Session 2 tips and tricks (SPOILERS)

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
SPOILER ALERT: PLAYERS BEWARE
 


If you have any tips or tricks for Session 2, please add them to this thread. Even though i've warned about spoilers, please make use of the sblock tag (surrounded by square brackets) to hide your spoilers.

Information on traveling through the wastes

In the ongoing skill challenge, Fleeing Across the Wastes, the adventurers need to accumulate a number of successes before three failures (as is the standard case with skill challenges). Though the information provided in the adventure is brief, this is a great opportunity for DMs to create interesting environmental situations as they travel across the harsh terrain of the desert. Each week, the DM can present a different "scene", and the players can decide how their characters handle it using skill checks. The primary skills listed in the challenge should be used to test for successes, but if the player comes up with another good idea, don't hesitate to allow it to help in some secondary fashion.

I've included this skill challenge to portray the ongoing tension of fleeing from the Wastewalker as he harries the group deeper into the foothills of the Ringing Mountains.

The math for the skill challenge may need some adjustment based on the group size. I originally had 15 successes as the target for completion, but i decreased it to 12 to make it a little easier. I'm afraid, given the low DCs and the characters' high skill bonuses, that it might be too easy now. The adventurers can fairly easily gain 12 successes by the end of Session 1-3. At the very least, i would increase the number of required successes to 15 for parties of 6. Twelve is probably still okay for parties of 4. I would be interested to see other people's suggestions. 

Remember, page 12 lists another aspect of the skill challenge: Desert Setbacks. After the characters are done dealing with the challenge individually, they face a group check to try to overcome the perils of the desert together. If they fail, they suffer a setback at random from the table provided.

As i go through this another time (i've lost count how many), another alternative to streamline this would be to run the Desert Setback portion of the challenge only, adjusting the number of successes versus failures to 4/3 (one for each week). DMs should still present this as a good roleplaying opportunity, allowing players to use their creativity and translating that into appropriate skill checks for each week's "scene". I hadn't thought of this at the time i wrote and playtested it, but this seems like an interesting option. 

For example, the DM rolls Extreme Heat for this week's skill challenge. In order to overcome this challenge, at least three of five party members must succeed on their skill checks. The suggested key skill is Endurance (DC 10), but Phye thinks she can help others by applying her knowledge of Heal. Castri bets that he can make use of some of the local vegetation with his Nature skill to make salves that Phye can then apply effectively: nature's sunscreen. Phye makes a Heal check (moderate DC); Castri makes a Nature check (moderate DC), and together they give two others +2 to their Endurance checks. Teamwork!

What do you all think?
 
Please sticky this thread.
Show
 Thanks very much for the input Nick. It makes it much clearer what your gunning for. Im going to increase the number of successes needed without raising the DC as you recommend. Ill admit I was really lost on the separaton of the skill check and the "desert setback" thanks much
I'm second from the left in the picture.


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Show
 Thanks very much for the input Nick. It makes it much clearer what your gunning for. Im going to increase the number of successes needed without raising the DC as you recommend. Ill admit I was really lost on the separaton of the skill check and the "desert setback" thanks much

More on traveling through the wastes

Just remember, as written, this skill challenge has two parts each week
1. Individual skill challenge to navigate through the wastes.
2. Group skill challenge to deal with a random desert setback.

If this is too confusing or complex, i recommend eliminating (1) and just running (2) each week. In this case, if the party succeeds on all four weeks, they get an extra healing surge (for each character). If they succeed fewer than 4 weeks but greater than 1, then they survive, but don't get the healing surge. If they fail 3 or more weeks, each character loses a healing surge. If an adventurer is out of healing surges, he or she takes 5 damage.

The intent of this encounter is to portray the struggle of navigating the desert wastes of Athas. The skill challenge should be played out as an interactive roleplaying "scene" each week, rather than just a series of die rolls. Let me state this again: roleplaying these scenes is an essential opportunity for the DM to depict the struggle of survival on Athas. This skill challenge should not be just a series of dice rolls each week. If that's what a DM has in mind, he should just skip the skill challenge entirely as it will not be fun for the players. 

I hope this helps.
 

session 1-2 combat question.

Show
I believe in the ask the author area you in answering a question regarding the make up of the encounter you had invisioned it as 3 Kank soldiers and 2 Kank spitters but the printers changed the make up in the mod to 3 spitters and 2 soldiers while not changing the set up map.  Is this part correct?

If so Im thinking of leaving this set up as the default for a "Strong" group and dropping a Soldier for a "standard" group and dropping one of each for a weak group. Im also thinking of changing the Soldiers ongoing damage from 10 to 5.   Do you think this would nerf the encounter too much?

My reasons are that the soldiers AC of 20 leave the mellee orieneted characters hitting the Soldiers only 35-40% of the time and the Soliders have enough hp to survive quite a bit of abuse. The ongoing posion 10 seems to make failing a saving throw at end of turn a near death sentence. 

Looking forward to your response.
I'm second from the left in the picture.


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

Show
 Thanks very much for the input Nick. It makes it much clearer what your gunning for. Im going to increase the number of successes needed without raising the DC as you recommend. Ill admit I was really lost on the separaton of the skill check and the "desert setback" thanks much


More on traveling through the wastes

Just remember, as written, this skill challenge has two parts each week
1. Individual skill challenge to navigate through the wastes.
2. Group skill challenge to deal with a random desert setback.

If this is too confusing or complex, i recommend eliminating (1) and just running (2) each week. In this case, if the party succeeds on all four weeks, they get an extra healing surge (for each character). If they succeed fewer than 4 weeks but greater than 1, then they survive, but don't get the healing surge. If they fail 3 or more weeks, each character loses a healing surge. If an adventurer is out of healing surges, he or she takes 5 damage.

The intent of this encounter is to portray the struggle of navigating the desert wastes of Athas. The skill challenge should be played out as an interactive roleplaying "scene" each week, rather than just a series of die rolls. Let me state this again: roleplaying these scenes is an essential opportunity for the DM to depict the struggle of survival on Athas. This skill challenge should not be just a series of dice rolls each week. If that's what a DM has in mind, he should just skip the skill challenge entirely as it will not be fun for the players. 

I hope this helps.
 



Yep Im looking forward to roleplaying quite a bit on these two "effects"

I'm second from the left in the picture.


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

[sblock Session 1-2 Creatures]
The soldiers are fearsome, and hard to damage... But they really do crap for damage.  So you shouldn't have to worry too much about it.

1) Bite attack can only target one creature.. so if they have one person grabbed they can't make opportunity attacks.

2) If the creature is not grabbed it only does 2d4 damage (average 5)

3) Almost every character has some way to slide or push a creature, which will break the grab as soon as you separate the creature from the character.  The only time this will become a problem is if you leave the soldier in the corner.. then you'll have no way to separate it from its victim.  The size of the map will actually be more of an issue then the creatures themselves.

After doing a test run of this encounter, the soldiers were more annoying than actually fear inducing.  The almost constant slowed / ongoing acid from the spitters seemed to have more of an effect.  Unlike the previous encounter there's not as much to adjust on powers, so you've got minimal damage attacks until you can actually sustain a grab for a full round.  Perhaps though that was just my luck that I couldn't get a grab to last long enough.
[/sblock] 

Always a GM, never a player (not really but sometimes feels like it).

Hex Grid UserPopcorn InitiativeAndroid UserD&DMapTools

DungeonScape

Reposting from the "Ask the Author" thread, since this got buried. 

More tips on Encounter 1-2

Think of this area as an elephant graveyard of huge, exotic (and long-extinct) creatures. It was uncovered by the storm, and the petrified remains are an oddity, infused with elemental/primal energy. 

Due to space constraints, i was not able to include terrain and environmental effects as i would have liked. This is the encounter that i was least happy with, because it feels too static. Some ideas to enhance the play experience might be:

Bone shards: Certain squares have particularly nasty, sharp shards of bone and count as hindering terrain. Any creature entering these squares takes 3 damage and is slowed (save ends).

Kank burrows: Hidden in the sand and rock are a network of underground kank tunnels that they use to protect themselves from the elements of the desert. Moving through these tunnels is easy for the oddly-shaped kanks (even the large ones), but humanoids have to squeeze. Any creature that moves through these tunnels feels the restorative power of this primal glade and recovers 5 hit points. A DC 15 Nature check reveals the presence of these tunnels to the adventurer. Once revealed, a DC 15 Religion check reveals their special restorative properties.

Mirages: The primal energies pent up in this area play tricks with the eyes of the unaccustomed travel. More kanks appear to swarm the area than actual exist. Place 10 kanks on the board at setup, but only five of them are real. A successful attack against a false kank reveals the illusion. After the first illusion has been revealed, a DC 15 Perception check (minor action) can be used to eliminate other illusions. Illusory kanks attack as normal, but always miss. Also, ranged attacks by characters in this area suffer a -2 penalty as a result of the mirages. This penalty does not apply to the kanks.

Treasure: The bleached bones in this area are hardened by the desert winds and make poor quality weapons, but the primal energies have infused them with potent effect. When powdered and mixed with water, they make a delicious tea. Or maybe they give 4 temporary hit points when drank. Enough powder can be hastily made to create 3 servings of bone tea.

First, imnotjesus; thanks for your additonal feedback and notes regarding adding more content to the published adventure. This is a fantastic medium to get around editing problems, space requirements and the like.


Second, my response/inspiration to imnotjesus and his "More tips on Encounter 1-2"


Even more tips on Encounter 1-2

For the Treasure recommendation, I made the item below:


Bleached Bones Tea (heroic tier)


www.4shared.com/document/Nn7plAwE/Bleach...


Potion


Description: This simple and delicious tea is a mixture of the powdered bones of a long-forgotten creature that have been infused with primal energies and boiled water.


Power (Consumable * Boost) Minor Action. Drink this tea and gain 4 temporary hit points for the duration of the current Encounter.



... I plan on giving my players each one "potion" of the tea at the end of Encounter 1-2. If anyone else wants to use them, I have included a page of 9 items on a page. Another idea is to reward players as part of the extended skill challenge with these little boosts. Enjoy!


 


Regards,


DDTWilson

im going let them make the tea...at a cost of a survival day! mwahahaha!
Your an evil evil dwarf....Wink
im going let them make the tea...at a cost of a survival day! mwahahaha!



I'm second from the left in the picture.


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

of course its 3 potions per survival day so im not an evil evil dwarf, but just an evil dwarf.
I like it. I think what I'm going to give them is a ritual scroll to make the tea, and I'll just have the component cost be survival days.