Gold Community Okay -- Your Turn
    > Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
        > How many characters are too many?
New Topic    Add Reply

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Author Comment
Ordos1
Here for a while
(4/24/03 6:10 pm)
Reply
How many characters are too many?
Hi,

Has anyone run RttToEE with more than 4 characters (since i presume that RttToEE was written for 4 characters)? I've got 7 people in my group (1 munchkin, 1 rogue, 1 wiz, 1 sorc, 1 clr, 1 mnk, 1 clr/fig).

The problem is, with 7 people the module at times seems too easy (ie: if one takes the Moathouse for example -- lets omit the Big U for a second -- the enemies there have about 15-25 hps max). Thats really not a lot -- and some are CR 4-5 creatures!

I agree, in the end everything will balance out, since they will advance slower, but i was just curious to see (a) what other people's groups composed of (b) was the module too tough or too simple because of the sheer numbers (or lack of...) and (c) how/if it all balanced off in the end?

I find, as a DM, that too easy a module is no fun but likewise, too tough, turns players off.

Thanks

SSShadowcat7
Here for a while
(4/24/03 7:41 pm)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
I have run this adventure with an average of 6-8 PCs per session. I would say don't adjust anything to make things seem more balanced. It really does work itself out. Actually, once things get rolling, it can make it a bit more difficult for them.

The PCs IMC were hard-pressed to hold their own once they breached the Outer Fane. And there were even plenty of spots in the CRM that they had difficulties. Sure, sometimes it seems like a cake-walk for them, but sometimes it should be one. Every fight shouldn't be down n' dirty, life or death to the bitter end.

The adventure is very feasible with that many characters. They can go for longer between resting. They have more resources to draw from. One of the drawbacks I have found is that the treasure is a bit light when divided between that many. But on the up-side there are a ton of low-powered magic items that can get distributed with that many players instead of having to sell everything off.

All in all I think it'll be fine. Let things flow along. My experience has been that with that number they have an easier time taking the time to learn just what's going on because they're not fighting for their life the whole time. My PCs are just about to enter the Recovered Temple and are around 11th level. But there are 7 of them on a regular basis. Everything has been fine so far.

Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 7:59 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: How many characters are too many?
I also had 7 in my group (now I have 6). My group has cleaned out the moathouse, the ruined temple, and Nulb, went to the capital city and next real session will head to Rastor and the CRM. So far, I have had no trouble keeping them on their toes and properly changed, without changing the encounter levels at all. The only minor changes I made were to use the splat book Lareth and to turn the dead PC monk into a ghast. For details, I can sum it up here or you can read my rather lengthy (but hopefully enjoyable) log. The writing gets much better further into the sessions.

My group to start: 1 monkchkin, 1 munchkin archer, 1 sorc, 1 wiz, 1 clr, 1 druid, 1 rog/rgr. Now, they are 1 fighter, 1 ftr/ootbi, 1 wiz/fatespnr, 1 druid, 1 rog/rgr, 1 clr, 1 super wolf.

SSShadowcat7's starts here.

Trithereon
Here quite a while
(4/24/03 8:38 pm)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
I also have seven players. The only changes I made is to increase the hit points of the creatures/NPCs encountered. In general the listed hp are the average. If you have a group of PCs whose numbers are above average (more then four) then I have no problems giving the monsters more then average hit points. I have found that this simple change gives the enemy another round or two that they might not otherwise have.

Just to be honest, I don't always change the hit points. For instance, the Huge Water Elemental in the Water Temple I kept at the listed hit points in the MM. It was enough of a challenge without changing a thing. However, the advanced large skum I did increase the hit points and it made a big difference.

That's my take on it. Its a simple change and I like simple.

Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 9:10 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: How many characters are too many?
That's a good point, Trithereon. It's one that commonly gets overlooked as the easiest way to increase the challenge without increasing the challenge rating. Btw, Trithereon, didn't you have a campaign log? I don't see one, though, so maybe I'm misremembering it (I also checked Page 21).

HeresDaryl
Here for a while
(4/25/03 1:15 am)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
I have 6 core players, though on any given night, there is a good chance that one might be missing, so typical sessions are with 5...but I've gone up to 8 on occasion. I haven't found any huge difficulty with this number, and just add a few hps or an extra grunt here and there and the challenge remains at the level it was intended to be for 4 PCs.

Killiak 
Here to stay
(4/25/03 1:26 am)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
I have about 4 core players with 3 more playing at a rather regular basis. Works rather well, though I am concerned that they are now lvl 6 and will be making a run into the CRM soon

Trithereon
Here quite a while
(4/25/03 4:33 am)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
I have been trying to keep my log (pub58.ezboard.com/fokayyo...1187.topic ) updated but the traffic on this board is such that many topics get buried rather quickly.

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining as the traffic on this board is almost always positive. Even when I have had disagreements with people on this board the discussions have been civil and reasonable. I have found the combination of high traffic and civility of this board to be almost unique among the internet boards that I have visited.

Kudos to you all for making this place a nice place to visit!

Edited by: Trithereon at: 4/25/03 4:33:49 am
Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/25/03 6:44 am)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
Honestly, I think you're pushing the limit. If you had 8 in the group, I'd suggest breaking the group in half down to two 4-player groups, and run it separately for each.

As it stands, you *might* also consider asking if one of the seven might want to be "promoted" to co-DM. Having a co-dm to help is a great boon when dealing with a group as large as 6, let alone 7.


Still, if you do keep it as-is, I'd suggest not changing a thing. If you change anything, make it your tactics. Play it smarter and tougher (and ask for help here, you will receive it in plenty). As others have already said, it'll even out...and it'll start doing so very soon. The only big gain having a huge group like that gives you is the ability to go longer between camping, and that is, imho, a considerable benefit.

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

Ordos1
Here for a while
(4/25/03 12:49 pm)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
Thanks to all. I find a comfort in knowing i'm not alone in this ;) I usually do what Trithereon suggests --increasing the HPs. I found in the past it makes for a harder fight, but not increase the EL. As mentioned however, not every fight should be to the death -- but some are meant to be "interesting"....

I was wondering about one other thing actually -- how many of you use battle-mats? I find in THIS module especially, it must be difficult to do, since the CRM is not very "perfect squares" friendly.... If so people did not use mats, what did you use?

Trithereon
Here quite a while
(4/25/03 1:22 pm)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
Quote:
How many of you use battle-mats?


I use a battle-mat.

I usually just give descriptions of the mines and let my players map on paper their routes through the mines. I only pull out the matt as combat dictates.

As far as "perfect squares friendly", all irregular surfaces can be approximated. For example, Vranith's room (CRM26) is generally 70 feet by 40 feet with a 20 foot exit corridor leading northeast to the tracks. When I draw it on a battle-mat I just make sure that I draw the edges very irregular. If a single 5-foot square on the edge is more than half taken up by my irregular and haphazardly drawn cavern wall then you can't stand, fight or move through it, but if its less half then you can.

The hardest map to use on the battle-matt was the hobgoblin fight at the Old Temple. That place is huge! My battle-mat is 44 by 33 squares corresponding to 220 by 165 feet of battlefield space. The Old Temple is little more then twice that size.

For the most part, my players and I have enjoyed the battle-mat experience.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/25/03 2:20 pm)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
Have said it before, and will continue repeating it until I turn blue.

The best gaming surface I've ever used has been whiteboard.

But wait! Whiteboard's expensive, right?

Not really. Here's the secret. Go to a home improvement store like Home Depot. Buy it in sheets. A 8' x 4' sheet of whiteboard material, at the Boise Home Depot, cost all of $11.49 last night...I know, we picked up a new one.

Get it cut to whatever sizes you like (mine is in two 3' x 4' pieces and a 2' x 4'. The new one is a full 6' x 4').

Then, take it home and use a razor (I recommend an exacto, or a carpet knife, and not just a plain razor) and a metal ruler to score a 2" grid into the surface. The lines should be nigh-unto-invisible (at first). Color over the lines with a dry erase marker, then wipe it away...the line should stand out plain and clear.

Why 2"? Faster and easier to count out squares, especially for larger rooms (Tritheron's Vranthis room, for example, is 7 squares by 4, rather than 14 by 8) . Trust me, this saves time mapping, and most of the RttToEE maps have at least one 1 Sq = 10' scale (either large or small squares).

You quickly get used to making sure minis are in the proper "corner" of their square, thus providing you the 5' squares you need for regular D&D usage.

If you want to get fancy, you can buy some moulding/edging strips and cover the edges (we did, cost all of an extra $4.47). Make sure they're wide enough to fit over the whiteboard comfortably, you don't want to have to force them.

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

smetzger
Here for a while
(4/28/03 7:22 am)
Reply
Re: How many characters are too many?
And I have bought several 8"x10" plexiglass sheets from Lowes. I draw line on one side and use wet-erase on the other. Because they are modular I can do running battles by taking old sections and then moving them to the new area, thus I don't have to erase the whole thing and re-draw it.

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Add Reply

Email This To a Friend Email This To a Friend
Topic Control Image Topic Commands
Click to receive email notification of replies Click to receive email notification of replies
Click to stop receiving email notification of replies Click to stop receiving email notification of replies
jump to:

- Okay -- Your Turn - Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - Home -



Powered By ezboard® Ver. 7.246f
Copyright ©1999-2003 ezboard, Inc.