The session began properly with some fun times! Edbury showed up finally & we did a vignette for his character; he's playing (or was-- his character died too!) a Shardmind in some way attuned to the Orrery-verse. The other players portrayed different...Queries? Asking Edbury's character questions about the fundamental metaphysics of the cosmos. "What is Monstruum's origin source? What is in Ova's seventh hand? What errors are there in the Archive? Where is the entrance to World-Below?" which the Shardmind answers & then the players voted affirmative/negative on whether the answer was accurate. It was a diagnostic! When we came out of that, we had a big brawl with...fire-guys! With flame drakes that bounced on their tails like Tigger, with lava-spitting flies. We had a tough time of it; various PCs went down at various other points. I never remembered to use Goblin Tactics, which lets you shift if someone misses you. If I'd've thought of it, I might have lived! Oh well. There were glowing pits that the flame drakes kept disappearing into; James said he thought that they were recharging their breath weapon, which made sense, & turned out to be more true than we thought! I figured there was hydrogen in the pits or something, & the drakes were gulping it down & then coming up to breathe fire on us.
Instead it turned out (we found out after the encounter) that they recharged anyone's Daily power. This is part of the problem with the meta-rule heavy DnD 4e. Should that have been more explicit? I feel like. I'm just wondering-- like minions. Should minions be "secret?" Should they be explicit? Should they be sort of half-way? I sort of feel the latter; like, if you have a huge "boss" in dragonscale armor or whatever, your players meta-game & realize he's the "boss." If he's got a ton of skeletons, the players meta-game & figure they are "minions" & I think that is what they are supposed to do. Rather than pretending there is no metagame, 4e embraces the metagame. Anyhow, we didn't know that the pits refilled powers! I was worried they might even be generating new monsters, so I made a break for the crystal platform at one end of the cavern, figuring it might have a way of closing the pits. To do so, I made a sort-of dumb, risky but calculated move, right into flank & provoking opportunity attacks. My defenses are pretty strong, I was hurt but not that badly off, & I figured "hey, I remembered about Goblin Tactics, so if one misses me I'll have scurried out of the way!" Well, that didn't work out at all. I got hit really bad by both & dropped to like, one hit point. So...I retreated, but the next round the lava flies hit me & I was down. Over the next 5 rounds I failed my three death saves, so! No one could have rescued me; the Edbury's character was down & he was the Leader; James' character was down or embroiled in the brawl; Maggie's character was down; & Emily's character was like the last chance for beating the bad guys. Which happened, we won, but not without some weird cyborg guy sticking Emily's Medusa & giving her like, a blood sugar test of some kind.