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The Ann Arbor Area RPG & D&D Group Message Board › Teen Game Campaign Notes

Teen Game Campaign Notes

Jim C.
user 3508444
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 139
We are meeting at the Shaw's this Saturday. Also, Raphael or Peter, can I get transportation to and from please? Split it up (ride there and back) if it is more convenient.

Thanks,

Jim
Rafael
user 14096141
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 15
You're totally on my way there and back, so I have no problem doing both...
Rafael
user 14096141
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 16
So I looked into the Vampire stats and online discussions. There doesn't seem to be much furor over the CR, even though it wildly inaccurate. See, Vampire is a template that can be applied to anything. It just so happens that the example in the Bestiary was a level 8 Sorcerer before he was turned. Given that:
1) Undead HP are based on CHA
2) Dominate Person ability is based on CHA
3) Sorcerers have high CHA

This ends up being an example of the way a template can be unbalanced when applied to different base creatures.

A level 8 Barbarian with the same template is going to have fewer HP (they lose CON bonus to HP and gain CHA to HP instead), and their Dominate DC will be around 14.

If Andrezei is made into a Vampire, he will have around 106 HP and a Dominate DC of 24, and still only be a CR 9.

I'm not saying we should retcon the encounter, I kind of like this twist, but it's something to keep in mind when using templates in the future. We'll need to look to see what synergy there is, and make sure it isn't overwhelming.
Jim C.
user 3508444
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 142
I have a few ideas up my sleeve. I may go to some splat books. I will not be giving anyone the vampire template but there are stages that can happen over time. I'll be using The Blood of the Night book for ideas.
Jim C.
user 3508444
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 143
OK, I am going to cancel the game on the 10th. It is GenCon and several people will not be able to attend. Plus I need a little extra time to write a side adventure. I could just kill you all in your sleep but that would not be fun. If you want to play a new character this would be a good time to save the party as we can just say your old character was fodder for the vamp.
You are all living in a hole in the ground under a hill. It is wet and miserable. There is room for all of you but the smell of rotting bodies laying around is horrible. So, you get some in-game penalties to rolls unless you make a fortitude save daily.
I am going to let you each make a will save each day to resist the Domination. If you play this right you can fake it and let him think all is well while you make plans for escape. The exit to the lair is an open tunnel but is guarded by wolves and human guards at all times.
I will draw up the layout of the lair for when we play next.
He has vampire spawn that keep you alive with bread and water. They want to eat you but he will not let them. You have no idea why you are still alive but you notice that he is constantly pouring over ancient tomes looking for something. Occasionally, you will see a human bring him more books and supplies (food and water). They notice you but figure that they cannot help you.
All of your gear, (magic and mundane) is locked up in a different room. You are in rags provided if you need them. You are not in cells and all share the same open living quarters.

Peter J.
user 12275327
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 17
So, a little research on Vampires, and the Dominate ability.

It does not say in the Pathfinder SRD if it is a supernatural ability or a spell-like ability. In the D20 SRD (3.5) it is listed as a supernatural ability, which makes more sense since spell-like abilities are generally times-per-day limited, and this one is not. That means that, since it is as the Dominate spell, it might have a verbal component. However, that is not specified, so DMs call.

As a supernatural ability, it also is NOT subject to dispel magic. In fact the ONLY way to get over this is an anti-magic field, or "protection from evil".

On the subject of PFE (Protection From Evil), every forum post I could find about this agreed with my original interpretation: PFE suppresses the effect of Dominate until the PFE expires, at which time the Dominate effect continues. This is what the note at the end of the Dominate spell is saying:

"Protection from evil or a similar spell can prevent you from exercising control or using the telepathic link while the subject is so warded, but such an effect does not automatically dispel it."

It does not mean you stand there with no ability to move. If it meant that, then there would be some rules as to what that means... are you helpless? Can you attack back if attacked (as per confusion)? Are you flat footed? The default state of a character when an enemy cannot "exercise control" is to be normal, not to be mindless. They are merely trying to say that the dominate spell is not "dispelled", i.e., it resumes effect when the PFE expires. Also note that Dominate Person is explicitly mentioned in the PFE description as being effected by PFE.

I also would like to point out that Wayzig has a history of summoning archons on a whim, to perform normal tasks. He has done this many times; at one point, he was summoning hawks so the barbarian could shoot at them for target practice... he also recently summoned an archon to lift a wheel into a cart because it looked heavy... etc. etc. etc..

The is something he normally does. The vampire (at least, according to normal Pathfinder rules) would not be able to either anticipate this behavior, nor stop it. Wayzig's summon ability is a Spell-like-ability, which means there is no verbal or somantic components for the vampire to notice or stop (which he would have needed a readied action to try to do, anyway). My point is, as soon as he is told to do something at all labor intensive or that would otherwise be more easily done by an Archon, Wayzig will summon one immediately. An archon has an always-on PFE 10-foot radius in effect, and everyone in it gets another save at +2, and is immune to further domination attempts.

BTW, that's what makes Vampires the CR level they are. If you are hunting a vampire, you make sure to have a PFE spell in effect, and the vampire isn't a terribly difficult enemy. If, on the other hand, the vampire is hunting you, then the vampire will dominate half your party (or more) before you know what happened, and you'll have a very tough fight. If the vampire is hunting you while you're camped in the middle of a marsh and have no idea vampires might be about, then you're just screwed. This is a monster that's difficulty depends entirely on prior information (i.e., who is hunting who). Alas, at higher levels, we're likely to see more situations like this, and we'll need to try and be as careful as possible...

Cheers,

-Peter

Jim C.
user 3508444
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 144
Very good points. If you summoned an Archon everyone would get another chance at a save. I'm gonna give you a freebie every day anyways.
The wolves would get Wayzig for dinner and after the Archon was dead everyone who made their save would probably be dominated again except maybe the Druid and Ranger. It is too easy to kill something in its sleep and that is probably what would happen to the dominated characters.
All because Wayzig didn't think about how much that summon would piss off the Vampire.
I'm telling you this because any perceived hostile action that happens in it's lair would probably end up in a TPK. And I would not hold back because there needs to be realism in the game. I can't let people think they are invincible. I had an opportunity to kill two players last session. A Ghouls hunger for flesh is unbearable to them. Once Andraze was down it could have started feeding but I chose to have them go after a different threat. The Marsh giant could have whacked Wayzig once more for good measure especially so no more pits would appear but I chose to have him go blindly into the fog looking for other threats.
So, be careful about how you get out of this lair. No one is dead yet.
Peter J.
user 12275327
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 18
As you pointed out, we're caught. The vampire has us at every level, and nothing will change that except him (her?) making SOME sort of mistake. I was suggesting a realistic mistake I think he would likely make (given that he doesn't know how Wayzig mind and abilities work).


All because Wayzig didn't think about how much that summon would piss off the Vampire.
Domination requires the subject to perform the command to the full extent of his ability. It's not Wayzig's choice... he HAS to summon the archon if that gets the job done fastest/best. Remember when Wayzig summoned a riding dog to run away faster when under a fear effect, even though I didn't want him to run away at all? This works both ways, but when under a mind effecting spell, I don't get to choose. This is the vampire's mistake to make, not Wayzig being clever.

If the vampire is smart, he'll ask us all if we create a PFE effect, or have any holy symbols, holy water, or can create artificial daylight, or have garlic. That would eliminate the possibility of him accidentally commanding Wayzig to summon an archon.

At this point, what situation this comes up in is all up to the DM.

It seems you are saying the vampire has made a different mistake: he did not realize that our (mostly chaotic) party will resist his domination more than normal (and thus get a daily save).

Either way, the vampire has to make SOME mistake, or free us voluntarily, otherwise we'll never survive. That's a far cry from thinking anyone is invincible :-P' We're just waiting around to find out if we notice a mistake, and can take advantage of it...

PS: My Oracle is ready to go ;-)

PPS: Just so you know I haven't given up thinking of ways out of this: The vampire should not have been able to enter our tent without an invitation. "Vampires cannot enter a private home or dwelling unless invited in by someone with the authority to do so." :-)

PPPS, if we do get out of this alive, we're buying Andraze a wand of PFE. Wayzig shouldn't be the only one who can cast that...

Cheers,

-Peter
Jim C.
user 3508444
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 145
Ha. You are good Peter. The GM made the mistake. I've never ran a game over 4th lvl until this campaign.
The Vampire would have told Elandras to invite him in :)
And luckily the vampire will probably not be asking Wayzig to do much but dance for his pleasure.
The vampire is not that smart. He is not sure what to do with you at this point. He just saw an opportunity to get some slaves and took it.



Jim C.
user 3508444
Ann Arbor, MI
Post #: 146
August 24th will be the next meetup. I start school in the fall and will be taking the semester off from running games. I need to focus primarily on school and I know how I am. Anything to distract me from my studies will get in the way. And this hobby requires a lot of time reading and planning.
I will need each weekend to write papers etc..
I was wondering if someone would take up the mantle and continue the teen game as GM in my absence. You could continue the current campaign or start something new.
My hope is to begin GM'ing again in the winter semester. By then I should have my study habits back to what they need to be. I will be in school now indefinitely until I get my degree. Taking one class a semester will take a long time so I am easing into this slowly. I am a junior at EMU but this is getting TMI.
So, I hope the game can continue while I am in school.

Jim

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