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Sunless Citadel 6


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#1 Hal

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 10:43 AM

OK - so the final installment of the Sunless Citadel is here :D

Sunless Citadel Session 6

Sunless Citadel Session 6 Direct Download

I hope you have all enjoyed this one :D I recall it was great fun to play :P

Something new heading your way shortly ;)

Hal :hal:
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#2 Thing

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 10:58 AM

A truly great episode.
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#3 Keener

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 12:59 PM

I agree heartly
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#4 centauri

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 02:42 PM

Whoops! There's been so much new audio that I've gotten my endings mixed up. The Sunless Citadel had a happy ending - for the PCs anyway. Yes, good all around and thanks to the group for reviewing this module. I'd long wondered if I should pick it up and it didn't really entice me. Fun to listen to, but the adventure itself isn't particularly grabbing. At a guess I'd say the writers focused too much on the plot, most of which seems like it would remain hidden from the party.
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#5 Hal

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 03:02 PM

The adventure is pretty good considering the stuff that was around for beginning DMs and players at the time. The whole arc is OK as I recall! Steve has them all and I think he may even have played through them all so he would be better to judge that one :D

We picked it as it was pretty simple and we had a copy :D

I must say it was easy to run so I guess it would be a good place to start for new DMs.

Hal :hal:
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#6 Balgin

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 03:34 PM

Whirlwind attack:

There's been a lot of arguments and discussions regarding the merrits of whirlwind attack and great cleave.

Great cleave is good if you can hit hard enough to slay a foe every time.

Whirlwind attack allows you to whittle down a group of combatants.

A lot of people say "I'd rather take a full attack action and pound one of them into the ground so that there's less of them attacking me".

However, if you are surrounded by foes and your party members are slashing at them too, then whirlwind attack lets you help all your companions at once (and maybe that one strike's worth of damage means that your friends will kill stuff they wouldn't be able to finish on their own, thereby reducing the attacks on you by a lot more than one enemy's worth of attacks).

So it's a situational thing: sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not.

I once had a dwarven defender with whirlwind attack (which he could use without breaking his defensive stance too and he could expertise it for an obscene +9 ac bonus :)). I know he had cleave as well but I don't think he ever bothered with great cleave.
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#7 riddles

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 03:46 PM

Great cleave is really only useful against mooks.

I've had it once with a high level game where we all played drow, and I had an 11th lvl fighter with a 2 handed sword. With Power attack I was averaging about 35 damage, which was enough to cleave alot of the small fry we were fighting. The main limit with that was only being able to take 1 5ft step during the attacks, as I kept running out of foes! :)

OTOH, the main bad guy we fought (a beholder if I remember correctly) wiped the floor with me, so it all evened out...
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#8 Phneri

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 08:16 PM

Great cleave seems to be more beneficial for DnD PC games than actual campaigns.

For instance, in NWN2 My Ranger/Barbarian/Frenzied Berserker dual-wielding longswords (because he can) used his ridiculous number of attacks/round and great cleave to butcher about 8-10 mephits in a round. In PnP I've never seen a massive need for it.

Oh, and If Lindsay still needs help with the gmail/hotmail outlook setup, I've done that on 3 different machines now, so I can walk you through/point you at the necessary sites. Guessing its no longer an issue since it was recorded a bit ago, but thought I'd mention it :)
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#9 Balgin

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 09:26 PM

I seem to remember roughly working out that Whirlwind attack's better if you're facing more than 2 opponents (or maybe more than 3) because, at the sort of levels when you'd get it (6th for humans, later for nonhumans) you can expect to hit with one attack and maybe hit with the second (but if you've got a third that's almost garaunteed to miss).

So if whirlwind atatck's going to give you more attacks than a full atatck with greatcleave then it's better to use. The various factors which decide which is better would involve how many foes you're directly facing toe to toe and how easily they'd drop to a single attack.
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#10 WerewolfPaladin

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 11:32 AM

Just finished listening. Well done, guys. :) I really enjoyed listening. So much so that I'm listening through again.

<_<
>_>
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#11 Hal

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 11:43 AM

Glad you liked it.

I enjoyed running this one a lot. No idea why... it was just something nice and simple that was not too taxing!

Its all good!

Hal :hal:
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#12 wolfsnap

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 01:20 PM

The really problem with Whirlwind attack is the same problem that most Dual-Wielders face: It's very very hard to build a character who can hit multiple foes/times for good damage. On the face of it, that's a good tradeoff in terms of game balance - you have to pick either a character who's good at knocking lots of hit points off with fewer blows (greatsword, power-attacking, possibly cleaving) vs. one who's good at chipping away with the death-of-a-thousand-cuts. However...

It takes several levels for either type of character to come into his own - 5th-6th level or higher is when you start seeing really good competence among fighters. The bashers start doing big damage, and the multi-attackers start racking up impressive numbers of hits. This is all well and good until you realise that at those levels you start meeting foes with damage reduction and lots of hit points on a regular basis. As you go up in level, most DMs tend to throw more massive single creatures at you instead of larger numbers of weaker ones. Also at that level, the job of taking out larger numbers of weaker foes tends to fall on the mage and his 6+ dice of fireballs and other blasty AOE spells. So it turns out that often multi-attackers become competent just at the point when their skills are in less demand.

Now, a really good DM will understand this and find some way to tailor some of his challenges to the skills of the party, but that requires a certain amount of inventiveness and creativity on the part of both the DM and the player.
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#13 Thing

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 01:37 PM

Now, a really good DM will understand this and find some way to tailor some of his challenges to the skills of the party, but that requires a certain amount of inventiveness and creativity on the part of both the DM and the player.


I think that is really part of the whole thing and it works both ways. Players also have to be a bit congnisent of the type of campaign they are in and build their characters somewhat accordingly. If you are in a campaign focused on battling hordes of invading Orcs, then multi-attack character builds will be great, but if the campaign is set up around Taking out an ancient Red Dragon, or a Titan or two you probably shouldn't whine too much that your character isn't given cleave opportunities too often.

I've been in several campaigns where half the party keeps building their characters with crafting and trade skills knowing we are going to be spending the majority of our time running through wilderness and in dungeons where they will never get a chance to use those skills.
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#14 woojitsu

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 02:28 PM

I've seen the same thing. It seems that some people feel that they cannot roleplay effectively unless they're putting ranks into a Craft, Perform, or Profession skill. I've never understood this myself, as the fact that a character is an adventurer seems to me to be more than enough reason for that character to have never learned another trade. And I contend that roleplaying should have a lot more to do with what party members do when together than what they do in their time off.
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#15 centauri

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 07:06 PM

Obligatory caveat: Everything I'm about to say is theoretical. I've read the rules over and over, but really haven't played or DMed that much.

First of all, while Whirlwind Attack is probably at its most effective when dealing with a lot of mooks dumb enough to surround you and weak enough not to be able to hit you before you take them out, I believe it's also useful against as few as two enemies. Say two enemies get it into their heads to doubleteam Bob the 6th-level Fighter. Bob, because he's a fighter, has options. He could lay into one enemy with his two attacks, separate his two attacks between them, or... he could use Whirlwind Attack. There are more options, but let's stick with these.

Using his normal full attack might work, but that -5 to the second attack stings, especially if his first attack is only just making it. If he can only rely on his first attack landing, there's not much point in him making a full attack. But, assuming he can rely on his primary attack, Whirlwind Attack becomes a viable option for Bob. Situations vary, and I haven't really run the numbers, but I think it's possible that hitting each enemy with an attack each round and thereby killing both at about the same time compares favorably with bashing on one before turning to his buddy. And with Combat Expertise and Dodge he can offset their flanking bonuses - or with Mobility and Spring Attack, he can just bug out and let the wizard nuke the site from orbit. As I said, a fighter has options.

As you go up in level, most DMs tend to throw more massive single creatures at you instead of larger numbers of weaker ones. Also at that level, the job of taking out larger numbers of weaker foes tends to fall on the mage and his 6+ dice of fireballs and other blasty AOE spells. So it turns out that often multi-attackers become competent just at the point when their skills are in less demand.

This is the beauty of Whirlwind Attack. Let's look at its prerequisites:
Dodge: I like this feat, though most dislike it, often changing it to apply to all enemies rather than just one at a time. But, taken as written its effectiveness (not to mention ease of use) increases when you're only facing one enemy, as it becomes indistinguishable from a flat boost to AC.
Mobility: Another good feat. This one's useful no matter how many enemies you're fighting, because it lets you move through threatened areas with a modicum of impunity.
Spring Attack: A good feat, but best against one enemy, as you can get in and out of its threatened area easily and not worry about attacks of opportunity from its buddies. If you have enough speed, even a larger enemy will have to give up its full attack to reach you. The "medium or lighter armor only" requirement is a bit unfortunate, but this feat should reduce the total number of attacks against you, so maybe it balances out.
Combat Expertise: It's not great against a single enemy, unless you can only hit it with a 20 anyway. But when two or more enemies are attacking you, you get a lot more use out of your increased AC.
Whirlwind Attack: Really only good against multiple enemies. But see below....
Dexterity 13: Good all around.
Intelligence 13: Tough for fighters, generally, but opens up another skill (and maybe another language) making the class slightly more useful outside of combat.

So, we have Dodge and Spring Attack which are good against lone opponents. We have Combat Expertise and Whirlwind Attack which are good against multiple opponents. We have a Dexterity bonus, Mobility, and mad skillz, which are always nice. All else being equal, the Whirlwind Attack "tree" sets a fighter up to be good against one foe or many foes. Big downside: feeblemind, touch of idiocy, and the like can seriously affect a fighter reliant on Combat Expertise. Be sure to diversify.

Also, remember that attacks aren't always just about damage. Combat Expertise opens the door to Improved Trip and Improved Disarm. A fighter in amongst a bunch of enemies can make trip attacks against them, or attempt to deprive them all of their weapons (or other useful items they might be holding, such as wands.) Then it matters less that he's not able to sweep through them with damage, as he's taken a bite out of their effectiveness for the next round or so. Note that the follow-on attack from Improved Trip can't be used during a Whirlwind Attack. Still good though.

As I said, this is all theoretical for me so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Feel free to call BS.
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