D & D: Erathis Save Us

The setting: our town fell through a portal into a dark and inhospitable world. Luckily, Erathis shines upon us and keeps the darkness at bay… for now.

Except that the portal’s not closed. Little pockets of other worlds and planes are landing outside the town, chock full of baddies. Who’s going to squash these bugs?

Four adventurous types with big weapons and the gods’ backing step up to the plate.

So they’re a little breakable right now. They’ll grow into it, we’re sure. Or we’ll replace them.

Flimsy plot? Yes. It’s essentially a miniatures game, combat-only. Greg and I (playing two characters each) are going to work our way through the Monster Manuals 1 and 2 by monster level.

Using the DMG 2’s encounter progression recommendations and a delicious bottle of wine, we’ve (manually) made six level one encounters (five for level one, one for level two) and seven level two encounters (three for level one, four for level two, and one for level three) to start. Using both the MM1 and MM2, I think we’ve actually avoided repeating monsters so far, and have even saved a couple of oddball races (the Bullywug and Kruthik) until their older sisteren appear to make a proper party. Building the encounters manually allowed us to have them make a modicum of sense, let us not have to do mental gymnastics to downsize encounters for only four players, and didn’t take more than about 20 minutes for all 13 of them.

We created a system for generating interesting random fight spaces, too: rolls for area sizes and shapes and interesting terrain types. The DMG 2’s system for random dungeon creation wasn’t good enough for Greg the Game-ologist.

I may have been too tipsy by that point to get the full gist of what the book suggested.

Treasure parcels will be handed out at the end of the level, when we can go back to town and shop our hearts out and rest up. I’m concerned about potion distribution on that one, but we’ve got a healer. Hopefully we’ll live.

Such a no-plot game is definitely outside my usual gaming style, but it’ll let me play around with a couple of classes I’d be hesitant to throw into a campaign off the bat: the Invoker and the Avenger. Since it’s not going to involve more than just me and Greg, we can be friendly with the retraining rules at each level.

Once we’ve built out a few areas and played them (should be tonight), I’ll post up the full combat area generation system. It’s got the potential to be very good.