The setting: your party wakes up in a brightly lit room. You’ve got skates on your feet, pads on your pointy bits, a helmet on your head. Your agility, intelligence, perception, etc modifiers are on the cards in tucked in your lockers. A man in black and white stripes comes in and asks you to follow him.
Do you? You do.
The next room has a sheet of ice and what looks like thousands of people all staring at you expectantly. There’s another group of people wearing similar outfits to yours, but blue instead of white and green. Your special skills and power items are are on your character sheets at the bench.
The man in the black and white stripes tells you to roll initiative.
Playing the role of Dungeon Master tonight is whoever the two refs and the two linesmen were. I don’t pay attention to their names. Yes, there are four of them. They control the fates of the universe, so it certainly can’t be me, non player character that I am.
The first thing you need to know about this game is that Reimer rolled a natural twenty on initiative, he already had a pretty good modifier, and he’s got a magic force field that gives a -15 to attack rolls. so, like, good fucking luck to all the Stars, unless they’re rolling in with 30 sided die. (They aren’t, that would be illegal.) This force field, unfortunately for Patrick Sharp, who is half fey, is made entirely of drowmesh.
Patrick Sharp’s simple hockey stick is no match for it, and unfortunately his charm modifier is no good on the drow. (The Leafs are all drow in this encounter, and Babcock is the Drow Master.) (D&D thrives on simplicity sometimes, and so does Merrin when she’s writing complicated game recaps.)
So like, first the Stars top line gets their turn, but Reimer rolls to save. The Leafs get their chances, but three of them miss and the other two have been knocked immobile by the Stars attack. They roll to save but not till the end of their turn.
And then. THEN. Boyes gets on the ice. Boyes doesn’t look like much, his bag of holding has the sleeves of a couple of other teams dangling out of it, his stick has seen better days (and he hasn’t leveled up in a while). The last heroic feat he chose was “Master of Grit.” But damn if he doesn’t roll a 17 vs dexterity on the attack, and Niemi rolls a 2 on the save.
It’s fine though, Niemi took some damage but his Hit Points are crazy high. You don’t know what Reimer’s is, but historically the opposing goalie’s HP has been low, and you’ve got some impressive encounter powers in your group.
Jamie Benn starts the next round. He’s a dragon born, just as likely to plow over an attacking force as hit them with any weapons. He likes to get in close for the kill. He can’t let that goal stand, so after checking with the rest of the group, he winds up one of his Daily Powers and unleashes it on Reimer. You know, one of those attacks that still deals half damage if he misses?
He doesn’t miss. He rolls a 19 to attack and like 60 points of damage. Reimer’s force field vanishes like it was made of hopes and prayers.
You look to the ref in hopes that Reimer’s at least bloodied, if not completely obliterated. The ref shakes his head. Reimer had temporary hit points from a chant Babcock used during his encounter with CBJ, the ref says. Also he slept on a Restful Bedroll last night. Jamie’s attack hurt him, sure, but it didn’t bloody him. Not even close.
Another of the MapleDragons rolls an attack on Niemi but his movement takes him within striking distance of Klingberg. Klingberg’s a half elf whose human half helps in drow encounters and his basic attacks are better than half the MapleDragon’s at-will powers. He takes the attack of opportunity and wins. The immediate interrupt saved the attack on Niemi and the drow went back to the bench.
Then it’s Boyes’ turn again. He rolls another encounter power, 20 vs Niemi’s will. Unfortunately, Niemi’s will isn’t as high as his dex, and that hits. Boyes is still rolling damage when your group’s wizard, Lindy Ruff, reminds the DMs that he’s got a will modifier for the encounter, adding +15 to Niemi’s modifier. After a brief conference and some replays, the DM agrees.
After twenty minutes of playing, the DMs tell everyone it’s time for a bathroom break and to meet back in the room in 18 minutes.
Lupul gets the first attack after the break. His last heroic feat was Dazzling Charm and you make a mental note to not let Sharp try to Charm him, because his resistance is probably pretty high. Anyway, he rolls another freakin 20 to start the encounter and there’s literally nothing Niemi’s gonna do against a critical hit. He’s not gasping for breath yet, but after the damage is rolled he’s down to less than half his Hit Points and he’s bloodied. One of Ruff’s Standard Actions is a healing surge, and it becomes clear why Nemeth drew into the line-up, as he has an extraordinarily high constitution and can donate his HP to a Second Wind. It doesn’t get Niemi back up to full points, but he isn’t bloodied anymore.
The Leafs try a group attack next, but the spell they say they’re using only allows for five rolled die and six of them roll to attack. An immediate interrupt from the DM knocks two of the players prone until their next turn, or save ends.
Unfortunately, that man advantage doesn’t help you much, as they’ve got pretty good defensive powers, and Reimer got his force field back up. (Unluckily for you, it isn’t an encounter power. Somehow Reimer has leveled up enough that the force field is just a standard action. So, that’s great.)
Eakin, your dwarf paladin with the epic tier hockey mace, rolls to attack Kadri, but Kadri’s got dwarven gloves on that make him resistant to pulling motions, and Eakin rolls a 1 on the attack. Instead of scoring a hit, Eakin loses his stick and knocks himself prone until his next turn. While he’s down, Lupul takes advantage of the attack modifier and rolls to attack Niemi. He rolls an 18 this time. Not critical, and his damage rolls aren’t amazing, but it’s enough. Niemi is bloodied again.
Phaneuf’s up next. He’s a level 20 but he hasn’t chosen the most useful heroic feats. He tried to cross-class from more defensive powers into attack on several of his level-ups, which left him with less prowess across the board. He still has a few good skills, enough to impress party leaders that aren’t really paying attention. However, he rolls a 1 to attack and ends up putting himself to sleep until his next turn.
End of this round, Nemeth has taken a lot of damage in minor attacks, Niemi is bloodied, and Lupul looted the cache of weapons in the corner. His stick has been upgraded again. You’ve looked in all the likely chests on your side of the room, but there’s nothing of note, just a floating lantern, a camel’s straw hat, and a lens of reading.
You still start out this round with the +5 modifier on Phaneuf’s catastrophic 1. Unfortunately, you’re not able to take advantage of the modifier, because your group rolls nothing above a 10. Because that’s just the way this campaign seems to be going.
Nichushkin rolls to attack. He’s an Elven Avenger, which basically means you can’t trust him to be diplomatic but he’s incredibly sturdy in an encounter and has an impressive arsenal of powers. He takes his movement on the net and the MapleDragons defender, like Nichushkin knew he would, takes an attack of opportunity. Val had very wisely armed himself with his Bracers of Defense before the game, and gets an immediate interrupt to the melee attack. This eventually gives him an unfettered angle on Reimer, but Val can’t roll high enough to compensate for the force field, whose modifier just seems to get even higher with each attack it repels.
Spezza, one of your human warriors, and Goligoski, another half elf who spends a lot of time with Klingberg, also roll catastrophic 1s this encounter and both end up prone until their next turn. Not at the same time, thank goodness, and the modifier that gives the MapleDragons doesn’t do them any good on those advantages. Klingberg rolls a 1 close to the end of the encounter and knocks himself out until save ends. Morgan Reilly, a defensive drow with only one attack spell, dusts that power off and rolls another 20. You’ve stopped counting how many 20s they’ve rolled.
Niemi loses all his hit points on the critical hit. He rolls a 15 to save himself, but that only gets him up to 10 HP. There’s only one turn left in the encounter.
The DM pulls the MapleDragons from the encounter. They’ve won, and he sends them off prepare (and level up, probably) for their next encounter against the White Walkers of Winterpeg. You leave wondering if they’re actually the heroes of this quest. The DM tells you to rest and recharge your Dailies, you’ve got to face the Dire Bears of Boston tomorrow night.
Note: credit goes to @tanyarezak for asking me during the third period if I’ve ever played D&D (I have). (I’m currently a level 8 elven ranger.) Clearly this was the logical response to being asked that question.
Thanks also to my DM for reading over this and making sure I had the D&D stuff correct.