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I'm running a party of 5 players through Bullywug Gambit and they have been really struggling with the power level. It took some work on my part not to wipe them all out at Kraken's Cove and while they've just freed Lavinia, they are hurting, haven't done the basement and have no spells left. They will not be 5th level by the time they are finished with Bullywug, and I think, given there are 5 of them, its just going to get worse as the AP goes along.

I'd like to insert a short urban side trek after Bullywug to get them up to at least 5th level before I start Sea Wyvern's Wake, but I've looked through all my stuff and can only find stuff that either requires too much work (I'm limited on prep time) or I've already run for this group (we've been playing for ~20 yrs at this point.)

I'm running 3.5, can anyone recommend a short, 3.5 urban side trek for about a 4th level (not too much higher) party?

Thanks.


I had something come up in a game last night, and I have yet to see a concrete answer anywhere on the boards. Basically, a dragon performed a crush attack which automatically pins the opponent. My question is, if the dragon is pinning the opponent (with its four limbs, presumably) can it attack other opponents with its bite or tail?

Since pinning is a result of a grapple, the grapple rules would seem to apply here. But attacking a different opponent is not a possible action according to the grapple rules (at least not that I can see). It would seem silly that a Gargantuan dragon can grapple a dwarf but would be forbidden by the grapple rules from performing a tail sweep on nearby opponents.

(I'm more than happy to make this a house rule if necessary, but I'd be interested if its ever been addressed in the rules.)

Anyone know of any rules that apply here?

Thanks
Greg


It appears that X-COM: Enemy Unknown (the new version) is being released on iOS this summer:

X-COM iOS announcement.

I had been contemplating getting it for the Xbox, but I think I'll wait it for it for my iPad. (With young kids in the house it's easier to play an "M" game with an iPad). According to the video it'll be a straight-up port, the only modifications will be for the touch interface.

Loved the original, this is gonna be cool. Just hope it isn't restricted to retina-only iPads.

Greg


I just ran the Darl Quethos encounter this last week, and Darl had to plane shift out with the Sunfire twins at the end. (Fun battle, but really bad rolls by me including a failed dispel of a sphere of ultimate destruction sealed his fate.)

Has any one used Darl again before the end of the adventure path? I'd really like to have him re-occur but I'm kinda stuck on ideas of how to do it.

Darl want secrets, but after LoLR there's really nothing left in the AP that would interest him it seems. There's always revenge but that seems a little too obvious as a motivator to have him show up again.

Anyone use him again? How did you do it?

Thanks,
Greg


So I had a minor side track adventure before Prince of Redhand where I put in my own advanced bulette. My players had never encountered one before so I wanted to add this 1st Ed classic to my game.

But then after that I start reading ahead a bit and lo and behold there is one also in LoLR. It's probably not a big deal to have it repeat, but at the same time I kinda want to have the previous one as the only one this AP. (Besides the one in LoLR isn't advanced the same as mine was so they may feel cheated that this one doesn't have the same characteristics - I added swallow whole, for example.).

But mostly I think I'd like to use this opportunity to throw another "unique" monster at them. But I'm drawing a blank. Anybody have any good ideas to take the place of a CR 16 creature?

Thanks,
Greg


My party just finished Spire of Long Shadows, and they are only 14th level (effective: 5 players, 3x14, 2x12). Prince of Redhand is for 15th level parties, so I'm worried that if I go straight in, they'll be screwed, especially for the later adventures. Anyone know of an adventure that I can shoe-horn into AoW that will take the party to 15th or even 16th level?

Thanks,
Greg


Is there anything out there regarding an official word on whether the oculus demon can use its eye bolts to heal itself? If yes, then that it gets free healing every round and with the DR, pretty hard to take down. If no, then I think when my party returns from to the tomb, they will find a demon who's bled to death. My party was getting their butts handed to them - they entered the tomb unprepared and low on spells. Nobody could make the DC 24 saves from the eyebolts in the first round, so I went a little easy on them. Early on in the battle, the demon suffered a critical fumble, and took 1 point of bleed damage. I remembered this post raising the question so I didn't have him heal himself right then and there. The party couldn't get past his DR (even though I use Monte Cook's equivalence chart), the thing is immune or resistant to nearly all forms of energy and the Mage was severely low on spells, so I gave them an opportunity to escape (yeah, I'm a softy). So they got away. And now I find I'm in a bit of a bind. If I allow the eyebolts to heal him, then I think he's pretty much unbeatable for my party. If I don't he'll be dead from the bleed damage when they get back, kinda anti-climactic. I guess the third option is to decide he had a cure potion stashed somewhere in the tomb, but that's bordering on a bit too deus ex machina for me.

Any thoughts?

Greg


Ok, so I've gotten it into my head that I want to send my party on a side quest to the Tomb of Horrors (the 3e version Wizards posted a long while ago). My logic is simple: I want to boost them up so that they are strong enough for the Champion's Belt, and I want to give them some history in preparation for when they have to go retrieve the Sphere of Annihilation near the end of the AP. (None of my players have ever played ToH and all but one haven't even heard of it.) They aren't, and won't be 9th level (the recommended level for ToH), so that's probably my first mistake. (The effective party level will probably be mid-8th level by the time we finish HoHR.) I know the original is a killer dungeon (I played in it a loooonnngggg time ago) but upon perusal, the 3e version seems less terrifying.

So has anyone run the converted version? Am I leading my party to certain doom if I try this? Should I just quietly back way from this idea?

Greg


Ok, so my party just entered the mirror maze at the end of last week. The text as written says that the guards will try to take the form of the separated party members to try and confuse the party. Aside from the fact that this has just been done (body thief plot) to great fun and a cool climax (thus seeming a bit redundant) they would have no way of knowing whom to prepare for, so they wouldn't be wearing any of the party member's armour or carrying any of the gear. So it's a no-brainer that it would be obvious that they are doppelgangers (they are kinda paranoid about that now).

So, how did you make the interaction with the guards in the mirror maze an interesting use of their change shape?

Greg


So, I've got one of my PCs on board with the body thief plot - Ixiaxian has taken the part of the rogue and the party is working their way through the upper level of Sodden Hold.

The problem is, aside from being there to backstab a party member when the time comes, I'm not sure what to do with him. I was thinking that he would start trying to pilfer items from party members, but then I saw he has no ranks in Sleight of Hand (I guess it was sacrificed for the Disguise ranks). I've given the player a pared down map of Sodden Hold, and pointed out the traps and secret doors, so he knows how to get them down to the lower level and where the real rogue is held. But I'm kinda stumped now as to what else to do.

Did anyone do anything interesting with this idea? Or did you just use it for the prescribed battle?

Thanks,
Greg


Hi,

I'm currently running Age of Worms, and I've got a question for those more familiar with using the stat block format that Paizo used in Dungeon back then.

There is a "Combat Gear" section aside from the regular equipment section. Is the implication supposed to be that the "Combat Gear" is more readily accessible than the other equipment? Normally, retrieving an item from a stored location is a move equivalent action that incurs an attack of opportunity. Is the implication supposed to be that the Combat Gear is not "stowed" but rather ready for battle and doesn't incur an attack of opportunity (or use a move action) to retrieve? Or is it still considered stored away?

Thanks,
Greg


Hiding as a skill has always been a tricky one for me to adjudicate. The SRD is clear on how to get into a hiding position:

"You need cover or concealment in order to attempt a Hide check."

This is clear enough. If you are out in the open, you can't go from unhidden to hidden. Makes sense.

Further, "you can move up to one-half your normal speed and hide at no penalty" so one can move and still remain hidden.

But what if you leave cover? Are you still hidden? Does an opposed Spot roll only apply when the hider has cover? Or does it work when you leave cover as well? Or does leaving cover immediately invalidate the Hide roll? What if you Move Silently? Is that the only way to make Hide work outside of cover?

This gets even more interesting/complicated when "Hide in Plain Sight" pops up at higher levels.

Any thoughts?

Greg


Last night's game was quite a good one. The party entered the inner sanctum of the temple of Vecna, and there was one miserable roll after another. The allip hypnotized 4 of 6 characters, giving the two acolytes time to regroup (as per the tactics) and come back. In the meantime the allip just tore through the group. There was only one magic weapon in the group (which at this point in the adventure seems to be not enough for the allip) and the allip seemingly could not miss on its incorporeal touch. When the Faceless One showed up, it was almost looking like a tpk. I decided to go a little easy on the party (I know, I'm a softy) and decided the FO would not summon the monstrous centipede (?) in the middle of a battle his people were already engaged in. It probably saved the party's hide.

But having said all that, they are still severely hurt. They have one character down to 0 Wis due to the allip, everyone is down below 1/2 hp (except for the one NPC in the party - former player that moved away), and pretty much no spells. (And I still forgot about the 2 acolytes in the lab with the FO. I guess they were never there...)

So after the battle they decided to retreat back to the temple of Hextor to lick their wounds. The session ended when they entered the Black Cathedral in time to witness the Ebon Aspect emerge from the pool.

They are sh***ing themselves. They are going to run away, that's for sure. Probably to one of the secret rooms in the labyrinth. I know the text says that Ebon Aspect will follow the party, but I'm not sure he'll be able to get past the secret doors.

Anyways, my question (after all that) is this: has anyone played it out where the party left the Ebon Aspect to escape the mines and start wreaking havoc on the town? What timeline did you use for general destruction?

Thanks,
Greg


Is there anywhere stated what Zagyg's Divine Rank is? (Don't have 3.5 Deities & Demigods...) I know he's a demi-god, so its 1-5. Does anyone have that info?

Thanks,
Greg


Not sure if this is exactly the right place for this question, but what the heck. in Greyhawk, Iuz's parents are Grazzt and Iggwilv. Iggwilv's mother (I believe) is Baba Yaga. So, who is Iggwilv's father?

Even though I'm in the very early days of my Age of Worms AP, my mind is wandering to what I will do for the following campaign. I'm thinking something very Iuz-y - I have Return to the Ruins of Greyhawk, and I just found my old Dragon #83 with Roger Moore's "Baba Yaga's Hut", and in picking through that I was wondering who Iuz's Grand-pa would be.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Greg


I'm in the middle of DMing Three Faces of Evil, and just realized that Grallak Kur has a note that explicitly mentions the rise of Kyuss and the start of the Age of Worms.

Now, I had read the whole AP when it first came out, but as I'm now getting around to running it I'm only reading small bits ahead at a time. This bit took me by surprise because I hadn't remembered it. In my mind the first clue to the existence of Kyuss and his goings on was the Spawn of Kyuss in the basement of Blackwall keep and the worms in the Lizardfolk lair.

Is it just me, or does the note from Grallak Kur seem to be a bit too much too soon? I'm tempted to change any references of Kyuss to "Worm God" but even then, the cleric in my group has maxed his ranks in religion knowledge so a decent roll should reveal the meaning behind that.

Anyone else have this issue? What did you do to change it?

Thanks,
Greg


Hi,

The thread title pretty much says it: has anyone come up with a way to destroy the Tome of the Black Heart? It's a major artifact, so it should be difficult. My party just got a hold of it tonight, and they've already decided they don't want to read it.

BTW, anyone else have Kerzit die in the 2nd round of combat by massive damage? Yep, he rolled a "1" on his DC 15 Fort save. :-P (The cerebremancer threw a maximized crystal shard at him.)

Greg


In my game, the wizard PC is likely to become one-handed shortly. (It's complicated - retribution for killing an NPC wizard.) How would you handle spells with a somatic component?

Since the wizard would have to cast all his spells one-handed (when previously he would have learned them two-handed), I was thinking of implementing a caster-level check, say DC 10 + spell level. It's not hard (in fact, he's 15th level, so it'd be automatic for 5th level spells or lower) but it may be annoying in a tense situation should he roll a 1 for a higher level spell. I'd allow him to "learn" to cast with one hand eventually (and a regeneration spell from the cleric may just remove the issue entirely), but I'd like an immediate short-term effect.

Sound like a good idea? Anyone have a better one?

Thanks,
Greg


I'm referring to passive gaze attacks (in my case a nabbasu, but it's the same idea as a medusa) - if a creature is blinded (as per the spell) is its gaze attack still active?

This old thread asks about beholder gaze attacks, but those are active ones. Does the same idea apply here?

Thanks,
Greg


Must a Wall of Force be a flat, 2-D wall? Can you shape it? Into a box? Or an arch? Or anything else? Must it be anchored to the floor? Another wall or the ceiling?

The SRD is unclear (don't have the PHB with me right now), so I'm curious what others think. One of my players wants to use it next week to encase a spider climbing mage who's harrasing them.

Any thoughts?

Greg


The SRD (and MM) is unclear as to exactly where a lich reappears 1d10 days after if it is "destroyed" if it's phylactery is still intact. Does it reappear in the same place it was destroyed? Or does it reappear next to it's phylactery?

Aeltoqq needs to know! :)

Thanks,
Greg


A minor bump, and an answer to my question - no you can't fit all PHB spells in a BBB, it fills up somewhere in the mid-7th level range. But having said that, has anyone come up with a list of spells?

Thanks,
Greg


Quick question:

Is identifying the statue of Malcanthet on the 2nd level (in the boarded up side room) do-able from a Knowledge (Religion) roll? Or would one only rule that a Knowledge (The Planes) will identify her? Since Yeenoghu has clerics, I allowed it for identifying him from his holy symbol. But what about Malcanthet? Is she "high enough up" to qualify for a religion roll?

Thanks,
Greg


Can someone confirm: was the 3.5 version of the Greyhawk Dragon printed in Dragon #339?

The description does have a classic monster section, but it doesn't specifically say "greyhawk dragon".

Thanks,
Greg


Hi,

For people who have bought GM modules in either print or PDF format, which one would you recommend?

For the record, I'm not adverse to PDFs for the reasons that a) they are available instantly b) I don't have to pay shipping (which is lots for those of us here in Canada) and c) I don't mind printing on my own paper because printer paper tends to be easier to make notes on with a pencil, than some of the publishing paper is (although that's not across the board).

So, basically I'm leaning toward PDF versions but I want to know if there is generally anything in the published versions that make them vastly superior to the PDF versions? i.e. Will I be missing out on anything if I buy only PDF versions?

Thanks,
Greg


Anyone?


Ok, so it seems WotC is finally starting to use the web format of the DI for something interesting (YMMV, of course). They have a new feature called The Best Adventure I Never Wrote where you actually get to vote on adventure synopses submitted by freelancers. Looks interesting. Since I liked Mad God's Key, I thought the "Chase Scene" adventure might prove interesting (they other two didn't do much for me).

Thought people might be interested.

Greg


To Cosmo (or anyone else handling customer service):

I sent an email on Friday to the customer service email inquiring about a "pending order". Did you receive it?

Thanks,
Greg Hammel


Quick question regarding Gigantus in the Greater Halls. How did he survive all these years trapped in a dungeon? Nothing to eat, stuck in one room? Shouldn't he have died from starvation by now? Is the assumption that the grafted plates have somehow given him immortality? Or should there be something about the room he's in that removes his requirement to eat?

Thanks,
Greg


Hi,

I am planning on a rather significant event happening in my campaign, which will result in anyone nearby (including the PCs) possibily being affected by the pseudonatural template (from Lords of Madness). The problem I have is, as written, there is no "downside" for a PC to acquire this template, aside from any flavour you can give it. That is, there is no loss of charisma based on the change in form, there is no mental effects due to the transformation, for example.

So I was wondering if anybody has anything in mind, game mechanism-wise, for someone being affected by the pseudonatural template?

As I noted above, I was thinking maybe a charisma loss, but how much would be appropriate?

Also, as this is the result of a Tharizdun-y effect, I was thinking of applying an "Insanity" score, as per the Madness domain, but without the domain benefit (so basically a wisdom reduction), to account for an alien nature affecting the brain.

Ideally, these penalties would offset the "pluses" incurred from the template (specifically the "true strike" ability which is pretty good).
The PCs are in the 12-16th level range, so it should be something that will offset the CR gain from the template as listed.

Also I need a way to cure this, but in that regard I was just thinking a greater restoration as being necessary to remove the template.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance,
Greg


Hi,

I'm having a little trouble making heads or tails of Arley's CR. Now I know that CR designation can be more of an 'art' than 'science', so maybe someone can show me the brush strokes.

According to the SRD, there are associated and unassociated classes. If the class is associated to the monster, then every extra level in the new class adds 1 to the CR. If the class is unassociated, then each new level adds 1/2 CR until the number of levels equals the number of HD of the base creature, at which point the CR increases by 1 afterward.

By either reckoning (Sorcerer either associated or unassociated) I can't come up with a CR of 12 for a Sor 8 Ogre Mage. If Sorcerer is associated, then the CR should be 16. If its unassociated, then it should be 13.5: 8 + 2.5 (first 5 levels) + 3 (next 3 levels of Sorcerer).

Unless the SRD should read "until one of its nonassociated class levels equals its original CR". That would make a Sor 8 a CR 12. But then the problem is, the MM says that the favored class of the ogre mage is sorcerer. Surely the favored class would be an associated class, wouldn't it?

My head hurts...

Thanks to whomever can shed light on this.

Greg


A quick question for those who own this (or from the staff): are there any instant death outcomes?

Thanks,
Greg


Hi,

I'm considering a change to my game, and I'm wondering what the community's thoughts are on it. I'm thinking of completely doing away with the gather information skill, and saying to my players that if they wanted to put ranks into GI, they should instead put them into diplomacy. The rational is that it seems to me that GI is very much a way around role playing - roll the dice and see what you find out, without actually talking to anyone. However, if ranks were instead put into diplomacy, one can then have one-on-one interaction with NPCs, where the diplomacy roll is used to see if the NPC is willing to give the specific information.

Has anyone else done this? Does it work well? Or are there going to be situations that I can't foresee where it would have been better had the players had GI ranks?

Thanks,
Greg


Hi,

I'm getting ready to run my players through MC in about a month or so, but I've got a bit of power level problem. Right now, they're average party level of about 13, a little higher than the module level (12). Plus the highest level character is 15 (lowest I think is 10 or 11). And they may be up to average level of 14 by the time they get to MC.

I don't want to spend a lot of time boosting all the encounters, because I know that with an power-heavy party things tend to average out in the end because they are getting less XP per encounter. However, I still want some encounters to be memorable. Particularly the Terrible Iron Golem. Since it is an iron golem I'm assuming its still affected by a lightning spell the same way a regular iron golem is (that is, slowed - its not written in the creature write up). The question I have is, is there anyway to "legally" give the golem an immunity to this electricity effect, aside from DM fiat, that is?

This party has encountered iron golems before and know that electricity slows them. (In fact, just this week they encountered a Hellfire golem and while they slowed it with cone of cold, they used lightning bolt in the same round, so they think its the lightning that slowed it!) I figure an iron golem that is not slowed by electricity will really knock them over.

So, any legal way to do this? Or is it best to just impose the immunity and let it go? Should I then bump up the CR by 1?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Greg


Hi,

I was wondering if anyone here has run through the whole of MC as printed to date in Dungeon? Specifically, I'm wondering how many gaming hours went into getting from the Unopenable Doors to the end of Greater Halls?

I'm planning on running this in about a month or two as part of a larger campaign, and as such I need to decide how to end it. If it takes long enough, I can probably at least incorporate the next adventure (due in March/April? or is that just RJK's submittal date?) so I can wait until then to come up with a plausible ending/goal (ideally I'd like to include as much as possible - I want the characters as close as possible to epic before finishing). Otherwise I'll have to work it in with what's already been published.

Thanks,
Greg


Hi,

After reading the Class Acts: Psiotheurgy article in Dragon 349, I pointed it out to my resident Psion/Sorcerer/Cerebremancer, thinking it was right up his alley. Unfortunately, it may be too much up his alley. He pointed out, that as written, the Psiotheurgist feat should allow him to cast a spell or manifest a power at a level equivalent to his Psi+Sor+2*Cereb! (The 2 times the Cerebremancer comes from the fact that every Cerebremancer lets you up your spell casting and manifesting levels by one each) But in the case of, say, a Pis6/Sor5/Cere3, this is an equivalent spell casting level of 17!

We've talked about it, and have come to the mutual conclusion that this, in all likelihood, violates the spirit of the feat. So we've decided that the Cerebremancer levels should only count as one each, not two.

So, are we right? Or should we be doubling the Cerebremancer levels? That would make this feat awfully nice, and possibly even a problem when in the wrong character level combinations (especially a Cerebremancer who has only the minimum necessary Sorcerer and Psion levels).

Thanks,
Greg


I plan on sending my players through Maure Castle sometime in the new future (they may get to it by the spring next year :) and I was wondering what other DMs have done with what's above ground. (I know my players are going to want to investigate that area first.) Did you simply say its a ruined castle with nothing interesting? Or have you built up the ruins above ground and populated them? The image in Dungeon 112 shows a very "active" castle (lights on, people coming and going) but I always thought it was an image of what was going on back in the past. Any ideas on what's going on up there?

Greg


Hi, I don't know if I'm dreaming or not, but I seem to remember reading an article in Dragon about weapons that level up with the character. But for the life of me I can't find it in my stash of Dragons. Does anybody happen to know which issue this appeared in?

Thanks in advance,
Greg


Hey,

I was hoping I could get some insight from people who have already played/DMed this one. I'm currently running my party through Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, and had always planned to run them through MC after they were done. I figure they'll be 14th to 15th level when they get there. The problem is, I was skimming issue 112 yesterday and realised that the module calls for a level 12 party. I still want to run it, but I'm wondering if it will be too easy to start off. (One of the reasons I want to run it will be that I want them up around 17th or 18th level when they are done - or more, if Paizo publishes more levels before my party gets there.)

Does anyone think that MC will be too easy for 14th or 15th level characters? Should I boost the main encounters a few CRs in order to keep that in line? Or are most of the encounters tough enough as it is? (I'm thinking of the big battle in the chapel on Kerzit's Fane - that's capable of being a pretty nasty encounter IIRC.)

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Greg


Since we have a new forum for MC, I figure I'll jump in and ask the inevitable question - is there a time table set up for the next installment of MC, and any hints as to what it will be about? I've been lurking over at RJK's messageboards and talk seems to have died off over there about MC. Are there still more installments on the way?

Thanks,
Greg


I have a question regarding the forbiddance spell and the alignment requirements, that hopefully someone here has the answer to. The spell description in 3.0 says that those that differ in either the "law/chaos" or "good/evil" aspect from the caster of the spell are restricted from entering the area of forbiddance (fail save restricts access and causes damage).

My question is, how does the "neutral" aspect play into this? If a CE character casts forbiddance, can a NE (or CN) character enter at will, or does he have to make a saving throw like a LE or CG character? I'm thinking that a save has to be made, based on the fact it says those of the same alignment can enter, but the rule isn't explicitly clear.

I've checked both the v3.0 and 3.5 on-line srd because I don't have my books with me know and there's nothing there. And I've checked the WOTC official FAQ. Still no luck.

Anyone have any insight?

Thanks in advance,
Greg


I hope this is the right place to post this question. I was planning on getting a subscription to Dungeon within the next few days, and also order some back issues. I noticed, however, that issue #125 is now listed on the website as being "Shipped to subscribers today". If, at the end of the week I order a subscription to Dungeon, will it include #125 or will it start with issue #126? This is just so I know whether to order #125 individually at the same time or whether it will be included in the subscription. If it makes a difference, I'm living in Canada (Montreal, specifically).

Thanks,
Greg