D&D Next Playtest: Session 1

The first playtest session was run as part of SRaOCON 2012 (or 7 blokes old enough to know better in a rented cottage, as our wives refer to it). It was based on Caves of Chaos from the August packet.

The party gathered in the inn to make their introductions and plan their rescue of the heir, Prince Dalmar. The party members were:

  • Morrin Payne: Human bounty hunter
  • Rufus Payne: Human cleric
  • Barda Billingstone: Dwarven defender
  • Todd Buttercup: Halfling sorcerer
  • Gander Thriceborn: Halfling thief
  • Sabriel Silverbrook: High elf mage

From there it was straight to the caves, and in short order:

  • A skirmish with kobolds at the cave entrance
  • a near-TPK with two halflings trapped in a pit, a surprisingly nasty pack of rats and kobold snipers in the shadows
  • a major battle with kobold dragonshields, hidden snipers and the kobold traplord, which resulted in another near-death for Gander at the burning hands of the wizard
  • the discovery of the kobold living quarters, another trap, fleeing kobold young and females, and near-genocide with only three out of 40 kobolds managing to escape the party’s assault

Satisfied with their day’s slaughter the party locked themselves in the store room and hunkered down for a rest.

125 XP earned each.

The verdict from players and DM on the new system was overwhelmingly positive. The game played fast and fun, and the transition from exploration to RP to combat and back seemed effortless. After so long running a 4E campaign, and getting slowly more and more jaded with the tactical skirmish element D&D Next seemed like a real breath of fresh air. It really felt like a return to the core and origins of the game, without the masses of fiddly complexity that turned me off 3.5.

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