Eduardaro's Edicts of Eros

Hey HFLep,

I've attached my spreadsheet, so you can see my process if you want to. I've gone ahead and basically left my plan in place here, though you can use it or not as you see fit.

In any event, as you know, I usually try to make encounters that are about Level+2 to the PCs with monsters that are between Level-1 to Level+4. You've got to be a little careful with Level+4 monsters, but they're good because they really get the party's attention. Also, I personally like to use Skirmishers and Brutes with a smattering of Soldiers to soak up PC damage. I find Lurkers to be difficult to use well.

FYI, Artillery are essentially ranged Brutes, so you have to be a little careful with them as well since a bunch of Artillery monsters who volley-fire on single PC have a pretty good chance of really doing some damage. The alternative is to use Controllers, and I do that a lot. Because the weird-assed effects are fun and also because their damage output is scaled, meaning you're less likely to accidentally whack a single PC.

The last thing I'll say on this topic is that Elites are supposed to take the place of two monsters. Which means that they need to be able to attack multiple PCs at once in order to be effective. However, lots and lots of Elites don't have this kind of build, so they are essentially just regular monsters with a lot of hit points. That sucks. It's FAR less effective than simply using two separate monsters would be. 'Course the flip-side of that is that even if a monster can do something, that doesn't mean you'll be able to find a good way to actually use the ability in combat.

Finally, for my money, skill challenges are where PbP really breaks down. Were this a table-top game, I'd run a lot more skills challenges. However, as it is, it's very difficult (at least to me) to run a skills challenge that's really good. So I tend to shy away from them, in favor of in-combat skills usage and/or single-event skills usage that drives plot points. I balance that with Quest Experience Points and XP escalators.

Any questions?

Here's the Spreadsheet. Enjoy.

Thanks! I'll look at the compendium and see if I can pull of DMing the game, but it'll take about a week. Like I said, I'm a bit busy these days.

edit: I can't access the sheet since it's not public.

Try it again. Let me know if it's still busted.

Works just fine now. I'll get the subscription this weekend, read through the DM material, and tell you by the end of next week, ok?

Sounds good to me.

BTW, I put together the next encounter, and I guess I'm gonna go ahead and run it while you're doing your thing. Here it is:

- Gnoll Huntmaster (Lvl 5 Arty)
- Gnoll Demonic Priest (Lvl 4 Cont)
- 3 x Hyena (Lvl 4 Skrim)
- 2 x Hellhound (Lvl 6 Brute)

To the extent that this game has a story, it's this: Tailen is an ambitious drow noble who finds a talented group of slaves (that's the PCs, obviously) and exploits their abilities in order to build herself a little empire in the fey city of Harrowhame. To this end, Tailen sees her chief competition as her half-sister Nymeria, whom she hates out of typical drow racism and suspicion. But, this being a drow story, Tailen's suspicions are well-founded, especially given the fact that Nymeria's father Malakus is a powerful demon with no real ties or loyalty to Tailen's House. That brings us to where we are today: Tailen has sent you on a mission with Nymeria. Ostensibly, you're supposed to just watch Nymeria, but Tailen hopes that things go south, and either you kill Nymeria or give Tailen herself an excuse to do so.

However, Nymeria is not stupid. She knows why you're on the mission and wants to kill you as a way of striking at Tailen. In the short term, she's hoping that the dragon or its minions will do it for her, but in case they fail, she's also recruited some of her father's followers to dog your steps and kill you if the opportunity presents itself.

And again, that brings us to where we are now. Once you finish fighting the kobolds and start going about looting the cave, you'll be ambushed by the gnoll group above. I plan to re-skin the Hell-Hounds as demonic monster hyenas or something, but in any event, that's the plan and the monsters that will execute it.

Then, when you emerge from the cave, you'll see the caravan has pulled back, leaving you alone and somewhat exposed against an entire clan of kobolds--and gnolls too, as it happens. That should be enough to start some suspicions on Nymeria, but of course, there won't be any proof, and she'll be just as imperious and demanding as ever once you get back outside.

Beyond that, I'll just say that I spent some time this morning searching through the Monster Builder looking for demons before eventually deciding that most of the really cool demons were too high in level for this party. I almost went with Mezzodemons and Evistro Demons, but then I'd have had to give out enough Quest XP to bring the party to 5th Level, and honestly, I just didn't feel like doing it that way. So I fell back on gnolls, who tend to worship demons. It's kind of a tenuous tie, but I think it can be made to work. And in any event, a little mystery is probably not a bad thing.

I am running into a problem with the subscription. I mean, what is up with WoC? Their password recovery feature doesn't work, and the only way I can e-mail them about it is by logging in, using my password. I'll give them until tomorrow, and then I'm going to see if I can call them.

Yeah, I've had some problems too, but I did eventually manage to get it working okay. I'm not sure what to tell you besides that I know that the site works. But then again, I've been a subscriber for kind of a long time, so who knows what changes they've made. They're so worried about piracy, and honestly, I think it's cutting into their sales.

Alas, I would LOVE to be their marketing director.


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