Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Heroic Death

My character died in his second adventure. Who knew that a low constitution, ranged striker that always finds himself in the front line would be vulnerable? It wasn't the healers' fault, I simply ran out of healing surges followed by an attack that took me to exactly my negative bloodied level.

Fortunately, the style of campaign we're running is very forgiving. The Knights of the Arasen Vale (the organization our characters belong to) offer free raise dead rituals to those who fall in the line of duty. My only "death penalty" being the loss of half the xp and cash I would have earned in the encounter I died in.

I still like my character, and I'm 90% sure I'll continue to play him, but there are a couple of concerns both in my build and in the way the game plays. I probably should have dumped at least a couple more points into constitution at the expense of strength. I'm really not using my strength score, and I simply took the recommended defaults that the character builder gave me since I had never played before.

The problem with the way the game plays is that the character really isn't supposed to be in the front line. He ends up there because everyone else is even more squishy than he is, even the other striker in the group (who is also ranged). It also doesn't help that he's designed to move, but we inevitably start encounters in a 2x2 square area that's only open to the front. This is a result of the encounter based setup of the campaign. Each encounter is basically restricted to an 8.5x11 sheet of paper for convenience, but it makes for some very constricted battlefields. That's OK for some encounters, but it really hurts my character when every encounter is like that.

The result is that I inevitably get pounded on even in the easier lead-in encounters, where I have to take opportunity attacks in order to attack simply because there's no place for me to shift to. For now I'll just deal, but I may have to say something if we continue with the "elevator" approach to each encounter (we're effectively entering each encounter in a small elevator car where we can only go forward).

If I do have to roll a new character to better account for the encounter based style of play it will be a real shame because I've been looking forward to playing an effective archer in an RPG since I first picked up the purple box basic D&D. These two sessions have proven to me that the archer is effective, he's simply limited by the current play situation, as well as some mistakes in my build.

As for my character's death, I knew it was coming so I was able to get my daily power off and do a bit of damage the turn before it arrived. The remaining members of the party were able to dispatch the surviving foes in just a few more turns, with only the warlock leader, the one who killed me, managing to make his escape.

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