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    Default How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    So I'm about to start an Eberron campaign today. However, I've run into one problem.
    It starts in a Xen'drick ruin, or rather as they enter one.
    However, the problem is...I'm not sure how to explain why a ragtag group somehow had the cash to get to Xen'drick.
    I was wondering if anyone at GitP had any ideas on how to explain this glaring plot hole away? I figure I could also use this as a way to launch further adventure hooks.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Hired by a rich group of nonadventurers--art collectors, anthropologists, missionaries, take your pick.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Hired by a rich group of nonadventurers--art collectors, anthropologists, missionaries, take your pick.
    I like that idea.
    Now to stat up the benefactors and start thinking abou what their real intentions are.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Easy. They go to bed one night and wake up in Xen'drik with no memory of how they got there. You can figure out the rest later.
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Hired by a rich group of nonadventurers--art collectors, anthropologists, missionaries, take your pick.
    Likely, they were hired by someone who had some reason not to go for more experienced adventurers. Either they want the expedition to have minimal chance of success for some reason, or they're just very cheap.
    Last edited by Nerd-o-rama; 2008-10-24 at 01:26 PM.
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Likely, they were hired by someone who had some reason not to go for more experienced adventurers. Either they want the expedition to have minimal chance of success for some reason, or they're just very cheap.
    Or the party has a really good agent with a high Bluff check.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Isn't Eberron a bit lower-level anyway? Adventurers in general, even at level 1 are still a cut above most average people.


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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    They're not the only group the "benefactor" sent. Payment upon completion, of course.
    Just an affable fellow, really.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Behold_the_Void View Post
    Isn't Eberron a bit lower-level anyway? Adventurers in general, even at level 1 are still a cut above most average people.
    If I remember my Eberron right, and I probably don't, I think once you get past level ten or so you are assumed to be uber badasses in that world. I think the highest plot-level NPC is maybe 15 or so. I may very well be wrong. That is fairly low depending on the setting - in FR, that is eh, and in Dark Sun the halfling five year olds gnawing on your shins are about that level. You can import more tough challenges but that is my recollect from the statted monsters and NPCs in the books.

    This made the inclusion of Eberron variants for CR 18+ monsters in one of the MMs very, very amusing to me.

    And I think I have to steal that really good agent idea for a plot hook sometime, Fax.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by tahu88810 View Post
    I like that idea.
    Now to stat up the benefactors and start thinking abou what their real intentions are.
    For some reason the underlined bit just broke my heart.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Mixed-up airship tickets? They were supposed to be going somewhere on Sharn, but after a hard night (or two) of drinking, they sober up in Xen'drick with no money, no return ticket, and a group of higher-level NPCs eventually going to come to kick their butts for making them miss their airship.


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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Behold_the_Void View Post
    Isn't Eberron a bit lower-level anyway? Adventurers in general, even at level 1 are still a cut above most average people.
    You have the right of it, but generally, NPCs in Eberron look for adventurers with a little experience under their belts before sending them off to the land of bamboo deathtraps and scorpions. Getting legal permission to go plunder the place (a Letter of Marque) requires a fair bit of cash and convincing.
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of URL View Post
    Mixed-up airship tickets? They were supposed to be going somewhere on Sharn, but after a hard night (or two) of drinking, they sober up in Xen'drick with no money, no return ticket, and a group of higher-level NPCs eventually going to come to kick their butts for making them miss their airship.
    This I like. Perhaps the tickets were wagered in an ill-conceived drunken game of three-dragon ante?

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Starsinger View Post
    For some reason the underlined bit just broke my heart.
    I think its because that you, like me, may be of the school that only things you're going to have the party fight need to be statted out. The only number the King needs is like... his sense motive.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    I think its because that you, like me, may be of the school that only things you're going to have the party fight need to be statted out. The only number the King needs is like... his sense motive.
    Everything ends up having the potential to be a fight in my campaigns.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    I think its because that you, like me, may be of the school that only things you're going to have the party fight need to be statted out. The only number the King needs is like... his sense motive.
    You've obviously never seen my groups at work. If the king isn't a chaos-worshiping cultist, we'll drive him to it, then kill him for it. He needs AC far more than sense motive(which, no matter how high, only lets him know that we truly believe what we're saying and he has been turned into a waffle).
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Doomsy View Post
    If I remember my Eberron right, and I probably don't, I think once you get past level ten or so you are assumed to be uber badasses in that world. I think the highest plot-level NPC is maybe 15 or so. I may very well be wrong. That is fairly low depending on the setting - in FR, that is eh, and in Dark Sun the halfling five year olds gnawing on your shins are about that level. You can import more tough challenges but that is my recollect from the statted monsters and NPCs in the books.

    This made the inclusion of Eberron variants for CR 18+ monsters in one of the MMs very, very amusing to me.
    Yeah, ten is definitely movers and shakers, though they're not the cream of the crop by a long shot. There's Pope Jaela, who's a 18th level Cleric most of the time, Vol, a 16th level half-dragon lich Wizard, and a 20th level Commoner in Sharn. Kaiser Kaius is a 13th level Vampire. I can't recall what the Lord of the Blades is, but he's pretty high level too. It's not that there are no high level characters in Eberron, it's just that almost all of them are important. (Except for that Commoner, who I believe runs a bar. WTF, WotC?)

    Also, I don't see why you're puzzled by 18+ CR monsters. The awesome Daelkyr are CR 20, and the deathless Ascendant Councilor is CR 18.
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    @Tahu and Sstoopidtallkid

    I generally regard NPCs that only have levels in commoner, expert, or aristocrat as not worth statting out. If combat does occur with them it will be cinematic so I have little need for any serious numbers on them. For instance, I would have not statted out someone like Kubota, either the guy is going to die or he isn't. Even if I, as DM, don't want the guy to die, if the Wizard ends up shooting an orb at him, the Rogue ends up shanking him, or the Fighter hits him with a greataxe, I'll allow him to die.

    If my NPCs have PC classes they better have a darn good reason beyond my players' desire to fight things.

    Though, if you guys want to stat out a level 12 expert or something, go for it.
    Last edited by Asbestos; 2008-10-24 at 09:05 PM.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    @Asbestos: That only works with hereditary nobles.

    If the government is at all meritocratic (and even the most despotic of monarchies has some members of the government that are there because they did something right), there are going to be members of it strong enough to not just be roadbumps in a fight with the PCs. Especially if they have some Int or Wis.

    And hey, stuff happens.
    Last edited by JaxGaret; 2008-10-24 at 09:16 PM.
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    If my NPCs have PC classes they better have a darn good reason beyond my players' desire to fight things.
    The problem is that any level 15 Wizard/Sorcerer/Ranger is going to pretty much run anything that he wants to that isn't protected by a similarly high-level character. Think about how many rebellions IRL are carried out by generals and the like, then think about how many more would succeed if the general and his lieutenants were fully capable of jumping out of a plane and landing on someone to kill them. A character 5 levels higher is almost always going to be able to fight 4 people to a standstill, alone. Heck, a single cleric with an IWin stone and a bead of Karma can decimate an entire army of his level if he wants to after he hits 13. An 8th level Druid can destroy a city if he wants to after 8th level. Leaders better either be massive level or have the protection of someone who is, with the implication that they only rule because the high-level person lets them.
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Ah, I see where the disagreement is. I generally run things where the PCs are not just exceptional, but at higher levels they are beyond exceptional. People capable of slaying dragons are not a dime a dozen. Though, I am not beyond a bit of DM cheese if my players are acting all "Things go my way because I'm that strong", that's when the King unveils the Ring of Wishes (or whatever) that's been handed down through the generations. Though, I mean, I do enjoy having ridiculous NPCs if they're the BBEG and ergo, deserve PC levels.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    Ah, I see where the disagreement is. I generally run things where the PCs are not just exceptional, but at higher levels they are beyond exceptional. People capable of slaying dragons are not a dime a dozen. Though, I am not beyond a bit of DM cheese if my players are acting all "Things go my way because I'm that strong", that's when the King unveils the Ring of Wishes (or whatever) that's been handed down through the generations. Though, I mean, I do enjoy having ridiculous NPCs if they're the BBEG and ergo, deserve PC levels.
    The issue is that if the PCs are capable of killing the King, his army, seducing his wife, and marrying his daughter, all in one night, it quickly becomes a TPK in my groups, because at least one person will try it in order to get to power. And it's in-character, too. Picture the comic-book heroes. That's the average level of power for a D&D group past 10th level. Not Superman, but certainly tougher than most of the X-Men. The only reason they don't rule is because they don't want to.
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by tahu88810 View Post
    So I'm about to start an Eberron campaign today. However, I've run into one problem.
    It starts in a Xen'drick ruin, or rather as they enter one.
    However, the problem is...I'm not sure how to explain why a ragtag group somehow had the cash to get to Xen'drick.
    I was wondering if anyone at GitP had any ideas on how to explain this glaring plot hole away? I figure I could also use this as a way to launch further adventure hooks.
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Shipwreck. They think they've discovered a new continent and are about to go exploring. If you can convince the players that it's not Xen'drik, even better.
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bookworm View Post
    Yeah, ten is definitely movers and shakers, though they're not the cream of the crop by a long shot. There's Pope Jaela, who's a 18th level Cleric most of the time, Vol, a 16th level half-dragon lich Wizard, and a 20th level Commoner in Sharn. Kaiser Kaius is a 13th level Vampire. I can't recall what the Lord of the Blades is, but he's pretty high level too. It's not that there are no high level characters in Eberron, it's just that almost all of them are important. (Except for that Commoner, who I believe runs a bar. WTF, WotC?)

    Also, I don't see why you're puzzled by 18+ CR monsters. The awesome Daelkyr are CR 20, and the deathless Ascendant Councilor is CR 18.
    It was the ones that were supposed to be wandering out in the world as random encounters that made me laugh, not the plot specific ones. They had things that were supposed to just be casually living in Eldeen or other areas. In going by fluff alone, a group of 18+ monsters in Eberron are pretty much a world power by themselves. Even if they are dumb as rocks. Or made out of rocks. A few of them were even supposed to be living weapons used by the various armies - at level 15+. It would have been like throwing a rabid wolverine on pcp into a day care center.
    Last edited by Doomsy; 2008-10-25 at 10:08 AM.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Having high-level Eberron PCs is an easy enough nut to crack... shove them permanently into Dal Quor, Xoriat or the deepest depths of Khyber.

    Alternately, spelljam them or strand them in the planes.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by afroakuma View Post
    Having high-level Eberron PCs is an easy enough nut to crack... shove them permanently into Dal Quor, Xoriat or the deepest depths of Khyber.
    Isn't that pretty much the same strategy ancient civilizations used to get rid of the high-CR monsters? The Daelkyr, in particular, seem like they might have once been really stereotypical player characters...
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    They got really drunk last night, got lost on the way back home, and ended up in Xen'drik. First encounter: a dire hangover.

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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    The issue is that if the PCs are capable of killing the King, his army, seducing his wife, and marrying his daughter, all in one night, it quickly becomes a TPK in my groups, because at least one person will try it in order to get to power. And it's in-character, too. Picture the comic-book heroes. That's the average level of power for a D&D group past 10th level. Not Superman, but certainly tougher than most of the X-Men. The only reason they don't rule is because they don't want to.
    Easy. Obviously it's possible for people to achieve the power level of the PCs, otherwise they couldn't have managed it. Start having them be attacked by farmboys wielding their father's sword, apprentices who are the sole remainder of their mentor's heritage, and down-on-their-luck thieves who are really good people if you get to know them. They'll soon figure out that maybe they're acting more "an" than "pro" tagonist. :D
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    Default Re: How did these 1st level characters get to Xen'drick? [3.5]

    It's Simple.
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