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Viewing Topic: I am an insane DM - Page 1
#0: 11-07-2013 @ 11:07:52 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6703#6703

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

I cannot stress how hard it is to not show the fruits of my labor from almost all evening tonight.  Should Kitty, Haldon, and BountHunterSAx's party make it to the end of their current dungeon, the most complex, and probably lethal, D&D 4th ed Boss I have ever dared concieve awaits them.

I feel like I've gone insane right now.  We'll see how it plays out when they get to it.

I will tease this:

  1. It is a multi-phase fight.
  2. The monster stat/power block is so big I had difficulty photoshopping it together into a single image..
  3. The monster has an ability that is a nod to Chrono Trigger, another that is a nod to WoW's "Shadowbolt Volley."
  4. Ultima. ;)
  5. I've been working on this boss fight since 8pm tonight with little interruption.

We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#1: 11-08-2013 @ 07:22:08 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6705#6705

Misharum KittumMisharum Kittum

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  • Real Name:Tim
  • Joined:2010-01-22

That sounds exciting!


Justice and Truth
#2: 11-10-2013 @ 12:09:55 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6713#6713

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Last night we wrapped up E-26: Eternia Fortress This was a massive, Castlevania inspired dungeon designed for level 26 players which, if played to full clear, would award 2 levels worth of XP and hand out 2 levels worth of treasure parcels.  You can read the adventure using the above Google Docs link, though know that without the context of the 25 sessions leading up to it you may be missing a lot of context. As is normally for my sessions there's a lot of flourish and details that are unplanned and not appearing here.

The more important thing (for the sake of this thread) is that the completion of the adventure means the party faced the boss I wrote on Thursday.  The statblock is a 320x2264px image so I expect you to need to view it alone and zoom.  Here's the link.

The fight went... not as well as I hoped, and only slight worse than I figured it would.  As I expected it had the desired effect: even if the monster didn't actually nearly kill the party, the party enjoyed the multiple layers of complexity and changing dynamics, making it a memorable encounter regardless.  The good news is she did very real damage to the party when she was able to attack them at all, so clearly if she lived longer maybe someone would have hit zero HP.  The problem was at the end of the day she needed an extra 500 to 1000 additional max HP so each of her phases lasted long enough to actually take effect.  As it stood, phase 2 basically ended before she got a turn with it and I had to move phase 4 from triggering at 150HP left to triggering at 0HP left and instead instantly healing her up to 150HP for her last stand.  Even that should have been 200HP instead of 150.

Anyway now that it happened I feel free to share so if you are curious, enjoy.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#3: 11-10-2013 @ 07:47:18 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6714#6714

St00fSt00f

  • Real Name:Steph
  • Joined:2010-01-22

HOLY COW. Talked to Ahmad last night and he had some good things to say, but just.....wow.

What happened with her Cataclysm attack at the end? I would have liked to be the room (but not playing) to have seen this whole thing go down. 

This post was edited by St00f on November 10, 2013, 12:50 pm


Canadians are my favorite mythological creature.
#4: 11-11-2013 @ 08:14:40 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6715#6715

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

What happened with her Cataclysm attack at the end? I would have liked to be the room (but not playing) to have seen this whole thing go down. 

Kitty's bard reduced the boss to 0 HP, which was my new trigger point for the final form.  I then had the boss moved to the center of the battle mat, changed the music (see attached video). Explained that she was torn and ripped at by a massive flow of arcane energy, her form changing from a succubus queen into a human woman, her devil wings replaced by giant glowing energy ones.  The clue I gave the party at this point is "You are now standing on the very cliff-face where Alexus Skyreaver cast the God Slayer spell that killed Asmodaeous 100 years ago.  Your foe is now casting a spell called Arcane Cataclysm.  The torrent of magic energy around her makes her immune to all effects but damage.  All effects currently on her are ended.  She has 150 Hit points remaining.  Intitative reset, top of the order go."

The party then took turns whailing on her and after each hit I told them how many hit points they had left to go.  Oh I also gave them a free action point for the milestone of beating the normal form.  In hindsight, the action point was probably enough to have the spell take exactly 1 round to cast.

Rogue was up first.  Held her action.

Bard was up second.  Cast her spell that causes crits on target foe on 18-20.  Missed.  I can't recall if she action pointed at that point or not, I think she was waiting for more allies to be in melee range with the boss.

Avenger went.  Hit, something to the tune of 48 damage.  Action Point.  Hit for something to the tune of 60 damage.  Something like 60 enemy HP remaining.

Rogue took her turn, moved into sneak attack range.  Crit.  Crit + Sneak attack hits for something like 70 damage.  9 points of overkill.  Boss dies, spell fails, party is sent back to castle.  Castle gets sucked into the Nine Hells through the sky and the party has an overly dramatic escape using the "Dragonian Wing Packs" I gave them like 6 adventures ago so they can fly once a day.

This post was edited by machvergil on November 11, 2013, 11:16 am


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#5: 11-11-2013 @ 09:36:32 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6716#6716

dmz2112dmz2112

dmz2112 Photo.
  • Real Name:J Zoshak
  • Joined:2013-02-07

Hmm.

You know, all this time, Vergil, I've been operating under the assumption that we are Dungeon Masters of the same caliber.  I'm just not sure I can believe that anymore.

I think you are a clear cut above.  Whether it went as expected or not, this is a horrifyingly magnificent job.


Son of a bitch it's all quaggan backpacks!
#6: 11-11-2013 @ 11:49:18 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6718#6718

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

I don't know how you can know that with such certainty without actually playing in a game I run, which we've established is not a thing that should happen due to your known distaste for playing.  That said, you are very kind for saying so, thank you for the compliment.

I still highly value our conversations about DMing.  It is wonderful to be able to talk with someone about DMing who spends about the same % of time behind the screen rather than in front of it as I do.  Plus you have years of experience over me.  I'm certain you have challenged and killed your parties with greater success than I have.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#7: 11-11-2013 @ 11:06:58 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6721#6721

dmz2112dmz2112

dmz2112 Photo.
  • Real Name:J Zoshak
  • Joined:2013-02-07

I don't know how you can know that with such certainty without actually playing in a game I run, which we've established is not a thing that should happen due to your known distaste for playing.  That said, you are very kind for saying so, thank you for the compliment.

When I first read this I thought to myself, "Aw, no, that's sad, I'll never play in one of Adam's campaigns.  Perhaps I should have been less strident in my position."  And then tonight's Pathfinder game ran long and I was in a Google Hangout for four face-tearing hours trying desperately to not start stabbing eyes through the internets despite a character I love and a skilled dungeon master.

So yeah, maybe I can swing by and heckle observe someday.  'Cause playing is for players.

I still highly value our conversations about DMing.  It is wonderful to be able to talk with someone about DMing who spends about the same % of time behind the screen rather than in front of it as I do.  Plus you have years of experience over me.  I'm certain you have challenged and killed your parties with greater success than I have.

...I'm not that much older than you guys.  ...Crap, I totally am.

I agree that it is nice to have another self-identifying dungeon master to talk to.  We are scarce on the ground.


Son of a bitch it's all quaggan backpacks!
#8: 11-12-2013 @ 06:24:46 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6723#6723

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

...I'm not that much older than you guys.  ...Crap, I totally am.

I agree that it is nice to have another self-identifying dungeon master to talk to.  We are scarce on the ground.

Even if we were the same age, and you're right you're not that much older than me, I still didn't run my first game of anything until about 16, or play my first game of anything until 15, and have very little experience with any D&D before 3.0.  Yeah I ran a 3 session campaign and played probably 10 sessions of AD&D 2, but that didn't mean I liked it or that I feel like I have a good grasp on how that game is run.  Haldon is younger than me and has a lot more experience with D&D specifically than I do.

Sorry the pathfinder game ran long.  I'd be more than happy to let you play in something I ran sometime if you were willing to try it, but I also know your stance so I wouldn't push or prod you in that direction.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#9: 11-12-2013 @ 10:18:48 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6728#6728

dmz2112dmz2112

dmz2112 Photo.
  • Real Name:J Zoshak
  • Joined:2013-02-07

Even if we were the same age, and you're right you're not that much older than me,

Tell that to my looming 35th.  Eee.  Starting next month I'm not even in my /early/ thirties anymore.  Uncool, ceaseless march of time.  Uncool.

I'd be more than happy to let you play in something I ran sometime if you were willing to try it, but I also know your stance so I wouldn't push or prod you in that direction.

I had a much longer post and an alcoholism analogy here originally, but Ren says I'm overthinking things.  Please do not ever take my "stance" as a criticism of your or anyone else's dungeon mastery.  It isn't about you, or anyone else -- it is very specifically about me, and my problem.  

 

I hope I can someday /run/ something for you guys, because that is my passion, and despite my often caustic rhetoric I am actually a pretty even-handed dungeon master.  I don't consider TPKs to be victories -- they are a thing that happens, but far more rewarding to all parties is the abject, sobbing fear of an /impending/ TPK.

Of course, now I'm all intimidated by the prospect of being compared to you.  :)

 


Son of a bitch it's all quaggan backpacks!

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