Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Skinsaw Murders Conversion PDF v0.1

Apologies for my tardiness in posting the last week's update. I'll publish those posts as soon as I'm able. In the meanwhile, I've put together all of the material from my conversion of The Skinsaw Murders into another compiled PDF like the one posted here for Burnt Offerings. It's a first draft, of course, but take a look at it anyway and let me know if you find anything that needs to be changed.

The Skinsaw Murders Conversion v0.1

Monday, May 18, 2009

C7 - C12 (Skull's Watch)

The trolls have bunkered down within Skull's Watch. They leap into battle as soon as someone enters the room. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 2,600 xp (Level 10 Encounter)

The trolls are a versatile bunch, and they know their strengths. They keep as close as possible to each other in order to maintain their regeneration while under attack. If someone begins consistently using fire or acid attacks, the trolls unite their efforts to bring that character down.

You should consider increasing the size of area C7 to provide more room for the fight to play out in. Making the room a couple squares wider and longer ought to do the trick just fine.

Area C9 contains the following treasure: the cracked emerald worth 400 gold pieces, the behir comb worth 900 gold pieces (both together treasure parcels 9 and 10 from level 10), and treasure parcel 3 from level 10.

C6 (Ogre Demolition Crew)

The exhausted ogres here are simply minions. Their weary state has weakened their resolve to the point where they shouldn't pose more than a passing threat to the party. Make each of their deaths appropriately dramatic, though - send them tumbling over either side of the dam when they die, for instance. Malugus, on the other hand, is itching for a fight. He charges the party eagerly and represents the most significant threat of this encounter. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

  • Malugus Kreeg (Ogre Warhulk)
  • 10 Ogre Thugs
Total: 2,700 xp (Level 10 Encounter)

Monday, May 11, 2009

C1 - C5 (Gorger and Chaw's Lair)

Gorger and Chaw now keeps a pet dire bear. It will be difficult for the party to enter this cave without being heard by its occupants, so surprise shouldn't be an issue unless the party is employing special means of entering undetected. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

  • Gorger and Chaw (Ettin Spirit-Talker)
  • 1 Dire Bear
Total: 2,600 xp (Level 10 Encounter)

Consider perching the bear just behind the lip of the cliff the party must climb up to enter the cave. Its reach allows it to make opportunity attacks on opponents who pull themselves up onto the ledge. Gorger and Chaw can do the same, if he feels it's safe to engage them in melee. He uses his Spirit Call to send enemies flying off the small cliff, hoping to deal falling damage and forcing them to climb back up in order to continue fighting.

The ettin's treasure consists of the following: six 100 gold piece pearls, the scroll tube worth 300 gold pieces, two ritual books and two ritual scrolls (two 9th level and two 10th level - tailor these to the party, but good suggestions include Detect Treasure, Magic Map, Consult Mystic Sages, Detect Object and Chameleon's Cloak), and 1,000 gold pieces worth of coin. All of this treasure makes up treasure parcels 5 and 7 from level 9, and treasure parcel 7 from level 10.

Skull's Crossing

When the party is asked to go investigate Skull's Crossing, provide them with a major quest to prevent Turtleback Ferry's destruction.

Quest card:

Black Magga Rises

I didn't pull any punches when designing the Mother of Oblivion. She's an epic tier solo monster, with everything that entails. The party should not be capable of beating her. Impress upon the party that the monster is terrifying; make it clear that winning in a straight-up fight is probably impossible. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 2,000 xp (Level 10 Encounter, experienced reduced to account for the length of combat)

Black Magga has three rounds of actions to spend in combat before making her departure. Her first action after being engaged is to use Breath of Madness. The following round she uses Bloodfury and Agents of Oblivion if enough targets are within range, and on the third round she spends an action point to use bloodfury twice. Until she retreats, she should never move away from the church.

If Black Magga is ever without a PC to attack within her reach, she spends her turn using Bloodfury on a number of those helping the elderly and sick within the church. She thrusts her extradimensional tentacles through the walls of the church and kills four of the people inside. The PCs probably can't see what's happening inside the church, so describe the massacre as a number of sickeningly loud thumps coming from within as Black Magga slams their lifeless bodies against the walls.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Burnt Offerings Conversion PDF v0.3

Another update to the compiled conversion document.

This one fixed a couple of minor discrepencies, changed the column layout slightly so that the document is easier to read, and (the biggest addition) revamped all the skill challenges using the skill challenge stat block format featured in the SRD. Skill challenges should now be easy to understand and run.

A note going forward: posts made to the blog should be considered rough drafts. While every post here goes through a revision process before it even gets published to the blog in the first place, they are far from finalized. The compiled PDF of the adventure conversion should always be considered the most up-to-date source.

This update clears the table of things I wanted to change about the first adventure's conversion. With that template established, I'm going to be moving onto publishing a compiled document of The Skinsaw Murders (as well as proceeding with the conversion of The Hook Mountain Massacre as normal). With luck, the second adventure's conversion should see the light of day before I'm finished with The Hook Mountain Massacre.

Edit: This post is now out of date. I have released another update to the Burnt Offerings PDF because I missed the Meditation Chamber skill challenge when I went through and revised them before putting up the previous update.

Version 0.4 of the Burnt Offerings compiled conversion document can be found here.

Edit 2: This post is now doubly out of date. Version 0.5 of the Burnt Offerings compiled conversion document (found here) is the most recent.

Saving the School Children

This point in the story is ripe for a skill challenge. A giant turtle-shell ferry trapped up against the side of a building in the middle of a raging flood with children in mortal peril while aquatic beasts threaten to eat everyone is just totally awesome. I included two different creatures to complicate the encounter. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 2,800 xp (Level 11 Encounter)

The skill challenge will often cause one of the beasts to be marked by the PCs. This is to encourage the party to feel as though they are luring the monsters away from the children as they work to rescue them. This is a good place to encourage unorthodox thinking to solve the skill challenge. Reward creative solutions with automatic successes on the challenge.

Black Magga enters the scene when the skill challenge is complete, or when the monsters in this encounter look like they're about to be slain.

Stat block:

Down Comes the Rain

This portion of the adventure offers a pair of frantic, high-stakes encounters as the population of Turtleback Ferry is put in jeopardy. The first is a race to free the schoolchildren from the tide of the flood and the beasts it carries with it. The second is a futile struggle with Black Magga in an effort to save the church and those within it.

Begin the first encounter when the party attempts to rescue Tillia Henkenson's class of children.

Rannick Reclaimed

With the ogre force driven from the fort, the party can now lay claim to its own substantial plot of defensible land. While you should feel free to make use of as much or as little material from the Keeping the Keep article presented in the original adventure, this conversion will continue with a short side trek into a set of long-forgotten chambers uncovered by a rare earthquake shortly after the party gains stewardship of Fort Rannick. This possibility is touched upon in the "Secret Chamber" entry in the article, but it will here be made substantially more significant. The side trek will contain three encounters, and will both help the party reach the appropriate level of experience for their next adventure and increase their investment in their new holding.

Because this section of the conversion is not tied directly into the plot of the adventure path, you can run it at any point in The Hook Mountain Massacre that feels appropriate. It is assumed that at this point in the adventure path conversion the party has hit level 10. If this is not the case, consider running the side trek before continuing with the main plot. When you want to move forward with the storyline of the adventure, continue with Part Three: Down Comes the Rain.

Update: The information presented here is no longer accurate. See the Keeping the Keep chapter conversion for details on how the side trek events play out.