End of an era…

Sigh.. our excellent 4e campaign has come to an epic close. The final conclusion was very well done and for a while it seemed that evil would prevail. But the party managed to barely survive and defeat the god-slaying BBEG (or in this case ‘Big Bad Evil Chick’ or ‘BBEC’). As a sort of unusual “reward” the remnant powers of the gods that had been slain became available for acquisition and my legendary damage-dealing ranger, ‘Kataar’, has now ascended partially into the pantheon of deities as the new Demigod of Hunters and Assassins.

I’d like to thank Rae Vhen the GM for his incredible work as the GM. I learned a lot from him and I am sure my own campaigns will be better for having played in his. I’d also like to thank my playing partners for three years of fun and camaraderie. By the end of the campaign I believe Kataar was the oldest “surviving” character in the party.

Kataar was my first and only serious 4e character I’ve played. I did enjoy playing him, not just because of his crazy damage potential, but also because of his street-savvy and his clever utilization of magical toys and trinkets. He always was able to pull something out of his bag of tricks, and even in the final cataclysmic battle his “wonderful toys” gave us a critical respite from a crushing aura which was seriously hampering our combat effectiveness.

I do think Kataar was a surprisingly multi-dimensional one-dimensional character. Although he had the charisma of a garden slug, he excelled in sneaking around, climbing on or over things, finding stuff, opening things (although at the end of his career we had a more talented thief in the party…) and breaking stuff. He was particularly good at breaking stuff.

Although I have mixed emotions about ending such an epic campaign, I am actually happy to retire Kataar and move on. In the end Kataar may well be the single character I have invested the most time and effort into in my entire career of gaming. I can’t honestly say he is my favorite character (I tend to prefer complex, troubled spell casters over straightforward martial characters) I can say he’s been a blast to play.

Thanks again Rae! Excellent work.

Heh, as I was setting tags for this post I realized I now have to move Kataar from “active” to “inactive” in my categories… sigh.

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2 thoughts on “End of an era…

  1. Thank you for your kind words. I had learned a lot from the game as well. When I imagined the game, I wanted a big finale fight with god-like beings, and I vowed to see the campaign through to the end, something I have never done in the past.

    I would always start campaigns, but I would get bored, burned out, or excited about a different game and I would never complete the previous campaign. When I came up with the idea for this campaign, I vowed to myself to see the story to the end. To help with that so I wouldn’t run out of ideas, I plotted out the main storyline all the way to the end. As the campaign progressed, the story did change, but overall, I followed the script to the conclusion. While this was helpful, it also had some pitfalls. I never was stumped for what story to run next, but at the same time, I felt I was railroading the players. Since the storyline was to save the world, railroading is not all that bad, but at the same time, I can’t go to that well again for a while. The next game I run I plan to be more character driven.

    As for 4th edition itself, I liked the rules up until around the time of the Epic levels. The final battle was against 3 solos, one 30th level and two 32nd levels. 9 levels higher than the players, just so hitting them would be something of a challenge for Kataar, Falco and Tholian. I believe Kataar only needed a 9, which is the low end of what I was shooting for, Unfortunately that meant that Arinah could not hit them. Her character was not built to hit the bad guys, but she should have at least had a chance, say a 16 or better. Making challenging encounters to the group became a challenge because of all the special abilities, To Hit numbers, and Damage output, I had to make an encounter that should have been a challenge for 15 30+ level characters! If I do run 4e again, I will not run the game to that high level.

    As for ending the game, I was ready. I had a lot of fun, but I like the idea of having a conclusion. Sure The Lance have left some hanging plot threads, but I think the ending was satisfying. Could we re-visit they adventures? It is totally feasible, but I feel their story is done, it is now time for other heroes to rise up and save the day. Liberty’s Lance can now retire, knowing they finished what they set out to do.

    Rae

  2. So the final battle was against three solos whose AC, Reflex and Fort was in the range of 44 – 46. Since kataar’s “base” AC is a 38 and his “base” attack bonus is a 29, that would seem to be a considerable challenge.

    And it was. While Kataar needed only a 9 to hit the 44 AC, he needed an 11 to hit the 46 AC.

    Kataar, as you know, is built around situational bonuses. The primary bonuses he gains on his attack rolls (beyond the base +29) are:
    +3 when he has combat advantage
    +3 from his prime shot tree
    +2 from his paragon path for not having anyone adjacent to him
    +2 from his ranger theme for not having any teammate adjacent to his target

    So just those alone give him an additional +10 to his attacks, and in most battles all four of those come into play, giving him a normal +39 on his attacks.

    On top of that he has several +2 “power bonuses” that he can apply from daily powers or stances. So on a major battle he is typically at +41 to his attack. Which is why he can normally accept a -2 to his attack to gain “power attack” damage bonuses. Also he gains additional bonuses to his attacks from Zhae-Lok on occasion, and can give his target AC penalties as well.

    So that means an AC 44 solo monster “normally” only needs a 3 on the d20 for Kataar to hit.

    Yeah, that’s insane, I know.

    In this fight Kataar was not able to gain all of those bonuses. For two of the solos he was unable to gain combat advantage, and in one case he was not able to gain prime shot (due to a team member being engulfed at the time). So in those cases his bonus to hit was usually +35, quite literally HALF his normal situational bonuses. (His actual bonus varied depending on if someone was engulfed or not. When someone was engulfed, he actually needed a 10 to hit I think).

    Anyway… If those solos had not engulfed and been immune to combat advantage, that fight would likely have been over much sooner….

    🙂

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