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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    So I'm planning on running through chapter 6 and when it comes to some of the rumors I want to connect them to the main story

    Im not sure how much I can change and keeping it AL so I wanted opinions.

    Spoilers


    So I have a few tweaks planned.

    -the four bandits in the cave are working with the necromancer. (Giving corpses and components they come across. In instead of a starving bear in cage its a zombie bear (same stats but theatrically changed.)

    -the cave with 4 stirges is a false rumor spread to bring people to the cave (originally its already a false rumor because its rumored their is treasure and their isn't.) After stirges eat them the necromancer takes the corpses for undead.

    -the necromancer has motivation of "A great enemy is coming and I must gain power by any means to stop them."

    -Necromancer has notes about local areas cultists have been seen (leading the group to some of the other chapters 6 side quests as they go on a wild goose chase)




    New management changes

    - have a few more npcs shown to party who fit as suspects

    - have the guilty party be paying the money toward cult for towns safety

    At this point rest of chapter 6 is to high of level and thus will go into (I believe chapter 3) the start of adventure



    Thoughts
    Opinions?

    Is this to much to be considered a.l?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    Al pretty much doesn't let you change anything. You've gotta stick to the script. Wonderful for homebrew though.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default Re: Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    The beginning of PotA states the following:

    "Princes of the Apocalypse presents an epic campaign against the forces of Elemental Evil that can occupy you and your players for many months. Characters who are at least 3rd level can dive right into the main adventure. A party of 1st- or 2nd-level characters should start with the mini-adventure in chapter 6."

    Clearly, if you are starting at 1st level then the adventure is intended to start with chapter 6 so there shouldn't be any problem there.

    As for changes, an AL DM has a great deal of latitude but the goal is to stay consistent with the adventure as laid out. Cosmetic changes and tweaks to make it fun for the players are generally considered ok. Rewriting the adventure to suit an individual DMs perspective or preference is not.

    From the ALDMG:

    "Being the Dungeon Master
    You have the most important roleófacilitating the enjoyment of the game for the players. You provide the narrative and bring the game to life.

    Youíre Empowered. Make decisions about how the group interacts with the adventure; adjust or improvise as needed. Itís more important that you and the players are having fun than you stick to letter of the adventure.

    Everyone Should Shine. Donít allow any one player to dominate the table. Everyone should get the opportunity to shine. Feel free to adjust the encounters and adventure to make this happen.

    Keep the Adventure Moving. This is mostly for convention play where youíre participating in a timed slot. When the game gets bogged down, provide hints and clues to your players facing puzzles or engaging in combat and roleplay interactions to help move them along."

    So, the AL DM is allowed to tweak or adjust as they see fit to keep the adventure fun and interesting. However, they shouldn't make changes just because they feel like it.

    For example, why swap a bear for a zombie bear in "Into the Wilderness"?

    Spoiler: PotA spolier
    Show
    The text in the adventure says the bear is supposed to flee when reaching 1/2 hit points. This is because a bear has multiattack and a single round of attacks from a bear is quite capable of killing a first level character. A crit from a bear can easily cause perma death to a first level character.

    If you want to call the bear a zombie bear just for role play reasons without giving it any of the features of a zombie, having it still flee at 50% hit points and attack whoever is closest whether it is a PC or a bandit then there is no real issue with just changing up the "fluff".

    However, if you are actually swapping a bear for a zombie bear it does several things ... 1) A zombie isn't about to flee, it doesn't care about damage - this increases the likelihood of a PC dying or possible TPK for first level characters depending on the classes and how many there are ... 2) A zombie has the feature Undead Fortitude. This means that even if you get it to zero hit points it makes a con save to see if it stays up at 1HP. Zombies can be irritating to kill off even at higher levels as they make these saves and keep on fighting. Keeping these two features in mind, swapping a zombie bear for a regular bear is almost guaranteeing one or more characters will die unless you are the type of DM who carefully manages the dice and the targets chosen by NPCs to avoid this outcome. 3) If the zombie bear was given to the bandits by the necromancer then it is unlikely to attack the bandits. If it comes into the fight as an ally of the bandits then the situation gets even more lopsided.



    I'm also not sure I see the point to the other changes.

    New Management is a side quest and the motivations of the NPCs involved are pretty well outlined.

    Spoiler: PotA Spoiler
    Show
    Stealing money from the Zhentarim to pay protection money to a cult on behalf of the village just seems out of character unless you change the villain of the module to be someone else. However, then all of the actions that require an "inside" presence to make them work don't really fit either.

    In addition, the point of New Management is a frame job by the real culprit. They don't really want multiple possible options for the person who steals the gold. They want the players and everyone else to leap to the one conclusion they are staging with the various bits of evidence. You could re-write he entire thing to have a different point but I am not sure why it would be needed nor how it would increase the enjoyment of the encounter as written.


    However, most of the tweaks you are considering are cosmetic and as a result would not be banned for AL play. The AL DM shouldn't be changing up the adventure but modifying bits of the descriptions to make the story hang together in a particular way without modifying either the encounters or magic items unlocked should be fine.

    Also, keep in mind that AL rewards will be Advancement Check Points (1/hr of play), Treasure Check Points (1/hour of play in tier 1), Downtime (2.5 days/hour of play) and renown (0.25/hour of play). The adventures do not award any extra gold and magic items found will need to be purchased using TCP with the exception of some important items that are considered Storyline awards while the character is playing that particular hard cover.

    Anyway, since PotA is supposed to start in chapter 6 for first level characters, there is no problem starting with that introductory adventure in AL.
    Last edited by Keravath; 2019-05-22 at 09:30 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    The beginning of PotA states the following:

    "Princes of the Apocalypse presents an epic campaign against the forces of Elemental Evil that can occupy you and your players for many months. Characters who are at least 3rd level can dive right into the main adventure. A party of 1st- or 2nd-level characters should start with the mini-adventure in chapter 6."

    Clearly, if you are starting at 1st level then the adventure is intended to start with chapter 6 so there shouldn't be any problem there.

    As for changes, an AL DM has a great deal of latitude but the goal is to stay consistent with the adventure as laid out. Cosmetic changes and tweaks to make it fun for the players are generally considered ok. Rewriting the adventure to suit an individual DMs perspective or preference is not.

    From the ALDMG:

    "Being the Dungeon Master
    You have the most important roleófacilitating the enjoyment of the game for the players. You provide the narrative and bring the game to life.

    Youíre Empowered. Make decisions about how the group interacts with the adventure; adjust or improvise as needed. Itís more important that you and the players are having fun than you stick to letter of the adventure.

    Everyone Should Shine. Donít allow any one player to dominate the table. Everyone should get the opportunity to shine. Feel free to adjust the encounters and adventure to make this happen.

    Keep the Adventure Moving. This is mostly for convention play where youíre participating in a timed slot. When the game gets bogged down, provide hints and clues to your players facing puzzles or engaging in combat and roleplay interactions to help move them along."

    So, the AL DM is allowed to tweak or adjust as they see fit to keep the adventure fun and interesting. However, they shouldn't make changes just because they feel like it.

    For example, why swap a bear for a zombie bear in "Into the Wilderness"?

    Spoiler: PotA spolier
    Show
    The text in the adventure says the bear is supposed to flee when reaching 1/2 hit points. This is because a bear has multiattack and a single round of attacks from a bear is quite capable of killing a first level character. A crit from a bear can easily cause perma death to a first level character.

    If you want to call the bear a zombie bear just for role play reasons without giving it any of the features of a zombie, having it still flee at 50% hit points and attack whoever is closest whether it is a PC or a bandit then there is no real issue with just changing up the "fluff".

    However, if you are actually swapping a bear for a zombie bear it does several things ... 1) A zombie isn't about to flee, it doesn't care about damage - this increases the likelihood of a PC dying or possible TPK for first level characters depending on the classes and how many there are ... 2) A zombie has the feature Undead Fortitude. This means that even if you get it to zero hit points it makes a con save to see if it stays up at 1HP. Zombies can be irritating to kill off even at higher levels as they make these saves and keep on fighting. Keeping these two features in mind, swapping a zombie bear for a regular bear is almost guaranteeing one or more characters will die unless you are the type of DM who carefully manages the dice and the targets chosen by NPCs to avoid this outcome. 3) If the zombie bear was given to the bandits by the necromancer then it is unlikely to attack the bandits. If it comes into the fight as an ally of the bandits then the situation gets even more lopsided.



    I'm also not sure I see the point to the other changes.

    New Management is a side quest and the motivations of the NPCs involved are pretty well outlined.

    Spoiler: PotA Spoiler
    Show
    Stealing money from the Zhentarim to pay protection money to a cult on behalf of the village just seems out of character unless you change the villain of the module to be someone else. However, then all of the actions that require an "inside" presence to make them work don't really fit either.

    In addition, the point of New Management is a frame job by the real culprit. They don't really want multiple possible options for the person who steals the gold. They want the players and everyone else to leap to the one conclusion they are staging with the various bits of evidence. You could re-write he entire thing to have a different point but I am not sure why it would be needed nor how it would increase the enjoyment of the encounter as written.


    However, most of the tweaks you are considering are cosmetic and as a result would not be banned for AL play. The AL DM shouldn't be changing up the adventure but modifying bits of the descriptions to make the story hang together in a particular way without modifying either the encounters or magic items unlocked should be fine.

    Also, keep in mind that AL rewards will be Advancement Check Points (1/hr of play), Treasure Check Points (1/hour of play in tier 1), Downtime (2.5 days/hour of play) and renown (0.25/hour of play). The adventures do not award any extra gold and magic items found will need to be purchased using TCP with the exception of some important items that are considered Storyline awards while the character is playing that particular hard cover.

    Anyway, since PotA is supposed to start in chapter 6 for first level characters, there is no problem starting with that introductory adventure in AL.
    After seeing your post I re read new mamagement and I think ill try running it without any changes and just have the small changes on the 2 mini adventures (Bears and Bows, the cave one I cant remember name of)

    Also I don't plan on changing stats of bear just reflavoring it theatrically. Story behind it will be that it was gifted from necromancer and as long as they kept giving bodies and corpses he would reassert control over it. They've been getting lax now that they have a cave full of treasure and have decided to cage the bear and enjoy leisure time.

    The bear will still flee at 50% I don't plan on changing that

    Only other changes I've made was add a few bandits on the road whom are scouting out for an ambush.

    That way there's a small fight on the road followed by one in the cave (looking at dmg exp table both are between medium and hard difficulties. Which is generally where this group likes it)

    Also only reason I'm making story changes is so that it leads to necromancer easier rather than just rumors because the players often get caught up on things and over think/ spend a lot of time on stuff that isnt needed. So generally i add in rather strong hints.


    In total it'll have small rp in town

    Bandit cave quest

    Small rp in town

    Then the cave quest


    Which should be roughly two hours

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Re: Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    I made all kinds of story tweeks when I ran PotA in AL to match the players decisions. It's not hard to do and stay within the guidelines.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    Thanks for all the feedback
    This is my first al game with this group , generally I do homebrew but the group is getting into a.l for more of a pop corn play when not all 5 of them can make it

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default Re: Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    Quote Originally Posted by Shuruke View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback
    This is my first al game with this group , generally I do homebrew but the group is getting into a.l for more of a pop corn play when not all 5 of them can make it
    AL is good for dropping in and out of games. However, keep in mind that the characters are still constrained by tiers depending on the module. Hardcovers are much more flexible that way. It doesn't help that much if the characters are only playing the one game but if you are in a game shop environment and never know what days you might be available to play, or who might show up then it works remarkably well.

    The big draw for me from a real life perspective is that I can drop out of a game when real life stuff comes up and don't have to worry about letting folks down.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    AL is good for dropping in and out of games. However, keep in mind that the characters are still constrained by tiers depending on the module. Hardcovers are much more flexible that way. It doesn't help that much if the characters are only playing the one game but if you are in a game shop environment and never know what days you might be available to play, or who might show up then it works remarkably well.

    The big draw for me from a real life perspective is that I can drop out of a game when real life stuff comes up and don't have to worry about letting folks down.
    Yeah that's the nice thing about it, we play on roll20 in a al discord channel, its not very big but its ran by a small scale youtuber I know and his friend.

    Met them on roll 20 when I ran a few games awhile ago

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default Re: Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    Quote Originally Posted by Shuruke View Post
    Yeah that's the nice thing about it, we play on roll20 in a al discord channel, its not very big but its ran by a small scale youtuber I know and his friend.

    Met them on roll 20 when I ran a few games awhile ago
    How do you manage to find AL Discord channels? I've skimmed through a number of D&D Discord servers (both AL and not) without really finding anyone active.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Modifying AL story , chapter 6 princes of apocalypse

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    How do you manage to find AL Discord channels? I've skimmed through a number of D&D Discord servers (both AL and not) without really finding anyone active.
    One of my players invited me , guess was one of this scenarios of find what your not looking for

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