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(12/11/02 5:30:23 pm)
Boating across the Stalagos

Okay, so my party might be heading to the Outer Fane next session (Sat), and they might be doing it via Poolidib and the Water Door.

I've already decided that the Spider Eater Riders have descriptions of the party. In fact three Riders/mounts have already been killed when the party returned from Verbobonc (though the others didn't see who did it).

Okay, if the party is in the middle of the pond when the Spider Eaters spot them, what should happen?

What would Poolidib's reaction be? I envision him as Charon-like, and as such would continue ferrying passengers despite the Riders informing him that these were intruders. His loyalty is to his task, not the Riders.

If that's the case, would the Riders be shooting arrows from the their mounts at the characters in the boats? Let them pass unhindered, but notify Hedrack (medallions)? Have the Spider Eaters pick up very large rocks to drop on the boats? :evil


(12/11/02 9:33:41 pm)
Re: Boating across the Stalagos
I've already decided that the Spider Eater Riders have descriptions of the party.

Does that also include the relative power level of the PC's. The Spider Eater Riders (SER) are not all that powerful: War2's with +5 ranged attacks. I don't know about your party but with my party the +5 isn't enough to be anything but an annoyance. If the SER know that the invading PCs are powerful they might not do anything, but report (via the Sorcerers) to Hedrack.

What would Poolidib's reaction be?

I don't like the idea of loyalty to task ... this could get him into a whole lot of trouble from the Fanes. Imagine Hedrack's reaction if he learned that Poolidib continued to ferry intruders across even though he knew they were enemies!

I assume he'd just jump into Lake Stalagos and either swim away or, if brave, attempt to overturn the boat. If he's confident that the PCs can't harm him underwater he can swim beneath the boat and then rock the boat. This would cause spellcasters to suffer Concentration Checks (vigorous motion) to get spells off. For warriors, if they take only a partial melee attack then they can fight without causing a small boat to tilt too much (as they are spending at m-e action to steady themselves and the boat). If they choose to use the full-attack melee action on a small boat then I assume that they are causing the boat to rock vigorously. These actions would be cumulative. That is, if Poolidib is rocking the boat from beneath that would cause vigorous motions in the boat (Concentration Check 10 + spell level). But if Poolidib is rocking the boat and fighter is using a full-attack action then these two actions would cause violent motions in the boat (Concentration Check 15 + spell level)

What I think more likely is that Poolidib goes and gets the Chuul to attack the boat. That creature is intelligent and should be able to cause the boat to rock violently, if not overturn it completely. If that doesn't work it could rise up from the water, grab a PC and submerge with its victim.

My last thoughts on the SER. They are primarily an aerial defense mechanism. They don't have any large rocks readied for dropping, so that's not a normal option - but could be a strategy they have come up with since the PCs arrived. They are scouts to investigate, attack and overwhelm flying intruders which somehow survive the automatic lightning defense network. I'd think the primary attack of the SER is for the War2's to use their Ride skill to "attack with warhorse" option while using their bows (their sword reach is not long enough to melee from the back of a HUGE Spider Eater). Despite being huge Spider Eaters have a flight maneuverability of good which means they can hover. If you have them attack the PCs then have them come down and sting while the riders fire arrows. However, getting into melee range may be really bad idea for the SER.

You players may soon regret choosing a boat over bridge to get to a door.

(12/12/02 7:27:41 am)
Re: Boating across the Stalagos
I'm also for diving out of the boat and swimming off. If the party continues in the boat, he can't be blamed for trying to face a huge, nasty force. If they die, he can always swim out and recover the boat later.

I, too, like the idea of big rocks. I ran an encounter once between a nest of Gargoyles 400' up a cliff face and a party on a raft approaching said cliff. It was a very interesting 3D combat, and even modest-sized rocks can do a lot of damage.

There was a Dragon Magazine article not too long ago (the "gods" issue, with the chariot-driving fellow on the cover) that went into detail about vehicles large and small. If I can find it, I'll post you the stats, but I believe it had the official #s for a rowboat, or at least, they could readily be extrapolated.

Also, remember the limitations of darkvision. If the party does something smart, like approaching at night, they should be able to get practically to the door before being sighted.

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

(12/13/02 12:41:03 pm)
Re: Boating across the Stalagos
Good points.

I do like the jumping out of the boat and bringing the chuul. Attacked from above and below on rocking boats would make for a _very_ memorable fight. Well, the druid will change into an Octopus and get 50 gazillion attacks, so that might not last long.

The reason I was considering Poolidib's task loyalty IMC, is that he'd probably have been informed of the party's description by Hedrack (the party has already found letters of their descriptions in the Fire Temple). And as such would know that they already squished the Water Temple.

He has already offered to ferry them for a fee. No one has tried a sense motive, so maybe he's planning a betrayal anyway, on his own turf. Hrm...

As far as the stats on the rowboat, I'll probably just wing it. A solid rock drop on the rowboat would cause it to take water, and take a full time "bailer" (with what?) or sink in 3 rounds. Another hit would sink it altogether. Or some such.

SIERK - who's home turf involves a remote control, a snorkel and a Santa hat. Don't ask.

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