Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Siege of Bordrin’s Watch 2 of 2

The second part of Bordrin's Watch picks up after the players rescue the dwarf paladin Kalad at the bottom of the temple in part 1. Kalad warns the players that if the vents, a system of caves under the mountain, aren't closed off that the orcs might sneak in behind the front and wreak havoc on the vale. The second part consists of six encounters and one skill challenge: entering the vents, gauntlet, boiler room, shrine to Moradin, dwarf quarters, and the nexus.

Entering the vents
This room is a basic 4 monsters versus the players, there is a couple ranged and some melee for combat options. The ranged also have the option to fall back into the next room as well. My players picked off the range early so this didn't happen in my game.

I found this room to be interesting but in its printed state a little weak. The room is a long hallway with dart traps in the middle of the walls. In the printed version there are two trigger plates that activate the traps. In my version I filled the room with trigger plates and placed a meandering path through the room that was "safe" squares. This made for a fun and exciting encounter where the monsters were pelting at the players from the far end as they tried to get to them while darts were flying everywhere. I made the darts much easier to avoid then the original (DC 15 acrobatics or athletics) and a successful check moved you to the next square up to your movement rate. I made the monsters minions instead of normal and reduced thier damage as well since I wanted the trap to be the focus of the room. In its printed state this room is ok, but It was a lot of fun with these changes and was easily one of the players favorite encounters.

Boiler Room
This is a 2 level room with a platform with orcs on it and some beetles down below. There are vent pipes that run the length of the room. This is a dynamic looking room but more could have been done with the pipes such as having them vent steam that the players had to avoid or something. I ran it as printed and it was alright but not very memorable.

Shrine to Mordin
Small room with a troll. moving on.

Dwarf Quarters
My players skipped this room as its an optional room. Its set up to be a encounter where the monsters can run around and flank the players moving through three connected rooms. Might have been interesting though I don't know since we skipped it.

The Nexus

This is the climax room of the module. This map is huge, it took three full size poster boards worth of space. This encounter sounds cool on paper but my players found it very irritating. The way the encounter works is there is a pathway that winds around the room to a central control panel that the players need to activate to shut out the orcs. Each round more orcs pour out of six holes in the wall around the room randomly. My players found this encounter very irritating because the small pathway gets easily choked up with tons and tons of minions and its a slog to get through them all. The minions mostly missed my two defenders who took point going through but where I have a very melee heavy group they were only able to kill two minions a round with two more coming out every round. This encounter took a very very long time and was quite boring after a while. Part of the problem we had was my group make-up, they needed a wizard or sorcerer to clear the pathway with blast spells. By the end of this encounter my players actually missed out on important information that leads to the next module because they got up in disgust once the boss died. I was tired of it and so were they. This room is possibly the worst encounter we have run into yet.

Final Call
Ease of use: 7/10
Again easy to start up, the encounters are all fairly straight forward to run. this actually is part of the problem. I had to modify one room drastically to make it fun and the others were basically tank and spanks.

Difficulty: 4/10
All but the last room are fine on the difficulty curve the last is overwhelmingly boring to run and play if you dont have a character that can take out massive amounts of minions every round.

Originality of encounters: 3/10
Mostly run up and hit the monsters that don't do anything interesting type encounters.

Overall: 4/10
After the first part of Bordrin's Watch I was excited about this half and I feel it let us down. The last encounter was very badly designed and the others could have been better.

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