day.