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<![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - wizarddog]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/1003-wizarddog Pen and Paper Games hosts a very powerful, but easy to seach and join database of players and game masters in the United States and Canada. Our forums are also a great place to find the most recent news, product releases, tips, and rpg discussion. en Sat, 21 Apr 2018 15:50:59 GMT vBulletin 60 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/pnpg_style/misc/rss.jpg <![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - wizarddog]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/1003-wizarddog First Session of The One Ring : Scales of the Lost Children http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1883-First-Session-of-The-One-Ring-Scales-of-the-Lost-Children Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:09:26 GMT I ahd three players who designed characters for our first session. Jose created a Barding who he named Dreft (what he names all of his characters)... I ahd three players who designed characters for our first session. Jose created a Barding who he named Dreft (what he names all of his characters) who specialized in Great Bow and was a Slayer. Kuni created a woodaman named odo who was a treasure Hunter, his character had a very high wits score. James created a wild hobbit of valley and boosted all of his talents to stealth.

So it begins as Dreft of Dale had befriended the wild hafling of Anduin Vale as the hobbit save his life some months ago by helping him hide from a raiding orc party. The hobbit himself was a good friend of the Woodsman Odo and the two accompanied Dreft to Esargoth in hopes of some employment bu a patron. However, Dreft’s initial contact had left Lake Town under scandal circumstances leaving the three with no prospects and no introductions to the local merchants.

While attending the market in Lake Town the fellowship witness a young street urchin being seized by a wild man of the north who claims the boy was trying to pick pocket him. He shouts “This is how we handle thieve sin my land” and began to un-peace bound his axe. Dreft spoke to the Hillman and tried to convince him that it was not the proper way to deal with the child, but rather a spanking would serve as well. However, the hobbit knew the Hill man were notoriously cruel to their children so he related a short song and rhyme that told the story of a man who was cruel to children and in the next life was punished. The Hillman took the story to heart and release the child to the locale authorities. (Both succeed in persuade and song checks).

Then Lady Rose Fleming Maylie appear and Dreft appealed to the captain to release the child to her. Lady Fleming, seeing Drefts and his companions are with fine words and kind hearts, asks for help in appealing to Councilman Brownlow, head of the merchants guild to help find these orphaned children that have been taken by a unknown kidsman and turning them into pick pockets.

A meeting with Councilman Brownlow began with introductions(Courtesy), of which Odo failed to make an impression due to his rustic upbringing. Nevertheless the fellowship convince the Councilman to take down the kidsman and have the children fall under the Lady’s care with assistance from the people of Lake town to raise them proper. The fellowship is drawn papers to give them authority to question the locals in the market square to find out where the children are hiding.

The group questions the young boy Oliver who claims innocence and confesses that one of the boys, Jack Dawkins, also known as the Artful Dodger (a title given to those of adept thievery) was who to look for. The group travels to the market squear as the afternoon sun is descending. And split up to investigate. Dreft talks to a local fruit merchant and learns that about the activities of the gang and how they operate. The Hobbit talsk to a local fisherman who explains the children are under the tutelage of one Thickerly Thaine Fagan and his goons. Finally, Odo manages to trail the Artful Dodger back to his hideout and gathers his comrades to infiltrate their lair.

The group sneal into the lair and discover Thickerly and his four thugs. They debate how to take them out without too much bloodshed and leave to consult Lady Rose Fleming. She urges them to hurry and take him out because if the watch is called they most certainly will scatter and be gone by the tiem they muster their forces. Taking her advance they return later and see only one gang membes awake in the room at guard.

Dreft takes a shot with his great bow and takes out the guard silently. The group attempt to sneak in further into the room but are spotted by one the children who screams. The rest of the gang wakes up and peers over the loft. The fellowship release their arrows again taking out two more thugs. A dog rushes down and attacks Dreft biting and snagging his ankle while Thickerly shouted for his men to press the attack. Dreft fights off the dog with his spear and Odo takes out another thug with his bow. Thickerly jumps down from the balcony and tries to slash the hobbit but quick small fellow dodged the blade and got behind Dreft. Dreft finishes off the dog and Odo fires his bow at Thickerly hitting him in the leg. The hobbit continues to fire his bow but the wily thug dodges and strikes at Dreft who fends off his blows with his spear. Finally, Dreft skewers Thickerly with his spear and pins him to the ground. The thief struggles to get back u[ but dreft steps on his wrist forcing him to releasing his blade in defeat.

The fellowship is paid for the bounty of Thickerly and his goons and prospects to meet a merchant interested in hiring them for a job.

Overall a pretty good session. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1883-First-Session-of-The-One-Ring-Scales-of-the-Lost-Children
Beginning a One Ring RPG Campaign: Laketown Adventure/Esgaroth http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1877-Beginning-a-One-Ring-RPG-Campaign-Laketown-Adventure-Esgaroth Mon, 23 Jun 2014 01:00:35 GMT So following TOR's suggestion of having Esgaroth as a sanctuary to start, I decided to place an adventure in Lake Town itself. Lacking a introduction to the prominent merchants and noted individuals of Laketown, the fellowship is at its wits end trying to find decent work. An encounter with a street urchin pickpocket starts the adventure where the players are drawn into trying to save a group of orphaned children Called scale children. Very much based on "Dust Children" of vietnam, these children were left orphaned by the dragon Smaug five years ago and now are under the tutelage of one "Thickery" Thaine, a minor crime boss.

The heroes have two paths in this adventure: Either "rescue" the children as a prominent widow has asked them or gather and place the children in jail as the Merchant councilman demands. Either offers to give them introductions to prominent merchants and officials in lake town if they succeed.

The first encounter is the pickpocket incident. One of the PC's has a chance of being pickpocketed themselves but the main confrontation is when one of the young thieves is caught by a enraged Northman who tries to chop off the child's hand to teach him a lesson: "This is how we deal with these in the North!". PC's are allowed to diffuse the situation as they see fit (using words or fighting). This an ideal use of combat or using skills such as awe and persuade. If they fail or choose not to help the child from losing their hand, they can earn a shadow point.

The second encounter is the Watchman coming with his "What's all this then?" and the PC's trying to explain their actions. Maggie McClarrion, the NPC heroine appears to help the players, especially if they saved the young boy from his fate. Its at this encounter I start using some prolong actions (3 rolls) in order to explain their side of the story. A Failure means they could pay a fine or have weapons peacebound or confiscated.

Maggie will try to get them to appeal to Councilman Vehmont to deal with the children's problem.

The third encounter is with Councilman Vehmont who has his own idea on how to deal with the children. It takes a prolong action (5) to convince him to go along with Maggies suggestion of rescuing the children and building a home for them. Right now he is willing to support throwin them all in jail. Players that get his support have deputy status to investigate the case with authority(cooperation with members of the community). Failure means they have to do it on their own. He may even counter offer and give them the authority if they promise to throw the children into jail--another moral dilemma.

The forth encounter is all out investigation (5) in locating the gangs hideaway. Successfully completing this allows them to gain the upperhand on Thickery's operation. Failure, and Thickery is ready to take care of the fellowship.

The final encounter is with Thickery in his lair which can be a negotiation or all out fight.

The aftermath: The fellowship gains the introduction in either case unless they totally choose to go their own direction and alienate either NPC. XP and AP are rewarded and their is no treasure to speak of. Of course none of this can be used until the Fellowship phase which would be after the third adventure. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1877-Beginning-a-One-Ring-RPG-Campaign-Laketown-Adventure-Esgaroth
Beginning a One Ring RPG Campaign http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1875-Beginning-a-One-Ring-RPG-Campaign Sat, 21 Jun 2014 19:06:05 GMT My next project (even as my Pathfinder game has just hit a major Arc) is to run a Cubicle 7: The One Ring (TOR) Campaign in the possible future. I... My next project (even as my Pathfinder game has just hit a major Arc) is to run a Cubicle 7: The One Ring (TOR) Campaign in the possible future. I have yet to play or Loremaster the game so I have been trying to get familiar with the rules and design adventures to meet my needs. One of the major undertakings is for me to adapt the Against the Slave Lords Hardback into a TOR campaign. I liked the series though I never wanted to play 1st or 2nd AD&D ever again as I found the systems too limiting and converting to PF or 3.5 is too much of hassle. Furthermore, I gave up on 4e, I did my collaborative game approach a year back and it did not go as wella s I hoped but pushing the limits on games has been my focus for a while.

The One Ring lends itself to heavy roleplay so I approached ASL in much that way. The first adventure Danger at Drakshelf Quarry is an excellent beginning adventure by Skip Williams that has a good story reminiscent to the Dungeon Crawl Classics series. My focus will be on the role playing aspects, so the area of the adventure not relating to the mines, slaves, and characters is discarded basically the whole Caverns section.

I would place near the Mountain Hall in the Wilderlands as Woodsmen of that area do use the mines. As the series progressed, the events take place further north into Mount Gundabad.

The humans and goblin foes are easy to keep. Bugbears would be upgraded to orcs.
I choose to keep the mud tigers though the creature is not even remotely Tolkien. Instead, I may choose to make them wargs. Brubrok can be a half-orc or orc parading as dwarf and half orcs are part of the Tolkien Mythology. and his accomplish Glyrthiel is an elf which could easily be taken by the shadow. I that case, Brubrok should be as tough as an orc chieftain while Glyrthiel would have to be a custom foe. The clerics in the lower level would not have any special abilities.

My focus is for the players to try and find the missing Spy located in the quarry mines, interact with the main villains, and hopefully lead a slave uprising--or anything as anything is possible. What would be foolish is to have a full scale assault on the quarry as combat in TOR, while simple, can be deadly.

Next Blog will include some encounters as they travel from LakeTown to Woodland Hall. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1875-Beginning-a-One-Ring-RPG-Campaign
Using 1e Modules for 4e: Treasure http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1745-Using-1e-Modules-for-4e-Treasure Thu, 02 Aug 2012 22:55:29 GMT Back in the 1e days, treasure was important. The amount of treasure you hauled off gave you XP. And you needed it. A magic user needed 2500 Xp just... Back in the 1e days, treasure was important. The amount of treasure you hauled off gave you XP. And you needed it. A magic user needed 2500 Xp just to get to level 2 so he could get one more spell ;). You were not going to earn that XP by killing kobolds all day with a stick. In addition, there were training cost and you were really allowed only to advance one level per adventure, having any XP left over putting you 1 away from the next level!

Not that every group followed these instructions, but any rule you ignored would make a module seem unbalanced or a Monty Haul.

Fortunately, 3e and 4e took that aspect of the game away and gave you more XP for killing the monsters and beating encounters. never the less, if you read the current module in your hand now, the treasure is going to make your eyes pop. Even worse, 4e has kind of made money superfluous in order to make the economy workable (unlike 3e broken economy). Unless your 4e players have something they can spend money on, they are unlikely to care what gold they have and instead covet magic items.

Nevertheless, PC's will want some sort of reward for putting their butts on the line, so the speak.

Using Parcels: One way to accomplish this is to simply ignore the treasure in the module and use parcels. But this takes way from the flavor of the module. If I took out all of the unique treasure in Hidden Shrine of Tamachan, it becomes kind of dull.

Using treasure as written you could use the treasure as written, and in some modules, that is all that is needed. An orc with 1-6 gold on his person won't break the game. Finding anything under 250gpv is usually okay. When we start talking 500 gp plus, we being to see problems. In addition, Platinum in 1e is only 5gp while in 4e it is much more, so you want to avoid that as much as possible. And what the hell is an electrum piece?

Dividing Treasure value by 10 This is a common thing I do for many 3e and 1e conversions. I simply divide the treasure by 10, so a 100gp items is now 10gp. It controls the treasure out take. The unfortunate result is the PC's might ignore the small trinkets of treasure and thereby, avoid getting any monetary treasure at all.

Magic items: Many old gamers will always tell the 1e tale of "getting a +1 magic sword was big deal" . In some cases, it was. Some monsters could not be harmed without a magic weapon and most characters, unless they had a magic weapon, could not output more damage than they did at first level. A magic sword was not cheap; about 2000gp for a +1 weapon. Getting your AC to 0 was no easy task either. You need +1 Platemail and a +1 Shield to get that AC 0, and if you were lucky, a +1 ring of protection to get a -1 AC if you didn't have a high dexterity. And that was just for the fighter.

Many modules have different ideas about how much treasure in magic items should be distributed. Some have outrageous amounts of magic, while others are few or very powerful. Some are used by the monsters while others are locked in the chest the monster guards, where as they could have been very useful to the monster. 1e did not consider these factors, and it wasn't until 4e did we see a removal of random treasure to placed treasure. In all defense of the random aspect, sometimes players and DM's don't know what is going to be useful and the placing of items on purpose tends to make the same items come up all the time. In addition, a +1 sword in 4e, while useful in the beginning, quickly loses its usefulness later on.

When dealing with treasure as magic items you should follow these set guidelines:

Magical Treasure is Common In 4e, there is no way to get around it, magic is here to stay. Unless you run with the inherent bonuses, your players are going to need magic items. Nothing says you have to play this way but nothing slows down a fight than a PC that can't hit. In addition, magic is pretty cheap compared to 1e and 3e. Short of changing your dynamic in the game, you will be seeing PC's defined not only by powers but by magic items.

Magical treasure is for the Players: It is there reward for banging the heads of monsters. Unless the item is a macgruffin, it is usually not being used by the monsters. On occasion, you might have a bad-ass foe using a weapon that some player will covet, especially if it starts kicking his butt.

Magical treasure is useful: Defining what is useful can be tricky. What was useful in 1e is not so much in the mechanics of 4e. What you can assume is that an implement meant for a Monk is not very useful to a party that can't use a Ki Focus. 4e has placed a ritual to transfer magical properties of one item to another but the ritual is limited on level of player and item. Since all the good stuff is of higher level than the character (usually) then it starts to fall into the "not useful" category.

Interpreting Magic items in 1e Modules
Now that we are aware what magic items are used for, we can try and to find solutions on how to transfer 1e magic to 4e magic. Levels of the items should be determine by the + or level of part. So a +2 sword is alevel 6 item, a Wand of Magic missiles should be a +2 wand of Magic Missiles [Level 7] if the party is level 4 or higher, etc.

Scrolls are In/Out In a quick game, you can basically ignore the treasure of scrolls. If you are adventurous, you can make the scrolls into one time magic items that can be used by primal, divine, and arcane power users. Using the previous mechanics on monsters using scrolls, you can apply it to PC's. Anything that would be used outside the combat arena would be a ritual. I would use a Level of spell +4 to determine the attack roll of the spell; so a 3rd level fireball scroll would be +7 vs reflex for 2d8+3 daamge (with a area of 3). I would be wary of this as in some modules, a scroll can have a quite a few spells, since they were a keen source of spells for magicusers.

Wands I would treat wands as Masters wands of appropriate spell.

Staffs, Rods, Orbs, other implements These items should be level appropriate and their properties discovered after a extended rest. have the PC's choose based on level appropriateness.

Potions Potions were more useful in earlier additions to the game. If you find the appropriate equivalent of a potion, use that, otherwise, you can use the spell conversions listed in the first post. Potions should last only for a turn.

Armor and Weapons Later editions of D&D had more elaborate types of weapons and armor you could choose from. Not so much in 1e. I would use the armor and weapon + to determine the initial type of item, then after the adventure or extended rest, have the player choose the property of the item. So if they find a +2 sword, they will choose from a level 6 to level 10 item of +2 weapons.

Magical Shields There are no AC increasing magical shields in 4e. Any monster wielding one should be ignored, you don't have time to figure out what kind of shield it is. Players should choose any found shield based on its +; +1 is level 1-5; +2 is Level 6-10, etc.

Miscellaneous Item Ignore any creature with an item. Any found treasure should be the equivalent to the item in 4e at the appropriate level, discovered after a extended rest. Cloaks, amulets, rings, boots, belts, bracers, gloves, headbands, helms, etc should be used from the proper categories of slot items. Rings should be ignored unless the party is higher level. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1745-Using-1e-Modules-for-4e-Treasure
Using 1e Modules for 4e: On the Fly Powers http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1744-Using-1e-Modules-for-4e-On-the-Fly-Powers Thu, 02 Aug 2012 21:44:08 GMT *Making Power on the Fly* I talked about the 1e to 4e conversion in the previous post and noted the lack of power in the monsters besides their... Making Power on the Fly
I talked about the 1e to 4e conversion in the previous post and noted the lack of power in the monsters besides their basic attacks. One of the aspects of 4e is the ability of DM's to create with monsters abilities they think would be a great challenges or story elements. I personally follow a more story aspect in DMing, as I am not a great strategist. So here are some on-the fly abilities I can apply to my monsters that require no real extra designing *i.e I am not going to bother with stating out the monster for it). Some of these power are what PC can do anyway, so they won;t cry foul if it happens to them.

On the Fly Abilities:
Use these with monster that really have nothing going for them. I would recommend only 1 such power buy if you get a good theme going (ie, Flaming aura, sword, ongoing damage), you can pull off more.

Mark: Give the creature a mark and it will make the players think twice on who they attack. Add another penalty to the mark to make it memorable like damage or a free attack if ignored. Marks on other defenders, though, tend to be not as effective as you would hope. Marks and running away are pretty effective.

Dual Weapons: An easy thing to add is to give the creature two weapons it fights with. This allows you to give them that threatening look of a an expert swordsman, and you can give him a very simple twin strike ability that is the bane of many marking defenders.

Shield Bash: This is another really nifty ability for a heavily armored foe, to bash foes with his shield. Not only does it do damage, but can push a target. You may also allow it to knock prone on a charge.

Furious Smash: A blow that dazes, slows or immobilizes a target and does double the damage. Should be a recharge.

Whip or Spike chain: Nothing says trip attack than a reach tripping attack. Even better, you can target reflex and no one is the wiser.

Flaming Weapon: Everything goes better with fire. Nothing makes an impression than a flaming weapon (See Fellowship of the Ring). You can add an additional +1d6 per tier of Fire damage on every hit. You can refluff the sword to be a icy blade, a blade of crackling electricity, a dark blade of the void, etc.

Hit and Run: A creature that can hit before or after a shift is a good way to make then tricky. For a “dervish dance”, allow then to move their speed and hit any foe in their path.

Shake it Off: This ability allows the creature to shake off those pesky conditions. This is usually a immediate reaction encounter or recharge power.

Flaming Aura: In the saying “everything goes better with fire”, a aura 1 doing 5 points of fire damage on those who enter or start their turn will do wonders. You can re-fluff it to be any element or damage you choose.

Ongoing Damage: A gloaming cut, a burning sword, an poisonous bite all have ongoing damage potential of 5 (save ends).

Grab and Toss: This my favorite for large creatures as an effect rather than a strategy. On a hit they do damage, grab and as a free action throw the character a few square away landing them prone. It is very effective at keeping a fight going for longer and not doing a lot of damage to the PC's if they are over matched. It also is useful in skill challenge/battle where the PC's need to get to another place and the bruiser is preventing them.

Flyby attack: The staple of the flying creature. Moving and attack at the same time without provoking attacks of opportunity. Every dragon should have one.

Riposte Strike: The monster can strike back when they are hit. Nuff said. You could make this a “when bloodied” reaction.

Sneak Attack: Makes flanking something you want every turn. Give your monsters only +1d6 at level 1-4, +2d6 at level 5-10.

Themes: With these basic powers you can packed them into quick and ready use powers for your monster.

The Bruiser: Furious Smash, Grab and Toss, and Shake it off.

The Sneak: Hit and Run, On ongoing damage, Sneak attack

The Skirmisher: Dual weapon, Hit and Run, Mark

The Soldier: Shield Bash, Mark, Furious Smash

The Gladiator: Whip/Spike Chain, Riposte Strike, Shield Bash

The Badass: Flaming Aura, Flaming Weapon, Ongoing Damage

The Dragon: Flaming Aura, Shake it off, Flyby attack, Grab and Toss, Furious Smash ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1744-Using-1e-Modules-for-4e-On-the-Fly-Powers
Using 1e Modules for 4e: Quick and Dirty Conversion http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1743-Using-1e-Modules-for-4e-Quick-and-Dirty-Conversion Thu, 02 Aug 2012 21:39:08 GMT I was greatly influenced by the 1 page free game Searchers of the Unknown which premise was to create and play characters the same as monster stats... I was greatly influenced by the 1 page free game Searchers of the Unknown which premise was to create and play characters the same as monster stats for the purpose of playing 1e modules. I was nostalgic in the old days when a monster stat was two or three lines rather than a mountain of information, and in 4e, a table of information that took up space.

Using AD&D stat blocks for 4e monsters
The point of this exercise is to allow a DM to use a 1e module to play a 4e game without having to recreate monsters and other aspects to the 4e mechanic. It is loose and dirty to do this but can be useful for a quick game with a pre-design module. In all, this minimalist approach does under-power the monsters though in alater post I will talk about on the fly powers you can add to creatures.

The mechanics of a 1e dungeon crawl is much different than a 4e dungeon crawl. A single monster would be considered a challenge to many PC's where as in 4e, bands of monsters is the standard. For 1e conversion on monster stats, some of the wacky mechanics of 1e (descending AC, for example) needed to have some interesting conversion to make it work. Naturally, you can replace the monsters with full 4e stats of any reskinned monster but one of the things I am trying to do is Limit the amount of info I need to play a monster.

If you go the minimalist route, you might want to emphasize the role-playing aspect of your game so PC's don't waste their time customizing their PC for combat alone.

Some of this conversion will help if you know some the rules and spell mechanics of 1e in order to get full understanding of the conversion. It will also make the on-the fly powers much easier (next post).

Level= HD rounded up (ex ½ HD is level 1). Level/HD will only effect AC, attack bonus, damage, and skill checks. In Ad&D, some monsters will have a HD 1+1, the additional plus will be used as well in some mechanics.

Speed= MV rate/2 or final speed score with the lowest being 4 and max being 10. Typically, a creature with a high movement is quicker and more agile. In some modules the movement will be listed as “ or as feet or list the outdoor movement versus the indoor movement (because in 1e you moved your movement in yards outdoors and feet indoors). Divide the final number by 10 if it is in feet and it should give you a range of 3-10 speed. Most monster ranger 4, 5,6,7 & 8 with some slow monsters at 4 and max at 10. I would upgrade their movement to at least 4 and no higher than 10.

Initiative = Speed score +2 or if your in hurry just the speed score. You may also opt just the MV score but you could end up with a creature with a +21 initaive at level 8, which is ridiculous.

Armor Class = Armor class is the biggest problem in 1e to 4e conversion.
In addition, while AD&D uses a max of -10 to AC, Basic and Expert D&D only go to AC 0, which greatly effects the AC of high level monsters.

You have 2 options on the AC: A) Try and use what's written for a conversion or use a scaling system (what I recommend)

Using what is written: A Simple conversion is to subtract the AC from 20 to get the armor class. Armor class in 1e however is mostly based on armor and Dex unless it is a monster. This will leave you with AC's that are pretty low and not scaled. A creature with AC 7 (Leather +Shield or ringmail) would translate in a armor class of 13. Not a very high number to beat with some character builds. Another alternative is to use 22 -monster AC. (ex AC 7 creature would be AC 15 in 4e. AC is used for all defenses). It would be more accurate in numbers but takes more math than a simple 20-AC.

Scaling: The more effective model is to scale AC on HD. AC = 14+HD. So a less than 1HD creature has an AC of 14 while a 1 HD has a base AC of 15, 2 HD at 16. Those with +1 or 2 to hit dice may add that total to their AC, indicating better armor or tactics.

Other Defenses: Assume that the AC is the same value of the other defenses, fort, reflex and will. This might make the monster tougher but its fighting capabilities will be limited as shown below.

Hit points: Hit points listed +20. That's it. Monsters in AD&D already use d8 for hit points. However, NPC characters such as magic users will have considerably less hit points. Consider doubling their hit points and then adding the 20.

Attacks: Attacks are whatever is listed with a 5+HD for attack. If there is a+1,2 etc next to the Hit Dice then add amount to the attack die. So a HD of 1+1 would be a +7 to attack. All attacks are against AC. If the creature has a spell like power or breath weapon it goes against the the appropriate defense (charms psychic vs will, fire and lightning reflex, cold and poison fortitude etc.). For creatures with multiple attacks they gain only up to 3 attacks. If they have more, consider making their attack a burst or blast.

Damage = As listed and I suggest adding 1 to the damage per HD. If they have a + or – on Hit die, add that as well. For multiple attacks use either of the highest damage. If the monster is listed with no damage or weapons assigned, then assume some weapon that does a d6. Always give your monsters a ranged weapon as well, in case you need to make them more artillery than grunt.

Special Attacks: Use appropriate condition : for paralyzation use immobilization, for poison use ongoing damage, etc.. Everything is save ends. Those effects that are special because of class, like back stab, would become sneak attack +1d6, surprise bonus (to become and not to be) would be an as he feat Alertness (+2 initiative, may act on surprise round).For certain attacks, such as breath weapon, assume the power recharges 1 die per 4 levels (so a 8th level creature recharges on a 5 or 6) All breath weapons recharge when a creature becomes bloodied.

Size: Some creatures may not list size but usually they will be S small M medium L Large. If they are large, assume they have a threatening reach of Melee 2. If huge, a threatening Melee 3, etc.

Vulnerabilities: If the creature is listed with vulnerabilities it takes the extra damage of 5 for heroic tier and 10 for higher unless is traditionally takes much more (I.e. an ice toad against fire).

Immunities: If the creature has immunity it is treated as having resistance 25 if that would normally cause damage (I.e. immune to fire).

Other Defenses: A common defense in AD&D was the need for magic weapons to do dmage to a creature. The Magic weapons only or +1 or better imply a creature with a tougher build or magical in nature (like an elemental or ghost). Another also included silvered weapons to damage the creature. D&D 3E dealt with this with DR but removed it in 4e. In some cases, regeneration was put in place in the creature to simulate the effect of normal weapons having less effect on a creature. The simplest thing is to ignore it or grant vulnerabilities to the monster against those effects rather than trying to recreate the entire mechanic. Assume the monsters take ½ damage from non qualifying weapons. Assume a dead troll needs to be burned in order to not regenerate and other fluff.

Magic Resistance: In AD&D, some monsters were resistant to magic and spells would not work against them. If the creature has Magic Resistance, consider it having an ability to shake off an effect. Every 15% indicates the recharge on the power. For example, a 30% magic resistance would recharge on a 5 or 6. Magic resistance above 60% will assume the creature can do this at the end of its next turn.

Spells: All spells are treated as encounter powers, including those cast from scrolls. They are attacks as previously stated. In addition, the spells do damage as 2d8+HD for levels 1-5, 3d8+HD for level 6-10 4d8+HD for levels 11+ of the appropriate type unless damage is already figured in. All spells are either ranged burst, area or blast depending on description. If the same power is listed as in 4e, use its traits for it ;for example Magic missile targets single creatures and automatically hits. Range of the spell is 5' x HD of monster; areas are 1 square every 2 HD. All damage dealing spells will require a standard action.

“Buff” spells will be assumed cast or as immediate interrupts or reactions or minor actions. Such spells give a +2 to +4 bonus to defenses, skill, checks ability checks, damage or attacks. They will last for turn or encounter, depending on description (for example, a bless spell would last for the end of the encounter while a shield spell would last only 1 turn. Healing spells will heal 10 hit points only per tier.

Movement spells will be consider move actions to cast. They last until the beginning of the next turn.

Other spells which deal no damage or serve a utility function, will be cast as minor actions.

Equipment: Usually, you can ignore equipment but in some cases, a AD&D monsters may be gaining the benefit of a magic item. In those cases, assume the item is a part of the creature's powers and not because of an item. If the creature has a +1 Flame tongue sword, assume it has a flaming weapon but is part of the creatures powers. A ring of invisibility becomes another of the creatures powers and not a real ring of invisibility item.

Skill checks: Depending on the creature's nature, it may need to make skill checks or ability checks. Ability checks are at HD while skill checks on things the creature may be good at are made at HD+5. So a ¼ HD kolbold would be at ability checks and non trained skill checks at +1 while a skill they would know, like stealth, would be at +6. When in doubt, assume the creature is trained in the skill. Add any hit die modifier (ex HD 1+1) in addition.

Creating Elites and solos: In 1e, a single monster would usually be a challenge to a party. In 4e, not so much. In the cases of adventures, try to combine multiple rooms/encounters together to make it an interesting fight. If not possible, they simply use one of these to make the creature(s) into solos or elites.

Make an elite: Elites count as two creatures. Double the Hit points . Elites also get +2 to saves. Make dragons, important NPCs, and tough monsters into elites.

Make a Solo: A Solo counts as 5 creatures. Quadruple the hit points. Allow the creature two standard actions, +5 to saves, and when it first bloodies it can make a free attack or reuse any encounter power* as an immediate reaction. Make single dragon encounters or other creatures into solos.

Make a minion: Usually, you may find a group of creatures even in mass number provide no real threat to the PC. You might want to consider them minions. Treat a minion as a normal creature but make its attack bonus 5+ the level of the party and doing max damage. Keep AC the same and use the minion rules of 1 hit point. Four Minions are equivalent to 1 normal monster. Make under a 1 hit die monsters in higher adventurer modules into minions.

Hazards: When ever a hazard appears it attacks the appropriate defense at 5+ Party level and does damage as listed or 2d8+level of party 1-5 or 3d8+ level of party 6-10 etc.

Finally, based on the stats you are ready to re-stat a creature on the fly for the game (see Next post)

Example Listing:
five kobolds (AC 7, HD ½, hp 4,4,3,2,1, #AT 1, D 1-4, MV 60’ (20’), Save NM, ML 6)

the entry would be interpreted: five Kolbolds (Level 1) INT +5 AC 14 Hp 24,24,23,22,21 Daggers +5 vs AC 1d4 Spd 4(squares)

Goblin (AC 6 HD 1-1 Hp 6 #AT 1, D 1-6, MV 60' )

would be read Goblin (Level 1) INT +4 AC 14 Hp 16 Shortsword +5 vs AC 1d6-1 Spd 4

Orc (AC 6 HD 1 Hp 6 #AT 1, D 2-9 MV 9”)

would be read: Orc (Level 1) INT +7 AC 15 Hp 26 Mace +6 vs AC 1d8+1 Spd 5

Hobgoblin (AC 5 HD 1+1 hp 8 #AT 1 D 1-8, MV 90')

would be read: Hobgoblin (Level 1) INT +7 AC 16 Hp 28 Longsword +7 vs AC 1d8+1 Spd 5

Ogre AC 4 HD 4+1 Hp 22 D 1-10 MV 6”

Would read: Ogre (Level 4) INT +6AC 20 Hp 42 Club +10 vs AC;1d10+5 Spd 4

Black Widow Spider: AC 6; HD 3:; hp 20; MV 60’(20’); #AT 1; D 2d6 + poison

would read: Black Widow Spider (Level 3): INT +6 AC 18 hp 40; Bite +8 vs AC 2d6 +3 damage and target takes ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends); Spd 4

Merdiz, Human Magician: AC 8; M4; hp 9; MV 120’(40‘); #AT 1; D Unarmed; Save
M4; ML 10; AL N; XP 50 Spells: First Level: sleep, light Second Level: web, wizard lock

would read: Merdiz, Human Magician (Level 4): INT +8 AC 19; hp 38; Staff +9 vs AC 1d6+4; Spd 8 Encounters: sleep Ranged 20' Area 4; +9 vs Will, 2d8+4 Psychic Targets fall unconscious (save ends); light ranged +9 vs Reflex 2d8+4 and target is blinded (save ends) Web; Ranged area 4 +9 vs reflex 2d8+4 poison targets are immobilized (save ends); area is difficult terrain. Wizard lock Range 20' door is sealed DC 25 to break.

Black Panther: AC 4; HD 4; hp 14; MV 210’(70’); #AT 3; D ld4/ld4/ld8;

would read: Black Panther (Level 4): INT +12 AC 19; hp 34; 2 Claws +9 vs AC ld4+4; Bite +9 vs AC ld8+4; Spd 10

Green Dragon AC 1 HD 8 Hp 48 MV 90‘(30’) Fly 240 ’ (80 ’) breath AT 3 + ld6/ld6/3d8 240 SA breath wpn* (Dragons in 1e did their hit point total damage in breath weapons and could use them 3/day).

would read: Elite Green Dragon (Level 8) INT +7 AC 23 Hp 136 Spd 5 Fly 10; (2) Claws +13 vs AC ld6+8; Bite +13 vs AC 3d8+8 Breath Weapon Blast 8; +13 vs Fortitude 2d8+8 damage and ongoing 5 poison (save ends) Miss ½ damage; +2 saves ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1743-Using-1e-Modules-for-4e-Quick-and-Dirty-Conversion
Converting 1e Dungeon adventure to 4e : Lady of the Lake Part 2 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1643-Converting-1e-Dungeon-adventure-to-4e-Lady-of-the-Lake-Part-2 Sun, 31 Jul 2011 01:02:42 GMT Part Two As explained previously, I am converting the 1e Dungeon Magazine Adventure Lady of the Lake for 4e. I made several modifications to the... Part Two

As explained previously, I am converting the 1e Dungeon Magazine Adventure Lady of the Lake for 4e. I made several modifications to the adventure to make it more playable as a 4e (and, quite frankly, an overall better) adventure.

My first decision was to make the adventure a 1st level adventure as it was originally intended for. Naturally it can be scaled up for more powerful parties. There are no high level monsters in the adventure as originally written so the use of standard monsters from the Monster builder would be used in the design save for the Madman and the Evil wizard (more on them next post). I decided to also place it in the NentirVale near the Winterbole forest so it had a relavant setting.

My next decision was to take some of the interesting random encounters listed and make them actual encounters in the adventure. They included a brigand encounter, hobgoblin encounter, a madman encounter, and a encounter with wolves. I also decide to add a few things to the adventure: for example, I would include the wizard that originally transformed the Lady, expand the burial mound encounter, and make complications that didn't exist before.

I decided that rather than having the PC's wander aimlessly through the forest and reach the encounters, that I would have the encounter automatically be found so I would have the traditional 10-11 encounters from an adventure. Some of the encounters would be easy while others hard. I usually place hard encounters more frequently if the PC's will be given an opportunity to rest the next day (not that they necessarily take it). I also changed the plot slightly by having the brigands and this wizard actively searching for the Lady. I also changed a few things in the village scenario to give it more tension like placing Tigerclaw Barbarians in the Inn, making it full. I also expanded on certain sites, like the burial mound encounter. The final combat scenario would be the heroes facing off against the evil wizard and his unique abilities before they find the Lake.

I included a more details in the sacred grove of the Dryad, making an essential encounter to aid the PC's in finding Lake orb. I changed the Dryad to a Spring Nymph with wilden companions. The Nymph resembles more of the 1e Dryad than than the 4e dryad IMO and the level range is closer to the PC's in the encounter. though the encounter is designed not be noncombat, I left the possibility the PC's would try something more aggressive.

I designed a skill challenge that could be implemented for the adventure. I had the Lady suffer the effects of being wounded through the disease mechanics. The Players are given the challenge of keeping the Lady alive long enough to get her to Orb Lake. The players need 12 success before 3 failures with 6 advantages. Everyday, the Lady would need a endurance save or a PC heal check to stop slipping deeper into death. Each failure move the lady permanently on the “disease track “closer to death with no hope of returning her to a improved state (unless the players gain an advantage that removed the failure.) I limited how many skill checks a single or group of players could do in one day. The thick forest itself impede the players movement through the forest making them travel for several days to find Orb Lake's location. Other skills could be used to gain advantages, to remove the failures: For example: Arcane could discover a ritual requiring 100gp Alchemical regents that could help rebound the arcane bonds of the Lady's polymorph and repair some of her damage. The trick will be for the PC's to find 100gp of alchemical regents (they won't find them in the village).

Once the PC's reach 3 failures, the woman falls very close to deaths door, and unless they have any advantages left, the will be dragging her to the Lake if they can keep her alive through heal checks. Once she sucums to the condition, she dies. However, I provided one extra advantage the players can utilize in the Burial mound that brings her back to life temporarily if she die, giving them an extra chance. Ultimately, if the PC's fail in their mission, they simply just lose out on the treasure rewards at the end of the adventure. She would ask then for revenge against the Wizard and the PC's would receive their XP rewards if they accomplish that task (if they haven't already)

Next Blog: The list of encounters for the adventure. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1643-Converting-1e-Dungeon-adventure-to-4e-Lady-of-the-Lake-Part-2
Converting 1e Dungeon Mag Adventures to 4e: Lady of the Lake Part 1 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1641-Converting-1e-Dungeon-Mag-Adventures-to-4e-Lady-of-the-Lake-Part-1 Mon, 25 Jul 2011 06:29:32 GMT So for the hell of it, I began looking into some old Dungeon Magazine adventures for possible adventures to run in the future. One poster I remember... So for the hell of it, I began looking into some old Dungeon Magazine adventures for possible adventures to run in the future. One poster I remember recalled that this material is great to use when you play with younger gamers (ones not around for 1e and 2e) and who never seen or played the adventure. With Dungeon Magazine, it was usually a hit or miss in some of these adventures (at least until Pazio took over-even then...).

My first delve into this assignment was in Issue #1 of Dungeon: an adventure called Lady of the Lake by Laura Ferguson. It was basically her first appearance in Dungeon Magazine back in 1988. The concept of the adventure is the players encountering a dying woman and trying to get her to a place call Orb Lake which has healing properties. The woman is actually a Phantasm: a white deer with rainbow wings from the Ethereal Plane. It was polymorphed into a woman by a magic-user and imprisoned by bandits (for whom she escaped).

While the premise of the adventure is very interesting, the execution of it is not that great. Half the adventure is stats on the village of Gydnia two public buildings with details that don't real have anything to do with the adventure. The rest has details on how the weather and encounters are to be in the forest and the last are area in the forest that the players can visit. But since they are so spread apart, most likely they wouldn't encounter all of them unless the DM was having the players bounce around the forest. And while the players may encounter the brigands that originally captured the girl, they don't face the magic-user. Other encounters include, goblins, a Dryad grove, A graveyard with a half strength wraith a sacred Glade and a cave of weasels.

So as written, the adventure is pretty meh. A Creative DM could make it work and add quite a bit to the adventure-which is whatI decide to do with this 4e conversion. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1641-Converting-1e-Dungeon-Mag-Adventures-to-4e-Lady-of-the-Lake-Part-1
<![CDATA[D&D Essentials Red Box]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1373-D-amp-D-Essentials-Red-Box Sat, 11 Sep 2010 21:19:09 GMT So for Saturday, I attended the D&D Redbox game day at Game Empire, Pasadena. My goal was to take a look at the red box system mostly to see if it would serve as a good easy system to use for my program for after school activities. So, in may case, I was interested only on how it would work in that setting with beginning gamers.

In this game, I played the pregen Dwarven Fighter Slayer, which had an interesting set of powers. Most notable of the character was the lack of dailies, the reduction of only 1 basic melee, two at will stances (minor) that either added +2 to damage or +1 to hit with melee attacks, an encounter (Free) that added an extra die with a hit with your weapon, and an encounter which added 5 temp hitpoints if you turned bloodied (Minor). All the other standard dwarven abilities were present (Dwarven resilience, Cast iron stomach, etc.)

As far as roles, the fighter was basically a striking class, having a good hit and damage potential. In around, you could deal significant damage. What was gone was marking, combat superiority, etc.

As far as the dynamics of the group and play, I believed the removal of defender role makes the game less like iconic 4e. For my purposes for my program, which wants to heighten the "teamwork" in the game, I found, IMO, that elimination not so good.

As for our group of 2 fighters , a wizard, and a warpriest (Basically a cleric/pally) we met out end at the last battle against a blackdragon and its orc minions. We slew the dragon (not before the wizard bit it) and were taken out by overpowered orc minions that got a standard action if they were dropped to 0 (The DM would have them charge us if we shot them from distance, and we would take about 12 points of damage).

While like the simplification of PC powers, I am a little hesitant to invest in this route if the role criteria is basically whittled down. I felt the 4 roles provide a better framework for discussing and utilizing strategy at the combat level. Perhaps seeing the actual rules set and PC creation options would give a different opinion. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1373-D-amp-D-Essentials-Red-Box
Gaming around Town http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1226-Gaming-around-Town Sun, 13 Jun 2010 06:13:28 GMT So I am gaming in some games outside of my own (once populated) circle. Our DM for Pathfinder has retreated to his Townhouse in all but virtual... So I am gaming in some games outside of my own (once populated) circle. Our DM for Pathfinder has retreated to his Townhouse in all but virtual identity and I continue my group with players; consisting of my wife and one other.

The few meetups I have had at Game Empire for LFR have all been boring to me and got tired of playing those scripted mini adventures.

I managed to hook up with a group that meets Sunday during the day at Emerald Knights. I am playing a Hybrid Hafling rogue/Warlord named Allistair and I had a good time. Will be meeting again Sunday and after that session, will be heading home to host my other game. I also have 1e game scheduled soon.

In other news, a new Game shopped open in Van Nuys called Green Ogre. I stopped by during their grand opening. My wife bought a bunch of dice and we received free T-shirts. Not as big as Emerald Knights, but then again, that store is also a comic book store. (I haven't bought a comic book in like seven years--even when they brought back Hal Jordan)

And of course I have my two online games that I had to get back into once my classes stopped and work has begun in the preschools. I am looking forward to becoming a teacher so i can earn some actual money. :biggrin: ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1226-Gaming-around-Town
Champions of Slaves http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1198-Champions-of-Slaves Wed, 19 May 2010 14:33:53 GMT So it has been a while since I blog/posted/breathed on the boards except for snippets here and there. Been busy working for the school district and... So it has been a while since I blog/posted/breathed on the boards except for snippets here and there. Been busy working for the school district and my practicum....

After another session of Thunderspire, even my devoted kill joy players are starting to feel the monotonous battles and story on this one. That will teach me to run a 4e game by the book! They even forget why they are there most of the time.

So I will be ending the adventure pretty soon. I halved the monsters hit points to get them out of the way and I am working back on a new set of adventures that are more episodic.

My new approach is to limit my writing down to the plot and some elements and try to wing it from there. Most of the time I write as if I plan to publish the adventure--but that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. This new approach with only about three encounters should provide a better session.

The players are entering Paragon, so I wanted them to be more involved in the workings of the world. I am having two of their PC's (who never wrote backgrounds) returning to the Slave City of Sutulak (Described in Cityscape) to reclaim their exiled family houses. The adventures center on them dealing with issues at the city (which I used random adventure starters from the 3.5 DM guide and other books.)

The 1st adventure: Champion of Slaves: the PC's are summoned by Lady Ester Gullian, a half-elf priestess of Pelor, has worked feverishly for the poor and discarded of this despicable city. Ester had continued the work years under the corrupt government until she was accused of treason by the high council for crimes against the oligarchy. The standard punishment for such a claim is gladiatorial combat in the cities arena.

She sought a champion for herself but none in the evil city would take up the challenge. She now has used the last of her resources and called upon outsiders to intervene in this matter. The word has reached Dree and Jerry (both player characters) who's families were prominent Houses in Sutulak many years ago.

Plot: Ester has been accused of treason, providing materials to an underground operatives known as the Silver Blades; a secret organization trying to overthrow the government. The evidence they present is that the Silver Blades recently had slain Councilman Pol Ghurther a month ago in his estate. Ester had appeared to the councilman in hopes of negotiating a deal to release a set of child slaves from a mine the very night he was slain. It is her responsibility to prove her innocence before the combat trial is imposed.

But the Silver Blades were not responsible. Instead, another councilman, Jurl Demen had hired the The Red Scorpions , led by their Medusa Underlord to slay Ghurther. Jurl Demen was being investigated by Ghurther for embezzlement of city funds. The Red Scorpions infiltrated the manor and slew Ghurther quietly, placing blame on the Silver Blades as cover. Jurl hoped the frame up would keep him from suspicion.

But when Jurl learned that Ester had been in the manor only moments before, he panicked and sought to tie her to the death of Gunther. He made the accusation of treason (there appeared to be no evidence), which by law required a trial by combat. He had hoped the cleric would simply leave the city and not face the challenge. Ester, however, had no intention of leaving her work and accepted the challenge, provided she could find a champion. Jurl made many attempts to dissuade potential champions for the cleric and believed she would eventually leave the city.

Ester wants to prevent a trial by combat. She has asked the Dree and Jerry, the descendants of two houses, long expelled from the city, to investigate the crime and find evidence to prove her innocence. Should they succeed, she offers them a powerful magic item from her church as payment for their services.

That's basically it--I will go into detail how I will use a skill challenge in this investigation. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1198-Champions-of-Slaves
Converting my 3.5 adventure arc to 4e http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/977-Converting-my-3-5-adventure-arc-to-4e Tue, 02 Feb 2010 07:04:34 GMT With my 3.5 Brooding City fallen to the wayside, I spent a good few months running a 4e on the two players I have left. The seriousness of the... With my 3.5 Brooding City fallen to the wayside, I spent a good few months running a 4e on the two players I have left. The seriousness of the campaign is not the same (mostly on my part) and I have used a converted 1e module and Thunderspiral labyrinth (raised in level) as the adventuring tales so far. As far as 3.5 is concerned, I currently run the Dark City PbP which covers a lot of stuff in the world.

That said, I did have few good adventure plots left over from Brooding city that I never finished, including the Sandman arc. Since the premise and the plot is still pretty good (IMO) I plan to write the 4e heros into the adventure--basically continuing where the others last left the adventure.

The premiss of the old adventure was based on the old Sandman Short story and I used several characters from it to make the plot. The villains included Professor Splanztia who provides the expertise on reanimating life, Doctor Coppelicus, originally from the Clockwork of Nirvana Mechanus who posses a barometer and archivist, and the sandman, a Vrock that abducts children to harvest their eyes for Coppelicu's creations. The three work with the Lady Gevan, one of the Masters that has taken over the city (see the details of Brooding City). The four have been creating effigies of prominent Lord's heirs in planning to send them to other nations and infiltrate those cities, expanding the Master's Plans. In the original adventure, the resistance were searching for a young man called Nathaniel who had uncovered their plot. They got as far as infiltrating Professor Spalanzi's mansion.

Several factors have to be considered for this game.
1) Players have a reason to travel to City.
How I plan to do that is part of the Villain's plot has begun and the heros interrupt the scheme by discovering the first effigy in another City State. They are asked to investigate the origin of the creature and begin the trek to the Brooding city (Currently using the name Blacksand--inhabitants of the brooding City simply call it The City)

2) The players will be higher level.
I expect the players to have reached the paragon level by the time they get here. It simply means the villains are powerful while the everyday citizens and guards are not so. A bit different than in the Brooding city where everything is quite dangerous. As such, simple guardsman will never be able to stop such powerful PC's from doing anything if they wish. The foes the PC's fight will be much more powerful in perspective. To also emphasize the PC/monster power, most citizens will be minions.

3) The restriction on weapons and armor placed on Brooding City PC's can't be enforced on these players.
They will appears as Diplomats and given the authority to carry arms and weapons. However, the sight of arms and magic will make it difficult for them to garner any support from the local authority.

4) The Clock Work Nirvana of Mechanus.
It normally does not exist in 4e. In this case, it will be Mechanus and I continue to use the outerplanes in 3.5 and all the material regarding them.

5) The Outcome
In this case, the slaying of Lady Gevan is where the adventure ends, unless the player's want to continue slaying the creatures of the City. But I don't want to run a 4e version of the Brooding city. As some described 4e, it is more about heroic stories and The Brooding City runs a darker tone. Once the players defeat the Mindflayer, they must leave the city and continue on their way.

So for the next few weeks I will be updating the adventure for 4e. Should be fun.:biggrin: ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/977-Converting-my-3-5-adventure-arc-to-4e
Divergent Thinking: RPG in Elementary Education http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/863-Divergent-Thinking-RPG-in-Elementary-Education Thu, 03 Dec 2009 11:46:10 GMT Introduction: With the economy going the way it goes I too found myself laid off back in April from the print industry. The lay off and... Introduction:
With the economy going the way it goes I too found myself laid off back in April from the print industry. The lay off and subsequential absence of jobs in my field forced me back to school and rethinking my career. Surprisingly, I found Early Childhood Education to be my interest and now have completed my first semester at Mission College in the field. I have enjoyed my classes so much that I plan on getting my Masters in the field in a few years.

While studying the theories on how young children learn through play, I was struck at the types of learning dramatic/imaginative play can invoke in children. I then began to see a correlation that role-playing games in later years help facilitate that same learning. The most important being the divergent thinking that goes on in dramatic/imaginative role-play and games.

Given that, I deduced that a carefully crafted role-playing adventure could be used as a teaching tool for children early as age 8. Role-playing games by their nature are potential teaching tools.Things you can learn from playing a role-playing game include: Divergent thinking, logic, asset management, sequencing, vocabulary, social/ emotional growth, imagination, mathematical skills, cooperation, problem solving and others.

My plan is to do my master thesis work in creating a curriculum based on role-playing games utilizing educational modules that would be incorporated into the adventures. The key points I would emphazie are in the design of the adventure; as the game system can be adjusted for the age of the children. For instance, children as young as 8 would utilize a simple system such as Advance Fighting Fantasy, while programs geared to 12-years-old and up could utilize 4e Dungeons and Dragons. In addition, other genres could be incorporated (i.e. star wars). Currently, I am examining the Advance Fighting Fantasy as a guide in the 8 year-old program and working out potential areas of improvement in the system.

More on this as I finish final projects in my current classes. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/863-Divergent-Thinking-RPG-in-Elementary-Education
Pathfinder Savage Tide 2 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/756-Pathfinder-Savage-Tide-2 Tue, 29 Sep 2009 00:05:16 GMT Well, at about session 3 of pathfinder we have found our PC's radically altered to fit the new system. I have gave up my ranger for a new Paladin PC. Shar has turned her pirate into more of a fighter, Marcus drop his wizard for an arcane trickster, and Shaun has transformed his PC into a Mystic Theurge. After two hours of some players complaining about their PC's as they finished them up, we finally got started playing. I would have liked sooner, as I had to leave an hour early, but that is not uncommon.

The PC's would be considered pretty tough---if we weren't fighting EL 16 encounters with a EL 12 party, but that seems the trend with Savage Tide in these later adventures. Every single encounter seems to be one spanking session. Our DM wanted us to change for his sake of fun, but I don't find it great fun to listen to the others players moan or to have my PC ' testicles served to him in a fondue pot. I don't want easy fights, but I would like a spell casting creature to have a little less hit points than my Pally and not hitting my AC 30 on every hit.

We are losing some of the character development (main reason I DM my own written or heavily modified adventures) and are simply pawns to the path adventure. I never cared for higher level adventures but if I had to do them, I would make it more of a problem solving kind, where the outcome is not based on who got initiative but how, with all your power, can you accomplish seemingly impossible goals. And I like to make them personal; that's your brother your saving from the mindflayer's---not the Dukes Daughter.

With the Pathfinder, some of this may have to do with playing core. If the adventure was geared for more role-play and intrigue, it wouldn't matter the PC we played. But this is all about Combat, and right now, the core Pathfinder classes, even though more powerful, don't measure up to the challenges. Even worse, the Cleric,druid, and wizard are so water down, they are not much better. All the classes are similar in power, but playing a module built with Fiend Folio, Vile darkness, and PrC's from everywhere, it's difficult to not call foul. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/756-Pathfinder-Savage-Tide-2
Pathfinder Rules Playing Savage Tide http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/678-Pathfinder-Rules-Playing-Savage-Tide Mon, 31 Aug 2009 22:22:46 GMT Well, we had a session of Savage Tide converted to Pathfinder. We were all 11/12th level PC's with new class combos, magic items and different outlook on life.

Maybe it was the encounters, bad roles, the lack of one players Cleric, another player still making his PC, and a new player who never played a druid (and D&D) before but we got our arses handed to us.

We were in that crazy flesh city looking for the Lords of Dread and those pearls. We descended into a flesh temple wear we encountered a lone Kopru sitting on a thrown. Captain Shar (Rogue 11) descended this ladder and saw the creature. My PC Mikos (Ranger 11) joined her stealthy but he managed to spot us. So much for stealth. Even with my +16 to initiative I get a low roll. Our monk 12 Chongo leaps down and tries to strike the creature with a stunning fist, would have been great except stupid creature has a massive AC and Chongo rolls low. I use my turn to make the creature my quarry. Yoshi, the druid turns into a bird and make sit down the hole. Nemis wizard 12 (still building his character) goes down invisible and flying in the corner.
Then it moves and causes the pools (conveniently placed their ) to rise and fill the room underwater. And then, because it has powers of being an ass kisser to demogorgon moves around with a bunch of actions slashing at Chongo and moving away from us (tumbling but Chongo smacked it with a AO)

Me, Shar, and Chongo don't move very fast underwater. The Druid Yoshi transforms into a water elemental and tries to go after it but her BAB is crap and she just keeps getting attacked. Her spells are worthless.

Then our wizard is feeble minded (rolls a 1 on a save) and put out of commission (his invisibility ruined by the water). I can't move at all in the water so I just try to hit him with a 20 on my bow. What is hilarious is that since he is my quarry If I hit him I automatically confirm my cit.

Chongo is fast enough to catch up to him and grapples, him doing a lot of damage through the round, but loses him. Shar is charmed (rolling a 1 on a save) and tries to swim over and get at Chongo.

Basically, it was all a mess. Those that could swim fast were not hitting, one was charmed, I could only hit on a 20 and one was out of comish. The DM then had to start undoing the damage by allowing the feeblemind to wear off and having the creature do less tactical stuff. It was buffed by spells and objects but all the spells in pathfinder are nerfed. My final arrow (I hit only twice during the encounter) finally finished it off.

The last encounter with huge squid bug black acid creature. I roll low on initiative AGAIN for a 17 (I have +16 in this terrain but I roll crappy) and I am grabbed at once. The others are squirted by acid breath (I actually avoided it with evasion) and the battle goes on as Chongo and shar battle it, I chop at it with my handaxe and nemis shoots spells on it. Yoshi now can use Call lightning storm and starts to damage it. The creature after taking much damage sinks back down taking shar and me with it. Shar goes unconscious but I manage to pull her up with me and revive her. But I then realize the creature is still alive under the water. And the session end.

Over all I was not too impressed. I really don't care for some of the stories in Savage Tide, It could have been just that night. I'm tempted to change my PC, but since I survived, we will have to see.

Best lines the whole game:
Marcus: "Why are you trying out the wand?"
Sharon:"Because I have fun trying to use my use magic device skill"
Marcus: "You would know what would be more fun? If we all worked together and try to complete the adventure as a team rather than watching you roll dice."

:D ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/678-Pathfinder-Rules-Playing-Savage-Tide
Game Mechanics: The Hit system http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/654-Game-Mechanics-The-Hit-system Fri, 21 Aug 2009 22:49:59 GMT I started experimenting with a system in 3.5 which simulates the minions in 4e and adds a bit of simplicity to the combats. I like to have more... I started experimenting with a system in 3.5 which simulates the minions in 4e and adds a bit of simplicity to the combats.

I like to have more monsters in battle--it gives a more realistic situation. The problem with CR and with 3.5 is that in order to meet the EL, multiple monsters will need to be a lower CR and they don't provide a danger to the PC's. They need 20's to hit PC's maximized in AC. In turn, the PC have to deal with low level creatures that pose no threat and are just a hangup in keeping track for me. How many times do I have a 1 hitpoint left creature left because player didn't do just enough damage to end this fight.

Now I could do the sensible thing: fudge roles, use other monster tactics (fight defensively, full defense, aid other, grapple, trip), flanking...but this more fun!

The Hit system:

Based on the role of a creature, it requires a certain amount of hits to be taken down. The BAB is also altered to allow the creature the opportunity to actually hit the players. Hit monsters should only be used with a normal monster to pad the encounter. XP for the monster should be at 1/5 the total of a similar monster. Since I don't do XP per monster, I don't know how balance that is.:)

Minions: Require 1 hit to slay. They include lesser guards and mooks. They should have the equivalent of the PC's Level in BAB -1. They work best for 1 to 2 HD creatures or frail monsters (no class levels). They deal average damage.

Guards: Require 2 hits to slay. They include veteran guards, better equipped monsters, etc. They should have a BAB equal to the players. Monsters should be in 3-5 HD range (no class level). if you want a monster to be a little tougher to take down, then use the 2 hit creature. Large creatures, like ogres should be at least a 2 hit creature.

Elites: Require 3 hits. These are the toughness of the bunch, taking several hits before being brought down. They have BAB equal to party EL +1. These work best for a snarly beasts like owl bears and grizzely bears ordered to kill the players while the evildoers pepper them with spells.

Boss: No change. Build the monster with regular hit points and BAB.

Creatures that have special effects with temp hit points, regeneration, energy drain etc should not be a hit monster but ran as normal.

Hit Alterations:

Critical Hits: Those that score critical hits can apply 1 extra hit to their damage. So if a PC strikes a 2 hit guard with a critical hit, they slay it. Creature immune to Crit damage(Undead and Constructs) do not take the extra hit.

Precision damage: Sneak attack, Skirmish, and other types of precision damage give the play 1 extra hit if they meet the criteria. Creatures immune to crit damage do not take the extra hit.

Power Attack: All power attacks should add 1/2 extra hit to the damage for every -1 put into attack. So a -2 on atttack would add an extra hit. Power attack is a bit of an overkill on a minion, Guard or elite. These foes are suppose to go down easy. If a fighter or barbarian wants waste his time on them, their is just no stopping them.

Multiple Attacks:
Multi Attacks from creatures (animals, magical beats) do 1/2 hit. At the end of their attacks, all damage is round down so a creature with 1 1/2 hits would have 1 and a creature with 1/2 hit would be at 0 and die.

Derivative Attacks:
Attacks by players are all at 1 hit each from their main weapon only (see 2 wpn fighting)

2 Wpn Fighting:
off hand weapons do 1/2 hit unless they are not light. For instance, fighting with a sword and dagger could garner 1 +1/2 hit while wielding two swords would give 2 hits.

Raging: While a creature raging it gains 1 hit. Once it stops raging it loses the hit and dies. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/654-Game-Mechanics-The-Hit-system
The Path to Pathfinder http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/646-The-Path-to-Pathfinder Mon, 17 Aug 2009 20:23:30 GMT Our DM, who runs a Savage Tide game has decided he needed to change the game. The power creep of the cleric and Wizard (at 11th level it becomes... Our DM, who runs a Savage Tide game has decided he needed to change the game. The power creep of the cleric and Wizard (at 11th level it becomes quite obvious of that) have overwhelm his fun in the game and he gave several ultimatums on how to fix that.
One was to go to pathfinder and keep the current campaign. The wizard and Cleric are skeptical to Pathfinder but they decided to read it and see if it would suffice. I began the process of redesigning my elf ranger/scout to fit the new rule set.

First off, I decided that Mikos should probably be a mobile elf ranger. Skrimage was taken out but I found that the new ranger can take shot on the run without prereq of dodge and mobility.

So his feat progression became:
Improve initiative,Point Blank (Bonus) Endurance (Bonus) Fleet, Precise Shot, Improved precise shot (Bonus) Vital Strike, deadly Aim, Shot on the run (Bonus) and improved vital shot.

Many Shot does not work the way it did in 3.5 and my elfs tactics were to run around the battlefield. The vital shot feats and deadly aim (Basically power attack for a ranged weapon) should make up for the skrimage damage I lost. The fleet gives me 5' to speed so my base is 35. If I need more, as a ranger could cast long stride to add +10.

His powers are slightly different now merging as a ranger. Wild empathy, Favored enemies (which now gives you + to hit AND damage Human, Evil Outsiders, constructs) Track, Favored terrain (Forest, underground,water) Hunters Bond (companions--this is the option instead of a animal--you basically give your allies your bonus on one favored enemy equal to WID mod in rds) Evasion, woodland stride, swift tracker and quarry (gives you +2 to hit on a single Fav enemy and confirm s all Critical)

I lose my scout abilities: Trap finding, uncanny dodge so I am no longer the trap finder in the group. Another player, who played a swashbuckler may take that role instead.

Because he is now a ranger, his wisdom (which was 10 before) becomes more important. I swap out his strength of 14 to wisdom and swap his intelligence of 12 to the strength. This allows his better spells, including a third level summon natures ally 3.

His magic items doesn't change much except his gloves of Dex are now a belt and his boots of elven-kind add to his acrobatics rather than stealth. The bane bow and other items remain the same.

With an increase in Hit points, the elf archer is different but better at attacking and consistent damage output rather than a bunch of dice rolling.

However, it is all for nothing f the cleric and wizard want to change their PC's and thus we change the campaign. I could go either way. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/646-The-Path-to-Pathfinder
The Brooding City: Ch7 Temple of the Hungry Eye prt3 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/600-The-Brooding-City-Ch7-Temple-of-the-Hungry-Eye-prt3 Mon, 27 Jul 2009 20:50:40 GMT The group replenishes supplies and tries to penetrate the temple once again. To their dismay, the occupants used their resources to defend the... The group replenishes supplies and tries to penetrate the temple once again. To their dismay, the occupants used their resources to defend the complex. New traps were set up, difficult to disarm. They broke down a newly constructed wall only to come face to face with a baslkike that turn our Professor into stone. Once defeated Srieska and Garrit are besieged by a patrol with a half-orc warrior, an insect man ranger, a cloaked adept, and a feral bugbear. But the combined forces of Srieska and Garrit defeated them and Garrit captures the Adept to interrogated him.

They learn of the new defenses of the temple and who are the main leaders. Wanting to resolve the Professor predicament, they left the temple and sought ways to reverse the curse that has befallen him. Garrit makes contact with the Order of the Cerulean Sign, who agree for fee and favor to return the professor.

Srieska learns through Allison’s (Baby A) drawings that Professor Gray is at the ruin site of the Illumina Library of the Sublime in the Astral Plane. Professor Gray is halted by a Shedu; who asks why the professor is here. The answers he produces are unsatisfactory until the Shedu gives up and begins to tell the professor why he really is there. But before he could hear the answer, he was brought back from petrifaction by the Cleric of the Cerulean Order.

Desiring not to return to the temple, the Professor tries to hunt down Dr. Coppleicus as mention in Nathaniel’s diary but could not find the man. He rejoins the others and they make a second trek through the temple. They encounter wights; which are quickly dispatched and battled the Kyton (reanimated as a skeleton) in the lower chamber. With those victories, they set their eyes on the High Priestess, The witchdoctor and the Hungry God himself. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/600-The-Brooding-City-Ch7-Temple-of-the-Hungry-Eye-prt3
The Brooding City Ch 7 Temple of the Hungry Eye Prt 2 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/588-The-Brooding-City-Ch-7-Temple-of-the-Hungry-Eye-Prt-2 Tue, 21 Jul 2009 15:55:59 GMT The story opens with Garrit trailing Ikam Vass, since his escape. He make sit to a decrepit boarding house and enters, only to find the carnage of... The story opens with Garrit trailing Ikam Vass, since his escape. He make sit to a decrepit boarding house and enters, only to find the carnage of man on a candle lit table with his brain eaten out. Garrit finds a note with Ikam who is sorry to have missed him. The note's postscript indicates he had left overs in the pantry of the house. Garrit was relieved that the woman bounded in the pantry was still alive if not hysterical.

After alerting the local watch, Garrit deduced Ikam should be somewhere nearby to observe his reaction. He sends his dino to track and sure enough comes upon a small boy eating an apple. Garrit realizes as the boy speaks to him that it is Ikam (possessing the boy). He is impressed by Garrit's intelligence and offers to help him should he get closer to capturing him in the future. He warns that their is a greater danger than him in the City that he should be concerned about. With a maniacal laughter the boy is released not realizing what had happen.

Returning to the Red Brick Garrick finds the battered Srieska and Professor Gray returning from the temple. After related their stories they agree to return to the temple and see if they can find evidence of Nathaniel's fate.

The group makes it back through the secret passage in the temple to the walled grave yard where they open the single crypt that leads down a flight of stairs. They enters a slimy cavern system and travel north. They reach a iron ladder leading down into a stone cut chamber.

Below they found a circular chamber where crates of items are stored. In the center they see many chains dangling from the ceiling. At guard around the circumference of the camber were three Insect beings with battle axes. Professor Gray descended and hid in the shadows to attempt and search the crates. To his surprise, a humanoid figured wrapped in chains descended from the ceiling, lowered by the chains themselves and walked to an open crate. He pulled out book and flipped through the pages, some of them fell out and tossed the book back on the collection of items strewed on top of the various crates. Professor Gray recognized it as Nathaniel's' Journal.

Determined to get the journal, Garrit descends and moves quietly towards the journal hoping to get it by stealth. Unfortunately, the Insects felt his vibrations and click a warning.

A battle commenced with the three insects, and the Kyton against Garritt, Sreiska and Professor Gray. After many blows, the group defeated the enemies and discover some gems and the journal (but unable to decipher it).

Hoping to discover the fate of Nathaniel, the descended further into the chamber, deactivating a trick stair trap and emerging into a large slave pit with Large cages filling the chamber. Walking above were more insect warriors. The creatures begin to throw javelins at the group so Garrit charges into the chamber, only to have the door of the pit cages open on him and send him and his dino into a pit. The door closed and he was trapped. Srieska ran to attack the other insect and slashed it hard but was bull rushed into another one and slam tight.

Professor Gray quickly made his way to what appear to be a control booth and began battling a dual sword welding insect. After a vicious battled, causing the professor to fall and Garrit and Srieska trying to open up the cells, the creatures fell to their blades and spells. But one had escaped to warn others, and the group may a mad dash to escape the way they came. Bloodied, drained, but alive they escape the temple and recuperate back at the redbrick. The professor discovers the key to decipher Nathaniel's Journal and learns Professor Spalanzti and his daughter are some how connected to Nataniel's disappearance. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/588-The-Brooding-City-Ch-7-Temple-of-the-Hungry-Eye-Prt-2
The Brooding City Chp 7 Temple of the Hungry Eye http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/527-The-Brooding-City-Chp-7-Temple-of-the-Hungry-Eye Fri, 10 Jul 2009 14:36:38 GMT The aftermath of the burning of the Havenhold Asylum left a known Psionic murderer, Ikam Vaas free and a strange young girl of psionic power called... The aftermath of the burning of the Havenhold Asylum left a known Psionic murderer, Ikam Vaas free and a strange young girl of psionic power called Baby A. Baby A, now called Adeline by Srieska and Professor Gray shows no more of her powerful Psionic abilities but continues to converse with the her resistance liberators with her telepathy. Srieska converses with normally but at times the girl will go off on a tangent and described horrible and vivid visions of death and torture. Professor Gray can only converse with her if actively participating in her play time where she gives fascinating insights of the cosmos via child like analogy. The dwarven red brick tavern keeper discovers she answers any question he asks her but only 72 seconds later. For Garrick, the child does not communicate, though he would not notice since he had be preoccupied trying to track down Ikam.

After a prolific nightmare by Adeline (that she a shares with Srieska psionically), the young girl is rushed to Professor Gray who discovers that Nathanial may still be alive in a strange temple. Most disturbing is Adeline's response "He is always hungry" and her drawings depicting a decrepit temple of St. Baumus. Her other drawings alo reveal a creature that Professor Gray fears may be a beholder or manifestation of the Patient One, an ancient abberation god.

Travelling to the now abandon Street of the Gods, lined of ruined temples destroyed by the Masters, Srieska and Professor Gray discover a secret passage into the temple and travel through the passageways avoiding guard posts, slaying a Phantom Fungus and a pair of skeletons. They descend some stairs into strange cave like passages. After a fight with some large ants the size of dogs they probe further and spot several insect men armed with axes in the strange cave like labyrinth. Feeling the need for reinforcements, they return back to their district to find Garrit. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/527-The-Brooding-City-Chp-7-Temple-of-the-Hungry-Eye
The Brooding City Chap 6 The Cage of Delrium (prt 2) http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/450-The-Brooding-City-Chap-6-The-Cage-of-Delrium-(prt-2) Tue, 16 Jun 2009 06:05:06 GMT (This was a continuation of chapter 6. One player who plays Garrick the Hafling Druid was on vaction in the Phillipines so he apperas as a NPC at the... (This was a continuation of chapter 6. One player who plays Garrick the Hafling Druid was on vaction in the Phillipines so he apperas as a NPC at the start and I continue with the others. Another player just got back from vacation and I had to bring him into the adventure. It's not easy being DM)

Professor Gray woke up to find himself with bandages in the home of Professor Spalanzani, his memory of how he got the injuries uncertain. With his robe all mended haphazardly, he makes his way downstairs and joins the Professor Spalanzani and his daughter for breakfast. They discuss the strange circumstance of Gray's wounds and of Nathanial, who the Professor Gray learns is infatuated with his daughter Olympia. The professor also learns that he has been unconscious for over a week. As he leaves he discovers a strange wound on the back of his head has yet to heal. His inquires at the herbalist reveal nothing so he decides to return to the University to gets his affairs back in order.

He learns from two messages that Clara haven, Nathinal's sister had come to look for him, and he also recieved a very nasty letter from Srieska (who is now Lawful evil) telling him where to find them. He meets with Clara Haven at the Grinning Lion and hears her predicament.

Meanwhile, Srieka, Thoram and Garrit had infiltrated the Havenhold Asylum posing as the city watch looking in on notorious criminal Ikim Vaas. Thoram managed to evade his escort and began searching the upstairs of the asylum. Frustrated with a locked door he forced it open only to alert a nurse and orderlies. He hid from them as they went off to look for a patient who may have done the deed.

When he emerged he came face to face with a small pale girl no more than 4 years of age. The girl did not speak but Thoram heard her in his mind. The nurse returned and ordered Thoram downstairs while ordering a mute woman patient, Adelaide, to take care of her. The woman descended the stair and was met by Sreska who conversed with the girl learning disturbing things about the asylum: Adelaide's tongue was cut off because she sang too much and a mean man known as Not-my-daddy was in charge. But the three resistance fighters were gathered up and kicked of the asylum once again (this being their 2nd attempt).

They returned to the Grinning Lion and met Professor Gray who they inform of their findings. The Professor met the head doctor and his wife once at a university presentation. He sends a message to the doctor requesting to see him. The Doctor agrees, and with Sriesk and Thorma in the guise as university students, they return to the asylum once again.

Immediately the Professor and Srieska notice a dark gray mass in the corner of their eyes adjacent to Marc Stethenfield. Try as he might, the professor realizes Marc Stethenfield has psionic powers and is using them to discern the professors lies. At the zenith of their test of wills, the Doctor is called a way due to something going on with his wife. An orderly is left to guard them. Attempts to manipulate the guard fail and before they realize it, Marc's wife throws herself from the bell tower of the asylum. The orderly leaves in panic and the three, in the distraction, begin to search the asylum for either Nathanial or the little girl Srieska met.

Sure enough, they find the little girl and begin to speak with her (her replies being telepathic) but soon they hear shouts and noises coming from the halls. The little once docile is then possessed by Ikam Vaas who speaks to them directly mockingly that the asylum shall go up in flames. She si released and a mob of patients burst through the door slaughtering an orderly caught in the mass. The professor and Thoram bust through a shuttered window and try to make their escape. Srieska grabs the girls and jumps through the window. The professor is knocked down by the mob but a bubble of energy encases him, protecting him from the people and he scrambles out of the window. Thoram follows and the three with the girls head to the orchards as the asylum is engulfed in flames.

Emerging through the front doors, however, is Ikim Vaas who happily leaves the blazing inferno behind and walks into the street of the city, disappearing into the frantic crowds.

A days later, Srieska,Thoram, and Professor Gray return to smoldering ruins of the asylum. The psychic energy is strong in the area. They find a passageway down into the Doctor's secret operating room (As revealed to them from the child). In the lab, they discover Ivy Broomhandle, a half flesh golem who nearly kills them but their combined efforts take him down and they plunder the lab of its secrets.

Despite their rescue of the girl, they were unable to determine the fate of Nathaniel. Distraught, Clara Haven returns to her manor. Their are many question not yet answered: What was the gray mass that only Sreska and Professor Gray could see? Was Nathaniel killed in the fire? What is the psionic potential of the girl known as baby A? What are the consequences of having Ikim Vaas roam the street of the city once again? ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/450-The-Brooding-City-Chap-6-The-Cage-of-Delrium-(prt-2)
The Brooding City Ch 6 The Cage of Delirium http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/434-The-Brooding-City-Ch-6-The-Cage-of-Delirium Tue, 09 Jun 2009 20:58:31 GMT Clara Haven appears to Srieska asking for help in finding her brother, Nathanial Haven who has been committed to the Havenhold Asylum for the Insane.... Clara Haven appears to Srieska asking for help in finding her brother, Nathanial Haven who has been committed to the Havenhold Asylum for the Insane. With Professor Gray still missing, the group decides to aid her in hopes of discovering the whereabouts of their fellow resistance fighter.

Sreiska learns that a employee of Thorma’s at the Redbrick had told Clara where to find her. It appears rumors have her and Professor Gray as an item, much to Srieska’s dissastifaction. The Professor himself has been missing for a week and the group begins to get worry. They approach Garrit to look into the matter but he has been promoted and suggest that they see what they can do by themselves.

The three meet Clara at the grinning Lion Inn and learn of the circumstance of her finding out her brother’s incarceration and her plans to visit the asylum. The group is also concern that the Professor is missing and believe finding Nathaniel will help find their missing friend as well. The group agrees to accompany her.

When they enter the asylum they notice the orchard and gardens are unkempt. They are met by Dr. Marc Stethenfield who escorts Clara to where her brother should be. Minutes later she returns upset, the staff now deny he is not at the asylum. Marc Stethenfield is agitated and demands the group to leave. Confused, the four leave the asylum but not before Garrit talks to the grounds keeper and learns that the inmates no longer are allowed to work in the garden and orchard.

Failing that, the group plans to try and visit the asylum again. Garrit knows he has no jurisdiction in the asylum but after contacting his captain learns of a criminal, Ikim Vaas, who is under the watches jurisdiction for the murder of several citizens. Sreska learns from her contact that several large carpentry jobs had been cancelled three months ago and Thoram’s supplier relates the place has bought several shipments of flour over the last three months as well. In the guise of city watch they return to the Asylum.

This time they are greeted by a Dr. Klien who takes them to Ikim, a disturbed yet calm man who’s drawings show the consumption of brains and killing of innocents. Ikim is being counseled by Abbe Lias, the minister on staff. In his adjacent cell is a crazed man who is said to be Marc Stethenfield’s twin brother Luc, who was committed many years ago. The man spits out crazed and obscene outbursts. Dr. Klien insists the group cut their visit short.

Thoram manages to convince the doctor he needs the bathroom and is escorted to the water closet. After using a bluff to require fresh linens, the orderly leaves him and he heads to the stairs above.

Srieska and Garrit are escorted back when they meet a patient, Vaam Doadson, who is looking for his mouse. Garrit tries to pass off a rat as his mouse to the patient who recoils in horror. The rat (through Garrit’s speak with animals) reveals some details of the area.

They return to the lobby where they meet the Orderly trying to get Thoram’s attention in the water closet (who left to go upstairs). Garrit insist on using the water closet and enters before they could notice Thoram’s absence. Srieska now stands with an orderly as Thoram continues his search in the Asylum. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/434-The-Brooding-City-Ch-6-The-Cage-of-Delirium
The Brooding City Adventure Five: Chapter 5 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/433-The-Brooding-City-Adventure-Five-Chapter-5 Tue, 09 Jun 2009 20:56:10 GMT The resistance continues its trek through the artificial tunnels dug by the kolbolds between the sealed crypts of the Lords. Srieska, with her new... The resistance continues its trek through the artificial tunnels dug by the kolbolds between the sealed crypts of the Lords. Srieska, with her new demenor, demands the tomb of Lord Roaringhorn be plundered. Thoram, the Dwarven Duskblade, detects magic of moderate power on the lid’s surface. Srieska is undeterred and She pushes it open and a dark cloud shaped like a skull engulfs here. To every one’s amazement, it does nothing to her. They find a magical amulet and several bits of jewelery.

They continued in the dark tunnels and are ambushed by a lone kolbold who fires sniper shots at Garrit. Garrit manages to chase it off with a fire burst and they continue, emerging into a chamber originally blocked by a masonry wall erected by the Kolbolds.

Thoram enters the chamber and is immediately assaulted by the Kolbolds crossbows and the sorcerer who has taken refuge in a stone shelf above them. Yehn makes his appearance and with his allies manage to fall Thoram, but not before he is taken out. Srieska and Garrit on his dino beast enter the fray and take down the kolbolds. The last hold out, the sorcerer/rogue dodges Garrit’s fire burst several times, but eventually runs out of spells and is slain by Sireska’s crossbow.

The group find the stolen goods and return them to the authorities (less the jewelery and items thay had plundered from the crypts!)Garrit decides to keep his new gender a secret from his superiors and men. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/433-The-Brooding-City-Adventure-Five-Chapter-5
The Brooding City: Chapter 5 The Myst of Death http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/385-The-Brooding-City-Chapter-5-The-Myst-of-Death Mon, 25 May 2009 19:16:14 GMT Garrit and Sresika continue their investigations and daily lives in the district. When Garrit returns off shift he discover their normal watering... Garrit and Sresika continue their investigations and daily lives in the district. When Garrit returns off shift he discover their normal watering hole, the Hooting Frog was bustling with activity late at night. The previous owner had loaded his belongs into a wagon while several wagons of materials and furniture were being moved in by bronze colored dwarves with red hair. The dwarves were busily giving the new tavern a face lift into a dragon and stone motif. Garrit talked to the previous owner and found him ecstatic of the money offered to him to sell. he and his family plan to leave the city and retire into the country. Garrit’s attempt to talk to the new owner were prevented by the workmen.

Sresika during the day notice people watching her as she made her rounds gathering supplies for her shop. When she tried to catch up to them they disappeared into the crowd. She went and helped her Hafling friend with cleaning her shop and learned the Hooting Frog had been turned into the Red Brick.

Garrit reported to work and finds Lord Roaringhorn, a distinguished lord of the district has paid a visit to the Sub-captain. His home has been burglarized the previous evening and demands the watch do something about it. With the threat of Roaringhorn and from the sub-captain, Garrit returns to the streets and investigates the Roaringhorn break in.

Lord Roaringhorn pays a visit to Thoram, the new proprietor of the Red Brick. To Thorma’s dismay, the Lord likes him and leaves with some of his wine to take home. He reveals to Thoram that he has hired mercenaries to deal with the thefts.

At the Roaringhorn estate, Garrit discovers a hole cut through the floor and through solid stone leading to the sewers below. The hole is too small for a normal size man to fit through. Garrit talks to several rats who reveal some lizard creatures had moved through the area last night.

At night, Garrit, while on patrol, hears the sound of two police whistles;one from the Nobel houses and one from the market. Garrit rides to the house of Lord Hawkwinter and cones across a gruesome site. Witnesses claim a red mist had crept through the walls of the manor of Lord Hawkwinters, killing a guest and a servant, and in the panic Lord Hawkwinter and another guest were trampled to death. Garrit managed to save the butler from dying of his wounds and the man reveals that he saw two armored person arrive and then leave the seen.

Thoram, while closing his shop hears the sound of several creatures running across his tavern’s’ roof. He goies outside just to see several small creatures jumping across the roofs. Their tails give them balance as they leap.

While leaving her friend back after a night of drinking, Sreiska hears the sound of fighting down the streets. She arrives to find a body at the door of the House of Crystal as the sounds of two sets of running footsteps echo in the fog. She bends down at the body and recognizes it as one of the armored strangers that was following her earlier. She also notices some thieves tool abandon in the door of the shop.

Just then, several mounted men in leather and carrying swords appeared. The mercenaries of Lord Roaringhorn had arrived and take the body, claiming it was one of the thieves. They leave Srieska, who heads home. Garrit meets the mercenaries at the apothecary and is told how they the body was found by Srieska. The bodies begin to pile up.

The next day, Garrit visits Srieska and Thorma to try and recruit them for help. He shows the strange holy symbol to Sreska who identifies it as a Holy symbol of Aath, but from an obscure and ancient saint/sect. Sreska also identifies one of the person she had met before at the tavern and following her during the day. The apothecary reveals the corpse met his end by a garrot around the neck.

Garrick spends most his day moving through redtape to try and get old plans of the sewer system. On his return to the district by dusk, the mercenaries bring forth a battered woman who matches the armored person found dead. They reveal that they found her trying to break into the Apothecary. She refuses to speak and just then a police whistle blows and Garrick responds.

Garrick arrives to another shop engulfed in red mist. His men refuse to enter and he dashes inside only to find the red smoke was being produced by a flare. The persons inside describe a small reptillan creature has come into the home and left through the window. Garrick then realize it was all a ruse and quickly heads back to the new captive.

Thoram and Sreiska, armed to join their fellow resistance fighter, hear shouts for help at the Grinning Lion Inn and dash to the call. They discover the upstairs is cover in red mist. Sreiska breaks down the door while Thoram dashes upstairs and sees a large cloud of red mist floating in the room. Red tendrils have grabbed the father of the family draining his blood. Thoram channels his Chill touch into his sword and strikes a tendril but it swishes right through. Sresika grabs the two children clutching their mother and manages to coax her to follow. They escape the Inn, but Thoram still attempts to save the father.

The second swipe with his chill touch channeled axe hit is true, the tendrils drop the father and the cloud moves out of the Inn and flies across the night sky. The two armored fighters then run across the city jumping short walls pursuing the mist.

Garrit questions the Cleric of Myst,Ogla, who tells him that only she can stop the mist from getting stronger. She request to be returned to the Apothecary to see her fellow acoylte. Garrick accepts and they arrive to apothecary only to find the doors smashed. They have found that those bodies that had been slain by the mist have reanimated. Ogla performs a gentle repose on her partner and the two follow thew trail of the zombies.

Ogla reveals to Garrit that she and her partner are Clerics with the swore duty of protecting the Platinum Urn that holds a deadly creature. The Urn was stolen from their sanctuary by Yehn, a kolbold thief. they tracked him down to this district and have been trying to get him. Her partner was slain by Yehn with a garrot. Only she knows the proper ritual to trap the Mist back into the urn.

Sresika and Thoram arrive at the edge of the graveyard and are attacked by the zombies that had escaped the apothecary. Thoram dispatches some with his channeling axe while Srieska uses her cure light spells to melt their flesh. With Garrit and Ogla joining the battle, they defeat the creatures and head into the graveyard to examine the crypts.

The group makes its way through the crypt of Lord Hawkwinter (The crypt that was not magically sealed) where they are ambushed by kolbolds and their leader, Yehn. They manage to slay three before Yen and the others disappeared down small tunnels. The group leave behind Ogla and Garrit’s fleshraker and move through the tunnels, occasionally being attacked by kolbold snipers.

They emerge into another crypt an realize they are in the Lord Roaringhorn’s crypt. They are ambushed by two shadowy forms that strike out with their cold touch. The strength begins to drain from them and in the battle both Sreska and Garrit fall. The badly drained Thoram is saved by the arrival of Ogla who turns the shadows and they flee. But it is too late for Garrit and Sresika.

As the two fade from life their respected gods appear before them. Garrick’s god, Yondalla, appears before him and claims his mission is not yet finished, but he must strive to be more in tune to his happiness. Sreiska’s god however balks at her for being weak and demands she become more like her. When the two awake, they have changed. Srieska has a scar across her face, her dwemer changes and a she speaks in a hissy voice (game mechanics: Sresika is now Lawful Evl). Garrick awakens and finds a new understanding of emotions and nature (Game Mechanics: Garrick is now female). The two however, have crossed the threshold of death and return empowered by their gods…but at what cost.

Following Ogla, the three follow back to the Hawkwinter crypt where she claims a tunnel leads to where the urn must be located. Sreska, sporting a new personality demands the sarcophagus of hawkwinter be plundered. Thorma helps and they discover a body covered in fine weapons and armor. But Brute, the hound of the Lord rises as a ghost from his bones and attacks the group. Thoram cleverly uses detect magic and discovers some of the items in the crypt are magical. He seizes the magical axe in the sarcophagus and joins the battle.

The three manage to defeat the creature and collect the booty. Now fully armed they enter the last passage and find the urn surrounded by a swarm of corpse rats and a ghostly murk guarding the urn. The group attacks and with the fiery bursts of Garrick (Now known as Trixie) and the sword slashes of Srieska and Thorma they defeat the creatures. Ogla performs the ritual and the Urn is secured.

But now the three must venture and hunt down the Kolbold Yehn and his gang to recover the stolen loot. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/385-The-Brooding-City-Chapter-5-The-Myst-of-Death
The Brooding City: Chapter 4 Raiders and Chapter 5 Myst of Death http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/350-The-Brooding-City-Chapter-4-Raiders-and-Chapter-5-Myst-of-Death Thu, 07 May 2009 07:50:30 GMT With the death of the inquisitor and his body guards, the resistance regroups as the Hyena Guard and the remaining Blackguards burst through prison... With the death of the inquisitor and his body guards, the resistance regroups as the Hyena Guard and the remaining Blackguards burst through prison doors. Two of their fellow resistance fighters they liberated join in the fight against the guards. One falls in the battle however.

After a fierce battle, the guards are defeated and the resistance storms the precinct looking for the other unaccounted resistance fighters and any documents pertaining to their interrogation. Garrick uses his thorn pouch to trap the remaining guards in a spike growth while the others discover the last two corpses of the resistance fighters and all the documents. They flee the precinct into the streets.

Battered and depleted the group makes it way to a safe house to heal but find the safe house has been commandeered by the blackguards and the resistance fighter betrayer, Rogen. They manage to take out the guard at the backdoor silently and burst into the kitchen to surprise The traitor and a blackguard. A fierce battle erupted and Professor Gray was brought down by Rogen's daggers. But Rogen and the rest of the Black Guards fell and safe house was liberated.

The group manage to sell off the fine armor and weapons of the blackguards for a good profit.

Chapter 5

In the week that followed, Srieska open her own gem cutting shop, Professor Gray began lecturing at the college and Garrick gets a dress down by his new Lieutenant.

Srieska, on opening her shop encounters a strange beggar woman who speaks gibberish about children with no eyes. She give her money to get rid of her as she tries to makes it to one of her suppliers shop before it closes. But she discovers the body of her supplier hanging from the rafters of his shop and robbed of all valuable materials.

Garrick, patrolling the streets at night discovers a body drained of blood.

Professor Gray meets a brilliant student Nathaniel who is obsessed that he is close to unlocking the secrets of reanimating the dead. He bases his theory on the work of Professor Spalanzani, a retired dean of the school of medicine. His ramblings interest Professor Gray, but he displays a skeptical demeanor.

The next Day Srieska discovers her carpenter friend's shop was robbed. She comforts her at the Hooting Frog and notice two strangers in Tavern who are hiding their chain shirts under their cloaks. When she tries to approach them they hastily leave and exit into the misty night. left on their table are strange ancient coins.

Professor Gray believes Nathaniel may be one of the aware and hopes to recruit him. Nathaniel wants the Professor to meet him at the graveyard that evening. He arrives but cannot find the enthusiastic student. He sees a light at Professor Spalanzani's mansion (once owned by Dr. Maglanti, Spalanzani's mentor). Unable to gain an answer by knocking at the door, he breaks a window with his energy missile attracting the attention of patrolling guards. They begin to question him.

Garrick is put in charge of investigating the blood drain victims and a series of robberies in the district. He discovers at the coroner that the bloodless victim has no marks, but the strangled victim has a bit in the leg. On patrol his men discover another body. He uses his dino's scent to track and questions a harlot who was with him less than thirty minutes ago. Convince she was not the culprit he lets her go.

The mysteries continue in next session. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/350-The-Brooding-City-Chapter-4-Raiders-and-Chapter-5-Myst-of-Death
The Brooding City: Chapter 4 Raiders http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/324-The-Brooding-City-Chapter-4-Raiders Thu, 23 Apr 2009 16:17:34 GMT After successfully capturing the magical items from the vault of Jasper Jewel, the resistance continued for week performing their duties in their... After successfully capturing the magical items from the vault of Jasper Jewel, the resistance continued for week performing their duties in their cover professions. They are soon summoned by the resistance leaders for another mission.

A resistant cell had been raided by the City's special Blackguards. The cell had been performing operations in the adjacent precinct and was tipped off by an unknown traitor in the group. The fighters were detained at the Hyena Watch precinct which was commandeered by the blackguards for interrogation.

Srieska, Sylar, and Garrit attempted to gain access into the Prestinct with Garrit using his watchman rank, having Skylar posing as a criminal and Srieska as another guard (Conventially disguised with her new glamered armor). The Bluff however failed and the Hynea Watch , after being chastise by the Blackguards, ordered the group to vacate.

The group tried again with Srieska taking the guise of a blackguard. The Hyena watchmen, fearful of the Blackguards (and aided by the Psionic powers of Sylar) allowed them entrance, suggesting to them to take the prisoner to the kennels (as the prison was being occupied). At the kennels, Garrit managed to calm the dogs housed their and relieved the kennel master. After speaking with an animal, Garrit learned the number of blackguards and normal watchmen in the precinct.

As a distraction, the group released the dogs and they began to run around the complex, causing the guards to gather them up. In the confusion, the group slipped into the detention center. Srieska manage to convince several more blackguards to leave the detention center to help with the dogs. But other blackguards did not fall for the ruse and attacked. The battled was fierce but the guards had fallen.

In the prison cells they found two of the six resistance fighters who they realized and armed with the Blackguard swords. As they went to the interrogation room for the third their presence was found and they began to fight more blackguards, a Half ogre and the mysterious Interrogator. In the fierce battle, Srieska was badly wounded by the half ogre while Garrit ands one of their resistance fighters fell in battle. But still they manage to defeat the enemies around them. Sylar was left drained of power while Srieska was drained of her divine magic save her dragon shaman auras.

With the third prisoner yet to be found and the barred door of the detention center being assaulted by the blackguards and Hyena Watch, the resistances chances for escape look grim. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/324-The-Brooding-City-Chapter-4-Raiders
The Brooding City: Chapter 3 The Vault of Jasper Jewel http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/314-The-Brooding-City-Chapter-3-The-Vault-of-Jasper-Jewel Mon, 20 Apr 2009 20:43:57 GMT Escaping the cultist of Brother Gunther, the resistance fighters make way into the vault of Jasper Jewel. Their rescued potential sacrifice still... Escaping the cultist of Brother Gunther, the resistance fighters make way into the vault of Jasper Jewel. Their rescued potential sacrifice still unconscious, they leave her comfortable in the corner as they search their surroundings. Upon observation, Garrit notices the sound of footfalls and sweeping. Evidence the chamber has been cleaned is shown by the piles of dirt and dust swept in the corners by an Unseen Servant.

The chamber had only three doors to exit. The door to the south and east were very sturdy while the west was less. Garrit’s flesh-raker smelled no enemies and they went forward to examine the southern door, which was unlocked.

Detecting no traps they moved forward through another door that again lead to a wider hallway with a door at the end. Garrit approached but noticed a pressure plate in front of the end door and cautioned the others. Professor Skylar and Garrit entered the hall while Srieska stayed behind. The Professor attempted to disarm the trap but being with out any tools he accidentally set it off. The door they came through closed suddenly and the door ahead sprouted spikes and began to crank towards them slowly. Fortunately, Srieska’s mighty strength pulled the door open and they escaped before being injured.

They went back to the previous chamber and managed to break down the heavy door. Ithe passage twisted around the corner and Garrit noticed another presser plate in the floor midway in the passage. Garrit and Skylar manage to jump the plate, but Srieska, even after removing her armor miss jumped and landed on the plate getting cut by a scything blade. But being very tough, she shrugged it off and the three continued.

They emerged into a large chamber with six pillars. To the south they saw a strange stone door. Crumpled on the ground in fromt was strange skeleton of a half-human half-bird creature. Likewise on the floor were the skeletal remains of an armored man at the far end. On each tile were strange runes that the group discovered would ignite if step on. Srieska however, was able to thwart them with her sigils and she went to examine the skeletal remains.

Just as she entered the chamber, the harpy skeleton rose and attacked her, setting of the runes as it moved. Sireska tried to cast defensively a cure light wounds to attack the creature but failed so she ran back suffering a blow from the creatures club. Seriska suffered some damage, but manage to make it back into the entryway where Skylar and Garrit began attacking the skeleton. The battle was ferocious but the resistant fighters were victorious. From the human skeletal remains the group found a wand of cure light from the demised cleric of St. Baumus.

After resting, the group approached the strange door. Above the stone frame were eight small crystals. When Garrit touch them they gave off a musical intonation and lit in a seemly random way. The group also realized the door itself was an illusion but a magical force prevented them from moving through it. The professor began to recall his studies in music and managed to find out the musical letters produced the word FASCADE that he spoke and the barrier came down.

In the vault of Jasper jewel the resistance fighters found several useful items: a Magical breastplate that changed into other illusionary clothing, a cold iron scimitar, a Thorn bag , a Djor of Cloud Mind, and several potions of healing. Through a magical alcove the group was teleported back to the House of Red Lanterns, a house of ill repute where they were thrown out.

They returned the Old Harpy Theatre to finds it abandoned, but they managed to find some useful treasures left over. But the evil cult of Mammon, was not completely destroyed and that alone begins to worry our warriors. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/314-The-Brooding-City-Chapter-3-The-Vault-of-Jasper-Jewel
Kevins Game-Savage Tide Part 5 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/301-Kevins-Game-Savage-Tide-Part-5 Wed, 15 Apr 2009 14:14:44 GMT Oh, how the Cleric and wizard out shine us all...

This session proved to be pivotal on how our martial PC's have greatly been overshadowed by our spell casting partners.

Our mission was to find our wreck sea Wyvern on the sandy shores of the Isle of Dread in hopes of fixing it up in response to the Crimson Fleet's coming attack. Save for captain Shar, we are all 9th level.

Naturally, we get a random encounter of a hezrou on the ship. Even with my hasted multi-shot Evil outsider bane bow and evil outsider favored enemy I could never hit. It takes our Radiant Servant of Pelor all to super size it with his holy great sword to start dealing massive damage. Then the stupid creature uses blasphemy and hoses us all. The DM was kind and we came to as the creature spent its time wrecking the ship. Our servant of pelor manage to dimensional anchor it to keep it here as we finally brought it down.

Needless to say, our Monk, Swash/Pirate, and me ranger scout could provide limited help except in damage whittling.

The next example was when we discovered our ship and knew something was going to live in the hull. The Wizard sent a magical probe to seek the ship and discovered a dino in the water. Captain Shar, against better judgement swam out on her water stead and try to draw it's attention. We began the assult on the dino when sharks appeared attacking Shar (Shar/Pirate)and Chongo (Monk). I stayed behind firing my bow but spotted a sea humanoid creature who immediately cast Dominate person on me. So I spent the whole encounter trying to kill the other players!

I only able to hurt the wizard with one skirmish. He turned invisible and I tried to use my seen the unseen skill trick to no avail. I tried against the cleric but he had outrageous AC. He turned into Super Pelor managed to grapple me easily and hold me down. Then he tossed me to Chongo as he waded in the water to take out the druid who dominated me.

It was with Chongo that the fun occured. I learned back in a previous battle that I was too easily grappled by others so I increased my escape artist. Chongo had a hard time holding on to me. To make it even funnier I successfully used an intimidate on him forcing him to release the grapple and I had him shaken. I constantly smacked him with my skirmish arrows till finally the others killed the creature and the spell was broken. A good thing since I would have killed him in the next round.

The point I make is that Clerics and wizards overshadow everyone.

I had though of being a Paladin/holy warrior should Miko die, but realized I would be a better warrior as a Cleric. Isn't that nuts? Makes you understand the appeal of book of 9 swords and E6. The spell casters won't overshadow every freaking person. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/301-Kevins-Game-Savage-Tide-Part-5
Adventure Making Process Part Two: Where do Adventures Come From? http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/292-Adventure-Making-Process-Part-Two-Where-do-Adventures-Come-From Fri, 10 Apr 2009 23:50:07 GMT I indicated I use the idea of Plot advance and tangent in making adventures for D&D. The question now is where do the ideas come from? For me I use many resources for creating adventures that are game and non-game genres. I usually end up using all of the forms in the final product but they usually can begin and idea in one of these categories. Here are the break downs:

1. Books and Movies (and recently Video games): the easiest source material is from the media which holds the bulk of fiction. I find books to be the better as it is less likely (and sadly) that plots and characters of books will be recognizable to all of your players. Even then, the stories are all recycled plot wise. It is the nuisance's of setting and mood that help define an idea. You need not take all things verbatim, but you should be able to produce scenarios or characters that mimics the iconic fiction (or even non-fiction) situation or foe. Naturally, the more well read you are the easier it is to pull the sources. For my Dark City Campaign, I based most of my ideas on Looking Glass Studios Thief series and read all of Frizt Lieber's Farhad and Grey Mouser Novels.

2. From the Game Books: One great aspect of 3.5 (mostly missed by 4e) is the rich text it provides on backgrounds and descriptions of spells, races, monster, classes, magic items, gods, etc. that can be taken and used as inspiration. You can pull a single monster out of the book and base an adventure around that creature.(Example: a Vampiric Umberhulk...WTF) Or you could read about a spell and think it would be a great scenario to have it used in a traditional or unconventional way: (Example, a Skeleton Warrior with an improved invisibility spell cast on it). You can also use the history of some creatures and change them or reinvent them (Example:The Gith uprising against the Mindflayers--home brew of course ;)

3. Deconstructed Modules: This idea is based slightly on the 2nd. While you may use game materials in this regard you change the basic plot, setting, challenges, etc. to create a new story. The best modules are usually sites but challenging ones can be made by event-style adventures as well. Classic D&D adventures or Goodman Dungeon Crawl classics are ideal for these kind of makeovers.

4. Just an Idea: This is my usually path to adventure creation. I may have a visual or scene in my head I would like to create. Maybe it is human hands crawling out of the sea, a basket full of eyeballs, a floating brain in a jar, etc. Maybe it's a place, like a prison in the astral plane, a sphere emerged in a lava bed, a beholder in a black pyramid (which actually came to me in a dream many years ago) or a castle on the head of a titan. These visions help me start on the "how do I get there" thought pattern which would eventually utilize all of the above in the final creation.

Currently I am writing an arc for my Brooding City Campaign. My first idea was to take the Dungeon Crawl Classic adventure "The Cage of Delirium" and instead of running it as the ghost story it is, I would run it during the events that lead up to the place becoming curse with the doctors and patients and what not. But I needed a reason the players had to go there so I decided they had to find someone. Naturally when they arrive they get caught up in the events but then I had to decide where to go from there.

After mulling it over I had my first vision of a mob of children without eyes. Looking through Cityscape they had statistics for a mob of children which I found unnerving. I didn't know why that was fascinating but I went ahead and tried to think of a story about it.

I took a chance and I actually googled about children losing their eyes and that's when I came upon E.T.A. Hoffmann's Short Story "The Sandman" which described a man's correspondence of man obsessed with a Barometer salesman (who the author believes was responsible for his father's death), a mysterious doctor and his artificial daughter. In addition, it has references of the sandman as not a benign being but a creature that steals the eyes of children caught awake at night. A short stop action film described as influenced by Hoffman's tale had the sandman as a bird like creature.

It then clicked that I would make the Sandman a Vrock. The man who goes insane is the man the PC's find at the asylum and he gives them information on the other two's plot (Which becomes the Master's plot). I then need to create scenarios for the PC's and statistics for the foes. One may be the home of the doctor and another will be a slave ship where abducted children are being sold. Since my players will be mid level, I used savage species to reduce the Vrock's level to not make him overpowered.

Next: Putting the scenarios together. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/292-Adventure-Making-Process-Part-Two-Where-do-Adventures-Come-From
The Brooding City Session One Prt2 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/273-The-Brooding-City-Session-One-Prt2 Wed, 08 Apr 2009 21:34:46 GMT In the second part of the story the freedom fighters find out more about the Church of Church of St. Judith of Celibate Enlightenment which was... In the second part of the story the freedom fighters find out more about the Church of Church of St. Judith of Celibate Enlightenment which was housed in the decrepit Old Harpy Theatre.

The three attend a noon sermon in which they were separated from men and women (Sreiska given a veil) to hear Brother Gunther give a sermon of the evils of sex and fornication. The speech was very good, but unmoved were our determine warriors. During the private confessionals, Sreiska and Sylar impersonated potential converts while Garrit scanned the theatre seating for magic. They discovered only minor magic on Sister Kali, brother Gunthers female deacon.

With the aid of Psylar's psionic powers, Sreiska and Sylar gave convincing stories of temptation and sin. While Sreiska gave a story of nearly circuming to the sexual advances of a man and was invited to return to seek membership, Sylar found his story of improper fraternizing with female student setting him up for being blackmailed. Knowing they have to delve further into the church, the group left, planning to return that evening.

With the use of a charm animal and speak with animal spells, Garrit convinced a rat to go snoop around in the theatre and look for weapons--assuming to find the cache. He was quite shocked when the rat emerged covered in blood (moving through a pool of blood) and describing goblins in the building. Garret then sent a pigeon with the same instructions to fly to the broken dome windows at the rear of the theatre and peek in. It reported inside the ball room a woman was laying on a blood covered table surrounded by two cloaked forms.

Fearing the worse, the group barged through the front doors and encountered two guards who were not a bit surprised by their advance. Both of them charged Sylar and smacked him with their clubs. The flesh-raker leaped on a guard and brought him down and then immediately slew the second. The group then plowed ahead into the backstage and through the hallways to the chamber at the far end of the theatre. They burst forth to see what what was described: A female victim lying on a blood soaked table and the two forms of Brother Gunther and Sister Kalia. In addition was a savage Dretch demon!

Garrit and his flesh-raker pounce upon the demon knocking and pinning it down, but the tough hide was difficult for the dinosaur to tear and it's poison had no effect. Psylar used his power to immobilize temporary Brother Gunther. Brother Gunther used his healing powers and realized his immobilization was all an illusion. Sister Kali open her mouth and a massive tongue attempting to grapple the professor but he evaded. Sreiska charged with her scimitar at the dretch but failed to penetrate its hide. The dino continued to rake the demon, while Garrit tossed a produce flame at Bother Gunther, critically wounding him. Pyslar finished him off with an energy beam and he crumpled to the ground in flames.

Sister Kalie let loose a infernal howl which shocked the warriors, causing the professor to go down. The demon was also wounded by the howl. Sreiska charged after Sister Kalia but her blows could not penetrate her spell protection. But she was not detered and howled again wounding our heroes more. Garrit order his dino off the demon as it slashed and final slew the creature, then he reached down and applying healing to the professor. The professor again applied his beam on Sister Kali wounding her. But Sister Kalia howled again and Garrit and his dino jump in the way to protect the professor, becoming severely wounded. Sreiska final struck again with the fleashraker and they brought her down.

Sreiska quickly healed the professor just as the others in the theatre began to respond to the battle. Sreiska shut the door and used her scimitar to secure the door. Garrit ordered his dinosaur to hold the door with it's mass as they searched for the secret passage of Jasper Jewel's vault. Upon finding it, they pulled open the grating in a ruined indoor fountain and jumped down the small passage.(Taking the potenial sacrafice victim with them-though she was drugged) The fleashraker soon followed just as the door finally burst open by three goblins and six guards. Now in the vault, the warriors must navigate through perils that lie ahead. ]]>
wizarddog http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/273-The-Brooding-City-Session-One-Prt2