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Still here? Wow.
(1/13/03 1:32 am)
Re: Campaign launched
The paladin in 3rd edition detects evil and he does not detect malicious intentions. As others have said, if you play Chat as a greedy mercenary who shows no pitty or mercy to the hobgoblins the paladin probably does not like Chat, but he definitely would not think Chat was planning to kill the PCs.

I have used Ghaunadaur as a replacement for Tharizdun in my campaign. One of his official titles is the Elder Elemental, so do not worry too much about the fact that his domain does not constitute any elements except ooze. Besides, his faith is probably more unknown in the Forgotten Realms then Tharizdun is in Greyhawk. The fact that as a deity he is associated with tentacles and demands a sacrifice (preferably sentient) everyday or he might just take the cleric makes him a lot more scarier then Tharizdun. Only a truly insane person would worship him. There is also another tasty bit of info hidden in FR about him. It is suggested that in the past Ghaunadaur was much more powerful then he is now-a-days. The story goes that on a whim he destroyed his sentient ooze worshippers, but what if it was not him, but the other gods who did this to prevent the god from turning Toril into an ooze dominated world? Perhaps they imprisoned part of his essence, but one avatar managed to escape become the much less powerful Ghaunadaur? Anyway, that is what happened in my FR campaign. Though for now nobody, including the PCs are aware of that.

Looking around
(1/13/03 6:58 am)
I see your point, but the PCs have by now gathered some bits of information on big T, and I already introduced the Elder Elemental Eye to them (Tharizdun as the power pulling the string from the background has not been mentioned so far).
Perhaps I will use Ghaunadaur (and have the PCs find out that the "Elder Elemental Eye" is just one of his cover identities). If I do so, I would still use him as an aspect of Tharizdun (very much like the EEE one of his aspects).

Still here? Wow.
(1/13/03 7:03 am)
Re: Ghaunadaur
One of the nicknames of Ghaunadaur is the Elder Elemental Eye, so that should not be much of a problem.

Looking around
(2/4/03 12:49 pm)
Campaign goes on
Last Friday, our campaign continued. We played about 8 hours and that's what happened:

The PCs continued to explore the Old Temple, clearing out the watchtower after Chat had opened the lock (Ryan tried but failed and so the denizens inside the tower were warned when the PCs opened the door).
The creatures in the tower were no problem for the group and after a superficial exploration the group moved on (they did not find the secret passage).

Inside the temple, the group was welcomed by 10 Hobgoblins with their weapons readied as Ryan and Azzedar used their weapons to bring down the main door. The hobgoblins opened negotiations and told the adventurers to leave. Ryan tried to bluff them but failed with a roll of 1.

Most of the creatures in the temple were killed within a few rounds (Ryan making good use of his chain's reach). Krebbich perished within two rounds and Rarkus did not last much longer after his minions had been taken out by a lightning substituted fireball thrown by Goreman. When the dire ape arrived to join the combat, Rarkus and his warriors were already dead. The animal managed to sneak up on Osborn (whose player wasn't present on this evening) and caused some damage only to be taken out by the concentrated efforts of Chat and Ryan.

When the temple was cleared out, the PCs took the treasure they had collected to their wagon and journeyed back to Hommlet where they stayed one night before setting out to Sundabar (Verbobonc) the next morning.

On their way to the city, I rolled on the encounter table in the Silver Marches (Nether Mountains), coming up with a pack of 7 dire wolves - certainly a tough encounter, but not one the PCs wouldn't be able to overcome. Goreman had his hawk familiar circle above the group and so they were warned soon enough about the pack. Goreman took the horses while the rest of the group entered a defensive stance around the wagon.

When the pack finally arrived, the sorcerer threw some fireballs into the charging wolves but did only nominal damage. Three rounds after the animals had been sighted, they charged into the group. One wolf hit Ryan critical and tripped him, allowing to additional wolves to attack him prone, doing enough damage to frighten Ryans player (which no encounter did since they fought a spell-stitched mummy in an adventure before RttToEE). The pack injured Ryan, Azzedar and Chat very badly, but Osborn used his healing spells liberally and so the group finally defeated the starved wolves (it's early Uktar IMC).

Two days later, the group arrived at Sundabar, where Chatrilon insisted in his share of the treasure (which actually angered Ryan into trying to intimidate the assassin who merely told the Untheric warrior not to mess with those more powerful than himself). Chat took his share and the others divided the rest of the treasure (which was quite a lot - worth about 12.000 gp).

At the end of the last session, we figured that Ryan's only precious possession was his +1 spiked chain and so we agreed, that I as the DM would somehow give him opportunity to keep up with the rest of the group. When Ryan arrived at Sundabar, a letter was delivered to him, that his father had died just some tendays after he had left Unther. By means of this tragic event, Ryan inherited 6.000 gp.

Ryan used this money to have a further enchantment placed on his chain (keen). The others spent their money on several items like potions or scrolls. After the group had stayed in Sundabar for 6 days, Chat told the PCs that he would stay in the city, feeling no urge to set out for the freezing cold of the Nether mountains when he had the opportunity to live through the winter within the city - and to do so quite luxurious, taking into consideration that he had earned no less than 3000 gp in the Temple.

At this point, the session ended. We will play again on Saturday, Feb 15. The group consists of:

Azzedar Silverbeard - LG Male gold dwarf Pal6 of Clangeddin Silverbeard
Ryan Hoar - LN Male human Ftr4/Rog2
Goreman - N Male human Sor6
Osborn of Yondalla - LG strongheart halfling Clr6 of Yondalla

Chat will of course not spend a winter in luxury. Actually he has bought a hat of disguise and set out for Hommlet two days before the group left Sundabar. Chat will assume the identity of Landish Bonehunter, a sympathetic follower of Kelemvor with a big hat with some bright-colored feathers on it. Just the perfect renaissance witch hunter guy - and this time he will use his scroll of undetectable alignment, when he tries to talk his way into the party. After buying the hat, Chat still has about 1.000 gp to spend - I'm open for suggestions ;)

Looking forward to your ideas,


Looking around
(2/4/03 1:06 pm)
RE: Campaign goes on
Some additional information:

As the group is already 6th level, I'm planning to make some of the moathouse encounters a little tougher:

- Utreshimon will be a juvenile blue, having true strike as a 1st level spell. Together with power attack I hope that he will kick butt.
- I will advance the Grell to large size. (8 HD I think)
- Garrick will be a gnoll ranger 4.

Here to stay
(2/4/03 1:59 pm)
Re: RE: Campaign goes on
I suggest one of the following for Chat to purchase:
- pearl of power (1st level spells)
- potions of haste, sneaking, cure light wounds x 2
- scroll of stoneskin, potion of cure light wounds

Does your party use gust of wind? If not, having Big U hover all the time and maximizing his HP will be very deadly as is. The true strike will not help him much because he gets no attacks for one round and it only applies in the next round. Be careful about advancing the grell. The circumstances with the battle on a swinging unstable platform 200' off the ground are already deadly. Advancing it to 8HD increases it a size category I believe (can you say reach) and should result in a dead PC for sure. Any further upping of levels risks your party being 9th level by the time they hit the CRM. :)

Looking around
(2/4/03 3:37 pm)
RE: Campaign goes on
I guess you're right about Big U and true strike. Maiximizing his hits is a possibility of course but don't you think this is a trick of making the encounter harder without adjusting the CR? The Grell is another story - my group got TPKed by the creature when we played our first RttToEEE about one year ago but the characters in this campaign are by far more powerful (and better-equipped). Perhaps I will apply the spellstitched template to the ghouls and ghast in the moathouse dungeon...

The Pearl of Power for Chat isn't quite what I thought about. I have him prepare obscuring mist in order to get away after he has done his first death attack. Perhaps he will strike again later. The potion of haste is of course a good idea.

Here for a while
(2/4/03 4:15 pm)
Re: RE: Campaign goes on
How's Chat doing for charges on his Wand of Invis?

He didn't start out with that many, so maybe some Potions of Invisibility, or Curing is always a good choice.

He's gonna need some new clothes etc. and maybe even new equipment to complete his disguise.

Edited by: smetzger at: 2/4/03 4:16:51 pm
Here for a while
(2/4/03 7:26 pm)
Re: RE: Campaign goes on
Add Monte's ghoul or ghast template to Festrath (stats for both are around in a post, but I didn't hunt them down, sorry). His AC goes through the roof, he's immune to a whole slew of spells via the undead type, loses Con for fun playtime with his friends in the pool, and if you let him quaff the fly potion at the start of the encounter, can fling spells willy-nilly with less fuss from those pesky gravity-bound critters.

My party was 4th level and they had a tough time with him. You could even allow him to summon some grell (changing the module's text about that a bit) for added tentacle fun if you need the EL a bit higher.

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Looking around
(2/5/03 3:20 am)
Wand of Invisibility
Chat has not used a single charge from his wand of invisibility so far, so I do not plan to equip him with potions of invisibility. What do you think about poison. I don't have my books with me at the moment, but something that causes Con damage would be quite nice (and could of course improve his death attack)

Here for a while
(2/5/03 8:53 am)
Re: Wand of Invisibility
{What do you think about poison.}

I gave him some after the party took all his stuff (they captured him without knowing his full potential). I had him obtain some from 'Jaroo', who has a few levels of real druid IMC (and is NE). I think I used something pretty trivial, say less than a few hundred gp / dose, but it was worth writing on a note to the victim that they had to please make two saving throws :evil

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Here for a while
(2/15/03 2:45 pm)
Down to Nulb
We had a quite long session today and that's what happened: Still in Sundabar (Verbobonc), the group met "Landish" (actually Chat with a hat of disguise) a witch hunter and follower of Kelemvor as he told them. Landish told the PCs that he was heading for the hamlet of Nulb where he was going to slay some undead creatures. The PCs believed him right away and after seeing the holy symbol of Kelemvor around the hunter's neck, not even Azzedar tried to detect evil.

The PCs agreed that Landish/Chat should accompany them when they would go to Nulb.
Two days later the fellowship left Sundabar again, heading for Hommlet in the first place. Right on the first day of travel over snow-covered Silverymoon Pass, the party met a group of wandering orc marauders (RE from Silver Marches). The group contained of 7 orcs, 1 orc bbn3, 1 orc bbn2, 2 orc bbn1, 1 orc adp5 and 2 dire boars. Actually I thought this would become a nice encounter... and it could have been.

On the first round of combat, Ryan won initiative. He stood there with 14 foes ahead of him, quite menacing, IMO. Anyway, the Untheric warrior decided to charge... all alone, swinging his spiked chain he rushed screaming into the ranks of the orcs.
One hit, splash, orc dead - Ryan grins. Next, the orc barbarians move. They enter rage and charge Ryan themselves. Ryan (who makes really deadly use of the combination of his spiked chain, Dex 16 and combat reflexes) takes out the 2nd level barbarian right away and wounds the other 3 seriously. Next comes the orc Bbn3.... he swings his greataxe *roll* ... 20! *roll* 15! Ouch, looks like a crit... 3d12 + 36 points of damage => Ryan is struck for 54 points of damage which brings him down to -2. Unfortunately he fails his Fort save and dies of massive damage.

In the meantime, the PCs form a defensive line, while the adept jumps on one of the dire boars and casts bull's strength on the beast, bestowing a Str score of 30 to it.
The orcs advance toward the group and are blasted by a fireball sent into their ranks by Goreman (4 out of the 6 remaining orcs are burned to charcoal on the spot).
Landish fires a crossbow bolt and takes out one of the 1st level barbarians. The orc advance continues with the adept casting protection from good on himself.

On the next round, the orc barbarians threaten to close up to melee range... another ice substituted fireball of Goreman's kills the remaining lvl 1 bbn, the 2 remaining orcs and wounds the riderless dire boar heavily.

Osborn casts hold person on the 3rd level barbarian that killed Ryan and keeps him from moving around the parties flanks.

On the following round of combat, the dire boars clash into the PCs ranks and a furious melee battle ignites... Goreman (still mounted on his horse), charges the held barbarian but misses, while one of the dire boar brings Landish down below 10 hits and the other wounds Azzedar not so seriously.

On the next round, Goreman performs a coup de grace against the barbarian while Landish and Azzedar continue their struggle with the adept and his pets. Osborn works hard to keep Landish alive.

Finally, the party defeats the adept and the boars and moves on to arrive Hommlet without any further encounters. In Hommlet, the group decides after about an hour of OOC-discussion that a raise dead spell is the only affordable possibility to bring Ryan back from the dead. Ryan's player insisted on trying to get some true resurrection because he couldn't stand the idea of losing a level. We did the math and figured out, that this would cost about 8.500 gp (because the group would have had to teleport to Waterdeep first) which was far beyond their financial possibilities.

So Ryan was raised with his player extremely pissed and not accepting that his death was his own fault and nobody else's.

Finally when those discussions where settled, the group set out for Nulb the next day. They reached the town at dusk without any REs on their way. The first building they went in was of course the hostel where they met Wat. The ghost manifested in the character's back and *roll* attacked Ryan for 27 points of damage and a death attack attempt - which the fighter gladly managed to resist.

Next, Wat got ethereal again and studied Goreman for the next 3 rounds, manifesting next to the sorcerer after this period, striking him for 21 points of damage and another passed Fort save. This attack actually was Wat's last one as now, the combined readied actions of the party broke down over him, including a trio of magic missiles and a turn attempt by Ozzi. Finally, Wat was defeated, if not for long...

The PCs moved upstairs, where Osborn turned the Allip and the group plundered the secret stack. Osborn took the potion of love and could not wait to identify it. Well - he drank the potion and fell in love with... Mr. Chatrilon Unosh aka witch hunter Landish :lol

With Osborn trying to impress the tall fellow, the party moved on to the herb shop, where they battled Lareth. The cleric cast rage on the first round and charged into battle afterwards - only to be ravaged by the party within three rounds.

The wraiths and ochre jelly on the pirate ship went next and did not damage the party seriously (except for Ozzi who was constricted by the ooze for some 30 points of damage).

When Nulb was finally cleared of its undead denizens, the party returned to Hommlet for rest. The PCs talked to Canoness I'dey about the strange guy they met in Nulb (Lareth) and told her about the symbols he wore. I'dey showed her concern and told the PCs to inform her about anything they would find out about such strange going-ons.

The next morning, the group set out for the moathouse, fighting a pair of ettins on their way their (I do not use the RttToEE REs - simply prefer the Silver Marches tables). The Ettins did some damage but nothing serious and so the PCs moved on to the MH.
In the courtyard they found the dagger and were finally attacked by Utreshimon (substituted with a young shadow dragon from the monsters of Faerūn). Big U hovered above the courtyard and harassed the party with his breath weapon. The PCs did not hesitate long when they realized, that the black fume bestowed negative levels: In a great hurry, they ran for the main hall and barred the doors from the inside (something I allowed them for I was getting tired after 8 hours of play and wanted to get to a good cut point).

Inside the building, Osborn started to cast a Lesser Planar Ally spell to call an Arvoral (CR 9 monster, nice, huh?). When the ritual was finished, the halfling opened the doors and told the celestial to kill the dragon. In the following battle, the Arvoral did not manage to kill Big U (I decided, that the dragon was badly injured but feigned death as a last option of escape). So I think, I will use Utreshimon again.

When the PCs were watching the battle between U and the Arvoral, Landish/Chat took his chance and performed a death attack against Goreman who made his save again! After the attack, Chat turned invisible and fled down to the moathouse dungeon where he told Gren of the party's presence and the defeat of Big U.

When the confusion had settled, the PCs made a plan and advanced down the stairs (area 13 of the moathouse), finding a greeting commitee of a ghast, 3 ghould, 2 gnolls and Gren in the hall. Goreman killed them all except the Ghast and 1 of the Ghouls with another fireball... (damn this spell in the hands of a crazy Sorc! ;) )

The gnoll that survived begged for the heroes' mercy and dropped his weapon while the ghast moved ahead to attack Osborn. Goreman used Aganazzar's scorcher to kill the ghast while Ryan went down the stairs and killed the gnoll with a single blow, turning his alignment to LE. Landish, who had been hiding in the corner invisibly attacked Ryan eventually for another death attack but failed and was hammered down by the party in the following round.

What followed was some really great roleplaying by Azzedar who lectured the maxims of ethics and moralty to Ryan and expressed the great disappointment he felt by reason of Ryan's murder of the gnoll. Ryan (who had betrayed his patron Hoar after the battle against the orc marauders), assured the paladin that he would try to never do such a thing again and that he would atone for his deeds.

After this, we made a cut and all I can say is that we had a great session even though Ryan died and lost a level.

Azzedar Silverbeard: Male gold dwarf Pal7 of Clangedding Silverbeard
Ryan Hoar: Male human Ftr4/Rog2
Goreman: Male human Sor7
Osborn of Yondalla: Male strongheart halfling Clr7 of Yondalla

Here for a while
(2/17/03 10:19 am)
Let 'em live ;)
Nice journal so far, Talwyn.

But, you know, I always wanted to tell the general public that I doubt that player's bear much understanding for DMs who see it as their job to kill the players - not that I was talking to anyone in particular.;)

That's the only problem these boards pose. Once you're here, you see that you can do all kinds of nasty stuff with varius modifications to the module - making an already tough campaign really deadly.
If my DM tried to convince me that the Errataed Huge Howler was "an appropriate challenge for your level" I most certainly would have started hitting him with DMG. But then again, I am the DM.

Although I think that the Untheric Barbarian(was it Coldwyns chracter?;) ) pretty much begged for his death. Bit getting killed in a RE ist somehow... not really satisfying. "I was hacked apart by some unnamed Orc Barbarian who happened to just get lucky."

In any way, I'd really save the tough foes for the climatic encounters. At least you will know that you death had a meaning (if only buying enough time for the others to run).


Here for a while
(2/18/03 12:00 pm)
Kraut meeting!
I“m reading this, too. ;)

Here for a while
(3/3/03 3:48 pm)
Ryan's Death
@Daeinar: You're right about the point that Ryan's action was suicidal and you're certainly right in what you say about death in REs. The problem is that we roll our dice openly - me as the DM as well as the players. So I cannot fake the result of a roll.

Anyway, we tried the module about a year ago and I substituted 1st level orc barbarians for the gnolls in the moathouse and back then a party of 5 6th-level PCs was beaten up by six of these orcs.

In the current campaign, a party of four 6th-level PCs (plus Landish/Chat) faces a force of 14 orcs and two dire boars. Some of the orcs look like really crude, brutish, blood-thirsty butchers and still Ryan thinks himself invicible enough to charge them without backup from Azzedar or any other PC. That's not satisfying, that's bloody stupid, and so I think losing one level is just what he deserved. Actually, Ryan's player (by the way Athghore, not Coldwyn) was quite pissed when his beloved PC was hacked into pieces by a stupid 3rd level orc but in the end he saw that it was his own fault.

I'm not trying to kill my party. Anyway, they have reached 7th level by now and have only started to explore the moathouse. That's why I replaced some of the moathouse encounters with my own. The Silver Marches REs are generally hard but deadly - as long as you do not turn off your brain and charge into a small warband of murderous orcs.

Here for a while
(3/25/03 11:13 am)
...'coz tonight they're cleanin' out the moathouse
Last Saturday, the campaign went on eventually. We had a long pause because I became sick when we last intended to play. This time, Azzedar's player had the flue but we decided to play without him. After all we hadn't rolled the dice for about 6 weeks. So here's the story:

The evening starts with the heroes exploring the westernmost chambers of the moathouse dungeon where they discovered Spugnoir in his hideout, scared and worn off as one could be. Ozzi provides healing for the wizard who in turn offers some bits of information on the strange ochre-robed cultists hangin' around in the dungeon.

The PCs decide to take Spugnoir with them and begin exploring the dungeon. They head east first, taking the torch of revealing and the other items from area 24.

To put it in a nutshell, the party cut through the monsters like a hot knife through butter, taking out Garrik, the gnolls and the skelettons in but a few rounds (as I expected). The ghouls and ghasts however were at least able to deal some damage before they were hacked to pieces by the group.

In the ghoul caves, my players somehow discovered how to activate the altar (I did not even hint that the altar had any function) and did it. Goreman was the single guy to make his save and did not suffer any damage. Azzedar took 2 points of Wis damage, Ryan took 3 Con and Ozzi was bestowed 3 negative levels (missing instant death by only 1 number on a d100!).

After this the party headed back for the exit to heal the damage (Osborn had lost access to his 3rd and 4th level spells, so he could not cast restoration himself). Unfortunately, the PCs had triggered the portcullis trap and did not know how to lift it, so they had to take the secret tunnel from the crypt to the torture chamber. Ryan was the first to climb up the ladder and emerge from the pillar in the torture room.

I let him make a Spot check to notice the ghouls hiding in this room but he failed and so was surprised by the undead. The creatures waited long enough to let Ryan step out of the pillar and into the chamber before they attacked (taking a partial charge for the surprise round). Ryan made formidable use of his Combat Reflexes feat, dispatching two of the ghouls through AoOs although he was flat-footed. However, he missed the ghoul who hit Ryan with his bite in return. The damage did not bother the fighter too much, but then he failed his Fort save... and the ghast was already lurking into the chamber.

On the next round, the other PCs started to wonder, what had happened to Ryan as he wasn't answering and so Osborn climbed up the ladder, coming up just far enough to see Ryan paralyzed and his ghoul / ghast aggressors preparing for the deadly attacks.

Those attacks followed the next round with one coup de grace by the ghoul and another by the ghast. Ryan took some damage, coming down to 2 hitpoints before Osborn could turn the undead creatures.

You can imagine how Ryan was trembling when I rolled the damage dice for the second coup de grace. "Not again! I will never catch up with the others if I die again!" :evil

After this last battle, the party left the moathouse and arrived at Hommlet without any REs. They rested two nights in the Welcome Wench, identifying some items and talking to Idey about the cultists.

Next morning, the group headed for Sundabar, killing a pack of 5 worgs on their way down the slopes of Silverymoon pass.

What followed was a 2-hour long part of very good roleplaying in Sundabar. The PCs sold some of the items found in Nulb and the moathouse as well as a ring of mind shielding which I had given to Chatrilon Unosh. Goreman bought a pair of wings of flying so he would from this point be an airborne fireball-throwing machine of devastation, as his player called it. :) We will see.

The party spent a whole tenday in Sundabar before they headed back for Hommlet eventually. On the way back up the Nether Mountains, I rolled 2 vampires as a RE. I flashed out two random NPCs coming up with Malcer, a 19th-level druid and Talman, a 7th level bard. Ouch! Generally I don't re-roll REs for the simple reason that I don't force the party into battle if they do not do so themselves. Actually I saw these two vamps as another great opportunity for roleplaying.

At first my players did talk to the vampires - but only until Malcer mind-controlled Ozzi to allow the vamps into camp (who had stated the exact opposite before). This was when Goreman threw his lightning substituted fireball - and all burning hell broke loose.

You might agree that does not throw a sphere of cracking lightning at a CR 21 vampire and get away with a humble apology. At least that's what I think. Malcer and Talman attacked in turn an the PCs soon realized, that they faced enemies far beyond their powers. They all started to whine that the party would be extinguished and this would have been right - had I not decided to bend the rules...

When the PCs took out Talman, I decided that he was actually destroyed because of some obscure mystery I did not think about further. What I decided next was that Talman was the master and Malcer the spawn (quite unusual considering the levels, but also not impossible). As a result, Malcer was freed when the PCs killed Talman. Malcer yelled a "Free at last!", turned into a bat and left the battlefield. So far so good - had he not summoned an elder water elemental the round before.

I knew that the elemental would be quite a challenge for the party that could easily lead to the TPK I was trying to avoid but I also knew how effective the adventurers used their abilities when need was great. So I decided not to fake any more from this point. The water elemental attacked, clubbing Ozzi, Azzedar and Ryan to very few hit points each in a single round.

The PCs however managed to heal the damage dealt by the elemental and finally it were Goreman's fireballs and Agganazzar's scorchers as well as the two beads of force the PCs still carried which turned luck against the water creature.

With this fight survived the PCs moved on with even greater determination and finally arrived Hommlet without any further REs.

When the party arrived at the moathouse, the clerics from area 32 (which the PCs had not explored during their first visit) had left for Rastor. So there wasn't anything left to explore but the obelisk cave. Goreman scouted, flying down into the cave but did not notice the grell lurking in the dark.... So the other PCs stepped on the elevator and moved down to be finally attacked by the beast.

The grell snatched Azzedar from the platform the round before Ryan killed it with a single blow from his spiked chain. When Azzedar hit the wooden platform again, I let all three PCs make Balance checks. Everyone suceeded and so the party reached the cave bottom eventually.

The party discovered the Obex and the Black Sun and Goreman even brought the torch of revealing to the invisible gem - and touched it!

After being teleported to the black chamber and hearing big T's message, Goreman received and ate the black fruit gaining a +1 inherent bonus to Str. Afterwards, Goreman used his wings of flying to get down to the cave bottom again.

I was surprised that all my players could resist the temptation of gaining a bonus to an ability. Actually Goreman's player is convinced that "this mysterious booming voice will one day come to call on him" :D

The party finally discovered the horrific summons and called and killed another grell before I decided it was time for Festrath to attack. When Goreman had blasted the poor lunatic with a fireball, the moathouse was utterly cleansed of the cult... and this is where we ended.

Next time, the party wants to investigate the flourmill in Hommlet, where they will not really find much (as Dunrat and his fellows have long before left for Rastor). I do not really know by now how to convey the hints on Rastor...

So that's it! Quite a long read, I know :)

The cast now is:

Azzedar Silverbeard, LG male gold dwarf Pal7 of Clangeddin Silverbeard
Ryan Hoar, LN male human Ftr4/Rog3
Osborn of Yondalla, LG male strongheart halfling Clr8 of Yondalla
Goreman, N male human Sor8

Here for a while
(3/25/03 11:21 am)
Any suggestions?
What I forgot to post:

As always I'm open for your suggestions. :)

1.) Do you think I could re-use Malcer in some way. I thought about have him join the cult in some way. I guess he would be a very welcome ally and could in return get his share out of the cult's plans. How would you use Malcer (CE male human vampire druid 19)? Would you use him at all?

2.) What about the hints to Rastor? Does anyone have an idea how to convey them without the note in the mill?

3.) Master Dunrat, Chenashi, Toridan, Grune, Vacra, Geynor Ton and Ysslansh are all still alive. Would you have them leave for the ToaC? If yes, how would you use them there?

Thx in advance, Talwyn

Here for a while
(3/26/03 7:25 am)
Re: Any suggestions?
1) a Druid of that calliber is a bit over the top, especially as a Vampire. Just too much for your PCs to handle, maybe _after_ RttToEE is over they could handle him. In general I think it would have been a better idea to re-tool the encounter than to have fudged as much as you did. But now you have a reacurring villain, which is always a good thing. This guy is high enough level that he should be famous on the same level as Thrommel is, so you should make up some kind of backstory. The vamp will only join the cult if he is crazy, so... maybe he could be a secret benefactor of the PCs...

2) Maybe Dunrat was in a hurrry and left the note in the trash can?

3) The rest of the crew should accompany the artifacts back to Rastor. There is nothing to do at the ToAC at this point. Besides, they'll want to bask in the glory of returning the artifacts. Scatter them throughout the CRM temples, maybe Dunrat picks up a level (he should get a pretty big story XP award for getting the artifacts).

Here for a while
(3/26/03 12:41 pm)
The artifacts
Dunrat can't return the artifacts because the PCs took them when they went to Sundabar... I'm actually thinking about having Dunrat set up a nice trap by hiring some ogre mercenaries or something like this.

Concerning Malcer you're right, I probably should have re-rolled the encounter. The point is that I generally do not force my players into confrontation with enemies that are by far too powerful for them - and my players know this. So I was totally shocked when Goreman's player declared his (almost) fatal action.

I also think that Malcer is too powerful an enemy for the PCs to face during the campaign. Instead I will use him as some mysterious arch-nemesis, pulling some strings from the background... I think I will use the vamp as a opposition to the crazed temple forces - perhaps even launching an attack on the CRMs with some vampire spawns or mind-controlled creatures....

Concerning his background: Malcer is a very powerful druid, once devoted to Grumbar, wandering the Nether Mountains in search of solitude. Malcer tried to be as near to the element of earth as he could, so he wandered Silverymoon Pass and the high mountains surrounding it. About one year ago, a young vampire named Talman fled over Silverymoon Pass from a troupe of Knights in Silver that were chasing him.
Talman met Malcer, tried to control the druid and suceeded. Talman used Malcer to destroy the knights and finally made the mighty druid his servant.
Malcer,however, was very high in Grumbar's favor (actually he was one of the god's most powerful followers). This is the reason why Grumbar's wrath was great and he cursed the vampire Malcan to be destroyed by the first deadly strike that would hit him.
Actually it were the PCs who delivered this strike to the creature Talman. From then, Malcer was free to do as he wished. The point is that the old Malcer is of course utterly destroyed. The new one is a bloodthirsty hunter, stalking nightly shadows in search of prey. He worships Malar and is now that he is free one of the Hunter's favoured servants (see the irony?).

Malcer will next seek refuge in a cave in the mountains. From here he will start to investigate what is going on outside. After some time he will learn about the cult and its motivation (actually a 19th level druid should have means of accomplishing this). Malcer does not want the cult to achieve its mad goals so he will help the PCs from the background, and if possible the mortals should not notice they have assistance.

I will allow the PCs Gather Info rolls to learn something about Malcer and/or Talman. All information on Malcer will be that he was an awesomely powerful druid of Grumbar, a strange guy and lone wolf, who disappeared about one year ago.
Information on Talman is harder to get. All the PCs can learn about him is that he once was a student in Silverymoon who joined a band of adventurers when he had finished his studies. The last time he was seen alive was when the band left Silverymoon to explore some old castle in the cold wood. All this happened about 7 years ago. This depth of information will be very difficult but not impossible to discover.

Here for a while
(3/27/03 7:35 am)
Re: The artifacts
Ooh I don't think Dunrat will go back to the CRM w/o the Artifacts, that would be certain death by torture.

He is going to use whatever resources he has available to recover those artifacts. Remember to limit him to the resources he has. His primary goal is safe delivery of the artifacts back to the CRM. If the PCs have already turned the artifacts over to someone else then Dunrat will skip the revenge on the PCs and go after this other person.

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