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Registered User
(4/5/02 11:14 am)
Alternate FR campaing log
Well, greetings all. Relatively new to posting on boards, but been reading for quite some time. I am currently running RttToEE (as is appropriate for this board, I see...duh) and think I have found my long searched for outlet to talk about the game. I can't give things away to my players, so talking to them is out...and believe me..._all_ the people I game with are in this campaign.

So let me give you a background on the history and PCs. We play in the FR...but very much altered. It is an alternate FR where 20 years ago the Godswar combined with a deadly plague (a-la The Stand by Stephen King) wiped out most of the population. The gods are greatly reduced in power...people blame them for the plague and most of their worshippers are dead from it anyway. Cormyr is a wasteland of outsiders, demons & devils. Sembia walled themselves in (think Great Wall of China) and is one of the few remaining solid nations. The whole Daleland area has reverted back to forested wilderness for the most part.

History in a nutshell...there's much more detail to it, but I'd rather get to the PCs and the game. Another thing, though, is that I've re-created the FR maps distances outside are a bit longer than in the module.

Hommlet is roughly 120 miles north of the Ruins of Ordulin, just north of Sembia's Wall. The wall pretty much follows the River Arkhen east to west and then turns south at Saerb.

The PC's are as follows (they're all around 8th character level):

Torque--Human Paladin/Cleric of Torm (Torm allows Pal multiclassing with one other class...very rare PC in this world, mostly for being paladin...clerics are beginning to reappear in greater numbers. Torque is somewhat suicidal at times as well)
Cavan--Human Sorcerer (good character...has taught me much about sorcerers and their possibilities. With Extend Spell, Endure Elements and a couple ability enhancing spells he is a very good "prep" spell caster)
Lycos--Human Rogue/Guild Thief (from FRCS...the guild is based in Sembia, but has a long reach and contacts in Hommlet. He drives me crazy with his insane Hide score coupled with Spring Attack. But it's fun. He died early on to a wandering girallon and was Raised by friendly gnomes. Since then he has taken a much darker outlook in in "everything dies eventually)
Revel--Human Wizard (going for Loremaster...excellently played...he is a thinker and uses his spells accordingly. He often goes into combat with detect thoughts, knock and clairvoyance memorized vs. combat spells...he is very much the utility wizard)
Remus--human Fighter/Cleric of Torm (spiked chain guy, converted to Torm by Torque...combat oriented)
Drazi--elf Fighter/Wizard (going for Arcane Archer...this is the players 3rd character...I kind of feel sorry for him...the other 2 died)
Dorak--Human Fighter (pretty much a killing machine with Whirlwind Attack and such...even the player admits that the character is "wrong", but he is their front line guy and needs to be up to the task)

Uh-Oh...time's gone by fast...gotta run. Will hopefully get into the campaign later tonight.

Registered User
(4/5/02 12:09 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaing log
Sounds like a great group, and an interesting setting. Definately a good way to work into it that the weakening of the gods has led to some "bounds" being loosened...hense, the weakness in T's prison that makes this whole thing possible.

I can't wait to hear about your group's adventures, and find out where you're at in the adventure.

And definately welcome aboard! Glad to have you with us.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Registered User
(4/5/02 11:10 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaing log
Thank you for the welcome Andorax. I've read your campaign thread and found it well done and fun to keep up with. I hope to see more as your time permits.

On to the game.

Long ago, in the dawn of 3rd Edition and the d20 rules, a party of adventurers was made. They were not made with very much knowledge of these new and arcane rules, but managed to get life breathed into them none the less. This small group of friends set out one day to meet a band of dwarves traveling to their town...but they never found the dwarves. Instead they encountered horrid goblins practicing banditry within a day's travel out of town! A small melee ensued, but Dorak quickly showed his fighting power (and a preview of things yet to come) and drove the goblins off. Torque, child paladin of Torm and self-proclaimed party leader declared the party's intention to follow the bandit trail back to their camp.

But it wasn't really a camp. More like a poorly guarded fortress. Following the trail wasn't difficult, and it ended in a large, open glade. In the center stood an old, apparently abandoned structure...maybe an old hunting lodge or something of that sort. Lycos decided that a short scouting trip was in order, and Revel (portly as he was) decided to tag along. They circled the building, staying inside the tree line, and discovered that a large portion of the back of the building had collapsed, leaving a gaping hole in the corner. And even more interesting was the orc sentry standing just inside the hole, out of the sunlight. They regrouped with the party and described what they had seen. Again, Torque to the rescue. Storming the building was deemed the next course of action...though Revel and Lycos didn't much like the idea, the others were into it. After all, the dwarves they were sent to meet were most likely prisoners of the orcs inside there. And besides, what trouble were orcs? "They're just orcs" scoffed Cavan.

The party made its way to the end of the building and charged in. Weapons flashed in the sun, spells flew, blood sprayed...and orcs fell. But something gave a loud bellow from inside the walls of this large building. The PCs, now inside and confronted with a few doors in this rubble strewn room, stood confused for a second. Until one of the doors smashed open to the force of a very angry looking ogre!

"Ogre!?" cried the players. "But we're 1st level, remember!?"

I remembered...but failed to mention the 2 other ogres along with a contingent of orcs coming around the outside to flank and trap the characters. The ogre standing in the open doorway flung its spear over the heads of the front line fighters and sunk it deep into Revel. He dropped like a stone, dying. The fighters flung themselves at the beast. Lycos and Cavan dragged Revel inside, but not before Lycos spotted the other 2 ogres with some orcs rounding the corner. Trapped! With barely a hit point to spare the fighters dropped the ogre blocking the door and dashed inside. Torque used his lay on hands ability to stabilize Revel, though he remained unconscious. Inside was dark, with bits of sunlight streaming through the cracked and broken roof. Ogres and orcs jeered and called from outside, and began to enter after the PCs. And, worst of all, from down the hall the characters found themselves in, they could hear more orcs approaching. Lycos decided that enough was enough and sprinted into a side room to hide. The rest of the party prepared to make a weary stand over their fallen mage.

His spells exhausted, Cavan hefted his crossbow and sighted down the corridor.

Torque breathed a small prayer to Torm and readied his sword. Next to him Dorak and Remus, both bloodied and breathing heavily, nodded to each other and prepared for the onslaught.

Lycos climbed a wall and squeezed into the rafters under the ceiling, hiding from view in a small side room.

An ogre lumbered into the corridor. Another followed close behind. Orcs made up the rear, calling obscenities in their gutteral language.

The light seemed to slowly fade...

The PCs awoke with their hands and legs bound. They were alive, mostly healed, and stuck in a stinking cage in the back of a wagon bouncing over a very rough trail through the forest. Lycos was missing. They could make out another wagon ahead of them and some horses and riders. Taken prisoner! (I still haven't heard the end of doing that to them!) Before they could begin to make escape plans or even figure out where they were screams drifted through the air from ahead of them. The wagon lurched. Arrows filled the air. Lithe, fast moving humanoid shapes darted through the trees around them. Elves! The bandit/slave caravan was being ambushed! Spells flashed as the battle intensified. Ahead of them a wall of colors appeared and blocked their sight of the forward battle. Balls of fire exploded and lightning crackled in the air. The horses pulling the cage wagon panicked and tried to flee. The wagon tilted alarmingly, then tipped over. One horse broke free and ran. A fieball exploded close by killing the other horse. The wagon halted on it's side. And then a flash of white light blinded everyone for a moment. The PCs opened their eyes and saw a wall of white slowly moving towards them. It engulfed the dead horse, moved slowly over the front of the wagon, and slid silently over the trapped characters huddled in the back of the overturned cage.

Lycos watched all this happen. He had successfully managed to hide from all the orcs and ogres...not so much through skill but the fact that no one really looked for him. He slipped out of the building and waited in the trees to figure something out. Shortly a wagon and some men came, threw all his friends into a cage, and hauled them away. Naturally he followed. He never saw any of the elves around him until the ambush, and he didn't see the magical flux that caused the wall of white light that passed over his friends and caused them to vanish. He made a split second decision and jumped through (into?) the wall after them.

A sensation of falling. A blinding white light. And finally the sound of rushing wind before being engulfed in darkness.

Lycos tumbled to a hard, cold stone floor and lay in darkness. He could hear the panicked voices of his friends close by. They echoed in wherever they were. He struggled to his feet, called out to them to be quieter, and felt his way toward their sounds. He encountered half a wagon and what felt like a backpack. Through touch and with some time he found some oil in the pack and what appeared to be a tindertwig. In moments he had a puddle of oil burning on the floor and he surveyed the surroundings.

They were in a large, worked stone room. Broken bits of glass and other junk littered the floor. The cage that held his friends lay about 10 feet away, and half a wagon stood in front of him. The back half of the wagon was cleanly cut away, as if it had never been. Lycos figured he went through the curtain of white just before it closed...for better or worse.

For the sake of any of you reading this I will gloss over much of what transpired from then on. Simply put, this is how I got the characters from the "real" FR setting to my alternate version of it. Through some unexplained mixture of magics in that elven ambush a gate or portal of some sort was briefly opened and sucked the PCs through. The half a wagon that went with them had some of their supplies on it. The backpack that Lycos found, for example, was Revel's. Their armor was there, as well as most of their other items and weapons. I took a few things away from each character, but my purpose was not to strip them, but to get them to this new place.

They explored the abandoned monastery they found themselves in before finding the way out. A few side adventures later, and a good running of the Forge of Fury found them at around 4th level. Lo and behold, starting level for RttToEE! Torque had initiated Remus into the church of Torm. Revel had found a half drowned kitten and nursed it to health, developing a bond with it at the same time. Lycos was killed by a wandering girallon and subsequently Raised by a clan of friendly gnomes they encountered. Torque felt oddly out of touch with his deity. The party had learned a good deal about this new world they found themselves in. The gods were still there, but seemed distant...removed...lessened in power. Torque began having strange dreams about purple tentacled things and horrible whisperings of madness and insanity. The party traveled to Saerb on the outskirts of the nation of Sembia on his urgings. There they met an old, retired warrior...actually an old paladin of Torm they came to find out. He, too, had been having visions, and told the party, should they accept, they were chosen of Torm to fulfill a deadly but important mission. Evil was once again stirring to the north, near a small town called Hommlet. There were none to stand in its way unless the party accepted the challenge put before them and travelled north to investigate. Torm also revealed to them that by stopping this evil thay may also find a way back to where they came from.

As any good adventuring party would do they accepted. They outfitted themselves in Saerb...Lycos comissioning a Cloak of the Bat...and finally traveled north to Hommlet. There were a few minor encounters along the way, but they were already 4th level so I didn't want to get them too powerful before the module. During the journey Revel was surprised to find that his growing kitten familiar sprouted wings! (basically I gave him the Improved Familiar feat for free as this was before that feat was published...ah well, live and learn.)

The party arrived in Hommlet, met Elmo, and took a day to learn about the town. They met a few inhabitants...Revel learned Spugnoir was missing...Lycos met with the local guild contact...and quickly learned about the "abandoned" moathouse. How innocent it sounded. Surely there must be something there! They set off the next morning to explore the ruins and see for themselves that it was really empty.

Registered User
(4/5/02 11:36 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaing log
Something I failed to mention before. While the party was in Hommlet they were introduced to Calim, a traveling monk, by Yether. Calim (played by a relative newcomer to the group) was soon welcomed and joined the party.

Some changes I made in Hommlet. I changed Ehlonna to Mielikki, and it's not a temple, but a small shrine. The temple to Pelor I changed to a small, struggling church of Torm, and the church of St. Cuthbert I made into a strong outpost to Helm.

So the group was traveling to the ruined moathouse. They met an old trapper along the way who warned them that a dragon of all things had taken up residence there, but they decided that was an unlikely story. The crumbling walls of the moathouse came into view and they strode on into the courtyard. (Yes, I skipped the frog encounter...didn't seem necessary) Torque halted near the base of the steps leading up into the darkness of the mouthouse's interior and used his detect magic ability. A little late, I thought, as the dragon came charging out and fried him with his lightning breath weapon. Lucky me, Revel was also standing in a direct line behind Torque so he ate the breath weapon, too. A "1" on the dice was Torque's save, and his breastplate melted along with many of his hit points, but he wasn't down. Revel also failed the save and fell unconscious. His cat decided one of the tower tops looked interesting and flew away to hide. Then the melee began in earnest, and I had a number of the characters hurting before the dragon tried to escape, but they managed to shoot him down as he was flying away. They cleared out the rest of the above ground rooms, brought Revel out of unconsciousness, and found a few clues to lead them to believe that there might be something going on down the stairs they found.

Mostly healed, but out of spells, they descended the stairs. The gnolls at the bottom pounced on them as did the ghouls. Calim was almost instantly paralyzed before Gren came into the picture, but the rest of the party came to his rescue and beat the gnolls and undead away. Gren called upon her skeletons to defend her and attempted to flee, but Revel got off a web spell and entangled her and most of her skeletons.

Meanwhile, Chatrilon had followed the party out of Hommlet, watched them dispatch the dragon, and saw them enter the lower levels. He followed, invisibly of course, and studied them fighting...Revel in particular. Immediately after the web spell he saw his opening and made his death attack on poor Revel and rolled...a "1"! Of all the luck! He managed to hold onto his weapon, but Revel saw him there and shouted a warning. Seeing his opportunity lost, Chatrilon again used his wand to render himself invisible and escaped up the stairs and returned to Hommlet to warn the others of the party.

Registered User
(4/7/02 9:38 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaing log
A thorough search of the surrounding rooms followed the battle below the moathouse, and Spugnoir was found. He related the information he knew and told them he would feel safer if he could accompany them until they returned to town. A high level wizard along for the ride? No problem!

They healed up, through potions & scrolls as their spells were pretty much still depleted, and pressed on. The occupants below were unaware of them coming until a few rounds in advance, thanks to Lycos scouting the way & remaining undetected. The gnolls formed a line of defense while the clerics used their spells from behind. The battle was fiece, and a couple of the PCs were unconscious before it ended, but they were victorious. A quick inspection of the area revealed the gaping hole in the floor around the corner, but no knew opposition. The party retreated to the surface to rest and question their captive priest (Gren).

The night was uneventful, and the next day had the party exploring the obelisk chamber. They also encountered the ghouls in the side crypt, but were uninterested in exploring their dark, dank, smelly crawl tunnels. The encounters in the obelisk room were fun, though. I boosted Festrath a bit, mostly with a few different items that suited the tactics I wanted. The descent to the obelisk's top went fine. There was some consternation when they stepped onto the stone itself and noticed the writhing purple veins, but they dashed to the other platform in time. Once two were on the second platform and the others ready to cross, the grell attacked. It didn't do nearly what it could have, and was beat fairly easily. My die rolls that fight were horrible!

Then they began to descend on the second platform. Festrath was well aware of the fight with the grell, but didn't want to interfere. But now this group was invading his space! A big no-no in his book. So, the party is descending into the cold, dark chamber alongside the obelisk. The only light they have is a lantern held by Cavan, the sorcerer. The bottom is nowhere in sight. They are a tiny beacon of light in a sea of darkness, almost literally. Then I call for Spot checks.

A relatively low DC, but luck was with me. Only two made the check...Torque & Lycos. They notice, way against the far wall, maybe 80'-100' away a light appear...level with them (I had given Festrath a potion of fly). I call for initiatives from the two who spotted the light.

Round 1 (partial actions): Festrath casts silence on the platform and drops the scroll he read it from, causing the light to fall, too (the light spell was cast on the scroll). DM informs players that they are silenced, and any verbal discussion at the table of any form until I say otherwise will result in an XP penalty. (nobody spoke...and it was fun to watch them pantomime alerting the others). Torque & Lycos alert the others of the falling light & danger of some sort.

Round 2 (everyone else rolls initiative--full actions): Lycos, fearing the worst (and rightly so) checks that he can't see the bottom yet and dives off the platform, activating his Cloak of the Bat as soon as he falls out of the light. The others, still silent, attempt some rope & grappling hook thing to climb off the platform, but unable to speak find it difficult to coordinate their actions. Festrath, flying in darkness, but able to see them due to their lantern, moves to the rope far above the platform (single move flying) and begins to cut the rope.

Round 3: PC's panic and accomplish next to nothing. Festrath cuts the rope & the platform falls. Everyone takes falling damage, even the monk (for some reason he didn't want to use the obelisk right next to him to try to slow his fall). But lucky for them they were only about 50' from the floor...still, 5d6 hurts. Nobody dropped below zero, though. Oh, yes...the lantern breaks and goes out.

Round 4 & up: The PCs scatter in the dark. Revel sends a dancing lights up and away to search for their attacker. Cavan gets a torch lit. Festrath waits...he can't see in the dark either. When he can see he casts blindness on saving throw later (they should really be called failing throws) and the party has a blind sorcerer. A number of rounds later they manage to defeat Festrath, but he was very difficult. (If I remember correctly I added a Fighter level or two to him)

The PCs explored the chamber, learned how the grell gate worked, and studied the symbols on the floor. They examined the obelisk, but were fearful of getting too close. They decided to return to Hommlet with the items they had found and a bunch of questions.

Registered User
(4/7/02 9:57 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaing log the NPC's in the back of the book I realized that Festrath already had a potion of fly, so I didn't "give" him one. I wish I could remember what exactly I changed about him...oh well.

Unregistered User
(4/8/02 2:47 am)
Don't forget that giving him 2 Fighter lvl's increases his CR by 2 as well

Registered User
(4/8/02 9:20 am)
Re: heh
Absolutely. I changed a number of things early on in the campaign to reflect the party level (they're a little higher than what the module calls for), but always made sure to alter the CR & treasure to reflect said changes. We're in the CRM now and I've (for the most part) stopped upping the difficulty of the critters so as to be able to progress a little faster & give the players some satisfaction of a few good successes before moving on to difficult things. They are just about to reach Vranthis, though, and they are all around 8th (almost 9th) level. (They've cleared out the Air Temple, the guard post at the Fire Bridge, and most stuff in between, except for the dwarf tombs). Since Vranthis is only a juvenile (CR 7) I've added the Fiendish template to him for a much better challenge. A dragon should not be taken for granted.

Registered User
(4/9/02 9:44 am)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
So the PCs, victorious in their exploration of the moathouse, travel back to Hommlet with Gren in tow. A thorough questioning of her revealed some chilling information about her religious beliefs and the fact that a group of cultists was based right in Hommlet itself. She didn't reveal it's exact location, but through very good questioning and deduction (and a few Sense Motive rolls opposed by her Bluff) they figured they were hiding out in the millhouse.

Meanwhile, Chatrilon had returned to Hommlet & warned Dunrat of the PCs presence and danger. Dunrat prepared to send most of his force in town to the moathouse, but then the PCs arrived back in Hommlet, so he hunkered down to watch & wait.

Gren was handed over to Elmo, and the PCs informed him of possible cult activity here in town...specifically at the millhouse. "Ya know, now that you mention it, I haven't seen the miller around for the past few days...figured he was just workin' hard." says Elmo. So Torque respectfully asks for permission to "gather more information on these cultists in town"...which in his special paladin code means permission to storm the millhouse. Elmo is by no means a dummy, but agrees to let the PCs go in first. After all, why waste his own guardsmen when these adventurers are willing to risk themselves? And they're pretty much a good lot anyway.

So the showdown at the millhouse begins. The cultists are fully prepared as Maridosen warns them of when the PCs are coming..and Dunrat has his stalwart eye set outside in a tree to scan the outside. Revel knocks the door open, and Torque, confident in his paladinhood to protect him (as I said a while before...he is a little suicidal sometimes) strides right in...and into the readied attacks of both Grune and Toridan positioned to either side of the door. Grune trips him and Toridan clocks him while he's down. And the battle is on! Lycos has already been in the millhouse, having infiltrated it in bat form, and is invisibly stalking Chenashi. Chatrilon, also invisible, notes the monk come through the door and begins his deadly study. Back and forth rages the combat for a few rounds, and then Lycos gets in his sneak attack against Chenashi....result, crit with his rapier, one very dead cleric. The monk and Dunrat are squared off, neither of them able to land a hit...and Dunrat is trying to just touch the guy! Then I place Chatrilon's mini on the board behind Calim (monk) and ask him to roll a Fort save.

He rolls a 2.

I tell the rest of the characters, "Calim falls over with hardly a sound and remains still." Well, they go into even more of a fighting mode and manage to defeat the rest of the cultists...capturing Chatrilon. Calim is found to be dead, victim of an assassin's death attack.

Elmo is shortly on the scene...he and some guards were waiting a short distance away, and is informed of everything and given Chatrilon to take away and question. The party is given leave to take anything off the cultists that they may want, and is told they will be kept informed of the situation. Torque asks to be in on the questioning, as does Revel, and they are allowed. So they learn of the Temple of All Consumption. Later, Yundi is found dead in the grove and Jaroo is missing. The PCs figure he was part of the cult in some way, but with no way to prove it, can't do much anyway. "Jaroo" may pop up again later in the game...probably with some Rogue levels or something. Maridosen is also missing...she's gone for good, hopefully to a bigger, more profitable city.

The PCs spend some time in Hommlet shopping, getting items identified and asking a bunch of questions about what they have learned. They learn more of the history of the old temple, a little of Nulb, and a few teasing bits about the Big T. They are very careful not to speak that name aloud. Assuming (correctly, for now) that the old temple is still pretty much abandoned, they get ready to depart for Rastor. Yether informs Torque of a newly arrived individual in town, a cleric of Lathander (god of sun, renewal, etc., ...Calim's replacement). Torque meets him, realizes he is an outsider of some sort (aasimar), and invites him along. (I can't, for the life of me, remember the poor cleric's name...but he wasn't around for too long anyway...)

In this alternate world Rastor is a much greater distance away from Hommlet, so it takes the party a while to travel there. In between they stop at a small dwarven settlement, the remnants of the clan that mined Mt. Stalagos many years ago. They are given sketchy bits of information regarding the mines, and told to beware old dwarven grounds as they hold their dangers for a long time. (Maybe the reason they haven't explored the dwarven area near the orcs yet)

They arrive in Rastor after a long, troll filled trip, and find that the clerics in the party are the only ones in town. They are very popular and find it difficult to get anything done. They visit Tymerion and learn of her party's fate and decide to go through the mines, not over. Lycos makes some very impressive Gather Information rolls and gets a little info out of a few men who were guards at the main gate for a short while. So does the party go through the main gate...the one they know a little about? Of course not. They travel into the mountains, find the Air Temple entrance, and decide to see what's in there.

Next time...battle in the Air Temple...and a brand new cleric bites the dust.

Registered User
(4/9/02 9:58 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
OK...getting closer to where the party actually is in the game so my memory should be better than it has been...we'll see.

Standing outside the large double doors that leads into the Air Temple entrance, the party ponders their next steps. There are no guards to be seen, and glancing through the arrow slits on either side of the cave reveals nothing of interest except for a few crossbows & some bolts laying in wait. Cavan makes sure everyone has an Endure Elements or two going and hands out Bull's Strengths to those who need/ask for it. Remus activates his bead of blessing (side question--DMG says this is 17th caster level item, necklace of prayer beads, so bless is around for 17 I reading this right?). Revel gets his mage armor going. When all is ready Revel sets a clairvoyance just on the other side of the door to see what lies beyond. He notes the lit corridor leading straight ahead to another set of doors, a door directly to the right, and a side corridor ahead and to the left. I call for a Spot check to see the sniper waiting oblivious to the characters outside, but he fails to note him. After describing the scene to the party, Revel directs "his" team as to their responsibilities once the door is opened and knocks it open.

Dorak and the new priest of Lathander (still can't remember his name!) move quickly in and to the corner of the tunnel to the left and check down that way. They note the stairs leading up and the closed door on the left wall. Remus and Cavan move to the right and open the door to see what's beyond. Torque strides directly down the center of the hall. Lycos, pretty much left to his own sneaking and scouting, hangs back near the doorway with Revel. Another set of Spot checks all around and Cavan is the only one to notice the sniper above them, clearly surprised at this invasion force. A quick initiative check between the two of us leaves Cavan the winner, and a magic missile barrage from the sorcerer leaves a dead sniper who never had a chance to call a warning. So the guards in the room ahead are still unaware of anything wrong.

Lycos decides to check out the platform the sniper was on and begins to climb the wall to reach it. Cavan and Remus report that beyond the door is nothing more than the arrow slits looking outside. Dorak & priest-boy move ahead to the door down the corridor and Listen...Dorak hears grunting and yips (the gnolls). Revel moves in and casts Detect Thoughts, focusing it ahead, towards the next set of doors. I tell him he detects the presence of thoughts. Torque stands at the ready, seeming rather frustrated that no one is there to block them.

Lycos reaches the platform and informs the group that yes, there really was only one sniper up there. He then begins to move down the stairs away from the platform, fully in exploring/sneaking/hiding mode. Revel moves forward again and notes that most of the thinkers in the room beyind are average to low, with the exception of one high reading (Kellial). "Guards and a captain" he thinks, correctly at that. Dorak opens the door to the gnoll's barracks and moves inside. The gnolls turn to this surprise entry. Torque, Cavan and Remus move to the double doors, waiting on Revel to direct them.

The gnolls get the jump on Dorak, but their round is spent grabbing weapons and surrounding him. That, I believe, is when we were all introduced to the horror that is called Whirlwind Attack. Dorak declares a full attack action and cuts down every single gnoll that surrounds him. We all just stared at him for a moment...him with his foolish little grin on his face. Meanwhile, Revel determines that no one beyond the door has realized their entrance, drops his Detect Thoughts (a free action since it is a concentration dependent spell), and moves back a bit, quietly positioning everyone and directing at the same time. Lycos, high above, turns himself invisible with the wand he got off of Chatrilon and moves further down the stairs. He discovers the hallway at the base extending in both directions, and the doors & passage to his left.

Revel, out of Knock spells, casts Reduce on one of the doors, shrinking it enough to hopefully weaken it for Torque and his heightened strength to break through. Immediately after, Cavan directs a Fireball through the opening (helped along by a rather difficult ranged attack roll to direct it through), but it detonates closer than planned as it strikes the raised platform in the center of the room. The human guards are killed instantly, and the ogres fail their saves, but don't die right away. Kellial also fails his save. (Good Fireball for the sorcerer, terrible saves for me) A little backlash of fire leaks out of the room, but nothing drastic. Torque charges the door, but it holds against his break attempt. Dorak and the priest (feeling rather puny after watching a group of gnolls be mowed down) return to the group.

Kellial retreats out the back doors and begins to climb the staircase to the upper level and the Air Temple. He orders the ogres to watch his back. Lycos, in the eastern corridor beyond the guardroom's doors, hears the Fireball detonate, figures the group is fine, and decides to see what is down the closest side passage. Torque, aided by Remus, manages to break down the weakened door and the both of them rush into the guardroom. The only opponents they see are the badly burned ogres on the other side of the room.

The ogres are no match for the party and fall quickly. Lycos listens at the doors he finds along the hall and notes voices behind one and the sound of metal (the guards who heard the Fireball going off and the short fight and are now getting suited up). Grinning, still invisible, he drinks a potion of spider climb and climbs the wall, hanging upside down above the doorway, and waits.

Revel, noting the open doors across the guardroom and the fact that all the dead appear to be lackeys, deduces that the captain fled. He leaves quick instructions on what to do, casts Fly, and goes after the retreating Kellial.

The next couple rounds are spent in pursuit and waiting. The door below Lycos finally opens, and the guards cautiously emerge. He waits until they are all out before using his advantage to sneak attack the last one in line. The other guards turn in surprise at the gurgling death of one of them in time to see Lycos, still grinning, and now fully visible, amble down the wall and face them. With his dead smile still on his face he quietly tells them, "You're all going to die."

Revel flies up the stairs, but they are circular and more difficult to navigate than he anticipated. He emerges at the top in time to see Kellial running down the corridor, yelling. A charge out of his Wand of Magic Missiles doesn't drop him before he rounds the corner far ahead. Revel flies to the end of the corridor and peeks around. He sees Kellial and Fachis and the Air Temple itself, but is seen in the process. He decides that being here all alone is probably braver than he wants to be and flies quickly back to the party.

Lycos, meanwhile, has mopped up most of the guards with a little help from Cavan and Remus. Revel returns and they begin to plan their next move. Everyone feels fine, and the casters still have some spells left, so they decide to press on and assault the temple itself.

Up above, in the Air Temple, the guards have been called out, Graud & Choranth are alerted, and Fachish gets ready to summon an air elemental. Choranth brings out one of her bear skeletons. I think here I should note that the skeletons I use are the alternate ones described by WotC on their website. Let me clue ya, one big ol' dire bear skeleton using that template is a big threat! Kellial gets some healing as well.

So after a few minutes the party moves up the stairs and rounds the corner into a very prepared Air Temple. The air elemental enters the fray and picks Torque up into the air, bashing him as he goes. Revel casts a Web into the midst of all the guards, but alas, the Freedom of Movement effect in the temple has them moving through it as if it weren't there. Fachish drops a Confusion spell on the party and gets the air elemental in it as well (some page flipping ensued as I tried to find a place that said elementals were unaffected by mind-influencing effects, but no luck). Chaos unsues as the party attacks each other, stands there, or shakes free of the spell for a moment. Torque continues to be buffeted by the air elemental. Dorak and Remus hold the front against the advancing guards, Graud & Kellial. The party slowly inches their way further into the temple. Choranth commands he bear forward, and the priest of Lathander (undead hater) steps up and bravely tries to turn it. No luck. The bear tears into him, wounding him badly (they're wrong, I tell ya!) Lycos, invisible again, has moved outside the melee and is trying to get to the priests, especially Fachish standing on the raised platform. The battle rages back and forth. Most of the guards are killed. Graud drops and the elemental is beaten. Torque is severly wounded, though, and stands back a moment to lay on hands and maybe heal himself some more. The priest of Lathander fights valiantly against the bear skeleton, but one critical bite later (30-something points) sees him nearly torn in two. The fighters fall on the skeleton and demolish it. Kellial fights on for a few more rounds but succombs to the wrath of the party. Fachish and Choranth are about the only defenders left standing. Revel is close by Choranth and hears her whisper in his direction that she will aid them if they get rid of Fachish. Revel makes a split second decision and focuses the part on Fachish, who falls a few rounds later.

The fight ends, but the party's newest member lays dead, and the rest are sorely injured. Choranth calls for a truce, mainly because she knows she has no hope of defeating them, even in the state they are in, and offers information and safe passage through the temple in exchange for her life and continued station here in the temple. The party agrees, and also claim anything of value they can find in the temple and surrounding rooms. Choranth can do little but let them loot. They search the entire area, question her some more after they find various papers and documents in Fachish's chambers, and then leave the mines and return to Rastor.

Once in Rastor they rest, identify items, and re-equip. Revel studies all the information he has garnered...he is starting to collect quite the library. A wandering elf archer enters town, introduces herself as Drazi, and offers her services for a cut of the money. Having just buried one companion the party figures they need all the help they can get and agree to have her along. After a few days in town they travel back to the mines.

Choranth hasn't had much time to recruit more people, so the Air Temple is still pretty empty. The party troops through, reminding her that a betrayal would be deadly, and enters the mines to the west, heading for the orcs.

Next time...giants and orcs face off!

Registered User
(4/16/02 10:11 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
The party made pretty short work of the hydra in the tunnels past the Air Temple. They're just too well coordinated. That may save them later on.

After the hydra they began to enter the orc caves. They slowly made their way into the living quarters cave...the one with the spiral stairwell connecting the lower and upper chambers. Listen checks all around had them on the defensive. No sounds from above (nobody had yet climbed the stairs to explore), but there was definately a battle raging further down the tunnel...and getting closer. Cavan recognized something speaking in Giant laughing and bellowing about killing puny orcs before breakfast.

The party spread out in defensive positions and waited. Seconds later a small group of orcs burst into the room, obviously retreating from something. They were extremely startled to find a party of adventurers. Directly behind them lumbered a hill giant (sent from the Fire Bridge complex to get rid of the orcs once and for all). The party, fearing little from the battered orcs, ignored them, and in turn were ignored, and attacked the giant. A rather quick battle followed in which the giant actually got off 2 attacks of opportunity as both Dorak and Torque charged him in subsequent rounds. Then he fell to the party.

Quick, guarded negotiations followed. The orc barbarian chief was still living, but his tribe consisted of a few women, children and about 3 warriors. The party was not interested in murdering a few orcs who only wanted to be left alone and decided that it could possibly be in their advantage to help them out. They gave the orcs some food and minor, mundane items, only asking for safe passage and a place to camp if necessary. The orcs were quick to agree, and mentioned the cursed dwarven grounds nearby. Cavan wanted to go explore right away, but was overruled by the rest of the party. The Bridge complex waited close by.

The PCs moved to behind one of the gnoll guarded doors and prepared. Revel, in an increasingly common tactic, cast a Clairvoyance to scout out the other side of the door. He noted the gnoll guards lounging around and the passage stretching away. Spells were cast in preparation and a battle plan was quickly laid out.

Revel, of course, Knocked the door, and the warriors surged through. The gnolls held for a round longer than I expected, more to poor movement tactics on the part of the characters than anything else, but they were quickly dispatched. Lycos and Remus moved down the hall to the left while Torque, Dorak and Drazi slowly moved up the main corridor. Revel and Cavan hung back.

Remus & Lycos found the larder and the empty giant's lair (I completely forgot about the wolverine, so it was never there...oh well). Lycos also noted noise on the other side of the other door (gnoll barracks). Torque and Drazi had taken up position a short ways down the main hall while Dorak entered the human guard's barracks. They slowly grabbed for weapons. Dorak smiled. He didn't want to cut down unarmed men. Cavan, meanwhile, readied a Fireball further down the corridor, past Torque, to hinder incoming reinforcements.

A large, horned head peeked around the corner of the intersection. Cavan noted it (decent Spot check) and launched his Fireball. It detonated right on target, but as the flames dissolved, the head was still there, apparently unfazed. It withdrew from view. D'Gran had entered the fight. Cavan warned the others of what he saw..."and fire won't work," he mentioned offhand. Remus, meanwhile, was making short work of the gnolls in the other guard chamber, as was Dorak with the human guards. Lycos heard the called warning from both Cavan and Revel, turned himself invisible with his wand, and began moving back to his spellcasters.

There was a round of movement on both sides, and then the battle got interesting. A hill giant lumbered around one corner almost at the same time that a heavily armored troll loped around the other. Torque called out to Dorak that if he was finished in there it might be nice if he came out to play with the big boys.

Then D'Gran made himself visible, flying, in the middle of the intersection, by casting an Unholy Blight upon the mages in the back and Remus who had just rejoined them.

Revel cast Web in the intersection, and surprisingly enough, D'Gran was caught. But not for long. Both Tippesh and Heunar were on the scene now, and Heunar had brought his pet dinosaurs. They scampered around the corner, but one managed to slide into the web and remain there for the rest of the fight.

Spells flew as the mages cast back and forth, and the troll and giant had things well in hand with the 2 fighters and the archer. Lycos slowly made his way towards the enemy mages, invisible, but still hiding in case they could see invisibility. D'Gran, still stuck, turned himself invisible.

Heunar fell quickly, but not before Webbing the entire passage behind the PCs, cutting off their retreat. Revel threw an alchemist's fire into the web to begin burning it away, but there were long rounds to wait before there was a way through. And D'Gran made himself gaseous and escaped the Web, floating invisibly and silently past the fight with the giant and troll and towards the mages guarded by Remus.

D'Gran reformed in the middle of the passage between the fighters and Revel, Cavan & Remus, splitting the party between him. Remus went after him with his chain, but to little effect. Lycos managed to sneak attack Tippesh, but not kill her.

D'Gran used his Cone of Cold to engulf both Revel and Remus. The next round he brought Remus to zero with a critical hit with his greatsword. Things looked a bit bad for Remus and Revel.

But then the giant and troll fell almost at the same time, and Tippesh died to Lycos' rapier. The party converged on D'Gran. He put up a good fight, but they got him in the end. But how to really kill him?

They Fireballed him while he was down...but he was still regenerating. They dumped acid on him and cast an Acid Arrow into him...and he was still regenerating. They even poured holy water on him...and he was still regenerating. SR coupled with high resistances and regeneration make for a foe who just won't die. So the party decided to wrap him up in blankets, weigh it down with stones, and toss him in the lake. Unknown to them, suffocation still kills a regenerating creature, so they finally killed D'Gran.

They were hurt badly, though, and mostly out of spells. They ransacked the entire guard complex, taking everything they could find. The body of a halfling hung in a crude throne room, bruised and battered almost beyond recognition. They took it down and Torque and Remus gave it last rights. Then they retreated to the orcs to rest and go over their loot.

Registered User
(4/17/02 9:14 am)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
The party rested, and then continued on past the Fire Bridge. They had been moving rather quickly and figured that reinforcements would slowly be trickling in as time went by, but for now hoped to remain pretty much undetected.

They entered the caverns of the Umber Hulks and spread out (as their SOP upon entering a large cavern) to look around. I had the young Hulk laying in wait just below the ground at the mouth of the passage to his lair. Revel was flying, but everyone else was on the ground (love Tremorsense!). It burst out of the ground and attacked the nearest PC, who I believe was Cavan. Initiatives all around and the party acted. It was great fun to call out someone's turn in initiative, have them say they are going for the creature, and then I get to say, "cool, make a Will save." Gaze attacks can be horrible. After the second round the only ones who were not confused were Cavan and Lycos...even Revel's cat familiar clawed him and ran away. Revel, I should note, got very lucky in this fight. He was floating in mid air very close to the Umber Hulk when it burst out of the ground, but the HUlk didn't know he was there at first because he wasn't on the ground & the creature was under the surface & couldn't "see". He was then confused by the gaze on his round and just hung there in mid-air for a round or two, well within the Umber Hulk's reach. But a fighter or two managed to get in the way and saved him the trouble of being grabbed out of the air and carried off to be lunch.

Anyway, in a lucid moment Revel attempted a dispel magic on the confusion effect. He (and his player) were very surprised when I said, "OK, the spell goes off, but you note no immediate effect."

"What!" I could see him preparing his argument. So I pointed out page 71-72 in the DMG. Dispel magic does not work on supernatural effects unless stated otherwise, and the gaze attack of the Umber Hulk is a supernatural gaze. Case closed. There was much grumbling, but no real resistance as I had made my case quite strongly.

The Umber Hulk was dispatched a few rounds later, but the confusion effect wore on. Remus had wandered off, back the way they had come, and Torque and Lycos (constantly at odds anyway) were grappling eachother.

That's when I began to see the danger in the encounter as written. One Umber Hulk...not too much problem. But when the second, older creature burst from the cave just before the younger's gaze effects wore off, I realized they could be in a little trouble.

Cavan, one of the few still in his own mind, cast Blindness on the thing...and lo & behold it was blinded. But not to worry...did I mention I love Tremorsense? And the gaze is something that works whether it can see or not, so the only thing that did was to not allow it to actively gaze on it's turn, and why would it want to do that anyway when it can just passively let the gaze work and on its turn rip into opponents with it's claws? But it was a good try on the part of the sorcerer. So in return I had the Umber Hulk grapple him (succeeding) and begin to drag him back to it's lair. It was a few rounds, the sorcerer was nearly dead, and they were almost to it's lair when the party, those who could do anything, managed to bring the creature down.

In planning the encounter I hadn't expected it to last as long as it did or be as difficult. But it was great fun all around, so I guess that's what counts. The party decided to rest up in the now vacant lairs and that's where we ended the session.


It's been about 12-14 days of game world time since the party initially attacked the Air Temple. Choranth has recruited a few more guards, but she has not animated any undead yet...she is still wary of the party coming through. One of their stipulations on her continued life was that she not use any more undead. The gargoyles, though "friendly" will not assist her in any major form. The cloakers on the other hand, are allied with the Air Temple, so she may be able to use them.

The Water Temple has learned of the Air Temple's fall. Their bridge is only just down the hall, and a little spying now and then never hurt anyone. So now they are considering finishing the Air Temple off for good before moving on to attack the Fire Temple, but don't want to spread their forces too far. If they could recruit the ones who attacked the Air Temple perhaps they could use them to assist in their plans...

The Outer Fane remains mainly ignorant to events in the mine so far. That won't last for long if the party continues as they have been.

Registered User
(4/17/02 10:23 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
And now, finally, (Finally!) we come to last Sunday's session.

A quick recap of the party composition.

Torque: Human Cleric/Paladin of Torm 8th character level or so

Cavan: Human Sorcerer/Incantatrix 8th level

Lycos (go get it): Human Rogue/Guild Thief 7th level

Revel: Human Wizard 8th level (I think)

Remus: Human Fighter/Cleric of Torm 8th level

Drazi: Elf Fighter/Wizard 6th level

Dorak: Human Fighter 7th level (I think)

The party rested up in the caves of the defeated Umber Hulks. They discussed their options and decided to move a little ways further before possibly turning back and seeing what was the other way. They have a decent idea of the layout of the CRM, so realize that their next occupied area in this direction is the Main Gate Entrance, beyond which is the Earth Temple.

So they travel on.

A short while later they come upon a long, narrow cavern filled on one side with water. Spot checks all around fail to notice the hidden Kuo-toa watcher in the water. Moolawik (sp?) has been sent to watch the PCs for a little while and see if they might be recruited by the Water Temple. He is wary, though, of the dragon who lives close by, so remains near the escape tunnel out into the lake.

The party moves ahead and discovers that the main tunnel branches. Lycos scouts quietly down the side passage and finds the old abandoned mining platform in a large cave, along with a set of old mine cart tracks leading out and slightly uphill. I roll a Listen check for the sleeping Vranthis, but that -1 per 10' can be a killer, and he doesn't hear the Rogue creeping about.

Lycos returns to the party and reports his findings. They have a short, quiet discussion and decide to leave the old platform alone for now and continue ahead. A very short ways on and a few of them note something glistening and yellowish slide out of the water and flow over the rocks towards them. Dorak, having lost a scimitar early on to an ooze at the moathouse, falls back, calling for fire support from the mages. Drazi shoots it with an arrow, but it dissolves upon contact, leaving the amoeba-like creature apparently unharmed. Cavan, very near the creature, fills it with Magic Missiles, and it flinches back, scorched and blackened in places. That's all the incentive Revel needs, and he drills it with his own Magic Missiles, hurting it further. Then it lashes out with a pseudopod, connecting with Cavan. The sorcerer's robes almost immediately begin smoking and dissolving. He dances back, tearing his clothes away and tossing them to the ground. Another round of Magic Missiles from a wand that Revel has finishes the creature and it melts away into nothingness. I call for Listen checks and everyone makes the easy DC except Cavan...too busy pulling an extra set of clothing on over his head. They all hear a splash as something rather large leaps into the water behind them. Vranthis has heard the sounds of their fight and has come to play!

Remus casts a Light spell onto a coin and tosses it down the cavern, attempting to get some more light out there. Torque simply grabs an everburning torch from Dorak and runs to where the sound came from. Revel quietly chants, activating his Shield spell. Then they see a large shape gliding just under the water. It slows, sticks its reptilian head out of the water, and breathes a large cloud of stinging, burning gas at them. Its head is ridged with hard bumps and sharp looking horns. Its eyes burn with a fierce fire. Lycos makes the save and is unharmed. Revel, Remus and Dorak all fail and are savaged by the acidic vapors, but none fall. Revel, once the cloud clears, responds with a resounding Lightning Bolt. The flash of electricity blinds everyone for a moment, but as their eyesight returns they see the dragon still serenely floating in the water, unfazed. They fear that they may be in some danger here.

Drazi has since run up the wall using her Slippers of Spider Climbing and is launching arrows into the thing. She notes that it only seems to be taking minimal damage from the arrows, but can not do much else. Dorak and Remus wade into the water, but it deepens quickly. They have a difficult time reaching the dragon. Lycos throws a Bead of Force at it, damaging it slightly, but not trapping it. Revel Dimension Doors to where Torque is and tells him to wait there a moment. Cavan begins casting a spell.

Vranthis, recharged already, breathes again, but amazingly enough, everyone in the area makes their saves. They are really beginning to hurt now. Dorak and Remus attack. They do some damage, but can see that their weapons are just not doing their full potential. Revel casts Fly on Torque, and he charges through the air to engage Vranthis. Cavan finishes his spell, an Empowered Magic Missile, but fails his Spell Penetration check. Frustrated he launches a normal MM and gets through. Lycos throws alchemist's fire, but succeeds only in hitting the damage is inflicted.

Vranthis lashes out at Dorak and Remus, dropping Remus to -9 instantly and Dorak to single digits. Torque is slightly battered by a wing, but manages an attack of his own. Revel sends another MM into the dragon, bypassing his SR. Vranthis is down quite a bit now and is ready to leave. But then Cavan throws the party's second Bead of Force and encapsulates him!

Vranthis thrashes about in his prison, but can do nothing. Likewise the PCs can only look in at the dragon looking out at them. They hurridly heal themselves up, using many potions and scrolls. Remus is brought back to consciousness and doles out some healing of his own. They are hurting a little for a good, single class cleric. Torque also hands out his healing.

Then they wait. They take up positions around the bubble of force trapping the dragon. Vranthis watches everything they do. The force bubble vanishes and the fight is on again!

A few hits are scored by the party and then Vranthis breathes his last time. Failed saves all around accrue more acid damage, but not as much since Cavan had doled out Endure Acid to all during the break. Good thing they had healed up or some of them would have been dead with that 3rd breath weapon attack. And then Dorak kills Vranthis with a crit that causes 30-40 points of damage. Even with his DR it was enough to drop him.

The party decides that they will get no further today, and figures the room that had the platform was as good a place as any to rest. As they are discussing this, Moolawik hails them and asks for a parley.

The fish man stays mostly in the water. He offers the PCs the opportunity to join the Water Temple in its glorious victory over the hated Fire Temple. He notes that their victory over the Air Temple is something to be proud of, and that the leaders of the Water Temple smile upon them. They are obviously powerful after having defeated the great dragon Vranthis. He cannot give any indication of what an alliance would actually entail...he is merely the messenger. But he can offer them safe passage to the Water Temple to discuss matters with his superiors. The party states that they must consider this offer and plan a meeting at this same location in one day's time. The fish man leaves.

Torque states that, while the fish man and his temple are obviously evil, perhaps a short term alliance to beat down another evil would be satisfactory. Still, any alliance would be short lived, and all are aware of that. The party retires to the surprisingly stable mining platform to rest and discuss this new turn of events. They are somewhat disturbed to find that their presence has been noted and followed. No real decision is made.

Lycos, meanwhile, bored with inactivity, explores a little way up the tunnels. He discovers the dragon's lair and the strange, floating pyramid above the treasure. Knowing better than to touch anything he reports his findings to Revel.

After a short, heated discussion the party grabs their things and troops to the lair to see what is there. Revel examines the pyramid closely, but does not touch it. It definately has some sort of levitation magic on it, and it radiates Conjuration magic of some sort, but beyond that he is unsure of what it is. The coins and gems under it in the cauldron sure look good, though! Cavan decides to try to move it with a Mage Hand. Torque stands close by, and as the Mage Hand nudges the pyramid it abruptly falls. Torque tries to catch it as it falls, but the oil coating the pyramid makes it slippery, and it slips through his hands and smashes on the ground. Foul smelling smoke bursts forth and a loud bellow echoes throughout the cavern. What have they called forth!?

The session ended here. Everyone was on edge, not knowing what was summoned from the broken pyramid. They are all still wounded from the fight with Vranthis and the mages are about out of spells, although I'm sure Cavan has a few slots left over. I think they can handle the Fiendish Girallon easily enough, though. And I think Lycos will have a grimly good time killing it. After all, a number of months ago (in the game world) a girallon took his life away for a short while.

Notes and Thoughts:

Vranthis had the Fiendish template added to him. It bumped him up to a CR 9 creature, but I think the party would have handled him easily as he was written. The 10/+3 DR and SR of 25 caused them some trouble, but not enough to make it overwhelming. I have tried not to change things too much here in the mines, figuring that their level advancement would go a little slower as they were already a decent level when they arrived. But I also think that a dragon is not to be trifled with, and wanted Vranthis to put up a good fight. I fully expected him to kill someone, and Remus nearly died, but the party did well, and that failed save vs. the Bead of Force saved them, I think. But they used a bunch of resources. Potions and scrolls mainly, but I like to get rid of their second and third line of backups whenever I can.

Revel also did some scouting with his Arcane Eye up the tracks and saw the ettin and its pet rust monster, so the party knows that is ahead if they choose to go that way. The Water Temple offer is on the table, though, and I'm not sure which way things will go. If they decide to rebuff the temple I think it will go ahead with its plans to hit the Fire Temple, but keep tabs on the party as well, perhaps reporting them to the Outer Fane.

Once Hedrack becomes aware of them I think he will enlist the aid of Dirass, as he is one of the very few in the Outer Fane who has any ranks whatsoever is Scry. He will have Dirass scry upon the party and report to him. If the PCs are doing well then he will probably send Planar Allies to deal with them first before sending his own in-house troops (the assassins). I'm thinking a quartet of Air Grues from Dragon #285, and if they fail maybe a Demonically Fused Earth Elemental from the same issue. If he does have to send his assassins I believe he will send a Refuge spell along to get them back to report quickly.

Next game in a couple of Sundays. We'll see how things go then.

Edited by: SSShadowcat7 at: 4/28/02 9:49:10 pm
Registered User
(4/28/02 9:47 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
So this game began with a bang in the party's favor and didn't let up for them until the end. They just had good luck all the way through. And the fact that they are around 8th level going up against EL 5 things helped also.

The fiendish girallon appeared to defend Vranthis's treasure with Torque standing right next door. A claw swipe hurt him slightly, but not too badly (remember, they were all still hurt from fighting Vranthis). He backpedalled and cast a Protection from Evil. Then Cavan gets off his last 3rd level spell, a Dispel Magic, and sends the troublesome ape thing on its way.

They loot and count their money and rest for the night in Vranthis's lair. They also spend this time to discuss exactly what they know of the CRM and the Fanes and how to access and pass the elemental doors. The options before them are many. They decide against allying with the Water Temple, at least for now. They have 2 air keys and one water key (can't remember how they got a water key, but oh well). They know how they work, but want more.

The idea of going to the Fire Temple and ratting on the Water Temple is tossed out and quickly voted down.

The night passes uneventfully for them. In the morning they prep themselves once more and go to meet the Water Temple emmisary. Moolowik is again waiting for them in the water and greets them as honored equals. Torque does the talking, but only speaks what the party has agreed upon previously. Revel, before they arrive for the meeting, gets a Detect Thoughts going, but Moolowik makes his Will save on the 3rd round so there is no advantage.

Torque, in a surprising display of diplomacy, thanks the kuo-toa for their generous offer, but states that the party is otherwise occupied at the time. Perhaps in the future an alliance may be formed. Moolowik accepts this, knowing that arguing will get them nowhere, but asks for a truce between the two groups. No hostilities are to be initiated against one another until another meeting in the unspecified future. Torque agrees, rather guardedly, and Moolowik leaves.

The party then gears up for the rust monster...oh yeah, and the ettin. Their consternation over a rust monster gave me no end of amusement. The fighters were taking off their armor and fashioning clubs from bones scattered about in Vranthis's lair, not willing to risk their weapons to the little creature. Revel stopped them, though, and said that he and Cavan would deal with the rust monster if the fighters kept the ettin off them.

So the party sneaks slowly down the passage for a ways. Revel places a Clairvoyance inside the ettin's lair (he scouted it out the day before with an Arcane Eye so was familiar with the cave). Then he sends a Dancing Lights on down the hall to illuminate the area. He sees the ettin and rust monster snoozing. And finally he sends Magic Missiles streaking around the corner and into the poor, helpless little rust monster, completely ignoring the ettin as it wakes up and charges out into the tunnel towards the party.

Torque and Dorak stand their ground and beat the ettin down rather easily as Revel finishes off the rust monster. It didn't stand a chance.

They then move on down the mine tunnels, avoiding both the green slime trap and the basilisk. Did I mention that things just went their way today?

Finally they arrived in the area of the Main Gate. This fight can only be describes as a slaughter. For 5th level characters this area can be a challenge. For this group of 7 PCs who are 7th and 8th level the challenge was in not dropping their weapons.

Their tactics were admirable, though. They fought excellently as a team and used their abilities well. A well placed Silence spell (on Torque) prevented the gnoll guards in area 2 from ringing the bell (not that they had the chance), and it just went downhill for the defenders from there. Two Fireballs from Cavan took out 90% of the gnolls and warriors as they came to fight, and the rest were cut down by Remus and Torque. Wormspike and Mereclar both were in one of the Fireballs, both failed their saves and took much damage. The howler stuck around for a couple of rounds more, but even it couldn't face up to this well armed group.

**Question** Torque had a Protection from Evil spell going when the Howler charged him. Would you rule that, since the Howler is an outsider, it couldn't attack him? Or is it only summoned or conjured things? And the player's argument, if it's an outsider and it's not summoned or conjured, how did it get here?

Even Terrenygit, attempting to escape this massacre, was cut down. The trogs down the hall escaped, though, so the Earth Temple is forewarned.

That's pretty much where we ended up. The party knows they did well, but they also know that they were up against foes not on their level. They realize that there are difficult times ahead.

I believe the plan now is for them to exit the mines. They have knowledge of a sizeable troll lair about 10 miles away. They got the map from the Fire Bridge complex and are probably going to take a side-adventure and go clean up there. They figure that should give them enough XP to level. Then they can return to civilization to sell stuff, buy stuff and craft stuff for a short time before returning to the CRM.

This will give me a chance to make up my own troll lair, which should prove to be fun, and sit back and take stock of what the CRM temples will be doing in the party's absence.

I think both assassins from the Outer Fane will be sent to Rastor eventually to search out the party. They are not to engage them face to face, but to take some or all of them out quietly. Victor will be a cook at the inn after the old cook takes a permanent vacation. When the party comes through a bit of Dark Reaver Powder in their food should prove to be a downer. And then the Nitharit contact poison on the door handles to their rooms courtesy of Bethe while they're eating their "special" dinner should liven up the night.

Next game is Mother's Day, so we'll probably not play. Hope to have more in about a month.

Registered User
(4/28/02 11:06 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
**Question** Torque had a Protection from Evil spell going when the Howler charged him. Would you rule that, since the Howler is an outsider, it couldn't attack him? Or is it only summoned or conjured things? And the player's argument, if it's an outsider and it's not summoned or conjured, how did it get here?

As far as I know the spell only protects against summoned creatures. Besides summoning there are two other methods for an outsider of getting there: being gate in or walking through a portal. Unlike with summoning the creatures will also truely die in these circumstances. I ruled that the howler most likely wandered through a portal, though I can just as easily see it being summoned through a planar ally spell. The reason I ruled for the portal was because of its permanent servitude. I always envision the planar ally as willing to stay only for a clearly limited task.

A resident
(5/26/02 8:32 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
Finally! Finally we get to play again! And then the session is a short one...oh, well.

Mostly paperwork and book-keeping items for this session. My patience is wearing thin with all this waiting for the meat of the campaign, but it still progresses nicely, albiet slowly.

OK. Characters present for this session:

Dorak--Male Human Fighter 7

Remus--Male Human Fighter 3/ Cleric 5 (Torm)

Revel--Male Human Wizard 7

Torque--Male Human Paladin 5/ Cleric 2 (Torm)

Lycos--Male Human Rogue 5/ Guild Thief 2 (from FRCS)

Cavan--Male Human Sorcerer 8

The party mopped up (read looted) the Main Gate Complex and decided to head back to Rastor first before going out to engage the troll lair they had become aware of. They briefly puzzled over the letters found in Mereclar & Terrenygit's chambers, but noted them mainly for the signatures...surely ranking priests in the Fanes.

(IMC the trip to Rastor from the CRM one-way is 3 days) First night out they discover a small package left at their campsite while they slept (guards noticed nothing unusual during watches). With trepidition and much going over they opened it to find a strange message. This was their first contact with Varachan. I'm keeping him a mystery on purpose for a couple of reasons.

First (most obviously) because he's not stupid enough to reveal himself yet. And secondly I'm not sure exactly how to handle him as an NPC. Without spellcasting capabilities or much of anything else he's stuck with nothing really to do or be able to accomplish. I read somewhere on this board about giving him abilities as needed, as part of his atoning. Something like him praying to one of the gods of goodness for only certain things to aid him in his newfound purpose. So I had a deity send him an Invisible Stalker to transport the message to the PCs, but that's all. He also sent along the scrolls of Heal, Greater Dispelling & Restoration as a sign of good faith. Unfortunately none of the PCs who could use the 6th level spell scrolls (the 2 Clerics) have the appropriate Wisdom modifier yet (how ironic!). Maybe Lycos can Use Magic Device on them.

No other encounters on the way back to Rastor. But my how things have changed when they get there!

Dwarves mining in the nearby hills have stumbled upon an ancient, sealed underground complex (now empty) right next to very rich veins of mithril. This has prompted a huge influx of dwarves to Rastor, nearly tripling its population. They have set to clearing out the discovered complex and beginning mining operations. Already a makeshift church to Moradin has been set up in Rastor itself with plans being laid for a full scale temple to be built. Rastor has pretty much become a dwarven community. And a sizeable one at that! The nearby orc tribe is relatively unaffected. I play them as a neutral mining community, which the dwarves respect.

So the PCs enter Rastor amidst this fanfare and tumult. They discover that it has rather quickly become a boom town and set about unloading a bunch of stuff they have aquired in the CRM. The dwarven clan here is one that (until recently) lived outside Hommlet, and the PCs had allied with them before. It was nice for them to find they had friends around for a change.

The next 8 days were spent shopping, information gathering, selling & crafting. Revel & Cavan combined forces to craft their hearts out. The results were: a Wand of Melf's Acid Arrow (for Cavan), a pair of Slippers of Spider Climbing (for Lycos), a Glove of Chill Touch (use activated, for Cavan) and a Wand of Magic Missile (at 5th level for Revel).

Lycos found out that someone had recently arrived in town and was asking after the group (this was Victor doing some info. gathering of his own).

Also several of the party noted during their time in Rastor that they were being scried upon (this was by Dirass, the drow mage in the Outer Fane, directed by Hedrack who apparently has no Scry skill whatsoever).

And then came assassination attempt #1. This was really just a testing attempt by the 2 assassins to see the party's reactions.

The party was ready to head back out of town. They were all together eating dinner at the inn they were staying at. Victor, posing as a delivery person of some sort, entered the kitchen and puts poison into their food. Dark Reaver Powder to be exact. Fortitude saves all around and only Lycos, Revel and Dorak make the save. 2d6 Con damage to all the others. I tell them they feel suddenly ill...cramped & weak. They waste a few rounds with realization and quick discussion. Cavan drinks an antitoxin. Lycos melts into the shadows, expecting an attack. Torque uses the Heal skill to see if he has been poisoned. He realizes that he has.

Then the 2nd wave of saves go off. More failures. Revel (the mage for gods sake!) is still fine. Torque makes the 2nd save also. Cavan is down to a 3 Con I think, and hurting badly. Remus finally casts Detect Poison and sees that all their food is poisoned...but not the drinks.

So off to the new dwarven church they go. And spend the next 2 nights there.

That night, though, a few of them go back to their rooms to get all their stuff. Those few succomb to the Nitharit contact poison that was smeared on the door handles. 3d6 Con damage and finally I've got Revel down 10 Con points and feeling puny.

So paranoid and watchful they leave Rastor, still planning on hitting the troll lair 4 days away. No other attempts were made upon them, and they are wary and a little scared now. The note from Varachan warned them that the powers that be were starting to stir.

Back at the Temple of All Consumption and the CRM a few things have been going on as well. Thrommel has been given leave to make use of the CRM as his own, but the temples are to be left alone. He still lairs in the Outer Fane, but wanders the mines by night. He has taken as his own the remnants of the orc tribe near the Fire bridge. Murant, the orc leader is now a vampire under Thrommel's control, and the few remaining orc warriors are now vampire spawn. He has given a few to Choranth in the Air temple to command as her own (although he could gain control of them back if he really wanted to). I restocked the Air Temple with a few air mepits, some minor guards, and a new commander: an air genasi fighter who now carries the Sword of Air.

Bethe (who applied the poison to the PCs door handles) stole minor personal items out of their rooms in the inn as well and is on her way back to the Temple with them. These will be used to facilitate scrying attempts on the party. Hedrack plans on keeping tabs on them and harrassing them as necessary.

And one last note that I forgot. Torque called for his mount on their way back to Rastor from the mines. So he now has a wondrous heavy war horse mount along for the ride. That should prove interesting.

Next session in 2 weeks. Should be a big troll fight.

A resident
(6/9/02 8:21 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
Not much to report this week.

The party followed the crude map they found at the Fire Bridge Complex to a small tribe of trolls and laid waste to it. The combat took up the whole session.

I had a group of 12 trolls and 2 hill giants. They were led by a Half-Fiend/Half-troll Barbarian and a Half-Black Dragon/ Half-Troll Adept.

A long & drawn out battle ensued, and I had all the PCs worried about surviving, but they managed to defeat the troll forces and drive off the leaders. They found quite a haul of monetary treasure in the caves, but nothing magical.

I think everyone has gone up a level, and their plan is to head back to Rastor, equip themselves and hit the mines again.

Meanwhile, Bethe has returned to the Outer Fane with the items she stole from the party, aiding scrying attempts greatly. Victor remains in Rastor. I'm not sure what I'll do with him yet. The Air Temple is up and running again with Choranth at its head.

Hedrack has brought Thrommel to heel a bit as he was getting excessive in his population of the mines. Thrommel hates Hedrack, but Hedrack has control of his coffin so things are even there. I expect Thrommel will be a bit of a wild card for the PCs. He will gleefully torment them whenever possible, but he will also be willing to bargain with them if it means gaining control of his coffin.

The Main Gate and Fire Bridge are still relatively deserted. The temples are all still running normally, although both the Air & Earth Temples are at hightened security because of the PCs incursions.

We'll see what next session brings. Update in 2 weeks.

A resident
(6/26/02 6:14 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
The party, battered but victorious over the trolls they hunted straggled back into Rastor. The town had grown since their departure only 8 days ago. The discovery of mithril in the surrounding hills & mountains has drawn dwarves like a magnet, and with them the usual hanger-ons…merchants, beggars and everything else that goes with a new boom town.

They informed the dwarves of their defeat of the trolls. Relations between the party & the dwarves are very good. They are fast becoming strong allies.

They were loaned the use of a small house while they were in town. The dwarves will have the run of it while the party is away, but will watch over anything they decide to leave behind. Then the party dug in for a ten-day or so to craft and scribe.

The time went well. No assassination attempts. Hardly any scrying noticed. Revel and Tymerian are even getting to know each other better…maybe something romantic will come of it…who knows?

At the end of their “break” they gathered up their things and prepared to head back to the CRM. They were taken aside by the dwarven high priest in town and told that if they were to clear out the dwarven area they reported a few weeks back he would send a small contingent of dwarves to guard and restore it. The party would be welcome to use it as a resting place, secure from the rest of the mines. They agreed and headed out.

The trip was pretty much uneventful. Revel spent his time on the way casting clairvoyance spells, 2 a day. He scried the Main Gate in 2 places, the Air Temple in 3 places, and the Fire Bridge once. The Main Gate was pretty much still empty and deserted. He did note a couple of troglodyte guards in the passage heading to the Earth Temple, but that’s it. The Air Temple was up and running, but did not extend as far as it had before. The South Entrance appeared deserted (it was actually being guarded by the 2 cloakers, but he failed to see them). And the Fire Bridge was again populated. He saw a hill giant and a few human guards, but that’s all.

So they arrived at the South Entrance outside the Air Temple and prepared to enter. The cloakers held their attention for a short time, but were overcome with little difficulty. It was great fun, though, to engulf the paladin and then have the tank fighter declare Power Attack 8 against the grappling cloaker. The only damage the paladin took was from the fighter pounding on the cloaker.

By then the Air Temple had been alerted to their presence, and Choranth had summoned an Air Elemental using the alter horn. As has been posted by others here I had her cast a silence on the elemental and go harass the spellcasters in the back. It didn’t last long against the party, though.

The party called a parley, as they weren’t there to attack the temple, just pass through, and Choranth held her forces back. She was well aware of how underpowered she was. She demanded compensation for the few gnoll guards that had been killed, and the party agreed to pay for them.

It seemed as if it would all go smoothly. But then Torque, our friendly neighborhood paladin, opened his mouth. He began very diplomatically about how they had an agreement, and he wasn’t about to break it. But then he started talking about fair warnings and such and the rest of the party’s hearts sank. He told Choranth that on his way back through, in no less than 10 days, that he would make sure that the alter of evil in this temple was destroyed.

Well she didn’t think very highly of this and decided that maybe, just maybe she could get the jump on them. She signaled the 4 orc vampire spawn that were clinging to the walls up in the shadows to attack, and they dropped into the midst of the party.

The party, though, had been prepared all along for an attack, and handled the remaining Air Temple forces rather easily. Remus gained a negative level from a spawn. The vampire spawn were forced into gaseous form and retreated to their lair.

The session ended there. They will destroy the alter in the Air Temple and render it permanently defunct. I believe they now want to hunt down the vampires before heading to the dwarven temple. It wasn’t really a hard fight for them, but they learned some important things. A vampire stalks the mines. The last time they saw the orcs they were alive.

So next session will be a vampire hunt. I’ve had Thrommel turn the remnants of the orc tribe into vampire spawn, and Murant is now a vampire barbarian. Thrommel also “enlisted” the aid of an Earth Temple cleric or two to alter the cavern that they lived in. No longer is there a wooden staircase up to the living cavern in the orc lair. The ceiling is sealed up with only a few small holes left to allow gaseous creatures through. That is where their coffins are.

I’m toying with the idea of having Thrommel himself show up during the fight with the vampire orcs, just to amuse himself and get an idea of the party’s power level. That should be fun.

(9/22/02 1:10 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
SSShadowcat7, anything more ever happen?

(9/22/02 1:35 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
Yuppers! Tons has transpired...or, at least, it sure feels like it has. I've been thinking about continuing the log, and your post (thanks, by the way, for reading) makes it easy for me to start it up again since I can now find the thread! :)

I'll have to re-read where I left off, though, and figure out what has transpired.

(9/22/02 2:11 pm)
Re: Alternate FR campaign log
So we left off with the party heading west out of the defeated (again) Air Temple to hunt down the orc-turned-vampire tribe. But they stopped first to do a thing or two.

But first, a re-cap of the party at this point. This is the main core of the group that is usually there every session. There are a few others that sometimes make guest appearances, but I won't include them unless it is pertanent.

Torque--Human Paladin/Cleric of Torm
Remus--Human Fighter/Cleric of Torm (converted by Torque)
Dorak--Human Fighter (group Sherman freakin' tank!)
Lycos--Human Rogue/Guild Thief
Revel--Human Wizard
Cavan--Human Sorcerer/Incantatrix (artillery battery)


A party discussion breaks out and it is finally decided to hold off on going after the vampires immediately in favor of breaking the Air Temple's power once and for all. Using a combination of spells ( bless, inverted prot. evil, consecrate, etc.), holy water, prayer, and brute force the party, led by Torque, managed to destroy the Air Alter. It cracked with a loud bang and a roaring, rushing release of unholy energy, similar to the end scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Then the roof began to collapse.

They scattered and managed to exit the temple cavern without injury. After permanently ending the threat from the Air Temple they bravely camped at the South Gate entrance. And everything was peaceful for the night.

The next morning the group prepared themselves and marched for the supposed vampire lair. Remus made his save against the negative level. Spirits were high.

They trecked through the tunnels until they were a short way from where they remembered the main orc lair to be. Spells were cast and the party was made battle ready. They advanced into the cavern that used to house the remnants of the orc tribe.

One thing they noticed almost immediately. The entire cavern was silenced. A phenomenal Spellcraft check by Cavan indicated the presence of an unhallow in the area as well.

---- Side note

For Spellcraft I've instituted a house rule that makes it a bit more difficult to ID a spell from a different caster type. Such as an arcane trying to figure out a divine spell and the other way around. Basically I double the spell level for the DC requirements.

Normally to ID a spell being cast the DC is 15 + spell level, and to ID a spell effect already in place the DC is 20 + spell level.

My way it is thus: ID spell being cast from opposite caster type DC 15 + (spell level x 2). So a wizard attempting to ID a 4th level spell cast by a priest would be 15 + (4 x 2)...or DC 23.

I think it gives a decent differentiation between the types of magic.

OK...done with side note...

The party began to cautiously advance into the cavern. The vampire spawn clinging to the ceiling waited a round or two to get more people into the room, then dropped, and the fight was on!

Unfortunately the vampires lost. The PCs had some good rolls and I don't think anyone even got a negative level. The vampire spawn, along with Murant, were reduced to gaseous form and retreated through small, hollow pipes in the ceiling to their coffins.

Another semi-side note on Cavan, our resident sorcerer. I let him take spell immunity as his 4th level spell with a couple alterations. He can only cast it on himself...nobody else...and any scrolls he makes of it are considered arcane. So no one else, for the most part, can read scrolls of this spell that he makes. It has been an experiment on different spells for sorcerers, and so far has worked out all right.

So Cavan goes outside the silence and casts spell immunity to silence and fireball, then casts fly on himself. He then floats up to the ceiling of the silenced cavern and proceeds to launch fireballs up through the small tubes the vampires retreated through. I had some of the tubes be crooked, so the fireballs detonated in his face, but he was unfazed. A good number got through, and I figured that the vampires were pretty much toast without their coffins to retreat to. A good use of his spells, I thought.

But the party was hurt again, and low on resources. Instead of pressing on they fell back to rest again at the South Entrance just outside the Air Temple. But would I let them have another peaceful night? Well, of course not! I was itching to introduce them to Thrommel.

Next post will cover their first experience with meeting the devious and thoroughly evil vampire.

Edited by: SSShadowcat7 at: 9/22/02 2:15:11 pm
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