Trigger Warning: Spoilers, Game System Appropriation, Disregard for Adventurers League, and a blogger who doesn’t give a fuck.
(That last part’s easy to do when you’re Autistic)
Well, I managed to finish the campaign on schedule. My take on Hoard of the Dragon Queen ended with a climactic battle with a White Dragon in his lair. Even with the use of Lair Actions—what I added just for this battle—and that the dragon’s Legendary Actions were aggravating the players, the final battle wasn’t as formidable as the Vampire battle two weeks back. I was actually going for the TPK, but it was not to be.
Lesson learned: Tone down the distribution of Magical Weapons. One of my players was a twin wield swordsman with a magical sword each. Double Attack per action+ Two Attack Actions per turn + two Magic Weapons (one of them dragon slaying) = Overpowered. I wanted to be more liberal with the magic items, but fewer weapons would be a good idea. Thank Goodness for the Dungeon Master’s Guide, which will be more into play with Princes of the Apocalypse.
I have the book ordered over at Amazon—had to; it costs $50 in the stores—and will start planning as soon as I get the downloaded portion. The next session will be character creation, and I could sense at this time that the players aren’t too interested in being Adventurers League Legal, that is, sticking to the guidelines laid out by Wizards of the Coast in their League Guidelines. Some would want to use 2nd or even 3rd party classes or races (some of which I collect in a D&D wiki I’ve set up. You can find a link to your left.) and just about all of them just want to have fun and not be interested in a Living Forgotten Realms environment.
That’s why I’m doing to have “No Faction” version of a welcome folder, to accompany with the Faction-based folders the game stores should get by now. I have my own customized Character Sheet, and will even include the new Action Point MkII, which combines the Action Point I use as an attendance prize, Inspiration, and Fate Points from Fate Core. Giving them additional functions will balance out the desire to hoard their Points for a Boss Battle.
Another mechanic I’m appropriating from Fate Core is Fate Zones. Instead of putting the published maps in grids or hexes, I’ll just cordon off the map into a series of zones linked together. In each of the zones there will be everything that the players would think would exist in the room, especially mundane items. Also, going from zone to zone only takes one Move Action (or in my table, 1 full turn) regardless of the party’s speed. It’s when the party gets into an encounter where I set up a grid (even if it is that 8X8 tile) and the character’s speed comes back into play.
This will go alongside all the other quirks I use, such as a Random Event Deck (a sleeved up standard 52-card deck with events related to some of them) The possibility of Castle Naerythar as a lore resource if the party finds their way between Waterdeep and Neverwinter. (It’s already a part in my version of Lost Mine of Phandelver) d100 Critical and Fumble charts, and some other tidbits that I’ll talk about here on the blog.
In other news, I’ve talked about my need for a streaming computer with friends and family, and it seems that I’ll be able to get that computer as part of my birthday. (Granted, it might be a bit early, since they’re going to use some of their tax returns for it, but what can I say, I don’t celebrate my birthday that much anyway). Once I get that, it’ll be put to work on that regular stream on Twitch and YouTube I want to make.
The parts or my Raspberry PI camera system is coming to me now, starting with the Ras Pi 2 itself. The darn computer-on-a-board is even cuter in person. I thought about using one of my D&D cases from 4th Edition to store it in. (Ras Pis can be as easily velcroed as cased) I first thought about using a case from my Dungeon Tiles collection, but I couldn’t bring myself to mar such a sturdy—and by now expensive—case. So I decided on using the 5th Edition Starter Set case for the job of keeping the Pi, USB Hub, web Camera, and all the wires together. I’ll keep you posted on how this progresses.