DDEX1-9 Outlaws of the Iron Route GM notes and discussion

Ricochet

Explorer
Originally posted by Tyranthraxus:


This thread is for DM's only. It involves discussion of the Expeditions scenario Outlaws of the Iron Route








Originally posted by Tyranthraxus:


Has anyone else looked at this yet. The King's Pyre area is immense and could provide some interesting quandries.

Between this place and the Prison Tower there are going to be a LOT of table maps required.




Originally posted by cave2626:


We ran a slot 0 of this adventure at my FLGS for the DMs this past weekend. It was by far the best 5e D&D Expeditions adventure we’d played so far (and we’ve played them all more than once). The absence of tactical maps encouraged theatre of the mind and role-playing. We didn’t use minis or full-scale maps at all during the 5 hours we played. The players spent about 3 hours exploring King’s Pyre. I gave them the player handout and that was fine. When combat happened we just described the parts that pertained to the PCs directly. For the final climatic battle we barely used dice at all. Instead we just described the scene. It was still exciting and thrilling. So DMs take note, you don’t NEED maps beyond what’s provided. Encourage the players to be imaginative and really get into the story.




Originally posted by Sorxores:


last time i tried theater of the mind, the picture that the DM had and teh picture that the player had was 2 completly different pictures and it cause so much confusion and problem that we said never again.

Player: I walk 23 feet to the left and shoot an arrow to the Orc (the player beliebing the door is to the left preparing his escape)
DM: Ok my Orc move to the right and flip the table receiving some cover (I knowing the door is to the right and now my Orc barricaded the doors)
Player I shoot an arrow to the orc and escape the room by the door:
DM: the door is behind my baricade, you need a double move and you'll take 3 attack of opporunity if you just rush the barriacade
Player: No the door is right behind me.
DM: no the door was at the left
Player: that not how I was seeing it, I would have want right then I was planning my escape
DM: and if you would have went right, the orc woul dhave attack you in melee instead of attacking with javelin
Player I would have disensage and dodge
DM: they would have swarm you then
etc...

and now we are doing an what if hypothetical scenario instead of playing.

Maybe my group like the tactical aspect too much for it, and you need an experience DM able to describe the environement very well and you need good player who listen, and remember the details IMO




Originally posted by Jeraxle:


we use the maps provided and use a plastic cover so we can use fine tipped dry eraser markers with the group I game/run adv with this eliminates any of the above post problems no minis but lets you have a small lay out so you can see what is going on.




Originally posted by AlHazred:


Sorxores wrote:player: I walk 23 feet to the left and shoot an arrow to the Orc (the player beliebing the door is to the left preparing his escape)DM: Ok my Orc move to the right and flip the table receiving some cover (I knowing the door is to the right and now my Orc barricaded the doors)
Player I shoot an arrow to the orc and escape the room by the door:
In practice, this never happens this way. When you do Theater of the Mind, you're describing things in less specific terms. For example, "You've entered a room about 50 feet on a side. There's another door on the right as you entered. An Orc sits in a chair on the other side of the room behind a table. There's a pie on the table and a loaded crossbow in the Orc's hands." When you specify you're firing and moving towards the exit, you say, "I walk to the left and shoot an arrow at the Orc." I encourage my players to say things like, "I move to the exit and shoot an arrow" instead of specifying a direction with no context.
That said, I use a grid for my group, who got used to it during the 4th edition days.




Originally posted by M_Aurelius:


Keep in mind I really enjoy this expedition as one of my favorites. Has anyone had the experience of their players taking the land route to Jarella's side of the camp first? Because I have not. I was on it once, and have since ran it twice as the DM. The first time we caused a gang war and never even went to Jarella's side of the camp. The second time, the players also in a series of clever events never went over there. The third time I pretty much railroaded the party into going over there to explore. I feel like you can have a completely rewarding and fun adventure and never once see any of that part of the quest. I was just curious what everyone else's experience is.




Originally posted by Undrhil:


How are you guys handing the Minotaur combat? If you run this as an adventure for 1st and 2nd level characters, that guy can easily make a TPK happen.

Our DM ran us through it Friday as a "at level" adventure with two first levels, two second levels and a third level character. It did enough damage to outright kill a level 1 War domain Cleric. It was with a Charging Gore attack.

Which brings up another question: does the DR from Heavy Armor Master (DR 3 vs. blungeoning, slashing, and piercing) apply individually to the Gore damage and the extra damage from it being a charge attack? It is specifically called out as "extra damage" which usually means it's all one damage source, correct?




Originally posted by M_Aurelius:


With the minotaur I usually give a lot of chances to survive, but just get a taste of how in a straight fight they would get destroyed. For example, I usually put Rathene on the second floor supported by beams. So the first charge attack is to take out the beams and cause the floor to collapse. The players over the area need to make a dex save to prevent falling. If they all save, the minotaur is large, so he can easily attack the players with the beam.

Also, if he is dropping a player a round I usually send in two guards to either use a help action for another player or just as canon fodder after he drops 1 or 2.




Originally posted by Hibiki54:


Undrhil wrote:
Which brings up another question: does the DR from Heavy Armor Master (DR 3 vs. blungeoning, slashing, and piercing) apply individually to the Gore damage and the extra damage from it being a charge attack? It is specifically called out as "extra damage" which usually means it's all one damage source, correct?
There are no combined damage types in this edition, as far as anyone knows. Even spells indicate as such. You would reduce the damage accordingly for each damage type as long as it wasn't magical.




Originally posted by Undrhil:


Hibiki54 wrote:
Undrhil wrote:
Which brings up another question: does the DR from Heavy Armor Master (DR 3 vs. blungeoning, slashing, and piercing) apply individually to the Gore damage and the extra damage from it being a charge attack? It is specifically called out as "extra damage" which usually means it's all one damage source, correct?
There are no combined damage types in this edition, as far as anyone knows. Even spells indicate as such. You would reduce the damage accordingly for each damage type as long as it wasn't magical.
I meant, is the extra damage from Charge combined with the damage from Gore, or is it assigned separately for damage reduction purposes?




Originally posted by Hibiki54:


Undrhil wrote:
Hibiki54 wrote:
Undrhil wrote:
Which brings up another question: does the DR from Heavy Armor Master (DR 3 vs. blungeoning, slashing, and piercing) apply individually to the Gore damage and the extra damage from it being a charge attack? It is specifically called out as "extra damage" which usually means it's all one damage source, correct?
There are no combined damage types in this edition, as far as anyone knows. Even spells indicate as such. You would reduce the damage accordingly for each damage type as long as it wasn't magical.
I meant, is the extra damage from Charge combined with the damage from Gore, or is it assigned separately for damage reduction purposes?
Upon further review, I have checked the monster stat block in MM and now I understand more clearly.

As I stated previously, there are no combined damage types (ie, Bludgeoning AND Slashing, Cold AND Bludgeoning, Slashing AND Piercing, etc). All damage types are counted separate. For example, if you are attacked by a Displacer Beast's tentacles and using the average damage model, a PC with Heavy Armor Master will take ___ bludgeoning damage and zero piercing damage since the average is below 3.

The Gore deals Piercing damage and the Charge attack utilizes the Gore to add an additional 2d8 piercing. In this case, it would be combined as Charge adds more damage to Gore after it moves 10 feet.




Originally posted by Oraibi:


Undrhil wrote:How are you guys handing the Minotaur combat? If you run this as an adventure for 1st and 2nd level characters, that guy can easily make a TPK happen.
One possibility is to say that the minotaur starts the fight wounded, due to engaging and killing NPC guards -- or maybe just because he's been locked up and isn't getting enough food or something.

This can also be used as an excuse to make him do less damage on his attacks if you really need that.





Originally posted by janosicek:


I have problems with the size of the King's Pyre location:

[UNKNOWN=pre]: ...effigy of a king carved into the stone of the cliff face, a full eighty feet tall from toe to crown...
If you look at the drawing of the location and measure the height of the statue, both camps, west to east measure about 160 ft.
[UNKNOWN=pre]: ...Creatures within 60 feet of a waterfall have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing...
Each square of the camp is within 60 ft of some waterfall.
[UNKNOWN=pre]: ...Both cave mouths are 45 feet above ground level...
Measuring on the map the cave mouths are 25-35 ft above ground.
[UNKNOWN=pre]: The longship is 8 feet at the beam, 60 feet in length...
By my measurement the ship is 30 ft in length. Significantly less than the statue.
[UNKNOWN=pre]: The statue’s head and shoulders rest against the upper heights of the cliff face, some twenty feet below the cliff’s edge...
Shoulders ARE 20ft below cliff edge. Top of the head is 5-10 ft below the edge.
[UNKNOWN=pre]: The rope stretches all the way to the statue’s shoulder, roughly sixty feet west and forty feet above...
This is more like 40ft west and 30ft above

The camp feels awfully small. Kobolds have area 50x30 at best (plus cave) and Patriots 40x60. Patrolling the perimeter of such tiny area is a strange sight.
And the whole camp has mist + waterfall roar and disadvantage on all perception.

I am thinking about making the statue taller. Maybe up to twice as written. Then the size of the longship, height of cave mouths and the rope will be more correct. Also there will be some parts of the camp without the waterfall roar...

Any ideas?






Originally posted by Oraibi:


That could make more sense, yeah.I noticed the map scale was wonky the times I played and ran this adventure, but really it didn't detract from the enjoyment much. Everyone just ran with it and didn't think about it too much!


Originally posted by Pauper:


Hibiki54 wrote:All damage types are counted separate. For example, if you are attacked by a Displacer Beast's tentacles and using the average damage model, a PC with Heavy Armor Master will take ___ bludgeoning damage and zero piercing damage since the average is below 3.
I disagree. I have a character with Heavy Armor Master, and have consistently ruled (and had ruled for my character) that Heavy Armor Master reduces the damage from a single attack by 3 points, as long as some portion of that damage is non-magical slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning damage.

So if a character with Heavy Armor Master is hit twice by an owlbear, once with the beak for 10 piercing damage and once with a claw for 14 slashing damage, he can reduce each attack by 3 points. However if the same character is hit once by a displacer beast tentacle for 7 bludgeoning and 3 piercing damage, he may only reduce the damage by 3 points, since he has only been hit with a single attack.


--
Pauper




Originally posted by BRJN:




M_Aurelius wrote:Has anyone had the experience of their players taking the land route to Jarella's side of the camp first?
My group was coming over by boat. The plan was to steal the other ship from the landing, but changed: find a beach farther east and approach by land. Cloak of Elvenkind plus nighttime plus Expertise(Stealth) equals effective invisibility.

On the Minotaur:
The minotaur was in the hallway when the party came out of the Business Office. The Monk was playing as a pseudo-Striker; he hit the Minotaur for some damage. Then one of the two Wizards upcast Sleep. Encounter solved. When they ran into the hostage-taking Dwarf in the next room, the Monk points back at the sleeping Minotaur and says, "HE scared me. You don't scare me."
 

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