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SIERK
Here for a while
(1/27/03 7:09:31 pm)
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Theories on defensing the Outer Fane
My party is in the middle of clearing out the Outer Fane, and I haven't been entirely happy with the logical sequence of events. Primarily, if the Outer Fane responds intelligently, it will almost certainly destroy the party. If the OF doesn't respond in force to a breach of the defenses, why not?

If I were Hedrack, standard procedure would probably run something like...
1. All visitors to the Outer Fane (there shouldn't be that many of them) will be noted by the Tower sorcerers and communicated to Hedrack via contact medallions.
2. If the visitors are hostile, begin marshalling defenses such as the Earth Door guardian, elite guards, minotaurs, and Naquent or Varachan. Chymon should begin an aerial flight around the OF. Victor and Bethe and the Invisible Stalkers should also be notified.
3. If whomever manages to overcome the defenses, Hedrack will collect Thrommel and deal with them himself.

I don't see too many 9-11th level parties being able to overcome that sequence of battles; I know my party wouldn't have survived.

So therefore we must find a reason why Hedrack doesn't do this. IMC, I decided that Hedrack wasn't even there, having recently found Lareth and was taking him around to the Inner Fane and the Recovered Temple.

If that's the case, then Varachan with his dubious loyalties and Naquent are left in charge. Naquent is reluctant to deal with problems herself, but I believe that Varachan would have the pull to force her to attempt to deal with the intruders. I also am of the opinion that only Hedrack can control Thrommel enough to take an interest outside of his own coffin.

Anyhow, I believe this is a reasonable enough explanation for somewhat confused defenses. IMC, Hedrack will soon be returning to find the mess of Naquent's torn off head (the party was tempted to leave the head next to Hedrack's bath), and will be very angry.

What are other takes on this? I'm not entirely satisfied with my scenario. Does it work better to have the OF respond in force and force the party to slowly chip away at defenses until the OF is finally overcome?

Infiniti2000
Here to stay
(1/27/03 7:40:41 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Theories on defensing the Outer Fane
That's a real good question, SIERK. I admit I have no concrete theories, but it's something I'll have to think about. Hopefully others will chime in.

I'm thinking maybe Hedrack is wise enough to realize the "nature of the beast." This means he understands that the one at the top is the one everyone else is gunning for. If an attack occurs, his first inclination is that it is rivalry. A stronger force would indicate that someone is after him. He might even start eyeing his forces, Naquent and Varachan in particular, a little more closely. Given this kind of paranoia and pessimism, it's likely Hedrack will not realize what is really occuring until it is nearly too late.

In fact, if your party is having a real bad time of it, it might not be a bad idea for Varachan to somehow incriminate Naquent for any attacks on the OF as a bid for power against Hedrack. Now, Hedrack might not kill her as a direct result, but I'm sure we can all come up with suitable punishment. :evil

SolidSnake
Here for a while
(1/27/03 7:59:25 pm)
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Re: Theories on defensing the Outer Fane
I'll chime in.

The way I have it set up IMC, is that Lareth and Hedrack are on their way to the Recovered Temple by the time the group hits the Outer Fane for the first time (beginning the LONG ceremony that will summon Imix). At this point Varachan has been left in charge, meaning that really Naquient is the one running the show.

I'm sure the PCs will just run through a Door until they reach the inner sanctum of the Outer Fane. By this time, Naquient has marshalled her forces and is enroute to teach these pesky heroes a lesson or two. The PCs can stay and fight at this point or run...I'm sure that most PCs will get the drift. This is good for two reasons: 1) It shows that the Outer Fane is nothing like the CRM: organized, motivated, and powerful as hell 2) This will also show that guerilla warfare is the only way to defeat a well run miltary operation like the OF. With this method, you can allow your PCs to see what they are up against without completely killing them on the first shot. True, if you had the entire might of the OF assembled...it wouldn't be too hard for any DM to get ride of 6-7 high level characters.

So, to continue...after the first breach, Hedrack gets alerted to what is going on and comes back to organize his forces. Now you will have 2 hunting parties roving the CRM, looking for these pesky doo-gooders AND have the OF on high alert (Spider eater riders EVERYWHERE). This will force the party to "stick-and-move" until they gain the advantage and precipitate an all out fight with Hedrack himself.

I think with this type of setup, you can justify not killing the entire party while keeping things challenging. Remember that the OF reserves are not infinite...you can't just replace people like Bethe and Victor after you send them out...so, after a while the OF will run out of steam, but not before they had the PCs' a$$es to them;)

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(1/28/03 12:00:40 am)
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Re: Theories on defensing the Outer Fane
You guys just reminded me to send off Hedrack and Lareth at the beginning of my next session. Thanks. And Hedrack doesn't really need to be more than a sending and a word of recall away, so he can arrive shortly if needed.

I think you guys have given a lot of good reasons for the Fane defenses to be less than optimal. However, chipping away would have its merits as well, as it would really bring home the organized nature of things. Also, it might encourage other approaches than BFI (Blunt Force & Ignorance). I mean, it's only Hedrack's room and the Temple that blocks teleports, ethereal entries, etc.

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

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