Help is needed

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Our party has decided we don't like how controlling our DM is so in order to get her to loosen our chains a portion of the party has decided we will split from the group and become evil. However we have a small problem. Throughout the campain the DM has introduced several level 20 character (a mage, dragon disciple, a neice of bahamut and a daughter of palor) that could easily massacre us. I am not the most experienced player as I have only been playing on and off for the past few years. I was wondering what is the best way to "break" my ranger( lvl4)/human werewolf (lvl3) from cross classing/presteige classing to make him the best I can so that he can actually stand a chance. He fights using 2 silver claw guantlets that he keeps on his hands with a partial shift at all times. I will be back in a few hours from work to join the conversation just hoping to get a few tips before then because I have to have a plan by tomorrow. Thanks much and I apologize if this is the wrong section I just joined. 

oh and also we are playing 3.5 
...Well, if just talking things out doesn't work...

The DM certainly sounds like he'll react poorly to any attempt to 'break the chains' as you put it.

Suggestion: If talking doesn't solve it, have everyone quit. Then someone else DMs a different campaign.

Seriously, you don't want to make your character broken. If he's really intend on forcing his goals on you, he'll do it, no amount of game breaking power will change that. You want to break the game? Leave. There exists no greater and easier means to break a game like removing the players. Without players, no game. Simple.
Gunmage, a homebrew arcane striker. (Heroic Tier playtest ready.) GDocs link. (More up to date.)
...Well, if just talking things out doesn't work...

The DM certainly sounds like he'll react poorly to any attempt to 'break the chains' as you put it.

Suggestion: If talking doesn't solve it, have everyone quit. Then someone else DMs a different campaign.

Seriously, you don't want to make your character broken. If he's really intend on forcing his goals on you, he'll do it, no amount of game breaking power will change that. You want to break the game? Leave. There exists no greater and easier means to break a game like removing the players. Without players, no game. Simple.



I was afraid that would be my main feedback and we are going to do that but we are trying our best to salvage the campain because we all like the storyline we just dont like that she is controlling our characters emotions which is not a DM responsibility so we thought maybe flipping the whole campain on her would be fun but its hard to do that when we are all level 7 and her 4 NPCs are all 20 
'Flipping the campaign' will just result in hard feelings and a more solid clampdown.  Talk to the DM, tell her you don't like these omnipresent high-level NPCs railroading you, and whatever other complaints you have, and if she won't listen and compromise, walk.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Have someone else pick up DMing the same plot with the same PCs. 

The worst thing you can do is try to ruin the campaign or fight the DM.  

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

'Flipping the campaign' will just result in hard feelings and a more solid clampdown.  Talk to the DM, tell her you don't like these omnipresent high-level NPCs railroading you, and whatever other complaints you have, and if she won't listen and compromise, walk.


+1
'Flipping the campaign' will just result in hard feelings and a more solid clampdown.  Talk to the DM, tell her you don't like these omnipresent high-level NPCs railroading you, and whatever other complaints you have, and if she won't listen and compromise, walk.



This.   Communication in a campaign is key.  If the DM is doing things that you, the players do not like, you have a responsibility to tell the DM.  At least give her the opportunity to fix things, and if it doesnt work out, then walk.
Our party has decided we don't like how controlling our DM is so in order to get her to loosen our chains a portion of the party has decided we will split from the group and become evil.



You're doing it wrong.

 However we have a small problem. Throughout the campain the DM has introduced several level 20 character (a mage, dragon disciple, a neice of bahamut and a daughter of palor) that could easily massacre us.



She's doing it wrong.

I am not the most experienced player as I have only been playing on and off for the past few years. I was wondering what is the best way to "break" my ranger( lvl4)/human werewolf (lvl3) from cross classing/presteige classing to make him the best I can so that he can actually stand a chance.



Rebuild from scratch as a druid, in a campaign where there are no DMPCs.

oh and also we are playing 3.5 



Everyone involved is doing it wrong.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
oh and also we are playing 3.5 



Everyone involved is doing it wrong.



lol
 However we have a small problem. Throughout the campain the DM has introduced several level 20 character (a mage, dragon disciple, a neice of bahamut and a daughter of palor) that could easily massacre us.

She's doing it wrong.

Okay, I want this one explained. How is introducing high level NPC's 'doing it wrong'? There are quite a lot of campaign worlds where there are stronger individuals than the PC's. Rather than detracting from their play experience, this often fleshes out the campaign world, by giving the characters an idea that they're not the only heroes in world. And such NPC's can become quite the powerful patrons for the PC's, allowing them to do tasks they're too busy to do.
If she's doing it to threaten the PC's to take certain actions, okay, she's using her NPC's in the wrong way. If she's treating the NPC's as DMPC's, she's most probably doing it wrong as well. But the OP didn't say either of those. Just that the characters exist and they're scared the DM would send those characters after them if they would go evil.

That said and back on-topic, the advice above is pretty much spot-on. Talk it over with the DM and if she isn't able to compromise, then start again with someone else.

If the entire group would enjoy an evil campaign, and the DM is willing to lead such a game, don't be too afraid of those level 20 NPC's. Your player characters are small fry to them and they should be willing to let the local militia handle you. Powerful NPC's have other things to do with their time than to take care of every upstart in the kingdom. By the time they figure you're becoming too powerful and they want to stop you themselves, you're probably strong enough to best them as well. 
Heroic Dungeon Master
There are a lot of opinions on how to DM properly, with quite a bit of variance in those opinions. (Just visit the "What's a DM to do?" forums)

However, one thing I think DM's can universally agree on, is that if you're players aren't having fun, you're doing something wrong.

Point this out to your DM, as a group, and tell her to change her game or get new players.
Okay, I want this one explained. How is introducing high level NPC's 'doing it wrong'? There are quite a lot of campaign worlds where there are stronger individuals than the PC's. Rather than detracting from their play experience, this often fleshes out the campaign world, by giving the characters an idea that they're not the only heroes in world. And such NPC's can become quite the powerful patrons for the PC's, allowing them to do tasks they're too busy to do.
If she's doing it to threaten the PC's to take certain actions, okay, she's using her NPC's in the wrong way. If she's treating the NPC's as DMPC's, she's most probably doing it wrong as well. But the OP didn't say either of those. Just that the characters exist and they're scared the DM would send those characters after them if they would go evil. 


The players want to do something. They are under the impression this would cause the DM to send the NPCs after them to force them to stop.  

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I dont think that's entirely un-reasonable.  When people commit crimes, the police go after them.  This could be a similar situation.  The PCs go evil, so the high level law enforcement comes after them.
I was mostly pointing out how by spacyricochet's own definition in that same paragraph the high level NPCs are being used poorly. 

As to whether there should be level 20 NPCs in a game, thats another discussion entirely. In most games I run, there are generally not, or there are very few.

Break down like so is presented to the players. 
Show
 


  • Level 1 - Toughest dude in your small town. The town guard are this level. 1/100 people.

  • Level 5 - Toughest dude in your city.  The captain of the guard is this level.  1/1000 people

  • Level 10 - Toughest dude in the nation. You will rarely meet someone this level. They are the elite of the elite, and body guards for kings. 1/million people.

  • Level 15 - Toughest dude on the plane. This is elite ruler of the mages school who hasn't been seen in 300 years. 1/billion people.

  • Level 20 - There is no one else this tough in any plane. 1/all people. 


As you can see, level 20 NPCs who chase you down when you act up would be very out of place in any game I run. If you do bad stuff you are much more likely to find a group of 10-15 level 1 fighter, rogues, and rangers tracking you down. If you do lots of high profile super evil stuff, they might range up to level 4 and have the captain of the guard (level 5) himself coming along. If its something that the King himself needs stopped, he might send his guard after them, and you get a level 10 guy, with 3-4 level 7 or 8 assistants. If the PCs hit level 15, I doub't anyone can stop them from going and doing evil things. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I was mostly pointing out how by spacyricochet's own definition in that same paragraph the high level NPCs are being used poorly.

Almost.

If she's doing it to threaten the PC's to take certain actions, okay, she's using her NPC's in the wrong way.

What I wanted to convey was that, if every single session or arc starts by level 20 NPC X telling the players: "You will fetch me this MacGuffin, or I will flay the hides from your backs." without the players having a chance to back out properly, then the level 20 NPC's are being used poorly.
(Occassional threatening may apply, depending on if the players got themselves captured, for example. You might want to accept the offer the demon lord is presenting you to let you live a while longer. But you'll probably spend every moment of that offer plotting on how to free yourself.)

J
ust that the characters exist and they're scared the DM would send those characters after them if they would go evil.

However, if the NPC's are presented as merely existing in the world, occassionaly interacting with the players to give them a quest or two, that's fine.

The players want to do something. They are under the impression this would cause the DM to send the NPCs after them to force them to stop.

And the players should rightfully be cautious in their evil endeavors, since of course they might attract the attention of the high level goodies of the world. I wouldn't go around rampaging across Faerun like an evil tyrant without worrying at least a little that the Elminsters of the world might take offense.
However, the Elminsters of the world probably have better things to do with their time than to chase you, up to the point where you're powerful enough to warrant their personal attention. In the meantime, it's the local militia, the army, and other adventurers that'll be going after you.


As to whether there should be level 20 NPCs in a game, thats another discussion entirely. In most games I run, there are generally not, or there are very few.

I use quite a lot of high level NPC's in my 4th edition Eberron campaign (though I haven't strayed into Epic territory yet).
They interact with the PC's usually in a quest-giver fashion or when they are contracted to perform a service. And sometimes just for fun. For example, they went aboard an Elemental Gallion, which was captained by a level 20 Lyrandar Wind-Rider. Of course the ship was attacked at some point, but to keep things interesting, the Wind-Rider was kept busy by another level 20 enemy (a Thuranni Shadow-Killer), making their battespace very hazardous terrain. The rest of the party could engage the other attackers that were in their range, while the rest of the ship's crew kept busy with even more low-level foes.

The players really enjoy these experiences, since they get a better feeling of the enormity of the world and the accomplishments of others. The PC's actually strive to be like some of these other NPC's, which is a nice roleplaying opportunity.
Heroic Dungeon Master
…so we thought maybe flipping the whole campain on her would be fun but its hard to do that when we are all level 7 and her 4 NPCs are all 20.

To summarize and stay on-topic: flipping the campaign on her is always a bad idea. You'll create bad blood and noone wants that. You should talk to her about what you're not enjoying about the game and hope she wants everyone to have a good time and changes it. If she doesn't, maybe you should stop playing in her campaign, perhaps find or found a new table.

The rest of this thread will probably consist of us discussing whether high level NPC's belong in a campaign world and how we should exactly interpret your words ;) Have fun reading on.
Heroic Dungeon Master
oh and also we are playing 3.5 



Everyone involved is doing it wrong.



Because more customisation is 'wrong'?

They interact with the PC's usually in a quest-giver fashion or when they are contracted to perform a service



My serious in game response to this sort of thing is always "Whats the catch, why don't you do it yourself if you are so powerful?"


In games I run, the questgivers are always fairly low level. They come to the PCs for help because they cannot succeed without them. 


"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

They interact with the PC's usually in a quest-giver fashion or when they are contracted to perform a service.

My serious in game response to this sort of thing is always "Whats the catch, why don't you do it yourself if you are so powerful?"

In games I run, the questgivers are always fairly low level. They come to the PCs for help because they cannot succeed without them.


In the books I draw inspiration from, they usually have a rather compelling reason for not doing it themselves. Examples might be: "My involvement would be seen as an act of war.", "I have to contain this elder evil until you bring the essence to repair its prison.", "I will lead the charge against the fortress to draw the dracolich's attention, while you sneak in from the side to find its phylactery." or even something benign as "Could you deliver this message personally to the archmage, so he may join the currently ongoing treaty talks?"

The high level characters have way more responsibilities and their powers usually cause them to be occupied with just as powerful problems. They do not have the time, resources or perhaps even wish to do everything themselves. They could succeed without the PC's, but not without repurcussions on some other level which aren't worth it.
Heroic Dungeon Master
oh and also we are playing 3.5 



Everyone involved is doing it wrong.



Because more customisation is 'wrong'?



Customisation has nothing to do with how they're doing it wrong.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
oh and also we are playing 3.5 



Everyone involved is doing it wrong.



Because more customisation is 'wrong'?



Customisation has nothing to do with how they're doing it wrong.


Both of you are doing it wrong because "customization" is spelled with a Z.

Obligatory infinite oregano.

In the books I draw inspiration from, they usually have a rather compelling reason for not doing it themselves. Examples might be: "My involvement would be seen as an act of war."

Oh I see the issue. Important NPCs don't have to be high levels. Kings can and often are level 1-3. They get assassinated all the time, and don't really have much of a way to come back to life. Something thats pretty much mandatory for any mid level character. The King can totally be level 1 and command armies. 

"I have to contain this elder evil until you bring the essence to repair its prison.",

Why don't the PCs contain the evil while he goes and does gets the thing way faster? If all it requires is someone to make sure a (magic) door stays closed. And if, he is all powerful, he should be able to teleport somehow, so he gets it quicker and easier, and can come back if the PCs see the door open.

"I will lead the charge against the fortress to draw the dracolich's attention, while you sneak in from the side to find its phylactery."

This is something anybody in a half decent disguise can do. If leading a charge against a fortress this is as simple as "Give me your flag to fly" and you are done. Now the super awesome guy can do the hard stuff, and probably be done way easier.  

"Could you deliver this message personally to the archmage, so he may join the currently ongoing treaty talks?"

Thats an epic quest... But seriously, he can't have some unnamed NPC go do that? 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"


Both of you are doing it wrong because "customization" is spelled with a Z.

Obligatory infinite oregano.




I see...British English isn't correct.

Both of you are doing it wrong because "customization" is spelled with a Z.

Obligatory infinite oregano.




I see...British English isn't correct.



By "not correct" do you mean evil?

(Because that other thread totally needed to come over here.)
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

By "not correct" do you mean evil?

(Because that other thread totally needed to come over here.)



It's just my choice to use the softer sounds.

I have no idea what the rest of that is referring to, though...not sure I want to know, either. 

Both of you are doing it wrong because "customization" is spelled with a Z.

Obligatory infinite oregano.




I see...British English isn't correct.


Yes.  'Murrica.  I feel sort of bad about not having anything valuable to contribute, aside from derailing a potential Edition Border Skirmish.