Sunday, April 12, 2015

The "B Team" Returned to The Castle of the Mad Archmage - and I "Turned it Up to 11"

It had been a couple of months since we had a session of the mostly once a month foray into the depths of The Castle of the Mad Archmage (CotMA.) Pretty much my fault for the lapse, as work has been a busy bugger of late.

As I've mentioned before, I'm extremely generous with the expo with the "B Team" due in large part to the infrequency of the sessions. This has led to a bit of a conundrum - the level the party is currently exploring is no longer a challenge as written, but they are having such a good time exploring it I don't want to push them on before they are ready. What is a DM to do?

Simple. "Turn it up to 11"

Not everywhere, of course. There were still some encounters that were a challenge to a party of 2 6th level fighters and a 5/5 cleric / magic-user, but those challenges were going to be few and far between.

I didn't remove anything - I just added. The orc tribe, complete with women and children? They were now led by a small hill giant and his two ogre bodyguards. Yep, that was so perfectly balanced that two out of the three PCs were dropped before the hill giant fell, and that last standing fighter was a hit away from dropping himself.

Yep. Balanced it just a bit too closely perhaps. If the fireball hadn't taken out a bunch of orcs and weakened the big bads it may very well have been a TPK. Actually, maybe it was balanced just fine, as everyone was on the edge of their seats.

You can read two session recaps thus far: +Douglas Cole 's at The Gaming Ballistic Blog and +Peter V. Dell'Orto 's at Dungeon Fantastic Blog.


  1. It was well done, and a lot of fun. Making the existing level more challenging was a good call Surprising, but a lot of fun.

  2. Yeah, they hit hard. I'm still taking Advil.

  3. For what level and how many PCs is this module recommended? I don't see anything on the cover to indicate.

  4. It starts at 1st level and goes up to 10th and above, @Matt Celis. There are several direct entrances to deeper levels so parties of middle levels don't have to waste time wading through 1st-level challenges.

  5. That was awesome. I love how close that fight was.

    If I'd taken even one less hit, I'd have gone on to attack the surviving orcs single handed. But I was too close to death.

  6. "Turn it up to 11." Sounds like you took a page from my book. Nice!

    1. You do realize I was referring to Spinal Tap...


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition