Kendal

Best Version of DnD?

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10 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

As for how well insta-kill traps go over... Only in Paranoia do the players really appreciate them. (Often the insta-kill trap has been issued to the PCs as equipment by R&D....)

QFT. You get a six pack of disposable PCs for a reason.

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There should be some kind of mechanism or knowledge to avert the trap. Failing that a saving throw or some item that the PC's have to mitigate the damage.

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Well I'm not aiming for a Tomb of Horrors type of insta-kill trap here.

 

If they are adventurers worth a damn they'll check things over, especially given how out in the open the treasure is, and what they find (no sign of entrails or flesh despite some armor and weapons surviving, no signs of combat, even a small coin-sized stone disk in each corpse's hand if they investigate further.

And a Detect Magic spell on the treasure will also reveal how bad an idea it is to touch it... But they never use detect magic...

 

I guess I can at least give them a con save to slow the speed of the rot and save the character at the temporary cost of an arm if another player dares chop it off in time.

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I think I'm going to go with "character can be saved at the cost of his hand/forearm".

More fun for me to hinder players than outright slaughter them. Now the mistake lingers on both the player AND the character.

 

One more thing to figure out... The puzzle to access the lower levels of the Yuan-Ti temple proper.

 

The floor's design includes a Marilith statue up on a stepped pedestal, surrounded by four pillars, a snake statue (which I'm treating as a petrified Spirit Naga), along with four bowls with a snake in each, two by the Naga statue and two just by the hidden entrance.

Anyone know what I can do with that, or add to?

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3 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

I think I'm going to go with "character can be saved at the cost of his hand/forearm".

More fun for me to hinder players than outright slaughter them. Now the mistake lingers on both the player AND the character.

 

Unless they just retire or suicide the character.  They're 4th level, right?  I'd have to reeeeeealllly like my character to not do one of those two things at the first opportunity, if it appeared this disability was going to persist for more than a session or so.  If I thought I was going to get blow-back from the DM for doing that; I'd also have to desperately want to play, for some reason, to not go ahead and do it anyway.

 

I'm not into misery simulators, as a personal preference, though. I'd rather just have my characters killed outright.

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Agreed - that is a good way to tick off the player, to no gain. Just shout 'Rocks fall! Everybody dies!' and have done with it. ::P:

 

Something all GMs need to do is stop and think how they would feel if their character had a limb blown off, with no real warning, because the GM thought it would be fun. (To be open here - I really did not like Tomb of Horrors. I can get kinda vocal on the subject.)

 

I have rules for limb loss in d20 Steampunk games - basically, if the player chooses, the character can lose a limb instead of dying from either Massive Damage or a critical.

 

But then again, in steampunk, prosthetics are available, and very much a part of the settings and their tropes.

 

The Auld Grump - heck, I consider Metropolis to be the very first steampunk movie, decades before the term steampunk was coined, and there was a prosthetic hand even then....

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Oh god yeah, sorry.

I'm trying to avoid wall-o'-text posts about the adventure to avoid rambling on so I left out details I maybe should not have.

 

This limb loss is most certainly not intended to be permanent.

If the party does not somehow mess things up royally, the medusa that hired them should call upon a snake demon and try to offer the players as sacrifices to it.

If the players defeat her or even just her orc bodyguards the snake will consider that a worthy sacrifice and basically regrow the PC's hand.

 

So no, no plans to permanenty screw a player over.

I know my players... Likely the only one foolish enough to try is the Cleric. He's the one that grabbed the vessels of the cult of evil chaos, he's the one that got statue'd by the cult's captive medusa, and he's the one that got statue'd by Elyas' transmuter trap in Rahasia.....

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12 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

 

I think I'm going to go with "character can be saved at the cost of his hand/forearm".

More fun for me to hinder players than outright slaughter them. Now the mistake lingers on both the player AND the character.

 

Is there not still a 'Regenerate' spell out there??????

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13 minutes ago, knarthex said:

Is there not still a 'Regenerate' spell out there??????

Maybe.

 

If need be I can just have the Medusa offer up a scroll of Regenerate in exchange for her life.

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14 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

The floor's design includes a Marilith statue up on a stepped pedestal, surrounded by four pillars, a snake statue (which I'm treating as a petrified Spirit Naga), along with four bowls with a snake in each, two by the Naga statue and two just by the hidden entrance.

Anyone know what I can do with that, or add to?

 

How difficult a puzzle are you looking for here?

 

If you are looking for something simple, then have the four pillars be carved into the shape of snakes and have each snake statue looking in a specific direction.  On the wall in that direction is a very small hole which only a snake can fit through.  The point being that the party has to take a snake and feed it into each hole in order to open up the secret entrance.  You could give out clues if the party makes a simple perception check.  I can't imagine the party needing to brute force their way through this puzzle if you mention that the statues are all looking in a specific direction.

 

If you are looking for something more out of left field, have a nest of rats somewhere in the room or have each pillar contain a secret compartment with food for the snakes.  The idea being that the party has to pay their respects by feeding the snakes.  This kind of idea may only really work though if you've been foreshadowing it prior to the puzzle i.e. giving some indication that snakes are worshiped and good things happen when you show proper reverence to snakes etc.  You could give out clues based on a religion check or on a perception checks eg the rats in the nest seem well fed despite being in a dungeon - as if they were being looked after or how there seem to be regurgitated rats bones/claws near the bowls (only use this clue if your party don't know about the feeding habits of snakes) or even how well fed the snakes appear to be.  To be clear - this is off the top of my head and you would need to do a lot more thinking around this puzzle before it would work (eg what happens if the party kills the snakes!).

 

If you are looking for something "realistic" (in terms of being something that the Yuan Ti could easily and quickly accomplish for the purpose of entering their temple), you could make the Marilith statue posable and then have pictures of the Marilith in different poses on the walls.  The idea being that the party has to pose the Marilith in the right pose in order to open the secret door.  You would obviously need to include some kind of clue to the correct pose - possibly by way of something that the party found before entering the room with the puzzle.  Alternatively, it could be some kind of cryptic message on the walls or in the correct picture of the Marilith itself.  In case the party needs to brute force their way through this puzzle, you can limit the number of possible poses and have a penalty if they pick the wrong pose.  Penalties could be either an immediate fight with guards or alarm bells ringing (giving you flexibility to potentially increase the difficulty of future fights - you would obv need to fudge this slightly to avoid a TPK).

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21 hours ago, Jokemeister said:

 

If you are looking for something simple, then have the four pillars be carved into the shape of snakes and have each snake statue looking in a specific direction.  On the wall in that direction is a very small hole which only a snake can fit through.  The point being that the party has to take a snake and feed it into each hole in order to open up the secret entrance.  You could give out clues if the party makes a simple perception check.  I can't imagine the party needing to brute force their way through this puzzle if you mention that the statues are all looking in a specific direction.

I like that one, but mostly because I used a similar idea for an earlier puzzle in the same adventure...

 

I gave it a bit more thought... and since Yuan-Ti are immune to poison, perhaps getting bitten by the snakes is the key. Out of the four bowls, two of the snakes within are green and two are red.

Would it be unfair to have the characters take bites from poisonous snakes in order to unlock the doors? Like all snakes slither about but if you willingly let them bite you, the snake slumbers, and if both green snakes slumber while both red snakes are awake, the doors open. When the opposite happens, the doors close back. Any other combination merely leaves the doors in whatever state they are in.

Would that be an interesting puzzle or just unfair since damage has to be willingly taken?

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I think it's a fair puzzle. Helped if you can allow the snakes to bite something else, like a rat? 

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On 4/8/2017 at 8:43 AM, BlazingTornado said:

Would that be an interesting puzzle or just unfair since damage has to be willingly taken?

 

I personally have no problems with damage having to be taken to get past a puzzle.  Ultimately, I wouldn't expect a single small snake (albeit poisonous) to do a lot of damage so I don't see this being an issue.  Well, not unless your PCs are all level 1 in a setting where the wizard only has 1d4 HP...

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Posted (edited)

The PCs will be fourth level, and all of them (cleric, bard, two rangers) use at least d8's for hit points.

A poisonous snake in 5th edition does 1 damage from the bite and 2d4 poison damage from the poison, half as much on a successful DC 10 consititution saving throw.

Edited by BlazingTornado
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23 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

The PCs will be fourth level, and all of them (cleric, bard, two rangers) use at least d8's for hit points.

A poisonous snake in 5th edition does 1 damage from the bite and 2d4 poison damage from the poison, half as much on a successful DC 10 consititution saving throw.

 

Level 4 and some healing in the party - they'll be fine!

 

Which isn't to say that letting the snakes bite the rats is a bad idea.  After all, if the party can think of a good loophole, that should be encouraged.  However, even if they let the snakes bite them, the damage doesn't seem like it would be crippling.

 

With that said, if you really are worried about a TPK as a result of the snake bite, you can try to design the next encounter so that the enemies will get reinforcements midway through the battle.  That way, if things are going badly, you can introduce less reinforcements than you were initially planning.

 

This shouldn't be too hard to setup.  The party is about to enter the temple itself so you can set it up so that they surprise the Yuan-ti in their next encounter who weren't expecting a party of adventurers in their temple.  This could easily let you setup a free surprise round for the PCs or have a weaker than normal starting encounter but then have reinforcements come in midway through the battle as they are drawn by the sound of combat.  You can foreshadow the reinforcements by having one of the Yuan-ti yell into the darkness during the first round of combat so that the PCs know they are about to have even more company.

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