First, this contains vague spoilers for book 2.
With that out of the way I thought I would share the hilarious and awesome events that are unfolding at Red Lake Fort and ask if anyone else had anything like this happen.
The party is a made up of a dwarven paladin, a dwarven warpriest, a dwarven bard, a dwarven monk, a dwarven arcanist and finally a dwarven wizard. The party theme for this AP was to make a dwarven strike force to reclaim Urgri for the dwarves but they got sidetracked during a small pit stop in Trunau. There is also a Dwarven Ranger Ingrahild, the NPC.
So the party arrives at the Fort and does the standard recon. They look at the lake/dam, the gate, possibly setting a forest fire or something to draw them out, back to lake/dam before finally deciding that kicking in the gate would be the best option. They set out at sun down, the time of the bear fights after hearing and recognizing the dwarf in the pits as Umlo, the party rushes the gate. I rolled for 5 orcs to be on guard. The highest total for their perception was 8 which set the stage for the following bloodbath.
Acting in a surprise round the party started thing off with a fireball, hitting almost 20 of the orcs, if I remember right. Of those almost all of them failed their saves and we're dropped to just a few hit points. The ranger then cast entangle in the room, and the front line ran up to the gate to form a shield wall.
The short of it is that over the next 6 rounds the PC's murder all but 3 of the orcs, including the General. Dorja, failed a will save and was reduced to a vomiting mess for the whole battle. Although she did successfully surrender. At this point the orgekin on the tower finally roll a high enough perception to notice that the commotion was not normal and sound the alarm but the PC’s were already withdrawing from the fort to their base in the woods nearby.
Did anyone else’s party avoid the not-so subtle hints to sneak in?
With a party of 6 plus an active NPC, I'm not surprised it went poorly for the fort, though all out assault would still be tough if not for the surprise round. Entangle really help. My other group dropped an entangle at the gate in Trunau and it basically ground combat to a halt while the party picked them off with crossbows. Nasty spell.
Our group literally snuck their way in, quite cleverly I might add. The party consisted of my 13 year-old (at the time) son and two of his friends, plus a character I played. The four of them would not have fared as well with such an assault, I think. They were all relatively new to the game at the time (a year ago) and a little skittish about direct assaults. No so any more.
After it all went down, I wasn't too surprised it happened that way. Almost all of them have been playing for 12+ years so they know how to make the most of a surprise round. I was surprised that there wasn't any mention of tatics or strategy for anyone in the Fort about possible actions or reactions to a hit a run on the main gate.