So I am in the age of worms campaign. We are almost finished with the Whispering Cairn, and will be going into the final resting place, we killed the wind warriors, and soon will confront Filge.
My issue is, I started this campaign, after I already got them, into a small adventure of my own, a dungeon, that left them at level 4 and some change, and a ship ride that took two weeks, and caused them to get to level 5.
Well, we enter the whispering cairn at with 6 level 5s, a flesh raker animal companion, a wild cohort wolf, a swindlespitter animal companion, a riding dog, and a bear that was reared as a cub and is (due to a funky system we homebrewed up) a medium critter, with stats between a wolf/flesh raker. not nearly as agressive and potent, but has a few d4 attacks. Eventually it'll get to be the same as the monster manual version.
Anyway, when we complete this dungeon, They thrashed everything I had thrown at them, and that with the adjustments they suggested in the little "scaling the dungeon" side bar things, and even with my own additions. Like if they said to add an extra this or that, I would add one more extra of this or that, and then ramp up the HD to as high as I could.
The Wind Warriors at the end were both 18HD creatures, and through just bad rolls, we taken down. I guess I could have just sat there and floated over the darkness and sonic blast them until they all died, but I didn't want to cheese out the entire fight.
So here we come to Filge....
There are a few different encounters but clearly they were meant for a low level party probably at this point level 2s or 3s and only 3-4 people. We have almost TWICE this many bodies, and though you are not suppose to count animal companions and animal cohorts, and handle animal things, I'm finding it increasingly more difficult to ignore them in the course of building encounters.
See, at first, I was a nice dm, a kind dm, one that would make challenges interesting, and fun, and I stilll want to do that, but it's time for them to actually face CHALLENGES. I read in the DMG you should use up about 10-15% or something of their resources with each battle, but they just keep on trucking.
As I'm mentioned in another thread, we got a ranger, a cleric, a rogue, 2x barbarians, and a fighter, and as above 5 other animals. I joke alot that they have a zoo. This is all well and good.
Anyway, onto Filge, the due has a small observatory, that has some undead here and there. As default it is:
1 Tomb Mote
3 Skeletons with cross bows (plain jane ones from the MM)
9 useless zombies that are only there for a magical show, they don't fight
then the boss which is:
A level 3 Wizard (Necromancer)
He has 4 zombies in tanks that will break out on his command, 3x trogs and a bugbear.
He has a plain jane skeleton who walks with him.
Now here are the potential changes I am thinking of doing:
4x tomb motes, all max hd possible, as they find the one in a broom closet 5x5, I figured why not 4, they can fit right?
Now the skeletons are going to be absolute pushovers, this I know, so they only thing I could think of, because this observatory is soooo damn small, that I would give them poison bolts with Purple Worm Poison. Most of my group is fighter based, so fort saves are pretty hard to beat.
The on the boss, I have him set up as a 7th level focused specalist wizard that takes spell focus, and greater spell focus. he has aburation and trans banned according to the module. But the room it self, is lik maybe 35x35? and his work area is in a 5ft stepped in part that you take stairs to get to.
I originally attempted to use ogre zombies or miniotaur zombies, while keeping the wizard at like a level 4 or 5, it was just so crowed it was impossible.
Maybe I'm just over looking some tools a dm could use, but the cr ratings and what should be powerful and what actually IS powerful is really messing with this module, at least until the module finally catches up to the players level, which I fear won't be until maybe another 2 magazines.