This was a great game. It’s been a few weeks since we played, since we were playing Wes’s campaign, but everyone jumped right in with barely a refresher. The group then went shopping in the market. This may sound like a pretty hum-drum activity, but this actually was a fairly big deal, at least for our group. OMG, SHOPPING guyz! Erm, well, not because the group likes shopping, but because it gave the group a chance to role play more than the previous combat-heavy adventure had.
I’m not knocking on combat, but D&D 4th edition tends to have slower combat, and the combat encounters can feel repetitive. I had encounters planned, but we didn’t get to the actual combat stuff until much later in the day. On the one hand – thank heaven, since I don’t have to plan more encounters next week! I still have my main quest-line’s encounters for later! On the other – drat, I was hoping to get further along than we did.
The shopping, in itself, was fun. T’Chack learned that holding swords at merchants in busy cities may attract the attention of the guards and Mikal learned that if you feel your party member is getting cheated, you need to speak up. D’Jee took the time to set up her sub-plot involving her sick friend Marq. He’s set up a quest for the party to find the location of the cure to his disease by drinking from the Lake of Golden Dreams, far north of Nibeney. Mikal then took Alain with him to buy some arcane ritual components. I’m house-ruling that as they start learning more complicated and specialized arcane rituals, reagents are going to become nigh impossible to find without having the right connections, and then they’ll be ridiculously expensive. Since Mikal (the party bard, and the only one of the arcane casters who hadn’t revealed the nature of his power) was the one who wanted the reagents, he and Alain took a moment to discuss briefly why Mikal needed them. Alain seems pretty chill with knowing that Mikal has some arcane power. Not unexpected, not unsurprising, either. Since T’Chack, Fips, and D’Jee weren’t there, I think Mikal’s secret is still essentially safe. After that, they went to get their dragonhides tanned into armor for T’Chack and a shield for Mikal, and to get two of the dragon’s fangs honed into daggers for Alain and Fips. D’Jee has the rod she found on the wizard’s corpse in the arena labyrinth for her focus.
They then went to handle their business with Kang, who revealed that he was having issues with Min-Suu. She was apparently displeased with his beasts not actually destroying the party in the labyrinth, so he’s fallen out of favor with her for the time being. He’d like them to bring back a white tiger to hopefully appease her. He took note of Alain’s slip that revealed the party had had a problem with fire, but didn’t have any intent to kill them off hand. He seems to find them too valuable.
The party then spoke with Min-Suu, who gave them 100 gold each, which they used to buy some discounted supplies (area merchants were still impressed by their success in the arena). They then went on their quest to find the white tiger.
They found a regular tiger not far along their quest, but they killed and skinned it in short order. They continued further, trying to find their prize. As they went further, they came upon a mark on a tree, which they determined was arcane in nature– some kind of warning. Further along, they came upon a clearing. Almost immediately, they determined something was wrong. The best description was that the trees seemed to be in the wrong places, and that something unnatural was going on. They came upon a man in this clearing- a man D’Jee quickly determined was using some sort of illusion. He revealed himself to be a Rakshasa youth, and quickly set his tiger pets on the party to watch them fight for his amusement. They rolled pretty well on a diplomacy check, and they were surprised by his actions. I told them, “Trust me, if you’d made him mad, he’d take all of you out, himself.”
All in all, it was a pretty fun game, both as a DM and (I hear) as a player. Awesome. _