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 Post subject: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 4652
Alright, I've had a chance to go through the OOC, something I generally skip over in game if I'm not looking for a diceroll, simply because I have too much to do, and the game runs slowly as it is. Then I went back and went through the logs.

Too much player bickering. KCG, you have to lighten up. First off, it seems whenever RP starts up, you immediately become antagonistic to everyone else who is not doing what you want them to, which seems also to be 'move through this as quickly as possible'. We had three combats last night, one of them huge, and you are still trying to rush the rest of the players past any RP. Not cool, and made worse by the manner in which you do it, which leads us to second off. The directed profanity. It conveys a serious disrespect and disdain for your fellow players. We all swear, but you aim it at the others. Now, you were correct that I wasn't going to give you a surrendered hobgoblin army to go kill Calcryx with. But that's my job to make that apparent. Players are allowed to try anything they want. I suspect most of your fellow players would be more willing to listen to your often on-point insights into the metagame if they weren't couched in insults, swearing and the basic choice of 'Do what KCG says like his *****, or do anything else.'

Now, some awesome stuff happened in the game. The portent was fantastic. What a great way to end that combat, and a solid return for Shael. And three encounters in a single session! Excellent. I liked Julian's latent paladin powers coming forth to open the door. and Osario was a success, even if his sacrificial uses were bypassed. Calcryx's end was really moving. Kryss's red dragon cruelty towards her was brutal.

Looking forward, there's either down the pit to where Belek waits or the Dragon door that hasn't been disturbed. You also might want to discuss the Hucrele's fate with the Durbuluk, and decide if you still want Erky or Pug around. Get the loot split up and character sheets updated by Friday.


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:51 am
Posts: 1247
You are absolutely right. It's a game after all. I've never been good at finding the balance where I am playing to succeed but also having fun and not ruining it for others.


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 4652
Alright guys, we won. You absolutely have to split up the loot by next week. If you are leaving stuff with comatose NPCs, feel free, but understand that at the moment, they might as well be dead for purposes of their loot. It does them little good, so unless it does you little good, take it.

We'll be moving on, although the next session is probably going to be a bit less adventurey and more getting set up for our next adventure. Who knows what it holds though?


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:28 pm
Posts: 1182
That was quite the first round of punishment there.

The good news is that we seem to have a bit better ability to claw our way back from these rounds than a level or two ago. Still trying to calibrate my 5e sense of tactics (I do think that if Shael hadn't drawn a lot of attention to himself with Sanctuary and/or if the enemies had been more focused, they could readily have finished us off).

Still, wow, that sort of thing happened a lot this adventure. It's been a long time since I've run for my life as frequently as I did this time through the Sunless Citadel, or since the tactical situation has seemed as fickle as it has here.


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:38 pm 
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I've noticed that myself, both as the DM and as the player. Miraak failing his save was one bad piece of news, but the fight was

Belek CR 4
Kulket CR 1/4
Braford CR 3
Sharwyn CR 1
Durnn CR 3
Twig Blight x3 (plus more backup in the grove if you guys retreated) CR 1/8.
Tree - No CR, just lair effects, story award was CR 5 for destroying it.
And Miraak, CR 3, and the only real impact of the tree at all was his first round betrayal.

Now with all that taken into account, I think one of the chief factors in 5e 'bad tactics' is extending your line. Because foes lose an action to disengage, getting into melee with only one potential target means that they are inclined to stay and pound on that one target rather than break off and go for others. A high AC can help with that (and the heavy armor mastery feat would have come in real handy against non-magical weapon damage), but ultimately, once you allow yourself to get flanked up by bad guys who literally have no ability to do anything but hit you with advantage or lose their action to maybe hit someone the next round, you go down fairly quick.

By the same token, spreading out your fire rather than focusing on weaker looking targets (frog or any other beast is usually a good bet for soft target, NPCs can vary rather wildly) and crushing their economy of action can also screw with you, particularly if combined with the spread out line that allows them to do what you are not.

On the frog's grapple, my bad for not doing a better job OOC explaining what the IC meant. In my defense, I was bone tired, and we were like two hours into the mass combat. Rolld20 is not as intuitive as maptool when it comes to me moving the map around, marking tokens, etc, and it also sits in my browser rather than its own program, so my tabs for foe stats have to be switched out when I look at the map and vice versa.

Now, it looked to me that you moved around within the frog's threatened area, and figured you only drew an AoO when you left it for good. I believe that is incorrect, and the AoO triggers as soon as you leave a threatened square. I also didn't give a **** about it at that particular late point in the night, so zero discussion, but I think it would be ideal if we were on the same page for that one. I am also entirely open to the idea that I may be wrong, and using old PF rules rather than the 5e ones. If the intent is that you can move around in an opponent's reach as long as you don't leave it (or move through his square), then that's fine. But I'd like your rules-fu on this one. It definitely would shape things differently.

All in all, it was a good fight, but it definitely showed how quickly things could swing. Some tactical elements were bypassed in favor of the bad guys making the emotional call rather than the intelligent one (Belek ordering them to attack the blathering wizard, Durnn moving after Pug rather than a PC), but that's the way the cookie crumbles. You guys were fighting them, not me. I would invest in some ranged attacks for everyone (hopefully your cantrips work here at a minimum?), and don't be afraid to focus fire in rounds 1 and 2 to get rid of flankers or other pests.


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:53 am
Posts: 120
Location: Des Moines, IA
Going forward, I intend to use many of the same tactics from this fight -- get in the middle of the enemy formation, draw their attention as much as possible, be dickishly hard to effectively damage, literally tie them up when possible. There are a lot of gaps I see in my defenses when looking forward, especially since I'll be behind in level from the group and behind in spell-level from enemy wizards (counterspell is really going to mess me up once it comes into play). Among other things, I will need to be much more threatening than I am now -- or at least seem like I am -- if I want to keep their attention. Or, perhaps instead, seem like the least threatening... hard to say what will work better, I suppose.

I don't really feel like there's anything else that needs to be said in regards to tactics; play to your strengths, exploit your own weaknesses so the enemy cannot, and cover eachother's backs. Pretty standard fair.

One thing I did want to mention -- I did have a cool thing I could do, Julian did a cool thing instead... and that's AWESOME! Never feel bad for doing a cool thing, guys... cool things are cool. Plus, I already got my cool thing in the last boss fight. I'll have plenty more cool things in the future. The more cool things the better!

_________________
"Why do you hate money, Heinrick?"


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:28 pm
Posts: 1182
Glad it was cool :)

Open5e sugests that opportunity attacks occur when leaving reach but says nothing about entering or moving around in reach. It is worth noting that Mezentius in KCG's game got AoOs on enemies closing in because of his Polearm Master feat, not because of the normal AoO rules.

I generally agree that the loose PC team formation was a disadvantage here, although I will also say that I am afraid of AoEs in this edition. Not sure whether they actually had any here. But getting flanked certainly was murderous, especially with the +d4 on top of the advantage.

I think that seeming threatening is probably better than not, although it might be tough to seem threatening without actually attacking something and breaking the sanctuary effect. Is summoning a thing in 5e? There's always Intimidate ofc...

As far as treasure goes, Julian wants the following:
-half plate
-Lightbringer (the +1 extra sharp longsword)
-healing potion
-antitoxin
-antiplague x2
-everburning candle
-a longbow and arrows
-enough javelins not to worry about counting them ever again
-silk rope

I'll also find a home for any magic or unique items that go unclaimed, except for sketchy stuff like the Gulthias staff.


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:14 am 
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 5:21 pm
Posts: 114
I'm enjoying the campaign so far. I'm glad we've been taking opportunities to roleplay with some of our foes and ive been happy with the results so far. I'm not happy with almost dying in every fight.

It's pretty apparent that Kryss isnt the indestructible wrecking ball I envisioned him being. The bad guys arent dying in the first round and so I seem to be surrounded everytime I charge in. I need to either find better ways to increase my damage or improve my AC so I can swap blows for a few rounds while the rest of you take everything down. Not sure how to accomplish either of those.

I'm excited for the return to town. Kryss will be wanting to find a weaponsmith to make him greatsword.

He will ask the party for the +1 battle axe, a couple spears, and a few odds and ends. Hopefully we can sell off most of our loot without needing to go to another town.


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 4652
Ok, so you have a week to decide whether you

1. Escort the peasants back to the safety of their home or Blasingdell.
2. Escort the peasants back to the safety of the mountain door and wave as they leave.

The peasants want to leave immediately and express such, so really you only have to decide if you go with them or not.

Regarding your long rest. If you rest in the actual dungeon complex, which you have been actively murdering people in, you will almost certainly fail to actually gain your long rest, and will have to fight off attackers who will be able to set up however they want. Suffering hails of arrows while an ogre twists your head off is probably not the group's ideal scenario.

If you rest outside the dungeon complex, you do run the possibility of an orc patrol (two of them out there) running into you. Your call whether you want to gamble with getting tagged in square miles of terrain or square feet.


Nice job last night though. 13 dead psychopathic killers.


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 Post subject: Re: Dark Shards Feedback
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:28 pm
Posts: 1182
I was pretty stoked about that failed Con save breaking up the Hold Person spell. Too bad that actually getting his attention led to party wipe and not glorious victory.


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