H2 - Thunderspire Labyrinth Question

iconherder

First Post
My group just finished Keep on the Shadowfell. We have 4 players and myself DM'ing. I knew they were getting a bit over-level due to a side adventure. I was ok with that as they were "down a man" with the adventure being designed with 5 players in mind, right? Well, they just hit level 6 after the encounter with Kalarel.

I really want to run Thunderspire Labyrinth but I'm looking at the suggested level and thinking they'll just breeze through it. I thought about asking them to just start back at level 5, but that just seems cheesy.

I was already starting to beef up the encounters a little in KOTS, and I'm not sure I want to go through and do that for the entire next module.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

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seekerpsion2012

First Post
My group just finished Keep on the Shadowfell. We have 4 players and myself DM'ing. I knew they were getting a bit over-level due to a side adventure. I was ok with that as they were "down a man" with the adventure being designed with 5 players in mind, right? Well, they just hit level 6 after the encounter with Kalarel.

I really want to run Thunderspire Labyrinth but I'm looking at the suggested level and thinking they'll just breeze through it. I thought about asking them to just start back at level 5, but that just seems cheesy.

I was already starting to beef up the encounters a little in KOTS, and I'm not sure I want to go through and do that for the entire next module.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

I'd just suggest that you bump up the encounters in Thunderspire, but if you want to keep running the published adventures, you might have to reduce the xp given, to make sure the players are at the right levels for the adventures.

Or, you could always skip to H3: Pyramid of Shadows...
 

It is pretty easy to beef up the encounters if they feel a little weak.
Just add one to all defences and attack rolls for the baddies and hey presto.
Another thing you can do (and is what I have done along with dropping the HPs to reduce grind) is eplace all the damage from the monsters with the actual expected damage output from the DMG. Some of the monsters WotC have made (in all the adventures and MM etc) have damage half or less what is expected at that level. Now because the HPs are so high it balances out with grind. If your PCs are a higher level then the monsters doing the correct damage shouldn't be a prob.

FWIW I have 4PCs at +1 level through TSL and jus started PoS at 8th level.
 

Griogre

First Post
Are you cutting down the encounters for the 4 man party? If you are still using the 5 man encounters you are giving the party an extra 20% XP. If this is true your problem is only going to get worse.

Personally I would suggest you just skip Thunderspire if they are already 6th. It's for 4-6 level characters. If you do run it you are going to have to mess with everything not only for this module but for every other following one so it would be easier to skip it.

However, if you do decide to run it, I suggest you be upfront with your guys and just tell them they are over leveled for the module. Because the starting level of Pyramid of Shadows is 7th level, you could just tell them that when they finish Thunderspire they will be 7th level instead of bothering to keep track of XP. That way at least the second part of the H2 module would be interesting for them and they will the right levels for the next modules.
 


the Jester

Legend
However, if you do decide to run it, I suggest you be upfront with your guys and just tell them they are over leveled for the module. Because the starting level of Pyramid of Shadows is 7th level, you could just tell them that when they finish Thunderspire they will be 7th level instead of bothering to keep track of XP. That way at least the second part of the H2 module would be interesting for them and they will the right levels for the next modules.

This seems like a good, easy answer for you. :) The early parts of Thunderspire you could either leave as-is and have 'em be a bit easy or else just skip some of them.
 

GorTeX

First Post
I had a similar problem when we got to H3..the party was already 8th level and almost to 9th when they go the Pyramid. So, I explained to them what the problem was and as a 'solution' I awarded only 1/2 ex for the entire module just to keep them from out leveling this and the next module (P1). I used the Pyramid as a 'reason' for this--it was affecting how well they 'learned' or something like it.

I toyed with the idea of just saying they would be 11th level at the end, but that seemed to be a little less fun, even tho 1/2 exp was not so exciting either.
 

Obryn

Hero
One thing about Thunderspire - the Duergar are way undervalued. I think they're a level or two lower than they should be... They have a lot of nasty tricks, strong resistance to fire, strong defenses, and can pack a punch.

The soldiers are just tough & hard to hit.

The scouts can pretty much sneak attack every round or every other round, doing massive damage.

Theurges are insane. My party spent half a battle blinded or prone or both. They are irritating and make a combat much, much harder.

-O
 

fnwc

Explorer
One thing about Thunderspire - the Duergar are way undervalued. I think they're a level or two lower than they should be... They have a lot of nasty tricks, strong resistance to fire, strong defenses, and can pack a punch.

The soldiers are just tough & hard to hit.

The scouts can pretty much sneak attack every round or every other round, doing massive damage.

Theurges are insane. My party spent half a battle blinded or prone or both. They are irritating and make a combat much, much harder.

-O

I don't know, they seem to be fine for my players, who triggered H1 (Portcullis) followed immediately by H2 (Duergar Workshop). They had most of their daily's but a few were down a couple of surges and some APs.

I wouldn't call their teamwork or tactics optimal, though. The fight completely depleted them and a few of them went down but no one past a single death token. Of course, the 5 person party has a paladin, cleric and warlord, so maybe that has something to do with it.

They haven't been under any real threat since Kalarel and no one has died since Irontooth, who killed 3 -- although he would have TPK'd the party except I made the remaining Dragonshield and Wyrmpriest flee when Irontooth died (only the rogue was left standing).

I was actually feeling that I would have to beef up the encounters a little bit, to give them a bit more of a challenge. At the same time, I don't want to run into the same issue where they might be overlevelled for the Pyramid.
 
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fnwc

Explorer
Theurges are insane. My party spent half a battle blinded or prone or both. They are irritating and make a combat much, much harder.
I like the Theurges. They're the first set of controllers I felt were really 'controllers'.

I'm a fan of controllers having more power diversity than other monsters, so they can keep things interesting and give the players a real challenge.
 

Lauberfen

First Post
The deuergar were really tough for my party, and the XP award was often quite insulting.

What I'd do is skip some encounters- thunderspire felt like it dragged, and the party was just wandering around doing odd quests which they weren't really interested in. I'd cut a few whole fights somewhere after the duergar fort.
 

beverson

First Post
The deuergar were really tough for my party, and the XP award was often quite insulting.

What I'd do is skip some encounters- thunderspire felt like it dragged, and the party was just wandering around doing odd quests which they weren't really interested in. I'd cut a few whole fights somewhere after the duergar fort.

This. I sent my group on a side quest using FR1, so they hit H2 higher than recommended, so I've been cutting out encounters and just keeping the important ones to keep them on track.
 

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