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Player's Comments - The Dragon Wars - Slaying of the Orc King - 6 Nov 2010

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If I have time later, maybe Nekk will write the recap. Thought I'd jot down a few comments; six players (full party), three major battles (Lev -4, Lev +6, and Lev +2) and one trap in about six hours. Hmmm...4th level orcs vs. 16th Level PC's was interesting, even though there were a lot of them. I wonder if higher level minons might have tougher for an equal amount of experience spend for the DM.

The orc King encounter was quite a bit tougher with Nekk taking like 320+ hits in one battle and using his AP and 4 dailies. Reptis giving Rainen an extra attack each round is what won us this battle.

The battle with the mind flayer was actually the battle where the PC's were in the most danger due to the flayer's special power.

Thought the party worked very well together. We concentrated fire well and the softer party members didn't take too much damage (right?). Other comments?

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Probably won't get to it today (maybe), but I was going to write a recap/prologue too. Nekk is welcome to as well, of course...

Princess Aowin battle (-4 EL) was meant to be pretty easy so the party could look extra impressive in front of all the Human hotties. Plus, I wanted the party to be able to reach a milestone for King Obould. Yes, someone should help Kevin update his PC to 17th, since I also thought there must be some mistakes in his build. (Funny how everyone thought Willas still outshined Nekk though,... neither Human particularly shined in that battle)

King Obould battle (+6 EL) was meant to overwhelm the party. I had a whole slew of artilliary (+19 to hit) & I expected that to be 2 encounters with the party forced to hit & run on them before finishing off the King. We had 6 PCs instead of the 4 expected... I think if we had 4, it would have played out the way I planned, but I don't know...

The alter trap encounter (-1 EL) was SOO disappointing! The party needed 2 religion checks, DC27+ to notice (perception does nothing), and another DC30+ to know how to bypass. It had some prety cool attacks if the party couldn't pass either 1 of the checks.

In the Mind Flayer encounter (+2 EL), the 12 18th level minions were much weaker than I thought, the Construct protector was about as cool as I thought (I liked him), but yes, the Mind Flayer was 1 missed save away from killing a PC. (+25 v Will and most of his rolls were 15 or better)

I think last time the party faced a MF I was 1 missed save away from killing a PC too, but can't remember...

Anyway, I hope everyone had fun... I did!

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Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Note, for all of the adventures I've been writing since about the forth Bandits of Minrath adventure, for each encounter I have a target EL. For all but the solo encounters, I have a few monsters as "optional" monsters incase a player doesn't show and I have a few monsters written into the encounter as "reserves" in case there are 1 or even 2 more players than I expected. On my encounter maps, I mark M (superscript "O" or superscript "R1" "R2") where these other monsters would start. I also have their hits points and other abilities in my notes. The "extra" monsters are usually additional ones of the type(s) already in the encounters.

Not too hard for a flying Warlock with high CHA, riding a flying stead, blasting with magic from on high, to outshine a weapon and shield fighter on foot who has like really low CHA.

The orcs may have had artillery, but we had Freeza and Nekk's shielding power saved Nekk, Reptis, and Rainen from being hit multiple times. The darkness and the obscurement also helped in that it directed the archers to aim for the much higher AC targets.

Hmmm, yes, the 12 18th Level minions didn't seem too tough. I'll have to run a couple mock battles and see for an even amount of DM experience points which is tougher, a bunch of lower level brute monsters who have enough hits to take several blows from a PC, or an equal number of much higher level minions.

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Teramotos wrote:Not too hard for a flying Warlock with high CHA, riding a flying stead, blasting with magic from on high, to outshine a weapon and shield fighter on foot who has like really low CHA.

It didn't help that the first thing Nekk did (with Stu playing him instead of Kobe...) was to fall off his mount and land on his face! Surprised

Yes, you shined a lot more fighting the Orc King... He actually missed quite a few times! (King Obould, I mean)

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5 More Observations - King Battle on Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:22 pm

...a +6 EL for 4 16th Level PC's is 16,600 exp points worth of monsters (ref pg 57 dmg). With 6 PC's, 16,800 exp points is still a 20th level encounter or +4 EL. Aside from Nekk, I don't think anyone else really took all that much damage (correct me if I'm wrong here).

As I think I heard Ross say, we did use up resources which is what the hard encounters are suppose to do. The battle may have seemed "to easy" for the party because:

1) Freeza had nearly an optimal situation to use his lighting chain power which has a huge impact.
2) There was the addition of an NPC (that I'm pretty sure you didn't factor into the encounter EL) who basically gave a PC an extra standard action each round, effectively giving the party the firepower of a party with 7 PCs.
3) The Reptis/ Rainin pairing is about as high a military force multiplier as you can imagine. Taking a guy who already gets to roll two dice (taking the better) and then doubling that (w Reptis granting Rainin extra attacks) is worth at least another .25 to .50 of a PC in firepower.
4) The Orc King limited himself most of the time to attacking the PC in the party who had the best defences (okay, tied Rainin on AC), and by far the most hits. He basically played right into the party's hands by making it as easy as it can be for the Defender to play his role.

For all of the above reasons, I'm saying the party had some "unexpected" advantages that resulted in the group having effective firepower in this situation equal to about 8 PC's effectively making this not even a +4 EL, but more like a +2 EL. In any event, it is far from the +6 EL the DM intended.

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Concur re: 1, 2, & 3. Re: 4, "best defenses" is pretty much a nonfactor when he's +33 to hit. Besides, as GM, if a player wishes to mark an enemy, I'm generally going to reward him with an attack if I can.

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...anyone else think that including a monster in an encounter that's going to auto hit the PC with the best AC could be problematic somehow? e.g. +33 to hit vs. Nekk and Rainin's AC of 32.

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I think he missed 20-25% of the time... and no, I don't think it's a <metagame> problem. By your own estimation, it wasn't even last weekend's deadliest encounter.

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