Playtest of NightBelow


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Hi

I've been running the Nightbelow campaign in 3.5 (conversion from AD&D ) for about a year and a half now and decided to get it to pathfinder.

My actual party is formed by
- A lvl 6 Human Cleric of Pelor ( sun and healing domains ) who intends to do the prestige class of his deity
- A lvl 6 Human Fighter, Spiked Chain Disarmer
- A lvl 6 Elf Druid with animal companion
- A lvl 3 Lizardfolk Half Green Dragon Ranger( House rule modified for a total lvl adjustement of 2 )
- A lvl 5 Elf Wizard ( Evocation with bonded item )
- A lvl 5 Half elf Rogue 4 Monk 1
- A NPC lvl 4 Dwarf Fighter

So far in 3.5, they have been managing quite well. The fights are far more accessible and easy than in AD&D. While they had encountered serious difficulties, they never really had to retreat.

During the first book, they did all the hard fights

Spoiler:
Brokenspire, The second group of Evil Clerics and the Orc caverns
in one go. Sure they did consumme ressources for such challenges and lost a companion, but the fact is : In 3.5 it can be done while in AD&D it was unlikely.

So, from the second book starting, we did the conversion to Pathfinder.

The cleric whinned quite a lot about his class being nerfed ( for the domains in particular ), the fighter decided to replan the level of cleric he was going to take in a few levels and continue in the fighter path ( why really do otherwise ? XD ), all the others were fine especially the Druid who at last could make efficient use of the wild shape ( since she was no contact fighter, and changing into some other form like a bat wouldn't give her the Darkvison ability ).

For the skill points, we decided to rebuild their points entirely, but taking in account some skills they had used.
They all were quite satisfied with the new skill system and tended to put 1 rank in every class skill. But also, some of them had the opportunity to put ranks in skills they had interest in ( eg : the cleric did put ranks in appraise and history beacause he was a noble ). This part is far less restrictive in my point of view and while most players will try to optimise, it gives more versality.
One skill thought was problematic but it already have been discussed and that is the Spellcraft check for concentration. So far I have made the choice of using the Spellcaster Ability for those concentration checks.

Feats were not problematic to handle and the Fighter did welcome the expertise modification with ease, saying that the abilities he gained from being a fighter now compensate this.

Magic items were not too hard too handle either beacause they didn't have lots of stat boosting items.

Now for the second book itself. The 6th levels wer only 5th at that time.

Spoiler:
The first opening fight is a Huge melee with Trolls. The party knew that they were going to encounter a massive amount of Trolls and have been preparing a bit ( the Wizard did get quite a lot of fire spelles, so did the Druid ). There sure is a way to handle the situation otherwise than fighting blindly but the scouts did miss thier stealth checks while the troll guards didn't. The result was a battle of 15 trolls ( including a lvl 3 adept ) vs my 7 character party...

I wasn't expecting them to survive such a challenge. It's something like CR 13 or so... But beacause the cleric couldn't move as fast as the trolls they had to fight their best. And they did smash the trolls... How ?

First let's review the Trolls. Basic stats from 3.5, a little boost in HP ( around 80 in average ) and STR. They rushed the party 3 at a time for the fisrt few rounds before 3 others came and then 3 others then finally the 6.

Even with theses waves pattern I was sure that the party would be crushed if they didn't retreat. But they stood still and overcame this. 4 factors could help explain this :
- They were in a tunnel. It sure was large and 4 large creatures could walk side by side in it without problems, but it did play a role as I'll explain
- the Fighter was enlarged. With his spiked chain, 22 in STR and combat reflexes he could place quite a lot of AoO at 18-20 dammage each time.
- the Wizard blasted the tunnel with fireballs and others spells. The Druid did use Flamming sphere ( very efficient to kill a "dying" troll ) and call lightning while in bat shape.
- Lastly the cleric who could use his channel energy ability.

So here's my analysis of the situation, rules speaking.
- In spite of a certain ground advantage and the patterns of the attacks, they couldn't have survived in 3.5 but did in Pathfinder
- The Wizard extra fireball from his bonded item did come very handy
- The druid Ability to cast spells while in animal shape is very powerful as it can stay away from reach, and not every ennemy would be trying to attack what seems a mere bat ( She mainly used spells that couldn't reveal her identity : nothing came directly from her ).
- The Cleric ability to channel energy is tremendous. It heals 3D6 and he could choose 2 targets not affected ( he did take the feat ). Actually this healing ability overcame the dammage output of the foes.
- The foes sure could have tried to concentrate on a target but the Fighter was bloking the path quite well and before they could reach him they had already taken about 25% of their HP.
- in this situation, when you can't handle a foe, I tend to use the Grapple method. But after a few tries, I found that it was just too difficult. The Fighter's CMBT was 27 while the foes only had a CMB of 11.
- 2 characters were taken down but the augmented HD and the new CON rule for dying saved their day.

So the final constatation for now : 2 ennemies managed to flee, the others were slain

Spoiler:
13 including the caster
. After the fight, they all were pretty helathy thought the cleric didn't have many cure spells left ( and no turn ). They also did burn their only charge of cone of cold in the process. But they are all alive ( except for the animal companion of the Druid ).

I think I didn't go soft on them and played correctly. I don't know if I should be amazed of their fighting skills but Pathfinder sure did add a Boost. But APL 5 vs CR 13 seems just Aberrant. Did something really went wrong ?

We'll see next fight...


This is cool. Would it be possible for you to make the Night Below 3.5 conversion available for download or email it to me?

Thanks.


I remember when I ran this for my gaming group. We started in 3rd Ed. and ended in 3.5. I don't think we even finished because I finally burned out on GMing after running weekly for two years solid. I was not able to run anything of consequence until just a few months ago when I became excited about Pathfinder. I hope you have more luck with Night Below than I did.


Ah, a blast from the past. I ran Night Below under 2e, and it was a five year long super-campaign that was one of our gaming group's best experiences. Greatly expanded, of course, but it's good stuff!


Elijah Snow wrote:

This is cool. Would it be possible for you to make the Night Below 3.5 conversion available for download or email it to me?

Thanks.

Well I will have to type this once fot good someday. Are you only looking for stats of NPC/monsters or would you also like something like a conversion of traps, poison ( which are quite exotic but can be used as they are ), skills check...


Sharen wrote:
Elijah Snow wrote:

This is cool. Would it be possible for you to make the Night Below 3.5 conversion available for download or email it to me?

Thanks.

Well I will have to type this once fot good someday. Are you only looking for stats of NPC/monsters or would you also like something like a conversion of traps, poison ( which are quite exotic but can be used as they are ), skills check...

It would be great to have the conversion notes for the entire adventure. I understand there was a full conversion posted on ENWorld some time ago and thought you might be using that. It sounds like you're doing the conversion yourself as you go.

Night Below is a great adventure that I would love to run in 3.5.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Night Below is one of the coolest boxed sets ever put out. I would also love a copy of that if possible. I ran two different campaigns through that adventure back in 2nd ed. days, and had converted the 1st book to 3.0, but never finished.

Spoiler:
You can reach me at nathannasif@yahoo.com


This may be useful: LINK & LINK


Elijah Snow wrote:


It would be great to have the conversion notes for the entire adventure. I understand there was a full conversion posted on ENWorld some time ago and thought you might be using that. It sounds like you're doing the conversion yourself as you go.

Night Below is a great adventure that I would love to run in 3.5.

Now that you mention it, I might have this ENWorld version somewhere. I'll just have to scan through my old HD to see if it's still here. I haven't been using it because I like generating stat blocks myself, but I guess it sure could prove useful for some conversion notes ( especially for some items and spells because I haven't played AD&D )


Sharen wrote:
Elijah Snow wrote:


It would be great to have the conversion notes for the entire adventure. I understand there was a full conversion posted on ENWorld some time ago and thought you might be using that. It sounds like you're doing the conversion yourself as you go.

Night Below is a great adventure that I would love to run in 3.5.

Now that you mention it, I might have this ENWorld version somewhere. I'll just have to scan through my old HD to see if it's still here. I haven't been using it because I like generating stat blocks myself, but I guess it sure could prove useful for some conversion notes ( especially for some items and spells because I haven't played AD&D )

That would be absolutely fantastic. I can't find it anywhere online. Thanks.


Yup, it seems I have a version of the ENWorld 3.5 conversion notes sleeping in one of my HD. The HD is a bit unstable but I should be able to fix it. I'll try to do this in the next few days.


Fantastic. Thank you kindly.

Spoiler:
unearthedarcana@verizon.net


I ran this years ago with books 1&2 in 2ed and book 3 in 3.5. The troll fight was my second favorite fight of the 2nd book [something about a gnome ftr/ill covered in burning oil makes me giggle still today].
In regards to the pc's making it through this fight, I would say that it is possible. In 3.x, a wizard can take the craft wand feat and have a slew of fireball spells at the ready [which seems to be what every wiz pc in my games do]. However, this may not explain everything. If I remember the encounter correctly, there were several environmental hazzards that the trolls were suppose to use to their advantage [razor rock and bull rushing into a hole come to mind]. Not to mention that I wouldn't have marched all the trolls down a fire shrouded tunnel [trolls are brave and stupid but afraid of fire].
The PFRPG rules for combat manuvers change a lot of things but having the trolls aid another might have helped overcome this [not at first of course, but they might figure it out eventually].

By the way, did you convert the two headed troll into a regular troll adept 3? I seem to remember her playing a key role in the fight in 2nd ed.
P.S. in 2ed, my players made it through in one fight with no casualties as well but there were 9 pcs [including some broken 1ed classes...ahh barbarian, duelist, monk, kensai]


Sharen wrote:
Yup, it seems I have a version of the ENWorld 3.5 conversion notes sleeping in one of my HD. The HD is a bit unstable but I should be able to fix it. I'll try to do this in the next few days.

I'm getting ready to run Night Below for my group as well. If you still have those conversion notes I'd really appreciate them! Thanks!

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