So this weekend marks the second Crucible of the Odds run! A mostly brave group of crusaders shall enter the ziggurat and face certain death again. Will we actually acquire any skulls this time?
@MilwaukeeJoe runs a cool Fourthcore blog over at Grind4E, and he posted this about running Revenge of the Iron Lich (RotIL) as Play-by-Post (PbP). I decided to take a crack at generating a character (see his post for more details).
I have very little experience generating fourthcore character or 16th level characters, so I figured it would be a good experience. My thoughts here may or may not reflect good principles of fourthcore character design; this is merely what I perceive to be good ideas. Hopefully, some of the fourthcore guys will weigh in.
One Fell Evening
There’s another disclaimer: RotIL happens in one night, in-game time. This constraint really came into play and affected how I chose daily powers and utility powers. I tried to pick daily powers that were reliable. For utility, encounter powers took precedence over daily powers.
The Long Haul
Powers that gave healing in one form or another were taken over powers that didn’t. Powers that gave saving throws were also prioritized. In lieu of those, I tried to pick powers that dealt a good amount of damage in order to try and speed up fights.
I picked up feats that gave me a chance at surviving longer (Durable, Toughness, etc.).
Skills are the Key
I have heard that skills become very important with #fourthcore, so I tried to pick feats and equipment that gave me skill bonuses. The equipment was mainly to give bonuses for my untrained skills. I avoided picking the Bard as a class, although I was sorely tempted to (and I actually like 4E bards, so it wasn’t that).
I’ll present the following bullet list to show a few of the other things I considered (several of these are good for character generation in general):
- Damage resistances
- Class abilities
I’m currently a second stringer, waiting for someone’s character to die a spectacular and gruesome death, so my hybrid ardent / avenger came off the bench and get in the game. Think he’s got a chance? Let’s assume heart’s not the issue. Have I built him in a such a way that as long as I bring my A-game, he’s got a shot? Leave a comment or find me in the twitterverse, as always.
So last time I talked about Fourthcore and gave some initial thoughts on a dungeon idea. This post is a continuation with more thoughts. I’ll probably continue to do these as long as ideas keep coming to me. At some point, I’ll hopefully move to posts with content that others can use in their own Fourthcore adventures (like traps, monsters, and room layouts).
Some of these I shared on Twitter, but I’m reproducing them here for easier access later.
I think the dungeon should be populated with immortal guardians (angels and the like). No undead here. (Let’s push the design envelope a bit, shall we?)
Another idea would be to keep score of how the players respond to challenges. As they progress, their actions change how the guardians respond to them. Maybe more guardians show up as they succeed (or fail but survive, I could go either way with it). Maybe the last room features a majordomo (the overlord) that the crusaders would either have to fight (if they barely make it through) or possibly bypass (if they’ve done well). I’m not sure if I like the idea of giving a good group a pass on the combat, maybe the fight occurs either way, but it’s tougher if the crusaders have done poorly.
Idea #2: What if the crusaders picked a vestige and the last room was a PvP battle royale? The winning crusader’s vestige is the god / primordial resurrected.
Idea #3: what if the god’s resurrection required a sacrifice of some kind? I’m fuzzy on how I would implement this, but I’d like for there to be a solution that didn’t require one of the players to die / kill a party member. Any suggestions are welcome.
I haven’t had any more thoughts on this, but that’s okay, because I think the idea I detailed last time is awesome enough for now.
I’m thinking one of the rooms should feature a slanted floor that leads down to a sealed exit. Solving a puzzle in the room would allow the crusaders to exit the chamber easily. Failing causes the room to begin to fill with lava. This would mean the exit would be all but covered by lava that causes insta-death within a round or two of the lava beginning to flow. A clever party would notice a second hidden exit that leads to a passage with some kind of fight in it.
So clever crusaders bypass the fight entirely by solving the puzzle and taking the primary exit. Not-so-clever crusaders end up finding the hidden exit and dealing with the fight. The rest end up dying in lava. Fun!
I have to make a correction here. Last time, I mentioned the elemental plane of void. That should have said Vacuum. Shame on me. I like the idea of void, but I need to come up with how this would work mechanically.
As always, leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.
Disclaimer: This post will contain my thought process on a fourthcore dungeon I’ve been kicking around for a while. It might be a bit spoilery in places, but I need to get the thoughts down before they evaporate. I’ve got one big surprise in mind, so I’m going to keep that one close to my chest.
Ideas are a mix of my own pondering mixed with random dice rolls using the Fourthcore Alphabet as a guide.
The dungeon is a vault in the astral plane, said to contain the corpse of a dead god or primordial. The vault has three wings, representing three powerful elements: lava, acid, and void. The chambers contain an odd mix of planar creatures and angels.
The acid wing must have one chamber that contains a cylindrical walkway with portholes in it. The entire walkway radiates arcane magic (for those attuned to such things). The porthole offers no resistance, and indeed pulls in anyone that dares to stick an appendage in. The surprise here is that the entire room is a gelatinous cube, punched through with magically warded corridors. Traps and monsters in the wing may destroy sections of corridors, turning the whole wing into a maze if the crusaders aren’t careful.
I’m still working on what this wing should contain, but one feature will have to be a trap that turns PCs into lava golems when triggered (there’s an old twitter joke here for those that have been following me long enough).
Void represents nothingness in this dungeon. A primal force that cause things to cease to exist (think similar to the elemental plane of void from Planescape – that’s right, I have to include a Planescape reference). Trial should involve a trap that makes pockets of void appear randomly, I think. Another option is to have a spherical area of void in a room that the crusaders must cross through and survive.
Like I said before, these are my rough thoughts, and I welcome any feedback. For those of you into fourthcore, am I on the right track? Does it sound interesting? Leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.