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Infiniti2000
Pie
(11/16/02 11:32:25 am)
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ezSupporter
Festrath
I've looked and didn't find anything on this in previous posts. I have some concerns about the "realism" in Festrath's condition. With winter clothing, he makes a Fort save every hour or suffer 1d6 subdual damage. The base DC is 15 and goes up by 1 for every previous check.

1. How long has Festrath been down in the chamber? If he has been down there since Big U showed up he would be dead by now. Either he leaves the chamber and heals up or he has a Purple Robe of Tharizdun.

2. What does he eat? Since he doesn't have Create Food & Water I gave him 4 days of rations.

I'm interested in comments. My party has defeated everyone above and then will likely hole up. If Festrath does not exit the cave he will die, which doesn't give the Moathouse the same feeling of a climax.

Suggestions (Errata?):
1. Give Festrath a Purple Robe of Tharizdun, and change his holy symbol to an obex accordingly.
2. Give Festrath 4 days of rations.
3. Give Festrath +2 STR, +2 DEX (not fatigued, which according to the book has already been applied). This gives him a total +6 melee attack, +3 ranged attack, Init +0, AC 20 (touch 10).
4. Current hit points is 32 (not 24). Assume he was actually injured by the Grell, but used up his cure light wounds (so remove that spell).
5. Change the protection from good spell to a cure light wounds because the obelisk chamber grants a continous protection from good.

Tristan DArque
Pie
(11/16/02 4:11:06 pm)
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Re: Festrath
My party are (now) in exactly the same position. After a long and very dangerous session they've killed everything up above, and decided to head back to Hommlett before returning to mess around with the platform. One of the questions I had was how Festrath could have survived this long (a day and a half since the party arrived, and so probably 4 days since U turned up), and whether there's any chance of him being around when they get back (in, probably, about 2-3 days time). I'd really like them to face Festrath, and not just the grell, but I honestly can't see how he'll survive. He could, I guess, get create food and water and heal himself up, assuming he's sane enough to pray for his spells (and just how sane do you have to be to pray to the EEE?), but the cold is a problem.

Infiniti2000
Pie
(11/16/02 10:25:25 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Festrath
We just finished the next session (4) and (un)fortunately, the party hasn't explored the obelisk chamber yet, so I'm still interested in hearing other's opinions. The player who lost Keth (the monk) created a fighter who got paralyzed by one of the cockatrices. The party is going take the time necessary to get Canoness Y'Dey to cast Break Enchantment (I'm gonna rule this works since he was paralyzed by a magical beast).

This will take 2-3 days, so this means Festrath will have that much time to do something. As noted above, he'll have enough food, and the grell will have enough (I figure it'll take him a while to finish off a medium-sized human). What else would the insane Festrath be up to? Would he have touched the obelisk and been "blessed"? Would he keep trying and then get obliterated?

Trithereon
Pie
(11/17/02 9:16:45 am)
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Re: Festrath
There is an implied timeline of events at the moathouse.

"Festrath cannot convince the gnolls to attack the beast together - not after what happened two days ago ... Now Festrath hides with the Obelisk and the creature." - Geynor's Journal

I believe that this entry was written the morning the PCs arrive in Hommlet meaning that Festrath has been in the Obelisk Chamber less then a day at the beginning of the adventure. Only if your players do not investigate the moathouse and encounter Festrath quickly does the cold become an issue.

The cumulative +1 to the Fortitude DC to avoid environmental damage is killer and it won't take long before Festrath succumbs to it. I doubt that you could sleep or even rest comfortably enough to regain spells while taking the environmental subdual damage.

If you're players did not encounter Festrath the first day in Hommlet, then by the book the guy's a dead man. If you want your players to encounter Festrath then assume that he's not as crazy as the module implies. The NPC survival instincts take over and he realizes that he must leave the Obelisk Chamber to warm up, rest and recuperate. He may even memorize the Endure Elements spell to ward him from the worst of the cold.

Otherwise, you may assume that he's too crazy to know when to get out of the cold and your players find a frozen cleric at the bottom of the Obelisk.

Festrath does not have a Torch of Revealing, so he can not find, let alone touch, the gem at the tip of the Obelisk. However, you could assume he continues to play with the Black Sun but that could have Festrath down to 0 Wisdom, and good as a popsicle in short order.

Of course, I just noticed that if Festrath is feeling close to death due to hypothermia then he may step upon the Obex and call out to his deity. He'll wake up fully healed!

Hey! That's the ticket! Festrath discovered this little trick long ago and he now uses the Obex to occasionally heal himself of his subdual damage and fatigue. Talk about killing yourself to live - sheesh!

Caedrel
Pie
(11/17/02 6:50:20 pm)
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Re: Festrath
IMC, I didn't play up how cold it was in the chamber enough. Even if I did, though, I think I would have toned it down so that it wasn't cold enough to cause the environmental subdual damage for exactly these reasons.

Is that not consistent enough with the nature of the obelisk and not prepare the party anough for later events in the campaign? Maybe. I hope to be able to deal with it between now and then, though...

Siobharek 
Orc
(11/18/02 1:32:21 am)
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Re: Festrath
...or maybe Festrath has some Robes of Tharizdun - they wopuld protect him from the cold. Or an endure elements oughta do it - they last for 24 hours.

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

Axelay
Pie
(11/18/02 2:05:29 am)
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Re: Festrath
My players fled before investigating the obelisk chamber, and I think some days will pass before they will return - if the return at all. So I decided to let Festrath die and apply some undead template on him. The dark forces of the place imbued him with unlife...
There's an ghoul/ghast template in the rtttoee-yahoogroup which looks quite nice, but any other template that fits to the power level of your party will work as well, I would think. Et voilą, no more explaining how he survived so long (and the encounter should still be interesting).

Axelay

Infiniti2000
Pie
(11/18/02 6:50:34 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Festrath
Endure Elements would work for a while, but eventually enough sixes (on the 1d6/hour) would be rolled that Festrath would die. I just don't think it makes sense. I will give him a PRT (Purple Robe of Tharizdun) and make the modifications as I describe above.

The ghoul template, however, is also a great idea. It would lend quite a nice dramatic effect for the party to reach the bottom of the chamber and see a body half lying in the pool, facedown under the water, only to see it get up at the last minute and attack!

Axelay, Monte has the following template:
www.montecook.com/images/Ghoul.pdf.

Tristan DArque
Pie
(11/18/02 7:06:23 am)
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Re: Festrath
This is quite obviously just a 'me too' post, but since I'd explicitly said I faced this problem, I wanted to add a personal thank you.

Killing him and making him undead is the answer, thanks Axelay.

(personally, I don't want to give him a Purple Robe since he's an EEE cleric, not a T cleric and I don't want to get T too openly involved at this stage. For the same reason, IMC he will not have used the obex, because he doesn't know what to say...)

(oh, and another question, arising out of something Trithereon said: is it accepted wisdom that one cannot activate the gem at the nadir of the obelisk unless one has seen it with a torch of revealing? So just touching the join doesn't do the trick?)

Trithereon
Pie
(11/18/02 7:57:12 am)
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Re: Festrath
Quote:
is it accepted wisdom that one cannot activate the gem at the nadir of the obelisk unless one has seen it with a torch of revealing?


I would go one step more and say that you can activate the gem only while you see it. Specifically, the gem must be illuminated by the torch while being touched.

I described to my players that there was a empty space between the pillar and the Obelisk and that the Obelisk was apparantly floating above the pillar. The thought that this enormous inverted stone obelisk was just floating in mid-air was overwhelming to my players. They became suspicious that they were missing something important, but afraid to experiment (they played around with the altar in the moathouse and got burned). Still, someone came up with the idea that perhaps one of the artifacts they found was important. They thought that the light from the torch might reveal magically hidden script on the pillar.

I got a few eyebrows when I told them that although the torch didn't shed much light (10 ft.) that the space between the pillar and Obelisk now radiated a violet light. When they investigated they saw that there was now a gem in the empty space which was glowing with the light of the torch. One of the players reached out (he later died in the CRM) and vanished. The others didn't follow suit thinking the PC had met an untimely and unwholesome end. Of course, the PC later reappeared with a spooky story of disembodied voices and black lusterous fruit.

There were no takers on seconds.

Andorax
Orc
(11/18/02 7:58:54 am)
Reply
Re: Festrath
I'd say, keep it as-is if it's within a day or two. Endure Elements (Cold) will cover most of the problem, and Festrath is your first chance to present a genuinely gibbering madman, something too priceless (IMO) to pass up just for the sake of being "realistic" about how much cold damage he can survive.

Leave it a mystery for the PCs to figure out why and how he survived.

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

bouncingboy24
Pie
(11/18/02 10:14:19 am)
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Re: Festrath
I love the idea of using the ghast template. It seems a fitting template for the insane minions of Big T. I am tempted to convert a few others to ghasts. Festrath, Ysslansh, Grune, Mereclar would make great ghasts or ghouls. Perhaps replacing/converting the orcs or troglodytes with ghasts in the CRM would make things more appropriate for a campaign focused on insanity and the return of a Dark God. Maybe the conversion to ghast could be some sort of initiation or way of advancement, like the diabolical machine?

gmk6135
Pie
(11/20/02 8:06:22 am)
Reply
Ghoul template
I looked at Monte's Ghoul template and one thing seems odd. Why would a Ghoul or Ghast have a +6 charisma over the base creature. Are you suddenly much more charming as a ghoul? I don't think so. Is that a typo or am I missing something?

g

Andorax
Orc
(11/20/02 8:50:17 am)
Reply
Re: Ghoul template
Charisma is badly misunderstood.


The best way I've yet heard to explain it is that Charisma represents "force of personality, sense of self, and the ability to portray that to others".

Beautiful people don't have high Charisma because they're beautiful...they have high Charisma because being beautiful makes them self-confident, able to project that attitude onto others.


Ghouls and Ghasts have extremely strong force of personality. They're very sure of themselves and their abilities. Baseline Ghouls and Ghasts have a Cha of 16, so a "normal human" become a Ghoul or Ghast would be bumped up from an average of 10 to an exceptional 16.

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

ZansForCans
Pie
(11/25/02 12:44:35 am)
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Festrath, Ghoul version
Well my party wasted the full three days clearing the moathouse and still will probably let at least another go by before exploring the obelisk chamber. I liked the ghoul template idea and here's the results for anyone else who'd like to use it. I went with ghoul rather than ghast for two reasons. First, as you'll see this guy is now auto-buffed by the ability bump. He's already CR 6 and adding the ghast bits would push him to 7 at least--a bit too much for my level 3/4 party. Secondly, for the fiction, I'd like him to try to observe and surprise them (although with his full plate & shield, it's pretty tough). Adding the ghast stench would give him away in a second.

Festrath, the Ghoul

Male Ghoul Clr 5; CR 6; Medium-sized undead; HD 6d12; hp 39; Init +2; Spd 20 ft; AC 23 (touch 12, flat-footed 21); Atk: +7 melee (1d6+3/19-20, curved +1 short sword) or +5 melee (1d6+2, bite) and +3 melee (1d3+2, 2 claws) or +5 ranged (1d8/19-20, crossbow); SA Rebuke undead 6/day, Paralysis (DC 16), Create spawn; SQ Insanity, +2 Turn resistance; AL CE; SV Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +8; Str 14, Dex 15, Con -, Int 13, Wis 20, Cha 16.

Skills & Feats: Concentration +8, Knowledge (arcana) +9, Knowledge (religion) +9; Martial Weapon Proficiency (short sword), Weapon Focus (short sword), Great Fortitude, Multiattack.

Insanity (Ex): Insanity score 2. Wis 22 for bonus spells and DCs; Wis 18 for all other Wis-based checks.

Spells Prepared (5/6/4/3; base DC = 16 + spell level): no changes except add 1st - Shield of Faith.

Notes:
The original Festrath has Expertise as a Feat, but as the Errata points out, his (non-undead) Int is too low. I gave him Great Fortitude to help him last the cold just that wee bit longer :) .

If you think I gave him too much Str & Dex over the template, remember that he's no longer under the influence of the cold now and gets his original base scores back (effectively a +2 to each).

One thing to remember is that with his full plate and shield, he has a massive -8 armor check penalty, making his Hide and Move Silently very tough. This can be offset with circumstance bonuses if he has notice that the party is approaching (say, battle with the grell) to prepare and uses the rubble as mentioned in the text.

Also note that if he keeps his helmet and gauntlets on, he won't be able to use his paralysis ability. On the other hand, it won't be obvious that he's a ghoul right away ;) . Discarding them all should probably dock him a -1 to his AC and be a full round action (or maybe a full round each).

I was torn what to do about the natural attacks since the template doesn't exactly mirror the MM/SRD entry by giving them Multiattack and Weapon Finesse (bite). I split the difference here and just gave him Multiattack. Since he only has one attack per round though, he can't mix the sword attack with any of the natural attacks even though he can do a bite/claw/claw with a full attack action.



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Tristan DArque
Orc
(12/15/02 10:01:58 am)
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Re: Festrath, Ghast version
I'm probably going to use Festrath as a ghast in my campaign: my party is strong enough to handle it, I think, and so I thought I put the stats up here. This is made with Monte's ghast template and works on the assumption that Festrath (achieving his ghasthood through the favour of, and in the shrine of, his dark god) is one of the 10 percent or so of ghouls/ghasts that retain their former abilities.

Ghastly Festrath, Chosen of Tharizdun: Male Ghast (human) Clr5; CR 7

Medium-size Undead
HD 8d12, hp 52
Init +2; Spd 20 (in full plate); AC 26 (touch 12, ff 24)
Melee: +8 (1d6+3, curved +1 short sword); or +6 (1d8+2 plus paralysis, bite) and +1/+1 (1d4+1 plus paralysis, 2 claws)
Ranged: +6 (1d8/19-20, light crossbow)

SA: Rebuke undead 6/day; Paralysis; Create Spawn
SQ: Insanity; Undead; +2 Turn Resistance; Stench

AL CE
SV Fort - , Ref +3, Will +8
Str 14, Dex 15, Con - , Int 13, Wis 20, Cha 16

Skills and Feats: Concentration +11, Knowledge (arcana) +9, Knowledge (religion) +9; Martial Weapon Proficiency (short sword), Weapon Focus (short sword), Spell Focus (Enchantment)

Paralysis (Ex): Those hit by Festrath's bite or claw attack must succeed at a Fort save (DC 17) or be paralysed for 1d6+4 minutes.

Create Spawn (Su): The body of anyone slain by Festrath rises as a ghoul in 1d4 days unless protection from evil is cast on the body.

Insanity (Ex): Insanity score 2. Wis 22 for bonus spells and DCs, Wis 18 for all other checks.

Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.

Stench (Ex): Anyone within 10' of Festrath must succeed at a Fort save (DC 17) or be wracked with nausea, suffering a -2 circumstance penalty to all attacks, saves, and skill checks for 1d6+4 minutes.

Spells Prepared (5/5+1/4+1/2+1) (Save DC 16 + spell level): 0 - detect magic, light, guidance, mending, resistance;
1 - bane+, cause fear, command+, doom+, protection from good, random action*+;
2 - bull's strength, death knell, desecrate, hold person+, Tharizdun's Touch*+;
3 - contagion, flesh ripper, rage*

*: domain spell
+: save DC increased by 2 for Spell Focus

Deity: Tharizdun; Domains: Madness (1/day add Insanity score to Wis-based roll), Force (1/day re-roll any damage roll and take the better roll).

Possessions: Ochre robes, message, pearl of power (1st level), potion of fly, curved +1 short sword, full plate armour, large steel shield, light crossbow, 10 bolts, 23 gp, 20 gp gem, holy symbol (see below).

A few things to note:

1. While using his shield, Festrath won't be able to make two claw attacks, and you might want to rule that it's not so easy for him to use his bite while in full plate, either.

2. His increase in Wisdom gives him some extra spells and I also swapped out his cures (they're not much use to him now he's undead). I gave him the BoVD 3rd level spell Flesh Ripper, because it's cool and he meets the Undead component.

3. I changed Expertise (which he didn't meet the prereq for, at least not until now!) for Spell Focus (Enchantment). Makes his enchantment spells quite hard.

4. I figure that after his marvellous transformation he's now a cleric of Tharizdun and has begun to understand the link between the EEE and Big T. I therefore swapped out Water for Force in his domains (and you could give him Blast of Force instead of Rage, if you wanted). I'm also going to say that his triangle holy symbol is mutating into an obex, so right now it looks like a slightly elongated obex with a faded yellow Y cut across it. I thought this was a nice clue, as well, but you may not want to use it.

Comments and corrections welcome, of course.

[edit: corrected the stench and paralysis DCs]

Edited by: Tristan DArque at: 12/17/02 4:41:08 pm
CrossNightwalker
Here for a while
(12/17/02 1:02:51 pm)
Reply
Re: Festrath, Ghast version
My party never made it down into the obelisk chamber. They hit the top of the obelisk, stood there for a minute or two and then realized that they were having the LIFE SUCKED OUT OF THEM *breathe*...they promptly vacated the premises and never went back again. BUt because I liked the concept of Festrath, and I wanted to use him SOMEWHERE, I figured out what happened to him. I decided that the grells needed a way to survive the cold too...and that grell hide made a wonderful insulator. Ol' Festrath finishes off the wounded grell after it gets hungry and wanders down looking for a snack. He skins it, and wraps himself in the rubbery outer casing, which I decided worked like heavy winter clothing. Combined with his Endure Elements (cold) casts, he survived nicely down there. And discovered that grell meat tastes a lot like squid meat. Go figure.

Later, ol' Festy decided to leave the unsealed chamber. Drank the potion of fly and zipped on out. He's now Utreshimon's pet. *shrug*

-Cross

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