Posts Tagged ‘4th Edition’

D&D Organized Play: Encounters and Lair Assault

November 4, 2011

I think I’ve run more D&D this year than I have, well, ever.  My Friday night 4E Keep on the Borderlands campaign continues bi-weekly.  I’m taking it slow, so they have just reached 7th level and we’re discussing where they want to go in the Paragon Tier.  It’ll take a little time for those ideas to settle, but they are already bearing fruit, as I’ve created a mini-campaign for levels 7-8 in a lost dragonborn city sunken into the swamp south of the Keep.  There was always going to be a set of ruins there, but since our dragonborn paladin/warlord hybrid expressed interest in becoming a Scion of Arkoshia at Paragon, and eventually recreate the old empire(?!), I tied together some pre-gen draconic adventures to expand the ruins.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have also been running the D&D Encounters program at the local game store, The Gaming Goat, that opened this year in Elgin.  When they opened in January, the Keep on the Borderlands season of encounters was already running (D’oh, I would have liked to have seen what WoTC did with that), so I started running with season 4 of Encounters in March.  Since then I’ve been running a 2-hr ‘Chapter’ pretty much each Wednesday, only taking off when I’ve been out of town for work for two weeks in June, and a week in October.  Running a short, regular game each week that I don’t have to prepare much for has been interesting.  Some times really fun, it can also be a bit of a chore since, designed as a pick-up game anyone can show up for, there isn’t any practical way to call off on short notice if something comes up.  And the restriction to play Wednesdays only (as mandated by WotC) means it’s been inconvenient at times for both players and DM alike.  Fortunately we have developed a couple of alternate DMs since March, which is good, since that first season (March – May) saw me sometimes running 8 or 9 players in a scenario written for 4-6.  Adding monsters helps balance things, but it also means every turn takes a loooong time.  But since we started splitting into two tables of no more than 6 players, the pressure of wondering how I would accommodate more players has gone.


[4e] Not Your GM’s Keep on the Shadowfell: SWARM(s)!

November 17, 2009

Like the particle/wave duality of light, this week’s rules adjustments come from the understanding (or lack thereof) of how 4e swarms can act as both a single creature, and a series of tiny creatures acting in concert. The issue began when the party attempted to explore a web-covered chapel to a dragon god, buried deep in the caverns of the  kobold lair behind the waterfall in H1.  Turns out I wasn’t the only one who thought the provided map indicated a more extensive cave system – our DM has set us on his first completely original series of encounters exploring those caverns.  And with webs covering the ceiling, it’s no surprise that we were attacked by spiders and ettercaps and scorpions (oh, my!).


[4e] Not Your GM’s Keep on the Shadowfell: (Mostly) Minor Actions

November 9, 2009

This week’s change is short and sweet.  Which is appropriate, since it concerns Minor Actions.  Before the start of play this past week, our DM announced that if we wanted to trade all of our actions down to Minor Actions in a round, he would grant us a bonus of an additional Minor Action for our trouble.  In other words, instead of a maximum of 3 Minor Actions per round, we now potentially could use 4.  I expect this was in reaction to having a few of us unable to grab and drink potions fast enough to keep up with the beat down we had taken the week before (once our Second Winds were gone).  The increased threat level born of unbridled rules changes begins to rear its ugly head!  But nothing another rules tweak can’t fix, eh?


[4e] Not Your GM’s Keep on the Shadowfell: Semi-Stackable Temp HP

October 26, 2009

This week’s bone of contention turned out to be how Temporary Hit Points are handled in 4E.  During the last session we ended up getting Temporary Hit Points from several sources.  In addition to Clerical and Avenger powers which grant Temp HP, the scenario itself had a magical source for Temporary HP that the party tapped – a magic circle outside the kobold waterfall campsite.  Those of you familiar with the Keep on the Shadowfell as published will notice some customization here, as the original magic circle only gave a slight attack bonus. Since the party was third level at this point (and had previously completed the original waterfall scenario when I ran my truncated campaign), the DM had to change things up and increase the opposition.


[4e] Not Your GM’s Keep on the Shadowfell: Magic Surges

October 6, 2009

As I related in my previous post, our old DM from a multi-year 3.0 homebrew has taken over running a regular 4E game for my Thursday night gaming group, and being who he is, can’t help but change things.  Last time I discussed identifying magic items, and withholding their abilities until worn for at least 24 hrs.  This time, I’m going to try and figure out how replacing Milestone refreshes of Daily Magic Item uses with Magical Surges changes things around.


[4e] Not Your GM’s Keep on the Shadowfell: Identifying Magic Items

October 1, 2009

First off, Mea Culpa on The Keep on the Borderlands articles that have been mentioned but failed to materialize.  Work and other obstacles have stalled me on that front.  But as my players have recently reached fourth level, and are taking a much deserved break back in the relative safety of the Keep, I may have a chance to catch that up as I prepare for the second half of the heroic tier.

In the meantime, I have started playing in another 4th Edition game with a different group, this time a weekly game (more or less) run by our old 3.0 – 3.5 DM.  While I am having fun, I feel the need to share some of the changes and modifications he’s made to the game, both for my own sanity but also so I can think through the implications and perhaps get some help pointing out the potential pitfalls, and avenues for exploitation.  The backdrop will be somewhat familiar to most 4th Edition players, as these stories will involve us progressing through his interpretations of the Heroic Tier adventures, starting with H1 Keep on the Shadowfell.


A Brief but Compelling Review of i4e

September 29, 2009

There’s a new iPhone app, i4e, which allows you to store D&D 4e character sheets on your iPhone. It is probably not worth your time, regrettably. It does not contain any WotC copyrighted content, which is good, but it does not import Character Builder data files, so you have to enter in everything by hand.

Also, no place to put paragon paths and epic destinies. Tsk. And one of the options for target in powers is “Three Chreatures.” And you can’t specify what class a power belongs to, which matters for (say) cleric healing powers. Not polished.

If it could import data files, and if it could retrieve info from the Compendium to fill out power cards, it would become better. Still not as good as iplay4e, though. Those guys are awesome.

4e Supers

September 22, 2009

4e for Supers. Given that this is me, it was only a matter of time. These are mostly unstructured notes. Also shouldn’t be a surprise.

Basic assumptions: 1) Keep it as close to 4e’s established ruleset and structure as possible. Mainly so that you can still use the Character Builder. 2) Setting neutral, although we’ll want to be able to replicate things like Marvel or DC, 3) No system gets Flash or Green Lantern right so holding them up as “imposible to make in this system” is a non-starter. (more…)

[4e] Dark Sun

August 14, 2009

I’m honestly very surprised. Mainly because a year or so ago I tried and failed (“they tried and DIED!”) to make the old Dark Sun setting work with 4e. Defiling/Preserving and elemental “clerics” were the biggest challenge. It sounds like they may tie the Primal source into elements so I’d expect the elementalists to be worked in there with a new class or two (actually they may put some of the classes into PHB3 as each of the setting books has only had 1 class in it so far, right? I could see an Elementalist class in PHB3 and save Templars or something for DS), but I don’t know what it will mean for existing Primal classes like Druid or Shaman. Divine I’d imagine as being limited to worship of the Sorcerer Kings, which has pretty awesome implications. No idea how preserving and defiling will be handled, especially across the great variety of Arcane classes.

So I have an intense academic interest in seeing how they pull this together.   I know the developers have said they really wan to push the limits of what 4e is capable of in the next year with PHB3, so this is going to give them a chance to really shake it up a bit.

Anyway, neat. The guessing is over, let the impatient speculation begin! (more…)

Marky Mark

July 9, 2009

I’ve been thinking about Defenders in 4e recently (in particular wondering why folks say paladins suck) and figured I’ll use this space to work out some comparisons. I think it’s useful to lay out the data side by side. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: