Redesigning Encounters: Street Assault
I decided to play Street Assault differently than it was written; instead of an ambush as depicted in The Scouring of Gate Pass, the Black Horses instead institute an all-out attack in order to capture Asher (whom they failed to attain in the first session). Also, looking forward, I saw that Kathor and Renard were in the same combat near the end of the adventure; I wanted to seperate the two in order to highlight each individually.
Street Assault, known as Street Ambush in the adventure, is located on page 51 and consists of the following:
- Black Horse Lieutenant, Level 3 Soldier
- 4 Black Horse Bandits, Level 2 Skirmishers
- 4 Black Horse Veterans, Level 3 Soldiers
The Good, the Bad, and the Fluffed
Much like the previous encounter, Spy Headquarters, I completely redesigned this encounter from the ground up. The reason for this is two-fold: One, I wanted Kathor Danava in this encounter, and two, I already had updated Black Horse stats from the first encounter—why not use them?
Instead of the 4 Black Horse Bandits, I used 2 of the Black Horse Thugs from the Ambush! encounter. Instead of the 4 Black Horse Veterans, I used 4 Black Horse Recruits, also from Ambush! The Black Horse Lieutenant—now Kathor Danava—got fluffed from a Young Green Dragon, a Level 5 Solo Skirmisher from page 69 in the Monster Vault.
Poisonous wounds became storm of swords; I dropped the poison descriptor and kept it as untyped ongoing damage. Instinctive flyby was fluffed into instinctive charge. Bite turned into a greatsword to match the miniature and claw was renamed double strike—described as two swipes of the greatsword for the price of one.
The dragon’s breath weapon was fluffed into whirlwind strike; again, the poison descriptor was dropped. Flyby attack was renamed overwhelming charge and the flying portion of the power used Kathor’s normal move speed. Luring glare became warrior’s challange and lastly, I changed bloodied breath to bloodied whirlwind.
Finally, I enjoyed using the three powers from Sly Flourish on the Shealis combat so much that I decided to add all three to Kathor’s stat block as well.
Keeping Things Balanced
The encounter level for Street Ambush is listed as 6 (1,350 XP). After my adjustments, the encounter level remained the same.
A Final Note
After seven sessions, the Redesigning Encounters series has made its point. No matter what the mechanics say, you can take any creature, feat, power, hazard, trap, item, class, or race, and turn it into whatever you need. Zombies can become goblins, swords can become hammers, fighters can become samurai, and dragons make awesome monsters no matter how you fluff them.
Lastly, as the campaign progresses, each encounter becomes increasingly different from its original, which could cause confusion for folks who are simply looking for stat updates and not entire rebuilds from the ground up. Nevertheless, I still intend to discuss encounter modifications; look for these tidbits in my session musings.