I had the pleasure of having my friend ChattyDM come over to my house and DM the first scene of Kobold Love for my regular group of players.
We had a few unfortunate last-minute absentees from our group – notedly, our regular DM couldn’t be there.
Since we were short two players, we opted for two of our players to handle two characters each, making sure that all role were covered and that Chatty didn’t have to mess with his scenario to bring it down to four players.
I’ll start by saying that we had *lots* of fun. I expected that Phil would fit in perfectly with our goofy gang and I was pleased to be right!
We played the first scene and it was pretty good! It didn’t run without a few hitches – more on that later – but it really was a refreshing episode.
The scene was basically a short introduction to the kobold races, a short roleplay session with the kobold oracle and a huge (short) fight.
Chatty was pretty good in setting up the mood – only a few minutes had passed and we were all in some sort of cavernous auditorium that somewhat felt like a Klingon courtroom. Various aggressive creatures came on and challenged us.
I had the pleasure of finally witnessing a skill challenge – which was seamlessly integrated to the scenario. Well… near seamlessly… It would have been seamless, had I not blurted out: « Oh, so that‘s how you do skill challenges! ».
The situation soon came out of control and battle ensued.
The combat lasted roughly two hours and was a rather exciting series of event punctuated with interactions from the crowd, kobold dropping traps and enormous monsters trapped in frozen doughnut dough (yes – we’re that silly…).
All in all, as previously said, lots of fun.
The fight went on for longer than anticipated, mostly for two reasons:
- We really like to goof off
- We had trouble getting used to the characters
Our group has played 4th edition for two sessions and we played only two sessions so far. So, while we’re used with the fluff and roles of most classes (nearly 10 years of 3rd edition experience), we weren’t used to the powers and tactics of the characters we had.
Not only that, but our characters were of 5th level – so we had even more options and equipment to get a grip on.
Doubly so for Martin and I – the two players who decided they were comfortable enough to handle it. To be fair, Martin handled it much better than I did – I kept fumbling with power cards, having a hard time deciding what to do (not to mention roleplay :P)
Nevertheless, we plowed through and manage to show the denizens of the dungeon we call home that were were mighty champions, worthy of the prophecy.
Most notable aspects:
- The skill challenge(s). At any time, the players could play the crowd for some pleasing bonuses. This talks to the role players who might enjoy tactical combat a bit less. It really contributed a lot to the atmosphere.
- The kobold traps. Huge fun. Especially since Chatty made us describe what the traps actually were. I was a bit out of creative juice by the time I used the power and Chatty had to help me out… but how else could we end up with a trap made of Grandma Kobold Doughnut Recipe Mix? Or catapults throwing bags full of small explosives?
In retrospect, handling multiple characters was too much of a chore… at least for me – Martin seemed to handle it rather well. It really was a hurdle for my role-playing.
Chatty made me realize that, as players, we weren’t much descriptive with our attacks anymore. We really got more into the tactical part of it – I move this and that square, I use this or that power, I rolled that number…
When he figured we were a bit overwhelmed by the unfamiliar characters, he also helped us out by suggesting a few tactics and moves.
All in all, I think that I’m still stuck in « meta game » mode where I think more in terms of powers and squares: My fighter (I can’t remember the borborygmus that served as its name) was standing atop a giant mushroom and moved one square towards its enemy to use Reaping Strike on it. Phil hinted: « you could just jump down from the mushroom and stab the creature with your spear… » Oh yeah! That sounds much cooler that « moving one square, using two movement points because its difficult terrain ».
All in all, I had a lot of fun – and I probably could’ve played for a few more hours 🙂
I guess it would’ve paid if I had prepared a bit more with the characters.
Probably like when playing music: its only when you’ve practiced your song often enough to play them by heart that you can truly start working on performing.
Hopefully, we didn’t frighten Phil too much with our crude humor and we’ll be having him guest DMing for us again 😛