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(1/1/03 12:25:52 pm)
Fire Door Breached

Let me thank you guys, I love reading this board nearly as much as running the adventure. :)

I have a very long running campaign which started about two years ago. The core players are still the same and they started this adventure in June 2002. We game about once a week, and these guys are a bit above the starting lvl for RToEE. These are there current lvls.

F Elf Rouge/Wizard 7/10 (Blasthappy)
F Elf Fighter 14 (Gotta run up an hit it !!)
M Hmn Psion 14 (Psychokinetic)
F Hmn Cleric 14 (Cleric of Luck)

These were 2nd edition chars a ways back, and blame that dumb little conversion book for how the R/W got ahead so fast.

In any case thanks to the errata and great ideas from this board, the characters have made their way through the CRM and have fought and met Thrommel (who was sent out against them via Hedracks orders). Through foreshadowing they were given some bare info about him and now after the fight are learning his history. He was defeated but not without some decent dmg on the fighters of the party.

The party has 3 greater keys at this point and decided on the Fire Door as their main entry point. For people who's parties have taken on the CRM with somewhat ease the bridge battle is one of the most difficult they will have faced up to that point.

At the halfway point on the bridge the lookouts on both towers (which are on that side 80 feet or so from the sides of the bridges) have a clear view of the approaching party. "These guys weren't prepared for the need of stealth here. Plus they had no knowledge of the 'blessings' needed to avoid the lightning attacks in any case" Plus the towers give 150' with see invis!!

The 150' viewing range gave a clear warning to the lookouts who contacted thier inner sorcerers downstairs. The Spidereater riders took flight. Remember there are 10 spidereaters and riders for both towers. This is a pretty large force. Especially against a crew of up to 4-6 characters.

As the Spidereater riders came down in formation on both sides the Psion formed a illusionary black dragon coming out of the stalagos. (These guys always surprise me with this silly crap)

The Fighter and Rouge/Wizard plinked pot shots into the riders aiming only for them. Since the spidereaters themselves are neutral and being used as mounts I let them home back into the towers when their riders fell to combat.

Never underestimate the power of arrows !!! 20 arrows aimed down at the party in a narrow place like a bridge is difficult to dodge. :)

A few hits later several of the spidereaters consentrated on the illusionary dragon.

The lightening towers are really nasty, I mean really nasty. I reasoned that because the lightening towers were so vehement that they would need a controller in a tight battle. So I placed the sorcerers of each tower as "gunners" they had to pick out who to target and fire at each round. I made these range touch attacks.

A well placed wall of ice by the party stopped some of the arrow attacks with the use of cover/concealment. With a few more pot shots at the riders the party took down about 4 more before the fighter used a fly spell to take to the sky.
The fighter drew most of the attention of the spidereater riders as the rest of them overcame the illusionary black dragon. The Rouge/Wizard backed up the fighter with magic missles and distance spells.

Now here comes the funny part. :)

The Psion tired of waiting back, asked the Rouge/Wizard to fly him up to near one of the lightening towers. He had an "idea".

So off they go up to the lightening tower on the left side of the fire bridge. Since the spider eaters were seen flying out of the tower they knew where the entrance up top was. As they fly up they see the sorcerer about to peg them with a lightening blast from the tower!! Well the psion had initiative and "Disintegrated" the poor guy. The tower powers down to automatic aiming. Which of course can hit just about anything around the tower, friend or foe!! They take out the sorcerer in the other tower with a flaming sphere. He's on fire you know! They fly into the upper part of the tower and the Psion pulls out the "Horn of Vallhalla." I may be wrong about this but I recall them finding this IN RToEE. The one they found was damaged but with a few days of repair, corrected the break.

7 Barbarians of Valhalla appear at the Psions command. They rush down into the lower part of the tower finding the remaining Spidereaters that have come back with no riders. More have arrived as the Fighter outside has gone toe to toe with a few riders and their mounts. Taking several puncture hits from their stingers.

After taking a glance at the shocker cell. They decided best not to mess with it and here is where I realized that even the best laid plan can totally fall to insanity. :)

The Psion comanded his barbarians to mount the spidereaters.
Now....I realize there is no possible way that those barbarians would know how to ride flying mounts. However, I do rule that in my campaign I will make DC's on the fly for just about anything. Cause well...anything is possible. So I rule that with no knowledge of riding a flying beast, much less a difficult to tame creature like a Spidereater the DC will be around 25. I do have the natural 20 success rule in my campaign. You guessed it he rolled that "NATURAL 20!!".

"Into battle !!" He yells and up they go. The Fighter and the Cleric are shocked and amuzingly surprised as reinforcements arrive. The Cleric was hit hard by a wild Lightening bolt from the towers, and was recooping for the last 2 rounds.

After a few more loose lightening bolts and the joined battle from the barbs on the spidereaters the battle is over...for the moment. The party realizes that more of the outer fanes reinforcements are on the way. They have seen the many towers around the fane from the other bridges as they made their way through the CRM.

They decide it is time to push into the Outer Fane through the Fire Door.

The party consists of the 4 chars, some wounded, and 4 of the remaining barbs (no mounts). As the door comes down, Chymon decides to have it's fun. The invis drops and Chymon rears back to flambe the entire party as they are stuck being dead center on the bridge. The Barbs flee to the fear aura, as the Fighter bravely flys into the room to attack Chymon. One hit, and Chymon gets ready to toast the party.

However.....once again...they never fail to surprise me. The Rouge/Wizard......having picked up a spell from an adventure longggg ago. (The shattered statue) If any of you remember it. The spell is non other than a modified Charm Monster specifially suited to Red Dragons. I don't know HOW I forgot she had it but she didn't. She had been memming it nearly every day for the past 2 YEARS !! Charm Red Dragon adds 4 to the save DC. Sooo count in her int bonus, casting bonus, and the spell save and that's a 27 DC. She breaks Chymons spell resistance 19, and with a roll of 7 on Chymon's part the spell holds!

Chymon turns away from toasting the whole party (not wanting to hit it's new "friend") and is about to munch the fighter. The Rouge/Wizard gets it's attention and calms Chymon down after offering to add to it's horde. Chymon may be charmed but isn't stupid. I played this up as the charm being more of the dragon finding it's own excuses not to kill the wizard who charmed it. After all Chymon is CE and doesn't back down to anything or anyone.

The door closes behind them as they are now IN the Outer Fane. The party wisely decides not to attempt to take anything of value from Chymon. Also Chymon has not roared to alert the ogre guards. The Fane knows there was something that happened outside, however with the running barbarians (which were spotted by the reinforcements, running into the empty fire bridge complex. They didn't pursue) and that no one in the fane knows what the party looks like other than Thrommel who is recooperating in his coffin.....As someone is dispatched to find out what happened at the Fire Door, the party moving quietly and skillfully covering their tracks is now inside, they overhear Chymon answer that she dragon feared away those who attempted to come inside the Fane. After all she is charmed. The party is inside !!

Now Chymon isn't about to move from her comfortable position, but if the party is actually willing to feed her ego with wealth who is she to complain. The party does not know of her "bracer" abilities. So she's happy to sit right where she's at. But the party now has a powerful advantage being inside the Fane without detection.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to proceed at this point?

The party will obviously make their way around the Fane, the question is how long do you think they can do so without detection. And how much truth should the higher ups such as Naquent/Hedrack value Chymons claims about what happened. I don't see that they would have any reason to doubt the dragon. Thrommel will be getting back into the fight but it will be at least a day till he reforms to disclaim Chymons details of the encounter.

Thank you for any ideas you guys may have, as well as for reading this long thing. :)

Koco Kola
Harpy Witch Queen

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