Starting a WOTBS campaing
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  1. #1

    Starting a WOTBS campaing

    Hello,

    We have just recently started playing D&D again after 6 years of retirement
    We have started with 4e.
    Since I am working now I have no time to make my own campaign from scratch, so when i was looking around the net most of the arrows pointed me to WOTBS.

    Now i have the first scenario and the guides. As a GM which one should i start reading first.

    And what are the things ,that you ppl have played, want to point out i should be aware of.

    Should the players read all players guide of WOTBS ?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Your players can play the game without looking into the players guide once (some of my players never have), you just might have to explain some things to them (or direct them to the players guide)

    As a GM I'd suggest you first read through the players guide (some of the info might also be in the campaign guide, but it doesn't hurt to know what the players should know) then the campaign guide and lastly the first adventure.

    You might want to give the players the link to (or a printout of) the players guide before the first session so they have the time to read it and build their characters respectively.

    I can't say anything about adventures 1-4 in 4e (i played them in the 3.5 version) but some monsters in adventure 5 (and partly 6, although they have gotten way better) needed some polishing up when I ran them in 4e.

    You might want to keep Monster Manual 3 on a business card ready to adjust some of the stats on the fly.

  3. #3
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    I would also suggest looking at the similar threads in this forum, they have lots of great advice and hints about potential problems.

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    I think a lot of the encounters and creature design needs some polishing in WotBS. Take a look at the Monster Vault if you have it, or MM3 for the newest WotC philosophy on Monster Design. Stun, dominate, and anything else that take away the player's turn is really annoying, and has been reduced in usage in the newest monster design. There was one encounter with undead in module 1 that is overly challenging for it's purported level, but I never ran that, so can't speak from personal experience.

    You might also consider how rapidly you want to level the characters up. I stopped rewarding formal experience some time back, and now just level them when it seems appropriate. Because I am doing this, I slowed down the leveling rate compared to the modules. It felt to me like the lower levels were rushed through, and then too long was spent in epic tier. I would actually prefer to end the campaign at a lower level than 30. Stuff gets absolutely crazy at that level. That aside, the translation from 3.5 to 4E kept the bigger spacing between the higher levels, but that doesn't necessarily follow 4E patterns. So there are too many high level mods, and not enough time on the lower levels. My 2 cp only. I would rather down-level the modules to suit the group at their current level, since I have to fix their design anyway.

    Relating to the issue of needing to get the group up to a certain level by the start of the next module, there were a lot of encounters added to the 4E version compared to the 3.5 edition. They really add little or nothing to the plot, and just serve to pad out the xp rewards so they are big enough to level the group faster. Cut some of them if you want to see the game progress faster.

    Following the pathetic example of adventure writing given by WotC, WoBS doesn't list specific treasure or items pretty much anywhere. Just "2 level 13 treasure parcels." Thanks. :/ I understand that magic items need to be optimized for a specific party, but the monetary treasure should be there in the book. It's just another detail that you have to take care of as GM, which I was hoping the module writers would do ahead of time. Blame WotC though for setting the precedent. Bah.

    There aren't descriptions of a lot of areas in the modules. Plan ahead. It's caught me by surprise any number of times. If I had time enough to go through and write all of it myself, I wouldn't be using a module, but such is life. The story is good, with a nice mix of roleplay and combat encounters. You'll need to work a bit on improving the skill challenges, but that holds true for most of the published modules, including WotC's.

    There are a total of 5 PC's that might end up tagging along with the party between modules 1-3. Take a look at that and see if you want to get rid of any of them. There's more in the later modules as well, but you ditch most of them by the time you get to Seaquen. I felt they were unwieldy at best, but used some. The later ones have largely been relegated to non-combat roles, or eliminated by me.

    Good luck, and have fun!

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    I'm also looking to run WOTBS fairly soon and was intrigued by Zinovia's and other's comments about Monster Manual 3 helping to improve the 4E experience for players. I don't have this book and thought it might be unnecessary since all the monster stats are in the modules. Or would you suggest I go and get it?

    If it makes any difference, I plan to pinch one of the house rules (proposed elsewhere on this forum) to speed up combat by halving monster hits but adding a third to their number.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter FdH View Post
    I'm also looking to run WOTBS fairly soon and was intrigued by Zinovia's and other's comments about Monster Manual 3 helping to improve the 4E experience for players. I don't have this book and thought it might be unnecessary since all the monster stats are in the modules. Or would you suggest I go and get it?
    Monster stats are all in the modules.

    The issue is that WotC altered the official monster math partway through our series, so the first few modules use the old monster math, while the rest use the new monster math. MM3 just gives you a sense of what the new monster math is, so you can change the monsters on the fly to match it. The link that Selganor posted (above) should be more than enough for you, though; you don't need to buy the book.

  7. #7
    Quick clarification.... 'new' monster stats are in the books, and they work out good at the latter levels.

    'Official' monsters are referenced back to the manuals..so you may have to update these. There is an excellent post in the 4e forum with a spreadsheet of damage expressions by level.

    Also, check out the threads on epic level play. I ran module 8 pretty much by the book and there are 13+ encounters in one adventuring day.... some adjustment may be needed for yur group. My group just ate it up!

    Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Monster stats are all in the modules.

    The issue is that WotC altered the official monster math partway through our series, so the first few modules use the old monster math, while the rest use the new monster math. MM3 just gives you a sense of what the new monster math is, so you can change the monsters on the fly to match it. The link that Selganor posted (above) should be more than enough for you, though; you don't need to buy the book.
    Which modules are those to be exact ?

  9. #9
    Module 8 and on are closer to on target, math wise. The first 4 suffer from both math issues, pacing issues, and the writers not being fully conversant with the 'new' edition.

    Regardless of all that, it is still the best AP around. You can search here for post on how others adapted things. I have posted monster write ups and encounter changes here and there

    Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Primitive Screwhead View Post
    Module 8 and on are closer to on target, math wise. The first 4 suffer from both math issues, pacing issues, and the writers not being fully conversant with the 'new' edition.

    Regardless of all that, it is still the best AP around. You can search here for post on how others adapted things. I have posted monster write ups and encounter changes here and there

    Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk
    Can someone give an example how to adjust one of the mobs ? I am kinda confused about all the talks regarding to polish the mobs.

    I thought the monster manual I and the online Adventure Tools would have different numbers in HP and dmg. But they are the same made me more confused.

    Can anyone share a polished mob from the first advanture ?

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