Minis, Maps, and Stuff

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For the launch day I printed out the Vyllage-on-the-Cheep MicroTactix papermini wagons in set #1. And used the paper yeti's provided here. Looked great, and everyone had fun.

 

I've got the icewind dale tiles, but would like to find some wintery buildings (flat or 3D). Any suggestions?

 

Also, everyone needs to head to their local hobby supply store and go to the calligraphy secion. Look for parchment paper. Hobby Lobby had 7x10" and 8.5x11". I got some and printed out the various letters possibly found this season. Looks awesome.

 

 

Here are PDF's - the paper size is B5 envelope, which is as close as I can get to 7x10. it worked with the manual paperfeed on my HP laserprinter at work.

 

Letters.pdf

They look awesome DaMacGuy. Thanks for sharing.

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

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HA! I saw the pictures and the first thing that popped into my mind was soaking paper in coffee when I was in elementry school to make paper look old.

 

As for the maps, have you considered looking at the IWD infinity engine games? I know that Sorcerer's Place has some annotated maps but I am sure you can find some without the annotation. IWD has a map of East Haven & IWD 2 has Targos as well as random wintery goodness. It isn't the best suggestion but it is a suggestion none the less.

This is the terrain map I posted in the thread from lst season:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8bFNMq_PApNYlRVVHZsLS1PdFU/edit?usp=sharing

In the Season 15 forums, I posted a link to my interpretation of an advanced skeletal white dragon here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1gbLqXS723cWjZ4bVBjNlVzV2s/edit?usp=sharing

There are two versions. One is merely advanced by 2 HD (on the theory that since level progression slows somewhat after 3rd level, the characters will be at most 5th-6th level when it is confronted). The other is advanced, and also Legendary (for more on Legendary monsters, check out Mike Mearls' column here: http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20130617) If DMs want to divide the dragon and witch encounter to make Icingdeath more memorable. they can go with the legendary version to make him stand alone in a fight.

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Here is my updated Beastiary for levels 4-6, still a work in progress. I started with things that I believe that I would need tonight and then just started working down the list. I didn't bother with adjusting XP or placing the levels, I use the pacing method of when my players should level up.

 

And I figure while I am at it, why not share my turn tracker that I print out each season. Pretty simple, calendar inspired, and easy to read.

 

Both of the files got a bit messed up with the conversion so if you want a Word or Excel version of either let me know and I can email 'em your way.

So did I miss Icingdeath when I read throught it or is that soemthing you are adding for your players?

 

Yea I missd it my bad LOL

TopherATL wrote:
So did I miss Icingdeath when I read throught it or is that soemthing you are adding for your players?

Yea I missd it my bad LOL

See? Dragons should be noteworthy opponents, but they make him the sidekick of the witch, such that you forgot  he was even in the adventure. That's not right.

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General Campaign Stuff: Bawylie's Budget Dungeons

SublimeBW wrote:

Here is my updated Beastiary for levels 4-6, still a work in progress. I started with things that I believe that I would need tonight and then just started working down the list. I didn't bother with adjusting XP or placing the levels, I use the pacing method of when my players should level up.

 

And I figure while I am at it, why not share my turn tracker that I print out each season. Pretty simple, calendar inspired, and easy to read.

 

Both of the files got a bit messed up with the conversion so if you want a Word or Excel version of either let me know and I can email 'em your way.

I had started my own version of this as well. I seem to be making mine about one level tougher than yours. I don't want to make things too easy for them, and I think that monsters are a bit underpowered in D&DNext right now, so my boost packs a little more mustard, but it's not that much different. Like yours, it's still a work in progress as I'm adding to it as I go each week.

 

Level 4-6 Bestiary

 

AlHazred wrote:

 

TopherATL wrote:
So did I miss Icingdeath when I read throught it or is that soemthing you are adding for your players?

Yea I missd it my bad LOL

See? Dragons should be noteworthy opponents, but they make him the sidekick of the witch, such that you forgot  he was even in the adventure. That's not right.

 

There's also a Dragon Sighting random encounter in the pdf supplement.  It says to use the Elder White Dragon, which would crush a the party if they were dumb enough to get its attention.  I might actually use a Young White Dragon and make it attack the party if it's a been a combat-light session.

Spykes wrote:

 

I had started my own version of this as well. I seem to be making mine about one level tougher than yours. I don't want to make things too easy for them, and I think that monsters are a bit underpowered in D&DNext right now, so my boost packs a little more mustard, but it's not that much different. Like yours, it's still a work in progress as I'm adding to it as I go each week.

 

Level 4-6 Bestiary

 

 

First, let me thank you. I actually used your conversions for the game day, and thought they worked out great for the most part. The spell reflect on the cat really through off the Mage, kodos for that. I will have to take a look and review what you have put, maybe make some sort of merge!

 

The issue with me is that I have a rather large table (typically 6-8 players) so I find that throwing more monsters at them that aren't as puny but aren't super tough guys causes more issues for them that a few tough ones. But that is the what comes with being a DM, deciding which way is the best to go for you table. I have already added about a 1/3 the way through the beastiary and seem pretty happy with my choices so far, added a few skills and spells to some creatures but nothing too game changing.

 

 

Keep up all the good work guys! I'm running this as 4-6 as well and I appreciate that other DMs share from their experiences and tools like handouts! 

Yes, thanks for all the info and tools - I ran last season as 4-6 and I plan on running this season 6-9.

Thanks DaMacGuy, the players loved the first note! I had 6 at the table, one had never played a tabletop RPG, and the others were eithere very new or never played D&D Next. Since some had played the launch event weekend we started right after the yeti attack on the walls and reintroduced the 2 main Bryn Shander plot threads, next week I'll introduce the dwarven thread. THey talked briefly with the barbarian, then they had an encounter with Slim and his thugs. Now they're on their way to see Mithann.

 

I think I'm going to plan out some encounter sheets more like 4e had so the encoutners run easier, instead of having to flip though the monster book.

 

 

I  replaced the Crag Cat with a Spell Plague Touched Arctic Houd:

 

 

and if that was not awesome enough, becuase I am on a big table I added a Plague Touched Artic Boar:

 

 

 

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have "finished" the updated Bestiary for levels 4-6. I updated my previous post as well so both links will take you to the complete version. I upped most creatures by 2 HD and then bumped up the AC, attack and gave +2 for the creatures main stat (for the most part). Enemy spellcasters are more deadly now as well! The "bosses" I tried to give a bit more epic feel, especially since the party will be at level 6 when they encounter them. Feel free to give any feedback.

Nice work sublime. I appreciate that and will definitely use it. I think I may end up bumping the AC on most of them though. Most of the ACs you have are 12-14 range. My players have anywhere from a +6 to a +9 to hit. That means they only have to roll a 3 - 6 on their attack roll to hit. Maybe I'm a "Dungeon Bastard", but I like to make it a little more challenging. For the Zombies.. (AC 8), it's an auto hit for some players. They would just be rolling to make sure they don't get a one. I think I'm going to put the ACs to somewhere between 15 - 20. I find it easier to scale a battle back if it's too hard, than to suddenly make it more difficult in the middle of things. (My opinion).

 

Anyway, I really like your work though, and I'll use it for the most part.  Kudos

One of the things that I have trouble with in running this style of adventure is getting the information from the storybook format it's written in, translated into my brain as an encounter while factoring in all of the specific party considerations, and then spitting it back out to the players without forgetting key story points or important pieces of information. Compound that with the fact that the PCs could go in any direction at any point, and you have one of the most challenging DM experiences I've seen from a published adventure. 

 

At my game shop, we run four full tables and all four of the DM's are experiencing this problem and we are working on ways to make it easier, (something I think WotC should do if you want my opinion). One thing that one of our DMs found that helps him a great deal, (and this may seem simple and obvious), is to make bullet points for the direction that he thinks the party will go that session. He puts down key info and sub-bullets for possible reaction to the players and it helps him to remember key information from that section so he's not starring at the dreaded "wall of text" during the session trying to find or parse the the appropriate response in the middle of the game. I will be doing this going forward.

 

The next thing is a timeline. This story lines need to be in synch in this adventure, so it's important to know where you are in the scheme of events. I first saw this mentioned by Ameron in another thread, so I can't take credit, but this is my method of solving that problem. I always see events better in calendar format so I made one for this adventure. This format makes it easy to add-in my player's events so I can see how it all fits together. Use it if you like. I'll be changing and adding to this one as my players progress.

 

LotCS Calendar of Events

Thanks Spykes! I was going to do the same thing, but you beat me to it!

Spykes wrote:

Nice work sublime. I appreciate that and will definitely use it. I think I may end up bumping the AC on most of them though. Most of the ACs you have are 12-14 range. My players have anywhere from a +6 to a +9 to hit. That means they only have to roll a 3 - 6 on their attack roll to hit. Maybe I'm a "Dungeon Bastard", but I like to make it a little more challenging. For the Zombies.. (AC 8), it's an auto hit for some players. They would just be rolling to make sure they don't get a one. I think I'm going to put the ACs to somewhere between 15 - 20. I find it easier to scale a battle back if it's too hard, than to suddenly make it more difficult in the middle of things. (My opinion).

 

Anyway, I really like your work though, and I'll use it for the most part.  Kudos

 

I wanted their ACs to be in the same 15 - 20 range as well (although some, like the Zombie, being lower makes sense to me), however looking at their stats I didn't see a way to really get them there without giving everyone absurd base DEXs or put everyone in armor that wouldn't match the role the enemy was fulfilling. I could always just adjust the base AC up some and justify it that way and have given that much debate but am unsure if that is what I want to do. I tired my best to make their stats match the math and while the rational side of my say  "just adjust the ACs without touching stats or armor" the anal side of me is saying "don't cheap out and not be able to explain your numbers".

"Why does X have AC#?"

"Because I said so."

nuf said

SublimeBW wrote:
I wanted their ACs to be in the same 15 - 20 range as well (although some, like the Zombie, being lower makes sense to me), however looking at their stats I didn't see a way to really get them there without giving everyone absurd base DEXs or put everyone in armor that wouldn't match the role the enemy was fulfilling. I could always just adjust the base AC up some and justify it that way and have given that much debate but am unsure if that is what I want to do. I tired my best to make their stats match the math and while the rational side of my say  "just adjust the ACs without touching stats or armor" the anal side of me is saying "don't cheap out and not be able to explain your numbers".

It's a noble effort, but the problem is that the creatures are just an inherently lower level creatures. Bumping them up is possible, but the math is just not always going to work out. If you have to have some way to rationalize it in your brain, then you can give them traits to compensate. I did this with the Yeti and Crag Cats by giving them Tough Hide. This is a trait that makes their skin tougher and harder to damage. This gives them a higher AC at my descretion. It stands to reason that Zombies frozen solid from the cold would be tougher than your normal "thawed flesh" zombies. The point is, get your stats where you need them to be for an appropriate challenge for your players, and then get creative as to why that is. It may just be that you should substitute a higher level creature. Another solution is to throw numbers at them. 10 zombies may be a joke, but what about 30? That could get interesting. I read a great post about that where some high level characters took on a horde of goblins or something like that, and it got pretty interesting.

 

Also, Gonchar makes a great point in the previous post.

So I thought i would show a few of the maps I intend to use this season for some of the different encounter locations. Of course the encounters may not all pan out, but since WotC organized play seems fit to not provide ANY maps past the Game Day encounter, we are forced to fend for ourselves. Unfortunately that will sometimes mean using products from sources other than WotC. I guess that's what happends when support for organized play falls off. I have tried to use officially licensed products when possible though.

 

Game Day - Crag Cats - I made a map for this one and linked it above, but here it is again.

Game Day - Marauding Yetis - Map provided with the game day materials obviously. 

 

Slim's Ambush - This was such a simple encounter that I chose to use some tiles that the store had on hand. It really just amounted to a hallway and a medium sized room, so a map was not used.

Nightime break-in - Gamemastery Flip Mat - Warehouse

 

Hideout Guards, Hideout Thugs - I'm adapting this encounter a bit. I'm making the hideout an old dwarven outpost that Marek and the thugs have claimed. I'm consolidating these two encounters into one using Ice Keep from the Shattered Keeps Map Pack.

Marek the Shank - As the players go deeper into the cave to fight Marek, I will use this cave map from season 11

Ship Rethnor Thugs - This looks like a simple fight with tiles or a simple tavern map like this.

 

Bear Tribe Camp - Might as well use the map that is made for it.

Waterfall Cavern - Cave map from Beyond the Crystal Shard.

Dragon and witch - again, they made a map for this encounter some time back.

 

I'll add more as we go.

Hey Spykes- how do you print out these maps? i was thinking of redrawing them on a 1" grid easel pad...

Spykes wrote:

So I thought i would show a few of the maps I intend to use this season for some of the different encounter locations. Of course the encounters may not all pan out, but since WotC organized play seems fit to not provide ANY maps past the Game Day encounter, we are forced to fend for ourselves. Unfortunately that will sometimes mean using products from sources other than WotC. I guess that's what happends when support for organized play falls off. I have tried to use officially licensed products when possible though.

 

Game Day - Crag Cats - I made a map for this one and linked it above, but here it is again.

Game Day - Marauding Yetis - Map provided with the game day materials obviously. 

 

Slim's Ambush - This was such a simple encounter that I chose to use some tiles that the store had on hand. It really just amounted to a hallway and a medium sized room, so map was used.

Nightime break-in - Gamemastery Flip Mat - Warehouse

 

Hideout Guards, Hideout Thugs - I'm adapting this encounter a bit. I'm making the hideout an old dwarven outpost that Marek and the thugs have claimed. I'm consolidating these two encounters into one using Ice Keep from the Shattered Keeps Map Pack.

Marek the Shank - As the players go deeper into the cave to fight Marek, I will use this cave map from season 11

Ship Rethnor Thugs - This looks like a simple fight with tiles or a simple tavern map like this.

 

Bear Tribe Camp - Might as well use the map that is made for it.

Waterfall Cavern - still working on this one. - might have to be a custom job.

Dragon and witch - again, they made a map for this encounter some time back.

 

I'll add more as we go.

 

Thanks for sharing your ideas on the maps, I had an busy night last night and had to pass up doing all my prep for todays session so looking at these maps cuts down on some of the thought I have to give to my chessex map. On the plus side, work is slow so I might be able to get some of it done here before leaving for the holiday (Thanksgiving in the US). Also, wanted to point out that your map for the Bear Tribe Camp & Dragon and Witch are the same maps.

Spykes wrote:

 

Game Day - Marauding Yetis - Map provided with the game day materials obviously.

 

 

For those of us that didn't get the Game Day/Launch Weekend package, is this map available as a download?

...

Nevermind, called the store turns out they DID get the launch day stuff just never said anything before.

sliceoffruit wrote:

Hey Spykes- how do you print out these maps? i was thinking of redrawing them on a 1" grid easel pad...

For the flipmat, you have to buy those. I think they are about $12.

For the Evermelt/Bear Camp map, you can buy it at the link I provided. I think it's about $8.

For the past season Encounters maps, I'm not sure what to tell you there. Dungeonsmaster.com has images of all of them, but I don't think they are suitable for reproducing as a tactical map. You can see the map and then try to recreate it using tile images. It's probably easier to just take a look at it and print it for reference and then draw it out on a battle mat.

As for the maps I create, we have a guy in our group who has a plotter at his work so he print them for us in large format. If you don't have that, then you have two options. You can take it to a print shop like FedEx/Kinkos, but I'm not sure how much they would charge. Or you can just print it out one page at a time and tape them together, which is not a bad option actually.

 

I'll take this opportunity to repeat the fact that the Organized Play Team should have maps for these encounters made up and offered as a download. They wouldn't even have to shoulder the printing cost. If they would just make them available. Last season, they said it wan't practical because they never knew where an encounter would be and they didn't want to have to make maps of everything. But this season, they pretty much know all of the encounter locations because they have bolded them in the adventure. Providing downloadable maps for those that want to use them doesn't seem like a huge effort. Maybe I'm wrong.

SublimeBW wrote:
Also, wanted to point out that your map for the Bear Tribe Camp & Dragon and Witch are the same maps.

Well, yes, but there are two maps in that pic. The Bear Camp is on one side, (left side in the pic) and the Lair is on the other, (right side of the pic.) You only have to buy the one map and you get both.

Waterfall Cavern - still working on this one. - might have to be a custom job.
If my memory serves me, there was a waterfall cavern map in the Keep on the Shadowfell adventure.

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General Campaign Stuff: Bawylie's Budget Dungeons

Hey.. I can't post a new topic so I'll add it here.

 

Question about Half-orcs in Ten Towns.  Our campaign has a half-orc in the party who was wandering in and around Ten Towns last night.  Our DM didn't make any comments, and I know  I should stick with him, but wouldn't that be a problem?  From what I've read of Forgotten Realms, Orckin aren't known to be warmly welcomed in Ten Towns or Icewind Dale.

i'm not worthy of a signature

We have 3 half orcs in our party too but as they are accompanied by elves, a gnome and a tiefling most people in the town are willing to give them a chance. Icewind Dale is one of the more tolerant places in the Realms, having learnt not to judge by race thanks to the example of its most famous resident, Drizzt.

 

That being said not everyone will be happy to see a half orc and maybe if caught out wandering alone some locals might not be so friendly.

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

sublime would it be possible to get your beastiary in the docx format instead of the pdf - Im running level 6-9 and would like to make changes without having to type it all in. thanks in advance

Darkraven3 wrote:

sublime would it be possible to get your beastiary in the docx format instead of the pdf - Im running level 6-9 and would like to make changes without having to type it all in. thanks in advance

 

I adjusted the documents so they should download in docx format. I also updated some of the ACs so you can use this link to get the newer ACs or you can use the link in the older post for the originals. The only difference between the two are the ACs.

 

Enjoy!

Awesome!! thanks -- really appreciate the help!!

I have created a Wiki that should really help. http://the-legacy-of-the-crystal-shard.wikia.com


I've also compiled all these resources to one page here: http://community.wizards.com/forum/dd-encounters-season-16-legacy-crystal-shard/threads/3960006

Thanks SliceofFruit!

Dont know why I didnt think of it before but the maps from "Cairn of the Winter King" (the adventure that came with the 4e Monster Vault boxed set) should be good for this season too.

 

The shoreline camp coul dbe used for the Bear Camp beside the sacred pool, and the main Cairn map could possibly be used for either the Verbeeg Lair/Halls of Black Ice/Thugs Hideout.

"Well that encounter was easy....er, guys, why is the DM grinning?" (party members last words)

It's not a party till the screaming starts!

Follow me on Twitter @Vobeskhan or check out my blog http://vobeskhan.wordpress.com/

I wasn't a fan of your Gant's letters so I made my own: 

Gant's Letter to Devessa

 

Gant's Letter to Slim

Makes more sense that 2 letters from the same guy match. Original letter to Slim is kind of hard to read too.

Thanks both of you, I will be using all of these.