So Balan & Co. venture out beyond the town limits, and encounter four wolves. Balan quickly develops a strategy: Imoen sneaks up to the wolves and positions herself in such a way that only one of the critters can see her, then she shoots it with her bow. It chases her back to the others. Balan throws a chromatic orb at the creature, which blinds it, and the party finishes it off. Then Imoen sneaks up to the next wolf, and the company takes it down in the same way. Once the four wolves are taken out, Imoen sneaks to the next area, and spies an orc standing just outside a cave, by a wagon. This time Branwen throws the spell “Hold Person”, which freezes the orc, and they try to take him down, as well, but he unfreezes and escapes into the cave. So much for sneaking up on whoever is in there.
Now comes the famous “15 minute workday” part of the story. The company enters the cave, Branwen throws down “Hold Person”, the company wails on whichever orc is stunned until either it dies, or it unfreezes and attacks, at which point they retreat back outside. The orcs do not follow them, which is fortunate, for then the company can rest up, prepare spells, and go back into the cave. It’s tedious, but effective. Pretty soon, Branwen gets to a high enough experience level to start casting “summon skeletons”, or whatever it is. Now, the company has instant tanks that can take the front line, while the company peppers the enemy from the back. Still, there are enough orcs in this cave to require the “15 minute workday” plan to remain in place. After Balan gets to level 5, however, they change strategy a little. Instead of going outside to rest, sometimes they rest inside the cave, if Balan and Branwen still have spells available, because there are occasional random encounter orcs that pop up while they are resting. More XP, FTW!!!
I’m doing the “quicksave”, “rest”, “reload” if there are no random encounters when they rest, because it’s in the company’s interest to be as high a level as possible before they leave Easthaven. The fight through the goblin valley that’s coming up is brutal, brutal, brutal. They don’t have to know that, though.