Friday, April 20, 2012

Rational and more...

So for this week I decided I would kind of flesh out the one-page dungeon idea of mine and then also add some other odds and ends to the mish-mash.

So the idea for the dungeon started with a goblin being made into a half-fiend by this immortal blood of a demon or some other immortal being.  I then toyed around with that but really didn't like the fit and flavor so I looked at some old school D&D books and found some demon lords and was able to put together the idea of Yeenoghu and the gnolls.  The idea sort of built itself, and from there I constructed the idea of the dungeon.  Having always liked the elegance of hiding things in plain sight I decided that the Ichor of Vercingetorix would be hidden in this sewer system that had these additions to accommodate the cultists that were originally in charge of it.  And then as time passes the original denizens die off and make a way for the accidental discovery and freeing of this powerful relic.

In my version the ichor could be something that is destroyable only by another immortal being, or could be reunited with the other pieces.  I have already started thinking about what other pieces there would be, and have thought of brain and heart.  The heart is possessed and possessing a young adult black dragon, and he is starting to build a small underground empire until he can find the other pieces.  The brain is lost at the time being and was last known to have been owned by a beholder named Uuniranqa, who is infamously known for his almost successful attempt to take over the known world.  So in their is an undeveloped but semi-detailed campaign arc. I may pursue it inside my present campaign, but who knows.

So in other things I; I play tested the dungeon to make some final tweaks with my play group.  Lets say that at this point they are not yet through the dungeon but progress has been made.  Due to the level of the PCs I had to make adjustments and it has had some interesting consequences.  First of note stirges are pretty awesome for their CR.  I can see how at low level a party of 4-5 can handle 2 stirges pretty easily, but when you throw 9-10 of them at a party of 7-8th level they get fun you almost guarantee that Con scores are dropping.  So after a less that awesome battle (the Wizard is a summoner, with evocation barred) they go out to rest for like a week and they are randomly found by some (2) ogres which should be no problem for these guys.  Low and behold the wizard hops on the flying carpet and taunts them so the other PCs can get the jump on them.  The ogres then plant a spear in his chest and he stabilizes at negative hp and seriously reduced constitution.  Long story short they lie (tell their version of the truth) to a Treant, and are welcomed by a druids grove as champions of the forest.  They are then nursed to health and sent on their way back into the dungeon.  Much bottle-necking occurred and they have had a fairly standard go of it from there.

Thought for the masses, I have been thinking of running a D&D campaign with a pirate/sea faring theme.  Any ideas on supplements to reference.  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

One-Page Dungeon Entry

So due to Ab8wn I decided to make a submission for the one-page dungeon contest this year, check it out and feel free to let me know what you think.  The Ichor of Vercingetorix

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gibbering Mouther

So in an effort to get right back into the game after being gone for six weeks I picked up the map and monsters where they were and leapt back into the DM’s seat.  Seeing as the PCs had been stranded in the desert by an NPC whose only notable ability was casting teleport they had no choice but to advance towards the Fire Temple.  So along the way I thought I would set up an ambush, a sort of guard post.  This post was manned, well not so much manned but aberration-ed I guess by a Gibbering Mouther.  So the initiative was rolled and the battle commenced. 
            I will save you the round by round, but suffice it to say I was disappointed in the little abomination that couldn’t.  So let me count the ways in which he let me down:
·         No CR 5 creature should do one damage even if it has the possibility to lead to much more damage. 
·         Movement is horrible 10ft, with 20 ft for swim.  This almost solidly places this as a niche monster. 
So two, there are two ways in which it disappointed me, and those two were enough to show me that the CR 5 is fairly skewed.  The Mouther may be effective in a tight quartered underground chamber or in a pool of water were his move is comparable to the PC’s, but beyond I am hard pressed to think of a reason it shouldn’t sit somewhere around four maybe even three. But, assuming he is in fact quite deadly in the above mentioned scenarios then I would go with four. 
I will say that I did find some of his abilities nice:
·         The free spitting was nice and pretty effective.
·         The gibbering took the cake as the most effective ability of the Mouther.  It was able to remove one of the PCs for something like 4-5 rounds. 
It was these abilities that made it fun to use the monster, so to finish up I will end on the two things that were middle of the road for me.  I will say these are the only middle of the road as most of the stats were pretty decent, but nothing special.  Middle of the road here really is just my way of saying I didn’t get to use it or I found its application nearly pointless except in prolonging the inevitable. Without further ado:
·         Blood Drain, I was not able to use it in the encounter so I can’t give it a fair assessment.  I will say it ups the Mouther’s deadliness.
·         Ground Manipulation, this was a waste of energy unless I used it to plan some sort of ambush where the PCs get caught and he then pounces to drain blood.  Wait that would have been cool.  See even I can learn things from myself….awkward. But, true.
Anyone have any Gibbering Mouther stories or tips to share let’s hear’em.  Happy Gaming.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Intro to Campaign World

            So the current adventure I am DM’ing is my own world with a lot of the Eberron flavor.  This is mostly because I like the feel of the campaign setting, but none of the desire to adhere to the exact elements of the world as designed by Wizards, you know rules lawyers and such.  So I have the flying airships and the levitating trains, but none of those cockamamie guilds in control of them, mostly because they are in the service of the military.  On that note it is poignant to mention that I have borrowed the whole “good” races vs. “evil” races theme from beloved fantasies such as World of Warcraft and Tolkien’s Middle-earth.  I took the main continent and split in down the middle with a mountain range and then put Good on one side and Evil on the other. 
Anyways that is more than enough background for the world.  The main campaign revolves around the characters aiding a guild of benevolent magic users and adventurers in stopping the forces of evil, not the “evil” races, from stealing the cores of elemental power from the prime material plane.  So they succeeded in rescuing the Core of Air from the northern temple as it was being corrupted by an undead army led by their evil cleric overlord.  It was then that they found out the plot to obtain these cores is far more vast than they originally thought, but isn’t it always.  Needless to say they discovered that there are agents of chaos also searching to acquire these cores, and by chaos I mean some H.P. Lovecraft chaos.  So now they are headed to the Fire Temple in order to stop the minions of some ancient un-named Monster deity from being brought into their realm…umm maybe they don’t know that much.  But as all PC’s know they ultimately adventure because if they don’t bad stuff happens in my make believe world…muwahahaha!  So after being teleported straight from the first adventure into the burning ruins of the observation camp they were start off to the Fire Temple we took a long break mainly due to scheduling conflicts and me having to go to Marine Officer Candidate School.  Summer done and school back in session meant game on.  We pick up with that encounter.  I promise you it was not up to the level I expected from the creature I chose.  For the next post the …Gibbering Mouther.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Beholder #1

                Blogging!? Whoa! I am no stranger to Dungeons and Dragons, but, I am no blogger.  Well unless you count this as blogging, and then yes I guess I am… for now.  As you can guess I am not blog savvy, but having played D&D for about twenty years now, and I feel quite comfortable with it.  So maybe, just maybe I may end up pulling this off, but my bets are this is going to have a learning curve. 
            So I guess an introduction of sorts is in order.  While I have played D&D in all of its incarnations; yes, Red Box classic where you can play Halfings, Dwarves, and Elves as character classes, all the way to the current incarnation of 4th ed.  While I prefer 3.5 I hold no qualms about playing any versions of the game as I was raised with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and have been trying to get to the Encounters events that Wizards has started. 
D&D is at its core a social game, and has always been that in my experience.  I drank the game in as my father spun worlds before me at our dining room table, later I experimented with the game in a crowded garage through all night gaming binges, and now I keep the good times (and adventures) alive by using an online tabletop.  So from here we share some ideas, experiences, and stories.  I hope you enjoy and join the conversation along the way.