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 DnD, epic style

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bludeath

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PostSubject: DnD, epic style   Tue May 27, 2008 1:11 pm

So, my friends and I were reminiscing over a couple beers and we realized how many good memories we had from DnD. After this weekend I've realized that all I want is good memories, so we have decided to play DnD this summer. Because we have been playing for 6 years and have overkilled the whole level 1 - 10 content, we are going to be starting at level 20 and be doing some planar hopping and demon prince killing.

I am the DM, so I'm looking forward to coming up with the storyline (I think that was my favorite part of DnD, creating a world that is movie-worthy and then having my players interact within it). I like to create everything from scratch. In order to uphold the epicness of this campaign, I'm allowing every character to create a minor artifact that I will review to make sure power is balanced. The storyline may start strange, since everyone is basically the best warrior on the Material plane, but basically they are the best adventures all time has seen (some will be resurrected from the dead to fight) and, by some divine intervention they have been called together to fight the hordes of hell. I haven't decided details of what they will be fighting, but I know I want them to fight against some demon princes... one idea I had was the seven deadly sins... we had done this earlier in the form of assassins but that campaign ended earlier. My players liked the ideas I came up with (they had fight Greed and Glutton) but really wanted to continue fighting the stronger sins, such as Wrath.

An additional idea that has run through my head is that one of the planes that the players will have to travel to is an alternative Material plane which is this world as we know it, maybe in the slight past. I was thinking them being transported to World War Two because the Demons are attempting to prey on a weaker world in which there is no magic. Rudolf Freiherr von Sebottendorff, a known Nazi occultist who practiced alchemy and astrology, is in actuallity, a dark powerful wizard who planar hopped to the Material plane to serve his demonic master's desires. The players most find the occult, which means fighting some human non-magic nazis and tanks, kill Rudolf Freiherr von Sebottendorff who will attempt to open a portal, and kill a demon general who is hitler's advisor disguised as a German.

I have some other ideas floating around, but there you go. Just thought I would let you guys know whats going on... I'll keep you updated as we begin character creation in maybe a week or so.
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Tue May 27, 2008 4:18 pm

Those are all really cool ideas, I also like that I get to create an entire world around the characters. I have been working on a campaign I like to call The Search for the Lucifer Stones, basically there are seven stones that once assembled in Bablionzo, the city of ghosts, an insanely powerful something (still yet to be decided) will be summoned. For this campaign I have designed and entire world called Griev which consists of one large continent surrounded by island systems. The campaign hasn't started yet due to some time complications, but I can't wait. I have a feeling that my siblings will love it so much that they won't want to stop playing, even when I decide a session is over. Hopefully in the future I will design other campaigns using Griev as the home world, but we will just have to see. I will keep you guys updated on how it is going also.
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Tue May 27, 2008 11:39 pm

That sounds pretty cool actually... I loved designing my own worlds... though after the fourth world I just bought Kindoms of Kalamar in order to use its map so I didn't have to come up with names and terrain... all the encounters are still homebrewed though.
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Wed May 28, 2008 12:01 am

That is the thing, I drew a map as well, so I can keep using the same world over and over again.
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VANDERMATT!

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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Wed May 28, 2008 12:58 pm

Epic is always a fun area to explore. A couple things I might suggest if you wish to use them.

Epic Destinies: You may need to create a D&D insider account to see this, but it is well worth it in my opinion. Basically characters of level 21 give up their feats until 30, but become the most awesome characters the world has seen. My favorites are Blade of Ragnarok, Force of Nature, and Mythic Shadow. Really makes the characters awesome and gives them some cool abilities to use as well as lots of hooks for why they have the epic destiny to begin with.

Deities & Demigods: An interesting sourcebook that was available through the SRD for all the purposes of making gods with their godly powers and whatnot. Since they start at 20, a suitable reward and storyline could involve them becoming minor gods to battle whatever is being released or just for the hell of it. A giant wall with tasks written by every god in the world exists somewhere practically unreachable and if they complete all the tasks, they become gods in their own right. The divine abilities make characters a lot of fun to play, and it could all culminate in the battle with an elder evil or other incomprehensible creature that only the gods could destroy.
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Thu May 29, 2008 12:56 am

Those do sound intriguing....Hey Matt do you by chance have The Book of Nine Swords (or something around those lines), I picked it up today while I was on break from work. I don't think that I saw it on your selves, but I am almost sure that you probably have it, anyway are the classes in there any good? The crusader sounded pretty cool, as well as the swordmaster, but I didn't really get to check it out throughly.
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Thu May 29, 2008 1:29 am

MY FUCKING GOD! My friend JJ just made his character (you guys have met him, the big burly guy that smells funky) and I must say... I don't know what to do to stop this guy in a party setting.

He has 391 hp, 54 strength, hits like a truck for with a Huge Greataxe with 47/37/32/27 for 4d6 + 38 with a 19-20/x3 crit. Plus, keep in mind that he can rage and with power attack (which does x2 when two-handing right?) and leap attack... he hits for an average of 360 damage when he crits and full power leap attacks... just a regular hit averages at 52, and thats with no power attack. Oh and an AC of 34 ain't bad for a Barbarian who doesn't care if he gets hit...

Yeah, a mage flying around could take him out... but with a party of 5, I'm sure they can handle the mage... I just can't think of how he could be stopped haha

This is gonna be sweet Smile I can't wait to make the epic enemies... muhahaha
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Thu May 29, 2008 1:12 pm

@ Mark: Yeah, I do. It was tucked away on the end of the top shelf away from the door. The book is good . . . on one condition: Everyone in the party plays a class from it. The system is very unbalanced for playing with basic classes and really lends a lot of "anime style" play to D&D. Good for some, bad for others. I personally would not allow them in a regular game, but maybe for one shots or campaigns that revolved around constant combat I would be okay with it. I honestly like the feats the most out of the book and would prefer if people brought it into gameplay via the feat that allows the learning of maneuvers and stances. It is a decent book, but a tad bit power gamer. If you start reading it, I'm sure you will spot all the crazy combos that can arise and make level 10 characters capable of felling great wyrm dragons.

@ Jordan: That sounds like quite the character. It is very true that a mage could beat him, but you have to give a mage credit where it is due. If a mage is capable of being that high of a level, I bet he has some tricks up his sleeve for dealing with whole parties.

I know you like to make your own stuff, but the SRD has some good stuff on epic monsters and obstacles. Check 'em out if you want. It gives some good ideas you could mess around with and modify.
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Thu May 29, 2008 11:39 pm

Jordan- MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!! JJ is going to have way too much fun playing that character, lol I see him now.......Iron Man Iron Man, I am I Iron Man!! DRRR! lol.

Matt- Ok cool, I was thinking that the characters were a bit op but thought that it was just me, it is good to know. I also think that the stances feat was pretty awesome, I had the chance to read about that the other day, could be epic.
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:27 pm

Well... I have a new problem... almost everyone has made their characters and each one is capable of outputting about 250 damage easily per round. The weaker caster like enemies barely push past that much hp... even teh "dreadful Tarrasque" has only like 850... which is nothing... I could see things with extremely high SR, magic immunity, or energy resistance being a thorn in the side of my players, as well as high DR (though there is only one physical damage dealer... other than possibly the druid).

So a couple questions, how do I keep up the epic feel? I am thinking about letting them mow through tons of enemies with ease to make them feel great about themselves (like tear through an army or tough body guards to get to an objective) yet make boss fights memorable without making things impossible or restricting their abilities in some way? I mean, I'm sure I can think of stuff, I always can, but sometimes easy solutions pass right over my head and I don't want to overwhelm the players too quickly.

The group makeup is:

13th lvl barbarian werebear
21st lvl human illusionist (which reminds me, I know nothing bout illusionists cause no one has ever played one before, any hints to make them more powerful so that everyone else that deals 200+ damage wont overshadow them?)
21st lvl human cleric
21st lvl human druid
17th lvl half fiend battle sorcerer

Remeber, I went full out and gave em 550,000 gp to buy the usual magic items PLUS one minor artifact (which turned out to be waaaaaay more powerful than I originally attended. Yeah, I sorta regret it... but I guess this is just gonna be one of those campains where enemies are not weilding +5 unholy vorpal longswords but rather destroyer of the worlds, a sword make out of a sphere of annihilation. Shit like that to keep the enemies as epic as the players.)

Here are the artifacts in the same order of the players mentioned:

+5 Huge Greatax (large size plus monkey fisting is fun haha) that grants +10 str and +5 con (unnamed bonuses... heh... oops) along with when raging heals 1 hp per successful hit. Pretty good... oh well Smile its epic right?

Nothing at the moment for the illusionist though we are playing with the idea of a staff that allows shadow manipulation, increasing the power of shadow spells and allowing some illusions to be actually real or something like that.

+8 heavy shield that allows shield ac to be applied to allies within 5 ft of weilder. Also destruction spells cast from the destruction domain have +2 dc and caster levels and grant temp hp 2 x spell level

Nothing at the moment for the druid, though we are thinking about making it so that all items still give their bonuses during shape changing... basically the wild attribute on all stat increasing items... I think that may be it

+5 flaming Greatsword for the Battle Sorcerer that allows 1/day to change into a caster demon that allows spells to do 25% more damage, +2 dc I believe (been a while), +4 caster levels, + 6 char, + 4 con... and 1/day change into melee demon that grants +10 str, + 6 con, large size and any melee hits deal d6 damage back to the attacker... I don't know if this one is that overpowered cause they are once per day type abilities that don't last forever and only one can be used per encounter and leaves the user fatigued afterwards like rage

Couple things... should any of those artifacts be nerfed a bit (yeah, I know they are powerful, but thats the point, I will give enemies just as powerful things) and are any of them more powerful than others?
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:37 pm

Wow, that will be interesting. You could always put in some epic puzzles, or like puzzle battles. I was toying with the idea of using a room completely made of mirrors with a mage of some sort hidden and firing spells off that bounce off the mirrors while the characters are struggling to solve the puzzle and find the mage. They basically will have two choices, solve the puzzle and risk being killed in the process, or smash all of the mirrors and suffer the consequences.
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:27 am

Yeah, at lower levels that would be great... at higher levels just detonate the room with explosive spells and shatter all the mirrors at once, killing everything behind them. Or just walk around taking your time as the cleric because you have a 31 will save... I was thinking more along the idea of a Balor with 4 levels of fighter and a sword made out of a sphere of annihilation... heh >Smile
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PostSubject: Re: DnD, epic style   Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:23 pm

Yeah but I mean you will need more than just that, I thought that you were doing a demon price campaign? Don't the characters have to try and kill them or something? Just make them insanely powerful.
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