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D&D 3E
1) I'm thinking about running a chase/pursuit senario at my next… 
1st-Feb-2006 07:53 am
chocobo
1) I'm thinking about running a chase/pursuit senario at my next session. The PCs have alerted/pissed off the local lizardmen tribe, and so the reptiles are out to get them. I want to run a kind of adventure where the PCs are on the move, trying not to get caught, and trying to get to safety (which is days, not rounds, away). Kinda the mood from the first book of Fellowship, when the hobbits are trying to get away from the Nazgul. Does anyone have any advice on running this kind of senario? Also, does anyone have any suggestions for mounts for the lizardmen, in case I need them to move faster?

2) What are people's positions on a player changing characters in the middle of a campaign?
Comments 
1st-Feb-2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
1) Ooh, sounds fun! If I were doing it, I'd plan out a vague maze with obstacles blocking their path and other monsters they may have to deal with, as well as interesting places to hide. What's the environment it's set in? If it's forest, make that undergrowth hamper the movement. If it's marsh, don't forget the quicksand!

As for the mounts, I know that kobolds use dire weasels, but I think they are Small while lizardfolk are Medium. Maybe a Large monstrous spider, or a dire animal of some sort?

2) Only if the first character is dead and cannot be brought back.
1st-Feb-2006 03:51 pm (UTC)
Dire...Weasels?

*snicker*

I suggest, for the lizardmen, Dire bugs. Because bugs are scary.
1st-Feb-2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
I know, it sound ridiculous, doesn't it? But I swear, that's what Races of the Dragon says. (And if you were a naughty kobold in life, you get reincarnated as a dire weasel when you die. Ha!)
2nd-Feb-2006 12:34 am (UTC)
Hee!
1st-Feb-2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
Never underestimate the dire weasel-- although it's a lowly CR1 creature, a few of them in an encounter can take down lvl 6 or 7 PCs. That lovely Constitution drain they have is great stuff. 1d4 per round. Even if the PC doesn't drop from con drain, the loss of max hit points makes it easier for the kobolds (or whatever other critters are around) to kill.

Course, I also say never underestimate the lowly kobold either. I've wiped out careless level 4 parties (and managed to severely hamper a couple parties of higher level) with nothing but a kobold tribe in a ruined fortress. One of my favorite encounters to reuse in new settings.

Lizardfolk riding dire crocodiles perhaps? Or make some sort of giant gecko like the one Obi-Wan rides in Revenge of the Sith?
1st-Feb-2006 11:13 pm (UTC)
I was thinking something like a gecko too. Maybe a crocodile-driven war-barge coming down the river ;p
2nd-Feb-2006 12:34 am (UTC)
They have Con drain? o_o Con drain of any sort is semi-bahrohken.

...Dire weasels are Awesome.

That Gecko was almost the favorite part of the whole film for me. >_>

2nd-Feb-2006 05:39 pm (UTC) - DIRE WEASEL!


Really this is a pic of a wolverine. But they're SO CUTE!!! How about dire wolverines!!!

Awe, lookit! Cute!!
1st-Feb-2006 11:26 pm (UTC)
It's set in a swamp which goes right up to the edge of a large river. On the other side of the river is more foresty (and would be considered safety). But the river is pretty rough and the PCs have developed a rather heathy fear of water after trying to raft through the middle of the ocean, so they're looking for a crossing. I figure a race to the ford with a cool encounter at the end of it would work (I know what I want the last encounter to be, I'm just looking for stuff about the race).

I threw quicksand at them once, so don't want to start reusing my old stuff :p I'm thinking this is more bog than marsh, if that makes sense. Like small paths through basically a giant shallow lake.
1st-Feb-2006 03:41 pm (UTC)
I tend to use Dinosaurs for mounts for lizardmen.
1st-Feb-2006 04:01 pm (UTC) - [smiles]
Just to ask... would that be like humans using gorrillas for mounts?
1st-Feb-2006 04:22 pm (UTC) - Re: [smiles]
That would be amusing...I look at it as humans use mamals for mounts why not lizard men use reptiles
1st-Feb-2006 04:39 pm (UTC)
:p Thought I'd be silly and ask.
1st-Feb-2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
I've had players change characters in the middle of a campaign. I've also done it myself, though always via Death [once by refusing a resurrection, though].

How is up to you, of course. Relating a likely explaination for no old character and yes new character depends on the campaign specifics and player//DM talks and such. Character death, character being shanghi'd away into slavery... whatever.
1st-Feb-2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
Rain. Darkness. Wind. Mud.

Lack of visibility, poor listen checks, *failed* listen checks giving results ("You think you heard something slithering back down the canyon a ways...").
1st-Feb-2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
I think changing characters is ok every now and then. Sometimes someone will just get tired of playing the same thing, and I don't think it should be a bad thing to try something new. Granted, as long as this isn't an abused priveledge so that players are rolling new characters every session.

Another acceptable scenario would be if the character achieves their goals and has no further reason to adventure. For instance, the Rogue/Sorcerer I'm playing now has a main motivation of finding his daughter. Finding his daughter is supposed to be his big reward from his God for doing good deeds in his name. Once that happy event occurs, I don't really see a reason for him to continue, at least not in the same way. He can probably be retired at that point and a new PC brought in.
1st-Feb-2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
See below for details on the character switching.
1st-Feb-2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
I have no qualms with people switching characters when there is a valid in game reason to do so.

Going from memory, I can think of only a couple of occurences where this happened for me that weren't a result of an irreversible character death.

* One character was temporarily replaced, when he had to leave for his Bladesinger training.
* One character retired when he managed to resurrect his wife (my first character, who had died due to an unlucky run of crits). They both left and eventually became antagonists later in the same game (the party had a very gradual transition from good to evil -- it was a great game).
* One character was permanently retired when he decided that he and the party had no common objectives, goals, or ambitions. He advised them of his stance when they arrived at the next town, and they parted ways.
* One character was also temporarily replaced when she was kidnapped and enslaved with no real escape option. I played her cohort, and six months later (in game, of course) I grabbed her character sheet and started playing her. The DM looked confused and hauled me aside, wherein I illustrated to him the method of her escape. He conceded it was valid and let me be. I was damn pleased with that one, but it's a story for another time.

That being said, I don't have to reroll due to death very often. It's a weird trait that most games I'm in run until the point where my first character dies/gets captured with no immediate chance of escape/gets irreversibly transformed into something (one time it was an air elemental), and then they seem to end within a couple of weeks.

What really grinds my gears is when people just reroll or have their characters effectively commit suicide for no valid reason just to bring in a new character.

My BIGGEST pet peeve is the tendency for people to 'forget' their character sheets at home and just roll up a new character instead of going for memory, something that the DMs I play with don't seem to be opposed to.

I'm thinking of telling people that they need two copies of their character sheets and then giving them to the DM (or even to me) to hold on to.

:/
1st-Feb-2006 07:54 pm (UTC)
I use DM genie. They're responsible for keeping me up-to-date, you when they "forget" they get the last version I have with me for the day. What? That was three levels ago? That's a shame.

I actually don't like the group I play with. Either of them, really. I can't get the ideal game experience I seek. Everyone is either unwilling to put in the commitment, blowing off games fro things like some video game day at a bar, or "I project I had four months to work on, but left until today." No one really roleplays, no one reads the rulebooks. Everyone wants to be some messed up variant race with a level adjust from one of the eleventy billion books WotC put out this month, but they don't have the book, they looked at in in Chapters for a while. Argh! It's infuriating.

Sometimes I jsut want to say "fuck it" to the whole hobby.
4th-Feb-2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
Oh My Goodness!

I think we share groups!

It reached the point that our Saturday group is down to three players simply because we couldn't take the stuff from the others :)
4th-Feb-2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
Gods above... it's a real piss-off.
1st-Feb-2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
There is no in-game reason for the guy to switch characters. What if it's less about the story-line and more about the player?
4th-Feb-2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
Hit them in the face with a brick repeatedly and find somewhere to hide the body.

The hobby will thank you for it.

In all seriousness, I'd be pretty strongly opposed to it unless they *could* find an excuse to have the character leave the party that didn't seem trite or contrived.

Some players will simply tire of playing a character and want to try something different. As long as the old character had a plausible out and they could whip up a decent backstory, reason for being in the same area as the party, and common motive or objective that would make them want to join the party for the new character, I'd probably let them do it.
1st-Feb-2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
1. Remember how tiring running is, with horses or without. There are rules for it in the players handbook. A druid or Ranger can help, and it would be coolest if the lizards have some method for tracking them by scent or other means. This adds fear.. they're gaining on us!!!

2. Any player who changes character in our games starts out one level lower than the rest of the party. This makes up for my trouble introducing them. Their equipment is negotiable but usually it's as has been said far less than a character who has played from the beginning. And there had better be a reason.
1st-Feb-2006 07:13 pm (UTC) - CHases, eh?
okay, jus tto get it out of the way, keep in mind there are three types of lizardfolk these days. In the monster manual III, they have both the blackscale folk, a somewhat badder and meaner type of lizard. Then you have the poisondusk (I love these guys, I basically replaced kobold with them) folk, smaller and kinda halfling-ish. Very useful all in very different instances.
Next, I would keep in mind the ability you have as GM when creating monsters. Rather than constantly introducing new monsters, I often like to adjust pre-existing ones by Breed, Size, or some other small aspect that ends up producing a very different encounter, with an old favourite. My classic example of this is my adjustment of the DIRE BOAR so they could be used as sensible mounts by orcish raiders. made for a very perfect, pseudo warhammer encounter.
as far as mounts go, I have a couple suggestions. for one, if your willing to do a palaquin mounted group, or maybe just double saddled, the Catoblepas from the MMII is a very sensible choice. is a hideous swamp beast, with a bloody death ray cannon. very useful. Dinosaurs, as previously mentioned above, are also very sensible mounts, and I have used the allosaurus, the T-rex, Stegasaurus, ankylosaurus, as well as a few others im not remembering right now. DIre animals are fun, in many different flavors. Wha I really like, is one time I had a Dire Cobra, girded with the occassional lacquered wrap of spikes, and a large rhino spike grafted onto its tail, piloted at its head by a Lizardfolk shaman. made a very memorable encounter, very frightening. For smaller lizardfolk, felldrakes are good, as well as forest sloths.
Also keep in mind, when a group of lizardfolk (or any other group for that matter that is on the hunt) goes hunting, they may in fact have other critters with them. pets, companions, beasts of war and the like, as well as swarms, and basically anything trained with the scent ability. very useful for chases.
BY the by, the DMG II has a great section on chases. check it out
1st-Feb-2006 11:20 pm (UTC) - Re: CHases, eh?
I'm using advanced lizardfolk from the srd, so that they aren't 2hd creatures.

I also realize I can create monsters, which is why I'm asking for ideas on mounts. But a variant on a dinosaur might work. I also remember catoblepas from 2e, so maybe I will use one of those.

I looked at the DMG2's chase section, and it seems more aimed towards round-by-round chases rather than over a longer period of time.
2nd-Feb-2006 08:09 am (UTC) - Re: CHases, eh?
well the thing about a time chase as opposed to a speed chase, is sim[ple really. the concepts presented in the DMG II are the same, just the checks are different. Endurance, SPeed, willingness to not sleep, to sleep in armour, the ability to hide ones tracks with opposed survival, as well as the tactics used against any scent abilities, or what not are all there in place of just terrain, and obstacles. trying to add suspense over time is usually something I do in a series of five minute scenes over the time of the actual chase, inclusive of climb checks for cliffs and what not, opposed survavil, fortitude against exhaustion, rools versus thirst, and starvation, and penalties such as those from sleeping in armour, being fatigued and malnourished, and possibly strentunous circumstances due to weather and festering wounds. it als makes for a very interesting climax should they be caught, for with all of these penalties, a previously dangerous foe now becomes an earth shattering gauntlet of death, a waiting game to see which PC drops first. I usually have PC;s in similar situation miraculously survive, but its fun to keep them on there toes.
1st-Feb-2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
1. I'm getting into the whole "Survival/Horror" aspect of things as of late. I like creating suspense. If you want them to get captured, have things happen to take them down one at a time, albeit fairly quickly, so the afflicted characters down't get bored. Then, you can have a prison break.

2) It pisses me off. I had to bring these bastards together in the first place, and everyone was the moody loaner type. Then, he decides he wants to change his character, becasue his monk is more Evil than he thought he'd be. Fine. Enter the Wizard. I managed to introduce him fairly easily (I'm good like that). Then, he decides that he wants to be a fighter-type. Not two levels later.

i have another munchkin sob who wants power-build: Smash as an ability for every class. Instead of playing the character out and seeing what develops, he always blans them out for 30 levels, complete with feats, purchased gear, and stat bonuses. It's enough to drive a man to drink. He has a "I'm going to play this until level nine, then this until 15, and then this one until epic." plan right now, which I think I'm going to put a stop to.
1st-Feb-2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
See below for details on the character switching. I think you'll understand my predicament ;)
1st-Feb-2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
re: changing characters

I've gone back and forth on this. I started out saying the new PC needed to be a level below the lowest-level PC staying in the party; then I said it could be the same as the lowest-level; then I said they could replace at the same level as the character they were taking out.

The reason was to provide a disincentive for people to play a placeholder character until the party's up to 9th level, then swap out with their uber-build that really takes off at 9th level but kinda sucks before that. I wanted people to just suck it up, take one for the team and play the sucky character for a few levels, then at 9th level they'd take off.

What actually happened was that some of the players were incompatible with some of the other characters, and the other players of said other characters did the gracious thing and took their characters out of the campaign, and ended up a level behind the ones being played by ungracious characters... so I ended up punishing the good players, and the party's now missing its most powerful characters as they head off into the Bastion of Broken Souls (a module for 18th-level PC's) at 14th level... I predict a bloodbath...
1st-Feb-2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
See below for details on the character switching.
1st-Feb-2006 11:44 pm (UTC) - Details:
More on the character switching:

The guy who is interested in switching character is my powergamer. He's currently playing a bruiser-type barbarian, but last session got into a fight with the cleric (mostly out of character) because the cleric decided a while ago that she didn't want to be a cure wand with legs. So her character decides that she doesn't want to heal people sometimes, and he's now pissed because he can't run up and tank an encounter and then be healed full afterwards.

The problem is really more in the sense of entitlement he displays. Like the cleric is there for no reason OTHER than the heal him--she HAS to do it. His feeling entitled to stuff like that pisses people off, so OOC the cleric decides not to heal him, using the IC excuse that her character told them not to bother the big sleeping monster, so why should she waste her healing stuff on them when they don't listen to her at all (this pretty much fits her character).

They argued it out for a bit, where she tried to explain that she didn't HAVE to heal him, and wouldn't if he continued to act like it was her responsibility (which really, I don't think it is). So he grows sulky, 'refuses' to be healed at all, and decides not to take part in the next encounter ("You see a ruined temple on the hill" "My character refuses to go near it" "Why?" "Because he decides thinks on a whim [which he does], and he has decided that this temple is dangerous"). And he spent the rest of the session talking about how his character isn't self-sufficient enough, and how he doesn't like that he can't do anything but fight (though I'm not sure where those 4 skill points a level the barbarian has are going), and now I hear through the grapevine he wants to make a new character.

My interpretation is that he's coming to realize that his character isn't all-powerful, and as he sees a heavy limitation (like a finite number of hitpoints) he wants to try to get around that limitation.
1st-Feb-2006 11:49 pm (UTC) - Re: Details:
Tell him if he can't play with the grown-ups, he can find another game. It's kind of childish.
2nd-Feb-2006 12:48 am (UTC) - Re: Details:
My first instinct is to tell him: tough luck.

My second instinct is, if he feels that lack of healing spells is hurting him so badly, go buy some healing potions, or maybe actually *roleplay* the PC, and take a couple of options-- 1) seek out some means of being able to heal himself, spend a few months under tutalege of a druid and take a couple of druid levels or 2) take the leadership feat and get himself a cohort that is a druid (more likely for a barbarian) or a cleric, and use the cohort as his walking band-aid. Although he should be cautious not to abuse that-- cohorts are people too, and should be treated as such. If he gets a cohort and treats it like he did the PC cleric, he'd soon lose that cleric, or 3) try playing his character as a teammember, and see if the cleric is more willing to help him out after he starts treating her like a person.

2nd-Feb-2006 01:12 am (UTC) - Re: Details:
He has been talking about the Leadership feat. Like "You get all these followers you come around and can just watch your mounts while you go through a dungeon, then help you haul everything out." I keep telling him that followers won't do that, but I'm not sure he'll believe me until he tries it.

I'm also going to recommend he takes some level of Druid, which is I think is the best bet. I tend to run low-wealth campaigns, so healing potions aren't really an option.
2nd-Feb-2006 01:29 am (UTC) - Re: Details:
If he goes with the levels of Druid, I think you should make him role-play it. Finding a druid to study from, getting taught the Druidic language, etc. before he can get the levels. Course, I'm a sadisitc RP DM like that. =)
2nd-Feb-2006 01:15 am (UTC) - Re: Details:
I would not let him reroll in this situation. This is D&D, not World of Warcraft - the cleric doesn't exist solely to heal the main tank. And if he really wants to tank, then he should figure out some way to up his AC, like carrying a shield or geting +2 bracers of armor or something.

Would he be able to obtain a bunch of healing potions so he could keep whacking without stopping?
2nd-Feb-2006 02:05 am (UTC) - Re: Details:
I'd point out to him that if he's come to realize that his character isn't all powerful, then he's doing something right. The goal is to come up with a character that kind of needs the rest of the party, you know? At least a few of them?

Good on him, however, for coming up with the correct response to the cleric not healing him because she didn't think it was necessary: not heading off into almost certain peril because he doesn't think it's necessary. Childish response, given that it's a childish situation, but correct nonetheless.
4th-Feb-2006 06:27 pm (UTC) - Re: Details:
Given that scenario I'm inclined to say tough luck.

At least his character has a plausible out (friction with the party, especially the people who keep him alive), but the situation is behind handled childishly. If he's not interested in contributing to group play, respectfully ask him to leave the party.

It's a shame, too, because his perception that the cleric exists solely to heal him could be a great in-character development tool. The cleric and barbarian are currently at odds and the barbarian eventually comes to terms with his mortality and dependence on her and they develop an amicable friendship and relationship, complete with fluffy bows and sparkles.
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