Gold Community Okay -- Your Turn
    > Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
        > Siobharek's Session
New Topic    Add Reply

Page 1 2 3 4 5

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Author Comment
A resident
(6/3/02 4:55 am)
Siobharek's Session
We play every third week (closer to every fourth here in the summer), so updates will be somewhat infrequent...

The cast:
Fredorcia Alorinan, human noblewoman (8th, Sor8*)
Savonarola, human holy man (8th, Mon5/PsW3)
Eldreon Azareth, elven warrior (8th, Fig4/Wiz4)
Jugla Mether, human bowman (6th, Rog3/Fig2/Ran1*)
Rachum of Neese, human cleric of Istus (8th, Clr8 )
Legeat Rhigonwan, tiefling wizard (6th, Wiz5/Rog1)

* Use Monte’s variants of these classes.

Last session saw my group gazing out over Rastor. Heartened by the fact that orcs, humans, and dwarves apparently got along, they entered the village and set up quarters at the Gray Lodge Inn. And of course the various NPCs in town approached them for a variety of reasons: Thandain Deeperdark wanted to greet them, Jardeth the half-orc constable wanted them to keep the peace, etc.

Things went fine, until the wizard followed Thandain invisibly to Tal Chammish’. There, he overheard Tal (whom I’d made a lvl 6 rogue) and his accomplice (a 3/3 rog/clr who was posing as an ex-prostitute) discuss what to do about the new arrivals. The last thing the wizard heard before exiting the shop again (he was flying and invisible…), was that Tal said, he’d “make them an offer” the next day.

The rest of the evening was spent talking to Rerrid Hammersong, to Tymerian, and to Jardeth. The players were pretty dead set on Tal and really wanted to tear into him. Rerrid reminded them, however, that Tal fulfilled a very important function and one that could not be easily replaced. Furthermore, he made it clear that because of the humans’ and the dwarves’ long history of war with the orcs, there would be harsh repercussions if the PCs broke into private homes.

The next day, Tal came to Jugla the quarter-orc (really ugly human, basically) rogue, and struck up a conversation. They went to the trading station, where Tal offered Jugla “a nourishing herbal tea”, believing Jugla to be so stupid that he would accept.

He wasn’t, and the situation got ugly, without coming to blows. Tal and his associate managed to call for help, and soon, many of the villagers were there. I’d decided that Rerrid didn’t care over-much for Tal, so the dwarven priest cast detect poison. The drug lit up, and Tal turned flabbergasted towards his partner saying, “Sheera! How could you?!”.

That was when Sheera ran out the back door and tried to make her getaway on a horse. She got held, and Jardeth broke both her hands before throwing her in prison.

Meanwhile, back at the trading station, Tal did his best to assure everyone that he was innocent. He elaborated by saying that Sheera had given him the “herbal tea” as well, and that he would do anything to help. When the PCs identified the drug and told him that he would die, he faked a nervous breakdown, which ended with him faking a suicide: He took a body preserved for that purpose, hung it up a rafter in a barrel of oil which he then lit.

He almost made it.

While the rest of the party (except Fredorcia, who couldn’t be bothered) took to the hills to look for materials for the drug antidote, Jugla stayed behind to check out the semi-destroyed trade station. And there he found Tal hiding in a secret chamber.

The resulting fight was interesting. Tal had drunk a potion of haste, which enabled him to carve up Jugla pretty good (bluff/feint, then attack the now-flatfooted Jugla). When Jugla ran, Tal took the opportunity to run as well, but got intercepted by Fredorcia, who almost died from two sneak attacks by the still-hasted Tal. She made it, though, and proceeded blasting him out of existence with some well-placed magic missiles.

Mount Stalagos
The PCs then took to the hills. They read the tracks right, and chose the lesser-useed main entrance. They knocked, trying to pose as mercenaries in need of a job. I played Mereclar as someone who really wanted to impress his superiors by hiring competent help, but who OTOH was very suspicious.

The tiefling wizard (who had a miserable Bluff score), flubbed the last question – “Say, why haven’t you asked me what the pay is?” – and the session ended with the group preparing themselves for a battle royal.

High points:
Cthulu Ftaghn’s interactive maps. They rock so much. We managed to hook up a flatscreen monitor to one of my players’ portable PC aso everyone could see the Entrance Area slowly materialize. They really liked it, and the medium didn’t overshadow the message, as it were.

Low points:
I suck at introducing NPCs to the group! I can’t make it natural to save my life! I also regret not working more on Rastor. I found a map that could work as Rastor, based its economy on rice growing, and made them pragmatists who just stayed out of the way. Not as sinister as suggested on the more Lovecraftian threads here ;)

Denmark is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

A resident
(6/30/02 12:52 pm)
Re: Siobharek's Session
Well, just back from our grand melee. It was a cakewalk!

The sorceress managed to get off a haste followed by shield at the cost of one bugbear hit. 1 round and 2 fireballs later, she had decimated the entire beginning force. Then Mereclar came out with the Howler. Sorceress fireball and wizard shooting off a maximised lightning bolt (used a one-shot item called Dragon Dust - basically max'es the spell) and Mereclar goes down with all of his 41 hp (used Monte's d8 ranger).

Of course, the rogue has a +1 holy Mighty (Str 16) composite longbow with which he created havoc all around. They quickly identified the Howler as the main problem and its single attack before it went down missed! Terrenygit went out pretty much buffed: I ruled that he wouldn't max out completely, so he had shield of faith, bull's strength and endurance going. The zombies went down in no time flat, so it came down to a melee between Terrenygit and the group. Terrenygit had done everything right, I think: Silenced the sorceress (the cleric managed to dispel that), cast his confusion (the rogue, the monk, and the fighter/wizard saved, the cleric and the rogue/wizard didn't, and the sorceress was out of the area of effect), cured himself, and rebuffed when the dispelled some if his first buffs. Heck, he even cast desecrate to get more mileage out of the zombies!

In the end he went down of course. They cleared out the mess they'd made; questioned a lone survivor, who told them exactly what the adventure said the grunts would know; went back to identify a few items (the monk and the rogue stayed behind and took out 3 emissaries from D'Gran who'd come up to talk to Mereclar about the Earth Temple); and headed towards the trogs. They've just taken out the Swordmaster, Miikolak and her Earth Elemental, and Grishta (who was on her way for some sneak attacks) has gone back to inform the others.

What have I learned? My group's tougher than everyone thought and they are NOT going to sneak their way in! I've described the uniformly black dress code, I've mentioned the symbols, hell I've even told them that "there ARE alternatives to fighting, you know". And I KNOW that they're going to be bored eventually with all the fighting.

So, there we are: They're at the south-eastern edges of teh troglodyte complex and have taken out 3 guards, the swordmaster, and Miikolak. Geshta can give a rough idea of the party. What would you suggest the party do?

TIA - comments, ideas, and suggestions are very welcome :)

Denmark is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

A resident
(7/1/02 10:20 am)
Looks like a good game. I really like Tal´s suicide show.

I can´t think of any intelligent suggestions right now. Everything seems to work out real fine. Maybe you could ask more specific questions?

A resident
(7/2/02 5:32 pm)
Re: *
Don't worry they won't have an easy time in the Earth Temple. My party was around level 7-8 and three of them died there during the first battle.

I bumped the xorn up to an elder xorn which increased the CR by 2 IIRC but otherwise I left everything else alone. The clerics there can achieve an AC of around 32 or 33 so they aren't that easy to hit every round. Combine that with the xorn's resistances and you should have a great battle indeed. The xorn having a primary BAB of +19 didn't hurt either.

I used the xorn as the NPC tank. I had a cleric call it during the first rounds so the PCs could witness the sacrifice firsthand. I didn't bring in the top 2 clerics until round 2 or 3 which worked well since a fighter had strayed his way behind the alter. He was consequently held and coup de grace'd.

I used the trogs to help protect the xorn and the earth mephits flew around annoyingly using their meager breath weapon when they could. That's about it.

One thing about my party I noticed is this. When I described all the wierd stuff the trogs have (skin rugs, human bones, etc.) they commented.... " Man these people are some sadistic, crazed, weirdos ". It was awesome. I think they were afraid of what could happen to them if they failed.

Funny thing is, when they returned the second time to the temple they found the two bodies they left behind skinned and racked on display for them. Needless to say they didn't like that too much.

Guess they shouldn't have left them behind.


A resident
(7/2/02 6:20 pm)
Re: *
Thumbs up! Can't wait until my party gets more into the "meat" of this adventure. Hope we have as much fun as you!

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."

A resident
(7/2/02 11:48 pm)
Re: *
Thanks for the response, guys. I had a slight post-coital-like depression when I wrote about my June 30th session, so I may have been a bit more bleak than was called for.

The players did well on many occasions: They cleaned up after the battle (stuffing 20+ corpses into the secret hallway near area 5) and left 2 behind (the Rgr1/Ftr2/Rog3 and Mnk5/PsyWar3) while the rest of the party went back to Rastor to identify items. Just to give you an idea of what the party's capable of: The rogue and the monk took out a random encounter of 2 human War4 and a gnoll Rgr3 in 2 rounds! They surprised them, the rogue has a holy mighty composite longbow with rapid shot and point blank shot feats, but still - they wiped them out.

AFAIK, the party's plans revolve around surviving the next battle (heh!) and finding out more from Rerrid Hammersong in Rastor. I think I'm going to scrounge the boards. I seem to remember somone writing something about it.

An additional thought: I know that the consensus on the boards leans towards not boosting (Hi Andorax! ;) ), but provided you give out a fixed 300 xp per level, I don't think it matters what the characters are up against.

Denmark is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

A resident
(7/3/02 6:26 am)
Much fun ahead...
Hey Siobharek,

Glad to hear you're finally getting into the thick of things :)
Sounds like an effective group, too.

It's good to hear that your group will tire of endless hack and slash, but beware...
On the roleplaying front, many of the NPCs and even grunts could be good roleplay fodder, but beware the PC tendency to attack everyone on sight.
My group has been so spooked by encounters in the mines that they now attack everyone, giving up on some great roleplay opportunities for the benefit of a quick assault on an unprepared enemy :(

Basically, they've had 'the Fear' too many times. (Fatalities thus far 6 - 6 players, just pretty much completed the CRM - but that's HIGH compared to our old 2e campaign).

So, my advice, take the initiative and encourage some talking, even if it leads to combat...there's a LOT of carnage to get through. Break it up and get some good roleplaying in.
Besides, as DM, some of your best roleplay opportunities are the loonies in the mines.

Shame Tal got toasted. Another agent of the CRM in Rastor would be good - add some intrigue and don't let the party feel safe...anywhere.

garr (n) - Dwarven - 'goblin'
grumgarr (n) - Dwarven - 'great or giant goblin', bugbear

A resident
(7/3/02 6:37 am)
Re: Much fun ahead...
Thanks for thye comments. I'm ever-so-slowly setting up a dependant in Verbobonc (a warrior-turned-cleric after hearing the party cleric's eulogy for a deceased character way back in The Sunless Citadel), and all sorts of things might happen to her.

I'm picking my subconscious for plot-enhancing ideas that'll enrich the campaign without taking time away from the CRM. At this point, my party knows that there can be Tharizdun agents everywhere, so I won't need to press that point overmuch (running The Speaker in Dreams and The Cradle of Madness brought the point home quite nicely). I've pretty much made my mind up to make Vranthis an ally/patron of sorts, but they headed north instead of south (d'oh!). I think it'll be a question of separating the insane - who are pretty much beyond anything except threatening monologue before battle - from the sane-but-evil who might talk for a price.

Denmark is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

A resident
(7/14/02 12:04 pm)
Session July 14th
I have never been so close to a TPK...

The group picked up the Swordmaster's Sword of Earth (along with the rest of his and Miikolak's stuff) and moved on, oblivious to the fact that Greshta the Rogue had snuck by them invisibly.

When the group reached the Manticore's cave, the trogs were waiting. The two remaining clerics, Snearak and Uskaloth, supported by Greshta (Invisible again) and a half-fiend xorn, demanded that the party returned the Sword. Having done that the group tried to parley, but Greshta had pretty much seen all of the PCs' handiwork, so their bluff was called immediately.

In the following combat, 4 of 6 members died while there were no casualties on the enemy's side. I'd advanced the manticore and made it a half-dragon (black). That one took care of Fredorcia (who was confused and charged the manticore) and Jugla (who tried to save her). Greshta took care of Savonarola and Legeat - thanks to gaining flanking bonuses due to Snearak's summoned elementals. 3 True Resurrections later, the party was together again (Legeat's player chose to make a new character - Kakloban Lebenwulf, a dwarven fighter with 20 Con! edit: Going for the Stonelord PrC), but they were very, very broke: Azareth sold all the party's conquered spell books as well as quite a bit of his equipment. Morale: Don't leave all your party funds in one Heward's Handy Haversack :evil

Among the other items they'd left behind were the artifacts from the Moathouse. The trogs saw those and bargained them to Hedrack for a Raise Dead scroll and the permission to seize the Main Gate and make it theirs. They did so, the Swordmaster was Raised, and Greshta was rewarded for her actions with being in charge of the Main Gate along with 6 mephits, 2 trog warriors and the xorn.

When the groups returned, 11 days later, they were very prepared (Rachum had cast 5 clairvoyance spells each day), so the Main Gate was a cakewalk. But one Mephit got away and now the rest of the Earth Forces are waiting...

Edit: In the mean time, my players have been mailing me with lists of the items they left on their cold, dead bodies. The resurrected PCs have nothing left. So now the trogs are sporting cloaks of resistance, rings of protection, some nifty potions and scrolls, amulets of natural armour - all the stuff a fashion-conscious party puts on before going a-delving (minus some cash they had to pay to get the Swordmaster raised).

Oh, I can't wait for it to be Aug 11th

Denmark is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Edited by: Siobharek  at: 7/29/02 11:02:05 pm
A resident
(7/30/02 6:30 am)
Re: Session July 14th
Just remember...the normal rate of replacement assumes regular circumstances. If there's been a major influx of cash, they can probably afford to recruit some new and better help in the meanwhile as well.

Perhaps they got ahold of their own copy of the Troll Map (see the Fire Bridge Complex, Troll's quarters) and have tendered some offers there. After all, they've had time, and if anyone wouldn't mind the stench, it'd be a Troll.

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

A resident
(7/30/02 6:34 am)
Re: Session July 14th
oh man that's great. a troll, of course. thanks andorax

Denmark is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

A local, who knew the truth
(8/12/02 12:16 am)
Session Aug. 11th
Party lineup:

Savonarola: Mnk8 (formerly Mnk5/PsyWar3 - I let him change classes in connection with his true ressurrection)
Azareth: Ftr4/Wiz5
Jugla: Rgr1/Ftr2/Rog4
Fredorcia: Sor9
Kakluban: Ftr6
Rachum: Clr7/Fatespinner1

It was payback time. The party had been bitch-slapped, it was their own fault, and they knew it. After laying waste to the Main Entrance, they withdrew and regrouped. Rachum cast clairaudience and -voyance spells in order to ascertain the whereabouts of the troglodytes.

Meanwhile, in the temple, Uskathoth was livid. Ukemil of the Fanes had been all sincerity and concern in words while every pheromone had signaled disdain and arrogance. But he had brought the scrolls that would allow their Swordmaster to be raised, and the items on the dead humans would give them the power they needed to withstand assaults until reinforcements came.

He assigned the Swordmaster to guard duty in the guard room just north of the main entrance along with the two trolls Ukemil had brought. That would serve him as a lesson. Curse Greshta for not holding her position. The Swordmaster's proximity to her place of defeat would inspire him to do better. And the two earth mephits would be admirable messengers to Snearak, his manticore, and the warriors in the Great Cave (area 224).

Uskathoth himself would wait in the Temple with the elite warriors and the xorn.

Meanwhile, Rachum detailed the first guardpost. After a solid hour of planning, they decided to send Jugla and Savonarola ahead invisbile and flying, through the guard chamber and down a corridor each, in order to catch the mephits if they were to go for reinforcements. The others would follow in a silence zone.

The plan went well - almost. Jugla and Savonarola triggered a glyph of warding which blasted them with sonic energy. The noise alerted the guards, but before they could react, the group fell upon them and everything was taken care of without too much of a hassle.

In the Great Cave, Snearak heard the blast. "Hah, the two survivors come. Their doom will find them in the claws of the trolls and on the Sword of Earth, praise the Eye!". The seconds crawled by. A nagging feeling prompted Snearak to send the warriors to investigate.

But Rachum had been listening with a clairaudience spell (can the caster keep it running? I think so but I'm not sure), and the group was waiting. The warriors died without a sound.

The group pressed on, right into the Great Cave, where Snearak spotted them before Kak's darkvision could show them exactly where Snearak and his pet was. The mephits died in Fredorcia's first fireball, and Jugla's arrows cut deeply into the manticore/dragon crossbreed.

That battle was a bit tougher, but the group made it. Uskathoth heard Snearak's cry for help, though and sent the xorn and his fighters ahead while he buffed himself up.

The xorn was a bit of a bother, the fighters were a joke, and I rolled a 3 on Usk's save vs hold person (why oh why did I set his spell immunity to magic missile and fireball?). That effectively ended the combat, and the group managed to get a fair share of their magic and funds.

No, I did not play the trog's as tactically brilliant as I could have. But I figured that it was the way, Uskathoth and Snearak would want it: Snearak with his pet and some warriors and Usk with the Holy Beast and his elite warriors. Also, the PCs caught on to the fact that the Mephits could bring down the house by calling for reinforcements.

So, success for the group! Next time, Kakluban will spend a week becoming a Stonelord, while the rest of the group probably goes to Verbobonc for some R&R and a bit of shopping.

Next time is in 2 weeks. I'm pretty excited. Comments, questions, derision? ;)

Siobharek is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

A mysterious stranger
(8/12/02 4:22 am)
PC victory good!
Hey Siobharek.

It's good that your group, after such a crushing defeat, thought things through, planned well and executed their plan...and won!

Clever use of resources should be rewarded - for instance by getting to fight individual groups of foes who are no great threat. Clairvoyance and clairaudience could have been two more blasty-boom spells, but the net result is the same - bad guys 1 (last time) - good guys 1 (this time). Plus as you say, taking out the scout mephits really saved their bacon.

A morale boost for the PCs is increasingly important as the CRM goes on. And it's good that the trogs' tactics weren't optimal - too much of that and every encounter is the same and the cranked up a notch on the Deadly-Swingometer (TM). Having foes who thought they were prepared, then turned out not to be lets the PCs catch their breath, and lets them know these evil-types aren't omniscient. (Leave that paranoia trip for when the Fanes start to take a real interest.)

Let them enjoy it...for now (cue eerie music).


A survivor
(8/26/02 12:19 am)
Session Aug. 25th 2002
Another session with less than full turnout (cf. my rant here). This time, it was stellar, however. Resident Junior Roleplayer™ (little girl Lćrke aged 5 months) was very well-behaved, allowing her Mom a couple of good RP hours. The rest of the group managed the extra characters quite well, so that part was just fine.

They spent the first hour or so figuring out what to do. That included reading all the hand-outs (hivemind, I love you) and trying to make sense. MAKE SENSE?! Some of that stuff is penned by Thrommel (the moderator-vampire, not Jolene's ex)! Who can make sense out of that?

My group realized as much and decided to go south from the now-cleared main entrance. They saw the carts. They noticed the rails. And they started walking. I'm sorry to say it, and I'll hand over my screen and dice: My group is not adventurous.

They wisely circumvented the basilisk, dodged the green slime, and emerged via the lower tracks in Marlgran the Ettin's cave. I'd boosted ol' Marl: He was now a half-dragon Ettin Barbarian in the service of (the also slightly souped up) Vranthis. Marl (with Rusty in leather tow) thought the party was just another bunch of grunts passing through and he asked for the usual 50 gp per head: 400 gp (I know. He's got Int 8. What can you do?).

At this point, Jugla the Cha 8 front man starts calling him Dumbwort. Marl says that one more word from him, and there'll be trouble, Jugla nods, Rachum the Charismatic Cleric takes over, Jugla intercedes with another remark. And combat breaks out.

First round: Marl breathes twice and releases Rusty as a free action. Rusty immediately goes for Jugla's tasty +1 mithril shirt. Assorted damage rains on Marl.

Second round: Marl gets mad (Rage'ing mad) and whacks Jugla. More damage.

At the end, they rip him a new one and retreats. Jugla buys a leather armour in Rastor. Rachum scries on Vranthis, sees him, and notes that it's a greenie. They even see V. fly out of the crater looking for the gang who got his grunt. He figures that anyone who can get Marl might be the ones he needs to foil the Doomdreamers and get rid of that nasty red in the Fane.

The next day, the group continues. They manage to completely circumvent Vranthis in favour of the Digester and a viole(n)t fungus in the Fungus Forest (C31-2). As they double back to find the dragon, they encounter Moolowik, the Water Temple recruiter. They strike up a conversation (the group had decided NOT to go for the "Hi, we're here to join", but Jugla.... just ignored that), and tell Moolowik that since they're the ones who laid waste to the Temple of Earth, they might be the water temple's strike team against the "foul temple of fire". Moolowik blinks and starts thinking furiously about how to survive. He suggests that he go talk to his "mighty priestess" and that the group meet him north of the ruined Temple of Earth. The party agrees because they've got about 3 minutes left on their Protection from Acid spells, so does he know where the dragon is? Moolowik tells them and skedaddles out of there.

The party moves in. Kakluban's in front with a stone with silence - the rest is 20' behind. Rachum is second and when the corridor into Vranthis' lair widens, he hear Vranthis hiss, "Little dwarf, this is your last chance. Stop, or I'll eat you!". Kakluban has blithely missed the dragon hanging upside down on the ceiling (spider climb) and continues into the cave. Rachum manages to get his attention, points up, and hell breaks loose.

Kakluban swears that he thought their agreement was to kill the dragon, not talk to it.

I managed to scare the players quite a bit: Vranthis has a ring that works like a hat of disguise and he made himself look like a red dragon. So that's what they saw.

Well, they made it in the end, and IIRC there wasn't anything special about the combat.

Next session's in three weeks. They'll definitely get scried upon by the Temple of Water, so it'll be interesting what will come of that. I'm thinking Kelashein will use a few sendings to get the talks going. If they manage to keep their cool I can really start moving them around in the temple. And the Temple of Fire has all the potential of being a killer.

Anyone who had their group team up with the Temple of Water? How did they fare?

Edit: To boost or not to boost
I've really been thinking about the viability of all the boosting I've done. Is it, as it has been suggested on these boards, the beginning of an spiraling arms race? After reading the posts of those DMs whose groups haven't really figured out WHY they are in the CRM, I'm beginning to feel vindicated (strong word - basically, I don't feel that wrong anymore). My party is often put under severe pressure - pressure they wouldn't feel if I hadn't boosted the module. That makes them stop and think because they're beginning to realize, that they might very well die if they don't use their heads more than their attack modifiers.

And it works. I'm gonna have to do some serious thinking about the Water Temple now. Cool. (Guys, any hints...? :eek )

Siobharek is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Edited by: Siobharek  at: 8/27/02 11:41:27 pm
A mysterious guy in the corner
(9/16/02 5:02 am)
Session Sep. 15th 2002
Last session ended with the entire group standing over Vranthis’ corpse. After a round of healing, they quickly searched his stash and went back to the camp for some rest before their meeting with Moolowik the Water Temple Recruiter.

Meanwhile, in the Temple of Water, Kelashein had called Kadiss and his elven warriors back from their foray into the bugbear territory. “Find the ugly human and his party that Moolowik told about”, she demanded. Kadiss saw this as his big chance and set about scrying for the human who looked like an orc. After a while, he found him. He was walking in the hills around the crater, but where? Kadiss’ red eyes lit up as an idea came to him. “Mistress of Water, I have found the group. They are walking in the hills, and I can make contact. I request the service of one of your mephitis, who will act as a messenger between me and my warriors. Along with Moolowik, they will wait at the secret entrance and come to me as soon as possible.” Kelashein accepted, and having made himself invisible and flying, Kadiss grasped a mephit and cast his teleport spell.

Jugla scanned the horizon. Everything was quiet and it would be easy to just relax and concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other and get back to the camp to rest and change his bandages. That dragon had been tough. Thank Trithereon for the protections Rachum had weaved over them. Otherwise, they’d all… Wait! There was something! Some dust to his left had shifted against the wind. Someone was there, invisible. He told Azareth, who immediately vanished.

Damn. He’d been spotted. Kadiss whispered into the mephit’s smelly ear that it should try and hear what the humans were talking about (what in the name of all that was elven was one of the Folk doing with 4 humans and a dwarf?!). When the elf disappeared, Kadiss knew that his game was up and that he must talk, and talk well. Otherwise, he’d die here, far from any tree to take his soul.

“I come in peace. If I reveal myself, will you promise not to attack me?” The disembodied voice came from 40’ or so in the air and rang across the barren hill sides. “Sure”, shouted Rachum, “We have nothing to fear.” A white-haired, very pale elf appeared and descended lightly to the ground. He immediately turned to Azareth and began talking to him in Elvish. Carefully omitting all the elf’s racist remarks about his friends, Azareth translated, “He is sent to check us out”. “Well, tell ‘im to go back,” growled Kakluban. “We’ll meet up with the fish-headed freak the day after tomorrow.” Kadiss began walking back with Azareth keeping him company for a while. It turned out that Kadiss was a minor noble from the northern part of Celene. He had heard about the Crater Ridge Mines from “someone” in Verbobonc and decided that he and his bodyguard should go there. It had been quite a discovery: Between the spider eater bandits and the cultists looking for sacrifices, the entire region had such a bad reputation that it kept the Stalagos Trail between Verbobonc and Celene free for all the filthy humans.

The next day, the party went back to Vranthis’ domain. They found only small pickings in the lair of the half-dragon ettin, but in a quiet lake, they struck gold. Literally. Kakluban reverently put the tarnished symbol of Moradin around his neck – and enthusiastically strapped the +2 large steel shield of light fortification on his arm. Life was – for a short while – sweet.

They explored a little further in the fungus forest. Met 2 umber hulks. Killed them.

The next day, they went to the abandoned Temple of Earth to meet up with Moolowik. He wasn’t in the temple. But 4 chaggrin (earth) grues were. One short and messy combat later, the grues were gone and one of my players was muttering “gratuitous combat”. Well, destroy the altar and the earth infestation will be history! They even messed about with their keys of earth, but didn’t say the phrase, so no dice.

After a while, they proceeded north, met Moolowik and were taken to see Kelashein. When they came to Gouquog’s pool, they twitched nervously while Moolowik shielded his eyes and cried out to her for safe passage. The trip across the lake was nerve-wracking, but eventually they made it to the other side, and from there into Kelashein’s Throne Chamber. There she welcomed them and told them that they could join “her grand design”. But first they should prove themselves against some troublesome “giant goblins” to the southeast. As proof of their mettle, they were to bring back the ears of every bugbear along the dwarven rails.

To cut a long story short, the party put the smack on all the bugbears except the cleric and the wizard, whom they haven’t met yet. The session ended with the group stumbling over the black pudding. That should give a brisk start to the next session, which will also see The Assault on the Temple of Fire – and meeting an old enemy again (Daros Hellseeker from The Speaker in Dreams)

Siobharek is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

(10/27/02 1:18 pm)
Session Oct. 27th 2002
Damn, there's nothing that beats a good night of gaming. Especially if it's been six weeks.

Setting: Black Pudding room, area 156.

In the interim, I changed the black pudding to an illusion cast by Leg-Breaker Gaush, who replaced Steeran. Gaush and Fesad managed to make quite a dent in the party's resources beofre going down. Kakluban lost his +1 dwarven waraxe to a focused coldscream. That hurt.

The party then camped down to identify the bugbears' loot. After the first day, they went exploring towards the Earth Bridge complex. They ran into a fiendish behir (I changed the two fiendish displacer beasts), who managed to swallow the dwarf before being killed. Quite fun, actually.

After that, the party rested (and identified) another day before bringing 19 bugbear ears back to Kelashein as proof of a job well jobbed. Kelashein asked Nilbool to fill them in on the plan. The party were a bit nonplussed that they would only be accompanied by some kuo-toa, but Kelashein insisted: "The elves are weak, and if we are too many, the guards at the Earth Bridge won't let us pass".

The next morning, the group was given a real treat: A trip to Claagingred's, where they were to witness a dogfight. And it was: They - along with 40 other screaming spectators - saw a rabid dog rip a dwarf (the commoner) to shreds, whereupon one of the gargoyles smashed the dog against the wall. Morale: "The weak lose and victory is never certain". During the spectacle, they spotted an old enemy of theirs: Daros Hellseeker from The Speaker in Dreams. I had made him an emissary from the Temple of Fire, and now he was out for a good time with his friend Zert. Nothing happened, though: The two groups just glared at each other, said the equivalent of "Yeah, and your momma!" a few times and that was it.

The roleplaying aspects of that part didn't go down too well, maybe we were all a little unfocussed, or the players didn't see the big deal - yeah it was nasty, but where was the excitement. But they sailed around quite a bit on the lake, and that gave them something to think about.

After that, it was on towards the fire temple! The group consisted of the merry band of adventurers and Nilbool (Clr3/Wiz7), Urlurg (Mnk9), and 4 kuo-toa Ftr4. I ran that pretty much by the book with the group wasting 3 average salamander ftr2s in a little over 3 rounds. The rogue was improved invisible and the 10th-level monk was hasted, so it was just nasty.

Tessimon had heard the group and alerted the rest of the temple (as far away as area 111) so she had 4 rounds of preparation before the group entered. A lvl 12 cleric, she had cast: Spell Resistance, Air Walk, Shield of Faith, and Sound Burst (to alert the temple). She had also raised the platform. When the party entered, she began a blade barrier. 21 hp damage from a succesful magic missile later, that blade barrier was flubbed. Then the dwarf flew up on the platform, and the whole setup just went to heck afterwards.

Nilbool tried using the disintegrate, but the platform saved. Curses. Nilbool teleported out with Urlurg after that, leaving the four fighters (and the party) in the lurch.

The session ended with Tessimon's corpse falling down into the fire pit (Daros will raise her if the group retreats) and Daros, Zert, 2 elven Ftr3, an advanced half-fire elemental hell hound, and 4 human War4 entering the temple.

I dont't feel I got enough mileage out of Tessimon. At the last moment I left out a half-fiend fire elemental, and I think I should have kept it. Also the dwarf was obscenely lucky, saving twice against a hold and a cause fear, respectively. Also, I think they need to get into the Fanes now. There are 2 lvl 8s, 2 lvl 9s (can level up after next session) and 2 lvl 10s, so they are fit for it. Do you think it would be too cheesy to leave some kind of note about use of the bridges?

So there we are: Comments, ideas, questions?

Siobharek is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

(10/27/02 7:05 pm)
Re: Session Oct. 27th 2002
The way I plan on pushing my players into the Fanes is to have Varachan send them a note pretty much to the effect of:

"The Champion has been found! You must make haste in your assault or all is lost."

There's a bit more to it than that, but the essence is there. They need to know time is running out and they can't stop for a few days every time they have a tough fight.

We'll see how it works.

Cordo Crowfoot
(10/27/02 10:49 pm)
Re: Session Oct. 27th 2002
What was their reaction when Nilbool teleported out? :)

(10/28/02 12:27 am)
Re: Session Oct. 27th 2002
They weren't all that surprised. Nilbool and Urlurg had been very quiet in the fight against the salamanders, and they knew that it was only a matter of time before the kuo-toa would try to pull a fast one on them.

Actually, the most priceless comment was when the platform saved against the disintegrate (based on suggestions from the board, I ruled that it was an attended object). One player turned to me and said, "So, what's your plan B?".

I think Tessimon will survive (Daros will raise her). And then - provided the PCs don't waste them all - I think someone will be sacrificed on the altar for that 50K item. Arrows of slaying was the prevalent suggestion, wasn't it?

Siobharek is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

(11/18/02 1:21 am)
Session Nov. 17th 2002
This session sucked.

Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it – it had nothing to do with the adventure and everything to do with the players and the DM (who would be… me).

When we last left our daring adventurers – lineup:
Jugla Mether – Human male Rng1/Ftr2/Rog5 – Rog6 at the very end of the session
Savonarola – Human male Mnk 10
Eldreon Azareth – Elven male Ftr4/Wiz5 – wiz6 after the fire temple fight
Fredorcia – Human female Sor10
Kakluban – Dwarf male Ftr6/Stonelord2
Rachum – Clr7/Fatespinner2 – Fatespinner3 after the fire temple fight

– they had just killed Tessimon in the Fire Temple and were now under attack by 4 human war4, 4 elf ftr3, a half-elemental/tiefling Clr9/Blk1, a gnome ftr4/clr6 (Firre), a sor9 (Arlainth), and an advanced, half-fire elemental hell hound.

In short, while the clerics and the sorcerer had spelled themselves up as much as was reasonable, given the times available (the fight with Tess had taken 4 rounds, and the previous fight with the salamanders had taken 3 rounds – and Firre has quite short legs), the party mopped the floor with them. They never missed a save, they barely missed an attack, and I couldn’t roll higher than 11 on any of my 5 d20s. End of the Temple of Fire.

In the subsequent mop-up, they found the bard in the iron maiden (I thought of calling him Bruce Dickinson, or just Eddie) and decided to go back to Verbobonc with him to get him Greater Restored. There, he told them a little about the Fanes – just enough to whet their appetites. They decided to go there – after revenging themselves on the Temple of Water, who had left them in the Fire temple.

The rest of the session consisted of distribution of the (many!) magic items, planning the assault on the water temple, and carrying out the first part: In the early morning, they flew down right close to the outer crater wall and entered the temple through the great cave.

The fight went pretty well. The skum guardians managed to blow the horns and summon the water elemental (to which I’d applied the demonically-infused template for good measure). Rachum managed to dispel it, though, with a dispel evil.

But the end result was that the party, boosted to AC’s well into their 30’s and more improved invisibility and haste’s than you can throw a dispel magic after., decimated 1 kuo-toa Monk9, 1 half-fiend kuo-toa clr7, 8 kuo-toa ftr4, and 3 advanced, boosted skum without breaking a sweat.

After the session proper I simply told the players that I though it a little waste of time if they continued around the crater. I told them that I could not be bothered to boost any more and that they might find more challenges in the Fanes. Of course they could continue around the perimeter, but they’d just run a very real risk of it being boring.

They decided to go to the Fanes. And I’m gonna boost the crap out of that joint. +3 levels to all in there. Otherwise it’ll be a cakewalk.

I’m upset about this last session. Why? We play in two of the players’ home. They have a 10-months old daughter. And the mother (one of the players) is the helpless, slightly whiney type. Which means that she needs a lot of help from her husband, who happens to be one of the best, most enterprising players in the group. It did certainly not help matters that she had a cold, so whatever energy she usually has beyond looking after their daughter was now taken up with an endless series of complaints about her cold, her runny nose, and the long duration of the kid’s nap which would make it harder for her to sleep that night.

Furthermore, another player had to leave, because his wife also had a cold and he had to go home because she couldn’t handle their 2-year old son and their dog. And during the only true bit of role-playing (the tortured bard), those two players went on and on about how hard it was to get their kids to sleep (which is a whole other bone of contention. I think they’re doing everything wrong, and it’s difficult to tell them anything as my daughter sleeps like a rock – because my wife and I have been sensible about the whole thing. Damn, this parenthesis went on for a while), which surgically removed any desire I had to role-play the conversation.

And to top it all off, I probably wasn’t at my best. Basically my motivation was off, and I felt that I couldn’t make my game challenging: I mean, they waltzed through it all.

If anyone has any comments – and don’t suggest I boot players, that will mean that we have nowhere to play – I’d really like to hear them. Otherwise, thanks for letting me rant. :\

Okay, back to business. Next session will put the PCs up against Kelashein (Clr10), Nilbool (Clr3/Wiz7), Kadiss (wiz9), 5 elven ftr3, 7-9 war4, some skum, a few mephitis, and the sea hag. The PCs will be invisible (just the rogue, but that’s bad enough with his +3 arrows thanks to gt. magic weapon, have 30+ AC, and are in good shape, spell-wise.

I’m gonna think real hard about this, especially where the temple forces will set the combat (suggestions, anyone?).

Then there’s the Fane. The Water Temple will be the third to fall, so Hedrack will sit up and take notice. I think I’ll do the retaliation as scripted, but with boosted forces. So Bethe the rog5/asn7 will be sent on a mission… Then some nagas, assassins, invisible stalkers, and Ukemil and the lions, all depending on the situation.

And yes, encouraging them to go to the Fanes means that I won’t get to use my own Stoneheart & Jigsaw encounter (cf. Best of the Boards). :(

Comments, suggestions, derisions. Should I just wait for the Hivemind DM Suitability Corps to come and take my dice and DM’s Screen?

Siobharek is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

(11/18/02 2:08 am)
Re: Session Nov. 17th 2002
Sounds like everyone had a bad night. Without getting into details, I can say that I have been there (both the bummed out about lack of challenges and the problems with kids). IMO, the kids problem rarely rears its ugly head, although since you guys only play once a month or so it may seem more often. I wouldn't worry about it unless it happens regularly. It's probably just a once in a lifetime occurrence. About the lack of challenge, talk to your players. You will find that they saw challenges where none really existed. Also, talk to a good friend (your wife?) about how you feel. Usually helps to get it off your chest. You helped cheer me up once when I felt bummed out so I hope this helps.

Zag:rollin ig

Page 1 2 3 4 5 << Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Add Reply

Email This To a Friend Email This To a Friend
Topic Control Image Topic Commands
Click to receive email notification of replies Click to receive email notification of replies
Click to stop receiving email notification of replies Click to stop receiving email notification of replies
jump to:

- Okay -- Your Turn - Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - Home -

Powered By ezboard® Ver. 7.32
Copyright ©1999-2005 ezboard, Inc.