Author Topic: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde (or Red Hand of Doom)  (Read 2873 times)

Garryl

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Having just finished my grad courses for the summer, I'm in the mood to try to run a PbP game. I'd like to do The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde, although I could also be convinced to give Red Hand of Doom a try. I ran Slaughtergarde for my tabletop group back when we were playing, and it was a nice, solid, enjoyable dungeon crawl. We were going to do RHoD, but the group kind of fell apart a couple of encounters in.

This site looks to have the player-public information regarding the module and the campaign site.

If anyone knows any good resources for showing the dungeon/battlefield online, that's something I could use a hand with.

Rule set: 3.5 edition Dungeons and Dragons
Players: 4 or 5
Starting level: 1st
Character creation: 32 PB, average hp for rolled HD (1st level is still maximized). Average starting gold for 1st level.
Optimization: Tier 3-ish.
Resources: Core + any splatbooks I can get the relevant parts of + lots of homebrew. My library is limited to Tome of Battle + Races of Destiny/Stone/Wild, so anything beyond that check with me first. Homebrew-wise, most of my own brew is in, and there are a ton of other great homebrewers on this forum.
Posting: I know games tend to stall out during combat. I had some ideas to help alleviate that. I don't know which will work, so I'm just throwing them out there.
  • I'll try to post the defenses (hp, AC, saves, etc.) for any monsters you're fighting. That way, when you attack or cast a spell, you can do all of the defensive rolls for them and figure out the results without having to wait for me to do it.
  • To keep things moving, one combat round will be at most one week. One week after the round starts, anybody who hasn't posted an action (either a final action or at least a tentative plan) for their character forfeits their turn and the game moves on. And if I'm the one who forgets to do anything, I guess the monsters will, too.
  • I'm not a huge fan of team initiative, game balance-wise, but it is an option.
House rules and generally-applied homebrew:
  • No xp penalties for multiclassing.
  • I've been dying to try out healing surges in a game, so that's in.
  • The Demolition and Endurance skills are in. Of the classes currently being looked at for play, Endurance is a class skill for the marshal, commander, and naturalist, and the commander's cohort will get a bonus to it with wild focus. I don't think anyone's playing a class that would get Demolition.
  • No flaws. If you really need them for your build, we can renegotiate.
  • Yes to PHB2 Retraining, although not full on rebuilding.
You can find a complete listing of my homebrew here. I'll be updating it with links as I get things reposted here. Let me know if you have any priority requests.

Pre-Approved Homebrew
Other Approved Homebrew
Disapproved Homebrew
I think that's it for game rules. Am I missing anything?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 02:29:49 PM by Garryl »
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Stratovarius

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So, I'll stick my hand up. As well as request some of my homebrew. Which will depend on both DM approval and other player's choices.

dman

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I'm interested.

Garryl

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So, I'll stick my hand up. As well as request some of my homebrew. Which will depend on both DM approval and other player's choices.

Any homebrew in particular? You have a lot of interesting material, but a lot of it also approaches from angles that I have difficulty evaluating.
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Stratovarius

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So, I'll stick my hand up. As well as request some of my homebrew. Which will depend on both DM approval and other player's choices.

Any homebrew in particular? You have a lot of interesting material, but a lot of it also approaches from angles that I have difficulty evaluating.

Most likely is Commander (Aura/Cohort class), Chameleon (PrC turned into a base class), or Walker in the Wastes (Wasteland anti-druid base class). I tend not to bring in something as complex as one of the alternate magic systems into someone else's game.

I haven't posted them back yet, but I will in short order. Commander is the most likely request, partly because as an aura class it tends to be good at helping everyone else.

sirpercival

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I've actually been hoping for a PbP to open up! I'm totally in. Depending on what other people would like to play, I have lots of options I'd love to explore. Here's a list of some, along with the party role they would fill (assuming they're all approved):
  • Warcrafter - gimmicky ToB crafter... maybe similar to a gish?
  • Cycle Warden - Essentially a ToB ranger
  • Ley Engineer - battlefield control to the MAX
  • Dragonmage - versatile sorc
  • Scaleshaper - shapechanger with pokemon
  • Imagineer - literally pokemon
  • Green Man - Incarnum plantman

None of these are ported yet, but they should be relatively easy, so Garryl let me know what I should prioritize. :D :D :D I'm so excited...

Garryl

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So, I'll stick my hand up. As well as request some of my homebrew. Which will depend on both DM approval and other player's choices.

Any homebrew in particular? You have a lot of interesting material, but a lot of it also approaches from angles that I have difficulty evaluating.

Most likely is Commander (Aura/Cohort class), Chameleon (PrC turned into a base class), or Walker in the Wastes (Wasteland anti-druid base class). I tend not to bring in something as complex as one of the alternate magic systems into someone else's game.

I haven't posted them back yet, but I will in short order. Commander is the most likely request, partly because as an aura class it tends to be good at helping everyone else.

I vaguely remember Commander. I think it'll be fine. Chameleon and Walker in the Wastes I'm not familiar with at all. Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde is mostly dungeon crawling and forested wilderness, so I don't know how well a wasteland-focused class would work.

I've actually been hoping for a PbP to open up! I'm totally in. Depending on what other people would like to play, I have lots of options I'd love to explore. Here's a list of some, along with the party role they would fill (assuming they're all approved):
  • Warcrafter - gimmicky ToB crafter... maybe similar to a gish?
  • Cycle Warden - Essentially a ToB ranger
  • Ley Engineer - battlefield control to the MAX
  • Dragonmage - versatile sorc
  • Scaleshaper - shapechanger with pokemon
  • Imagineer - literally pokemon
  • Green Man - Incarnum plantman

None of these are ported yet, but they should be relatively easy, so Garryl let me know what I should prioritize. :D :D :D I'm so excited...

The sooner you port them, the sooner I can take a look. So if there's an order to your preference, port them in that order. Unfortunately, I don't remember most of the classes you listed well enough to say anything about them blind.

I do actually have an outdated version of the Scaleshaper sitting on my computer (none of the supporting material, like dragon ideals, though).
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sirpercival

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Then I shall pause on writing Magipunk racial sub levels, and port over a bunch of other stuff! *flies away into the sunset*

Garryl

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Then I shall pause on writing Magipunk racial sub levels, and port over a bunch of other stuff! *flies away into the sunset*

Dragonmage looks good. Scaleshaper, too, although I'm a little concerned about the class at higher levels (starting aaround what the campaign would go to if we managed to finish it) with regards to the higher-level projections. Primarily, it's how higher level projections get multiple ideal uses, but still cost only one ideal use to make. Their combat numbers also seem a bit high for a summon, but that might just my loss of familiarity with mid-high-level monster stats.
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Stratovarius

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I vaguely remember Commander. I think it'll be fine. Chameleon and Walker in the Wastes I'm not familiar with at all. Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde is mostly dungeon crawling and forested wilderness, so I don't know how well a wasteland-focused class would work.

Links:
Commander, Chameleon, Walker in the Wastes.

The WitW would do great in the forested part, struggle a bit in the dungeons if he didn't prep ahead of time. On the other hand, it's a druid competitor and is Tier 1/2, so I don't think that's an issue. Commander and Chameleon should both be T3, although the Commander is more like 2-5 T4-5s at once.

Garryl

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I vaguely remember Commander. I think it'll be fine. Chameleon and Walker in the Wastes I'm not familiar with at all. Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde is mostly dungeon crawling and forested wilderness, so I don't know how well a wasteland-focused class would work.

Links:
Commander, Chameleon, Walker in the Wastes.

The WitW would do great in the forested part, struggle a bit in the dungeons if he didn't prep ahead of time. On the other hand, it's a druid competitor and is Tier 1/2, so I don't think that's an issue. Commander and Chameleon should both be T3, although the Commander is more like 2-5 T4-5s at once.

Chameleon looks interesting, and I've always been a fan of the original PrC.

Commander generally looks good, although I'm a little concerned about how front-loaded it is. At 1st level, you get the full potency of your auras, plus a 1st level Chameleon as a cohort. If we were starting at 3rd level or higher I'd be fine with it, but I have a few reservations for a campaign starting at 1st.

Walker in the Wastes seems okay, although I should mention that you don't seem to have reposted the general defiling rules it relies on yet. IIRC, that's just about how your magic saps the life from the land, then gives +/-1 to caster level based on the local environment?
Edit: I forgot to mention that since most of the WitW's spell list is from splatbooks I don't own, make sure that their descriptions are available online or something.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 09:59:28 AM by Garryl »
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Stratovarius

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On the Commander, a pretty easy house rule to back him down is "Aura bonus is Cha Mod or Class level, whichever is lower". That means a max bonus of +2 at 1st level, instead of +5 (Commander's Will feat). Plus, unless you rule differently than I would, the Commander has to pay for the equipment of his Cohort(s), which can be a severe drain on cash over time.

Preserving & Defiling is here. I just haven't updated the link in the WitW class yet, or created a Wasteland index. It can anywhere from +2 to -2, and if it's truly lifeless stops the character from casting at all. Most of the time, though, it ends up at -2 in those types of environments. Generally the best place to find spells/content you don't have is this place, but I also have the sourcebooks for everything if you want originals.

One missing house rule is Flaws vs No Flaws. As well as is retraining allowed later on.

Garryl

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On the Commander, a pretty easy house rule to back him down is "Aura bonus is Cha Mod or Class level, whichever is lower". That means a max bonus of +2 at 1st level, instead of +5 (Commander's Will feat). Plus, unless you rule differently than I would, the Commander has to pay for the equipment of his Cohort(s), which can be a severe drain on cash over time.

Sounds about right, then, with the aura bonus.

I'm still slightly concerned about getting essentially a 1st level Chameleon as a minion at 1st level. Commander even give hp bonuses for several cohort foci, so you get back most of the 4 missing hp from the lower Commoner HD at 1st level. How about this? At 1st level, a cohort's focus is fixed when you attract them. Starting a couple levels in (2nd? 3rd?) you get to reassign their focus at the start of the day (as normal).

Also, while we're talking about the Commander class, I'm trying to parse how Aid Them All works. Near as I can tell, as a standard action you make an attack roll vs. AC 10 or a skill check DC 10 to boost an ally's roll or check (or AC vs. an attack) by 2, except that instead of boosting the ally you just get an extra +2 aura bonus for the round (benefiting everyone, but not necessarily in the way you originally rolled for). There's a bit of a disconnect there, so I'm not sure I've got your intent right. Have you considered making it something along the lines of: "As a standard action, make a DC 10 commander aura check (1d20 + your commander aura bonus). If you succeed, increase your commander aura bonus by 2 for 1 round."?

Edit: Typo.

Quote
Preserving & Defiling is here. I just haven't updated the link in the WitW class yet, or created a Wasteland index. It can anywhere from +2 to -2, and if it's truly lifeless stops the character from casting at all. Most of the time, though, it ends up at -2 in those types of environments. Generally the best place to find spells/content you don't have is this place, but I also have the sourcebooks for everything if you want originals.

Thanks. I missed the preserving/defiling thread in that subforum, so I figured with the old links in the classes that you hadn't gotten to it yet. Anyways, it all check out.

Quote
One missing house rule is Flaws vs No Flaws. As well as is retraining allowed later on.

No flaws. If you really need them for your build, we can work something out.

Yes to PHB2 Retraining, although not full on rebuilding.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 12:37:15 PM by Garryl »
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Stratovarius

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Cohorts: That sounds fine. I honestly don't change their focus very much anyway - otherwise the cohorts need to have new gear bought for them, or just have very generic simple gear. I also don't usually like to bother with the bookkeeping of keeping track of everything and hunting down all the possible spells/powers/etc. for the character to have.

Aid Them All: Your version of it works better. I'll update the class.

No flaws is fine, I never allowed them myself.

FireInTheSky

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I think my work has settled enough at this point for me to join in (and my commute is about to become a lot shorter). I'd tentatively put forth Naturalist.

sirpercival

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I think my work has settled enough at this point for me to join in (and my commute is about to become a lot shorter). I'd tentatively put forth Naturalist.

You should play a Naturalist, I should play a Green Man, and Stratovarius should play a Walker in the Waste.

Yay for party dysfunction! :D

Stratovarius

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Well, the previous time I ran a WitW (RHoD), he looked like this:

Ǽlǽtan is a druid (more or less) who believes the world is out of balance - that there's too much verdant life, and not enough desert and ice for the way the natural world should be, and that somewhere along the line, magicians/druids have spent time changing the climate to one amenable to the humanoid races, rather than the natural world as it should be. As such, he's devoted to restoring the "balance", but prefers to do so in a way that doesn't harm the living - he believes they'll die off/balance themselves naturally as his work takes hold. And he knows most people won't support him, so he keeps his defiling/desiccation generally out of sight of the populace so that he can work on it in peace. And that taking down an "evil creature" horde gives him a great space in which to starting adjusting the land where good people won't notice.

Garryl

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For the module's backstory and campaign area, this site has the player-public information on it.

I think my work has settled enough at this point for me to join in (and my commute is about to become a lot shorter). I'd tentatively put forth Naturalist.

Looks good to me.
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sirpercival

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OK I posted Cycle Warden, Imagineer, and Warcrafter over in Codex of Conflict. Strato, I'm curious about your thoughts on the Imagineer, since it's so completely bizarre.

That just leaves Ley Engineer and Green Man, but I think I'm going to skip Green Man if FitS is playing a Naturalist. Too much thematic overlap.

Ley Engineer will be posted in Inspiratum very shortly.

Stratovarius

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OK I posted Cycle Warden, Imagineer, and Warcrafter over in Codex of Conflict. Strato, I'm curious about your thoughts on the Imagineer, since it's so completely bizarre.

I'll let Garryl tackle it first, since he's already dived into the material.

So, in terms of group composition, we have FitS with a Naturalist, aka Warlock Druid, SirP with a blank, DMan with a blank, and me with a Commander, Chameleon (both jack of all trades classes) or a WitW, which is a Druid wannabe.

This is going to be a very odd party composition.