View Full Version : [3.5] Maintaining the Challenge.

2010-07-24, 02:13 AM
Once our current DM is done with his campaign, I'm thinking of starting one myself for our group. No i'm not looking for players from here.

The concept:

- The difficulty will be set higher than usual and extra character sheets may be necessary due to the high likelihood of death.

-Starting level 5.

- All books and races are fair game. Even monsterous characters are allowed as long as their ECL is less than or equal to 5.

- 34 point buy. I'm considering Gestalt.

- If I do go gestalt: Prestige classing allowed after they run it through me first. No gaining of two caster levels of the same class per level up (i.e. no you can't level up as both a warlock and hellfire warlock at the same time); I cannot have players running around with 9th level spells or Dark Invocations at level 12 unless their a beholder mage or ur-priest.

-Alignment restrictions from classes are lifted. As for paladin and similar, their abilities change depending on their current alignment Neutral counts as lawful or good as appropriate.

-They can pull any cheesy stuff they want under the understanding that I can also pull similar tricks on them. Except for pun-pun. Absolutely no pun-pun.

-EXP pool system: instead of gaining exp individually, they gain it as a group (think neverwinter nights exp system). LA reduction automatically applied at appropriate levels.

I'm particularly worried when it comes to my friend since he learned quite a few tricks from me when I was a player (no, I didn't break the game thank you very much). Chances are he'll pull the StP Erudite/Beholder Mage or similar on me. Now I have no problem with that but the question is on tips in maintaining a decent level of challenge especially since, from what I'm hearing, I might be getting

- The aformentioned beholder mage
- An ubercharger
- a necromancer with a ridiculous amount of undead
- a pixie psionic fist with metamorphosis
- a hellfire warlock with scribe scroll and a penchant for planar bindings

and the worst of them

- a kobold. no, she's apparently not planning on pun-pun

2010-07-25, 02:22 PM
...don't be afraid to ban things? No point in saying "No Pun-Pun"; you can use the same rules exploits to pull off an infinite number of other tricks. Try "Sarrukh's Alter Form is reworded" along with removal of size-bonuses from the familiar's abilities when you assume them and so on and you'll be fine. Pun-Pun isn't the only ridiculous loop; there's a thousand ways to get infinite stats, infinite HD and so on. Suggestion: Request for "no breaking of the game". "Cheese" is highly subjective and one thing - I can run a game for many Tier 0 characters on low epics, though I wouldn't enjoy it.. Crossing the TO threshold is something you just don't want to do. So ask them not to do it. That would solve most of your problems. Beholder Mage should not see play outside Super-Epic Campaigns where it's only "ridiculously strong", or Low TO-level campaign on a lower level... Ask him to tone it down a bit? Maybe play "just" a Metamorphic Transfer Metamorphosis Beholder with Erudite casting? That's broken enough for anyone; no need for him to have 10 actions per turn too.

Otherwise, well, challenge them so you make frequent use of Dead Magic Zones and Wild Magic (use full transparency) and so on to even the odds a bit so the different parts of the party get the limelight every now and then, and use a similarly high optimization scale for the opponents and help the weaker characters optimize.

Having a largely similar optimization level throughout the board, or having the strongest characters hold back tends to result in more enjoyable play experience if everyone actually desires to contribute.