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Grand Conjunction Problems 
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Quinntonia wrote:
So speaking of "Dead," my PCs are slightly higher level than they should be for this encounter, and so I am going to make the zombies no stronger, but infectious. Easy to kill, but you have to make some kind of save when you are hit. Thoughts?


Without a better foundation for the upper editions, this sounds like the Cannibal Zombies from 2ed edition. They are a nasty surprise I have been keeping on the back burner as the AD&D zombie (basic) is a joke for any party over 4th level for the most part. Now the cannibal zombies are great and I plan on using them as they are used in more modern incarnations (you know, effectively). I just want to see the moral and logistical nightmare the players have to face when they are in a town ravaged by zombies that have bitten far more people than they can either cure or want to kill off before they are a danger to everyone else. If this exists as well, Zombie Fog is another little surprise to toss their way too.

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Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:51 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
This is exactly what I want to see play out.

I love the idea that zombies are basically easy to kill for badass adventurer types over a certain level, but if every time they land an attack you have a chance of becoming infected and turning into a zombie yourself, what is that going to do to tactics, morality, character development?

I am playing 3.5 for this, and I don't want to make it impossible, but I was thinking that since the average zombie has a 1d6+1 slam attack, that making the DC for being infected a fortitude save DC10+damage, and rolled every time you are hit. I would even allow Cure Disease to deal with it if cast early on in the infection. But if not, within 1d20 hrs they will die and raise as a zombie.

I do like the idea of the morbid drama played out:

"You are hit *rolls* 3 damage. Now roll a DC 13 Fort save, shouldn't be too hard for a fighter like yourself, but don't mess up!"

*everyone watches as the roll happens*

"Whew! Made it. Now the next one attacks...."

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Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:11 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Quinntonia wrote:
This is exactly what I want to see play out.

I love the idea that zombies are basically easy to kill for badass adventurer types over a certain level, but if every time they land an attack you have a chance of becoming infected and turning into a zombie yourself, what is that going to do to tactics, morality, character development?

I am playing 3.5 for this, and I don't want to make it impossible, but I was thinking that since the average zombie has a 1d6+1 slam attack, that making the DC for being infected a fortitude save DC10+damage, and rolled every time you are hit. I would even allow Cure Disease to deal with it if cast early on in the infection. But if not, within 1d20 hrs they will die and raise as a zombie.

I do like the idea of the morbid drama played out:

"You are hit *rolls* 3 damage. Now roll a DC 13 Fort save, shouldn't be too hard for a fighter like yourself, but don't mess up!"

*everyone watches as the roll happens*

"Whew! Made it. Now the next one attacks...."


First, I apologize in advance for my lack of understanding, but in the upper editions Cure Disease doesn't work on the cannibal zombie bite? Also (again, not sure), but wouldn't it be way more effective if you rolled the DC for infection? That way they would be freaking out and almost panicking wondering if they got it in the first place (and you can stop rolling after they do get bit). My group are such veterans that they pretty much know what is what for almost every monster, but I don't let them see the Ravenloft monsters to keep them guessing and unsure what they are fighting. I sent an emordenung after them and they almost lost their minds wondering what they just fought (and barely survived).

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Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:28 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
The undead strength can vary, I've used VR guide to the walking dead which can make some pretty unique encounters. I started with basic zombies and also used a Ju Ju zombie which can be challenge, my palidan was really hurt after dealing with one of them. Cannibal zombies can be challenge higher Hp and anything they slay rises as zombie immediately. The Ship of horror was to magic for me but I do like the change of just recovering the bodies. I plan on using the When Dark roses bloom and the awakening of Soth which the group will encounter later when the GC unfolds. Are you planning to run Feast of Goblyns as is or are you going to change it?


Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:17 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
I am going to run all of the modules as close to as written as I can, but ordering them by required level rather than by published order.

When I do make changes, it will try and be smaller type things.

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Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:37 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
So I am still running my players through "Walking Dead" and I have decided that every point of damage that the zombies give them will cause a Fortitude Save (they are 3.5, level 7) with a DC base of 10+ whatever the hit point amount, to be rolled on the spot. If anyone fails, then they will roll 2d20 and that is how many hours before they die and come back in 1d6 * 10 mins as a zombie. However, they can stave this off in any number of ways, including cure disease, etc.

Other than that, I am going to run the campaign as essentially the same, with possibly a couple of extra zombies or ghouls for some of the encounters. Of course, the masked madman I am going to have to beef up to give them a challenge, but that's pretty easy to do, just up his level and throw him a couple of magic items.

That is my "fix" for having players far too high level for the campaign as written. I want them to really be worried about each zombie attack.

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Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:14 am
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Quinntonia wrote:
Other than that, I am going to run the campaign as essentially the same, with possibly a couple of extra zombies or ghouls for some of the encounters. Of course, the masked madman I am going to have to beef up to give them a challenge, but that's pretty easy to do, just up his level and throw him a couple of magic items.

That is my "fix" for having players far too high level for the campaign as written. I want them to really be worried about each zombie attack.


When my players faced the Masked Madman, I added some "minions" so he won't be wiped in a single round. The minions were a couple of Ghouls made from Colin the son of Jordi the Blacksmith and Teresa the daughter of Fiora Balin. both kids were missing like a couple of weeks before the Pc's arrived in Marais d' Tarascon. So the Masked Madman had them and feed them as the others left in the Plantation Mansion.

Now, I don't remember if in the official module these kids were an optional encounter in the cemetery during one of the nights or if I read about it somewhere else.

Infected zombies always scare the hell of every player. I made the infection even worse... saves allowed to prevent the infection, but if they fail the save and die later, in 1d4 rounds the slain character will raise as a zombie. (also I let the player use the zombified character :P) a 7hd zombie is quite a menace :azalin:


Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:52 am
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Hmmm, maybe adding some ghouls would be a good idea. Juicing him up and adding a few ghouls could give that very "This is the boss fight , we promise!" kind of feel.

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Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:42 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
The ending for the serial killer was to easy I added ghouls also. They are mentioned as planation help and in the cemetery by ladies rumor. I had my 1st encounter actually with the my group investigating the cemetery and running into both. Explaining the differences of them was fun being the land sourougne is Chiv cult 8 they were wearing colored shades to hide their eyes. The ghouls were actually connected to Port De la Hour after the end of module which was fun and had some interesting results.


Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:22 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Yes, that's a good point, I am going to play the zombies straight up George Romero style, but the ghouls will be well dressed and smarter.

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Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:55 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
So I have it started, and they have now made it into the town and seen the funeral. They started to meet some of the townspeople. I should mention that one character who is a failed dark powers check away from being an unplayable NPC killed Luc, and they haven't seen Luc's ghost yet.

Well, one of them, the same character as above, got into an encounter with the two ghouls that you meet in the graveyard at night. He made it out all right, but all hell is about to break loose.

I'm wondering, how have you handled getting them to do the investigation needed to talk to the people? I'm running out of ways to incentivise it.

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Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:39 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
I had a bar server have feelings for the bard in my group and had that same character as the body the constable discovers the next day. I had the killer focus on the killer because Luc was with them. My rogue almost killed Luc when they found him in the center of room talking nonsense. The problem I had was they spoke a different language and were walking around armed with antique weapons and armor. I had people run away from them until they finally took off their armor and tried to fit in with the populace. the non humans actually were better like here than Tepest. The people thought nothing of them and they actually made good rolls for populace reactions to them.


Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:30 pm
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
So they have settled into the town and started investigating things. They called for the Constable when they killed the ghouls and discovered that the two ghouls some of the missing townspeople. In the morning they decided to stick together and explore the town, but they had decided that they were going to go to the Plantation Main House right away, as good medieval people with a noble among them, they wanted to go and introduce themselves to the local lord as is right and proper.

I kind of didn't want them to as I would have preferred that they not figure out that Jean is behind the murders right away, and had them come onto Constable Gremin investigate the next crime scene where he asked them formally for help but expressed a lot of concern over the heavily armed and armoured outlanders of uncertain, foreign, manners barging into his boss' home during a time after his brother died and he hasn't been seen at all in town, probably in mourning. With the reputation that the upper classes has in the Gazetteer for cruelty and brutality to their servants he was incentivised to not want that to happen unless necessary.

Of course, they went and started snooping around town, including finding the bakery where they bought several pounds of licorice and some bread for the cleric, who was not handling spicy Cajun food very well and was famished, and introduced them to the ongoing trope of the red licorice at every crime scene.

They then went through the scene where they were in the Common Room and Marcel walks by and two of the PCs get killed, and they discover Duncan upstairs in the his room having turned into a zombie, which was easily dealt with.

They spent some time looking around the town at night, the thief broke into the Tarascon Townhouse and looked around, and nearly got busted by the Constable, and then wandered through the cemetery and peered into the Old Cemetery with nothing major happening. They then snuck up on the church and saw Shaman Brucien, who I have been playing as a local priest in the Catholic sense to add to the New Orleans feel, who also happens to be a voodoo dude. So they look in the window and see him in a trance, getting ready to sacrifice a chicken. Well, one of the people in the group is a knight from Darkon who belongs to a an order of Ezra knights dedicated to keeping the darkness threatening to envelope the world at bay for as long as possible in the name of Ezra. Not a paladin, but definitely a type of Church-Knight. Well, he sees the priest doing this, having had conversations with with the Father about Ezra, knowing that he identified as a priest of Ezra, then loses it.

He barges into the guy's house, grapples him, claps a hand over his mouth and starts questioning him, accusing him of "devilry and witchcraft" and thinks he has found the source of the evil. Of course, the priest starts to struggle and scream for help, the Constable (who on the map in the module lives across the street) shows up and confronts him, a crowd of townspeople gather and arm themselves outside, and the rest of the players head back to the Full Moon Inn to pack, thinking they are about to be run out of town by an angry mob (that has happened before to this group) except for the cleric, Father Max, who stayed to try and calm the crowd. Well, after embarrassing the much lower level Constable and disarming him, the knight chases him out of the church and addresses the crowd accusing the local priest of witchcraft, only to be yelled down by the crowd that they know about this, and that he is doing the sacrifice every night to protect the town and trying to appease the spirits. Well, he gets arrested and now has to be bailed out and can't be armed in town.

It's at this point that they get into the encounter with the masked madman, which they did and managed to save the life of his latest victim and chased him through the town until he got away.

So, them being so much higher level than what the level of the module has been a problem, but very soon they will be facing hordes of infection zombies.

So, any thoughts about the next step, how have you handled this in your games?

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Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:27 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Hamiclar wrote:
I had a bar server have feelings for the bard in my group and had that same character as the body the constable discovers the next day. I had the killer focus on the killer because Luc was with them. My rogue almost killed Luc when they found him in the center of room talking nonsense. The problem I had was they spoke a different language and were walking around armed with antique weapons and armor. I had people run away from them until they finally took off their armor and tried to fit in with the populace. the non humans actually were better like here than Tepest. The people thought nothing of them and they actually made good rolls for populace reactions to them.


I've decided not to worry about languages, I just felt that it would take away from game time with figuring out how to talk to people. I don't know if I made the right decision or not.

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Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:28 am
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Post Re: Grand Conjunction Problems
Quinntonia wrote:
Well, after embarrassing the much lower level Constable and disarming him, the knight chases him out of the church and addresses the crowd accusing the local priest of witchcraft, only to be yelled down by the crowd that they know about this, and that he is doing the sacrifice every night to protect the town and trying to appease the spirits. Well, he gets arrested and now has to be bailed out and can't be armed in town.
I love this. hilarious!
Quote:
So, them being so much higher level than what the level of the module has been a problem, but very soon they will be facing hordes of infection zombies.

So, any thoughts about the next step, how have you handled this in your games?
Well, I think you're on the right track. They can easily take out anyone in town, including the authority figures, but they should know by now that that's not the right answer. And once the zombies show up, everything changes. They'll have a clear threat that they can fight, and as you said, you'll be making the zombies infectious, so as to increase the threat. I would probably beef them up a bit too, since the infection isn't likely to take hold until after the battle. You want the battle to be somewhat challenging as well. If they somehoe know that the zombies are infectious, that alone could be what you need, since they'd have to adjust their tactics to avoid being infected at all costs. Fighting defensively and at range should make things harder for the tanks of the group.

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Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:46 am
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