October 23, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Encounter] [PDF] A graveyard and a hero

The encounter of the last post is available in a PDF version.
Hope you like it (and give me feedback!)
The PDF includes all the stat needed (monster & item), is published in CC license and is just part of an adventure I'm writing.

HERE you can download the PDF.
If the above lik does not open for you HERE we have a version with an uncool name.

The template is a modified version of the adventure template published by Dennis Dollins of the Key our Cars Blog
Thank Dannis!

[D&D 4E] [Encounter] A graveyard and a hero

Here we go with the promised encounter with the Fallen. Hope you (and my players) will enjoy it.

A feedback will be really appreciated. Really. Don't be timid, guys!

A graveyard and a hero
Encounter Level 2+ (250+ XP)

“The answer you seek will be shown to you at the dawn, on the shield of a fallen hero”

At the dawn the PCs arrive at the gates of a little, forgotten graveyard, searching for a clue to find the “soil of the moon”. Here they will be attacked by an undead warrior and his minions.
The number of enemies depends greatly on the actions of the PCs.
1 Fallen
n Rotten Corpse (see the encounter description for details)

As the characters began the encounter read:
The sun has just appeared on the horizon and a thick fog engulf your feet when you approach the graveyard. The tombs are disposed in regular lines, but obviously forgotten and unkempt. A little pebble trail leads you a statue of a warrior clenched in armor, standing on top of a pedestal. The big shield he’s wielding cover half of his body, while the other arm holds a battleaxe, raised toward the sky.

The graveyard is totally uninteresting. The tombs are normal tombs of people dead long time ago. The only point of interest is the statue.

If the players approach the statue read:
Now that you are closer, you notice that the shield is covered with a grey moss, sparkling in the dawn’s light. While the sun is rising, the sparkling starts to fade and the moss, slowly disappear.

If the players touch the statue read:
The statue and the pedestal explodes in a cloud of small pebble. When the dust sets an undead warrior stands beside you, the mouth open in a silent shout.

The Fallen engages the mightiest looking PCs while the spawned minions take care of the others. If he has no melee opponent, he charges in the middle of the highest number of players he can, to take the best advantage of his Dark Burst power. A good tactic can be to charge an enemy, stun it an than pushing it between Rotten Carcasses. A Rotten Carcass moves at max speed toward the nearest PC and try to eat his brain.

The fallen (1)
The Rotten Carcass and the Upper Rotten Carcass (as needed)


Features of the Area
Illumination: Bright light. No penalties
Main Terrain: The terrain is mostly a pebble road and a grass. No penalties
Tombs: Every tomb contain a carcass. When the carcass has spawned, the tomb squares becomes difficult terrain.
Reward: The fallen have a Battleaxe of bleeding +1

Battleaxe of Bleeding +1

Level 1

The shiny blade of this axe is very sharp.

Lvl 4 +1 840 gp
Weapon: Battleaxe

Enhancement: Attack rolls and damage rolls.
Critical: +1d6 damage

Power (Daily): Free action. Use this power when you hit with the weapon. The target takes 5 ongoing damage (save ends).

October 21, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Magic Object] Axe of bleeding +1

Rewards are important and in preparation for the encounter I will post this week, here we go with the axe awaiting my PCs (if they survive).
The axe is the same axe the Fallen use to beat them.

Weapon of bleeding Level 4+
Level 4 +1 840 gp
Level 14 +3 21,000 gp
Level 24 +5 525,000 gp
Weapon: Axe, Heavy Blade
Enhancement: Attack rolls and damage rolls.
Critical: +1d6 damage per plus
Power (Daily):
Free action. Use this power when you hit with the weapon. The target takes 5 ongoing damage (save ends).
Level 14: 10 ongoing damage
Level 24: 15 ongoing damage

On the side of the post you can see the card I will handle to my players.

Comments are very welcome!

October 14, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Monsters] Fallen

Some time ago we have met the Rotten cadaver, now it's time to make something out of it. i want to build an encounter in a graveyard, where PCs goes searching for clues. When they approach the monument at the center of the graveyard, the statue/tombstone explodes, revealing an undead who attacks them.
Here comes the Fallen:

FallenLevel 2 Elite Controller
Medium Natural Humanoid (undead)XP 250
Initiative +6Senses Perception +3, darkvision
Animate cadaver aura aura 15; If a living being inside this aura start its turn 5' or less from a corpse, the corpse becomes a Rotten Cadaver. the rotten cadaver acts normally on his initiative order.
HP 80; Bloodied 40
AC 20; Fortitude 19, Reflex 17, Will 15
Immune disease, poison; Resist Radiant 10; Vulnerable Necrotic 5
Speed 5
c Dark burst (Minor; recharge 56)
Burst 4: +12 vs. Will; push the target up to 1d6+1 squares
m Stunning charge (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
The fallen makes a charge attack; +8 vs. Fort.; 1d8+4 and the target is stunned (end saves)
m Bleeding Strike (Standard; recharge 3456) ♦ Weapon
+8 vs. AC; 1d8+4 damage and and the target takes ongoing 5 (save ends)
M Battleaxe (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+10 vs AC; 1d8+4 damage
Alignment EvilLanguages Common
Skills Acrobatics + 11, Athletics + 11
Str 18 (+5)Dex 14 (+3)Wis 13 (+2)
Con 18 (+5)Int 13 (+2)Cha 8 (+0)
Equipment scale armor, battleaxe, heavy shield

Fallen Lore

A character knows the following information with a successful Religion check.
DC 15: Fallens are former heroes forgotten by the people saved by them. Is the rage against the ingratitude of their similar that made them raise as undead.
DC 20: Fallens can animate corpses near them.
DC 25: Fallens, on the contrary of most undead are impervious to radiant but vulnerable to necrotic damage due to the heroic heritage they wear.

In a future update (not so future, cause I need this for the Friday session) §I will post the map and the full encounter.
Yeah, I know that in the picture, the Fallen wield a sword and in the stat block he has an axe, but the sketch was, as usual, just to fix my thoughts, way before writing the stats.

October 9, 2008

[Talks] Superheroes: random talk

Superheroes, uh?
Let's start saying that I've tried a superhero campaign just once in my life (as GM).
It was a solo campaign (me and a single player) and was a Legione campaign.
What's Legione?
Legione was the first and only Italian superheroes RPG. (Here the lite version. Italian only)
The campaign lasted just three or four sessions (we had better things to do, when alone) but taught to me some important lessons on supers.
First of all, a lone hero is boring (and weak). Teamwork is needed to let your game shine.
PCs need to be a team a.s.a.p. or you will be splitting your attention on too many background and personal enemies.
Another great thing about teams is that most powers as not interesting per se, but only when mixed up with other powers. Synergy of powers can bring to your battlefield something great and unexpected.
Third lesson in supers games: never say no.
In my campaigns I'm a harsh GM. If you want something you have to deserve it and nothing is ever easy for PCs. In a supers campaign you want things to be easy and spectacular and exciting.
Remember that if they go too far, you can power-up you villain too (with resurrections, clones, robots or magic).
Last but not least lesson learned: get personal.
You want your PCs to hate the villains and to achieve so you have to make your players hate your villains. Use every trick at your disposal to do so. Kill their parents, torture their girlfriends (if you feel comfortable doing so, rape them), let them do all the things your players find disturbing or wrong. If you have freedom lovers players, your main villain has to be a tyrant.
Nazi villains for communist players, polluting for ecological, cannibal for vegans, filthy and perverted for religious. The opposite works to. If your players are anarchist and tolerant use a villain who's not. If they are libertine, let's rise the super-inquisition and so on.

This post is a random blabbering just for the RPG Blog Carnival. Here.

October 7, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Monster] Kobold Gear Warrior

In the last installment of Dungeon Design I've pointed to a problem with Kobold Dragonshields in my playtest session. They have an AC too high for 1st level PCs and the fight gets boring quickly.
Also I need a low level soldier to use in fights without having to sign the stupid GSL.
So here comes the Kobold Gear Warrior.

Kobold Gear WarriorLevel 1 Soldier
Small Natural Humanoid (reptile)XP 100
Initiative +3Senses Perception +1
HP 32; Bloodied 16
AC 17; Fortitude 14, Reflex 13, Will 12
Speed 5
Kobold shift (Move; at-will)
The kobold shifts 2 squares.
m Shield cut (Immediate Reaction when an enemy roll a natural 1 trying to hit this kobold with a melee attack; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+5 vs. Ref; 1d4+3 damage
M Short sword (Standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+7 vs. AC; 1d6+3 damages
Alignment EvilLanguages Draconic
Skills Acrobatics +7, Stealth +7, Thievery +7
Str 16 (+3)Dex 12 (+1)Wis 10 (+0)
Con 16 (+3)Int 10 (+0)Cha 9 (-1)
Equipment short sword, gear shield

For this kobold I've just lowered the AC, modified the Shifty power in a way will be my official shifting related power for kobolds and added a reaction with the shield, just to add more flavor.

The crappy art is mine as usual. I will bother clkolbe when the series is finished.

To be honest this kobold was not planned, but who cares?
Comments will be welcome as usual!

October 4, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Design] Dungeon design pt.2

Last installment of this series has generated zero reactions, so I'm wondering if make sense to continue. Let's try with the episode 2 and wait for some comment, for now.

Last week I've left you with this dungeon sketch:

>click to enlarge<

I admit that everything is kinda confused if you are not in our mind, but let me explain.

I've divided the first floor of the dwarven stronghold into areas just to make clear to you what are representing.
The entrance is on the blue area and it's before the guardpost on purpose. Here the dwarf keeped all the minerals extracted from the mine.
The guardpost is not an alert and the kobolds do not expect an attack.
The forge is a dangerous area haunted by an old forge spirit even the kobolds avoids. In this area there's the main entrance to the mine and if the players use that entrance, they have to face the forge spirit but they can surprise the underground kobolds.
If they use the well in the green zone to enter the mine complex, they will face stronger and more prepared kobold encounters.

Let's now analize where will take place the fights.
Three combats in this level.
The red one is a warming up encounter with a group of minions and a pair of Kobold Fireguys.

The green one will be a more challenging encounter with Kobold Chainsawers and such.

The cyan one is the forge spirit encounter. And it will be tough.

First of all we need to design the first encounter and to test it. The in-scale map is the first thing to do.
Here's the first draft.

In the first encounter draft I've put 5 minions in the room from the start and 2 kobold fireguys and 2 kobold dragonshields ready to come as reinforcements on the second/third round.
Here we go with the complete map.

The first test has gone a little crappy. PCs stormed inside the room killing all the minions on the first round. Then the reinforcement come in, but dragonshields are a pain in the ass, cause they have a really high AC (for the first level) and one of them just slipped past the defenders directly in between the ranged damage dealers.
On the third round the warrior was down and one of the fireguys was still alive and free to attack the casters.
The main problem, besides all that, was that the combat was a little boring, mostly because the terrain is a flat stony ground.

Next episode: Encounter redesign with a new monster and a big crevasse.

Ok guys, go on with the comments if you want to see the episode III ^_^