So anyway I feel Champions Online is a good value. Yeah they try to nickel and dime you on a lot of things, but I’ve yet to feel like I’m having a lesser experience because of the Silver Membership. It’s the kind of game I enjoy and eventually I might pay money for because I want to support it, and it’s a subscription plan I can get along with and… wait… D&D Recap? What the hell? We still do those!?
Yeah, stunner, but after two months the Dethklok team got back together... sort of. First and foremost Joe and Sean don’t appear to be in the game anymore. Joe probably won’t be able to play due to managing and operating Blistered Thumbs, and Sean because… I dunno. The group is now Jason as Grae, Nik as Viktor, Skitch as Garret, Liz as Lilea, Linkara as Bayban, and myself as Juliet, and as far as I’m concerned that’s the final group. I keep hearing people talking about adding Nella to the game and really this is nothing against Nella but I am not going to sit through another new player trying to learn the game. I figure if Joe does come back, Vane is there for him (same with Paw and Andraste), otherwise that’s it.
Okay, bitching over with now, time to get into the recap. So we return two months later outside of the ruins of Aberhold where the elven army has been demolished. Those who succumbed to the will of Morgana survived, and the rest were murdered. The group was eager to return to Sarmanath to inform the King of the news, when Bayban suggested we loot the bodies. How very… holy of him. We did manage to find a crudely drawn map that could lead us back to the Amber Forests (Huzzah!), but that’s about it, and with no horses we looked to travel south to Tirin to see if we could secure faster passage to Sarmanath. We stopped off as some slummy stop along the way (Pilfer’s Crossing I believe), where yet again our Paladin showed how valiant and noble he was by slamming a man’s face into a table for saying Bahamut sucks.
I don’t think Linkara quite grasps the Paladin yet. Beating up civilians and looting corpses are generally things that Paladins find abhorrent. I’m mostly chalking this one up to Linkara being new to the game, but seriously, our Paladin is fucking malicious. I definitely wouldn’t call him a “Good” character by any means. Anyway, the thug he pummeled obviously was going to come back for more, and surprise surprise, when we left town there was an ambush waiting for us. Stupid. Fucking. Paladin.
At this point I guess I should mention that this was the first session where Juliet was redesigned at a Sentinel. I built her entirely out of Essential material in the interest of fairness (if not, I would have taking Grasping Tide as my At-Will to add crowd control on top of my ridiculous powers), but man the Essential Druid is a fucking beast. They’re built as Leaders, which they do alright, but a Druid of Summer wielding a staff hits with as much force as someone carrying a six foot axe. Seriously, Juliet right now has +12 to attack (thanks to a +2 staff), with a damage roll of 1d12+7. 1d12! ON A FUCKING STICK! Not only that but because I took Staff Expertise I get Reach 1 automatically so I can hit targets even if they are a square away. Then add my summoned bear Pascoe to the list and I have a +2 to defenses that can team attack with me twice per encounter, and the bear has a +10 to attack with a 1d12+8 damage die.
Yeah, Juliet is a lot more fun to play now that I hit people with a stick harder than the two guys wielding enormous battle axes. Mind you in no way, shape, or form did I try to break Juliet. I really just went with useful feats and powers and it wound up making Juliet into fucking Jackie Chan. Okay, so onto the battle. Shockingly the fact that Juliet now hits almost as hard as Grae meant that I pissed off Spoony rather quickly. He went after Grae and Juliet which normally wouldn’t be a problem except Nik redesigned Viktor as a Barbarian meaning he can’t mark and keep monsters away. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem because Lord Vane would be on that, but Joe isn’t playing. That meant our only Defender was Linkara and he’s not very good at it. I don’t recall him marking once the entire battle and he spent most of the encounter chasing some little jerk-off around. Meanwhile Pascoe fell and Grae dropped to one HP. We barely survived that encounter, and we may have to remind Lewis that if he doesn’t do his job right, we won’t next time.
Anyway, there were two main moments to highlight in this encounter. The first is when Grae dropped his bow to enter melee. Since he dropped his bow in mud, he couldn’t fight with it, so when he needed to do some long range battling Lilea tossed her bow to Grae. We all had fun laughing at the idea of Grae wielding a pink frilly bow with ribbons and whatnot attached. After that two enemies tried to break away, and Juliet and Viktor went after one of them. We ran into the oh so wonderful “Skill Challenge”.
I don’t care for the skill challenge system but honestly it worked out well enough for us. Juliet and Vitkor both used their high Perceptions to spot the getaway thug as he ran in a mob of people, and then I had Juliet roll for Endurance as she tried to bullrush her way through the crowd. It succeeded and we captured him while the rest of the party finished the encounter. We learned from the bandits that a star fell from the sky and landed nearby a few years ago, and that a dark cult has been set up there and this cult is performing evil rituals. So as Juliet tried to get the group back on focus, Grae killed one of the two prisoners we had after we just learned they were from a rather infamous group of mercenaries known as the Clan of the Silver Hand. So Juliet kind of flipped on Grae since we’ve already made enough enemies. To be fair Grae did almost get killed by these guys, but this was an in-character thing. Juliet was tired of getting off track and making more problems that the group had to deal with, and Grae was just tired of the bullshit and killed someone that pissed him off. Grae is kind of an asshole like that. He got his payback later that night as he got very sick due to a rainstorm.
So our group continued on our way to Tirin, a fortress city bordering a river that eventually meets up with Sarmanath. We were told from the get go that Bayban wouldn’t be welcome due to his religious insignias, and since everyone freaking hates the elves Lilea was a double dose of trouble. Garret managed to sweet talk us into the city, and we set up in a local in. There Garret, Viktor, and Juliet split from the party to do some shopping and have *gasp* and in-character moment! Yeah, Juliet was feeling down about the party’s direction and let out that she felt that the party was never getting closer to their goals. She lamented that only more problems seem to open up and that they’ve lost plenty of friends along the way (Vane, Darstine, etc.). Garret and Viktor cheered her up mostly with some awesome bravado and boasts.
This was a nice scene to have. We so rarely get really into character, and I thought it was a fun scene to have—especially when Juliet drank Viktor under the table immediately afterwards. I do wonder how others liked that scene considering it was a departure from our normal derping, but I do like roleplaying and I know Spoony definitely appreciated us having a little moment there in-character. After that not much happened. We ended the session soon after as we decided to take a detour from Sarmanath to investigate this dark cult.
Once again there wasn’t a lot of meat to the session mostly due to the combat which probably lasted about two hours for a relatively uneventful battle. Not much else to note, though some people might be curious about the drawings above. Those are from DarkVolt from the LordKaT Chatroom who draws these images while the game is going on. He does great work, and I wanted to showcase some of them here. Plus they work great as visual cues for what’s happening. There probably won’t be D&D again for a while due mostly to schedule problems (yet again). Jason & Skitch head to GDC next week and not long after that I believe Spoony heads to PAX East with Jason. I imagine that backlog will hold some things up, so we might not be able to play again until mid-March. Sucks, I know. Well anyway, that’s all for this time. Stay tuned though because I plan to recap the Wyrmwick session we had two-weeks back very soon. Why? Because Wyrmwick is awesome! Totally tubular! Reaga-nomics!