D&D 4th Edition Running player commentary on PCat's 4E Campaign - Heroic tier (finished) - Page 13





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  1. #121
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat View Post
    We'll find out next game how Toiva does with balanced scores; she's currently facing off, at night and alone in knee-deep water, against five scuttling monsters with red glowing eyes and shining teeth.
    Wow, you found the stats for ENWorld Admins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat
    ]Make 'em witty enough, I hope, and no one will notice that you're trying to beat the stuffing out of their monsters.
    See, this is an excellent example of how min/maxing and roleplaying can go hand-in-hand. It's pretty much what I always aim to do - create a character with a load of killing power, but make sure they have some personality too.

 

  • #122
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

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    Re: ability scores- I hate point buy because you never end up with a 4 in a stat using it, and some of the most memorable pcs I've dmed for or run have had one or more low stats. They tend to add a lot of character. But that's obviously a matter of taste.

    Sounds like your game is running pretty fun so far! How were the warmup games you guys did?
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  • #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by the Jester View Post
    Re: ability scores- I hate point buy because you never end up with a 4 in a stat using it, and some of the most memorable pcs I've dmed for or run have had one or more low stats. They tend to add a lot of character. But that's obviously a matter of taste.
    This is why I like that the 4e point buy system still includes an initial 8, and that most classes can get away with putting that unmodified 8 somewhere. You can still keep a below average stat around to role-play without crippling your PC.
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  • #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by the Jester View Post
    How were the warmup games you guys did?
    Fun, but faced with two critical flaws. They each ended up being pretty much one big fight, and I prefer a huge portion of story/plot with my D&D, instead of just combat... and I didn't anticipate the constant learning curve. In a game where we raised the PCs' levels by 2-3 each time, every single game ended up with the players trying to understand their new abilities on the fly. It was tough, and uncharacteristic of what a campaign would feel like. That's why I cut the practice games short and started campaigns instead.
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  • #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat View Post

    We'll find out next game how Toiva does with balanced scores; she's currently facing off, at night and alone in knee-deep water, against five scuttling monsters with red glowing eyes and shining teeth.
    Right about now she sure is wishing she had MAXed CON...Or maybe WIS...
    -- In every adversity lies the seed of equivalent benefit.

  • #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat View Post
    We'll find out next game how Toiva does with balanced scores; she's currently facing off, at night and alone in knee-deep water, against five scuttling monsters with red glowing eyes and shining teeth.
    Is there a vBookie option on her survival?

  • #127
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    Just had our third game. We steamed through three combats and some roleplaying in three hours, although one barely counted (cold-cocking the poor dog-gobbler gate guard was a dirty trick, Sagiro!) Turned out not to be Toiva who almost died, when Lucas the rogue nearly got his head chewed off by a dog-gobbler hiding in a closet. Sneaky little bastard.

    I'll let Sagiro give you details from his perspective, then I'll comment on some specifics. One thing I'm noticing: with all those strikers they sure do a lot of damage, but the lack of a leader's surge-free healing is about to start taking its toll.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Friday, 31st October, 2008 at 04:34 AM.
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  • #128
    Can't wait these are fun to read. Plus since my game is set in a swamp area too, it also gives me inspiration!

  • #129
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    Here's my write-up. This was a longer and more complex game than the previous ones, so I encourage other players (and Pcat) to post corrections and additions.

    Holy cow... tonight’s run was nine kinds of awesome.

    Finally we had some big combats – two of them – against packs of “dog gobblers.” (I think they were probably MM goblins, with Piratecat applying a custom look and name to them, but I’m not sure.) We also made some good progress into our investigation and rescue effort.

    The combats were simply fantastic, both tactically and dramatically. As you may recall from the previous installment, we were guarding the town hall of a halfling village, protecting the babies and dogs from the legendary “dog gobbler” monster that had recently struck. The village is up on stilts and pilings in a swamp. Toiva, the paladin, had detected something suspicious while patrolling outside the building, and leaped down into the knee-high water to confront the thing. She found the dog-gobbler... along with five others, peering out of the night shadows. Little guys with mouths full of sharp teeth, forming a rough circle around her, most of them about 5 squares away. Cobalt and Strontium went out to help her, while Logan and Dr. Caldwell stayed behind in the town hall.

    The gobblers opened up with a weird collective ululation that dropped the halflings (those who were awake and helping guard) unconscious. The heroes were unfazed, but it did explain how the creatures were able to steal dogs and babies out from under the noses of the villagers. Logan and Caldwell realized that some of the ululation was coming from inside the town hall where we were! So, two different battles ensued – Toiva, Cobalt and Strontium against the six out in the water, and Logan and Caldwell against some unknown number hiding in the building.

    Short version: we kicked ass. With Strontium using Scorching Burst and Magic Missile, Toiva using Bolstering Strike, and Cobalt taking advantage of flanking with Toiva to get sneak attacks, we knocked out the gobblers without taking too much damage. That was despite the water being treated as Difficult Terrain for us, but not the gobblers – the lack of shifting on our part opened us up to a couple extra OA’s. I think at least some of the goblins were minions. Cobalt used his daily – Blinding Barrage – on two of the gobblers, killing one and blinding a second.

    Takeaways from that combat: Rogues really do fantastic damage with sneak attack, and pretty sub-par damage (for strikers) without. I was able to get sneak attacks about 2/3 of the time with Cobalt, as I was making that a high priority. I was also playing Strontium, since his player was absent this run. I was never able to find a good spot for his better powers, since allies and enemies were pretty intermingled. Scorching Burst and Magic Missile were all I used. I wanted to use Burning Hands, since Encounter powers are a terrible thing to waste, but its indiscriminate large blast made it tactically problematic.

    Back in the town hall, Logan and Caldwell had discovered two gobblers already hiding under cots, and a third inside a large storage closet. (We had left those two behind for just that purpose, since they had the best Perception checks.) They dispatched the two under the cots, though Logan was badly injured in the fighting. The one in the closet kept nudging the door open, I think hoping that Caldwell would open the door wider so it could sneak out. Instead, the doctor just kept kicking it closed again, figuring (wisely) that they could keep it trapped in there until it was the only one left. That’s how it ended up – Logan and Caldwell attacking it in the closet as the rest of us rushed back. Cobalt ended up joining the battle, as a gobbler had crawled on Logan’s shoulders and was chewing his head.

    So, in all, we didn’t take too much damage, except for Logan, who received a First Aid Second Wind from the Doc, and who used his healing potion during the fight, just to stay alive. We felt like we still had some adventuring left in us for the day, which was good, because there was still no sign of the kidnapped baby from the previous night. The halflings woke up, shocked to see what a dog gobbler really looked like. We also found two magic sacks the gobblers had been carrying, which muffle the sound of anything inside – like, say, a crying baby or barking dog. Damn them!

    The leader of the gobblers was carrying a magical key – whomever was touching it could see a bright light outside, coming from a huge boulder on the edge of the village that the halflings traditionally used for town gatherings. We went to investigate, and Toiva, holding the key, found a secret door carved in the boulder, which turned out to be hollow inside. The single goblin left to guard the door was quite startled to find us coming in, and a single massive Torturous Strike Sneak Attack from Cobalt knocked him out cold. We tied him up before Caldwell revived him with smelling salts and Cobalt (who has a decent Intimidate) got him to fess up about the kidnapped baby, and the goings on of the local gobbler population.

    It seemed that a passage in the back of the boulder led down to a gobbler warren, in which we could expect to find hundreds of gobblers. We got directions to where the baby was being kept (and learned that the baby would eventually be eaten. Gross.) Also, lucky for us, the majority of gobblers was watching some kind of arena battle in which a new Gobbler Champion was being chosen.

    More disturbingly, the goblin talked about how the door in the boulder had only recently opened, seemingly on its own accord, and the gobblers had taken that as a sign that it was time to get uppity again. Given the rumors of cracking Pledgestones and a crumbling of the Emperor's Peace, this is a particularly troubling development.

    Anyhow, being valiant Grey Guardsmen, we knew we’d have to press on, sneak into the gobbler warren, re-kidnap the baby, and escape. The captured goblin (who we executed after questioning) had indicated that the way in was through the “Sky Hole.” We crept down the passage (with the Sacks of Silence around Toiva’s feet – she with the lowest Stealth in the party) and found a large chamber with a huge circular wooden “trap door” in the center of the floor. It was held closed by a series of ropes and pulleys, and there was a large winched basket that could in theory be used to lower gobblers down to whatever space was below. The room also contained 8 more gobblers – 6 close by in a group, and two others stoking a bonfire on the far side. With our successful stealth rolls, we gained a surprise round, and all six of the near gobblers were dropped almost instantly from a Scorching Burst from Strontium and a beautiful Blinding Barrage from Logan. But the two on the far side were more troublesome – a powerful goblin shaman and his hapless bodyguard. It kept throwing his bodyguard in the way of our attacks, and set down a huge zone of stinging insects that would give us -2 to attacks if we attacked from inside of it. That kept us moving throughout the fight. Its most damaging attack came from some kind of hex it placed on Toiva, which only did its damage when she moved – something like 14 points, which is a lot when you’re first level. But with combined tactics and flanking, we soon dispatched the shaman as well.

    The run ended with the party opening up the trap door, below which was a long shaft into the darkness. We could hear the cheers of hundreds of gobblers coming from somewhere below, as their arena battle went on. Cobalt lowered the rest of the party down using the basket and winch, before climbing down the rope himself. At the bottom there were three ways to go: to the arena battle (no thanks), to the gobbler sleeping rooms, and to the place where our captive had told us the baby was kept. Sure enough, from that direction, we could hear its faint crying...

    So, in three hours, we had two large combats and one tiny little one, a good interrogation scene with the gobbler door guard, and all kinds of skill checks. (We used Acrobatics, Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Insight, Intimidate, Perception and Stealth over the course of the session.) The pacing felt great, with more options and tactical considerations than first-level battles in previous editions. As a human rogue, I used all three of my at-wills in the combats, since each had its own tactical niche. Logan and Cobalt helped each other flank, and the sneak attack damage was gruesome.

    We’re now 5 encounters into the adventuring day – the skill-challenge while investigating the kidnapping, the battle with the stick-baby, the battle with the first set of gobblers, the brief battle-plus-interrogation in the hollow boulder, and the battle in the room with the trap door. Logan is down to his last Surge, and Cobalt to his last two. But Toiva still has a bunch, and (I think) one more use of Lay on Hands, and only Logan has used his Healing Potion. Everyone has an Action Point to use in the next encounter, since we’re getting them back from milestones. Strontium and Caldwell still have their dailies (Acid Arrow and Hunter’s Bear Trap), though the rogues and paladin have used theirs. Can we rescue the baby before the gobblers choose their new champion and the warrens flood with way more monsters than we can handle? Have we become too weakened to survive whatever gobblerish horrors await us down here? Will our lack of party defense prove our downfall, as I see Piratecat has implied? We dare not dawdle, though -- the arena battle is keeping hundreds of gobblers preoccupied, offering us a rare window of opportunity. And if we leave to go get reinforcements, the baby will probably have been eaten before they get here. So onward it is. Will we survive?

    We’ll know in two weeks!
    Last edited by Sagiro; Friday, 31st October, 2008 at 06:09 PM.

  • #130
    I like how you used the magical bags to make the one character quiet. Who thought up that idea?

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