That was kind of the point of my post above that I didn't want to give out two tiers in Book 1. Just my personal preference. I'm going to probably give out one tier per book. I'll modify stuff as needed to make it feel appropriately mythic when the characters get a tier. If an encounter, as written, doesn't meet a perceived requirement, then I'll add it.
It's just me, but as a DM, I want the mythic power to build more slowly than giving the PCs two tiers during the first adventure. Plus, to me, the mythic rules really are kind of exponential. Going from Tier 1 to Tier 2 is a pretty big jump, and requires even more upgrading of the adventure.
My players just finished the battle at the Winter Portal, met the Black Rider, and gained their first Mythic Tier. They won't be getting the second one for quite a while...
As I slowly plan out this mythic RoW that I'm running, I came upon this thought. If the black rider can bestow his mythic power onto 4 to 6 PCs, allowing them to ascend, he must have quite a bit of it. At least 3 or 4 tiers, I would say.
So, it is logical to assume that whoever killed the other two riders may have gained a fair chunk of mythic power. These could become additional mythic foes for the party, tied to Elvanna.
So, the question is, who killed the other riders and stole their mythic power? (I'm looki g for creative suggestions, I don't have any brilliant ideas right now.)
Tangent and Necrovox, thanks for the great ideas. I also have the same issues with Books 3 and 4, and the comparison to the Doctor and his chicken legged Tardis is hysterical.
My approach is to add two subplots to the campaign. First, I'm adding an overall First World plot wherein some of the Eldest are manipulating the threads of fate, long term, to both create Baba Yaga and then be the tool of her downfall. Second, I'm making Kostchtchie a much larger player in the overall adventure path. If the campaign makes it that far, I'll eventually have the party run through the Witchwar Legacy after the end of the campaign (the plot will have to be revised, but not much). Kostchtchie will be the next villian after Elvanna.
Then, probably something with the winter collectors.
Then, a confrontation with Baba Yaga in the Thrice Tenth Kingdom, pulling many elements from The Sound of a Thousand Screams.
And then, and only then, a confrontation with some of the Eldest.
Since dragonriders just don't interest me personally, I'll be replacing Part 2 of Book 4 with something completely different, and I'll move Part 2 and Part 3 completely into the First World, making the white dragon an ice linnorm.
My group is going to ascend through gaining the mantle of the Black Rider.
I don't want them having 2 tiers after Book 1, so the second Tier will come from defeating the Dawn Pipers and gaining the Hut.
I haven't gone through the rest in detail, so thanks for all of the ideas in this thread!
I'm shooting for them being 4th or 5th Teir by the end, then, if we keep going, running a modified Witchwar Legacy and have them gain additional tiers by shutting down the winter collectors to free Irrisen from the grip of winter. With the finale being a confrontation with Baba Yaga.
The battle at the lodge continued this week...
Last week ended mid-combat, with the two ice skeletons in the Lodge attacking the snow elf ranger and the gnome rogue and the three formerly dead bandits rising as zombies to attack the party members outside. Two of the heroes were planning on entering the back door of the Lodge to aid the snow elf and the gnome rogue.
This week began with the party's foes acting in initiative. The ice skeletons attacked, but did not slay the gnome and snow elf ranger. The icy cold of their claw attacks did not deter the snow elf in the slightest, due to his cold resistance, and the gnome was too quick and nimble for the skeletons to hit.
The zombies outside staggered towards the Varisian cleric of Desna, snow elf void wizard, and Kellid druid, getting in melee range, but too clumsy and slow to get in attacks.
Inside, the Ulfen barbarian and the Ulfen Blackraven inquisitor assisted the gnome and snow elf ranger. The last remaining bandit, besides Rohkar, dropped his weapon and surrendered. The ice skeletons were dispatched, but not before blasting the heroes with the frigid icy cold of their death throes.
Outside, the zombies took down first the snow elf wizard, then the Varisian cleric, and then, later, the snow elf ranger. They began trying to eat them, since other heroes were backing away or inside.
The zombies were strangely resiliant, being augmented by some unknown power. Rohkar. He revealed himself, attacking the inquisitor as he was getting ready to slay the zombie attempting to eat the snow elf wizard. Big mistake. The Ulfen inquisitor and Ulfen barbarian made quick work of him, dropping him to -1 hit point in two blows, despite his temporary hit points from death knell.
The battle was over.
The party questioned the one bandit that surrendered inside. They retrieved the bodies of the two they had hidden behind the outhouse, who were both stable.
The cleric was revived by the druid using a scroll of cure light wounds discovered in Rokhar's chest (added), and he promptly channeled positive energy, his last use, healing everyone of 2 hit points of damage. The snow elf ranger and snow elf wizard were still unconscious.
The party left the cleric to watch over the snow elves, and the rest of them went down into the cellar to free Lady Argentea of Magnimar. They talked to her a little bit.
They were all oblivious to the unintended side effect of the channeling, which was to bring Rohkar up to 1 hit point. He became conscious, but he played dead, and no one noticed. With the rest of the party down in the cellar, he worked himself free of his bonds as the cleric tended to the two snow elves. It took about a minute and a half, but eventually he succeeded, and he rose up to attempt to strangle the cleric with the ropes that had been used to bond him. The cleric struggled, choking, and gasping for help. The cleric pulled a starknife, but fumbled, and the fumble card result was that Rohkar took possession of the starknife!
Things looked grim for the snow elves and the cleric! Rohkar had visions of three new murders dancing through his mind. Revenge! But, alas, when he brought the starknife to bear against the cleric, his unfamiliarity with the weapon resulted in him narrowly missing, and the cleric drew his second starknife, slashing Rohkar, and dropping him once again.
The party chained Rohkar up in the cellar. Tenpenny Tacey came back, asking for shelter, and the party accepted her. They questioned Rohkar, who told them a bit about Izoze and Teb Knotten, but not much. The nihilistic elven ranger pushed for trekking further into the winter, into the Somir Valley, but Lady Argentea demanded to be brought back to Heldren, beginning to worry they were going to abandon her. Eventually, the party agreed to the plan of taking Argentea, Tenpenny, and Rohkar to Heldren and telling the other bandits to stay in the lodge until they are gone, but then they don't want to ever see them again, essentially freeing them.
The snow elf wizard had a showdown with Vrixx, the winter-touched sprite. The sprite color sprayed him, but was in the cage, and couldn't escape, so when the wizard woke up, he color sprayed the sprite right back, and then opened the cage and removed one of its wings. They brought the sprite along with them to Heldren. It tried to be a pest and make noise during the night, but they buried it in a snow drift, and that muffled the sound and shut it up.
The session ended with the party back at Heldren, and now Level 2.
Last night, the party continued their adventures in the Grungir Forest, picking up where they left off after crossing Wishbone Creek.
They headed up the ridge, and successfully snuck up on the bandits on the trail. One almost fled but got caught from behind, he spilled the beans on his buddies.
The party followed the trail to the Lodge...
They spent about and hour of game time planning an assault. The plan. Split up, with 3 of them hiding at the outhouse to attack any of the bandits unlucky enough to need to use it. The other three went to go burn down the stable. They all snuck through the woods to the east and south, inadvertently missing the crossbow trap.
The gnome hid in the outhouse (after first using prestidigitation to make it smell better) behind the door, and 20 minutes later someone showed up. They saw the little gnome footprints in the snow, but stupidly thought, I'll get the little bugger, and slammed the door open, trying to stun the gnome. But, it didn't work, and the gnome jumped up onto the latrine seat and stabbed the guy to death in one shot (he's a rogue, and I ruled he would get a sneak attack under the circumstances).
They kept waiting for another one to come out to see what happened to his buddy. They peed all over the snow to the side of the outhouse, trying to cover up all of the footprints and to make it look like the guy just didn't want to go into the smelly outhouse. They proceeded to murder the second guy as well, dragging him off into the bushes. (OK, well neither of them died, explicitly, but they are unconscious, if stable, and will freeze to death if not healed at some point.)
Meanwhile, the other group was checking out the stables. The ranger and wizard snuck in and the ranger calmed the horses. For some reason, after piling together a bunch of straw, lit it, and then left, leaving the wizard with the horses to try and get them to get out of the stable. The wizard tried to push one out from behind, and got kicked, nearly killing him.
But, the horses and wizard got out, and the stable burned to the ground.
And, well, the guys in the lodge did nothing. Why would they?
Eventually, one of the horses tripped the crossbow trap, getting hit, and making a lot of noise.
So, the snow elf wizard (who is a bit weird and loopy and pretty "fey" acting) and the gnome went out front to act like they were winter fey and the cause of all of the ruckus, asking the bandits to come out to play. Some of the other party members went to keep an eye on the back door.
Three bandits snuck out the back door to go around the north side of the Lodge. Three others opened the front door and windows/shutters. They all fired bows on the fey and other party members who fired back from near the charred remains of the stable.
Tenpenny and two other bandits came out the back door to go after the two party members watching the back door. Tenpenny got skewered by a long spear right at the beginning, and went into defense mode. The inquisitor player sensed her motive, and encouraged her to flee, but she didn't, obviously not wanting to pick sides just yet.
The party had just about decimated all of the bandits when two ice skeletons came downstairs to attack the two party members that had entered the front door of the Lodge. And then Rokhar animated three dead bandits outside.
It was getting late, so we had to stop there. Things looked really good for the party just half a round before, but now things are looking dicey. The party has seven members, but there are two ice skeletons in the Lodge, three zombies outside, and Rokhar is invisible and about ready to start casting nasty spells.
IMHO the "travel" stuff let the players know how much powerful is Baba Yaga AND reworking part 4 to take place in Irrisen will be a really huge effort (you will have to change almost everything) but if you have the time I'm looking forward to see what you will come up with!
Yeah, I realize it would end up being a complete re-write of The Frozen Stars, but there is a ton of material in the Irrisen source book, and I like the idea of political intrigue in Irrisen.
Plus, I hate dragon riders and dragonkin. Just not my thing.
Rasputin Must Die!, though, I can deal with that.
I'm also seriously considering somehow using a lot of material from Sound of a Thousand Screams from the Kingmaker campaign to add some more fey elements.
Thanks, Samas. I may end up doing some serious modifications to the later portions of the adventure path. I may change the setting of Maiden Mother Crone to be in Irrisen rather than Iobaria, and I'm not so sure about The Frozen Stars... I may replace it completely with adventures in Irrisen.
This week, three new characters joined the group:
- A Kellid druid from the Realm of the Mammoth Lords
The three new characters had been individually captured by winter fey and stuffed into a cave near the sprite encounter. The arrival of the rest of the party gave them the chance the needed to test their bonds and escape.
I added two additional sprites, giving each of them a different 1st level spell, replacing color spray on four of them with ice sheet (grease), ice spray (burning hands), sleep, and chill touch. One character fell to color spray, they all made saves against sleep, the ice sheet and ice spray were fun, but didn't do much damage.
Eventually, two of the sprites were killed, and the rest fled, muttering, "We should tell Izoze."
The party decided to camp for the night in the cave. Before evening, they encountered Fawfein and the talking stag. They completely thought the stag was a messenger from Erastil, and only one character rolled high enough to see through Fawfein's bluff, and he decided not to say anything about it. So, they told the stag everything, and then it walked off so that Fawfein could go tell Izoze.
In the morning, the party continued following the trail. After crossing over a ridge, I added the following supplemental encounter:
The trail turns left and crosses over the ridge, leading down into a shallow valley. The trail is somewhat easy here, the snow isn’t as deep, and seems to have blown further down the valley. The wind is harsh, blowing strongly from the right to the left, whipping the snow in front of you. Suddenly, you hear a low buzzing sound, that rapidly increases in pitch and volume, and within the whipping snow, you see a swarm of white, sparrow-sized wasps closing on you.
The wasps fly/get blown into the squares of the party, attacking at the end of their move, the next round, they get blown away, and the party may relax, but the round following, the wasp swarm long steps back upwind, preparing for another fly by attack. The next time if flies by, it blows downwind, then changes shape and flies back to the party, attacking as a giant wasp.
Winter-Touched Fey Wasp Swarm CR 4
A wasp swarm is a flying mass of a thousand of carnivorous wasps. In such large numbers, they become voracious hunters, capable of taking down large creatures with their venom-filled stings. While a wasp swarm is capable of inflicting hundreds of stings, its true danger arises from its insatiable appetite for meat.
Wasp swarms surround and attack any living prey in their paths, and are swift to seek out new prey once their anger is aroused. An enraged wasp swarm often loses track of its hive or the original source of its anger, and presented with a constant series of new targets to swarm and sting, a swarm can continue its rampage nonstop until it is destroyed or dispersed.
The players loved that encounter! They continued down the hill to Wishbone Creek.
The battle at Wishbone Creek with the ice elementals was not changed. After triggering the trap, they threw a grappling hook and rope across the creek into the rocks on the other side. They moved across. After one got across, the ice elementals attacked the second one. The battle was pretty one sided, and the party quickly dispatched the elementals.
I'm still getting a feel for the party. It's a lot of PCs, seven, and I will have to add encounters and beef up encounters to keep it challenging, but I love this adventure. I'll keep posting updates as we continue with the campaign. We're taking this week off, which is a bummer, but will be back at it the week after.
Last night, I just started running a Reign of Winter campaign with the starting point based in the Land of the Linnorm Kings. I placed the town of Heldren in the Northwest edge of the Grungir Forest.
Another goal was to really play up the fey aspects of the adventure path. So, it was pretty cool to find, when reading up on Grungir Forest that the veil between the First World and Golarion is thin in the Grungir. And, after reading through Fey Revisited, I really wanted to use the Norns somehow, and, hey, look, they are most likely to come across in the Grungir. It really seems like a whole lot of themes are coming together, and I was able to use the sample Norn from Fey Revisited to great effect as an extra encounter.
I want to use the mythic rules, and I had already had the idea that getting the black rider’s mantle would be the moment of ascension. I got a bunch of great ideas from the threads on this forum for when mythic trials will occur. (I love the community input, I can already see how hearing of other DM’s experiences with High Sentinal Lodge and the Winter Portal are going to help me run those encounters… immensely) As part of the general “mythic”-ness of the campaign, I want each character to be a paragon of their race, and I’m allowing characters to take an extra racial trait or feat at 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level. I also developed a home-brewed list of racial traits for “fey-blooded” human and “troll-blooded” human, using a lot of the flavor from the sorcerer fey bloodline and the fey creature template.
This first evening, two of the six players couldn't play, so only four of them were there for the start. Like I said, I’m really pushing for a strong fey character to the adventure path. The players did not disappoint. So far, they include a fey-touched Varisian cleric of Desna (ostensibly searching for the legendary holy site of Desna in the western Grungir Forest), a troll-touched Ulfen Blackraven Witch Warden Inquisitor, a gnome naturalist rogue, and a snowcaster elf two handed weapon ranger with a history of, until recently, being lost in the First World since the time of the first Winter War. Hopefully the other two players can keep up the fey themes.
The battle in Area A with the zombies went well. A zombie got in a slam attack against the cleric and did max damage, staggering him, but the rest of the party made short work of them. The trap at the chest knocked the gnome for a loop, but he had approached the chest alone. The tatzlwyrm nearly took out the cleric, but the snowcaster elf scored a critical hit with his two handed elven curved blade, which should have killed it, but I couldn’t let the thing die on one blow! Heck, it’s a dragon! Albeit a tiny one.
We ended the night just as the winter-touched sprites had finished their surprise round. One hit on the cleric (he seems to be the damage sponge!) and then a natural 1 and then a natural 3. The natural 1 was a fumble, and, drawing a card from the fumble deck, his reaction was to charge into combat, so I ruled that his bow broke in two.
I need to figure out how to get the two other players’ characters into the game, but, all in all, it was a great first session and I’m looking forward to seeing how the campaign goes.
Added Encounter: Shortly after the party passed Area A, I had the party encounter the lone Norn, Yrlda (using Yrldak from Fey Revisited). The theory is that her sisters have somehow fallen pretty to Elvannah and/or Baba Yaga. I may end up reskinning some of the planar travel aspects of the adventure path to keep it on Golarion or in the First World, and the Norns will play a big role:
A quarter mile past the massacre site, the party comes upon a woman butchering an animal. They see her from a long ways off; she is sitting on a log, facing in their direction. The weather is cold, there is a dusting of frost and snow on the ground. Snow falls in the forested hills behind her.
She is dressed in furs, with pale skin and long dark hair. As they approach, still a hundred yards off, she stops her work, places her tools on the ground, and rests her hands on her lap. She sits upright, waiting. As the party approaches, it becomes apparent that the log is much larger than they had originally thought, that she is huge, possibly twice as tall as the tallest member of the party. As they get close, she gestures for them to approach. [I wrote some likely things she would say, without prompting, necessarily. Being without her sisters, she is not all "there" while on Golarion, and is kind of spacey.)
“You are late.” She says, arching an eyebrow. “That should not happen… That you would be late.” She picks up her shears, large, shining shears, and begins cutting the flesh of the giant hare in front of her.
“It is no matter. You are here. Not too late.”
“Time waits for no man. You are needed.”
“For this and that. You are needed. Needed here and there. And elsewhere.”
“I need you. You will find my sisters, and we shall be rejoined. I fear that day. But it must come.”
“Mother needs you.”
“Whose mother, I cannot say. Not ‘will not say’. Cannot say. A mother. Mother Earth? Mother Sky? Mother Wind? Mother Snow? I cannot say.”
“I cannot see. The weave is knotted here. The skein is tangled, and my sisters are lost. Without them, I…” She puts up her hands in resignation.
“They are lost, I dread. I came back, to join them, but they are lost. Find them, and gratitude will be yours.”
She puts her shears down, and takes a bundle out of a pack laying in the snow near her. She unwraps the leather bundle, revealing numerous locks of hair, each lock tied together with a strand of gold. She hands one to each party member, “These charms will serve you well. Say my name, and their magic will aid you, only once, but it will aid you in dancing across the threads of fate.”
“I cannot join you. Your fate is yours to pursue. The fae of this wood are many, though, and they are pained. If fate smiles on you, so may they.”
Fantastic. Escaped prisoners of Rokhar, camping off the side of the trail with a fire to keep warm.
I plan on the lodge being an Ulfen hunting hall, Rokhar having killed the hunters, but with this idea, I'll adjust it so that Rokhar killed most of them, but was holding onto these two for some reason related to their backstory (one will probably be a wizard, so maybe Rokhar was acting like he was keeping him alive to interrogate him, when really he was just trying to come up with a suitably grisly murder.) These two could have escaped a couple days ago while they were unguarded when the raiders were out kidnapping Lady Argentea.
With this route, the two new characters will have an idea of the layout of the lodge, which will give the players the chance to play the raid. With 6 characters and advanced knowledge of the layout, I will have the freedom to really lay into the party with some of the tactics I've seen in this post.
Great ideas. Thanks!
A character becomes likable, Martin kills them.
This is a gross exaggeration. Yes, characters die, but not all of them. My favorite characters are all still alive and kicking.
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
I seriously doubt that Seattle uses a definition of summer that lasts all the way to September 21st.
Actually, here in the Pacific Northwest, "summer" (characterized by warm, sunny, dry weather) versus the perpetual rain of winter and spring) usually starts after the summer solstice (typically July 4th) and lasts about up to the autumnul equinox. Fall is short, between mid-September and through October, sometimes reaching into November. Then, the rains come and it's winter again.
The last fighter I played, everyone in the group thought he was overpowered compared to the rest of the party (up through about level 12). He was somewhat min-maxed, but not too bad. Some of the rest of the party was max-minned (did I coin a new term), but not too bad. They included a battle oracle, a rogue, a bard, and a witch.
To me, the major failure of 4E was in the fluff. Both 4E and Pathfinder have major flaws (my opinion) in game play.
Where Paizo and WotC are different are that WotC failed to produce any decent modules or a cool world (or, at least, in the first 2 years, after that I gave up because my gamer friends gave up). In fact, they seemingly intentionally AVOIDED producing cool settings and adventures.
Paizo has an awesome world with tons of amazing adventures.
It shouldn't be a mystery as to why Pathfinder is succeeding and 4E is dying.
Paizo Blog: Paizo Publishing's 10th Anniversary Retrospective—Year 0 (2002)--The Thrill of Starting Something New
I agree. And, I think it's relevant considering that there is a base class (alchemist) that "gets" poison use as a class skill. It really is pretty much worthless at the costs in the book. Magic is far less expensive, making the poison use class ability almost useless.
I think that the whole poison list needs major re-working.
Am I missing something or does this system completely nerf illusions. The 3rd level word Glimmering creates a visual illusion...? That is equivalent to the first level spell minor image. Whoopdidoo. The 3rd level wizard spell Major Image has visual, audible, olfactory, and thermal components. The word of power pretty much sucks.
Wow, that all sounds really... weird, LOL.
Anything for alchemists? I'm looking for an alternative to a fire bombing alchemist for an upcoming Serpent's Skull adventure path character. I want to play more of an herbalist focusing on mutagens, extracts, infusions, and poisons, and it'd be nice to have an alternative to the fire bomb.
Edit: I was just reading through the Wayfinder #4 archetype for "herbalist", and it's pretty cool, but I'd still like to know if there's anything in Ultimate Magic for alchemists, since I'll probably use the herbalist archetype if my DM goes for it.
I like the idea of giving a stat boost to two stats every even level (on the opposite level characters get feats). Then you don't have to put in limits, which would be necessary to prevent players from having a 35 in an ability score by Level 20. Unless, that's what you want... I guess it's not all that crazy to think a 35 would be possible for a 20th level character, who, really, is pretty much a demi-god by that point.
Remco Sommeling wrote:
It might be quite possible to have sold himself into slavery, depending on background, also in different times it wasnt perceived as bad per se, often there was hardly a difference between the life of a slave and a peasant, in fact I dare say slaves were often treated much better.
If you've watched Spartacus Blood and Sand, you've seen a story of a man who sold himself into slavery to pay off gambling debts.
It'd be a great show for you to watch, Robodruida, to help spur ideas for your character.
I never meant to give you the impression that I like 4e. I'd rather claw my eyes out with a rusty garden fork.
Then why are you on a 4E forum? Can't help yourself?
Are you excited about the Advanced Player's Guide for Pathfinder? If so, does that mean that you don't like Pathfinder any more?
If you don't like people discussing 4E on this messageboard:
(a) don't click on the 4E forum (wow, is that hard to figure out)
(b) convince Paizo to take this forum off their board
Seriously, you're post makes no sense at all.
It's interesting to see all of the disappointment that it's a 4E game here in the 4E forum.
My disappointment is that Golarion and the Adventure Paths are NOT 4E.
I love the 4E system, I'm just disappointed that WoTC hasn't produced rich and flavorful adventures for it.
I disagree that it's harder. In my opinion, it is way easier for the reasons in the second post in this thread.
It was great to see the Paizo staff at the show. I only got to meet Eric, and I missed the Lucky Labrador because I came home and fell asleep, but, I have to say, I really, really was impressed with the show.
I am Steve, the camera man and co-videographer. So, I went to all foiur performances of Burnt Offerings. I enjoyed it more each time. I am not a theater guy, so it was really interesting to see the evolution of the play over four showings... it got better and better each time, and last night was just fantastic. The acting was a notch better and everything was just amazing.
I have no idea what's going to happen with the video... I am a novice at editing video, but when this is over, I certainly won't be any more.
I will talk to Fat Jozka about thoughts on posting some of the photographs.
I have to say, I got choked up several times during the play. Having known and gamed with Fat Jozka for about 9 or 10 years now (can it be that long), it is really exciting to see this project of his come to fruiting. I am amazed at how incredible of a production this was, particularly knowing it was done on a public school budget with the help of a bunch of really talented parents and friends. It was amazing.
We are videotaping the play. I'm not sure what we're going to be doing with it, though. There are probably a few issues to work out on that (rights, releases, etc.). But first, a lot of editing to be done.
Alex Y wrote:
Alex, I'm in the midst of History of Ashes, and if you have any electronic notes on what you've done to convert History and Scarwall to 4E, I'd love to see them. My email address is email@example.com. Thanks in advance if you happen to have something you can pass along.
Yeah... small favor Jozka? Is there a way to purchase tickets online/over the phone? And if so, could you hook me up with the method? I live up here in Pierce County Washington State, so driving down just to buy tickets before they get bought out isn't exactly appealing lol.
It looks like you can buy them by mail, although I'm not positive.
Wow, this thread really devolved.
Scott, any questions about 4E Crimson Throne, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zombie guy... you remind me of the guy I have gamed with that just cannot let the game come to him, if his initial first impression does not immediately make sense to him, he cannot, for the life of him, suspend his disbelief and find another way around the situation, obstacle, whatever. He's a great guy and a long time friend, but I find myself in intractable arguments with him all the time because he just cannot let things lie and, when something doesn't seem "right", he just cannot be convinced to find alternative explanations for why things may happen. It always MUST be the way he originally perceived it, and there is no changing that perception.
As someone who has recently worked in the film/video equipment rental field, I would suggest going with something other than the RED ONE. You'll end up with video of too high a resolution to be workable and unless you're specifically lighting for the camera (which I imagine you're not on stage) it will come across as very, very flat. For a lower price point, you may look into a multi-camera Sony EX3 package. It'll give you incredible quality and should come in around the same price or less than a RED ONE with all the necessary accessories.
Thanks! I was just going with the "cool" product right now. I'll look into the Sony package.
I mean, worse comes to worse, I have a hand held Canon HD camcorder. I need to attend some of the rehearsals, Fat Jozka, so that I know what and when to shoot.
Scott Betts wrote:
Bear in mind that this is a relative take on WotC's published adventures. Modules like Keep on the Shadowfell were never intended to serve as intense character interaction experiences. They were designed to provide DMs with the things DMs need most, and that are toughest for DMs new to the system to put together: encounters. Taken as a series of encounters strung together with hooks, the published H-P-E adventures are fantastic tools. The philosophy at WotC behind adventure design is that no one but the DM is really familiar with the roleplaying dynamic at your table. They are making adventures that can be used by just about anyone, so the assumption is that you, the DM, will provide a roleplaying experience...
I'm kind of surprised to hear this, coming from the guy that is using a Paizo product for the story line and then converting it to 4E. :-)
I disagree that the things DM need most are encounters... What I need (and what I get from Paizo) are interesting story lines. I can make up encounters on the fly, ESPECIALLY in 4E. But an engaging story line with good plot hooks, I don't have the time to put that together. Which is why I'm running Crimson Throne in 4E.
The last two game sessions in my current 4E game contained NO COMBAT. It was all roleplaying. Two 3 to 4 hour sessions. So, if you found 4E to be all combat, well, I hate to be blunt, but it was no fault of the system, that's for sure.
It could very well be the fault of the lame WotC adventures... Lame really doesn't do them justice. Terrible may be a better description.
I'm another of Fat Jozka's gaming buddies and an amateur professional photographer... I'll be heading over to the school this afternoon to get some shots of the actors in costume. I'm pretty excited! This is pretty fun.
I'm going to be trying to figure out how to get this videotaped (and videotaped well). Anyone have a RED ONE camera they want to loan out? (Ha ha, I wish.) It costs like $600 to rent for a single day. Ugh.
I like the idea of two hit minions, with the first making them bloodied. Great idea!
In the last combat in which I had minions, I had included an elite of 2 levels higher than the party and then 4 minions 2 levels higher than the party... but to just let the minions die on one hit was too boring, so I gave them about 1/3 normal hit points, which translated to about 2 to 4 hits to kill them, depending on who was doing the hitting.
Because it was only 5 monsters total, it wasn't an accounting problem and it worked really well at giving the party some danger but keeping the combat short.
I have always hated gnomes... until I read the way Pathfinder handles gnomes. I like the combination of Pathfinder gnome fluff and 4E gnome abilities. A lot.
Warforged are not robots... "refluffing them as constructs" is not necessary... they are constructs. That said, they don't fit in a non-Eberron campaign very well.
Dragonborn... I like the race, but not for my 4E Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign. Just too exotic.
I never got excited about Shifters. They seemed "extra" and just not necessary.
Finally... elves. It's not the elves I hate, it's the players that want to play elves. Invariably, they are either way too "hippy" or way too much of a min-maxer. Rarely does someone play an elf without falling into one of the two categories. Oh, that and the "secret door radar" thing from previous editions. Ugh.
My PCs approached the meeting with the Arkonas in a pretty unique way, I think.
Knowing the Arkonas are underworld criminals and the palace was at the top of a cliff, they just assumed that there would be a smuggler's entrance, so they found it, went in, and killed the Reefclaw (I'm running this as 4E, so I made it an Elite Chuul with extra poisoning abilities.)
Then, they went and met the Rakshasa with the cobras, with whom they parleyed. The dumb dwarf spilled his guts... that they were there to find Neolandus. The sneaky rogue just about blew a gasket, getting pissed at the dwarf for spilling his guts... but it worked out perfectly. The Rakshasa suggested they talk to Glorio. So they did, and he sent them down into the Labyrinth. (We have a new player who is a bit of an archeaologist... and so I had it that he had been petitioning to visit the Labyrinth to find some ancient item of power that was rumored to be there, worked great, another person to help the party kill Vimanda.)
So, the rakshasha snake master dude (can't remember his name) took them back down and sent them into the labyrinth.
Where the rogue promptly walked into the first rotating room and pulled the level and rotated away. Then, she went into the next room and pulled that lever and rotated away. Then, the rest of the party went into the "Good" pool room and got rotated away...
To avoid the complications, I let them keep rotating to eventually get back together again, probably 12 to 15 rotations. I probably should have started throwing stuff at them... but it was just going to be too big of a pain in the butt.
So, then, while fighting the blood cobra, I had Vimanda come up behind the party dressed as Vencarlo. They pretty much were suspicious immediately. And they kept asking questions that she had no way of answering. Like, "Hey, Blackjack, we found your rapier... where'd we find it... if you're really Vencarlo, you'll know." I had her just say, "Well, obviously, you're testing me, we all know I'm not Blackjack." I thought that was good. But, eventually, they just got so suspicious, I had one of them notice the fingers. So, then I had her turn back to Meliya and try to get them to join her against Bahor. They would have none of it. So, finally, battle ensued. I had given her some armor that lets her go insubstantial once a day, so I had her run when she was down to about 15% of her hit points. She'll be back, though, and will try to kill them off.
I made Vimanda a Level 14 Elite Skirmisher (the party is Level 9). I had to reduce her defenses a little, though, otherwise she would probably have wiped up the party. As it was, it was a pretty knockdown dragout fight. I gave her the powers of a 9th level monk and 6th level wizard (all thunder and lightning powers), with the wizard powers all useable as minor actions. She is pretty nasty. If there hadn't been 5 party members, she might have killed them. As it was, they got her down from 288 to about 32 hit points and she fled.
All in all, a pretty fun battle. Although the battlefield was a little small for her to really use all of her movement and push and pull powers to full effect.
Larry Latourneau wrote:
If you have questions, ask them and I will try to answer them :)
Well, tell me as much about the Avenger as possible. What's the new build? Oath Power? Any decent damage powers?
Stefan Hill wrote:
It would seem the answer is a DM should basically ignore monster hp's and have them die when dramatically appropriate OR when players start looking like they are about to have a nap.
This is exactly what I tend to do, about 30 to 40% of the time and particularly with key enemies. Sometimes, I actually have to keep them alive another round or so to make them seem like a real threat.
I definitely wouldn't do this all the time, otherwise I'd probably be inserting a bias towards things ending the same way all of the time. But, I will do it pretty often.
But, I am also interested in the idea you guys used Stefan. So, tell me if I get this right. When the attack roll is not a critical, you remove damage from regular hit points, but when the attack roll is a critical, you remove the base weapon damage from constitution? The "actual" constitution value (i.e. does the character's Fort defense go down?). Or from a Wounds value equal to his constitution.
So, for a creature that does, say, 3d8+9 damage on a hit, would you remove 3d8 points from the Wounds value? 3d8+9?
And a creature dies when it's wounds are 0 or negative? And what about a character? They're just dying as usual?
I really do like this idea, but I'm worried that when monster base damages get high, there could be a lot of one-shotting of characters.
I want to see lots of new traps and skill challenges and ideas for how to combine the two and combine them with encounters. Puzzles and hazards would be cool, too. Basically, I want to see a bunch of stuff that will help in building encounters.
just lacking a lot of the spice that made the older edition's things more interesting. By about round 5 everyone is usually out of the powers you'll be willing to expend against not the big bad guy monsters so you've got a lot of at-wills being tossed about.
I just don't get this train of thought. At all. People complain that once you have no more encounter and daily powers, all you can do is use at wills... well, in 3.5, all that the non-spellcasting characters HAD were at-wills.
Fighter - I swing my weapon. (4E has feats, too, so you can't say that well, there were a ton of feats you could use.) Whereas, in 4E, you can mark an opponent, preventing them from moving AND you have 2 at will powers in addition to a basic melee attack.
Rogue - I sneak attack. (You can sneak attack in 4E, too. AND, you can do your other at-will attacks.)
Sure, wizards, clerics, etc. have far fewer spells to choose from, but the other classes have far more things to choose from. I like how it balances out the game.
Plus, with all of the movement based mechanics and cooperation based mechanics thrown in, 4E combats seem much more interesting and challenging to me. I just do NOT get the "there's nothing to do in 4E combats compared to 3.5 combats" argument at all.
Jeremy, that is freaking sweet!
What I have done for printing off maps is:
- Copy the image out of the pdf of the module (click on it and select copy)
- Paste it into an image editing program such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
- Look at the ruler and figure out how many squares there are per inch.
- Go to image size and resize the image so that it is scaled to 1 inch = 1 square. (Note, the image will be at a resolution of 72 dots per inch, I leave that the same, although you could bump it up to 150 dpi if you wanted). Use the bicubic interpolation for resizing. Photoshop will actually add pixels to make the image bigger.
- The resized image is going to be somewhat blurry, so I go into Filters/Sharpen and use either Smart Sharpen or Unsharp Mask and sharpen the image up. Play with the settings until it looks good. You can really get it to look pretty good this way, despite having scaled the image up dramatically.
- So, now I have an image that is pretty huge, depending on the map, and something like 40 by 50 inches. I have access to a color printer at work that will print 11 by 17 pages, so, I make a new file that is 10.5 inches by 16.5 inches and then I drag the big map around on it, printing off individual sections.
- I have taped individual sections together at times, or, I have also just described the dungeon as they go through it and then pulled out individual maps for areas when an encounter happens.
For Scarwall, I'll probably describe it all verbally... it is a big place and I want the players to get the feeling that mapping it all out could be difficult. Then, when an encounter occurs, I'll pull out the appropriate printed map and run it on that.