For our second session of Dragons & Disney, our heroines pressed into the Enchanted Forest, seeking out Sleeping Beauty’s kingdom and information about what might have happened to the princes.
Since Misha, our player for Fionna, was absent with a nasty sickness, we were down to 5 players. Amelia (Cinderella) was running late, so we started with four players in a forest campsite, stopping for a rest. Tianna cooks up some delicious forest gumbo, but then they hear growling from the woods: two badgers! And from the other side come Twig Blights- three minions, and one Twig Blight. (The Badger is from my Heroic Threats monster list; Twig Blights from Monster Vault: Nentir Vale.)
The princesses had some trouble concentrating their fire, and before long almost everyone was bloodied, friend and foe alike. Amelia arrived, and Cinderella was placed on the map, pursued by a second twig blight. With some ranged Warlock attacks and the high damage from Mulan, they were able to take out first the badgers, then the Twig Blights (but not before one turned invisible and retreated into the forest, and then came back with its Blighted Claw). Tianna used both her encounter and daily to attack multiple targets, but had poor rolls, getting about a 50% hit chance, but still spread the damage around and killed some minions. Despite having to use most of their healing resources, the princesses were victorious.
While the Twig Blights were destroyed, the thrashing served to break the enchantment on the badgers. Tinkerbelle realized that as a pixie she could talk to beasts, and the badgers explained that an evil faerie had put an enchantment on the forest, and was in “a stone burrow” somewhere. The princesses discussed what they knew about faeries and who could be the enemy.
Even with the assistance of the badgers (representing a +2 to skill checks), the princesses failed on the Navigate the Forest skill challenge (Mulan and Rapunzel used Athletics to chop a path, Tinkerbelle and Tianna used Nature to navigate, and Cinderella used Arcana to look for traces of magical energy. As a result, their enemy got an initiative bonus in the next encounter:
(At one point during the encounter, Tianna was reduced to -9 hit points- 1 hit point away from retirement!)
In a giant forest clearing, they saw a Corrupted Triple Treant. This encounter was inspired by me buying an incense burner at Wal-Mart, which has some great things for potential minis in their incense section. The Triple Treant is a large tree with branch arms, three faces, and a ‘Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil” motif. It looked exactly like a boss monster in a cartoon.
This being their first boss fight, the princesses approached with a mixture of caution and fear. Mulan and Rapunzel hesitatingly charged, with Cinderella, Tianna, and Tinkerbelle shooting from afar. Tianna used Witch Bolt, and having hit, was able to sustain each round without having to roll an attack, which was handy. Mulan got more of a share of bonus attacks as the Treant shifted each turn to get out of her aura so it could use its Ward off Evil.
Shari, playing Tinkerbelle, asked if she could fly up and land in the trees branches. I said yes. This provoked an attack of opportunity, which hit, but Mulan got an additional attack as well.
On my next turn, the Treant used its Branch Frenzy attack, which can only be used on an Action Point action, to attack Rapunzel, Mulan, and now Tinkerbelle who had come within range. The attack knocked Tinkerbelle prone, and reduced her to 1 hit point, and knocked her prone. Since she was now prone, I asked Shari to make an Acrobatics check to try to stay on the branch. She failled, and falled 20 feet- taking 18 damage, and bringing her well past negative bloodied. Tinkerbelle has been reduced to a beaten state and retired.
There was some serious discussion about whether or not to run at this point, but then Cinderellatook her turn: attacking with her encounter power, bloodying the Treant, and then action pointing for Crown of Radiance, which blinded it for a turn. Another turn allowed the princesses to put down quite a beat down on it, and it was defeated by Eldritch Blast on Cinderella’s next turn.
The princesses then met up with Aurora, Sleeping Beauty (the lazy warlord), who Shari will be playing. I gave her some information which she shared with the other princesses- everyone in her kingdom has fallen under a sleeping spell, and her prince went off to Maleficient’s castle, but has not returned. And now, plants are creeping in and overgrowing the place. An extended rest later, the princesses determined to set out for Maleficient’s castle.
This session was seriously shorter than I had anticipated: 2 and a half hours, everything included. I still have to adapt to the quickened pace of low level games. Tim suggests having extra filler encounters I can drop in, but maintaining balance is important that I don’t overwhelm the players, punishing them for swift play. I will certainly have three encounters for next week, and an exploration section of Maleficent’s castle.
And then we played Cards Against Humanity for an hour.