A quite fun night last night! The current battle is up to round 31 (yes, it is rather extensive). So far I have managed to do this to the party of 6:
Drop 3 PCs unconscious (2 within 1 point of death, 2 went down twice)
Blind one PC (the strategic fighter)
Curse one PC (50% chance of action every round, for life!) (this was the powered up cleric)
Extended Daze one PC (basically took the big fighter out for the count)
Harass the party with fast healing critters
Truly annoy the party with critters that attack from within the floor/wall
Demoralize the party with AC 30 bad guy
Sneak attack the wizard and drop him
AoO the wizard and drop him
Have the party possibly save itself by randomly throwing a bead of force that managed to block a critical corridor and seal in an enemy cleric
And generally wreak mayhem...
We had to stop before it could be resolved, but at the moment the bad guys are down to 2 strong (but spelled out) foes trying to take down the PCs who are all now fleeing (and are spelled out, cursed, blind, in single digit hitpoints, etc.)
I had a couple technical hiccups but they were generally bugs in my macro code.
At one point most of the group REFUSED to use the MapTools dice and pulled out their plastic. They had one heck of a lot of < 6 rolls in MapTools. On the flip side of that, the npc rogue made 3 DC18 will saves vs. charm person (she needed a 17) so I think MT was just stealing the rolls from the PCs and giving them to my monsters
RttToEE is affectionately known by those who play it as "a PC grinder". And it is. Over on the old ezboard.com (now yukuboard) there's a forum for Monte Cook's module with a single thread called the PC Graveyard. It is supposed to be posted to by GMs who want to memorialize their PCs in death as in life. Some of the GMs who play the module straight have racked up 16+ PC deaths! The module takes the PCs from L4 to L14, so that's a lot of deaths in just 10 levels!
I must be an underachiever, as my party (between 5 and 7 PCs over time) has only had about 9 deaths.
That's the strangest thing about the MT roller. Although, I've experienced the same thing, rolling super low, consistently, but the GM always slamming us. [...]
No, I actually have that code in my checked out version. I have to keep removing that chunk of code every time I submit a patch. Hmm, maybe I missed one? ...
Things generally continue to be fun and work well!
In the screenshot (please ignore the horribly ugly map) you can see LOTS of light stuff happening. There are stench auras, Silence aura, Unholy Aura AOE template, and shadowy light. I would say the light and vision is darn good now!
Had some macro hiccups from the lingering changes to FOR and to . But that is all on me for doing a bad job of testing... the issues are resolved now.
Oh I need a better handout solution, currently my handout images are on tokens, but that means those handouts are only visible on the maps the tokens live on. I think I need to generate a table based solution, but the population of that might be ugly...
The maps I have that are scans from the original module show at a grid size of 7. This tends to cause MapTools to struggle at times. I highly recommend a bigger and uniform grid size like 50.
The wizard in the group brought out his very first Evard's Black Tentacles. Anyone that has ever had to adjudicate that nightmare of a spell will understand the sinking feeling in the gut. Every player always wants to use it 'cause it is cool. And being unprepared, it greatly slowed down the game. This always happens with EBT. So it made me take action.
Now I have an EBT token ( viewtopic.php?f=33&t=5475&start=452 ). It kicks butt! The spell is nearly effortless to adjudicate now. Hooray for MapTools! Horray for MapTools!! Hooray for MapTools!!!
Well last night started out good, I was all excited to try out a major rework of the Skills system... folks gave some good feedback with things for me to do...
Then the guest dog bit my dog in the face and blood POURED out... so we went to the emergency room. Coaster (my dog) is fine, and both dogs want to play some more but we no longer trust them. So instead I am continuously cleaning the oozing wound, wee!
Yeah the wound happened last night. He is a very easy going dog so pretty much takes the oozing wound on his face in stride :=P Other than that he is fine, so should be mostly better in a week or so (although they had to shave him to find the wound he has such plush fur).
Continuing with their "we are a mighty cudgel" approach, my PCs found themselves confronted with a rather nasty situation. Once again they effectively used a bead of force to split the enemy forces, and they were all excited because one of the enemy "clerics" was thrown forward into the silence next to the toughest PC fighter (who was enlarged and buffed nicely). The "cleric" landed nimbly from the blast, and spun like a whirling dervish and a Flurry of Blows rained down and stunned the big fighter. Next thing the party new, they were in full retreat and giving up on downed members...
Bruhahahaha (cackles the maniacle DM).
A long standing bug with MapTools showed itself again. If you set the toggle "Lock Player Movement", that ONLY applies to people that are connected at the time the toggle is set. If someone connects later, they can move their tokens.
The updated Skills macros worked flawlessly this evening.
I am now running into a different challenge. None of my players spend any energy outside of the game familiarizing themselves with MapTools or any of the MANY macro automations I have in place. So I am going over old ground over and over and over. When I do stuff for them, I get complaints because they want to do it, but if I don't do it, sometimes it does not get done. This is a social issue outside of the tool and is pretty common with computer applications. People commonly believe that because they have a program doing stuff, they do not need to do anything to learn how to use that program. I try to use the power tool analogy with them... just because a chainsaw can help you cut trees faster, does not mean you do not need to learn how to use the chainsaw. In fact, if you skip the learning phase, you might find it takes you much longer to cut trees (especially should you be in the hospital recovering from chopping into your leg).
The "cleric" landed nimbly from the blast, and spun like a whirling dervish and a Flurry of Blows rained down and stunned the big fighter. Next thing the party new, they were in full retreat and giving up on downed members...
It sounds like they met the monk. My players made the mistake of stepping into the circle, too! Boy, that had them running!
I am now running into a different challenge. None of my players spend any energy outside of the game familiarizing themselves with MapTools or any of the MANY macro automations I have in place. So I am going over old ground over and over and over. When I do stuff for them, I get complaints because they want to do it, but if I don't do it, sometimes it does not get done.
You're right, of course, that it's a social issue. And the only way to "solve" it is to involve the players in a discussion. Perhaps at a mid-session break or something.
I have a similar issue but to a much lesser extent. I can usually describe a way for something to be accomplished and then I'll have the player try it once or twice. Then I announce, "Okay, back to the game. Click the button again and this time it's the real roll." Or something like that.
I also recommend having a sample campaign file your players can play with when you don't have the server up (that has copies of their tokens on it). If any are motivated enough, they will learn a lot playing around on their own time.
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