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RPG Superstar 2015

Tomb of Horrors (4e) - Group 2, Part 2

Game Master Rev Rosey


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Human

Amazon just sent me an email saying ToH has dispatched. With luck it may arrive tomorow, in which case I can start reading it and plotting properly.

Timing seems about right to me.


Female Wood Elf Cleric / 2

I will be out of town from 7/18 until late 7/22, so feel free to NPC me all you want. :) 10th anniversary and the first time without the kids :)


Human

Enjoy every second.


Male Dwarf Warden/16
Samson Gord wrote:
Looks to me like you have a little of the same issue I have in that multiple of your feats are augmenting an ability that you can only use once per encounter, granted augmenting second wind is probably better than augmenting dragons breath, still. Have you considered the crippling crush sudden roots combo? I didn't study your powers but you seem to have a major focus on hammers so it would probably work well for you. Its been a while since I've played a warder but there is also a feat combo for cold damage and one of the wardens forms is all cold...

Yes, I agree with that. I originally took those thinking that the resist 2 all and 5 extra damage lasted until the end of the encounter, but quickly realized it was only UEMNT. I like the combo you mention, and may change one of my at will's to "weight of the earth" which slows the target. That should make my minimum damage with a hit 18, and 17 for an AoO (both increased by 3 in guardian form). That is not too bad.

Hammer Rhythm has been suprisingly unhelpful also. 5 points on a miss seems like a good deal. But does that work on minions. If minions "never take damage from a miss", doesn't that negate the Hammer Rhythm damage? Or is Hammer rhythm an exception to the general rule?

Another question: Mark of warding states, "whenever one of your powers grants a bonus to defence, increase that bonus by 1". Does this work with a Hammer Shield? Hammer shield states, "when you hit an enemy with an attack power using a hammer while wieldsing this shield, you gain +1 bonus to all defenses until the start of your next turn". I think the Defensive Hammer would follow the same rules. I originally thought yes, they would work together, but is the power of the hammer shield equilavent to one of my powers.

Anyway, not trying to be a rules lawyer here, but also wanting to be as prepared as possible for what our DM has in store for us!


Barel Dlode wrote:
Hammer Rhythm has been suprisingly unhelpful also. 5 points on a miss seems like a good deal. But does that work on minions. If minions "never take damage from a miss", doesn't that negate the Hammer Rhythm damage? Or is Hammer rhythm an exception to the general rule?

Barel, the minion text was updated in MM2: "If a minion is missed by an attack that deals damage on a miss, the minion doesn’t take that damage." So, no luck with Hammer Rhythm.

Barel wrote:
Another question: Mark of warding states, "whenever one of your powers grants a bonus to defence, increase that bonus by 1". Does this work with a Hammer Shield? Hammer shield states, "when you hit an enemy with an attack power using a hammer while wieldsing this shield, you gain +1 bonus to all defenses until the start of your next turn". I think the Defensive Hammer would follow the same rules. I originally thought yes, they would work together, but is the power of the hammer shield equilavent to one of my powers.

I'm less certain here, but I don't think item powers are "your powers."


Rockin' it now Group 1!

@Samson: What was the coordinated trick you wanted to do with my charger's call ability?


Human

You're all doing just fine.

The book arrived today and I'm about to plunge into it.

There is one immediately obvious problem. The first adventure in the set is level 10 and you'd cakewalk it, so I'm inclined to give that a miss entirely.

The second one is level 14. Now, the guidelines suggest that if you want to invoke the old-school terror that Tomb of Horrors should invoke, the GM should throw it at pcs about 2 levels below, which makes us pretty much perfect, but I'd like to sound you all out on this. How lethal would you like?


Lethal, he he


If you're going to do your usual doubling of monster xp, starting two levels low sounds good.


Rev Rosey wrote:

You're all doing just fine.

The book arrived today and I'm about to plunge into it.

There is one immediately obvious problem. The first adventure in the set is level 10 and you'd cakewalk it, so I'm inclined to give that a miss entirely.

The second one is level 14. Now, the guidelines suggest that if you want to invoke the old-school terror that Tomb of Horrors should invoke, the GM should throw it at pcs about 2 levels below, which makes us pretty much perfect, but I'd like to sound you all out on this. How lethal would you like?

Should we level up to level 12? I'm okay with deadly, though as a fairly inexperienced 4e player, I'll be a little slow to get into gear with my first few replacements characters after dying.

Sounds fun though!


Human

Darwyn - you are level 12 at the moment.

Pat - yes. The usual double XP deal. From what I've read so far, you'll be earning them.


Rev Rosey wrote:

Darwyn - you are level 12 at the moment.

Pat - yes. The usual double XP deal. From what I've read so far, you'll be earning them.

... *facepalm* Carry on, as you were, this is not the droid your looking for...


Human

I had a momentary horrible panic and thought "please, please don't tell me he's been doing this whole encounter as level 11 ..."


By the way, is there a way that I missed to raise yuor AC? I jst bought magic armor, and have an okay (+2 bonus) Dex score. Is there a dodge equivalent feat? My AC is 23 is that good? It looks to me like 25 would by more average. I could be totally wrong here.


Rev Rosey wrote:
I had a momentary horrible panic and thought "please, please don't tell me he's been doing this whole encounter as level 11 ..."

Sorry! I blame a day of lumberjacking! Chainsaw noise dulls the brain!


Darwyn Tafare wrote:
By the way, is there a way that I missed to raise yuor AC? I jst bought magic armor, and have an okay (+2 bonus) Dex score. Is there a dodge equivalent feat? My AC is 23 is that good? It looks to me like 25 would by more average. I could be totally wrong here.

23 is on the low side, but you don't have a lot of options without upping either INT or DEX.

I'm partial to the paragon feat Combat Anticipation, which gives +1 to all four defenses against non-melee attacks. Paragon Defenses doesn't help AC, and they don't stack, so you should pick one or the other -- and if you're getting hit in melee, some of us aren't doing our jobs!


Human

Bard AC is never going to be great unless you invest in an armour proficiency feat. It's possibly a good idea, but there are bound to be other feats you'd like more. Darwyn isn't really designed to be a front line boy, so it's not AC so much as your other defenses that would be a worry.

I'm looking at your sheet and I'm not sure you have a neck slot item. If you don't, you need to acquire one. That will up your other defenses significantly.


Male Dragonborn Warlord/Battle Captain
Darwyn Tafare wrote:

Rockin' it now Group 1!

@Samson: What was the coordinated trick you wanted to do with my charger's call ability?

I was thinking that in combo with my Lamb to the Slaughter:Standard Action, Melee 5(+3 Withering LongSpear)

Target: One creature
Attack: +18 vs. Will
Hit: You pull the target 5 squares, and one, two, or three allies within 5 squares of you who have line of sight to you and can hear you can make charge attacks against the target as free actions.

There are 2 problems I can see with it though. The first being I don't know how many melee fighters we have to charge and the second being a charge is a min movement of 2 squares I believe so if there are people adjacent it might not work. I think the best tactic for us to use would be to let the chargers confront him and become adjacent and then pull him away and then allow all the the chargers to chase after him, basically.

Rev Rosey wrote:

You're all doing just fine.

The book arrived today and I'm about to plunge into it.

There is one immediately obvious problem. The first adventure in the set is level 10 and you'd cakewalk it, so I'm inclined to give that a miss entirely.

The second one is level 14. Now, the guidelines suggest that if you want to invoke the old-school terror that Tomb of Horrors should invoke, the GM should throw it at pcs about 2 levels below, which makes us pretty much perfect, but I'd like to sound you all out on this. How lethal would you like?

Either way works for me... I like the original tomb of horrors, but I don't think I ever made it through it without being a level or 2 over the recommended.


Female Tiefling Warlord/Infernal Strategist 18

Lethal sounds fine. Goes looking for more mass healing and mass saving powers. I will admit that I would like to know what happens in part one, even if we go straight in to part two.


Human

I'll provide a recap as soon as I've figured it out myself.


Female Tiefling Warlord/Infernal Strategist 18

So, I'm cheating. I decided that since we were in the mopping up phase, I could have a look in Group 1's thread to see how they were doing. What can you expect from a tiefling?

With 213 posts, you have still to finish off 1 warlock, 4 skeleton archers, and the Shade.

With 220 posts, we have still to finish off 1 warlock and 4 skeleton archers.

It looks like there might be a photo finish. Personally I find it quite fascinating how two totally different groups of characters and players, with totally different sets of abilities, are still finishing an encounter at pretty much the same time.


Human

I'd expect nothing less :D

Group 1 are about a round behind you as they were down one of their leaders for a brief while.

It's been fascinating for me to see the different tactics of both groups. Between you all there has been only one death save (Tavar's), although I think most of you have been dangerously bloodied at some point and nearly everyone has used their second wind, AP and at least one daily.

EDIT: I'm also of the opinion that two leaders per group is going to be a good thing. You may well need all the healing you can get.

One other point. I'd urge those of you with ritual casting to make sure you have many components and a full set of rituals. There are a couple of obvious ones you will really want to have with you.


I got my first level rituals, but wasn't sure what else I could get.

How many rituals can I have? And what levels?

I also think I'll swap the magic of my longbow for a neck item to get my defenses up.


Human

You can buy as many rituals you want of your own level or below. Remember you also need to buy any components to cast them with.

Alternatively, buy one use scrolls.

I'd tentatively suggest you sort out a group pool of money for ritual components and go from there. It's never seemed particularly fair to me that the caster should have to shoulder the whole cost of casting things. That's just me though.

Remember you have 13,000 gold to play with (more than usual starting gold) and your three free magic items, (level 13, level 12 and level 11), so you can probably afford a magic longbow of some kind anyway.


Male Dragonborn Warlord/Battle Captain
Arishat wrote:
It looks like there might be a photo finish. Personally I find it quite fascinating how two totally different groups of characters and players, with totally different sets of abilities, are still finishing an encounter at pretty much the same time.

I think you would have to go by rounds to compare...


Male Dragonborn Warlord/Battle Captain

Before I do anything to stupid that you guys may have figured out before I was brought in, is the shadow immune or voneralbe to fire? That is what the larger circle near the middle of the map is correct? If so, are squares I13, I11, K13, and K11 considered in the fire? would someone take damage from being in one of those squares?


Human

Samson - the Shadow is neither vulnerable nor immune to fire. It will burn you for 1d6+3 for each square of it you enter. Hope that helps.


Male Dragonborn Warlord/Battle Captain

Is that just for when you enter, or when you begin your turn in it as well?


Male Dragonborn Warlord/Battle Captain

Another question... This one may be stupid but it sound plausible to me.

I have a power that grants an ally a encounter power back that he has already used. Are powers like inspiring word or Majestic word considered encounter powers? This could be helpful in a game where healing is more necessary than ever before.


Male Dragonborn Warlord/Battle Captain

when a power's target is an ally does that include myself?


Samson, the healing words are definitely encounter powers. I suspect one use would be restored, not two, but I'm less certain there.

You are not your own ally, which spawned much confusion early on!


Samson Gord wrote:
when a power's target is an ally does that include myself?

If not you could at least recharge my inspiring word, it is an encounter power so I don't see why that wouldn't work.


Female Tiefling Warlord/Infernal Strategist 18
Samson Gord wrote:
Is that just for when you enter, or when you begin your turn in it as well?

Well, I'd wait for Rev on this, but if I was GMing my assumption would be that you weren't moving into the fire, stopping for a short break while everybody else took turns doing things, and then moving on. Rather, it's one ocntinuous movement that you do over the course of two turns, and it just happens to break at that point while others take their actions. Of course, if you did decide to stand in the middle of it for another turn, I might feel differently about that idea.


Human

Sorry to miss all this earlier.

To answer these things in order -

1. The power that lets you restore encounter powers can certainly be used to restore a Majestic Word/Inspiring Word/Healing Word use. With all due respect to Pat, I reckon that if it restores the power, it restores all of it. It's a daily paragaon utility, it's meant to be butch and pulled out for tricky situations.

2. You're definitely not your own ally. Which is why I've got a warlord running around with slightly worse defenses right now than the rest of his party because Bastion of Defense doesn't apply to him.

3. The fire, in this particular case, deals damage if you enter a square containing it. If you choose to stand there for another turn, it will burn you again, but if you move out of it at the start of your turn, it won't. If, on the other hand, you have some reason to cross the whole thing, each square you enter will deal damage.

Note that I've known fires work differently, but to me it makes sense that you get burned if you walk into it and burned if you stay in it. Leaving it won't burn you.


Male Dragonborn Warlord/Battle Captain

I think someone might have asked you this already but I was wondering what you use to create your maps? I have to design an floor plan for Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion for one of my 3.5 games and I really like the way your maps look.


Human

Thank you :) I use Fractal Mapper. I picked it up in a sale at DriveThruRPG about 18 months ago for around £16 and it was money well spent.

It's reasonably intuitive. I make a basic version (i.e. minus any monsters, pcs or other moveable features) and load it into Flickr. I add everything else as a text object and just pick them up and move them around.

I used Photobucket for over a year, but it proved problematic and Flickr is faster. It also lets me do zones and area effects with reasonably little fuss.


Okay so I plan to swap my +3 longbow and 2,919 gp remaining for:

+3 amulet of protection, +2 light shield, +1 longbow and 759 gp

That increases my AC by 2 to 25, my saves all by 3 and I still have a longbow.

That okay? After this fight and before the game proper starts?


Darwyn Tafare wrote:
+3 amulet of protection, +2 light shield, +1 longbow and 759 gp

What do you have in mind by '+2 light shield'? Shields in 4E help AC (adn Reflex), but their enchantments don't -- shield enchantments are special effects, rather than more AC bonus.


Glorious PC Caster Race
Darwyn Tafare wrote:
By the way, is there a way that I missed to raise yuor AC? I jst bought magic armor, and have an okay (+2 bonus) Dex score. Is there a dodge equivalent feat? My AC is 23 is that good? It looks to me like 25 would by more average. I could be totally wrong here.

Bards are proficient in chainmail so trading in your leather armour +3 for chainmail +3 will increase your AC at the cost of –1 speed and –1 to certain ability checks.


Female Tiefling Warlord/Infernal Strategist 18
Peasant Railgun wrote:
Darwyn Tafare wrote:
By the way, is there a way that I missed to raise yuor AC? I jst bought magic armor, and have an okay (+2 bonus) Dex score. Is there a dodge equivalent feat? My AC is 23 is that good? It looks to me like 25 would by more average. I could be totally wrong here.
Bards are proficient in chainmail so trading in your leather armour +3 for chainmail +3 will increase your AC at the cost of –1 speed and –1 to certain ability checks.

Drop to Cloth armour and pick up the Unarmoured Agility feat, perhaps. The feat gives +2 to AC, and cloth is only one point less than leather. You could go up to chain, but as heavy armour it doesn't let you benefit from your dexterity modifier, though it's +1 to AC without costing a feat. Or use Hide, getting +1 relative to leather. Come to think of it, as a bard you can multiclass pretty freely and Blade Initiate lets you have +3 to AC for the length of one encounter - it's the Swordmage multiclass feat, requiring Int 13.


Pat o' the Ninth Power wrote:
Darwyn Tafare wrote:
+3 amulet of protection, +2 light shield, +1 longbow and 759 gp
What do you have in mind by '+2 light shield'? Shields in 4E help AC (adn Reflex), but their enchantments don't -- shield enchantments are special effects, rather than more AC bonus.

Oh. Okay. Scratch that then.

Thanks for all the suggestions, swapping up to chainmail seems like the sleekest and easiest, so I'll do that. I am a warchanter bard after all!

Is that okay Rev? I'll get +3 chainmail instead of +3 leather, +3 amulet of protection instead of +3 longbow, and a +2 longbow leaving me with 1,119 gp.


Human

Just fine.


Male Dragonborn Warlord/Battle Captain

I'm headed out of town this weekend, on vacation. Not sure how much Internet access I will have, but I will try to get on as much as possible... Luckly it looks as if timing is perfect cause we are pretty much done right? I'll be back on Wednesday.

Awesome encounter guys. I think the group is pretty well rounded. a few tweaks here and there and I think we will be alright. My only concern is the lack of a rouge. In the original tomb of horrors, you couldn't get 5 minutes in without a rouge, but I guess rouges are less important in 4e because skills have been consolidated. Still, do we have multiple characters with thievery? cause thats going to be an important skill. If a second leader wasn't needed I would definitely offer to play a rouge. They have always been one of my favorite classes.


Male Orcish-Nerathi Ranger 17 / Darkstrider
Samson Gord wrote:
Awesome encounter guys. I think the group is pretty well rounded. a few tweaks here and there and I think we will be alright. My only concern is the lack of a rouge. In the original tomb of horrors, you couldn't get 5 minutes in without a rouge, but I guess rouges are less important in 4e because skills have been consolidated. Still, do we have multiple characters with thievery? cause thats going to be an important skill. If a second leader wasn't needed I would definitely offer to play a rouge. They have always been one of my favorite classes.

I'm Thievery-qualified, but I'm afraid your predecessor was the only other member of Group 1 trained in that skill.


Human

As long as each group has all the bases covered, you should be OK. Don't forget there are usually a couple of ways to disable/disarm things.

I stress once more, RITUALS. Please buy them and many components thereof.

There will indeed be a short lull while everyone tweaks their characters and I finish up some map construction for you all.


TEAM 1

Speaking of skills, we should make sure we're well-covered. At level 12, I'd think an 'adequate' skill level should be around +13 -- +6 for level, +5 for training, and at minimum +2 for stat.

By that criterion, what are we missing?

Acrobatics - DT, LP
Arcana - DT
Athletics - LH, SG, NA
Bluff - DT
Diplomacy - DT, SG
Dungeoneering - NA
Endurance - LH, NA
Heal - DB
History - SG
Insight - DB
Intimidate - LH, DB, SG
Nature - LP
Perception - LP, NA
Religion
Stealth - LP
Streetwise - DT
Thievery - NA

We've got at least one for everything but Religion. Lyan is not wise; do we have anybody who is willing and able to trade something else in? I think, being in a tomb, we'd find that a useful one . . .

We're also tripled-up in Intimidate and Athletics. Athletics is important to Lyan, but I could change Intimidate to Bluff easily enough. (Note that Battleminds only get three skills at start.)


TEAM ONE

Regarding rituals, it looks like Darwyn is our only ritualist.

I'd endorse Rev's suggestion, that Darwyn make a shopping list of rituals and components, and we all chip in.

Raise Dead, to pick an example purely at random, costs 680 to buy and 5000 to cast. We won't be able to budget many of those, but one or two would be nice.

EDIT: You have to be trained in Heal to cast Raise Dead. Not to mention not being the dead one. A scroll of the ritual costs 680 per casting, plus the 5000, but anyone can do it (and the time is cut from 8 hours to 4).


Pat o' the Ninth Power wrote:

TEAM ONE

Regarding rituals, it looks like Darwyn is our only ritualist.

I'd endorse Rev's suggestion, that Darwyn make a shopping list of rituals and components, and we all chip in.

Raise Dead, to pick an example purely at random, costs 680 to buy and 5000 to cast. We won't be able to budget many of those, but one or two would be nice.

EDIT: You have to be trained in Heal to cast Raise Dead. Not to mention not being the dead one. A scroll of the ritual costs 680 per casting, plus the 5000, but anyone can do it (and the time is cut from 8 hours to 4).

I'll take ranks in Heal so I can get Raise dead, someone help me choose some rituals actually. Because I'm totally out of my league on rituals. Can Levana not use rituals?

I might swap around to get Religion, if I can.


Male
Darwyn Tafare wrote:
Can Levana not use rituals?

No rituals for Seekers


Darwyn Tafare wrote:
I'll take ranks in Heal so I can get Raise dead, someone help me choose some rituals actually. Because I'm totally out of my league on rituals.

We'd still want at least one scroll of Raise Dead, just in case . . . but that would make things cheaper.

We certainly want Raise Dead (680+5000). Probably Remove Affliction (680+250) and Cure Disease (360+150).

Speak with Dead (360+140)? Hand of Fate (175+70)?

There are also a bunch of rituals specific to Bards you'll want to look at.

If we get all I named, that's 680 for the RD scroll, 2255 for the books, and maybe 12,000 for components (two RDs, and a bunch for other things) -- around 15,000, or 2,500 each. Considering Rev gave us an extra 4,000 each at start, I'd be glad to share the burden.

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