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D&D 3E
Taking the kids beyond the Basic Set 
5th-Aug-2005 01:25 pm
So I'm trying to plan ahead...just in case.

If I choose to take the kids beyond the Basic Set, what would be the best way to do that?

Should I keep the characters simplistic like in the Basic Set, or "evolve" them into normal characters with a full set of skills after they reach 3rd level?

I've thought about taking them through some pre-generated adventures that are focused on dungeon crawling (The Sunless Citadel and The Forge of Fury) after they reach 3rd level.

Any thoughts on this?
5th-Aug-2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
Make an event to bring them to normal character status. For Clerics this is the most fun. If your party is good aligned have them find an item of minor religious significance, like a "sun shard" for pelor and etc.

In return for thier services an friendly cleric decides to reward them, or perhaps a veteran range gives them unique training.

The best thing you can ever do to a player character is make them feel special without giving them a magic item. Show them that they can have pride in a character without items that boost stats.

As for dungeons focused crawls after they reach 3rd, make sure they have a town to fall back on, or a merchant caravan they can take advantage of for food and shelter. I cannot tell you how many times my pcs brought no food or water with them.

After you bring them to normal character status take a CR2-3 and double it's hp. Make that a 'boss' monster and watch em flay it. something like an IMP should do nicely.

Better than a religious item make the thing that brings them to normal players status intangible. A prophecy or creed can work best for this, something only they as the heroes are able to attain and comprehend. That sets them apart from everyone in the world.
5th-Aug-2005 06:48 pm (UTC) - Forge of Fury.
The Forge of Fury is a nasty, nasty module. I'd cut back on the Roper, the bridge that the orcs guard, and the big guy at the end if you are planning to put them up against it. I lost an entire party of players at the beginning of the bridge alone (or at least make sure that one character has ranks in Balance).

(Deleted comment)
5th-Aug-2005 11:08 pm (UTC) - Re: Forge of Fury.
(Deleted comment)
6th-Aug-2005 05:14 pm (UTC) - Re: Forge of Fury.
Forge of Fury is perhaps the best of the 3.0 mods. Have fun playing it.
6th-Aug-2005 05:13 pm (UTC) - Re: Forge of Fury.
The first time I ran some players through it they had a plan once they go to the door that led to the bridge.

Everyone hid and one character made a roll to say in Orc: "We got them on the run and need help." This was to try and draw the rest out.

The player rolled a 20.

Also...when time came to choose a path (the bridge, up to the secret doors, etc) they chose the secret door path thus travelling through the level backwards (from how it's labeled).

Always a good idea to fight the boss first right??? :D
7th-Aug-2005 03:56 am (UTC)
Perhaps allow that the town they retreat to has gained attention from rumours of wealthy adventurers that the local earl or baron has decided to send a knight and retinue.

If the knight feels the characters are kindly and law abiding sorts, he will attempt to convince them to be deputies of the local law and possibly know of problems in near ranging areas the citizens aren't familiar with. If the knight does not feel these characters are law abiding, he'll probably issue a small tax for using the city services and advise the characters that a particular larger city would be more suitable, ushering them along with suggestions of adventure and fortune in that region.

Both situations could readily lead to the adventure "The Sunless Citadel" as any bandits, spies, or criminals that are captured by order of the local nobility as transmitted by the knight could have rumours about this citadel; or the knight might know of it as a "troublesome area" that has taken toll of too many loyal servants of the crown.
7th-Aug-2005 03:57 am (UTC)
If a retinue list is desired, here is one for you:

Knight: 3rd level fighter/1st level paladin. LG. S14, D12, C12, I12, W12, Ch12. Hp 32. The knight will march through town in chainmail armour with long sword unsheathed, riding a stately horse that is not a war horse. The war horse has been stabled, and is a regular war horse as listed in the Monster Manual: war horses, like attack dogs, are usually not exposed to public parade. Later on, the knight will recieve visitors in the local mayoral abode or in any stately building (a temple, the best inn room, etc.). The knight will progress as a paladin rather than as a fighter.

squires (2): 1st level fighter. Both wear studded leather armour, one carries the knight's lance and the other carries the knight's shield on parade, but both bear sheathed short swords weighing their belts. Walks beside the horse and slightly ahead. In battle, they wear chainmail shirts, carry large shields, and wield long swords each with a normal spear laying beside them to toss at any who near their leader. They stand guard by the knight at all times, except when he charges -- at that point they enter the frey.

men-at-arms (11): 2nd level warriors. Probably NG, LN, or LG with rare variance -- they are chosen from the most loyal and best soldiers in this knight's retinue. All wear studded leather armour, all carry longspears and wear bucklers. On their backs are heavy crossbows, unloaded. Their quivers are kept in their rooms or by the local sherrif, already stored. In battle, as can be imagined, they fire a quarrel from their crossbows, then charge with longspears, usually in formation of three by three ranks, with two mobile soldiers to attack anyone who nears the formation from an unexpected angle: otherwise they stand near the bard.

cleric: 3rd level cleric. Wears no armour, carries only a ceremonial weapon (-1 to attack and damage, +100 goldpiece cost) of wood covered with gold and semi-precious jewels, symbollic of their deity that functions as a holy symbol. Has entirely protective spells and curative spells at disposal. The cleric is lawful good but has a penchant for gambling and drinking. In battle, the cleric wears chainmail, carries a tower shield, and wields a morning star and casts protective spells primarily, curative spells secondarily.

scout: 2nd level ranger/2nd level rogue. Wears no armour, carries longbow, sheathed short sword (has an arrow concealed in baggy trouser hip, down leg: slid his coin purse down his pants and thrust the arrow through it with point upward, so the head won't slip down). Is a goodly chap, despite the concealed arrow. Doesn't want to be caught off-guard. He's a royal scout, rather old, and has seen quite a bit of fighting -- he served the knight's father. In battle, the scout wears a +1 suit of studded leather armour, the longbow, and a +1 short spear of hunting (+2 to skill rolls involving tracking).

herald: 3rd level bard. Wears no armour, carries no weapons, carries no instrument (all is kept in his inn room). His horse is stabled. The herald is a half-elf of neutral good alignment. The bard has a bet that the adventurers will argue with the knight and be thrown out of town (3 silver, 1 copper) with the scout, but neither is serious about the bet. The armaments of the bard are two masterwork javelin, a tower shield (once masterwork but now normal due to a poor repair), and a masterwork dagger. These armaments are from a century old war, inherited by the bard and kept as heirlooms; he believes them to be magical and their magic to be concealed by very powerful enchantments. In battle, the bard will use the tower shield and throw the javelin, then if no one attacks, drop the tower shield and use bard song, then magic if necessary. If someone attacks, the bard will close with the tower shield and dagger and fight until only facing one enemy, then drop the tower shield and grapple with dagger in hand.

7th-Aug-2005 03:57 am (UTC)
The herald and scout will first ascertain the player characters' military potential and probable intent. The herald will befriend the characters in a gentle and largely honest fashion (failing to mention his duties and profession except in vague, humble words, such as, "Oh, I'm a poet and historian by trade. I serve the best folk as best I can and learn of the world wherever I go." The herald will admit admiration in having heard of the adventurers' exploits, buy small things for the player characters as need is percieved, and try to win their trust -- and shan't betray them. The herald will try to persuade them away from dangerous activities, suggest they rest and stay in town for awhile, etc. The herald and scout will confer after investigations are over.

If the adventurers are felt to be a danger, they will announce the knight's arrival after the knight has actually taken home in the city, which is done in quiet. First the men at arms will enter the city (first three, then four, then two, then two), during evenings, as wanderers. Then the knight will arrive in day and the "wanderers" will stroll around keeping to the main thoroughfare and in sight of eachother. The knight will be accompanied by the squires, all cloaked and concealed, and the scout will loudly assist them, citing charitable interest. The day after the knight arrives is when the announcement will come, with the entire town militia (or sherrif's men) and the knight's guards standing ready.

If the adventurers are felt to be honest and good, the herald will announce the knight and take part in the brief parade to allow the citizens view of their new overseer (to whom taxes will be directly granted with typical lowering of taxes for the first year).

The adventurers, if they stay in the town will be allowed full use of the cleric (who will be busy serving the ill, having a shrine constructed, and prolystizing among the townfolk), and occasional assistance of other retinue as well (not more than one at a time on adventures and never the squires unless it's important that the knight take action).

You may see fit to allow these folk to rise in level independent of helping the adventurers, as time goes by, but level rise should not outstrip the adventurers largely. If an adventurer dies and the adventurers have been of service, the cleric can have word sent to a larger temple and a higher level cleric will permit free raising; otherwise, the cleric will refer them to that temple where they must pay for clerical spell service.

7th-Aug-2005 03:57 am (UTC)
If for any reason the local earl or baron comes into play, here are basic stats for her.

Noble: Lawful Good Human Female, 3rd level Aristocrat/3rd level Expert. S 14, D 8, C 8, I 13, W 14, Ch 15. This noble is an old woman but still remarkably strong and wise. She is learned in history and knows a remarkable bit about every area under her fief (and with her personal bard (a seventh level elven bard), has access to information as wide ranging as the entire biographies of individual members of noteworthy citizens therein, past and present). The noble's war gear is presently not used, but the noble always keeps her ancestoral sword at hand, which functions as a +2 keen longsword of defending (x2 critical chance, +2 AC).

Her personal guard are all fourth to fifth level paladins except for a single guard who relays messages between the crown duke and herself. This guard is a fifth level monk with the feat of run, among other feats and wears a ring of marching that allows the monk to run without exhaustion but does not alleviate need to sleep, drink, and eat. The movement rate in an hour is 20 miles for this monk. The movement rate for this monk in a day is 160 miles. After a week of travel use, the ring needs to rest (not be used) for a week.
8th-Aug-2005 08:10 am (UTC)
In other words, yes, do advance beyond the basic set. Do so at the pace they suggest: when they are ready to proceed, proceed.
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