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melanikus2000
Pie
(12/7/02 6:06:15 pm)
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High Level PC's

I have been running a game of RTTTOEE for a little over a year now. The Party started the game a little over the odds with levels ranging around 6. They have now reached the CRM and have finished off the main gate and the earth temple with very little problems. They are now all around the 10th level mark.

I am finding it a little hard to keep the combats interesting and realistic.

The Party now consists of:

Palis Ravenclaw - 10th level Paladin of Heironeous (AC:28/32 with Boots of Speed activated)

Tripitakka - 10th level Sorcerer (AC: 21 / 32 with shield and mage armour)

Tyro - 10th level Monk (AC: 19)

Aramil - 9th level Druid (AC: 20)

One of the main problems I am having is the Paladin with his AC of 32. I find it hard to scratch AC: 28 without the haste from his BOS. Most of the early CRM has attack bonuses of +2 to +7. In this event only a natural 20 will work. However if I advance the levels of the creatures in the CRM, I will give them even more XP to get more powerful.

Also this may make things too tough for the druid and, to a lesser extent, the monk.

I need some ideas on how to deal with this dilemma.

I have a nasty plan formulating which includes a Rust Monster with invisibility cast upon it. A wizard in the CRM could do this quite easily, and Rust Monsters are a wondering monster in there. Do you think this is a bit too harsh, after all I am engineering an encounter to strike a specific PC hard. (6)

As for the sorcerer, I have heard that there is a revised version of Shield that means that it does not stack with Mage Armour. is this true or merely a wet dream? ;)

Any help would be gratefully accepted.

Chris

Zenon
Orc
(12/7/02 7:44:37 pm)
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Re: High Level PC's
You have two choices:

1) Run everything the way it is in the module. - They should blow throught all the low level opponents quickly (most of the CRM) while not getting much XP for them, so it should even out in the end. This is how I would do it. Even though it doesn't seem "challenging" for them now, it will get tougher later.

2) Adjust everything to be a greater challenge by adding classes, increasing levels, etc. I believe Siobharek had done this for his group and doesn't recommend it. Hopefully he'll pop in and explain why.

maddman75 
Orc
(12/7/02 8:20:48 pm)
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Re: High Level PC's
Here's my advice

Run the CRM as-is. However, by the time they get to the Outer Fane, Hedrack and his minions will have scried on or heard about the PCs. If they have any common tactics, the enemy will have prepared for it.

The rust monster sounds a little convoluted, but there are other things you can do. For one, the spellcasters might take care to prepare slow spells in the face of the speedy paladin, not to mention various evil spells that can put him in a world of hurt.

And what is mr super armor's AC against touch attacks I wonder? If its heavy, enchanted armor you are dealing with, an enhanced or maximized ray of enfeeblement wouldn't be out of line. Not to mention little things like Harm.

In general, I try to take my cue from Piratecat. He's the author of the most popular story hour thread on ENworld. His PCs are 17th-19th level, and he has no problem challenging them. His main philosophy is don't hose the characters for being powerful -- assume they will be! Assume they are going to scry the Fanes, and try to TP in.

HTH

madd

------------------------------------------------------------------------<BR>
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -- Buddha<BR><BR>
"Nothing's a cliche when it's happening to you." -- Max Payne

Berova
Orc
(12/7/02 9:05:12 pm)
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Re: High Level PC's
My advice is to play pretty much as is in the module but max out the hp's. This way, while it will still allow the PC's to blow through the lower level encounters, it won't exacerbate the problem of pumping up the PC's even more by more XP's when you add level's to their opponents.

The high AC paladin is a tough cookie to crack especially if he's got a high charisma because he will inherently have well above average saves as well. Perhaps the answer are better tactics particularly by the more intelligent creatures: immobilize, isolate or otherwise keep him pre-occupied in some way.

SSShadowcat7
Orc
(12/8/02 7:39:07 am)
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Re: High Level PC's
I will chime in with my thoughts, although it's pretty much the same as what everyone else has said.

Don't change things too much. A little alteration here and there is fine, but when you go changing everything to make it challenging you give yourself a big headache and create a never-ending catch-22.

My players number anywhere from 6-8. In the beginning I altered things to reflect that (mostly in the moathouse), but quickly found out this was too much work. By leaving everything the same they have many opportunities to shine and win the day with easy battles. Their confidence is boosted.

But when they get to the Fanes they will find that things are not quite so easy. My party is now 9th-10th level, and last session they entered the Outer Fane for the first time and nearly had a TPK. 50% of the party died in that session.

I found it nice to let the players know ahead of time, though, that they were in for rough waters. They could easily become angry and frustrated if they are having an easy time of it and suddenly hit the Fanes and run into trouble. A little mata-gaming on my part and I told them that things were in store that would be very difficult. That way they enjoyed their successes, but knew hard times were ahead.

Enough of my rambling, though. Basically what I'm trying to say is don't change things too much. It will all work out in the end.

HeresDaryl
Orc
(12/9/02 6:43:54 am)
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Clarify??
Could you just clarify how your sorcerer has an AC of 21 without any armor bonus?

Thrommel
The DM
(12/9/02 7:37:57 am)
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Re: Amping up encounters
I amped up the encounters IMC, and I wish I hadn't.

There are several encounters that are a balancing act between a slightly over-powered foe and slightly sub-optimal tactics. (Utreshimon is a prime example.) Monte has a good gift for this and it makes for interesting, edgy battles.

If you don't have the same gift for this, it will make for boring TPK's.

Also, once you start amping up encounters it becomes a huge spiralling mess of XP and time. You start off with little tweaks here and there, but by the end, your party has advanced so far that you might as well be re-writing the entire module.

RttToEE takes enough time to prep as-is. Unless you have copious amounts of free time and feel like re-adapting the whole thing, let the players win the easy victories. They'll be challenged soon enough.

I think almost every encounter can be made more challenging simply by sharpening up the tactics and organizing the forces better.

My advice: put some extra work into figuring out good tactics and response plans for the temple forces.

If the players waltz through most of the CRM, so be it. You can really put the screws to them once they get into the Outer Fane. Chances are they'll be over-confident and unprepared for Hedrack and company.

-Thrommel, Vice President of Product Development, Hedrack & Company.

Andorax
Orc
(12/9/02 7:58:46 am)
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Re: Amping up encounters
I also suggest that you do NOT ramp up the encounters.

Here's some suggestions for dealing with high AC foes.

1) There is a normal Rust Monster in the module...make a beeline for the Paladin when they get there (the Ettin and the Rust Monster, just south of the west entrance to the CRM).

2) The Bebilith in the Earth Bridge Complex is very handy at destroying armor and shields.

3) Plenty of clerical spells are touch-attack based. I bet his touch AC isn't 32.

4) Remember, BoS (Boots of Speed) require a standard action to activate, and only work for 10 rounds per day.

5) If you grapple a foe, you no longer roll to attack versus their AC. Your attack rolls (with unarmed strikes or with a light weapon) are the result of opposed grapple checks.

6) Ignore him. Go after everyone else. Focus your efforts on the more vulnerable targets (they know how hard it is to hit a "man in a can" too). Save your attacks on him for the creatures that can manage it more readily.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

DM Armand
Orc
(12/11/02 4:49:22 am)
Reply
Re: Amping up encounters
I HAD a player with an AC 32/36 (with haste) in my group so I had a hard time hitting him but at the end he had totally relied on his AC and the Earth elemental at the earth door killed him in 3 atks out of 4
(he ran, he tumbled, he attacked, he died!!)

Bladeling/monk

Let him have his time......

And then you´ll have yours!

Siobharek 
Orc
(12/11/02 6:08:55 am)
Reply
Re: Amping up encounters
Sorry, I've been a little absent, so I failed to notice someone mentioning my name... I did indeed boost the entire CRM - grab the stats and maps here.

It won't work for the reasons Thrommel and Andorax have already given: The whole damn thing will just spiral out of control.

However, my group uses the Ad Hoc XP variant from the DMG, so the risk of their XP entering a spiral isn't really present. That said, I wish I'd adjusted the group's XP to bring them in line with the module.

So in short, don't boost. The alternatives may be a little less than desirable, I think: If you don't boost, and your party rips through a large part of the CRM, your players will find that they fight, fight, and fight some more while getting very little out of it, XP-wise. And since combat roughly takes the same time whether it's a cakewalk or 5 hp from a TPK, it may be less than satisfactory for everybody involved. And if you enhance the strategic savvy of the CRM fractions, you'll end up downplaying the madness of the enemy.

I know it's not that encouraging, but I think that Andorax' suggestions will go a long way towards making things harder for your PCs. But I would try and think up ways of getting the group towards the Fanes ASAP.

Oh, and I'd also like to know how the sorcerer ended up with AC 21 before buffing up...? ;)

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

melanikus2000
Orc
(12/11/02 9:58:38 am)
Reply
Re: Amping up encounters

Thanks for all your help.

I did go through and scale up the CRM so I am now going back through my notes and scaling them back down again. I think that you are all right, I think playing the cultists tactically is better than boosting.

I don't know when we are going to play again, probably after christmas now as everyone's weekends seem to be taken up at the mo. But I will certainly be applying some of the things I have heard about on this forum. :evil

-----------------------------------------------------------
Oh, and I'd also like to know how the sorcerer ended up with AC 21 before buffing up...?
-----------------------------------------------------------

Can't remember off hand right now. I'll need to check with the player as I don't have a copy of his char sheet. I just remember 3 Trogs attacking him and even with high rolls getting nowhere near.

Thanks again,

Chris

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