DDEX1-14 Escape from Phlan GM notes and discussion

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Originally posted by mibDG007:


So my players (The Henchmen of the Mighty Shield Guardian) have come up with a pretty good plan to kill Vorgansharax the Maimed Virulence, and all of his obnoxious flunkies. The party will be 6th-7th level, and I judge their chances of success to be close to 100%.


My problem is that no treasure is officially listed for this encounter. My current plan to award them with a randomly generated hoard appropriate for an encounter of ~70,000xp difficulty, including magic items. How does the Adventurer's League handle permanent magic items not listed in offical modules? Is that acceptable? I know that items cannot be traded without a certificate.




Originally posted by TheBreen:


mibDG007 wrote:So my players (The Henchmen of the Mighty Shield Guardian) have come up with a pretty good plan to kill Vorgansharax the Maimed Virulence, and all of his obnoxious flunkies. The party will be 6th-7th level, and I judge their chances of success to be close to 100%.


My problem is that no treasure is officially listed for this encounter. My current plan to award them with a randomly generated hoard appropriate for an encounter of ~70,000xp difficulty, including magic items. How does the Adventurer's League handle permanent magic items not listed in offical modules? Is that acceptable? I know that items cannot be traded without a certificate.
Dungeon Masters are forbidden from giving treasure that is not listed in the adventure [in AL play]. No extra gold, no magic items. So, for your purposes, as far as the party is concerned Vorgansharax has no horde at all. (And really, in the adventure she just came to town that day, so probably doesn't have a horde there anyway.)




Originally posted by OnlyNerdStuff:


Moreover, the XP cap for that adventure is only 5000xp. There's literally no reward except bragging rights for pursuing that encounter.




Originally posted by mibDG007:


TheBreen wrote:Dungeon Masters are forbidden from giving treasure that is not listed in the adventure [in AL play]. No extra gold, no magic items. So, for your purposes, as far as the party is concerned Vorgansharax has no horde at all. (And really, in the adventure she just came to town that day, so probably doesn't have a horde there anyway.)


Could you provide a citation for that? I have looked through the Adevnturer's League Player's Guide and the Introductory Section to each adventure and have not found anything that forbids a DM from giving treasure not listed in the adventure. Of course, no certificates could be issued, and thus the items gained could not be traded, and other DM's would be free to disallow such items in their games, but as I currently understand it: "You are empowered to make adjustments to the adventure and make decisions about how the group interacts with the world of this adventure." Adventurer's League Players Guide p12 and "You may adjust the adventure beyond the guidelines given in the adventure, or for other reasons." - Adventure Intro text, various pages.


Originally posted by mibDG007:


TheBreen wrote: (And really, in the adventure she just came to town that day, so probably doesn't have a horde there anyway.)


In DDEX 1-10, Tyranny in Phlan, Vorgansharax arrives. Cultists immediately begin looting the city in order to bring tribute to the Maimed Virulence. DDEX 1-14 Escape From Phlan could take place months afterward with downtime being spent, with the entire city looted and most of the population eaten or fled. There's also the matter of 1-11, 1-12, and 1-13 taking place between these two adventures.


Originally posted by mibDG007:


OnlyNerdStuff wrote:Moreover, the XP cap for that adventure is only 5000xp. There's literally no reward except bragging rights for pursuing that encounter.


My calculation of ~70,000xp for the encounter is based on the encounter building guidelines in the Dungeon Master's Guide. I am well aware of the XP cap on Adventurer's League scenarios. As an interesting side note, the XP difficulty exceeds the deadly threshold for a party of four or five 20th level characters.


Originally posted by Hibiki54:


http://dndadventurersleague.org/sag...s_than_7_players_in_the_Adventurers_League.3F

Please refer to the section about Rise of Tiamat which also involves generating hoards involving magic items.

In other words, YES, you can generate a dragon hoard, but that hoard cannot contain permanent magic items. You can have it contain consumable magic items, potions, spell scrolls and typical mundane and valued treasured. Just not permanent magic items.




Originally posted by TheBreen:


mibDG007 wrote:
TheBreen wrote: (And really, in the adventure she just came to town that day, so probably doesn't have a horde there anyway.)


In DDEX 1-10, Tyranny in Phlan, Vorgansharax arrives. Cultists immediately begin looting the city in order to bring tribute to the Maimed Virulence. DDEX 1-14 Escape From Phlan could take place months afterward with downtime being spent, with the entire city looted and most of the population eaten or fled. There's also the matter of 1-11, 1-12, and 1-13 taking place between these two adventures.
Yeah, that was my bad. I was thinking of DDEX1-10, not DDEX1-14. Sorry about that.





Originally posted by Skerrit:


mibDG007 wrote:Could you provide a citation for that?
Under the treasure section, of an Expeditions adventure it lists all the treasure present in an adventure. It also mentions that you cannot sell items taken from foes to get more treasure. Page 10 of the Player's Guide also describes the process. The cite you mention from the beginning of an adventure about deciding how characters interact with the world specifically talks about having a hard/easy time with the level of challange in the adventure, not inventing rewards.

You cannot create and handout treasure or items not found in an adventure. The one exception to this were the rules we gave out in the FAQ for the horde found in RoT since that adventure says you find a horde, but doesn't tell you whats in it.

Not being able to go off on sidetreks like your players plan is one of the drawbacks of an Organized Play campaign. Rest assured that the Maimed Virulance and his "flunkies" will reappear in a future adventure and maybe then your players will have the oppurtunity to implement their plan!

Greg Marks
DnDAL Associate Resource Manager





Originally posted by mibDG007:


Skerrit wrote:
Not being able to go off on sidetreks like your players plan is one of the drawbacks of an Organized Play campaign. Rest assured that the Maimed Virulance and his "flunkies" will reappear in a future adventure and maybe then your players will have the oppurtunity to implement their plan!


Well... the Maimed Virulence does appear as an optional encounter in 1-14, and my players are almost certainly going to kill him. We did figure that he was probably going to appear in future adventures, so that's going to make his next appearance rather awkward, as they are planning on hauling his carcass out to the Quivering Forest as a "thank you" to Jeny Greenteeth for maintaining the pact. I'll be posting a play by play after they do so, even if they will not be rewarded for their rather ingenious plan.


Originally posted by Tyranthraxus:


I know this sounds harsh,but I truly hope that the Maimed Virulence cleans the floor with them.... I normally would never wish death on ANY character but yourplayers characters sound like cocky SOBs.

After all there is not only the Dragon to contend with but his pretty potent allies plus his lair actions.

Please do post the play by play though, Im looking forward to it!





Originally posted by RulesJD:


DDEX 1-14 was a disappointment. The adventure is incredibly easy, especially considering the high lethality of DDEX 1-10. An even remotely optimized party of 4+ adventurers of appropriate level (7+) should have a fun fight against the dragon at the end.




Originally posted by Skerrit:


mibDG007 wrote:as they are planning on hauling his carcass out to the Quivering Forest as a "thank you" to Jeny Greenteeth for maintaining the pact. I'll be posting a play by play after they do so, even if they will not be rewarded for their rather ingenious plan.
That's going to be awkward since in the critical events, the pact was broken (and thus the Maimed Virulance was able to attack in 1-10 at all.





Originally posted by Pauper:


Also be aware that, if your characters fail in their quest to destroy the green dragon (and his retinue), they likely will not be able to return via raise dead. (See the first paragraph in the right-hand column on page 18 of the adventure, specifically the second sentence.) Also note that characters of high enough level to play this adventure cannot use Faction Charity to return from the dead. Those characters may need to be permanently retired.

The stakes are very high indeed.

With that said, DMs who feel the need to increase the challenge of this encounter may do the following:



Show
[sblock]None of the humanoid NPCs have a defined race, so the DM is allowed to define their race and include racial adjustments to the monster block. I would recommend the following:
Mage: Human (non-variant). This increases hit points to 49, Int saving throw and skills to +7, spell attack bonus to +7, and spell save DC to 15.

Knight: Half-Orc. This adds Darkvision 60 feet, Savage Attacks (+1d6 damage on greatsword crit) and Relentless Endurance (first time Knight is reduced to 0 hit points, reduce to 1 hit point instead)

Veteran: Mountain Dwarf. This adds Darkvision 60 feet, resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws versus poison, increases hit points to 67, longsword attack to +6 to hit for 8 (1d8+4) slashing damage [9 (1d10+4) two-handed], shortsword attack to +6 to hit for 7 (1d6+4) piercing damage, and Athletics skill to +6. Reduce Speed to 25 feet.

Cult Fanatic: Wood Elf. The Cult Fanatic is not included in the adventure appendix, so use Spernik's stats from DDEX 1-5: The Courting of Fire modified for being a Wood Elf. This adds Darkvision 60 feet, increases Armor Class to 14 (16 with shield of faith), passive Perception to 12, spell attack bonus to +4, spell save DC to 12, and dagger attack to +5 to hit for 5 (1d4+3) piercing damage. Increase speed to 35 feet.

If your group is still capable of taking out the Maimed Virulence even with these adjustments to his retinue, more power to them!
[/sblock]
--
Pauper




Originally posted by Kalani:


Pauper wrote:Also be aware that, if your characters fail in their quest to destroy the green dragon (and his retinue), they likely will not be able to return via raise dead. (See the first paragraph in the right-hand column on page 18 of the adventure, specifically the second sentence.) Also note that characters of high enough level to play this adventure cannot use Faction Charity to return from the dead. Those characters may need to be permanently retired.
If that wasn't bad enough, the tears of bahamut certificates expired Feb 28. There is no raise dead option that way either.


Originally posted by Afet:


I think it would be a blatant violation of one of the basic tenants of D&D, player agency, to "not allow" the PCs to attempt to take on Vorgansharax. If they die, so be it. If they succeed, they will have an epic story to tell. Treasure, magic items, XP and administrative restrictions be damned. I look forward to hearing about what they do.

If Vorgansharax appears in a future adventure, and the PCs have killed him, he can be substituted with another dragon (A sibling, a competing dragon, her sire Claugiyliamatar, or some other). The players should not have their agency taken away for reasons outside the context of the PCs' engagement with the immersed world (ie. future game design plans, organized play rules, slavish adherence to canon, etc.)

Cheers,
Afet.




Originally posted by Skerrit:


The difficulty with that sort of thinking in an OP campaign is that the DM has no idea what a bad guy is, what he can bring in, how is lair is set up, and can't give any reward for doing it. Its a cardinal rule "If you stat it, they will kill it." So, to alieviate that issue, bad guys that the PCs will fight later are usually not fully detailed. It's cool if you want to go after him at your table because you think its fun, and as long as you have no issue with the fact that your table won't effect the campaigns critical events and you'll have to hand wave an excuse for why you are fighting him later and the second fight is totally different that what the DM at your table made up more power to. Of course, because of how shared campaigns work, you also get no rewards (these are explicitly detailed when a DM can give them, and what they are), but still risk death.




Originally posted by Afet:


Skerrit wrote:The difficulty with that sort of thinking in an OP campaign is that the DM has no idea what a bad guy is, what he can bring in, how is lair is set up, and can't give any reward for doing it. Its a cardinal rule "If you stat it, they will kill it." So, to alieviate that issue, bad guys that the PCs will fight later are usually not fully detailed. It's cool if you want to go after him at your table because you think its fun, and as long as you have no issue with the fact that your table won't effect the campaigns critical events and you'll have to hand wave an excuse for why you are fighting him later and the second fight is totally different that what the DM at your table made up more power to. Of course, because of how shared campaigns work, you also get no rewards (these are explicitly detailed when a DM can give them, and what they are), but still risk death.
I understand these limitations, and I think it would only be fair to make the players aware of them as well, ie. that they cannot expect massive rewards in the form of treasure or XP. In any case, it would be simple to argue that the treasure was stolen from the people of Phlan, and is therefore not theirs to take.




Originally posted by Ainulindalion:


Afet wrote:In any case, it would be simple to argue that the treasure was stolen from the people of Phlan, and is therefore not theirs to take.
Well, simple to argue if your party is composed of LG, NG, LN, and N PCs. Otherwise, all bets are off. Chaos and Evil says "I killed it, so it's mine."




Originally posted by Kalani:


Not really. You could justify the share the evil PCs keep as a tithe to their faction (Lords Alliance or Zhent) perhaps with the intent of securing favor.

Then again even Zhent and LA would want to return the loot to Phlan in this instance - to curry favor with the survivors.




Originally posted by Pauper:


Pretty sure there isn't any loot in the castle -- it's already been shipped off to the Sword Coast to further the Cult's main plan.

--
Pauper
 

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