Of all time.
Alright, so May 21st has come and gone, and as the rapture missed our D&D group the game went on without a hitch.
(Apologies to anyone who sincerely believed that this was it; I know how that kind of thing feels, and it sucks. You have my prayers.)
So the pregame consisted mainly of working to create the numerical, “build” portion of everyone’s characters; our DM enlisted my help for that. We had a total of 4 in the party:
- Me, playing a Vrylocka Vampire who in life was the son of a noble house and the leader of some kind of Brevonian special forces. Devon Surtova, with about three other names in between the first and the family.
- Diane, one of two first-time D&D players with a Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut/Cavalier, Virtue of Sacrifice build who was on a quest to serve her deities justice after he spared her from the orcs who attacked her clan. Thankfully, this caused almost no tension despite the obvious undead in the party. “As long as you don’t sparkle, we’re good.” Heh. I think her character’s name was Ašra. I’m probably going to get in trouble later for remembering these wrong.
- Tawnya, the second first-time D&D player, with a Shifter Druid (Naara, I think her name was?) who transforms into a panther (awesome!). Nara was out on her “coming-of-age-and-finding-yourself,” quest. We were more than happy to oblige.
- And Matt, with Rolen, a Half-Elf Ranger. This was Matt’s first time playing 4th edition, coming out of some experience with 3.5. Rolen was a half-elf who grew up on a riverboat in a forest, and wanted to see more of the world (I think) and possibly put some arrows into parts of it. 🙂
- No leader, and certainly no cleric.
- Pretty much everything in the party is very iconically 4E.
Now, our DM was briefly worried that we might not have enough healing, but I had a feeling we’d be alright; there was enough temporary hitpoint generation around to help us out, and at least one of our strikers (mine) had crazy good regeneration. No worries.
We arrived at the border fort of … wow, I can’t even remember the guys name. Oleg, maybe? It sounded sort of Russian. Anyway, we came to this fort with a charter from Lord Surtova (who I noted was actually related to my character, and not that nice of a person) saying that we had the authority to explore the Green Belt and take care of any bandits we might find. And by, “take care of,” I mean, “execute.”
Oleg apparently was having a regular problem with bandits, so we decided to help him out. Thinking quickly we put together a plan – on my suggestion, Ashra and I stationed ourselves just inside the door to the fort, with the archer on one wall and the druid on the other.
We pretty much shredded the first group of bandits after pulling off a successful ambush that had the leader down on the ground after about 2 rounds. Booyah. At this point, I was feeling pretty darn good about our group, and it was time for pizza.
So then we went looking for more bandits. Eventually we found their camp, on a river – I’d guessed that they would be near the river after consulting the map, since hey, logic, if you’re camping long term you want a source of water – and after a disastrous attempt at negotiation (Ašra attempting diplomacy. “We already killed 6 of your people.” When we asked, “THAT’s what you’re going with?” She responded, “Hey, I don’t care, I wanted to fight anyway.” Not what I was expecting, but I could definitely get with that sentiment at that stage.)
- First move of the battle, Devon slips off to the left, singles out one of the bandits, and hits him with his vampiric charm, pulling him forward… straight into the pit trap that opened under his feet. Classic.
- A few rounds into the fight, a pair of drakes came out of the tents. These things were annoying as all heck – not particularly strong or anything, but they lasted WAY too long.
- On seeing our Ranger getting singled out by a bandit wielding a halberd, I burned an action point to knock my current foe backward, race over there, and hit the halberd guy with my charming gaze attack. There were cries of exultation over the good teamwork.
- Our druid, Nara, got into a fight with one of the drakes, and for a long time it was really like two cats fighting. Except one of them was a lizard.
- After taking a number of hits from the bandit archer, I burned my daily; it was swarm of bats time. One racial power later, and I was set up to invisibly take on the archer … and bought myself time to regenerate my health. Not bad. A few rounds later the archer went down. Basically it turns out that the vampire is pretty much as cool as I thought it would be (in other words, very.)
- The girls started going for dismemberment on the poor drakes. I almost felt sorry for the things.
- Or I would have, if they didn’t stick around SO LONG.
- Oh, and also? Dragonbreath set the tents on fire. It was totally cool.
All in all? It was a great game. Everyone had fun (I know I had a blast; it’s been too long since I had the chance to just PLAY without having to argue with anyone about why game X is more fun than game Y.), and I think there’ll be more to come in the future.
Verdict: 4E rules. It really, really does.