Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 41
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Need help. BIG TIME.

    okay. I'm DMing a campaign for my cousins and they asked me to do an LOTR campaign. The only problem is they have no idea what they're getting into. I'm using the book version of Sauron so I think most of you know how Uber he is. That's not the problem. this is the problem.

    HOW DO YOU DEFEAT HIM?!

    any battle with his full forces would be hopeless. I can't think of any way to beat him short of a huge deus ex machina. Now I could shorten his forces but there's another problem. They also want to fight and kill both Gothmog and Ancalagon the black. (I told them about these two. I now regret it big time.)

    another problem is in order for it to make any sense I'd have to merge it with my current campaign. Oh and half of them have a mother that has expressly forbidden religion entering into the game. I could just say Sauron is a very powerful human and Gothmog is just a monster. the real problem is not much short of a god could contend with Sauron. I have quite a few powerful dragons in the campaign if that helps. half of them are good and none of them want Sauron to rule so there's that.

    help please?

  2. - Top - End - #2

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Rule 1: Sauron has no stats.

    He exists outside of stats. He has a weakness, but otherwise cannot be stopped.

    This means that he can fistfight with a dragon and win.

    He will turn the tide of battles by himself.

    My advice: Play it as after Sauron's fall, pre-ring destruction. In the time of the books, but in other areas. Perhaps in areas mere weeks or days before notable events. Perhaps they have their own notable events. But run a different plot. One that complements the books.
    Last edited by PhoenixRivers; 2009-10-19 at 04:04 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Colossus in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    You could re-enact the culmination of the battle of Last Alliance; just sub the party for Elendil & Gil-Galad (and hope they're near-epic by the time they get into the fight with him; we ain't talking nobodies here). Obviously the party is gonna need to organize a huge fookin' army if they want to even have a chance at taking out Sauron. Then said army needs to perform enough to deal sufficient losses to force Sauron to personally intervene.

    Then good oldfashioned fight with some heavy support to somewhat bind Sauron's magical abilities so the players can get into a physical fight with Sauron and duke it out, hopefully coming out on the top (or the whole army is gonna get squashed).


    Just treat him as a power that attracts all the evil creatures to him and controls them; don't delve deeper into his essence. Just give him a physical form and leave the details obscure.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-10-19 at 04:13 AM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    SRD Averages - An aggregation of all the key stats of all the monster entries on SRD arranged by CR.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Rule 1: Sauron has no stats.
    .
    he has a CR. Apparently somebody statted him out. his CR is "you die."

  5. - Top - End - #5

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    You could re-enact the culmination of the battle of Last Alliance; just sub the party for Elendil & Gil-Galad (and hope they're near-epic by the time they get into the fight with him; we ain't talking nobodies here). Obviously the party is gonna need to organize a huge fookin' army if they want to even have a chance at taking out Sauron. Then said army needs to perform enough to deal sufficient losses to force Sauron to personally intervene.

    Then good oldfashioned fight with some heavy support to somewhat bind Sauron's magical abilities so the players can get into a physical fight with Sauron and duke it out, hopefully coming out on the top (or the whole army is gonna get squashed).


    Just treat him as a power that attracts all the evil creatures to him and controls them; don't delve deeper into his essence. Just give him a physical form and leave the details obscure.
    Some Mutually Assured Destruction of Sauron and the party could be a win, or severe damage and retreat for both sides. Depending on the alliance army strength.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    he has a CR. Apparently somebody statted him out. his CR is "you die."
    LOL. This means he was not intended to directly face.
    Last edited by PhoenixRivers; 2009-10-19 at 04:15 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Colossus in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    he has a CR. Apparently somebody statted him out. his CR is "you die."
    That's hardly official. Stat him out again. But yeah, let the characters gain levels. A lot of levels. Make it clear how awesome they are (that being high-level means you're more than just a man/elf/halfling/dwarf) and that they might stand a small chance at the end of the campaign with huge support. Also, make it clear that Sauron is kickass. That should be a stage for epic confrontation.

    Rest should take care of itself; Phoenix's version might very well be a nice ending. But see how they perform and let that dictate how it all ends.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    SRD Averages - An aggregation of all the key stats of all the monster entries on SRD arranged by CR.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Killer Angel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lustria
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    My advice: Play it as after Sauron's fall, pre-ring destruction. In the time of the books, but in other areas. Perhaps in areas mere weeks or days before notable events.
    Even after the ring's destruction. A great evil lurks in the mines of Moria...
    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes. (W.Whitman)


    Things that increase my self esteem:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    Great analysis KA. I second all things you said
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeYounger View Post
    Great analysis KA, I second everything you said here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu_Bonkosi View Post
    If I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
    Quote Originally Posted by grimbold View Post
    THIS is proof that KA is amazing
    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Killer Angel, you have an excellent taste in books
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Historical zombies is a fantastic idea.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Chrono22's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    Even after the ring's destruction. A great evil lurks in the mines of Moria...
    Run with this.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    I might be missing something here. But why can't you let them take out Sauron the movie way (i.e. drop the one ring into mount doom)?

    Otherwise, go for the Deus Ex Machina way. Some aging epic wizard gives them a device that can take out Sauron (Created Anti-Osmium contained within sphere of force). Problem is that it will also wipe out the planet as well. They have to somehow trick Sauron off-planet and detonate it there.
    ESPRE Super Powers Roleplay Engine: An open game RPG about super powers.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Trissociate 3.5 Homebrew Base Class. Mix & match abilites & templates to make virtually any sort of character!
    Emerald Legion A Mind Flayer's guide to breeding Ikea Tarrasques
    The Blob Ikea Tarrasques Redux through Fusion+Astral Seed
    Spellblade Tennis Throw out nigh infinite spells per round
    Sleeping Raven Infinite Blood Frenzy Nigh infinite melee damage exploit

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Bologna, Italy
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    I have been lucky enough to have DMed the most beautiful and satisfying LOTR campaign EVER (I'm not exaggerating, even if I know this statement seems quite foolish). My players still talk about it after years.

    It is an original story, it involves Sauron, it is perfectly suited for both the LOTR fans and for those who can't tell what a Nazgul is. And it's perfect for 3-5 players.

    Can be played in 6-8 months (assuming one session per week).

    As soon as I have an hour or so, I'll post the plot.
    If you prefer to keep it secret (maybe some players of yours read the GITP forum?) and you prefer me to PM it to you, just say so.

    Same goes for others interested in hearing the plot.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Sauron is not unbeatable. As mentioned, at the culmination of the siege by the Last Alliance, Elendil and Gil-galad simply beat him up. Now, granted, this was in the glory days and Elendil was nine feet tall with an aura of coruscating light, while Gil-galad was presumably similarly more badass than Third Age elves, but still. And it's debatable whether they actually defeated him or just got him on the ground for long enough for Isildur to cut off his ring finger, which may have been the actual killing blow - it's not entirely clear. And they did die in the process.

    But still.

    Honestly I would just say "guys, it doesn't fit the campaign at all, amusing as it might be it's just not worth trying to shoehorn in a fight against these characters from a totally different setting with a totally different tone and assumptions".

    What are the details of the "no religion" restriction? Are you not allowed to have clerics, paladins, celestials, fiends etc? That would definitely add another layer of "no" to the whole thing.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Mattys View Post
    As soon as I have an hour or so, I'll post the plot.
    If you prefer to keep it secret (maybe some players of yours read the GITP forum?) and you prefer me to PM it to you, just say so.

    Same goes for others interested in hearing the plot.
    sounds good. There's no chance they'd be on here. Believe me.

    I changed the party cleric to "the doctor."* nobody is a Paladin or any other divine class so it doesn't really matter. The mother doesn't want anything to do with Religion at all in the campaign.

    *exactly like the cleric with a different name.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2009-10-19 at 04:49 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zeta Kai's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Final Chapter
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    I think that Sauron's combat prowess is overrated. Most of his offensive power is tied up in the One Ring. Note that anytime that he directly engaged in battle, he lost. That's why he prefers to act behind the scenes. He does best as a manipulator & schemer, not as a direct combatant.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Imagination Land
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    This is doomed to failure.

    Alternatively, watch this or read this.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    Watch me draw and swear at video games.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    This is doomed to failure.

    Alternatively, watch this or read this.
    yeah I've seen both of these. I think I'm a better DM than the DM of the rings.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Imagination Land
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Then you're just doomed to failure, I guess. Sorry. But don't feel bad! So is everybody else!
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    Watch me draw and swear at video games.

  17. - Top - End - #17

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    As long as you don't try to script the movie, and instead tell a parallel story that the party CAN interact with, you're fine.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    A Lord of the Rings (as opposed to "set in Middle Earth in an earlier Age") campaign in which the PCs face Sauron, Gothmog and Ancalagon in combat... pretty much shouldn't be. I think this is a greater problem than statting up Sauron. And an actual LotR campaign would have a very hard time being run without some religious elements - basically the entire plot is driven by the idea that the heroes have to trust in providence.

    What exactly do the players want? You could give them an evil overlord with a magic ring, a Balor lieutenant and a great wyrm black dragon (which breathes fire) easily enough.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    I used the plot line of LotR as the basis for a Star Wars campaign...
    We got bogged down before we'd finished The Hobbit-based prequel, and from that point on, the story went NOTHING like the original material.

    If you're prepared to work with the themes and ideas of LotR and not try to duplicate the plot, you may have an exciting game. It's almost impossible to get the party to do what the Fellowship did - dice rolls will change the plot, let alone what the players try to do.

    Anyway - how to defeat Sauron?
    Sauron is essentially an ghost lich, with a special phylactery - the Ring. He can't manifest physically without the Ring. He has artefacts that extend his power (the Palantir, which allows him at will scrying, and limited casting ability through the link).
    Sauron's power is mostly influence. He's almost impossible to defeat because he isn't physically present, and you have to destroy his Ring to beat him, anyway.
    You'd need to invent a new way to fight Sauron, like "the Only Ghost Touch Weapon in Middle Earth" or something, if you're not going down the Ring Destroying Quest route. Even then, the Ring must be destroyed, somehow.

    By the way, a LotR D&D game needs lots of changes to capture the feeling of the material.
    Spells aren't flash-bang stuff. You should probably strip out the spell-list, reducing it to mind affecting, buffing and energy manipulating stuff, rather than conjuration and evocation.
    You could adopt the "armour is damage conversion" rules from Unearthed Arcana - instead of stopping you getting hit, armour changes lethal damage to subdual, and you get knock unconscious. Frodo's mithril shirt saving him from the troll is a good example.
    You'll need to adopt some sort of mechanic for corruption and temptation - evil influences work that way in LotR.

    I'd recommend throwing out Clerics and Druids as core classes, and probably sorcerers. Paladins' and Rangers' spells are about the peak of magic one expects from humans in LotR, though maybe you could allow elvish Bards. In any case, you need to strip that spell list down!

    The Conan d20 game has a great system for magic that might help you, but it's a big change to the D&D system.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    Sauron is essentially an ghost lich, with a special phylactery - the Ring. He can't manifest physically without the Ring.
    I don't believe this is supported.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    Spells aren't flash-bang stuff. You should probably strip out the spell-list, reducing it to mind affecting, buffing and energy manipulating stuff, rather than conjuration and evocation.
    Ahem, may i remind you that gandal actually uses "spells" that do nothing but make loud noises and bright lights?

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dixieboy View Post
    Ahem, may i remind you that gandal actually uses "spells" that do nothing but make loud noises and bright lights?
    Illusion can cover that

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wandering in Harrekh
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    D&D does not do Lord of the Rings well at all. You have to stay true to the PHB or to the source material. There's not much middle ground. To do both, you have to have a group of players who are perfectly all right with totally lopsided racial imbalance, permanence of death, non-existence of some classes, nearly nonexistent magic items, Deus ex Machinas out the wazoo, and (most likely) a high casualty rate.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    I don't believe this is supported.
    Which? That he's a ghost, a lich, a ghost lich, or that he can't manifest physically without the Ring?

    I made up the ghost lich idea to allow for him to have a phylactery and be incorporeal. The closest D&D concept to the Ring is the lich's phylactery, in my opinion. I base that on no canonical material, but the practical function of the Ring as a source for Sauron's power, which must be destroyed to finish the Dark Lord off forever.
    As for Sauron being unable to manifest physically: I base that on the ambiguous form of Sauron throughout the Lord of the Rings - it's not wholly canonical that he wasn't able to take form, but appropriate for the purposes of making him harder to defeat.
    It may suit the OP to have Sauron be incorporeal, or it may suit to have him be physically present in Barad-dur.
    It may be useful to derive rules for Sauron's connection to the One Ring from the lich's phylactery.
    Last edited by Altair_the_Vexed; 2009-10-19 at 09:35 AM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Zaydos's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Erutnevda

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    I thought the One Ring was an Item Familiar as well as his phylactery. Although it is implied in the books that Galadriel and Gandalf would both have the power to defeat Sauron permanently with the ring but be corrupted in the process. It is also implied Sauron was physical in Mirkwood in the Hobbit under the guise of "the Necromancer".
    Peanut Half-Dragon Necromancer by Kurien.

    Current Projects:

    Group: The Harrowing Halloween Harvest of Horror Part 2

    Personal Silliness: Vote what Soulknife "Fix"/Inspired Class Should I make??? Past Work Expansion Caricatures.

    Old: My homebrew (updated 9/9)

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    AslanCross's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-10-19 at 10:23 AM.


    Eberron Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal. NOW COMPLETE!
    Sakuya Izayoi avatar by Mr. Saturn. Caella sig by Neoseph.

    "I dunno, you just gave me the image of a nerd flying slow motion over a coffee table towards another nerd, dual wielding massive books. It was awesome." -- Marriclay

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    any battle with his full forces would be hopeless. I can't think of any way to beat him short of a huge deus ex machina. Now I could shorten his forces but there's another problem. They also want to fight and kill both Gothmog and Ancalagon the black. (I told them about these two. I now regret it big time.)

    another problem is in order for it to make any sense I'd have to merge it with my current campaign. Oh and half of them have a mother that has expressly forbidden religion entering into the game. I could just say Sauron is a very powerful human and Gothmog is just a monster. the real problem is not much short of a god could contend with Sauron. I have quite a few powerful dragons in the campaign if that helps. half of them are good and none of them want Sauron to rule so there's that.

    help please?
    Well, all three of them were beaten by men and/or elves. There's no reason why high-level D&D characters shouldn't be able to take any and/or all of them. Cutting bloody swathes through armies of orcs is similarly the sort of thing which high-level characters do. Great Cleave is, what, a fourth-level feat? I think that you're overestimating the power of these individuals in comparison to D&D characters.
    A System-Independent Creative Community:
    Strolen's Citadel

    A Warhammer Homebrewing Forum: Hammer & Anvil

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WalkingTarget's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    D&D does not do Lord of the Rings well at all. You have to stay true to the PHB or to the source material. There's not much middle ground. To do both, you have to have a group of players who are perfectly all right with totally lopsided racial imbalance, permanence of death, non-existence of some classes, nearly nonexistent magic items, Deus ex Machinas out the wazoo, and (most likely) a high casualty rate.
    This.

    D&D does not model the world that Tolkien invented.

    That being said, for adventures in the Third Age you might be able to swing it as an E6 campaign with limited classes/spell lists. Earlier ages might be slightly less restricted. As an E6 campaign, I remember GoC's attempt to build Sauron from a while back that I thought was interesting, but I'm not enough of a homebrew/crunch guy to know how it'd play out.
    Take your best shot, everyone else does.
    Avatar by Guildorn Tanaleth. See other avatars below.

    Spoiler
    Show
    My original avatar and much better ones by groundhog22 and a Winter Olympics one by Rae Artemi.


  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Glass Mouse's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Icy North
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Do the players want to be classic heroes?

    Otherwise, make them work for Sauron! They could be evil, or neutral, and run around, doing his bidding. Conquering the world probably takes a lot of work.

    Actually... If they do want the hero-bit, make them work for Sauron, anyway. Then give them the opportunity to backstab him via cunning and stealth.

    He'll never know what hit him
    Spoiler
    Show


    Challenge badge
    , courtesy of HeadlessMermaid.

    Avatar courtesy of the talented Neoriceisgood. Features Pumpkin from my webcomic.


  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Need help. BIG TIME.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeta Kai View Post
    I think that Sauron's combat prowess is overrated. Most of his offensive power is tied up in the One Ring. Note that anytime that he directly engaged in battle, he lost. That's why he prefers to act behind the scenes. He does best as a manipulator & schemer, not as a direct combatant.
    To be fair to the guy, every time he ends up fighting, he ends up fighting one or more of the greatest epic heroes of whatever age he's in. And he still slew Gil-Galad before Elendil managed to bullrush him off a cliff.

    It's worth noting that LotR doesn't deal in 'hit points' - if you fall 100 feet, you're dead, it doesn't matter how tough you are (although even after the fall, Isildur still needed to deliver the coup-de-grace). Same for the Witch-King, for example - he got stabbed right in the face, that'll kill anyone.

    Anyhow. In the Third Age, the problem for budding Sauron-hunters is simple: there are very few beings of the caliber of Luthien or Elendil left (Elendil was eight feet tall, you know!). We're talking heroes of the Iliad-Odyssey-upon-this-day-he-slew-1000-men kind. Galadriel, maybe. Glorfindel is something of a pacifist ever since he returned from across the Sea, so he's out. Maybe Gandalf could give him a straight-up fight if he wasn't bound by the restrictions placed upon him. There simply isn't anyone else.

    So no matter how high the PCs climb, they'll always lack that spark of epicness that the heroes of bygone ages had that allowed them to stand toe-to-toe with these demigods and fight them to the end, because the PCs were born in the Third Age, when that sort of thing had almost faded away.
    Last edited by SmartAlec; 2009-10-19 at 12:17 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •