View Full Version : Warrior campaign

2008-04-24, 11:58 PM
I am currently running a warrior campaign (no magic/divine class) any advise on...

selecting monsters to challenge the party...
the pacing of the game....
how to keep things fun yet challenging....
anything else I missed...

2008-04-25, 12:07 AM
I would recommend leaning to more monsters as opposed to only one strong one. No one wants to be the guy that doesnt get to charge because a team member is in the way.

Depending on how you handle it, there may be a lot of downtime between adventures. If there are a lot of potions available or some kind of more effective healing over time, it wont be that much of a problem, but without a healer and only a few potions, it may take a couple of weeks to heal up from a fight that almost kills someone.

2008-04-25, 12:18 AM
Make at least one player a Rogue with a wand of CLW and CMW. Otherwise, your players will be run down very quickly by sheer numbers.

Jack Zander
2008-04-25, 12:22 AM
If ranger or paladin is allowed, you might have healing, but that depends on what you define as a magic/divine class.

Otherwise, someone definitely needs to make a combat focused rogue with maxed out UMD.

2008-04-25, 12:34 AM
You don't need to have magic healing. I would second leaning towards more monsters rather than one big one.

2008-04-25, 12:41 AM
You don't need to have magic healing.Yes, you do. At level 20, with only non-magical healing and a Ranger with max ranks in the Heal skill, your party will be healing 40 points of damage each per nights rest. That is nowhere near enough. A single spell does more damage than that, let alone a full attack with PA. Sorry, you need to have some sort of magical healing just to survive.

2008-04-25, 01:35 AM
If it's not there, you'll find a way to survive...or you'll die.

Different strokes for different gaming groups I guess. If the group knows they don't have healing available, they play more cautiously, and when someone gets badly wounded, they do what our ancestors had to do...

All around, taking away that quick band-aid by it's nature makes the group more tactics-oriented. The consequences of the group's actions are magnified, relatively. It's not necessarily a bad thing. I seriously doubt the group is going to be playing at level 20. At the ranges where most groups play, not having healing isn't a game-killer. Our group hasn't had a cleric for over a year and yes we've lost some characters, but still have 2 of the original 5 (levels 1 through 13 so far). Combat is a serious thing, and is taken seriously.

2008-04-25, 02:08 AM
Look at the damage dealt at level 10, then. Of the CR-appropriate encounters, the Red Dragon deals 22 damage with just it's breath weapon, let alone a full attack (21+12+12+11+11+12). A Bebith can deal 16 damage and hit you with Con poison. A single encounter with either of those could take days to heal from for whoever gets hit the most, and that assumes you take it out in a couple of rounds. Even a single Fireball from a Sorcerer or Wizard of your level (or a Salamander, who gets it as an SLA) deals 35 points of damage to everyone in it's radius. That alone would take 2 days of resting to heal. And if you are telling me that you can kill a level-appropriate encounter before it gets off a single spell, well, your DM needs some training in character building. You should be facing 4 enemies a day, all of whom can easily take off more HP than you can heal in a night. In any time-dependent mission, you'd end up dying from attrition long before you reached the objective, and assuming you didn't, your poor barbarian would take over a week to heal. Magical healing is factored into the CR system. Going on a mission without it is the next thing to suicide.

2008-04-25, 02:40 AM
Magic healing absolutely not necessary. Just use action/fate points and/or give PCs X number of "second winds" to use per day that heal 50% of their max hp each time.

A no-magic game requires some new rules, but it's quite possible.

As for monsters and challenges: nothing that's immune to weapons, nothing that flies (unless it has to swoop in to attack, like gargoyles), and nothing that's ethereal or otherwise requires magic to fight. It's not very hard to tell if something can be beaten without magic.

Use environments and tactics to create challenging encounters out of relatively "mundane" enemies.

2008-04-25, 02:45 AM
Yes, if you houserule in a better system for healing, magical healing becomes unnecessary. If you play with the rules as-is, though, you have to have either magical healing or make them face monsters below their CR. There's no way to have them survive without houserules in a game without at least some Wands of CLW.

Also, I support the Action Point system for your game, though not the "Second Wind". I have nothing but bile for 4.0.

2008-04-25, 02:46 AM
I'd say for starters, throw out CR as a basis of challenge. DR? +1 CR. Decent SLAs? +1 or more CR.

Ranged at all? +5 CR.

Good full attack monster? +2 CR.

Basically everything is going to be about twice as hard.

2008-04-25, 02:47 AM
Get a group of Boneclaws, give them fast healing 10 and have fun.

Also, hydras are fun as heck.

2008-04-25, 03:01 AM
Also, I support the Action Point system for your game, though not the "Second Wind". I have nothing but bile for 4.0.
Some people's kids. It's an Earthdawn mechanic, and a pretty decent one.

2008-04-25, 04:32 AM
For a campaign a-la-braveheart, go for high numbers!

So far (roll the drums) we have never even had a magic healer in our group, mainly relying on potions and rest, or paying insane amounts to a cleric whenever we were so lucky to stumble upon one. Same party, for 14 years of fun (almost epic). Using good tactics and terrain makes even goblinoids and the occasional orc a nice challenge if there is no magic healing.

Having armor grant DR works well with this kind of game. You will notice the difference when you are wearin a DR 4 fullplate and someone is showering 1d6arrows on you!

Also, a warrior's campaign should not be about slaying dragons. beasts that deal 50 damage per hit should be the climax of a campaign, not a random encounter just because they are CR-appropriate. Hev your PCs duel with other champions and defeat hordes of lowlevel soldiers!


Tempest Fennac
2008-04-25, 04:38 AM
A Wand of Lesser Vigour would be better for restoring HPs then a Want of CLWs. Also, have you heard of te system where characters can recover HPs equal to their full HPs everyday? That would help if you wanted to avoid the players using any magic at all.

2008-04-25, 04:41 AM
I'll second the armor as damage reduction (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm) suggestion. On top of that, I recommend bolstering the rather-weak Heal skill, since your players will be relying on it unless one of them grabs a wand of CLW.

Tempest Fennac
2008-04-25, 04:54 AM
How would you improve Heal for this campaign? I was thinking that you could add the option to spend 1 hour restoring HPs equal to whatever the result of the check is (that idea is loosley based on Reiki, so it wouldn't work well for most of the classes flavourwise, and it would probably be necessary to use a rule where it can only be used once/character each day).

2008-04-25, 04:56 AM
ill oppose the armor as damage reduction idea, firstly it nerfs the style of light fast attacks even more than usual, while at the same time being worthless against things that are either hardhitting or have power attack.

2008-04-25, 05:01 AM
Also, a warrior's campaign should not be about slaying dragons. beasts that deal 50 damage per hit should be the climax of a campaign, not a random encounter just because they are CR-appropriate. Hev your PCs duel with other champions and defeat hordes of lowlevel soldiers!
Going to second this one, but mostly because I like Dragons as significantly placed..

ill oppose the armor as damage reduction idea, firstly it nerfs the style of light fast attacks even more than usual, while at the same time being worthless against things that are either hardhitting or have power attack.
It's true. It's a great thing early on, but even the UA book the variant's listed in noted that later on, +4 AC was much more significant then DR 4/-.

Then again, you're going to have the PCs mostly face off against smaller monsters, right? It could work in that light, where you don't have to fight big huge monsters, but smaller ones who won't break the DR as easily.

2008-04-25, 05:14 AM
A 10th level Orc Warrior deals 1d12(Greataxe)+6(Str)+1(weapon enhancement)+2x power attack. That is CR appropriate, and should require over a night to heal from for each attack that hits. Assuming your DM doesn't have you getting ambushed and doesn't have enemies target the guy who looks weakest (probably the most injured in a party of meleers), that will still run any party down if the adventure lasts for more than a few days.

And every evil enemy other than a Rahkasha deals over 20 damage in a single round at CR 10. There's Huge Fire Giants and White Dragons at that level, too. Or a Kobold Rogue with +5d6 damage, a surprise round, a bow, and a good initiative modifier who can skirmish you to death, dealing 20 damage per attack as long as he can keep you flatfooted. Non-magical healing won't cut it against opponents who try to deal damage, and other than spellcasters, that is all most opponents will do. You need a houserule to fix it.

2008-04-25, 06:05 AM
One thing to keep in mind is that CR IS A SUGGESTION. Forget about the term "CR appropriate" in a campaign like this. Forget about the "four CR-appropriate encounters a day or else" thing. Go with the horde of easily squashed mooks. Heck, with numerous low level opponents and armor as DR soaking up their blows you'll probably end up looking more epic from an IC perspective than a normal, magically enhanced D&D party, even if you're fighting drastically under-CR encounters from an OOC perspective.

Forget about what you should be doing. Do what's fun.

2008-04-25, 06:10 AM
Healing potions .... alot

2008-04-25, 08:15 AM
real quick thing i forgot to mention... I m using both the armor as damage reduction variant and the nonlethal equal to your armor AC variant.

so studded leather would have DR 1 /- and change the first 2 damage into nonlethal....

after looking at the healing rules on nonlethal (1 hp per level per hour) they can recover [quicker]...

next thing I have problem with is the players always want to wait those 4 hours to recover their HP... in the dungeon. I have thought of wandering monster but they usually clear out the dungeon then wait... any way to punish this Tactic or is it really not that bad?

Azerian Kelimon
2008-04-25, 08:23 AM
You're screwing them by not giving them heals and want to screw 'em further?

Maybe someone else needs the punishing. If you don't give them a way to easily recover (The reserve HP variant is what you should be using) their HP, do NOT punish them if they are cautious.

2008-04-25, 08:30 AM
Is it realistic to think they can clear the dungeon and then wait? If you want them going on/fighting while they are not healed by the 4 hours, you should indeed throw in some wandering monsters.

Do you always have them adventuring in dungeons? Take them to the desert, the plains, the forest. See them clear out the sahara before resting.

But really, why can't they use magic? Could you give us the in- and outgame explanation? It seems unfair the whole ingame world can have it, except them.

2008-04-25, 02:52 PM
You want to know what an all-warrior party looks like?

Driz'zt Do'Urden, Bruenor Battlehammer, Wulfgar, Regis, and Cattie-Brie. Drow ranger, Dwarf Fighter, Human Barbarian, Halfling Rogue, and Human Fighter (or ranger; she could go either way, but the old Heroes Lorebook puts her as a fighter).

You'll notice that, after an adventure, they spend a lot of time resting, and complaining about how much they hurt.

Meat Shield
2008-04-25, 03:12 PM
I heartily encourage warrior only campaigns. Less deus ex machina from your casters and unlimited hit points because your buddy the heal bot can erase any damage the bad guys do.

These campaigns actually require PCs to THINK, PLAN, AND USE CAUTION. Things that should be encouraged, not discouraged.

Those saying this is a bad thing, how many healbots show up in classic fantasy literature? And don't say Aragorn - he did his work with epic heal checks, not spells. The thing with Frodo only slowed the poison and the Houses of Healing in RotK was after the battle, and still it took those people weeks to recover.

2008-04-25, 03:14 PM
Incidentally, anyone who is into all-warrior D&D should really try out games like Conan d20 and Iron Heroes.

Some people's kids. It's an Earthdawn mechanic, and a pretty decent one.

Well, it's a mechanic of many, many games. Some d20 games, too. I guess 4E aped the mechanic or something? It's absolutely superior to total reliance on healing spells, in any case.

2008-04-25, 03:25 PM
Someone in your group needs max ranks in Heal, along with a Healer's Kit. This way you can recover as much as possible between battles (provided the healer doesn't get thwomped as well).

They should invest in Tower Shields. Nothing will save their hides like portable total cover. They should also take care to use weapons which provide bonuses to other attacks or actions. Every little bit helps.

Poisons will probably be helpful if you have a rogue in the party. Is alchemy allowed? It's not magic, but it'll be a helpful aid in the meantime.

Finally, since they don't have magic to get through non-combat encounters, try to gear things that can be solved with skill checks and good role playing.

Human Paragon 3
2008-04-25, 03:30 PM
The wound point/vitallity point system on the SRD is great for a campaign with little or no healing magic. HP are healed on an hourly basis instead of a nightly basis, and the wound points make the game cooler and more cinamatic.

2008-04-25, 03:39 PM
Hmmm ...
I keep seeing suggestions for potions and wands to provide healing. Isn't the Healing Belt from MIC supposed to be an excellent, extremely cost-effective item, that should be purchased before the party starts to worry about adding more healing via wands?

Potions, of course, are good for the first level or two, then quickly become way too expensive compared to wands (let alone the belt).

If full magic items are allowed, I bet the party could be OK with an array of Healing Belts and Wands of Lesser Vigor. Especially if some part-caster classes like Paladin/Ranger/Psychic Warrior (with the right feats) are there for extra healing.

2008-04-25, 04:16 PM
Assuming for a moment (foolishly, of course) that you and your players are amenable to a world that isn't almost completely overrun by fields of goblins as far as the eye can see, and that you aren't tied to the "Save the world in a month from an ancient plot" paradigm...

Downtime. Wounds take time to heal, but you as players don't have to play through it.

"One month later..."

Compared to a normal campaign, in which characters go from death's door to never been better in a 24 hour period, this makes the characters seem a little weak, but that's only if you're constantly comparing yourself to people who live under completely different rules.

Is this a low-magic world?

In a world where bandits aren't as common as dirt, and where an orcish warband is a big deal, and where a chimera showing up basically means all the villagers are going to die and the bartender can't save them... in that world things will take on a slightly more lifelike pace. You may take a few weeks healing after clearing orcs out of a mine, but you're still keeping up with the pace of the world.

If you're going to have lots of encounters, use weaker monsters. Orcs don't have to be level 10 to challenge level 10 adventurers. Lots of weaker orcs add up nicely. On days when it isn't important that you're routing entire hosts, such as when you must slay a terrible beast, just use the one. Make an event out of tough fights. Your characters may only fight one monster that day, but when the next week passes in three words at the table, it's not a problem.


If none of this applies, if you're playing in a high magic world, just give them scads of potions.

2008-04-25, 07:26 PM
I am doing a fun project for my Japaneses class so the campaign is set in Fuedal japan.... there is some fantasy (in the form of Japaneses superstition and mythology) so a shammen coming by to heal the players is not out of the question.... my aim is to make magic amazing and mysterious... not just, oh it is a 5d6 fireball well i can take it because my heal-bot the cleric will just heal me for 4d8+5hp...

again low magic does not mean no magic just enough to be helpful and amazing yet not so much to where it is ordinary...

Azerian Kelimon
2008-04-25, 07:28 PM
You could have a Dragon Shaman NPC, then. One of their powers is having a draconic aura that grants Fast Healing up to half of your HP. You could use that to null the need for more healing.

2008-04-25, 07:35 PM
later in the campaign (they're level 1 right now) I will do that, but i will just need to tweak the dragon bonuses to fit Asian dragons

2008-04-25, 07:47 PM
There are a few feats in complete warrior that can help ya out. Most notably fast healing which allows you to heal more damage per day. Oh, sunder/ranged sunder are always a blessing in melee campaigns.