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Trying to run a good DnD campaign. Need help.

 
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DenizenKane
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Joined: 12 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Trying to run a good DnD campaign. Need help. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm trying to get a game started with a group of my friends that are decently experienced with 3.5 and pathfinder, and I wanted to run a fun and easy campaign starting at level 5, probably running through level 10-12. It's my first time DMing.

Whats the most ideal system out there right now for DnD/TTRPG? I've been trying to homebrew up a bunch of material, but it's time consuming and I'm a novice designer. Any good adventure module material for a beginner dm?

I figured the Den is the best place to ask.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

[Tome] by Frank Trollman and Keith Kaczmarek; combined with:

-Kaelik's [Tome] Errata

Honestly; the buffs he gives to casters; makes them remove most of their worst mehcanical limitations; the fact that this is a good thing makes Kaelik's work more important in some ways than what Frank and Kieth figured out were (obviously) fucking up martial characters. You need to stealth buff them with spell equivalients: also as RoW combat feats = battlfield control/death effect/travel/divination powers, the flaws in Spellcasters metamagic and crafting feats are glaringly apparent. (really, [Tome] w/out Kaeliks stuff only favour powergamed spellcasters Q_Q, and Martialists in general).

-Use Red Rob's "[Tome]/Book of Gears Magical Items" rules.

The Book of Gears, as released, is self-described as "Unfinished"; Red Rob merges the original BoG; plus a pair of other TGD posters Magical Items rules hacks to BoG; as well as Kieth & Frank's notes on "minimum" magic items PCs should have per level.

E.g. of how Minimum, level-appropriate, magic items should work.

The Fighter in the 1st issue of Heavy Metal is able to kill a "God" with a one-shot magic item, Firemoths eat giant reptilian immortals. Unfortunately; this is prefaced with the fighter having to sneak-fight their way across an enemy city in order to reach their impounded carriage of curiosities (they pose as a wandering showman of curiosities; charging for people to look; and possibly buy his magical wares.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:00 am    Post subject: Re: Trying to run a good DnD campaign. Need help. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DenizenKane wrote:
I'm trying to get a game started with a group of my friends that are decently experienced with 3.5 and pathfinder, and I wanted to run a fun and easy campaign starting at level 5, probably running through level 10-12. It's my first time DMing.

Whats the most ideal system out there right now for DnD/TTRPG? I've been trying to homebrew up a bunch of material, but it's time consuming and I'm a novice designer. Any good adventure module material for a beginner dm?

I figured the Den is the best place to ask.


While it has plenty of flaws, I think Red Hand is probably a decent run. It has a lot of rules for most of what the PCs might end up doing with relatively little extrapolation, and has a lot of rules about what specifically the opposition is and does if the PCs don't get involved, so it stands the railroad break of what will happen when Players see things differently better than most adventure modules.

There might be some pathfinder adventure modules that run the same range that are about as good, I don't know, you have to wade through some dreck to get to figure out which is which with those.

And beyond that, I think you are stuck with making your own campaign, or stringing together shorter modules, both of which are more work, even if the first one is more rewarding, worth running an adventure your first time.
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hogarth
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:27 am    Post subject: Re: Trying to run a good DnD campaign. Need help. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DenizenKane wrote:
It's my first time DMing.

Whats the most ideal system out there right now for DnD/TTRPG?

If it's your first time DMing, the ideal system is the one you're most familiar with. For Pete's sake, it'll be hard enough DMing for your first time without trying to learn a bunch of fiddly variations on your favourite version of D&D at the same time.

My suggestion would be to start with some canned material like a Pathfinder adventure path or the equivalent.
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: Trying to run a good DnD campaign. Need help. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DenizenKane wrote:
It's my first time DMing.
DenizenKane wrote:
Alright guys! I used to run a tome campaign back in the day using the scaling feats, and I'm putting together a "Tome" campaign for my playgroup that is currently playing pathfinder (someone else is currently DMing).
confused

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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

*shrugs* maybe he wants to see an internet fight, and thinks he'll get it by lobbing that grenade into the ring.

Ok. I'll bite. The best system for all games is motherfucking RISUS motherfuckers - come at me bro!
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DenizenKane
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks for the feedback guys.

JE:
Thanks, I'll be using the Tomes and lots of homebrew for my campaign. Thanks for the tip on Red Rob's stuff, I'll be using that.

Kaelik:
I've decided to use RHoD, I've already started setting everything up in Roll20. I'm using Photoshop to resize and refine the maps, and then statting up tokens with my own changes.


Rad:
I wasn't the DM in that campaign, I lied I guess. I was a player, but I helped the DM convert his game to "tome" because he liked it alot, this was like.. 6+ years ago? My old friends are showing an interest in DnD again, and I wanted to DM on roll20 this time.

Hiram:
Lol, not a troll. Just an idiot asking for advice.
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Fair enough.

Since 'feat per level' feats involve you having to make a lot of stuff yourself, I think it'd be easier if you instead use a system where everyone gets a 'tome feat' at 1, (+1 extra if you're Human/Incarnum human/Strongheart Halfling/Dragon human/whatever that gets to pick a free bonus feat), 3, 6, 9, etc in addtion to a regular 3.5 feat at every level. 'Tome feats' would be either scaling feats, Kaelik/Alphanerd metamagic feats/'some' of the fiend feats (e.g. Product of Infernal Dalliance, Wings, Greater teleport). You'd need to decide whether or not a feat is a 'tome feat' on a case by case basis, but wouldn't have to make anywhere near as many things wholecloth. Additionally, if you decide to give monsters scaling feats, cap the benefits you can get from them to CR. e.g. if a CR 6 monster has 25 HD and BAB, they still only count as having BAB of 6 for the purpose of unlocking scaling feat benefits.

Don't know how much of this stuff you know, but figured I'd mention it anyway. Most 'official' (i.e. originally made by Frank and K) Tome Material can be found here (that'd be, Tome of Necromancy, Tome of Fiends, Dungeonomicon, and Races of War). The most important things other than those are probably (i.e. these are things that many Tome games I play/have played in use/used):
Kaelik's Tome Errata
Red Rob's Tome Items (Replacement for Races of War items and Book of Gears)
Red Rob's Simplified Tome Armor (compatible with above)

Some decent unofficial sources for scaling feats, though you can find plenty more on the den probably:
- Red Rob
- virgil
- Dominicus
- dnd-wiki.org

If any players want sphere based classes (or have players who want to take Attune Sphere) you can find a lot of spheres here.

This has links to a lot of community made material of varying quality, but it hasn't been updated in a long time.

I'd recommend not using the Tome Fighter and Firemage. If you're using Scaling Feats, I recommend not using Combat School. I also recommend not using the Races of War Grapple rules as they are kinda vague and make it very easy for monsters to coup de grace people.

Check out Kaelik Skill Groups. Seriously, they're awesome. It's a little hard to understand at first and some extra work, but (at least imo) totally worth it. I'd advise just letting everything be a class skill because that saves a lot of bookkeeping. Also, since it's likely to come up, if you're playing a human or something that gets a bonus skill rank per level, just count that as having an extra int bonus skill rank per level for the purposes of skill groups. This might help with picking out skills with the skill groups system (it doesn't have any validation or anything, but might still come in handy).

A few things I personally recommend checking out:
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DenizenKane
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks Rad. Your post has been a great resource in putting my campaign together. Were going to start in the next couple weeks.

We decided on Tome feats for odd levels, and PF/3.5e feats for even levels.

The players start with a stat array of 18, 16, 16, 14, 14, 12. Then, they're all "Human", so they get +2 to two different stats, and a bonus Tome feat.

So, they're a 3 person party, and I decided everyone is going to start at level 7, and have a level 5 cohort as if they had leadership.

One player is a Marshall, with a Knight Cohort, another is a sorcerer with the kaelik dragon as a cohort,

and the other wanted to play something like the pathfinder Alchemist, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions? I saw some Chemist and other classes on DnDwiki but it wasnt that great imo. Anything I could flavor for a good alchemist type character?
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Grek
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I would not actually advise running Tome, as it's kinda a mess. Several of the specific rules are good, but then you see the Fighter, Feats, Book of Gears being written by five different non-communicating authors, etc. Don't do it. It's not worth it.
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Aryxbez
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
I would not actually advise running Tome, as it's kinda a mess. Several of the specific rules are good, but then you see the Fighter, Feats, Book of Gears being written by five different non-communicating authors, etc. Don't do it. It's not worth it.

Very much worth the lesson in Player Empowerment, to teach Players that their characters can, and should be, awesome. Not having to deal with piddly modifiers and sub-systems that don't likely add up to anything meaningful.

Also, Depends what Optimization level they're playing under, Rogue-level classes play decent well with the game, though their offense might be a bit high, it's not too much different from one-trick Fighter-balance-wise characters in that regard. Mixing & Matching Wizard/Rogue-level Classes could get problematic pending the ones, but Imagine a [Tome] Barbarian played by a casual player and some Rogue-level [Tome] Class could work out fine.
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
I would not actually advise running Tome, as it's kinda a mess. Several of the specific rules are good, but then you see the Fighter, Feats, Book of Gears being written by five different non-communicating authors, etc. Don't do it. It's not worth it.
Your mileage may vary. One of my groups plays it regularly and I enjoy it more than notTome. That said, yes, don't use the Tome Fighter, and use Red_Rob's items/armors (which I linked above) instead of Book of Gears if you're doing away with WBL.

DenizenKane wrote:
and the other wanted to play something like the pathfinder Alchemist, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions? I saw some Chemist and other classes on DnDwiki but it wasnt that great imo. Anything I could flavor for a good alchemist type character?
I don't know Pathfinder Alchemists well, but IIRC they can be a number of different things. Could you elaborate on what sort of character they want? IIRC Dean once said that the playtest (i.e. before the book came out) Pathfinder Investigator was pretty good, but I don't know where to find that. As a quick fix you could probably use the Pathfinder Alchemist and gestalt a few archetypes together.

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Blicero
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DenizenKane wrote:

We decided on Tome feats for odd levels


That is a lot of abilities to keep track of, particularly if each player is also running a cohort.

Every time I ran Tome, I was the only person at the table who had a grasp of all the houserules and modifications in play. If I was lucky, a given player would be mostly able to run their own character, without too much coaching, in most situations. That was not always true though. Everyone still generally had fun, because characters built at the Tome level can do fun things, but there were just too many different moving parts.

Unless your players are all D&D rules-ninjas, I would advise caution about throwing too much complexity in.

Quote:

and the other wanted to play something like the pathfinder Alchemist, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions?


There are at least two alchemist classes on this forum, from the days of yore:
http://tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=51022
http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=49187

Are they good? I couldn't tell you.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't think tome feats at odd levels is a great idea. Tome feats are already game changing and powerful enough every 3 levels, you really don't need more of them, especially not if you are carrying 3.5 feats too.
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DenizenKane
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks for all the advice guys.

I definitely see what you're saying. I'm probably getting a little carried away with the power level and complexity.

Hm, So, I'll go back to the normal levels for tome feats, and probably do away with leadership.
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