Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Experiments in RPG: Wrath of the Righteous 4E?

It's been a few months since We called the Wrath of the Righteous campaign. Some of it was the system as Maximum Pathfinder is something I find myself a little less interested in these days. A lot of it was the campaign itself as it really gets tangled up in itself in the latter half of the campaign. I think it's a downside to having multiple authors writing each of the six adventures as they get locked in on something they think is cool even when it doesn't really fit with the rest of the campaign. The single biggest example of this problem is that at a certain point the party pretty much has to work out a deal with one demon lord to help them against another demon lord and I mean it is assumed for the rest of the path that this is how things are. To me this is a ridiculous assumption for a few reasons:
  • Chaotic Evil - They're demons! You can't trust them to keep their word by their very nature as the embodiment of chaotic evil in D&D (and Pathfinder)! Devils, sure, that's one of their signature things, that you can make a deal with them because they are Lawful Evil. This assumes/requires that the players are stupid or it assumes demons have a different nature than I see them having based on every prior portrayal of them in D&D.
  • The Prior Campaign - It's all about killing demons! Not negotiating, not making accommodations, not mutual neutrality, but raising an army and destroying their major foothold on the world! Now suddenly we're going to the Abyss and making deals with them?
  • Lawful Good - This whole adventure path was touted as the one for the paladins and clerics and anyone else that wanted to be on the side of Right. It was an AP that would let your LG's unleash their full potential. Paladins don't make deals with demons in my eyes. Neither does a cleric of the lawful good fighting god. Making that a key point in the AP means that either someone didn't get the memo and the editors didn't catch the lapse or that everyone thought it was a good idea - it was not. 
That said I hate leaving a campaign unfinished. I have done some work re-figuring how the campaign ought to go to be more to my liking. Then I had an idea - if I am going to have to rework the whole thing anyway before I would even consider finishing it, why not fix the mechanical issues to? This kind of epic level play is exactly what 4th Edition D&D was made for! I looked at some potential encounters and how it might work and it looked completely do-able.

So I asked my players how they felt about it and they were not instantly opposed to it. We talked through some points and I'd say there is a chance this will actually happen some day. I'm not stopping my Deadlands game or my M&M game for it, but it may find a home on the schedule down the road. The characters translate fairly well and would be about 11 - 13th level. The one glaring issue is the Cavalier as there is not really a class in 4E that is all about mounted combat. That's the one part that does not yet have an easy answer but I suspect we could find something he would be happy playing that's still a big tough guy in heavy armor. 

So that's how that's going. More when it actually becomes a game. 


Kelvin Green said...

They did that in Carrion Crown too. The player's guide suggests generating good -aligned, undead-bashing characters. The early chapters are all about fighting evil supernatural beings. Then about two-thirds in the campaign expects the player-characters to help some vampires track down someone who's killing them, in return for a MacGuffin.

We ignored their request and just took the MacGuffin. A whole chapter skipped. I have no idea what Paizo was thinking.

Adam Dickstein said...

Yet another reason I can't do Pathfinder, or D&D.

First, let us railroad you, then we'll inform you that we told you to get on the wrong train.


Blacksteel said...

But there's nothing inherent to D&D or Pathfinder that requires or forces this - that's what's the most aggravating part of it. I expect a plot - that's kind of a given with an Adventure Path - but there are ways to do it that don't require such a rigid flow. Savage Worlds does this really well with most of their "Plot Point" campaigns. That's probably why I'm giving one of those a try right now.

Jeremy said...

FYI - with regards to a mount focused Cavalier, between the Dragon 393 article, the Callidyrr Dragoon character theme, and the Holy Steed feat I had a lot of fun designing a mount focused Cavalier in 4e. Throw on some lancing gloves, a good vanguard lance, and maybe some impenetrable barding and you've got a lot to work with. Mine is a Morninglord for even more riders of rohan charging with the break of daylight gusto.

I know 4e doesn't have the breadth of material Pathfinder has available to it, but there is definitely some mount fun in there for fans thereof.

Blacksteel said...

Hey Jeremy - I'm sure there's a way to do it, I just took the first stroll through the classes to see if something obvious jumped out at me and I knew it was going to take a little more than a surface skin - now you've given me a roadmap for it - thanks!