It never ceases to amaze me how players interact with the Dungeons and Dragons game world when the lives of their characters are at stake. Here are a few observations from the first week of Lair Assault play.
More Players = More Time Required to Kill Them All
In the last week I ran two tables through this ultra-deadly module. The first table was an eight-player private game at a bachelor party. For any DMs out there, whatever you do, DO NOT run Lair Assault for more than six players. Scaling up monsters and hit points, the adventure took nearly SEVEN hours to run to completion.
This number of players was difficult to scale for, and I felt that the action economy of the mod was ruined, making the challenge too easy for the massive group. Also, with a few summons, ten figs were difficult to jam onto a cramped dungeon map.
Although Lair Assault is designed to run only 2-3 hours, with six relatively efficient players, we ran over to nearly 3.5 hours. This party lost on time at the end of round 20 with one stubborn defender left standing.
Some Players Just Won’t Die
This defender mentioned above did not have much chance of success at the end… he used his standard action to Total Defense for the last several rounds hoping a party member would roll a 20 on a death save. The defender could not deal enough damage to take out Mordai Vell, a fire bat, and two fire breathing statues that remained… but the defender’s defenses were so high that the remaining monsters were having trouble hitting him. To make matters worse, the defender also had regeneration from a potion he had consumed earlier.
The eight player group was very cautious– almost painfully cautious. When they opened a door, they made lots of knowledge checks before proceeding, even if enemies opened fire from the other side. If the enemy threat was ranged, the would not send the entire group into the room. They would simply send the ranged strikers to the front and waited until the threat was gone.
Towards the end of the adventure, they were so paranoid about everything that they were afraid to open any door that they didn’t absolutely have to open, and they even hesitated to pick up the gem from the bejeweled statue, despite the glory reward for doing so.
Magic Items Never Dissapoint
Later this week I’ll be writing about some of the cheesy ideas I dreamed up, as well as some of the cheesetastic items I’ve encountered thus far. It never ceases to amaze me how players can dig up such obscure combinations to take full advantage of the constraints they are given!
Have you learned anything noteworthy about Lair Assault? Let us know!