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[WotBS] 5ed. still a thing?

roadtoad

Registered User
I'm going to be starting 5e WotBS with some of my Zeitgeist group (Bosum Strand Irregulars thread around here somewhere), thanks to these conversions. We're thrilled to have them (and the roll20 versions). Thanks!
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
I'm going to be starting 5e WotBS with some of my Zeitgeist group (Bosum Strand Irregulars thread around here somewhere), thanks to these conversions. We're thrilled to have them (and the roll20 versions). Thanks!
I am happy to hear that you like them. I would always appreciate your feedback (and everyone else on the forum too!), especially with the Roll20 versions. I know they work well (I use them in my campaign), but it's always great to hear what people think.
 

roadtoad

Registered User
Question:

I'm running the adventure for 3 PCs, and the adjustments for some encounters seem like they're scaled for 4th edition (-40 hp per enemy for 1 fewer PC was seen, for one). I also notice that enemies have a very high number of hit points. Black Horse Thugs have hit points like they're 7th level but attack like they're 1st level. There's an NPC in the first adventure who has more hit dice than most Ancient Dragons. Is this a result of bringing over hit point totals from a previous edition, or are all fights intended to be difficult and long?
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Question:

I'm running the adventure for 3 PCs, and the adjustments for some encounters seem like they're scaled for 4th edition (-40 hp per enemy for 1 fewer PC was seen, for one). I also notice that enemies have a very high number of hit points. Black Horse Thugs have hit points like they're 7th level but attack like they're 1st level. There's an NPC in the first adventure who has more hit dice than most Ancient Dragons. Is this a result of bringing over hit point totals from a previous edition, or are all fights intended to be difficult and long?
Thanks for reaching out with your questions. I hope all is going well for the start of your campaign despite the worries above. How far into the adventure have you gotten at the table?

As for your questions:

1. Thugs have 7 hit dice. HP in 5e is not bound to character levels (unless you want it to be). The thugs have 7 hit dice not because they are seventh level but because I wanted them to be CR 1/2 creatures. Any fewer hit points and they would have gone down to CR 1/4. This is more wonky for the lower CR creatures. Once you get to CR 1 and above the padded hp is not needed as much because many enemies have more vicious attacks.

2. NPC with lots of hit dice. This NPC is CR 6 and on its own. To have a chance for this solo creature to survive against all the heroes (plus two NPC allies) it also needs a high number of hit points to ensure it gets off a couple rounds of attacks. There are some options available to the heroes to mitigate the creature's damage, at which point the heroes can jump the creature and tie it up versus a long drawn out fight.

3. Adjustments for encounters (+/-40HP). No, it is not a 4e thing for me. I started with 5e, and have run about 2/3 of my sessions in those 5 years with adventures converted from 3.5.

One of my frustrations with published adventures in 3.5 and 5e is that many of them just lay out the encounters and that's it. In the past, I have had groups that were 5-8 people on a given night, and I did not know how many people were going to be there until we all showed up. I worked on setting up the encounters ahead of time so they could be adjusted on the fly when I knew how many people there would be. This is something I put into this series so that a GM who does not have 4 people at the table can still sit down and not worry that the encounters will all be too easy or too hard.

Most of the time, that means adding or removing a creature in the encounter for each PC above or below 4 PCs in the party. When the encounter is a solo encounter, that is not possible. Adjusting HP helps keeps the challenge similar whereas adjusting the damage or other numbers can create a creature that can one-shot level 3 PCs when you have lots of PCs (and thus increased the creature's stats). It also means that a smaller party does not have to chew through as many hit points on a creature (and have to survive more rounds of its attacks). It takes 40 hit points to do that.

I double-checked the adventure, and the only place where HP is used to balance the encounter for different party sizes is when it does not make sense for the number of enemies to change. The only places where +/-40 hp is used are solo encounters. In one case, that means your party will deal with a solo (in a dangerous situation) with 3HP.

If you prefer, you can always adjust your solo encounters by subtracting 2 from AC, attack bonus, and saving throw DC instead of removing the HP. It means the heroes at your table will have to chew through the extra 40 HP, subjecting them to a longer fight with less painful hits.

4. Are the fights meant to be long and drawn out? Not particularly, but War of the Burning Sky generally has adventuring days with fewer encounters that are more difficult. Especially during the first adventure, the enemies tend to have more hp than damage so that things don't spiral into a TPK out of the gate. Favoring HP to fill out the CR budget allows the GM to have a better idea of the way the fight is going to go and minimizes the swing of the dice as GM and players get to know their characters and how to work together as a team. While this means that combat can go several rounds, in game time it is not more than another half minute or so.

Several of the encounters have ways for the heroes to short circuit a fully-drawn-out combat, and the first adventure provides the GM with 6 friendly NPCs who can help the heroes if things get out of hand. The method for difficulty adjustments can also be used to make things easier if a party is not optimized for combat.

I hope that helps, and please let me know if you have any more questions or would like suggestions of how to alter things to better fit your table and your game.
 
First off: I'm so chuffed that this makes it to an official 5e. It's certainly riding high on my list to run (right after finishing off To Slay a Dragon, unless we extend that group into To Stake a Vampire).

But, what's all this "bonus adventure" stuff [MENTION=6776887]Tormyr[/MENTION] has been talking about? What am I missing? I own the full compendium soft cover version for 3.5. Is there going to be new stuff added to the 5e version?
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
First off: I'm so chuffed that this makes it to an official 5e. It's certainly riding high on my list to run (right after finishing off To Slay a Dragon, unless we extend that group into To Stake a Vampire).

But, what's all this "bonus adventure" stuff [MENTION=6776887]Tormyr[/MENTION] has been talking about? What am I missing? I own the full compendium soft cover version for 3.5. Is there going to be new stuff added to the 5e version?
The intention is to include the 3.5 bonus adventures from the omnibus edition.
 

roadtoad

Registered User
I hope that helps, and please let me know if you have any more questions or would like suggestions of how to alter things to better fit your table and your game.
Gotcha. I guess I just haven't run enough 5e at this level. My only other experience with 5e was live-converting a Zeitgeist game from epic tier 4e to level 11-20 5e.

I also wanted to say, thanks for all the work you're putting into this. Without your work, we wouldn't even be playing WotBS right now, and we're having a blast!
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Gotcha. I guess I just haven't run enough 5e at this level. My only other experience with 5e was live-converting a Zeitgeist game from epic tier 4e to level 11-20 5e.

I also wanted to say, thanks for all the work you're putting into this. Without your work, we wouldn't even be playing WotBS right now, and we're having a blast!
I am so happy to hear you are enjoying it. Hearing that is a great thing for creators. :)
 

trencher7

Villager
Just bought pt.6! Thanks a lot for your work!
Will start pt. 5 on the coming weekend if everything works according to plan.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Just bought pt.6! Thanks a lot for your work!
Will start pt. 5 on the coming weekend if everything works according to plan.
Thanks! I remember reading through the entire adventure path and thinking that every adventure was pretty good, but Tears of the Burning Sky is where it seemed to put the pedal to the metal and not let up until the end.

[sblock]
Scary monsters, rival adventurers, rooms with subjective gravity, and a flying escape down a canyon with a dragon in pursuit made me think, "Oh this is awesome." And the story payoffs start hitting in adventure 6 as well.
[/sblock]
 

Lylandra

Explorer
I usually don't enjoy large dungeon crawls (and I've played the most iconic of them like Rappan Athuk or Labyrinth of Madness) but this one is so much fun and connected to the story and has lots and lots of memorable encounters that I really loved it <3
 

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