As the title says, I'm planning on begin running WotBS for 5e (probably in a couple of months), and I would appreciate any advice on what preparations are recommended for it, especially for the first adventure.
Yes, the stat block is correct. Challenge Rating (CR) is a mix of hit points, AC, damage per round (DPR), and attack bonus. His HP starts his defensive CR at 1/8 which is bumped up two levels to 1/2 because his AC is 17 instead of 13. His DPR starts his offensive CR at 4, which is not modified as his attack bonus is the expected +5. The average of the two is 2.25, which rounds to 2. The mistake in the stat block is that it says "CR 3".Some possible errata as I find it:
- Flaganus (Fallen Devil encounter in Act 2) si stated to normally have 71hp (11d8+22) as a CR 4 NPC, but currently at 19, so he's a CR 2. The p. 274 (Monster Statistics by CR) state that a CR 4 monster would have 116-130h hps, while a CR 2 would have 86-100. Are the published stats intentional?
Thank you for replying so fast!Yes, the stat block is correct. Challenge Rating (CR) is a mix of hit points, AC, damage per round (DPR), and attack bonus. His HP starts his defensive CR at 1/8 which is bumped up two levels to 1/2 because his AC is 17 instead of 13. His DPR starts his offensive CR at 4, which is not modified as his attack bonus is the expected +5. The average of the two is 2.25, which rounds to 2. The mistake in the stat block is that it says "CR 3".
Thanks for the feedback, a couple things to note:So, I just wrapped the second session and it was a case study on why you may try to cover as many possibilities in a pre written adventure, but the players will always find a way to derail it
After rescuing Rivereye, the party declined the possibility of resting at the safe house as, while they had used quite a few spells, they were quite healthy with the exception of the rogue, who had triggered a trap from the lockers at the Depository. So they went to Gabal's Tower. There they met Diogenes, who tried to be as welcoming as he could, but the players would have none of it, just trying to wrest out whatever information he had about the elven spies. He finally told them about the elven student (Shahael) who he had a beef with, and off they went in the typical paranoid murderhobo fashion, after merely asking where her room was, so no careful planning for any fake duel tricks from Diogenes, in spite of his efforts to offer them something to drink. Consequently, I had to improvise, not only for this situation, but also to accommodate the fact that Larion and the lantern archon had escaped in the previous act because of a lucky initiative roll. The adventure states that, in this eventuality, Larion runs to warn Shahael about the adventurers, so I figured that the party had arrived while such an encounter was taking place. However, I figured that their conversation couldn't be happening in Shahael's room (whichever that might be) because then things would be uncomfortably... cramped... with her, Larion, the lantern archon, and a party of five, plus Torrent. So I placed them in the third level, with the lantern archon guarding the staircase.
Then, as soon as the party arrived at the second floor, the cleric with a passive Perception score of 21 (the Observant feat might be a bit broken, I think...) quickly notices the lantern archon and sounds the alarm. Initiative is rolled, and while the party climbs to the third level, Shahael casts Invisibility on herself, and Larion tries to hide. And fails miserably. The dwarven fighter gets to the top of the stairs and is hit by a ranged attack from Larion. The paladin dashes towards Larion, withstanding an opportunity attack from the archon. Diogenes shots an Acid Arrow at the archon from the stairs, and Torrent goes up and gives some support with spells. The wizard and the rogue engage the lantern archon and finish it off despite dealing only half damage. The cleric surges forward and crushes Larion's side with a mighty blow.
And then Shahael casts Fireball.
It was the sensible thing for her to do. She caught pretty much everyone in the area, and Larion was safe because of her sculpt spell class feature. Still, 8d6 is something to fear for 3rd level characters. Even with Bless half the party failed the DC 14 saving throw and put got them making death saving throws.
As much as I dislike when this happens, it was in part thanks to the NPCs that the party could continue the encounter (I was quickly thinking on the spot that, if worse came to worse, they would awaken with aid given by NPCs after the elves had escaped). Diogenes poured a potion of healing in the wizard, and Torrent healed the dwarven fighter. The cleric did the rest with a Prayer of Healing, after which he moved in front of Shahael to try to disturb or at least make difficult for her to cast another Fireball. Meanwhile, Larion took the opportunity to try to escape and made it half up the stairs, trying to get to the top floor but was prevented from doing so by an arrow from the rogue and a serious beating and throwing back down from the stairs by a very disgruntled (and half burnt) dwarf.
Shahael finally turned herself invisible again and fled, evading an opportunity attack from the cleric.
Seeing matters as they were, Larion yielded.
This outcome had another interesting set of consequences, as the party coerced the information about the Gatemaker's Shop from Larion, got him to identify and open the secret entrance to the building and dismiss the celestial badgers, and then was used as a bargain chip with the elven spies to convince them of giving away the case under the promise of copying the information contained within. Of course, as that would take quite a while and both parties were in a hurry for leaving de city, they told the elves to come with them until they were out of the city. So now a sizeable group of players and NPCs are in the house of the councilman preparing to increase the numbers of a border patrol by ten characters (eleven counting the player that couldn't play this session). Oh, well...
Another unfortunate victim of the players' unforeseen actions was the plot thread with the imp. While traveling to the elven ghetto, the cleric noticed the imp in raven form shadowing them. He told the rest of the party about it, and afterwards the rogue hid and proceeded to hit it with a critical sneak attack shot. Even with resistance to piercing damage the poor fiend didn't stand a chance.
If I were to point some things out of this session, it would be the following:
All in all, it was good fun. I can't wait to see how my players utterly destroy the next encounters
- Shahael is quite a formidable opponent for a 3rd level party. If Larion and the lantern archon are with her, and the party doesn't heed Diogenes' suggestions, the encounter can be quite brutal.
- The maps could use a bit more information and, in particular for the Roll20 version, some reworking. The map of Gabal's Tower could be split in smaller chunks, being a bit unwieldy as it is. Also - and this may be my inexperience with the platform - I couldn't enable the fog of war in some maps (Depositoru Gabal's Tower, Gatemaker's Shop).
- Something to commend of the Roll20 version is the addition of maps for the Gatemaker's Shop, that are missing from the original adventure.