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

    Node Magic sounds sweet. If the spells available have to be thematically linked, and you want to have them fit with the Thornwaste badlands where the lion fortress is located, you could work in Wall of Sand (is it 3rd or lower?), maybe Fireball, perhaps some enervation or dessication-related spells?
    The wording of Champions of Ruin is actually RAW wide enough that as a DM you could just about put anything in there: it says the spells granted by nodes are "usually" linked by "theme", like "undead" or "darkness", so you could do just about anything if you wanted to come up with a convoluted theme or justification. But as far as I can see, it's utterly unrestricted. I sort of went with a "illusion/your eyes deceive you" kind of theme, and so I've picked Blood Wind, Glitterdust and Displacement. Wall of Sand is druid 4, which I think is the lowest level you can get it, and that one's on my spell list already. The Archivist handbook should be your first stop if you take this option, mostly because the node turns you into a limited archivist on these functions.

    Remember, too: if you make the node class 4, you get 4 spells of 4th level or lower. And so on: class 5 for 5 spells of 5th level or lower. Going to a class 6 node (which CoR does say has never been discovered, but theoretically exists) surely has to be as high as the Ghostlord could ever need: adding 6th-level sorcerer/wizard spells to the druid spell list is just insane against an 8-9th level party, even before you get to the fact the node then allows you several metamagic feats piled on top of one another without having to spend a single high level slot. Consider a Maximised Fell Drain'd magic missile cast out of level one druid slots. That's the level of insanity you get to.

    To be honest, I've actually hit the point where I think I can pull my punches somewhat: class 3 node allows you, as a 12th level caster and assuming you've got Maximise Spell (or, as in my campaign, a houserule that allows you to emulate feats on spending an action point) then you can cast Maximised Flame Strike at ECL 15 out of fourth level spell slots: 90 hitpoints of damage, which against a level 8 (as my characters are) party is potential for a TPK.

    EDIT: Also, if it weren't already apparent, the RHOD Handbook now comes with imagey goodness and captions of pithiness! (Thtop teathing, I wath born with thith... )

  2. - Top - End - #332
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Double post, but I also had another thought which I'd open for discussion, related to how to keep the party from fighting the Ghostlord at all. Call it "the good guy option":

    This is still a half-formed idea at present, but another option for the whole scene is to add a further twist by making the Ghostlord a reformed lich with a Chaotic Good alignment (or even possibly a Lawful Neutral alignment).

    Zarl under this story has well and truly suffered: he did enjoy being a lich at first, even creating some of the undead that now inhabit the stone lion -- but came to regret it as he realised what he'd lost, what he'd become, and what he'd done. Therefore his mission changed: he would not trouble the world anymore, but remain in seclusion and contemplation on his sins.

    Rather than the stone lion being his home of ultimate evil, it is a fortress built to secure one thing: the Heart of the Lion, which Zarl knows will be used for great evil if it's removed. Zarl therefore has become the Heart of the Lion's guardian; it is his atonement for his dark deeds over his life. The undead he commands are to protect the artifact, not himself as such. He's become fairly addled as a result: he will not allow evil clerics near the artifact, but neither will he allow a good or neutral cleric to try and destroy the artifact, because he is still serving his penitence to the nature gods. The party offering to destroy him also doesn't appeal since it would end his guard over the artifact prematurely. He's been given to know by the gods that when the diseased tree in his chambers blooms and lives again, his curse will be lifted and his watch over the artifact will end.

    This worked until the Red Hand stole his phylactery. He was given the ultimate in Hobson's Choice: either make us a few undead and get your phylactery back, or watch us destroy it, and thus you, and then take the Heart of the Lion for us to make it ourselves. Zarl therefore is close to completing his work for the Hand.

    This might well prevent a good-aligned party fighting him, since his purposes are noble and he is, in fact, a slave to the Red Hand, not even a semi-willing participant.

  3. - Top - End - #333
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    That sounds like a nice trick, I might use that in my campaign. It changes the setting from "bad guy in dungeon" to "poor fellow with big powers suffering from responsibility".
    By giving him a shot at redemption, and by letting the party know the artifact will be destroyed in the end, no rational party would want to destroy him, except for XP.

  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Hi there, I've been running Red Hand of Doom for my group, and it's been going... OK?... thus far. I'm interested in continuing with something after this in the same universe, mostly in the interest of maintaining continuity (which my group has been *awful* at thus far, we've gone through a ton of setting resets and arbitrary character swaps).

    I've been thinking of running a planar adventure, mostly because I recently got the Planar Handbook and a lot of this stuff sounds *awesome*, but we'd also be about the right level to start it, and it could roughly match up with the end of RHoD and continuing to fight Tiamat (maybe the boundaries between planes could only be fully restored by going to the other end of the portal and sealing it there as well, and for some reason the PCs have to go to some other places before doing that?).

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I'd strongly prefer to do a published adventure rather than having to write my own, mostly because school is just about to start and I really will not have the time to write one. If there are any good planar adventures out there (even if they have nothing at all to do with fighting Tiamat), or really anything that's good for continuing on from the Red Hand of Doom, that'd be quite helpful.
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  5. - Top - End - #335
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    There's a little section on this at the end of the Handbook, but, in short: Expedition to the Demonweb Pits sounds just what you're looking for. You want planes? How about Sigil as your home base of operations? I've heard some good things about this as a nice segue from RHOD, especially if you go with an ending of "the planar rift implodes and you all find yourselves ... somewhere..."

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    There's a little section on this at the end of the Handbook, but, in short: Expedition to the Demonweb Pits sounds just what you're looking for. You want planes? How about Sigil as your home base of operations? I've heard some good things about this as a nice segue from RHOD, especially if you go with an ending of "the planar rift implodes and you all find yourselves ... somewhere..."
    Does sound fitting, but after looking for downloads today I noticed one tiny problem- it's for levels 9-12, while RHoD is either for 5-10 or 6-12, depending on which source you look at (the encounters certainly wind up consistently around CR 12; our party is already ECL 8-9 with the Ghostlord's lair almost finished, with the exception of the Ghostlord). Depending on which one of them it winds up as, the PCs might enter the adventure at the appropriate level for the final encounters.

    Can anyone say what level the RHoD adventure will actually tend to end at, or if not, any recommendations on upping it in power or on any other planar adventures that would fit?
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    The Butterfly Effect is maximized when the butterfly can bend space-time to its will.
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    No one expects the Crayon Exposition!
    Quote Originally Posted by quick_comment
    If you get an item of bloodwind, you can hurl your beard at people, captain america style

    When Fistbeard Beardfist throws his beard, all who oppose his beard must yield!

  7. - Top - End - #337
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Major Plot Question (What's a DM to do):

    My group is in Rhest. Their alignment is mostly Neutral with a few Good members. I figure they will win the battle pretty easily, and grab the phylactery.

    I know for a fact they try try to destroy it the round they find it! It is the kind of thing they will do. I don't know how to handle the situation if that happens. What should I do about the Ghostlord?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by monkey3 View Post
    Major Plot Question (What's a DM to do):

    My group is in Rhest. Their alignment is mostly Neutral with a few Good members. I figure they will win the battle pretty easily, and grab the phylactery.

    I know for a fact they try try to destroy it the round they find it! It is the kind of thing they will do. I don't know how to handle the situation if that happens. What should I do about the Ghostlord?
    Do they understand that it's being used to blackmail a lich into throwing, essentially, an entire other army into the fight?

    You could reinforce this with some information in Rhest that details how they're going to get reinforcements from the ghost lord such that just ganking him wouldn't remove them from the battle, if you really want them to try to work the getting him to stop helping the horde angle.

    Disguising the nature of the phylactery initially, so that it's a magical curio at first might be necessary to further leverage that.

    Additionally, if they're the type that might try it on, if you haven't set phylacteries in too much stone in your setting, you could make it so that possessing/using/wearing one would allow one to feel any powerful emotional states that the lich was experiencing. And fear/anxiety and the weird feeling of mortality may also be enough to get them to realize that it's an angle they can play.

    Otherwise, if they're going to be dead set on ganking the ghost lord anyway, you could have it be that he's a load bearing boss and the control and/or existence of the forces he's sent to the Red Hand depend upon his or the heart of the lion's continued existence.

    So they may have to deal with some berserk ghost lions and bone drinkers on their way back to civilization and for a bit afterward, but at least those things won't be actively aiding the horde.
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  9. - Top - End - #339

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

    Wow, still keeping up with this thing. Now that's a good OP. This post assumes the DM does responsible things like include the dirty handbook fixes.

    I didn't read all of the OP, but about the optimizing party of 8 or 9 thing ... rather than redo all this why not:

    1. half the starting ECL and xp gain (so ECL 3 ending around 10)
    2. double all monster numbers and statics values: (HD, HP, initiative, speed, AC, Grapple, damage, reach, special qualities' numbers, saves, stats discluding their ripple effects, skills, spell DCs, spells slots, etc) except where it would cause difficulty for the DM (space, spell known, highest level cast, inventory, feats, etc)

    A quick calculation of the first battle revealed that ECL 3 for a party of 8 or 9 sounds about right, since all encounters should be 'overpowering.'

    I'm curious about your thoughts of the quick fix against a fairly optimized large par

  10. - Top - End - #340
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderRM
    Can anyone say what level the RHoD adventure will actually tend to end at, or if not, any recommendations on upping it in power or on any other planar adventures that would fit?
    Really depends where you start the party at. Start them at level 6 and barring shenanigans they should be around 11 when it finishes. Start them at 5 and they should finish around 10. If you need them to gain a couple of levels before they start the next phase, appear an overly generous DM and just handwave it that "you spend the next few months cleaning up the Red Hand with the armies of Brindol, and gain another level and WBL in the process." Done.

    Quote Originally Posted by monkey3
    My group is in Rhest. Their alignment is mostly Neutral with a few Good members. I figure they will win the battle pretty easily, and grab the phylactery.

    I know for a fact they try try to destroy it the round they find it! It is the kind of thing they will do. I don't know how to handle the situation if that happens. What should I do about the Ghostlord?
    Coidzor's suggestions are good. One thought is to change the note from Ulwai to something a bit more of a clue by four -- imply that the Ghostlord is really only helping them because he's being forced to, as he's a reformed lich. That might stop the phylactery-smashers in the party or it might not.

    If all else fails, look at the consequences. It's not that catastrophic to the Vale at large. On the RHOD text, the Ghostlord throwing in with the Red Hand has the following consequences:
    (1) The players can't earn 5 VP.
    (2) There'll be a fourth wave -- the bonedrinkers -- in the Streets of Blood encounter.
    (3) They'll be facing the Ghostlord and Kharn together in the climax of the Battle of Brindol.

    Item (1) can be easily mitigated. If the party's been doing all the right things thus far, they won't be far off the 40 required VP for victory at Brindol (in fact, on my campaign, once the party breaks the alliance between Zarl and the Red Hand, they theoretically don't need to kill anything other than Kharn -- they've got their 40 points.) But 5 VP's nothing considering how Brindol itself is going to be a target-rich environment: Abithriax, Skather, putting out fires, and killing Kharn well and truly compensate for not breaking the alliance. And this doesn't take into account the VPs available from double-tapping Ulwai and/or Varanthian themselves.

    Item (2) only makes the Streets of Blood encounter a bit harder. If they've done the right things at Rhest they won't be facing greenspawn razorfiends, and on open ground, especially with a cleric, lesser bonedrinkers ain't impressing anybody -- particularly when you consider that by this point in the adventure the party will have gotten a level or two on where they were "supposed" to encounter the little buggers.

    Item (3) is the issue that needs most consideration. But even then it only takes 5 minutes of thought. If your objective is to have the party win against Zarl, the easiest solution is to run the RHOD Ghostlord as written when he's at Brindol. Don't pump him up as suggested in my handbook. He's much more likely to get vaporised that way. Remember, this is not an undead druid the party would be facing, it's an undead blighter. Blighters suck as druid PrCs -- no summoning, in particular -- and being a lich only increases the suck because you no longer have to target him with strikes that get through his natural armor or armor -- you only need touch attacks while using a Healing Belt to do him damage, or indeed the Staff of Life to blast him down to 1 HP. And that's without even considering the mindblowing array of undead-unfriendly spells like the Light of Venya line that clerics get easy access to.

  11. - Top - End - #341
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by PlzBreakMyCmpAn View Post
    Wow, still keeping up with this thing. Now that's a good OP. This post assumes the DM does responsible things like include the dirty handbook fixes.

    I didn't read all of the OP, but about the optimizing party of 8 or 9 thing ... rather than redo all this why not:

    1. half the starting ECL and xp gain (so ECL 3 ending around 10)
    2. double all monster numbers and statics values: (HD, HP, initiative, speed, AC, Grapple, damage, reach, special qualities' numbers, saves, stats discluding their ripple effects, skills, spell DCs, spells slots, etc) except where it would cause difficulty for the DM (space, spell known, highest level cast, inventory, feats, etc)

    A quick calculation of the first battle revealed that ECL 3 for a party of 8 or 9 sounds about right, since all encounters should be 'overpowering.'

    I'm curious about your thoughts of the quick fix against a fairly optimized large par
    If the assumption here is to double all the monster numbers, as in 6 hobgoblins in a fight rather than 3, then that's one thing.

    If the assumption is to simply double all their stats, I don't know that it would necessarily make a difference, though I'd be interested to see the result. The reason being that 3.5 is subtitled "Caster Edition". When you have a party of 8 or 9 which includes more than one caster of either divine or arcane type, they can control the fight even if it involves large numbers. I don't put a lot of stock in ECL and CRs any more, WOTC's calculations are so wacky in some instances it's better to just eyeball it. Once a caster finds a good option -- "Just hit again and again with Glitterdust" -- then he can keep on doing that while his fellow casters go to more impressive stuff "Holy Smite! Holy Smite! Holy Smite!"

    Another point to raise is that if you basically Zerg Rush the party with mass numbers of opponents, you take the risk of mainlining XP to the party because the challenge ratings of the encounters are raised. Hobgoblins aren't CR 1/4 kobolds, they're 1/2 or more. This means the party levels up faster and they outstrip the level structure of the module in any event. You also double the booty after each fight: most of it will be vendor trash, but one masterwork weapon will still net you 150 gp at a major settlement, and there's a lot of masterwork weapons out here. Your players melting down the Zerg's short swords +1 to build ever-more-powerful magical weaponry and equipment is a very real possibility if you're not going to be a total bastard towards the players on purchase of equipment.

    Solo monsters are still screwed in this scenario, too. Raising saves does address this to some extent, but in those instances the party simply shifts to defending its casters and large-magazine spell options like sorceror. And raising saves, absent SR, also doesn't do a lot to spells like Downdraft which are save-and-still-suck. It also doesn't help big solo monsters because with 8-9 players they're hopelessly outclassed on the action economy. Your players don't even have to wait for a spell to be cast in that instance; if they're in large numbers and they're optimised, a party of 8-9 is perfectly capable of dishing out 100-150+ damage in one round -- ubercharging is a very big component of this sort of damage count at these levels. The train is already pretty difficult to stop, and as your clerics and mages close in on level 10 and fifth level spells it just rolls faster and faster.

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

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will try to give more hints as to the usefulness of the phylactery as a diplomatic tool. Given this group of people, I am giving it a 90% of them destroying the thing. My next worry is what to do if they go off to kill the Ghostlord. Clearly he is not meant as an opponent, and TPK is on the horizon...

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

    Wouldn't really help with the loot issue, but it seems like ad-hoc or chapter-based leveling/XP would be the only way to keep things right level-wise. And IIRC, it does at least lend itself fairly well to a few places as natural level-up points for that kind of treatment.

    But considering the nature of the module, unless they've got an artificer with a dedicated wright in a hole working on things, the only place they're going to be able to get anything is right before the battle of brindol, and maybe on their way to Rhest.

    So having a lot of vendor trash loot and going above WBL isn't necessarily going to result in power creep.

    Depends a lot on the players and the nature of item availability though, I'll admit.
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  14. - Top - End - #344

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

    I meant both options (1 and 2).

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    with mass numbers of opponents, you take the risk of mainlining XP to the party because the challenge ratings of the encounters are raised. Hobgoblins aren't CR 1/4 kobolds, they're 1/2 or more. This means the party levels up faster and they outstrip the level structure of the module in any event. You also double the booty after each fight
    I was assuming rough WBL but double the treasure for double the players seems about right and
    Quote Originally Posted by PlzBreakMyCmpAn View Post
    half the starting ECL and xp gain
    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    Solo monsters are still screwed in this scenario, too. Raising saves does address this to some extent, but in those instances the party simply shifts to defending its casters and large-magazine spell options like sorceror. And raising saves, absent SR, also doesn't do a lot to spells like Downdraft which are save-and-still-suck.
    Downdraft is less a problem because (assuming a fail) the monster is only half as effected (x2 hp). If these buff forces wizard -> sorc and cleric -> favored soul, then this is a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    It also doesn't help big solo monsters because with 8-9 players they're hopelessly outclassed on the action economy. Your players don't even have to wait for a spell to be cast in that instance; if they're in large numbers and they're optimised, a party of 8-9 is perfectly capable of dishing out 100-150+ damage in one round -- ubercharging is a very big component of this sort of damage count at these levels. The train is already pretty difficult to stop, and as your clerics and mages close in on level 10 and fifth level spells it just rolls faster and faster.
    I am aware of all points but I'm not sure how it means the buffs given are unable to handle the increase in players. After all chargers would be a problem even if it is 4 players with no changes. Also remember that players would have to manage those combos at otherwise half the usual ECL. Chargers are still doable low level, but consider the ease of the arms race for the DM vs the player. Same goes for higher level spells even moreso (4 players with 4th level spells > 8 players with 2nd level s

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    Really depends where you start the party at. Start them at level 6 and barring shenanigans they should be around 11 when it finishes. Start them at 5 and they should finish around 10. If you need them to gain a couple of levels before they start the next phase, appear an overly generous DM and just handwave it that "you spend the next few months cleaning up the Red Hand with the armies of Brindol, and gain another level and WBL in the process." Done.
    Hmm. That advice is fine for gaining levels, but the party is supposed to start EttDP at level 9- when they'll end RHoD at level 11 (and there are only 3 PCs, so it might even wind up at 12th level), so I'll need to actually lower their level. I'd have to either hit them with some negative energy (which would be unpredictable b/c of the fortitude saves) and then prevent them from getting access to Greater Restoration (which would be easily available in Sigil, among other places) for several months so they can't get cured, or to kill each PC twice. Neither of those will reduce their WBL as much, either.

    Hmm... that made me think though, what if I energy drained them, and got them to go to Sigil to get it restored, then (through DM fiat making Greater Restoration harder to do, or maybe these lost levels are really special) the only NPC they can find to do it makes them do a quest hook before he restores them? And that quest hook either lasts the whole adventure, or for some other reason they can't get their levels restored until they finish the adventure? I really like that idea.
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    At the end, the PCs don't get restored up levels since they've already regained the levels they lost through XP. Think like a Wizard of Oz type thing, the power to restore them was within themselves the whole time, and the spellcaster sent them on the quest to discover it, since restoring their own souls is the only way to reverse this special energy drain- that's why he was the only caster who could restore them.



    Though, unfortunately one of my PCs is saying he'd still really rather not go back to 9th level after getting to 11th, regardless of the means, which I suppose I can understand, so it would really be good to find another way to do this, or another adventure or something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexxation View Post
    Total Perspective Vortex is a beautiful way to kill.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shades of gray View Post
    Ummm... You fall, rock dies...
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    The Butterfly Effect is maximized when the butterfly can bend space-time to its will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prowl View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by quick_comment
    If you get an item of bloodwind, you can hurl your beard at people, captain america style

    When Fistbeard Beardfist throws his beard, all who oppose his beard must yield!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PlzBreakMyCmpAn View Post
    I meant both options (1 and 2).

    I was assuming rough WBL but double the treasure for double the players seems about right and

    Downdraft is less a problem because (assuming a fail) the monster is only half as effected (x2 hp). If these buff forces wizard -> sorc and cleric -> favored soul, then this is a good thing.

    I am aware of all points but I'm not sure how it means the buffs given are unable to handle the increase in players. After all chargers would be a problem even if it is 4 players with no changes. Also remember that players would have to manage those combos at otherwise half the usual ECL. Chargers are still doable low level, but consider the ease of the arms race for the DM vs the player. Same goes for higher level spells even moreso (4 players with 4th level spells > 8 players with 2nd level s
    I'm not trying to shoot down the idea, and it does sound like it's worth a try. At the very least you could walk into the Marauder Attack at the start of the campaign with this approach and see how the party fares. If they get steamrolled, you know you're going too hard.

    I'm only pessimistic about it, I guess, because of the experience with 8 players on "as expected" RHOD levels. It's basically two parties' worth of resources at once, except economies of scale start to kick in since a single party only has one arcane source of debuffery available while two parties' worth of players results in two arcane spells per round: it raises the effectiveness of casters by an exponential degree.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that doubling the hitpoint total does allow the monster to survive double the period of time it otherwise would, but that still gives you two rounds of fighting rather than one. Unless the solo monsters have a credible way to repel and prevent contact with multiple melee opponents reliably and impede their movement or options all on one initiative count, a party of 8-9 players is still going to lay out multiples of ten in hitpoint damage per round. A big solo monster might lay out one attacker in a round, but if he's got four opponents laying out similar damage at once that's still 75% of the group's effectiveness getting through his defences. But I'd be happy to be proved wrong.

  17. - Top - End - #347
    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Well, there's always coming up with some nifty words to hang in the air after killing part of a god and then getting blasted by the death throes, and them, say, being blasted back in time by several weeks rather than erased from existence or some other way to explain them being deleveled in an exotic means that would require them to do a bit more than the standard greater restoration.

    Or have them level drained and blasted into the future.

    Both of those would require good delivery and/or handle player checks though, I imagine.
    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

  18. - Top - End - #348
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Greetings,
    I've just completed the Red Hand of Doom module with my group, and I've created a series of extra roleplaying events throughout the adventure. And I thought I could share it with you guys.

    I ran a modification of this module with a group of 16-19 Level Characters, so I'm not going to post the entire conversion. This is rather some parts of the adventure I found boring or insufficient, and remade or fleshed out.

    The first part is when the party is visiting Starsong Hill, and gets to make a performance check to earn the respect of the elves. I thought this was a bit dull, so I created a system for making the performance a bit more interesting. I told the group the rules together then gave them 30min to each prepare their own "show".

    Tiri Kitor Performance

    Spoiler
    Show
    Sellyria Starsinger approaches you with a polite smile on her lips. The bright moonlight makes the small silver beads braided into her hair shimmer with a flickering light. Her face is pale and looks like it is sculpted of ivory and you can’t help to feel amazed by her stunning beauty. “As a part of the funeral ceremony, many skilled artisans and performers like to pay their respect to the fallen by putting up a show in his honor. If you like to do it as well you have thirty minutes to sign up, down at the theatre.” She slowly turns around and leaves you, still dazzled by her natural grace.

    Performers can set up their own show, which will run for two minutes (12 consecutive rounds). They may decide exactly how the show is going to be performed. To their help they have the theatre wardrobe, where all kinds of clothes, equipment and other necessary things for a show can be found (500gp limit). Five helpers are allowed for each performance and they can be found in the backstage of the theatre. Other than that, anything is allowed on the stage as long as it gains the approval of the demanding but fair judges.
    Performances are graded by the difficulty of the checks made in the show and the amount of checks made. Successful checks will gain the approval of the audience and hopefully points from the judges, while failed checks will be seen as dishonoring the fallen. The performer may himself decide the DC of each check, and will get points from the judges accordingly. Successful checks will earn bonus points if the following check is also successful, and the bonus points will increase exponentially for every check completed in a row.
    Successful Ability Checks will award a lot of points, since these are the hardest to make, followed by Saves Rolls, Skill Checks, and Attack Rolls, in that order.
    Spells can also be used, and will be awarded more points for higher level, as long as they are comprehendible by any of the senses of the audience and the judges.
    Also, a well planned, colorful (the elves like color), innovative and creative show may also award bonus points, as the DM sees fit.

    Give the players 30min to come up with their own show, make them roll the rolls and so on. Then have each player describe what is happening on the stage. Remember to add a few NPC acts as well, so the whole performance competition gets a more realistic feeling. At the end summarize everyone's points, and see who did best. The outcome of this performance should have a big impact on whether the Tiri Kitor will help out in the coming war.

    Check DCs:
    DC 10: 2 Points
    DC 15: 3 Points
    DC 20: 4 Points
    DC 25: 5 Points
    DC 30: 6 Points
    DC 35: 7 Points
    DC 40: 8 Points
    DC 50+: 20 Points

    Ability Check: +5 Points
    Save Roll: +4 Points
    Skill Check: +3 Points
    Attack Roll: +2 Points

    Successful checks in a row:
    Three: +1
    Four: +2
    Five: +4
    Six or more: +8


    Spells:
    1st Level: +2 Points
    2nd Level: +3 Points
    3rd Level: +4 Points
    4th Level: +5 Points
    5th Level and above: +6 Points


    The second part is preparing Brindol for war. The adventure provided a detailed map of the city as well as descriptions of various interesting sites in Brindol. So I took the liberty of creating a lot of mini-quests associated with many of these locations (Use the Brindol Map).

    The Calm Before the Storm

    Spoiler
    Show
    Shanks Shivs
    Get an arms contract with Shank. Shank has always fancied Velorian, and if the PCs can set them up for a date he is willing to give them a contract for master crafted long swords to the Lions of Brindol.

    Axenhaft Security
    Get a few extra soldiers from Eldremma Axenhaft. Trabalard Yab has an old debt of roughly 2000gp which Eldremma wants back now in this time of war. If they PCs can collect the debt she is willing to hire her last mercenaries to Brindol. Namely, the Spellbinders; a very expensive group of Sorcerers. (x10 12th Level Sorcerers)

    The Stone Wyvern
    Trabalard Yab, is anxious about the stone wyvern. Yab is trying to convince a few customers that the Wyvern is real; if the PCs can prove that it’s real he’ll pay back the debt to Eldremma. Also if the PCs manage to charm it, they may use it in the war.

    Brindol Market
    Recruits at the Brindol Market need to be calmed down. Combat prowess and stories of greatness will do the trick here.

    The Thirsty Zombie
    Torgin the infamous bartender has refused to help out against the attack. If they can convince him to help out, they’ll have a great ally.

    Red Magic and Sundries
    Verrasa Kaal, wants the Star of Elsir. This crystal apple and crystal scepter is kept safe in the Red Magic and Sundries, by Alandri the riddle loving sphinx.
    Riddle:
    There are 5 houses in 5 different colors
    In each house lives a person with a different race
    These 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet
    No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same drink.
    Here's the question: Who owns the fish?
    The Elf lives in a red house
    The Dwarf keeps dogs as pets
    The Human drinks tea
    The green house is on the left of the white house
    The green house owner drinks mead
    The person who smokes Dwarf Cigars rears birds
    The owner of the yellow house smokes Black Lake Cigars
    The man living in the house right in the middle drinks milk
    The Orc lives in the first house
    The person who smokes White Lake Cigars lives next door to the one who keeps cats.
    The man who keeps horses lives next door to the man who smokes Black Lake Cigars
    The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer
    The Gnome smokes Yellow Leaves Cigars
    The Orc lives next to the blue house
    The person who smokes White Lake Cigars has a neighbor who drinks water
    With these 15 clues the problem is solvable.

    Answer: The Gnome.


    Shrine of Yondalla
    The Leader of a local Yondalla church has been gruesomely murdered. The work of the Aranea Spy called Miha. Spider web is found in the otherwise well cleaned room of Nattalie Nettlemead.

    Craven Raven
    Ashley Ulverth, the daughter of Lars Ulverth, has gone missing. She was last seen at the Craven Raven. This is work of either Miha or Skather, and finding Ashley is crucial to Captain Ulverths performance in the coming battle. Spider web is found on the usually well kept VIP floor.

    Velorian’s
    A person is seen sneaking out of the city during the night. This is Hannah Velorian, the owner of Velorian’s Playhouse in Brindol. She is under the influence of a Dominate Monster spell, and is feeding the Red Hand Horde crucial information about the defenders. Finding out this secret may both grant the PCs and ally and end the flow of information about Brindol deployment.

    Brindol Academy
    Damynda Rianthiar is in a dispute with a man called Fishlip Fergus, it is about an old deal with the Craven Raven. Fergus refuses to deliver since he doesn't own the Craven Raven any longer. If the PCs can settle the dispute between these two, as well as between Fergus and Andraki Lenn (Current owner of Craven Raven), they'll have three potential allies in the battle.

    The Laughing Manticore
    A contract with the owner can be made, for only 1000gp/month to export Manticore Mead. This however won’t help the PCs win the battle in any way.

    Kaal Manor
    Rillor Paln accuses one of the PCs of sleeping with his lover (Lady Kaal), and challenges that PC to a midnight duel at the graveyard. The outcome of this duel will have an impact on whether the Black Knives will help Brindol in the coming battle.

    Teskerwill Manor
    The adventurers can strike a deal here with Owen Teskerwill, to get horses for Brindol’s Lions. The price is however marriage with one of his daughters.

    Cathedral of Pelor
    The Pelor and Wee Jas churches both wants a leading role in the coming war, but both refuses to help out if they don’t get picked as leaders. Eladrin Leader of the church is Tredora Goldenbrow, she’s heard about the PCs from Rualiss in Moonstair, as well as the potions.

    Temple of Wee Jas
    The Pelor and Wee Jas churches both wants a leading role in the coming war, but both refuses to help out if they don’t get picked as leaders. High Mourner Mihram is more than willing to strike a deal if it means finally getting a worthy position.



    The third part is during the War Council in Brindol, I found this part very dull, and almost a copy of the meeting in Drellin's Ferry. I decided to change the entire thing into a more strategical concept. I also decided to add a few allies that the PCs managed to get for the war. (Some of which are from earlier adventures, these should of course be changed to fit those of your own party).

    A few of the entries here in this and the next part refers to some of my PCs and their allies, so I'm going to name them so that you can easily change them to fit your own campaign.

    PC: Daren Dresden (Human, Beguiler/Mind Bender)
    PC: Sarah Dariah (Human, Duskblade/Cleric)
    PC: Alderon Zeul (Human, Crusader)
    PC: Tyronne Ryn (Half-Elf, Rogue)
    PC: Mudd (Half-Orc, Barbarian)
    NPC: Rualiss (Eladrin, from the King of the Trollhaunt adventure)
    NPC: Silverwing/Argentum Alarum (Silver Dragon, from my mod of WPM)
    NPC: King Blam (Kobold king, from the Silver Skeleton adventure)
    NPC: Melina Prisius (Ruler of the entire Elsir Vale, from Manifesting, a Tale)
    NPC: Eludecia (Succubus Paladin, from the Silver Skeleton adventure)
    NPC: Aisaphra (Marilith Demon, from the the Silver Skeleton adventure)

    Deployment

    Spoiler
    Show
    Depending on how the PCs performed earlier in the adventure they have access to the some of the following troops. (Green/Red marks those that were/weren't available to my PCs, this should of course change to fit your PCs). Here the PCs gets a chance (with good diplomacy) to influence the deployment of Brindol's forces. Remember that the forces are modified for a high level party of PCs.

    Brindol’s Forces
    The Company of Last Resort (30 8th Level Crusaders)
    The Lions of Brindol (300 3rd Level Fighters)
    Brindol Warriors (8000 1st Level Warriors)
    The Shining Servants (50 8th Level Healers of Pelor)
    The Shining Axes (200 3rd Level Dwarf Fighters)
    The Tiri Kitor Hunters (150 3rd Level Elven Rangers)
    Tiri Kitor Owls (50 Giant Owls)
    Warklegnaw’s Forest Giants (15 Forest Giants)
    Silverwing (1 Ancient Silver Dragon)
    Blam’s Kobolds (300 1st Level Kobold Warriors)
    The Black Knives (40 8th Level Human Rogues)
    Rualiss’ Eladrins (5 16th Level Eladrin Wizards)
    Daren’s pet Hydra (1 Six-headed Hydra)

    Adventurers from the Thirsty Zombie (2 Bands of five 6th Level Adventurers)
    The Wyvern (1 Wyvern)


    The city has been divided into four different districts, to help with the deployment. The Lendshire District (Left on the map, and south according to the compass), the Argential District (Bottom on the map, and east according to the compass), the Bleakwood District (Top on the map, and west according to the compass), and the Green Wall District (Middle of the map).

    First Line of Defense

    Outside the Walls:
    Lord Jaarmath and Captain Helmbreaker wants to meet the Horde head on, to save Brindol. Immerstal and Countess Prisius disagrees, meeting the Horde without the walls seems like suicide.

    The Western Gate:
    Lord Jaarmath is certain this is from where the strongest attacks from the Red Hand will fall.

    The Northern Gates:
    High Cleric Tredora suggests that the bridge gates are pretty easily defendable.

    The Eastern Gate:
    Lady Kaal assures that this is where the weakest attacks, if any at all, will fall.

    The Southern Gate:
    Captain Ulverth believes that the Southern Gate will be heavily besieged.

    The Elsir River Shore (West):
    Trellara Nightshadow and Norro Wiston agree that this is a crucial point for defense. King Blam suggests putting traps along the shore.

    The Elsir River Shore (East):
    King Blam wants to place traps along this shore as well just to be sure.

    Second Line of Defense

    The Green Wall District
    Lady Kaal and High Cleric Goldenbrow wants this district to be best protected. Captain Ulverth disagrees. He instead suggests putting reserves there.

    Lendshire District
    Captain Arrowswift believes this area to be best for hit and run attacks if the Southern Gate falls. Silverwing thinks that this dense district will be under dragon attacks, and suggests not putting too many soldiers within the houses.

    Bleakwood District
    Immerstal suggests that this district should be the heaviest fortified one. Everyone agrees.

    Argiental District
    Countess Prisius wants this district to have at least a few patrols. Rualiss thinks those patrols could be more useful elsewhere.

    Inner Defenses

    The Brindol Keep
    Silverwing coldly suggests that if the Keep has to be defended the city is already lost. Jaarmath disagrees, the keep will hold children and women and needs protection.

    The Catherdral of Pelor
    High Cleric Tredora wants to set up a battle field hospital at the Cathedral of Pelor. Captain Arrowswift disagrees, better to spread the healers out around the city.

    The Kaal Manor
    Rualiss wants to set up a brewery in this building, much to Lady Kaal’s dismay. When asked why, he just replies “oh are we still discussing the battle? Nah I just want a brewery there.”

    The Haskinar Mansion
    Lord Jaarmath suggests this should be from where the Lions of Brindol should ride to battle.

    The Brindol Academy
    Rualiss wants to set up a base here for his wizards.

    Air Forces

    The Cathedral Square:
    Captain Arrow swift wants his owl warriors deployed here, for easy take off.

    The Brindol Market:
    Silverwing, wants to be deployed here to cause as much havoc as possible before taking off. Rualiss says with a bored tone “Don’t be silly you old lizard, you will make our own troops **** their pants, before the battle has even begun”

    The Graveyard:
    Trellara Nightshadow suggests the Giants to be deployed here, using the grave stones as projectiles, much to High Cleric Goldenbrow’s dismay.

    Reserves:
    Everyone agrees that reserves should be kept near the Brindol Keep for fast deployment to areas in need.


    The fourth part is actually in very strong union with the fifth part. The fourth part still takes place at the war council, where the PCs get to team up with NPCs to form battle squads, this is an attempt to put the PCs in focus a bit like sergeants in the fight. Each one the leader of a highly specialized squad of fighters, taking on special missions (described in the fifth part), and then finally teaming up again for the final fight against Kharn.

    Combat Tactics

    Spoiler
    Show
    Depending on how well the PCs performed on the mini-adventures around Brindol before the battle, NPCs have been unlocked for the battle.

    Company Selection
    A total of 20 points must be used to form a company. At least one named character has to be chosen per PC.


    Tier 1 (1 Point)

    Brindol Lion (3rd Level Human Paladin)
    - The loyal elite guard of Brindol.

    Shining Axe (3rd Level Dwarven Fighter)
    - Dwarven elite mercenary from the Hammerfist Holds.

    Tiri Kitor Hunter (3rd Level Elven Ranger)
    - Elven elite tracker from the Tiri Kitor elf tribe.





    Tier 2 (5 Points)

    Shining Servant (8th Level Human Cleric)
    - Healer Cleric of Pelor.

    Wee Jas Priest (8th Level Human Cleric)
    - Warrior priest of Wee Jas.

    Black Knives Rogue (8th Level Human Rogue)
    - Infiltration and assassination specialist.

    Spellbinders Sorcerer (8th Level Elven Sorcerer)
    - Combat spell caster, specialized in Evocation magic.

    Last Resort Warrior (8th Level Half-Elven Crusader)
    - Brindol’s old allies from the cities around Witchwood.




    Tier 3
    Three PCs may choose two of the following to accompany them into battle.

    Teyani Sura (12th Level Human Paladin)
    - One of the Sergeants of the Brindol Lions. First met at Drellin’s Ferry, after losing her company in an ambush.

    Trabalard Yab (12th Level Gnome Bard)
    - The nervous yet nice owner of the Stone Wyvern Inn.

    Eldremma Axenhaft (12th Level Human Duskblade)
    - The proud owner of Axenhaft Security, the best established mercenary guild in Elsir Vale.

    Shank (12th Level Human Rogue)
    - The shady owner of Shank’s Shivs, the best weapons dealer in Brindol.

    Torgin Kuraki (12th Level Half-Orc Barbarian)
    - The owner of The Thirsty Zombie tavern. Torgin retired from adventuring long ago, but still have the muscles and instinct of a true Manticore hunter.

    Alandri (Gyno Sphinx)
    - The beloved wife of Immerstal the Red, and co-owner of Red Magic and Sundries in Brindol.

    Andraki Lenn (12th Level Human Wizard)
    - The owner of the fancy Craven Raven. Now retired from adventuring, the Craven Raven has become his pet project.

    Fishlip Fergus (12th Level Halfling Beguiler)
    - The ex-owner of the Craven Raven. Lost the tavern to Andraki Lenn in a game of Three-Dragon Ante.


    Hannah Velorian (12th Level Half-Elf Rogue/Shadow Dancer)
    - The owner of Velorian’s Playhouse in Brindol. After retiring from adventuring, Velorian has established this very successful Theatre.

    Damynda Rianthar (12th Level Favored Soul)
    - Strict and wise, Damynda inspires her students to greatness at the Brindol Academy.

    Rillor Paln (12th Level Human Fighter/Assassin)
    - Leader of the Black Knives Thieves’ Guild, Rillor Paln has a finger in every pie.

    Mhiram (12th Level Asimar Cleric)
    - High Mourner of the Wee Jas church in Brindol. Archrival of Tredora Goldenbrow. Specializes in death magic.

    Soranna Anitah (12th Level Human Knight)
    - Captain of the Militia in Drellin’s Ferry. Soranna has become little of a local hero there.









    Tier 4
    Two PCs may choose one of the following to accompany them into battle. If this choice is taken only 10 points worth of Tier 1 and Tier 2 choices are allowed.

    King Blam (15th Level Kobold Warlock)
    - The chieftain of the kobold tribe residing in Crystalmist Mt. Not the sharpest tool in the box, but usually a reliable ally.

    Tredora Goldenbrow (15th Level Eladrin Cleric)
    - High Cleric of the Pelor church in Brindol. Tredora probably has the most beautiful face in Elsir Vale, even for an Eladrin she’s good looking. As a caster she focuses on healing spells and is considered one of the best healers in the land.

    Trelara Nightshadow (15th Level Elven Druid)
    - Apprentice of the famous Sellyria Starsinger. After losing her brother to the Red Hand, she has sworn to avenge him. Specializes in shape shifting.

    Verrasa Kaal (15th Level Human Sorceress)
    - The seemingly tidy and respected politician known as Lady Kaal, probably is more than meets the eye. Specializes in Evocation magic.











    Tier 5
    One PC may choose one of the following to accompany him/her into battle. If this choice is taken, no Tier 4, and only one Tier 3 choice is allowed.

    Immerstal The Red (18th Level Human Wizard/Archmage)
    - The Archmage of Brindol and Protector of the Elsir are his titles. Immerstal has been keeping the Vale safe for over five decades, and despite his rumored ties to the Red Wizards’ Conclave he is loved by the people of Elsir Vale.

    Killiar Arrowswift (18th Level Elven Ranger/Arcane Archer)
    - Captain of the feared Tiri Kitor Hunters. Arrowswift and his men have been keeping the forests north of the Elsir River safe, since the fall of Rhest.


    Lars Ulverth (18th Level Human Paladin/Hierophant)
    - Captain of the Brindol Lions and Lord Jaarmath’s most trusted man. Captain Ulverth is an imposing man with a pronounced limp on his left leg, the remnant of a wound received in a tragic battle with a Giant, in which his lover was slain.

    Gideon Helmbreaker (18th Level Dwarven Fighter/Dwarven Defender)
    - Captain of the Shining Axes mercenary band. In his 294 years, he has seen countless battles and is a man not taken lightly.







    Tier 6
    One PC may choose one of the following to accompany him/her into battle. If this choice is taken, no other choices are allowed.

    Rualiss Dawnshadow (20th Level Eladrin Wizard/Cleric/Mystic Theurge)
    - The crazy alchemist from Moonstair. He always has a new batch of potions on the making, and is always eager to try out his new creations. Probably the strongest spell caster in the northern parts of the continent, but tends to be a bit unreliable.

    Silverwing (Ancient Silver Dragon)
    - The silver dragon imprisoned centuries ago by the Archmage Keraptis in the White Plume Mountain. He is now eager to test himself in battle once again.

    Melina Prisius 20th Level Human Psionic)
    - The supreme ruler of Elsir Vale. At only 19 years of age she has already made a name for herself around Nyon, both politically and socially. Some say that this is because of her pretty face, but those who meet her in person soon realize that she is as smart as she is pretty.



    The fifth part is an upgraded version of the battle of Brindol, where the different companies take on missions around the city. This part assumes that the battle has begun and that each PC is linked through a telepathic bond (Rary's Telepathic Bond, or similiar) with Lord Jaarmath, who administrates everything in the battle. The battle is divided into serveral "Levels" to help put a timeline of the battle, and make the PCs end up together for the final battle. This part also includes suggested soundtracks for every mission, "status reports" from Lord Jaarmath after every Level, as well as a few text to help build the battle like atmosphere.

    The Final Stand


    Spoiler
    Show

    Level 1
    Save the Walls
    Hill Giants are bombarding the walls at five different locations.

    “Squad Mudd/Dariah this is Lord Jaarmath speaking, giants are bombarding the walls with boulders. I need you at the Western/Southern Gate. We need to take them out before our walls are flattened.”

    Near a small grove a few hundred yards outside the city walls you can see the hulking figures of six Hill Giants. They have gathered up quite a pile of large rocks, and are now bombarding the city walls like gigantic catapults.

    Encounter: 6 Hill Giants, 10 Bladebearers arrive each round.

    The Bridge
    Red Hand agents assault the bridges.

    “Squad Zeul, the Northern Gates have fallen and the bridges are under heavy assault, we need assistance now!”

    The twin gates are both in flames, and beneath them you see Worg Riders making their way across the bridges. Terrifying howls and screams of the dying fill the night and as you move closer you see massed forces of goblins and war priests moving up on the other side of the Elsir River. A scared looking sergeant comes running towards you.

    Encounter: Defend the bridges for 5 rounds while the guards barricade them.







    Attack is the Best Defense
    An infiltration mission into the horde during the battle to take out their Head Quarters.

    “Squad Ryn and Squad Daren, this is Jaarmath, our spies have located an HQ inside the horde, if you can take them out that would sure cause some confusion. Meet up with Rualiss near the Southern Gate. ”

    As you reach the Southern Gate, only the distant cracks of rocks hitting the walls are all that you hear. A single patrol of Brindol Warriors is marching up the street. Suddenly a loud buzzing sound and then a pop break the silence. Rualiss has appeared out of thin air and is standing next to you with a bored look on his face. “Drink this.” He says, and hands a potion to each of you. And then disappears again with the same popping sound.

    Encounter: Take out five HQ tents of the red hand

    Level 2
    Aerial Assault [Soundtrack1]
    Silverwing leads a group of Owls against Ozyrrandion and Manticores.

    “Daren Dresden and Silverwing, this is Captain Arrowswift. My scouts report movement in the air. Ozyrrandion and a pack of Manticores are coming in from west; we’ll try to intercept them before they reach the city. Get to the Cathedral Square; it’s time to get airborne.”

    The large Cathedral Square is like a winter dream. Large white owls cover the ground everywhere and their huge black eyes are glistering like onyx in the moonlit night. You can make out Captain Arrowswift on the back of the only gray owl, signaling to his riders to prepare for takeoff. Suddenly all owls and riders turn their heads towards where you’re standing. As you turn around to look behind you, you’re met with the sight of a colossal silver dragon, holding out one of its claws towards you. “Get up!” it says with a booming voice, and then lifts you up on its back.

    Soon the sound of flapping wings fills the air, as you all take off towards the star studded night sky. The scales of Silverwing are like polished shields reflecting the moon and make him shine like a beacon in the night. Behind you, there is a trail of about fifty white owls flying in formation. And as you look down you see the lights of Brindol and the huge army surrounding it. The night air is fresh on your face as you start preparing yourself for the fight.

    Encounter: Ozyrrandion and 5 Manticores

    Magic Unleashed [Soundtrack2]
    A magical battle breaks out between Pelor and Tiamat Clerics at the Velorian’s.

    “Squad Ryn this is Melina, I sense that Tiamat Priests have landed in the city. Right now they seem to be deploying at the Velorian’s, get there as soon as you can.”

    As you reach the Velorian’s, you immediately realize that something is amiss here. The entire building seems to be in a ball of magical darkness. You hear cracks of lightning and bursts of fire coming from within the building, and now and then electric jolts in different colors comes flying out of the darkness in different directions.

    Encounter: Take out the Summoning Circle, 5 Kulkur Zhul Mind Benders, 10 War Priests

    Abithriax’s Rampage [Soundtrack3]
    The big red dragon tries to burn Brindol to the ground.

    A panicked voice comes through the telepathic bond. “Abithriax is here! Squad Mudd, Squad Zeul and Squad Dariah, I need you all at the Landshire, ohh my..” the telepathic bond is suddenly cut off with Lady Kaal”.

    As you reach the Landshire district the place is a fire storm. At least a few houses on every block are ablaze. Out from the inferno stumbles what appears to be a female, with burns all over her body. As she moves closer, you realize this is Lady Kaal, not far behind comes her company also with burns, but not nearly as severe as Kaals. “Stop the fires before they spread.” She says with a shaking voice, before collapsing on the ground before you.

    Suddenly a house explodes as a huge ball of fire hits it from above. And as you turn your heads upwards, you can see it. The red dragon Abithriax, is swooping down from above. And there it is, first creeping like ice up your backs, and then spreading like a freezing shiver throughout your bodies; the numbing dragon fear.

    Encounter: Abithriax



    Level 3
    Brindol in Flames [Soundtrack3]
    Fires need to be stopped in order to save the city.
    Zeul/Dariah, Right after Abithriax's Rampage
    The entire district seems to be on fire, and everywhere people are doing their best to put them out. But it seems like a hopeless battle against the flames, since more and more Red Hand Agents are entering from the fallen Southern Gate. The defenders seem to be gathering water from two different wells, one at each end of the main street.

    Encounter: Put out 10 fires, 4 Buckets/House needed, red hand agents arrive each round.

    Streets of Blood [Soundtrack4]
    The wall has broken and the defenders need to fight a multi-wave assault until reinforcements arrive.

    “Squad Mudd, this is Captain Ulverth. The wall in the north part of Landshire has broken; we need your squad to hold the horde off until reinforcements arrive.”

    As you draw closer to the north part of the Landshire district, you can hear the sound of steel on steel, and the battle cries of what sounds like thousands of goblins. Over the rooftops you can see that a 10 feet wide hole in the wall is gaping like a huge mouth. As you reach the last block, you notice that the defenders have set up a small barricade, barely containing the masses of goblins inside a quadrant in the very corner where Landshire meets Bleakwood. The defenders however seem to be fighting a losing battle here, and seem to lack any real initiative.

    Encounter: Hold the breach for 5 rounds until reinforcements arrive.





    Sniper Attack
    A sniper tries to take out important figures.

    “Squad Dresden, we have secured Bleakwood, I’m leading my men back to Cathedral Square. I think the next great push will come from the south and uhh ahh” the telepathic bond is suddenly broken with Lord Jaarmath.

    As you draw closer to the cathedral square the first thing you hear are a lot of screams and shouts. And as you pass the last corner you see a large group of Brindol Lions moving back towards the Cathedral with the shields help up high against some invisible attacker. As they move further back you see a trail of bodies from one of the bigger streets to the west, all with an arrow sticking out of them.

    Encounter: Skather, 4 Kulkur Zhul Mindbenders

    Ghosts of the Past [Soundtrack5]
    Blood Ghost Barbarians passing through the walls.

    “Squad Ryn, this is Captain Helmbreaker, I lost contact with the men in the Argential District a while ago, I sent a patrol there to see what was going on, I’ve now lost contact with them as well. I need you to find out what is going on there.

    The Argential district seems really quiet compared to the rest of the city, where the battle is constantly going on. The empty dark streets give this part of the city an eerie feeling, almost like a ghost town. The distant cries from the battle almost seem like another world. Up ahead seems to be traces of battle, a large pool of blood in the middle of the street gives witness to the horrors of the war. But as you move closer you notice that there aren’t any bodies there. And the air feels a bit colder than before, what is going on here?

    Encounter: Save 10 families from Blood Ghost Barbarians






    Level 4
    We Meet Again [Soundtrack6]
    Aisaphra the Marlith sorceress and her demons are the secret weapon of the Red Hand. Teleported into the midst of Brindol; they start wreaking havoc.

    “Heroes of Brindol, this is Lady Kaal.” I have reports of hell breaking loose near the Brindol Academy. I need two squads there right now.

    She was right, hell has literary broken loose here. The street is a river of blood, the buildings look black and twisted, with windows filled with fire. The majestic Brindol Academy still looks the same however. But at the bottom of the large stone stair leading up to the front gate of the Academy, stands a group of fiend that seem to have been born straight out of the nine hells. Twisted figures with hellish looking weapons and fangs like daggers. There is one being that stands out from the rest; it has the lower body of a large snake, and the upper body of a female. Six arms stick out from its wicked looking body, each holding a blade of some sort. Somehow you remember the face of this demon girl, and the name Aisaphra appears in your memory.

    A bright flash of light cracks the dark night. And the warmth of summer is filling street, everywhere colorful flowers spring to life. Suddenly the sound of flapping wings comes from above. Three figures in shining plate armors, two of them with white wings on the back, holding large silver glaives, the third with leathery bat like wings on the back, holding a shining great sword. “We meet again.” A soft female voice says.


    Encounter: Aisaphra and 30 demons. Eludecia.



    The Dragon Lies Bleeding [Soundtrack7]
    The black dragon Regiarix infiltrates the defenses, pretending to be Melina Prisius.

    “So much blood” Melina says with a weird voice. “I am at the Brindol Graveyard, all the giants are dead. But I have something that might help us win this. I need three squads here.”

    The graveyard is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The moonlight allows you to see that the ground here is covered with few centimeters of blood, and large splintered giant bones are littered around on the graveyard. Here and there pools of green acid is cooking and sending out a sharp acrid smell. In the middle of all the blood and gore stands a small girl. All drenched in blood, and her hair is a mess. And despite this, she seems to be smiling. As you come within hearing distance you realize that she is actually laughing quietly to herself. Suddenly she turns around and says with a high pitched voice. “Help me I’m drowning in blood.” And then laughs again, louder this time. “Tonight I’ll feast upon the children of Elsir Vale!” She says as her eyes turn red, and large black wings sprout out from her back, and she starts growing in size. Scales like polished onyx appears all over her body and large yellow fangs sprouts from her mouth. After a few seconds the shape of the girl is all but gone, and before you stands the colossal black dragon known as Regiarix.

    Encounter: Regiarix





    Level 5
    Final Battle [Soundtrack8]
    The final battle against Kharn, outside Brindol Keep.

    “This is Lord Jaarmath, Wyrmlord Kharn and a company of Red Hand elite warriors are moving in from the Landshire towards the Brindol Keep. I’m not able to fight him myself yet; I need the leader from every squad here to face him.”

    The advancing horde is heard minutes before it is seen. Horrifying howls, guttural roars, and dragonbone horns announce their arrival. Row upon row of hobgoblins and war priests, and in front of them, an imposing figure towering over the rest, moves across the courtyard outside the Brindol Keep. Dressed in a full plate armor made from the scales of a red dragon, and wielding a blood slick warhammer, Wyrmlord Kharn makes his way.
    To the left of him, a creature that looks like a large spider with the upper part of a female body on top whom you recognize as the inquisitive elf outside the Shrine of Yondalla. To his right is the Wyrmlord known as Ulwai Stormcaller.
    “Heroes of Brindol and the Saviors of Elsir are what they’re calling you. Impressive titles indeed. I will be known as the one who took their heads.” Kharn shouts, challenging you to battle.


    Encounter: Wyrmlord Kharn, Ulwai Stormcaller, Miha


    Here are the endings for all the levels, the PCs receive this through the telepathic bond with Jaarmath, each one assumes that all missions were completed, which of course can be altered to fit your specific outcome.


    Level 1 Ending
    Save the Walls, Attack is the Best Defense, The Bridge.
    The Northern Gate has fallen, but we’ve been able to contain them on the bridge. We’ve been able to take out 3 of 5 Hill Giant batteries, which mean the wall has only breached on two different places so far. A special mission into the horde has proven successful as well. A leading Kulkur Zhul Mindbender has been taken out, and it seem to already have caused confusion. Manticores are at the moment doing low altitude raids on Bleakwood, but the Forest Giants are keeping them from doing any real damage there. Stand by for further instructions.



    Level 2 Ending
    Aerial Assault, Magic Unleashed, Abithriax’s Rampage.
    A hard air battle is raging above us but we have, thanks to Squad Dresden, taken out the green dragon Ozyrrandion. The Landshire district is under heavy siege, the Southern Gate has fallen and many of the blocks are burning. However my reports are that the red dragon Abithriax has been slain, which means only one is remaining. No signs it yet. There are also reports of War Priests and Mind Benders teleporting into Brindol, so beware. The Western Gate is still holding, but the Northern Gate and the Brindol Market has fallen and enemy troops are spreading into the Bleakwood, and Argential Districts. Stand by for further instructions.

    Level 3 Ending
    Brindol in Flames, Streets of Blood, Sniper Attack, Ghosts of the Past.
    This is Captain Ulverth reporting in instead of Lord Jaarmath, since he has been badly wounded by a sniper attack, the sniper has however been taken out.
    The fires at the Landshire District are finally being contained. A critical breach in the southern wall were held by Squad Mudd until reinforcements arrived, preventing horde from taking control of the entire district. Reports of some kind of ghosts in the Argential District have been made, but thanks to Squad Ryn the threat has been contained. However contact with the Eastern Gate has been lost, and the Western Gate has finally fallen, battles in the streets of Bleakwood is raging as we speak, but so far no major losses there. Stand by for further instructions.






    Level 4 Ending
    We Meet Again, The Dragon Lies Bleeding.

    The dragon threat has been ended with the death of Regiarix at the Brindol Graveyard. Landshire District has fallen, and our remaining forces there are pulling back to the Greenwall. A huge company led by Wyrmlord Kharn himself is moving up towards the Brindol Keep from the south. Blue Spawn Lizards have been trying to enter Brindol from the Elsir River, but traps on the beach have contained them completely. Bleakwood is still holding the line, despite the losses of Northern and Western Gates. Contact has been reestablished with our forces at the Argential District, and reports of light siege on the Eastern Gate have been made. Contact has been lost with Captain Arrowswift and his owl hunters. A gate to hell seems to have been opened near the Brindol Academy, the demons there seem to be contained somehow, despite our lack of troops there.


    Atmosphere Texts (use randomly throughout the battle)

    You suddenly hear flaps of giant wings overhead, the silhouette of a huge silver dragon followed by a horde of owls take off to battle.

    Sudden cracks of electricity in the air up ahead! A group of twenty Tiamat War Priests are facing off against a single Eladrin wizard. Magic fire and bolts of lightning are filling the air. Suddenly all the War Priests are turned inside out with a wicked crackling sound of bones breaking and flesh bursting. Another Eladrin suddenly becomes visible amongst the bleeding carcasses of the still moving War Priests with a grim expression on his face. He takes the other Eladrin’s hand and they both disappear with a swishing sound, leaving a street full of gore and twitching corpses behind.

    The sound of steel meets steel echoes across this block. A huge skirmish is taking place near a breach in the wall. The ground is red with blood of the fallen, and the air is filled with battle cries.

    The air fills with popping sounds as about forty War Priests of Tiamat materialize around the block. But just as soon, Spellbinders and Clerics of Pelor, led by Melina Prisius appear out of nowhere. And a brutal point blank spell combat starts. The sound of murmuring chants and screams is overwhelming as they start blasting each other to bits.

    Suddenly the thunder of hundreds of hooves fills your ears, as a company of Brindol Lions led by Lord Jaarmath himself rides by. The red standard of Brindol held high. “To victory!” he shouts, and the echo of a hundred voices. “To victory!”

    Out on the square the full moon is rising and lightens the names on the shields. A huge company of Sword Bearers is about to face off against the Shining Axes. A few moments later the perfect formations are all but a blur of color and motion.

    Suddenly rain falls from the star studded night sky. It feels refreshing at first, but soon you realize it’s not water, but blood from one of the air combats above your heads.

    Soundtrack1 Aerial Assault
    Spoiler
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    Iron Maiden - Aces High
    Hammerfall - A Legend Reborn
    Hammerfall - Stronger Than All
    Hammerfall - Riders of the Storm

    Soundtrack2 Magic Unleashed
    Spoiler
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    IMMEDIATE MUSIC - Electric Romeo (Choir)
    IMMEDIATE MUSIC - Arcana (Choir)
    IMMEDIATE MUSIC - Epicon (Hybrid)

    Soundtrack3 Abithriax's Rampage & Brindol In Flames
    Spoiler
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    The Protomen - Light Up The Night
    Brainstorm - Fire Walk With Me
    Hammerfall - The Fire Burns Forever
    Arthur Brown - Fire

    Soundtrack4 Streets of Blood
    Spoiler
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    Sabaton - 40 to 1
    Hammerfall - Back to Back
    Masterplan - Heroes

    Soundtrack5 Ghosts of the Past
    Spoiler
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    New World Orchestra - Sleepy Hollow
    Chris Vrenna - The Funhouse
    Chris Vrenna - Wonderland Woods

    Soundtrack6 We Meet Again
    Spoiler
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    Hammerfall - Trailblazers
    Luca Turilli - Demonheart
    Sprazanza - Night of the Demons
    Hammerfall - Warriors of Faith
    Hammerfall - Natural High
    Within Temptation - A Demon's Fate

    Soundtrack7 The Dragon Lies Bleeding
    Spoiler
    Show
    Hammerfall - The Champion
    Hammerfall - The Dragon Lies Bleeding
    Astral Doors - Slay The Dragon

    Soundtrack8 Final Battle
    Spoiler
    Show
    Hammerfall - Heroes' Return
    Hammerfall - Last Man Standing
    Hammerfall - Genocide
    Disturbed - Warrior





    The sixth and final part is an upgrade of the Victory Points system.

    Victory?

    Spoiler
    Show
    Sabotage Missions (0/45)

    Destroying Skull Gorge Bridge +2 VP
    Evacuating Drellin’s Ferry +3 VP
    Busting Road Blockades +1 VP/Each
    Disrupting the Hatchery +2 VP
    Disrupting Ghostlord Alliance +5 VP
    Save Moonstair +10 VP
    Easy Skirmish +2 VP
    Dirty Rotten Looters +2 VP
    Mercenary Gold +2 VP
    The Not-So-Sick Spy +2 VP
    Barghest Reavers +2 VP
    Marked For Death +2 VP
    Slowing the Horde +1-10 VP
    - The DM can award additional VP for slowing down of the horde

    Alliance Missions (0/30)

    Warklegnaw’s Aid +3 VP
    - Get the old forest troll to join forces by offering him his fathers gauntlet

    Shining Axes Alliance +5 VP
    - Get the Shining Axes to join forces by offering them the mercenary gold

    Tiri Kitor Alliance +5 VP
    - Get the Tiri Kitor to join the Brindol forces by performing well at the funeral

    Company of Last Resort Alliance +5 VP
    - Get the Company of Last Resort to join Brindol by Exposing Miha the spy early on.

    Black Knives Alliance +3 VP
    - Get the Black Knives to help Brindol by striking a deal with Lady Kaal and Rillor Paln

    Yondalla Cult Alliance +3 VP
    - Get the Yondalla Cult to help Brindol by solving the murder of Natalie Nettlemead

    Other Allies +3 VP/Each


    Preparation Missions (0/37)

    Shanks Swords +1 VP
    - Get a contract with weapons dealer Shank

    Spellbound +2 VP
    - Find out about the Spellbinders
    - Get a contract with Eldremma Axenhaft


    Stone Charms +1-2 VP
    - Get the stone wyvern to join the battle
    - Get Trabalard Yab to join the battle


    Calming Touch +1 VP
    - Calm and inspire the nervous recruits

    Venomous Kiss +1-3 VP
    - Solve the murder of Nattlie Nettlemead
    - Save Ashley Ulverth
    - Expose Miha

    Last Call +1 VP
    - Get Torgrin Kuraki to join the battle

    Velorian’s Secret +1-2 VP
    - Find out the secret about Velorian’s
    - Get Hannah Velorian to join the battle



    Black Birds +1-3 VP
    - Solve the feud between the current and past owner of the Craven
    Raven
    - Get Fishlip Fergus to join the battle
    - Get Andraki Lenn to join the battle


    School’s Out +1 VP
    - Get Damynda Rianthiar to join the battle

    Living After Midnight +1 VP
    - Get Rillor Paln to join the battle by winning the duel

    Love at First Sight +3 VP
    - Seal a horse contract with the Teskerwills

    Discreet Departures +1 VP
    - Get Worren Lasterman to complete his escape tunnel project

    Sunlight for Brindol +3 VP
    - Assign the church of Pelor as the religious leaders for the battle

    Jewels of Elsir +1 VP
    - Solve Alandri’s Riddle

    Benefit of Doubt +2 VP
    - Get High Mourner Mihram of the Wee Jas church to join the battle

    Deployment Bonus +1-10 VP
    - The DM can award additional VP for quality of deployment


    During the Fight (0/53)

    Save the Walls +1-5 VP
    - Disrupt Hill Giant Batteries

    The Bridge +2VP
    - Hold the bridges until a blockade is put in place

    Attack is the Best Defense +2 VP
    - Infiltrate the horde and take out an HQ

    Aerial Assault +7
    - Slay the green dragon Ozyrrandion

    Magic Unleashed +2 VP
    - Take out the Summoning Circle

    Abithriax’s Rampage +7 VP
    - Stop the red dragon’s rampage

    Brindol in Flames +1-5 VP (2)
    - Put out fires in the Landshire District

    Streets of Blood +2 VP
    - Hold the breach in the wall, until reinforcements arrive

    Sniper Attack +2 VP
    - Catch the Sniper

    Ghosts of the Past +1-5 VP
    - Save families from blood ghosts +1 VP/family saved

    We Meet Again +7 VP
    - Slay Aisaphra and close the portal to Baator

    The Dragon Lies Bleeding +7 VP
    - Slay the black dragon Regiarix

    Killing Wyrmlords (0/15)
    Koth +2 VP
    Saarvith +3 VP
    Stormcaller +4 VP
    Kharn +6 VP

    Total: (0/180)
    Needed for Victory: 120 VP
    Last edited by SL1; 2011-09-04 at 12:20 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #349
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    That's one beautiful piece of work, SL1. I would be very proud to start incorporating elements, if not its entirety, into the RHOD handbook.

  20. - Top - End - #350
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Thanks. I hope it will inspire or give some DM ideas for their own group. I've made quite a few "upgrades" to adventures, because normally I'm not happy with the standard ones, and I feel that if you want to run a serious RP Group you need to be satisfied with the adventures. Either way, if you got any questions, or need help with anything, you can just give me a PM.
    Also feel free to check out our forum:http://battlebrothers.se/forum/index.php
    Last edited by SL1; 2011-09-05 at 08:18 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #351
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Hmmm
    At the moment I am thinking of how to restat Ozzy.
    At the moment I'm thinking of adding a level of wizard (transmuter) on top of him, swapping out a potion for a scroll of scintillating scales and dropping the familiar for the abrupt jaunt class feature. For feats he will get an extra one for 12HD and I am thinking probably metabreaths. Now this way he gets some casting without having to go large and a panic button in case things get hairy from the get go. Finally one of the options I was thinking is that I might give him improved grapple and its prerequisite feat. If the players do go to the air to wail on him in melee rather than legging it he will attempt to grapple a threatening PC and then nose dive into the bottom of the gorge leaving it till the last moment before escaping the grapple/feather falling himself.

    Thoughts?

    He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
    — Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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  22. - Top - End - #352
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    More detailed thoughts later, but: Practiced Spellcaster for a start. Level of wizard means he gets a CL 5 or better, which is going to be handy if he's engaging in direct debuff action. Having him be able to cast Dispel Magic via scroll would be handy, too, simply to scare up the party that reliably goes to the air via Fly spells and the like.

    Second, options that address the deficit in the action economy. Whether he's Large, Medium, or Small, he's a solo monster that doesn't hide behind his buddies. That means the party will focus fire on him or hit him with save-or-lose-oh-hey-you-lose-anyway spells.

  23. - Top - End - #353
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Was thinking practiced spellcaster but then it occured to me that most spells he'd be using it would just up the duration on (mage armour and resistance are the main ones that come to mind). He gets a boost to his will save from the class. If the party proves to be very optimised and slaughtering things up to that point I may up him to wizard lvl 3 in which case some baleful transposition could be funny by having him cling to the side of the bridge and attempt to drop a PC down the gorge. Action economy I don't think I will go giving him ridiculous extra actions but by focusing on some buffs to his breath/debuffs caused by his breathe weapon that should mix things up a little.

    He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
    — Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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  24. - Top - End - #354
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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

    My suggestion is to simply advance ozzy by 1 age category. One issue I have with the dragons in general is that they seem quite anemic fighters, more content to engage in hit-and-run tactics than engage the PCs directly. Not say this is not effective, but kinda wimpy, IMO.

    The young version is just cr5, and hardly expected to be a decent challenge for a group of PCs who should be at least lv6 by the time they encounter it.

    This bumps him up to large (though at cr8, the cr bump seems quite dramatic), and nabs him 1st lv spells, though I am not sure how useful that would be.

    I dunno, if still too weak, maybe tack on a template like fiendish?
    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

  25. - Top - End - #355

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    it does sound like it's worth a try.
    You are trying to be fair and so will I.

    On the economy of scale, the only thing to worry about is resource pooling for crafting. It is a legitimate concern, but so is crafting anyways :) Perhaps an extremely coordinated eight player party might be able to better cover their bases, but if they do that kudos to them. I'd allow it.

    On the action economy its still 1 for 1 (since the single monster battles now have 2 such monsters) except where AOE kicks in. Make sure the extra numbers aren't clumped too h

  26. - Top - End - #356
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by PlzBreakMyCmpAn View Post
    You are trying to be fair and so will I.

    On the economy of scale, the only thing to worry about is resource pooling for crafting. It is a legitimate concern, but so is crafting anyways :) Perhaps an extremely coordinated eight player party might be able to better cover their bases, but if they do that kudos to them. I'd allow it.

    On the action economy its still 1 for 1 (since the single monster battles now have 2 such monsters) except where AOE kicks in. Make sure the extra numbers aren't clumped too h
    Fair points. The only observation I'd make for the single monster battles having 2 rather than 1 is that you still have a deficit in the action economy since notionally 4 players take on 1 target while the other 4 take on the second target. That's the problem with solo monsters: even with a default size party, they're outgunned on the action economy by a margin of 4 to 1.

    It also occurs that it's not easy to control how many players take on one target at a time. Rationally a party of 8 should be using all of their abilities on one target at a time rather than split into two groups of 4 and fighting both monsters at the same time. If they focus their fire as a party of 8, they could take one (say) dragon down in the first round. They might have a party member critically injured or killed, but rationally there'll still be 7 standing to stabilise or outright heal, following which they focus their fire on the second dragon, again likely bringing it down in a round or so on sheer damage output. In two parties of 4 a loss of one person is a loss of 25% of their options or damage output. In short: given the choice, the advice "don't split the party" is perfectly rational (from an economic and mathematical standpoint.)

    Again, just observations. Hopefully they'll assist in defining your tactics; as far as I can see nobody's really done what you're proposing to do, which means at the very worst it could provide another option for people to follow. Let us know what the results are?

  27. - Top - End - #357
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    My suggestion is to simply advance ozzy by 1 age category. One issue I have with the dragons in general is that they seem quite anemic fighters, more content to engage in hit-and-run tactics than engage the PCs directly. Not say this is not effective, but kinda wimpy, IMO.

    The young version is just cr5, and hardly expected to be a decent challenge for a group of PCs who should be at least lv6 by the time they encounter it.

    This bumps him up to large (though at cr8, the cr bump seems quite dramatic), and nabs him 1st lv spells, though I am not sure how useful that would be.

    I dunno, if still too weak, maybe tack on a template like fiendish?
    Armchair quarterbacking, but I think they're designed as piddling weak to account for inexperienced parties. I'm pretty agnostic on CRs anyway, especially given some of the hilarious analyses done on the forums regarding the supposed CRs of some MM 2 creatures. Even at large size, Ozy's still a big solo monster who doesn't have a lot of cover or options to work with other than closing to range and breathing. I actually wonder whether a level in sorcerer is a better way to go; he's not really meant to be versatile outside one fight, and being able to spam Blood Wind at least means he doesn't have to come down to melee range in order to thump people.

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    DrowGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    Armchair quarterbacking, but I think they're designed as piddling weak to account for inexperienced parties. I'm pretty agnostic on CRs anyway, especially given some of the hilarious analyses done on the forums regarding the supposed CRs of some MM 2 creatures. Even at large size, Ozy's still a big solo monster who doesn't have a lot of cover or options to work with other than closing to range and breathing. I actually wonder whether a level in sorcerer is a better way to go; he's not really meant to be versatile outside one fight, and being able to spam Blood Wind at least means he doesn't have to come down to melee range in order to thump people.
    As I understand it, many adventures like this out of the box are for not just inexperienced parties but also new DMs. I pretty much started with this adventure myself, and ran it out of the box for a new party, and whomped them. several times over, though never to an actual tpk.

    also, IIRC ozzyrandion(this is the green one, right?) is not solo, but has a couple hounds and something like 10 goblins to reinforce him with archery support(as listed, I'm sure people tweak this since archery sucks).
    "Thursdays. I could never get the hang of Thursdays."-Arthur Dent, The Hitchhiker's Guide

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  29. - Top - End - #359
    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 Provengreil View Post
    As I understand it, many adventures like this out of the box are for not just inexperienced parties but also new DMs. I pretty much started with this adventure myself, and ran it out of the box for a new party, and whomped them. several times over, though never to an actual tpk.

    also, IIRC ozzyrandion(this is the green one, right?) is not solo, but has a couple hounds and something like 10 goblins to reinforce him with archery support(as listed, I'm sure people tweak this since archery sucks).
    True on all counts, but when it comes to Ozy, the fact he's more or less ordered on the text to strafe the party with a breath weapon and he's a lot faster in movement means he winds up presenting a big flying target to the party. The hobgoblins would be more meaningful if he stayed behind them and cast or something, but as it is, they don't block the party from hitting him and, as you say, archery doesn't provide substantial interdiction to make it worth the party staying back in the trees. (In fact if they do stay in the trees they're more effective against Ozy since they then get bonuses to their Reflex saves from the cover, thus weakening the effectiveness of Ozy's breath weapon.)

    Horses for courses, though. RHOD's okay if everyone's relatively new to D&D and they don't know how to optimise or harness the game's mathematics from a tactical perspective. It's trying to make the monsters sterner stuff that this handbook is about.

  30. - Top - End - #360
    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!

    Heyooo, I'm just about to start up another RHoD now. You may recall I told you about this some months ago. Doesn't matter. I can't remember what I said either. Anyway, I'm going to tell you a bit about it now, whether you care or not. :)

    The characters have been made, and they are:

    Half-Orc Barbarian 6
    Elf Sorceror 6
    Human Monk 5/Drunken Master 1
    Whisper Gnome Rogue 6
    Gnome Druid 6
    Dwarf Paladin 6

    Everyone except the paladin are completely new to the game. Having new players is much fun, because they usually think outside the box.

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