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

1262729313234

Posts

  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Folks, I'm going to solicit for DMing advice. I'm musing about the past session we had, and while they had fun, there was definitely room for improvement on my end. I want to ask if the ff. things I think are issues are a) definitely issues, and what to do about it, or b) me overthinking things:

    - I mapped the mansion such that, of the three floors, the hostages are in the kitchen (ground floor), and the treasure room is in the master's bedroom (2nd floor). The boss, an ogre, is in the third floor. What the party did was headed straight for the hostages and bug out (So basically they got no GP aside from weapons their enemies dropped). I need to be more flexible in giving out treasure, because I totally did not anticipate them not exploring the mansion full of murder cultists.
    - So I had to make the ogre jump out of the third floor outside, while they're in the main hall. But turns out, they are combat-averse. Which is a good thing, in one aspect - they know the mission objective for the scenario, and are sticking to it ("Rescue the hostages before the murder cultists kill them"), but it feels like if they're not up against mooks, they're planning to escape. This might have been partly because the spellcasters blew their load in the FIRST encounter. It's also maybe because:
    - There's possibly a mismatch in how I describe monsters and how they interpret the description, in such a way that makes monsters scarier/more powerful than they seem. So far there's only one glaring mistake between my description and what they heard (room layout), but for example: a) I described the common zombie as "Easily handled by the regular adventure on its own, but gets dangerous when in packs". After not killing a zombie (out of four) in three hits, they decided not to continue combat, and just avoid them altogether. The ogre I previously mentioned? They only know of it by its roars, whine, and footsteps from a distance. They only managed to lay eyes on it when they were hightailing it out of the mansion - they do not want to die. Which really is normal, when you think about it, but how do I goad them into more fights without railroading them into one?
    - I did not give the Bard a coup-de-grace against a grunt, even though she has the grunt totally fooled by her boss-lady disguise and he had his back turned, totally off guard. What're the common rules for handling insta-kills? (My reasoning at the time was the other guys were fighting (and having a hard time) already against three of the grunts, and it'll look bad for them when the lower leveled Bard auto-kills one of those, but as I understand it now, it's flawed)
    - I think I shouldn't have made them roll to see if they make it back out of the sewers (they were guided into the lair by a baddie, and it took a few hours travel time). When they failed the roll (even with high bonuses), I had to wing a new encounter that ended in them OWING gold just to get home, which feels a bit harsh.
    - One of the spellcasters, the Artificer, was having a hard time, I feel. I'm not sure if I'm giving her enough moments to shine, but it could be because she's still level 1, and as mentioned, she used up all her spells in the first encounter.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Folks, I'm going to solicit for DMing advice. I'm musing about the past session we had, and while they had fun, there was definitely room for improvement on my end. I want to ask if the ff. things I think are issues are a) definitely issues, and what to do about it, or b) me overthinking things:

    - I mapped the mansion such that, of the three floors, the hostages are in the kitchen (ground floor), and the treasure room is in the master's bedroom (2nd floor). The boss, an ogre, is in the third floor. What the party did was headed straight for the hostages and bug out (So basically they got no GP aside from weapons their enemies dropped). I need to be more flexible in giving out treasure, because I totally did not anticipate them not exploring the mansion full of murder cultists.
    - So I had to make the ogre jump out of the third floor outside, while they're in the main hall. But turns out, they are combat-averse. Which is a good thing, in one aspect - they know the mission objective for the scenario, and are sticking to it ("Rescue the hostages before the murder cultists kill them"), but it feels like if they're not up against mooks, they're planning to escape. This might have been partly because the spellcasters blew their load in the FIRST encounter. It's also maybe because:
    - There's possibly a mismatch in how I describe monsters and how they interpret the description, in such a way that makes monsters scarier/more powerful than they seem. So far there's only one glaring mistake between my description and what they heard (room layout), but for example: a) I described the common zombie as "Easily handled by the regular adventure on its own, but gets dangerous when in packs". After not killing a zombie (out of four) in three hits, they decided not to continue combat, and just avoid them altogether. The ogre I previously mentioned? They only know of it by its roars, whine, and footsteps from a distance. They only managed to lay eyes on it when they were hightailing it out of the mansion - they do not want to die. Which really is normal, when you think about it, but how do I goad them into more fights without railroading them into one?
    - I did not give the Bard a coup-de-grace against a grunt, even though she has the grunt totally fooled by her boss-lady disguise and he had his back turned, totally off guard. What're the common rules for handling insta-kills? (My reasoning at the time was the other guys were fighting (and having a hard time) already against three of the grunts, and it'll look bad for them when the lower leveled Bard auto-kills one of those, but as I understand it now, it's flawed)
    - I think I shouldn't have made them roll to see if they make it back out of the sewers (they were guided into the lair by a baddie, and it took a few hours travel time). When they failed the roll (even with high bonuses), I had to wing a new encounter that ended in them OWING gold just to get home, which feels a bit harsh.
    - One of the spellcasters, the Artificer, was having a hard time, I feel. I'm not sure if I'm giving her enough moments to shine, but it could be because she's still level 1, and as mentioned, she used up all her spells in the first encounter.

    Personally I'd have a quick chat to explain that D&D is a game about combat, and trying to avoid combat as a matter of course isn't really what the game is made for. I'd also make sure to explain that my job is to make combat encounters challenging and fun to be in, and I'm generally a fan of the PCs and want them to succeed.

    In my experience, a lot of these kind of narrative disconnects - where the players don't necessarily realize that their PCs are the main characters - can be helped tremendously by just getting out of character and saying something like, "This encounter is a boss fight, but you can handle it. You don't need to run away. Your characters would be able to see that they have a chance at winning this."

    Now for the particular mansion that you described, I would have put the hostages and treasure behind the boss if I really wanted the PCs to meet that boss. Putting the ogre up and away from all of their objectives kind of signals that it should be avoided. If this were my game I'd just let them escape, and turn that ogre into a bigger villain for a later time. For the zombie issue, this is another time to pause and just tell the players "your characters can see that these zombies are dangerous, but they can be handled. Given their skills, your characters wouldn't really be scared enough to run away."

    For the bard situation, 5E doesn't have a coup de grace mechanic. It was sort of rolled into the unconscious condition. I'd give the Bard advantage on their attack, but there's no reason in the narrative or the rules to make it an instant kill.

    And running out of spells sucks, yeah. It's kind of just a fact of life at low levels. That's why everyone has cantrips. But my personal house-rule is that everyone has the opportunity to completely rebuild their character after their first level-up, with a total retcon as though that was their character the whole time. I do this because the opportunity to make a new character can be kind of rare, and sometimes your concept doesn't really work out in play like you hoped it would, and it sucks to be stuck with something that you aren't really enjoying.

    AldoSmrtnikSteelhawkRhesus Positive
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Level 1 is harsh, you can hardly do anything in combat, it is difficult to balance it out against all the effort people put in their characters. It's like you ask them to think of a hero, but then make them scoop poop all day.

    Wrt: avoiding combat: that sounds exciting! That's a lot of disgruntled mooks plotting against them.

    Wrt: conveying difficulty of encounters. Maybe they aren't familiar with dnd and with their powers. Have you considered a few training matches (a Grand Tournament, perhaps, for non-lethal combat)

    override367SmrtnikSteelhawkIvelliusElvenshae
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    I got thrown some loops yesterday, had a player out so we did some sidequests. Players went to ask advice of an ancient green dragon, they were told to bring her a valuable offering, and she could put her massive spy network and 5 crystal balls to use for them - that she had long ago realized that being an information broker for powerful humanoids was far less work than going out and razing villages and attacking kingdoms. Furthermore, the only thing the local governments want to keep adventurers off her back is that she keeps young and prideful dragons from setting up shop nearby - which she's happy to do as it's a good bit of sport to beat up an adult red or a young black when they show up.

    Since this is exandria, I made this dragon the daughter of the green from Critical Role, she's still an ancient, but not as powerful as Raishan was (that dragon had I believe 1000 hitpoints and 2 9th level spell slots), regardless - 8th level party, fighting isn't an option. On the approach her great power was demonstrated as a cadre of hill giants tried to rob her larders and the party witnessed her kill 3 giants dead with one breath - message received, this isn't a combat encounter

    Upon arrival in her lair, she resumed her human form, politely conversing with them while a cadre of lizardman slaves and human servants dressed her, applied makeup, and combed her hair. Paladin demands to know why she's allowed to have slaves, to which she replies that every one of them made an agreement to hand their lives over to her, or their parents did - they have a better life serving her than they would in some mud covered village (a glance around the ancient elven temple she made her home, restored to opulance, made this point difficult to argue)

    It comes to the point where she asks what they've brought her in order to dare venture into her home unscathed, and before Paladin can say "We've brought you with wand of lightning bolts as an offering for your horde", the sorceress says "I'm going to undo the ties and let my clothes fall to the floor, and go prostrate, "I offer myself to you, great Varshan, the killing wind", in draconic"

    ..... *dm panic mode engages, fucking green dragons LOVE collecting people*
    okay make a charisma check
    sorceress: "Natural 20"

    Party rogue: "I'm picking up all her stuff before the dragon thinks that stuff is hers too!"
    Me: "With some difficulty you gather up your hoardsperson's living loot satchel, it seems keen on scooting off to a large chamber you suspect is where the dragon's horde is, by the number of lizardmen guarding the entrance"
    Varshan the dragon: "This is unexpected, you want to be a common house slave?"
    Sorceress: "We ran into another dragon, Clauth"
    (I have the dragon scowl at the mention of the name)
    Sorceress: "He has a sorceress as his minion, she is more powerful than me, and appears to have access to fine luxuries. She is not his prisoner, but his eyes and ears in places he cannot otherwise see. I wan't to be that for you, great Varshan."
    Sorceress, out of game, to me: "Do I think this dragon is more powerful than the arcanaloth I've already sworn my service to
    Me, blinking: "Uh.... yes. Very much so"
    Sorceress, out of game: "Good"
    Varshan: "Well you're pretty but I hesitate to accept ownership of one so obviously attached to the kingdom, even if this offer is tempting, what can you do"
    Sorceress: "I cast blight, empowered and subtle, on one of the servants that was doing her hair"
    Varshan: "Not bad"
    Sorceress: "Come to your bed chambers and I'll show you more"
    Well, sure, you rolled a natural 20, you fuck the dragon. Your arm is dislocated, but otherwise you have a good time. She has servants brought in who have displeased her and has you kill them with your spells as entertainment every time the two of you take a break during the night, you're out of spells, injured, and exhausted because she didn't let you sleep.
    Sorceress, out of game: "Before that, I want to subtle message to the party that while I have the dragon engaged, go use her scrying orbs to find the eyes of the allfather and look through her notes, stay away from her horde!"

    I ended up allowing that. All they had to do was give the fucking wand to the dragon! I had the dragon bestow a magical tattoo of ownership on sorceress, giving the dragon the ability to communicate with her, and command her to do things. Lets see if she regrets this next week when she's tasked with killing a noble in the city that is unhappy with the dragon's presence so close to a big city in Tal'dorei.

    I gotta say, while I had expected someone might try to sleep with the dragon after I described her (but definitely rogue, that's usually her deal), and given how they were trying to impress her, I had not in a million years expected a party member to offer themselves to the dragon's service. and I definitely need to think of the implications, this character has a pact with an arcanloth (not a full on warlock/soul pact, but a deal), and this deal puts her in conflict with that, this should be fun

    I got two weeks to figure that out

    This campaign has about 2 months left in it and I'm both frustrated and a little proud that the party has checked off the "someone fucks a dragon" box

    override367 on
    webguy20SteelhawkAldoDarkPrimusSmrtnikMoridin889IvelliusWearingglassesElvenshaeRhesus PositiveMazzyxXagarGreen
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    Folks, I'm going to solicit for DMing advice. I'm musing about the past session we had, and while they had fun, there was definitely room for improvement on my end. I want to ask if the ff. things I think are issues are a) definitely issues, and what to do about it, or b) me overthinking things:

    - I mapped the mansion such that, of the three floors, the hostages are in the kitchen (ground floor), and the treasure room is in the master's bedroom (2nd floor). The boss, an ogre, is in the third floor. What the party did was headed straight for the hostages and bug out (So basically they got no GP aside from weapons their enemies dropped). I need to be more flexible in giving out treasure, because I totally did not anticipate them not exploring the mansion full of murder cultists.
    - So I had to make the ogre jump out of the third floor outside, while they're in the main hall. But turns out, they are combat-averse. Which is a good thing, in one aspect - they know the mission objective for the scenario, and are sticking to it ("Rescue the hostages before the murder cultists kill them"), but it feels like if they're not up against mooks, they're planning to escape. This might have been partly because the spellcasters blew their load in the FIRST encounter. It's also maybe because:
    - There's possibly a mismatch in how I describe monsters and how they interpret the description, in such a way that makes monsters scarier/more powerful than they seem. So far there's only one glaring mistake between my description and what they heard (room layout), but for example: a) I described the common zombie as "Easily handled by the regular adventure on its own, but gets dangerous when in packs". After not killing a zombie (out of four) in three hits, they decided not to continue combat, and just avoid them altogether. The ogre I previously mentioned? They only know of it by its roars, whine, and footsteps from a distance. They only managed to lay eyes on it when they were hightailing it out of the mansion - they do not want to die. Which really is normal, when you think about it, but how do I goad them into more fights without railroading them into one?
    - I did not give the Bard a coup-de-grace against a grunt, even though she has the grunt totally fooled by her boss-lady disguise and he had his back turned, totally off guard. What're the common rules for handling insta-kills? (My reasoning at the time was the other guys were fighting (and having a hard time) already against three of the grunts, and it'll look bad for them when the lower leveled Bard auto-kills one of those, but as I understand it now, it's flawed)
    - I think I shouldn't have made them roll to see if they make it back out of the sewers (they were guided into the lair by a baddie, and it took a few hours travel time). When they failed the roll (even with high bonuses), I had to wing a new encounter that ended in them OWING gold just to get home, which feels a bit harsh.
    - One of the spellcasters, the Artificer, was having a hard time, I feel. I'm not sure if I'm giving her enough moments to shine, but it could be because she's still level 1, and as mentioned, she used up all her spells in the first encounter.

    I'd probably give bard an automatic crit, or something. If the mook has less than 10 hitpoints, I'd probably just have the attack down them but not kill them, so they'd have to spend more time to finish them off - they aren't an assassin after all

    for low level parties being risk averse is a good thing, something I've taken to doing with new campaigns, since as a group we've all collectively decided we really like coming up with detailed backstories for new characters and low level combat involves high risk of instant death - from levels 1 to 5, you won't run into encounters that result in character death, and the instant death rules are off the table (unless someone does something stupid). For example last time I ran phandelvar, they were TPK'd by the goblins, and all of them awoke as bound prisoners in rags with another NPC prisoner in a cave, and had to stage a break once the goblins got to arguing with each other. This meta knowledge allows them to play their characters as the cocksure adventurers they typically are without the players stressing about it - this isn't a good idea for every table however, it's just what we prefer

    Artificers are just... really bad at first level, until artificer reaches 3rd level, they're going to be awful. That's just how it is. At third level however, whoa boy, that's going to be a mega power spike

    override367 on
  • webguy20webguy20 I Spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I got thrown some loops yesterday, had a player out so we did some sidequests. Players went to ask advice of an ancient green dragon, they were told to bring her a valuable offering, and she could put her massive spy network and 5 crystal balls to use for them - that she had long ago realized that being an information broker for powerful humanoids was far less work than going out and razing villages and attacking kingdoms. Furthermore, the only thing the local governments want to keep adventurers off her back is that she keeps young and prideful dragons from setting up shop nearby - which she's happy to do as it's a good bit of sport to beat up an adult red or a young black when they show up.

    Since this is exandria, I made this dragon the daughter of the green from Critical Role, she's still an ancient, but not as powerful as Raishan was (that dragon had I believe 1000 hitpoints and 2 9th level spell slots), regardless - 8th level party, fighting isn't an option. On the approach her great power was demonstrated as a cadre of hill giants tried to rob her larders and the party witnessed her kill 3 giants dead with one breath - message received, this isn't a combat encounter

    Upon arrival in her lair, she resumed her human form, politely conversing with them while a cadre of lizardman slaves and human servants dressed her, applied makeup, and combed her hair. Paladin demands to know why she's allowed to have slaves, to which she replies that every one of them made an agreement to hand their lives over to her, or their parents did - they have a better life serving her than they would in some mud covered village (a glance around the ancient elven temple she made her home, restored to opulance, made this point difficult to argue)

    It comes to the point where she asks what they've brought her in order to dare venture into her home unscathed, and before Paladin can say "We've brought you with wand of lightning bolts as an offering for your horde", the sorceress says "I'm going to undo the ties and let my clothes fall to the floor, and go prostrate, "I offer myself to you, great Varshan, the killing wind", in draconic"

    ..... *dm panic mode engages, fucking green dragons LOVE collecting people*
    okay make a charisma check
    sorceress: "Natural 20"

    Party rogue: "I'm picking up all her stuff before the dragon thinks that stuff is hers too!"
    Me: "With some difficulty you gather up your hoardsperson's living loot satchel, it seems keen on scooting off to a large chamber you suspect is where the dragon's horde is, by the number of lizardmen guarding the entrance"
    Dragon: "This is unexpected, you want to be a common house slave?"
    Sorceress: "We ran into another dragon, Clauth"
    (I have the dragon scowl at the mention of the name)
    Sorceress: "He has a sorceress as his minion, she is more powerful than me, and appears to have access to fine luxuries. She is not his prisoner, but his eyes and ears in places he cannot otherwise see. I wan't to be that for you, great Varshan."
    Sorceress, out of game, to me: "Do I think this dragon is more powerful than the arcanaloth I've already sworn my service to
    Me, blinking: "Uh.... yes. Very much so"
    Sorceress, out of game: "Good"
    Varshan: "Well you're pretty but I hesitate to accept ownership of one so obviously attached to the kingdom, even if this offer is tempting, what can you do"
    Sorceress: "I cast blight, empowered and subtle, on one of the servants that was doing her hair"
    Varshan: "Not bad"
    Sorceress: "Come to your bed chambers and I'll show you more"
    Well, sure, you rolled a natural 20, you fuck the dragon. Your arm is dislocated, but otherwise you have a good time. She has servants brought in who have displeased her and has you kill them with your spells as entertainment every time the two of you take a break during the night, you're out of spells, injured, and exhausted because she didn't let you sleep.
    Sorceress, out of game: "Before that, I want to subtle message to the party that while I have the dragon engaged, go use her scrying orbs to find the eyes of the allfather and look through her notes, stay away from her horde!"

    I ended up allowing that. All they had to do was give the fucking wand to the dragon! I had the dragon bestow a magical tattoo of ownership on sorceress, giving the dragon the ability to communicate with her, and command her to do things. Lets see if she regrets this next week when she's tasked with killing a noble in the city that is unhappy with the dragon's presence so close to a big city in Tal'dorei.

    I gotta say, while I had expected someone might try to sleep with the dragon after I described her (but definitely rogue, that's usually her deal), and given how they were trying to impress her, I had not in a million years expected a party member to offer themselves to the dragon's service. and I definitely need to think of the implications, this character has a pact with an arcanloth (not a full on warlock/soul pact, but a deal), and this deal puts her in conflict with that, this should be fun

    I got two weeks to figure that out

    This campaign has about 2 months left in it and I'm both frustrated and a little proud that the party has checked off the "someone fucks a dragon" box

    There's always someone in each group who really loves the idea of being enslaved to a powerful evil being. We had a cleric a few campaigns ago end up getting tied up with Asmodeus and becoming a scion. Her character ended up dying (she wasn't enjoying being a cleric) and that character ended up being an avatar of Asmodeus at the final climactic battle and it was super cool.

    It sounds like it went well though, that kind of scene can be very fraught, think of it as a challenge to incorporate it into the campaign. :D

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I’d just play to them. Make it a bit of a horror game.

    They’re being hunted by beasts as they traverse the tunnels of Nuug!

    Their mission is to save the puppy, but doing so will awaken the mummies they passed on the way in!

    Suddenly ninjas! They’ve got to escape, but they’ll have to fight their way out!

    Ooze to the left, orcs to the right. Let them decide who’d be easier to sneak passed. But if they end up altering them and running back they’re just going to run into the other baddies.

    The cure for the town’s sickness is behind the terrible pit dragon, but they’ve got time to discuss how they’re going to fight it, as it and the arena of battle are visible from their vantage point.

    I’d go so far as to offer the same amount of experience for making allies with the goblin tribe as killing them all, and letting them choose what to try. The sessions will at least go quicker because combat can get pretty slow in D&D.

    I would try throwing a few enemies at them that can speak, and call them out on their backstories, failings, whatever. Call the dwarf a coward, call the elf a smelly uncultured swine and they might just come out swinging.

    IvelliusElvenshae
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    I got thrown some loops yesterday, had a player out so we did some sidequests. Players went to ask advice of an ancient green dragon, they were told to bring her a valuable offering, and she could put her massive spy network and 5 crystal balls to use for them - that she had long ago realized that being an information broker for powerful humanoids was far less work than going out and razing villages and attacking kingdoms. Furthermore, the only thing the local governments want to keep adventurers off her back is that she keeps young and prideful dragons from setting up shop nearby - which she's happy to do as it's a good bit of sport to beat up an adult red or a young black when they show up.

    Since this is exandria, I made this dragon the daughter of the green from Critical Role, she's still an ancient, but not as powerful as Raishan was (that dragon had I believe 1000 hitpoints and 2 9th level spell slots), regardless - 8th level party, fighting isn't an option. On the approach her great power was demonstrated as a cadre of hill giants tried to rob her larders and the party witnessed her kill 3 giants dead with one breath - message received, this isn't a combat encounter

    Upon arrival in her lair, she resumed her human form, politely conversing with them while a cadre of lizardman slaves and human servants dressed her, applied makeup, and combed her hair. Paladin demands to know why she's allowed to have slaves, to which she replies that every one of them made an agreement to hand their lives over to her, or their parents did - they have a better life serving her than they would in some mud covered village (a glance around the ancient elven temple she made her home, restored to opulance, made this point difficult to argue)

    It comes to the point where she asks what they've brought her in order to dare venture into her home unscathed, and before Paladin can say "We've brought you with wand of lightning bolts as an offering for your horde", the sorceress says "I'm going to undo the ties and let my clothes fall to the floor, and go prostrate, "I offer myself to you, great Varshan, the killing wind", in draconic"

    ..... *dm panic mode engages, fucking green dragons LOVE collecting people*
    okay make a charisma check
    sorceress: "Natural 20"

    Party rogue: "I'm picking up all her stuff before the dragon thinks that stuff is hers too!"
    Me: "With some difficulty you gather up your hoardsperson's living loot satchel, it seems keen on scooting off to a large chamber you suspect is where the dragon's horde is, by the number of lizardmen guarding the entrance"
    Dragon: "This is unexpected, you want to be a common house slave?"
    Sorceress: "We ran into another dragon, Clauth"
    (I have the dragon scowl at the mention of the name)
    Sorceress: "He has a sorceress as his minion, she is more powerful than me, and appears to have access to fine luxuries. She is not his prisoner, but his eyes and ears in places he cannot otherwise see. I wan't to be that for you, great Varshan."
    Sorceress, out of game, to me: "Do I think this dragon is more powerful than the arcanaloth I've already sworn my service to
    Me, blinking: "Uh.... yes. Very much so"
    Sorceress, out of game: "Good"
    Varshan: "Well you're pretty but I hesitate to accept ownership of one so obviously attached to the kingdom, even if this offer is tempting, what can you do"
    Sorceress: "I cast blight, empowered and subtle, on one of the servants that was doing her hair"
    Varshan: "Not bad"
    Sorceress: "Come to your bed chambers and I'll show you more"
    Well, sure, you rolled a natural 20, you fuck the dragon. Your arm is dislocated, but otherwise you have a good time. She has servants brought in who have displeased her and has you kill them with your spells as entertainment every time the two of you take a break during the night, you're out of spells, injured, and exhausted because she didn't let you sleep.
    Sorceress, out of game: "Before that, I want to subtle message to the party that while I have the dragon engaged, go use her scrying orbs to find the eyes of the allfather and look through her notes, stay away from her horde!"

    I ended up allowing that. All they had to do was give the fucking wand to the dragon! I had the dragon bestow a magical tattoo of ownership on sorceress, giving the dragon the ability to communicate with her, and command her to do things. Lets see if she regrets this next week when she's tasked with killing a noble in the city that is unhappy with the dragon's presence so close to a big city in Tal'dorei.

    I gotta say, while I had expected someone might try to sleep with the dragon after I described her (but definitely rogue, that's usually her deal), and given how they were trying to impress her, I had not in a million years expected a party member to offer themselves to the dragon's service. and I definitely need to think of the implications, this character has a pact with an arcanloth (not a full on warlock/soul pact, but a deal), and this deal puts her in conflict with that, this should be fun

    I got two weeks to figure that out

    This campaign has about 2 months left in it and I'm both frustrated and a little proud that the party has checked off the "someone fucks a dragon" box

    There's always someone in each group who really loves the idea of being enslaved to a powerful evil being. We had a cleric a few campaigns ago end up getting tied up with Asmodeus and becoming a scion. Her character ended up dying (she wasn't enjoying being a cleric) and that character ended up being an avatar of Asmodeus at the final climactic battle and it was super cool.

    It sounds like it went well though, that kind of scene can be very fraught, think of it as a challenge to incorporate it into the campaign. :D

    Yeah, that's why they choose to play a Warlock. :rotate:

    dt3GeqU.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
    Glalwebguy20IvelliusElvenshaeGreen
  • evilthecatevilthecat Registered User regular
    Folks, I'm going to solicit for DMing advice. I'm musing about the past session we had, and while they had fun, there was definitely room for improvement on my end. I want to ask if the ff. things I think are issues are a) definitely issues, and what to do about it, or b) me overthinking things:

    - I mapped the mansion such that, of the three floors, the hostages are in the kitchen (ground floor), and the treasure room is in the master's bedroom (2nd floor). The boss, an ogre, is in the third floor. What the party did was headed straight for the hostages and bug out (So basically they got no GP aside from weapons their enemies dropped). I need to be more flexible in giving out treasure, because I totally did not anticipate them not exploring the mansion full of murder cultists.
    - So I had to make the ogre jump out of the third floor outside, while they're in the main hall. But turns out, they are combat-averse. Which is a good thing, in one aspect - they know the mission objective for the scenario, and are sticking to it ("Rescue the hostages before the murder cultists kill them"), but it feels like if they're not up against mooks, they're planning to escape. This might have been partly because the spellcasters blew their load in the FIRST encounter. It's also maybe because:
    - There's possibly a mismatch in how I describe monsters and how they interpret the description, in such a way that makes monsters scarier/more powerful than they seem. So far there's only one glaring mistake between my description and what they heard (room layout), but for example: a) I described the common zombie as "Easily handled by the regular adventure on its own, but gets dangerous when in packs". After not killing a zombie (out of four) in three hits, they decided not to continue combat, and just avoid them altogether. The ogre I previously mentioned? They only know of it by its roars, whine, and footsteps from a distance. They only managed to lay eyes on it when they were hightailing it out of the mansion - they do not want to die. Which really is normal, when you think about it, but how do I goad them into more fights without railroading them into one?
    - I did not give the Bard a coup-de-grace against a grunt, even though she has the grunt totally fooled by her boss-lady disguise and he had his back turned, totally off guard. What're the common rules for handling insta-kills? (My reasoning at the time was the other guys were fighting (and having a hard time) already against three of the grunts, and it'll look bad for them when the lower leveled Bard auto-kills one of those, but as I understand it now, it's flawed)
    - I think I shouldn't have made them roll to see if they make it back out of the sewers (they were guided into the lair by a baddie, and it took a few hours travel time). When they failed the roll (even with high bonuses), I had to wing a new encounter that ended in them OWING gold just to get home, which feels a bit harsh.
    - One of the spellcasters, the Artificer, was having a hard time, I feel. I'm not sure if I'm giving her enough moments to shine, but it could be because she's still level 1, and as mentioned, she used up all her spells in the first encounter.

    I think you might be overthinking it.
    You could just ask them what their stance on combat is and see where that takes you.
    Could be they want a more social talky game and you want stuff to die, in which case you need to find a different group.
    Not fighting the big boss but completing the main objective feels smart to me. Yeah the boss might have had some nice loot stashed away. But they were happy with the hostages. You can amp it up from here: the mayor is grateful but knows that the ogre will strike again soon; would they kill or drive him off for a large pile of gold?

    regarding insta kills:
    I allow them in my game.
    Or rather: you can instakill anyone that isn't ostensibly prepared for a fight.
    Sleeping people, for example.
    Someone that's armored, awake (or hell, has a gorget on) isn't someone you can murder outright.
    And as your players gain levels they can easily kill a guard in one round, so while technically you'd need to start initiative and all that I just roll to see what their damage would be and if it's enough to kill the guard, so be it, the guard's dead.

    tip.. tip.. TALLY.. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    Smrtnikoverride367SteelhawkArcanisTheImpotentIvellius
  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited January 19
    This entire thread about someone experiencing The Princess Bride for the first time is great, but these bits in particular feel appropriate.

    Glal on
    Steelhawkwebguy20davidsdurionsoverride367WearingglassesIvelliusElvenshaeZonugalGreen
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited January 20
    to add on;

    move the rewards to the town

    mayor: "Wow you sure did a great job bringing the hostages home! here's some $dungeon.loot that i've been hanging onto for awhile and you definitely could use it better than me!"
    - I did not give the Bard a coup-de-grace against a grunt, even though she has the grunt totally fooled by her boss-lady disguise and he had his back turned, totally off guard. What're the common rules for handling insta-kills? (My reasoning at the time was the other guys were fighting (and having a hard time) already against three of the grunts, and it'll look bad for them when the lower leveled Bard auto-kills one of those, but as I understand it now, it's flawed)

    my thoughts on this varies from day to day, but i tend to not look to the rules on this. if it makes sense in the fiction (it sounds like it did), makes a player feel good, and doesn't hurt a satisfying resolution... just let the fiction dictate what happens

    like, if you snuck up on someone sleeping in their bed and you have a knife, you aren't gonna make the assassin roll to hit. they stab the person in the throat and the person dies. don't overthink it

    (i realize this was more or less already said but i felt it bore repeating that to illustrate a lot of time you should just make a call at the table. i'm not saying cave to every request, but if you can think of reasons to justify it, then you should probably go all in and do it)

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
    override367SteelhawkIvellius
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Thanks all, solid advice all around. The Fighter of the team revealed to me later that he actually wanted to try his luck against the ogre, but the group decision was the kids' safety was paramount. Dude even wanted a sim-fight against it, one on one. (Maybe I'll give him one as a dream, assuming he gets to the next session early and we have time).

    I can't really leave this group, they just got to level two (that and we all just started playing).

    Action items for me:

    - Make the boss and treasure fights hard to miss, especially against an overriding mission objective (e.g. hostages)
    - Alternatively, yeah, move the treasure to an NPC at the home base
    - Should the players still want to avoid fights, give them the Talk.
    - I think I'll go and have properly setup backstabs do max (crit) damage. It will kill regular mooks outright for that awesome feeling the player will get, while elite mooks / bosses will still survive, marking them as proper threats.
    - Narrate the repercussions of leaving some cultists alive. (Their inn is deffo gonna Burn).
    - Tailor some fights to give the Artificer (now level 2!) something to do that she's suited to, like a dude shooting at them from afar, normally unreachable.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    if your artificer takes Artillerist or Battle Smith at level 3, they're likely going to be the strongest party member, so keep that power spike in mind when you get there, if they go alchemist it will be more of a support role like they already likely are

  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    edited January 20
    She's totally planning to go Artillerist. Her Izzet arcane focus is basically Megaman's hand cannon a smaller version of Megatron's cannon that shoots out lava.

    And her character's long-term goal is to use geothermal energy to revamp Ravnica's transport system and make railways that don't hog up all the magic juice. I still have no idea how to start her research / goal stuff. (Down the line a villain would probably push her to actually accomplish her dream project, so that the saved magic juice can be used for nefarious purposes. But at this stage? Maybe have her look for components to make a POC?)

    Wearingglasses on
  • NarbusNarbus Registered User regular
    I don't see a big problem with how the group handled the hostages. Making players choose between a bunch of loot and doing the right thing is pretty classic DMing.

    SteelhawkSleepoverride367CaedwyrIvelliusMoridin889
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Also, how you handled the orge? Roaring, stomping... this big scary threat from off screen? And then to have it jump out of the 3rd story window to challenge the party, only for them to run away?

    That sounds amazing! You should not feel bad about that!

    SleepArcanisTheImpotentFryoverride367Rhesus PositiveCaedwyrNipsIvelliusMoridin889
  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    We finally resumed our Shadowrun-inspired campaign after a long holiday break (inspired by the themes of Shadowrun, but running on the Hero System instead) by being sent to a rich folk wedding party. We were supposed to make said party go sour without getting linked to it, or killing anyone. Strictly a "make them lose face" operation.

    Unsurprisingly with anything that involves rolling dice there were a number of comical incidents and poor decision making involved, but we more or less pulled it off. One of the two grooms turned out to be a complete asshole, abusing the staff and kicking his two bioengineered, intelligent (for dogs) pets after they got overly excited (my character had built them some cybernetic thumbs, but that's another story), so we were feeling pretty good about ruining his celebration.

    The last act was supposed to be leaving a locket for him to find and vamoose. And of course, then it turns out we'd been given an assassination mission as the locket promptly turns into a nanite cloud, eats the guy and proceeds to spread and consume. The night ended with my red-panda-in-a-mech leaping over the balcony railing and descending from the skyscraper on its thrusters with a large lizard-dog under each arm. Gotta have priorities.

    FryWearingglassesRhesus Positive
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    Narbus wrote: »
    I don't see a big problem with how the group handled the hostages. Making players choose between a bunch of loot and doing the right thing is pretty classic DMing.

    well, don’t forget that even though DnD 5 says “magic items are rare”

    the math expects them to get loot

    you could circumvent this by giving them some iconic magic items (items unique to them) that level up alongside them

    you could even build that into the campaign with the artificer being the one who does the research on how to unlock the potential of the items as they go

    or give them inherent bonuses and forego magic widgets entirely

    WearingglassesIvellius
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Also, how you handled the orge? Roaring, stomping... this big scary threat from off screen? And then to have it jump out of the 3rd story window to challenge the party, only for them to run away?

    That sounds amazing! You should not feel bad about that!

    I was thankful I added the minor detail that one wing of the third floor was destroyed and open to the elements - now narratively the ogre just climbs up the walls every time he wants to get back since he hates going through the door. I even tried to downplay his strength as I added some whining from him (all petulant child like) while an unseen cultist shouts at him from above, "They're inside, moron! Go inside!" But nope, party with crying kids aren't going to leave anything to chance.

    In hindsight, just adding a single hostage that was separated from the others and stuck in the treasure room would've solved my issue! But, 20/20 and all that.

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Don't worry too much about the treasure, IMO. Yeah, gold is nice but the party made a decision not to go for the gold but rather to compete the objective. Great!

    You can always keep that loot there in case they want to come back and clean the place out. Or, as was mentioned, have the mayor give them that loot as a reward instead. Or if the narrative has past that and you really want to give them treasure.... maybe one of the hostages came from a rich family, or all the families pooled together and gives the PC's a reward for saving their kin.

    But again, IMO, if they missed the loot in favour of the story goals? There are MUCH worse problems to have in a group of players.

    SmrtnikNarbuswebguy20Rhesus Positiveoverride367CaedwyrElvenshaeZomro
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited January 20
    brief session report from my Friday game

    after last week’s reveal of vecna playing a larger role in the party’s shenanigans from here on they made it to their destination

    the ranger (who was kidnapped) is en route and the players have about two weeks in game to kill, and in the interim I gave the ranger’s player a pseudo-NPC to play that would be a focal point of this side arc

    spoilers ahead players of mine shouldn’t clicky:
    so the big overarching plot of my game is essentially tharizdun and the elder elemental eye and the four archomentals (this is before Mercer revealed tharizdun is his big bad so nyehh critical role)

    anyway they defeated olhydra awhile back (i detailed that fight and if you haven’t read about it essentially boiled down to a kaiju fight between a player controlled sekolah juiced up on Melora power and Olhydra while the party skill challenged their way to safety) and have since been involved in more personal plots, and they think this is more personal plots too, but it’s also tying back to the A plot in a big way

    the character my ranger is... let me set this up

    she was originally a princess from a land inspired by Celtic mythology that is very rural and pastoral

    she decided to go explore the world since she stood to inherit nothing and had the freedom to do so, and along the way she became host to a powerful wildfire spirit and in the process was put into a magic box by some bad guys who will be very important later

    fast forward to my friend playing his walk on role fighter for his holiday visit; his name is Tadgh MacNeill and he has this weird box with these magic runes on it, and he is the source of pursuers as the boat is leaving the city of departure

    so they bust the box open for him and there’s a girl inside!

    Tadgh is pretty guarded and is like hey how are you and whoops she has no memory

    he’s pretty bothered by this, the party asks some questions, no memory at all

    “What’s your name?”

    “Imix”

    yes, friends, if you haven’t figured it out:

    my player (unbeknownst to himself and the party) is playing River Tam, my friend played Simon, and instead of being just a little unstable River is basically host to sentient nuclear bomb evil firelord

    they don’t know this but they are gonna set him loose next session so she can be a real NPC and my ranger can get his ranger back just to deal with their second archomental

    edit: i should also mention the place they have come to is in fact tadgh and Imix’s home so they’re basically dealing with a very personal amnesia story on top of all this

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
    override367Wearingglasses
  • webguy20webguy20 I Spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Weapon loot idea for my paladin. Thoughts?

    Lance of faith +1 magical lance
    Feature: proficiency / long rest lance can be thrown 40/80 and counts as a melee attack for the purposes of smite.
    Feature: when making an attack, declare you are smiting before rolling to hit Instead of after and gain advantage on this attack, spell slot is consumed regardless of result.
    Feature: at Paladin levels 8, 12, 16 and 20, add an additional 1d6 to any smite damage rolled.

    The player would be getting this at 4th level in my homebrewed campaign, so everyone is a bit more powerful than standard, along with the enemies.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    Here's one way to handle the loot and divorce GP values from player power beyond the low levels. It lets the party focus on doing cool things with their wealth.

    I don't use all of it, since I'm running a 5e game, but what I do is basically treat the WBL for magical items to be a separate pool of resources available for loot and it is something that becomes available at certain level ranges (as per the 5e WBL chart) for the GM to reward the players. I typically take input from the players as to if they want to provide hints to me as to particular magical items they want to obtain, or if they want things to be done more randomly. In the random situation, I might allow them to exchange some pieces for a similar tier of gear, but it is explicitly does not have cash value. I have of course had to make some lore modifications to my world to explain this situation (basically, minor magic items can be obtained for gold, but anything rarer or more powerful than them are only via quests/favours/bequeathments, etc).
    Magic Items and Wealth
    An effort has been made to decouple magical gear from monetary wealth. This allows characters to spend fortunes on castles, lavish parties, or whatever else they desire, without automatically falling behind their peers in terms of personal power. To this end, a number of the new feats and class features are intended to supersede the “standard” items (cloaks of resistance, belts of physical might, and the like). In addition, “wealth by level” as a measure of magical gear is, if not abolished, at least modified heavily enough that material wealth no longer translates directly to magical power.

    Magic Item Economics: Because of the time and effort it takes to craft magical items, major magical items are not openly for sale for mere money―a +5 sword can do things that any number of gold coins can’t do, and adding more tons of gold doesn’t change that. Major magic items generally must be bartered for with items of equivalent value: other magic items, souls trapped in items or in the form of larvae, the stuff of raw chaos crystallized into gems (such as those used in Steven Brust’s “pre-empire sorcery”), etc. In general, magical gear worth over 10,000 gp or so (based on the diamond value required for a resurrection spell) cannot be purchased for mundane coin under almost any circumstances.

    This cash limit does not apply to mundane items such as sailing ships or electron microscopes: only to major magical items and certain special materials.

    Magical Items as Class Features: In some cases, you receive enhancements to items directly as a class feature. Examples include the fighter’s Personal Weapon talent; the prestige paladin’s bonded armor, holy symbol, or weapon; the wizard’s bonded item. Unless otherwise noted, these items do not count against your personal numen (see below). However, they also do not generally function for people other than you, so that selling or trading them is pointless.

    Personal “Mojo” (Numen)
    Even with a shift in currency expectations, you’re still in a situation in which wealth (of whatever sort) directly buys power, and the hope is to diminish that. As a proposed alternative, irrespective of actual monetary wealth (of any kind) available for spending, a given character can only maintain a personal equipage of magical gear set by the limits of his or her personal power, or “numen”.

    Each item “costs” a certain amount of numen to bind to one’s use; items not bound to a character can be retained only temporarily (see “Maximum,” below). To bind an item to yourself, you must spend an amount of numen equal to the gold piece value of the item. Magical items obtained in excess of your maximum numen limit cannot be bound to you.

    k6yoditu4odq.jpg

    An unfortunate by-product of this system is the need to track the total value of your items. If that’s too much of a pain for a given group, they can simply accept the two-tiered currency system and hand-wave the rest in terms of bartering and so on, and the game can still work―but it’s more effort for the referee, who in essence is stuck tracking your items for you in order to balance encounters appropriately.

    A scroll or potion that is created, found, or purchased, and that is consumed almost immediately (not copied into a spellbook), does not count against your total gear. However, a character who keeps one or more potions or scrolls “on hand” must tally those items against his or her limits.

    Minimal Gear: Characters with less than a certain minimum value of magical gear (as listed in the table; that column duplicates the Pathfinder NPC wealth table, which is pretty close to the 5e WBL table calculated from the expected treasure parcels as I posted earlier in the thread) are treated as if their Challenge Rating (CR) were one less, so that an 8th level monk with less than the minimum listed gear (7,800 numen worth) has a CR of 7, and is expected to adventure with a 7th level party against 7th level threats. (They do not advance in levels faster than an 8th level peer, and if they insist on adventuring with 8th level parties, they get what they get.) This rule provides an explanation for why NPCs have CR = class level -1 (per the Pathfinder core rules, I'm not quite sure how 5e balances this). An NPC with more than the minimum listed gear has a higher CR.

    Par: The character has the “correct” amount of gear for a 3.5 edition PC. These values are slightly lower than those in the Pathfinder core rules, which is appropriate for use with these house rules because of the numerous ways in which feats and talents can take the place of magic items. (You may want to fiddle with these values a bit if you rip this system off)

    Reaching Par: Whenever the total magical value of a PC’s gear is less than par, the player is encouraged to request that they “discover” one or more additional abilities, heretofore latent, in existing bound items (subject to referee approval), or gain new items altogether (see below), until the total value reaches par. You can do this at any time; it need not be done when you “level up.”

    For example, a player whose 3rd level character (par = 2,700 numen) has a suit of +1 full plate (value 1,000 numen) and no other substantive gear might “discover” that his or her armor also grants a +1 resistance bonus on saves (+1,000 numen). He could not simply increase the armor’s enhancement bonus to +2, because +2 armor has a magical value of 4,000 numen, which exceeds his “par.” He could, however, keep a suit of +2 armor that he found in a dungeon or crafted himself (4,000 numen is still less than his maximum of 6,000). A suit of +3 armor (9,000 numen, or 150% of his maximum) would certainly be lost, stolen, destroyed, or whatever―and he knows it.

    Manna from Heaven: If you are under “par,” there is no reason you have to make a trip to the nearest “magic mart” (which do not exist in the setting, as no craftsperson will be willing to have personal numen tied up in the form of inventory). Nor are you required to advance the items you already have, or hope to find new ones placed by the DM in the nearest dungeon. Any item you find during the course of an adventure can be declared magical, if you have the numen to spend on it; it’s up to the player to come up with a story for why it’s special. “I pull one of the red dragon’s teeth, and will use it henceforth as a +1 flaming dagger!” is completely legitimate, if you have the numen to spend. Magical heirlooms left to you by ancestors are a favorite gimmick. King Arthur had his sword Excalibur handed to him by the Lady of the Lake, and no one told him that was “against the rules.” The general philosophy here is that, because a character’s items are such an important part of the character, their exact origin and abilities are best left up to the player’s creativity.

    Overflow: In addition to your “par” amount, you can retain additional items that you either find or craft, to a total amount of numen as shown. Persistent spell effects (Chapter 8) and additional spells scribed into a wizard’s spellbooks (Chapter 3) are also generally applied against the overage amount.

    Maximum: The maximum value worth of magical gear that you can personally retain: the sum of your “par” amount plus your maximum overflow. Thus value is similar to the Pathfinder PC wealth-by-level value for the next level. Items that exceed your maximum numen can be held temporarily, but sooner or later will automatically be lost, stolen, destroyed, or requisitioned by a more powerful being―generally within one adventure or game session—the exact method being limited only by the referee’s creativity. This enables scenarios in which the party uses a powerful artifact to fulfill a given purpose, but doesn’t get to keep that item thereafter.

    Guidelines on Personal Items
    You are not limited to items published in rulebooks, and are encouraged not to even worry about them, except as a source for possible ideas. Instead, you are encouraged to design your own items (subject to referee approval) using the “Designing Custom Items” rules below.

    Combining Properties and Magic Item Slots: There is no increase in magic item costs for combining properties in the same item. Rather, characters (and referees) are encouraged to combine multiple items into a single item that becomes a fundamental part of the character’s portfolio. For example, a character who normally would have a +1 flaming sword, a ring of protection +1, a ring of minor elemental resistance (fire), and a cloak of resistance +2 can instead choose to have a single sword that combines all of those functions―a sword that could then be named and become part of that character’s legend.

    In addition, the standard chakra-like system of one suit of armor, two rings, one amulet, etc. is abolished. You can keep an amount of magical gear equal to your personal numen, and it doesn’t matter what “slots” it occupies or what form it’s in (within rational limits: obviously no one can wear two suits of armor, but there is no reason why a character could not wear three magical rings).

    Expendable Items: For one-use items like potions and scrolls, simply apply the standard cost for each item against your numen until that item is used. On the other hand, to keep a supply of expendable items on hand, it’s easier to simply price a large stock of potions of bull’s strength, for example, as a command-activated item usable at will (see “Designing Custom Items,” below); using those rules, the price would be 2 (spell level) x 3 (caster level) x 900 (command word) = 5,400 numen total (compare to 4,500 gp list price for a 50-charge wand of bull’s strength in the Core rules, for example).

    Floating Inventory: As long as your total amount of permanent gear is above minimum but under par, you can declare the difference to be a “floating inventory” of mundane (and possibly minor magical) items, without bothering to record their exact nature. Instead, you can simply assume you have any needed item as long as it’s portable and within the cost limit remaining to you (but see below). The item must be one that you could reasonably have picked up in your travels. No single item produced in this manner can cost more than 10 gp per character level (the Collector feat allows you to exceed this limit; see Chapter 5). Once your “floating inventory” is depleted, it takes you 4 hours of shopping in a town (and an appropriate amount of money) to replenish your inventory. This supersedes the Packrat feat from Dragon magazine (issue 354) and the Well-Prepared feat from the Advanced Player’s Guide.

    Masterwork Items: In these rules, masterwork items are priced in exactly the same way that magic items are; see “Enhancement Bonuses,” below.

    Unbinding Items: You can choose to remove items from your personal inventory, generally to free up numen. If you do so, the item released can never again become part of your personal inventory, and in general won’t even function for you. (If the item in question is one that you found and “declared” as magical, it might become non-magical altogether, once abandoned by you). This is to prevent exploits such as a character giving away all his gear, spending his “par” on other stuff, and then re-claiming the items just laid aside as “found” treasure up to maximum.

    Crafting: The numen system might appear on first glance to devalue magic item crafting, since people can simple “discover” magic properties in existing items. However, items you craft are generally counted against your overage numen, rather than par. You can therefore exceed par and obtain custom items up to your listed maximum numen, assuming you gave enough time and money. If a crafted item is transferred to a willing recipient who then binds it, it then counts against the new owner’s overage numen instead.

    Cursed Items: Cursed items are like parasites in that they generally count against the cursed character’s numen as if they were fully-functional magic items of the appropriate type. For example, a character afflicted with a suit of armor of arrow attraction (with a “Magic Items: +3 full plate” listing in the entry in the Core Rulebook) would have 9,000 numen occupied by the cursed item, unavailable for other use. If this causes you to lose other items from your inventory, you can re-bind those items later (as they were usurped rather than voluntarily unbound), assuming you have sufficient numen to do so.

    Magic Items and Followers: Followers use their own numen, based upon their character level. In general, their equipment is kept below “minimum” by their employers, because a character with equipment above that limit counts as CR +1 (making him or her more difficult to retain as a cohort: see Leadership feat). However, you can intentionally over-equip a cohort and still keep him or her at the lower CR by paying the excess numen cost (above minimum for the follower) yourself.

    Souls: Because souls contain numen in their own right, it is sometimes possible to exchange souls trapped in gems for favors, wishes (Chapter 8), or magic items (night hags in particular are known to traffic in souls)―or to use the souls themselves as numen in magical items (using the Soulcrafting feat).

    However, only half of the numen of a dead creature can be harvested from its soul (this destroys the soul). In addition, if the dead creature has outstanding numen invested in the form of magic items, latent spells, etc., subtract that total from the creature’s before calculating the harvestable total (i.e., a portion of the creature’s soul is held in each of these items and spells). It is always considered an evil act to traffic in souls.

  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited January 21
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Weapon loot idea for my paladin. Thoughts?

    Lance of faith +1 magical lance
    Feature: proficiency / long rest lance can be thrown 40/80 and counts as a melee attack for the purposes of smite.
    Feature: when making an attack, declare you are smiting before rolling to hit Instead of after and gain advantage on this attack, spell slot is consumed regardless of result.
    Feature: at Paladin levels 8, 12, 16 and 20, add an additional 1d6 to any smite damage rolled.

    The player would be getting this at 4th level in my homebrewed campaign, so everyone is a bit more powerful than standard, along with the enemies.

    burning a spell slot on a miss is a pretty harsh downgrade even if you're getting advantage on the attack. i would never choose this option tbh; part of what makes smite so juicy is the fact that you can choose after, and this does not give enough of a benefit (1d6 and advantage at 4th level, and yeah i know it increases) to risk losing a spell slot for 0 effect; consider the paladin could just take a level of rogue to get sneak attack instead which is more broadly applicable and costs them nothing to use and is always there

    if i were making something like this, instead of the damage and advantage (boring) i'd add something that interacts with one of their non-smites if they hit that can be used a handful of times per day

    like, perhaps, enforcing the paladin as a tank by playing with the idea of the Mark concept:

    Lance of Faith
    +1 Magical Lance, requires attunement
    Feature: can be thrown and used for smites etc
    Feature: You gain the Channel Divinity ability Fetters of Faith.

    Fetters of Faith
    When you strike an enemy with the Lance of Faith you may spend one of your Channel Divinity uses to place Faith's Fetters on the subject.
    While a target is marked by a Fetter you may use the following abilities as a reaction:
    * Apply disadvantage to an attack roll against a target that isn't you. This expends the Fetter.
    * Spend a hit die when one of your allies within 30 feet of you is subject to an attack.
    * Halve the speed of the target until the start of your next turn. This expends the Fetter.
    You can only have one Fettered target at a time; if you Fetter another target, the original Fetter fades. The Fetter lasts until the end of the Combat encounter.

    this is just a rough pass at it, I don't know if it's terribly balanced but you said you didn't care so that's where i'd go with it

    edit: inspired by a magic card if you want to google it :p

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Weapon loot idea for my paladin. Thoughts?

    Lance of faith +1 magical lance
    Feature: proficiency / long rest lance can be thrown 40/80 and counts as a melee attack for the purposes of smite.
    Feature: when making an attack, declare you are smiting before rolling to hit Instead of after and gain advantage on this attack, spell slot is consumed regardless of result.
    Feature: at Paladin levels 8, 12, 16 and 20, add an additional 1d6 to any smite damage rolled.

    The player would be getting this at 4th level in my homebrewed campaign, so everyone is a bit more powerful than standard, along with the enemies.

    I have no mechanical advice to offer, but I do appreciate the nod to Ghosts n Goblins :+1:

    Steelhawk
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    What's a good effect for a common magical item described as this?

    "FUNGAL PAULDRONS
    A specific strain of mushroom with sturdy, defensive properties are grafted onto the shoulder pieces of a suit of armor not made of metal. These are given to initiates of the Golgari who have proven their worth to their elders."

    I was thinking some defensive feature that requires activation, expending charges, and can be destroyed temporarily by enough damage. Would max HP increase equal to proficiency be balanced?

  • WACriminalWACriminal Dying Is Easy, Young Man Living Is HarderRegistered User regular
    So before I start Dragon Heist proper, I'm going to run the party through Shear by Alex Clippinger, since Volo will need a reason to think that these schmucks could help him with his thing. "Defeated a fiendish incursion on a nearby farm" certainly gives a good starting resume. That'll get them to level 2, then I'll probably bump them to level 3 after they do Volo's thing and get Trollskull Manor.

    When they get the Manor de-poltergeisted, I'm going to let each of them find a magic item tucked away in various recesses of the building. Here's what I'm thinking:

    Dragonborn Sorcerer gets a "Moody Ring" that gives him an extra random spell per long rest. The deck of spells it draws from will be mostly cantrips and 1st-levels, with an occasional 2nd-level in there probably. I can add higher-level stuff as the party levels up, since I'm not giving him a full list of what's in the deck. This gives me a way to make use of all the homebrew spells I collected in expectation that the party might have a wizard, and I know this player will enjoy the temptation of incorporating the wackier stuff into his tactics.

    Mead-brewing BarBEARian gets a modified (as in, nerfed) version of Hammer of the Kegsworn from Old Gus's Turning The World:
    You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

    The hammer has 3 charges and regains 1d2 + 1 charges daily at dawn.

    Keg-Swear.] As an action, you can cause the hammer’s keg can to fill, becoming capable of dispensing up to 30 gallons of ale, beer, or mead. The exact type and flavor of the beer is up to you. A creature who willingly imbibes from the keg’s beverage must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you for 1 hour. The beer last for 4 hours, after which any unconsumed beer becomes water.

    Intoxicate. When you critically hit a creature with the hammer, you can expend your reaction and 1 charge to attempt to intoxicate the target. The target makes a Consitution saving throw, with a DC equal to 10 plus your proficiency bonus. On a failure, the creature becomes poisoned for 1 minute. A target poisoned in this way can't take reactions, its speed is halved, and it must roll a d4 at the start of each of its turns. On a 1, the creature uses all its movement to stagger in a random direction. To determine the direction, roll a d8 and assign a direction to each die face. The creature doesn't take an action this turn. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of its turns, ending the effect on a success.

    Succubus Rogue, I haven't decided because I need to see what KIND of rogue she's planning to be. Some sort of disguise-enabling item might make sense. She also took proficiency in Medicine, so if she's planning to lean into that I could probably pull a class feature from one of the Doctor homebrew classes I was looking at a while back and attach it to an item.

    Aasimar Fighter wants to be a trickster, battlefield-control type of person. He wants to be able to cast Slow, but given that's a 3rd-level spell he won't get there until after Dragon Heist even if he takes Eldritch Knight. I was looking at this homebrew subclass on Reddit, and thought I might be able to bake it into an item. Here's a first draft off the top of my head:
    Bracelet of Many Facets
    Requires Attunement

    A broad band of silver chain-weave, with small beads of precious gems woven into the chain links. It currently holds one bead each of diamond, sapphire, and obsidian.

    Arcane Field. On your turn, as an action, you may create a spherical field of arcane energy with a radius of 5 ft, centered on your current position. To determine the effects of this field, select a number of beads on the bracelet less than or equal to your proficiency bonus, and add their listed effects to the field. You may maintain any number of fields at once, but their combined number of active beads must not exceed your proficiency bonus. A field lasts until you leave its area, become unconscious, or create another field that would cause the effects to exceed your proficiency bonus.

    Adding Beads. You may add a bead of any gem or other precious material, provided the original gem or material is worth at least 100 gp before having a skilled artisan fashion it down to a bead. After incorporating the bead into the bracelet, you must spend a long rest familiarizing yourself with it in order to learn the effects it will have on an arcane field, as though you're re-attuning to the item. The bracelet can hold up to 12 beads at a time, though you can easily swap out beads during a long rest without need for special equipment.

    Bead Effects. Beads of the following materials have the listed effects. (I'd keep this list to myself and dispense the information as his character discovers it, that way I can add effects in and improvise if he comes up with a material that isn't on the list.)

    Amber. Hostile creatures do not benefit from the field's positive effects.

    Diamond. Increase the field's radius by 5 ft. Multiple beads of this material can stack.

    Jade. Friendly creatures are immune to the field's negative effects.

    Obsidian. Creatures within the field have +1 AC against non-magical bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing attacks.

    Onyx. Creatures starting their turn within the field must make a WIS saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus or be blinded for the turn.

    Ruby. Each time a creature enters the field for the first time on their turn, or starts their turn inside the field, they must make a DEX saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus, or take 1d8 fire damage. Multiple beads of this material can stack, with the creature making a single saving throw regardless of the number of beads.

    Sapphire. Terrain within the field is considered difficult terrain.

    Tiger's Eye. Instead of centering the field on yourself, you may center it on a point you can see within 30 ft. Multiple beads of this material can stack, with each bead increasing the range by an additional 15 ft.

    Then I've got a totally-not-Geralt Ranger, I need to find some sort of cool horse-related item for him. Maybe a Saddlebag of Holding that only works when it's worn by a mount of medium or larger size?

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    What's a good effect for a common magical item described as this?

    "FUNGAL PAULDRONS
    A specific strain of mushroom with sturdy, defensive properties are grafted onto the shoulder pieces of a suit of armor not made of metal. These are given to initiates of the Golgari who have proven their worth to their elders."

    I was thinking some defensive feature that requires activation, expending charges, and can be destroyed temporarily by enough damage. Would max HP increase equal to proficiency be balanced?

    Who'd be getting the item? Balancing in a vacuum is tough to do. I mean, a barbarian with their giant beefy hit dice probably isn't going to notice the extra 2 or 3 hp, but a baby caster? That +2 HP could be substantial.

    Fungal pauldrons makes me think of spores, and what kind of effect they could have in combat. Maybe the option to spend your reaction to counter a melee attack with a cloud of spores? Narratively, you use the reaction to catch the attack on the fungal pauldron to activate the effect, after a number of hits, the fungus is temporarily destroyed so it can no longer be used, removing any bonus effects. Maybe the spores heal you and any allied characters within X feet? Maybe force a saving throw on the attacker to not suffer some debuff. Might drop some fairly minor AoE damage based on character level. See also, Circle of Spores druid: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/druid:spores

    The other thing I think of, fungus is a living thing, it seems like a fungus based bit of armor could grow and develop along with the character. While it might start as a common item, if the player keeps it they might be able to unlock additional abilities given time. Like, the pauldron might start out as a simple +1 to AC with bonus HP, but if used long enough it becomes essentially a quiet spore druid riding on your shoulders.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    Rhesus PositiveElvenshae
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited January 21
    Fungal pauldrons thoughts:

    - once per day grow a mushroom that when eaten acts like the goodberry spell for wearer or gives temps or cures disease or (being Golgari) causes disease

    - reaction to spray a cloud of spores at melee attacker to impose disadvantage, x times per day

    - activate once per day to generate 10 ft aura that does 1d4 necrotic damage once per round for 10 rounds

    - activate once per day as a bonus action to leave a spore trail anywhere you go in the next 3 rounds. The trail sticks around for 10 rounds and acts as difficult terrain too event targets and doubles movement speed of friendly targets.

    - ritualy touch the pauldrons for 10 minutes to sprout a shelter large enough for 5 medium size characters (not counting the user) to rest and recover in safe from the elements. The shelter looks like a very large fungus, has AC19, HP30, damage threshold of 5, and is immune to psychic damage. It lasts for 8 hours. The user that sprouted it is embedded in the wall for the duration and can only gain the benefits of a short rest, not long rest.

    - activate as action x times per day to grow a fungal vine that's 50ft long and can support y lbs of weight. The vine withers after 10 minutes and can no longer support any weight. The vine can be either detached as an action or remain attached to the druid. If it remains attached the druid can direct it to grow in any direction including up, though it is too fragile to be used as a weapon. AC10 HP 2.

    - activate as an action twice a day to plant a special mushroom into the ground at users feet on almost any types if terrain except for things like lava or other such things (DM discretion). Mushroom will last for 7 days. Use a bonus action to enter in one such mushroom and emerge in another such mushroom within 100 ft x times per day.

    - use as action to spray a cloud of irritant spores in a 30fy line. All creatures hit dex save or take 1d6 bludgeoning damage, 0 on save. All creatures that failed that dex save also roll con save or have disadvantage on all d20 rolls until end of your next round.

    Smrtnik on
    steam_sig.png
    ElvenshaeIvellius
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    A druid (Circle of Spores) will be getting it. I plan on limiting it to people of his guild... might need to give him a quest to procure the needed strain first. The growing along with the character sounds interesting.

    Smrtnik
  • evilthecatevilthecat Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Weapon loot idea for my paladin. Thoughts?

    Lance of faith +1 magical lance
    Feature: proficiency / long rest lance can be thrown 40/80 and counts as a melee attack for the purposes of smite.
    Feature: when making an attack, declare you are smiting before rolling to hit Instead of after and gain advantage on this attack, spell slot is consumed regardless of result.
    Feature: at Paladin levels 8, 12, 16 and 20, add an additional 1d6 to any smite damage rolled.

    The player would be getting this at 4th level in my homebrewed campaign, so everyone is a bit more powerful than standard, along with the enemies.

    Lance: I haven't seen mounted combat being used in 4 years of playing, I don't think this is a good idea. Make it a spear or a glaive or something.
    d2 javazon nod: neat! nice to have, doesn't break anything. 'course, now you've hucked away your magical weapon..
    smite-vantage: this one requires playtesting. I see pros and cons and can't say how they'll pan out.
    4x smitery: I'd hope for a cool item backstory to explain this one.

    All in all though it's supremely meh given that it's a goddamn lance. Aside from that it could be a nice flavour weapon!

    tip.. tip.. TALLY.. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    I am partial to making special items for lower-level players dailies. How about something like:

    Once per long rest, use an action to cause the lance to launch a glowing replica of itself at a target in sight within 40 feet, ignoring cover. In addition to [normal damage] and any paladin features that increase weapon damage, it deals damage equal to a Divine Smite at the highest level of spell slot you have, without consuming one. This attack is a critical hit on a roll of 19-20.

    Upgrades:
    Greatly increase cast range
    Increase crit threat range
    Add advantage against [creature type]
    Make it a line attack
    etc.

    webguy20
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    evilthecat wrote: »
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Weapon loot idea for my paladin. Thoughts?

    Lance of faith +1 magical lance
    Feature: proficiency / long rest lance can be thrown 40/80 and counts as a melee attack for the purposes of smite.
    Feature: when making an attack, declare you are smiting before rolling to hit Instead of after and gain advantage on this attack, spell slot is consumed regardless of result.
    Feature: at Paladin levels 8, 12, 16 and 20, add an additional 1d6 to any smite damage rolled.

    The player would be getting this at 4th level in my homebrewed campaign, so everyone is a bit more powerful than standard, along with the enemies.

    Lance: I haven't seen mounted combat being used in 4 years of playing, I don't think this is a good idea. Make it a spear or a glaive or something.
    d2 javazon nod: neat! nice to have, doesn't break anything. 'course, now you've hucked away your magical weapon..
    smite-vantage: this one requires playtesting. I see pros and cons and can't say how they'll pan out.
    4x smitery: I'd hope for a cool item backstory to explain this one.

    All in all though it's supremely meh given that it's a goddamn lance. Aside from that it could be a nice flavour weapon!

    I like the idea of a magical spear that turns into a lance while you're mounted, if the paladin is interested in using their find steed in combat ever

  • GreenGreen Stick around. I'm full of bad ideas.Registered User regular
    Prepping to run a session of my Ravnica campaign tonight, bit of a soft restart since our renegade Boros angel ran off with her demon boyfriend and everyone else (save the undercover Izzet mage, who wisely ran) got TPK'd. The previous party failed to stop a Golgari assault on the Blistercoils, which has now almost completely fallen into the Zonot below. The Izzet are on the warpath while the Golgari are turtling up and have completely cut ties with the surface, leading to widespread food shortages that threaten to turn into full-blown riots.

    Ivellius
  • webguy20webguy20 I Spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Xagar wrote: »
    I am partial to making special items for lower-level players dailies. How about something like:

    Once per long rest, use an action to cause the lance to launch a glowing replica of itself at a target in sight within 40 feet, ignoring cover. In addition to [normal damage] and any paladin features that increase weapon damage, it deals damage equal to a Divine Smite at the highest level of spell slot you have, without consuming one. This attack is a critical hit on a roll of 19-20.

    Upgrades:
    Greatly increase cast range
    Increase crit threat range
    Add advantage against [creature type]
    Make it a line attack
    etc.

    I like that. I have a picture in my head of the lance of Longinus from EVA in my head and this fits with that well.

    My player already uses a lance (not mounted) so story wise they are going to save a dying paladin and he will infuse his spirit into the lance if the player agrees to uphold some very basic ideals, that track pretty well with the paladin’s oath.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Last night my party had fun dithering around not actually going in the Tomb of Annihilation.

    The highlight was at the end of the session both me and the DM cast Dream on each other. But his dealt max HP damage :(

  • Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    I'm working on my backup char for our current campaign and I want to do a Tabaxi Warlock (motto: curiosity killed the cat). The Seeker would be the best fit for the character concept (no respect for anybody's privacy, always trying to uncover secrets of all kinds), but that one is UA.

    None of the other Patrons seem to fit really for what I want (GOO seems mostly madness and tentacles, Fiend is burning everything in sight, Celestial is healing and Fey seems charm/control. I guess Archfey is the closest, but I can't find anything in the books about the Archfey beyond a list of names.)

    Steam/Origin: davydizzy
  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Okay, I think I'll go the easy way and have the Fungal Pauldrons be this:

    - Received as a reward on 3rd level
    - Permanently grafts to leather armor
    - converts the leather armor to a medium armor the equivalent of a Chain Shirt (13+Dex, max2). It now requires attunement
    - every 3(?) levels, it grows in power according to his needs: Choice of +1AC (can only be taken twice); once per long rest gives him an extra Wild Shape; once per long rest gives him resistance to one type of damage for 1 hour.

    I honestly don't know if the latter two are balanced, but I do know he's dedicated to Sporedom rather than Beasting out, and we probably will end the campaign at level 10ish.

    Bullhead
  • SpawnbrokerSpawnbroker Registered User regular
    Curse of Strahd campaign is moving along swimmingly.

    Early CoS spoilers:
    Rahadin showed up to the Burgomaster's funeral and delivered a letter from Strahd to Ireena, via Ismarck. Rahadin made sure to get within 10 feet of some of the adventurers to freak them out a little bit with his screaming voices.

    The cleric heard the screaming, got spooked, and immediately tried to Turn Undead. This fails, of course, and Rahadin starts laughing and asks the cleric's name. Rahadin does a psychic backlash as punishment and the cleric takes some damage and begins fighting Rahadin. Rahadin downs the cleric as punishment and says this was good fun, but he must be off. Climbs back in the black carriage and rides back up to Ravenloft.

    I also introduced Vasili von Holtz in the village of Barovia as a travelling merchant who sells wondrous items and trinkets. He's going to own a store in Vallaki and I wanted to introduce him early as a friend to the players and a merchant they can sell magic items to. I intend there to be a mini side quest on the way to Vallaki where Vasili is "attacked" by werewolves and has his wagon stolen from him. Inside the wagon is going to be a certain suit of plate armor that I'm sure the fighter will love!

    The players are addicted to dream pastries, they met "Granny" in the village selling pies and half the party has had two doses, everyone has eaten at least one serving. The pies are giving them temporary hit points and they will start to see the withdrawal symptoms if they run out or stop eating them. They don't suspect granny at all yet, though they will soon and will probably head to the windmill to deal with her and her daughters. I don't intend to TPK them here, the hags are going to attempt to capture them if attacked and put a geas on them to deliver the hag's eye amulet to one of Strahd's servants in the castle. If the hags aren't attacked or revealed, they will ask the players to head to Vallaki and free the children from that evil burgomaster, they would give the kids a good home :biggrin:

    Steam: Spawnbroker
    override367FrySmrtnik
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 22
    Ah yes Vasili van Holtz, Nicest guy in Barovia

    EMUR8tP.png

    I hear he's an eligible bachelor too

    override367 on
    SpawnbrokerLindSmrtnik
Sign In or Register to comment.