Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Obligatory Update

Combing through my archives, it appears I never mentioned the two big changes to my games these days.

1) Crux of Eternity made the jump to D&D 5e.  We started in fourth edition about five years ago, and just made the upgrade.  (For those of you playing along at home, we made the switch at Session 48: Revenge of the Giants, Part 10)  Everybody is happy with it, so far as I can tell.

2) Bread and Circuses is over.  It ended with the fellowship heading in four separate directions:
  • Dhavita, her wife Marguerite, and Thava head northwest to possibly book passage back to Dhavita's homeland, since she's apparently a princess there?  And her vampire dad might be willing to do something about these slavers.
  • Rat and Resh head south, possibly to crusade against (and gain control of) the goblin tribes there.
  • Croitus heads west to continue working for the spirits.
  • Southie was infected by some eldritch parasite and recaptured.
We'll likely revisit them sometime in the future, but that seemed like a good place to stop.  With Bread and Circuses over, the sequel to the Deadlands game is upon us.  Graduate school devours a lot of time, so I probably won't be providing regular updates the way I did for the first game.

The Actual Point of This Blog Post:

Updating the D&D game to 5e required a few conversions.  I'm currently running the Revenge of the Giants adventure (which works much better as a 4e adventure than a 5e adventure, but we're rolling with it).  I've included a couple of them below.

First, for the "D7: Three Corners Gambit" encounter, the PCs potentially face a doppelganger trained as a rogue.  As such, I took a regular doppelganger (Monster Manual, pg. 82, or in the DM Basic Rules) and added rogue (assassin) levels.  It's a glass cannon by itself — against five level-fifteen PCs, it didn't stand a chance (it's really hard to use stealth when you have five pairs of eyes on you), but it almost killed one of the PCs when it got her alone.  (I mean, look at its stats.  If it gets the drop on someone, it attacks with advantage and deals 2d8 + 22d6 + 4 damage — an average of 90 damage.)

Doppelganger, 16th level Rogue
Medium monstrosity (shapechanger), neutral
Armor Class 14
Hit Points 156 (24d8+48)
Speed 30 ft.
Str 16 (+3), Dex 18 (+4), Con 14 (+2), Int 11 (+0), Wis 13 (+1), Cha 18 (+4)
Saving Throws Dex +7, Int +3, Wis +4
Skills Deception +10, Insight +7, Investigation +3, Perception +4, Persuasion +10, Stealth +10
Tool Proficiencies thieves’ tools, disguise kit, poisoner’s kit
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses blindsense 10 ft. (must be able to hear), darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Giant, Thieves’ Cant
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)
Shapechanger.  The doppelganger can use its action to polymorph into a Small or Medium humanoid it has seen, or back into its true form.  Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form.  Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed.  It reverts to its true form if it dies.
Ambusher.  The doppelganger has advantage on attack rolls against any creature it has surprised.
Assassinate.  The doppelganger has advantage on attack rolls against any creature that has not yet acted in a combat.  Additionally, any hits the doppelganger scores against a surprised creature are critical hits.
Cunning Action.  The doppelganger can take a bonus action on each of its turns in combat; this action can only be used to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.
Evasion.  When subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity saving throw for half damage, the doppelganger takes no damage on a successful saving throw and half damage on a failed one.
Impostor.  With three hours of study, the doppelganger can unerringly mimic another’s speech, writing, and behavior.  It gains advantage on any Charisma (Deception) checks it makes to avoid detection against suspicious parties.
Infiltration Expertise.  The doppelganger can spend 25 gp to establish a convincing alternate identity.
Reliable Talent.  When the doppelganger makes an ability check that allows it to add its proficiency bonus, it can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.
Sneak Attack.  Once per turn, the doppelganger can deal an extra 28 (8d6) damage to one creature it hits with an attack if it has advantage on the attack roll.
Surprise Attack.  If the doppelganger surprises a creature and hits it with an attack during the first round of combat, the target takes an extra 10 (3d6) damage from the attack.
Uncanny Dodge.  When an attacker the doppelganger can see hits it with an attack, it can use its reaction to halve the attack’s damage against it.
Actions
Multiattack.  The doppelganger makes two melee attacks.
Slam.  Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
Rapier.  Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) piercing damage.
Read Thoughts.  The doppelganger magically reads the surface thoughts of one creature within 60 feet of it.  The effect can penetrate barriers, but 3 feet of wood or dirt, 2 feet of stone, 2 inches of metal, or a thin sheet of lead blocks it.  While the target is in range, the doppelganger can continue reading its thoughts, as long as the doppelganger’s concentration isn’t broken (as if concentrating on a spell).  While reading the target’s mind, the doppelganger has advantage on Wisdom (Insight) and Charisma (Deception, Intimidation, and Persuasion) checks against the target.


The other bit involves the frost giant soldiers from "F1: Attack on Flotsam."  The contingent of frost giants has a leader called a "frost giant windcaller."  It's supposed to be some manner of elemental shaman.  To make one, I took the standard frost giant (Monster Manual, pg. 155, or in the DM Basic Rules) and upgraded its Charisma from 12 to 18.  Instead of adding spellcasting, I just gave it a magic item to call winds:


Drum of the Four Winds
Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)
The drum of the four winds allows a user to summon and manipulate winds.  Made for giants, the drum weighs 750 pounds; a frost giant can easily carry it, but a typical character will have to be creative to move the thing.  The caster must spend an action playing the drum to cast the following spells:
At will: gust of wind
3/day: wind wall
1/day: conjure elemental

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