February 25, 2011

Revenge of the Iron Lich / PAX East

I've been totally blown away this week, overwhelmed, by the Revenge of the Iron Lich fourthcore adventure put out this week by Save Versus Death. It is all-encompassing, so much so, that I had to add in a little bit of something ... here.

On a related note, I'll be the Dungeon Master to at least one group of dungeoneers attempting to plumb the utter depths of darkness and despait of the Iron Lich at PAX East (March 11-13, Boston). Get in touch with me if you'll be there and want to sign up, I'm taking names!

And related to that, I got an email last night from WotC's RPGA Manager, Willi, reminding me that I had signed up for the PAX East DM's Challenge and telling me of the details of said challenge.

Wow, talk about a wake up call!

I had not spent one iota of thought on that thing, and now I need to design the best adventure (and related pre-gen PCs) of my life, competing with other DM's from around the country. I can't just crap out a quickie delve and be done with it. This thing has to be good. Good as hell. The theme is a "dragon BBEG and its lair". I plan to have a lot of tricks and surprises for the players. I plan on breaking the standard Encounter mold. I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew.

If only the theme was "Artificer-Lich"!

I'll be posting all my notes and pregens after I get back from PAX East. Hopefully, it will be something I can be proud of.

February 19, 2011

Magic Item: Orb of Indisputable Gravity

from Jim Henson's Labyrinth

One of the things I've always loved about 4E is the names of the orbs. Orb magic item names are so over the top, so epic, so evocative. Here, I've taken one of those beauties and given it my own special touch. The Orb of Indisputable Gravity functions much like the old-school Reverse Gravity spell. It's dangerous, it's situational (as certainly it is not beneficial in many encounters), and most importantly it rewards the smart and creative player who can use this item to gain an advantage in the game.

It's also a very dangerous item of a certain fabulously dressed Fey Lord.

February 16, 2011

The Red Hand of Doom – Session #1 (January 18th 2011)

I run two different D&D campaigns; one game is weekly, one game is bi-weekly. My bi-weekly game (on Tuesday nights) is currently going through my 4E conversion of The Red Hand of Doom. At my request, we are utilizing all Essentials character classes, partly because I am dying to see how these new mechanics play out, and partly because I wanted to grab a little more of that classic D&D feel that Essentials aims to provide.
The characters in our group of heroes are: Desmo (Human Evoker Mage), Asterion (Minotaur Knight), Father Hagerty (Half-elf Warpriest), Magnus (Dragonborn Slayer), and Ashgrim (Halfling Fey Pact Hexblade).

February 9, 2011

Red Hand of Doom: Introduction


Recently, I've had quite a bit of free time at my office job, and have had the opportunity to take a crack at converting The Red Hand of Doom from it's 3e beginnings into my beloved Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition.

In short, I have had epic success.

Red Hand of Doom: The Witchwood


The following is a collection of notes for my The Red Hand of Doom Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition campaign. I've left out proprietary stuff, like actual monster stats, but would gladly provide some pointers to anyone who asks. Be sure to check out the intro post to get the gist for how these pieces fit together. Here and there, I've put down some notes as to how and why I did certain things.

Red Hand of Doom: The Ruins of Rhest


This chapter encompasses the events in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Drellin’s Ferry. The PCs should now have a good idea of the scale of the Red Hand horde and have a general idea of the overall plot to conquer the Vale. The chapter has a slew of miscellaneous Red Hand horde related encounters; fighting looters, striking at small platoons, etc.; as well as going into the swamps around Rhest, allying with the Tiri Kitor Elves, and smashing the hatchery of the black dragon, Regiarix. The PCs should be 4th Level when they hit this chapter.
Also, I substituded hippogriffs for the Tiri Kitor Elves' original flying owls. Hippogriffs just seem more fantasy and more .. D&D, to me.

Red Hand of Doom: The Ghostlord's Lair

In this chapter, the heroes travel out to the far off lair of The Ghostlord, lich ally to the Red Hand horde, in an attempt to break that alliance. This chapter runs very much like a standard dungeon crawl. The PCs should be about 6th level somewhere early on in the chapter. I haven’t run this chapter yet, but I can’t wait to see the cool stuff my group of PCs does when they gain a few zombie minions .

Red Hand of Doom: Enemy at the Gates


This chapter was one of my favorites to convert over. Almost the entirety of it focuses on an epic struggle to defend the city of Brindol from the advancing Red Hand horde. After the party has role-played through the beginnings of the chapter, restocking consumable magical items, finding new NPC Allies, etc., they engage in a freeform skill challenge to make battle plans for the defense of Brindol, convince any of the town's movers and shakers to their side of things, and do the actual fortifying of the town. Once the PCs have run out the clock on the ongoing campaign calendar, The Red Hand Horde attacks, with an overarching skill challenge representing the PCs and allies commanding the hodge podge Rebellion fleet Elsir Vale army, broken up by individual combat encounters representing crises situations which the PCs must rush to (such as when Hill Giants devastate the town walls), as they are the only heroes capable of handling such a threat.
The adventurer’s should be around 7th Level by the time the actual fighting starts.
The Battle of Brindol awesome skill challenge extravaganza uses a modified version of the Air War Skill Challenge, one of the rare bits of non-editorial work at Critical Hits.


Red Hand of Doom: The Fane of Tiamat

This chapter takes a lot of influence from the epic tier adventures in the Scales of War adventure path, including some of the traps, the final encounter, and many terrain powers. This chapter was a little boring for me, lathough it had many cool terrain powers, it was the most straight-forward and direct conversion. The PCs should be 8th level by the start of this chapter, and 9th level before the final encounter. In the final chapter of this great saga, the PCs (having just stopped the Red Hand Horde at Brindol) delve into the lair of Wyrmlord Azarr Khul to stop him from summoning his dark god Tiamat.