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(6/24/03 2:07 pm)
Savage Species and RToEE
In a couple of months, our current DM will take a rest and I'll be running the group though the RToEE. (I've run adventures before but this will be my first real campaign.) A couple of players have approached me asking if they can run monsters using the Savage Species rules.
My initial impulse was to say "Cool!" and let them do it, but during my review of the module I began to have serious doubts.
One player wants to play a Minotaur character, which seems a decent choice for the adventure. By SS's rules, though, he'd have to devote his first eight levels to the Minotaur class, which means he would probably end up pretty far into the CRM without any adventuring class levels to speak of. The other player wants to play a centaur, which would not only eat up his first six levels but is likely to cause serious headaches during the adventure.
As written, the module would seem to be a serious challenge for a party with normal resources (a fighter, a thief, etc.) We only have 5 players, so there isn't a great deal of room for 'concept' characters. Am I setting up the group for disaster if I let these guys run these characters?

(6/24/03 2:14 pm)
Re: Savage Species and RToEE
RttToEE is a very good adventure for a "classic" adventuring party. Normal PCs gathered together under a Good cause. I would strongly advise against taking a "walking menagerie" into RttToEE.

Still, individual DM styles vary and if you're comfortable doing so, I see no reason why not. I have no idea how a Centaur is going to contend with, for example, the wooden lifts in the pit below the Moathouse or the tight, twisty maze of Ghoul passages.

As for power/balance, I wouldn't worry. It's been my experence that the Savage Species PCs aren't all that far behind at all. Especially "muscle" races like the Centaur, Ogre and Minotaur...they'll come out even, or even excell. Towards the end, I wound up with an Ogre PC, and he was doing just fine...better than fine, actually.

Honestly, my objections to SS characters are thematic, not mechanical, and I'd advise against them on that basis alone.

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

(6/24/03 7:48 pm)
Re: Savage Species and RToEE
Power / balance: I concur with Andorax... the whole point of Savage Species is to balance out a monster's capabilities with class features, so that an ECL 8 anything (minotaur, centaur with some class levels, etc) is as capable as an 8th level "regular" character. Having said that, you should think about how a monster's strengths and weaknesses are going to interact with Return as written. I would especially look out for "Advanced" monsters with high level adjustments - for example, their spells may be more difficult to resists (higher save DCs because of higher attributes) but they may not resist spells as well (particularly relevant in the light of the increased save DCs of clerics with the Madness domain).

I think the biggest challenge is how the monstrous PCs are going to interact with the NPCs they encounter, especially in Hommlet. Are they going to be able to rest, buy goods, gather info, speak with Y'Dey, etc etc? Will the Inn of the Welcome Wench welcome them? Or is such a thing too strange and frightening for them to contemplate? In other words, you're going to need to answer the questions Savage Species poses about how the monsters interact with society and civilisation at large.

(6/25/03 4:55 am)
Re: Savage Species and RToEE
Well the social implications of the Centaur would be relatively easy to deal with. There is a town called Littleburrow about 70-90 miles from Rastor and on the way to Verbabonc. This town is a community of halflings and Centaurs.

Not sure how the Minatour could be worked in.

(6/25/03 8:37 am)
RtToEE and SS
Ok to start off I have to say that I have only had a cursory glance through Savage Species. From what I have heard it seems fairly balance but I have heard there are a few unbalanced things in the book. But thats not my point

I've been running the campaign for a while now and I have found that if you give the PC's the ability to use certain things (spells or feats from the splat books) you have to edit the encounters in the book to add things from the same books for it to be a challenge. I find that the adventure was written with out the splat books in mind and this causes some problems (no fault to Monte, how could anyone predict exactly what was comming donw the pipe?) Now the people on this board have done a great job adding stuff from the splat books (and Book of Vile Darkness and such)
Honestly though if I were to ever run this module again I'd run it as a strict game with only the core books to use. (yea that cuts out alot of PrC's and maybe I'd allow for some of those)

Just my thoughts and experiences on the game I'm playing.


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