Last night was the second session after the restart, and the first combat since we got going again.
We are playing over Fantasy Grounds and between when I last used it for RMC and last night there have been tons of improvements.
The table resolver now how little Apply buttons after each result which seemed like a tiny change, but made a huge difference in the game session.
Putting marveling at the technology aside, the encounter I wrote months ago, suddenly seemed pretty tough when it came to run it at the (virtual) table. The party are mostly 3rd level, except the NPC healer who is 7th. The foes they were fighting were 8th level.
I threw one naga at them at first, and they surrounding it and beat it to a pulp in no time. That was to be expected. In the second encounter they took on two, one was up front, and a second dropped from an upper level down into their formation. That caused them a few problems. The grappling criticals shattered two elbows (two characters, one elbow each), and shatter repair is 12th level so out of power range for the healer. The characters won the fight and deleted a fair chunk of their herbs.
They then came across 3 nagas, and their healer was not with them. The healer is a centaur and didn’t physically fit into the tower. So this was a three on three fight against tougher opponents. The characters had control of the only easy exist, so could have retreated at any time. If they had done so, their healer could have joined in. The centaur isn’t particularly tough but does know Shockbolt, and is capable with a morning star. That would give them 4 vs. 3.
The dice were very much on the characters’ side at the start of the fight. I think two of the three attacks in the first round were open-ended, and they got two of the nagas stunned with no parry. One went down quite quickly to a critical. The characters then had numbers on their side. They kept one naga stunned, but the third started to take a toll on the characters.
At the end one PC was down, their main fighter, another had a shattered knee, the party thief. and surprisingly the remaining character hadn’t taken a single point of damage.
Patching themselves up again drained more herbs, and a fair chunk of magic.
I don’t know how long running three different combats would have taken me using books and dice. but I doubt that I would have got through all three in a single evening. We played for just under 4hrs last night. Overall, I was impressed. They were tough fights, and it could have gone either way. It was supposed to be a minor encounter on route to a destination further up the road. It actually proved to be a valuable team building exercise for the party, now they are one player less, the dynamic has changed.
All in all, Peter was a happy GM, with happy players.