With some of the other threads floating around gamer talk lately I thought it would be fun to start a thread for DM's to brag about their best laid plans that actually worked. There are so many times that we as DM's do hours of work just for hour parties to zig when we planned on them zagging and all our work is for naught. But there are those few times that the stars align and the things we have plotted out actually go off with out a hitch. Thats what I want to hear about here.
So to kick this off I will share one of mine.
One of my friends was just starting to get really into Pathfinder so I was running him through a homebrew game. He was in a prison and he was going door to door trying to find some of his companions that had been captured and falsely impressioned. After coming to a door and hearing one of his companions being tortured on the other side he went up to another door that was actually a mimic. I described it as a normal door and he said "I don't want to be surprised again so I'm going to stick my ear to the door." I think you can guess where this is going...yep he got his ear stuck to the door. Never could have guess that would have worked out so well.
Thanks for all the advice guys. I will try to adjust things for their APL. With the party I have they should be facing things that are about CR 10 right?
I threw CR 13 at them and we had our first player death and her husband is still upset with me I think lol. The poor rogue thought it would be smart to go 1 on 1 with it...
I've been running Raise of the Runelords for about 9-10 months now and I have yet to really challenge my players. We're just starting book 3 now and they've sailed through everyting. The first time they met Erlym(sp) it was a bit hairy but they also did that at level 1(thanks to a rather pushy player who later got kicked from the group). But since then it seems like most of the major encounters have just been pushovers for them. I feel like some of this is my fault because I have a VERY bad habbit of forgetting abilities.
A little about my group:
Everyone has been enjoying the game emensly and their ability to roleplay out of problems is astounding but every once in a while everyone wants to be challenged and feel a sense of danger and they've told me they just dont. I messed up the progression a little bit last chapter and they just dinged level 6 before facing Xanesia and after they mopped the floor with her I asked if they wanted to level again to level 7 which would put them on track with the suggested book level or if they wanted to stay level 6 and I had several of them actually consider staying level 6 so it would be more challenging.
While I really appreciate my not power hungry players I feel like my I've been kind of failing them as DM when they don't feel challenged.
Some possible solutions I've considered:
2. Start writing out creature/boss abilities on note cards so I remember what everything does. I'm psuto new to DMing and I don't have all the affects memorized yet and I fell this is a large portion of why challenge is lacking.
Any suggestions more seasoned DM's have for me or feedback in general would be appreciated.
Okay is there a way around the extra smite damage. I'm thinking of using Sanctuary to let her buff first. He usually assumes things are evil, surges forward, and wacks away and 90% of the time he is right. I'm not sure but I'm pretty sure the will save from Sanctuary might slow him down a little...hopefully.
Basically the issue is between him and the fighter I have in my party my "challenging" fights are usually over in 5 rounds or less...it would be nice to go through one fight with out my hard work ending up in a pile of sawdust on the ground after a few rounds.
I'm wondering if Smite evil could still target someone who is evil but under the affect of the undetectable alignment spell. In a very quick read through of smite evil it didn't say that the evil alignment had to be detected for the person to be able to be targeted so I'm wondering how this would work?
One of the main reasons I had the NPC take the spell is to avoid being smote by the paladin. If he can still get smite evil against the evil NPC then I'm sure there is a better 3rd level spell choice for her...
Also does anyone have any good suggestions for spells for an evil Cleric 5/Holy Vindicator 3?
They wanted to get the fudge out of Sandpoint at first but one of there comrads was to drunk to travel lol. Aldern left Sandpoint and the adventerers are kind of taking a 'tackel him later' kind of approach to it right now but they know he's in Magnimar and they know there headed there next.
So I've been running the anniversary edition for some friends of mine and they've altered the story line quite a bit to the point that I'm not sure I can run book 2....the changes are listed down below.
Changes to storyline:
-Aldern took a much larger amount of the spot light than intended in the first book. I wanted to have him starting his transformation durring his interactions with my party and after a few interactions with him they became obsessed about figuring out who he was and what was going on. Well after some interesting roleplay(our female rogue went on a date with him) it was discovered that he was indeed undead. Our oracle wouldn't stand for this and broke into his room at the rusty dragon. Seeing the party so involved and connected with the story I didn't want to disappoint so I said he found a phylactery so now they are assuming he's a litch. Which means he won't work as one of the end bosses of book 2.
-Through some really really poor decision making on my part Lyre ended up getting captured by the party and thrown in the jail cells on the first floor of thissletop. All of her scrolls as well as her spell book and spell component pouch were taken by our Wizard(he got MAJOR greed points for this). She ended up getting away when Orik freed her before finding his death at the hands of the party but she was able to make a clean get away.
So I was thinking of replacing Aldern with Lyre. Would this work? How would other DM's handle this situation?
You all enter a very large tent and you see a very attractive young woman standing over some maps. She looks very lost in thought and doesn't acknowledge you when you enter. The large man that came to get you clears his throught and the woman starts and then looks up.
"Thank you Garavel that will be all." she says and the man leaves. She then takes a few steps towards the group and smiles.
"Firstly I want to introduce myself. My name is Almah Roveshki and I want to thank you for taking on such a dangerous mission. The city of Kalmarine is a very dangerous one and it takes brave souls to explore it. I also suspect that since all of you have connections to Haleen that you will be searching for her as you go. That is fine as long as you don't let it interfear with your work for me. she pauses and reaches to a desk behind her and brings a waterskin to her lips before continuing.
"Secondly I want to thank you for your quick response to our little disaster there. I unfortunately believe that the person who lived in that wagon wasn't able to get out before it was on fire and as such I want you to recover his body and then investigate how it happened. We have little room for murderers in this group and if there is one here I need you to find out. Take all the time you need and report back to me when your done."
Well you guys can either conduct interviews or investigate the ruined wagon. There are a total of 16 people that you can interview. To do so requires a diplomacy check. If you want to investigate the wagon I'll need a dc 20 perception check.
Tiran and Kalim barely make it across and a few of the boards drop out from beneath their feet as they cross but they are able to steady themselves before they fall. The enterence to the portal seems open and unguarded. There are footprints in the dust heading into the portal so it looks like its recently been used.
With the help of Sarianne and Vedic the fire is quickly put out and the people around you look rather amazed at your powers.
"Can you do that again?" one little boy asks as he looks up at Sarianne with amazement.
Just as things start to settle down again in camp a large man comes out of the tent in the middle of town. He approaches the group and clears his throat. "...The princess would like to speak with all of you reguarding your quick thinking and her hiring you." The man turns to leave and everyone gives him a wide birth.
You all make your way towards the eastern rim of the Mindspin Mountains. It takes a couple of hours and by the time you make your way to the Growing Skald the sun is just beginning to come up. The area around the Skald is desolate and uninhabited. At a height averaging 11,00 feet the air up here is very thin but you manage to press on. You finally reach an isolated volcanic ridge and begin to climb up and then inside a dormant volcano.
Everyone easily descends into the volcano except Kalim who slides about 15 feet towards a river of magma before being caught by Rosa and Lyle. There is a very narrow and old looking rope bridge that spans the width of the volcano and red hot magma flows about 20 feet below the bridge. On the other side of the bridge lies a door.
I will need acrobatics checks from those of you who are walking across the rope bridge. Those of you that can fly can also try to carry those that can't and don't want to risk falling to their deaths.
It takes about an hour for the caravan to get organized and leave and you are all eager to be on the way. Its been a long trip from Solku and you are all eager to meet up with Garavel and the princess that have hired you all for a mission that might just lead you to finding your missing mother. As the caravan leader said you should be making it to Sultains Claw sometime tonight and that is where you will be meeting everyone you will be working for.
The wagons travel through the sand covered landscape and you very easily grow bored as nothing shows much life around you. You can just make out the immense outline of Pale Mountain looming over the mid-evening horizon like a tombstone and it seems to slowly get bigger as the caravan moves along. Finally, after what feels like hours, you see a craggy tree appear over the horizon. After you crest the next hill it becomes obvious why this area is called Sultan's Claw. With five immense, mostly leafless branches, the growth looks more like a giant skeletal claw talon than a thing of living wood.
You crest another hill and a caravan of a half-dozen wagons and a large tent clustered aroun the distinctive tree comes into view. Camels in a nearby pen prance in agitation, and a clutch of confused goats and livestock wander the grounds around the wagons. Perhaps a dozen men and women rush around the campsite, chasing down an animal or hastening toward the center of the cluster, near the Sultain's Claw, with pails of water in their hands.
It soon becomes clear why the people are rushing around as you see flames explode out of one of the wagons. Lush orange and red flames engulf an elaborate wooden wagon emblazoned with painted moons and stars. A gout of smoke pours from an open door.
The caravan leader stops the caravan of wagon's and shouts "GO HELP THEM! SAVE THE WAGONS AND SUPPLIES!"
You have a few options here:
The foxglove family is a noble family that were one of the first to build a home along the Lost Cost. Aldern's father, Vorel, was a merchant prince and a founding member of a group called the Brothers of the Seven. Little is known about what happened at the house that VOrel built but one day the entire family and their servents were found murdered. Aldern is the only surviving member of the foxglove family.
The next morning comes and as usual its cold and snowing out but the snow has let up tremendously since the night before. You all meet down stairs in the lobby with all your gear ready to go. I will need Knowlege Geography checks from those that can make them to determine where the Veil of Tears is located.
Knowledge Geography DC 30:
The Veil of Frozen Tears lies at the northernmost edge of Irrisen in an isolated area where the cold plain abuts the mountainous glaciers at the Crown of the World. With out magical ways of travel it will take about 2-3 days to get there from Whitethrone.
At this point all the goblins are fleeing the city and the homes that were on fire were either put out or have burned to the ground.
You find a potion of cure moderate wounds, 2 suits of studded leather armor, a masterwork horsechopper, a dogslicer, 2 shortbows, 40 arrows, and 3gp.
I'm going to wait to see how Tania responds to the kiss before we move on.
Vachordi and Tania:
The goblins nimbly dodge both your attempts to fend them off. One of the goblins that was attacking Tania takes offense to the song that the bard is singing and decides to move off and go after Vachordi. This provokes an attack of opportunity from Tania. She lashes out with her great sword and cleaves the creature in two. Seeing their comrad and their leader killed by the same woman the goblin in front of Tania turns and runs away, dropping his dogslicer. The one in front of Vachordi also runs away.
The man that was walking his dog slowly appraoches you, still worried there might be more goblins. "Tha...thank you for saving me. I am forever in your debt. He then takes Tania's hand and kisses her on the top of it gently while gazing up into her eyes. [b]"You are very skilled my lady...I wonder what other skills you posses. he winks at her and then returns her hand.
"I will be staying at the Rusty Dragon which is just down the road a ways here. Please stop by so I can thank you more appropriately and get to know both of you further." he says looking at both of you this time.
Eventually the day passes and at about 8 at night the rest of you are roused from your sleep. "Wake up you lazy bunch! the caravan leader shouts. "We finally get to make it to Sultains Claw tonight and you all get to meet the woman who hired you. I suggest you be on your best behavior."
The hooded figure bids you farewell and heads for the door. "Remember don't let the Torc fall into the wrong hands" he says before he leaves.
You are all free to do as you please for the night. Rooms have been provided for free by the queen for those of you that wish to sleep. For those that wish to do other things let me know what you want to do. There is still plenty of food to eat and booze to drink lol.
Would it be okay if I modified the Centaur out of the ARG(page 218). They have it as a 28 rp race and I shaved it down to a 20 rp race. The modifications are found in the spoiler below.
Type-Monstrous Humanoid(2 rp)
Base Speed-Normal(0 rp)
Ability Score mods- Paragon(+4 str, -2 int, -2 wis, -2 cha)(1 rp)
Languages- Standard(0 rp)
Ability score racial traits: Advanced con(+2), Advanced dex(+2) (8 rp)
Dark vision 60 ft (free from monstrous humanoid)
Other ratial traits- Quadruped(2 rp)
Let me know if that works and I'll get a character sheet up shortly.
My fiancee works rotating shifts so its hard to get her to commit to anything at the moment but she would LOVE to learn to play and I think a group setting is what she needs more than one on one...we tried that and it failed. Though I didn't use the beginner box with her...might give that a try.
If we ever get her schedule worked out where she is free on the weekends I'm more than sure she would take a seat at the table.
Just got the texted okay that I can get the show on the road. She's just glad I'm getting out of the house lol.
I was thinking since it is a bit of a hike for me that twice a month would work. I'm open for either Saturday or Sunday play. Since it takes about an hour to get to Games Plus for me I'd suggest we try for an early afternoon game so that I can be home at a decent hour and so my fiancee doesn't worry to much. If you wouldn't mind I'd really appreciate if you could reserve a table for the group and scrounge up the extra 2 players I'd want to feel comfortable running this for people. I like parties of at least four to feel I'm at least attempting to be fair lol. Just to keep this thread from getting to over filled you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Ymril and Vedic:
As you drift off to sleep you have a dream. You're in a ruined city and there are all sorts of creatures walking the streets. You even see a man that looks human but as you get closer transforms into a large Gnoll. He starles at you and lunges to attack you but a woman steps in front of you. You recognize her as Heleen and for a moment are relieved to have found her but she is quickly torn to shreds by the large gnoll and try as you might you are unable to save her. You wake with a start and you are covered in sweat. Your heart is racing but you are able to convince your self it was just a nightmare but you are unable to get back to sleep. Thankfully you've gotten just enough sleep to avoid being fatigued. When you wake its about 104 degrees out and the temperature is still slowly rising. Do either of you do anything?
The man shrugs "The queen didn't tell me specifically how much the pay out would be but seeing how she plans on somehow using to Torc to retain her seat on the throne you can bet the payoff will easily cover retirement for anyone of you...though you've advanced this far so I don't see any of you retiring any time soon.
Vachordi and Tania:
You both miss with your attacks. The goblins attack Tania again with their dogslicers. The other goblin moves up and attacks Vachordi with his dogslicer as well.
First attack on Tania:1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 151d4 ⇒ 2
I actually wouldn't mind making the hike to Games Plus. I like the space it offers(much bigger than Fair Games) and we might be able to scare up another couple to fill out a party of four...that is if your interested in being tortu...er entertained under my GM rule.
The man does his best to answer the clerics surge of questions.
"The weather here in Irrisen is something that has puzzled many for many years. But I'm pretty sure what is happening outside is actually natural this time as it is the middle of Winter. The others looking for the Torc are said to be working for Kostchtchie himself. Kostchtchie is a horrid being that had his soul captured in the Torc that the queen seeks. If Kostchtchie were to get his hands on it again...he'd be able to free Baba Yaga from her icy prison and that just might start the Witchwars once again. The queen obviously wants to prevent this so she saught out the most powerful adventerers she could find. As for what kind of giants are found at the base of the veil...latest intelligence shows that its mostly frost giants and ogres but there is also a rumor of an ancient race of giant being found there...but I highly doubt it. And I do not require drink so that won't be necessary but thank you for the offer."
For anyone who used sense motive you can tell he is telling the truth.
Hege hopefully this answers your question about the Torc as well...if not let me know.
Vachordi and Tania:
Vachordi you are able to aim your arrow so well that it goes right through the neck of the prone goblin. Blood spirts everywhere as the creature dies. Three more goblins come out from hiding and they start do advance on you. Two heading for Tania and one heading for Vachordi. They are able to close the distance and hack at each of you with dog slicers. Tania you take 4 damage as both dogslicers connect with you. One hits you in the leg and the other hits you in the midsection. Vachordi you take 2 points of damage as you are sliced in the leg.
First attack on Tania:1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 161d4 ⇒ 3
The men in the room stand there a little dumbfounded as Rosa gives her speech. As she addresses specific men they just blush and don't really respond. "It wasn't voluntary" one of them pathetically spat back at Rosa's accusation.
When Kalim dismissed them with his hand the one that was dead turns bright red and almost starts yelling but three of his friends cups his hand and drag him into the other room. "We have a lot of explaining to do when the decemberate shows up...we don't need to have to explain what happened to the adventurers they hired to help us get Ospry back. one of the man explained as they dragged off the other man. The rest of the men in the house simply left and you are left alone with Izzy.
Tania and Vachordi:
Vachordi your arrow goes wide of the goblin. Tania you charge forward and in one swift movement you connect with the creature and run in through with your sword. Its body slumps to the ground, knocking the rider prone in front of you.
You do detect magic coming from the vial of red liquid. I will need a spellcraft check DC 16 to identify it.
One of the men eyes the cleric suspiciously and takes the contract from her. "I don't even what to know how you got one of the ten to sign this...but orders are orders." he says and then turns to one of the other men in the room "Go get her her scroll so we can be rid of them and more importantly...her"[/b] he says pointing a finger at Izzy. The man goes off and returns a moment later with the scroll.
"Take your scroll and don't return here...I don't trust those that go around associating with Demons..."
You follow the hooded gentleman through the inn and into a small room in the back. He closes the door and with a wave of his hand several lights around to room illuminate. He jesters for all of you to have a seat and then he begins to speak.
"The queen has chosen all of you for this task because your individual skills are...rather impressive. The power that you poses is very very rare and you have all caught the eye of the Queen. As was explained in the letter you are all headed out to the Veil of Frozen Tears. I was sent to warn you that our most resent intelligence on the area shows a very large gathering of Giants has taken to using the base of the veil as a camp." He pauses and takes a flask out of a pocket and takes a long drag on it.
"I also want to warn you that you are not the only ones looking for the Torc. There are several other groups also looking for it and some of them might not be so...friendly. I caution you to be careful with who you trust. With other groups out looking for the Torc time is obviously of the essence so I request that you head out tomorrow morning. The weather is far to poor to travel in right now and I can almost guarantee none of the other groups are active. If you have any questions ask them now."
No I meant the whole having the wizard blow up part of the town thing. I could have been nice and have the torches snuff themselves out...Then again I could have been mean and made you guys fight that encounter instead of just handing it to you on a gold plate lol.
Now since you guys aren't exactally working together as a party yet(which I kind of like) how do you guys want to handle all the loot that Chaise just found. I'm pretty sure he can't carry it all so I'm going to say no to him claiming it all...but since there isn't a party yet he technically doesn't have to share...
Tania and Vachordi:
The two of you rush off just in time to hear the startled yelp of the dog. A second later you see its head rolling down the street and a goblin sitting what looks to be a cross between a rat and a dog, blood dripping from its dogslicer. The goblin lets out a triumphant gleeful cry as he circles around and starts heading back towards the man. He is to shaken from the murdering of his dog to react.
You to can get there and save him but it would take a double move action.
You don't need to roll for the other goblins(Tania killed one). All together you find: 3 sets of leather armor, 3 light wooden shields, 3 dogslicers, 4 shortbows, 80 arrows, 1 suit of studded leather armor, a whip, one vial with a red liquid in it, 20 gp, and 6 sp. Do you cast detect magic?
Once you have all assembled around the table and Eamane changes into something more comfortable you are all appraoched by a figure covered in a hood. He approaches your table and looks at each of you. "You must be the one's the queen sent for. Follow me."