This was a big night for me since I had not played a D&D 4e game in years. It was a fun, relaxed game, which has been quite a change of pace given my other 4e experiences. Rather than do a painstakingly in-depth blow by blow retelling of the evening, I am going to start off with the general tenor of the story, followed by some observations.
The General Set-Up
The set-up for the game was pretty solid for a fantasy tabletop opening session. Three out of the four players were assigned to a traveling group of academics and hired guards charged with reclaiming a shrine before it succumbed to local mercenary groups. The session started rather abruptly with a rather nasty ambush from said mercenaries who proceeded to slaughter most of the guard, sans my character, and drive the PCs away through the forest in our wagon. As far as 4e combats go, this one went surprisingly fast, as it was a light introduction for those new to the system on how the basics of 4e combat worked. The sheer number of adversaries meant that we had to execute a speedy retreat, which prevented the combat from getting bogged down.
The following scenes saw our group being chased through the woods by the remaining mercenaries, whose tenacious pursuit led to the destruction of our wagon and our desperate escape into the woods. Taking as many muskets as we could, we proceeded toward a nearby campfire, where we were introduced to our fourth member, the only PC who wound up saving our collective asses. After hasty introductions, we headed off to a nearby elven village, where in the next session, we will see how receptive they will be to helping us on our plans.
The session was quite entertaining. There were a number of traditional fantasy tropes in the first session, but the homebrew world really offset them. I am usually very nervous about homebrew worlds in the wake of adventures in Greek Tragedy World, which had a degree of immersion not yet replicated in another campaign in which I have taken part, but at the same time, left me feeling isolated and disconnected from a world with so much exposition. However, in this campaign, much of the framework has been developed, but there is seemingly a lot left to pencil in throughout the campaign, allowing for more character connection. I must also add that the use of Obsidian Portal has helped me engage with the world in a more accessible manner.
My character really does not have a distinct personality yet, but that is more due to the relative lateness of my character creation and the anxiety of RPing with a completely new group of people. I modeled him a little after Dalt from the second half of Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber, but I am going to spend the next two weeks fleshing him out a bit more. This is also the first pure martial character I have played in quite some time, so it will be entertaining to see how I do with him.
With D&D Next creeping up from over the horizon, it has been rewarding, although briefly so, to have a chance to do more 4e. It has been a contentious issue within many of my gaming circles, as well as across the internet, so gaming with a table full of players either new to the system or supportive of it will hopefully allow me the opportunity to dig into it more aggressively and experience it more fully than previous attempts. The sheer prospect of being able to do some fast-tracking will undoubtedly enhance this feeling. The next session is two weeks away, and I am already gearing up for it.
*The wrap-up discussion at one point revolved around dog shaming, so the secondary title ties into that conversation.