Page 10 of 30 FirstFirst 1234567891011121314151617181920 ... LastLast
Results 271 to 300 of 891
  1. - Top - End - #271
    Banned
     
    Malevolence's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Fixed that for you.

    (Blighter is pretty easy to re-fluff as just being an evil druid.)
    I was referring to the race, not the class. And history is fluff, so you haven't changed anything.

  2. - Top - End - #272
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Draz74's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    San Diego
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Malevolence View Post
    I was referring to the race, not the class. And history is fluff, so you haven't changed anything.
    Oh, ok. I misunderstood.
    You can call me Draz.
    Trophies:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Also of note:

    Work on my homebrew system, CRE8, is still marching slowly onwards. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel -- an Alpha release -- in the distance now. Read my Design Goals here.

  3. - Top - End - #273
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    So I'm in the process of running the Red Hand of Doom. Still in act I currently, but looking to the future. I was thinking about rebuilding Saarvith as the sniper in Brindol, showing up if he gets away in Rhest. Is this at all feasible? I understand he'll need to level between Rhest and Brindol. This also frees up the Rhest dragon to pursue independent tactics.

  4. - Top - End - #274
    Banned
     
    Malevolence's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrantar View Post
    So I'm in the process of running the Red Hand of Doom. Still in act I currently, but looking to the future. I was thinking about rebuilding Saarvith as the sniper in Brindol, showing up if he gets away in Rhest. Is this at all feasible? I understand he'll need to level between Rhest and Brindol. This also frees up the Rhest dragon to pursue independent tactics.
    Easy solutions:

    Give Saarvith his own mount, so he's not being a liability to the dragon.
    Make Saarvith a Druid, mainly so his animal companion can be a mount.
    Houserule Ranger to give a full Druid animal companion, same reason.
    Have Saarvith take Wild Cohort, same reason.

    You could make him the sniper, but neither of them will be that good at it. Though maybe with two snipers, you're getting somewhere.

  5. - Top - End - #275
    Troll in the Playground
     
    zimmerwald1915's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lake Wobegon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    I'm thinking of running the Red Hand of Doom in the future, either as a PbP or FtF, depending on a number of factors. I was looking over Koth's statblock as given in the module, and at the "Restatting Koth" section here in this thread. I noticed that he does not have a familiar in the module, and that the section does not mention the possibility of giving him one. If one wants to improve Koth while leaving him a sorcerer, why ignore one of the sorcerer's two class features?

    Would it be reasonable to swap out Persuasive and Lightning Reflexes, or to swap out Persuasive and add a Flaw, to give him Practiced Spellcaster (which raises Koth's caster level, including for the purposes of familiar gaining to 9), and either Improved Familiar (PHB) or Dragon Familiar (Draconomicon)? I kind of like the idea of giving Koth an Imp familiar, both because it makes Vraath keep more interesting as an encounter and it can possibly clue players into the relationship between Baator and the Red Hand before the fact of that relationship comes out of nowhere to hit them over the head in the last section. Alternatively, Dragon Familiar could be a way to introduce a White dragon, if only a wyrmling, into the campaign.

    EDIT: alternatively, have him take the Draconic Sorcerer substitution level in RotD, which trades the familiar for Draconic Heritage. Or something.
    Last edited by zimmerwald1915; 2011-04-11 at 06:49 AM.
    Milk Chocolate Justiciar of the Haley Fanclub
    I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good...Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim. Too ugly or too this or too that....I'm out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world...no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.
    Human stick-figure Twilight Sparkle by me. Find more here.

  6. - Top - End - #276
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Would it be reasonable to swap out Persuasive and Lightning Reflexes, or to swap out Persuasive and add a Flaw, to give him Practiced Spellcaster (which raises Koth's caster level, including for the purposes of familiar gaining to 9), and either Improved Familiar (PHB) or Dragon Familiar (Draconomicon)?
    Practiced spellcaster won't benefit your familiar at all, you need raw lvs in sorc to improve its stats.

    A familiar won't likely contribute much to an encounter, which is why you rarely see npcs field them. It just ends up being an extra statblock to manage, which slows down the game (especially PbPs, which already run like molasses).

    Not to say you can't optimise the familiar, but it likely won't be worth the effort.

    Alternatively, swap in the metamagic specialist variant in PHB2.

    alternatively, have him take the Draconic Sorcerer substitution level in RotD, which trades the familiar for Draconic Heritage. Or something.
    You could do that, but again, the class sub doesn't really add much to combat. The boost to arcana is pointless, and the extra SLAs don't quite mean anything when you already have more slots than you can burn.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I can never understand WOTC's reasoning; taking RAW as a whole is like grabbing a book filled with fortune cookie sayings and basing your life off of them.
    My humble efforts at re-cr'ing MM2
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215727

  7. - Top - End - #277
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    The things you overlook ... I'd never noticed that Koth's missing a familiar. Possibly it's because the writers of RHOD never bothered to include one for the mentioned reasons.

    But Metamagic Specialist is a lovely thought for Koth, particularly if you're rebuilding his spell list for debuffs and you can shoehorn Quicken Spell in there somewhere. Personally I think Persuasive should go in favour of Practiced Spellcaster in most versions of the build, and with some thought and experience I've got a feeling Lightning Reflexes is probably wasted given Koth should be supporting, not taking the front line.

    Along the Baator line, though, and if you're more interested in flavour than crunch as such, how about Infernal Heritage (PHB II p. 91) and Infernal Howl? Sure, not the most powerful options in the world, but clues people into the idea devils might be involved, and explains Koth's presence to some extent.

  8. - Top - End - #278
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Wretched double-posting server, how I hate thee.

  9. - Top - End - #279
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Here's a question.


    In the RHoD question that I'm currently running, there was one survivor among the hobgoblins of Vraath Keep. I made him be Koth's secretary, mostly just to have an interactive interrogation scene instead of just as "you read all of Koth's papers and learn things" scene. (Koth was not available for the honors, as he got totally chunkified by a skillful throw of some dynamite.)

    During the interrogation, the party necromancer had a series of really good Bluff checks. And, as a result, the hobgoblin (who has been nicknamed "Stumpy" because his hand got cut off during the interrogation) is now convinced that the party is actually working for Tiamat under a very special mission to avert war. They've left it fairly ambiguous as to why Tiamat would want this, but they've implied that it's so that she can accomplish some later Evil down the road.

    Stumpy has since been enthusiastically adopted by the Necromancer and the Ranger as a permanentish fixture of the party. Now, classic DMing style would advocate for Stumpy to actually be hiding the fact that he knows the truth, or have him be replaced by something badass and evil. As such, the party would slowly find their plans being more and more compromised, until finally there would be a grand betrayal and a desperate battle. It would be totally awesome.

    However, I'm worried that doing this might be instilling the wrong lessons in my players. All but one of them are fairly new, and I would really prefer not to have them automatically suspect every NPC that lasts for more than one scene to be a traitor. In the last group I ran for, that sort of became a problem toward the end of our run, which made creating enduring stories rather more difficult.


    My question is, then, is this: Is it worth it to turn Stumpy evil for dramatic effect? Or would it be better to keep the longrun in mind and keep him as a comedic ally?

  10. - Top - End - #280
    Troll in the Playground
     
    zimmerwald1915's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lake Wobegon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    But Metamagic Specialist is a lovely thought for Koth, particularly if you're rebuilding his spell list for debuffs and you can shoehorn Quicken Spell in there somewhere. Personally I think Persuasive should go in favour of Practiced Spellcaster in most versions of the build, and with some thought and experience I've got a feeling Lightning Reflexes is probably wasted given Koth should be supporting, not taking the front line.
    How does Quicken Spell help Koth unless you give him a couple extra levels? A Quickened spell takes up a slot four levels higher than normal. Koth doesn't have enough spell levels to cast Quickened spells: a Quickened cantrip would take up a fourth-level slot. Even if you have him take Metamagic School Focus in some school (and its Spell Focus prerequisite in that same school), Koth would only be able to Quicken cantrips, and only three cantrips of that school, casting them in third-level slots.
    Milk Chocolate Justiciar of the Haley Fanclub
    I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good...Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim. Too ugly or too this or too that....I'm out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world...no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.
    Human stick-figure Twilight Sparkle by me. Find more here.

  11. - Top - End - #281
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreyMantle View Post
    Here's a question.


    In the RHoD question that I'm currently running, there was one survivor among the hobgoblins of Vraath Keep. I made him be Koth's secretary, mostly just to have an interactive interrogation scene instead of just as "you read all of Koth's papers and learn things" scene. (Koth was not available for the honors, as he got totally chunkified by a skillful throw of some dynamite.)

    During the interrogation, the party necromancer had a series of really good Bluff checks. And, as a result, the hobgoblin (who has been nicknamed "Stumpy" because his hand got cut off during the interrogation) is now convinced that the party is actually working for Tiamat under a very special mission to avert war. They've left it fairly ambiguous as to why Tiamat would want this, but they've implied that it's so that she can accomplish some later Evil down the road.

    Stumpy has since been enthusiastically adopted by the Necromancer and the Ranger as a permanentish fixture of the party. Now, classic DMing style would advocate for Stumpy to actually be hiding the fact that he knows the truth, or have him be replaced by something badass and evil. As such, the party would slowly find their plans being more and more compromised, until finally there would be a grand betrayal and a desperate battle. It would be totally awesome.

    However, I'm worried that doing this might be instilling the wrong lessons in my players. All but one of them are fairly new, and I would really prefer not to have them automatically suspect every NPC that lasts for more than one scene to be a traitor. In the last group I ran for, that sort of became a problem toward the end of our run, which made creating enduring stories rather more difficult.

    My question is, then, is this: Is it worth it to turn Stumpy evil for dramatic effect? Or would it be better to keep the longrun in mind and keep him as a comedic ally?
    Play it back the other way. Stumpy figures out as the campaign goes on just how nice and kind the Valesfolk are, and what his people are planning to do to them.

    Then arrange for him to die in the party's arms during the Battle of Brindol. Tearjerkers all round!

  12. - Top - End - #282
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    OMG PONIES's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    Play it back the other way. Stumpy figures out as the campaign goes on just how nice and kind the Valesfolk are, and what his people are planning to do to them.

    Then arrange for him to die in the party's arms during the Battle of Brindol. Tearjerkers all round!
    Brilliant.
    Iron Chef Optimization Challenge Old Head and Unofficial Archivist
    Yelling at You Dang Kids to Get Off my Lawn Since 2010

    This is what happens when they let me DM: Beyond the Horizon!

    Come one, come all, to Junkyard Wars Episode VII! Featuring metamagic feats and level adjustment as necessary components...but forbidding any ways to reduce or avoid the cost of said metamagic feats!

  13. - Top - End - #283
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    How does Quicken Spell help Koth unless you give him a couple extra levels? A Quickened spell takes up a slot four levels higher than normal. Koth doesn't have enough spell levels to cast Quickened spells: a Quickened cantrip would take up a fourth-level slot. Even if you have him take Metamagic School Focus in some school (and its Spell Focus prerequisite in that same school), Koth would only be able to Quicken cantrips, and only three cantrips of that school, casting them in third-level slots.
    ...
    ...
    Dammit!

    I've been playing with DMM casters for too long.

  14. - Top - End - #284
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Brilliant.

    +1


    Thanks.

  15. - Top - End - #285
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Wow. I really like that fleshed out NPC idea. I expect I'll have to deal with a similar conundrum (with a less happy payoff) as my party met Miha, had her tag along, told her about a secret group they've been working with (part of a previous homebrew spliced in) and set her loose in Brindol before they went to Rhest. Still haven't figured out all the mischief to throw at them in chapter 4 for that fumble.

    That said, a catfolk bard in my party has given me a fun little headache.

    Spoiler
    Show
    They just attacked and retreated from the Red Hand base in Rhest twice, went back to the elves to recruit some help and spend the night. Three of the party went to bed. One stayed up to try and persuade some of the unnamed elves of the Tiri Kitor and was doing so when the dragon arrived as per the RHoD's instructions after two retreats.

    On a whim I rolled two D20s and had each member of the party roll one. Were theirs to match either of mine, they would be in the targeted area of the strafing runs. Only the bard matched, and so he got hit by (taking half of) a fairly low output breath weapon.

    And then he threw me a curve ball: Mindless Rage (CAdv p155).

    We were already just about to wrap up for the night and it seemed a solid suspenseful stopping point. Now I'm trying to figure out how to stage the encounter.

    I don't expect him to live very long. His hitpoints are low and he has little more than a half-decent land-speed to protect him until his allies are roused, and little enough even then if the dragon is really focused on him.

    A player raised the question of elven damage to the dragon while he's around, but some napkin-notes (post-its while at work actually) suggest that most common elves don't have good odds on hitting Regiarix (total ranged attack bonus of 3-4 (Dex 13, BAB 1-2, masterwork weapon?) v. AC 23, means gives a 5-10% chance of hitting him, thus dealing 1 or 2 1d8s for every 20 elves nearby each round).

    Most of it'll have to be done on the fly next weekend, but I would very very very much welcome any advice anyone might have. This thread and other similar ones have been invaluable when working through this massive campaign, but I don't think I've heard of this eventuality popping up in other RHOD play-throughs before.

    TL:DR?
    What do you do if your PCs make Regiarix's Retaliation (RHoD p59) a real encounter?

  16. - Top - End - #286
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    On the Miha angle, I've toyed with the idea of having her hook up with elements of the halfling population of Brindol. They've got their own Temple of Yondalla in there, you know, and halflings (at least according to Cityscape) in cities are seen as untrustworthy little buggers. The current occupier of the Temple has apparently done a lot to overcome the stereotype, but that in itself suggests there's a lot of nasty buggers in there.

    Alternately, the natural places for Miha to make her play for causing havoc inside Brindol's walls seem to be the Black Knives, the thieving guild of Brindol headed by Rillor Paln, who is also Verasa Kaal's lover.

    As to the Regiarix incident...assuming Mindless Rage has worked on Reggie, well, I guess the party's in for a relatively easy fight even if it costs the life of its bard. You've got to play it according to the spell, so that means Reggie has to go after the bard first with full melee attacks. No ranged attacks, so that says to me he can't use breath weapons -- by definition they're ranged. This might enhance the survivability of the rest of the party (and hopefully the bard) since Reggie is then down to one effective target per round and as written or even as upgraded he's hardly the most deadly of dragons they're going to meet.

    Honestly, it's not a bad dragon-breaker if it gives the party enough time to focus their fire and bring Reggie down in one round -- looking at it IMHO, I say "noble sacrifice and good plan, guys." They do have the Staff of Life, don't they?

    In this scenario the question comes down to what Saarvith is doing while Reggie goes in like this, to which I'd say -- assuming he's got a fly spell or something like that -- he'd "detach" and get into cover, sniping from there. That's assuming a Swift Hunter build, where he's far more effective away from Reggie and out of range of the party. Saarvith's a coward, after all, and Reggie might be his buddy, but he's not a familiar or anything like that.

    That's my random thoughts. Have you crystallised Reggie's stats or abilities out as yet? Some adjustments might be warranted to switch over to melee-style abilities, since Reggie is neither great at ranged attacks or melee.

  17. - Top - End - #287
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    ...Saintheart's helpful questions and suggestions...
    Mindless Rage did work, and it'll probably cost the life of the Bard. They do have the staff and he, oddly enough, actually seems sort of eager to use it. However, while Regiarix is required to use melee only for the moment, Saarvith is not, and with three arrows in a full attack action, I'm not sure Regiarix will get the chance.

    Having forgotten to do so at the table that night, I just rolled Regiarix's breath recharge for the stretch between the two strafing runs and he must have circled for 12 seconds, giving the other PCs mere moments to ask themselves "what's all that screaming about?" It would seem fair to leave them off the board for another round or so as they'd retired for the evening and wouldn't have seen the first strike. Does that seem reasonable?

    They've dealt with Regiarix in combat once before so I'd consider his stats pretty solid, but Saarvith's are a little flexible. At Skull Gorge Bridge, I'd played with Ozzy's feats a little and that single-handedly turned the tide of the battle dramatically against the PCs, so I'd left Rhest's core crew are as is. I had tweaked the watchtower and the lizardfolk encampments, but they've largely bypassed both of those.

    I plan on having both dragon and rider at full HP (taking potions from the watchtower's hobgoblin crew to make up for the blows Regiarix took in combat earlier that day), but I'm not sure as to other preparations yet. By the stat-block as written, Saarvith has a potion of Mirror Image that should be fun (provided they get separated so as to not spoil the illusion: "Only one dragon has a rider, which should I target?"), and I could pool the rest of the post's resources, but I'm hesitant to throw completely new items into the scenario once they've already waded deep into it. That said, Nurklenak's potion of invisibility might be a good means of retreat if it comes to that. He, the ettin, and the tower's hobgoblins are untouched and at full capacity (save for one 3rd level spell); the ogres were slaughtered.

    Thanks for the advice thus far.

  18. - Top - End - #288
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Ah. Witness my comprehension fail there. :)

    I must say, you could have Regiarix and Saarvith just take off after they take out the bard. Saarvith coaxes Reggie back to sanity and, having taken a second to gloat over the fact they took down a PC (they might even get a T-shirt for it) they'd scarper back to Rhest -- that's sufficient warning for them. If the rest of the party hasn't mobilised, then unless a couple of suicidally brave Tiri Kitor on owlback come in to slow Reggie's line of retreat, your bard isn't likely to live more than two rounds or so, and there won't be anyone seriously threatening them. Remember Reggie on RHOD text is a bit of a coward who knows not to screw around with adventuring parties. Head back to Rhest, so long as Reggie's on alert and gets into the air it's a much more friendly battleground for them. IMHO, of course.

    I think it's fair to leave the party off the table for another round. Nobody is that fast that they can really collect themselves, get their crap beyond a big freakin' sword or a wand, and then run out ready to fight in under 18 seconds or so. Hell, they'll waste several actions just finding and picking their stuff up. (Well, unless they've got Rings of Arming, which is a different story altogether.) And remember -- no light armor, or no Restful Crystal, and you ain't charging out to fight a dragon in anything more than your underwear on short notice. Plate'll take you 4 minutes to put on fast.

  19. - Top - End - #289
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Just a quick note that some updates have been done to the handbook, but always available for activity or discussion!

  20. - Top - End - #290
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Bayonet Priest's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    South MS
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    I wanted to thank you for making this handbook, I am planning to run Red Hand of Doom for some friends over the summer. I'll be tweaking what I need to make it work with Pathfinder but I don't think there should be too many problems, my players are not much in the way of optimizers.

    I am planning on starting them at level 1 and running Sunless Citadel and whatever else I need to get them up to 5 for the start of RHOD.

    One problem I foresee is one of my players, he always plays a chaotic neutral (actually chaotic evil) halfling rogue. I worry that he'll screw up the adventure, which obviously depends on diplomacy and interaction with a number of NPCs. It would not be out of character for him to rob and murder Norro Wiston for example, or anyone else he thinks might have loot. I can control these tendencies in a dungeon crawl but RHOD is another story entirely.

    So any tips on how to indulge the rogue while preserving my NPCs, I'm hoping that if I give him enough opportunity to be a sneaky, backstabbing git against the bad guys will stop him from killing the good guys

  21. - Top - End - #291
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayonet Priest View Post
    I wanted to thank you for making this handbook, I am planning to run Red Hand of Doom for some friends over the summer. I'll be tweaking what I need to make it work with Pathfinder but I don't think there should be too many problems, my players are not much in the way of optimizers.

    I am planning on starting them at level 1 and running Sunless Citadel and whatever else I need to get them up to 5 for the start of RHOD.

    One problem I foresee is one of my players, he always plays a chaotic neutral (actually chaotic evil) halfling rogue. I worry that he'll screw up the adventure, which obviously depends on diplomacy and interaction with a number of NPCs. It would not be out of character for him to rob and murder Norro Wiston for example, or anyone else he thinks might have loot. I can control these tendencies in a dungeon crawl but RHOD is another story entirely.

    So any tips on how to indulge the rogue while preserving my NPCs, I'm hoping that if I give him enough opportunity to be a sneaky, backstabbing git against the bad guys will stop him from killing the good guys
    If you're good enough at improvisation, you don't necessarily need to try to control him.


    Ex: When I ran RHoD, my players were a mixed group. Most notably, they included a fairly greedy warmage, and a borderline crazy rogue.

    Because of a variety of fairly amusing circumstances, they ended up on the wrong side of Captain Soranna (whom I had changed to more of a LN character). For reasons that I still don't fully understand, the rogue actually assassinated her. With his heavy crossbow. It was a total JFK scenario, except that he managed not to get caught.

    In addition, the warmage decided to break into a noble's house to steal things. He got caught and was imprisoned, which necessitated a miniquest to rescue him.

    Now, all of these things definitely slowed down progress, both in and out of the game. But the story kept moving, and everyone was having fun.


    No one even considered trying to kill Norro Wiston, because they realized he was basically on their side. As written, Wiston seems fairly unlikely to deliberately get on someone's bad side, and that means a truly CN character would honestly have no real reason to try and kill him. If your player is a **** who thinks CN=CE, then you need to tell him that he is not following his actual alignment. Presumably you have some sort of ban against evil characters for this reason, so he needs modify his playing style so that it conforms to that of the rest of the group.

  22. - Top - End - #292
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Bayonet Priest's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    South MS
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Thanks for the advice, perhaps a simple blanket ban on Chaotic Evil will work. Certainly worth talking to him about. I'll probably be back if I ever get this thing off the ground.

  23. - Top - End - #293
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Coidzor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Samurai Casino
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    ^: Well, I hope you have managed to get back in the saddle.

    Hmm. So other than the one group that assassinated Kharn with Scry and Die, I haven't really seen any advice on the subject to DMs of how to deal with the issue of taking some of the fight to the Horde rather than passively waiting in Brindol or making skill checks or having sidequests in Brindol.

    I haven't the text with me right now as we're running through it a second time now and the thought just occurred to me last night, so I've been unable to tell if it's dealt with adequately by the book itself.

    But, if it's not, that may be something else to think about addressing here.

    On a somewhat related note, throwing in "An Eye for an Eye," seems like it can fit in nicely with the sidequests in Brindol end of things.
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2011-05-24 at 12:43 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  24. - Top - End - #294
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    On that one, I did come across a sort of "army camp map" for those who want to try the Scry and Die approach, and I'll have to try and dig it up from my files here.

    The "Into the Horde" encounter supposedly sets out the Horde's strength for direct attacks, but I could definitely see some advice or thoughts that need to be given here ... I'll look into it and see what I can dig up, though anyone else who's dealt with direct assaults on entire armed forces would be most welcome.

    Preliminary thoughts are that the Vale's mostly rolling hills and grassland, and with no big obvious cover points like the Witchwood to disguise the approach. Possibly you could run contact-and-withdraw encounters out of each of the small towns the Horde passes through?

    There's also the issue that Abithriax is with the Horde as well.

  25. - Top - End - #295
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Hey there!

    I'm a fairly “hardcore” D&D-player, who thrives in a small city in Norway, where I'm currently taking a degree Game Programming.

    I've been pretty active 'round the table the last year (playing 3-4 nights a week), and fairly active before that. I enjoy both the positions of player and DM, and I must say that Red Hand of Doom is my favorite campaign. I've ran it three times, and will probably run it again this fall. (More first year students to crush with the dice ^^)

    Regrettably, none of the groups I've DM-ed for so far have made it all the way through. I plan to make some adjustments this time, as it has proven too difficult in the previous attempts. I have tried to stick to the adventure as much as possible, but improvising as I see fit. I think the previous party failed because of harsh xp-losses due to players being absent from sessions. And dying. Their characters, not the players. I allowed the Complete-series of source books, and in hindsight I can't really see any reason to disallow any books. Except tome of battle, psionics and the inexcusably ridiculous books, of course.

    I won't say I'm a very good DM, that might have something to do with it. I've been known to make some calls in the heat of battle that really haven't benefited the party much, so to speak. Also, all three times the party's been made up of mostly or completely new or inexperienced players.

    I just found this thread and would think I have qualifications enough to post in it. ^^
    I make this post, only having read a bit of the thread. I plan on reading it though, any will post my thoughts when I have, but I'm a bit busy at the moment. I hope to stay active here, and really hope there's yet someone kicking in this thread.

    Yes, I'm aware that this suddenly sounded a bit more "official" and serious than it really should be. I'm really just trying to say that it's cool that someone made this handbook, and want to give and take from it.

    For now, -Zilter

  26. - Top - End - #296
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Welcome, Zilter!

    You'll see from the front of the thread that "we" like Tome of Battle in RHOD, or at least we do offer some suggestions to deal with it. Psionics I've always steered clear of, but I urge you to reconsider your wariness for ToB.

    EDIT: ...waitaminute ... you made it too difficult?

    Let's hear the suggestions for that!

  27. - Top - End - #297
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Okay, I've read your handbook now. It's very good, but we seem to have different opinions on some things.

    I really like your history, and love the alternative hooks between part one and two. I'm going to steal from these. I agree that some of the monsters in the adventure could use some more variety. This next time, I want the players to at least notice that there's something different when they run into a bladebearer or a sargent. I want the "S***, it's one of them again!".

    But I want to stay out if Tome of Battle.
    In my experience, D&D can be played in more than one way. You can allow Tome of Battle, or you can disallow it. I makes all the difference in the world. It's a completely different game with it, or it at least takes the game up a notch or five.
    I prefer playing without it.
    My players will be new, and poorly, if at all, optimized. Throwing Tome of Battle at them will kill them for sure.

    As mentioned, the main issue with Red Hand of Doom have been that it's too difficult. This has likely been because the players have been inexperienced or DnD-virgins. Non-proficient players have tended to make especially non-savvy calls.
    Like thinking it was a good idea to take on every living thing in the Ruins of Rhest toe-to-toe at the same time, ettin, ogres, greenspawn, dragon and hobgoblin alike. That fight was impossible even before their Barbarian/Eye of Gruumsh got charmed.

    In the last year, I've become a big fan of playing campaigns without xp. Instead the PCs level through plot progression. They advance in level when they reach a certain point, it doesn't matter how they've resolved the encounters. If they made it to the aforementioned point, they deserve a level. This way, I can add or remove encounters and side-quests as I see fit, without screwing up the level progression throughout the adventure.

    I'm very much thinking about doing this with Red Hand of Doom, as I have some bits of side-quests and other encounters I want to put in here and there. The question would of course be where to put these ding-locations. One level per part isn't going to cut it, it takes more careful planning than that.
    A problem with this is that it isn't unlikely that the party could skip content. None of my groups have explored the Ghostlords lair (1st party navigated directly to the lich by amazing look, 2nd party wiped and stopped playing in Rhest, 3rd party skipped it outright). Let's say they go to Rhest, kill all the goons there, but decide not to bother with the whole Ghostlord deal and just go back to Brindol to prepare for the battle. I can't just give them a level or two for that. This wasn't a very good scenario, I know. It would be easy to have Lord Jaarmath railroad them further. But you get my point.

    ...waitaminute ... you made it too difficult?
    Nono, you misunderstand. I didn't make it too difficult. I hardly changed anything. It already was too difficult out of the box.
    Last edited by Zilter; 2011-06-02 at 08:53 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #298
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilter View Post
    In the last year, I've become a big fan of playing campaigns without xp. Instead the PCs level through plot progression. They advance in level when they reach a certain point, it doesn't matter how they've resolved the encounters. If they made it to the aforementioned point, they deserve a level. This way, I can add or remove encounters and side-quests as I see fit, without screwing up the level progression throughout the adventure.

    I'm very much thinking about doing this with Red Hand of Doom, as I have some bits of side-quests and other encounters I want to put in here and there. The question would of course be where to put these ding-locations. One level per part isn't going to cut it, it takes more careful planning than that.
    A problem with this is that it isn't unlikely that the party could skip content. None of my groups have explored the Ghostlords lair (1st party navigated directly to the lich by amazing look, 2nd party wiped and stopped playing in Rhest, 3rd party skipped it outright). Let's say they go to Rhest, kill all the goons there, but decide not to bother with the whole Ghostlord deal and just go back to Brindol to prepare for the battle. I can't just give them a level or two for that. This wasn't a very good scenario, I know. It would be easy to have Lord Jaarmath railroad them further. But you get my point.
    RHOD does lend itself to natural "level up" points, in particular, any time the party kills a dragon and/or Varanthian - that's the way I'm running my current campaign, and the power levels seem to keep relative pace with the intended opponents.

    Two possibilities I can think of in terms of plotlines to take from here:

    (1) Make the undead thing a sort-of terrorist incursion; people in Brindol start disappearing, dying, the watch doesn't know what's going on, characters investigate to find a couple of the bonedrinkers from the stone lion there. Maybe Knowledge (Arcana) checks or some clerical inspections reveal these suckers were built by a different kind of lich, and unless the characters go and shut off their source, there'll be more of them. Characters head to the temple of Wee Jas (death god) and its cemetery to find a portal to the stone lion therein which is bringing them through?

    (2) Have the characters escort the mercenary gold to the Hammerfist Holds -- and throw the assassination squad at the party on the way. It's a serious fight, and if they're escorting the gold it makes them a much slower target than they otherwise would be.

    ?

  29. - Top - End - #299
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Accursed double-posting server.

  30. - Top - End - #300
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    I think you misunderstood. I brought up more of a hypothetical scenario. There are plenty of ways to kick the players into doing something if they come back to Brindol too early.

    Leveling after each dragon-kill was a good idea, I agree. Thanks, I will be doing this. Should they veer onto the path of skipping stuff, I'll just bring out the good old rails.


    But yeah, RHOD out of the box has been too difficult, all three times I've DM-ed it, so I don't really plan on making it harder next time. But as I said, the parties have had poorly optimized PCs and inexperienced players. This is going to be the case next time too, that's the thing.

    Though I want to give some of the rank-and-file troops some more flavor, and probably will.
    Last edited by Zilter; 2011-06-02 at 10:26 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •