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February 2nd, 2012

#DnDNext Blog - Time to Heal

Bruce Cordell asks what everyone thinks about clerical healing here.

Personally, I'm pretty happy with how it works in 4e – allowing classes like the warlord to heal means no one is forced to play the cleric, and a leader can use his healing word or equivalent as a minor action so he can also do something more interesting on his turn. I think these are good things on the whole - the only caveat is that with a healing-focused character, such as Bolval the dwarf cleric in the Black Horse Parsantium campaign, I found myself having to increase monster damage output to keep things challenging. Once I'd worked this out, though, things were fine.

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Here’s what happened in Monday night’s game as the PCs travelled the Shadow Road and arrived in the Courts of the Shadow Fey. Each PC gets 1,680 xp.


23rd November (contd.)

The Shadow Road heads into the side of a mountain – after going inside and travelling through the tunnel for a while, the road seems to twist underfoot. Ahead are two shadar-kai, mounted on fiery-hooved nightmares. The shadar-kai charge the party, attacking Brave Ella and Sebastian who are at the front. Krivinn is pulled through the floor of the shadowstone tunnel by a darkstone sculptor and is then held immobile for much of the combat, causing no little frustration to the dragonborn paladin who is forced to rely on his crossbow. The other PCs battle the shadar-kai and the nightmares without their stalwart defender, and annoyingly the sculptor seems to be able to immobilise members of the group from a distance. “There is something funny going on”, says Khuma, “things are twisted.” It’s Sebastian who realises the tunnel has morphed into a Moebius strip. Fortunately, Brave Ella’s archery is top notch and the elf ranger is able to take down both of the shadow humanoids and both fiendish horses too with her deadly arrows. Khuma is the next to be pulled through the floor by the sculptor but the shifter gets his revenge by killing his ebony-skinned opponent.

Searching the bodies, the PCs find a valuable mithril and onyx cameo depicting the Queen of Night and Magic, and also a twisted piece of stone which Saethus advises the others to smash to get them out of the loop they are trapped in. They do what the eladrin advises and are able to travel the rest of the Road, arriving at the palace.

A headless suit of armour greets the PCs at the Winter Gate leading to the Lower Courts, and allows them to enter. Once inside, the PCs explore their surroundings, entering the stables, the library, New Moon Hall and the other chambers but there doesn’t seem to be anyone around. After battling a couple of the monolith footmen (who have taken exception to the party’s presence), however, the PCs start to spot animals in some of the rooms and the previously empty New Moon Hall is now filled with forest owls!



When the PCs return to the courtyard, they are attacked again, this time by a monolith footman and an empty cloak. During this fight, Sebastian disappears momentarily, but is soon back again. After the fight, an invisible assailant tries to steal Saethus’ wand, and someone tries to trip Krivinn. There is a fair bit of giggling but the PCs still can’t see any of the palace’s inhabitants. A second battle occurs soon afterwards near the eastern gate with another cloak and footman.

Heading up the slippery, icy ramp to the Executioner’s Gate leading into the Winter Palace, Krivinn is told by the footman on the doors that he is of high enough status to be admitted, but the rest of the party are too lowly to be allowed in. The group goes back to the courtyard where they are attacked yet again, this time by two baying dog-demons and two crow-headed malphas.

After the battle, they can now see their first living humanoid inhabitant – the very pale elf musician Eracen. Over by the silver tree, several shadow fey rakes are idling. Eracen explains to the party that duelling is a good way for the PCs to gain status – it is currently the Poet’s Season so duelling is permitted….

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