All of the above! The two activities are not mutually exclusive to my mind.which are you going to do?
Outline any of the player tactics you would place into this category and I bet I can come up with countermeasures implemented by the Evil Overlord that are not a gimp.The big problem with high level play is high level characters (particularly spellcasters) can do an end run around many of the conventional challenges DM's like to use as a crutch.
I think you would be prepping the situation, not scenarios. You could give examples of how the Evil Overlord would respond to typical activities, however, as well as what resources he has and what resources he will typically commit.It could contain a number of fluid "scenarios" each with an intended purpose to hurt the PCs -B-U-T- in order to not be a railroad, the scenarios would instead be a smorgasbord of things you could throw at the party depending on how the "hidden rival" would react to their actions, and what fit the particular PCs modus operandi.
I'm a big fan of this technique. I tried to do that with Irradiated Paradox; provide a smorgasbord of situations (within situations) but got called out on abuse of If:Thens, which is fair and probably comes from my years of video game design. I'm not sure I'm entirely understanding why it's a sin. I'm assuming because it's something to do with imposing the digital limitations of video game problem solving on the fluid nature of tabletop gaming (?) but I'd love to read a more thorough explanation.
Maybe we should start from that instead? I've been wracking my brain for the worst high-level PC offences, but I'm ashamed to reveal how ineffective my own group is. We regularly make it to high level in our campaigns but rarely abuse the strategies I've seen online like all-day-every-day Detect Evil/Traps/Undead/Secret Doors etc. This latest campaign, my wizard has wrecked the DM's day by casting Anticipate Teleportation (and now Greater Anticipate Teleportation) which last 24 hrs and has absolutely ended our numerous factional enemies dropping in on us unannounced. (I feel like when your players start researching and deploying spells like this, it's time to try something else motherfucker.) Worth every penny. And sure, dungeon-buffed, my guy his hovering near a 50 AC, but he's always one good Greater Dispel or Antimagic Field away from terrifying nakedness.Outline any of the player tactics you would place into this category
I don't want to get trapped in the island idea...If you make it so that a ruse directs the party to a far away location (e.g. your island), that uses up 2 teleport spells (there and back). Ends up the whole place is just a trap, and the McGuffin was just a lure.
Because the reason they went there still exists.Why would anyone sit on an island while it sinks to the depths?
It's not a huge concern. I don't think the spell exists in other editions and it's from a supplement (do hardcovers count as 'splat books'?) I use it to curb my DM who was repeatedly dropping assassins on us in our city campaign (since our party has managed to piss off pretty much every evil faction in the game world). Also no more snowball encounters starting with one lonely demon turning into a three-day running battle with half the forces of the Abyss as they exponentially summon more help. The DM has since diversified into attacking our properties and hench-people and other more insidious challenges which is all good. (I mean; it's bad and it keeps us sweating, but it's good in that it's not the same old same old.)You could test (Greater) Anticipate Teleportation by sending in several minions at difference places to figure out the exact diameter of the warded zone, and extrapolate from that the level of the caster. You could also make the caster seriously sleep deprived by sending in minions every half hour for days on end; eventually maintaining the spell would be untenable, especially since the wizard could not recover spells, and the PCs would have to come up with other tactics.