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Author Topic: Playing Midnight at level 15 plus advice  (Read 1625 times)
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Barghus
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« on: February 25, 2021, 12:07:04 PM »

First of all I'm glad to see this venerable site is still up and sorta active. It was a HUGE influence on my Midnight game (running since 2006-ish). I got a lot out of this site. It's gotta be 10 years since I logged in.

My game has been going since 2006 and now the players are approaching 15th level (we rotate GMs and games so I'm up maybe once every 18 months for 6 months, thus the slow advancement pace).

The PC magic is kinda crazy right now and they can hit almost anything. Most of the opponents I throw at them either are too easy for them or a potential TPK.

Has anyone run Midnight past 15th level? Any advice is appreciated.
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Luiniel Blades
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"Inch towards daylight"


« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2021, 01:02:34 AM »

I have not run a Midnight Game to that level, per se. But I have been in a decent amount of games getting to or even past that level.

This world is a bit different than most. The Shadow should be able to bring to bear a large number of resources against the PCs. The way my DM described why we had been surviving so long is because of the way we sort of kept popping up in a different regions, hitting a place, and then disappearing before the enemy could truly react.

At 15th level, the gloves should come off as the PCs are very likely being Head hunted by powerful enemies who have heard about them/ learned of them through slain enemies. Remember, Legates are Clerics and can speak with the dead, or maybe they resurrected a powerful lieutenant and a great return for an enemy is them becoming a Fell after dying. Recurring villains are great!

Unless they've been out in the hinterlands and trying very hard to stay off of people's radar, cutting off the heads and burning the bodies of every enemy they've come across, they've likely attracted some notice. This is the time where they are likely even drawing the personal attention of the Night Kings or their primary lieutenants. Take stock of what area they've been in recently and who they've defeated. The enemies probably know some of the groups tricks at this point.

If they've been hitting military targets likely Jahzir or possibly Grial the Fey Killer as he's the militaristic minded and would pay attention to severe losses. If they've been operating against the Church of Izrador and killing Legates/ destroying Mirrors, then Sunulael would actually be paying attention to them. Even if they've bee trying to play it stealthy and careful, Ardherin has spies everywhere outside of Erethor and the Kaladruns. If they're in Southern Erenland or Northern Erenland then the Traitor Princes.

Did they save a town? Well now there are wanted posters of them with close accurate drawings. Maybe some allies they made from there are dead? Or perhaps they've being called out by a Legate who is sacrificing town folk every day until the "heroes" come back to save them.

To challenge these very high level PC characters, I find giving larger numbers of enemies in any given area to be a good thing. In Midnight, unless you have a large group, PCs, especially Channelers, tend to run out of steam pretty fast which makes hit and run tactics work well. Use waves of enemies in fights.

Add another fist (5), or two (10), Orc commandos for the beginning of combat encounters. Give some good armor and use shield wall tactics. Give all of them horns to call for reinforcements, which they will do even if it's the only action they get. Add goblin Wildlander archers to pepper them from afar with some poisoned arrows.
Surprise them with a small troop of Defender Hobgoblins who attempt stunning Fists. Add an Ogre with a few Barbarian Levels.

Afterwards use some or all of the following:
Sniffer goblins and trained Wildlander Orcs to hunt after them and interrupt their rest.
If they have a Channeler, maybe have a few Witch Taker Legates and their high hit dice Astiraxes track them down and hit them with surprise assaults instead and drain their magic in the middle of a fight.
Use corrupted Channelers with Invisibility Sphere up to give them a surprise taste of Arcane might, and tactically drop in some high level foes in what seemed to be an easy fight. Do the PCs love using Fireball or Lightning bolt? Resist Energy/ Protection from energy will greatly increase enemy survivability. Maybe throw in a counterspell Dispel Magic.
Use a demon or other Outsider.

Another idea is to give your enemies more hit points than usual, giving one group of enemies 50% more hit points is usually a good tactic. Your PC group shouldn't know what stats their enemies have. Maybe give some enemies an ability or two they might not. Did those 3 cloaked figures just use Evasion?!
Did those Bone Mother Orcs we just killed last round just rise up as Fell on their turn?!

It's scary to suddenly find your enemies know things about you. Your strengths and weaknesses being exploited, your energy being taxed to its limit. Remind your players that they aren't the biggest fish in the pond, the enemy has tricks they probably haven't seen, and even if they are powerful, there are always more of them.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2021, 01:08:18 AM by Luiniel Blades » Logged

Currently reading: Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series; The Hero of Ages.
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2021, 08:59:30 AM »

Great ideas LB
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Chaotix
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2021, 09:10:32 AM »

I love what Luiniel wrote, you probably don't need much more than that to get your brain working in the right direction.

I'll just chime in to say: be sure to keep putting some low-level groups up against them that don't stand a chance as well. They got to level 15, it's nice to steamroll an enemy sometimes as a reminder of how powerful you've become. If everything at every level is a challenge, then what's the point of leveling up?

Good luck with your game!
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Barghus
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 01:25:14 PM »

Luiniel,

Great ideas. You describe my group nearly to a T. Thanks for all the input. Sorry for the late reply.

Barghus
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Luiniel Blades
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"Inch towards daylight"


« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2021, 11:06:29 PM »

Hey, no problem on slow response. I only sporadically hop on to check on things nowadays anyway.
What Chaotix said is a good point though, and I guess I didn't specifically call out the waves of lower level enemies. But yeah, 2nd or 3rd level enemies by the dozens. 4th or 5th level enemies are going to be mostly enemy command units or making up specialized tactics and kill squads. Anyone higher level probably has a name but at the level your PCs are at, even a lot of those people probably won't make it past round 3 of a combat.

But I suppose the idea to take away is that if the PCs are caught, think of using a bunch of these lower level enemies not as individual units but more of a story encounter.
Why are there 50 or so orcs/goblins/mercenaries making camp in this area? Do they have a train of prisoners with them? Is one of the prisoners someone they PC's know from a distant town or maybe an ally they met some time ago? Why are they here and what will the heroes do now?
The party's rogue/wildlander goes scouting ahead because they heard something and find 15 orcs and 5 irregularly dressed and equipped people who seem to radiate an aura of danger.
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