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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default [PF] Wrath of the Righteous: Sword of Valor- improving the module

    WARNING! Spoilers from the module at the title, you've been warned!

    Hi there, I'm DMing the first part of the Wrath of the Righteous AP, and I've been going through the second part. While I think there is a lot of good stuff there, I think there is a lot that can be made better. In this thread I'd like to discuss possible issues with the module, and how to improve them. The first post are my ideas, but feel free to join in.

    A thread discussing the first module if you're interested (Not important to this thread)

    Ok, so let's see:

    1) Mythical status and dying:
    Spoiler
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    What do you do if a mythic character dies? The new character needs to be Mythic as well for sake of balance, but the mythical powers the characters have seem tied to the events at the end of the previous module. How can one attain mythical status in a believe able way? Or does the module assumes raising magic?

    I got no real solutions here...


    2) Lack of surprises and twists:
    Spoiler
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    This may be my biggest issue with the module. At the outset the queen says: "Go and capture Drezen, and get the Sword of Valor", and the rest of the module the PCs just... do it. There is no great reveal, no twist, not big surprise. There are a few small ones (The bard's betrayal, the strategist addiction to the demon's blood, the ex-paladin sowing dissent in the lines), but on the whole it's quite the "go the long road, fight all the battles in the way, claim prize" kinda stuff... Which is a bit boring stretched over so many levels.

    Possible solutions:
    - Add a few more surprises: In Drezen itself make a time limit, or the place DOES go Kaboom from the ritual (for example), Or force the party's army to take the place before some help arrive, or such. Not fully sure here, I'd love further ideas. I realize my ideas rely heavily on the next part (Which I still haven't read), but perhaps these can work? I really like the idea of the party having to stop the ritual of destroying Drezen before the fortress falls upon them and their soldiers. The place could fall apart slowly even, and have to be rebuilt in the next part (Perhaps?) so working fast matters, and not in the leisurely pace the module suggests.


    3) Mass combat:
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    I have read the mass combat rules, though not extensively. They seem very bland and boring, but more than that- they will only occupy one- two characters' involvement. Which creates a bore to the rest...

    Also, the army is jut 100 paladins? Sure, it's an elite unit, but it feels laughable. When imagining great armies clashing, I don't think 100 people vs. 200 or such...

    In another thread I asked for help on the matter, and I was told that these battles are simple and you get by them quickly to the main characters action. But... if so, why include them at all? Why not just wave it as "And your general commands the army and you are victorious", why make it a challenge at all? Our group meets rarely, and we value our roleplay time. We highly dislike "filler" encounters. So I would like to make the mass combat interesting and engaging.

    Possible solution:
    - First of, flat out multiply the number of forces, perhaps 5 or 10 unites of 100 (or the equivalent). That brings more complexity to the army, and enables different characters to command different units. Change opposing armies likewise, though they can be simpler.
    - For interest, enable the party to choose fro ma selection fo troops to make up their army. The queen will give them X troops out of X+Y number of possibilities. The party might gain extra troops from the previous module or such (Supply train from Horus, maybe Some troops from the mongrelfolk or Eagle watch).
    - Possibly make battlefields, and use the units "map movement" as tactical movement. This can add quite a bit to the game I think. Strategies can then defer a lot to terrain and maneuvering, and not just "add X number to Y stat" kinda stuff. This can be great fun, but it also means reworking a LOT of the mass combat rules, which I'm not eager to.
    - Any suggestions here?


    4) Main antagonist, Stuanton Vhane:
    Spoiler
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    I allready touched on this in my campaign log, but I feel that the creators of the module wanted to make Staunton a main villain, (He got a LOT of build up, background and such), but instead made him quite... pathetic to defeat. His weapon is ridiculously priced, and quite ineffective, and his build is quite... meh. Plus, he feels like a "speed bump" encounter in the grand scheme of taking Drezen. I think he could be done much better, deserve to be done much better.

    Possible Solutions:
    - Give Staunton a greater connection to Drezen, and some forces connected to it. One idea is that while he is a protector of Drezen, he is also a prisoner of it. As the party gets inside, Drezen is "locked" by some mythical field. "Welcome to my prison, and now yours!" Staunton taunts and speaks to the party through the walls of the fortress all the way, and may have some powers to complicate all kind of encounters. In short- Make knowing the dwarf more than just a battel encounter, make it prolonged, personal, and engaging.
    - Switch places between the shadow demon at the end, and Staunton, both in power, and place in the story. The shadow demon is more of a random encounter where they might save their friend, but Stautnon, the one who betrayed Drezen, who gave the Sword of Valor, is the final conflict, and it's protector. He is the end battle! The shadow demon can be a more regular encounter. With the Magic Jar it will still be tough.
    - Improve his build. Better weapon, feat choices and more. Make him super optimized.
    - I like the idea of him fighting the party with his brother and the Babaus. Every boss needs some minions.


    5) The cold Chimera, mythic encounter:
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    I didn't yet test the encounter, but on the whole it seems quite... underwhelming. The damage out put of the monster is not big, it's defenses are not that great, and relatively low hp. I feel that Mythic encounters should be encounters you win by the skin of your teeth, but this doesn't quite feel like it.

    Possible solutions:
    - Upgrading the monster, perhaps another template or something else.
    - Different monster:The module suggests some sort of a dragon that died while taking the mythic elixir? What if the chimera died, and it survived? Now, fighting a mythic dragon could be a hell of an encounter. Need to see if it's feasible.
    - Some kind of another encounter: Not everything must be killing monsters. (especially as that is the way you defeat 3 mythical trials in this adventure!). Perhaps something a bit more mystical, hellish, or something of the sort. Surviving some sort of a magicla puzzle/ faith/ plague that Areelu Vorlesh might inflict on them, or some sort of a defense from Drezen, or something else. I don't quite know, but looking for ideas.


    6) The Drezen dungeon:
    Spoiler
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    There is a problem here that was in the previous module- some parts are just filled with tons of meaningless "filler encounters", which other than providing a battle encounter and XP (and usually a very simple and boring battle encounter), do very little to progress the story.

    Plus, the way the Drezen map is built is quite confusing, without any real direction or purpose. It may be cool and fun for parties with lots of playing time, but less to those who play only rarely (like my group)

    Possible solutions:

    - Omit all the needless encounter, and upgrade meaningful encounters (Or maybe even other parts in the adventure- the armies, the mythical challenges, and such) with XP worht of enemies and challenges, and with the loot.
    - Possibly make the map simpler?


    7) The church of the ghouls, and upgrading Radiance:
    Spoiler
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    On the way to Drezen, there is the church of the priest of the ghoul demon lord. But... Ghouls? Really? They are pathetic at this level, no challenge at all. The priest and the Nabasu at the end is a cool encounter (Mostly because the characters are not expecting it), but the ghouls are... I'm not really sure why they are there.

    Also, upgrading radiance here seems simplistic. It may work, but I feel it's lacking grandeur a bit, for a legendary weapon.

    Possible solutions:
    - Upgrade the ghouls. Either a template, or possibly just switch them to another undead. Maybe Wight? Shadow? Need to think about it. They should still be low level undead, just not as pathetic as ghouls.
    - Find some other worthy goal for upgrading Radiance, not sure yet what though... Perhaps finding a way to undo ghoul-ification or something.

    -------------------------------------------
    Ok, these are my concerns and issues, feel free to comment, suggest, argue, or whatever...
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-02-08 at 01:42 PM.

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Re: [PF] Wrath of the Righteous: Sword of Valor- improving the module

    My group feels mass combat is the only thing in this campaign that we can mess up. Like our characters would do better fight in 4 verses 100. But most of the book is rather straight forward. Retake Dresden.

    As far as mythic during I dont see how but if it happens offer a way to ressurect them would be easiest way to fix a death.

    It does have some furthering of the story if the group digs hard enough.

    Im playing the Archmage and thr lack of story for my trait upsets me. Nothing happened till book 3 and all I got was a spellbound with like 4 new spells in it. So lack luster compared to being a child of a goddess.

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