Necromancy and AL

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Byakugan

First Post
I don't think most people cheat on purpose, and even if I know someone is blatantly cheating, its not worth interrupting an otherwise fun game to call someone out on fudged dice rolls.

I do have 1 case that drives me up the wall though. Have a player with a Black Dragon Mask that misuses it frequently. I know he knows that because he's been called out in it before, and he has a copy of the item description. But he continually says it grants him immunity to acid damage, and that it lets him have a breath weapon equivalent to an adult black dragon.

Problem is I have a personal bias on the subject. I was there when we found it and he beat me in the roll-off. I would normally be fine with it, except I was on my 32ndish session and he was on his 2nd. So I am a bit butt-hurt about it. He does not sit at my table when I DM, so I resolved myself not to be the one who calls him out. But man it irks me when he brags about the things the mask doesn't actually do.

The most common errors I see, in general, are:
1. players starting with rolled stats. Or some other creative way so they start with an 18.
2. Players who think Hex affects saving throws.
3. Players trying to combine bonus action spells with non-cantrips.
4. Creative miscalculations on to-hit rolls.
5. -everybody- forgetting about concentration.
 

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Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
I don't think most people cheat on purpose

I agree, and in some cases wouldn't even call it 'cheating', just 'making a mistake'. A good example is one player who, after hearing me award 60 gold and 9 silver at the end of adventure, simply got his wires crossed and wrote '90 gold and 6 silver' on the character log.

Just because it's not deliberate, though, doesn't mean you shouldn't check, and fix errors that you find.

Edit: With that said, I do have a rule of thumb -- if every 'innocent mistake' you make is in your character's favor, odds are you're not making innocent mistakes.

The most common errors I see, in general, are:
1. players starting with rolled stats. Or some other creative way so they start with an 18.
2. Players who think Hex affects saving throws.
3. Players trying to combine bonus action spells with non-cantrips.
4. Creative miscalculations on to-hit rolls.
5. -everybody- forgetting about concentration.

I've seen most of these. I've also had players give me the wrong attack roll total when I can see the die in front of them doesn't add up to what they said. If I see a 9 on the die and the player says he rolled a 16 to-hit, I'll usually just ask, "you have a +5 on the attack?" Usually the player will either admit to making a math error, or will point out something that doesn't apply (such as forgetting we're not playing 4E and adding Combat Advantage), which allows us to fix the error without interrupting the flow of the game.

Also, as the DM, if you make a mistake, you should own up to it. It's a lot easier for players to accept corrections for their own mistakes if you set the example.

--
Pauper
 

Steve_MND

First Post
5. -everybody- forgetting about concentration.

Somebody, on these boards or the old WotC one, suggested using the little cheap disposable tea lights that you can like pick up at Walmart for 50 cents each, and have that lit in front of a player (or DM) that is currently maintaining concentration on something. That way, everybody is reminded of it, and it's easy to remember/see who has what. I carry eight around in my gaming pack for our tables, and it works wonders.
 

jrothwell

First Post
Somebody, on these boards or the old WotC one, suggested using the little cheap disposable tea lights that you can like pick up at Walmart for 50 cents each, and have that lit in front of a player (or DM) that is currently maintaining concentration on something. That way, everybody is reminded of it, and it's easy to remember/see who has what. I carry eight around in my gaming pack for our tables, and it works wonders.
That is a really great idea. I will go for battery operated. Too much paper for a candle.
 

Steve_MND

First Post
That is a really great idea. I will go for battery operated. Too much paper for a candle.

Sorry, yes, I was referring to the cheap little battery-operated ones (definitely don't want actual exposed flame!). I got a 4-pack at Walmart for like 2 bucks or something.
 

Jabborwacky

First Post
I have this distinct feeling that the player in question probably heard about a certain "bag o' skeletons" strategy from reddit and thought to himself "A man has not truly lived until he has attacked Strahd Von Zarovich with a bag of holding full of angry skeletons!"
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
In fairness he (Frankenstein) didn't cast Animate Dead repeatedly. Just once. And he didn't even know it as a spell - more of a "scientific ritual".
All true. After discovering the nasty unexpected side-effects, he practically repudiated everything he had done to date and spent the rest of the novel trying to deal with the responsibility.
 

RulesJD

First Post
About to crack level 5 and open up that sweet, sweet Animate Dead sauce on Barovia. Does anyone have any suggestions for the following:

1. Magnetic tokens. I'm thinking those ones that are about the size of a nickel. Plan is to have 2 Skeletons minis and then stack tokens underneath to represent more than 1 Skeleton. Should be helpful for grid combat with the horde.

2. Dice rolling app. In the interest of keeping my turns efficient, the best method seems to be finding a dice rolling app that lets me simulate d20 rolls for all the skeletons at once. This is especially true because I plan on trying to generate advantage for them as much as possible, so being able to switch to 8 (2d20+4) rolls would be very helpful. I've seen some players with apps but never got the name of them.

3. Spreadsheets. Looking to keep track of each Skeleton/Zombie's HP/equipment. Plan on giving them Health Potions/Alchemist Fire/caltrops, etc. to aid the party in ways other than just damage.
 

Steve_MND

First Post
Biggest suggestion is to read back through the comments and such here, and keep in mind that at many tables, you will not have a horde. You may not even have a single zombie with you at the start of a session; its up to the judge to determine whether or not whatever may have happened at your last table carries over to the next session for stuff like that. Some may allow them all, but if you're bringing a 'horde' with you (in quantities high enough that you feel it's necessary to come up with more efficient ways of handling the vast numbers involved), it's much less likely, I'd wager.

Also, I would be really, really careful about raising dead in Barovia. Not only will that immediately get you ostracized by virtually every potentially helpful NPC you meet (if not outright hunted down), the Powers themselves may have some say in what happens when necromancers start to play around in their wheelhouse. Be forewarned, you may not be able to run around with any sort of 'army' like you may be thinking about and moreover, it may be more difficult to manage and control them outside of any logistics issue...
 

Speaking for the monsters, many of of whom have special abilities to control undead they encounter, I encourage as many undead as possible.... Muhahahahaha
 

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