Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Touring the Flanaess
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly Denizens
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - DM consortium on Epic campaining in GH
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- EpicHawk
    DM consortium on Epic campaining in GH
    Author Message
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 29, 2004
    Posts: 39
    From: The Great Northwest

    Send private message
    Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:38 pm  
    DM consortium on Epic campaining in GH

    Hey Guys,

    This thread is an evolution of another. My intent is to take/utilize ideas into a campaining arc that will flesh out some possibilities of epic play in GH. Please try to be sensitive of edition issues, I play 2+e. I think we can get far with ideas before canon/edition issues begin to hinder progress.

    To start with, Where do we begin?
    We need to have an idea of location, and scope. storyline.
    I am assuming we are starting out with 15+ level PC, for simplicity.
    To fully implement and overarching campain we would need to start from the beginning.

    Location- Geoff has been put forth, but as a contributing DM is about to have an ongoing campain there, perhaps another place. Backing up the timeline a bit and we could well place Tehn back on the map. There is a certain justification for this, looking at recent threads.

    Scope- Many options, a 1 off, weekend session, 6month campain. Also how far will storyline take the PC's. Into retirement/death. 5 levels, launching point for an off worlder? Perhaps this may take a while, may I suggest we see how the storyline progresses before we demand any concrete arc.

    Storyline- Depends on location and scope. The storline needs to be some grand event worthy of veteran adventurers, something they could retire on. Freeing Tehn in 588 interests me, Freeing Geoff is definitely possible. Finding and destroying an unnamed artifact from the unnamed villans. This is the funnest part IMO.

    If in the brainstorming process ideas don't get picked up, remember them to use in your home campains. This is a very mature board. Please let's keep this thread as focused as we can.


    One Idea for Epic play- The Duke of Tehn needs our renowned heroes to help free his people from the ravages of Redbeard, the presence of IUZ, and the annexation from the Pale. Intended for many sessions, our heroes will be asked do a favor for the Pale(which may give them an ally vs. redbeard) will reconoiter major cities implementing surgical strikes on the leadership of Iuz holdouts and Redbeards warchiefs. They will contact the undermanned poorly equipped freedom fighters of Tehn. And lastly the Duke will march up from urnst and engage in battles with the freedom fighters and militia joining, possibly lead by our heroes. Side possibilities are involving the frost barbarians in an alliance, culling Stonefists reserves from tehn. And possibly a dungeon crawl to retrieve treasure for Nyrond/ for tehn recognition/ alliance vs Pale.

    Post responsibly,

    Muscles
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:02 am  
    Location

    Actually, Muscles, if you are refering to me as the contributing DM, I would love to outline one in Geoff. My campaign is in Gran March actually, as Geoff has always been just a little too rough. It also gives a common basis to start from ... G1,2, & 3 and the Liberation of Geoff.

    That said, I am more interested, at the beginning at least, in why an epic campaign. It seems to me that epic is not for Joe the Average fighter. I do not simply mean average in level, but also in concept. Epic is just too much work, at least I think so. I have not run one yet.

    Just running a character long enough should not qualify. In my home game I am only taking the most interesting characters forward. The others are retiring to the villa, guildhouse or other suitable end. It seems to me that these are the people who become epic.. not just the most powerful, but the most storied, the most talented, the most unique.

    There are numerous archmages in GH, but only one Zagyg. I have never played in a party where every character was worthy of continued advancement. While this is somewhat arbitrary, my players do not put in nearly as much work as I do, so I want it to be good.

    Thoughts?
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 29, 2004
    Posts: 39
    From: The Great Northwest

    Send private message
    Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:44 pm  

    Hey Anced-Math,

    Epic to me is but an adjective. A synonym for very high level play. If you have a world that saw your PCs grow to say 15th level, continuing them results in epic level play.
    As for average joe fighter, that probably means average joe DM.
    As PC's help shape your world, DMs shape PCs. With the contacts they make through npc encouters, items they recieve, and challenges they face. I don't see how deservability enters into it. If you have a group that you enjoy, and wish to continue using their high level PCs, you have to create greater challenges. If you don't think they or you are up to it. Start a new group of 1st level PC's. Its all good.

    Geoff liberation- I do not own the modules you are talking of(I've owned the early ones before though) Your Pcs are based in Gran march. OK, ask yourself, who are the greatest contacts they've made? Knights of the Watch?, Royalty? whatever. use these contacts to further the storyline.

    Who is the enemy? Drow, scarlett brotherhood, The Great Giant, a giant that found an ancient artifact, a cursed giant, a polymorphed arch-mage(maybe the Black Mage of the vale), a polymorphed hierophant druid, etc. Begin to weave.
    What would your PC's enjoy? I think you've said50/50 roleplay/battle. Good.
    What is the scope? Do you wish to retire the characters? or advance them further? Big difference to the story finale.

    Here's some Ideas:

    Liberation of Geoff- The King of Keoland call on our heroes to find out who's behind the Giant troubles, and slay them if possible. A major push to free Geoff will begin soon. Our heroes will coordinate with the commadant of gran march, the spearhead of the invasion will march from hookhill.
    An adventure to retire the PCs, meant to be played over several weekend sessions.
    Our heroes will follow leads to the chaotic wartorn Seaprinces lands and rescue an imprisoned highlevel brotherhood agent. He has info and contacts inside of Gorna, Geoff. He may or may not become an npc.
    In Gorna the contact/slavemaster is in the holding pen! Heroes find out the giant leadership changed it stance on human involvement and now all (demi)humans in geoff are to be penned and eaten! When rescued the agent tells of the 3 major players Giant Kings Hill, frost and fire. Scribbles a map to the Steading of the hill giant king, not to far away.

    THis leads into the classic series, you can add drow involvment or a cloud giant overlord etc. When the PCs topple the leadship, the soldiers will still remain in Geoff (primarily ogres and hill giants). They coordinate with the commandant of the March, who is estatic and has the party lead the vanguard into gorna. Here we can fight some battles on tabletop or not.
    Gorna is the last powerbase and freeing it leaves only cleanup. The King of keoland may charge the heroes with protecting the land, and grant noble titles to the saviours of Geoff, retiring the party.

    Additional adventuring ideas may include;
    A heirophant druid(obad-hai) that supports the destruction of civilization. He may or may not be having doubts and could be an ally or enemy.

    An uprising in Bissel, needed troops leave to throw the ket tyrannts out. Party may need to aid the Knights by reconoiter/ surgical strike Thornward. This will provide troops and secure supply from veluna/furyondy/perrenland, and relieve Gran Marches northern border troops. may also allow party to hire a perrenland mercenary army for the Geoff war.

    The Brotherhood agent is 'suprise' up to no good. may leave and organize a couter adventure party that dogs the PCs trail setting up ambushes or warning the giant kings.

    Long live Greyhawk,

    Muscles
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:34 am  
    Muscles

    Well, I think I am an above average DM, but I am obviously biased. However, I have several players whom I like, and who love the campaign. However, after years of trying (and I mean seriously trying) I have found that their character is just.. well boring and unimaginative.

    Unfortunately I think that the guys character concept (I know this is odd, but true) is that his druid is boring and unimaginative. So, it is my hope to start a new 1st level and let him start again. Maybe his next character, 4 or so years from now, will make it to epic levels.

    I guess, in a GH context I do not think of Epic as just another game. One reason is that all of my campaigns are intertwined. Modules cannot be run again. Old characters become NPCs. It is all moving forward, so Duc Tor Seuss the Bard in Hochoch in 589 cy in one game is in another.

    I do not keep many games going, so it is pretty easy to keep up with, and I hope it enriches the experiance. Thus, I will be very careful about which characters move on to epic. Also, as has been discussed extensively, 20th level heavies are not common in GH, and they generally (though not always) play behind the scenes.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 29, 2004
    Posts: 39
    From: The Great Northwest

    Send private message
    Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:47 pm  

    Hey Anced_Math,

    I didn't realize the boring player was in your group, I thought you were hypothisizing. No offense.

    My Campains are cyclical. I have 4 main campains and I back up the timeline and begin anew in a new area. I havn't had 10 yrs of the same players that alot here have. I've moved around to much for that.
    I see that a linear game does present other issues.

    Also In the chat last night it seemed the consensus was that Epic means 18-21+ This is way to high for a campain to begin in my world. Just getting characters to 15 level puts them near retirement with much of the accolades of my world. Its from here that I was talking about my epic campains, to bring PCs to 18-20th lvl.

    I have been outlining (a binder full) a campain that would begin characters about this level, but it involves unseating Iuz. And I see nothing but death or mandatory retirement after that, unless I go off world. And I am imagining it will take approx. 20 good sessions to play though. And although I don't see a problem with creating a single session adventure at these levels, It just isn't my style.

    If getting to epic is somehow a norm in greyhawk, a major shift has taken place. The DMG 2e says re: levels above 20th

    "Above 20th level, characters gain few additional powers and face fewer truly daunting adventures. Consumate skill and creativity are required to construct adventures for extremely powerful characters....Very high level PCs have so few limitations that every threat must be directed at the same weaknesses. And there are only so many times a DM can kidnap friends and family, steal spell books, or exile powerful lords before it becomes old hat." 2e DMG pg. 20.
    Then it talks about retirement.
    I had no idea until last night that folk are beginning campains at 20+ level, and I understand now that lvl 40+ isn't a joke in d20. Suddenly I want to erase this entire thread. Rereading your posts on the subject, you were saying this all along. Sorry I didn't catch it. Muscles is looking for a big rock to crawl under.
    Did you get my email? Maybe some of my old 2e ideas could still help.

    Greyhawk will survive Epic play,

    Muscles
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Mon Sep 13, 2004 5:56 am  
    Muscles

    Actually, oddly, I disagree to some extent. First, epic is 18 to 20 plus levels, and I have no intetion of taking my group to the 40th+ levels some people go to.

    At this time, my current group is heading towards 18th. This begins to be an unbalancing force in GH, but not too difficult. I recently overwhelmed one of our party with a swarm of goblins. He was baffled Shocked

    In 2E it was much harder, 3E has a better system for such high level play. From all accounts, the system works. So, it is a Story question. Regardless, in both editions it is possible to go above, and the players simply wish to continue adventuring with these characters.

    As I said, not all of my group should become 20+ level. They will either retire or die or some other end. I will cultivate some new characters for the ones who simply are not interesting enough to move forward with. Then, we will all go merrily adventuring.
    Novice

    Joined: Oct 03, 2004
    Posts: 4
    From: New Zealand

    Send private message
    Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:14 pm  

    Running an Epic level campaing is a lot different from 1-15th. You cant just change the monsters or NPC level and keep on that same style of DM'ing.

    PC's of this level have access to magic that means instantaneous transport anywhere on Oerth. At this level they are beyong a city or country locale for adventuring, as the entire world is thier backyard now.

    Adventures involving a secret, or a villain deep in a dungeon are resolved in minutes. Augury, Divination, Scry, Buff, Teleport, Surprise target, Kill.

    Your PC's will often be more powerful than those they serve or the rulers of most counties. They will be powerful political figures just because of the deeds they have done, and those indebted to them. A wise and cunning ruler would give them castles and keeps on a disputed border or in no-mans land - simply because this one adventuring group can hold back any invading army, and have the reputation of doing so.

    Your PC's will be dealing with world shaking events against epic enemies. The common man or woman in Greyhawk may never know of these threats and only be able to sleep at night because your PC's deal with the things that go bump in the night. Think James Bond type scenarios and you wont be far wrong.

    Greyhawk is full with Epic enemies scheming and planning. Eclavdra, Iuz, Ivid, Tharzidun, Zuggtmpy, Iggwilv, Acererak, the Scarlet brotherhood, Graazt, Demogorgon - there is a very large list, and all have high level deadly servants, and all have the means to protect themselves from scrying and divinations.

    There are many greyhawk products that can be adapted for Epic level play. Vecna Lives! comes immediately to mind.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:32 am  
    Epic

    I have not worked with Epic Level play at all really. I have run and played in High level play in the past, all pre 3E. What I like to do is avoid the Supra Villans. I like Supra Organizations. The Heros can teleport anywhere on Oerth, as long as they have been there (you have to know where you are going in my game, even if you only scry it out). Thus, getting into the Red Skulls Castle is more difficult.

    Then, the kobold guards are not that tough, after all you are 20th level, but they call the improved ogre mages. Then, 25 rooms of modest monsters (and 25 fireball, lighting bolt, and acid cloud spells later) the heros find themselves facing real challenges, improved giants or some such. Finally, this is all over, and they have not rested, and they find that they cannot leave, but must go on. Tricks and traps have sapped their strength, and sleep has never been available. Bonuses to Hit go up much faster than AC, so everyone has dealt a great deal of damage, but has taken a fair amount too. The cleric is drained, the mages are low. They fighters still have their swords, but they have never had a break. It looks bad for our heros. And if they don't return with the antidote that only the Red Skull has, then their prince will dye!!! No time to waste.

    The theory is that this should work, with some thoughtful planning, regardless of the level of the characters. My question is, does this hold up. If the system works, it should. However, does this simply breakdown in the face of Epic Level play. Assume that the villans are savy and treacherous, and learn from their mistakes. Do you have to go to the supra villans, or can you work the players without such efforts?
    Novice

    Joined: Oct 03, 2004
    Posts: 4
    From: New Zealand

    Send private message
    Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:25 pm  

    In this scenario an unknown individual named Red Skull has an antidote that the group needs.

    They could chop thier way through the castle, and the opponents you described would probably not penetrate any of your PC"s armor. All the PC's would have attacks that could hit the opponents - even the mages. Wise PC's would not waste resources on cannon fodder.

    Why can they not rest? they can teleport or plane shift out. Why would they not go into wind walk, gaseous, or improved invisible forms?

    Finding alocation to teleport to is easy with divinations and scrying. As is finding a way to teleport directly to Red Skull.

    They may summon an earth elemental and come in from below. They will fly in rather than bashing down the front door. They can also charm and dominate guards to get any information they still need.

    As I said in my prevous post, you can't keep DM'ing the group in typical adventures, because the players will use every trick they have to bypass all your carefully prepared encounters. If there are no super villains, you do not need super heroes. An organization will need access to powerful magic to put up a struggle yo your group.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:41 am  
    Not Disagreeing

    Sandain,

    I am not disagreeing, and I do not think I want to go forward with a typical adventure in a typical locale. However, there are reasonable counters to each of the options listed. The reason they cannot rest is that they must get the antidote back, and soon. All this is hypothetical, and Red Skull fought Capt. America (probably not a popular comic in N.Z.?).

    I guess the point of my question is can you take mundane seeming Wink adventures, and with a little planning make them worthy of the epics. Everyone hits on a 20, which I admit is only 20% of the time. But if you have 200 advanced Kobolds in warrens, there would be some wear on the most powerful PCs (Assuming the 20th Level Barbarian has rolled his HPs and does not have 240 base + 100 for that 20 Con.

    IMC my party is approaching epic, and they are savy and tough (if not always interesting (see other posts)). Yet I have been suprised at what they could handle with little problem, and what drove them nuts. They are slightly heavy in magic items, and of average hps. They are (generally) well crafted charactes, with an eye towards character rather than power (or twinking as we call it). In Castle Maure, they were able to defeate all comers, except for one sorcerous ogre mage, who has plagued them for a good while, much to my delight.

    I am not being argumentative, Sandain, I am just trying to explore possiblities. I have a high level, soon to be epic, party, and have been examining this through a string of forums.
    Novice

    Joined: Oct 03, 2004
    Posts: 4
    From: New Zealand

    Send private message
    Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:21 pm  

    Hey,

    You make valid points and I welcome any discussion - theres no argument here im just relating my DM'ing experiences with Epic players.

    Using the always hit on a 20 rule makes Epic level play a lot fifferent. Do you always make saving throws on a 20 and fail on a 1?

    Using those rules actually makes players fearful again, since for a lot of spells rolling a 1 on a save will mean thier death.

    I guess the entire point of my previous posts is to say that you need to structure adventures differently for high level play.
    CF Admin

    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 178
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Wed Oct 06, 2004 3:36 pm  

    There are a lot of things that have to be considered when making an epic game, but what has to be done more importantly is making sure it fits within the World of Greyhawk setting. A lot of NPC's listed in the Gazetteer are only 15-19th at high levels.
    Animus, members of the Bone Heart, Liches, Elder Dragons, beings from other planes, Demon Lords and Arch-Devils all present themselves easily as opponents. They would not lair or base themselves into easily accesible caves or holes. Indeed many of the modules put a damper on Teleportation and planar travel spells, its also worth noting that divinations would also be surpressed in such areas. The real challenge is to make a game both fun and challenging, but also to fit into the feel of Greyhawk as a whole.
    BTW, for what its worth, a 20 always hits/saves and a 1 always fails. Smile
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:32 am  
    Thanks

    I think, after many stabs at getting the questions right, i have my answer on epic play, and that is that the system is not calibrated so that the advesary MUST be some demigod like creature. A well crafted adventure with a controlled setting will work fine.

    In keeping with GH, I think that the godwars, and hell on earth scenerios should be kept to a minimum. Killing Iuz or Iggiwilv just should not happen often. It may be the end of an epic campaign arc IMC, but not sooner. My heros will be facing improved goblins for some time to come.

    Thanks, and this is a great board.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 21, 2003
    Posts: 155


    Send private message
    Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:26 pm  

    > A well crafted adventure with a controlled setting will work fine.
    In keeping with GH, I think that the godwars, and hell on earth scenerios should be kept to a minimum.

    Agreed, Anced_Math. you don't need to save the multiverse every adventure. I have created some sketches of single epic adventure. It's planar, deals with some important complications (regarding dragons) but do not affect Oerth in anyway.
    _________________
    Kneel before Rahu!

    Victor Caminha
    rob_douglas@mac.com
    Guest





    Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:24 am  
    Just catching up

    HI All

    I just caught up on this thread. Yes Anced_Math, the 3E Epic Rules I belive are well-calibrated so that the system represents a slight step up at each level, and not a whole-scale paradigm shift in adventuring. PCs get more options, and can ignore more low-level threats, but they don't suddenly become god-killers. I do want my Campaign to end with a battle against Iuz, and I see that as coming around 30th level, after sneaking through the Soul Husks AND gathering several artifacts to make it possible to capture (and probably not kill) him. That is so many years off, I really don't spend much time thinking about that. I do however have to have a plan now, with PCs around 17th-18th level, one I started on when they were much lower, just to know what they could expect, so that I can make the adventures flow one into another.

    There is a section in the ELH on running an Epic adventure, what is different, and what is the same. Much of ityou start to see as characters get access to teleport and better magics. The reason Epic is appealing to me is the imginative part of thinking of these characters as doing things that are truly amazing. A Paladin walking into Hell to fight all comers to reclaim a lost soul. And being able to use all those great spells - Meteor Swarm, Time Stop, Wish. If you end your campaign at 15th, you never see those spells. Think how many clever ways people come up with to use 1st level spells. Wouldn't they do the same with 9th if they only had the chance?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:07 pm  
    Hello All

    IvorMac and I have been discussing creating a Story Arc Article, and I think is should be one that goes all the way to Epic. It will be set in Gran March, with a detailed description of Hookhill. Anyone want to assist?
    CF Admin

    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 178
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:43 pm  

    Sure, Im up for some Epic GH. Although I am a bit rusty on the Gran March and Hookhill.
    _________________
    Canonfire Community Supporter and Forum Justicar
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:16 pm  
    Ivor

    Ivor is mapping Hookhill, and I have committed to helping map the provinces. The objective, as I understand it, i not to recreate the wheel, but to draft in everything existant that is relevent.

    I want to create a story arc that new DM's can run, without having a great deal of GH experiance. I will be including my Advancement Tables mentioned in previous threads, to allow advancement past 1st. We have no specific goal, at least I do not. Ivor has some thoughts, and we will be pow wowing soon. Maybe at Greychat.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:18 pm  
    Ivor

    Ivor is mapping Hookhill, and I have committed to helping map the provinces. The objective, as I understand it, i not to recreate the wheel, but to draft in everything existant that is relevent.

    I want to create a story arc that new DM's can run, without having a great deal of GH experiance. I will be including my Advancement Tables mentioned in previous threads, to allow advancement past 1st. We have no specific goal, at least I do not. Ivor has some thoughts, and we will be pow wowing soon. Maybe at Greychat.

    Thanks for your interest, i will be back with you soon,
    AM
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- EpicHawk All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum


    Forums ©


    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.33 Seconds