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[D&D 5E] Lets talk about sects, baby.

135

Posts

  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    I think my favorite story about a magic weapon was one which was a longsword that had been made magically plaid. The players assumed it was a joke until one of them realized that despite the absurdity of the enchantment it still was magical and that meant that it was capable of murdering various mooks that were resistant/immune to normal damage.

    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
    Sleepoverride367Mostlyjoe13
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Gaddez wrote: »
    I think my favorite story about a magic weapon was one which was a longsword that had been made magically plaid. The players assumed it was a joke until one of them realized that despite the absurdity of the enchantment it still was magical and that meant that it was capable of murdering various mooks that were resistant/immune to normal damage.

    That's a fun magic weapon

    Moridin889FencingsaxMostlyjoe13
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    edited September 9
    Gaddez wrote: »
    Aegeri
    Sure, but that's only an issue if you are obsessivley crunching the numbers and not taking things as they go and appreciating that there are days when your dice are absurdly hot and other ones where there will never be a bonus big enough to afford you a success.

    You're being rude while also wrong! It is definitely possible to notice the effectiveness imbalance between somebody with a magic weapon and someone without one with crunching any numbers at all, let alone doing so obsessively

    Powerpuppies on
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    RiemannLivesJustTeeSCREECH OF THE FARG
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Denada wrote: »
    I have long held the belief that resistances on monsters is a garbage mechanic that should be completely excised from the game. There are better ways to model elemental or magical affinities that don't amount to just a yes/no flow chart.

    It’s simple and it scales regardless of the state of the game. It makes it immediately obvious and important to bypass in a way that changes how you play(if possible).

    +1 attack/damage is “only” worth about +2d in terms of math to a normal weapon. If you hit 60% of the time and do 1d8+4 normally(so .65 and 1d8+5) then this amounts to +1.075 damage/attack. 1d8+4->1d10+4 = .6 damage/attack.

    In many games the way players are able to specialize and, importantly, the relative power of resistances compared to that make changing play styles a bad idea. If you build a fighter to use axes it doesn’t matter if you have a better club because you no matter the enemy it will be better for you to use the axe.

    This presents a fundamentally different play structure in 5e than 4

    5e monsters are more “situations” than “encounters”. Once you have solved the situation they’re supposed to go down pretty easy and make the players feel strong. I can go into this more later but won’t at the moment.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited September 9
    My players asked to go magic item shopping this last session, so I let them. I decided that the inventory was:

    - A +1 warhammer that rings with an ancient song.
    - A Staff of Swarming Insects.
    - A +1 Sword of Wounding.
    - A set of incense that, when used by a cleric at the end of a long rest, grants the nature domain's charm animals and plants feature as a channel divinity option. It only has three uses, though.
    - Potions of healing

    One of the players decided to steal some money from behind the counter. She also took a green agate, which unfortunately for her was enchanted to make green moss grow all over whoever touches it. She had to sneak out and go wash the moss off in the river.

    Another player asked for a mushroom from a druid, which they think will just make them hallucinate but actually gives the imbiber true sight for one hour. If he ends up using it in the city he may see spirits, such as the portal guardians that block the Abyssal taint that would otherwise curse the land, as well as the phase spiders that the reclusive drow known as the Silk Oracle uses as her eyes and ears.

    During the course of the adventure they also interacted with several features at an enchanted grove: a magical flame that replicates the effects of a potion of healing three times a day, a tent that teleports non-fey who enter it into a nearby hazard (a jackalwere tried to hide in it and ended up getting teleported into a bramble patch that took its last three hit points), and a shallow pool that teleports those who enter into a frozen-over pool.

    Hexmage-PA on
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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited September 9
    Sept 9 D&D Session Report: The party sets out to investigate the druid groves of the city of Moralkus to find a druid who can activate the powers of an ancient staff. They first visit the fey-enchanted Grove of Four, where they are ambushed by a jackalwere posing as the druid and his three redcap allies. Following the battle they investigate a magical flame in the summer-aligned quadrant of the grove that heals those who touch it instead of burning them. Next they visit the underground Spore Cistern, where an evil druid sics myconids and spore servants on the heroes. However, party enchanter Harry Lizark is able to charm the druid into letting them speak to the Cistern's head druid, Dolvek, who advises them to speak to the druids at the central Grove of the Wolf Morash and provides a letter of recommendation for them to allow entry. The party first settles in for a rest, but during the night they are threatened by their nemesis, the druid Jagalon, who temporarily uses magic to make the dire wolf companion of party druid/ranger Shadow into his means of communication. The following morning the party goes to stock up on items, but after leaving a shop are startled to see a frozen giant eagle crash into a nearby stall and shatter into pieces. In the sky above is their ally Vilkenna Skypony (barbarian/paladin) and her pegasus Despoena, who are lending aid to giant eagles defending the city from perytons. The party resolves to intercede...

    Hexmage-PA on
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  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Denada wrote: »
    I have long held the belief that resistances on monsters is a garbage mechanic that should be completely excised from the game. There are better ways to model elemental or magical affinities that don't amount to just a yes/no flow chart.

    It’s simple and it scales regardless of the state of the game. It makes it immediately obvious and important to bypass in a way that changes how you play(if possible).

    +1 attack/damage is “only” worth about +2d in terms of math to a normal weapon. If you hit 60% of the time and do 1d8+4 normally(so .65 and 1d8+5) then this amounts to +1.075 damage/attack. 1d8+4->1d10+4 = .6 damage/attack.

    In many games the way players are able to specialize and, importantly, the relative power of resistances compared to that make changing play styles a bad idea. If you build a fighter to use axes it doesn’t matter if you have a better club because you no matter the enemy it will be better for you to use the axe.

    This presents a fundamentally different play structure in 5e than 4

    5e monsters are more “situations” than “encounters”. Once you have solved the situation they’re supposed to go down pretty easy and make the players feel strong. I can go into this more later but won’t at the moment.

    I wouldn't bother, at least for my sake. For the sake of discussion and theorycraft sure, but I still think resistances on monsters are trash.

  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    Gaddez wrote: »
    Aegeri
    Sure, but that's only an issue if you are obsessivley crunching the numbers and not taking things as they go and appreciating that there are days when your dice are absurdly hot and other ones where there will never be a bonus big enough to afford you a success.

    You're being rude while also wrong! It is definitely possible to notice the effectiveness imbalance between somebody with a magic weapon and someone without one with crunching any numbers at all, let alone doing so obsessively

    He litterally went into referencing the results of 100000 attacks and how a comparatively minor bonus would greatly alter the ratio of hit/miss. which sure it does, but If I do 2 extra sit ups I'm going to burn an extra 5 calories a day it's kind of a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things.

    Aside from being able to damage things that you couldn't before due to resistances it simply doesn't have that much of an impact on combat outcome as compared to combat stat (usually strength or dexterity) + proficiency. For reference, a starting character attacking a zombie with preferred stats swinging a shortsword will hit it 80% of the time for 6.5 damage while a character relying on a +1 shortsword to carry the damage/hit will hit it 60% of the time for 4.5 damage.

    Frankly, I'd rather have the plaid sword.

    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    I think I'd prefer a nice argyle sword myself.

    Ken OSleepAegeriGaddezoverride367ToxZonugalFencingsaxMostlyjoe13
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Can i get one in paisley

    GaddezFencingsaxMostlyjoe13
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited September 10
    Gaddez wrote: »
    @Aegeri
    Sure, but that's only an issue if you are obsessivley crunching the numbers and not taking things as they go and appreciating that there are days when your dice are absurdly hot and other ones where there will never be a bonus big enough to afford you a success.

    If I was obsessively crunching numbers I could make my point even better, because it actually ends up being much more than a 5% reduction in damage overall when you take into account hit ratios, average damage, immunity and so forth. The fact is, I run games with 30-40 people every week. I play with such a range of abilities, interest and opinions on what they like about DnD. There is one group with a guy whose got a +21 base damage bonus to every attack, with another group who has someone who doesn't have a single combat spell that deals damage and a group with a fighter who has a +5 attack bonus at level 10 (yes, after proficiency).

    All of these players, no matter who they are, notice when they are doing absolutely nothing (immunity) or doing minimal damage because it is consistently being reduced by half. You do not, in any way shape or form, need to understand the core maths of the game to know that "Resistance makes me virtually useless and things live longer, so we take more damage". These things just flow together intuitively, I can just easily prove it with incredibly simplistic math.

    Which is why every single player I have at my table quickly becomes very frustrated with these mechanics when they can't bypass them. Again, the point of this is that a quirky magic item like the statues that summon spirit animals might be more fun, but they are practically less worthwhile than a basic +1 weapon that lets you not actually die in almost every single difficult fight (as resistance is common on high level and even some low level monsters).

    Most adventures are written with these creatures in mind.
    Aside from being able to damage things that you couldn't before due to resistances it simply doesn't have that much of an impact on combat outcome as compared to combat stat (usually strength or dexterity) + proficiency.

    Sure. We'll take your +5 strength greatsword great weapon fighter at 3rd level and we'll take my +3 strength great weapon fighter who has +1 axe up against a CR 3 wereboar. When the first character is going back to the village in a box, we'll discuss how little difference the +1 weapon made on the outcome :) I can even point you to the official adventure this exact scenario can happen!

    Amusement aside, it's not my experience that players being unable or able to overcome resistance doesn't make a significant impact to a fight. It's often the key determinate of dead or living PCs at low levels. At high levels, everyone probably has a +1 something anyway, which conveniently is also when they fight the majority of these creatures (ideally).
    For reference, a starting character attacking a zombie with preferred stats swinging a shortsword will hit it 80% of the time for 6.5 damage while a character relying on a +1 shortsword to carry the damage/hit will hit it 60% of the time for 4.5 damage.

    What is the assumption you are using here that the first character isn't the one with a +1 shortsword, increasing both their to hit and damage even further? Is there some odd restriction on magic weapons in your game that the person who doesn't already have the best stats doesn't just take it to make them even better at it?

    It's a very bizarre argument, especially because 5E has this weird curve where even without magic weapons AC doesn't scale (no pun intended) the same as the to hit. So once you're high enough level the to hit part becomes increasingly less relevant compared to the actual damage part. So you tend to hit a lot and the primary issue tends to be how fast can you kill that thing you're hitting.

    Aegeri on
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    ElvenshaeDenadaMoridin889DevoutlyApatheticJustTeeSCREECH OF THE FARG
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    My players seemed upset to find one of the baddies ran away unbeknownst to them while they were looting the building. I wonder if it was the two shatters they cast and the thunderwave one of the baddies cast and the runner finding a bunch of corpses of her bretheren and all their summoned critters piled up in a heap in the big central room while the party was in the basement destroying the homeowner's (whom technically hired the party to get the baddies out of the house) property.

    Curse of Strahd location:
    wizard of wines. There goes the Gulthias staff...

    So one of my players privately complained to me that they have been feeling hopeless and like they have no agency, and this druid getting away exemplifies that.

    Errr... You have agency but so do the inhabitants of Barovia. There bad guys do stuff whether the players are there it not. Not sure how to communicate this without pissing my players off further though.

    steam_sig.png
  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Speaking of weird magic items. I distinctly remember when I was a young lad, hearing about my older brother's game, where the fighter found a sword +2, +4 vs watercraft. And a story about the time the expanded bonus was put to use. The sword earned its name that day: "Boatslayer"

    Rhesus PositiveGaddezoverride367webguy20Mostlyjoe13
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    Isn't curse of strahd mostly about feeling hopeless and with no agency, like you're the victim in a horror movie?

    sig.gif
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Isn't curse of strahd mostly about feeling hopeless and with no agency, like you're the victim in a horror movie?

    That's what i thought but apparently it's a problem for at least one person.

    steam_sig.png
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    In fairness this isn't a feeling that 5e conveys that well once players get to higher levels. Low levels it works wonderfully though - what level are they?

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
    SleepElvenshaeZonugal
  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    Denada wrote: »

    I wouldn't bother, at least for my sake. For the sake of discussion and theorycraft sure, but I still think resistances on monsters are trash.


    I hate resistances, if only because its a pain to book-keep, so I generally don't bother - I just tend to increase the HP of resistance monsters - and then mention when the right/wrong damage type is done that it seems to be less effective. Without actually doing the bookkeeping, as that takes too much time.

  • NyhtNyht Registered User regular
    And my Blight arc actually finished to it's conclusion this weekend.

    Before it started, I handed everyone their new level 9 character sheets. The druid's player just looked flabbergasted and she explained to me that in every game she played growing up, her DMs always made them restart after getting past level 5 usually, and that she's NEVER had a character reach 5th level spells.

    My wife's mystic finally got to summon a water elemental, of which I bought and painted one for the occasion so she felt really powerful in that moment as well.

    The druid and the oath of ancients paladin both went into the end fight with immunity to poison that was lingering from their trip through the Tree of Life, as well as resistance to necrotic damage, both of which I was relying on since I was uncertain if the end fight would be too much or not.

    So they descend into a place in the Now Blighted Swamp (once lush forest) that was connected directly to the Shadowfell. No one else could get through but thanks to the Twig of Life they carried from the tree, they could enter and assault the Blighted Druid while other mercenaries fought off forces outside. The nearest kingdom had unfortunately been bound by fey laws that they had no rights to make war on this area and even though the Blight was happening, they found themselves still bound. But they still managed some funds to indirectly rouse mercenaries to aid all the same.

    The main fight was;

    Lvl 9 Gunslinger, Oath of Ancients Paladin, Circle of Dreams Druid, Wu Jen Mystic, and an idol of the Holly King, a small piece of it's power to aid them (it's like a CR 6 uber bear they can summon every other day for 10 minutes but is specifically able to be used for this).

    Enemies: 2 awakened trees (corrupted but otherwise still just the same stats as treants without the ability to summon others like them, and the Blighted Druid who turns into a twisted and still weakened version of a Nightwalker with the following changes;
    1 - DC reduced to 16 for abilities
    2 - AoE Aura is 10 poison damage (to match his Spore Druid origins) and he can use a legendary action to just auto activate it a turn to help put some pressure out there. Also I changed the claw attack from the Nightwalker to try and siphon some life over what it had but it never came up as the players kept making those saves.

    When the Blight Druid lost his Nightwalker form, they still had to deal with level 10 spore druid with 150 HP.

    And yet, between everything going on with crazy damaging Idol Bear, Smiting Paladin, and High Damage Gunslinger, along with constant pressure from Water Elemental and well placed spells (Druid chose Wrath of Nature to great affect here) only the Mystic hit 0 with a death save before being saved. Everyone got low, however, and it was a fun fight, but they managed to pump out some serious damage to win the day.

    The epilogue was the Circle of Dreams druid using the twig to purify the land almost immediately in a wave of life pushing back the decay, and the area she use it in is now considered a Druid Grove that she is now the owner of. The spirit of the Holly King leaves the portion of bear power left in it to stay in the Grove and help protect it.

    Each player also has a hook left to explore;

    The Oath of Ancients paladin, upon taking up the legendary axe The Huntsman that he's been using found that he himself apparently inherited the title as well and that someone is looking for his aid. He's unsure what it all means yet but I do.

    The Gunslinger's father had tried to warn her of danger he basically caused in avenging his former wife's (and the gunslinger's mother) death. He's alive but not on this plane anymore ... and she wants to find him.

    The Druid, who is a human TECHNICALLY (but actually using the race for the Eladrin as she was taken into the Feywild long ago. The result of fey abduction/changeling type shenanigans) knows she was once a Queen to a THIRD court in the Feywild, the Wyld Court, which took in defectors from the Seelie and Unseelie but her existence and history was basically wiped out of everyone's mind, including her own as she'll try and piece things together.

    And the Mystic, knowing personally the Dreamer, knows more than anyone else that the Blight was something more as things from the Shadowfell and Astral Plane fall under his domain. As a seer, she sees cracks happening in the world where nightmares and eldritch horrors are trying to find ground ...

    But the arc itself is finished. This also serves to let any player who wants to play someone different have an out if they want it (they might go decide to do their thing along or whatever) and it serves as an awesome spring board.

    Everyone had a blast and honestly, in that moment as it was happening and ending, I was happy myself. I'm a forever DM but DAMN if moments like that just don't make the whole thing worth it.

    Endless_SerpentsHexmage-PAElvenshaeoverride367FencingsaxMostlyjoe13
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Aegeri wrote: »
    In fairness this isn't a feeling that 5e conveys that well once players get to higher levels. Low levels it works wonderfully though - what level are they?

    They are level 4, which is maybe part of the problem.

    All the 5e games we played at our table so far we did milestone based leveling. So i switched it up to earned xp based leveling. And then we spent 2 months putzing around Vallaki mostly just taking to NPCs.

    Per the player (after i asked more info):
    The feeling we get is that everything we do leads to worse consequences than if we had done nothing at all. That leads us to not want to do anything (because we just make everything worse) but fighting is the only way we get XP, so we are in a dilemma. We entered Valliki at level 4, and left level 4.

    Sure, that is part of Barovia and such, but if there is no accomplishment in the game at all (saving people, treasure, advancement, information, achievements) then it becomes a slog. Winery hasn't been tough, but the Players, moreso than the characters, need to have a success - actually being able to finish a quest line positively is going to be a boon.

    Rough summary of what they have done (CoS spolier. Also if you are one of my players somehow on this, don't read it obviously):
    - Arugal used a ruse to trick them in Forgotten Relms to follow him into a cave, which when they exited they were in Barovia just outside the east gate. Did this to get them to lvl 2 because one of the players worried about constantly rerolling lvl 1 characters due to how deadly Barovia was supposed to be
    - The mists rose as they approached Village of Barovia, hearded them to the Death House (suggested in the book as a thing Strahd does to amuse himself).
    - They completed death house bottom by sacrificing a wizard familiar. This played nicely into the "Barovia alters spells" thing when the familiar was finally resummoned much later and was skeletal.
    - They met Ismark at the tavern, demanded gold for the escort he was asking. Ismark said ok.
    - they split the party because some wanted to go to Ismark's house and some wanted to talk to the interesting (Vistana) ladies.
    - the Vistanis cheated at cards (which the players there wanted to play with them), got cought, got mad, and kicked then out of the bar (which they own)
    - those stragglers ran into Morgantha, kid in tow, on the way to Ismark's. She sold them two pies one of which ate one and failed the saving throws. They got into fisticuffs with each other over it as Morgantha left peacefully. Neither do much as questioned in any way the presence of the child.
    - they dealt with Dori by killing him. Then helped bury the burgomeister
    - i emailed them a "excerpt from Ireena's diary" i made up myself in which i describe the year or so leasing up to that point from her perspective
    - they escort Ismark and Ireena to Vallaki with some a stop at Tser Pool and a wrong turn so they come up to Ravenloft for a second before turning and running.
    - at the pool the treasurer's reading comes up as two items in Ravenloft and one in Argynvostholt, ally is the simpleton in Village of Barovia, Strahd location DM choice. I perhaps made a big mistake here by telling them the reading i had done in private (in case they bypassed Madam Eva for some reason) was much easier (one treasure in Ravenloft, one in Rictavio's Wagon, one in Argynvostholt, and a much stronger ally (i don't remember which)).
    - i gave them personal reading based on character sheets.
    - The haunted background barbarian that keeps hearing voices of ancestors i told to go to Amber Temple. Plan is to have them chase down an escaped evil one from the coffins with personal involvement with said ancestors and should they accomplish this granting him some sort of permanent boon.
    - The dragonborn cleric of Kelemvor i told to put her ancestral bones to rest, essentially another hook for restoring the skull to Argunvostholt, and built an undead dragon encounter for the basement where the skull is if they ever get there. Still get the book reward for the party and additional boon for her character when beacon is lit.
    - the elf wizard was told about having the first awakening but not drawing of the veil (per Mordenkainen's book) which is way overdue. Player didn't give me much to work with on character sheet (later i going out this was because he expected that character to die early) so that's what i went with. Thought was is start granting him Eldar perks as they worked on the Dusk Elf storyline.
    - the alchemist con man human i revealed to be (long lost) Vistani and have been actively altering NPC reactions to match, provided they know.
    - the kenku rogue had asked for the background of having inherited an item from her mentor. I ran with this and made Rictavio her mentor and the item an Artefact of the Raven Queen. None of this was known to get or her character and i have slowly been reveling it. After suffering some necrotic attacks the black Pearl item has been sinking into her skin and she started hearing whispers from RQ. Her reading was that she has 2 curses (the RQ artefact and the Dream Pie addiction). At third level i awarded her necrotic resistance, radiant vulnerability, and magical healing resistance. I also once made one of her attacks do a nice of extra necrotic damage (to something she was going to one shot anyway), plan is to at some point give her a dice for that. She only knows about the magical healing effect so far. She also loves multiclassing in every game we play so she is next picking up some warlock levels in RQ patron (her idea. I said ok great).
    - in vallaki they dropped off Ismark and Ireena at the church. But not before being belligerent at Izek with Ireena in tow and having to run away from guards.
    - Then went to coffin makers shop in the middle of the night. Accidently set fire to the place which ended up having their ass (when combined with the Cleric's CC), they survived and all but twon vampires died (mostly to the fire).
    - i sent them an email with a writeup about the vampire that escaped reporting to Strahd. Next session i had the barbarian make a saving throw vs scrying, he failed.
    - they meet Rictavio who recognises the kenku and meets with them in his room revealing who he is. Party tasks him with research assignments. He cures the Dream Pie curse, says the other is beyond his ken.
    - next they tricked Izek into following them down an ally (disguise self into Ireena) and beat him up. Brought him to the square, freed the prisoners in the stocks, put Izek there, executed him. Chopped off his arm. Brought it to Lady Watchter.
    - things were going swimmingly until she told them how awesome Strahd is, at which point they essentially pushed the situation into combat and took her prisoner. Cleared basement. Strahd, watching with scrying dispatches Rahadin to stop this (I describe what he saw via email. Also Gertruda hanging out with him)
    - Rahadin shows up as they are leaving the house with Lady Watchter in tow, Stella having escaped out the open door earlier. They promptly execute LW. Rahadin does his screams and orders then into the carriage "this was going to be a peaceful little dinner now that you have proven yourselves, but...". They pile in, resentful about railroading once again.
    - they have dinner with Strahd and everybody behaves. He asks then to take out the Vallaki burgomaster and they will be in his good graces and working for him. Rahadin drops then back off in Vallaki which is mid riot. Strahd recognizes somewhat what is going on with RQ artefact, flirts with yhe kenku, and hencefort scrys on that character instead.
    - they report everything to Rictavio, including that Strahd knew everything and the kenku reports seeing an orb following them. After they leave, Rictavio puts 2 and 2 together and leaves Vallaki. I left things ambiguous for the players and they are not sure if he is coming back.
    - they go to burgomeister's house, defeat the meager resistance. Free the naked prisoner, dress him in burgomeister's clothes ("revolution to the people!") and send him to fetch the priest since they found out the wife is his sister. Prisoner gets mistaken for the burgomaster, stoned to death by rebellious peasants outside (they find him later when they get tired of waiting and send their own to get him).
    - they all go to the square and announce a new government made of the priest and the Burgomistress. They try to rope in the Martikovs who want nothing to do with it. The mob tears appart the Burgomaster.
    - feeling pleased with themselves, they go to check out the windmill they saw earlier that they have a deed for. Morgantha is not there, they force combat with the daughters, they escape with their Etherealness. Plan is, when the party is higher lvl I'll have them fight all three at same time and no escapes that time. Party feeling frustrated despite rescuing the kids.
    - back in vallaki they find Rictavio's wagon. Since he is not back yet they buy a couple of mules and just take the wagon. They know the tiger is in there, they leave it alone.
    - they decide to drive Ireena and Ismark to Krezk because they are not feeling safe in vallaki. They also figure the abbot they heard about can res the bones they found in LWs safe. They decide to stop by the Vistani camp "since we haven't been here yet". They don't release the tiger, they do not everyone of consequence, decide to ignore for now the quests on offer. I already drowned the girl off camera since they ignored all earlier indications of that side quest.
    - along the way they run into a revenant, ignore his plea to go to Argynvostholt, continue to Krezk
    - at Krezk, not let in. Ignore Ismark urging them to scale the walls. Go to the winery to get some wine to be let in.
    - at winery they meet the other Martikovs, promise to clear the house for dinner wine, Martikovs agree
    - they clear everything but the one druid with the staff that got away. They also clear out the brown mold in the basement. That's where we ended it.
    - they plan to talk to the Martikovs next. I plan to tell them about the gems and ask for help there. If they do that, i plan to reveal the big Martikov secret.
    Thoughts? I have been going for a Dice, Camera, Action mood but with technically competent players (waffle crew are fun but they clearly don't know what any of their abilities do).

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    I think resistances are cool for like 1 fight maybe for the course of one or two adventuring days (a short span of gaming where it presents a consistent problem you can't totally solve yet), but it should be something the party can address in various ways before the next time it would become an issue. Like, oh it's the first time you're fighting devils, they have resistance to normal damage and you couldn't have known that before. Now let's insert a means by which y'all figure it out as part of this little adventure and we can either RP out or montage y'all getting yourselves some silver weapons, boom resistance beat without magic weapons. Like in my world it's very soon going to become a thing adventurers just tell newbies (demons and devils are a new problem for the plane). Just "hey make sure to get a silvered cold iron weapon if you're headed to hunt outsiders", but at the moment it's still a thing folks are figuring out for themselves and propagating as a thing people should just know.

    Sleep on
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    maybe just give them two levels? pick a real uninteresting part of the module and offer over email if they all want to to have them go through that part off camera and fast forward until they're level 6? It seems as if your player would feel like you were addressing his concerns if you did that

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    I think curse of strahd is a particularly poor module to do EXP leveling, personally

    at no point should your players have an incentive to go farm wolves at night

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    So after looking for a bit online I'm seeing that a seeming majority of D&D groups have only one or two combat encounters in an adventuring day, while the DMG says that a party should have six to eight.

    I'd prefer to have my players go through at least three or four combats in an adventuring day, but it seems like this only happens when I put them on a time limit, give them something to do that can't be put off, or have one combat encounter lead directly into another.

    On that last one, I'm thinking of trying in the next session to put the players through a gauntlet in which multiple waves of monsters attack, but I'm afraid I'll inadvertantly cause a TPK. I have at least been giving them a lot of potions of healing (that they haven't been using). I'm also considering allowing a quick rest (basically a short rest that only lasts five minutes) if the party can barricade themselves in a building; alternatively, I have an in-story reason why a supernatural spirit of healing would lend aid (giving the party the benefits of a short rest in an instant), but I'm afraid the players would question why this spirit doesn't help them out all the time.

    Here's a general breakdown on the monsters I was considering for the multi-stage fight:

    - Party of four 7th-level characters
    1) Jackalwere (CR 1/2) x8, Spy (CR 1) x3
    2) Elder Peryton (CR 5, homebrew) x1, Wereboar (CR 4) x1, Jackalwere (CR 1/2) x4
    3) Spy (CR 1) x3, Mage (CR 6) x1

    The battle would take place on a city street long enough that new waves of enemies entering the map wouldn't be able to make it to the party in one round, giving them an opportunity to use a potion or something. There would also be features like vendor stalls and crates that the PCs could use as cover.

    I was also considering making the wereboar enlarged (via a potion) and giving it a power based on the fire giant dreadnought's shield charge. The party has an enchanter, and I figured this might be a fun creature for him to charm.

    The mage wouldn't have all his spells, instead using several to pick off members of the city watch who are trying to enter the battle (I can imagine the party feeling a bit relieved as a large group of watchmen arrive, only for their reinforcements to be blown away by a fireball).

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    So after looking for a bit online I'm seeing that a seeming majority of D&D groups have only one or two combat encounters in an adventuring day, while the DMG says that a party should have six to eight.

    That's because, to hit that many without killing PCs, the vast majority need to be ... speedbumps. You spend a healing potion or two, or a couple low-level spells, etc., but otherwise you're not expending many resources.

    Which translates as, the vast majority need to be boring. They exist for no other purpose than to slightly bleed the PCs at no real risk, and therefore they cannot leverage cool mechanics or crazy enemies, or there's a really good chance they consume more than their allotted minimal resources, and that screws up the entire rest of the "adventuring day."

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    So after looking for a bit online I'm seeing that a seeming majority of D&D groups have only one or two combat encounters in an adventuring day, while the DMG says that a party should have six to eight.

    That's because, to hit that many without killing PCs, the vast majority need to be ... speedbumps. You spend a healing potion or two, or a couple low-level spells, etc., but otherwise you're not expending many resources.

    Which translates as, the vast majority need to be boring. They exist for no other purpose than to slightly bleed the PCs at no real risk, and therefore they cannot leverage cool mechanics or crazy enemies, or there's a really good chance they consume more than their allotted minimal resources, and that screws up the entire rest of the "adventuring day."

    Yeah that estimate of 6 or 7 encounters generally includes a few super speed bump encounters that don't drain high end resources but do drain hit dice or potions or low level spell slots.

    Think of 3 round combat with maybe one good shot against a party member.

    The tone i'm trying to set is the deciding factor on if I'm going to have speed bump encounters or not.

    I generally only use speed bump encounters when shit is really hitting the fan and there's supposed to be a feeling of monsters almost literally everywhere around the party. Find a good mook type of monster like a nothic and design some interesting terrain to fight them in. Generally try to keep these fights on a clock, present them as something that can't really be rested between, but so too keep them close enough together timing wise that folks with hunters marks, hexes, summons, or protection spells can get multiple combats out of single casts of these concentration spells.

    Sleep on
    Elvenshae
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    I'm one of those DMs that only runs a few encounters per long rest. I also give max HP on level up and have all spent hit dice give max HP. Makes it more reliable to know what kind of resources they have, and I get to do bigger encounters, which I like. The recommended method, and the way a lot of modules are written, feels way too grindy to me.

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  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    If anyone would like to read a novel about the previous page's necromancy-based society talk, Fire Sea from Margaret Weis' wonderful Death Gate Cycle goes into pretty serious depth. The main issue is that from a legal standpoint, undead lose personhood on death, so you have to deal with holding your granddad's funeral then having him be converted into another household slave the next day. There's also some other complicated stuff I don't remember in detail involving a revolt and other misfortune.

    EDIT: Pretty sure there was something in there about undead losing their memories - which is actually false, the necromancers need to periodically wipe their memories for fear of the aforementioned revolt

    Xagar on
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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    Regarding rests, the guy who was DMing for our group before I took over would often come up with complications that occurred during attempted rests. On one of our first short rests we heard children crying farther down in the dungeon we were in and had to vote on whether we would abort the rest and investigate or stay put and hope the kids didn't get eaten or something. We also had times when long rests would get interrupted by wandering monsters, sometimes resulting in the character(s) standing watch at night not getting a full rest but instead suffering a point of exhaustion. It was of the utmost importance to secure a rest area, and on one occassion the character standing watch in a chamber with furniture piled in front of the door got bitten by a creature that crawled in through a tiny crack in the ceiling which brainwashed her into opening the door for monsters that attacked the sleeping party members.

    To be fair he always rolled for these encounters on a list he pre-made, and most of the time we rested without incident.

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    I actually had a super fun encounter set in the white plume mountain adventure. The party had dealt with some pretty heavy fights and after finding the floating river decided they could rest in the room it leads to (they did the far left hallway first)

    We had two characters which were effectively fresh. One a cleric with inconsistent participation and therefore the bulk of their spells available the other a rogue who'd managed to take no damage since we started up.

    So in white plume every 10 minutes you roll for random encounters. So for the 8 hours everyone else rested the rogue and the cleric kept eyes on the two entrances to the room and killed everything coming into the room before it could get to and wake the party.

    It was pretty fun cause the whole party is sitting there cheering on their rolls because they all need this rest fairly badly.

    Sleep on
    Hexmage-PAElvenshae
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    I actually had a super fun encounter set in the white plume mountain adventure. The party had dealt with some pretty heavy fights and after finding the floating river decided they could rest in the room it leads to (they did the far left hallway first)

    We had two characters which were effectively fresh. One a cleric with inconsistent participation and therefore the bulk of their spells available the other a rogue who'd managed to take no damage since we started up.

    So in white plume every 10 minutes you roll for random encounters. So for the 8 hours everyone else rested the rogue and the cleric kept eyes on the two entrances to the room and killed everything coming into the room before it could get to and wake the party.

    It was pretty fun cause the whole party is sitting there cheering on their rolls because they all need this rest fairly badly.

    I need to set-up scenarios like that, too. Of course my characters are in a city right now, so most of their rests are safe.

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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    I got excited good feedback from another player. Perhaps i should email out a survey.

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  • NarbusNarbus Registered User regular
    Xagar wrote: »
    If anyone would like to read a novel about the previous page's necromancy-based society talk, Fire Sea from Margaret Weis' wonderful Death Gate Cycle goes into pretty serious depth. The main issue is that from a legal standpoint, undead lose personhood on death, so you have to deal with holding your granddad's funeral then having him be converted into another household slave the next day. There's also some other complicated stuff I don't remember in detail involving a revolt and other misfortune.

    EDIT: Pretty sure there was something in there about undead losing their memories - which is actually false, the necromancers need to periodically wipe their memories for fear of the aforementioned revolt

    It worked out that raising the dead involved binding their souls back to their bodies. But the necromamcer had to wait at least three(?) days to do so, so that the soul had time to move far enough away from life. Done properly, you had a mindless zombie slave followed around by a pale shade of their soul. If it was done too soon, then the soul still had agency, and was furious at what had been done to it, so you had a sentient undead rage monster.

    Also it turned out that for every person brought back to life after their time had passed, a person died before their time was up. Which was a whole other thing.

    ElvenshaeXagarJustTeeMoridin889
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 11
    I've been reading through the waterdeep dragon heist book and I really like it

    I like how it gives a new DM some advice how to actually do things, and has tips such as if your players are particularly murderhoboey, just "yada-yada" over them getting arrested if they get caught committing a crime, to avoid simming it out and having your idiot players cast fireball on the guards and end your campaign - just make it clear that they are taken into custody by overwhelming force and maybe give them a few social checks to try and bribe their way out or get a reduced sentence

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Just did a module about arsonists cultists, which was fun.

    I still don't understand the new treasure thing or why it happened.

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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    the death gate cycle is an incredible series and a must read if you ever want to run games that touch on the elemental planes

    also rune magic is dope as hell

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    Just had an idea for a crazy spin: what if PCs bust up a cult only to discover that the summoning thing the cult was trying to do was actually to save the world?

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    So the bit in the PHB about many humans having traces of orc or elf ancestry has had me thinking for a while about making this kind of thing more significant in-setting. So far I've decided that the area where my campaign is taking place has a large number of Dark Sun-style mul NPCs, but I'm interested in pushing this further with lots of human NPCs who might have slight signs of unusual heritages.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 12
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Just had an idea for a crazy spin: what if PCs bust up a cult only to discover that the summoning thing the cult was trying to do was actually to save the world?

    I did lost mines of phandelver -> tomb of annihilation and the drow were using wave echo cavern to do a magical ritual to stop the soulmonger from coming online - they did a bunch of evil stuff and didn't ask for the party's help in doing the ritual, because they're drow, but their matron mother had a vision from lloth that she would die if they didn't stop it

    acererak thanked the party for stopping the drow for him, since the ancient magical protections on the cavern prevented a being as powerful and evil as him from entering it, and then he did them one better by making sure the public thought they were responsible - and offered them a trip to chult because they looked like particularly delightful rats to run in his maze

    the best part is I was either going to do Storm King's Thunder or Tomb, depending on if the party bothered to investigate deeply or figure out the drow's motivation, I sprinkled hints everywhere and none of them bit, so it was Tomb (so the drow really could have stopped him)

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  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited September 12
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    So the bit in the PHB about many humans having traces of orc or elf ancestry has had me thinking for a while about making this kind of thing more significant in-setting. So far I've decided that the area where my campaign is taking place has a large number of Dark Sun-style mul NPCs, but I'm interested in pushing this further with lots of human NPCs who might have slight signs of unusual heritages.

    Have you played https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcanum:_Of_Steamworks_and_Magick_Obscura? It was a rather hard game to play blind (easy to build your character into uselessness i should say), but it had some VERY interesting ideas about non human races and how it mixes with the magic vs technology dichtomy present in the setting. I think it would be very fun to miss in some of these into a DnD game.

    Like, they talk about the archeological record of orc evolution and such. It's pretty neat: http://arcanum.wikia.com/wiki/Races

    Smrtnik on
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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    Just had an idea for a crazy spin: what if PCs bust up a cult only to discover that the summoning thing the cult was trying to do was actually to save the world?

    I hope you have this playing in the background for the battle.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
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