(Editor’s Note: Daniel is currently running the current season of D&D Encounters at Unique Gifts and Games in Greyslake, IL.)
I came in with a bold plan to seriously injure and maim my group this past week. I am talking about the random encounter while protecting their resident scholar as he looked for plants. The good news is that the inter-party conflict that was last week has all but dissipated. We had about five kids and an adult this session. The group was focused and working well enough with each other. My plan was to combine two of the possible three random encounters which ideally increased it to a very difficult challenge. However, my dice decided to go easy on the group and their dice agreed.
The encounter started with the majority of the party keeping the scholar company as our dwarf slayer wandered away from the group because he saw an axe buried in a wood stump. He naturally thought it was a magic axe of some sort. He almost took the bait, but remembered what happened last time. The goblin sniper already had a bead on him and fired, pinning him to the ground. The party became alerted and a majority of the goblin gang emerged and the battle ensured. Only a pair of the adventurers became bloodied. I decided to bring in some more goblins and a pair of drakes to the encounter when most of the group was focused on the initial group. It was the scout who managed to break away and meet the next group and keep them occupied until the rest of the party followed. It ended pretty quickly after that.
In the previous season of D&D Encounters, the powerhouses were a pair of mages that would frequently drop daily powers dealing all kinds of damage and creating all kinds of fiery terrain. However, a king of the hill this season revealed itself. I am quite proud because it is the Half-Orc Scout I created as an additional sample character. The scout basically charged and either killed a monster outright or dropped it near bloodied with each attack, and the rest of the party would come in and take it down. I wished it could have been more of a challenge, but everyone had a great time so I am not complaining. I have been lucky so far that the groups have been 5-6, so I wonder when the rest of the usual players will come in.