Saturday, November 8, 2014

Kingmaker: Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Week Three

There was no game on Halloween. It's one of my girlfriend's favorite times of the year so I stayed home and watched horrible horror movies. There are worse ways to spend one's night.

This week one of my regulars, the youngest of our group, who plays a dragon born fighter, had a new assignment at work and was unable to make it.

On the other hand, one of my other amigos, a peer in age if not a lot of personal preferences, showed up for the first time.

I started him off at half experience. It's something that I allowed the group to decide on in terms of "Hey, if someone misses a session what do you want to do about xp?"

There was some back and forth about giving them no experience points and giving them the full quantity. I myself didn't vote as I just wanted to hear what the players wanted to do. Mind you, those that miss are already missing out on gold and magic items which I may have to tweak depending on how heavy that effects the game down the road.

This week we had the following:

Naronel: A elf wizard. He's already summoned a familiar, a hawk I believe? I made him name it as it refused to obey any of his commands until he addressed it by it's name. The player was not amused but everyone else at the table was.

Gerak: A Halfling rogue.

Amun: Human druid.

Eran: Elf Monk. I forgot his miniature from Stonehaven miniatures. As I've mentioned before, Stonehaven makes like one of the two elf monk miniatures out there and I forgot it. Ugh.

Damaia: Tielfling Warlock. She has missed one session and with the player running the elf wizard missing two session, and now one player missing this session, I now have an Excel Spreadsheet tracking the different experience point totals of the players. Sigh. One of the drawbacks to not just giving everyone the same experience points.

The players were deciding what they were going to do next. While I did throws parts of the starter set adventure, The Mines into this game, they've been pretty happy to stick with the King Maker saga despite not actually being under charter. They're pretty happy to "take the money and run" for all the numerous side quests and missions that this adventure offers them.

This week, it was find out why the kobolds are acting up. Good deal as I have a ton of Reaper Miniature's Bones kobolds already painted up. Some of them brown, some of them red. The players spoke with the purple shaman kobold leader and agreed to bring back the statue of their people if the kobolds would cease their violent activities.

Turns out the kobolds are at war with mites, more small low level enemies but of a fey nature. Because 5th edition doesn't have stats for the mites, I took used the kobold stat block as a template and tinkered with it. For example, I gave them damage resistance to weapons unless those weapons were cold iron or magic.

Add in that I noted how small the mite lair was and gave any Medium sized creature disadvantage for any melee combat. Made the fights last a little longer and made them a bit more challenging.

Knowing that sooner or later the players would probably fight the mites, I had bought two packs of metal mites that Reaper miniatures makes as well as some blister packs of the prepainted plastic ones for Pathfinder from the Shattered Star set. I managed to get more than a base coat down on the metal ones but I'm probably going to wind up popping them off their bases. They come with medium sized bases and are smaller then most of the halflings that Reaper makes.

This is why I actually like the prepainted plastic ones. They are larger and have a little more detail to them. But in a standard 'brick' of eight packs, I had no duplicates and only had one prepainted mite and one prepainted mite riding a giant spider. It wasn't a giant tick like the guy in the adventure rides, as seen here from Paizo's, but I'll take it.In some instances I needed like twelve mites.

It did make me hate the organization of the Monster Manual thought.

In practice, it makes sense I suppose to have animals and giant insects in one section of the book. Those monsters wouldn't be encountered that often.

I tell you thought, in my three weeks, because it's low level, the players have fought wolves, bears, giant spiders, giant centipedes and who knows what else that's from that section. I think it would have been better off just being in the main body of the work.

Anyway, after the players fought the mites and returned the statue, because the players dealt with the 'shaman', whose actually a reincarnated gnome sorcerer who hates life, the kobold sorcerer demanded the death of the players. The kobold cheiftan turned on the sorcerer and many kobolds were fighting the players.

Cantrips in the new edition are nice and deadly. It's a good way to give the old 'fire and forget' characters some staying power in the game. Of course those nifty tricks now become less and less useful as the players gain in power and ability but start off nice and powerful.

I fudged around with the xp values for some of the encounters as Pathfinder, especially at low levels, uses a much higher experience point base for many of the enemies than Dungeons and Dragons does. Despite that, all of the players are now third level.

Like many, I'm one of those Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition players and Dungeon Masters that is eagerly awaiting the release of the Dungeon Master's Guide. I'm hoping that it can bring a lot to the table because having to guess what magic items do for example? Not a good feeling. From previews and the current free version though, it's annoying that there are no prices for magic items already.

Looking up things like Boots of Elvenkind? The magic items in the free download are anemic enough to not have one of those traditional magic items that stretches back to 1st edition. Ugh. Not a big deal yet as the player's haven't had the chance to use them, but they will next week so I'm sure I'll have thought of something by then.
So three weeks in and we're still messing around with a few things.
1. The five foot step: We've all played a lot of 3rd and 4th edition so we can looking that one up.
2. Rogue flanking.
3. Surprise and Advantage in the attack!
Overall the game runs fairly well but feels very limited by the amount of material out for it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as a consumer, but I'm 'itchy' in that I'm used to the support 3.5, 4th edition, and Pathfinder offer. With no Dungeon magazine and no Dragon magazine, the game feels very 'tight' or 'restricted'. But I know I can 'convert' stuff if I have to, but I have no desire to do that with things like the races which seem to have these weird subrace types and other bits. Heck, there's no Dungeon Master's Guide out yet so how would you even convert magic item with little to compare them to.

Oh well, the Kingmaker adventure path has given us three sessions so far from just the first adventure and I think we'll squeeze two more out of it before it's done the way the player's tend to plan so we'll see how it goes from there.