Thursday, 26 February 2015

Into The Manor #4

"Kord's mercy!" cried Samuel "What is that pounding?"
"It's the other table," moaned Huthgar. "The guy's tapping his foot."
"I've never been so hung over in all my life," groaned Lily. "I didn't know I could drink so much."
A man entered the tavern, a dandy, judging by his dress. He walked into the middle of the room, right next to their table.
"Hear ye! Hear ye!" The man bellowed.
"By the gods!" Samuel cried out in agony, grabbing his head and trying to bury his face in the table. "Make it stop!"
"The Hamlet of Low Ridge is calling for the assistance of a group of brave individuals to rid the region of a pack of horrible creatures!" The crier continued, in a loud, clear voice. "Any interested parties are to travel to Low Ridge and meet with Walter, Bailiff of Low Ridge! Reward will be negotiated upon acceptance!"

"Kill it!" pleaded Lily. "Somebody please kill it!"
The fancy-dressed man looked at the group with a raised eyebrow.
"What is it?" asked Samuel.
"A crier," murmured Huthgar. "A town crier."
"I swear, if it 'cries' again, I'm gonna kill it," whispers Lily.
"It's not my fault you're hung over, you know," said the dandy.
"Maybe not," moaned Samuel. "But it's your fault my head's pounding now."
"I'm merely doing my job," the dandy replied. "There's trouble in Low Ridge and they seek adventurers. I was told that you were adventurers. I've read the flyer and cried the news, I shall go now."

"Wait a minute," said Huthgar. "Just wait a minute." The dwarf looked at his companions. "I lost three teeth in that last fight."
"So?" Lily looked at the dwarf through blood-shot eyes.
"So, I've still got more teeth than I've got coins," Huthgar replied, hooking his thumb in the direction of the crier. "This guy's offering us work."
"He's advertising work," Samuel corrects. "Not offering."
Lily swung her head to look at Samuel and immediately regretted it. "Ugh!" She put her hand to her forehead. "So what's the difference?"
Samuel shrugged. "Nothin', I guess." He turned his head to look at the crier and groaned. "So, what's this job again?"
Thus begins the Adventure: Incident at Butcher Creek.
The Manor, issue #4, is larger than Tim's first three endeavors, because it's a longer adventure. Tim uses creatures unique to himself, I'm thinking, as I am unfamiliar with several of those he outlines in this issue. Although some of his monsters are familiar to me, if a bit different.

The problem at Low Ridge is the Shadow Panthers plaguing the town. For a description of this animal, think Displacer Beast. (For some reason I couldn't copy & paste this from the pdf) The artist rendition found in the 2nd Edition Monster Manual is more in line with Tim's Shadow Panther than is the artwork depiction in the 3.5 Monster Manual. Only, remember that the Shadow Panthers have four tentacles, not two.
While the Shadow Panthers are the immediate problem, they are not the only problem and certainly not the "biggest" problem, especially over the long term. No, that honor belongs to the Or'Drog, a creature of Chaos, from the Abyss. It's trying to build a gate into our world; something that cannot be allowed, obviously.

"The shadow panthers are a problem," admits Horta, the village Elder. "But they're not the only problem, nor the biggest."

"There's a bigger problem?" ask Samuel, eyes wide.
"Oh yes," Horta replies. "A much bigger problem and a more dangerous one."
"Well this just keeps getting better and better," says Lily, her tone dripping with sarcasm.
The Or'Drog is slowly corrupting the people of the village of Low Ridge. Its shape is that of a floating head, similar in concept to a Beholder, or a Grell, but with powers all its own. Confusion, Charm, Sleep and Polymorph are its main weapons, though there are a few others.
All in all, a very nice little adventure, something I've come to expect from Tim. And Tim throws in a few other unique monsters near the end. Another fine work from our friend Tim, over at Gothridge Manor.
Keep the fine products coming Tim!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Strength versus Dexterity

I use House Rules to correct mistakes. The mistakes are not perceived, they are real. Take for instance: Frostburn.
I was looking through this publication just the other day and came across yet another example of the Writers not understanding their Stats and the Editors not catching, or correcting, the mistake. In Frostburn, they confuse Strength with Dexterity.
What is Strength? Strength is damage, plain and simple. What is Dexterity? Dexterity is "to hit," plain and simple.

When Heracles tries to grab the wily little thief, he misses. That's poor Dexterity. But, what happens when Heracles finally succeeds in grabbing him? The wily little thief is finished. That's Strength. Heracles has a hard time catching the quick little rogue, but, once he does, Heracles deals incredible damage.

The mailed Knight foolishly laughs at d'Artagnan. Why? The Knight knows that d'Artagnan cannot ever pierce all that plate armor. That's poor Strength. But, as I said, the Knight does so foolishly. Why? Because of d'Artagnan's great Dexterity. We all know that d'Artagnan is most definitely going to find – and hit – that one spot where the Knight's armor doesn't fill the tiny gap. Poor Strength, yes, but fantastic Dexterity.

Strength is damage, plain and simple. Dexterity is "to hit," plain and simple.

In Frostburn, I find that they assign the Dire Polar Bear (page 115) a +25 "to hit" with its Claw Attack and a +20 "to hit" with its Bite Attack. The Dire Polar Bear has Strength of 39 and Dexterity of 11.

In Frostburn, I find that they assign the Saber-toothed Tiger (page 118) a +10 "to hit" with its Claw Attack and a +12 "to hit" with its Bite Attack. The Saber-toothed Tiger has Strength of 24 and Dexterity of 14.

So, the animal with the worse Dexterity has a much better chance of hitting its target than the animal with the best Dexterity. This makes sense to you?

The Dire Polar Bear's bite does 3d8+7 points of damage, while the Saber-toothed Tiger's bite does 2d6+7 points of damage.

So, the animal with the worse Dexterity has a much better chance of "hitting" its target than does the animal with the better Dexterity, while at the same time, the animal with the much greater Strength does only a little more damage than the animal with the considerably lesser Strength.

Absolutely nonsensical.

No, I cannot foresee a  time when I will forgo House Rules.