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Here for a while
(12/18/02 9:45:47 am)
Party about to take on Chymon
My party is just about to enter the Outer Fane via the Fire Door. Varachan has warned them to all partake in the Fire Key blessing first to avoid the lightning towers and spider eater riders. He also warned them that a red dragon is beyond the door. Obviously, Chymon casts invisiblity on herself and flies out on round two to roast the PC's. However, the PC's are going to kill the dragon and keep going. What is the response from the Outer Fane as a whole? The Ogres in the next area are obviously going to around yelling about "intruders". What happens after the dragon (and maybe a PC or two) is dead?

If it helps here's the party make up

Wood Elf Druid 9 [with 11 HD awakened Tiger]
Wood Elf Ranger 5/DW Sniper 2/Diviner1/Arcane Archer1
Svirfneblin Sorceror7
Human Cleric 8/F1
Human F1/W6/Spellsword2
Human Ranger 3/F3/Rogue 3
Gnome Ill 7/ Loremaster 2
Half Orc Rogue 8/Shadowdancer 1 [who has recently turned evil due to the Demonstone but no one knows yet]

Here for a while
(12/18/02 9:48:06 am)
Re: Party about to take on Chymon
That is when Hedrack is gonna lay the smack down on the party whenever he can

Still here? Wow.
(12/18/02 9:51:09 am)
Re: Party about to take on Chymon
I don't know how much it will help, but you might try reading my campaign thread (Andorax's Sunday Night Campaign). They just got into the Outer Fane through the Earth door a few weeks back, and I've been hitting them with attacks since.

The Outer Fane is at least reasonably united and such, it's not likely the PCs will be able to camp anywhere within and stay alive to see the next morning. Once the alarm goes up, and it's not hard for it to happen, the inhabitants are going to be aware, alert, and hunting. This is "get serious" time on the party.

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

Here for a while
(12/18/02 9:51:47 am)
So, Ogres go tell Hedrack who then casts all of his buffing spells on himself and comes out spells-a-blasting just as the players are saying "SEARCH THE ROOM FOR TREASURE!"?

Still here? Wow.
(12/18/02 10:54:38 am)
Re: so...
Nonono...keep personality in mind! Hedrack is a leader, a planner.

He'll put his long-term buffs on. Then he'll send word to the appropriate parties (by servant, on foot, or via a Master Ring if you're using my BoVD suggestion) that there are intruders, and to deal with them.

IMC, when Hedrack was caught off-guard in his quarters, he Word of Recalled out to the Greater Temple.

From there, he used his Master Ring to send Bethe and Thrommel after them as a first wave. He then contacted Naquient and told her (down in the study) to gather up the troops and attack. She gathered up the Quasit, the three Minotaurs, and the two Dark Naga as an attack force.

Even now, he has informed Varachan of his plans to return and take the PCs down, infuriated at having just seen Naquient fail. He's gathered up the Drow, ordered Chymon to use the bracers to shrink down in size, and is contacting Thrommel now to find out "what gives". The next wave will be Varachan, Hedrack, the Drow, Chymon, and Thrommel...Varachan will try to intervene on the PC's behalf when it starts looking hopeless.

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

Here for a while
(12/18/02 11:17:41 am)
Thanks Andorax - thats very useful. I'm not using the master rings but Hedraack WILL be sending word by more conventional means to my version of Thrommel and all the other assorted baddies.

Here for a while
(12/19/02 6:14:42 am)
After Chymon...
My party also first entered the Fane through the Fire Door - the Spider Eater Riders had been warned to expect trouble and had been given a description of the party - if anyone escaped to the Fanes from an attack on a temple your party should have to do some bluffing etc. to get across the bridge without fighting the SERs.

Or, if you're feeling reeeeelly devious, the sorcerors could have been given orders by Hedrack to allow the expected intruders to pass the Door, but to contact him as soon as they are sighted - Hedrack has no doubt planned a counter-attack for each of the four doors, and will put smack-down plan A,B, C or D into action once he knows which door the PCs are using. If you do go with this, plan out how long messages (and then reinforcements) take to arrive, spell-buff-casting etc. - and what will Varachan and Thrommel do when they hear of the intruders?

Meanwhile (after the Fire Door has closed) the SERs
from one or more towers (I'd say the 2 closest, with reinforcements readied, just in case) fortify and hold the Fire Bridge, so nobody gets out that way without a world of hurt waiting. This is all part of Hedrack's grand plan...IF he knows to expect them.

Also important...the Drow and the Cornugon are very close to the Fire Door (and will be alerted to trouble by Chymon's first roar) - although not the most fanatical of 'loyal troops' necessarily, these folks are still thoroughly evil and would make a scary addition to the troubles the PCs face. Any easy victim is likely to be assaulted by one or more of them.
The Cornugon is immune to fire so has no fear of Chymon's breath weapon - tactics for these folks are included in their room descriptions (47 and 48?) so check them out before the Fire Door gets opened.

If the Ogre guards hear Chymon in battle, one of them should have orders to go alert Naquent in the library, and/or the Bugbears/Minotaurs.

Things start to stack up rapidly, but this is gloves off time - your PCs should know when to retreat (and hopefully have planned an 'easy' out in advance).

Killing Chymon is just the beginning of their troubles (plus if they're forced to retreat, Hedrack can just Raise or Resurrect Chymon - she IS one hell of a guard).

Grumgarr - who killed two PCs at the Fire Door, then raised Chymon for some more mayhem :evil

Here for a while
(12/19/02 7:31:02 am)
That's some very inspired evil there Grumgar. Thanks. IMC the party has claened out the Fire and Air Temples and then went away for about ten days to un-feeblemind a character and go shopping. My campaign is set in the FR and I have a significant sub-plot going with some Zhentarim adventurers that are taking on the ToAC AND the PC's. The Zhents took out the Water and Earth Temples.

Right now Hedrack is focusing his efforts against the Zentarim who are camped just outside the ToAC. He recently sent the Invisible Stalkers after them and reduced their numbers. The PC's are sort of in the back of his mind since they've been gone for 10 days. Also, they've all recieved the fire key blessing and so the lightning tower sorcerors are going to assume they are "reinforcements" - at least until the door opens and the PC's attack.

So, if the PC's are very very very clever and lucky (i.e. manage to fight Chymon without the ogres raising the alarm) then the Outer Fane's defenses won't go into motion with the battle against Chymon. However, if they do what I expect they will do - come in with bows blazing - then the ogres are going to go warn everyone because the Outer Fane is expecting an attack anyway. I'll have set actions for each major badguys once they get the alarm.

IMC I'm replacing Thrommel with a "Black Knight" - a non-plot specific bad guy who I may make into someone who would take on the PC's a little more directly.

Here for a while
(12/19/02 7:32:12 am)
And I WILL raise Chymon if given the chance

Here for a while
(12/19/02 7:51:31 am)
Contact Medallion
Top tip for commanders everywhere...good communication.

Hedrack has a Contact Medallion (as do each of the 8 tower sorcerors). If he gets a tip-off (and if he's expecting an attack, I reckon he'll want to know if >anyone< crosses a bridge, whether they seem to be foes or not) he should have the reporting sorceror keep an eye on the PCs from afar until the Fire Door closes - and if they go in with 'guns' blazing, the sorceror is gonna pass that info on to Hedrack immediately (the contact lasts one minute).

At this point Heddy should use his own Contact medallion to alert one of these folk to an attack (kicking off counter-assault plan X):
a) Varachan (unless he's under suspicion - this may let the PCs off the hook a little if he can delay reainforcements or get a message to the group saying 'flee' - this could also be a test of Varachan's loyalty by Hedrack, so it's a fine line) :evil
b) Naquent (who should go get the Minotaurs and Nagas, a la Andorax's campaign, then kick some booty)
c) Victor or Bethe (and let the stalking commence - Bethe's Javelins of Lightning could easily finish a dragon-weakened PC)
d) Ukemil, who moves fast with his pets
Anyone alerted should warn all others they pass to be ready - a good trigger for buff-spellcasting.

My campaign's in the Realms too and the PCs have good stats, good spells (all splatbooks plus FRCS/Magic of Faerun) and good equipment. They're tough, so I don't pull punches with the bad guys' tactics.
The PCs still outclass the bad-guys on stats, hps, magic, so good intelligent opponents are all that remains a challenge - oh, and DC 26 Desctruction spells, of course!

Play it mean - make them realise the CRM were a disorganised cake-walk - the Fanes are a very different story: this is where the real pain and fear begins.


Here for a while
(12/19/02 11:30:59 am)
me gusta
I think I want to let the PC's get the Fire Door open without anything happening. Mostly becasue I want them to trust Varachan - and his letter stated that they would be fine up to this point. I will speculate here and say that Hedrack won't think anyone could gain the fire key blessing since the PC's aren't "supposed" to know about it.

But I DO think I'll have several of the lighting tower forces swoop down to cover the fire bridge once they are alerted to an attack. :evil

Right now the players are really worried because they know they are going up against a red dragon. But Chymon is only the appetizer. Ouch. There ARE 8 PC's plus an NPC plus a 12HD tiger in the party so they should have to take their lumps at some point and I do have the option of Varachan helping in some way.

Thanks for all the advice. I'll post the results once we play [game scheduled for Last week in december]

Here for a while
(12/30/02 9:23:41 pm)
the results are...
Well, since they had two weeks (real time) to think about it - the party went in with so very very very many buffing spells on them.

There were 8 PC's plus a 12 HD tiger (with animal growth - OUCH!). Everyone was hasted, three Pc's were flying and there were also numerous spells such as Bull's Str, Cat's Grace, Endurance, Greater Magic Weapon, Improved Invisibility, Bear's Heart, recitation and others... As the door was lowering Chymon turned invisible but the druid went in with blindsight already cast, found him [thanks to her boots of springing and striding] and farie fired him. He breathed fire on her but her extra hp from Bear's Heart plus Resist elements soaked up quite a bit of the damage. Then the ogres from the next room came running in to see what all the commotion was about. The cleric and monk (guest player) dimension doored into their midst and killed three of them while the archers and mages took them down from afar. THEN the Tiger attacked the dragon. The dragon attacked back getting in several good blows but the Tiger had like 200 hp from various spells so it was all for naught. Chymon thought about fleeing down the coordor in reduced form but he had been silenced at that point and couldn't activate his arm bands of reduction. All in all - the party took out Chymon and all 6 ogres very quickly.

I was a dope and forgot about Chymon's SR and fear aura but there were so many buff spells on the PC's that it really wouldn't have matered. The only spell that would have mattered was the silence and that woulnd't have mattered much. The good news is that the PC's have since fought the Succubus in the clone room and Ukemil and his lions. All of this has almost totally drained them of spells. They've taken their time in searching rooms and hacking up bodies. Naquent is going to find some Ogre corpses in about 15 minutes and set off a general alarm.

And then Thrommel and the Nagas will hunt...:D

Looking around
(12/30/02 10:16:21 pm)
Re: the results are...
I know it's kind of too late to mention (I just discovered this board tonight) but the Ogre's likely wouldn't be cognizant that Naquent is in the study. Just because she's there when the PCs first arrive doesn't mean she spends ALL of her time reading. The Ogre's would be more likely to run straight to Varachan because he's the nearest authority figure who isn't A. a guest or B. Sautu (who would want to go in THERE!) Sure they probably saw her go by on her way to the library, and sure she might have told them where she would be if they needed anything....but Naquent DOES want to be a Doomdreamer and DD's are marked by arrogance and it is an arrogant thing to walk by the Ogres without giving them specific orders to alert her if a band of would-be heroes should come boldly charging past Chymon.....

If you think about the typical mindset of an Ogre: when the PCs first arrive, they're NOT going to get involved. They're going to stand by like a pack of frat-boys and make bets on how long it will take the Dragon to munch these "invaders" and which one will die first, the halfling or the elf? When things start looking bad for Chymon, they might send one of their number to alert Mssrs. Varachan & Ukemil. If they find themselves in the blast zone of an ice-burst or Chymon's breath, they might take cover but they wouldn't be able to resist watching. You've seen people stand around and watch car-wrecks...

There would be no doubt in the Ogre's minds that Chymon can easily whup ANY contender. Defeat would be unthinkable. Monte gave them Platemail, not brains.

It sounds like Naquent is currently unaware of the PCs (as in my opinion it should be until a general alarm is raised).

And don't worry about it. Master Hedrack can probably take them by himself. Well, my version of him could anyway. RttTOEE was writ before the splatbooks, so I rearranged spell choices for all the spellcasters in the module. Summon Monster VII can bring a Bebelith on them for 14 rounds. I hope my PCs can run fast! Okay, I'm not really that cruel, but I HAVE decided that Hedrack (being chaotic and all) is a big fan of Chaos Beasts....

Here for a while
(1/4/03 1:03:35 pm)
and then....
Thanks Kelashein, I will redo hedracks spelllist using the various splatbooks before our session tomorrow.

Well, the players killed the ogres before the had a chance to more then run into the edge of the room and stare. So, dead dragon and dead ogres. The party then went north per Varachan's instructions and met him in his room. He told them everyting he knew and gave them the items from his cheast to help them. he also gave them a map to the Outer Fane with a Key on the back containing all the information he knows about each room. He suggested that the PC's get the orb of silvery death but only AFTER they've taken out the Outer Fane's defenses. so the party thanks him [I'm actually skipping over som egood roleplaying here] and leaves, only to run into Ukemil and his lions in the hall. The party takes him out quickly along with Ogre reinforcements that came runnig in. They go into the clone room where one of the players specifically says "Are all the clones Exactly the same?" Then his charcter gets a 33 on his spot check :eek The succubus dies before she gest to do ANYTHING! Then the door begins to open (forboding music!).

Next session - the door comes down and its just some more party members that had been left outside ("We gave you enough time to fight the dragon and then followed the trail of bodies to this room.") A party member scried on the Zhentarim encampment outside the CRM (my own sub-plot) and finds they are leaving. So, two charcters leave to go tell the High Harpers whats up at the ToAC while three more go off to trail the Zhentarim and see what they are up to [this was all a device to get rid of excess characters]

Party now consists of Druid, Arcane Archer, Cleric, Rogue/Fighter/Ranger, and two sorcerers plus the Tiger. They head east, killing the arrowhawks (invisble stalkers were already dead - having been sent after the Zhents by Hedrack). They free the slaves and send them out of the Fane on Phantom Steeds summoned by one of the sorcerers or on foot and invisible. They then take out spectre in naquents quarters and free the prisoners after killing the Hag. The halfling and paladin prisoners dimension door out with the lammasu. The party then bypasses the Tentacle Trap (having been told the pass-phrase by Varachan).

So, now they are in the vampire's quarters (IMC he is not Thrommel but is statistically the same). They can't hear thanks to the silence effect in the room. They search the room and find the secret door to the coffin - which is empty! They chop up the coffin and toss it their bag of holding.

So where is the vampire? Well, he is leading a hunting party that is looking for the PCs. The group consists of the vampire, seven bugbears, naquent, and three derro (Sorc 6, Ranger 6, and F1/rogue5). I rolled randomly to see when The PC's actions would be discoverd and tracked the various hunting parties through the Outer Fane as they searched (Hedrack is also scrying and has found the PCs and is sending another group after them but he was delayed in his efforts thanks to Varachan) .

So this group catches up with the PC's just as the secret door to the vampire's coffin is closing. I cringe because I'm thinking this crew will totally blow the Pc's away. naquent has already cast every buffing spell on herself and the vampire has bull's str. Plus the PC's are in a silenced room and the badguys aren't. the vampire dominates the Arcane Archer who turns on his friends and starts to hammer away at them with arrows. The derro sorcerer is shooting magic missiles in the room and Naquent summons a Howler. The derro ranger is using Hunter's mercy to full effect and the rouge/fighter and vampire are hammering away at the Tiger (who is blocking the doorway). But the Arcane archer makes a save and shoots the vampire for a crap load of damage. One party sorcerer backs into the room to the east of the silenced room and starts firing spells at the vampire. The druid and fighter/rogue/ranger all throw alchemists fire on the vampire. He's down quite a bit so he lays hands on himself to bring himself back to about 50. then the arcane archer shoots him 3 times in one round and brings him to 0. The vampire flits off looking for his coffin but its NOT THERE! The party cleric backs into the room to the East and gets off a greater dispelling off a scroll - successfully bringing down the unhallwo and the silence effect.

No problem I think. they are all wounded and nearly out of spells and Naquent is barely wounded, has an AC of 31, considerable spell resistance, is hasted and has lots of firepower left. THEN the arcane archer brings her down with an arrow of greater human slaying he got off Varachan. he barley hit her and she barely failed both her SR and save but she DIED!

Then the party mopped up the derro.

I was foiled but a good time was had by all. Curse those heores!!!!! >:

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(1/4/03 1:17:22 pm)
Re: and then....
well, there's only one thing i'd like to say, apart from "nice log":

Arcane archers are broken, they're TOO overpowered, they're the sort of character that makes me say "what do I need a party for again?"

but hey, that's just me!

nice going by the party, but the way i see it, it's the arcane archer that meant the difference... a little too obvious >:

chopping up the coffin was the way to go however!

Here for a while
(1/5/03 4:34:53 pm)
Yeah, that archer character seems to kicking proverbial behind so to speak... :)

Sunder, sunder... Too bad that vampire blackguard didn't get change to try it on that bow. Well anyway, you all seem to be having fun so it's ok. That party is huge, however. We have only 5 characters and it feels somewhat crowded even then, I don't know how you can have that many on your group... :\


Here for a while
(1/5/03 5:40:35 pm)
Re: Archer
Archers can certainly be pretty powerful. IMC, there are 2 archers, a Rogue8/Wiz1/AA1 and a F5/OotBI3. They both do very nice damage (especially in sneak attack circumstances). IMO, it still doesn't overbalance.

And if you're looking for powerful archers, Arcane Archer is not nearly the best you can do min/max-wise. Why? Greater Magic Weapon. Take a 9th level cleric. Take 2 GMW's, one on the bow, one on 50 arrows. Presto, +6/+6. Take persistent spell and cast a persistent Divine Favor (add on +3/+3). It goes on...

Even a 9th level bard gets GMW, which he can cast on bow and arrows. Plus Cat's Grace and Haste.

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