"Out of the Frying Pan"- Book III: Fanning the Embers

Horacio

LostInBrittany
Supporter
Hey Nemm, great update.
Thanks for the map, it helps to visualize the situation. And I agree about environement in D&D combat, it's the key to make a memorable encounter.
 

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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Hey all! Just a reminder that there is a moderated chat with story hour authors tonight on the #dnd3e channel - I'll be taking part.
 


Look_a_Unicorn

First Post
Heya Nemm, updates are great, as always- just a comment on the Story Hour Author chat:
"nemmerle - my readership seems very "rules light""
I was operating under the impression that your story hour was being written several sessions behind where you guys are up to IRL, so I thought it would be a bit stupid to make suggestions on what your players could do, (or should do) next, when they have already bypassed the issue one way or another several months ago...
But apart from that, speaking personally, I am fairly rules light- it's the entertainment factor that keeps me coming back ;) (not that I don't steal an idea or two now & again- the form changing goo-blob perhaps? *sniff* Poor Jana.)
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Look_a_Unicorn said:
Heya Nemm, updates are great, as always- just a comment on the Story Hour Author chat:
"nemmerle - my readership seems very "rules light""
I was operating under the impression that your story hour was being written several sessions behind where you guys are up to IRL, so I thought it would be a bit stupid to make suggestions on what your players could do, (or should do) next, when they have already bypassed the issue one way or another several months ago....)

As far as I am concerned that is even more reason to speculate or suggest (albeit futilely), because it cannot influence my players.

And in terms of the "rules-light" comment, I meant that rarely do people ask about the "crunchiness" behind the events described herein.
 

Look_a_Unicorn

First Post
nemmerle said:
As far as I am concerned that is even more reason to speculate or suggest (albeit futilely), because it cannot influence my players.

And in terms of the "rules-light" comment, I meant that rarely do people ask about the "crunchiness" behind the events described herein.

Oh, I see what you mean- I guess you make it too easy to view as a story and forget it's based on a campaign- except the occasional crit on a Vampire.
 

Manzanita

First Post
That's a beautiful map. I agree that it adds a lot to combat. I like how it uses the jump and balance skills - which generally seem underused. I'll have to try something like that. Any advice on creating those maps or running such a session? It's tricky to take it all in.

I enjoyed the updates, too. Care to tell us anything more about Tanweil to spare us digging around for his earlier appearence, which I've completely forgotten.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Manzanita said:
That's a beautiful map. I agree that it adds a lot to combat. I like how it uses the jump and balance skills - which generally seem underused. I'll have to try something like that. Any advice on creating those maps or running such a session? It's tricky to take it all in.

Well, I usually start with picturing a scene in my head. For example, in the encounter described in the last installment, I imagined the FMK perched way above someone else's chase scene, with a difficult route toget down there.

It is also always important to me to present options for the party that each have their pluses and minuses, for example, the party could have shot at Tanweil (or the gnomes, too if they wanted to, I guess) from above, there was the option of just climbing down the cliff face (which Beorth did and fell (as he often does)), or braving the partially icy slope with its patches of jagged rocks, which could be navigated safely, but very slowly (moving more than half speed required first a balance check and failing that then required a Reflex save.

By creating a textured environment for PCs and foes to interact with you add a lot of dimension to a combat and can make things more than levels and hit points and BAB be important.

When creating these environments and scenes - also keep in mind if who aor what might live in an are might determine something about the environment. Low ceilings in rooms or tunnels can lead to loss of dex adjustment to AC for medium creatures, grades, slopes and other barriers could effect a character's speed. Small plateaus lead to people jumping rather than climbing (as a general rules I require a climb check for anything above your height, otherwise, it is assumed you can just automatically pull yoruself up).

This also creates cover and the like which can make combat a lot more interesting.

As for advice for running it, just make sure you have a map with relative heights and distance marked on it, and use description to give PCs an inkling about how difficult something might be (but don't use numbers, I hate numbers - let them decide based on your description and base your description on their prowess at climbing, jumping, balance or survival skills in order to keep things fair). Also, mark the heights of things on the battlemat, and let the PCs know how much cover things provide so they can make informed decisions.

Does that help? Let me know if I can answer anything else.


Manzanita said:
I enjoyed the updates, too. Care to tell us anything more about Tanweil to spare us digging around for his earlier appearence, which I've completely forgotten.

Well, he hasn't really appeared in the story in terms of how Martin knows him (he'd be part of Martin's background as he did not join the party until after arriving in Gothanius) - but actually, someone else met him along the way as well - that will come up in the next session or so - so I'll wait and let you find out then. :D
 

Manzanita

First Post
Tanweil

Don't tell me. He was the one Ratchis met one time in the snow. He had killed several gnolls and was camped out in a tree.

If I'm right, do I get first shot to be a player in your eventual PbP game? (I know you said you'd never do it, but let us at least keep the hope alive!)
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
:D
Manzanita said:
Don't tell me. He was the one Ratchis met one time in the snow. He had killed several gnolls and was camped out in a tree.

If I'm right, do I get first shot to be a player in your eventual PbP game? (I know you said you'd never do it, but let us at least keep the hope alive!)

You know your stuff and probably get all the "Out of the Frying Pan"-related questions when playing Trivial Pursuit. :D
 

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