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My locally-operated DnD party ran through their second session this past Saturday. This time, we traded away the rogue, Sneaks, who couldn’t make it, for the Great Weapon Fighter, Hoops, who could.

This session started off where the last one ended off: the party had just fended off a pack of Trolls, saved the life of an Iliyanbruen Scout, and needed to do so again with another pack of Trolls.

This time, the ugly, brutal Fell Troll made an appearance among a group of normally sized Trolls. No Runts, just the Fell and four ordinary Trolls. The party fended them off easily enough, with no casualties. Aided by the powerful magic wielding by Arle, the sword slinging of Hoops, and the maintaining Tank and Heal job of Discord, the scout was freed.

Arle and Discord, much like Sneaks, decided that a wet, soggy towel worn over the groin of a disgusting swamp monster was enticing enough to stash in their inventory. Oghma only knows what they intend to ever do with these towels.

After finishing this pack of Trolls off, they proceeded in search of the last missing scout to free. To their surprise, they found this scout amongst a pile of dead Trolls, seemingly having been able to defend himself unlike his comrades. As a note from the DM, the party decided not to learn the name of this scout, only that he described a nasty, destructive scene developing at the front line gates of New Sharandar, created by the Cyclops general Lakjin Bonegnasher. The party hurried forward to investigate.

Much as expected, Lakjin, along with a couple Fell Trolls and other cronies, had blown a hole clean in the defensive walls of New Sharandar, and had just fixed to enter the city to begin to cause havoc. Rather than act on this immediately, the party decided to take a stealthy approach, to take them by surprise. This plan failed when Hoops accidentally kicked a rock while walking that struck a Troll hard enough for them to notice it. Mere moments later, the fight was on.

The party had a difficult time starting the fight off, partially due to the large numbers disadvantage (6-3) but also because Lakjin provided a terrifyingly powerful opposing force on the battlefield. Hitting like a truck and taking hits like a champ, Lakjin played the part of (boss fight) the Cyclops General perfectly. I was amused when Discord openly taunted Lakjin’s Troll cronies for not hitting him hard at all, before getting absolutely scorched and knocked unconscious twice by Lakjin’s attacks. Discord would not be the only to take his lumps however, as Hoops would also get knocked unconscious early in the fight. Thankfully, Hoops would end up getting revived by Discord and vice versa, so there weren’t any casualties… Until toward the end of the fight. With Discord and Hoops scraping to rebuild after taking a spill, Lakjin turned his attention towards Arle and promptly fried her with a highly potent electric charge spell, which absolutely murdered her beyond a doubt. Thankfully, one of Oghma’s three Resurrection Blessings brought her back to life.

Ultimately, the party took Lakjin down. As the DM, managing the game and observing the decisions by my players, the only one truly worth questioning is how the party’s initiative has been working. I’m not talking about initiative rolls, I’m talking about how the party approaches the average fight. At first, the party discussed crafting a diversion to bypass Lakjin and his forces without triggering a fight. The subject of Hoops crafting the diversion came up, before Discord suggested that he, if anyone, should do it, as he has by far the most durability. I wish the party would take up this type of thinking more. I believe a slightly better understanding of how Threat works would help a lot. They are new, though, so they’ve done pretty well to get as far as they have. 

This week’s session will prove to be interesting, as I get set to provide my party with yet another new challenge.

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