What I like to do is have reinforcements ready for encounters. I plan the encounter to be average or easy, but if it turns out the encounter is TOO easy, the reinforcements show up.
For example, if 4 1st level PCs are fighting 4 wolves, and they mop the floor with the wolves, I add a couple more wolves. Then a couple more if needed.
If the 4 wolves are getting in some lucky shots and the PCs are struggling, I don't add the reinforcements.
In Volo's Guide, the bit about beholders states beholders have nightmares about other beholders that vary from the dreamer's perfect form, and that's how they're created.
Were-hyenas and were-jackals?
A secret society of khepri (the beetle-faced/headed folk from China Mieville's Perdido Street Station).
We played in a game with 3 PCs (half-orc inquisitor, dark tapestry oracle, and Taldori swordswoman) and 3 PC-controlled henchmen (NPC warriors). It worked out really well, because the secondary characters were easy to run, but the same level as the main PCs, so just as durable. They mostly had static feats, like Toughness, Iron Will, Weapon Focus, etc., but some had Power Attack, Combat Reflexes, or Rapid Reload. The henchmen had their own personalities and quirks, too. One was a pyromaniac, and the one I ran was a "survivor" (coward) that focused on the heavy crossbow.
It also gave the campaign an old school 1st Edition feel. :-)
If you're concerned about having your hands full and casting in combat, don't be. Maybe allow a buff spell in the first round of combat, but then focus on Bane and Judgments. You can plan to use your spells for utility like exploration and social interactions outside of combat.
One thing to consider is the number of swift actions your build will be using. Is switching between using a shield and wielding 2-handed a free action or a swift action?
Getting lots of AoOs while Bane is up is a big damage multiplier.
Underwater adventuring is fun!
In 3.5, my druid got a lot of mileage out of summoned dolphins. I was able to summon 1d3 or 1d4+1 of them, so we were pretty high level. Probably 7th or 8th level. High enough level I didn't feel like I was "wasting" spell slots on breathe water.
It sounds like the diving bell is effectively an elevator that leads to the dungeon area. Maybe give it some windows and describe evocative wild life on the trip down.
Heather 540 wrote:
Hey, how do you roll for things like concealment and soft cover?
If you have 20% concealment against ranged weapons, when you are targeted with a ranged attack, you roll 1d100, and if the result is 20 or less, the attack misses.
The other kind of concealment and cover are environmental effects. I think concealment works the same way. Cover grants a bonus to AC. The specific rules are in the CRB.
I'm out of practice because I've been playing 5th Edition. :-P
Oh, OK. Piranha Strike? Whatever the Dex-based "Power Attack" feat is called.
Maybe look at some Swashbuckler builds for inspiration?
NPCs are usually "one trick ponies" since the PCs only encounter them once or twice.
Do you want him to maximize damage against the PCs? Or focus on "carrier effects" like Bull Rush, Disarm, Shaken, Tripped, Poisoned, Sickened, Fatigued, Sunder, etc.?
Or do you want to make actually hitting him the challenge? High AC, miss chance from blur or displacement (or Wind Stance and Lightning Stance), mirror image, etc.?
Or do you want to punish the PCs for hitting him, like fireshield or Fiend Totem spikes or whatever or Retributive Strike or Come and Get Me or whatever that rage power is?
Does he have Pounce? He has a lot of natural attacks, but he has to stand still to benefit from all those attacks (or take a 5 foot step) otherwise.
Our party has two characters with Flame Tongues, and they always ask if they need to declare fire damage separately as a courtesy to the DM. The DM tells us what kind of damage his monsters are inflicting, so we can apply any applicable resistances.
You can't apply a circumstantial bonus if you don't know there is a special circumstance happening! It's the job of the GM to tell the players if there is a special circumstance and describe every other aspect of the gaming the world.
I play 5th Edition now, and what they do is give BBEGs a ton of hit points and only a slightly above average AC, if that. This allows the PCs to hit the BBEG relatively often, but not drop him too quickly. The theory behind this is that players like hitting, and hate missing. Let those iterative attacks hit! LOL! Also, a big bag of hit points is also tough against direct damage spells, environmental effects, falls, etc.
Giving natural attacks iterative attacks is definitely overpowered. Instead of getting 1 weapon attack that gets 3 or 4 attacks per round, you get 3 or 4 natural attacks that each get 1 attack per round (at full BAB!).
Combining magical items (amulet of natural armor + amulet of mighty fists) is one option. Changing the body slot is another, like a Vest of Natural Armor or Bracers or Gloves of Mighty Fists. Just remember the PCs will probably get the magic items after they defeat the NPCs, so consider your party make-up when designing NPC magic items.
If you're using 2 claw attacks, maybe look into some of the rending feats? Also Weapon Focus would apply to both claws, but you probably don't need +1 to hit.
An Amulet of Mighty Fists would apply to all natural or unarmed attacks, so if he has claw/claw/bite/horn/tail/wing/wing/rake/rend/etc., it would be really good. Also a nice treasure if you have a monk or brawler or animal companion or druid or shifter.
Not all CE is violent. You can spread rumors and lies, cheat at cards, talk in the theater, incite discord between friends and allies, steal, cheat when buying or selling equipment, prank, just be generally unpleasant, etc.
Do you work in customer service? Just act like an irate customer. Try to get people fired, don't listen instructions or advice, complain when things don't go your way, eat the last cookie, lock people out in the cold, seduce and betray folk, etc.
The next time I run a game, I'm going to have the players roll stats, and then any player can use the stats rolled by any other player.
So if one dude rolls 18, 18, 18, 17, 16, 15, then everyone can choose to use the 18, 18, 18, 17, 16, 15 stat array.
The GM will just have to give all his monsters the Advanced Template....
Consider the Travel Domain. +10 feet to speed, and longstrider for an additional +10 feet to speed for hours at a time. Combined with your barbarian level, that's 60 feet.
Any way you can get the elf's favored class bonus for barbarian? What is the dragonkin's favored class bonus for barbarian? Hint-hint ;-)
Do Gestalt get 2 favored class bonuses? Like +1 hit point per level AND +1 skill rank per level?
What about Scion of War (Cha to Initiative), Improved Initiative, and Reactionary?
That way, you can go first, hopefully crit in the first round, and then get to enjoy the Critical Feat carrier effects for a round or two?
How about Vital Strike and Improved Vital Strike for when you absolutely, positively, need to move more than 15 feet to hit an opponent?
Dana Scully has a Fox Mulder familiar.
What about the Mouser archetype?
You can also take Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes to shore up your saving throws. Also, a Cloak of Resistance is one of the cheapest Big Six magic items: +1 1000 gp, +2 4000 gp, +3 9000 gp, +4 16000 gp, +5 25000 gp.
If you're taking 2 levels of paladin JUST for the Saving Throws, it's probably not the best use of those levels. Especially if you are primarily going to be a spellcaster. Most spellcasters don't multiclass, and if they do, it's usually just a 1 level dip, and it's often to get into a prestige class.
I'm going to incorporate Tomb of Annihilation into my homebrew campaign. A lot of the names are going to be changed, and I think I'm going to alter the "Death Curse" a bit.
The party will be 5th or 6th level and has a dirigible. I think this is going to bypass or eliminate or at the very least mitigate a lot of the "wandering around the wilderness and being zombie and/or dinosaur chow" aspect of the adventure.
One aspect of my homebrew campaign is that the continents float in mid-air, so there will be no ocean surrounding "Chult." The continents were raised above the seas by ancient aarakocra who performed a ritual that sacrificed their flight to grant flight to the continents. They lost their wings and bright colors and virtue and faded into kenku.
So I need an alternate winged race to replace the aarakocra monks that are harboring the princess.
I have the Monster Manual, Volo's Guide to Monsters, the Tome of Beasts, and the skills to stat out new monsters. :-) I just need inspiration on a replacement race. I really like the idea of the princess's little brother dressing up as a bird, so I kind of want to steer away from winged apes, batfolk, phanaton, flying saurials, etc. Well, maybe phanaton. Just thought of them....
Also, how important is the sub-plot about the Ring of Winter?