• paka

Monsters of ROCK!

So, it's been quiet lately.

Over the decades, there's been hundreds and hundreds of monster entries, from time-tested fan faves to critters which simply don't get much use. Sheer statistical weight dictates that at least some of those C-listers and D-listers are totally badass.

I'm curious; what monsters do people think are totally cool and deserve more "face time" as the Loyal Opposition?

(no subject)


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Skill Challenge

I'm not so great at building skill challenges, and I haven't read any updates on challenge theory since DMG, so I'll ask for a little help.

The party has decided they want to have "stopping a riot" under their belts as we begin our game at level 1, and I'm trying to figure out how best to accomplish that. I don't want ot spend too much time doing this encounter, but I want to satisfy their need to play it out rather than assume it done as I suggested.

Any advice or suggestions?

The riot is taking place in lower Fallcrest if that helps any.

Dragons vs. Giants

In my campaign, I'm looking to have the PCs involved in a climactic battle between a society of Dragons and a race of Giants (think Storm Giant, etc). The Giants have gotten their hands on a super powerful artifact that is what lets them actually face off against the Dragons on somewhat equal terms. The plan is that the PCs will be headed into the battle (probably on the side of the Dragons), and will be able to face off against the Giant leader because they're the PCs, etc.

What I'm having trouble figuring out is how exactly an army of Giants would fight against an army of Dragons. Do the Giants hang on the ground and throw huge boulders as the Dragons try to come within breath-weapon range? Do the Giants ride into battle on the backs of Rocs (or other oversized birds)? Do the Giants have some kind of storm-based magic that lets them fly around for mid-air battles? Some combination of the above?

Basically does anyone have any ideas for cool/sensible strategies for a group of Giants to successfully fight against a group of Dragons?

FFXI Zahak Flag

One-Shot Adventure Level: High Heroic or Low Paragon?

I'm in the process of planning a one-shot adventure for the benefit of some of my friends who haven't played 4E before. I'm not entirely sure who will be participating yet, but no one I plan to ask is new to roleplaying, so I'm thinking of making the adventure higher-level, in the neighborhood of high Heroic or low Paragon tier.

What I'm not sure about is whether to plan for the low or high end of that range. The only 4E games I've run before this were 1st-2nd level and 5th level. I know that the start of the Paragon tier changes things, but I don't know how much. I don't really want to make the characters any higher than 12th level, just because that's the point at which you start replacing powers instead of gaining new ones. Anything lower than 9th or 10th level will probably be too low for the sort of adventure I had in mind, though.

What do you folks think? What's your experience been with the differences between Heroic and Paragon tier? Is it too much of a change for a GM and players inexperienced with 4E?

Climactic encounter idea for a city under siege?

I'm trying to plan out a climactic (combat) encounter for my next D&D session--something that will wrap up a story arc, and end with a bang for a player who is leaving. The players are Level 12, so I need something suitably epic.

Currently the PCs are heading back towards a hostile Orcish city in an attempts to return to their ship and escape the area. But the city is about to be attacked by an army of Giants, led by one who is carrying a McGuffin they've been interested in. I've planned out a good climax if they go to fight off the Giants, killing their leader and saving the city and such.

But I want to have an idea for if the PCs decide to try and actively avoid the fighting, sneaking through the attacked city in order to get out in the confusion. I don't want to just move the Giant general fight to the PCs if they attempt to go around the battle, but I still feel like I want some kind of big fight to end the story arc.

Any ideas? What kind of big fight do you have for a group of low-paragon characters who are trying to return to their ship in the harbor outside a city under siege? (the city is being attack from land, so away from the harbor)
Qui-Gon bursting with excitement

Since it's dead anyway

I wrote last night that I'd killed my campaign, but I thought I'd throw out my notes/ideas here so that others could use it or steal ideas from it or whatever. It's set in Eberron, but rather loosely so (to say the least) since my players wouldn't appreciate or care if I was scrupulously accurate with the setting. It could probably be pretty easily be rewritten out of Eberron entirely.
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  • Current Music
    Abney Park - Under the radar
Dresden Files paranoid

Pitfalls of GMing and Scales of War.

So I have a notch in my GM belt that I actually would have rather avoided. I got my first TPK tonight as a GM. There were three parts to the TPK. First is that they were short handed. They had 4 people instead of the expected 6. I did adjust the XP total downward, but I still think they suffered for it. Second was luck. I was rolling excellent. A lot of "just enough" rolls to hit. Whereas the PCs were rolling horribly. Third was the PCs themselves. They let the minions hang around to nickel and dime HP away and (most fatally), when the NPC leader made a second offer to let the PCs flee, the PCs basically spat in her face. At the point that offer was made, their fighter was stone dead (not just dying) and the 3 remaining PCs had about 24 HP between them, with no healing, action points, or daily powers left. The NPC said that if the PCs left and didn't return, they could leave with no further harm done and take their fighter's dead body with them. And they said no. At that point, I couldn't keep them alive without the players ~knowing~ that they were never going to be in any real danger for the whole of the campaign. And if the players feel no real threat or danger to their characters, there's no tension or excitement. So I felt that I had to kill them at that point. And I did. I feel kind of bad about it, because luck and other things outside their control did play at least some part in the massacre. Also I did have an interesting campaign planned out and I'd put some serious time & effort into the planning, but now won't get to use it. Oh well. That's the way the d20 rolls sometimes.

I alternate GMing with another person, so I won't start up a new campaign for a while, but when I do I was planning on running the Scales of War campaign path. Are there any suggestions on using it or things I should do? I know there's something about a key that's used in one adventure that was supposed to be foreshadowed or given out in an earlier adventure, but wasn't actually mentioned at all in that earlier adventure. Any hints or experienced suggestions about things like that would be welcome.
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    Van Canto - The Bard's Song - In the Forest
Snake and Ladder

Replacing v.s. Accumulating Powers at Paragon Level and Up

This isn't yet a concern for the game I'm running, but I was messing around building a character the other day... and it struck me that I really don't like the way at Paragon level and up, a character's new powers start to replace their old ones.

I have enough trouble choosing just ONE power out of the half-dozen options at a given level; the thought of having to give up an existing power that I've already used and loved to get something new is unappealing, but then I don't really want to give up the chance to get new toys either. I'd far prefer to have a variety of powers at my character's disposal, especially since depth in powers is somewhat limited (until psionicists come out, anyway).

Now, I could house-rule it such that PCs just acquire new powers rather than replacing older ones, but I'm trying to think of the side-effects of such a change. Is it unbalancing to give PCs more options in combat, even if they can still only take one action a round? Is there something I'm missing here? Anyone played in the Paragon/Epic tier who might be able to provide some insight?