Author Topic: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game  (Read 5185 times)

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #20: December 08, 2011, 04:10:20 PM »
Quote from: PhaedrusXY
I find it quite amusing reading this diary, and comparing it to our own adventures in the PbP of the same campaign on here. I hope you don't mind. They haven't done anything that we haven't already done, so far. Wink

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #21: December 08, 2011, 04:10:39 PM »
I find it quite amusing reading this diary, and comparing it to our own adventures in the PbP of the same campaign on here. I hope you don't mind. They haven't done anything that we haven't already done, so far. ;)
No worries.  As of right now, you are on completely different story paths.  They are going to the small fishing town, and will hope to find a Hathran there (she'll be out, but arrive in town in a few days).  Then they will likely adventure around that town for a bit.  I have a strong feeling they will wait for the Hathran, in order to pass Grimolf off to her (he is still alive), and to give the Druid//Fighter a chance to call a new animal companion.

Torvon, the thing is, three of these players are not newbies.  They supposedly played all through college.  Also, I'm very much not trying to play "DM vs players" - I just want things to be challenging in an appropriate way, thus leading to good story and epic fights (much like last night).  The uthraki fight from last session, I was merely playing the uthraki as the book suggests.  They are intelligent and have high ranks in bluff.  They play the part of lost travelers, and then devour people at night, when their fast healing is active.

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #22: December 08, 2011, 04:10:58 PM »
Quote from: veekie
Experience does not usually correlate to skill, there are players who can spend their whole gaming lives going by nothing but damage and more impressive damage, if not challenged. With the range of abilities gestalt gives, it's also easier to pick a less effective tactic than they should. So once they worked out the kinks and wrap their heads around their capabilities, they should improve pretty quick.

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #23: December 08, 2011, 04:11:24 PM »
Quote from: Torvon
Experience does not usually correlate to skill

This is definitely wrong. And I'm very careful on these kind of statement. Experience in nearly everything correlates positively with skill in this discipline.

The point you wanted to make: the correlation isn't 1.0. And of course I agree.

Torvon, the thing is, three of these players are not newbies.  They supposedly played all through college.  Also, I'm very much not trying to play "DM vs players" - I just want things to be challenging in an appropriate way, thus leading to good story and epic fights (much like last night).  The uthraki fight from last session, I was merely playing the uthraki as the book suggests.  They are intelligent and have high ranks in bluff.  They play the part of lost travelers, and then devour people at night, when their fast healing is active.
I completely agree, I was trying to make a point, and you might have taken it wrong. I don't like "DM vs. players" rpg, as DM I play "with" my players. Nonetheless, I think it's pretty clear what I mean (you do fight them, after all).

And about the newbie thing: there are these and these players. If your group if full of people with very high language-intelligence, and all players are storytellers and method acters, you obviously have to run a different campaign than a group full of people of tacticians and powergamers.

But I think you're doing a great job :)

ta-ta
T.

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #24: December 08, 2011, 04:11:45 PM »
So, another game session tomorrow night.  I plan to play up the woman they rescued, and although they've basically been told she was raped by the troll, I'll have them deal with her distraught self, as she slowly opens up about a few details.

Then they'll have a day off in game so the Druid who has lost his animal companion can call a new one.  Sadly, he is planning to once again get a hawk...

Then, I've not decided which direction I wish to go next.  I've got two "adventure paths" in mind, though I don't know which I should do first.

The first of the two is that a sibling pair of outlanders have come to the near-costal fishing town seeking revenge upon the family of a Rashemi who embarrassed them while out on his djamma (ie - Rashemi rummspringa).  It will be two first level gestalt characters: one a Rogue//Evoker, the other a Rogue//Cleric of Hel.  They plan to entice the sibling of the offending Rashemi off into the woods, where they will take him to a standing-stone site, and kill him with a Fell Draining Sonic Snap (Wiz 0, SpC).  By duskfall they will have consecrated his corpse to Hel, and he will rise as a wight, and naturally will seek out his own family first, in his potential eventual destruction of the whole town.  My hope is that the encounters with the sibling pair will teach the players about good flanking tactics, and the awesome that is sneak attacking with touch spells.

The second adventure will be the attack on the town by a tribe of one of the weaker types of "trolls" in this Norse world.  The weakest troll types I have in this setting are (Warning Phaedrus: potential campaign setting spoilers ahead) Feral Snow Goblins, Dekanter Goblins, Feral Tasloi, and Tanarukk.  Tanarukk in my world are descendants of Mur-Zhagul (demon trolls), first diluted by interbreeding with other trolls, then their offspring interbreeding with humans.  Since Tanarukk are the only ones that don't have fast healing, I'm going to go with them; they are sort of the "generic orcs" of my world, so to speak.  They will attack at night, and the PC's will presumably help fight them off.  The next day, the head of the one local berserker lodge will organize hunting parties to hunt down the foul beasts.  Thus, the PC's can hunt down and kill groups of 2 or 3 at a time.  Eventually they will hunt back to the lair, which has a Half-Vampire Tanarukk "queen" (I use Half-Vampire because it is a good way to give them slow fast healing that only gets up to half, and the charm gaze works well to instill the feel of a trollwife.  There are no vampires in this setting, and I know that Tanarukk don't actually qualify for the half-vampire template.)

So, which adventure would you lead the PC's toward first?

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #25: December 08, 2011, 04:12:24 PM »
Quote from: Havok4
I would go for the evil siblings first. That looks like it might be fun and interesting without getting bogged down in huge numbers of enemies.

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #26: December 08, 2011, 04:12:44 PM »
Quote from: veekie
Likewise, with their current performance, you can pull punches somewhat with the siblings but with a horde of mooks, pulling punches get really obvious.

Maybe if you showed them what properly used animal companions can do....

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #27: December 08, 2011, 04:12:58 PM »
Maybe if you showed them what properly used animal companions can do....
I'll get to that eventually.  Maybe I'll pair them with a "DMPC" for the next adventure, when they are hunting down trolls.  He'll be a Druid, with a Wolf.  I won't even gestalt him (or maybe I'll gestalt him with Warrior or Expert).  First I want to show them basic tactics like flanking, and sneak attacking with touch spells...  And greasing them so they are flat-footed  :plotting

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #28: December 08, 2011, 04:13:19 PM »
Quote from: veekie
Oh, I thought it'd be more fun to show them that from an opponent.
A moment when they consider "why the fuck is that guy raping us"

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #29: December 08, 2011, 04:13:43 PM »
Okay, a rather lax session tonight.  The PC's save the woman from last time, and take her and Grimolf to the town down on the shores of the fjord.  Along the way the woman eyes a small trail that leads off to the east, but at a lower elevation than the road the PC's came in on at the top of the series of switchbacks.  She begins to slowly tell of what happened to her, and that down that road was a demon in a ring of standing stones.  The troll forced her to ask the demon for something, and the demon then did something to the trolls.  Then the troll chief "took her" and carried her away to be his wife.

They arrive in town and the woman goes to her home.  The village Hathran hasn't returned from the Althing yet, and so the PC's head to the Wolf Berserker Lodge (the closest thing to an inn), get a bite to eat, and set up to spend the night there in the "common room."  They made sure to strip Grimolf of anything that would identify him as a member of the wolf berserker lodge, and beat him every hour or so to keep him unconscious.  They are greeted by the barkeep on duty, and mention they are waiting to see the Hathran.  The mention of that is enough for the barkeep to not ask questions about the man they keep unconscious with them.  They listen to berserkers tell war stories of fighting trolls, and wanting to kill the invading Halruaan empire from the south, until everyone turns in and the PC's get a good night's rest, merely needing to keep an eye on Grimolf.

The next day they get the idea to sell some of the loot they've collected that they aren't using.  In the lodge they spread out some iron-shod boots and two scythes, some leather armor, a large warhammer and large heavy shield (from the troll), and Grimolf's Heavy Flail and shortbow.  One of the berserkers heading out to patrol eyes the flail and asks to see it.  He gives it a good whirl, and asks how much; the party just wants 15 gp (market value for a heavy flail), and the barbarian jumps at the offer, and is VERY pleased with his purchase.  A few real-time minutes later the group gets the idea to appraise the other items they've got, and compare them to what is available in the small weapon smithy attached to the berserker lodge.  In comparing the shortbow, and looking at the flails there, they quickly realize they just sold a masterwork flail away for 15 gp.  Oops. 

They do an untrained appraise check on the shortbow, and I tell them it's worth at least 300 gp (it was a masterwork mighty composite shortbow with a +3 strength allowance - none of my PC's are strong enough to use it without penalty).  They end up selling the shortbow for 300 gp and a bottle of jhuild (Rashemi fire wine - 70 gp a bottle), and sell everything else off to the armorer and weapon-smith.

The druid//fighter, who had lost his animal companion, then head out to call a new one.  He rolled evens/odds to call either another hawk, or a badger.  I fudged it and said he rolled for a badger.  While he was out praying, he noticed two people walking through the woods nearby.  They left him alone, and he continued his praying.  The next day he gets his badger and the village Hathran returns.  They meet with her, describe the events surrounding Grimolf's capture, and turn him over to her.

They return to the wolf lodge, and around supper time some of the boy goat-herders return to the village and say that two of the boys had taken their goats into the next field to graze, but never returned.  At the end of the day they found the goats wandering unattended.  Three of the Berserkers gear up to go look (one Barb 1//Rog 1, and two Barb 1's), and the party joins them, aiding in following tracks.  They easily find the tracks and follow them about a half-hour beyond the field, into the forest.  They spot a small cluster of three standing stones, and as they move closer they hear some rustling movement.  Two of the berserkers split off to either side.  The party is very slow at approaching, and the two foes keep succeeding at their hide checks, but a few of the PC's (the farthest away) do notice some arrow points peeking from behind the standing stones, as if held in a nocked, but not drawn, position.  Eventually one of the flanking advance barbarians does notice the Clr 1//Rog 1 hiding behind a cairn, and moves in but misses.  The Cleric of Hel steps back and hits him with an arrow for 1 damage.  The barbarians and the Druid//fighter move in, while the rest of the PC's slowly move in and hit with arrows and magic missiles.  The two foes quickly got flanked and beat down, though a few pc's and npc's got singed by a burning hands.  The Rog//Wizard curses one of the barbarians as he is cut down.

There is a corpse laid out at the base of one cairn, and a live, but gagged, boy tied to one of the other cairns.  The cairns are in a rough triangle about 10-15 feet apart, and the Hel-worshippers have cleared an area within and 5-ft beyond that area.  Everything else is rough terrain with the undergrowth, costing two squares of movement (except for the two druids, of course).

Unbeknownst to the PC's, the bad guy Cleric//Rogue had a Lesser Vigor active on her at the time.  I had actually forgotten this until the drive home.  She would have gotten healed back up to 4 hp's.  At the start of next session I'll have the party cleric//rogue roll a sense motive vs the foe's bluff to see if she noticed that she was faking unconsciousness when she checked him after the battle (I had said she was stable, as she actually did hit the 10% to stabilize).  So, the Wiz//Rog is stable at -8 hp's, and the Clr//Rog is faking unconsciousness.

One of the barbarians recognizes his son's body laid out, and cries over his body.

What this encounter didn't do, that I was planning on:
I wanted to show the PC's the power of two rogues flanking with touch spells.
I wanted to demonstrate how nice Grease can be with a rogue in the party (ie - the auto-flat-footedness)

Part of the problem was i wasn't initially planning on having NPC's with the party.  The way the story flowed required them for logical consistency.  I was fully winging them off the top of my head, but they ended up ruining the ambush and not allowing the foes to engage the approaching PC's as I had vaguely planned.  Also, my PC's were being EXTREMELY cautious as they approached the standing stones, which worked much to their benefit.

What I saw during this encounter that showed my PC's are learning:
The druid//fighter and the cleric//rogue both got into melee and did well.  It took the rogue several rounds to move through the underbrush, and by the time she got into the small clearing one of the foes was already down, but she moved right into flanking position and nailed the Rogue//Wizard for somewhere around max damage (12+ damage with a spear sneak attack), dropping him from full health to unconsciousness.

So, next time they will be hauling the unconscious foe and the faking foe back to town, as well as the body of the slain boy.  It will be interesting to see if they enlist the Hathran's help at all, or if they just let the father take his son's body home.  They don't realize that the boy was killed with a fell drain sonic snap, and will rise as a wight in about 3 hours when the sun goes below the horizon.  I haven't decided what the conscious foe will plan to do, yet.  Try to escape? Play dead until she is left alone for a moment?

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #30: December 08, 2011, 04:14:13 PM »
Quote from: veekie
Play dead until sundown, then rescue the KO'ed one while they deal with the wight.

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #31: December 08, 2011, 04:14:35 PM »
Quote from: BlackHandOfFate
With the following party:

Male Human Druid 2//Fighter 2
Female Half-Elf Cleric 2//Rogue 2
Female Human Paladin 2//Sorcerer 2
Male Half-Elf Druid 2//Ranger 2 (Archer - newbie)

I believe that at least one of them should have been able to determine the nature of the boys death as well as his impending "reanimation".  Did any of the party members put ranks into Heal?  I think there's a use for the heal skill to determine if someone is going through the reanimation process, also knowledge(religion) would be relevant assuming your cleric actually put ranks into it.  Aside from that, should the Paladin happen to use Detect Evil, he may get an evil aura emanating from the boy's corpse depending on how you choose to play it.  Although all this is assuming you didn't already use any of these methods to determine if the party noticed the boys condition and they just failed all their checks.

You could have the Cleric realize this after the fact like... have him dream about the event that just took place and come to realize that the boy will rise as an undead soon, if not already.  Or just say something like "Somethings bothering you that you can't quite put your finger on..." and then have him roll a knowledge religion check.  If he succeeds, then reveal to him the coming undead threat, if he fails, then something more subtle perhaps that could lead him to false conclusions.  The DC shouldn't even be that high, actually, and teaching the party the value of having ranks in various knowledge skills could lead to more flavorful character development.

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #32: December 08, 2011, 04:14:55 PM »
I believe that at least one of them should have been able to determine the nature of the boys death as well as his impending "reanimation". 

I possibly would have allowed that, had the PC's even taken the opportunity to examine the body.  They did not, to disastrous consequences.

So, I just had my first (I think?) TPK.  Well, nearly so; one of them ran away and survived, leaving an entire town to be overrun by spawning wights.  That was not the game session I had in mind.

So, I started the session by having the Cleric//Rogue, who had checked the bodies of the two evil rogue//casters, make a sense motive check.  I didn't give any hint what its purpose was, and she failed it, badly.  The dead boy's father gathered up his son's body and they all trooped back to town, along with the bodies of the evil wonder twins.  Along the way, the Druid//Fighter quietly made a heal check to make sure that the Wizard//Rogue (the one who killed the boy and cursed the boy's father and family as he fell unconscious) was NOT stable, and said NPC bled out shortly thereafter.

When they got back to town the Druid//Fighter took a bit of hair from the newly bled-out wizard and made a bonfire, and made an untrained Kn (Religion) check to make a burnt offering to Loki and Hel, so this man would suffer in the afterlife (this character is True Neutral, btw).  He did really well, getting a 20 or so on the check.  Everyone else retired to the Wolf Berserker Lodge when they got back, near the end of dinner time.  The Fighter took about 3 hours total to build and burn his fires, and then retired to the lodge around 9 pm (still light out, as this is far north).

Around 11:30 pm they hear a commotion outside, and they take the time to don their armor and then rush out.  They come upon the father of the dead boy backing toward them through the disorderly arrangement of homes.  Initiative is rolled and the father goes first.  The father warily backs up, and a few of the PC's move forward and see the boy's now undead frame approaching the father from behind a house. The wight moves forward and hits his father with a slam attack, dealing 4 damage, but more importantly inflicting a negative level, and gaining 5 temporary hit points.  The ranger hits the wight with an arrow, eating through most of its temp hp's.  The Druid//Fighter then moves in and hits with his sickle for 3 damage.

The father, in his night-clothes, and only wielding a club, withdraws 40 feet, putting everyone in the party roughly between himself and his undead son (though they are somewhat spread out).  The Cleric//Rogue moves in an flanks the wight with the Fighter, hitting with a natural 20, and though not a crit, does deal 5 damage.  The Paladin//Sorcerer moves up 30 feet, placing her about 25 feet from the wight (but not blocking the straight path the wight has toward his father), and does... nothing.
Irked at the troublesome fleshling that damaged it and is in the way of getting to its father, the wight strikes the Clr//Rog, inflicting a negative level, and 5-ft steps out of flanking, and lining itself up for a charge at dad.  The ranger hits the wight for 2 damage, not even eating through its new batch of temporary hit points.  The Fighter//Druid misses the wight with his sling, not wanting to approach it again.

The father retreats a bit more, terrified at seeing this happen to his own son.  The Clr//Rogue steps over and misses the wight with her spear.  The Sorcerer casts magic missile, dealing 3 damage, eliminating the current batch of temporary hit points.  The wight charges his father, provoking an AoO from the Cleric, and taking 2 damage.  He charges right past the archer (who doesn't get an AoO), and strikes his father, killing him with the second negative level.  The archer rapid shots and misses twice, the fighter steps up and misses with his sling.  The Cleric charges the wight, but misses.  The paladin moves in and hits the wight with her Lay on Hands, inflicting 8 points of damage to it.  The wight attacks the cleric, but misses.  The wight is struck twice more before it can act again, and is slain.

The Druid//Fighter goes to check out the father and see if he can be stabilized.  As he is checking him out, the father rises as a spawn of his son, as swipes at the fighter from prone.  Characters react and move in, striking the new wight for 7 damage, and then another 6 damage from the AoO it provokes by standing.  The sorcerer strikes it with a magic missile for another 4 damage, and the archer hits for 1.  The wight then turns its attention to the Cleric for the two hard hits she gave it.  The wight hits her, which gives her a total of 2 negative levels, and she dies (to respawn the next round).  It goes downhill from there, with the father-wight slaying the Druid//Fighter, and the Cleric//Rogue-wight slaying the Paladin.  The archer then booked out, not even taking the time to wake anyone or tell the Hathran in her small tower of what was unfolding in the village as most of the people slept.

The Druid//Fighter realized about 2 rounds before he died that he had entangle prepared, and could have tied down the wight for them to hit from afar.  I mentioned that he could still hit it with the spell now, and have a chance to lock it down (this was after the cleric had died), but he said "screw it" and melee'd with the wight, missing or not dealing enough damage to drop it.

We then spent the rest of the session rolling up new second level gestalt characters.  The new party will consist of:

The same Druid//Ranger, played by the newbie.  Maybe he'll start using his druid spells (I've yet to see him use anything except healing spells).
A Barbarian//Rogue (the former Druid//Fighter) - Weapon Focus (Greatsword) and Ice Troll Berserker lodge feat
A Rogue//Spellthief (the former Cleric//Rogue) - I know it's not the best gestalt combo, but so be it; she's moving away in a month anyhow.
A Cleric//Sorcerer of Frey (the former Paladin//Sorcerer) - she's taking the Air and Sun domains, and the improved turning feat, as well as point blank shot.  She's also going to take Identify as one of her spells known as a sorcerer.

That's one gigantic hinderance to them thus far.  I gave them quite a bit of good loot, but they never even thought to ask the village hathran to identify the items for them.  Thus, the 5th caster level wand of magic missile did them no good, nor did the wand of invisibility or the 2 wands of Lesser Vigor.  All of those items are now carried by some undead...
The archer didn't even think to use the 3 magical arrows he has "because he doesn't know what they do" - You saw the man you got them from fire some flaming arrows at a troll!

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how the group dynamic changes with a "bruiser" in the party now (at 2nd level he has a +8 to hit with his MW greatsword, before raging).  None of the former party did anything but pitiful damage (lots of 1d6+0 and 1d4+1...)

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #33: December 08, 2011, 04:15:20 PM »
Quote from: Brainpiercing
Hmm... in your position I would have just told them the smart things to do from pure frustration. But... I guess you CAN teach them slowly and painfully Smile.

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #34: December 08, 2011, 04:15:42 PM »
Quote from: veekie
Darwinian learning?

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #35: December 08, 2011, 04:16:13 PM »
Quote from: BlackHandOfFate
lol Magic missile...

Well hope the next session goes smoother.  It looks like at least 2 of your players learned valuable lessons from their failures.  As Gestalted characters, your players should be doing something other than simply getting into melee for minimal damage, or... *sigh* using a sling. 

Quote
The same Druid//Ranger, played by the newbie.  Maybe he'll start using his druid spells (I've yet to see him use anything except healing spells).

As for the Druid/ranger; introduce him to the Spell Compendium if you havent already.  There are some seriously awesome druid spells in that book that would work very well with an archer build. (Updraft for one thing would not only give him swift action way to get away from his opponents but also an attack bonus for being on a higher footing.  Sand Blast is an awesome AoE stun that would be a good way for him to get out of a sticky situation in case he gets surrounded.)  Entangle is a perfect spell for ranged combatants as well, he would do well to remember that.  He was fortunate to live through that encounter.  Also, don't forget the 1st level spell, CAMOFLAGE, it would make this character very good at ambushing which would work well with the other two stealth characters. 

Quote
A Barbarian//Rogue (the former Druid//Fighter) - Weapon Focus (Greatsword) and Ice Troll Berserker lodge feat

This is quite the potent combo.  It's nice to see that somebody realized the potential of Two Handed weapons.  3d6+6 damage for a single sneak attack with a greatsword at 2nd level is pretty nice, and RAGE will make it even better.  If this character has decent stealth abilities as a rogue should, then they will have lots and lots of fun sneaking up on their targets and then scaring the hell out of them by raging right behind them before skewering them.

Quote
A Rogue//Spellthief (the former Cleric//Rogue) - I know it's not the best gestalt combo, but so be it; she's moving away in a month anyhow.

Kinda wierd to go from Cleric to spellthief, but ok...  Hopefully this character and the Barbarian/Rogue can make a good flanking team. 

Quote
A Cleric//Sorcerer of Frey (the former Paladin//Sorcerer) - she's taking the Air and Sun domains, and the improved turning feat, as well as point blank shot.  She's also going to take Identify as one of her spells known as a sorcerer.

Now this is where your REAL powerhouse is going to be.  From the looks of it, this player has learned the importance of equipment, especially magical equipment, and the effect it can have on a difficult encounter.  I suggest you introduce this character to the spellcompendium also, there are so many awesome 1st level cleric and Sorcerer spells that this player should have no difficulty picking out some potent options.

I understand that most of these players are at least by your description, experienced, but hopefully they have learned a great deal from that session.  Things will get REALLY interesting when the party hits 3rd level.  The Barbarian/rogue will likely be doing LOTS more damage with another sneak attack die. (encourage him to take Power Attack, if you can, watch him go to town).  The Druid/ranger will get access to 2nd level druid spells, which are awesome. (air mastery for one is great for an archer) Also his Animal companion should be a viable combatant at 3rd level what with the boost in HD, run him through the animal companion list and for the love of Juice try to talk him out of a Hawk...  (hell a swindlespitter dino in MM3 would make a great Animal companion for an Archer and he's available at 1st level.  Also, the Cleric/Sorcerer should be even more awesome, be sure to emphasize the important of pre-battle buffs.  A 3rd level Barbarian/Rogue is scary enough.. A 3rd level Barbarian Rogue with Bulls strength and various other divine magic is a killing machine. 

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #36: December 08, 2011, 04:16:41 PM »
I know the Cleric//Sorcerer at least makes use of the Spell Compendium; her sorcerer in our other game has the first level ray of fire spell (not an example of a great spell, I know...)  But that seems pretty par for the course thus far: sub-optimal choices.

I have high hopes for the Barb//Rog.  Although it doesn't contain the hidden ultimate power of the casters, in this group I feel it will end up being more effective than a caster.  The mechanics are straight-forward, and the classes complement each other well.  I don't have to mentally roll my eyes at horrible spell and animal companion choices.  For this group, the simplicity will win out, it seems; sneak up, and hit hard.  Sadly, I think power attack will sit on the back burner for quite a while.  He's planning to head towards Runescarred Berserker (UE), which is fantastic role-play-wise, and the class is pretty darn good besides.  As such, his next two feats have to be Survivor and Iron Will, unless he throws a level or two of Fighter into the mix.

The Archer is nigh a lost cause.  He still has trouble remembering when he can rapid shot, and when he cannot...  But, I might just pair them up with a similar character in the near future, so I can demonstrate the possibilities.  One thing you noted incorrectly, however: being on higher ground doesn't give ranged attacks a bonus.  That would be a fabulous tactic if it were so, though.

The now Rogue//Spellthief 'didn't think the cleric was working out.'  Ah, if only she'd thought to attack with touch spells.  Too bad my attempt to demonstrate that failed utterly   :eh  And she had the trickery domain too!  It would have been awesome if they'd ever gotten the wand of invisibility I gave them identified...

The Cleric//Sorcerer could turn out alright.  I'm almost positive 90% of her sorcerer spells will end up being direct damage, but there's always the cleric side with a little more leeway...  There is the now ever-present opportunity that she could become a Hathran.  I think I may try to lead her in that direction through role-play, but she is definitely NOT the leader type.

The dino animal companion wouldn't fit, because there are no dinos in the world.  Good suggestion, just doesn't fit this viking setting.

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #37: December 08, 2011, 04:17:15 PM »
Quote from: BlackHandOfFate
Ahh thats right, forgot it was a bonus to Melee for being on higher ground only.  My bad.  Although there was some feat that gave a bonus d6 damage for being at some distance above an enemy, but it wasn't that great due to being so situational (for a feat anyways).

Your probably right about the Barbarian//Rogue outshining the casters.  It sounds like your casters are so focused on blasting that they forgot to consider the various other ways that Magic can be used(and abused as it should be in a gestalted campaign).  As a result, even WITHOUT POWERATTACK(???) the melee monster will likely be outperforming his spellcasting companions simply because he doesnt have to do anything other than sneak around and then beat the crud out of stuff, which is fairly simple to do most of the time.  Oh well, at least the Cleric//Sorcerer chose Identify this time around, that means that they actually learned something from this last encounter. 

It's a real shame the player with the Druid//Ranger can't seem to realize the full potential of his character.  Lets just hope that if the player manages to reach level 5, he/she will resist the urge to wildshape into a hawk and go into melee...

Quote
The dino animal companion wouldn't fit, because there are no dinos in the world.  Good suggestion, just doesn't fit this viking setting.

It's D&D, if you don't have all manor of beast/monsters/slimes/Ancient evils popping out of the woodwork every now and again, your doing it wrooong!  :D j/k

Be sure to keep us posted on future games.  I, myself am very interested in hearing how your future sessions play out.

Offline ksbsnowowl

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #38: December 08, 2011, 04:17:40 PM »
Quote from: veekie
It sounds like your casters are so focused on blasting that they forgot to consider the various other ways that Magic can be used(and abused as it should be in a gestalted campaign).  As a result, even WITHOUT POWERATTACK(???) the melee monster will likely be outperforming his spellcasting companions simply because he doesnt have to do anything other than sneak around and then beat the crud out of stuff, which is fairly simple to do most of the time.  Oh well, at least the Cleric//Sorcerer chose Identify this time around, that means that they actually learned something from this last encounter. 
I think it's less of focusing on blasting and more of not using their spells at all.

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Re: Diary of a real life Gestalt Game
« Reply #39: December 08, 2011, 04:17:56 PM »
It's been a couple of sessions, but life has been busy lately, so my boards time has been lacking of late.

The first session with the new characters was mostly role-play, and the player for the Barb//Rog couldn’t make it.  The Druid//Ranger escaped the wight-spawn infested town and tiredly travels up the side of the fjord road through the “night” (remember, it is still mid-summer; there’s not really night, per se).  A few hours up the switchback road and he turns back to look, and sees a few buildings on fire in the village far below.  He continues for the next day and a half back to the last village prior to this, where they make charcoal.

The last morning of his travel he notices some type of creature in the forest, but it doesn’t seem to notice him, and he leaves it alone.  It is roughly the size of a man.

He arrives and is surprised to meet his half-brother (the human Barb/Rog), who had followed after him from the Althing when the Hathran sent him out.  There were a few other people traveling through on their way home from the Althing, including the Rog//Spellthief, who lived in Levanger (the costal town over-run with Wights).  The Druid//Ranger tells his brother about the fate of his former party, and gets some ribbing for “running away.”  The Rog//SpThf overhears this, and asks for details, and the Barb//Rog decides they should ensure that she get home safely, and learn the fate of the town.  There is a traveling priestess of Freyr blessing someone’s small garden of vegetables, and they entreat her to join them, given the undead nature of what they expect to face.  And thus the new fellowship has been forged…

They travel back to Levanger and can see from far off that a few of the buildings are black, charred hulks, but most of the buildings seem to be standing.  Along the way the Druid//Ranger points out the road that supposedly leads to a demon.  They arrive in town and the berserkers on guard are surprised but happy to see the Druid//Ranger is still alive.  They go to the Rog//SpThf’s home, and learn that her family is alright, and her dad is out fishing.  They meet up with the Hathran, who is happy to see that one more unaccounted-for person has not been turned into a spawn of Hel.  The Druid//Ranger also tells her that the “unconscious” cleric//rogue escaped during the undead battle.  It seems there is only one missing villager at this point, so the lingering possibility exists that there is a wight still roaming around the area.

They are directed to the bodies of his former party, near the edge of the village.  Two of them are re-dead, and other than being stripped of anything valuable, are pretty mostly intact aside from some deep burns.  The third one is heavily charred, and its head has been separated from its body.  It seems the unidentified necklace of fireballs the former Clr//Rog was wearing lit up when it was hit by a flamestrike, inadvertently assisting the Hathran and her Druid//Beguiler cohort in eliminating the 18 wights that had spawned by the time someone alerted them to the problem.

I’ll hopefully get the next session posted in a bit.