[DnD 5E] You're rollin' dice with your pals the other day...

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Indeed. Now that the real deal is coming closer though, I'm starting to look more closely at it and have realized that 10 won't cut it. IIRC, the Tomb is not Acererak's lair so there are no Lair Actions available to him. So that will help the party a bit.

    I think maybe I'll have to be more generous and give them some more levels as they progress. Let them hit 12 before the big fight to give them a sporting chance.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    In my experience liches aren't very strong, action economy is a bitch and even a level 7 or 8 party can kill a lich before it gets to act (other than legendary actions)

    You really need to give them minions to act as meat shields and throw in some spice like glyphs of warding (it is their lair after all)

    HOWEVER

    Acererak, well, I would start by having him time stop, then delayed blast fireball, ending the time stop with a circle of death going off with the detonation of the fireball, that should down a few of the party. After which have him focus on the weakest party member. Set a contingency to Resilient Sphere if he is dropped to half health by damage.

    In fact I plan to do that, here's the spell list I have for him when my players get to him after we start Tomb back up
    Cantrips (at will): mage hand, ray of frost, shocking grasp, chill touch
    
    1st level (at will): magic missile, shield, identify, detect magic, comprehend languages, absorb elements
    
    2nd level (at will): blindness/deafness, detect thoughts
    
    3rd level (at will): animate dead, counterspell, dispel magic, lightning bolt, speak with dead
    
    4th level (3 slots): blight, greater invisibility
    
    5th level (3 slots): cloudkill, legend lore, telekinesis
    
    6th level (3 slots): circle of death, disintegrate, globe of invulnerability
    
    7th level (3 slots): finger of death, plane shift, teleport, forcecage, delayed blast fireball
    
    8th level (2 slots): power word stun, dominate monster
    
    9th level (2 slots): power word kill, wish, time stop
    

    override367 on
    SleepMoridin889
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    One game i played in our paladin in round one crit and pumped a bunch of smites into a standard lich, and the killed it (not 100 to 0 since someone else went first, but still). Iirc we were level 9ish or 10ish at the time.

    steam_sig.png
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    in Curse of Strahd our hexblade archer did ~60% of Strahd's health with a single arrow, smites attached

    I feel like monster health in 5e is balanced around everyone having incredible unoptimized characters and doing things like, rogues using longswords without sneak attack or wizards relying on the bad offensive spells, and the party having no magical items

    SleepSteelhawkElvenshae
  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    So... there is a room in Tomb of Annihilation that traps the party within and the only way for them to escape for someone to stick their arm in a Sphere of Annihilation and sever it at the elbow, then present their severed limb to the door for it to open.

    1) That's just mean, and I love it. But is it too mean?
    2) How wasteful of a trap would it be to throw the party a bone and have a Regenerate scroll somewhere for them to find?

    How does that work? Doesn't the Sphere of Annihilation disintegrate the arm? How is there anything left to present?

    ...why do you have to stick your arm in the sphere to cut it off? Don't the players have a golf bag full of swords and axes to do that job?

    Does the party not have any manner of magical means to leave the room, given time to fiddle with a spellbook (teleport, passwall, move earth, etc) or is it "because the module says so"?

    I seem to remember in the classic version, there was a room only accessible through a 2-inch wide hallway (so, presumably requiring some sort of magic to get in). Inside the room was a constant drip of "dispel magic" water from the ceiling, pretty much foiling most of those methods for getting you back out. Maybe this is the updated version?

    Narbus
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    In my experience liches aren't very strong, action economy is a bitch and even a level 7 or 8 party can kill a lich before it gets to act (other than legendary actions)

    You really need to give them minions to act as meat shields and throw in some spice like glyphs of warding (it is their lair after all)

    HOWEVER

    Acererak, well, I would start by having him time stop, then delayed blast fireball, ending the time stop with a circle of death going off with the detonation of the fireball, that should down a few of the party. After which have him focus on the weakest party member. Set a contingency to Resilient Sphere if he is dropped to half health by damage.

    In fact I plan to do that, here's the spell list I have for him when my players get to him after we start Tomb back up
    Cantrips (at will): mage hand, ray of frost, shocking grasp, chill touch
    
    1st level (at will): magic missile, shield, identify, detect magic, comprehend languages, absorb elements
    
    2nd level (at will): blindness/deafness, detect thoughts
    
    3rd level (at will): animate dead, counterspell, dispel magic, lightning bolt, speak with dead
    
    4th level (3 slots): blight, greater invisibility
    
    5th level (3 slots): cloudkill, legend lore, telekinesis
    
    6th level (3 slots): circle of death, disintegrate, globe of invulnerability
    
    7th level (3 slots): finger of death, plane shift, teleport, forcecage, delayed blast fireball
    
    8th level (2 slots): power word stun, dominate monster
    
    9th level (2 slots): power word kill, wish, time stop
    

    OK.... so, in your experience, would a party of 10th level heroes, moderately well equipped with mostly +1 tier gear and whatever the Trickster gods give you have a decent chance against Acererak then?

    Fry wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    So... there is a room in Tomb of Annihilation that traps the party within and the only way for them to escape for someone to stick their arm in a Sphere of Annihilation and sever it at the elbow, then present their severed limb to the door for it to open.

    1) That's just mean, and I love it. But is it too mean?
    2) How wasteful of a trap would it be to throw the party a bone and have a Regenerate scroll somewhere for them to find?

    How does that work? Doesn't the Sphere of Annihilation disintegrate the arm? How is there anything left to present?

    ...why do you have to stick your arm in the sphere to cut it off? Don't the players have a golf bag full of swords and axes to do that job?

    Does the party not have any manner of magical means to leave the room, given time to fiddle with a spellbook (teleport, passwall, move earth, etc) or is it "because the module says so"?

    I seem to remember in the classic version, there was a room only accessible through a 2-inch wide hallway (so, presumably requiring some sort of magic to get in). Inside the room was a constant drip of "dispel magic" water from the ceiling, pretty much foiling most of those methods for getting you back out. Maybe this is the updated version?

    Well..Room 49. The Maze of Death states that on the stone block at its entrance "A stone slab blocks the end of this corridor. Painted on the slab is the image of a gaunt male humanoid wearing a hooded cloak, its face a mask of stars. The figure’s withered left hand is raised with palm extended." So the party has to mirror that painted image and the door opens. The party enters, explores and loots the room and, of course, the door closes again. On the interior of the door, "Painted on the inside of the slab is a male humanoid wearing a hooded cloak, once again with stars where his face should be. The figure holds up his right arm, which is severed neatly at the elbow." So... to exit the room, you need to mirror this image for the door to open again. So you are presenting whats left of your severed limb. Not the severed part.

    Now, in the room itself is one of those classic demon faces that are the trademark of the Tomb of Annihilation. (Which really is just a modern take on the Tomb of Horrors, with a whole epic adventure wrapped around it.) In the mouth of said demon face is a sphere of annihilation that, you know, annihilates. So, yes. You could chop your own arm off with all manner of sharp things. But chances are, someone in the party already would have lost an arm.

    Steelhawk on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    the party shouldn't really have a chance against Acererak if you play him how he's written, to give them a chance you have to make him a lot dumber and less prepared for battle than the godlike creature he is portrayed as, or significantly increase the power the trickster gods grant the party

    override367 on
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Combat can be so fucking swingy, is what I'm reading here. To mitigate a TPK because of some good DM-rolls you'd want to have higher level players who could survive a stray crit damage in round one. Alternative is to play the boss as the smart character they are, but take damage averages and ignore critical hits.

    IMHO final bosses that are also the culmination of an exciting story should be a lot more narrative-driven. The outcome of the fight could be more reliant on how well the party has been prepared for what they're facing (ie: a reward for buying into the story you're weaving and roleplaying) than purely on the min-maxed dipshit rolling a 20 in round one.

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    the party shouldn't really have a chance against Acererak if you play him how he's written, to give them a chance you have to make him a lot dumber and less prepared for battle than the godlike creature he is portrayed as, or significantly increase the power the trickster gods grant the party

    Yeah. Not really feeling that. I'd rather an incredibly hard fought battle that the party squeaks through to win the day. This is the climax of the campaign, after all. I want it to be epic. I want it to hurt. But at the end of the day, I want my friends to "win". My players (in this group) usually punch way above their weight class as we're all experienced at this D&D thing, but not having a proper wizard is really going to hamper them. And, assuming all my current players keep their PC's alive, said missing wizard would probably not be played by the player who is most suited to playing a wizard, if you know what I mean.

    I guess I'll give them a level at the end of the 4th & 5th floors, and maybe one more before they open the door with the skeleton keys for funsies? Bump them to 12 and just go HAM at the end of the module? Probably the most fun for everyone.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    My out in this regard is that the players have negotiated a pricey concession from the merchant princes: the nation's worth of wealth be damned, they have an agreement, made very publicly, that should they succeed but not return, that True Resurrections would be in store for all of them, so I will play Acererak with the merciless efficiency he ought have... of course I'm going to have him play with them at first given his level of confidence, and that is their only shot at winning - after his explosive entrance he's going to stick to lower level spells until he gets low, and if he can, hell run away rather than be defeated

    I might still have Valindra join the fray once he's distracted with them. They've been working with her and she definitely wants the ring of winter (which the party has) and/or Acererak's staff. A confident Valindra striding in to assist after 2 or so rounds, only to demand the ring of winter should they prevail sounds good to me.

    I'd find some way of leveling the playing field rather than just have the god-creating demi-lich stand there and let them beat him to death easily. They have 5th level spells at best and he has Wish and defeated all of the trickster gods with ease, and he's got a credible claim on most capable spellcaster on Toril next to Elminster

    Edit: I think what I said is being misinterpreted, I'm not advocating Acererak clobbering your players without a prayer, or having him be an idiot, I'm advocating throwing the real-deal full ass acererak at them but creating a reason why they are still able to persevere. The module doesn't give you an option out of the box for that but it's not hard to come up with one:

    - Unexpected thayan help
    - The Trickster Gods grant them buffs like Death Ward and maybe one legendary resistance, shared amongst the party, per trickster god
    - If the party has the Ring of Winter, have the Ring, out of desperation (it REALLY doesnt want to be owned by a creature that could so thoroughly dominate it as Acererak) grant the full measure of its power to the wearer, creating an Adult White Dragon as an ally (in Chris Perkins' game it was capable of this)
    - The souls of the Omuans! Why just the gods rising up against him? The souls of the Omuans could harry him
    - "I'll get you next time gadget!", Acererak doesn't have to actually be defeated. He can flee! Given that Acererak literally can't be killed by the party (the location of his phylactery cannot even be divined by gods after all), having him decide that this entire operation is a write off and taking off when the party proves unexpectedly resilient is an option
    - Something based upon actions your party has taken, mine, for example, has made an alliance with certain lower planar entities of considerable power, even if they hadn't formed an alliance with Valindra Shadowmantle that would be a backup option

    It should be an epic boss fight, but what isn't an epic boss fight is the DM pulling their punches on someone they've spent the campaign telling the players is one of the scariest motherfuckers in the entire cosmos. Even with how depleted they are after the fight with the atropol, if you go too easy on Acererak, youll end up giving your PCs an easy and unsatisfying conclusion given their massive piles of regenerating temp hp - Acererak literally cannot win just by chucking fireballs

    override367 on
    Nips
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    My party is on its own.

    I really don't like DMPC's or long term NPC's. I've got enough shit to keep track of as a DM. Also, I really hate taking agency or opportunities from my players. I don't want to pick locks for them, or throw out fireballs or counterspells for them. Or solve puzzles for them. I'm moderately OK with being a cleric who does nothing but heal, but that's about it. All of that meaning that I don't really allow for hangers-on to travel with the party for any length of time. Any guides we used in the jungle humping portion of the module all parted ways after their own particular needs were met. I did have that dinosaur flavoured druid during the Yuan-Ti stint where one of my players took over for the session. He was fun and I won't soon forget Hydra vs. Plesiosaur death match. But as soon as that Yuan-Ti stint as over, he found some slaves of the snake-people to herd up and protect. Gave the rest of the party a firm fist-bump and bro-nod, and wandered off into the jungle.

    I think, if it comes to it, the Trickster Gods might have a few more tricks up their sleeves than what the module intended. Maybe double up the possessions and the associated buffs? Double up the Temp HP? I dunno. The souls of murdered Omuans is a great idea too.... but lets hope nobody asks why those souls wouldn't just be sucked up into the soulmonger anyway? Anway, I've got some time to figure it out.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    I think something like allowing a trickster spirit to sacrifice itself to save a player as a sort of "Get out of death card" is a good answer, it lets you burn at least one of acererak's 9th level spells which is a good move - it's a tricky balance because of how easy it is to make the fight trivial (if Acererak doesn't kill half your party with his top level spells, his remaining lower level spells simply cannot compensate for their temp hp). Him fleeing would be a final victory, however, as once he's gone it heralds the return of Mezro and Ubtao - who would not likely let Acererak return to Chult

    The soulmonger only captured souls that died AFTER it went online, and most of the Omuans died either from Acererak's initial conquest, or afterwards during the temple's construction - so they'd still be around, perhaps even trapped with Ubtao's absence and their own gods dead

    shit you can even meet the child queen of omu, her skull stuffed with her soul on the first level of the temple (My players spent a pile of treasure to bring her back to life, because they felt like complicating Mwaxanare's life I suppose, and most importantly by their shit eating grins, the DM's life )

    override367 on
    NipsSteelhawk
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    That wouldn't work, IMO. If there are souls just floating around Toril they would be drawn into the soulmonger. The ancient Omuans souls would have already passed on to the Outer Planes and whatever afterlife awaits them before it goes online and then any loose souls still kicking around after the Soulmonger goes online would then be sucked in.

  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    here's some food for thought

    if this is the end, why not leave the door open for failure?

    provides a hell of a jumping off point for the next campaign...

    i feel like The Final Encounter of all places is where the chips should come down; not saying you shouldn't root for them, but tilting the table in one direction or another doesn't feel right

    just my .02 though, i've not yet had the opportunity to run The Big Climax in a game before so this is all speaking from idle dreaming :P

    override367Moridin889SleepSteelhawk
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    That wouldn't work, IMO. If there are souls just floating around Toril they would be drawn into the soulmonger. The ancient Omuans souls would have already passed on to the Outer Planes and whatever afterlife awaits them before it goes online and then any loose souls still kicking around after the Soulmonger goes online would then be sucked in.

    When someone dies in Chult they enter a sort of limbo as a ghost until Ubtao or another god (Mystra in the book's case) can intervene (at least in the book Ring of Winter)

    It's not in the module though, much of the background information about Mezro isn't for some reason, in any case I haven't seen any indication the Soul Monger destroys all ghosts, banshees, etc in Toril and if the Omuans worshipped dead gods they might not go anywhere

    I think the case can be made for either eventuality

    override367 on
  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    I'll note that the globe of invulnerability means he can basically become immune to any spell they can throw at him for 1 minute (concentration). Depending on his other physical defenses, this may mean he can become pretty much immune to whatever the players can throw out. A frontal encounter therefore seems likely to fail. If you can provide some guidance to the players somehow, I might suggest they can see about preparing the grounds where they will fight him to give themselves some sort of edge. Depending on the group's resources, there are a number of tricks that can be used to hit far above their weight class, and 5e heavily favours the side that can throw out more attacks.

    It will also depend on if the group has sufficient time to prepare and if they can do so unobserved by their target. With the right setup, they could easily turn the encounter into a curbstomp in favour of the PCs. Most of the battle would then be in their preparation/scouting/analysis and the fight itself would end up being an afterthought. Whether or not that is as satisfying to you and the group as a more traditional throwdown is a personal taste thing.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    globe of invulnerability just forces the players to close to within 10 feet of him, however that does put the entire party within Circle of Death range

    yeah it aint on his list, but his spell list is stupid, hes a wizard and can change them and if he knows he might be fighting he should have some better stuff

    thing is it's right after the atropol fight so the party will likely to already weakened unless you let them cheese the encounter by killing it from around the corner (there are a few different ways to do this that I have identified)

    My goal as a DM would optimally be if they drive him off or destroy him with only 1 or 2 people left standing, with at least 3 deaths. They're being rewarded with essentially All The Money and I plan to keep running after this. If I can Lava two of them and force 50k out of them for a true resurrection it'd be nice

    Knowing my players they'll pull something out of their ass and win with no losses though despite me playing Acererak like he was my own PC and I had literal months to prepare for a fight where I knew the capabilities of the opponents (he is one of the smartest entities in the multiverse after all)

    override367 on
  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    Yeah, this fight really comes down to if the lich or party knows the encounter is coming and how much they can prepare. The party is going to have to try to catch him with his pants down to have much of a hope in winning, while the lich can likely freestyle a bit more. If the lich has a chance in planning for the encounter, then the party would have to be extremely clever in their preparations or he'll just wipe the floor with them.

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    here's some food for thought

    if this is the end, why not leave the door open for failure?

    provides a hell of a jumping off point for the next campaign...

    i feel like The Final Encounter of all places is where the chips should come down; not saying you shouldn't root for them, but tilting the table in one direction or another doesn't feel right

    just my .02 though, i've not yet had the opportunity to run The Big Climax in a game before so this is all speaking from idle dreaming :P

    While that's a cool idea, and one I have entertained, my next campaign would not be a follow up on this one. If the party goes down, the bad guy wins and the world falls to evil. That's it. You lose. Game over. If it happens, it happens and we'll deal with it in the moment. But I'd like a somewhat even chance at the Hollywood ending, ya know?

    My next campaign will be a homebrewed world of my own. Not playing in the Forgotten Realms sandbox. So I wouldn't have the opportunity to have a new set of heroes fix the world conquered by a lich and his baby death God. I've got my own horrible things planned for them. :)

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    here's some food for thought

    if this is the end, why not leave the door open for failure?

    provides a hell of a jumping off point for the next campaign...

    i feel like The Final Encounter of all places is where the chips should come down; not saying you shouldn't root for them, but tilting the table in one direction or another doesn't feel right

    just my .02 though, i've not yet had the opportunity to run The Big Climax in a game before so this is all speaking from idle dreaming :P

    While that's a cool idea, and one I have entertained, my next campaign would not be a follow up on this one. If the party goes down, the bad guy wins and the world falls to evil. That's it. You lose. Game over. If it happens, it happens and we'll deal with it in the moment. But I'd like a somewhat even chance at the Hollywood ending, ya know?

    My next campaign will be a homebrewed world of my own. Not playing in the Forgotten Realms sandbox. So I wouldn't have the opportunity to have a new set of heroes fix the world conquered by a lich and his baby death God. I've got my own horrible things planned for them. :)

    Wait doesn't he only show up after they've broken his toys? He doesn't have another atropol so if they kill it and the soul monger but fall to him, they have saved the world - at that point he's just getting revenge (after all, beating a lich does nothing to kill it)

    override367 on
    Steelhawk
  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    I will note that Glyph of Warding can be for a gold cost be churned out multiple times, enough that even succeeding on the save will still turn the victim into chunky salsa (ignoring whatever shenanigans you can get up to with the heightened Spell Glyph options). I'm sure there's plenty of other ways you can figure out to allow a smart player to create a you lose, no save situation for an unprepared victim.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 7
    I am saved by my portrayal of Acererak as a mad lich who wanted to make a beatable dungeon that was very hard (going as far as forcing the players to get back on track when they get too distracted by showing up and firing a max level fireball at them while berating their slow progress)

    because really he could just cover every 5 feet of the place in a Death Symbol and fill the hallways with rocks and call it a day, so this personality quirk is the only "out" I have for "Why doesn't he just jump them while they're fighting his beholder"

    I've had him send them invoices for the material component costs of repairing stuff of his theyve destroyed

    override367 on
    Nips
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Caedwyr wrote: »
    Yeah, this fight really comes down to if the lich or party knows the encounter is coming and how much they can prepare. The party is going to have to try to catch him with his pants down to have much of a hope in winning, while the lich can likely freestyle a bit more. If the lich has a chance in planning for the encounter, then the party would have to be extremely clever in their preparations or he'll just wipe the floor with them.

    Would Acererak really be loaded for bear, though? I'm my game, everything the party has done so far is way beneath his notice. He's off in the planes somewhere doing whatever uber-lichy type things that he does, only coming to Toril when the baby monitor starts buzzing that the Atropal is dead. In that scenario he wouldn't have a spell list geared towards killing this particular party, would he? He would have a more work-a-day spell load out.

    The lich has no idea that this fight is coming as he is purely reacting to an alarm going off on another plane of existence. Acererak is the kind of lich that has multiple world ending plots running for 100's of years over dozens of worlds and planes. This is just one of them.

    SmrtnikNipsTynnan
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    here's some food for thought

    if this is the end, why not leave the door open for failure?

    provides a hell of a jumping off point for the next campaign...

    i feel like The Final Encounter of all places is where the chips should come down; not saying you shouldn't root for them, but tilting the table in one direction or another doesn't feel right

    just my .02 though, i've not yet had the opportunity to run The Big Climax in a game before so this is all speaking from idle dreaming :P

    While that's a cool idea, and one I have entertained, my next campaign would not be a follow up on this one. If the party goes down, the bad guy wins and the world falls to evil. That's it. You lose. Game over. If it happens, it happens and we'll deal with it in the moment. But I'd like a somewhat even chance at the Hollywood ending, ya know?

    My next campaign will be a homebrewed world of my own. Not playing in the Forgotten Realms sandbox. So I wouldn't have the opportunity to have a new set of heroes fix the world conquered by a lich and his baby death God. I've got my own horrible things planned for them. :)

    Wait doesn't he only show up after they've broken his toys? He doesn't have another atropol so if they kill it and the soul monger but fall to him, they have saved the world - at that point he's just getting revenge (after all, beating a lich does nothing to kill it)

    This is true. They could save the world, but all die in the attempt.

    That's a bittersweet reward to players that slogged through a year long campaign though.

  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    edited January 8
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Caedwyr wrote: »
    Yeah, this fight really comes down to if the lich or party knows the encounter is coming and how much they can prepare. The party is going to have to try to catch him with his pants down to have much of a hope in winning, while the lich can likely freestyle a bit more. If the lich has a chance in planning for the encounter, then the party would have to be extremely clever in their preparations or he'll just wipe the floor with them.

    Would Acererak really be loaded for bear, though? I'm my game, everything the party has done so far is way beneath his notice. He's off in the planes somewhere doing whatever uber-lichy type things that he does, only coming to Toril when the baby monitor starts buzzing that the Atropal is dead. In that scenario he wouldn't have a spell list geared towards killing this particular party, would he? He would have a more work-a-day spell load out.

    The lich has no idea that this fight is coming as he is purely reacting to an alarm going off on another plane of existence. Acererak is the kind of lich that has multiple world ending plots running for 100's of years over dozens of worlds and planes. This is just one of them.

    This is ideal. If they have been poking around in an area they are not supposed to be able to access without his knowledge, then they can prepare a killing ground for him. When they deliberately trigger an alarm, Acerrak'll come in confident that whatever it might be, it doesn't pose any threat and the party can proceed to 1-round him with the proper planning. In this case, I'd put the focus more on the party setting up whatever complicated killing mechanism and research into his weaknesses. Make the tension more about whether or not they properly anticipated all his defenses than about the actual combat. Alternatively, see if the party can figure out a way to weaken him down to a level where he won't just 1 shot them so you can have a more traditional boss fight.

    Caedwyr on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 8
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    here's some food for thought

    if this is the end, why not leave the door open for failure?

    provides a hell of a jumping off point for the next campaign...

    i feel like The Final Encounter of all places is where the chips should come down; not saying you shouldn't root for them, but tilting the table in one direction or another doesn't feel right

    just my .02 though, i've not yet had the opportunity to run The Big Climax in a game before so this is all speaking from idle dreaming :P

    While that's a cool idea, and one I have entertained, my next campaign would not be a follow up on this one. If the party goes down, the bad guy wins and the world falls to evil. That's it. You lose. Game over. If it happens, it happens and we'll deal with it in the moment. But I'd like a somewhat even chance at the Hollywood ending, ya know?

    My next campaign will be a homebrewed world of my own. Not playing in the Forgotten Realms sandbox. So I wouldn't have the opportunity to have a new set of heroes fix the world conquered by a lich and his baby death God. I've got my own horrible things planned for them. :)

    Wait doesn't he only show up after they've broken his toys? He doesn't have another atropol so if they kill it and the soul monger but fall to him, they have saved the world - at that point he's just getting revenge (after all, beating a lich does nothing to kill it)

    This is true. They could save the world, but all die in the attempt.

    That's a bittersweet reward to players that slogged through a year long campaign though.

    I mean, it depends on their level of renown, but the merchant princes have *more* than enough money to retrieve their bodies and give them a raising

    they would be world-renowned legendary heroes at that point

    edit: Ubtao himself might reward them, none of *his* followers did anything about the soul monger after all

    override367 on
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    here's some food for thought

    if this is the end, why not leave the door open for failure?

    provides a hell of a jumping off point for the next campaign...

    i feel like The Final Encounter of all places is where the chips should come down; not saying you shouldn't root for them, but tilting the table in one direction or another doesn't feel right

    just my .02 though, i've not yet had the opportunity to run The Big Climax in a game before so this is all speaking from idle dreaming :P

    While that's a cool idea, and one I have entertained, my next campaign would not be a follow up on this one. If the party goes down, the bad guy wins and the world falls to evil. That's it. You lose. Game over. If it happens, it happens and we'll deal with it in the moment. But I'd like a somewhat even chance at the Hollywood ending, ya know?

    My next campaign will be a homebrewed world of my own. Not playing in the Forgotten Realms sandbox. So I wouldn't have the opportunity to have a new set of heroes fix the world conquered by a lich and his baby death God. I've got my own horrible things planned for them. :)

    Wait doesn't he only show up after they've broken his toys? He doesn't have another atropol so if they kill it and the soul monger but fall to him, they have saved the world - at that point he's just getting revenge (after all, beating a lich does nothing to kill it)

    This is true. They could save the world, but all die in the attempt.

    That's a bittersweet reward to players that slogged through a year long campaign though.

    I mean, it depends on their level of renown, but the merchant princes have *more* than enough money to retrieve their bodies and give them a raising

    they would be world-renowned legendary heroes at that point

    edit: Ubtao himself might reward them, none of *his* followers did anything about the soul monger after all

    My characters are not so renowned as yours are, then. My group hasn't really had time to breathe and bask in the glory and fame of regular adventurers. They sailed into Chult at level 3, met with one merchant prince one time, did some dinosaur racing (which somehow involved murder of a rival jockey) and then proceeded to hump a jungle. They returned once, or maybe twice, but really didn't make a fuss or toot their own horns. They're just another random group of murder hobos, falling ass backwards into saving the world. Except they are not among the civilized lands of the Sword Coast or Dalelands or what have you. They're pretty much alone in the ass end of the jungle in the ass end of the continent. If they die, they die alone, and nobody would be coming to save them.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 8
    I keep forgetting that by raw the module only gives you what? 2 weeks?

    letting things breathe has given them time to become heroes by finding oralunga and working on behalf of the city to find and end the death curse

    not only that they escorted Mwaxanare to Nyanzaru and have many Omuan refugees and their descendants paying her homage

    OH and exposed a yuan-ti backed merchant prince, throwing off the political balance, and ending slavery

    override367 on
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    I didn't enforce the time constraints. My party thoroughly explored the jungle. I wanted to hit many of the very cool things in Chult before moving on to Omu and the Tomb. They slew dragons, talked down a medusa, fought plenty of dinosaurs, got stoned on crazy jungle drugs while drifting down a river with another adventuring party, flung an entire goblin village through the jungle, defended Camp Vengeance from an undead horde, then freed Camp Vengeance from its inept leadership, threw a rock and roll party for the flaming fist garrison while a spy robbed the garrison commander, killed a hag in Mbala, got stoned again with the Oracle in Oralunga (where they learned all about Acererak's plan), found Mwaxanare made woman out of her and then got some sweet wings from her protectors.

    My group did plenty and had plenty of time to do it in. They just didn't do it where the bards would sing of their heroics. :)

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  • WACriminalWACriminal Dying Is Easy, Young Man Living Is HarderRegistered User regular
    We're doing a character creation session on Saturday. My group's expressed character plans so far, along with options I plan to suggest as fitting their intentions:

    #1: "Can I play a succubus?" / "I wanna be like Bo from Lost Girl." / "I'm kinda thinking like a rogue."
    I pulled the succubus race from here and trimmed it down to a lower power level. Added the humanoid creature type, removed flight, limited the charm ability to once/long rest, and limited telepathy to "creatures currently charmed by you". Planning to offer flight/improved charm/improved telepathy as racial feats somewhere north of level 4. This player hasn't played before, so I'll probably pick out 3 or 4 roguish archetypes to suggest as options based on what she said. I'm concerned I may have trimmed too much power off of her. The Charm ability definitely needs to be once/long rest because otherwise, in an urban setting, it would be bonkers. But I might bump it up to +2 CHA, or +1 CHA +1 DEX.

    #2: "That hippo guy you showed us looks cool." / "I've never been a tank before, that could be fun." / "Or maybe a huge bear named Bearnie Sanders?"
    Either the Giff or Ursine races from Old Gus. Probably going to suggest a few Barbarian options like The Path of Powder or The Path of the Tyrant, or some interesting Paladin oaths like Oath of the Common Man or Oath of Free Commerce.

    #3: "I wanna be a guy with a few spells and an axe. Or two axes? Like tomahawk-style axes, something small." / "Completely debuff-focused magic. Like a Loki type of guy, maybe, but all themed around debuffs and controlling the battlefield like that."
    I'm torn a few directions on this. The easiest option would be to point him in the direction of Fighter:Eldritch Knight, or even just any normal subclass with the Magic Initiate feat (I'm giving everyone a free feat at level 1) since he says he doesn't need a lot of spells, just some. But his character concept also seems like it would fit really well with a Pact of the Blade Warlock, and I've got a whole COLLECTION of great patrons I could offer him. There's also the Bladesinger Wizard from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, which could easily fit his plans (and I'm low-key hoping someone goes Wizard so I can offer homebrew/3PP spellbooks as loot for them). That's not even getting into Bards, of course.

    For race, I feel like he'll probably end up going with something like an Elf, Genasi, or Tiefling. Something dextrous, given how he's planning to use small axes instead of like a fuck-off huge battleaxe.

    #4: This guy is settled on a Dragonborn Draconic Sorcerer, with his particular type of dragon-blood being Turtle Dragon. We're doing some cosmetic stuff like "Firebolt" is actually "Steam Blast" (still Fire damage). He said he might be interested in trading out the 14th-level wings for 14th-level swim + waterbreathing, but who knows if this campaign will ever make it to 14th level.

    #5: Last guy hasn't identified any particular character ideas yet, but he's a way more experienced player than I am, so I'm not worried about him needing suggestions.

  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Is Tiefling not good enough for player 1? Sexy Tiefling is kind of the same thing, IMO

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    And a Tiefling does not have to present as sexy horned beast person with a whippy tail, either.

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  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    Fry wrote: »
    Is Tiefling not good enough for player 1? Sexy Tiefling is kind of the same thing, IMO

    Since you said they haven't played before I think I would stay away from homebrew races. Handing a book to someone and saying your race is on page XX is a lot easier than saying, "go to this webpage but ignore the level 4 power and swap it out for...."

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  • WACriminalWACriminal Dying Is Easy, Young Man Living Is HarderRegistered User regular
    edited January 8
    Ken O wrote: »
    Fry wrote: »
    Is Tiefling not good enough for player 1? Sexy Tiefling is kind of the same thing, IMO

    Since you said they haven't played before I think I would stay away from homebrew races. Handing a book to someone and saying your race is on page XX is a lot easier than saying, "go to this webpage but ignore the level 4 power and swap it out for...."

    I printed out a page with JUST the race stats/traits for her, including the modifications, for exactly that reason. I thought about Tiefling, but since this is her first character, I wanted to try to get as close to what she was asking as possible.

    In general, I'll be printing out/digitally sharing specific pages of stuff as much as possible, rather than handing people entire books. That's why I've been bugging people for their character ideas in advance. Also players #4 and #5 are pretty experienced and good about helping out with this kind of thing, so there should be enough guidance available at the table to keep things from getting bogged down.

    WACriminal on
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  • webguy20webguy20 I Spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    For axe dude a reflavored battle master might work, with debuff on hit. There is a 3rd party supplement that greatly expands maneuvers too, so that could be fun to pull from.

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  • doomybeardoomybear Hi People Registered User regular
    There's also that rune knight thingy from the unearthed arcana thingy from a little while back

    Seemed a bit op but it looked fun

    what a happy day it is
    WACriminal
  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    Had an amazing session last night.

    We picked up where we left off just starting a huge combat. My bard started off tossing a big AOE attack into the bad guys. Currently his spell save is 18, I watched my GM roll 20, 21, 19, 11, and 20. It was still damage but seeing so many amazing saves took a bit of wind out of my sails. The next round the enemy general strafes the battlefield on his dragon and I fail a check against paralyzing breath. Then a cleric hits the same area with an AOE that will damage at the start of everyone's turn. One of the other characters is paralyzed too. Things appear pretty bleak.

    The next round I manage to pull out of the paralyze effect. The stored Hypnotic Pattern spell in my Shield Guardian goes off. It locks down a good number of the minions and brings the dragon to the ground. Things are starting to look a little better.

    Next round the grounded general and dragon are beating on the party. The rest of the army (a gorgon, giant statue, cleric, lots of minions, etc) are also marching forward. My bard really hates the general and I really, really want to hit him with a big spell. But I know the rest of the group is really hurt and there are a lot of baddies closing in. I use Mantle of Inspiration, yelling to the group to take the General and I'll handle the rest. I cast Synaptic Static right in the middle of the enemy army and clear a bunch of it.

    As I'm preparing for my next turn the rest of the group takes out the dragon and gets a few good hits on the general. Our cleric throws out a big heal that makes sure all of our characters stay in the fight. On the monk's turn he manages to land a stunning strike on the general. I'm psyched, I know the fight is almost over know and the rest of my group has no idea.

    On my turn I casually walk close to the general, sneer, and then toss out a quip before blasting him with Disintegrate for 84 damage. He's stunned, he automatically fails the Dex save. With the dragon dead and the general a mound of dust the rest of the fight wraps up pretty quickly.

    The encounter was pretty much are entire session but it was so fun. It was tense at the start and we came pretty close to having characters drop before the temp hit points and heals started going around.

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  • WACriminalWACriminal Dying Is Easy, Young Man Living Is HarderRegistered User regular
    I decided to lean all the way into it for my campaign "title screen".
    reca5s63a09z.png

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    WACriminal wrote: »
    I decided to lean all the way into it for my campaign "title screen".
    reca5s63a09z.png

    So your hanging around with your pals one day...

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  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Our party had a showdown with the remaining four Red Wizards in front of the Tomb, and even after our sneak attack, there were too many fireballs and such that made short work of our team. Our ranger lay dead, and only him making two consecutive 20 death saves kept the enemies busy enough for me to escape alive. The rest had fled earlier. Each of us independently chose the same direction to flee in, and we managed to rest and come back the next morning, this time with a significant advantage, as most of the enemy party had died as well. The only consolation is that the most important member of the party (the pet anklyosaur) made it out alive.

    RIP Teidi, he died as he lived, hugging his animals.

    ElvenshaedoomybeardavidsdurionsKadokenRhesus Positiveoverride367Tynnan
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