#1: I've only just started to look at this. I'm massively impressed by the amount of effort!#2 Quick question: I've noticed the monster updates start at H2. Am I missing the H1 part?Thanks!
H1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... H2 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... H3 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...P1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...P2 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...H1-E3 Monster Update: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... Conversion Guide Maps: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
Was just wondering if you had anything for the final battle of P2.
Let me start off saying that while I'm being critical in what follows, I have been using your conversions since I started H2 (just ran the first session of P1), and have been loving every minute of it. The changes to (and often straight up insertion of) narrative threads has been welcome, and many of the new encounters have been much more interesting than the ones originally published. But, on to the Ziggurat fight...The inclusion of that many soliders in a fight, especially one with an elite big-bad, and so many environmental effects, makes me a bit nervous about things descending into a grind-fest too early. I'll likely swap out 2-3 of the Shadowguards for a budget-equivalent of skirmishers or brutes (yay brutes!) when I run the final encounter.Also, along the same lines, the Exarch-mode Karavakos you put together here seems to be a bit... large? He's 3 levels above the original boss of the module, and the extra hp, and higher defenses (not to mention his 'blessing of undeath' ability) have the potential to really make this one drag a bit.By the way, the way you have the cysts' powers, they'll hit the undead, too. And while the monsters necrotic resistance will let them ignore the ongoing, the base damage is acid, which has the potential to help the party. Was this intended?
My general experience has been that when facing a showpiece elite 3+ levels above them, you need to build the encounter more like a solo fight (light support from minions, hazards, and gimmicks) than like a standard fight (with the usual complement of lots and lots of dudes), otherwise you tend to see some serious dragging at the end, with all/most the encounters used up, and interesting tactical choices exhausted, as the party just tries to weather the (often nearly un-hittable) big bad's attacks, while whittling away at his health.Example of high level elite final boss fight done well: Karavakos in Pyramid of Shadows. He's an elite, a whopping 5 levels above the party, but he's only supported by a (sizable) army of minions, a smattering of interesting environmental effects, and the clever gimmick that lets him snipe at the party and retreat with anonymity. Plus, he doesn't have ways to regain health (until he's also risking going nuclear when he channels the pyramid). It's true, he was a pain in the butt to hit, but unless you got lucky picking the right 'Karavakos' early on in that fight, by the time you're hitting him, he's the only thing smacking you. Example of it done badly: Paldemar in Thunderspire Labyrinth. He's an elite 4 levels above the party, with a second elite at party level, and a scattering of regular guys a couple of levels lower than the party. My group doesn't move quickly through combats, but this fight in particular seemed to never end. By the time Paldemar finally dropped, they'd spent 4-5 rounds just trying to smack him with at-wills, while he continued to endlesly recharge his nasty encounter powers and hammer them into the ground. for those rounds, there were no interesting tactical decisions to make, no tough choices or options to weighed, it just... went on... and on....I really think that if you knock Karavkos down a level or two (18 is where I would put him, so he's nastier than the miniboss that Zirithian has become, but still a bit easier to hit), you'd free up some xp to maybe add another controller (which are always interesting when you've got lots of zone effects and interesting hazards). And I love that you have the cysts hitting undead deliberately, the best hazards are ones the party can use (or observe more knowledgable foes avoiding and be warned ahead of time).I think the minion being born (and being the center of a burst 'quake effect') as the trigger for a quake sounds like a good idea. If you still want it to have a random component, then you might want to drop the quake chance down to 1 in 6, since I imagine the heroes are going to get hurt, a lot. You might also limit it to one minion per attack, as dropping aoe on a bunched cluster of heroes could spawn a lot of zombies ^_^
Thank you for doing this up. I'm going to try running this campaign as a first time DM. I want things to be as story rich as possible and also as tied together as possible. You will make my work a whole lot easier. I just wish I could help contribute in some way. I wish I could even help with encoutner ideas.I did have one side question. I've heard the battle with Orcus is lame given the huge changes in rules since the modules were first produced. Has this been your experience?Thanks again.
@Avis: Mostly because I'm an 'experienced DM.' I tend to mod any module I use, especially the story end of it. ex: I introduced Prince Etherean to my party back in the early heroic tier, and had him and a party of adventurers he was leading kind of float in and out of their awareness all through their lower levels (as kind of rivals/peers), to give his death in P1 more of a punch (PS: It worked, especially when my group found the heads of the rest of Etherean's party in the mound of skulls encounter). As for modding the fights, that's not so much from my group's dynamic as it is looking at the design philosophy Wizards put out and trying to stick to it. A lot of their numbers were wrong (and, often, are still wrong) but the underlying concept of creative, dynamic, varied combat encounters is solid. I forget the page number, but there's a section in 4E's DMG which gives mixes of different collections of creature types (solider, brute, artillery, skirmisher, etc) and how they can be used. When I'm building/modding an encounter I like to work from that. I collect a variety of monsters to use (trying to use a single unifying theme for the encounter/group the party is to face), figure out what kind of fight I want to have (are they running into a group of grunt guards with a canny leader? Is it the final confrontation with the big bad and his elite? Are they being harassed by a group of clever harriers who hit and run?), and then select monsters from my toolbox that will help me construct what I like to think of as the 'battle narrative.' But this is trending away from Myrhdraak's awesome conversion guides and into other topics. Wish I had the time to write that blog/podcast I keep thinking about, I'd totally plug it here ^_^
Myrhdraak, I just wanted to say thank you for all your hard work on this. I've just started an online PbP campaign starting at H1 and running all the way up to Orcus; and I'll be using all of your ideas. Your conversions are incredibly well produced and clear - excellent work.
H3: XP analysis I have updated the battle wight statistics from the latest Dungeon Magazine and added an XP Analysis for you who plan to run all the encounters in the adventure. ShowPLEASE NOTE THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS IN HERE - DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY PLAYING THE ADVENTURESH1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... H2 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... H3 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...P1 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...P2 Conversion Guide: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...H1-E3 Monster Update: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen... Conversion Guide Maps: web.comhem.se/mwester/Shadowfell/Documen...
I just ran the build up to the siege in P1, along with the first couple of encounters.Everyone in my group seemed to love the little puzzle challenge of preparing for the siege, and there have been serious cheers from around the table any time I point out how some of their choices have influenced events in the game.I may have taken a slight misstep, as in making Bax and Etherean two members of a five member party, and having the rest of said party salvageable and raisable (I rolled to see if Urishtar got their souls, and every one of them was lucky) I provided the party with more points to prepare than just the basic 20/25.I hoped to balance this out by limiting their ability to Raise to one per day, and having it cost 5 points each time they did it. I also added a couple extra options, some of them useful, some of them useless, to the table of actions to prepare, but either I didn't make enough or my party just naturally homed in on the useful choices, they got all of the best VP sources and managed a couple of the useless ones without running out of points.TLDR: In the siege of moonstair preparation puzzle, adjust sparingly, and make any new red herring options attractive to help burn off points.
H3: XP analysis I have updated the battle wight statistics from the latest Dungeon Magazine and added an XP Analysis for you who plan to run all the encounters in the adventure.
Happy to hear it was appreciated. I am very keen to know how the battle ran once you have finished it. One concern I had was if the party should be able to run all these encounters after each other without any extended rest. Otherwise it might be good to have the local clerics involved helping with some last minute healing before the final battle. (Maybe it eaven could be part of the preparations?)
H3: XP analysis I have updated the battle wight statistics from the latest Dungeon Magazine and added an XP Analysis for you who plan to run all the encounters in the adventure. My players have been through the nexus a couple of times now. Its been interesting...I had expected that until they get all 3 keys they would quickly find it an impossible situation and run through as quickly as possible.But their actually making a bit of a dent. The party has quite a bit of radiant damage, so they can hurt the monsters.And they're combining it with sliding the wights out the portals and following them out. I ruled that the regeration doesnt work out of the nexus, so they have little trouble killing a wight out in the main pyramid. Especially since I changed the layout so the portals arent reversible. When going through a portal, you appear from a blank wall. This means that the wights can't just jump back through the portal they were kicked through.I've actually had to replenish a wight or 2 to keep the numbers up.The random portal activation in the nexus has been interesting. For reasons not worth explaining they decided they specifically wanted to go out the western portal so they were waiting for it to open. It took about 5 rounds to open. So it was quite a long fight.Anyway, a couple of minor issues. There are 4 columns in the nexus and only 3 keys. So its not obvious which key goes with which column. Might be worth describing.And I just had a look at you're updated wight stats. The damages seem a little low. Their basically the same as the original non updated wights. Is that correct?
Hi!First off my thanks to Myrhdraak for the modules! I'm running two groups through it and we are enjoying them immensely!I was wondering if it was possible to get high resolution versions of the pictures and maps in the PDF's?I play online through Fantasy Grounds and when I transfer them to it they lose a lot of contrast, especialy if I zoom in on them in game.High resolution versions of these great maps would be great to have if possible!Primarch
I just wanted to say to Myrhdraak how much my group appreciates all the amazing amounts of pro-level work you've put into all this. My group is LOVING it, and - as a DM - I'm loving it the most, knowing where things are leading / what's coming up next. We all agree that this is the best D&D'ing of our lives.I thought your work on the H1 conversion was great, but H2 (which is what we're playing through now) just blows the previous one out of the water! Can't wait to read/play through the next several installments!Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!