War of the Burning Sky WoBS - Epic level play report/discuss - Page 2





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  1. #11
    I think that the biggest issue with designing epic level modules is that the variety of PC abilities and synergies are just crazy. Its virtually impossible to build a good encounter without having the tweak it specifically for the party.

    Sure, the math can work out for the attack vs defense/hit point vs damage and you can luck into something panning out okay, but if that is going to be your capstone encounter I am not sure 'okay' is enough.

    I think after this campaign arc is done I am going to stick to the Heroic tier for quite some time.
    Aut Tyalie is Elvish for "Go Play Games"


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  • #12
    Update: Final battle from Module 10 has been completed. Attached is a pdf of my version of the Trillith Annihilation.. mostly. I had some penned in changes based on Upper Krust's material.

    The group actually did a really good job of taking him down, altho it was touch and go. Had one PC die and two others might close. Devon, the groups defender and damage soaker, absorbed an insane amount of damage.. somewhere to the tune of 1,400. The facts that the Bard could grant surge-less healing via Majestic Word was pretty much the determining factor in keeping Devon from dying a couple times over.

    I am rewriting the encounters for Module 12 with corrections from Upper Krust's material and intend on having three more epic set-piece battles, which turns into three more sessions/adventuring days. I am having fun developing the battle against Roav. In that one I intend on taking the 'cause collateral damage' to heart and have the battle end up ripping the palace to shreds.

    In the second battle, the war zone, I plan on taking the 'make it big' with thousands of creatures on both sides.

    Then the final battle against Leska its going to be a simple "OMG WE ARE GONNA DIE" approach
    and who knows.. the might!
    Spoiler:

    Current iteration has her regenerating 130 hit points each turn unless struck by the Torch... and that is before I rewrite her with UK's advice!
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Aut Tyalie is Elvish for "Go Play Games"


    Best of EnWorld: Stalker0's Obsideon Skill Challenge, Stalker0's Guide to the Anti-Grind

  • #13
    [QUOTE=rangda;5998752]I would not skip #11 , it was the best of the back end modules (which IMO are not as good as the earlier modules). #12 is an insane grind fest, and by the time we got here my group (and myself) were more interested in Zeitgeist than the long grind it seems the author intended #12 to be.

    On a related note, I'm sitting at the end of #9 and I'm wondering if anyone has advice on the best order to do the finish. I don't think they really consider P to be a real threat, as in a big bad. I was considering doing a Buffy type ending where the big bad is not the guy you thought it was but it would be tricky to slip P into that role and the Trilliths would not be much of a surprise at this point.

    Any tips on making P a revealed villain, as in, you defeat the Trilliths, you defeat Leska, surprise! P is the puppetmaster after all? Or the Trilliths, even?

    As an afterthought, a surprise, but foreshadowed, puppetmaster of it all would be Haddin.
    Last edited by corwyn77; Saturday, 13th October, 2012 at 07:50 PM.

  • #14
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    Ignore RangerWickett
    In my defense, #12 wasn't meant to be a grind fest. I think I might have just had overly fond memories of Red Hand of Doom, and wanted to up the scope so you're killing whole armies at once.

    I'm not sure how it converted to 4e.

    You could do something like, P got a lot of mages on his side to oppose the scourge, and instead of attacking Seaquen, he has a coup. Katrina -- who wields elemental magic, so she'd get along fine in a gang that includes an air mage (P) and a water mage (Lee Sidoneth) -- fakes the murder of the leaders of Seaquen, and takes over, intending to help P rule the whole region. He can show up in his airship and help kill a few folks to reduce the grind in 12, and maybe he's the one trying to do big magic mojo with the Aquiline Heart.
    Ryan "RangerWickett" Nock
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  • #15
    Looking back on it now, 4E Heart did turn into a bit of a grind fest since a lot of the work was strict conversion vs. Fanciful update. If I were to go back today and do it again, I could see a lot of places where play could be streamlined a little better. At the time we did the update to the new edition, I was still big on doing it "exactly the way they had it before" so everybody got a similar experience. Unfortunately, as I know now, it's not as easy to pull off as one would like.

    I really like where Primitive has gone with these. With all the great feedback I (and I'm sure everybody) have seen since WotBS, it makes the future brighter (literally with Myths coming up to bat).
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  • #16
    Game night is coming up this friday and I am preparing to run the first part of Module 12. Thought I would drop in to bump this thread and give y'all the intro I sent to my group

    Spoiler:

    The consensus {assuming silence is consent} is to follow Devon's lead and charge into the very heart of Ragesia.. to the center of military power, and attempt to infiltrate the palace of the most feared and hated personage {who is doubtless a bit paranoid like water is a bit wet}.

    Your goal is to invade a powerful ritual being performed by a number of high level spell-casters and, if the rumors be true, an Arch-Fiend from the very pits of hell itself.


    Oh yea.. and survive long enough to get back out!

    The leaders of the resistance have complete faith in your ability to accomplish this nigh-impossible task, and are betting the lives of many a fearful warrior. The fate of the nations rest upon your shoulders, and your departure from the city is heralded as if you have already returned victorious....

    Um, about that. The Gates Pass folk are really good at keeping secrets, and even the Ragesian troops left in the area kept their peace. The Shahalestians, on the other hand, felt it apropos to organize the gala affair. There is a pretty solid bet that someone knows you are coming. But the advantage is still on your side as they do not know that you can use to
    Torch to be there in the blink of an eye.
    Well, at least be at the capitol city in the blink of an eye. Anti-scrying spells make it impossible to get any closer.

    Once at the city edges you can either find your way through the city streets {either high, low, or in between}, find a prominent point from which to teleport closer {risking anti-teleportation measures}.

    Then a choice of how to approach the island that the castle is located on; whether traipsing down the guarded {and warded} skyway, swimming or boating, or some other method of your devising.

    Thence into the Palace proper, past any guards to the Ritual Chamber {yes, we have a map for you} and you can do your deed.

    Scrying has identified that the lake that surrounds the lake has seen increased naval presence, with a number of warships patrolling the waters.
    They might even have a couple of Merrow {aquatic Ogres} patrolling under the grey-green surface. So once you stop the ritual {and ensure they won't be able to start it back up right away}, we highly recommend you teleport back to safety. To that end, they provide a one-use crystal ball that will let you scry on the plains just north of Gates Pass, and thereby teleport to safety.


    :evil DM grin:


    My goal is to shape the three major encounters in different ways. I have taken ideas from Upper Krust's Epic material as well as his dissertation on Dante's hell, turning Roav into something rather nasty.

    With my group it is pretty normal for Devon {Fighter} to pin the fight into place and soak tons of damage from the brutes while the strikers and leader/controllers kite about taking care of business. While entertaining {Devon took over 1,000 points of damage last battle}, I don't want the last battles to have that 'next fight, same as last' feel to it.

    For Roav, my plan is to remove the Brutes and spread out the damage dealers. This will put the kiting strikers at more risk but increase the effectiveness of controllers. Of course, this means Roav is a controller.

    My last bit of prep this week is designing the battle-field, with the ritual key-stones, traps, choke-points, etc.. Should be fun!

    /EDIT/ Regretfully life got in the way and we had to cancel the session.
    On the good side, got to watch '7 Psychopaths'.. a highly entertaining flick
    Last edited by Primitive Screwhead; Monday, 29th October, 2012 at 02:59 AM. Reason: Update
    Aut Tyalie is Elvish for "Go Play Games"


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  • #17
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    Good luck! May infernal Karl Rove bury your party beneath a pile of hellish superPAC money!
    Ryan "RangerWickett" Nock
    Director of the ZEITGEIST campaign saga.


    The most cinematic adventure path for 4th Edition and Pathfinder.

    Now available - Admiral o' the High Seas, and ZEITGEIST adventure eight, Diaspora! For Pathfinder and D&D 4e.

  • #18
    So.. bad turn of events. RL interfered and rather than put the campaign on hold for 6 months or so, I decided to drop the campaign.

    I have the bad guys for the 12th module pretty much locked in, along with a plan for three big boss battles. I can either post it here or direct email.

    RW, thanks for the great campaign setting. I loved running it!
    Aut Tyalie is Elvish for "Go Play Games"


    Best of EnWorld: Stalker0's Obsideon Skill Challenge, Stalker0's Guide to the Anti-Grind

  • #19
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    Oy.

    Well, hey, don't get disheartened. I mean, we put releasing adventure 12 on hiatus for 6 months or so too. I think it was worth it when it was done. Sorry it didn't work out, but I hope you get a chance to finish up some time (assuming that it's not too stressful).
    Ryan "RangerWickett" Nock
    Director of the ZEITGEIST campaign saga.


    The most cinematic adventure path for 4th Edition and Pathfinder.

    Now available - Admiral o' the High Seas, and ZEITGEIST adventure eight, Diaspora! For Pathfinder and D&D 4e.

  • #20
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    I'd love it if you'd post your update here. My WotBS game has also stopped for about 6 months, and I'm not sure if it's going to resume -- one of the players is in the game with one of her kids, and is currently in a custody battle with her ex. It's a real shame, too, because it's the kid's first D&D campaign and he really seemed to be enjoying it. I'm hoping we get to resume, although we only got midway through the Fire Forest.

    I also need more good examples of epic tier encounter design to pillage for my own purposes. I have some side treks tentatively planned when my Zeitgeist game gets up there, and I have my own setting that begs for some epic tier insanity as well.
    Zeitgeist DM.

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