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D&D 3E
age of worms 
6th-Sep-2005 06:58 am
anybody running age of worms? i'm starting it in 2 weeks.

i'm reviewing the first adventure for AOW and its pretty tough for a first level adventure. i'm concerned that they'll probably die on the first installment of what's supposed to be a long adventure track. specifically there's a swarm that, according to the stat block, is immune to weapon damage. how the hell are a bunch of first level PC's supposed to fight that off? if they don't have the right spell memorized they're toast. i'm thinking of planting a scroll that will deal with it in case they don't have the correct spell. flaming hands should probably take the swarm out. it would also harm whatever PC was being swarmed but i think that's a fair trade for me providing them with a solution to the problem. what do you all think? should i just let them work it out on their own or do you think it's fair to provide them with help on a problem i don't think they can handle on their own?
6th-Sep-2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
Generally, I'd check your group's expectations about encounters that are "too tough" for them. Fighting it off isn't the only option, after all. They can run away, avoid it, get another monster to fight it, etc. They can retreat, buy a flaming hands scroll, then return and fight it. They can fight it with torches or other non-magical fire.
6th-Sep-2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
Is this encounter in a location where they would be expected to have torches or alchemist's fire?

NB the Paizo web site has message boards for the Dungeon adventure paths.

6th-Sep-2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
We had this encounter. It was in fact "very challenging", and the DM that was running it would not let us get as creative as we wanted to. I climbed on a pile of rubble and pushed a wall onto the swarm (part of a broken wall that was). You would think 400 pounds of brick would do it but the dm ruled it was an "improvised weapon" and therefore the swarm was immune to it. I also dropped a torch on them and they all just ran away from it. Eventually the swarm went away. We also had a Warforged monk who used unarmed strikes, which were appearantly not "weapon damage". Now we were also a 6th level party doing this, so we had a bit of an edge up on the dungeon, even though everything was slightly upscaled.

So, in retrospect, if you have a clever party, and you are open to ingenuity, and they are well equipped, it should be fine. If there are any encounters before then with rogues, theives, assassins, adventurers etc. , they could find a jar or two of alchemists fire in a backpack/belt pouch.
6th-Sep-2005 06:57 pm (UTC)
I would rule that your particular DM is a moron.
6th-Sep-2005 11:09 pm (UTC)
10th-Sep-2005 02:13 am (UTC)
I would think that the whole point of saying something was immune to weapon damage would be, ultimately, to indicate that it was immune to attacks of a physical nature. Sure, they should've said that to begin with, I'll grant; but still, I don't see any problem with disallowing damage from a brick wall. (Granted, this is coming from a console-RPG background in which, first off, there's little room for improvisation, and secondly it's perfectly normal to have rare enemies that can't be damaged by any physical means.)

That said, I'd say that physical damage consists of anything, basically, that involves physical force to injure (that force, again, including gravity, for example); I don't care who you are, your unarmed strikes fall into that category.
10th-Sep-2005 12:10 pm (UTC)
Unarmed strikes should fall into that category indeed. A falling wall however is more of an area effect, requiring a reflex save to avoid. That would certainly damage a swarm I would think, as other area affects do.
6th-Sep-2005 06:56 pm (UTC)
Giving them an easy and obvious out defeats the purpose of providing a challenge.
6th-Sep-2005 08:39 pm (UTC)
If you really don't think your PCs are up to dealing with the swarm, replace it with a monster of similar challenge rating. Add a group of goblins, or a couple of orcs, or whatever suits your fancy.

You can always let the players figure it out. If they seem to be getting really frustrated, give them a hint or two. Or let them go rest and talk for awhile and figure it out. Burning Hands should indeed damage the swarm...alchemists fire is another good choice, although a low-level party may find it a bit expensive, depending on how generous you've been with the starting gold. Or "salt" the dungeon with a flask or two of it if you're feeling generous.
6th-Sep-2005 09:15 pm (UTC)
I'm using various issues of Dungeon (including the current AoW, but adjusted) in my campaign. Sometimes things look challenging or deadly on paper, but when the encounter happens it really isn't what you first thought.

Having "hard" challenges in the adventure should give the PCs the feeling that "they could die" by going into places that are dark, creepy, or whatever.
8th-Sep-2005 08:30 am (UTC)
watch out though. My DM *JUST* gave us a harder dungeon than we were used to, and we had a party wipe.
7th-Sep-2005 12:59 am (UTC)
I was going to say fire, but it looks like someone else mentioned that.

Remember, not also solutions are hack and slash. Sometimes they toss and burn. (lol)
7th-Sep-2005 01:16 am (UTC)
If it is a swarm of insects, say, water can work as well as fire. What do you do when you're being chased by bees? Dive underwater.

The point here is that there are any number of ways around it, and it's not necessary to kill every monster you meet.
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