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    Default Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Hi, all. I'm finally manning up to run a 4e campaign for my group, with the tone based around the Castlevania series of video games. The players will be heroes either touched by the shadow or bearing a bright light into the depths of a tainted land, fighting monsters that have risen with the resurrection of the king of evil, eventually making their way to Castlevania and slaying Dracula.

    I think I've managed to get most of my group excited about the upcoming games, but I could use some help, to be honest. The game will be run online via chat and Maptool, but I'm not sure of myself. Do any of you want to volunteer resources that you find useful when running 4e online? Questions or comments about what I'm trying to do? Monsters or traps from the games that you think deserve homage in the tabletop game?

    A more directed question as well: The current party consists of a Shaman, a Fighter, and one undecided player who will likely be a Striker of some sort. Do you think this party of 3 will do fine? Or should I do as they've requested and create a DMPC Controller to accompany them?
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Should be fine if you balance it around 3 players.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Monsters:
    • Medusa Heads.
    • Death, obviously.
    • A whole lot of undead, vampires are an obvious a big one.
    • Demons and devils of all variety, with a few Celestial types (Valkyries?) thrown in for good measure.
    • Constructs will play a big part.
    • Animated objects. Tables, candelabras, paintings and the like.
    • Werewolves
    • Minotaurs


    Probably some others too, but those are pretty big ones off the top of my head.

    Floor/wall spikes, pits of acid, rotating platforms....

    Party of 3 should do fine.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    With all the undead that'll be in the campaign, you'll probably want to have most areas feature some sort of 'unhallowed' effect that somehow impedes or diminishes radiant damage and anti-undead effects, so they don't completely dominate huge swaths of your module.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Also you may want to houserule some whip style weapons or make whips stronger if you want someone to find the vampire killer. Also if someone specializes in whips there's the multiclass whip feat chain that's pretty fun.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Quote Originally Posted by Crasical View Post
    A more directed question as well: The current party consists of a Shaman, a Fighter, and one undecided player who will likely be a Striker of some sort. Do you think this party of 3 will do fine?
    Yes, they will do fine. The most important part is that they have a leader.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Thanks for all the replies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnestic View Post
    Monsters:
    • Medusa Heads.
    • Death, obviously.
    • A whole lot of undead, vampires are an obvious a big one.
    • Demons and devils of all variety, with a few Celestial types (Valkyries?) thrown in for good measure.
    • Constructs will play a big part.
    • Animated objects. Tables, candelabras, paintings and the like.
    • Werewolves
    • Minotaurs
    Yeeeeeesss. I need to find some way to represent medusa heads, but those will definitely be in. I've already got Goblins standing in for Fleamen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    With all the undead that'll be in the campaign, you'll probably want to have most areas feature some sort of 'unhallowed' effect that somehow impedes or diminishes radiant damage and anti-undead effects, so they don't completely dominate huge swaths of your module.
    With a fighter, a Rogue/Ranger, and a Shaman, I think they won't be throwing around that much radiant to begin with. Plus, from the above list, there's pleny of constructs and lycanthropes to pad out the list with so it's not 100% undead.

    Quote Originally Posted by WitchSlayer View Post
    Also you may want to houserule some whip style weapons or make whips stronger if you want someone to find the vampire killer. Also if someone specializes in whips there's the multiclass whip feat chain that's pretty fun.
    Weirdly enough no-one wanted to play a Belmont. I still haven't decided where I want to go with that dangling plot thread, either having the line died out, sealed away, or what.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Have a really old Belmont be the quest-giver, and the player characters are his "apprentice-vampire-slayers".

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaEmil View Post
    Have a really old Belmont be the quest-giver, and the player characters are his "apprentice-vampire-slayers".
    That might be a neat idea... Everyone has their backstories mostly sorted, so he'd have to appear later, but having an old/crippled belmont as a quest-giver mentor could be very cool.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    To maximize a little bit of drama, you can have him/her later be killed (either while s/he tries to save the player characters or while s/he was abducted by Dracula's henchmonsters).

    And then the Belmont returns as a boss-monster or something like that. The players must find a way to either save him/her (perhaps even reversing the monstrous curse) or must unfortunately destroy the last of the Belmont.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Quote Originally Posted by Crasical View Post


    Weirdly enough no-one wanted to play a Belmont. I still haven't decided where I want to go with that dangling plot thread, either having the line died out, sealed away, or what.
    Both the Morris' got to wield the Vampire Killer despite not actually being Belmonts. Of course it has the minor side effect of killing them if they use it too much. It was something to do with no Belmonts being allowed to touch it until the Demon Castle War.

    So there is precedent for non-Belmonts getting to run around with the ol' VK. Minor downsides of course
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Quote Originally Posted by Crasical View Post
    With a fighter, a Rogue/Ranger, and a Shaman, I think they won't be throwing around that much radiant to begin with. Plus, from the above list, there's pleny of constructs and lycanthropes to pad out the list with so it's not 100% undead.
    There are weapons that allow their attacks to do radiant type damage like the Sunblade and Radiant Weapon, and of course undead seem like they would be the predominant monster type in a Castlevania game; just something you should watch out for.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Quote Originally Posted by Crasical View Post
    Yeeeeeesss. I need to find some way to represent medusa heads, but those will definitely be in. I've already got Goblins standing in for Fleamen.
    Flying minions with a petrify (save ends) effect. Should just roam on through or swerve to hit somebody, but otherwise just go flying on by.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Ninja Penguin, I like your avatar.

    Have the first encounter set up, so once the werewolf player hands in his character I'll do a test run.

    EDIT: I finally located the area for using NPCs as enemies in the DMG, and wanted to bring this up: If I want a witch that floats around on her broomstick and does bad things to the players, but flies away when defeated to be a recurring villain, is it more sensible to make her an NPC and just bump up her level whenever she reappears, so that I can pull this trick as often or as rarely as I want? Is it cheating the players to pull some tricks to ensure the villainess gets away for at least a few more go-rounds?
    Last edited by Crasical; 2011-04-09 at 04:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Depends. If done well its fair if done badly its cheap. Just think it through and plan the idea out and think what will my players do?

    Also make the vampire killer have alternate forms. Wrapping it around your wrist like a gauntlet, using the end like a dagger, having it go ridgid like a sword or spear.

    Here are other things to give it. Not all of them of course but some suggestions
    Give it an additional 5-10ongoing radiant damage (That becomes 5-10untyped straight damage to radiant resistant monsters), it adds high crit, has reach outside the dagger form, can be thrown 4/8 or 6/12, +4damage verse undead creatures, +2 against dracula's servants (stacks with undead), drain 5+1d6 hp when used by non Belmont.

    Give all the monsters a unified template call it Dracula's Servants.

    Have fun and maybe make a character sheet for a Belmont just if one players character dies or a new person wishes to join.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Quote Originally Posted by Crasical View Post
    Weirdly enough no-one wanted to play a Belmont. I still haven't decided where I want to go with that dangling plot thread, either having the line died out, sealed away, or what.
    How about adding in a Belmont as roaming the castle, fighting dudes, so they encounter 'dead' encounters at various times, then pull a bait and switch boss later on, with them being all geared up to fight, say, Death in the Clock Tower, and then having the Belmont be sitting there, having just killed the guy. Naturally, he is not trusting of the 'mere humans' who just fought their way up and are all decked out for combat. Plus, there have been a NUMBER of humanoid servants of Dracula over the eons.

    Then, if they kill him... >=3

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    That's unspeakably evil. I like it. *offers genuflections*
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Quote Originally Posted by Crasical View Post
    That's unspeakably evil. I like it. *offers genuflections*
    I try. Not even all that hard, actually.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Also, talked with my group about the controller thing, mentioning that they probably will do fine with just a party of three, but they claim they really enjoyed my DMPCs in the past. I'm not really sure what to do here. I'm considering making a few DMPCs of various classes to show up where appropriate but not stick with the party for very long, so that I can bump up the XP budget for areas that need a few more enemies. Coming up with vague ideas for the various people they'll meet and ally with...

    Swarm Druid: Queen of a brood of demon insects who is part of a monster rebellion that wants to kill dracula or reseal him so that they can avoid being suckered into being made his thralls by his power.

    Invoker: Badass old man Who's been waiting for dracula to revive ever since he was last sealed.

    Seeker: A Miko! Why is she in faux europe? I have no idea! Vague ideas of a 'shard of chaos' being chipped off of Castlevania and brought to Japan to make an Oni stronghold, and this seeker coming to investigate it.

    Controller: Cute witch.

    Still need an idea for a psion.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Quote Originally Posted by Crasical View Post
    Seeker: A Miko! Why is she in faux europe? I have no idea! Vague ideas of a 'shard of chaos' being chipped off of Castlevania and brought to Japan to make an Oni stronghold, and this seeker coming to investigate it.
    Ah! Don't forget! Soma Cruz, the Reincarnation of Dracula was Japanese. While I'm not familiar with the class, I think that a few nods would be amusing.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    I don't think Soma's actually (fully?) Japanese. He says in Aria of Sorrow that he's "studying abroad in Japan" which implies that he's from elsewhere. I don't think it's ever mentioned exactly where though.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    He's also childhood friends with a japanese shrine maiden.

    Pervading theory is that he moved away from japan at a relatively young age, and came back for edumacation.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    After looking into it, it seems that the "exchange student" aspect is only in the (English?) translated version. The original Japanese simply has him be a high school student, so I guess he is Japanese. *shrug* My mistake. Weird that the translators would throw something which needlessly convolutes his backstory in there.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    His last name is apparently 'Cruz' which is, you know, spanish. Its ALREADY convoluted.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Could be thats were he went.
    So he was born in Japan. Went to Spain and came back to Japan. In America
    In Japan he was just born in Japan, with a Spanish last name.

    I bet one of his parents was spanish.


    Again I suggest a unified Template or groups of powers that can be given to monsters to really show there Drac's servants.

    These powers could be resisting things the monster normally does not resist.
    Auras for eliltes and solos. A new attacks or move actions.
    Ex. Draining Attack that heals the monster or a domination attack
    Ex. Monster can go through cracks or fly a short distance

    Maybe give them control of vermin and fangs for bite attacks. Increase damage of melee attack by a point or 2.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Quote Originally Posted by Vknight View Post
    Again I suggest a unified Template or groups of powers that can be given to monsters to really show there Drac's servants.

    These powers could be resisting things the monster normally does not resist.
    Auras for eliltes and solos. A new attacks or move actions.
    Ex. Draining Attack that heals the monster or a domination attack
    Ex. Monster can go through cracks or fly a short distance

    Maybe give them control of vermin and fangs for bite attacks. Increase damage of melee attack by a point or 2.
    I dunno about that. It really turns everything into a vampire, which isn't really Castlevania-ish. Dracula's minions tend to stand on their own merits, or fall with them. Resisting radiant and necrotic might work, but the rest of it is a little too much. If I was to make this template, I'd want it to be very subtle.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Just giving some broad examples.
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    You are making the assumption of rational planning. After 37 years of dungeon crawling, I still have zero evidence that the average dungeon was designed by the sane.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    I'd suggest some themes, like the DMG2 gives. Make up some general abilities that you can give to things. Or split themes up into various areas, like if your clockwork tower and garden stages have very different general ideas/abilities.
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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    I suggest including Wondrous Items that do allow the party (not just the individual) to do things such as double jump (or jump higher), walker on water, walk under water, fly, turn into mist, etc.

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    Default Re: Whips and Vampires: CastleVania 4e

    Regional themes for the different areas is not a bad idea. Ditto Wondrous items.
    Respawning enemies everytime you leave the immediate area?

    Perhaps limited by line-of-sight; If you can't see the corpse, it might not stay dead...
    Last edited by Tiki Snakes; 2011-04-12 at 01:08 PM.

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