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  1. - Top - End - #361
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Jair Barik's Avatar

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

    Right.
    Think I might just up Ozzy to the next age category or if the party has been struggling up to that point leave him as is and just move the feats around.
    Bloodwind is horrific, I think I might save that for the later dragons.

    For the infamous '5th dragon' I think I will keep it as is but entirely refluff it. The notion of a half dragon behir is a bit silly really, the two races hating each other completely, so I think I will have it as an incrdibly hedonistic and corpulent white dragon so fat and bloated that it is completely incapable of flight.

    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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  2. - Top - End - #362
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    Chimera

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilter View Post
    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.
    6 ECL6 PCs. I suspect they are going to steamroll over most of the encounters through sheer numbers alone. Maybe want to consider increasing the number and maybe lvs of many of the encounters.
    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

  3. - Top - End - #363
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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

    Agreed that probably party numbers more than classes are going to make the difference.

    On the other hand, if they're all new to the game they presumably don't know how to optimise, which is interesting. No cleric; one druid. Rest of the party's tier 2 and down. Melee options aren't overwhelming, though if the half-orc barbarian figures out how to optimise he could be pretty scary come three levels' time.

    Check over your sorcerer's spell selection. Once you're prepped to meet that, it should be an easier fight at least -- if they're new to the game they'll probably conclude direct damage is still more effective than encounter-killers like Glitterdust.

    The Marauder Attack encounter is your test bed. They steamroll that, they'll steamroll most of the hobgoblin regular encounters. Use it to give you a sense of what's to follow.

  4. - Top - End - #364
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    RogueGuy

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

    Yes, Saintheart, that is exactly my plan. I'll run Marauder Attack as written, then pump things up if they walk right through it.

    I'll check ask for his spell list the next session, but think he said he had Comprehend Languages. Kind of sets the bar, you know.

    I steered the barbarian towards Leap Attack, so I expect some damage from him once he figures out how power attacking works.

    The druid is focused on spellcasting, and he's probably going to use a good deal of the as healing.

    The rogue will be a beast at hiding, but he's dual wielding rapier and hand crossbow. Will probably get some sneak attacks in, but I don't expect a lot of damage. It's mainly made for flavor, as is drunken master. And probably the paladin, if I know the player right. He's the kind of guy that makes all kinds of weird, really terrible characters, but he kind of thinks they are funny or cool.

  5. - Top - End - #365
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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 Zilter View Post
    Yes, Saintheart, that is exactly my plan. I'll run Marauder Attack as written, then pump things up if they walk right through it.

    I'll check ask for his spell list the next session, but think he said he had Comprehend Languages. Kind of sets the bar, you know.

    I steered the barbarian towards Leap Attack, so I expect some damage from him once he figures out how power attacking works.

    The druid is focused on spellcasting, and he's probably going to use a good deal of the as healing.

    The rogue will be a beast at hiding, but he's dual wielding rapier and hand crossbow. Will probably get some sneak attacks in, but I don't expect a lot of damage. It's mainly made for flavor, as is drunken master. And probably the paladin, if I know the player right. He's the kind of guy that makes all kinds of weird, really terrible characters, but he kind of thinks they are funny or cool.
    A player after my own heart. I will wreck a build's effectiveness to get the max flavor out of him (endurance, run, weapon focus, and monkey grip on one build if i have to) for what I have in mind.

    Also, don't expect too much from the barbarian. experienced players know about power attack, but once his lowered AC from a charge gets him hurt bad after missing with said charge because he power attacked, some players will back off and get really defensive. I had to get out a calculator and 3 enemy statblocks to convince a fighter in my party to get a 2 handed weapon, let alone power attack with it, and he still reverted within a couple of hours. not helping was the fact that armor class can actually be relevant to your character if you're fine with dealing pretty much no damage.
    "Thursdays. I could never get the hang of Thursdays."-Arthur Dent, The Hitchhiker's Guide

    "I had a normal day once. It was a Thursday." -Will Bailey, The West Wing

  6. - Top - End - #366
    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!

    Well, PA on its own usually isn't game breaking, it's when you combine with other abilities like shock trooper. If you are able to one-shot your foe, your low AC becomes a non-issue, because your foe never gets a chance to counterattack.

    Has anyone thought of replacing the initial marauder attack with a single, more powerful foe? Was wondering how that might work out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I can never understand WOTC's reasoning; taking RAW as a whole is like grabbing a book filled with fortune cookie sayings and basing your life off of them.
    My humble efforts at re-cr'ing MM2
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215727

  7. - Top - End - #367
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    Coidzor's Avatar

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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
    Has anyone thought of replacing the initial marauder attack with a single, more powerful foe? Was wondering how that might work out.
    Well, it doesn't really seem to fit with the flavor of a large, organized force as the big unifying threat and theme of the story up until its climax at Brindol to have a single heavy as the introduction to the horde, so I don't think it's been something that's occurred to many.

    Also, solo foes tend to get action economy'd.
    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.
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  8. - Top - End - #368
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    RogueGuy

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

    I think that RHoD, with armies being one of its biggest selling point, has very few to no encounters where you acctually feel like fighting an army.
    Sure, you can catch a glimpse of it in part one, and meet it in part four, but you never really fight many enemies at once. I miss that. I don't think there's a single encounter where enemy numbers is even a threat.

  9. - Top - End - #369
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilter View Post
    I think that RHoD, with armies being one of its biggest selling point, has very few to no encounters where you acctually feel like fighting an army.
    Sure, you can catch a glimpse of it in part one, and meet it in part four, but you never really fight many enemies at once. I miss that. I don't think there's a single encounter where enemy numbers is even a threat.
    The problem with presenting the company with overwhelming numbers is that in tabletop, it loses its appeal relatively quickly.

    On the other hand, if you want overwhelming melee battle, consider pumping more opponents into the "Streets of Blood" encounter in the Battle for Brindol. Screw "the advance elements" or "shock troopers", throw a whole division of hobgoblins at 'em.

  10. - Top - End - #370
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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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
    The problem with presenting the company with overwhelming numbers is that in tabletop, it loses its appeal relatively quickly.

    On the other hand, if you want overwhelming melee battle, consider pumping more opponents into the "Streets of Blood" encounter in the Battle for Brindol. Screw "the advance elements" or "shock troopers", throw a whole division of hobgoblins at 'em.
    I am well aware of the drawbacks of huge fights. My players have also been complaining about this, though. The lack of larger combats. I think I'll be better at describing the scenes around them during the siege.

    And yeah, It's always shock troops and special commando units they have to fight. Not once do they get to just smash down dozens of puny hobgoblins. I think I'll do this. It won't be particularly challenging, but I think the players will have fun. Really get that great cleave going. To get in a real whirlwind attack. To fry a whole bunch of 'em with a fireball.

    EDIT: DM of the rings is hilarious..! :P
    Last edited by Zilter; 2011-09-11 at 08:49 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #371
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    Coidzor's Avatar

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

    I hear relatively good things about the conan rpg's mass combat rules being monkey wrenched into fitting with a game that's overall D&D. The PDF is available for free from mongoose publishing's website, and a simple google search for "conan mass combat" should find it for ya.

    There's also some homebrew done up on the subject of the mob template as well that may be of interest. I think there might be a version that's still being worked on over on BG as well.
    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.
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    In Progress: The Totem Shaman (Totemist/Divine PrC) And Friends!
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  12. - Top - End - #372
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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

    There's also another issue I want to address; The low GP limits. It's next to impossible to go shopping at all, at least before they come to Brindol. Of course, if they're really serious about it, they could go to Brindol or even Dennovar in the earlier parts, but they're clearly not meant to. 800 gp limit in both Drellin's Ferry and the Tiri Kitor encampment. Thoughts on this?

  13. - Top - End - #373
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    MindFlayer

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilter View Post
    I am well aware of the drawbacks of huge fights. My players have also been complaining about this, though. The lack of larger combats. I think I'll be better at describing the scenes around them during the siege.

    And yeah, It's always shock troops and special commando units they have to fight. Not once do they get to just smash down dozens of puny hobgoblins. I think I'll do this. It won't be particularly challenging, but I think the players will have fun. Really get that great cleave going. To get in a real whirlwind attack. To fry a whole bunch of 'em with a fireball.

    EDIT: DM of the rings is hilarious..! :P



    Quote Originally Posted by Zilter View Post
    There's also another issue I want to address; The low GP limits. It's next to impossible to go shopping at all, at least before they come to Brindol. Of course, if they're really serious about it, they could go to Brindol or even Dennovar in the earlier parts, but they're clearly not meant to. 800 gp limit in both Drellin's Ferry and the Tiri Kitor encampment. Thoughts on this?
    I think this is intentional. It specifically saying in the book that the PCs won't have time for crafting items or traveling to the big cities to go shopping while the horde rampages through Elsir Vale.

    It says that the PCs are supposed to pry most of their new equipment from the hands of fallen enemies, which IMO, does seem a LOT cooler than just saving up points to buy one from a mysterious source, which is what my group had been doing up until that point.
    It does create problems at times- for example, our group's mele char is a Charger, and I couldn't very well have Amery Vraath clutching a lance instead of his bastard sword- but for the most part (actually, I think that's the only troublesome case) it's rather cool, and for that matter, now when the paladin goes into close combat or such, he wields a distinctive weapon which gives off a soft blue glow and has a specific origin which I'm pretty sure everyone (who was there when he got it) still remembers.
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  14. - Top - End - #374
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    RogueGuy

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

    Yeah, I've done this too. But half my party used greatswords, so it became sort of boring after a while. But it's okay, I suppose..

  15. - Top - End - #375
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    PirateGuy

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

    Hey everyone, I've been away from the boards for a good long while, so coming back and seeing this was a nice surprise.

    I don't have time right now to read through the entire thread, so I should ask - has the issue been brought up of the challenge (or lack thereof) posed to high-level characters by a large force of mooks? RHoD tops out right around when this starts to become a problem, which makes things interesting.

    Also, a few notes for clarity:
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    My game was, in fact, set in a generic world. Not much was made of the land outside the Vale.

    I was the one who came up with the "train the defenders of Brindol" bit, though I pulled the idea from a campaign journal on the Wizards boards, which is now, of course, gone.
    My Red Hand of Doom campaign journal: Part I, Part II
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  16. - Top - End - #376
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    I see youuuu.

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    Planetar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanify View Post
    I see youuuu.
    Oi! Get back to our campaign thread, you!

  18. - Top - End - #378
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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

    Well, I might as well provide my AAR after my party went and encountered the Ghostlord.

    He didn't last one round.
    He lasted into the first action of the second round.

    If I had to put a reason on why he got toasted so quick, I think it's focused fire, layering of PC defences, and that the players were channelled by the scenario into using the only weapons that were both effective and maximum-damaging to him.

    The first thing, though, is the party. Bear in mind these guys are operating under more generous houserules that give them slightly more hitpoints than they should have and action points which allow them to emulate feats provided they meet the prerequisites for them. 8 people all up. This is a fairly puissant bunch of characters. Here's their stats once they were completely buffed ahead of the confrontation -- and bear in mind these guys are all level 8. (The saves will look wiggy, mostly because we use the 4e system of static save scores rather than saving throws. This doesn't change the numbers as such; if you're curious about what the saves were for a given Fort/Ref/Will, subtract 10.)

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    Corrath Marktos (Rogue 8)
    HP: 56/56
    AC: 28 (10 base + 4 armor + 1 enhancement + 3 Deflection + 2 luck + 1 morale +6 Dex + 1 haste)
    Attack/Damage: Carduus ex Dei/Bloodthirst: +21/+21/+16/+20/+15 (R/R/R/K/K), +23/+23/+18 Rapier, +22/22/+17 Kukri, +21/+21/+16 Ranged, +21/+21/+16 Dagger
    - +2 Keen Rapier (Carduus) 1d6+7 (15-20/x2 +4d6)
    - +1 Kukri (Bloodthirst) 1d6+6 (18-20/x2 +4d6)
    - Masterwork shortbow 1d6 +5 (20/x3 +4 d6, range inc 70 feet)
    - Masterwork Dagger 1d4 + 5 (19-20/x2 +4 d6, range inc 10 feet)
    Boots of Swift Passage uses: 5/5
    Scout's Headband uses: 3/3
    Saves: Fort - 20, Ref - 30, Will - 19
    NB: All damage rolls increase by 3 if at half hitpoint total or less – but doesn’t stack with bard bonus.
    Saves vs. fear increase by +3 if at half hitpoint total or less – but doesn’t stack with bard bonus.
    +5 to each if vs. charm, fear
    Potions: 1 x CLW, 1 x CMW, 1 x CSW, 1 x Cat’s Grace, 1 x Elixir of Sneaking
    Conviction: +3 Morale bonus to saves (80 minutes)
    Divine Protection: +1 morale bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    Ebon Eyes: Can see in magical darkness (80 minutes)
    Haste: +1 to attacks, Reflex, AC. +30 ft speed, +1 attack on full attack (16 rounds)
    Inspire Courage: + 5 to attacks, dmg, saves vs charm and fear
    Protection from Evil: +2 Deflection bonus to AC, +2 Resistance bonus to Saves, Immune to Mental Control and being touched by summons (8 minutes)
    Recitation: +2 luck bonus to attacks, saves, AC (16 rounds)
    Resist Energy (Fire): Fire Resistance 20 (80 minutes)
    Shield of Faith: +3 Deflection bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    Silence (on Kukri): No sound/spellcasting within 20 ft when kukri is drawn from Drop Sheathe (8 minutes)


    Evelios D'Rtan (Bard 8)
    HP: 68/68
    AC: 29 (10 + 2 Dex + 8 Armor + 2 Enhancement + 3 Deflection + 2 Luck + 1 Morale + 1 Haste)
    Attack / Damage: Legeia +17/+17/+12, Whip +15/+15/+10, shortbow +16/+16/+11
    - Legeia 1d6 +8 (18-20/x2) +1d6 [cold] + 4 [sonic]
    - Whip 1d3 +7 (20/x2)
    - Shortbow 1d6 + 5 (20/x3)
    Legeia Sudden Stunning uses: 6/6 – 1d20+10 vs. Reflex to stun opponent
    Saves: Fort - 21, Ref - 27, Will - 29
    NB: +1 to saves vs. spell-like effects
    (NB +5 to each if vs. charm, fear)
    Bard Music available: 8/8.
    Spells (At will/5/5/2) DC 16 + Level, Bard 8 Full slot count: (At will/5/5/2)
    0: Prestidigitation, Summon Instrument, Detect Magic, Songbird, Light, Message
    1: Improvisation, Inspirational Boost, Charm Person, Hideous Laughter
    2: Tongues, Glitterdust, Detect Thoughts, Suggestion
    3: Haste, Glibness, Dolorous Blow
    Potions: 2 x CMW, 1 x Elixir of Sneaking
    Conviction: +3 Morale bonus to saves (80 minutes)
    Divine Protection: +1 morale bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    Ebon Eyes: Can see in magical darkness (80 minutes)
    Haste: +1 to attacks, Reflex, AC. +30 ft speed, +1 attack on full attack (16 rounds)
    Inspire Courage: +5 to attacks, dmg, saves vs charm and fear
    Magic Vestment: +2 to AC (8 hours)
    Protection from Evil: +2 Deflection bonus to AC, +2 Resistance bonus to Saves, Immune to Mental Control and being touched by summons (8 minutes)
    Recitation: +2 luck bonus to attacks, saves, AC (16 rounds)
    Resist Energy (Fire): Fire Resistance 20 (80 minutes)
    Shield of Faith: +3 Deflection bonus to AC (8 minutes)


    Mazarun Zothyrr (Fighter 2/Wizard 2, drow)
    HP: 97/97
    AC: 32 (10 + 4 Dex + 4 Armor + 2 Enhancement + 3 Deflection + 2 luck + 1 morale + 1 haste + 4 Shield + 1 Insight)
    Attack/Damage: Rapier/Hand Crossbow: +21/+21/+16/+19 (R/R/R/XB) +23/+23/+18 Rapier, +21/+21/+16 Hand Crossbow
    - 1d6+12 Rapier (18-20/x2)
    - 1d4+8 Hand Crossbow (20/x2 , range inc 30 feet)
    Saves: Fort - 26, Ref - 24, Will - 25
    NB: Another +2 to Will save vs. spells, spell-like abilities, +5 to each if vs. charm, fear)
    Spells: (At will/3) DC 13 + Level, Wizard 2 (CL 6)
    0: Detect Poison, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation
    1: Shield
    Conviction: +3 Morale bonus to saves (80 minutes)
    Divine Protection: +1 morale bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    Haste: +1 to attacks, Reflex, AC. +30 ft speed, +1 attack on full attack
    Inspire Courage: +5 to attacks, dmg, saves vs. charm and fear
    Protection from Evil: +2 Deflection bonus to AC, +2 Resistance bonus to Saves, Immune to Mental Control and being touched by summons (8 minutes)
    Recitation: +2 luck bonus to attacks, saves, AC (16 rounds)
    Resist Energy (Fire): Fire Resistance 20 (80 minutes)
    Shield: +4 Shield bonus to AC (6 minutes)
    Shield of Faith: +3 Deflection bonus to AC (8 minutes)


    Ragnar Ingvarsson (Barbarian 8)
    HP: 123/123 (Raging: 144/144)
    AC: 25 (10 base + 2 Dex + 5 armor + 2 enhancement + 3 Deflection + 2 luck + 1 morale + 1 haste -1 size) (Raging: 22)
    Attack/Damage: +2 Maul +24/+24/+19 (Raging: +27/+27/+22)
    While Raging with Power Attack at -8: +19/+14
    - +2 Maul 2d8+17 (20/x3)
    While Raging with Power Attack at -8: 2d8+33 (20/x3)
    Saves: Fort - 30, Ref - 21, Will – 19
    NB: While Raging, Fort save rises by 3, Will save rises by 2, +5 to each if vs. charm, fear
    Damage Reduction: 1/-
    Rage uses: 5/5
    Potions: 1 x CMW, 1 x Flight
    Conviction: +3 Morale bonus to saves (80 minutes)
    Divine Protection: +1 morale bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    Ebon Eyes: Can see in magic darkness (80 minutes)
    Enlarge Person: Large size, 10 ft reach, +2 to Strength, -1 to AC and attacks (8 minutes)
    Freedom of Movement: Ain't nothing gonna break my stride, ain't nothing gonna slow me down (80 minutes)
    Haste: +1 to attacks, Reflex, AC. +30 ft speed, +1 attack on full attack
    Inspire Courage: +5 to attacks, dmg, saves vs charm and fear
    Protection from Evil: +2 Deflection bonus to AC, +2 Resistance bonus to Saves, Immune to Mental Control and being touched by summons (8 minutes)
    Recitation: +2 luck bonus to attacks, saves, AC (16 rounds)
    Resist Energy (Fire): Fire Resistance 20 (80 minutes)
    Shield of Faith: +3 Deflection bonus to AC (8 minutes)


    William Marshall (Wizard 8)
    HP: 57/57
    AC: 29 (10 base + 1 Dex + 1 natural + 3 Deflection + 6 Greater Mage Armor + 4 Shield + 2 Luck + 1 morale + 1 haste)
    Attack/Damage: +12/+12 Sudden Stunning Dagger +1
    - Sudden Stunning Dagger +1 1d6+6 (20/x2)
    Sudden Stunning uses: 2/2 – 1d20+6 vs. Reflex to stun opponent.
    Saves: Fort - 24, Ref - 29, Will - 31 (NB +5 to each if vs. charm, fear)
    Spells (At will/6/5/5/3) Spell attack roll: 1d20 + 6 + Level, Wizard 8
    0th: Detect Magic, Disrupt Undead, Light, Read Magic
    1st: Grease, Magic Missile,
    2nd: Glitterdust, Invisibility, Ray of Stupidity, Scorching Ray, Web
    3rd: Dispel Magic x2, Slow
    4th: Defenestrating Sphere, Orb of Fire x2
    Blindsight: Blindsight 30 ft (8 minutes)
    Conviction: +3 Morale bonus to saves (80 minutes)
    Divine Protection: +1 morale bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    Freedom of Movement: Ain't nothing gonna break my stride, ain't nothing gonna slow me down (80 minutes)
    Greater Mage Armor: +6 to AC (8 hours)
    Haste: +1 to attacks, Reflex, AC. +30 ft speed, +1 attack on full attack (16 rounds)
    Inspire Courage: +5 to attacks, dmg, saves vs charm and fear
    Protection from Evil: +2 Deflection bonus to AC, +2 Resistance bonus to Saves, Immune to Mental Control and being touched by summons (8 minutes)
    Recitation: +2 luck bonus to attacks, saves, AC (16 rounds)
    Resist Energy (Fire): Fire Resistance 20 (80 minutes)
    Shield: +4 Shield bonus to AC (6 minutes)
    Shield of Faith: +3 Deflection bonus to AC (8 minutes)


    Zanaek Grahorn (Cleric 8)
    HP: 88/74
    AC: 28 (10 base + 1 Dex + 8 armor + 1 enhancement + 2 Shield + 1 enhancement + 3 deflection + 1 morale + 1 haste)
    Attack/Damage: Longsword +16/+16/+11, Melee +14/+9, Ranged +16/+11
    --+1 Longsword (Skadi’s old blade) 1d8+7 (19-20/x2)
    --Light Crossbow 1d8 + 5 (19-20/x2, range inc 80 feet)
    --Light Shield 1d3+6 (20/x2)
    --Dagger x 2 1d4+6 (19-20/x2, range inc 10 feet)
    Saves: Fort - 26, Ref - 23, Will - 29 (NB +5 to each if vs. charm, fear)
    Spells: (At will/7/5/5/4) Spell attack: 1d20 + 5 + Level, Caster Level 8
    Domains - Healing, Good (CL 10 – [Healing] spells; CL 9 - [Good] spells)
    0: Detect Magic, Read Magic, Light, Resistance, Guidance, Detect Poison
    1: Remove Fear, Ray of Resurgence (LEoF)
    2: Consecrate (SpC), Curse of Ill Fortune (SpC), Spiritual Weapon, Healing Lorecall (SpC),
    3: Remove Curse, Resurgence, Mass (SpC)
    4: Restoration, Holy Smite (D)
    Aid: +14 THP
    Benediction: +2 luck bonus to saves (stacks with other bonuses), can cancel bonus to reroll 1 attack or save (80 minutes)
    Blindsight: Blindsight 30 ft (8 minutes)
    Conviction: +3 Morale bonus to saves (80 minutes)
    Divine Protection: +1 morale bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    Freedom of Movement: Ain't nothing gonna break my stride, ain't nothing gonna slow me down (80 minutes)
    Haste: +1 to attacks, Reflex, AC. +30 ft speed, +1 attack on full attack
    Healing Lorecall: Additional effects when healing, can substitute ranks in heal for healing caster level (80 minutes)
    Inspire Courage: +5 to attacks, dmg, saves vs. charm and fear
    Light of Venya (maximized): Shed light in a 30 ft radius. Can expend this spell (free/swift action?) to make two ranged touch attacks against an undead, dealing 36 damage each (80 minutes)
    Protection from Evil: +2 Deflection bonus to AC, +2 Resistance bonus to Saves, Immune to Mental Control and being touched by summons (8 minutes)
    Recitation: +2 luck bonus to attacks, saves, AC (16 rounds)
    Resist Energy (Fire): Fire Resistance 20 (80 minutes)
    Shield of Faith: +3 Deflection bonus to AC (8 minutes)

    Ariel Elandinai (Avariel Duskblade 2/Fighter 3 - level adjustment in effect)
    HP: 76/76
    AC: 31 (10 base + 6 Dex + 4 armor + 1 enhancement + 2 shield + 1 enhancement + 3 deflection + 2 luck + 1 morale + 1 haste)
    Attack/Damage: Sulcabedoo +22/+22/+17, Composite Longbow +20/+20/+15, Bolas +20/+20/+15
    Using Power Attack at -5: Sulcabedoo +17/+17/+12
    --Avariel Glass Rapier +1 (Sulcabedoo) 1d6+9 (18-20/x2 +1d8 [sonic], weapon rolls 1d20+4 vs Fort for deafening) +1d6 electricity damage
    --Dagger 1d4+8 (19-20/x2, range inc 10 feet)
    --Composite Longbow 1d8+8 (20/×3, range inc 110 feet)
    --Bolas 1d4+8 (20/x2, range inc 10 feet)
    Sudden Stunning uses: 3/3 – 1d20+7 vs Reflex to stun.
    Saves: Fort - 27, Ref - 25, Will - 24 (NB +5 to each if vs. charm, fear)
    Spells (At will/4) Spell Attack: 1d20 + 3 + Level Full slot count: (at will/4)
    0: Disrupt Undead, Ray of Frost, Acid Splash
    1: True Strike, Resist Energy , Ray of Enfeeblement
    Potions: 2 x CLW, 1 x CMW, 1 x Elixir of Sneaking
    Conviction: +3 Morale bonus to saves (80 minutes)
    Divine Protection: +1 morale bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    Ebon Eyes: Can see in magical darkness (80 minutes)
    Haste: +1 to attacks, Reflex, AC. +30 ft speed, +1 attack on full attack
    Inspire Courage: +5 to attacks, dmg, saves vs. charm and fear
    Protection from Evil: +2 Deflection bonus to AC, +2 Resistance bonus to Saves, Immune to Mental Control and being touched by summons (8 minutes)
    Recitation: +2 luck bonus to attacks, saves, AC (16 rounds)
    Resist Energy (Fire): Fire Resistance 20 (80 minutes)
    Shield of Faith: +3 Deflection bonus to AC (8 minutes)

    Sa'adi Adim (Cleric 8)
    HP: 105/97
    AC: 30 (10 base + 1 Dex + 8 armor + 2 enhancement + 2 shield + 1 enhancement + 3 deflection + 2 luck + 1 morale + 1 haste - 1 size)
    Attack/Damage: +24/+24/+19 Winterfall, +24/+24/+19 Heavy Mace
    -- +1 Frost Longsword (Winterfall) 2d6 + 23 (19-20/x2) +1d6 cold damage
    -- +2 Heavy Mace 2d6 + 23 (20/x2)
    NB: Damage has a +4 bonus so long as Divine Power is prepared. (already factored in)
    Saves: Fort - 30, Ref - 19, Will - 29 (NB +5 to each if vs. charm, fear)
    Spells: (At will/7/6/5/4) Spell attack: 1d20+6+Level, Caster Level: 8
    Domains - Retribution, War (CL 9 – [Force] spells)
    0: Detect Magic, Guidance, Light, Read Magic, Resistance
    1: Divine Favor, Resurgence (SpC), Shield of Faith (d)
    2: Close Wounds (SpC), Spiritual Weapon x 2 (d)
    3: Divine Retaliation (PHBII),
    4: Divine Power (d)
    Potions: 1 x CMW, 1 x Flight, 1 x Owl’s Wisdom, 1 x Elixir of Sneaking
    Smite Uses: 4/4 (+2 to hit, +8+1d6 damage vs. evil; good-aligned strike)
    AURA OF COURAGE:
    -- Immune to Fear (Magical or Otherwise)
    -- +4 to saving throws against fear for all allies within 10 feet
    Blindsight: Blindsight 30 ft (8 minutes)
    Conviction: +3 Morale bonus to saves (80 minutes)
    Divine Favor: +2 luck bonus to attacks, damage (20 rounds)
    Divine Power: +6 Str, BAB=CL, +8 thp (16 rounds)
    Divine Protection: +1 morale bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    Enlarge Person: +2 to strength, large size, 10 ft reach, -1 AC and attack (8 minutes)
    Freedom of Movement: Ain't nothing gonna break my stride, ain't nothing gonna slow me down (80 minutes)
    Ghost Touch Armor: Doot doot doot do do do doot doot doot (8 minutes)
    Girallon's Blessing: Forewarned is four-armed (80 minutes)
    Greater Magic Weapon (Heavy Mace): +2 enhancement bonus (8 hours)
    Haste: +1 to attacks, Reflex, AC. +30 ft speed, +1 attack on full attack
    Inspire Courage: +5 to attacks, dmg, saves vs. charm and fear
    Protection from Evil: +2 Deflection bonus to AC, +2 Resistance bonus to Saves, Immune to Mental Control and being touched by summons (8 minutes)
    Recitation: +2 luck bonus to attacks, saves, AC (16 rounds)
    Resist Energy (Fire): Fire Resistance 20 (80 minutes)
    Shield: +4 Shield bonus to AC (6 minutes)
    Shield of Faith: +3 Deflection bonus to AC (8 minutes)
    DIVINE SPIRIT STANCE: While in stance, upon each successful attack, heal ally within 30 feet or self 2 hp.


    This level of spell layering rendered literally everyone else in the confrontation meaningless. Summoned greenbound creatures can't touch the party because Protection from Evil repels them. The bonedrinkers can't get the AC unless they crit. The ghost lion can't hit, and its gaze attacks can't hit due to the saves involved. Also makes it hard for the Ghostlord to affect them with save-or-lose spells since their defences are so high, and Freedom of Movement and Blindsight render Wall of Sand/Thorns defences entirely pointless. Thus the fight is essentially the entire party versus the Ghostlord.

    Antilife Shell was effective to keep the melee'ers back, but not untyped damage force spells. Which is where Light of Venya (maximised using an action point), Defenestrating Sphere, and a Silence effect cast on one PC's weapon basically destroyed him in under one round. Oh, and a magic missile from the party bard who was holding a wand at the time.

    Literally all the actions I had were to throw a Wall of Sand on the party and cross my fingers that the wizard didn't hit with Defenestrating Sphere a second time (he dropped me prone on the first casting, but didn't slam the Ghostlord into the roof.) I did have Spider Climb memorised, and I wonder what the D.S. spell would've done had I been on the ceiling at the time.

    As it is, I was outactioned by a party that had a lot of solid preparation and planning time.

    On reflection I'd probably abandon the route of summoning altogether. The Ghostlord can't summon anything but evil creatures. If your most powerful servants can be blocked using a level 1 spell, then why bother spending the feats on summoning more powerful creatures? I'd also have looked to trying to interrupt the party's spellcasting -- have some sort of scrying pool that operates as a sort of security camera in the complex, so as to interrupt their buffing process. Or otherwise try to wear down their round-by-round spells, not that this would've helped much given the Ghostlord isn't meant to attack; he's wholly reactive, which is just stupid.

    I would also really recommend some kind of spell that protects the Ghostlord from positive energy damage, not that I'm familiar with any. A maximised Light of Venya spell carved 76 hitpoints off the Ghostlord, that's about 50% of his total amount under these rules.

    Still, my players did seem pretty pleased when they beat him, so I think I got away with it not being terribly climactic.

  19. - Top - End - #379

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

    I'm not sure if this has been covered already and there is no way I'm checking this entire monster thread to find out.

    I'm running this, and I'm going through the entire campaign and stepping up the encounters to get around all of the problems with enemies being poorly designed, played, or chosen. Most of this I have no problem with. However the Ghostlord was a serious roadblock for me. After all it's easy to make a Druid a threat, and not much harder to make a Lich a threat. But a Druid Lich? These are incompatible concepts. The main problem being he's quite easy to just kill, especially if the party remembers they have the Staff of Life and especially if they think that is why it was given to them. One Heal and he drops to 22 or 1 HP depending on the save, which is in easy follow up territory.

    But then I remembered Corpsecrafter, Desecrated areas, and that ring, which if he made himself a Lich with all of those things would grant him +6 HP per HD, and also presumably do the same for his undead minions which are also generally non threatening. While 77 HP and no defenses to speak of is incredibly squishy, 143 isn't so much. He still lacks offensive power though, which is what I am at a loss with. And while he will benefit from houserules that further increase his HP (to 198) they still don't do anything to make him really beat the crap out of anyone foolish enough to attack him.

    Ideas to make the Ghostlord an offensive threat?

  20. - Top - End - #380
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elitarismo View Post
    Ideas to make the Ghostlord an offensive threat?
    For my campaign, I (actually one of my players >_>) gave him spells per day as an 11th level druid (but using the blighter spell list) redid his spell list with spells per day as an 11th level Druid with a slightly upped Wisdom score, as well as changing his spell selection to have lot more ranged offensive spells- in particular, Ray of Enervation.

    He essentially crushed my party with that list, they only survived because one of the party members (who was MASSIVELY optimized for Bluff and VERY highly optimized for Diplomacy as well) persuaded him to let them go.

    This was helped a lot by some very bad circumstances, (namely that one of the members and his cohort (half the party, including the only caster) could apparently not do much against undead, and on top of that the other two characters started in the Lion's Heart room and were thus trapped there by his Antilife shell. Once he'd stepped back from the mele char and brought it up, the only person who could hurt him was the archer, dealing 1d6 fire damage per arrow thanks to his DR, so the party (those fighting him) actually found themselves in what I would quite aptly call a "Killing Jar"), but nonetheless he couldn't have done it without the updated spell list.


    Shall I post the list I used for your use and/or addition to the guide? It does have an issue for those determined to follow the rules rather than simply pretending Blighter is a lot better than it is (as I did), but it's still a very good spell list and I suppose could be easily turned into a rules-legal one simply by removing the extra spells.
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  21. - Top - End - #381

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

    I'd prefer to avoid giving him abilities he could not otherwise have, which unfortunately means being stuck with the Blighter list. I don't have my books in front of me. Do Blighters get the gish type spells like the Bite of line?

  22. - Top - End - #382
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elitarismo View Post
    I'd prefer to avoid giving him abilities he could not otherwise have, which unfortunately means being stuck with the Blighter list. I don't have my books in front of me. Do Blighters get the gish type spells like the Bite of line?
    I believe those spells were created after the blighter spell list and it received no further support beyond the book it was published in.
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    +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.
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  23. - Top - End - #383
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    I haven't looked into the Corpsecrafter et. al. line, but most of the Node Magic shenanigans I've suggested in the handbook for a druid build should also work for a blighter as well. Most notably, raising the ECL of the spells you've got via a Spellcraft check and getting access to one spell per level -- off any list -- by accessing the node to do it. This is one way around the suckitude of the blighter list.

    Blighters get Antilife Shell as a blighter 5 spell rather than its standard druid 6, so fighting from behind a ALS is still a viable option. Flame Strike's blighter 4, so maximising it via node (ab)use is a decent option even if they're using energy resistance, though I'd still recommend pumping a few blighter levels on him if you want to go down this path. Above all, win initiative: I wound up at the bottom of the initiative count and, as it probably can be seen, it hurt. Bad.

  24. - Top - End - #384
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elitarismo View Post
    I'd prefer to avoid giving him abilities he could not otherwise have, which unfortunately means being stuck with the Blighter list.
    Well, it does use the Blighter spell list, it just has slightly more spells than a Blighter, which should be easily fixable.



    On another note: I've heard that there are some battle maps in RHoD, I believe for the Marauder Attack, Streets of Blood, and the Fane of Tiamat. However, I can't seem to find the Streets of Blood on the internet, and my party will definitely be doing it next week. Can somebody post a link to it, preferably in a form that's convenient to print?
    It might not be feasible to print it anyway (it'd probably need several sheets of paper), but I at least need to know what the dimensions of it are supposed to be, and a picture of the map to reference would be quite helpful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades of gray View Post
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    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
    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!

  25. - Top - End - #385
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Streets of Blood isn't in there, just as any particular map for the red dragon's rampage isn't in there. They seem to assume that people will have spare maps of streets lying around their equipment boxes. ;) There is a description of what the street looks like in that encounter, so it might be possible to knock something together -- but if anyone knows of a generic D&D street map which would be usable for RHOD, I'd like to know about it too.

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

    A thought on the ghostlord encounter. Forbiddance is a lvl 5 Blighter spell. In the same vein of having unhallow precast with dispel magic keyed as a means of discouraging the party through removing their buffs and such like forbiddance can be cast on a similar area (not Ulwai or the Varanthian encounters, maybe the bonedrinkers if you are feeling cruel). This will knock a load of health off of each PC and prevent tactical teleportation (abrupt jaunting, benign transposition etc.). Also the party can't dispel it as there are no casters in the entire vale (themselves included) who can match the ghostlords caster level. 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.
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  27. - Top - End - #387
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    It's an interesting idea, and I wish I'd realised that spell was in there before.

    It could be a brutal replacement for Anitlife Shell, though I think multiple castings would work best. Once you're in the Forbiddance zone, and you take the 6 or 12d6 hit, you're basically scot-free, yes?

    We know you can't have overlapping Forbiddance zones. The more recent Forbiddance effect stops at the boundary of the older one. Therefore: layer the spells. Cast your first Forbiddance closest to where you plan to stand, then cast the next spell 5 feet further out. And repeat.

    Say you cast three Forbiddance spells, A being the first, B the second, C the third, in a 20 x 20 room, where G is the Ghostlord, X the door into the room:
    X
    CCCC
    BBBB
    AAAA
    G

    A melee attacker with no reach who doesn't share your alignment thus has to save when it enters zone C, then again at zone B, then again at zone A. That's a minimum 9d6 damage if the melee'r shares one aspect of its alignment with you and makes a Will save every time. Best of all, it's untyped and the Protection line of spells don't seem to keep it out. If he maneuvers anywhere but straight left or right, it's more multiple d6s of damage since he's always re-entering another Forbiddance effect after exiting another.

    This does leave open all ranged attacks, of course, but it's a pretty decent way to do some untyped damage against anyone who has to move in order to do damage.

  28. - Top - End - #388
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    hey guys i'm sorry to up and randomly post but i just wanted to ask "what is red hand of doom" is it a DCC or something?

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

    Actually I'd say that multiple forbiddance's might be a terrible idea against anything other than a hideously over optimised party. Popping in 6-12d6 damage no save repeatedly could cause a TPK. Whilst this is 'kind of' the point if the encounter does go to combat with the ghostlord forbiddance could off players even if they are trying to be diplomatic. If someone walks over to give the ghostlord his phylactery and triggers a second forbiddance the party may be forced into combat even though they have done everything right. Perhaps one forbiddance in each of the ghostlords personal rooms? The party are trespassing. Now they wont be hit so frequently that they drop dead but if they do lots of sneaking about they will quickly use up their healing prior to the ghostlord meeting them. So, healing exhausted, buffs gone and teleportation negated they should be a lot more likely to go diplomatic. If they give over the phylactery he gives them the password to get out safely. If they don't, he plays a game of cat and mouse, moving from room to room during the battle forcing them to trigger the forbiddance again and again.

    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.
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  30. - Top - End - #390
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    Default Re: The 3.5 Red Hand Of Doom Handbook for DMs [Major spoilers!] - WIP, PEACH!

    Quote Originally Posted by Drogon Malice View Post
    hey guys i'm sorry to up and randomly post but i just wanted to ask "what is red hand of doom" is it a DCC or something?
    Basically, check out the front of this thread for more details, but The Red Hand of Doom is an adventure module for D&D 3.5 edition. Arguably it's the best adventure module ever written for 3.5 -- your mileage may vary -- but there are elements of it which can be made better. That's what this thread is all about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jair_Barik
    Actually I'd say that multiple forbiddance's might be a terrible idea against anything other than a hideously over optimised party. Popping in 6-12d6 damage no save repeatedly could cause a TPK. Whilst this is 'kind of' the point if the encounter does go to combat with the ghostlord forbiddance could off players even if they are trying to be diplomatic. If someone walks over to give the ghostlord his phylactery and triggers a second forbiddance the party may be forced into combat even though they have done everything right. Perhaps one forbiddance in each of the ghostlords personal rooms? The party are trespassing. Now they wont be hit so frequently that they drop dead but if they do lots of sneaking about they will quickly use up their healing prior to the ghostlord meeting them. So, healing exhausted, buffs gone and teleportation negated they should be a lot more likely to go diplomatic. If they give over the phylactery he gives them the password to get out safely. If they don't, he plays a game of cat and mouse, moving from room to room during the battle forcing them to trigger the forbiddance again and again.

    I'm biased due to my experience of 8 players basically one-rounding the Ghostlord. This obviously won't be the experience with all parties, but with players who know what they're doing even multiple Forbiddance isn't going to present a big issue to them since there are a number of ways to smash someone from range -- usually, via magic.

    I do agree with you a Forbiddance on the Ghostlord's personal chambers is probably a useful idea. I'm unsure about putting one on every room -- that, if you will, channels the players into going for ranged options to defeat the Ghostlord, since by the time they get to those chambers they'll have at least rolled one Spellcraft check to see what the hell keeps hitting them for many d6s of damage. And also remember the stone lion is subject to the 15-minute adventuring day: one Rope Trick spell plus one healing cleric in the party and they're fully healed again, even if it takes them 6 days to reach the Ghostlord's innermost domain.

    Another possibility is that the Ghostlord can have multiple passwords for the different Forbiddance spells. That way he can give them passwords that will get them as far as dropping the phylactery somewhere safe, but still won't allow them to attack him.

    As far as getting the players to return the phylactery without getting hurt -- use the strategy I was using to keep the PCs ignorant of the Antilife Shell: don't make the mountain come to Mohammed. Have the Ghostlord demand they throw it to him across the room. Or get one of the bonedrinkers walk up and take it from a party member. Or demand they toss the phylactery into the yellow pool (he can't drown, and he can easily retrieve it since he's immune to the pool's effects.)

    Unhallow keyed to Dispel Magic will only work on entry against one buff partywide, remember, although it's useful as well.

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