Empire's End

The First Game
... First games are always awkward, aren't they?


It's a banner.


           The story begins with four friends, each back from their respective reasons for leaving (GM Note:  Nobody gave me a background except for one player, so I have to be incredibly vague here.)  After reuniting, the group decided to find a tavern to catch up with each other over a mug or five of beer.  While at the local preferred ale-house, the Color Animal Inn, a brief conversation with a patron and advertisement nailed to the wall alerted the party to potential work… (GM Note: Otherwise known as “The quest I planned for tonight.”)

                                                           Adventurers!  The Steven Arborosa
                                                           University of Academics is recruiting
                                                           skilled explorers to retrive relics
                                                           and information from a recently
                                                           discovered ancient temple.
                                                           Pay negotiable, ask for the
                                                          – Regiwell Orefiend, Headmaster


           After mulling the concept over, the group decided to take the offer up.  They purchased a room for the night, deciding they'd best head out in the morning. (GM Note: This turned out to be harder than I had ever anticipated.  Rather than just buy a room or two for a few silver, they decided they wanted to work out who slept in what room and with who.  This turned into one giant innuendo festival..)

Eventually, morning came.  They decided to make their way through the city to the university.  As they approached, they observed how ornate the structure is, having gothic architecture and a giant glass dome over the lobby (GM's Note: I totally botched the description of it, though...)  They entered the lobby and eventually, Regiweld Orefiend came out to greet them, revealing himsef to be a brown-bearded, balding dwarf with a taste for ornate robes.

The group was lead into his ornate office.  Inside, they learned that the ancient temple in question was located in the forests to the north of the city, though the exact location was unknown.  Regiweld also described how the last group he had left had simply taken the money and run off, never actually doing anything at all.  Due to this, he only offers a marginal amount up front, with the rest when they return.  After brief negotiations, they agree.

The group decides to buy last minute supplies and head out on the job immedietly, heading north to the forest.  As the party trudged on through the ever-thickening woods, they quickly realized they had no idea where they were headed to.  To find their way to the temple, a Skill Challenge was initiated (GM's Note: I mostly wanted to try out D&D4E's new Skill Challenge system here. Little did I know the DCs in the books actually gave them about a 5% chance of success or something ridiculous like that…)  After marching on for the rest of the day, mostly in circles, they finally stumble upon a clearing with the entrance to a small cave.  Deciding that the cave would make adequite shelter, the group's Wizard marched right in, taking no caution whatsoever.

Predictably, the cave was already occupied by a small pack of wolves, who immedietly took to defending their home against this intruder.  Because of the wolves' unique ability to knock someone prone when they have Combat Advantage and hit, they quickly pinned the poor mage down and began mauling him.  Had the rest of the group not come rushing in weapons drawn, he probably would have been killed from his own lack of caution.

The group sparred off with the wolves, eventually driving the survivors out of the cave after a brutal melee.  Battle-weary and tired, they set up camp in the cave and took an Extended Rest to restore their health and abilities.

They woke up the next morning, and after about half a day's completely lost wandering, found the temple.  The temple itself was a very Mayan-esque pyramid structure with ornamental pillars surrounding it…

We cut off here due to lack of time.

GM's Afterthoughts:  I didn't handle this one well.  It was partially because I was dealing with two players who were new to D&D and partially because I really had no solid DMing experience.  It didn't help that none of us had ever played 4th Edition, either.  As such, the adventure sort of ended up being a railroaded mess.  The Skill Challange system didn't work out because of some bad guideline DCs, and the fight with the wolves ended up taking a long time to complete.  

I also would have really liked to have a bit more player imput though.  We rolled up characters before the game, which is why nobody really had any solid history, but it would have been nice if they had a few ideas so I wasn't totally lost.

Overall, I'd say this game was the typical first game.  Lots of problems, working out kinks, etc.


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