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Zagig
Pie
(11/28/02 2:14:23 pm)
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Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
I need some suggestions. The party will be gone from the mines for three weeks. Before they left, they managed to wipe out the main gate (again) and the entire Fire Bridge Complex (including the trolls and ogres from the former orc caves).

Now I have to put 60% replacement humanoids and 30% replacement non-humanoids. There were 10 trolls at the main gate last time but I am thinking about replacing them with some glyphs of warding. Any suggestions for where and what spells?

I don't think that I am going to put anything in the orc caves. However, does anyone have any suggestions for what to use to replace the forces at the Fire Bridge?

Zag:rollin ig

serleran
Pie
(11/28/02 2:18:37 pm)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
Glyphs of Warding with fire-based spells and effects? Fire-subtype creatures work nicely. It's been a long time since I've read the module, and I haven't played through it fully yet, just barely getting the characters to Hommlet actually... but hmm, I'd use fire effects. Fire Drakes, Half Red Dragon Ogres, Kobold Rogue/Sorcerers with Pyro throwing alchemist fires...

Azalnubizar 
Pie
(11/29/02 1:40:19 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
Well, how about an evil band of adventurers. About the characters level, but with something like
a Troll Fighter, a Gnoll Ranger, a Bugbear Rogue and a Kobold Sorcerer... This would prove to be some challenge, would be something different.

The logical explanation would be, that Hedrack knew some evil adventurers and he just asks them to occupy and protect the entrances until he can get a more permanent solution.

greetings

Azal

Siobharek 
Orc
(11/29/02 1:56:31 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
Zagig, I forget: What levels are your PCs? Wouldn't this be the right time to show that for some reason, people don't really care overly much about conditions in the CRM?

That assumes, of course, that in your campaign, every death in the CRM is fuel for Tharzdun's return.

YMMV, but I really think that restocking should be used very sparingly - basically because there are plenty of monsters, hacking, and slashing to round without having to mow your way through the same areas again & again.

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

Azalnubizar 
Pie
(11/29/02 2:02:12 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
You might be right, Siobharek, but on the other hand, this would make the characters think twice, before they go restocking in the next city for 3 weeks again.

It made my players think twice at least. I think they did restock after they found out only one time, and that was right before they entered the inner fane...(when they had some spells to keep their travel short)

Otherwise, the players might just go restocking, bying new stuff and so on after every temple. And I have the feeling they should feel a bit more pressure there...

Azal

Siobharek 
Orc
(11/29/02 2:11:47 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
True... It's a fine line to thread. I think that D&D 3e for better or worse is about getting magic and other resources. And if I have, say, a cleric who has chosen Craft Wand, then I may be selling him a little short if I don't give him the chance to use his feat.

And also, if I began feeling that my party was taking too many shopping breaks, I might start harrying them with some of the Spider Eater Riders.

But again, in other campaigns, restocking helps build verisimilitude. IMC, the last time my group went off, Hedrack had the West Entrance sealed, posted a "Please use South Gate" sign, and let the still-functioning Earth Altar add some Earth Elemental creatures to that area.

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

madfox
Orc
(11/29/02 2:21:09 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
Quote:
But again, in other campaigns, restocking helps build verisimilitude. IMC, the last time my group went off, Hedrack had the West Entrance sealed, posted a "Please use South Gate" sign, and let the still-functioning Earth Altar add some Earth Elemental creatures to that area.


Sounds exactly the way I did it ;) You might want to take a look at the elemental creature template from the Manual of the Planes. Earth elemental dire wolves are THE perfect guard dogs anybody could wish. With both scent and tremor sense it takes a master thief to get past them unnoticed and they have a very mean bite.

Azalnubizar 
Pie
(11/29/02 2:22:25 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
Yep - should be decided on what kind of group it is. If they need a rest to enjoy their characters (like building magic items and such) - give it to them.

Sealing the already discovered and cleaned entry is a good way in between, I think. You do not restock the caves the players already cleaned (could make it frustrating for the players to clean them again), but you hinder them taking the same path again.
Maybe restocking would be in order, but from what I found - the players really injoyed watching their characters getting better. In the beginning of the mines, they really had a very hard time (getting there at 5th level something, leading to quite some dead characters). Since the danger level of the mines does not rise with the character level there, they saw how their characters improved. When raising the power level of adventures with the characters, very often the characters get better but the players don't feel like that, because the foes get better as well. But this is another issue and I think I should stop here now.

My advice - seal the entrance. But if they happen to go restocken to often, start restocking some of the empty caves as well and maybe start sending out the assassines...

Azal

Zagig
Pie
(11/29/02 4:54:51 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
Thanks for all the suggestions!!!
The party is:

Tiefling Wiz7 (ECL 8 )
Elf Wiz8
Human Ftr5/Rog3
Elf Ftr2/Wiz1/Rgr3/Arcane Archer1/Deepwoods Sniper1
Human Ftr6/Weapon Master2

Sio, I hadn't really been using the "every death is fuel for freeing Big T" angle. But at this point, that can easily be changed. Do I need to do anything special?

The only reason they will be gone for so long is that the wizard needed time to scribe some spells from Tippesh's spellbook (18 spells). That gave everyone else a good excuse to go to Verbobonc where they bought more spell scrolls for the wizard. They might just be without one of their wizards for a while. (Also, see my topic "Scribing Spells" in the Magic forum for more on this)

I don't want to seal off the main gate. I don't think they are ready for the south gate and I would like to see if they go to the Dwarven Temple. If you think it is the best option, though, I will go with it.

Zag:rollin ig

Edited by: Zagig at: 11/29/02 5:07:09 am
Siobharek 
Orc
(11/29/02 5:11:56 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
They are certainly within level requirements for doing the South Gate, so I wouldn't worry on that account. But I understand why you'd like them to go South from the West Entrance towards the lost temple (do they have any clues that there is something there?).

As to the deaths-as-fuel (Thrommel's idea, I think. Or is it BoB'ed?), all you have to do is have someone make a hard Spot check around an altar and catch a glimpse of moving, shadowy humanoid forms in the altar.

Seriously, if they're that high level, they should be getting on with the main story. As far as I can see from your log, they haven't bashed any of the temples yet. They need to get 4 keys in order to get a Master Key, which means that they should put down two of the 4 temples. And as you've got 5 characters, your group can be considered to be slightly more powerful than an average 4-character group.

So I stand by my suggestion of less restocking, more exploring, and maybe even get them to the South Gate to get the Air Temple fixed. OTOH, you might want to restock the Main Gate by using Earth Temple forces in order to lure your players into the Temple of Earth. But as that's in the opposite direction of the Dwarven Temple, it might not be too much fun.

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

madfox
Orc
(11/29/02 5:49:24 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
By the time my players had destroyed the main gate, they were bugging me about some way to get in the complex without some serious battle and a place to rest. After a succesful intelligence check I just pointed out that they had had a brief conversation with a drunken old bitter dwarf that said he had escaped from the CRM so long ago. So they returned to that dwarf and questioned him again. He did not remember exactly where he had escaped. All he knew was that there was some kind of secret entrance from a temple of Moradin. They then purchased some detect secret door scrolls and walked around the whole mountain top until they found the door. I was in a good mood or else I had made the dwarf dissapear just before the PCs arrive to make some nice side treck out of it.

Zagig
Pie
(11/29/02 3:10:24 pm)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
Thanks again!!
Sio, they they no clue where the Dwarven Temple might be, although they know it exists.

I read the death-as-fuel idea on the BoB. Since Hedrack wants the party to destroy the CRM, it defeats his purpose every time they leave for Verbobonc. Wouldn't he do something to encourage them to return?

I'll restock with some Earth Temple guys to draw them there. I have been reading a lot lately about other parties going that way so I have a lot to draw upon. I'm not sure what Earth Temple forces to use. How about Miikolak and 4 or 5 trogs, just enough to whet the party's appetite, and have Miikolak run to warn the others if the fight goes bad?

Zag:rollin ig

Edited by: Zagig at: 11/29/02 3:18:30 pm
Siobharek 
Orc
(11/30/02 1:55:05 am)
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Re: Restocking the Main Gate and the Fire Bridge
Sounds good. I'd add 3 earth mephits as messengers. One of them is bound to get away, and they can alert the rest of the Temple. Remember that Snearak will probably want to be with his manticore; they're pretty close.

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

Roland Delacroix
Pie
(11/30/02 1:09:08 pm)
Reply
My gate
My players beat the east gate but feared a re-stock so went to the South gate. They are currently in the middle of being smacked by the priest there.

When they return they will find Marlgran and pet in the outter foyer/crossroads area. After the party cleared the gate the trogs from the north filled the area to gain more space and power. Marlgran came up, having heard the disturbance days ago, and scared them off. In the process he took a few as slaves. Not knowing what to do Marlgran asked Vranthis to aid him.

Currently Marlgran lives in area 14 and Vranthis in area 6. Several of the Trogs have defected to join Vranthis and Marlgran, a sort of 'cult of the dragon'. Vranthis has them tunneling upwards in room 10 so he has an escape route out of the mountains, just in case. Marlgran collects tolls, giving Vranthis a share for his muscle and trog followers.

The Umber Hulks have moved into Vranthis's old caves, there is another adult now. Areas 34-36 have been taken over by the Temple. When the PC's go there they will see temple designers ordering the trolls about. ("No....now move the altar 2 feet left......now 2 feet right again....try putting it over here......no....move it 2 feet left....")

If they clear that (instead of just Paying the toll) i'll do the "Closed for now" sign. If the PC's break down the doors they'll find all the furniture packed and the closets mothballed. They'll also find a few of the elemental wolves from Dragon #293. Those things are nasty.

Abelard
Orc
(12/2/02 6:15:52 pm)
Reply
Another option
Remember, too, you can always send the stock reinforcements to some other, not-yet-destroyed temple. In fact I think this may be mentioned somewhere in the module for the event that a temple gets completely wiped out.

The advantage of doing this is you don't have a partially-staffed gate or temple that the party can easily wipe out again without breaking a sweat. The disadvantage is that it will be much less obvious to them that their downtime is allowing the bad guys to regroup too. You might have to plant a note or something like that: "With the Air Temple destroyed, I have persuaded Hedrack that I deserve their reinforcements... and with this extra strength, soon I can move against the worthless Water worshippers and crush them! MWAAA HAHA HA HA HA!!!"

(Tessimon was dictating if you're wondering why her maniacal laughter made it into the note.)

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