Tuesday, March 8, 2011

DM Help - Powerful PCs

Your players now have the ability to throw out massive fireballs, walls of fire and ice storms so what? I know there are many DMs out there that have no problems with this but no matter what do not nerf your player's abilities as they get more powerful. Sure there was an antimagic field in the last game but notice that they were embedded within the oytugh creatures and although were necessary to get into the room they were not necessary to defeat the beastie. Good DMs will tell you that if your players get new powers and abilities and you nerf them right off the bat without explanation or a story-reason you may end up with angry players.

 Best quote of last Saturday night's game was by my wife "Is there a protection from death spell?"


  1. I have an old Ad&d module that handled high-powered characters brilliantly - I'll see if I can dig out the title. Basically, it starts by trapping the players in a time slow area long enough for the opposition to set up clones of the characters. But clones with a difference; they were kind of mirror images that drew the power for their existence directly from the players characters' souls. The clones weren't quite so powerful as the originals, and their equipment was kind of one level less if I remember correctly (a +4 sword translated to +3 for the clones, and son on).

    The clones then go off and cause all sort of mayhem, for which the players get the blame. The players in the meantime have to get themselves out of the slow zone and then go and kill the other versions of themselves.

    Oh, and the "drain" effect is eventually lethal to the original player characters. They find this out when the accompanying minor NPC drops dead and then turns into a zombie right in front of them.

    The only way the players can win is for them to kill their clones; the reward is some sort of permanent attribute increase as the power is re-absorbed in spectacular fashion, kind of like the firework display in the Highlander film and series.

    Downside: because a power drain is involved, if a character dies, it's permanent. No resurrection/reincarnation. This kind of focuses player attention as their hard-won high level maaster of everything stares the abyss in the face.

    It's structured so that the players should win the final confrontation because they are still slightly more powerful than the clones, but the whole thing works very nicely as a plot mechanism. When I ran it, I hadn't seen such player fear in a long time.

    Warning: it's been a while since I ran this, and I may have changed the scenario around a bit to fit the group I had at the time, but this is pretty much how I remember running it.

    I sure hope your players aren't reading this...


  2. Found it! It's called "Ravager of Time", by Graeme Morris and Jim Bambra. The code is I8 with a union jack and it's for 6-10 characters of levels 8-10. I got this a very long time ago. If I'm right, it was one of a number of offical Ad&D adventures that were written by independents in Britain and published by TSR UK. The copyright date is 1986.

    I ran it as part of a heroic long term Stormbringer/Hawkmoon campaign. I changed the power drain from ageing as it is in the module to a Power stat drain, which made it very effective in concentrating the players' attention.

    I remember thinking at the time that it seemed like a Chivalry & Sorcery scenario repackaged for AD&D, because that sells better. The plot is very tightly written and is based on the environs of Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, by the look of it. It might be worth trying to find it free online or as a PDf or something. I can tell you a bit more about the plot premise if you like - so long as no players are watching...

    Cheers and good lcuk!

  3. Excellent! Email me at cronickain@gmail. I do have players watching.

  4. Paul I'm going to be using this in the Dragonlance game :D