View Full Version : 4th Edition Hell Campaign

Corporate M
2010-04-06, 04:29 PM
Mostly I think about the crunch of stuff. I like thinking about the mechanics. But the crunch matches the fluff this time around! (The AMV helps you get a feeling of the campaign, trust me...)


The campaign setting, is that the souls of the damned go to hell. (Durp, pretty obvious!) What's not so obvious is that hell is very unorderly. Some want order, some don't. There's no distinction between the abyss and inferno. (Thank 4th Edition's alignment system for that) This results in alot of souls not wanting to be in eachother's presence. (No friggin duh, it's hell!)

Despite how it could be an cinematic drama. It's intended more for laughs. Where you might find yourself in hell, as well as your fifth grade teacher and she's on an opposing side to you. The reason hell never seems to have a solid ruler and is moreso an eternal civil war (called the blood war), is because hell is very chaotic. (So it sticks with 4th Edition premise of chaotic evil=REALLY evil) It's so chaotic, even those that call upon it's forces cannot determine with certainty what will happen! What does this mean for you as a PC? Well, it's very different from your normal 4th Edition game. That's for sure...

Stats are determined via 2d8+2, or 3d10 take best two results, or 3d12 taking the two worst results. I don't know which one has a better curve, but I imagine people would rather take the one that can get them a 24 score at level 1!

Strength now dictates your fortitude defense bonus.

Dexterity now dictates your AC defense bonus.

Effects your saving throw. Rather then rolling a normal d20, you roll a d100 and try to get equal to or below your constitution score. (Essentially making saving throw based powers MUCH more effective!)

Gives you extra trained skills. You can take the same trained skill more then once. (Permitting some very ridiculous levels of skill!)

Wisdom now dictates your reflex defense. (Some might disagree with this, but considering wisdom is responsible for your five basic senses...)

Charisma now dictates your will defense. (Watch Gurren Lagaan before you argue with me...)

Your stats no longer effect things like Healing Surge or HP. Because HP doesn't exist. Only "temporary HP" exists to kind of reduce damage down to non-threatening... This will be exaplined in the next spoiler...

These things need spoilers as they get pretty long. The next installment talks about how healing surges now function, along with a new system called "Hearts". Yes... like Zelda!
Now, each class gets it's own scaling level of healing surge. How many healing surges they get a day, and how much they give in temporary HP. They're more dice based. So a fighter for example might have 2/day healing surge 2d6, then at level five it become 2d8 and level 6 3/day 2d8. This is kind of arbitary and up for DM approval. Healing surges can also be used to cure one heart wound...

This is the bread and butter of how combat is effectively different now. Some characters might have more then that based on their class progression. Hearts are almost like HP, but much more linear and direct. Remember in NES Zelda how something either hurt you or it didn't even when you got hit cause of the cloak's damage resistance? Well that's how this works. You determine your heart meter's threshold by consulting the classes starting HP. You also have a second heart meter called "Health Bar". (Zelda 2 ftw) So say you're a runepriest. You have a heart meter of 12, and healthbar of 7.

Now, whenever he is dealt damage. He must be dealt ATLEAST twelve damage or more, inorder to blacken one of his hearts. When all his hearts are blackened, the character dies. This could get tediously annoying because what if it isn't enough damage? (Granteed you're supposed to be an immortal soul... it wouldn't be very immortal if you could die by a thumbtack, lol!) Well, that's where health bars come in.

Health bars are like a tab. Every attack you're dealt, scratches off a a little bit of your healthbar tab. You only scratch one on a some sortof damage. (Be it a miss type damage, succesful attack, some passive damage... as long as you're dealt 1 damage.) So after seven sources of damage are done against the runepreist. He automaticaly takes one heart damage.

It is advised to keep monsters and npcs using the HP system for simplisticaly's sakes.

So now that we've done all that... we can get to powers! Powers are by far the most unrealiable. Especially in hell... The good news is, you get double the powers you'd otherwise get. That means four at-wills, two encounters, two daily at first level. Then two additional powers every other level. Sounds great right? Well... no... you're going to need them, because you WILL use them, and they WILL fail...

All powers are bound to the law of random! When you gain a power, you must roll respective dice for every field to determine the stat involved. You must roll a dice for the key stat, the secondary (or even teritary) stat, the defense it goes up against. Everything! Here's an example...


Arcane Strike. It looks really simple doesn't it? Well, it would in the mortal realm. But in Hell. There's no telling how powerful it will be!

Attack: A (1d6) vs B (1d4)
Hit: 1[W]+C modifier (1d6)
Effect: Reduces the target's AC by 1 until the end of your next turn.
Increase damage caused to 2[W]+D (1d6) modifier damage at 21st level.

See what I mean?! You could literally have a power that is all one stat, or anywhere from two to three! It could even change when you level! That's what I'm going for to illustrate you are in hell, and you can't trust anything... not even yourself!

You roll 1d6 to determine stat;


You roll a 1d4 to determine defense.

By the end it looks like (I actually rolled this) :

Attack: Constitution vs Reflex
Hit: 1[W]+dexterity modifier
Effect: Reduces the target's AC by 1 until the end of your next turn.
Increase damage caused to 2[W]+constitution modifier damage at 21st level.

Now you see why you need extra powers. And since you cannot predetermine what the powers will excell at stat wise, you pick your starting stats based on what you immideatly want to improve. Not what you can improve later.

Assuming I havn't turned you off completely yet. The fun part is races. Monsterous races are encouraged as the mortal would lacks most of them. Maybe there might be kobold/dragonborn, (Alex Jones sure sees alot of lizard people) and maybe Eladrin (if you believe in the Ayran super race), but primarily there'd be humans, and hell is depicted as a chaotic place even biologicaly... Where the sins you commited in life determine what your "race" is. Effectively it creates artifical xenophobia and biggotry. Partially because there's so many physical differences, and otherwise because anyone who can piece together what sins result in what race can pass judgement on people. Say for example you're a dwarf cause you were greedy in life and never showed any signs of charitability... This is mostly up for DM intterputation or if a player can make a compelling case. (Maybe do this with class too. But maybe more leeway for PCs to pick a class. I mean comeon, this is supposed to be fun for everybody... and they probably have a good idea of what they did in life to warrant their class type)

The typical life in Hell is enough of an adventure. They may be sent on missions, be fighting in the blood wars, or they might just be trying to survive. Another very possible scenario is the PC souls are attempting to go back to the mortal world. Whether it's through reincarnation to get a second chance at life, or simply go back and escape the crapsack world that is hell. There doesn't seem to be much enforcement on the former, (assuming you can get it) but it seems planar creatures of all kinds don't like mortal souls just roaming around on Earth. (Though plenty try...) Angels, demons, elementals, and all other cosmic creatures alike, send their own Dogg the bounty hunters to find you and drag your ass back to hell. Or if they catch wind you're planning to go back to the world of the living as a poltergeist they may go into hell and look for you to put a stop to you. It makes sense if you think about it. If people knew for certain there was a hell, they'd only act "good" so they didn't have to go there. All the same, hell's legions may put aside differences for a breif moment (and have on occassion) to breakdown the gates of heaven. It's just extremely difficult because as said, Hell is so chaotic it's hard to go living day by day without your eggs and toast growing fangs and biting into YOU. (It's like those soviet russia jokes) And heaven has the exact opposite problem. People have to tediously act within the confines of strict law not to be seperated from the divine plane. Too much sin can result in them immideatly being expelled from heaven and going into reincarnation state to earn their chance back in through karma or something. Extreme law vs extreme chaos rather then good and evil. (I guess 4chan would be lawful evil given it's ban happy nature combined with all the /b/ crap... Aren't you glad the alignments are so polarized in 4th edition?!)

Corporate M
2010-04-07, 01:17 PM
Well, atleast I feel like it's being done proffessionally. I've already changed some things.

When I originally made this post, constitution increased heart amount. That seemed too good, and made constitution the automatic stat of choice. That was the problem in 3rd edition, and this actually made it much worse. So instead, hearts are to be solely class/feat based. And constitution just involves saving throw percentages. (Which is still useful, but no more useful then having an increase in defenses)

Alternate Stat Roll:
I allowed yet another alternative to rolling stats. Used to just be 3d10 best 2 or 2d8+2. Now there's 3d12 and take the 2 worst results. If you give the players the illussion of choice, it sastisfies them when they're bound to complain there's too much chaos.

Health Bar Damage:
Damaging a healthbar used to require a succesful attack. This was too good, as it meant that powers that had miss damage, or splash damage, would basically be useless as they could not expect to do anything... So I brought it down to anytime a damage source effectively would hurt a PC, they take a healthbar in damage. In alot of ways, this is functioning almost like the vitality system. With healthbars dwindeling down, resulting in heart damage, and heart damage being dealt when and if you're dealt "massive damage".

DM's Should Get Involved:
I'm noticing an unfair curve that most powers are leaning toward dexterity or constitution and most every defense is reflex relative. This is do to the bell curve of numbers. Thus, I believe everyone should be handed a flash cards with different rolls on them for every power they choose from. I'd list spoilers, but that'd be too long even for spoilers. As there'd be 18 defense combonation cards to roll for, and 90 stat combonations.

As well, maybe instead of the DM just handing them a card. They may choose a card for every power they wish to roll dice from, but they cannot choose the same card twice. This is especially easy for first level players. As Arcane Strike for example would require three stat cards, and one defense card. Most players will on average be selecting 8 defense cards and 24 stat cards. Again, giving them the illussion of choice...

2010-04-07, 01:32 PM
I'm not really sure what these house rules have to do with 4th Edition. Seems to be a lot of injection of random and general mucking things up for the sake of mucking things up.

You might do better to state goals and find less convoluted paths to those goals.