PDA

View Full Version : Advice for dummies [D&D 3.5]



d13
2009-02-27, 12:30 AM
After a short break (about a year :smalltongue:), I've decided to give DMing a shot again and give my players a closer look at what do character death look like.

Therefore, I'm going to run the always useful Red Hand of Doom for them*.

So, what I'm looking for, is advice at how should I run it, any tweakings that can make encounters more interesting/actually challenging/etc.**

Treat this like I'm asking for a "Red Hand of Doom for dummies" handbook.

Thank you =)




* Them: A really inexperienced bunch of people (one of them actually thinks that Monks are overpowered :smalleek:)... And a SINGLE powergamer xD.

** Already read the DMing guide (post-it), and I'm following every journal (at least I think so) to get an idea.

AslanCross
2009-02-27, 05:31 AM
1. For all the dragon battles: never let them sit around on the ground. They could land to full attack, but most of the time I have dragons flyby attack and use their breath weapons. I know the flight rules are often a bit difficult to keep track of, but it's one of the simplest, by-RAW ways to make dragon encounters incredibly challenging.

2. What material are you allowing? Adding Tome of Battle (forgive me) is something I do in all the games I DM. Always keep in mind that if the PCs can use it, your monsters should too (with some caution). It will definitely make the hobgoblins (esp. the Bladebearers and the Doom Hand Monks) a bit more challenging to deal with.

EDIT: 3. How could I forget? Read Saph's campaign journal for his recently-concluded RHoD run. kjones is also running RHoD currently, and I've found both to contain some excellent advice in running the adventure.

d13
2009-02-27, 12:10 PM
1. For all the dragon battles: never let them sit around on the ground. They could land to full attack, but most of the time I have dragons flyby attack and use their breath weapons. I know the flight rules are often a bit difficult to keep track of, but it's one of the simplest, by-RAW ways to make dragon encounters incredibly challenging.

2. What material are you allowing? Adding Tome of Battle (forgive me) is something I do in all the games I DM. Always keep in mind that if the PCs can use it, your monsters should too (with some caution). It will definitely make the hobgoblins (esp. the Bladebearers and the Doom Hand Monks) a bit more challenging to deal with.

EDIT: 3. How could I forget? Read Saph's campaign journal for his recently-concluded RHoD run. kjones is also running RHoD currently, and I've found both to contain some excellent advice in running the adventure.

Neither me nor my players have access to ToB, so no Maneuvers thingie for us.
As for the monks and bladebearers... I'm lost at what to do. Probably (with the bladebearers), I'll exchange some fighter level for a rogue level (or something like that) or make them duskblades instead of fighters (to make them actually a challenge), and/or drop the TWF thing in favor of a single, bigger weapon xD.

Gonna re-read both journals, though. Thank you =)

Keld Denar
2009-02-27, 01:45 PM
EDIT: 3. How could I forget? Read Saph's campaign journal for his recently-concluded RHoD run.

Now, the internet provides a certain amount of annonymity, but I'm pretty sure Saph is a "she" not a "he".

Just sayin...

:P

DoomedPaladin
2009-02-27, 02:00 PM
2. What material are you allowing? Adding Tome of Battle (forgive me) is something I do in all the games I DM. Always keep in mind that if the PCs can use it, your monsters should too (with some caution). It will definitely make the hobgoblins (esp. the Bladebearers and the Doom Hand Monks) a bit more challenging to deal with.

The Tome of Battle or The Book of Nine Swords (the most broken book in 3.5)?

kalt
2009-02-27, 02:39 PM
The Tome of Battle or The Book of Nine Swords (the most broken book in 3.5)?

That books is far from overpowered. It does allow someone that is used to having the complexity of a spellcaster be able to actually play a martial character and not feel quite as repetitive.

Tam_OConnor
2009-02-27, 02:47 PM
Same book, laddie. And while the Bo9S did give us the infinite damage Pixie Crusader loop, I'd hardly call the most broken. EDIT: Pesky ninjas! You've won this round!

But on topic: The transition to Chapter Two is really weak. As in, hardly there. So give the PCs an incentive to clear the blockades to the north.

Is the powergamer cooperative with the other players? Because if he is, you're fine. Otherwise... ask him to play nice?

I'm not sure what I can add that wasn't already covered in Saph's thread...

Ohh! Anytime an enemy has a skill feat (Alertness and the like; ex: hob regulars, vets, Koth, sarge, Ozzy), Exotic Wpn Prof (Ex: sarge), or Toughness (Ex: Zarr, bladebearers), that's an invite for you to replace it with a feat that's actually worth the ink. Heck, even if you give the hobs in the first encounter Point Blank Shot... and that's about the limit of my insight.

Good luck! May you engineer your first TPK!

d13
2009-02-27, 07:49 PM
May I? Thank you...



1. Is the powergamer cooperative with the other players? Because if he is, you're fine. Otherwise... ask him to play nice?

2. Ohh! Anytime an enemy has a skill feat (Alertness and the like; ex: hob regulars, vets, Koth, sarge, Ozzy), Exotic Wpn Prof (Ex: sarge), or Toughness (Ex: Zarr, bladebearers), that's an invite for you to replace it with a feat that's actually worth the ink. Heck, even if you give the hobs in the first encounter Point Blank Shot... and that's about the limit of my insight.

3. Good luck! May you engineer your first TPK!

1. Not usually, but after I talked with him, I was astonished by the way he was actually HOPING and WILLING to be cooperative with the rest.
He'll most likely play a Sorcerer.

2. I'll take a look at stats charts, and see what can I manage to do, thanks.

3. Actually... Even a single PK would be more than it always is... I tend to be to soft with my players xD.

I've banned ToB and Psionics, just for the sake of simplicity (and not having to learn how to use them xD). No DMM: Persist, neither obviously cheesy stuff.


Anything else (spells, feats, etc) I should be aware of? (or straightly ban?)

Keld Denar
2009-02-27, 07:57 PM
Um....
Ray of Stupidity (SpC Wiz2)
Shivering Touch(Any) (Frostburn Wiz1 and 3)
Celerity (PHBII Wiz4)

and that should pretty well cover you for anything in the level range you'll see in RHoD. The rest of its GOOD, but those things are BROKEN.

I'm actually embarassed to say I made a wizard once who memorized a Split Ray of Stupidity. Oh my stupid yonger years....

ericgrau
2009-02-27, 10:06 PM
Neither me nor my players have access to ToB, so no Maneuvers thingie for us.
As for the monks and bladebearers... I'm lost at what to do. Probably (with the bladebearers), I'll exchange some fighter level for a rogue level (or something like that) or make them duskblades instead of fighters (to make them actually a challenge), and/or drop the TWF thing in favor of a single, bigger weapon xD.

Gonna re-read both journals, though. Thank you =)

Be careful with swapping rogue levels for fighter levels. They're likely to fight worse after the swap, not better, since they'll go down fast. And the added damage will only go so far after the lost AB, plus there's the SA-free round spent setting up the flank. Dunno about duskblade though.

And +1 to those two journals.

Eldariel
2009-02-28, 01:47 AM
Um....
Ray of Stupidity (SpC Wiz2)
Shivering Touch(Any) (Frostburn Wiz1 and 3)
Celerity (PHBII Wiz4)

and that should pretty well cover you for anything in the level range you'll see in RHoD. The rest of its GOOD, but those things are BROKEN.

I'm actually embarassed to say I made a wizard once who memorized a Split Ray of Stupidity. Oh my stupid yonger years....

How about adding the obvious to that mix: Alter Self & Polymorph

d13
2009-02-28, 09:55 AM
Be careful with swapping rogue levels for fighter levels. They're likely to fight worse after the swap, not better, since they'll go down fast. And the added damage will only go so far after the lost AB, plus there's the SA-free round spent setting up the flank. Dunno about duskblade though.

And +1 to those two journals.

They're going to, most likely, not hit at all (xD), so I figured that giving them sneak attack, at least, will improve the damage output when they manage to land a hit.

I could give them the sneak attack thing up from the wind, anyway (not that they'd care xD), and not cut down their "fighting" abilities xD

magic9mushroom
2009-02-28, 10:58 AM
Rogues really aren't the best in close combat, they're skillmonkeys. Slightly better than half HP, far less feats, no MWP, no Weapon Spec., less AB. Sneak Attack gives you up to double damage, but is very conditional. Evasion is useful, though.

Starbuck_II
2009-02-28, 10:59 AM
Now, the internet provides a certain amount of annonymity, but I'm pretty sure Saph is a "she" not a "he".

Just sayin...

:P

Dude, this is the internet. There are no females.

d13
2009-02-28, 03:47 PM
EDITED

Damn yah, Internet!! _O

Next post is the real one xD

d13
2009-02-28, 03:49 PM
Rogues really aren't the best in close combat, they're skillmonkeys. Slightly better than half HP, far less feats, no MWP, no Weapon Spec., less AB. Sneak Attack gives you up to double damage, but is very conditional. Evasion is useful, though.

That's why, in my last post, I said that maybe I'll be giving those 4th level fighters 1d6 Sneak Attack without swapping any levels, just because those hobs are pretty much cannon fodder (at least in the first encounter xD)

Keld Denar
2009-02-28, 03:54 PM
How about adding the obvious to that mix: Alter Self & Polymorph

What are these spells you are talking about? I see only blank pages in my PHB where they should be. Is my PHB defective?

Or is it really working properly? ;)

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-02-28, 04:10 PM
Okay, what you need are some of the following:

The Sorcerer, I assume he's the powergamer, so here's what you ask him to do:

Be the "We are ALL Badasses" character.

This includes grabbing the following spells:

Resist Energy
Haste
Slow
Rope Trick
Mirror Image
Stinking Cloud
Blindness
Enervation

Here's why:

vs Dragons: RESIST ENERGY THE PARTY. If the party knows what flavor they are about to run into, make sure they can't be killed by the dang breath weapons

vs casters: STINKING CLOUD. Seriously, target their weak Fort saves, make them nausiated, and unable to cast at you.

vs meat shields: SLOW. All the sudden, they can't full-attack anymore.

Also, there should be a Druid running around in the party.

ENTANGLE THE DANG DRAGONS. Almost all the dragons encountered are done so in natural surroundings. They can't make a full attack unless they land. If they land, entangle them, and get out of reach, and they are stuck. Since you picked Resist Energy, they can breathe all they want, and you'll be laughing at them. So either they make a FULL ROUND attack to pretty much automatically break free (Str check, DC 20) in which case they can move half their move rate before being entanlged again, requiring another full-round attack, or they take to the air, in which case you don't need to worry about full attacks.

The key important things about this:

Rope Trick is used when the party is hurt and in enemy territory to heal up and recover

Resist Energy to avoid dying from breath weapons

Slow the mooks to keep them from beating you down low enough that a lucky hit can kill you

Stinking Cloud the casters to keep them from dropping you.

ENERVATE the dragons at higher levels to make them vulnerable to saves (like SLOW).

d13
2009-02-28, 09:20 PM
Okay, what you need are some of the following:

The Sorcerer, I assume he's the powergamer, so here's what you ask him to do:

Be the "We are ALL Badasses" character.

This includes grabbing the following spells:

Resist Energy
Haste
Slow
Rope Trick
Mirror Image
Stinking Cloud
Blindness
Enervation

Here's why:

vs Dragons: RESIST ENERGY THE PARTY. If the party knows what flavor they are about to run into, make sure they can't be killed by the dang breath weapons

vs casters: STINKING CLOUD. Seriously, target their weak Fort saves, make them nausiated, and unable to cast at you.

vs meat shields: SLOW. All the sudden, they can't full-attack anymore.

Also, there should be a Druid running around in the party.

ENTANGLE THE DANG DRAGONS. Almost all the dragons encountered are done so in natural surroundings. They can't make a full attack unless they land. If they land, entangle them, and get out of reach, and they are stuck. Since you picked Resist Energy, they can breathe all they want, and you'll be laughing at them. So either they make a FULL ROUND attack to pretty much automatically break free (Str check, DC 20) in which case they can move half their move rate before being entanlged again, requiring another full-round attack, or they take to the air, in which case you don't need to worry about full attacks.

The key important things about this:

Rope Trick is used when the party is hurt and in enemy territory to heal up and recover

Resist Energy to avoid dying from breath weapons

Slow the mooks to keep them from beating you down low enough that a lucky hit can kill you

Stinking Cloud the casters to keep them from dropping you.

ENERVATE the dragons at higher levels to make them vulnerable to saves (like SLOW).

And why would I want to do that? Really...
It's not like I'm not letting them fail because of their own actions and decisions.

Ok, I'm not going to TPK them unless they don't give me another choice, but if they fail (somewhere, any way) because of their own lack of planning, they'll have to live with it xD.