Thursday, August 23, 2012

Encounters Season 10, Session 0: Character Creation

Yesterday marked the start of the 10th season of D&D Encounters, entitled "Council of Spiders." I usually skip Session 0, aka the character creation session, because I just use Character Builder at home. However, this season is going to be really weird - as detailed below - so I thought it would be important to attend.

Races are limited to drow and drow slaves, and there is a limited selection of classes. For example, only drow can be clerics, but only non-drow can be druids.You also must choose an affiliation that will dictate some of your choices/actions going forward. The three choices are House Melarn (a house whose members rank highly among the Priestesses of Lolth), House Xorlarrin (a higher-ranking house of mages - magic being considered necessary but contemptible in drow society, the houses are essentially equal), or the Bregan D'aerthe mercenaries (predominantly male group of assassins, spies, etc).

I'm playing a drow paladin of House Melarn, named Akneth. 

Another new facet of the game is that the PCs are encouraged to play evil characters and/or betray each other. At first this seemed to run contrary to the shared storytelling experience, also known as "the whole point of D&D." However, with a good DM, I'm starting to see this as a great role-playing opportunity. How will we come together as a group? Why would we stay together? What will happen after the first betrayal? These are role-playing questions that you seldom need to address in a home campaign. My only fear is that some players, especially newbies, might take in-game backstabbing personally.

Nothing personal. NOW, DIE!

Mac, being an awesome DM, had a mini-encounter prepared for after we finished discussing our characters. Only a couple of us had created a character ahead of time, so everyone else used the pre-gens provided by WotC. They were basically the same pre-gens we've been getting every season since season one, except that they were all drow. Our two controllers went first, and because the enemies were nicely clustered they both landed EPIC area attacks. On my turn I leaped across a shallow pool and struck one of them with my broadsword - only to have the few remaining enemies turn invisible and run away... grrr. I also helped the newbie sitting next to me, and he did really well - he cornered the final bad guy, so I was able to swoop in for the killing blow. Teamwork, dreamwork!

Once again, for more detailed/coherent recaps and all the inside scoops, check out Dungeon's Master.

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