Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

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Postby Ceraph » January 26th, 2015, 2:16 am

Hello other fans of the Thursday Knights and possibly members of the same!
I am posting here today because I am attempting to try and recreate the Thursday Knights paragon tier campaign in 5th edition. Why? Because it is one of my absolute favorite campaign settings I have ever heard of and the characters that were designed for it are amongst my favorite (Frida, Ashir and Litano, Captain Caz, Stoyla, and Arath. Of course the player characters too but I can’t duplicate them for obvious reasons).

So my questions are as follows
1. If Greg, Cailin, Kevin, and anyone else encountered any pitfalls while designing the campaign I should be aware of while designing the campaign, would you mind sharing them?
2. The encounters heavily relied on the backstories of the attending players to work (Orvyltar couldn’t have been overthrown without Aurora. The entire party would have been erased from time by Arath if it weren’t for Brandis). I am trying to brainstorm for ways to make such scenes work with different characters. Obviously I am working on this on my own but suggestions are always wonderful.
3. Skill challenges: I don’t really know what to do with these. I really liked the 4th edition system for these and the Thursday Knights modifications made skill challenges very interesting. Thing is, the lack of healing surges, action points, and general lack of high skill numbers (lending to skill challenges being a lot more about chance than they would in 4th ed) makes for a different set of circumstances. One idea I had was replacing healing surge cost with costing hit dice but that would be way more punishing early on than 4th ed ever intended them to be and far less punishing once you get beyond a certain level. So yeah, I got ideas but I am still in the middle of trying to develop a good 5th edition system for skill challenges.
4. If Greg or anyone has released campaign notes and I somehow missed this, I would be very thankful if I could get a link to that (or whatever the appropriate term for acquiring them would be).
5. I am taking suggestions for anything else I should have asked about as well. Despite my (looks at the whole post) longwinded writing style I may still have missed something.

Also, here is what I am working on
1.Begun listening to the recordings again to refresh myself of their events
2. I have asked the players to begin work on their characters so we can each plan on how to make their background infused into the world (like how each character in the broadcast each had their own personal missions/challenges. Poor Wrenn )
3. Began research on monster use/creation for the party to face that fit what they are supposed to encounter.
I am still working on it obviously. That said, the timing isn’t that great as I am in the middle of a move across the country but I figure, if nothing else, I can begin brainstorming with my fellow fans of the show and whoever else wants to contribute!
Especially since Twitch deleted all of their recordings and now I cannot exactly go back and see what Greg did. I can go back and listen but that is limited in its ability to observe.
And that is pretty much it! Thanks so much!

P.S. Dear Greg, Cailin, and other contributors to the Thursday Knights. In the past my group has recorded our sessions and put it on youtube (well, mostly Twtich. We were in the middle of a venue change when we too lost everything. Yay Twitch) . That said, it is not likely we will be recording anything but the members do want to do so I first wanted to get your permission. If you say yes, I would also like to know how to give you all credit for your amazing work! Thanks so much for your response!
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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Ceraph » April 15th, 2015, 1:02 pm

Ah, been a few (looks at the date) ,months since I posted on here.

I wanted to tell everyone here that the campaign has begun and my party has met Kala and Frida and are on their way to Arath's shop. It has been a wild ride and, overall, has been a lot of fun.

Because of that, i wanted to share what I have done so others who want to run this campaign could do so without the hours upon hours of transcribing I have done to allow myself to recreate the Campaign of The Mad Mage for my players.

That said, taking notes takes time and making them readable for others takes even more time (I have a newfound respect for Greg and I already had a lot of respect for him). The sheer amount of information, descriptions, and thought that has gone into each of the characters is crazily amazing.

To start off, I will link you all a document which will be updated periodically with links to my notes for the various sessions. It also has a list of the various house rules I have implemented to make the campaign run as close to the original source material as possible.

Anyway, here is the update and I will try and post on here periodically as I organize my notes and continue my party's journey in their race against Arath.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LAp ... l2dfE/edit
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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Ceraph » December 11th, 2015, 2:14 pm

I am happy to say, after months of playing, preparation, conversion, etc, that my players have just made it to the Philosopher's temple. Along those lines, I do apologize about the lack of links to my notes. That said, I will sit down and do that hopefully sometime soon (I will try and get a couple of them today). I need to go back and redo some notes for the first few sessions but everything else is ready. That said, disclaimer, these notes are not meant just to give impressions regarding characters, what they think, feel, etc as you might find in a lot of official campaign guides.

I have gone through and taken notes to the point where basically anything an NPC has said in a session is recorded. Unfortunately, this means that the size of the notes is rather bloated. I actually recommend you go over this and write notes of your own. But that is my purpose. I give all the information I can about the original characters that the amazing DM that is Greg (with the help of Kevin, Cailin [sorry if I spelled that wrong], and the rest of the players who helped produce amazing individual stories AND more) so you, the people reading this, are given an effectual transcript from which you can get all the information you could want to represent the characters. That said, the notes are a bit of a disorganized mess as it is basically a transcript (heavy amounts of word search is used during RP heavy sessions). So apologies for that but hey. At least you don't have to sit down each week and listen to a 4ish hour podcast and write them down XD Seriously, I am terrible at auditory processing. It takes forever X_X That said, so rewarding.

Anyway, here is the link to the notes for episodes 3 and 4. This is post temple of elemental evil. I need to gather up my notes for the first two sessions as I wrote them down on the board than in my notes. Seemed like a great idea at the time. Especially since I was using an online board where the players couldn't see what I wrote. Genius right? No. Now I have to go back and re-organize all that information into a document where you don't need to see the board to get when you read it.

Episodes 6-Exploring the Skyclave: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19Ny ... SCcsM/edit

Episode 7-Arath's Shop: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1faa ... QH5bY/edit

Episode 8-Lurd: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1y_A ... BKRko/edit

Episode 9-Adventure on the High Seas: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KFi ... DHZ_E/edit

Episode 10 AND 11-Unnatural Fog AND Company Yargo: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17jw ... nU56w/edit

Episode 12-DOOM ISLAND: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Arv ... gIB7I/edit

Episode 13-Land Ho!: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ewm ... O4cpc/edit
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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Greg » March 22nd, 2016, 12:01 pm

Oh my god Ceraph!

This is amazing!

I am so sorry I did not see this earlier! My email notices of new posts apparently stopped working at some point (it's working again now) and so I never saw this!

I sent this to the crew and we've all been delighted to peruse the documents your posted. What memories! I can't believe how well you have represented the NPCs and stories that we so loved to create!

If you have any outstanding questions that we can help answer, please do let me know! Also, I have Google Doc notes of a huge chunk of the episodes we did, containing some of the pre-written dialog, descriptions, and sometimes mechanics. Let me know where you're at in your prep and I'd be happy to dig in to the vault and see what I have that might help.

(also, you spelled Cailin's name correctly. Impressive ;) )
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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Ceraph » March 25th, 2016, 10:57 pm

Hmm, I should check the Thursday Knights boards (looks) last post Greg? :shock:

I am glad you like it! I am working on the first few btw. I need to go back and look at everything, make sure it makes sense (and the first few sessions I put a lot of my notes on the board on roll20. So now they are just sitting there with my notes... really need to go grab them). ANYWAY

Thanks so much! I am glad you all like them. As for questions... YES. I do have some. Several probably (Like what happens if the guards catch them in Orvyltar? This never happened so I don't really know what to do beyond just wing it. Can definitely wing it but would love to know what happens and how it relates to the heat system and all that). My party just arrived in the city. That one has been really weird to plan with Aurora. Went and decided "ok, most likely person to know anything this place? Well, Frida. She would be interested in the planar observatory. So now she has been there before). They only just experienced the wonder that is Magical Badger (turns out it is not hard to motivate a pixie paladin to go into a zoo)

As for the google docs... :shock: Yes please! I love your descriptions (especially the looks into Arath's doings via Kala's rituals). They are some of my favorite moment. You are brilliant when it comes to descriptions. Anything you have and are willing to share :D Thank you so much!

I will try and update these soon. Get those first few "episodes" transferred to a google doc.

P.S. My group is a little less mechanically oriented so please note that the skill challenges are somewhat dumbed down (or in the case of the first bit with the Cult of Elemental Evil, I did my best to simulate what happened in shorthand. Is that the right term? Not exactly but it gets the point across).
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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Greg » March 28th, 2016, 4:33 pm

Oh man, there are way more Google Docs than I remembered, and they're totally named inconsistently. We started naming them by episode number in Epic tier but in Paragon they are all over the place ;P

Here's a sample! Notes from 3 of the Deep Imaskar episodes:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dLm ... sp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/document/d/11-O ... sp=sharing
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1C6S ... sp=sharing
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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Ceraph » March 29th, 2016, 9:23 pm

ooh! Notes!

(checks)

:shock: Cailin art I have never seen before. So awesome. Love her art.

Thank you so much! This will be SO helpful when I get there. It was always interesting trying to figure out how things would progress if my players don't quite do things in the same order (they almost chose to go to Orvyltar first instead of the Philosopher's Temple. They are also avoiding the Underdark like the plague. Any mention of it brings up discussion of how many horrible ways they could die. Sometimes in character... sometimes out).

But for now, Orvyltar. The land of the Shining Sea, Magical Badgers, and Statues who want to see the Planar Observatory.

I Really REALLY like that you have what is going on in the background with the NPCs as the party progresses and does their thing. That is very helpful and I also like how you gave some insight into Maeta and whether she can be redeemed. I was actually really excited for this part of the story because one of my players was spellscarred (the Pixie Palladin. Yes... I know). This was going to be her giant culmination of her arc that sort of led her into her "epic destiny" to rid the world of the Spell Plague by taking it all into herself (talked with my player. We decided on the slightly tragic route). Then that player got super busy. Sadness.

Anyway, I look forward to anything else you can dig up if you do not mind doing so (though that sounds hard to find things. If you need any help... well I am not sure how I would provide it but I would gladly offer it).
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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Greg » April 5th, 2016, 3:24 pm

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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Ceraph » May 6th, 2016, 12:52 pm

Thanks so much Greg!

Things have been crazy scheduling-wise so haven't advanced very far. That said, they did just meet the head caretaker of the Hall of History (the blind librarian. Who apparently was never asked his name? I wonder if that ever comes up)

Also my party heard the rumors of the Steward trying to dig up something under the palace and are now convinced they need to break into said palace to get into the royal vault (you know... where the Royal Vault is not. The fake vault. Oh dear.)

Tonight they meet Lunari Corgano.

Also learned a rule midway through that kinda ended up ambushing my players. You can only make one "gather information" check per day. And one of my players totally tried to simultaneously locate the method for getting into the gypsy enclave in the same check he was also trying to create a conduit there. Me explaining he has to choose between making the conduit OR making the gather information check (which he couldn't do anyway since they already did one that day) resulted in a bit of a discussion snafu. They aren't as used to more rule heavy bits and it showed. Oddly enough I realized we had this huge conversation when he completely flubbed the check. 10 is not enough XD

Anyway, I had a question for you that you might have the answer to.

For the Uchehi-Kai, the party sought out information to help them with the events. When I first began DMing there was a good amount of silence... which I then stupidly filled with information. I have tried to stop doing that and I think I am succeeding but my players still seem to think I am giving them all the information. Hence the whole being convinced of the vault's location I theorize. So, for the Uchehi-Kai... did you have a backup idea for if/when the party just said "oh, we aren't supposed to know anything? Ok" and just walked in completely unawares of what came up. Because the final event with a certain necroticy/cold encounter would be quite deadly without that information. Going to be working on them to ask more questions before then but I was curious if you had a method by which they could discern the nature of the pillars etc
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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Ceraph » May 6th, 2016, 1:08 pm

And I realize now I could just make it up. Don't feel any need to actually answer. Was distracted at the time of writing. That said, do you perchance have any notes from the Uchehi-Kai or the Neverwinter encounters?
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Re: Creation "The Mad Mage" campaign for 5th edition

Postby Ceraph » October 2nd, 2016, 8:40 pm

Wow, it has been awhile. Sorry if anyone has been using these notes X_X

All that said, I am going to make things a bit easier for some of you.

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/fold ... TE3eW9JSG8

The above is a link to the folder in which ALL my notes are recorded.

Last time I updated was episode 13, Land Ho. I am now on Episode 24 Dark Choices. I will be finishing up the notes for that before this next Friday Knight (what? You all made the pun first). I apologize about the lack of updates. Went through a lot of transitions. Lost 1 player, replaced that player, had to take a break due to moving, lost another player, went to replace that player, ended up getting 3 new players, had to do an "intro to 5e/the setting" mini campaign for the new people and now I have a group of 6. Anyway, here are the specific links for those who prefer that. I have a couple of notes on the episodes and I might go back and, ahem, revisit them. Some of them need it.

Episode 14: Snowflake Mountains
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1baz ... voWFA/edit

Episode 15: The Philosopher's Temple
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l-H ... pjzvc/edit


Episode 16: Defending the Temple and Episode 17: The Behir

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WVc ... LNhvs/edit

DM note: I am not satisfied with this session. I ran out of time (the two episodes were quite long and just could not listen enough to really replicate the encounter as I wanted to. For example, the whole idea of defending the people from attack is completely absent. Albeit, my players completely destroyed one of the bridges to the city so it made things a bit... simpler. Chokepoint and all that

Episode 18: The Road to Ulgarth
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vMP ... KqZyg/edit


Episode 19: Orvyltar
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ddE ... PXDXo/edit

Episode 20: The Gypsy Queen
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p0I ... wIVHc/edit

Episode 21: Kanor Bladesbane, Also episode 22, and Episode 23: Rescuing Keeper
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rc1 ... VjiDA/edit

DM note: There was the presence of the sprite in the Gypsy camp that I was not able to account for. That said, I created some interesting mechanics for the gypsies that should provide quite a challenge. I hope I can make you proud Greg

Episode 24: Dark Choices
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1flF ... vH-wY/edit

DM note: STILL IN PROGRESS. Will be finished as of October 7th 2016

Enjoy!
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