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ZansForCans
Pie
(10/29/02 7:27:09 pm)
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A Moathouse Flank
I'll update my logs sometime tonight (here if you are curious and don't want to hunt), but I wanted to split this off into a separate thread to get some ideas right off the bat. I haven't seen this particular situation yet and I'm curious about other fun options.

The party just had the big encounter with Gren and none of the baddies managed to make it out. The whole place does know that the party is infiltrating though, so the alert factor is high. However, they are down to very few resources since 4 gnolls and Garrik have already been overcome above during the party's second return.

Chat has 'escaped' from being incarcerated in Hommlet through Jaroo's help. He and Chenashi are with 2 gnolls in Garrik's room, waiting to ambush anyone who comes into the clerics' sleeping area. Geynor and Ysslansh are still in the well room trying desparately to finish up. The ghast and ghouls down south are still around as well.

Here's the twist... it's about 10am. The wagon arrives in two hours! On top of that, the party is getting ready to rest for the day+ since they are tapped out. They are setting up in Gren's workroom, planning to rig one of the secret doors to alert them by sound if someone uses it. They are thinking about using rope trick for 3 hours at the start of their rest.


Here are some things I'm thinking about that I'd like to bounce off the collective:

  • Spugnoir is with them and they have gotten a lot of information out of him already, including a sketch of the rest of the dungeon (sans secrets, of course). However, although at the end of the session I said that he would stay with them, I'm now thinking he would be more likely to want to leave to get back to Renee after so long. He is willing to show them to area 32 in person first though if they like...

  • Chat will probably go to scout in an hour or so not having heard much from the others in some time. Do you think the cultists know about the secret passage through the pillar in the torture room? I was guessing not. So, he will head back through the double secret doors to Gren's room to check on her. IMC, at this point, the party thinks he is safely back in Hommlet under Elmo's care and on top of that, they all think he's just a common treasure hunting (non-evil) rogue who got out of hand. ;) They may see him through the rope trick portal without him having a clue where they are while he takes in the new carnage... should be interesting!

  • After that, assuming they don't confront him, Chat will alert the clerics who will certainly employ the ghouls and ghast more directly now than their current positions. I haven't decided yet where to place them, but Chen may just keep them with her, or put them in Garrik's room and have her small posse fall back down toward 32 more.

  • An hour after that, the wagon arrives. I'm using a slightly changed version of Tristin's encounter (found here) since my party isn't quite high enough to handle the 6HD Grick yet. I'm going with a 4HD Grick instead. Hasan will head down, looking for a representative. I see no reason why he should know any of the excavating team. The ToAC is a big place. As soon as he sees trouble or past carnage, he will beat feet back up to get the Wars and his pet and set up in 18 (bottom of stairs) while he has someone scout around for signs of life. At this point, the party will be essentially trapped :)

  • Assuming they are hidden and if they leave the relics in Gren's room, Hasan's men will try to get them out and put them in the wagon (outside the drawbridge--the party removed the boards). After that, he may scout further in to try to find others or other people.


Thoughts? Comments? More fun? :b



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Cordo Crowfoot
Pie
(10/29/02 10:51:51 pm)
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Re: A Moathouse Flank
Hi Zans,

Spugnoir leaving -> Sounds good. Has he used his magic missile? In any case you are right that he would be in a hurry to get back to see his daughter.

Secret passage through pillar -> I agree the cultists don't know about it.

Placement of forces -> I think once they know they are under attack, they are going to want to concentrate their forces in a single place. Probably all in 32A except for ghouls and ghasts near the steps, to give them warning. If you want to challenge your players, there is also the obscuring mist in 32A tactic, and having Ysslanth prepare by drinking his potion of levitation, untying the platform rope, and waiting for several PCs to jump on the platform with him before letting go.

Siobharek 
Orc
(10/30/02 1:59:04 am)
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Re: A Moathouse Flank
I'm with Cordo on this one - with one exception: Send Chatrilon off. He's got a wand of invisibility, so in general he should be OK, once he hears the PCs. If he doesn't, he can always go invisible, trail the PCs for 3 rounds, kill someone, and then move off again.

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

ZansForCans
Pie
(10/30/02 9:31:44 am)
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Re: A Moathouse Flank
Thanks for the comments!

Chat's stuff has been claimed by the PC's, so he can only use his natural Hide. I might start doing this with him if he finds them split off exploring or alone during his scouting. But if they are in a group (and not engaged), he'll probably stay away since he's already been captured by them once (or twice, since he tried to escape from them and failed).

I think 32A will be a good place for the humans + gnolls. The undead, I'm thinking will be better in the cleric's sleeping area or in Garrik's room. Then a few of those with missile weapons can shoot from outside the room and retreat back into 32A for a dance around the shaft :) Or, I can leave them in the Crypt and have the clerics call for them to flank the party (although the distance might be hard for the yell to travel over).

One other thing I forgot to ask... After Chat scouts and discovers that Gren & friends are dead, the clerics will know they are under siege. Do you think they care more about getting out with their stuff or sealing the shaft once they know this. Potentially, the party could be resting in their rope trick chamber so to Chat, it might look like they have a way out if they hurry (they could even use the stairs up to 7, for example). Sealing the shaft could take 1/2 an hour to an hour, I'd guess...



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Siobharek 
Orc
(10/31/02 12:10:39 am)
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Re: A Moathouse Flank
Yeah, you're right there. The clerics' priority is to get out with what they've got. So seal, shut and move, once the dragon's away.

Or...

The clerics are insane. Maybe they don't adapt too well. Maybe they fear Dunrat so much that they are overly thorough and stay too long.

What I mean is that you could decide either way, and both decisions would be valid.

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

Duncan Haldane
Pie
(11/16/02 10:54:44 pm)
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Re: A Moathouse Flank
IMC the mage allowed Spugnoir to memorise from her spellbook. While there were only a few spells in common that S could study, and the book only contained 0/1/2 level spells, S used his 2/3/4 slots to memorise 5 Invisibilities.

When the party wanted to rest and stay in the moathouse a few encounters later he told them that he would either cast Invis on all of them now (4 PCs + S), so they could leave, or he would use them on himself one after another for the whole trip back to Hommlet - either way, he wasn't staying.

The party decided to leave... :-)

Ssendam
Pie
(11/17/02 3:59:15 am)
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Re: A Moathouse Flank
Chatrilon is one of my favorite villains of this module in its early stages. I played him much differently than you are doing. By the way, how in the hell did the party get possession of his items? Is he being held as a prisoner or something? It doesn't sound like you've given him much of a chance at all. Sounds like he is in a real bind. As a DM, I try and remain as neutral as possible, but I do tend to help out some of the main villains a bit to ensure their survivability. Chatrilon, IMO, is an NPC that you want the players to build a hatred for. And in the end, it will make things all the more satisfying for the players when they finally do take Chatrilon out.

Anyway, I had Chatrilon go to the moathouse with the party. They were very very suspicious of him the whole time. One of my players gave Chatrilon a real hard time. There was a lot of diaglogue between the two. Basically, the rogue of the group had the biggest mistrust in him and was constantly harassing him, trying to get Chat to lose his temper and show his true colors. I just played Chatrilon cool as Cool Hand Luke, and when the time came, he gave the group the slip.

After making his escape, Chatrilon alerted the other cultists of the party and then took off for Hommlet (via the secret tunnel). I had to fudge a bit in order for Chatrilon to get past the Wall of Stone, so I gave him a Ring of Spellstoring with a couple of dimension door spells in it. This allowed him to bypass the Wall of Stone and access the secret tunnel.

Once Chat made his way back to Hommlet, he went straight to the Flour Mill and told Dunrat and the others about what happened. I figured I would give the party a day while Dunrat and Chatrilon formulated a plan to take the PC's out. As it turned out, the PC's ended up heading back to town before Dunrat and the others could stage an ambush. When the PC's got back to town, they went straight to the Inn Welcome of the Wench. The barmaid, Maridosen saw the PC's come in and as soon as she had the opportunity, she conveniently slipped out the back and headed for the flour mill to inform Dunrat and the others.

One of the PC's (rogue) actually saw Maridosen leave and tailed her to the flour mill. Not long afterwards, the rest of the PC's showed up and a huge battle ensued. Chatrilon ended up dying in this combat, but not before he assassinated one of the party members. I was planning on him escaping yet again and having the party meet up with him later at the Crater Ridge Mines, but it didn't work out that way. He was ganked before he could get away.

IMO, you should try and build Chatrilon as a reoccuring villain. Fudge a little here and there if you have to, but don't make it impossible for the players to dispatch him. Just give him a fair chance to survive if you can help it.



ZansForCans
Pie
(11/20/02 12:31:53 pm)
Reply
Re: A Moathouse Flank
Quote:
By the way, how in the hell did the party get possession of his items? Is he being held as a prisoner or something? It doesn't sound like you've given him much of a chance at all. Sounds like he is in a real bind.


You can check my brief session logs here and the link to the detailed logs at the top of that thread if you're curious how Chat made out in my campaign.

I certainly intended to have him be a major player in the early game and he has been so. But I didn't intend to give him any special treatment and the party was very clever in overcoming some of his advantages. IMC, Chat was extremely egocentric and sure of his abilities. He was also just a merc for the most part and didn't have much invested in what was going on in the moathouse. There were a few instances were these bits failed him.

To answer a bit of your questions here, though, yes, he was taken as a prisoner and delivered to Elmo. You'll see though in my logs that he didn't stay that way for long with some help from Jaroo ;) The cultists know a lot about the party from him tagging along and confronting them. He has been very useful to them from that respect.

Chat has done quite a bit of damage to the party in a short amount of time. He took out two characters with single blows over the course of a few days, nearly killing them both and posioning one. Believe me, they hated him, especially because they did trust him a bit (at least trusted what they thought his nature was) before he took them out. But because I played him up as the treasure hunter, they didn't latch on to the idea that he could actually have been involved with the cult. When he first attacked a party member, they were sure he was back to try to get Big-U's hoard (heh, what hoard :) ) before they did. When they finally had the end battle out with him this last session (see my logs) in the presence of cultists, it worked to great effect.

There are plenty of other great NPC's coming up that come back to haunt the party, so I'm not too bummed that he's been used up already.



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