View Full Version : Making "Red Hand of Doom" Work With Two PCs

2009-01-15, 06:50 PM
There have been a lot of Red Hand of Doom campaign journals cross my path in the past couple years, and now I've finally decided to purchase it and run it myself. It should be arriving in the mail in a couple days, so I figured I should get advice before it arrives.

The problem is that I want to run it for my two roommates who have never played D&D before to teach them the game. They are both very intelligent, so I have no doubt they will pick it up quickly; that's not the issue. The issue is that I want to run it for just the two of them as the PCs.

What advice do you guys have for altering the PCs or the adventure to make it more friendly for a 2 person party? Or is it even possible without ruining the spirit of it? If so, I'll just file away Red Hand of Doom until a later date when I can get a larger group for it.

I don't really want to have a DMPC to balance the party, or Leadership cohorts. I'm open to gestalt suggestions, and between myself and my other normal D&D groups, I should have access to most official WotC books.

So, do I increase the WBL? Do I gestalt them? Do I raise their level? Do I force one to have some healing ability/buy wands of CLW/give them assgobs of healing potions?

2009-01-15, 07:15 PM
Personally, I wouldn't suggest running RHoD for only 2 players unless you want to do MAJOR modifications to tone down the encounters. The PCs would gain abundant amounts of xp if they only have to divide it two ways, so by the end they will be high enough level that things will be getting too easy for them. If you let them start at a higher level, things might be okay for a while, but then they'd be so high by the end it'd be ridiculous.

It also may not be the best module to start beginners on. It is a long and epic adventure with dragons and devils and undead, not to mention the huge army filled with goblinoids and giants and other monsters. The players will need to understand strategies and resource management and basic character design.

I definitely reccomend playing a couple shorter adventures before jumping into RHoD to give your friends time to learn the ropes. This way you could start them at 1st level so they have less to learn right off the bat. Heck, if you want you could do a couple mini-adventures until they get high enough and start them on RHoD then.

Iku Rex
2009-01-15, 07:20 PM
Start them off at level 7. Maybe 8, since they're inexperienced players. It should work out well enough.

2009-01-15, 07:25 PM
I'm not sure I would recommend the module for people who have never played before, regardless of how many of them there are, simply because it starts at 5th level, and I think new players do best starting off at 1st-3rd. Making a 5th level character involves too many choices that you probably won't understand when you're just starting out.

Start them on something else at 1st level. Once they make name level, reconsider.

2009-01-15, 08:30 PM
Since they are new players, maybe add in 2 NPCs/DMPCs to fill in the gaps?

Oops, just re-read the OP, please disregard...

2009-01-16, 04:58 AM
Cant you just get them to play 2 characters each?

RHoD is a good adventure, but it is no cake walk if they are brand new players I'd also give them a level or two headstart on the adventure.

Random NPC
2009-01-16, 06:43 AM
I agree with Killian. Run a couple of adventures so they can learn the ropes and grow in power. Once you see they know how to handle combat efficiently, head for RHoD.

Also, you might want to check some variants for your characters depending on the roles they might choose, like Defense Bonus (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/defenseBonus.htm), Armor as DR (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm) or Vitality (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/vitalityAndWoundPoints.htm). These are mostly if they lack healbots, so they can freely go into battle, take hits and survive the day.

In the case of lacking healing, you might want to look into other ways to heal, like potions and the like. You can also create a homebrew system for healing.

In the case they gravitate towards Cleric or Druid (and especially Druid), you might just want to run it as it is. Clerics are good healers and great melee fighters. Druids can easily substitute for a meatshiled, a healbot or a blaster as needed. The animal companion is also a great boon.

Finally, if a player wants to play a melee character, encourage Tome of Battle instead of the Fighter.

2009-01-16, 10:21 AM
Have them start as two different Tome of Battle classes. This makes their PCs cool and interesting, but also manageable (you don't have to wade through thousands of different spells). Print out the maneuver cards (www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20061225a) for them. This makes it much easier to choose between them, and it makes it much easier to manage combat.

Let them start out 3 levels higher then normal. This make make combat relatively easy at first.

Ignore XP. Just announce that they've gained a level whenever you feel it's appropriate or you feel that they're lagging too far behind the encounters.

Give them a custom Healing Belt (magic item compendium) or something similar that provides ok healing multiple times per day. Make potions of healing relatively cheap. Healing should always be readily accessible to PC's. Remember, the point of combat isn't to achieve some sort of mythical balance. The point of combat is to have fun.

2009-01-16, 08:31 PM
Cant you just get them to play 2 characters each?
I wouldn't recommend this for new(ish) players. It can, and often does, get messy...