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Catch up post new Year Crystal shard D&D encounters session run in 4th ed.

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I took a brake from posting as i’m looking in to talk to type software, as you can see i often miss little words which i think is affecting understanding,  strange thing is when i read it back my brain seems to add in missing words and letters so its hard for me to proof read, this post was written “normally” so forgive mistakes , i just thought i need an update and last night game went really really well, i hope my talk to type experiment works! and you see better looking and reading posts in the future!,

SO D&D Catch up post

Crystal shard D&D encounters sessions  run in 4th ed.

After stopping thieves robbing a 2nd wear house and being reward with silvered weapons the group decide to  visit  the dwarvern valley

On leaving the town the encounter a loud mob at the speakers halls all arguing about the leadership and the current troubles affecting ten towns, they discover there will be a re-election in 3 days, barely much time to visit the dwarves and return, however none of the standees look to evil so no real problems,

Other then a storm they get to dwarf valley, with out interruption, on the pathways on the cliffs they are stopped by a “Stokely” patrol,  they talk there way in, but have their weapons taken,

On the return the dwarf encampment, zombies attack in the tunnels the party go a round with out weapons and some good improvisation,  but quickly retrieve there weapons and dispatch the zombies

The patrol bottle it as a few heros are scratched, the patrol flee in terror of the zombie plague

A mass of zombies chase the heros and the fleeing dwarves, they make exceptional  work of this skill challenge chance, ( if they pass they get to the dwarf camp if they fail another zombie fight )

The Camps doors and close to the zombies and they heros are welcomed for there help in the matter, the leader Stokely  tell the heros of the Civil war type situation they are in, but more importantly the presence of a necromancer is suspected in deeper tunnels.

They heros opt to help and explore the deep tunnels at 1st they are taunted by a shadow, but continue they find a paniced survivor dwarf who they calm and he then show them the way to the attack sights,

They enter an abandoned dwarven city area, and feel a presence in the temple,  entering the burial area the catacombs of the temple they are attacked by zombies and large spider also the wizard kessel the shadow from the prior encounter makes a showing, it’s a tough battle but and the wizard makes to flee.

As the hero’s pursue,  the Temples guardians come  to life and say on priest of Moradin or the dead  can pass,  they are the protectors of the halls of the dead

After negotiation fails the statues combine to a large construct and the fight is on,  they take down the golem and proceed into the deeper temple they encounters the Temples forge and Kessel the necromancer wizard is again reanimating dead dwarves,

They are in elemental forge room for this encounter, Zombies on one with Kessel, the hero on the other..

Before things go any further Icingdeath slithers though the tunnels, his villainous speech declares the Dwarves valley is currently under attack from Elk and Bear barbarians,   and he’s been sent to track the scent of death in the tunnels,  and recruit or destroy its source,

Kessel now declare the hero’s should work together to destroy the new threat

The hero’s are undecided the dragon moves to attack both parties , Kessel has little power over the dragon them both being dead and him dealing necrotic damage,  however during the course  of the fight several of the vats or knocked over, causing lots of burning terrain

Good use of immobilization powers do prevent much of the dragons attacks also the hero party all seem to have AC above 18,  but burning and a few hits cause some panic and also this had been a running battle of 3 chained encounters, I allowed a brief short rest.

Icing Death is burned  and Kessel declares that game has shifted  and that his attention is needed else where and promptly managed to flee again!  Plenty of opportunity to get away with lots of burning lava in the path of the heros now..

This was part 1 of my interlude,

Because of the 2 week x-mas brake I wanted something epic to return too, so Kessel and Icing Death having a little tiff seemed appropriate,

I liked the dwarves temple catacombs setting idea,  I assume dwarf cleric would probably also smith and have a forge and made for a “Hobbit movie 2”  like battle scene.

Part 2 I think the ice witch is well in control despite losing her dragon,  with her barbarians now on the rampage, I also her her cults assassins to put in to play, and heros have of yet not met Berrik, but with the zombie issue stopped I think I’ll try and wrap that string up quickly  this will turn into a tale of how hero’s and dwarves saved Ten towns

Mean of dungeon master killed 2 PC for splitting the party..

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Mean old dungeon master


So my party wanted to split last week lets see how that works for them

For my night prep I look up all the tables and encounters and pre rolled the encounters

So I knew what would happen if they stayed in town of took to the road with on of the other paths


My party in there wisdom despite all clues not too decided to split the party now it’s a large group  so it might work, we hard a party of 4 and a party of 3.. party of 3 with no healer…going with an NPC


Party A stayed in town to guard the warehouse though they had already looted the silver weapons

Party B went with the barbarian  

It was quite easy to do the split 2 combat encounters I just ran 1 round for each party  so in essence it was not to different from 1 larger encounter just that part 1 could nto interact with B and visa a versa

Now 4th ed  is long, I dont like it it much and to make matters worse I did for get my stat blocks so I was improvising with assumed AC and DCs and to hits I did remember a fair few details to be honest as I did read  if about 2 hour before.. but the act of not having that little bit of info shook me so I didn’t think to adjust the monsters numbers encountered for the smaller party  and in hind sight I should have run a chase scene.. maybe just have them loop back to the city lost in the snow kinda of force a re group.. ahh hind sight..


Any way

Group 1 fought the bandits  at the warehouse they had a umber defender with 20+ AC who took the brunt I did take him down but he did his job and took the focus of the attacks and managed to get healed

Group 2 ran in to a wolves and an ice wolf and few turns in to combat,, unfortunately they where all the squishy types.. strikers and mages so they went down fairly quickly only the ranger managed to escape


So starting tonight I’ll have them all regroup in town, and the survivor tell them of the attack on the road to the north


I’m going to kick of this week with other survivors going back to city as they have tried to leave and have the heros hunt and kill  the ice with simarclian, idea from dungeon

The heros also know a wizard is running the warehouse thugs with slim, so they might stay and help the speaker  technically  I’ve a few days to kill now before the next event,  so should have a few opportunity’s to try and give some town flavour tonight and draw in the the new pc who I killed of last week


Things I’m toying with  Undead barbarian or barbarian ghost. Hengar

Oh 2 pcs bought some black ice tickets some im going to try and unsettle them a little, they them how the other PCs thought how bad they where in the previous battles

With Witch on the road,

I advised them to take the boat to Care Koing so I can have an aquatic or pirate fight..


I really need to map out whats going to happen in the next few weeks I ment to do this but was lazy! And distracted by xmas 

pre encounters gitters (mind splurg..) rant + ideas + fears

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Crazy ness of pre week 3 D&D encounters legacy of the crystal shard 

My party are still the start town so any adventure path is possible for now we will call its Humans, Dwarves, and barbarians,

 My minds had some time to try and digest the campaign guide…

 But 1st a windge and what’s missing from the guide.. my opinion..

 If this was your 1st adventure… Who are the Harper’s… in the world who knows about the harpers, are they trusted?

The campaign guide assume knowledge of the forgotten realms,  now since 4th ed.. I though a few factions like the Zents and harpers had kinda died out.. have they? Do the public know about them will the recognize the symbol?  Is it DC 20 DC 10 to know of them are they know as good? Neutral? Etc.. i kept my options open they found the badge by braking in and looting/searching  the body after a fail stop the murders had to stop by to many pc casualties and NPC guard intervention , i like that the broke in to the crime scene again though :-)


one path has them Introduce them to barbarian way of life…??? what is this.. is there a greeting rite? Do women fight? how to they take non merchant strangers? especially after an attack? i feel this should give some expansion the guide cover so much its barely has time for these details that matter for details that might not matter like there are ten towns will i visit all ten really?  in what less then 9 weeks … and some dungeons taking more then 1 week and x-mas brake.. and even if time was unlimited.. give me some focus point…

Harvest tide festival, what is this? Is there any thing unique about it? Whos the major player priests? Merchants? Locals? Is its games is it somber affair? Whats the special about this event? something uniquely icewind dale be nice .. even a basic Festive guide and DC check type enc would be nice ..

Winter Squall.. whats this.. just weather some sourt fo DC checks to what effect?

The ram is shaped like Errtu, none drizzit reader who what is Errtu?..grr.. i read the 1st 3 novel and maybe a few extra but not many kinda fancy going back but reading 9 novels in this timeline is not now possible for background info …

Black Ice,… what is this.. is it an iron how is it melded shaped? How long do the effect takes? some of these question might be cover but not much considering its a major player ….vs npc it has this effect vs your PC you decide how it manifests try these examples.. would have been nice.. considering how much we have to generate  each week.. compared to  other encounters sessions e.g Could it be compared to charm? If takes you so far then you shake out of its effects depending on time exposed..  how much little do you need? A ring? Armour?

 Bit of a brain fart there but there are some open question I like open questions i like making it my own  but I also like my work life DM balance its asking more of me then I would like some times,.previous encounter sessions i could almost turn up unprepared.. thats not great DMing, but its buildable upon able.. the Caracas of the adventure here is bare in comparison previously we had stuffing of which we could add gravy now we are require to stuff and add gravy .. i may be panicking little im not sure yet week 3.. for many week 2.. 

2nd or 3rd .. is the lay out as its Ten towns,, its hard to read about towns my heros might no visit .. Baldurs gate was a nice read… and it all fit but with days travel between towns which do I need to read and focus on,,.,which do i not.. 


the info seems much less them Bgates in comparison but much larger in scope it missed the key difference that make icewind dale special the relation ships and rituals of the barbarians and dwarves .. i think even more could have been given over to weather and getting lost  in the tundra 

barbarian culture and dwarf cultures .. as its is i think town towns exists on fishing and drawing in fish bones i think thats what skrimshaw means?



if you read this thank you if you offer any help even more thank yous  






Ok rant over…

Plans for next 2 weeks


Human path.. im still on night 1 the 25th.. most of this is over but they could gain access to warehouse 2 tonight or take the offer to guard it tomorrow

If they go tomorrow they lose the barbarian guide…to the elk tribe…


If they go tonight I’ll try and constitution penalties for lack of sleep but give them silver weapons


I’ll try some thugs in town talking about the Duvessa vs Rival background

I’ll have a grumpy black ice sales man turn up  and throw in some will checks about the other player talking about you ..

Ive a strong feeling they will go barbarian route so planed a little of that ..  that’s more random encounters but the best way to get to Kaer Kong is ferry so could be a nice aquatic encounter… tomorrow… or pirates

Have to drop the hint pirates have attacks towns some where in there.

And zombie dwarf attacks…


I’m looking forward to running a horror esque zombie encounters night in dwarf town but don’t feel strong dwarf pull in party so that’s very abstract at the moment I feel I miss that


Tomorrow I want to know of how one joins approach a barbarian tribe are they just traders like Bedouins’ or are is more aggressive 

Gah tomorrow tommorw  .. in my mind I have an inkling of 3 paths and a favour of one and a favour of the players …

I fear I may mislead the players on a pirate hunt.. on the lake..


One new thing I want to try is start the session with a pop quiz see what my players have learned who they know.. I want to ask them you the players are in Icewind dale and see what I get back

Bare minimum I want Duvessa, Ice witch, and Barbarians, but I hope they know who Slim is, who Hengar and Helga are.. and try and point them Valesh Gant..  and Silverstream.. just so they know it’s a living world and some lives might get burnt..


This is my crazy stress night before post..


I have random battle encounters pre-generated I feel good,… I think I know the flow of this and next week adventures… even with the branches and possibilities..  I know all plans fail when players are involved.. I’m happy in my brain the adventure is going smoothly but ah hell panic..! 

too many voices

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D&D encounters legacy of the crystal shard week 2 4th ed.

Played tonight with a table of 7 too many voices

We kick off with a fight how the last game ended in the Northlook tavern

Encountering Slim murdering a ½ling

I drew up a tight 2nd floor tavern floor plan

The original encounter called slim and 4 henchmen

As I had 7 characters 1 had 2 henchmen on reserve and bumped slims hp to match the henchmen

Most of the night was this battle unfortunately,

And the heros where hacked to bits,

Some heros tried to cut though the wall to get access at the villains, which I allowed,

Another summoned creatures to block the hall and set it on fire,

The cleric and the barbarian where taken down early on,

This 1st level  and the henchmen had a recharge 5-6 power of 2d10 +5 damage attack oh and 19 ac that seems quite hard to me, compared to say though thugs

Normally I don’t stick to the stat blocks as I hadn’t Dm’ed 4th  for a while I tried to stick with it and see what happened, hero slaughter

Only 1 henchmen was felled , and slim escaped out the window hero duel and character down there for a while but ultimately fled on 1 hit point, the other henchmen where only 2 to 3 hit points down, normally id run them off but as they had been seen committing murder and where winning I pressed the fight a little longer

With 3 heroes down and the remaining group scattered out side and in and the fire I had the guards arrive,  and the gang scatter in the streets

They then had a debrief from the guards,

I had the 2nd warehouse go up across town so they went to investigate that  and found out about the 1/2lings box and the cleric

Time was short  so we wrapped things up,

Next week they will go the  2nd ware house this night, I hope to check what’s in the box and then leave

They have the option to guard the 2nd warehouse tomorrow night.

But there are some mumbling about going with the barbarian they free, I really hope they go the barbarian route, much more fun the fight more humans thugs again.

What was learned?

1 don’t trust stat blocks, or was just the heros unlucky rolls, and cramped quarters

2 7 is to many! Slow the play between turns and is hard to manage making things longer

3 fun was still had, hacking though the walls climbing out side the building  so not a total loss

4 I was a little unprepared, sorted that for next week















Legacy of the crystal shard week 1

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Well done to Amazon for getting the module on the day! 

7 players 1 table 4th ed.

2 Rangers

1 thief

hex blade/ Sorcerer / cleric/ wizard

We ran the Weekend end event but 3 players where new to this session and i only had about 1 hour to read the background etc…

So kicked of with a repirse of the weekend, the ice wind call her magic the gates flew open and the Mother yet moved in with her horde of young following,  

I took 2 players down to Zero hp before the heros rallied and where able to barricade the doors with 2 carts signaling the watch to rally organize and chase the yetis off once more…

I wove the 3 paths in the end of the battle and recapped the choices again 

the hero’s listened to all 3 and went 3 ways as there was 7 players and we where running short on time after the battle i just had the group move from one to another so no one would miss out

the group seems split with the helping the merchant and the barbarian, and pritty much ignored the dwarf, though one did ask her what she needed,

I dislike mundane shopping and allowed a them to take a yeti corpse to a smith to craft a helmet, might make a point of this preventing the next crit i score of some such benefit  

but also as they helped the barbarian, i’m shocked they where lawful and investigated! totally out of character for my usual party who are these impostors !?! they found the original accuser and intimidated her in to getting her story confused and confessing, to the sheriff.

So barbarian free he want to regain his strength and set of the next day for his tribe, the party head to help the merchant

They arrive on the scene  and i stop at that cliff hanger! 

Really looking forward to reading the adventure proper and pulling out the detail and constructing the next few encounters!

1st D&D encounters Legacy of the crystal shard session 1 launch event

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We just had the 1st D&D encounters Legacy of the crystal shard session 1 launch event at the local game shop

2 tables

1x 4 lots of new people

and 1 x 3

I  ran the 3 people table, we had a Dragon born Wizard/Warlock

a Pre-gen dwarf fighter

and a Human cleric

the set up was there where escorting a caravan guard to icewind dale before the pass closes for the winter

1st encounter ( not in the book)  was  a road side shrine to the god of travel, i gave any one who prayed and left an offer a free roll chance for the rest of the session,  i left a healing salve in there to but no one looked or took it, 

2nd encounter could have been roleplay and getting to know the caravan learning back ground,

i gave openings sayign some of the npc would offer them drink or a ride in the wagon to rest for while.. i highlight 3 npc and gave a bit more detail of there looks and demour but there where no bitters for talking, so on to roll initiative!

Crag cat ambush, the cleric got in on the surprise round   and the party rallied quickly to dispatch the cat before he carried of a guard,

the Good pcs elected to help a damaged caravan and passed the checks in good time and rejoined the caravan.

as they reached the City and queued to enter the city was attacked by yetis,

the Wagons slowly tryed to enter the city the few horses panicing slowed progress and as each yeti was felled another would soon join the battle!

they yetis ran amok,  but the city gates where cleared till the mother yeti showed up,  yetis on the wall tore and threw rock from the walls at defenders below, the Dwarf score a few crits in row dispatching yetis from the wall

while the cleric helped the wagons healed a few wounded bystander and started work on closing the gates

The Wizard warlock held of  the other wall, when they the seemed critically wounded the managed to bar the gates and prevent the mother from entry with the gates closed the  heros and guard could run off any stragglers

to me the game flew by it felt like 20 mins but was approximately 2 hours.

Its was different to me using the 4th ed blocks again after such a long time, i like 4th ed  but i do like the looks of 5th ed more, but im happy to run 4th in place, i think i don’t liek 4th past a certain level when the block onthe ongoings vs resistance  becoming quite burden,

The partly cleaved though 8-10 yetis,  they and i really enjoyed it and look forward to the next session

the 2nd tables extended the fight a bit more and he made them take  down the mother yeti too they finished probably 30 mins after us but they had more and less experienced players


I didnt go deep into the 3 paths deciding to leave that to the next session but ultimately they can investigate a barbarian tribe blamed for the attack by some, take a dwarf to the dwarvern valley home or help a local merchant in trouble.. or maybe a combination or as with my players normally do something completely different


When i got home i made sure I had minis for any future encounters and tried to glean what i could from the snippets in this preview, the full adventure is due to arrive tuesday, which is cutting it close if we are ment to run  it on the Wednesday

this post is a bit of mind download.  and not very flowery

in hind sight i wish i was more amok with my yetis, but it ran very well

what bothered me was running so many yetis vs so many npc guards..

i just roll 2 different colored d20s if the yeti one was higher it score a wound 5 hp and vise a versea to keep things quick.

as we had 3 players not 4 i learned a new tip from the 2nd dm, add up the total hp of all players and divide by the # of players this basically gave each pc and added 15 hps  and also we gave 1 player each round a 2nd action as if action pointing,

though we didn’t use this 2nd action but had it on standby, if we had just used the normal HP 2 of the pcs would have been downed and even with the extra 15 hps there where taken quite low ,

the warlock was incredibly lucky in avoiding hits! i’m sure i rolled the most attack dice vs him,

i tried to keep the NPC batter up in the battle,


any hows that was it.. now to prepare a little something should the book not arrive for Wednesday





















My planned Road, Caravan Guard adventure

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Now the reason I posted Pitch Black as my movie reference last post was for the idea that came to me for my none rail road, road adventure filler quest!

A little background a few months ago I’ve read “the fall highwatch”  a forgotten realm book series

The Fall of Highwatch (Forgotten Realms) by Sehestedt, Mark 

 I won’t go in to details about it but it’s a brilliant book with a very cold feeling, and for this adventure idea Its deals with a passage to the Feywild!


Heres a brake down of my adventure idea:-


  1. you are caravan guard trying to get to  icewind dale
  2. fairly swiftly the sun stops shinning and a storm brews up
  3. the caravan leader wants to push on, if the pass is covered in snow there will be sever delays but its risky they could be covered should they stop and weather it out?
  4. Does not matter if they choose to continue or stop (rail road but they felt like it was a choice.. J)
  5. The storm settles down but the sun in missing the snow still swirls and the sounds of troll fills the area ( they have been moved to the Icy feywild)
  6. A troll attacks  make a event of snow blindness causing obscure areas, I created motes that randomly moved around the battle field causing obscurity
  7. During the attack collared Ice wolves appear they also attack the troll but also anything near the troll
  8. They may slay some wolves and the troll but once the troll dies have a Eladrin

Party show up, most miffed there hunt has stopped

Diplomacy part, the elves need the hunt as a blood pact ritual the wolves belong the elves killing them will not be look on favourably

Now either fight the elves or help the elves with another hunt,

Elves can either produce a portal back or know a way back if they are helped 

To add urgency the elves will die and the land turn to darkness if the ritual is not completed,  think a type of Geas spell right of passage a thundering evil death will be unleashed if the lead elf does not slay a troll by midnight and complete the blood pact or some sort of thing. might have repercussion on the real world.

So the heros might be trapped in the feywild indefinitely or killed by the thundering evil as well.


The elves if friendly can look after the caravan while the heros do another little hunt with the leader,

Or if the elves are killed the heros can find a map to portal on one of the elves but now must rush as the land rapidly turns over to the darkness

can you see the pitch black type ideas sneaking in?



Other repercussion:-

When I continue the legacy of the shard quest

1 an thsi side treck can just be an encapsulated world I can think nothing off it

2 I can have allies/enemies  appear out of the snow via portal if needed

3 potential for Caravan local ally or fey wild local Ally in the area 


I have no idea what goes in in Icewind dale other then Icy its got barbarians and dwarves


 So that’s my Little Spare Road side trek adventure idea for now just in case the core material does not appear and it has my mark  that its a little more then just bandits on the road