The Seven Dwarves (D&D 4e)
Adventure #1 WOTC DCC54 Forges of the Mountain King (Level 1)
And the players loved it… that’s not right, they… I’m going to have to think about the word/sentence, they were so involved in events that their characters deaths were- appropriate perhaps, glorious certainly. Years and months later, writing this up, I can still see them sitting about grinning like chimps- glorious is just the right word.
Hurried phone calls are made- significant others are told lies, this has just turned in to an extended session of D&D, someone orders pizza, someone else orders chinese food- it gets multi-cultural, cuisine wise. Someone else goes for beer- it gets serious.
The story goes a little like this- the first group of Dwarves, see previous for their curtailed adventures, was just a reconnaissance patrol (although no-one told them this), the real heroes are on their way. The players are given an hour, that’s approx. twelve minutes each (on the one PC with CB) to create new characters- more Dwarves.
This new group knows that a reconnaissance patrol has been sent into the lost clan hold; their job is to join with them, if possible, and then to explore the ancient abandoned hold (basically the same task as the first lot).
Out of game your friendly DM states that the three Dwarfs still alive- Travok, Adrik & Berend have been captured and are to be sacrificed, one per day- for every extended rest the new group takes a captured Dwarf (chosen at random) is killed. I, of course, neglect to say who will be doing the sacrificing, or where the killings will take place.
The players are heading straight back in.
Also, Goodman Games, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again- I wuv you. I realise a Level 10 Encounter is just a terrible thing to do; we talked about it afterwards- while others built their characters. It came down to this- the PCs clear out of the room with the huge water trap in it- if they back up a bit then they’re okay, but if they head on- well, see above.
Through no fault of their own, and we’ve made a pact to play these scenarios as RAW as we can, the PCs triggered four encounters in a row-
Enc#1 Ogre Savage & 2 Dwarf Bolters 700 XP Level 2
Enc#2 Flood Gate Trap & 2 Dwarf Guards 1000 XP Level 5
Enc#3 3 Orc Berserkers 525 XP Level 1
Enc#4 3 Goblin Javelintossers & Hobgoblin Lieutenant 575 XP Level 1
That’s the way it happens sometimes, I could have… but I didn’t, and they didn’t want me too, and nor did I. This has been by far the happiest TPK I have ever experienced, and for the players- seemingly, a joy to be part of.
In truth there was no way out for them (except retreat, of course)- a Level 10 Encounter, that’s PC Level +9- that was just so unfair of me, and yet, it was glorious. One of the most funny and enlightening (and motivating) moments of D&D I have ever experienced. The players, and I, are charged.