WotBS WotBS Cheat Sheets - UPDATE w/ #10 (Ye Cursed Child)

Truename

Visitor
My group has been slowly playing through War of the Burning Sky and having a great time. Before starting each adventure, I create a "cheat sheet" that summarizes the adventure. I've attached them below--I hope they're useful!

Erm... and it should go without saying, but SPOILERS.

Latest update: WotBS #10 | Sleep, Ye Cursed Child
 

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Truename

Visitor
I've added my cheat sheet for WotBS #8--Tears of the Burning Sky. It got inserted all wonky-like instead of added to the "Attached Files" list, but you can still download it.

Edit: Derp Oh Wintry Song of Agony derp
 
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Jdvn1

Hanging in there. Better than the alternative.
That's great! My group has also been slowly working through the adventure path and over the years, it can be easy to forget what happened 6-12-24 months ago.

You wouldn't also have an index / cast of characters, would you?
 

Truename

Visitor
Added adventure #9, The Festival of Dreams.

That's great! My group has also been slowly working through the adventure path and over the years, it can be easy to forget what happened 6-12-24 months ago.

You wouldn't also have an index / cast of characters, would you?
Some of the individual cheat sheets have characters included, but that's all I have.
 

Truename

Visitor
I've added adventure #10: "Sleep, Ye Cursed Child." My group's just started this one, but it looks like we're actually going to finish the entire 30-level campaign! That will be a first for me. Thanks [MENTION=63]RangerWickett[/MENTION], [MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION], and all the EN World folks for the years of enjoyment you've provided.
 
Holy crap that's amazing. I commend you for figuring out how to play 4th edition at Epic Level, which seems to be quite the bugaboo. If you need anything for these last few adventures -- or if you just want to brag -- please post and let us know.
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
I commend you for figuring out how to play 4th edition at Epic Level, which seems to be quite the bugaboo.
Perhaps not the right thread to ask, but I didn't know Epic tier play was regarded this way and wondered why that might be.
 
It wasn't playtested by WotC as extensively as Heroic, so a lot of effects are incredibly annoying and lock-down-y. Both by PCs and monsters. I ran a group of 30th level PCs against Level 35 solo Lolth, AND I beefed her up, and they still completely owned her. Admittedly that's prominently due to the poor design of solos.

Oh, he tripped you? Well, since you're equivalent to five monsters, he basically stole 5 move actions.

Oh, he's a revenant swordmage who teleports you away from his allies whenever you try to attack him, and who's insubstantial and nigh unkillable when he's at negative HP. Oh, did I say nigh unkillable? I meant literally unkillable, because the legendary warlord simply won't let him die while he's up, and the swordmage won't let you attack that warlord.


Or consider mind flayers, which stun (save ends) with an at-will. Or bards who can impose a -7 penalty to a monster's attack roll, again as an at-will.

Whereas 3e had lots of one-hit kills (and countermeasures you had to put in place for them), 4e has lots of 'you'll-never-win' effects, and practically no counter-measures.
 

Truename

Visitor
Perhaps not the right thread to ask, but I didn't know Epic tier play was regarded this way and wondered why that might be.
You know, I haven't found it to be too much of a problem. Some people have trouble challenging the superpowered PCs; others find that combat grind gets bad. I think these reinforce each other.

My PCs are level 25 and I've had a bit of trouble challenging them, but a few tweaks to my encounters fixed it. It helps that my players are fairly casual--none of the PCs are highly optimized. Combat grind hasn't been an issue, partly because the players are very familiar with their PCs (a few players are new, but most have been playing the same characters from level 1).

Here's what I'm doing to make combat work:

- Building all of my encounters from scratch. I've been doing this from (almost) the beginning; the pre-built encounters in WotBS 4e aren't very good. (I've actually been converting the 3.5e version of WotBS, rather than using the 4e version, since around mid-paragon.)

- Using a lot of "automatic" damage. Environmental effects, off-budget post-MM3 minions, terrain... I really play up the 'epic' aspect of the PCs surroundings to add things that will hurt the PCs without adding to combat grind.

- 100% post-MM3 monsters with lots of reflavoring. I search the online compendium for monsters that have the right "feel" in their powers, then gratuitously reflavor them to match the WotBS plot. Sometimes I'll add a custom power, but usually not, as I only have an hour or two to prep each week. I use the excellent power2ool.com to filter the levels I'm looking for and sort by source. It's easy to tell which monsters are "good" because they have the new-style stat block.

- Keeping encounter budgets low. I keep my encounter budgets between Lvl + 1 and Lvl + 3, with the goal that Lvl + 3 is a major challenge. I adjust the "automatic" damage accordingly.

- More monsters is better than fewer. I almost never use solo monsters, and I prefer not to use elites. I also prefer to use lower-level monsters (lvl - 1 or lvl + 0), which gives me more monsters for a given budget. The action economy is king, and the PCs just have too many ways to lock down a single monster.

- Switching it up. I look for things that will add challenge or interest to encounters without increasing the encounter budget. For example, this week's session is going to involve a lot of flight (we're starting Act II of adventure 10), so the PCs will need to protect their phantasmal steeds or they'll disappear out from under them.

- Good table control. I use lots of props to keep things moving: index cards to indicate initiative, pre-printed tokens for status effects, little plastic "gems" on the initiative cards to indicate when a condition ends. Last week, one of my players gave me a croupier stick. :) I'm also pushy, in a friendly way, about players taking their turns quickly.

All in all, I'm really enjoying the epic tier. Combined with the WotBS plotline, it really does feel like an epic capstone to the saga.
 
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