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“For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” - Gandalf
Hi. I am hoping you might be able to help me.
This is a request for some DM/GM feedback.
I'm working on a high-level homebrew campaign and it would be nice to get some feedback from some experienced DMs, especially if you have DM'd a game in the 15-20 level range.
Obviously, I could just post my content and questions on the boards but I really do not want my players to read about it. That would totally ruin all the fun and surprises. Spoilers!
I realize this is totally selfish of me to ask but I want someone I could trade emails with and bounce some ideas around.
Personally, I have been playing D&D for nearly 30 years. I've been DMing a game for almost 20 years.
We're playing pathfinder. The party is level 17, mythic tier 1.
If you don't want to trade emails we could use the message board's private message feature.
So if you're interesting in helping me polish the outline of my campaign arc. Send me a note.
Thanks for your time!
To continue with the "cold" based Wyvern idea, consider this:
34. Frostbite Wyvern: The dark blue scales on this wyvern have faded to an icy blue. Shards of ice jut out from its body at painful angles. It's eyes look like frozen orbs glowing with a pale blue light. It's body emanates with an unnatural cold.
This provides a ton of benefits: gains the undead and cold subtypes
Hard to believe but this is a +1 CR template
page 77 says Bruenor Battlehammer is a level 13 fighter
HP 163, init +0, speed: 20' AC 23
Attack: +21/+16/+11 melee (1d12+11/17-20/x3) +3 keen greataxe
neutral good, fort +14 ref +4 will +8
str 18, dex 10, con 22, int 15, wis 13 chas 13
+3 plate, +3 keen greataxe, amulet of natural armor +2
After reading all the books, I pictured Bruenor with a shield in one hand and a dwarven battle axe (1 handed exotic weapon) in the other.
in the book, page 96, Wulfgar is a 9th level barbarian.
HP: 99, init+2, speed: 30' AC 18
chaotic good, Fort +9, Ref +5 Will +4
Str 19, dex 15, con 17, int 13, wis 12, chas 13
he has +3 hide armor
Aegis-fang is a +4 throwing maul of returning.
I believe the DM is keeping the "why" I am undead as a secret for now. That's fine. I'm sure he has a story element to it down the road. I'm probably cursed. Only he knows. The chance to play an undead monk in an evil pirate campaign just sounded like too much fun when he offered it to me.
I am worried about the lack of hit points. We did discuss that undead are normally destroyed at zero (0) hit points. The DM says he has plan for that and I shouldn't worry. Maybe the "curse" provides a way around that issue. I can still die (again) and I certainly feel vulnerable.
I am considering some sort of charisma boosting item to help with my HPs. I'd hate to pass on raising my wisdom since wisdom boosts my ki pool and my AC.
You're right that being undead provides plenty of advantages, especially in this pirate campaign. Right now the DM is imposing a one level penalty to make sure I don't become overpowered.
Trying to use disguise and bluff are not going to work because my charisma is so low.
here are my stats. I'm happy with them. I think they're probably too good for a level 3 character. Keep in mind that in addition to the undead traits, I also gained +3 natural armor, +4 strength, +2 dex, and the rest of the juju zombie template including the toughness feat and improved initiative feat (pretty sweet for a melee character like myself).
current stats: (charisma was my dump stat)
Str: 20 +5
At level 3 my hit points are currently: 21
hit point breakdown:
monk d8: 8
Note: the DM is experimenting with HPs and giving all the PCs max hit points at every level. Basically the concept is that if the PCs have more HPs he can beat on us harder ( and I think most of the bad guys might have max hps too but that just makes combat longer).
Right now my thought is crank up my armor class so I don't get hit and thus the lack of HPs won't hurt so bad.
My armor class is 23, pretty good for a level 3 character.
+1 bracers of armor
One of the posters suggested I use poisons, but I'm not sure how that would really work for me as a monk.
by a strange twist of fate (a.k.a. DM fiat) my previously dead PC is now back as an undead PC (juju zombie template).
It wasn't my idea but something the DM came up with.
We're both excited to see how this unexpected change will work... I've got some cool ideas on how to play him (btw, he's a monk). We are in the Skulls & Shackles campaign, which helps mitigate most of any potential alignment issues of being undead.
As a balancing factor, I will always be one level behind the rest of the party and at the moment, my hit points are about half the weakest PC. Why is that? good question. It's because I have a penalty to my charisma, which affects my hit points as an undead (and I'm a level behind).
SO.... this thread is just to see what the incredibly clever PRPG community can come up with on how to pimp out my undead monk to make him the biggest, baddest pirate the seas have ever seen.
Currently the PCs are level 4. My monk is level 3.
Got ideas on how to make him awesome? Then let's hear it.
There are exceptions. If there is a DM-created unique item, those tend to be very expensive and skew character wealth substantially.
!! Fun exercise... in my high-level campaign where all the PCs are level 17, they just lost all their gear. Seriously, they are all naked with only one item. I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses. I'm planning to start any new encounters low to watch how a lack of gear effects play. I know that eventually I'll get them back to a normal WBL.
We discussed this idea of armor as DR in our game.
Unfortunately, some of the PCs would have so much DR that the DM would not be able to damage them with a normal CR monster.
It looks like it could go the other way as well with some monsters having so much DR that we, the players, would not be able to hurt it.
We toyed around with the idea that maybe a "sunder" attack could lower a monster's DR, even natural armor, to try and get around this stalemate.
Eventually we decided it seemed like an interesting idea but combat already takes too long and we don't want it to take any longer.
oh my gosh, I know I'm late to the conversation here but this is ridiculous.
I just looked up a bear animal companion.
The bear is getting robbed!
the large cats get the special attacks (grab, rake, pounce) when they advance but bears do not get grab?
The wolf gets to advance from medium to large but the bears is stuck at medium???
This is not right!
looking on the boards, it seems the best answer was to just use the large cat stats and call it a bear (with maybe an adjustment to lower its dex) and add the grab ability.
Or would he stay since mage's disjunction says " spells and spell-like effects are unraveled and destroyed completely (ending the effect as a dispel magic spell does)"
I thought a "mage's disjunction ended all spell effects and sent summoned creatures back home.
I'm curious what my fellow DMs out there think about this use of the spell or any other uses to modify party members.
However, that doesn't necessary fit with the examples they gave below:
"Pathfinders of the Grand Lodge make use of permanent teleport traps in several key locations, trapping would-be intruders in a small wing of jail cells. At least one crypt of the Whispering Tyrant makes use of the spell as well, trapping grave robbers in coffin-sized stone cysts, there to die a slow and agonizing death from thirst and starvation."
Using it wrong:
The spell I am talking about is "teleport trap".
According to Pathfinder rules the area you are redirecting any teleportation movement must be within the area of the spell:
"Teleport trap wards an area, redirecting all teleportation into or out of the area to a specific point within the area determined by you at the time of casting. The destination must be an open space on a solid surface."
So... you CAN NOT use teleport trap to redirect interlopers into the sun, the bottom of the lake, halfway around the world, etc.
It looks like you have to redirect any traffic into a specific spot within the 40-ft cube a level area specified in the "teleport trap" spell.
While this is helpful, I fail to see how that really stops a party of PCs. It merely slows them down for a round or two. (of course the defender will hopefully have something in the destination area to hinder/attack these intruders).
I am wrong here? Or can I use teleport trap to send unwanted teleport traffic somewhere outside of my castle?
@mysterious stranger, Thank you! That looks like an excellent suggestion on how to solve this challenge.
@venomblade, i don't see how a level one "bless" spell will counter the higher-level "unhallow" spell. Besides, "bless" just provides +1 on attack rolls and a bonus to saves versus fear.
a lot of replies have suggested archers. Yes, archers used to be a lot of fun until the party started putting "fickle winds" on every PC.
One you used listed all the "lessons" on beating the barbarian. You were mostly correct. at level 16, his CMD is outrageous 40 something.
I do try to target his will save when I can, but if he's raging, he does have a bonus.
Unfortunately, spell DCs do not scale with PC saves.
REMEMBER, the goal here is not to kill the barbarian or the party,
Again, I want to say thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. They have helped.
@Turin, I don't understand your comment about using the "Maze" spell. that could take the Barbarian out of the fight for quite a while. Most barbarians probably have a low intelligence score, meaning they would have to roll a "20" to get out of the Maze spell. I don't see how a targeted "dispel magic" would help the person inside the "maze" spell since they gone. The barbarian is physically in another plane. Are you suggesting the dispel would end the maze spell prematurely?
The PCs had their first encounter with High Wyrmlord Azarr Kul last night.
He definitely has a few minions and "protectors". I just want to avoid a PCs versus an army again. We've done that too many times.
(unfortunately, there was a shortage of throw-able children around. I'll have to save that for another bad guy)
So I am just wondering if we missed something in the Pathfinder system that would let the PCs bring down the unhallow effect.
(note: no PCs have the silent spell feat, no one has any silent meta magic rods, yet.)
P.S. Not sure if it matters but we are playing a Pathfinder game and the adventure is an older 3.5 module. The unhallow/silence dynamic was written in the book by the designers. The designers discussed how this is a tough challenge for the PCs to overcome.
campaign spoiler (what adventure we are playing):
This is a heavily modified Red Hand of Doom game for high-level PCs
An awesome adventure and story!!
All hail the Paizo boards! You guys are awesome.
First and foremost I wanted to say, "thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you" for all the wonderful suggestions.
Really, some of your ideas are great. Some are quite amusing. They're all fun.
For the record, I am familiar with Tucker's Kobolds. I read about them years ago and have read their story more than once.
The CHALLENGE I have is that we have an overpowered player in combination with an overpowered team of PCs and most of them are pretty smart players to boot.
Does a barbarian have poor will saves? Yes, until he starts raging.
He'll kill anything within reach within a round or two.
The party knows what his weaknesses are. That's why they normally cast True Seeing on him so eliminate pesky problems like invisibility or mirror image or concealment.
This level 16 barbarian and most of the party usually has mass fly, energy resist 30 (all of them) and fickle winds, and freedom of movement already cast if they know they are going into battle.
If I can surprise them, then things are fine and I get a few rounds before the buffs go up.
If the party knows they are going to fight, then the buffs make it almost impossible to slow down or impede these guys, especially the barbarian.
I definitely appreciate all the suggestions.
As I said in the beginning, the problem as the DM is to challenge the players, not kill them.
I like wave of exhaustion and maze but the maze spell just might be too mean. I still want everyone to have fun and if you're not in the fight, that's really frustrating.
@dunebugg, I had not looked at the DivineScion, that is interesting. I definitely like the extra weapon feats a Dscion would get.
@starbuck_II, what is a God blooded template? What books are you using for these?
@Arizhel, wow! that's a lot of work building those characters. Thank you! I'm worried the party would chew through them pretty quick. One critical hit from the barbarian's sword and that halfing is dead.
@Oterisk, Now you're getting into the spirit! Cool ideas. I'm going to have to consider some of these. I'm glad someone suggested an environmental hazard.
The idea of an NPC with Stockholm syndrome is very clever!
@Tandriniel, I like the idea of a dragon disciple. it's very thematic with the story. I've been wondering is someone would suggest alternative classes or a prestige class.
@Yosarian, you are so RIGHT about the real challenge being his one round of actions versus the party's round of actions. part of the challenge is trying to play a BBEG that's smart than I am. ;-)
@wraithstrike, I had not even considered a diviner. I do like the idea of him calling in friends. I just don't want there to be too many bad guys. the last several fights have been the party vs. small armies.
@Dilvias, love the details. and definitely the glyphs on the floor. Here's a rule question for you: if a PC is flying, how close would they have to be for the glyph to activate with a proximity trigger?
@Quath -- now that's an interesting idea. Can you really do that in the rules for those spells?
@Poldaran -- that's a clever idea, but would it really work with a caster spitting out weaker versions of another caster? My initial thought is that a weaker version would have less spell casting.
@Turin -- how does one go about building a
a disjunction trap? I think the glyph ward spell only allows up to sixth level spells unless you're going with DM fiat
@wraithstrike, I would not add more than 10 in addition to Azarr.
@theDavid, that's an interesting idea, but do need to keep him a cleric.
BUT I am open to ideas on adding additional class levels. So let me know what you think.