Ruby Phoenix Tournament


Advice


Some friends and I are going to try to play through the module in one night at a 'party' of sorts. For anyone who has played this module, what are some good classes or roles that are important to thrive and have a good drunken time?


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This is one of my favorite modules, so get ready for a long post.

I'm not sure the module can be completed in one night, but it's a worthy goal. We took between 22 and 30 hours of game time to finish it (not at one stretch.) Of course, we're not the fastest players around. If you want to finish it in one night, you'll need to skip a lot of encounters, which is a shame. There's some very cool stuff.

Without giving spoilers to any specific parts of the module it's hard to give good advice, but I'll try.

Make your characters fast, especially in initiative. Matches begin face to face in the arena so it's important to get going right out of the gate because the enemy knows exactly where you are and are not surprised. Ranged attacks or movement speed is also important: our melee ranger had trouble being relevant despite a powerfully built character because the rest of the party went before her and were high damage ranged attackers to boot. Often, opponents that she could have full attacked next round were killed before she got a chance.

I think high damage classes are the way to go in this module. Our main attackers were very high DPR builds.

Bring lots of buffs, this is a combat heavy module.

I played a wizard, and often left many spell slots open at the beginning of the day. This tactic was more effective in this module than usual because often you can find out or be told sufficient information about the next encounter in enough time to prepare the perfect spell. At one point I won an entire match with a single, perfect spell.
If I had to do it over, I'd add the fast study arcane discovery to increase that advantage. In addition to that I'd pop a level 4 to 6 summon monster spell almost every fight to help diffuse incoming damage.
Have you ever wondered if some mook monk can stunning fist a Rhinocerous? I found the answer to be 'nope.'

The module wasn't too hard for us, though that's partially because we were too far ahead of wealth by level due to excessive use of crafting feats. I think we'd have still done ok if we'd had less gear. The extra challenge would have been appreciated. The GM was also inexperienced and there were a few times he shouldn't have stuck by the book listed tactics.

That's all boring mechanical stuff though. You asked about having a good drunken time: here's the characters in our party who had the most fun:

Pinky, our Tiefling Gunslinger, spent the entire tournament with a drink in hand. Some matches he held the drink the entire time. He was an affable, if often condescending, drunk. He had a slightly tipsy comment for every situation. The crowd loved it, and his player had a great time.

Luna, our Ninja, was an archer. She had a lot of fun talking with all the NPC's and had a very effective build in combat.

I played Kira, the Wizard! There's only one thing better than freeing a galley full of slaves, rescuing a princess, and saving a kingdom from annihilation: Getting paid obscene amounts of money for doing it! Kira, Wizard of the sixth circle, saw the tournaments prize as a secondary goal to the tournament. Primarily, she was there to impress prospective clients with her phenomenal magic power, and that of her adventuring companions. The heroes with the most offers for employment, after all, are the ones who get paid the most.

I scribed 10 scrolls of major image, and prepped the spell quite often, for the express purpose of amazing the crowd. I also used planar binding to call a 4 member Azata band to do pro wrestling style intro's for our team; one Lillend and 3 Lyrakiens. Each team member had a theme song. When not telling anyone who would listen about the amazing Kira, the Wizard! and her team, the Azata's watched other matches for us to report on future opponents' fighting styles and equipment.

This is still my absolute favorite character I have ever played. I'm reusing her for a council of thieves AP, though it's Much harder to showboat around in council of thieves, and so far our game has not led Kira to very much money.

If I could re-do the module I'd prepare more showboaty spells for the crowd. Probably ignore anything that didn't have an area of effect or something clearly visible. I'd also make up some taglines or one liners to spout off with her spells.

Actually, I might do that for council of thieves anyway.


Is battlefield control important? I was thinking about a wizard who focuses on shadow evocation and conjuration.


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No more so than it usually is. Evocation or shadow evocation and conjuration will do just fine. My wizard was a conjuration specialist.


How about room for mounts? If I go mammoth rider would there be charge lanes?


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Cass_Ponderovian wrote:
How about room for mounts? If I go mammoth rider would there be charge lanes?

I summoned large or huge size monsters in most fights. Not sure which size a mammoth is, but I think it should be available most of the time. Definitely not all the time though.

For charge lanes, that depends too much on both enemy and ally positioning, so I couldn't say for sure. I wouldn't recommend against a charging character based on what I know about the module.


How about alignments of the enemies? Would smite evil get much use?


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Cass_Ponderovian wrote:
How about alignments of the enemies? Would smite evil get much use?

There are enemies to smite, but I wouldn't expect to smite every fight. Overall, I would say less evil to smite than average, but not so little that paladin is a poor choice for the module, especially considering everything else it brings to the table.


It's a full-on Module so it's supposed to take 12 hours to complete. The group I played it with was 5 players and a GM and we did it in 7 hours.
Our party composition was a Control Sorcerer with a few other dirty tricks up it's sleeve, a high AC Trip Monk, an Archer Ranger, a Druid with a big kitty, and my Bare-knuckle Boxer (Monk-1/Rogue 10). Most of our Tournament fights did not make it past round 4 and when we went to deal with the dragon, that lasted 1 character's turn in the first round.

As for Smiting Evil; It will be a lot less useful in the actual tournament fights, but there will be a few encounters that it will be helpful; maybe.

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