Posted by : David Guyll May 14, 2009

I decided to whip up a basic three-encounter delve to play through myself, just to see how well the monk holds up. Initially, it was just going to be a dwarf monk with a couple of healing potions. The name of the game wasnt survival so much as seeing how well he performed. Then, I decided that maybe I should pair him up with a kenku rogue and attach a kind of tenuous plot to the mix.

What I ended up with was that a hive of kruthik had tunneled into a dwarf monastery, or something. I just cracked open a Caves of Carnage tileset that I apparently forgot about and just made something at random. Anywho, here's the party rundown:

Fyst Ironfist (dwarf monk)
Snake (fire snake sorcerer)
Sir Frog (bullywug ranger)
Darkwing (kenku rogue)

To keep things simple I gave Frog and Darkwing feats to boost their striker damage, while Fyst and Snake got a +1 to attack. This allowed for very minor character management since I had to control four characters at once. I'm positive that I forgot to include some kicker effects on many attacks, but in the end I dont think it mattered much. I wanted to do a fire serpent writeup, but said fuck-all and just reskinned a dragonborn.

So, yeeep. All strikers. Each is armed with 2 potions of healing so that in a pinch they can heal themselves (except for Snake). How do they know eachother? Well, I assume that Snake is some kind of forge spirit that shows up when shit hits the fan, and that maybe there is a flock of kenku also living there? And, the bullywug--

You know what? Fuck it. It doesnt have to make sense!

I planned out three encounters geared mostly for a party of four. I made the first encounter a little easy just to test the waters. I was sad that I didnt get to properly use the deathcap mushrooms: I had intended to set them up as terrain hazards that players could push kruthik into to cause them to explode (which might harm allies as well), but unfortunately things didnt go according to plan.

Encounters
Encounter 1: 2 Kruthik Young, 1 Kruthik Hatchling
Encounter 2: 3 Kruthik Young, 2 Kruthik Hatchlings
Encounter 3: 1 Kruthik Adult, 2 Kruthik Young

Each encounter had kruthik burrowed beneath some rubble, and only Frog had a high enough Perception to act in the surprise rounds when they occured. Frog ended up being the bitch of the party, and I just kept mauling him since it always seemed to make the most sense, though at most he was one point shy of bloodied. None of the encounters ever made it past three rounds, and Darkwing never used his encounter attack since sly flourish did a shitload of damage every time.

In defense of the monsters, they tended to roll fairly badly and were all brutes, so they had a hard enough time hitting as-is. The kenku and fire snake were very ideal for their classes, having +4 to their attacks and +4 for secondary stats (which worked great for the sorcerer striker damage and Darkwing's sly flourish attack). In retrospect I'm sure I could have added at least another kruthik young to each encounter. Hell, I might have been able to get away with another kruthik hatchling on top of it.

Mostly this was done to playtest the monk, and it worked out extremely well. In any instance that there was a kruthik hatchling nearby Fyst was able to drunken monkey a young into the hatchling, taking it out of the fight. If there was more than one young next to an ally, then a crane's wings was great for kicking them away. Against the kruthik adult I used a combination of dragon's tail to prone it, followed up by a drunken monkey to knock its ass into a young for some added damage.

The last battle was a major letdown. I forgot to use action points until then, so each character got to unload their daily and encounter in sequence. You didnt get to see it, but at one point Frog and Darkwing used driving the prey and trick strike to paddle a young back and forth between eachother for a shitload of damage. Couple this with Snake's AoEs and encounter attack, and basically by the end of round one everything was bloodied. I plan to upload pics that I took on an almost entirely round-by-round basis, so you can see how fast things went.

In the end, I learned that not only is the monk a blast, but that a bunch of strikers is bloody-fucking-murder.

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