My turn to DM this week. We opted to skip a couple of levels and to the level 6 delve with level 5 characters. I sent the players this to prep them:
Delve on Monday. A serpent cult has been harassing a nearby town. The PCs have gone into the swamp to root out the evil.
Players, please prepare 5th level characters with the character generator. Equip your characters with one 4th, one 5th, and one 6th-level item. You may, of course, choose a lower level item. Take whatever mundane equipment you think makes sense. Finally, give yourself 840gp and purchase anything else you wish.
The players prepared an all-dwarf party, for teh lulz.
As with all the delves, the mini-adventure was three encounters.
- Melee with 3 fighters and minions. Difficult terrain.
- Two constrictor snakes and two flame snakes
- It doesn’t matter, owing to the TPK in #2.
Yes, TPK. The party was underpowered, but crucially lacked any will or reflex attacks. The Constrictor snakes had AC and Fort of 25, and the party had trouble hitting them. They also did a punishing amount of damage, and my dice were hot: I hadn’t used these particular dice for a while and they had a whole backlog of 16s and 18s they needed to clear. When it became plain that the party was not going to make it, I did not scale back the encounter – primarily because one of our players (not that I would mention Jamie’s name or anything) was visibly wilting by 9:30.
As a DM, my main faults on the night were first: I dozed off in a chair waiting for people to arrive, and didn’t let them know where I was, so there was a bit of sitting at the table waiting for the DM to show up.
More importantly, I assigned individual initiative for each opponent in the first combat. This was a mistake and slowed down the start of play: there’s no point assigning individual initiative to 7 opponents when there are 4 PCs. Furthermore, as always I get flustered when there’s too much happenning. I should have divided them up into two groups of two minions and a fighter, and the final fighter by himself operating the door lever.
At the end of the night, I suggested that I should do a “Proving Ground” and swap out my next delve with someone who wants to DM but is not ready to write an adventure.
Looking forward to Matt’s “Requiem” game. Havent played a striker before, so a 30th-level monk should be … interesting.