It seems odd that I have now seen two separate years-long campaigns end within a week of each other. One was the 4e campaign in my last post, but last Friday we completed a multi-module story arc that ended with a battle vs a red dragon and his minions.
The battle was over quickly, lasting roughly two and a half rounds. And that was in spite of our party barbarian being killed outright in the first combat round before he even got a chance to move.
In spite of losing the barbarian, we were still able to take down the dragon in two rounds and polish off the remaining two minions with only half the remaining party needing to act in the third round.
The encounter illustrated to me something that I’ve been concerned about for some time. And that is the variance in party effectiveness or power. I have long felt that my druid is too powerful in comparison with most other party members. I feel sort of guilty about it. Guilty enough that I have commented on it too much and it has probably annoyed some of the party members. Especially since I tend to downplay my druid’s abilities in most fights so that she does not hog all the spotlight, making it appear that she is not really overpowered at all.
But in major fights I tend to take the gloves off and let her swing away. In this final fight she was responsible for roughly 75% of all damage done, took one of the three enemies down without help while also doing 115 points of damage to the 140 hit point dragon.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get to play Yleris, the elf/dryad hybrid druid again. But I do know that from now on, if I do get a chance to play her again, I will not hold back and will let her full strength be utilized in all fights. No more using her animal companion as a mount instead of sending it into battle. No more will she avoid using spells in favor of her bow. From now on she will concentrate her skills and feats on more traditional druid abilities such as augmented summoning (+4 to str and con for all summoned animals).
Before the final climactic battle our party had roamed around the dragon’s underground dungeon seeking its lair for two game-days. In all that time she had cast a single spell, using her bow in combat instead of casting spells. That was to allow the party sorcerer to be the party spell-slinger.
No more. Gloves are off now. From this point on instead of her falling back to the party, the party is just going to have to keep up. 🙂