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SolidSnake
Pie
(11/18/02 3:34 am)
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Re: Session Nov. 17th 2002
I hear you man...a few times my PCs let it jokingly slip that an encounter was too easy, because of all the life/death ones they have had to go through. That sort of comment really pisses me off to no end, even though I know they are only half joking. In your situation it seems like the Crater Ridge Mines have become almost useless (challenge wise) to your players, in this instance I would wait until they got to the Outer Fane to allow them to test their mettle...that place is a nightmare and like everyone says, let them get the easy victories, because later on this module is self-correcting for high level characters. My advice, after this Water Temple fight, is to pull everyone and everything out of the mines and turn up the heat in the Outer Fane: Hedrack knows that these guys are the only real threat, so he doesn't care about the "strongest elemental Temple" winning anymore, he just cares about winning period. He's found Lareth at this point and summoned Imix, now it is just a matter of tieing up loose ends with these meddlesome PCs (send out the hit squad Andorax came up with) and if that doesn't hurt them wait until they come face to face with Hedrack;)

Siobharek 
Orc
(11/18/02 4:24 am)
Reply
Re: Session Nov. 17th 2002
Thanks guys. My players made no mention of the thing being too easy. They know that the dice fell their way in the temple of fire, and they attribute (maybe even rightly) their first victory in the temple of water to a well-executed plan.

The problem is that the mines are disorganised. They're supposed to be, but it impairs each location's efficiency. And it would strain the players' credibility if suddenly, say, the temples of water and air joined forces (The Unified Church of Mist™!!), included their Bridge areas and went PC-hunting. I just don't see the mines working that way.

So basically the PCs have the initiative all the time. They buff up and run amok, their magic protection keeping them safe from most of the badness in the combat. As long as they have the initiative, they win. The minute they don't, things get interesting. And with fly spells all around (sorcerers... gotta love 'em), the PC tanks can catch up with almost anyone.

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

Siobharek 
Orc
(12/9/02 2:23 am)
Reply
NO Session Dec. 8th 2002
Damn. The player who just couldn't be spared went and got ill. So my 3 weeks' of hard work of boosting the Outer Fane and putting together a decent response for the Water Temple could have been spread out a little, giving me some time with my wife and kid.

Oh well, it's done now, and I'll post the boosted Outer Fane stats shortly. 6 very combat oriented characters: 2 level 10, 3 level 9 and one level 8, so I've boosted the Fane 2-3 EL's. Heh, wonder if it'll hurt them too badly.

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

Killiak
Orc
(12/9/02 6:07 am)
Reply
Re: NO Session Dec. 8th 2002
As long as ya got a pure cleric it can work out just fine.
Otherwise; Hunting Season is opened :evil

Siobharek 
Orc
(12/9/02 6:22 am)
Reply
Re: NO Session Dec. 8th 2002
I've got as close to a pure cleric as can be imagined: Clr7/Fatespinner3. He casts spells like a 10th level cleric, but only turns undead as a 7th-lvl cleric. Thrommel's gonna have a field day with that one...

Edit Speaking of Thrommel: There's a dude I did NOT boost... Though I might make Dirge a marrowcrusher (BoVD)...

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

Edited by: Siobharek  at: 12/9/02 6:34:52 am
madfox
Orc
(12/9/02 6:25 am)
Reply
Re: NO Session Dec. 8th 2002
My players underestimated the loss of turning ability as well. It is a real heavy price as they learned last session in another mini-campaign when the 1st lvl fighter/6th lvl cleric/3rd lvl sword dancer learned that she cannot affect vampires at the EL she is in :evil

Grumgarr
Orc
(12/9/02 6:36 am)
Reply
Re: NO Session Dec. 8th 2002
Yep - those turning levels are going to be missed - my PCs' cleric has Extra Turning, Empowered Turning and Heightened Turning from DotF (I think the names are right) - and that's the only chance she has of turning Thrommel...

IMC I roleplayed Naquent trying to rebuke Thrommel when he came at her (mid-battle with my PCs) - I rolled in plain sight, got a 20, and it had No Effect...this should have given them pause, but didn't faze the cleric who still reckons she can turn Thrommel (and she's 2 cleric levels down on Naquent).

Oh, the humanity!

Having said that, other than Thrommel there's no real big undead threat, so your group can probably get by on Raise Dead and lots of curing, which your cleric has covered. But Thrommel is nasty.

Grumgarr

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(12/29/02 2:22 pm)
Reply
Session Dec 29th 2002
Well this session saw the CRM forces a bit truer to form.

Last session saw our heroic party in great spirits following a resounding victory over Oomkaan the half-fiend cleric, the monitor, some kuo-toa fighters, the maximised skum, and a half-fiend water elemental who was dispel evil'ed back where it came from.

Maybe that made them over-confident. At any rate, they ran straight into area 192, where an ambush had been set up. In Oomkaan's alcove was Nilbool, 2 kuo-toa fighters, and Gouguog the sea hag. In the tunnel leading to area 193 was Zeityan the Naga, and Kadiss and his 5 elven archers. In the hall leading NW out of the cave was Kelashein behind a wall of crossbowmen.

They didn't see anything and things got hairy from there. I can't remember enough to make a blow-by-blow account, but high points were Fredorcia the lvl 10 sorceresss being turned into a very dead pincushion by Kadiss' archers before she got off one spell, Kelashein going down by two succesful stunning attacks from the monk, and Jugla being laid low by the kuo-toa - improved invisibility doesn't help against them! - and then being towed - unconscious but stabilzed - out of the temple into the Stalagos lake. There, a raised Fredorcia (yes, she was raised during a lull in the fighting) killed him by casting fireball at the fleeing kuo-toa. The survivors managed to catch up, get Jugla's body and get back 3 rounds before the alerted spider eater riders got to them. The riders managed to get Nilbool's corpse, however, so after being raised he's bound to tell Hedrack a lot.

The group went back to Verbobonc. Jugla had xp do reach 9th level when being kiled, so the group opted for a True Ressurrection. In Verbobonc, the succubus from the Outer Fane had taken the identity of a serving wench at the inn where the group stays. She seduced Jugla (who 1: Isn't used to female attention and 2: was charmed), and he spilled the proverbial beans as well as 3 negative levels. Succubi make hickeys that show.

The session ended with Jugla's charm being discovered and dispelled and now they've set up a trap for the treacherous serving girl...

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

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/20/03 6:43 am)
Reply
Session Jan. 19, 2003
Cast:
  • Fredorcia Alorinan, human noblewoman (9th, Sor9)
  •         Savonarola, human holy man (10th, Mnk10)
  • Eldreon Azareth, elven warrior (10th, Fig4/Wiz6)
  • Rachum of Neese, human cleric of Istus (10th, Cle7/Fatespinner3)
  • Jugla Mether, human bowman (9th, Rog6/Fig2/Ran1)
  • Kakloban Lebenwolf, dwarven warrior (8th, Fig6/Stonelord2)


The session began with Mira the Succubus (Brd3) sneaking into Jugla's room. There, she meant to kill him and leave a note about the group not needing to go back to the CRM anymore.

To be on the safe side, Victor had been dispatched and after riding two horses near to death, he had met up with Mira earlier that night. So when Mira was preparing to enter the room, he was hanging, silently as a spider, outside the window.

Mira stopped and smoothed her blouse. She invoked a clairvoyance to see into Jugla's room and immediately spotted the cleric at the window. Well, if it was a fight they wanted, they would get one. She gave Victor a quick telepathic instruction and opened the door.

Victor had managed to ease the window open without the fat priest hearing it. When the door opened, he slipped his dagger into the priest's back who let out a scream of surprise and pain. Unfortunately, Victor's position on the wall meant that he had missed the cleric's spine and the cleric managed to get off a spell. A green bolt flew from his outstretched hand and hit Mira squarely in the head. From her forehead, a green nimbus surrounded her and judging by her scream, Victor gathered that she would no longer be able to whisk away the way she used to.

Victor swung into the room and engaged an ugly human (Jugla) who'd hidden in a dark corner of the room. Fortunately, the rogue's scimitar missed, giving Victor the opportunity to make a quick feint and swipe his dagger across the rogue's abdomen. Just then, Victor lost control of his muscles.

Rachum smiled. The Goddess favours those who choose the fate She's given them, he thought as he saw the half-elven assassin go rigid. He had even tipped the scales of fate a little in the assassin's favour, but he still succumbed to a simple hold. Mira serving girl had fled though. Seems she'd heard of dimensional anchor before. The rest of the group had run after her, with the exception of Jugla who'd swung himself out the window - what about his stomach? That swipe'd looked nasty - and Kakloban, who was given the task of stripping, tieing, and guarding their prisoner.

In the taproom, everything was chaos. Mira was screaming her head off about being enspelled by lunatics, and the heavily armed and armoured posse of PCs were stomping down the stairs. She was grappled by Savonarola, but managed to break free just in time to get hammered by two volleys of magic missile from a hasted Fredorcia. In a desperate bid for freedom, Mira invoked a darkness spell and made it to the porch outside the inn. There, she'd be able to resume her own, true, glorious form, beat her wings, and escape this ridiculous situation. Suddenly a sharp pain erupted in her neck, she turned, tried to swallow, to speak, to...

Jugla lowered his bow. Vengeance rests with the swift, bitch, he thought. The innkeeper came running, just in time to see "Mira" turn into a beautiful naked woman - with bat wings?! The elf grabbed him, turned him around and said, "Mira. Where does she live?". The innkeeper pointed across the city and began a reply that was caught short by the sight of a reddish glow over the Riverside Warrens. Something was burning...

As one, the party began to run. Almost mid-stride, Rachum snapped the syllables of a benediction while slapping Jugla on the shoulder. A fine, glowing web spread down and across Jugla's stomach, reducing the slash to a thin cut. A couple of minutes, the party turned a corner and witnessed the controlled chaos that is fire-fighting. Rachum warded himself from fire and ran into the house, hoping to find Mira. As he ran in, he heard a woman wail, "My baby! Someone save my baby!" (Yes, I know. Cheesy. But it made the cleric feel good). After unceremoniously tossing the screaming child to her distraught mother (it was quite fun seeing the reactions of us parents to that bit of callousness), Rachum went back in, found Mira's room. And entered Hell.

He never told the others exactly what had happened to Mira, just that she was beyond rescue and raising - it would take a resurrection to get the poor kid back.

When they came back that morning, they began questioning the captured assassin. For a while, he led them on, but when they began asking him about the bead of force, he began slipping. (I messed up - he should just have told them that Mira had given it to him) During a break in the interrogation, he bit his tongue off and drowned.

The following days were lost in a criminal investigation led by a St. Cuthbert-worshiping Watch Detective whose distaste for Trithereon worshippers (such as Jugla) was fortunately only topped by an unflinching devotion to honesty.

The group was paranoid. They knew that Hedrack would be spying on them from time to time, and they knew that Hedrack knew everything he needed to about them. So to avoid him for a while, and to reduce the number of forces at their backs, the party decided for another foray into the Crater Ridge Mines. Their declared goal was the Temple of Air.

They arrived at Mt. Stalagos just as the first winter snowstorm hit the area. Cursing and shivering, they came to the western entrance, which had once been the site of their first entry into this accursed place. Signs saying "please use south gate" as well as several glyphs showed them that fortifications here were now of the more passive sort, and it was with a feeling of being on familiar territory that the group went south.

They didn't encounter anything until they met the umber hulks beyond the fungus forest. The 'hulks proved little more than a diversion, mostly because the wand of cure moderate wounds they'd lifted off the assassin proved most efficient.

After that, it was smooth going until they encountered a stone wall with a door, set in what had looked like natural caverns. They had just killed four trolls, and thought that they had entered Fire Temple territory. Ah, so close, and yet so far: They were at the North end of the Fire Bridge complex and were about to get an eyeful of D'Gran.

Slaazh heard them, of course, and a relay team of warriors were set up to secure communication with D'Gran and Tippesh, while Heunar and his fiendish dire lion (I have told you I've boosted the damn thing, right?) went to boost the entrance defenses.

Long story short, Slaazh and Heunar got creamed. I won't even mention the kitten: Savonarola flurried it while hasted and his newly acquired +2 shock hand bands enabled him to inflict 60 points of damage on the poor thing.

Jugla sneaked ahead and spied a narrow hallway going off the main, wide hallway. He continued down the broad hallway and drew the rest of the group - except for Kakloban who was burning a troll and Eldreon, who was interrogating a surviving warrior in order to get the lowdown on the enemies that were at that very moment descending on his party members...

The hell hound was OK: Jugla caught it flat-footed and nailed it with 3 +3 arrows (Gt. Magic Weapon) from his +1 holy mighty composite longbow.

The fire giant was a bit of a surprise, but the award for nastiest fire bridge surprise would be a tie between D'Gran who let go with a Blasphemy and Tippesh (Psion9, IMC) who with 2 greater concussion inflicted 14d4 on the group. The 8 archers in front of her were a minor nuisance in that respect.

This session's Famous Last Words came from Savonarola who went mano a mano with the fire giant: "This is probably not a good idea". Most drastic reversal of fortune happened to Kraal who acted as bodyguard for Tippesh. He started off improved invisible (dust of disappearance) and ended up blinded and visible thanks to Fredorcia's glitterdust.

We stopped the session with Savonarola dead - and able to gain a level, so unless he's True Ress'ed, he effectively loses 2 levels - and the rest of the gang sorta OK, but very low on spells. D'Gran's dead. They'll probably plane shift him to the Elemental Plane of Fire. Ouch.

I'm quite happy with this session. Our host had their 1-year old baby at her grandparents', so concentration levels were much higher than they have been for the last year and a half. I had no idea about which way the PCs would go and where they would enter, but I still managed to challenge them. And everyone enjoyed the mixture of roleplaying in Verbobonc and rollplaying in the mines. So I leave you with the sound of me patting myself on the back.

Pat, pat, pat, pat....

:)

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

Edited by: Siobharek  at: 1/20/03 6:47:13 am
Zagig
Here for a while
(1/20/03 7:05 am)
Reply
Re: Session Jan. 19, 2003
Pat, pat, pat. Good session!!

"it was quite fun seeing the reactions of us parents to that bit of callousness"
ROFL:rollin

Infiniti2000
Here to stay
(1/20/03 12:46 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Session Jan. 19, 2003
Great job, Siobharek! Maybe this time when Savonarola gets true rezzed, you'll make him change his name! Instead of "saving on a roll", how about "Notgonnadya"? :)

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/20/03 1:27 pm)
Reply
Re: Session Jan. 19, 2003
Heh, Infiniti2K. The player has a habit of naming his characters after medieval religious figures. His paladin was called Innocent (after a string of Popes), and a board member here told me that Savonarola was an Italian monk with some rather radical ideas.

I'll mention it to him though :)

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

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(2/20/03 12:27 am)
Reply
Session Feb 9th 2003
Damn. I caught pneumonia and was totally unable to go through with the session.

My players did a lot of Paper & Paychecks, though, so when next session comes around March 2nd (I wonder if they'll remember DM's Day on March 4th), they're ready to go back.

I threw in a little twist. On their way back to Verbobonc, they were intercepted by a priest from the Church of Trithereon (who's practicallly their main sponsor) with a letter. The letter said that the High Priest, who's cast their True Resurrections so far, had been called away to help his god keep a promise made to Thor. It appears that in another dimension, Ragnarok is about to happen... Through negotiations, the Church has managed to persuade the Church of St. Cuthbert (the second-most powerful church in Verbobonc and, incidentially, traditional opponents of the Church of Trithereon) to scribe 3 scrolls.

Anyway, that meant that there were no more True Resurrections to be had in Verbobonc, once the three scrolls have been bought. I'm hoping that it will focus the group a little more.

The letter also referred to the 4 Binders (cf. Mak's Replacing the Orbs in the BoB). Unfortunately, the diviners who were to discover more were all rendered insane and killed each other. One of them wrote the prophesy of the binders in Suloise with his own blood on a wall before dying. The PCs were given the prophesy - it'll be interesting to see what, if anything, they'll make of it.

I'm planning to have Imix be released within the next week or so, game time. That'll cause the waters of the Stalagos to churn purple and green and it'll make all fires a little more vicious.

So: Some PCs level up, magic items are identified and distributed, and they head back to the mines in order to move onwards from the Fire Bridge. Next up: Stoneheart and Jigsaw from BoB...

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

Blackthorne
Here for a while
(2/20/03 9:57 am)
Reply
Pure Genius!
"Unfortunately, the diviners who were to discover more were all rendered insane and killed each other"

I love it!

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(2/21/03 6:04 am)
Reply
Re: Pure Genius!
Thanks :)

Normally, I think I'd find that approach a little heavy-handed, but we are approaching the times when push comes to shove and the Doomdreamers' plans are moving to a new level. Basically, the way I see it, once Imix is out, there's bound to be repercussions (cf. the idea that fire becomes dangerous once he's on or near the Material Plane). Therefore, it's in Tharizdun's interest to keep a heavy lid on things until all the binders have been found.

But yeah, I liked the idea of all these diviners beginning to do their stuff in a grand hall - locked to keep out interfering influences - and then an unholy screaming is heard while purple light strems under the doors into the hall. When the doors are opened, all the diviners lie dead. Heh.

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

Blackthorne
Here for a while
(2/21/03 11:01 am)
Reply
But...
I would have added: "They tore their own eyes out". :evil

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(2/21/03 12:50 pm)
Reply
Re: But...
D'oh! That's what comes for DMing with pneumonia. No guarantee that I'd thought of it anyway, though... :\

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

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(2/21/03 9:21 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: But...
Really cool, Siobharek! I love the thing with the diviners. Hopefully, I'll get to steal that someday. :)

Take care of that pneumonia! Rest! |I

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(2/22/03 1:57 am)
Reply
Re: But...
No worries, I'm fine again. But thanks for the concern. And yeah, I rested... Collapsing on the couch just from taking out the trash or reading half a Curious George story to the kid is, I guess, resting.

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

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/3/03 1:54 am)
Reply
God thinks I'm a lousy DM (should be: session 03/02/03)
My wife got ill.

First session in 6 weeks, and my wife got ill.

And not a baby sitter in sight.

Actually, the missus was very, very sorry. She knows how I am when I don't get to play. It speaks to her credit, that despite feeling really, really rotten, she sympathized with me.

But net result was the same. No gaming. Next session is 2 weeks and 6 days from now.

(What? You're telling me that God has nothing to do with this? Hm. I still think He could have cut me a little slack what with me bringing my wife back to the Church and having my daughter and myself baptized and all. Well, He's probably saving it for something bigger. But it still sucks that I didn't get to game)

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

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