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Ordos1
Looking around
(2/16/03 5:40 pm)
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Need help with some basic stuff
Hi all,

I just started RttToEE recently after playing TSC and TFoF first. The party consists of 7 PCs:

dwarf brb1/rog2/fig2 (can you say Munchkin??)
1/2-elf cleric - Corellon - lvl 4
gnome cleric - Garl - lvl 4
elf sorc - lvl 4
human wiz - lvl 4
human rogue - lvl 4
1/2-orc monk - lvl 3

Now here is where i need the advice. These guys are VERY used to dungeon crawls and so now that thay are smack in the face of a town, they have no idea of what to do. They basically sit in the Welcome Wench trying to pull "Gather Information" checks to get all the info. Now, i suppose that can work to a VERY limited extent, but Hommlet is a very "rich" town in terms of role-playing. The question i have is, how can i get the party to interact more with the towns people to get them going somewhere?

I've already had Elmo drop them off a few tips about the Temple and the hobgobs -- so they packed up and went there 1st. They have yet to talk to ANYONE in town about Spugnoir or the Moathouse and despite their attempts to "not metagame" they are like "well... since the DM ONLY has mentioned the Temple up until now, we shouid go there first and NOT go anywhere else until we get 'word' ..." etc etc etc.

In any case, does anyone have any advice for me. I REALLY don't want to coddle them and have Spugnoirs daughter coming into the Welcome Wench, grab a beer, and THEN have the PCs go to the Moathouse. I basically need to kick them off their but somehow.

Also, i have one more unrelated question: At the Moathouse, the picture in the module shows the roof of all the building pretty much broken off. If this actually the case? I'm asking this because i want to know if the Big U can fly out of area 6 from the rooftop or does he have to go through the front door. I know i can do whatever i want (i am the DM of course;) ) but some general concensus is always good.

Thanks.

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(2/16/03 6:06 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Need help with some basic stuff
First of all, welcome to RttToEE! It looks like you have a good group. Munchkins, all of them! :D

One way to encourage role-playing that I've found useful in the past is to tell the players before you start that there will be no combat. That's it. Tell them that the night ends at the first sign of combat. Also let them know that XP for the night will depend on how active they are in character, as a group (i.e. don't favor the good role-player over the poor ones, especially not at this time, too early).

One other things, don't ever let your players "start" combat. E.g. they encounter a "bad guy" and the wizard players says "I'm casting a spell, so we roll initiative." Tell him, "No, we are talking first, it takes up no time, and you can't cast yet." I don't know if your players do the above, but I know some do and it is a bad habit you must break early.

"...and despite their attempts to 'not metagame'..."
This is very encouraging. Your players want to get better, so it will be up to you to do so. A great idea here is to write a log or have one of the players do it. Tell them that the log will contain very few details of actual combat, but a lot of details of everything else, especially conversations. My players act differently sometimes, just because they know cool situations will make it into the log, while I will frequently not include pure combat as is.

"Also, i have one more unrelated question: At the Moathouse, the picture in the module shows the roof of all the building pretty much broken off..."
Actually, the moathouse had two floors, what you see is the second floor missing (the stairs in 8 go nowhere). The roof is not totally gone, though you can see only rafters above some of the rooms in the north. Area 6 is completely covered, and indeed Big U likes it that way. :)

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(2/16/03 9:12 pm)
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Re: Need help with some basic stuff
Quote:
Actually, the moathouse had two floors, what you see is the second floor missing (the stairs in 8 go nowhere). The roof is not totally gone, though you can see only rafters above some of the rooms in the north. Area 6 is completely covered, and indeed Big U likes it that way.


Although I too had played it covered, since it is just wood and exposed to the elements, it's not particularly strong anymore (I ruled). At one point early in the combat with big U, he was surrounded in that room. To get out of the situation, I played it up a bit and had him launch straight up (AoO's failed, playing right into my fiction) through the rotted roof timbers, spraying spliters over the combatants. He wheeled around into the courtyard and blasted back into the room with his breath as they were trying to get out, hitting two and killing Xaod.


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Ordos1
Looking around
(2/17/03 10:01 am)
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Re: Need help with some basic stuff
Thank you very much. I kinda like your ideas -- especially the "no fighting 2nite and XPs only based on roleplaying". I think thats a good incentive.

There is one thing, by the time the guys finish with the Temple (ie: they are going to kill the big bad hobbies first) some of them will be 5th level. That can be problematic against the Big U and it may be easier.

Any suggestions on how to make the fight.. shall we say.. more.. hmm... heart-pounding??

Thanks

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(2/17/03 10:34 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Need help with some basic stuff
Some tactics are provided in this thread. Search under "Big U" in the thread for a couple of options. Basically, Big U's best tactic is hovering in the courtyard and attacking a single foe, or blasting with his breath weapon, while moving around so that he can't be hit. His blindsight sees through the dust, but nothing else will. If the party retreats to area 6, he can blast holes in the ceiling or the door and hover above them again. If they retreat down the stairs, the gnolls will attack them from below and then Big U can take advantage of the one-on-one with a PC on the stairs. Big U will win against any single PC.

If you think you really need it, maximize his hit points, which doesn't affect the CR, though you might consider adding maybe +10-25% XP.

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(2/17/03 1:19 pm)
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Re: Need help with some basic stuff
Quote:
There is one thing, by the time the guys finish with the Temple (ie: they are going to kill the big bad hobbies first) some of them will be 5th level. That can be problematic against the Big U and it may be easier.


Something that has come up many times wrt big U and how he is encountered in RTEE is that many parties don't know that he's there. As has been mentioned several times by the 3e authors (maybe in the FAQ now?), the CR for dragons is dumbed down expecting that the party knows they are about to encounter one. Even if your party averages 5th, if you play his tactics to the hilt, they will probably find it very tough. What's nice about him is that he's tunable, even in the middle of the fight, being young and all. If things start to really turn for the worse, you can bring up his haughtiness, egocentricism, and inexperience to at least create holes in the combat for your players to shine through.


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Ordos1
Looking around
(2/17/03 7:22 pm)
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Re: Need help with some basic stuff
Quote:
Something that has come up many times wrt big U and how he is encountered in RTEE is that many parties don't know that he's there.


Hmm.. thats not really true. In the moathouse section right before the module starts talking about room#1 (for the moathouse), it says the party runs into Del who TELLS THEM that a dragon has moved in. That doesn't mean you need to tell them the color, but at the very least they know there is a dragon there.

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(2/17/03 10:45 pm)
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Re: Need help with some basic stuff
Quote:
Hmm.. thats not really true. In the moathouse section right before the module starts talking about room#1 (for the moathouse), it says the party runs into Del who TELLS THEM that a dragon has moved in. That doesn't mean you need to tell them the color, but at the very least they know there is a dragon there.


True. In practice thought, many of the logs I've read (and MC as well), the party doesn't really believe Del. I suppose that's a bit of how the DM role-plays it, but I think there might be some player meta-gaming going on there as well (yeah, right, a dragon--we're only 4th level...). Not sure of the real reason, but that's how a lot of them have gone, as far as I can remember. I guess you can argue that they've gotten their chance to know, but I think the CR is set (nerfed?) for a high amount of tactical preparation.


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Thrommel
Can't leave now (mod)
(2/18/03 7:25 am)
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Re: Need help with some basic stuff
{I guess you can argue that they've gotten their chance to know, but I think the CR is set (nerfed?) for a high amount of tactical preparation. }

Keep in mind that the dragon's tactics are sub-optimal in the module as written. He's egotistical, inexperienced, and content. He won't chase the party if they retreat and is happy to just toy with them since he's eaten a lot of cultists recently.

Again, this is a case of "don't sharpen the stick". Most of the encounters in RttToEE are with powerful creatures using sub-optimal tactics. If people continually cherry pick the best advice & tactics from these boards, the whole module becomes significantly tougher and you can throw the EL's right out the window.

The hivemind is an awesome thing, but remember that most of the advice here is designed to help a particular DM take what looks like an average encounter in their game and turn it into a showcase encounter for their party.

However, if you 'showcase' every single encounter, not only will the pacing suffer, but the pc's will be dying on a frighteningly frequent basis.

-Thrommel, who notes that with great power comes a need for a bigger surge protector.

smetzger
Here for a while
(2/18/03 2:30 pm)
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RP tips
You as the DM need to takt the initiative for RP. Don't talk in third person. Talk as if you are the NPC in question, if your good with voices and accents us that talent here.

The more you talk 'in character' the more they will talk 'in character'.

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