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(12/5/02 7:31:39 am)
Wagon Encounter...any suggestions?
It has been nearly 2.5 days since the group arrived at the moathouse.

I am going to assume that the group will meet up with the Wagon on their way back to town.

Also, it has been 24 hours since Master Dunrat has heard anything from the cultists at the moathouse. He is worried and is going to send some cohorts along with the wagon to check things out.

Any thoughts on what should make up this “wagon” party? I ended last night’s session with the party spotting a wagon and several figures in the distance.

The wagon would be a good find for the party since one of the characters has been turned to stone from the cockatrice encounter. :)

(12/5/02 7:44:36 am)
Re: Wagon Encounter...any suggestions?
I just went with a 2nd level EEE cleric (patterned after Gren) and two stock CRM 1st level Warriors. Nothing fancy. I wouldn't expect that the wagon would be all that heavily guarded, and I didn't want to overwhelm the party if they wound up encountering these guys ALONG WITH what's already in town or at the moathouse.

Others may well disagree.

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

(12/5/02 8:28:19 am)
The Wagon
Tristan DArque had a good idea for the wagon. He put "an advanced-to-6HD grick, a Sor5, and some War1s" on it. The sorceror was a animal trainer and the grick was one of his pets. You can find it here...

(12/5/02 8:28:26 am)
Re: Wagon Encounter...any suggestions?
I agree with Adorax.

This early in the game it doesn't pay to turn up the game difficulty. Take a look at the temple guards in the encounter chart for outside the CRM, this about the power level that could be expected to be wagon drovers and grick handlers. These are the grunts of the organization.

If Dunrat suspects that his excavation site has been disrupted (your PCs have made it known in town that they defeated a dragon at the moathouse and discovered evil priests lurking about) he and his cohorts will likely abandon the Millhouse and accompany the wagon to collect what artifacts he can, seal off the Pit and make for his apartment in the Outer Fane. Wagons are sloooow, so if you players figure out that's where they are headed there's a good chance that PCs on horseback to catch him well before Rastor.

However, if Dunrat gets away then your players may not be able to pick up enough clues to get them headed in the right direction (Rastor). You can always use Andorax's "Dunrat's second objective" suggested plot. Under this plan Dunrat sends the wagon and its artifacts ahead to the Fanes but he has a secondary mission to check on Lareth in Nulb. The players may then still be able to catch him and find his letter.

If all else fails and Dunrat's letter slips from your players grasps then you may wish to allow the dead miller's body, Karlun, to be found. A Speak with Dead cast on Karlun's remains (by PCs or concerned NPCs) could reveal enough cryptic clues to point them towards Rastor, if you wanted it to.

(12/5/02 9:52:50 am)
Re: Wagon Encounter...any suggestions?
I just used a slightly modified version of Tristan's encounter (4 HD Grick). The party was very tapped out after clearing most of the obvious moathouse encounters. I realized once starting the combat that if you play Hasan (the trainer) full throttle, you will have a very serious challenge for the party, especially if he can remain out of the party's reach/LOS for a time to summon a small army.

In retrospect, I probably would have tuned it down a little more for them (all 3rd level), but the timing was similar to yours and I couldn't resist inserting something to provide more dynamic feel to the moathouse work. I also included a short note from Naquent to Hasan about his basic instructions (take a beast of his choice for guard duty to the moathouse expedition, contact Thaque or Dunrat, take back goodies). In general, I like how it turned out.

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(12/5/02 11:36:47 am)
Re: Wagon Encounter...any suggestions?
I'll second Andorax's suggestion.

1) If the wagon was a major threat I am sure Monte would have stated it out.
2) If you look at the roads from Rastor to Hommlet only the first 80 miles from Hommlet to Small Burrow would be dangerous travel that required an armed guard. Therefore I think there would be a bigger contingent that guarded the wagon from Rastor to Small Burrow, which would then go back to the random violence of the CRM, while the small contingent continued on.

(12/6/02 2:29:17 am)
Re: Wagon Encounter...any suggestions?
I agree that this encounter would be more detailed if it was somehow important, but things don not always happen by the book. To give another look on this encounter, here's a short account of my group's last session:
The cultist were able to flee the moathouse and Hommlet with the artifacts. As the players were a little slow on the hints in Geynor Ton's journal, they wasted a good day in Homlett before deciding what to do. After much discussion and a hint with the clue bat (they gave the journal to Elmo, who in turn mumbled something about "not having seen the miller for some time") they concluded that they should follow the cultists. But as they do know about the ToEE they first decided to go there and wait, as the cultists surly would go there - sometime (some pretty weird metagame logic here). Alas, there was nothing really suspicious there (the party ranger asked about druids in that area, so I told him about Kella; he found her, talked to her and was convinced that this is not the place to look for the cultists). So they bought some horses and followed the cultists' trail (horses _are_ faster than a wagon, much faster). After two days they managed to close up to the traveling wagon and, praise to the party ranger, did some real good reconnaissance work. So here's the set up:
I imagined the wagon crew as a standard ancounter as found in some of the tables, a level 4 cleeric with some level 1 warriors. So I made up a cleric (btw, a big thank you to Jamis Buck and his generators) and six warriors who met the cultists on the road, who now are traveling back to the CRM. Together with Dunrat, Gren, Grune, Toridan and Vacra a pretty big group, but I wanted this for two reasons: 1. All these cultists are definitely going back, so no reason changing something here. 2. The other cultist are IMO just a standard encounter for this level. Granted, together it's tough, but the party can ambush them, no reason to force an open battle. And most important: as my party skipped Nulb and the ToEE, they need to get some more experience before assaulting the CRM. I thought this as an interesting way to handle the trip to Rastor. As it happend the party attacked under cover of the night and killed them all in one big, epic battle. Web and Entangle can be really nasty if you are caught by surprise. A hit-and-run tactic might be intresting too, but the wagon encounter can be very helpful, if you party heads straight to Rastor - espcially if they are following fleeing cultists.

Just my 0,02$

(12/6/02 12:22:21 pm)
Re: Wagon Encounter...any suggestions?

I just ran this encounter last night for my group. They had finished up in the moat house but went out the back tunnel as the wagon arrived to drop off the GRICK and pick up items.

I used the encounter with the rog/sorcerer someone was kind enough to stat out here on the board. Also along was Cheshina from town, coming out to check and see what had happened since no one had heard from the group in 4 or 5 days.

I know it was a bigger encounter than Monte orig planned , but I liked the way it went down and it was a challenge enough to make my players sweat. I had a couple under 10 hp. The best part was the battle took place out front close enough for the giant frog to get involved. (they didn't find it on the way in) It even ate one of the fiendish rats the sorcerer had summoned, and almost pulled the grick close enough to bit it.


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