PC Freaks and Age of Worms - Your worst group?


Age of Worms Adventure Path

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

OK, what's the freakiest bunch you've ever run through AoW, or any game for that matter? I think I can top it. The group I'm currently DMing for has to be the biggest bunch of weirdos (character-wise, although I could easily make the point for the players as well) I have ever seen as an adventuring party. 2e Planescape games with nothng but randomly mutated Tieflings make more sense than this bunch.

1) Half-Silver Dragon Kobold (LA +3) Ranger 2/Paladin 5/Vassal of Bahamut 10/Pious Templar 1 - Dear God, the kobold. Dual-wielding Dragon Bane bastard swords (+7d6 damage per hit against dragons, thanks to Bane, Dragonwrack and Nemesis (dragons)) and immune to just about everything, thanks to Evasion, Mettle, his 36(!) Charisma, and Divine Grace.

2) Whisper Gnome Rogue 10/Cleric 1/Skullclan Hunter 10 - Trapbait #1. She can sneak attack any undead, and does a damned good job of Hiding, too.

3) Warforged Monk 16/Drunken Master 5 with Vow of Poverty. Bender Bending Rodriguez ala d20, basically. The party pooled their money to buy a portable hole and installed it in his chest, so he's even more Bender than the class combo suggests. Yes, Vow of Poverty is completely antithetical to Bender, but the player makes it work, IMO.

4) Dragonborn (former Goblin) Cleric 6/Radiant Servant 10/Dracolyte 5 - Well, every party has to have a medic of some sort, and why should he make any more sense than any of the other freaks? Yes, I know, Dragonborn from a Goblin? *shrugs* Tamara took pity on him, I suppose, after he developed an obsession with the sun.

5) Bugbear (former Halfling) (ECL 4)/Rogue 5/Avenger 10(read: assassin, but we don't tell the Paladin that)/Nightsong Enforcer 2 - Well, the party's cleric doesn't always like to Raise or Resurrect people. Trust in the Fates and let Reincarnate do its job (Renewal Domain). Sometimes this is what you get out of it. His Will save is positively wretched, but that's ok since his player enjoys fighting with the other PCs just as much, if not more than fighting monsters and evil undead cults.

6) Halfling Evoker 5/Elemental Savant (Fire) 10/Archmage 2 - Our on-again, off-again mage, the pyromancer only shows up for about half of a session every other week. But even with just that brief exposure to the group, he's been twisted into a mockery of normality just like the rest.

7) Celadrin (LA +1) Bard 10/Troubadour of Stars 8 - My DMPC, only used to try and restore some sense of plot to the game, and if the party thinks of it to tell him to do something useful. That, and his access to Sanctified spells gives them a little bit of extra damage output to make up for the frequently-absent mage.

Then 2 cohorts... the kobold's Juvenile Silver Dragon Sorceress 1 and the Dragonborn's Half-Pyroclastic Dragon Pseudodragon Barbarian 10 (blame excessive use of Reincarnate for this one, he was originally a minotaur, then a kobold, then a gnome, a human, and a female pixie; that and my extended d1000 Reincarnate table).


Your group appears to be trying to gain an edge by looking for every concievable bogus race/class combo that bends the rules to the breaking point. Please accept the encouragement of a fellow Killer GM. I think you ought to simply slaughter them in masse, and then implement restrictions on what races & classes can be picked. When I GM'd the Age of Worms (see my campaign thread if you want examples) I observed that certain races and prestige classes, templates, and feats when used together can give them a decisive edge over many monsters in the Age of Worms. Do yourself (and them) a favor and wipe them out, and have them start with semi-'normal' characters.


Allen Stewart wrote:
Your group appears to be trying to gain an edge by looking for every concievable bogus race/class combo that bends the rules to the breaking point. Please accept the encouragement of a fellow Killer GM. I think you ought to simply slaughter them in masse, and then implement restrictions on what races & classes can be picked. When I GM'd the Age of Worms (see my campaign thread if you want examples) I observed that certain races and prestige classes, templates, and feats when used together can give them a decisive edge over many monsters in the Age of Worms. Do yourself (and them) a favor and wipe them out, and have them start with semi-'normal' characters.

I dislike an arbitrary massacre. Besides, if these guys are alreadys that high in level, the campaign is just about done. Rather than wiping them out wholesale, in my own game I simply create NPCs using equally abusive combinations. If deaths occur, so be it.

Scarab Sages

Kvantum wrote:
3) Warforged Monk 16/Drunken Master 5 with Vow of Poverty. Bender Bending Rodriguez ala d20, basically. The party pooled their money to buy a portable hole and installed it in his chest, so he's even more Bender than the class combo suggests. Yes, Vow of Poverty is completely antithetical to Bender, but the player makes it work, IMO.

Can a Warforged even get drunk?

Aren't they immune?

God help me if my group read this; I thought it was bad enough I caught one reading Libris Mortis, the page with the half-vampire template...


Allen Stewart wrote:

Your group appears to be trying to gain an edge by looking for every concievable bogus race/class combo that bends the rules to the breaking point.

I agree that these are 'Freakshow characters' a dozen War Dukes should do the trick.
When they flap their arms do they fly? In other words what can't they do? Just make 'em gods and scrap the campaign. My other response is too vulgar for this board IMHO. Something about a circle and mutual satisfaction.


Snorter wrote:

Can a Warforged even get drunk?

Aren't they immune?

Not to mention that with the vow of poverty feat he wouldn't be able to use his warforged armor skin or the portable hole in his chest.

Liberty's Edge

I run an AoW campaign for my gaming group and my friend runs a heavily modified STAP (I think?). We switch campaigns between adventures. This gives the other DM a chance to prepare for their next module/quest/thing.

The parties compositions are in sharp contrast. My campaign is almost all human, and my friend's more closely resembles an encounter that PC's would face off against.

AoW Campaign (mid-way through HoHR):
Human Cleric of Wee Jas -summoner
Human Fighter/Cleric of homebrew sun god (think Kossuth only not nice)
Human Rogue -throws stuff
Human Focused Specialist Evoker -firey burst reserve feat
Human Paladin of sun god
Minotaur -just paid off racial levels and LA

STAP Campaign (characters are around 7th level):
Half-elf Warlock/mindbender -Diplomancer
Tiefling Rogue - bow or longspear
Half-orc Barbarian -She's the muscle, aweful will save, wears a tinfoil hat, will PrC into Mageslayer
kobold artificer and his cleric cohort -my character, the blaster and buff guy. Replaced my destroyed human necropolitan archivist.
weretiger/monk -partway through racial progression, was allowed to have some class HD to keep him alive

The minotaur and tiger are played by the same person and they're both grapplers (one's a brute, the other is more finessed).

Which are the bigger bunch of freaks?


Which are the bigger bunch of freaks?

Gotta go with the were-tiger monk. Kinda like my 3rd level gnome thief were-eagle I had...when I was 14. Make him/her a half golem for good measure, or grafted undead or abberant parts.

Liberty's Edge

MattW wrote:


Which are the bigger bunch of freaks?
Gotta go with the were-tiger monk. Kinda like my 3rd level gnome thief were-eagle I had...when I was 14. Make him/her a half golem for good measure, or grafted undead or abberant parts.

That would actually gimp him more because of the LA. He's already hurting for HP with his current LA, no need to make him even more of a glass cannon. And they call me a munchkin for playing an artificer. :)


Gurubabaramalamaswami wrote:
Allen Stewart wrote:
Your group appears to be trying to gain an edge by looking for every concievable bogus race/class combo that bends the rules to the breaking point. Please accept the encouragement of a fellow Killer GM. I think you ought to simply slaughter them in masse, and then implement restrictions on what races & classes can be picked. When I GM'd the Age of Worms (see my campaign thread if you want examples) I observed that certain races and prestige classes, templates, and feats when used together can give them a decisive edge over many monsters in the Age of Worms. Do yourself (and them) a favor and wipe them out, and have them start with semi-'normal' characters.
I dislike an arbitrary massacre. Besides, if these guys are alreadys that high in level, the campaign is just about done. Rather than wiping them out wholesale, in my own game I simply create NPCs using equally abusive combinations. If deaths occur, so be it.

I absolutely concur. Keep it fair and by the rules. But do wipe them out of fairly possible:)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Gurubabaramalamaswami wrote:
I dislike an arbitrary massacre. Besides, if these guys are alreadys that high in level, the campaign is just about done. Rather than wiping them out wholesale, in my own game I simply create NPCs using equally abusive combinations. If deaths occur, so be it.

Equally abusive combinations? Such as a Thri-Kreen Warblade/Master of Nine with Greater Multiweapon Fighting and Time Stands Still? OK, admittedly, any use of Tome of Battle is just a textbook example in brokenness, especially at near-Epic and Epic levels...

If they PCs do survive the fight with Kyuss (Miracle can do a lot of things in the hands of a god... like returning a certain dracolich from oblivion...), I might just finish my conversion of Bastion of Broken Souls for 3.5 rules and ECL 21/22 PCs. Ashardalon is a CR 29 by 3.5 rules... even more if I change him to just a Great Wyrm Red/Disciple of Ashardalon 12.

Liberty's Edge

Gurubabaramalamaswami wrote:


I dislike an arbitrary massacre. Besides, if these guys are alreadys that high in level, the campaign is just about done. Rather than wiping them out wholesale, in my own game I simply create NPCs using equally abusive combinations. If deaths occur, so be it.

Another point is that high level characters tend to be a bit...eccentric. That many raise deads, reincarnates and wishes tend to mess up the characters sense of what is normal. You're going to end up with bugbears that used to be halflings and people who've grafted broken robots to them, or broken robots with people grafted to them...or whatever.

What matters is the spirit and method in which they reach that level of weirdness. If the slings and arrows of being an adventurer get you that way, that's fun storytelling. If it's just a rules exploit build, then it's not as good.

Good example of freakiness inflicted by story: My friend's campaign also has a goblin duskblade in it (did I mention him?). Used to be a bugbear, died, and got reincarnated. Rather than just assigning those extra humanoid HD into class levels immediately, the character had to walk around with 3 levels of humanoid until he could retrain them into class levels (modified version of the retraining rules). That made for one very tough little goblin!

We've seen more than enough of the other kind, so I won't to go into examples lest my head explodes in a shower of cheese. :)

Scarab Sages

Xuttah wrote:
What matters is the spirit and method in which they reach that level of weirdness. If the slings and arrows of being an adventurer get you that way, that's fun storytelling. If it's just a rules exploit build, then it's not as good.

Agree completely.

When I saw my friend reading Libris Mortis, and discussing various undead templates, I said something unrepeatable.
Especially when I told him he could create such a creature, and I'd simply have it attack the party, and he said that it would not even be forced to be evil!
"Look, it says 'usually evil'"

If something happens in-game, to change a PC against his will, I might be willing to run with it, for a 'tragic hero' theme. But if players are just cherry-picking powers, then they can go swivel. What's he going to do? Stand in the graveyard with his neck exposed every night? Who's to say (if a vampire does come) they won't just kill him and eat him?

It's up to DMs to draw a line in the cheese, and say "No further!"


If something happens in-game, to change a PC against his will, I might be willing to run with it, for a 'tragic hero' theme. But if players are just cherry-picking powers, then they can go swivel. What's he going to do? Stand in the graveyard with his neck exposed every night? Who's to say (if a vampire does come) they won't just kill him and eat him?

It's up to DMs to draw a line in the cheese, and say "No further!"

Hear, hear. An in play quest to get a wish and a hunt for a vampire might be the focus of the campaign for some time. Chances are the rest of the players won't like one PC shifting the narrative for the entire group.

I normally try not to tell my characters they can't do something, since a direct line to the gods is beyond their abilities in most cases. I just ask them "How are you going to become the only non-evil vampire?"
It's much easier to give the PCs the mission statement of the Campaign arc. "The focus of this campaign arc depends on a group of PEOPLE from Diamond Lake who rise to a mighty epic level challenge." Stress the word PEOPLE, not Minotaurs, Bugbear Samurai or Were-tiger monks.
Why would a were-tiger monk care about the fate of Diamond Lake? Good catnip there?

Liberty's Edge

MattW wrote:


Why would a were-tiger monk care about the fate of Diamond Lake? Good catnip there?

That's the STAP character. The minotaur is part of the druidic lodge settlement. My campaign has a bronze age greco-roman theme, so it was appropriate.

As for the weretiger...I dunno. Escalant is full of tasty mice? :) When you're dealing with a former principality of Thay, you get all sorts of wierdos.


Snorter wrote:
God help me if my group read this; I thought it was bad enough I caught one reading Libris Mortis, the page with the half-vampire template...

If you don't reply to a post it's likely I won't see it mate! As it is, I'm not that fussed about a war-forged char - aren't they Eberron only?

For the record, you didn't 'catch' me reading LM - I was openly looking at the spells and feats. And it was our DM that showed me the template...

As far as this thread goes - it does look like the characters have been built from a min/max perspective, rather than a roleplaying one. If the players can explain the change in classes in an RP context then you can't really complain (if you allow that class in your game anyway). If they just look out for the most advantageous feat/spell/powers progression and go for the prereqs regardless of internal consistency then they've had it, reputationally.

My own current character is an example of this. Sure, he got two levels of paladin, but he's sacrificed a level of spells to get that... and the reason for going paladin was definitely in-game, as was the reason to stop at level 2.

Honest!

Scarab Sages

Matt Devney wrote:
For the record, you didn't 'catch' me reading LM - I was openly looking at the spells and feats. And it was our DM that showed me the template...

That is true; what was he thinking? It's not like you need any help optimising your PCs!

(And you may not have been the one to start looking, but your eyes certainly lit up at the possibilities!)

It fills me with a touch of foreboding for next session, if he's looking up stuff in that book...I don't recall any of the remaining Cagewrights being undead, though. I'm crossing them off my Sh1t-List as we go. Unless that lich is back for Round 3? Ding! Ding! Seconds out!

Matt Devney wrote:
If the players can explain the change in classes in an RP context then you can't really complain. If they just look out for the most advantageous feat/spell/powers progression and go for the prereqs regardless of internal consistency then they've had it, reputationally.

Like Greg, you mean?

LOL

Matt Devney wrote:
My own current character is an example of this. Sure, he got two levels of paladin, but he's sacrificed a level of spells to get that... and the reason for going paladin was definitely in-game, as was the reason to stop at level 2. Honest!

That reason being; you got killed and realised your saves needed a bump? ;)

To be fair, at that point you were the only player to have lost a character (twice, by then), so I appreciate you were feeling you were jinxed.

I can't believe it took so long for me to die, given the psychopathic nature of my PCs!


Snorter wrote:


Matt Devney wrote:
My own current character is an example of this. Sure, he got two levels of paladin, but he's sacrificed a level of spells to get that... and the reason for going paladin was definitely in-game, as was the reason to stop at level 2. Honest!

That reason being; you got killed and realised your saves needed a bump? ;)

To be fair, at that point you were the only player to have lost a character (twice, by then), so I appreciate you were feeling you were jinxed.

Well, being killed in an instant by failing to resist things you normally brush off would give a character reason to pause wouldn't it? Now I don't know how 'in game' Kaile would know that turning to the path of a paladin would help - maybe he saw a skilled paladin overcome such effects without a pause for breath? But he thought it would work. And when he gained Divine Grace, he knew his path as a paladin was over... back to spreading the glory of Heironeous and showing his divine power ( also known as casting spells :-)

That's how I look at it in my mind's eye anyway...

See you Thursday!


Compare this garbage with the thread about the 13th level cleric cake-walking though SoLS. Both GMs are dealing with problem created by the publishers putting new &#^$# books every 45 days to try and make more money without real regard to content. That guy, arguably, tailored his skills during the campaign. You have a different problem. You need to get a grip on your campaign, dude.

If your player can actually come up with an entertaining story about how a silver dragon and a kobold got together in the first place then he should be hailed as the next Tolkein and publishing his own freaking books. Otherwise, make him play a halfling. At a minimum, I hope this wondering circus of yours isn't able to simply walk into town and buy things. At least half of them should be burned at the stake by every villager around.

As for justifying the speedy and efficient termination of these characters, monsters don't like freaks. Freaks make monsters nervous and the freaks get targeted first.

Just to be sanctimonious AND hypocritical, though, I think Bender Bending Rodriguez with a portable hole in his chest is a riot.

Sovereign Court

Gah.... that group will give me nightmares for a while.
Gotta say, most of the freakishness is on you, the DM. They're really high level for having an average of 3 classes each (and almost none of them with a level in their favored class.) It sounds like you've fiddled with the rules (disrupting the assumed game balance created in the original rules), thus causing greater problems still.
I don't imagine that anyone can come up with a bigger freakshow. My god, who would want to?
Upon rereading your OP, I can't quite figure out if you're complaining about them, or bragging about them. I'm hoping it was complaining.
There was a drug campaign back in the 80s, and it works for DMs just as well -- "Just say No."
"Can I play a half-silver dragon kobold?"
"No."
"Can we install this handy portable hole in the VoP robot's chest? It'd be a riot!"
"No."
"Were-tiger?"
"No."
"how about multiple prestige classes?"
"ummm... No."
"Assassin with our paladin?"
"No."

Just say no. Just because there's a book that says they can, doesn't mean they can. You're the DM. Set some boundaries.
And make them follow the rules, even if you don't set any other boundaries. You've got obvious broken rules in this group - not just bent, but broken. (ex. A portable hole installed in a character's chest becomes the property of said character. It's a part of him now. Goodbye, VoP.)

Wow... you hit my button. GO back to what you were doing and enjoy.


I think you set Stunty and me off on the same rant at the same time. We would never run our campaigns like this but, honestly, if you and your group are having fun, keep having fun and tell us to $^%# off.

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