Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2010

4E or not to 4E

So yesterday I had the conversation with the girls and my wife.

"So D&D 3.5 is getting old and the world is moving on so we need to figure out what direction we're going to go.  We can either switch to 4, which is what we've been watching them play on D&D robot chicken..."

"I really don't like the cards and I don't want to have to learn a whole new system."

"... or we can switch to Pathfinder, which an extension to 3.5 that fixes some of the problems."

I also mentioned that some of the races were changing in 4E.  S, who plays Coco the gnome, was not amused.

I also mentioned that Pathfinder adds some new classes and such.

I also mentioned that we can get Hero Labs for Pathfinder.

The troops were sold on Pathfinder.  So as soon as we can assemble the necessary materials, I guess we're switching over to Pathfinder.

-DM Dad

The Box of Knowledge

I have a hard time keeping track of spells and abilities and special items.

So the other day in an office supply store I picked up and index card box and a bunch of graph paper 4x6 index cards, along with some index tabs.

Now I am having all the players give me a list of their special abilities, spells, and special items.  Each one gets written on a card.  Now when I need to remember how something works, it is at my fingertips without trying to wrestle through books and indices during the game.

The City Beneath the Earth Part 3

So our fearless adventurers start again down their path.

The group first must cross a 20 foot wide, 20 foot deep rivine with a slippery board to walk across.  Jerry jumps and the rest balance on the board using a rope tied across for balance.

They emerge into the next cavern to find a group of duegar, 6 to be exact.

The rogue has smartened up and learned about flanking.  She works with everyone to start flanking opponents so she can backstab.  The crew waylays the duegar group.  Only the ranger seems to have issues with the dice being kind.

The final building seems the logical location for the forge, especially since there is a water wheel on the side of the building with a drow chained to it -- the drow is walking like a hamster in a wheel to run something.

The rogue, Dahlia, tries the door.  It is unlocked.  She activates her dagger, which allows her to teleport inside invisibly and make one backstab before becoming visible.  She finds a very large duegar pounding on a forge.  She …

The City Beneath the Earth Part 2

So our adventure starts off with the bard and ranger in one cramped cavern, and the remaining three (paladin, rogue, barbarian) in a slightly larger cavern, separated by the occurrences during a river crossing.

I let the bard and ranger play ahead where they run into a larger group of duegar, outnumbered more than 2 to 1.  The gnome bard is easily grabbed up and put in manacles.  The ranger starts to fight but decides not to take her chances.  They disappear off the board.

The group of three plays forward and find a larger cavernous room with a pit.  The pit contains their missing comrades and 3 drow, and is guarded by spiders.

The rogue, thinking quickly, presses the magical gem on her dagger and transports invisible to right behind a spider.  A backstab and a round later, the spider is dead.

Leno, the paladin, and Jerry, the barbarian, run to take out the other spiders.  Jerry triggers a pit trap that collapses into the larger pit, but misses getting pulled in.

The drow observe at f…

The City beneath the Earth Part 1

Briff Stonehammer meets with adventurer's in a tavern to ask them to perform a task for him.  The town he previously lived in was swallowed by the earth.  In this town, a magical forge existed that was used to make magical weapons to fight against the Duegar.  Briff has recently located the entrance to a cavern which he believes leads underground to the town.  Unfortunately, a wyvern has taken the entry cavern as a home, so he needs a group to go in, get past the wyvern, and investigate.  If the forge is found, Briff provides a ward to place on it that will teleport the 1000lb piece back to the surface.  The adventurers are offered 10,000 gp if the forge is found and returned.  The adventurer's may also keep anything they find.  Briff hints that since the forge runs on gold, they may find both gold and magic weapons.

The group now consists of:
*Lino, half-eld paladin, played by P.
*Dahlia, human rogue, played by K.
*Jerry, human barbarian, played by V.
*Annah, half-elf ranger,…

Latest Minis

I feel like I am really starting to improve, both in my mini painting and in my mini photography.

Weekly Campaign: The Night of Severe Dragging

The campaign totally dragged tonight.  The adventure starts out at the entrance to Innsbruck.  The PCs just wander around, talking to people, not taking any new jobs, not really getting anywhere.  After multiple NPCs drain my voice and distribute clues, the party finally get underway to the local fort.

The fort comes with immediate excitement.  A set of caravans come rolling in on the Fort, bandits chasing them.  But suddenly things turn strange.  The bandits and escorts peel off the wagon and it crashes through the fort, setting it on fire.  It was all a trick.

The local troops are busy fighting the fire, so the adventurers are left to fight off an equal-matched set of bandits. The new group consisting of a human barbarian, a gnome bard, the previous ranger, rogue, and paladin, have to fight a group of 3 archers, a bad-ass cleric, and two sword fighters.  Hitpoints are falling on the table.

Finally just before bedtime, the PCs prevail and the last sword fighter surrenders, nearly dea…

The Fighting of Large Groups: Expected Damage

A battle with too many monsters and PCs can be tough.  A couple of weeks ago I had an encounter where a group of 5 PCs and a companion animal were caught in a cemetery with around 30 undead.  How am I supposed to keep track of 30 monsters?

So here is a proposed solution that I am calling "Expected Damage".

Simple formulas:  

Probability of Hit = (20-(AC of target - attack of attacker))/20  (Minimum is always 1/20, maximum is always 19/20)

Expected damage = Probability of Hit * Half Maximum Damage

So now, given a defender and an attacker, I can estimate the amount of damage the defender will take per round.

(Note that this formula does not take into account criticals.  The min and max values take into account miss on natural 1, hit on natural 20)

Back to the scenario -- 30 undead of the same class.  Given a PC AC, I can estimate the amount of damage they get per round and ignore having to run individual hits from each undead.


PC AC: 14
Monster Attack: +3
Damage: 1d6

Expected Dam…