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Duncan Haldane
(11/17/02 4:41:26 am)
My terrible dice rolls....
Well, my group has been playing for a few sessions now. They routed U, killed Ysslansh and the gnolls, captured Gren and Geynor, and rescued Spugnior. But they'd been out of spells by then and left the moathouse to return to Hommlet.

They took Gren and Geynor to the keep, and left them there as prisoners - they got little help from the keep's guards.

Then they talked to Elmo about what they'd found, the journal, the flour mill, etc.

I decided that Master Dunrat and the others had left the Mill, and the wagon had been and gone, but I wasn't sure where they were. So they went to the mill with Elmo and found it deserted. And Chat had left the inn.

That was the end of last week.

We picked up this week with it being the next morning. The party wanted to return to the Moathouse, but planned to be circumspect about it. But while they were in the inn, Yundi came in, telling them he was worried because he couldn't find Jaroo (they had met both previously, and I'd played Jaroo as forgetful, with Yundi being worried about him being different, fragile, forgetful). Yundi said he'd been in the grove the night before, and asked them to help him look for Jaroo.

They raced over to the grove. Yundi said "That's Jaroo's hut there", and they moved in.

Then the attackers moved in.

I'd decided that the previous night the Doppleganger had impersonated Elmo, and rescued Gren and Geynor from the Keep.

So, inside the grove, spread around in a semi-circle, were Dunrat, Grune, Gren, Geynor and Chenishi. Behind the party was the Doppleganger who'd been impersonating Yundi.

I thought this was going to be a tough fight. Six opponents, four of them spellcasters. The party weren't buffed.

And so it started. The cleric cast Bane, and only Gren wasn't effected. The rogue attacked Geynor and wounded him. Brune attacked the rogue and hit him. Then the mage cast Color Spray, and took out both Grune and Geynor.

The cleric stood off against the Doppleganger, who changed shape from Yundi to Jaroo, and said "Oh, I'm so old I've forgotten where I am!". The players were extremely surprised by this turn of events.

Dunrat trited to cast Hold Person against the monk - who saved. Gren cast Shield of Faith, and Chenishi cast Protection from Good.

2nd round - the monk grapples Gren successfully. Grune and Geynor are out because of the color spray.

Dunrat casts Random Action against the mage. The mage succeeds.

The rogue attacks Dunrat and hits.

the cleric casts Brambles on her staff. Doppleganger hits at her and misses.

The mage casts color spray again, against Dunrat and Chenishi - both fail their saves.

3rd round...

Monk continues to grapple Gren, and damages her.

Cleric casts Aid on herself. Doppleganger hits at cleric - both attacks miss.

Dunrat attempts to cast Tharizdun's touch on the rogue - the rogue saves. The rogue again hits at Dunrat.

Mage casts Flaming Sphere at Dunrat. Dunrat fails his reflex save, and is damaged.

Gren manages to break out of grapple.

4th round...

Monk attacks Gren - critical threat, confirmed with a 20... Gren is at -14.

Cleric hits at Doppleganger with her staff. Both ends hit. One is a critical, confirmed. Doppleganger takes 21 points of damage (leaving 1 hit point). He flees.

Rogue hits at Dunrat, and succeeds.

Dunrat is on only a couple of hits left. He steps away. I looked at his spell list - no healing. Look at his items - no healing. He casts Shield.

The mage hits at Dunrat with the sphere. The sphere hits, and Dunrat is on 0

5th round...

Dunrat decides to use his last resort. He throws the bead of force at the cleric, who is standing next to the monk... He misses. I roll again to check, and the bead lands safely. Dunrat starts to bleed to death.

Then I bring out my ace-in-the-hole. Chat, invisible, has had his 3 rounds to watch the mage. He moves in to do a death attack. The mage doesn't hear him. I roll to hit. A FOUR!

Now Chat is standing there, visible.

The monk chases after the doppleganger and hits him.... -9

The rogue moves in and attacks Chat.

The mage moves away from chat. The sphere stays where it is, on top of Dunrat, who is burnt to -8.

Dunrat makes his stabilization check....

The cleric starts to summon a celestial dog to attack Chat.

Round 6...

Chat steps back and uses his wand. He's invisible again.

The monk attempts to stabilize the Doppleganger, so they can question it, but fails.

The cleric completes her spell, and the dog flanks Chat (scent ignores Invis).

The rogue attacks at where Chat was, and hits.

Grune has finally woken from the color spray, but is blind. He hears noise around him, and attacks - at Chat, but misses.

The mage coup de graces on Chen. Meanwhile the sphere stays at the same place, again burning Dunrat (who has stabilized on -8) , and he dies.

Chat flees.

That was basically the end of it. Chat managed to get away. The party captured Geynor and Grune.

So, 4 fourth level PCs versus...
Warrior 1
3 x Cleric 2
Cleric 5/ Sorc1
Rogue 5/ Assassin 1

and all they took was one hit for eight points!!!!!!

Sure, I know that I could've buffed the clerics, since they enticed the PCs there, but they didn't know how long they would take to get there, and I wanted to give the PCs a chance - I thought I was going to kill them all...

I can't believe the dice were so bad to me.


(11/17/02 7:33:19 am)
Re: My terrible dice rolls....
Just one of those days bro.......... just one of those days

(11/17/02 6:44:32 pm)
Re: My terrible dice rolls....
It sounds like you're a little disappointed with how easily the PCs won the combat. It happened to me with the Speaker in Dreams in the Temple of Pelor. I reacted by beefing up the last encounter with the Speaker and almost TPKed the whole party - they were lucky to win that one.

I guess that's the key. What could you have done differently? What will you do differently? The dice are random, and sometimes they're kind to us and sometimes they're not. Are you concerned about the PCs becoming arrogant about how easily they won that battle? Or getting bored with it? Their next one could be very different, and maybe you can find ways of making them appreciate just how lucky they were through the reaction of the NPCs in Hommlet...

Duncan Haldane
(11/18/02 6:42:04 pm)
Re: My terrible dice rolls....
I am a little disappointed, but only because it was due to the dice rolls - I expected the encounter to be tough, maybe too tough. I had planned for Elmo to turn up if needed, and even more help if required.

And I only decided to bring in Chat when things went so badly for me.

The mage has focused her skills to have a really high DC for color spray, and in this combat managed to take out 4 of the 6 combatants with it.

When they fought Gren and her Gnolls the first time around she won initiative and used color spray then to hit all three of them as the first action of the combat, and all failed their saves.

When they fought U they used their tactics very well, buffing and so on, so it was due to their skill that they survived.

The toughest so far has been against The Ghast and Geynor and the Trog - that took a long time because of the very high ACs of the clerics, and because they were almost out of spells at the time. But even so no one ended up unconscious.

In fact, the time I've come closest to killing someone was with the frog - yep, the very first encounter.


(11/18/02 8:36:23 pm)
Re: My terrible dice rolls....
Of course, our aim as DM isn't to kill PCs - if it was, we'd be better off playing something like Hackmaster, I suspect :)

It sounds like the wizard has made an interesting choice - it is going to help her in these early levels, but it might come back to bite her when the monsters start getting more than 5 HD... were the ghouls in the Moathouse no challenge? Undead are immune to mind influencing effects, and if she keeps using the same attack, her reputation with it is going to grow and her potential enemies may start preparing themselves better...

Duncan Haldane
(11/19/02 2:07:38 am)
Re: My terrible dice rolls....
the undead weren't much of a problem - the cleric has been turning them.

The wizard mentioned that she was optimized for 4th level spells - some of the better illusionary ones that become available then, and color spray just fitted with those.

My party also has a half-celestial monk, who, though only 1st level (+3 for the template), had 22 A/C without any armor. And then they buffed - mage armor, cat's grace (and the wisdom equivalent), bless and Prot. from Evil all enhanced her A/C.


They are good players, I'm just a little frustrated that it was too easy for them last session.


Edited by: Duncan Haldane at: 11/21/02 1:09:21 am
(11/19/02 4:41:39 am)
Re: My terrible dice rolls....
I think ya should be glad with experienced players. Ppl who know how the whole game works. Do not worry too much about it; sometimes, no amount of prepping will save them from tough times. Just stick with it and soon enough things can and will get nasty

Edited by: Killiak at: 11/19/02 4:41:57 am
(11/19/02 5:18:31 am)
Re: My terrible dice rolls....
Except for the fight with Utreshimon the Moathouse and the cultists are not a real challenge for well played PCs like your group. The exception to this might be the battle with the grell and Festrath in the obelisk room, but that is more due to the environment then the monsters in itself. My group also had a relatively easy time there. It will be at the CRM that things start becomming real dangerous. Three things: Do NOT forget that evil clerics can bolster undead and make them more difficult to turn that way!!! Even at high levels 12 zombies can slow down the PCs enough for the NPCs to cast some very nessecary spells. Do not be afraid to cast dispel magic to dispel those boost spells and remember that there always is the grapple (in fact all troglodyte clerics should have spiked armor just to prevent my favourite PCs tactic against them). Spread out when facing a wizard. The PCs are doing it, so why shouldn't the NPCs?

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