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Boden Blagden
Here for a while
(1/5/03 10:31:28 pm)
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Four Characters killed against Green Dragon.
My players characters were at 5th and 6th level. They went through most things like it was easy. The Juvenile Green Dragon in the Crator Ridge mines killed four of them easily, and it probably would have killed the other two if they wouldn't have went invisible and ran.

The characters defeated the Fiendish Girallon pretty easy. One character went down in round two, but he wasn't killed. They looted the lair and healed up and moved out of there into the next area and walk straight up the ramp onto the platform. I made some rolls to see if the Dragon heard them while in the nearby water and he did. So he attacked. He hit them with the breath weapon first then circled back around. The sorceror of the party used the last charge of a wand of darkness to hide the group and they tried to stay hidden. Two rounds later the dragon breathed another cone of acid into the darkness. The fighter dwarf of the party then jumped on the dragon and injured it burying his axe in the things nose. The dragon then flew up and successfully threw the dwarf off of him and the dwarf fell to the ground and died.
The sorceror went invisible and then turned the wizard invisible. These two characters survived. The Dwarven cleric was too slow and was quickly snatched and killed by the dragon. Next went the Half-orc druid who couldn't run quite faast enough to get away from the dragon. Ofcourse there is the now NPC halfling rogue (because the player that was playing him quit the game) that was hiding and could never have ran away from the dragon, but noone knows what happened to him because after the druid died his Dire Lion animal companion attacked the dragon and that is all the other two remember as they were running away.

Do y'all think my party was too low level to encounter this dragon. I realize that when they go back the dragon will have made a deal with the ettin, and this will make the encounter even harder. When they were running off the dragon still had almost 100 HPs left.
Anyway the sorceror and wizard are going back to town to hire some more adventurers to help them. I figure all the traveling and such will take about two and a half weeks.
The mines forces should be starting to get built back up.
Well I will see how it goes from here.

Edited by: Boden Blagden at: 1/5/03 10:33:20 pm
Lunus Quelnegarde
Here for a while
(1/5/03 11:01:12 pm)
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Re: Four Characters killed against Green Dragon.
Nearly this exact thing happened to my players, except they were higher level.

My group picked up that this was the lair of something very large right away, and were about to (wisely) leave, but the human rogue and invisible gnome illusionist decided to grab that "shiny floating thing off to the side"

The gnome grabbed it, but fumbled it just as the rogue got there. With the gnome being invisible the girralion attacked the rogue and put him below 0. The cleric healed him as the gnome ran away quickly.

The girallion took the rogue down below 0 again, and the dragon was hearing this. The dragon cast spider climb and started running there on the roof. When it got there the party knew they were in deep trouble.

Without even trying to fight, they immediately staged a retreat. They lost 3 members (the rogue, taken down below 0 three times that fight somehow lived) in total but it could have been worse.

I think there are enough clues in that room to figure out it is a bad room... and hopefully your group will attack the Earth Temple before they try the mines again. They probably learned their lesson.

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(1/5/03 11:22:22 pm)
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Re: Four Characters killed against Green Dragon.
correct me if i'm wrong...

the party was FIFTH and SIXTH level when they met the green dragon?

since i think the campaign starts the chars of at level 4... what the hell happened?

did they immediately set of for the CRMs? because taking out the moathouse+nulb+the old temple shoud have put them on lvl 7 conveniently wouldn't it?

of course a girallon + a green dragon will take out 5 lvl5-6's...

oh well... if the party hasn't already taken out the 'experience gathering locations', i suggest you make em do it now :D

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/6/03 2:03:30 am)
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Re: Four Characters killed against Green Dragon.
Well, the Main Entrance is scaled for a lvl 5 group. If they made short work of the guards there, they might still be between 5th and 6th level when they meet Vranthis. The thing is that the players don't really know that there is a dragon. And dragon CR assumes that PCs always know that they're to go up against one.

So unless you give your PCs clues you might indeed end up with multiple character deaths.

Solutions:

Some time ago, it was suggested that Vranthis is in the mines because he knows something is up (cf. his impressive Knowledge (Religion) score), but he doesn°t know what. Therefore, he might actually want to hire the PCs to find out what's going on and - when discovered - stop it. That would make for an interesting patron for the PCs.

Alternatively, leave a map of the railroad tracks in Mereclar's chambers with a warning of "Here be dragons" in the general area of Vranthis. Any southbound traffic from the Main Entrance is bound to pay some kind of toll to Vranthis and the Ettin (who were in cahoots IMC), so his presence should be a known fact.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

madfox
Still here? Wow.
(1/6/03 3:54:04 am)
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Re: Four Characters killed against Green Dragon.
Don't all dragons have blindsight?

Anyway, I agree that Vranthis is a bit strong when used as a nasty surprise. My party survived but that was more due to luck then skill and because I did not use Vranthis to the fullest of his abilities. Looking back though, I would have prefered using a more subtle method like using Vranthis as a patron. I never game my players the chance to talk and it is something I still regret. Now it was nothing more then a tough 'random' encounter, which always degrades dragons and it is not nearly as much fun as it could have been.

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/6/03 4:14:20 am)
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Re: Four Characters killed against Green Dragon.
Ha, I had every intention of having Vranthis talk and do the patron-thing, but the PCs let rip with spells and blades the minute they saw him.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

madfox
Still here? Wow.
(1/6/03 4:19:51 am)
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Re: Four Characters killed against Green Dragon.
But at least the players can only blame themself for missing that great oppertunity for roleplaying. Mine never got the chance. They were surrounded by chlorine gasses before they even saw the dragon ;)

Roland Delacroix
Here for a while
(1/6/03 4:29:40 am)
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Dragons...
GfB: The players in my campaign are 7, 5, 5, 5, 4 right niw and are just on the tip of approaching Vranthis. They decided to assault the south gate, ending in a near TPK (the 7th level guy wasn't there). They came in at 1 level below group average, level 5.

IMC Utreshimon filled the nifty (west) hall that the previous group had emptied. He charges a toll and brokers info, the clerics are kinda wary but are willing to let a dragon do what he wants more or less. Last session my party almost got TPKed AGAIN when they walked past him (paid the toll), then decided to turn around and kill him. Utresh spared them IF they promised to kill Vranthis.

So, 5th level isn't unreasonable.

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(1/6/03 4:39:02 am)
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Re: Dragons...
well, i've been toying with the idea of big U coming to the CRM and take up residence in one of the halls behind the entrances after the PC's clear all resistance and push through or retreat to restock... and once he does, he will indeed charge a toll for passing his territory :D
the information braoker thingie is also a nice twist, thanks!

concerning Vranthis: same will probably go for him! as i've read in one of the other campaign logs, he will hide in the darkness near his lair, and say 'stop' in draconic once. With two out of 5 PC's understanding draconic (one a dragon disciple), this should lead to some good roleplaying. If they dare to fire a single shot at him however, he will strike without mercy and probably kill one or two of them.
on the other hand, the dragon disciple is a silver dragon (or attempting to become one) and since metallic dragons kinda hate their chromatic counterparts, our resident DD will have to be VERY careful of what he says... insults can be deadly here :evil

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/6/03 5:46:41 am)
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Re: Dragons...
Heh, that's exactly what "my" Vranthis did: He called stop, not once but several times. Unfortunately, the dwarf who he yelled at was in a silence zone. Sad, sad, sad...

Why would Utreshimon go the hundreds and hundreds of miles directly to the one place where the PCs will meet him again? In a way, it strikes me as being too unbelievable. IMHO, the "Utreshimon the General" idea from the BoB is better - but maybe that's just me :)

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(1/6/03 5:54:54 am)
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Re: Dragons...
well, it's either big U in the CRM or big U in a nifty little ambush i posted in another thread... under the plowed field, covered by a very scared farmer who'll lure the PC's to Big U's carefully prepared ambush

Big U, the general is now quite impossible, because the old temple has already been sacked by the PC's

i dunno, U is pretty pissed at the PC's because they denied him his new 'home'

since a dragon lives to be quite old, he's got time to plan a way to cross the PC's again... and he's keeping track of them from high in the sky...

besides, he could have extorted some info from the dead rogue or the dead priest that the party discovered in the moathouse in the beginning. Especially the rogue would have bargained for her life by giving intel about who she was and where she was from, before the dragon got bored with her and killed her anyway. Since dragons are real curious, it might make sense that Big U knows about the CRM's and the ToAC...

just my two cents!

Boden Blagden
Here for a while
(1/6/03 7:09:53 am)
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Re: Dragons...
The party went through Nulb but never went to the Ruined Temple. They were on a small side quest and went straight past Nulb. :o

Roland Delacroix
Here for a while
(1/6/03 8:09:01 am)
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Siebo
Yer probably right, but it's an evil place. maybe it drew him? I like the general of the Hobs idea much better but that didn't come up here until after my party destroyed the old temple. Utresh was too fun to let go of for the constraints of mere so-called 'reality'.

On Info brokering: Yeah, its lots of fun AND gives the PC's a reason not to outright kill Utresh. After my party agreed to take out the rival dragon to the south (Vranthis) Utresh sold them, for 500 gp, the vital information that he had some powerfull allies. Another 500 gp and he told them it was an Ettin and a Rust Monster. Considering the whole party wears metal armor and magic weapons, they found that info cheap, and Utresh made a quick 1,000 gp.

I'm having alot of fun with Utresh too. Since he's a young dragon these experiences are shaping his entire personality. He tried the full-on attack thing before in his moathouse lair and was rebuked. Now he is trying dealing first, and only using the THREAT of violence, and has already made thousands of gold and a sweet lair. At the gate he see's and hears alot, and has the INT to put things together. I'll probably turn him into a long term pseudo-villian/contact after RttToEE.

After they finish off Vranthis and they come back looking to kill Utresh, "ahhh, well maybe you'd like to know about the temple to the north instead of killing little 'ol me? I don't harm a fly, whereas THEY, aahhhhh, but that info will cost you. Of course you COULD try kill me" flex talons "but then the clerics up north will assuredly destroy you. Oops, i've said to much"

Hopefully this will also add some RP to an otherwise hack part of this module.

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(1/6/03 8:18:04 am)
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Re: Siebo
well, it's settled in my campaign, preparations are done

big U will be the new doorman guarding one of the entrances after they are raided a first time

to cover himself in, he'll have the ceilings excavated to allow limited room to hover and the floor covered with debris (rocks, sand, the lot), so if his bargaining fails, he'll hover like he did in the moathouse and give the party a second beating

i'm not sure about his attitude towards his green cousin... i know blues can and will be very territorial, but Vranthis is also a lot of fun to play with...

maybe they'll put a price on each other's heads, and the party has to decide... either choice will fare them poorly as the survivor is likely to turn on them and get all their shining magical items to add to his loot :evil

so many possibilities, so small a campaign to fit them in

Infiniti2000
Here for a while
(1/6/03 8:47:12 am)
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ezSupporter
Big U at the ToEE
Even if the party drives off Big U and clears the Temple before he sets up base there, you can still use that idea. Per the module, the Temple will be restocked with hobgoblins in 2d6+1 weeks (or something like that). Perhaps on one of the trips to Verbobonc through Hommlet, Elmo (or Burne and Rufus) inform the players that "...the cursed blue dragon is still plaguing the area. It has taken up residence in the Temple with a new band of hobgoblins." You can easily scale the encounter for whatever level the party is at. If they previously left the bodies of the hobgoblins, perhaps you can say the the influence of the obelisk in the moathouse is leaking to the Temple. Use some corrupted bad guys (corrupted dire wolverine springs to mind), or apply the ghast/ghoul template to Rarkus and/or Krebbich.

Boden Blagden
Here for a while
(1/6/03 1:00:21 pm)
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Re: Big U at the ToEE
Unfortunately for me the Big U is dead. I was thinking of bringing the Ogre Mage from the Fire Bridge to guard the entrance this time.

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