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DM Nel
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My current campaign is The Broken World. http://danddmyway.blogspot.com
My current campaign is The Broken World. http://danddmyway.blogspot.com

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DM'S COMMENTARY

I was not prepared for what the players decided to do this session. I had prepped another adventure, which I though was the more likely one they would pursue given their options. However, when we started playing they went a different route altogether and pursued a plot thread that I had not anticipated. So I was doing a lot of improve during this session, which is okay. Their foray into The Guild building was completely unexpected. Luckily I had already thought about what was going on there and was able to make the rest of it up on the fly, but the idea of having a clockwork man blow the building up hit me on the fly as they were searching the building, so I sprinkled lots of clues that things weren’t right by having them find barrel upon barrel of “black powder” in various rooms. The players even talked about it seeming odd and looking like the place was “wired to blow” but they kept searching until they found the clockwork man that set off the explosion. I was not sure how to handle that situation, so I just had them make Agility challenge rolls to determine if they were able to get out and how much damage they took from the explosions that spread through the building as they escaped. As it turns out, they got scorched a little, but made it out mostly intact. But his ended up being a dead-end for their quest to find Nareesh.



With this plot hook on hold for the time being, they decided to visit the mayor to see what job she had to offer them. This was not the other plot hook I had anticipated them going for, so I had to do some more dancing on my toes as I hand planned for this to be an adventure further down the road. But here we were, so I laid out the start of the Lucretia plot that I created for this campaign that is not in the Tales of the Demon Lord. I created it because I felt that Lucretia could be a cool Boss monster, but she was only present in the original material in the very last adventure, which already had a Boss, I thought I’d replace one of the adventures that I didn’t care much for with one featuring her. I also wanted to use the asylum in an adventure because what could be more fun than exploring an asylum taken over by a vampire?



So to get this adventure going, I did use a bit from the original material in which Lucretia was kidnapping people and writing “Bring me the Eye” all over town. However, I made it a bit gorier by having her tear her victims apart and using that gore to write her messages. I decided to put her in the asylum instead of Katandramus House, which is where the original material had her laired, mostly because the PCs destroyed that house in an earlier adventure, plus, as I said, I wanted to use the asylum in an adventure. I purposely put the refugees coming from the south in this area so that they could be used as vampire thralls.



I really had to feed the players some information this session since most of the clues and foreshadowing that I had given them was 3 or 4 months ago and they had forgotten much of it.



Luckily, I have a 2 or 3 week break until my next session so that gives me time to get this adventure written up properly.

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DM'S COMMENTARY

I was not prepared for what the players decided to do this session. I had prepped another adventure, which I thought was the more likely one they would pursue given their options. However, when we started playing they went a different route altogether and pursued a plot thread that I had not anticipated. So I was doing a lot of improv during this session, which is okay. Their foray into The Guild building was completely unexpected. Luckily I had already thought about what was going on there and was able to make the rest of it up on the fly, but the idea of having a clockwork man blow the building up hit me on the fly as they were searching the building, so I sprinkled lots of clues that things weren’t right by having them find barrel upon barrel of “black powder” in various rooms. The players even talked about it seeming odd and looking like the place was “wired to blow” but they kept searching until they found the clockwork man that set off the explosion. I was not sure how to handle that situation, so I just had them make Agility challenge rolls to determine if they were able to get out and how much damage they took from the explosions that spread through the building as they escaped. As it turns out, they got scorched a little, but made it out mostly intact. But his ended up being a dead-end for their quest to find Nareesh.

With this plot hook on hold for the time being, they decided to visit the mayor to see what job she had to offer them. This was not the other plot hook I had anticipated them going for, so I had to do some more dancing on my toes as I hand planned for this to be an adventure further down the road. But here we were, so I laid out the start of the Lucretia plot that I created for this campaign that is not in the Tales of the Demon Lord. I created it because I felt that Lucretia could be a cool Boss monster, but she was only present in the original material in the very last adventure, which already had a Boss, I thought I’d replace one of the adventures that I didn’t care much for with one featuring her. I also wanted to use the asylum in an adventure because what could be more fun than exploring an asylum taken over by a vampire?

So to get this adventure going, I did use a bit from the original material in which Lucretia was kidnapping people and writing “Bring me the Eye” all over town. However, I made it a bit gorier by having her tear her victims apart and using that gore to write her messages. I decided to put her in the asylum instead of Katandramus House, which is where the original material had her laired, mostly because the PCs destroyed that house in an earlier adventure, plus, as I said, I wanted to use the asylum in an adventure. I purposely put the refugees coming from the south in this area so that they could be used as vampire thralls.

I really had to feed the players some information this session since most of the clues and foreshadowing that I had given them was 3 or 4 months ago and they had forgotten much of it.

Luckily, I have a 2 or 3 week break until my next session so that gives me time to get this adventure written up properly.

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DM COMMENTARY:

I totally went off script for this adventure and I’m okay with that. It turned out to be a nice side-trek, away from the main storyline and an opportunity to beat up on giant bug people. I didn’t want to stretch it out though, so I made sure that we finished it in this session. Now, the heroes are starting the Master tier of the game, and this is where shit’s gonna get REAL!

My plans for this tier are to ramp the Orc Incursion up to 11 with an assault on Crossings, have Lucretia the Vampire kidnap a bunch of NPCs to force the PCs to get the Eye of the Demon Lord for her, the Brotherhood of Shadows will be working to activate the fey spires to tear a rip in the fabric of the universe to let in the Demon Lord and the PCs will be acquiring the Sword of Unmaking. Should be fun!

Post has shared content
DM COMMENTARY:

I totally went off script for this adventure and I’m okay with that. It turned out to be a nice side-trek, away from the main storyline and an opportunity to beat up on giant bug people. I didn’t want to stretch it out though, so I made sure that we finished it in this session. Now, the heroes are starting the Master tier of the game, and this is where shit’s gonna get REAL!

My plans for this tier are to ramp the Orc Incursion up to 11 with an assault on Crossings, have Lucretia the Vampire kidnap a bunch of NPCs to force the PCs to get the Eye of the Demon Lord for her, the Brotherhood of Shadows will be working to activate the fey spires to tear a rip in the fabric of the universe to let in the Demon Lord and the PCs will be acquiring the Sword of Unmaking. Should be fun!

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11th+ Level Play

Has anyone tried out the rules for play past 10th level that are in Forbidden Rules? If so, how's it play?

TotM vs Grid Play

An observation: Back in the 3.5 and 4e days grid & miniatures play was heavily promoted by WotC. In 4e, grid play was almost a requirement. Now with 5e, grid play is rarely mentioned and Theater of the Mind play seems to be the default if you watch the officially sanctioned WotC actual play videos. And yet, WotC still sells miniatures through partners like Gale Force 9 and Wiz kids.

I've noticed that most podcasts and actual play videos that I've heard/seen lately have really leaned heavily on TotM style of play. I really don't see many videos that use grid/mini play style.

I find this interesting as the conspiracy theorist in me sees an effort being made to move the game in the direction of TotM style of play. Maybe because the barrier/cost of entry into the game is lower? Maybe because grid/mini play is perceived as being more difficult (it's not, my opinion).

I see an opportunity on both ends of the spectrum here. While the emphasis seems to be on TotM, there really doesn't seem to be much official support, other than the bit in the DMG, on how to effectively run TotM. How to handle positioning and distances, how to track multiple players/opponents effectively, how to do a good job of describing scenes, etc.

On the other hand, if you want to run you games with a grid & minis, how do you start out without bankrupting yourself? How do you run combat without slowing down the game? How do you make/buy/use terrain if you want to go 3D? How do you draw maps?

What if you want to use both TotM & a grid?

I'm sure there are probably videos on YouTube for all of these topics, but it seems like a missed opportunity from WotC. At the very least they could use their official podcast and/or website to address these things. I find both to be largely useless to me. Even better would be some information in their official adventures on how to apply these things to the story.

Anyway, just thought I'd point these things out for no reason in particular.


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One of the possible scenes in my adventure "Crazy Train."


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One of the possible scenes in my adventure "Crazy Train."


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