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Subject: Session Report: Playtesting 'Drowning in the Depths' rss

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Here is a session report from my most recent play of Drowning in the Depths, my homebrew custom scene, with three players from my local group.


Setup Time: 15 minutes
Play time: 43 minutes

To mix things up we randomly dealt classes to each player. This gave us the party of Briarlock, Sage, and Blade. I played the Judge.


Custom Enemy: The Culled

(Below I refer to the enemies as 'Culled' - a.k.a. my custom enemy based off the Driven art from Thornwawch. Shortly after I posted my take on the Driven official rules were released. I have renamed mine to The Culled, to separate them from the official monsters.)

The Driven Momentum art. Art by Mike Krahulik.

Scene map:

The Battle Begins

We began the scene with one Culled enemy close to the players and three on the right. I placed the Murky Depths terrain card in the tile leading up to the first battle, and Animate Brambles in the enemy square, to give the players a tricky situation to get into or out of. I added Blood Flies terrain cards on the left-most corners, anticipating that would be where the heaviest battle took place.

The players were unafraid! They boldly lept forward and joined battle straight away. Spells and weapons flew and muddy bones and hewn vines filled the air!

Strategy and Carnage

The Sage pressed past the first enemy and set up a Bridge of Ages buff on the far side. This gave the party a place to make a stand - the Sage's buff cancelled out the Culled's 'Tough' ability, so the party no longer had to subtract dice from their rolls. Great strategy!

After defeating the first Culled enemy the rest of the party caught up and brought the fight. The drowning Lookout had only lost 2 of their 6 drowning tokens, and so was in decent shape. The party decided to avoid helping them straight away and go straight for the kill!

The fight lasted a few rounds, but in the end the Thornwatch were victorious! There was a lot of cooperation during this game to help each other draw extra cards and take actions outside of their own turn, which gave the party a lot of options and helped them stack up dice to kill the enemy.

The Culled hold their own

The Culled kept having their Momentum card being dealt on the edge, which was tough as they were easy to hit. Despite this their Tough and Eternal rules still give them a lot of staying power. The Culled enemies certainly kept the players busy.

The players cycled through their ability decks four times over the course of the scene, which gave me plenty of ebb to purchase Ebb Stitching (spend 2 ebb to reduce damage by 1), keeping the monsters alive even longer. As the Judge it was quite satisfying to make each enemy an obstacle.

Scene end: Thornwatch victory

At the end the Lookout had lost four of their six drowning timer tokens, and the Thornwatch drifted away in victory. The players reported that the scene was fun, and they didn't find the Culled enemy too annoying to deal with. A successful playtest!
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