Age of Worms AP and the Dread Necromancer




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  1. #1
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    Age of Worms AP and the Dread Necromancer

    Hi all,

    Our gaming group has decided to run the Age of Worms, and one of the players has decided to play a dread necromancer. I've only played a few sessions with this AP, so I know a little about it and its focus on undead, but that's about all I know. So, I have a couple of questions:

    1) Has anyone played Age of Worms with a player running a dread necromancer, and if so, how was it? Even if you haven't, what do you think about this as a class choice for this AP?

    2) What would you say is the 'optimal PC party' for this adventure?

    3) I'm an experienced DM, but I've not DMed one of these AP (like this or Cauldron) before, so what would suggest in terms of successfully DMing the AP?

    Thanks for your input.

 

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    Ignore Rechan
    Quote Originally Posted by kevtar View Post
    2) What would you say is the 'optimal PC party' for this adventure?
    Cleric, Cleric, Cleric, Cleric.

  • #3
    I've only read 3 of the adventures, not played any, but clerics will rock and rogues will eventually feel useless, unless they have access to stuff outside whatever core books you use, (which sounds like it wont be a problem if you are allowing the dread necro).

    I have read about others using dread necros in the AoW AP, and if I recall correctly they were fun, but can't recall if anyone said they were over or underpowered.

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    I'm currently DMing the Age of Worms which includes a party of seven who are just finishing up The Spire of Long Shadows (module 7 of 12). The party consists of:

    - Wizard/Archmage [Quite easily the powerhouse of the group]
    - Cleric/Stormlord [Powerful but no turning (which does not seem to matter)]
    - Fighter/Tempest [Incredibly high AC, using a staff]
    - Fighter/Bard [Fantastic damage output, using 2 handed great axe]
    - Rogue/Fighter/Master Thrower [A very nifty fighter who can dish out the tactical damage]
    - Scout/Cleric/Returned Servant of Pelor [This is a special prestige class I developed with the player involved - basically an undead nuking machine]
    - Warlock - An interesting character but at the bottom end of the power scale.

    I have adjusted a lot of the path so that it plays out more coherently for my group. I kept Lord Smenk as the Villain behind the scenes of the first 5 modules who they finally dispatched. The big villain for the remainder of the path they are just about to meet in module 8 (you should know who that is).

    I have also had to ramp up encounters to suit the 7 players.

    In terms of an optimal party, I would say:

    - Cleric
    - Wizard
    - Fighter (Damage Specialist)
    - Fighter (AC Specialist with fighting tricks)
    - One other (such as your dread necromancer)

    The Dread Necromancer would be fascinating to play in this adventure path, particular as the character will have become a lich prior to the final module/encounters. Power level wise, the character may be slightly unders compared to the wizard and cleric, but should fit in with some nice abilities.

    However, does such a character fit in with the rest of the party? Could be lots of fun but could also be a train wreck depending. Tell me more.

    Best Regards
    Herremann the Wise
    Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not,
    and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

    Oscar Wilde

    He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.
    Tad Williams

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan View Post
    Cleric, Cleric, Cleric, Cleric.
    Isn't that the optimal 3.x party for pretty much any adventure?
    Dave Rothgery

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  • #6
    With regard to the Dread Necromancer in APs...I think any of the focused subwizards (Beguiler, WarMage, Dread Necromancer) will do fine up to level 11 or 12 (Warmages slightly lower) as the party's wizard.

    What might be an issue (and this was my personal experience) was that past this point, you really, REALLY wanted a pure wizard in the party. That flexibility is going to be essential.

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    Ignore Herremann the Wise
    Quote Originally Posted by drothgery View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rechan
    Cleric, Cleric, Cleric, Cleric
    Isn't that the optimal 3.x party for pretty much any adventure?
    Too slow, too melee/close encounter focused, too reliant on preparing for encounters, and will promote the 15 minute day... or were you just taking a cheap dig at 3.x?

    Best Regards
    Herremann the Wise
    Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not,
    and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

    Oscar Wilde

    He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.
    Tad Williams

  • #8
    I'm not too familiar with the AP, but I really like the first two adventures. I'm pretty picky about my adventures and I usually don't like Paizo's work, but the first two are winners.

    I haven't read the rest of the path, but I've heard The Spire of Long Shadows adventure is bad. Complaints I've heard are that it's really hard and the PCs should rest after every combat. A lot of campaigns seem to end there. I'd recommend giving that adventure and later ones a thorough read through and touch ups.

    Cleric is a good class choice as there a lot of undead later on. Wizard is generally a good decision too. For a fighter type, good saves or immunities are probably going to be important. A paladin or warforged juggernaut(ECS) are safe choices.

    Rogues are going to be out of luck later on when everything starts getting immunity to sneak attack. Some splats introduced ways to bypass sneak attack immunity. I can't recall which off the top of my head, but a rogue player should find something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freakohollik View Post
    I'm not too familiar with the AP, but I really like the first two adventures. I'm pretty picky about my adventures and I usually don't like Paizo's work, but the first two are winners.
    The first module The Whispering Cairn is the best introductory module I've seen and definitely a modern classic already.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freakohollik View Post
    I haven't read the rest of the path, but I've heard The Spire of Long Shadows adventure is bad. Complaints I've heard are that it's really hard and the PCs should rest after every combat. A lot of campaigns seem to end there. I'd recommend giving that adventure and later ones a thorough read through and touch ups.
    The Spire is tough but for a well prepared group achievable. It becomes very nasty if the PCs fuddle around and the enemy gangs up - which if the PCs let them they should.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freakohollik View Post
    Cleric is a good class choice as there a lot of undead later on. Wizard is generally a good decision too. For a fighter type, good saves or immunities are probably going to be important. A paladin or warforged juggernaut(ECS) are safe choices.
    Clerics are handy for protecting the party against undead. Death Ward would have to be the standout here, but aside from that and despite the path being centred around undead, I would class a high level wizard as equally devestating/useful/needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freakohollik View Post
    Rogues are going to be out of luck later on when everything starts getting immunity to sneak attack. Some splats introduced ways to bypass sneak attack immunity. I can't recall which off the top of my head, but a rogue player should find something.
    Rogues are not that bad off. There is a module or two that are undead dominated but on the whole, a rogue and their sneak attack comes in handy. If the group were willing to switch from 3.5 to pathfinder, any core class would be valid, particularly the rogue.

    Best Regards
    Herremann the Wise
    Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not,
    and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

    Oscar Wilde

    He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.
    Tad Williams

  • #10
    You don't want optimal because Rechan's right. It really will be cleric, cleric, cleric, cleric. Each cleric might be an entirely different build (I'd suggest on melee, one archer, one spellcaster that focuses on offense, one that focuses on defense), but that's how it goes. Clerics are disproportionately powerful, particularly when fighting a lot of undead, and particularly in games with a lot of effects that can instantly kill or disable.

    Or to put it another way, the curve of effectiveness in 3e has a very, very long right side tail. No matter what party you come up with, chances are there's a significantly better one with sufficient fine tuning. You'll drive yourself mad and stop having fun if you pursue it.

    So optimal isn't your goal.

    What you want is "good enough and fun." Let everyone write down what they want to play, and if you're worried it will get killed, bring the list here and let people take a look at it.

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