2 comments on “Lair Assault: “This floor is totally trapped”

  1. I think perhaps that your group might have had some misconceptions. Lair Assault isn’t about building a strong flexible character. It’s about building the best damn character you can and throwing it down the teeth of a nasty, deadly dungeon. I ran it 8 times and not once did a party complete it. The other DM in our city ran it 12 times and only two groups beat it. I was a player in both of them. You’re not supposed to beat it your first time in. You need to tune your character and the party and make a second attempt. Take powers that last for the encounter or that you can sustain for the encounter and your chances go up.
    As to the slamming doors after the Turn 4 explosion the doors stay open. That’s really important to moving through the dungeon.

  2. That raises the question of what exactly constitutes the “best damn character.” I’m not saying that my guys are crying about having to do some optimization. Rather the opposite, actually. They’ve been more than a little excited at the idea of a break from our regular campaign, especially since none of us have to play nice. “Degenerate” doesn’t apply. Their complaint, and I think it’s fair, is that the nature of the dungeon eliminates the vast majority of edge designs, which reduces the amount of fun they had. Put another way, they want to be able to bring a selection of broken characters and succeed through strong play. They don’t want to have to bring a character that’s broken in a specific way.

    As far as the doors go, my guys got that. They immediately grokked that the door closing thing was designed to slow them down in a timed environment. That’s why they started looking for ways to get around it, which led to the realization that the module doesn’t address holding the door open.

    There are rewards (in the form of lighter punishments) for being highly aggressive. That’s good encounter design. What the door closing mechanic does, however, is try to slow down the party just enough, so that they’re in the worst possible position when the bomb goes off. That’s fine as far as hardcore goes. It’s to be expected, really, but it also nullifies the rewards.

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