A custom adventure (and my first) session report
Obviously inspired by The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, I thought I would try my hand at a custom adventure to find the Arkenstone and escape the clutches of Smaug.
Here is the line-up:
Great liberties were taken but with the thought in mind of keeping the game challenging and entertaining.
As you would expect the adventure featured a grand selection of Dwarves and a Halfling.
The adventure was led by Vistra (WoA), accompanied from the start with an Ally - The Halfling Sneek (DC). Vistra came into the adventure at (previously attained) Level three. Using the custom leveling from ninjadorg http://ratdorg.blogspot.ca/2011/04/named-tile-event-deck-for...
The second main hero for the adventure was Bruenor (LoD), with Athrogate as a custom Ally (from Chromaticdragon, http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/93260/ally-cards-for-lod-c...).
Bruenor came into the adventure starting at Level 2.
The Last main Dwarf was Thorgrim (CR). He was shadowed by the Ally – Dwarven Defender (DC), Thorgrim started the adventure at level 1, (in case I forget later, he was the only hero to advance a level in this adventure about half way through to Level 2).
The Wrath of Ashardalon base game, cards, tokens and tile set were used for the adventure. Adventure #9 was the bases for the adventure with the goal in mind of finding the Horrid Chamber, Smaug’s lair.
The Arkenstone (treasure item) was hidden among a dozen treasure tokens and scattered throughout the chamber. A hero could use an action to search the piles one token at a time. After finding the elusive Gem the adventurer still needs to find the exit tile.
The monster set was tailored and stocked with thematic beast made up largely of Orcs, Goblins, Spiders and Ogres. The monsters were a good mix of all three of the base games and most of the Dungeon Command sets. A few other D&D mini - custom monsters, found here in the forums, were also included.
With the power trio and allys in tow the adventure started very easy, quickly dispatching beasts as they appeared. While it was nice to have a good supply of allys there were times where I felt I was just working to keep them alive. Thorgrim and his healing abilities was a big asset for the adventure. It was looking like overkill until Smaugs lair…
Smaug was my own (test) custom Villain with basic but potent abilities, 20 AC - 20 HP and fire breathing that dealt out a +10 attack with 2 damage and 1 damage on a miss. He activated on each heroes turn.
Bruenor was fortunate to have found the Arkenstone on his first search. (Previously the Halfing sneek had only checked one other tile.) This is where the easy portion of this adventure ended. Suffice to say that Vistra was the punching bag for Smaug as Bruenor tried to escape and find the exit. This is also where all the allys were lost, (in the chamber).
In the end I was resolved to see the adventure through. With Smaug injured, but from from defeated, Bruenor finally found the exit.
Vistra took 2 healing surges with both Bruenor and Thorgrim also taking one surge each. I intended to go in with 2 Surges, so from this perspective the quest was an epic fail.
I also decided to continue taking Encounter cards upon finding the chamber as there would still be tiles to uncover on the way to find the exit. This was probably the undoing as the stock of experience points from 20 monsters were quickly used up (also through the adventure).
I am tempted to make a few tweaks (along with some better game play strategies) and try it once again.
Love the scenario building, and all the ways you used the D&DS bits to tell this adventure (including all the dwarves and halfling sneak, Smaug's treasure room with treasure piles).
Maybe once you succeed with this scenario, you can build one using the DC tiles outside, and have Catti-Brie (...Catti-Bard?) try to shoot Smaug's weak spot...