Beren Al'Torin's page

Organized Play Member. 6 posts. 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 12 Organized Play characters.


Farnaby wrote:
Beren Al'Torin wrote:

In an effort to make more work for myself, apparently, I decided to try using a version of the Influence subsystem to track how "friendly" the Spire Dorm group is with the PCs. My plan is

I made up "Influence Stat Blocks" for each of the NPCs -- do you think these look reasonable?

It looks quite good.

So do you use one sheet for each PC or use the players as a group?

A single sheet for the group. My group isn't super experienced with the RP part, so I'm using the subsystem as a crutch / shortcut. I don't want them to get too bogged down, so we're just doing it this way.

They'll have multiple sessions with these, and the points will be cumulative -- not every student will be at every session, but my hope is that by the end of the book they'll have gotten at least a few to Friends, and maybe even one or two to Good Friends if they focus.

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That's weird.

Okay, let's try this one:

Strength of Thousands Influence Tracker

Oh, I see. The URL in the first post actually works, but the editor puts a space into it when the text wraps (so it should be "G_" not "G _")

How silly.

In an effort to make more work for myself, apparently, I decided to try using a version of the Influence subsystem to track how "friendly" the Spire Dorm group is with the PCs. My plan is to have a running total of points that accumulate across sessions. I set the thresholds at 8 for "friends" (gets the study bonus) and 12 for "good friends" (gets the special item.) I'm doing it like this:

Every month there will be an event where they can try to gain influence. Think "Board Game Night" or "Waiting to be called for the Leshy battles" or such.
Each event will have up to four of the NPCs in attendance (semi-randomly chosen -- for example, the Board Game Night event will have a fairly specific group, etc.)
Each event will have two or three rounds that the PCs can use for either Discovery or Influence (I have five PCs, and I don't want these to take more than ten or fifteen minutes).
DCs will not change as the PCs level up -- this will represent the PCs becoming more well known to the Spire Dorm group, and vice versa. As they level up, they will naturally become more familiar with each other, and the checks will be easier.

I made up "Influence Stat Blocks" for each of the NPCs -- do you think these look reasonable? _YYPlxZQ/edit?usp=sharing

I gave my group a choice of APs for our next game, and they chose this one, so I have a few prep-related questions (we want to start on Labor Day, so I need to decide where to invest my $$ and time to get the most bang out of the first few sessions. For reference, this will be my first 2e AP, but not my first time GMing.)
1) How vital is it to read the whole thing first? Like, can I run book one before I buy the rest of them, or am I really hamstringing myself if I don’t know what’s coming later?
2) Is the The Mwangi Expanse book necessary, or just a good idea? I’m gonna get it eventually, definitely, but it looks like the PCs hardly ever leave the school in book 1, so the wider world doesn’t really come into play.
3) Where, exactly, am I supposed to get all of the Giant Insect minis to run the combats in this book? Silverfish? I may end up having to reskin them because I can find precisely zero of those anywhere. And that’s a shame, because I think the art is great and the monster itself is appropriately creepy-crawly.
(Okay, that third one was just kinda complain-ish, but seriously — I like to play with minis and maps and I’m having a hard time tracking some of them down.)

Love this, and will definitely be picking it up.

I'd love to see more of this kind of thing, too. Swamps, Caves, Ocean<?), Sewers... Anything I don't have to draw is good for me and my players.

Played this one last week -- party was:
6 Blaster Wizard
5 Greatsword fighter
5 Sneaky rogue
6 AC-tank Warpriest
7 Barbarian

Mostly, very fun.

Encountered a little frustration from some events that I'm sure were probably supposed to be a little frustrating anyway . . .

Spoiler for detailed reactions / review


The first encounter was a ton of fun, but some really low diplomacy rolls meant the eidolon got beaten on quite badly. She survived, though, and gave one last chance for diplomacy . . . which also failed miserably. Ah, well, at least she got away after giving a little info about what had happened.

The ruined settlement had some good flavor, and after cleaning the mural we had a decent idea of what we were going to be facing -- or thought we did.

Then the second encounter just about killed us. We broke the illusion with the barbarian's idea to "fish" for the chest with a grapple arrow and rope, which a couple of decent will saves figured out that it wasn't really there . . . and that's when the excrement encountered the rotating atmospheric oscillator. That water orb is just crazy frustrating, and it felt like any time someone would get out they'd just get sucked right back in. If not for the warpriest's potion of fly, a couple of us would have been washed down the river. Nobody was ever in any real danger of dying from combat (and in fact the adds each went down in one hit) but there were some very close calls with drowning. Eventually got through that, though, and the GM let us camp on the way up the mountain -- the warpriest and wizard were both out of spells at that point.

The third encounter, however, was where the real frustration set in. Climbing those (expletive deleted) stairs just about killed the party. We split into a "left" and "right" group, with climbing rope, pitons, the whole works on both sides. Left side went with a slow-and-steady approach while the right side tried a faster approach. The right side each (Barbarian and Rogue) made their first climb checks . . . and then proceeded to fail the second, taking a good bit of damage. They then grew increasingly desperate to get up and join the party, leading to some bad decisions which combined with bad dice rolling to keep them on the ground. The party on the left took several rounds to get up to the top (discovered about halfway up, and then the shooting started) and would have been in trouble if not for the warpriest's crazy-high AC. Once they reached the top, though, it went much better -- getting four archers with one well-placed fireball is always a good time, and the constructs didn't prove to be much of a problem.

The trek through the mountain was . . . anticlimactic. The rogue hit every one of his scouting rolls, and the warpriest's navigation rolls were flawless.

On to the fourth encounter. For a time, we thought we were going to be able to diplomacize (is that even a word?) our way through, but it was not to be. No problems with the encounter itself, and both went down with little fuss.

Our fifth encounter (after another flawless navigation / scouting roll combo) was similarly simple. The boss got off his crystal-shards move, but never got another hit in. I heard a little bit about what might have happened if we hadn't taken him down as quickly as we did, and I'm certainly glad we didn't have to deal with that.

Overall, a great scenario. Everyone had fun, there was a good mix between combat and role playing (and role playing during combat) and the ending felt earned.