Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Disciples of Pyro, and Company

My last campaign was very fun for me. I admit it started off rather badly, as one-half of the characters died by the end of the first adventure, after one breath weapon attack by a black dragon. But after that things got better, as the players created they're own characters. My sister played a halfling rogue, named Karletta, which is based on her own name. This concept has become one of her favorites. My friend Gabe played a human fighter, which initially was named GLMH, after his initials, but I eventually got him to call the character "Gilhim". This character was originally a performer that used fire-ale to breath fire and was a member of an organization called the Pyro Guild. Then when we got to the "deity" section on the character sheet, he wanted to worship a fire deity, which he named "Pyro". Then we decided that this deity was in fact deceased and he wanted to revive him. This became the primary motivation of some of the players, and caused many interesting situations. Then there was Josh, playing an elven sorceress and Joe, playing an elven cleric. During the first adventure they had played the class the other player was at that point. So Josh had previously played a cleric and Joe a sorcerer. They're characters were the ones that were killed by the dragon. Finally later on, Nick joined the game with a drow fighter, named Leeroy Jenkins after the infamous World of Warcraft character. Fortunately, unlike his namesake he did not get the whole party killed. Unfortunetly he was rather underpowered due to the blasted Level Adjustment mechanic. He didn't even use his drow powers.

Where I to play the same campaign now with the knowledge I have now, I would probably have done some things differently. For one thing I would have tried to give Gabe's character more fire abilities somehow. I merely gave him the ability to make a rather weak fire attack with the fire-ale, a ring of burning hands and a flaming sword. He had this cool idea and I could have done more to accommodate it without letting things get unbalanced. Maybe I could have used the mechanics in the Book of Nine Swords to represent the fire-ale attack as a martial maneuver, and thus made it much more useful at higher levels. Also, since I read Unearthed Arcana my ideas about customization of character classes has changed. He was planning to multiclass into a prestige class that would allow him to cast divine spells of the Fire Domain. Now I might allow him to give up some of his Fighter Bonus Feats to do that at 1st level and without multiclassing out of Fighter. Another thing I know I would have done differently was the drow character. Level adjustments are a poor mechanic and were poorly implemented furthermore. Add to that the fact that the drow character was a level behind everybody else even after calculating in the level adjustment, and the character was quite weak indeed! Had the campaign continued I certainly would have taken steps to rectify that situation. Pathfinder has a good solution, splitting the drow into two sub-races, normal Drow and Noble Drow. Normal Drow are weaker, pretty much equivalent to the standard races and so can be played without any adjustment. Noble Drow are stronger, thus only playable by DM discretion (though normal drow are too, technically). Generally the rules for playing as monsters in the Pathfinder system amount to "it's up to the DM", but it is suggested that CR is used to weigh how strong a monster is compared to a normal PC race. I would also try to get Nick to use his race's abilities! Another thing is that I am not certain that cleric was the best class for Joe to play. He never used his spells, except for between battle for healing I think, so he might as well have played a fighter or barbarian. They needed healing, but I now know there are other ways to go about it then making some one play a cleric.

Though I do have these concerns the most important thing is that my campaign was fun. I wouldn't trade the memories I have of this campaign for the world. The game might not have been perfect, but the people I played it with made it memorable. There are more memories to share and I will do so later, but for now I think I will publish this post.

No comments:

Post a Comment