The Seven Dwarves (D&D 4e)
Adventure #1 WOTC DCC54 Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)
Encounter #1 A Monstrous Welcome (Area 1-1a)
Click on the Link to see the Monster Stat card.
Fire Beetle (Brute 1) x5
Encounter Level 1- 500 XP
The Monstrous Welcome is played out in area 1-1A & 1-1B on the map (see below).
The Dwarves start forward through a massive cavern, ahead a lake of crystal clear water, before them the ruined remains of a guard station- guarding (obviously) the way in to the Dwarven hold.
Berend scouts a little way ahead, takes a brief look inside the ruined building (Perception roll something like 11), he hears the sound of well… a dull Dwarven choir mid-droning dirge- which is of course very odd. More importantly however he sees no enemies. Berend declares the area safe and then wanders in to the guard station and swiftly falls into a shallow pit, well about four-or so feet deep- so nearly over his head.
The Ranger attempts to extricate himself from the pit before his colleagues arrive- the shame of it, however he seems to be wedged in, with arms by his side and unable to draw either of his weapons, or to get any purchase to escape (after several fantastic skill check rolls including a natural ‘1’ Athletics and a ‘3’ for Acrobatics- not good).
Morgran and Travok wander over to help, although what they actually do is laugh, and not help at all.
It’s at this point that two Fire Beetles nose out of the detritus within the ruined chamber and hove in to view, Berend starts screaming, he’s at eye level with the beetles.
Fire Beetles- Small, er… fiery beetles.
An excellent start, the spirit of Dave is alive and well.
The Beetles are quick, very quick, the armoured insects scurry towards the Dwarves- and in particular the trapped Berend. Both creatures unleash gouts of flame as they close- the first blast scorches Morgran only, Travok is somehow unharmed and Berend manages to duck down into the pit just in time. The second blast hits just as Berend stands tall again- he too is singed, Morgran and Travok avoid the second flame gout altogether.
Adrik comes screaming in, the Dwarven Priest draws his warhammer and swings wildly at the nearest Beetle, holding his holy symbol of Moradin in his off-hand, and muttering prayers- his Healing Strike. He misses the Beetle by a mile.
Dumphart, the Dwarven sorcerer, rushes to the doorway of the ruin- sees the upset, and invokes his Blazing Starfall- both of the Beetles are struck by the burning radiant light. Dave, who plays Dumphart, is king of the hill.
Berend attempts again to get himself out of the pit- he fails, again, and so settles for drawing his longsword and getting one arm free (as a Minor Action- I’m a nice DM). He swipes at the nearest insect- and wonder of wonders, hits.
The Beetle staggers a little, spewing a foetid yellow ichor from its wound, it’s bloodied.
Morgran grabs out his greatblade and rushes the first Beetle with a Pressing Strike- he cuts the creature in two but is too close to charge the other vermin.
Finally Travok wakes to the danger, alas he can’t get in to the action and so he settles for a Divine Challenge on the last remaining Beetle. The creature takes up the challenge and wanders over to Bite the Paladin of Kord, thankfully Travok deflects the creature’s attack.
Just as a third Fire Beetle surfaces- burrowing up in to the midst of the assembled Dwarven adventurers. It exhales a great gout of flame- Berend and Travok are scorched badly, both of the Dwarves are bloodied- or rather singed; Morgran nimbly dodges the inferno.
Both Dwarves take 15 points of fire damage- nice hits.
Adrik does it the hard way- he smashes the second Beetle with his warhammer and then prays again- muttering Healing Words, Berend is suddenly feeling much better.
Dumphart giggles, then moves back a little and unleashes his second Blazing Starfall, alas only one hit this time.
Berend leaps out of the pit with grace and élan, who am I kidding, he fails to escape the pit, but does however get his other arm free, now with two longswords in hand. He delivers a Twin Strike, of sorts, on the second Beetle (with lots of minuses to hit again) and wonder of wonders cuts it down.
Morgran scurries over to the last Beetle, goes Foe to Foe with it and cuts hard- game over, the third Beetle is cut clean in two (a Crit for 22 damage).
The battle is over; the victorious Dwarves… oh hang on.
Travok gets his Second Wind as another pair of Fire Beetle’s surface.
The game is still on.
Both Beetles turn up the heat, the first fire gout scorches Morgran and Travok, the second… well, Morgran and Travok- they’re obviously very popular, and now very bloodied.
Morgarn is reduced to 8 hit points, Travok down to 2.
Adrik swings heartily, and misses- mutters Healing Words and Travok’s wounds heal over, the Paladin however remains bloodied.
Dumphart stays at a distance, he fires yet another Blazing Starfall into the fray, again just one of the Beetles is hit.
Berend finally, eventually… oh hang on- he rolls a ‘1’, the Dwarf drops both of his longswords- they’re out of reach. Remember Berend’s battlecry is ‘Cut Loose!’, followed by, ‘Foot Loose!’- how apposite. Berend struggles some more spending the rest of the action attempting to escape the pit… he fails.
Morgran smashes into the nearest Beetle with a Desperate Fury, almost ends it with one swipe- the Dwarven Barbarian gets his Second Wind. Travok moves in and cuts the creature dead (with another crit).
There’s just one enemy left.
The remaining Fire Beetle Bites Morgran’s leg and shreds it- the Barbarian is nearly unconscious, and screaming fit to burst.
Adrik delivers his Righteous Brand- warhammer style, and slams the foul creature, Dumpharts Blazing Starfall is back by popular demand- the Beetle is scorched, and left bloodied.
Berend, oh don’t even bother.
Berend needed a DC 10 Athletics check to get out of the pit originally, he has +8 on his Athletics skill- he rolled a ‘1’ first time, so I ruled the hole was collapsing, so he now needs to make a DC 12 check- that’s a ‘4’ on the dice, surely. But no. After his second critical failure to escape I increased the DC to 15- he needs a ‘7’, he fails twice more this round.
Berend screams like a little girl and smashes his fists in to the floor of the chamber, causing the pit to collapse a little more…
Morgran delivers his Pressing Strike- stabs down and skewers the last remaining Beetle- dead.
The Dwarves stay alert, adopt combat crouches weapons still drawn, and eagerly watch the ground for disturbances- more Beetles.
Well, except for Berend, who continues to wail and flail- and fail to get out of the pit.
Time passes and nothing happens; eventually Morgran lifts the Ranger out of the hole.
The adventurers nose around the ruin, looking high and low, and eventually find a +1 Frost Warhammer (I think Travok took this), in the bottom of the pit, beneath Berend’s feet.
Travok- the coolest Paladin in the Underdark.
They also figure that the droning Dwarven dirge is somehow coming from a bunch of statues of Dwarven Warriors which dot the chamber, they don’t however fathom out how or why. After a thorough search, best Perception Check ‘10’, and a Short Rest, they head on out.
Madness- five Fire Beetles, I get that their fiery but add in a bunch of maniac Dwarves, and a hole, and its slapstick all the way.
I worry that none of the PCs have the Thievery skill, but not too much, queue fiendish laughter.