That Went Better Than Expected
It was kind of funny that the party put in a whole lot of discussion about how best to approach the dragon, and as the DM I applaud the seriousness with which they approached this. However, having five characters and knowing that if they managed to land 75% or more of their attacks, the fact that they had Advantage and that the dragon ended up dead last in the Initiative order meant that they would tear through this thing like wet tissue paper. The dragon’s strategy was to run when it was brought below 100HP and beset by at least three enemies, so the wurm decided to Fuck This Shit and get the hell out of Dodge. Of course, saying this does not mean that the party should assume superiority going forward. This is Chapter 1 (technically, it’s 2 or 3, but you know what I mean) so it’s more of a “get into the swing of things” kind of encounter than anything else.
A few issues of note, though: The party still needs to work on their focus. A few times over the past few sessions people have been talking over one another. We like to have fun, and part of the fun is goofing around, but in a two hour window, now with five people, time is at more of a premium than ever. Some people talk more, some people talk less, but it’s an ongoing consideration that we all need to work on so that no one becomes exasperated with his or her experience.
Another issue is that the Rise of Tiamat module in Fantasy Grounds is letting us down. I had to scramble a few times to look up information that the module mentioned, but didn’t provide. For example, the treasure in the dragon’s lair was priced out in terms of GP and SP, and gems were mentioned, but there was nothing specific about what kind of gems, except their oddly ordered value (200gp, 400gp, 600gp, and 800gp). It also said that the DM could offer magic items if desired. I felt this was a good idea because A) the ranger specifically went Detect Magic on the cavern, B) both RoT and HotDQ have been suspiciously magic-item-lite, and C) the circumstances that the party has not yet uncovered practically demand that there be magic items. So I rolled on the DM Guide tables, and it spewed a whole lot of text into the chat window, sowing confusion (mine) as I tried to collect that info into a Parcel for the party to work with. I dislike administrative tasks — although I know it’s part of the DM’s job — and as much as I love FG I felt that last night I was really fighting the system. We also tried to get effects applied. The waladin’s Hex and the ranger’s Hunter’s Mark worked well for application but not for execution, but the druid’s Stoneskin had no applicable effect defined, and I didn’t have time to research how to build one. What’s the point of automation if only auotmates 50% of the things, 50% of the time?