View Full Version : Help with Campaign

2008-04-05, 05:31 PM
I'm putting together a homebrew at the moment and had some quick questions, just to get an idea for mechanics, etc.

1) Is there any power, spell or feat, even epic, that can put a 4th level spell in a potion? My idea was the party finds a batch of potions with random polymorph effects in them (*cough* noggenfogger *cough*). They don't have to last for very long; it's basically random fun (If the party tries one and they get something powerful like a troll, they might think all the potions do the same.)

2) I wanted to make a staff that can cast a 9th level exalted spell (Sanctify the Wicked) 1/day, only modified so the redemption only takes 1/2 a year, and it can even work on evil outsiders. Am I looking at artefact power levels?

3) I wanted to add an evil grimoire that players might mistake for BoVD (It's in-game name is the Big Bad Book of Scary, as it's currently owned by Orcs), but is in fact a much worse collection of (potentially game-breaking) curses. Should this book ever fall into the players hands, I wouldn't want to admonish their hard work (Getting the book would be a damn, damn hard task) by making it too problematic (Like, say, a deity starts hassling them), but at the same time I wouldn't want the book to break the game. Tips?

4) For verisimilitude, not every place in the game is going to be at the same CR as the party (Some areas would be stupidly high, remnants-of-magic-war areas), but some tasks would involve being smart rather than being tough (Making a deal with a dragon, or stealing a dragons egg, isn't the same CR as killing one). If the players don't play smart (Ie: 'The DM wouldn't put us in a sewer filled with deadly advanced otyughs, even if the area was restricted'), would warning shots be in order, or learning the hard way?

5) One of the quests I worked out involves getting hold of a rust monsters heart. The party are in a mining town, and are told where rust monsters live (a sealed off area of the mine), how many there are (Enough for the miners to close off a rich iron vein rather than kill them), and what they can do (Screw up Wealth-by-Level, basically). They're given fair warning as the miners reopen the shaft and let them drop down into the shaft.
Would it be too cruel to have them face hundreds of starved rust monsters? I think with anyone given that much warning who STILL takes metal into the shaft (Possible meta-gaming 'They're CR3, we can kill them in one hit' thinking) should be rewarded with a Darwin Award and be eligible for the prestige classes in Complete Moron, personally, I just wanted other peoples views.
(btw, rust monsters don't attack people with no metal on them unless provoked, so it's reasonable to assume a bunch of monks could go in unmolested.)


2008-04-06, 05:50 AM
1) Make it a wonderous item in flask-form with only 1 use, and you should be fine.

2) Again, make it a wonderous item or a lesser artifact.

4) I'm usually for the hard way, but if your group has learned to expect that every fight is beatable, they might not get the hint even after everyone is dead. So give them some hints the first times unteil they learned that they can't kill everything they will meet.

5) When they are tols that there are hordes of metal eating monsters that will destroy their equipment by touch alone, there's really no need to hold back too much. If you think they just didn't get the hint, drop them one they cannot miss, like iron grates that have been completely eaten away for as high as the rust monsters can reach, but looks still very good where they didn't. Or the wooden hilt of a sword with just one inch of still bright steel coming out of it.

2008-04-08, 06:28 PM
1 & 2, see Neithan, perfect solution

3) Using the book on others is probably an evil act, so any Pallies in the party should be warned/threatened with falling, which would get them in the mindset of "destroy this vile thing to keep it from falling into the wrong hands." If there aren't any pallies, a threat of alignment change with the XP penalty that comes with it might do.

Another option would be to make the book a homing device of sorts. The current owners were protecting it, can't be just the PCs after the thing. While they have the book, they should be attacked by assorted evil groups wanting its power. This can leave an opportunity for some enjoyable humor; third-rate, bumbling would-be villains coming out of the woodwork wanting the book ("I am Ragnoth, the incontinent! You will taste my blade or hand over that book of--can you hold on? I'll be right back." *runs to the bushes*)

4 and 5) I believe firmly in the gaming group contract. It should normally be done at the start of a campaign, but can be introduced later. The basic premise is "Before we start, there are some preconceptions in DnD for how games work, sometimes with multiple interpretations. In my game, this is how it works, and you all understand and are chill with it. It helps get everyone on the same page, in terms of whether the game is hack-and-slash or diplomatic, how alignment works, whether evil characters are allowed, how dice-rolling works, etc. One of the important aspects to touch on is danger level. Is every fight the PC's encounter challenge appropriate? Some PCs go into a game with this assumption in mind, when in fact there are three main choices.

a) Yes. The monsters seem to ramp up with the players, and basically everything they come across will be easy, moderate, tough, or challenging. But ALL are reasonably beatable.

b) No. Random encounters seem to be the only fair fights. Armies, dragons, the Tarrasque, Gods, and a god leading an army of dragons with the Tarrasque as ground support seem to be knocking on the 1st-level PCs door. These games usually end in TPK, or they are combat-minimized, focusing more on guerrilla tactics and diplomacy.

c) Yes, mostly. The PC's will mostly face beatable challenges, but there are times when they will be too much for an out-and-out fight. This can vary between only getting in over one's head when doing something incredibly rash or stupid and having a clear-cut path most of the time, or the game is interspersed with the occasional "can't take this in a fight" challenge that is usually clearly marked and labeled.

My game, for example, is C with a b-leaning. A chunk of my game is hack-and-slash, with some over-arching goals that are not CR-appropriate. For example, the PCs needed to free up a rock quarry that was under the control of a tribe of ogres for a budding town. There were 50+ ogres with a ECL 7 barbarian leader, which according to the CR calculator is a CR 14 encounter. Four party members at 5th level = TPK for direct combat. The party managed to isolate the leader and assassinate him, pegging the assassination on a band of gnolls nearby. The gnolls (who are secretly lead by a green dragon trapped in a gnoll's body) made short work of the ogres and freed up the quarry. Where the contract comes in is when I started the campaign I told them that the dangers can be very real, and that if something sounds dangerous it probably is and can kill them if they don't plan appropriately. They figured a direct assault would be a messy death, so they came up with an alternate means of success that worked exceptionally well.

Had I not told them to expect death as a real possibility for poor planning, would they have all died by ogre hands? Maybe, because they might have expected me to play in the style of 'a.' I've met a good number of players who expect it that way.