Thursday, July 23, 2009

Change of plans...

Before our weekly game last night, we discussed the 4E game that we will be playing after Gencon. I wasn't sure that the group were completely sold on Crimson Throne (or 4E, for that matter), so I offered them the option of playing either Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, or Legacy of Fire. We discussed the pros and cons of each, and RotRL was quickly dropped from the running, not becuase anyone thought it was bad but because they were looking for something less like traditional, standard D&D.

The inital vote between CotCT and LoF was split 3 and 3 (we have 7 people in the group, and one was running late). By the time the last player arrived, a number of people had changed their minds (after looking over the books), and the vote went 6-1 for Legacy of Fire.

So, since I will now be running Legacy of Fire next month, I'm going to shift to working on that conversion. I still want to work on Crimson Throne, but it will have to take a backseat for now.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Checking In

I haven't made much progress on the conversion this week, but will try to get some time to finish out the encounters for Part 1 this weekend. It looks like I will be running the conversion with my group starting after Gencon, so we'll do character generation on 8/19 and play our first full session on 8/26. This should be a good motivator for me to get my act in gear and get the conversion done sooner so I can stay ahead of the players.

BTW - if anyone following this project is going to be at Gencon, leave a comment. I'd love to meet you all in person. I'll be spending much of my time in the exhibitor's hall working at the Arc Dream booth, but hope to get to do more playing this year, including playing some 4E.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Part 1 - The Old Fishery

Looking over this part of the adventure, we find a lot of the problem I mentioned before in which the PCs are set up to fight single opponents in small rooms. My plan is to dissociate the opponents from their locations, and instead break them up into "encounter groups" that may be fought in a number of locations.

First encounter group = Yargin plus 3 dogs (originally he and his 1 dog were separate encounters). I'll make this group a 2nd level encounter so that we start off with a challenging fight, and it will be worth 625 XP. This should take place somewhere on the ground floor, once the PCs enter the building.

The next encounter group consists of Hookshanks and Giggles, plus 4 thugs (minions). This one will be a 1st level encounter worth 500 XP. This can take place in the processing room or on the ground floor if the PCs make alot of noise fighting Yargin and the dogs.

The next encounter takes place if the PCs fall into the water. Originally it was a single jigsaw shark, but I'll make it 2 sharks to keep it interesting, and a level 1 encounter for 500 XP.

The adventure as written has the PCs encounter small groups of Drain Spiders in various rooms. I'll lump these encounters into 1 level 2 fight for 625 XP. I may have to create Drain Spiders. My cursory glance at the spiders in the MM shows that they are all a bit powerful. Maybe I can re-skin a swarm of some kind?

Finally, we have the finale fight with Lamm. I'll give him 2 pet crocodiles rather than 1, and give Lamm himself some forced movement powers so that he can hopefully maneuver some of the PCs into the pit with the crocs. As the finale, this will be a hard (level 3) encounter worth 750 XP.

As a final boost, the PCs can get 100 XP form a minor quest if they get some of the orphans to a reputable orphanage.

Part 1 XP total = 3600. My main conecrn here is that 600 of that XP (from the shark fight and the minor quest) are from sources that may or may not occur without some railroading on the GMs part. I'll have to give that some thought.

Next up, I'll try my hand at making up my first 4E monsters and NPCs...
Over the weekend I managed to skim read the first module (Edge of Anarchy), and then do a more thorough read through. I have a good feel for the flow of the plot, so I've accomplished step one of my conversion plan.

I also played around with the XP budget. I want the PCs to be 4th level and partly into 5th at the end of Edge of Anarchy. For 5 characters, this works out to be:

5 PCs X 4500 XP = 22,500 XP total for the module (getting to 4th level is actually 3750 XP per character, or 18750 total).

This will be my target for the adaptation. We'll see how this works out after I look at the separate sections of the adventure.

The adventure has an introduction, 7 parts, and a sort of denouement/cut scene at the end, which may be a weak spot.

In the introduction, the PCs meet a sort of mentor (Zellara) who enlists them to seek out a crime lord who has wronged each of them in the past. In 4E terms, she gives them a quest. Since it will invlove multiple encounters and resolve a good chunk of story, I'll make this a major quest worth 500 XP (the same as a normal 1st level encounter). I need to keep in mind that they won't actually get this XP until the end of part 1, though.

Here's the wording on the quest:

"Bring Gaedren Lamm to justice, or failing that, end his reign of terror", 500 XP.

I'll discuss each section separately, but here's a table of the XP awards by section that I came up with (sorry if the formatting is crap):

Part XP Cumulative XP

0 - Introduction 500 (500)
1 - Old Fishery 3600 4100
2 - City Gone Mad 1800 5900 (PCs hit 2nd level)
3 - Long Live the Queen 0 5900
4 - Welcome to the Guard 3200 9100
5 - Ambassador's Secret 3600 12,700 (PCs hit 3rd level)
6 - Queen's Scapegoat 1500 14,200
7- Dead Warrens 8100 22,300 (PCs hit 4th level)
Denoument 0 22,300

So, there's step 2 on the conversion plan done.

A detailed look at Part 1 next post.