The Goodman Gang Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #1 WOTC DCC53 Sellswords of Fallcrest (Level 1)
Encounter #2 Cutpurse Alley- Area 1-2 Watchers in the Mist.
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Human Sentry (Skirmisher 1) x5
Encounter Level 1- 500 XP
Scurvy & Skamos head down the dark and dirty alley, being very quiet. Scurvy spots a pair of guards on a nearby roof- they’re in an ideal position to fire down on those that would approach, the adventurers don’t like the odds and so head back to report to their fellows.
The gang make their way back out of the alley and a little way back up the street, and then as quietly as they can all five adventurers climb onto the roof of a half-ruined slum dwelling, on the same side as the guards they spotted. Scurvy, Riardon & Skamos move closer in, again staying silent (with very good rolls so far).
The sneaky trio listen in, as best they can as the rain beats down, to the bawdy and crude tales of the disheveled and despicable scumbag guards- they count five Sentries, that’s one each.
Human Sentry- Keep Out.
Corrin and Erais are still a little way back on the roof; they dare not sneak any further forward as they’re armour clad and therefore noisy buggers.
The adventurers have still not been spotted, so… they launch their attacks.
Scurvy’s Acrobatic Strike followed up by Riardon’s Careful Strike leaves the nearest Sentry bloodied- their attacks are also timed to coincide with Skamos’ call, which coincidentally occurs at the very moment the guards are closest together. The Tiefling’s Scorching Burst catches all five Human Sentries, they’re all singed, the one injured previously only just clings onto life.
Note three of Skamos’ attack rolls were ‘20’- that’s something I’ve not seen before, although at first level a ‘20’ only generates 11 points of Fire damage each- but still, that’s enough, the encounter is almost over before it’s begun. I have to deliver a stern warning to several players for excessive giggling- this is serious stuff.
Erais and Corrin move a little closer to the action, on the off chance one of them will get to draw their weapons before it’s all over.
The guards quickly organise themselves and start their fight back, drawing short swords or longspears and trying to form a defensive line- things don’t go to plan for them however. The badly singed guard is no longer up for the fight, he tries to get the hell out of dodge, Scurvy stabs him in the back as he flees and cuts him down.
The four remaining guards press the attack- all aiming for their closest opponent, which is Scurvy; the result of which is the Dwarf takes a couple of minor wounds, and hits back with his Riposte Strike bloodying another of the Sentries.
Human Sentry- I said ‘Keep Out’.
Erais chants and mumbles and points at a guard, the unfortunate fellow juggles his sword in a panic as the Sunlord’s Cause Fear spell strikes, and then flees at speed- attempting to leap across the alley to safety on the far side.
He fails, and falls, landing sprawled in the alley with a thud.
The supine Sentry stirs and moans. Surprisingly, he’s still alive- just.
For good measure the Priest taps Scurvy on the back and offers a few Healing Words, the Dwarf’s wounds instantly heal over.
Riardon suddenly appears on the far side of the Sentries, using his Fey Step, bow at the ready he launches an arrow and bloodies yet another.
Skamos skitters up to the peak of the roof for a better view, and then hurls down a Force Orb into the midst of the now panicked Humans, the orb shatters and explodes- battering the three remaining guards- two are left lurching, trying to muster the strength to go on, the third flops to the floor and then slides down and off the roof- dead.
Two down, and one all but broken on the floor of the alley.
The last two bloodied guards have seen enough, they throw down their swords and swiftly surrender.
The straggler in the alley meantime staggers to his feet, looks up in time to see his compatriots’ capitulation and half-falls half-rushes to a previously hidden door in the shadows of the alley. Scurvy is the only one of the adventurers to spot the foul fellow in retreat. The Dwarf Rogue has just one chance, his dagger flies- and cuts the guard down dead.
Three down, and two surrendered- FTW.
Professional job by the players, and already they like their new PCs, and adventuring in the city, the atmosphere is somehow easier to generate around the table. Also it helped with the roleplay that the Sentries were Human, I could therefore play on stereotypes and have them shout weird and wonderful insults at the PCs.
A minor Skill Challenge (improvised) follows as the PCs tie and gag the two guards and get them to tell all that they know about what lies beyond. The door in the alley leads to the Bazaar of the Bizarre it seems, a shop of sorts, for down-and-outs, and the way into the Beggar King’s domain. The shop is run by Arthuro the Fence, who employs a couple of hired ruffians, other than that the Sentries know little else of import. The PCs leave the two prisoners to sit and soak in the rain- time to consider where they went wrong in life.