Despite my being sick (again!), we managed to get together last week and complete the Thistletop dungeon. This time around, my players had a hard time dealing with nasty creatures like Yeth Hounds, whose nasty howl sent our ranger running in fear for most of the fight. Unfortunately for the rest of the party, there was also an issue of damage reduction, and since no one had an appropriate weapon, they really struggled without their largest damage dealer.
Things got better for the party as they went downstairs to fight Nualia (the boss in this adventure) and made clever use of the narrow corridor where the fight took place. Victory was swift as Nualia could neither flee nor receive aid from her faithful Yeth Hound, who could not reach our heroes. Needless to say, our heroes enjoyed looting her lifeless corpse.
From the game mastery side, this week I made use of a GM screen and a list of my players’ perception, stealth and knowledge modifiers, making rolls for these skills in secret. I think this helped with any potential metagaming that can result from seeing dice rolls, especially for things like stealth. The players also learnt the value of strategically retreating when outmatched, as they found Malfeshnekor more than they could handle. They are determined to return to Thistletop to finish him off, however.
With the conclusion of this dungeon, the characters reached level 5 and the end of chapter 1 of Rise of the Runelords. It’s now up to me to start preparing for chapter 2! Since one of our players is away on business, this gives me a couple of weeks to prepare.