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3E/3.5 Restating or not restating RHoD

Catolias

Explorer
Just starting RHOD in iso after 2 or more years planning with a Bard 6, Ranger 5, Monk 6, and Cleric 6. Yes, no strong arcane magic users(!) but I’m running a low magic game (For white hats, the black hats aren’t so worried about these inconvenient rules). I’ve reasoned that in the Greyhawk setting it makes sense that the white hat rulers are a bit iffy about magicians after the Greyhawk Wars (yes I’m Iooking at you Rary and Mordekanian).

Anyway, my crew nearly got themselves all killed at Vraath’s Keep the other night thanks to their crappy rolls and the lack of some effective magic users. (Yes, skewed the rolls cause I’m not that type of bastard DM) The ranger is good, though, and consistently kicks the enemy’s arse, while the others are struggling to hit a fly.

So, in addition to some general advice / thoughts, I have a couple of questions for my otherwise hapless, haphazard crew:
  • Would you consider restating some of the enemies after Vraath’s Keep and, if so, how?
  • Would you consider restating the spy Miha Serani as a tempting sorcerer who could fill their magic gap — only to backstabbing them later for the battle at Brindol ?
 
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collin

Explorer
Quick answer to your questions:

1. Would not restat the enemies. You may regret it later. You said crappy rolls helped contribute to the last encounter, so I would just leave things as they are and "fudge" on the fly, if needed.
2. I think your idea for Miha Serani bears merit. If you think it would help and be plausible, why not give it a shot (would also help with your villain stat issue).
 

Spohedus

Explorer
I'm around 27 sessions into RHoD converted to 5e. We're in the Ghostlord's Lair. I've enjoyed the mechanics of converting to 5e. The players are expressing a lot of enjoyment with this campaign. Here's what I've found:

1. Use the encounter or creature CR from the original edition as a guide in balancing to 5e. If a creature in 5e is the same CR, then don't think about it for another second; just use the 5e version of the creature. If the 5e version is a couple of CR's different, then consider rebalancing the encounter in some fashion (reduce or add mooks, or make a deadlier/easier version of them). Similarly, if the encounter is calling for a CR X encounter, then balance to that as a guide. The original adventure did a good job on calculating a mix of encounters to the adventuring day that seems to still hold in 5e.

2. There are a couple of overland treks with a number of random or planned encounters. We've run these as an adventuring day with short rests overnight. I made it clear to the players in advance that this was how overland travel would work, and that they had to be in a true safe haven (like Drellin's Ferry or Starsong Hill or Brindol) to gain the benefits of a long rest. This has allowed for proper game balance and kept them from the one-encounter-nova adventuring day.

3. We're using Roll20. I bought the map pack from the artist (it's easy to find online and very reasonably priced). I also bought a conversion guide by Daniel Pryor on DMs Guild. I refer to it regularly, but don't follow everything from that guide. You will have to make decisions on how to build the unique creatures (there are actually a bunch of them) and on what treasure to place in your game. 5e is a world apart from 3e on treasure allocation. These things have been enjoyable as the DM, but they do take time (especially in Roll20) so plan accordingly. I double scaled the town hall in Rhest and wonder if I should have done the same thing with the Ghostlord's lair. Those maps are small for a group of five players and a bunch of combatants.

4. To save brain damage, we're using milestone leveling starting at Level 6 and basically gaining a level after each of the five parts, ending at level 11. This is pretty iconic. So getting past Skull Gorge bridge gains level 7, ending the spawning in Rhest gains level 8, etc.

5. This is a very combat heavy campaign. It's good for the PCs to have high damage capability just to keep combat and session durations at sustainable levels.

6. Finally to your question on Miha. I played it the exact same way as you are thinking, but the PCs wanted nothing to do with her and sent her quite emphatically on her way. She was unable to infiltrate the group with the typical encounter in the original book. If you want to get the PCs to buy in to her joining them, you may want to change up how and when they meet her; perhaps Speaker Wiston or Lord Jarmath appoint her or something else. By mid-campaign, my group is getting very suspicious of strangers and they have a great deal of respect for their enemy. :)
 

Catolias

Explorer
Thanks for the advice, including the 5e conversion. I play 5e with my kids and thought they might like it given it’s LotR feel.

re: Miha, my crew are a very inclusive bunch and Iget The sense they would be happy to have her join them if she wasn’t obviously evil.
 

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