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benhamtroll
Orc
(12/10/02 10:30:09 am)
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Moathouse forces
I thought I'd turn to the hive mind for some input on this. My party rested after killing big U and exploring the upper levels of the moathouse. I had Gerik send over 4 gnolls to reinforce the 2 in the stair room. One went up to investigate to see if the sounds of combat was the end of U. He was taken out by the monk, and the party was alerted. They handled the othe 5 gnolls pretty easily, and have decided to sleep the rest the night. My question is: What would be the next step of reinforcement. The 4 were sent, but the other gnolls will not necessarily be aware of the deaths yet. I can imagine that they would eventually investigate with out any reports back, although they may assume the others were killed by the dragon.

Any suggestions on how I should prep the forces below, since they'll have another 4 hours before the party starts down?

"Just because it's weird doesn't make it art."

ZansForCans
Orc
(12/10/02 11:32:29 am)
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Re: Moathouse forces
My feeling is that the moathouse dungeon is not large at all and four hours is enough for shift rotation, reports, etc. to have been done or been expected to be done. With 6 of his men down, Garrik might take the lead here and scout very carefully (remember the secret stairs in 7, for example) to see what happened. He would have probably alerted the clerics to this information as well before doing this. IMC, the clerics were obsessed with getting their work done since the wagon is on the way now and only contribued to the defense when pressed by the party.

If he can find out that either the dragon is dead or that his men were killed by something other than the dragon, I'd probably have him pull all his forces (only 2 left?) into the room at the bottom of the stairs for a short-term defensive stance. Gren might be reluctant to give up her 2 for that task, but maybe you can pull the ghouls/ghast from the south into the mix right away (would make for a big combat). If the party does nothing for a day or so (say if they go back to Hommlet), he could risk another longer scouting mission to find out what happened. As soon as it looks like someone can get out, remember that the cultist will probably send someone quickly to Hommlet to get reinforcements.

Now, if you have Chat with them and he has a watch to himself, things would get real interesting :evil .

In the end, the moathouse forces are really under-powered, so don't be surprised if your party mows through them. Mine only had a bit of problem with the undead (although they haven't encountered F in the obelisk room yet).



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benhamtroll
Orc
(12/10/02 12:00:18 pm)
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Re: Moathouse forces
Would the ghouls/ghast cooperate with the gnolls? I kind of saw them as more local fauna, which can be moderately controlled by the clerics, but without their direct presence they would probably just try to eat the gnolls . . .

"Just because it's weird doesn't make it art."

ZansForCans
Orc
(12/10/02 12:53:17 pm)
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Re: Moathouse forces
I had a hard time deciding this, but I would tend to agree with you. IMC, the party swept through so fast after they got going that they were mostly in their default locations. I planned to play it out that if a particular cleric had the time and need to get their assistance, they would, but that (as you say) they require constant control to be any use. On the other hand the ones south of the stairs are in such an odd place that it suggests someone (one of the clerics?) 'put' them there to be a deterrent early in the upper part of the dungeon.

The ghouls/ghast are not stupid though, so that if a combat started (and was long enough) right at the bottom of the stairs, you could reasonably have the ghast/ghouls from the south enter the combat on the side of the gnolls (they know they have been working with the clerics). However, things could deteriorate if the party starts dropping (or flees) without a cleric there to guide them further :)



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Tristan DArque
Orc
(12/10/02 12:56:26 pm)
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Re: Moathouse forces
Another place to make a 'defensive stand' is the portcullis. It's hard work for a party to lift, especially under missile fire, and although the gnolls are not that good with missile weapons they can get good cover from the rather odd configuration of the corridors on the other side of the portcullis. I ran this as the gnoll defence in my campaign and despite the fact that my party are very very good with missile weapons and would have expected to win a shootout with a few gnolls with both hands tied behind their backs, a blindfold on and a squirrel up either nostril, they actually took a fair bit of damage before Garrick decided to retreat. They completely failed to get the portcullis up during the fight (IIRC, it required a roll of 20 from the strongest character being assisted by one other, and they quickly gave up until they could actually take 20).

If you do do this, I would recommend pulling Gren and the skeletons / ghast / ghouls etc, or whatever of them remain, back through the portcullis. There's no magic in where they start: she could be sorting through the items just about anywhere. In fact I'm not sure why she's where she is in the first place (except that the skeletons are nearby).

benhamtroll
Orc
(12/10/02 4:33:04 pm)
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Re: Moathouse forces
Thanks for the input. I think I'll have Garrick and his remaining gnolls come ambush the party on the stairs as they come down. They left a pile of bodies unsearched on the stairs before bedding down, so they'll be pretty sure to know it wasn't the dragon.

If it goes for more than a few rounds, the ghouls/ghast will come to investigate. I played with having Spognoir come out to check things out, but I figured he's so freaked that he's not sticking his head out the door for anything. Unless of course we need a little Deus Ex Machina.

"Just because it's weird doesn't make it art."

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