Save or suck Medusa petrification - Page 9





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  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Fanaelialae View Post
    It's set up to throw the PCs off guard by appearing to be a rescue the prisoner scenario.
    Yep, a classic... and a little cliched at this point, but I don't see how this in any way makes it inherently wrong or bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanaelialae View Post
    It's exactly the sort of thing that makes players suspicious of every single NPC they interact with. I've had DMs that tried to screw us with 90% of the "harmless" or "benevolent" PCs that we met. I have no wish to impart such paranoia upon my players. I've always found that sort of thing to be of great detriment to the game.
    I'm really lost as to how this one encounter with one NPC can be equated to... "90% of the "harmless" or "benevolent" PC's that a party will meet in their entire adventuring career."

    Quote Originally Posted by Fanaelialae View Post
    Granted, I have wolves in sheeps clothing, but they're the exception rather than the rule. As in, not much more than once or twice in an entire campaign. This encounter would be a complete waste of that.
    Hmmm, so it's not that you disagree with this type of encounter... this particular one is just a complete waste of a "wolf in sheeps clothing" type encounter... so what would be a few examples of the type that wouldn't "waste" this type of encounter. I'd be particularly interested in some examples that fit a sandbox style game.
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  • #82
    Quote Originally Posted by Fanaelialae View Post
    Read page 27 of the Caves and you'll understand what we're talking about here. The above does not fit the scenario at all.
    Uhhhh,

    Let me remind everyone here that this is a play test. It is designed to test the capabilities of the party, the monsters and the rules. It is more than likely that this was setup that way on purpose as a way to specifically test mechanics. And the potion is there so the play test will continue.

    The mechanics are fine as written. You cannot look at this play test adventure of what things should be like or are default. I has a specific purpose and I think that scenario is perfect for a play test.
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  • #83
    Although I tend to prefer SoD Medusae, here's a good counter-example.

    In the Shackled City path (3.5), there's an encounter late in the game where (iirc) four crystal pillars suddenly explode as the party passes, releasing four Medusa Assassins within melee distance of the party.

    That's not exactly a "care and tactics" use of the monster there.
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  • #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanaelialae View Post
    It's set up to throw the PCs off guard by appearing to be a rescue the prisoner scenario.
    Right.

    That's part of what is great about it.

    It rewards inventive thinking. It challenges the party to be on guard for danger even when it is not obvious that danger is around. It creates thusly a player-psychology experience of risk, excitement, and tension. As Michael Bay will tell you, this is good stuff for fun times having.

    It's exactly the sort of thing that makes players suspicious of every single NPC they interact with. I've had DMs that tried to screw us with 90% of the "harmless" or "benevolent" PCs that we met. I have no wish to impart such paranoia upon my players. I've always found that sort of thing to be of great detriment to the game.
    Run it. See what happens.

    Granted, I have wolves in sheeps clothing, but they're the exception rather than the rule. As in, not much more than once or twice in an entire campaign. This encounter would be a complete waste of that.
    Run it. See what happens.
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  • #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshaft37 View Post
    Maybe I'm the only one who got excited for the Roleplay opportunities with the way the Medusa was presented?
    No, but it seems some people can't see that, because they are busy being disappointed by the fact, that their poor Mary Sue characters might be threatened in the dark dungeon by challenges they can't overcome only with tactical movement and optimized damage output. Kids, the Caves of Chaos isn't meant to be a place for picnic.

    Heck, I'm beginning to sound like a grognard...

  • #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fifth Element View Post
    I liked the idea in 4E, but don't think it was executed very well. But in 4E it was too easy to get bonuses to saves. You needed to fail two or three saves to get the big nasty effect, which I think is fine in concept, but it was too easy to make those saves very high-percentage rolls. I ran a game from 1st to 24th level, and I don't think one character ever suffered an ultimate bad effect like this, because they always had their saves buffed and never failed the last one.
    I agree, partially, as this depends on party make-up. My real issue was that you had to fail 2-3 saves in a row. One successful save started you back at the beginning again. Now, 2-3 saves non-consecutively might be a good compromise. I would definitely enjoy that more than either the 4E approach or prior edition approaches. Even if it were a "lessening the impact of Save or Die Effects" sidebar in the Medusa entry.

    Then again, I would probably change averting your eyes to Advantage on your save instead of avoiding the save entirely, in addition to the disadvantage to attack, and advantage when attacked.
    Last edited by Vyvyan Basterd; Friday, 25th May, 2012 at 05:54 PM.
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  • #87
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    So how do the PCs know to avert their gaze?

  • #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Mac View Post
    So how do the PCs know to avert their gaze?
    if the funky snake hairdo doesn't give it away, I'd guess when you see the first party member turn to stone, then you'll know.... "Don't look!"
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  • #89
    For a medusa to feel like a medusa, it needs a scary permanent petrification effect - for me.

    That said, I don't like one-bad-roll SoD effects. They are boring, frustrating and suck the fun right out of the game with one random dice roll. I'd like to see one more "layer of insulation" to avoid being turned to stone:

    1. You are subject to the Medusa's gaze, either on your turn or the Medusa's. You fail your Con Save and begin turning to stone. You grow slower and attack with less effectiveness as your skin turns to cracked gray stone, you have have precious seconds before you become a permanent stone statue.

    2. It's now your turn, you've failed the initial save and you are rapidly turning to stone. You have one round to do something about it. You might dig for a potion to stop the petrification process, call for help from an ally, or at least get in one good final attack before you turn to stone.

    3. At the end of your turn you roll a second Con save. If you fail, you permanently turn to stone. If you pass, your physical determination, and good luck, has fought off the petrification - at least for now. As the battle continues there's always the chance you might meet the medusa's gaze again, starting the process anew.

    Save or Die is still boring and always will be. In my opinion, SaveTwice or Die is a much more balanced and exciting way of handling this type of mechanic.
    Last edited by Wulfgar76; Friday, 25th May, 2012 at 06:23 PM.

  • #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenheart87 View Post
    No, but it seems some people can't see that, because they are busy being disappointed by the fact, that their poor Mary Sue characters might be threatened in the dark dungeon by challenges they can't overcome only with tactical movement and optimized damage output. Kids, the Caves of Chaos isn't meant to be a place for picnic.

    Heck, I'm beginning to sound like a grognard...
    It has nothing to do with Mary Sue characters. I'm perfectly happy to kill characters, and to have my characters die. The difference is that SoD often creates unfair kills unless used with GREAT care. I'm perfectly happy to kill the PCs, but I don't like to feel like I'm being cheap, and SoD typically feels that way.

    I can drop a mountain on the players. I can even only do so under one particular circumstance, in the spirit of "fairness". That doesn't make it good for the game.

    I'd be fine with guidelines for creating special monsters and traps that are instant kill. I'd just rather those be the exception than the rule. You can easily make the 4e Medusa deadlier by just skipping the extra saves. Very simple, just ignore some text. Adding those saves in takes significantly more work.

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