For those of you running the Council of Spiders adventure for the latest season of D&D Encounters, I’d like to provide you with a game aid I like to use when DMing: D&D Encounters Council of Spiders HP Charts. These charts provide an easy-to-use format for tracking hit points and recording whether encounter powers have been used without requiring you to mark up your adventure book. If you’ve seen my 4th edition stat blocks for the gods of the Egyptian and Central American pantheons, this will be familiar to you. Each creature has an entry that provides the creature name; the creature’s defenses; the mini being used to represent the creature; check boxes to record whether they’ve used their recharge, encounter, or daily powers; and their hit points, accompanied by columns to track damage.
First, I have some general comments for you. If the number of players varies at your table, you’ll likely be adding or removing certain NPCs from the encounter. Those characters have their hit points provided in bold, italicized fonts to indicate they’re optional characters. Also, a recharge power is indicated by the American trademark symbol followed by a number (if applicable). Thus, the power Ricochet Shot, recharge , appears as Ricochet Shot®5.
I generally use charts for minions only when the creatures have encounter or recharge powers; however, I’ve included them for all encounters in case you wanted them.
I’ve also included the DC charts that I stole from Sly Flourish. (Click that link. He has a lot to offer the D&D gamer.) I use them often enough that it’s useful to have them on hand on the same sheet of paper as the encounter charts. They’re in the footer of every page.
Finally, you’ll note the copyright notice at the bottom. I can’t help it. I’m an attorney focusing my practice on intellectual property law (and real estate law). I have to include it. Note that there’s also permission to use this for personal use. Basically, all that concerns me is the idea that someone might sell my work product. I doubt that’s a problem, and unless it’s your intent to do so, you won’t have any complaints from me. Don’t make money off of my work, and we have no issues between us.
As a final note, I’ll mention that, as I become more familiar with the adventure, I might add some notes to the pages that help remind me of key elements of the encounter that are easily forgotten or hard to reference quickly when buried in the adventure booklet’s write up. (For an example from last season, I had an italicized, underlined sentence that spelled out the schedule by which teams of skeletons animated as the combat progressed.) Feel free to come back here to see if I’ve updated the document or if you have any such suggestions.
In any case, I hope you find these useful. I’ve provided specific notes for each encounter. Mild spoilers follow.
As mentioned above, the minion chart might not be useful here. If not, just ignore it.
It seems strange to eliminate the Ambusher from this encounter if only 4 players are present, but technically he’s the appropriate one to eliminate. Again, the minion chart might not be useful here.
Encounters 3, 4, and 5
This is not likely to break out into combat, so stat blocks aren’t provided in the adventure package. I created stat blocks and placed them here so you wouldn’t have to bounce back and forth between encounters.
The encounter is level 4, so but there’s only 1 level 4 character on the board: the Drow Acolyte. If you have 6 players, add another Drow Acolyte. Simple enough. Because of the importance of that character, though, removing her isn’t the best option if you have only 4 players. You’re obviously free to do so, but I chose to design the encounter blocks to eliminate 2 of the Drow Templars. YMMV.
Again, the minion chart might not be useful here.
It makes absolutely no sense to eliminate Valan Jaelre from this encounter, though I guess it makes sense to add another character of his type. Nevertheless, to keep it simple, and to keep the spotlight on Valan as unique, I treated the Hex Knights as the NPCs that should be added or removed from the encounter to adjust for the number of players. They are also of level 4.
You’ll note that the recharge symbol for Valan’s Webbed Miasma power doesn’t have a number after it. That’s because it doesn’t recharge on a die roll. You’ll just have to reference the stat block or remember that it recharges when he’s first bloodied.
Again, the minion chart might not be useful here, especially considering there could easily be no Bone Spiders appearing during the encounter, and even if they do appear, there could easily be no more than one on the board at any one time.