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Eltern
Here for a while
(2/9/03 4:08 pm)
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Lightning Towers
First, how long are the bridges?

Second, can the towers hit folks on the bridges?

At what distance from the Outer Fane do the people in the towers see those on the bridges?

What's the normal routine for intruders on the bridges? Do the towers not care, figuring the ground forces can take care of it if need be?

Eltern

Trithereon
Here to stay
(2/10/03 4:04 am)
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Re: Lightning Towers
How long are the bridges?

I made a rough measurement off the map awhile ago and it came out to be around 700 feet.

Can the towers hit folks on the bridges?

I assume you mean "hit folks with lightning on the bridges". There is not a definitive answer, but the general concensus of the forum is that that the bridges are beyond the range of the lightning towers. I did some calculations long ago and determined that if the lightning can originate from any part of the tower then each bridge is within the range of at least one towers. However, if you assume the lightning originates from the tip of the tower then no bridge is within the area of effect.

At what distance from the Outer Fane do the people in the towers see those on the bridges?

This depends on many factors including but not limited to: weather, time of day, and use of concealment. This also depends on whether you judge that the bridges are covered bridges or open to the sky. My own interpretation is that the bridges are mostly open to the sky with archways located at the supports at regular intervals along its length. There has been other feeling that the bridges are covered.

On a clear day with an open bridge then I'd say that the Spider Eater Riders see anyone on the bridge from terminus to terminus. The visibility would be reduced by weather (fog, rain, snow, etc, ...) or whether bridge walkers attempt a crossing during the day, moonless night or moonlit night. The towers grant the Spider Eater Riders (SER) an enchancement bonus of +10 to spot checks, as well as see invisible and darkvision out to 120 feet. However, if you rule that the bridges are out of range of the lightning (150 feet) then bridge walkers are out of the range of the SER's see invisible and darkvision. So, magical concealment for a bridge walker is a possibility to avoid detection by the SER.

What's the normal routine for intruders on the bridges? Do the towers not care, figuring the ground forces can take care of it if need be?

All in all, the general thought is that the towers and its SER are a defensive measure to deal with flyers. SER who spot people on the bridge alert the sorcerer who then alerts Hedrack. Depending on how notorious your players have become, the SER may have descriptions of your PCs and report that the enemy is at the gate. Even if they are not recognized, Hedrack would be extremely suspicious of a group of strangers coming unbeckoned to the Outer Fane and put his forces on alert.

By the time your players are high enough level to attempt an attack on the Outer Fanes the SER are likely not a real threat anymore, more like an annoyance. The SER are likely ordered to maintain vigilance against flyers, or at best try to draw bridge walkers into flying into the range of the tower's lightning, or attack anyone retreating from the Outer Fane.

Just some thoughts.



Edited by: Trithereon at: 2/12/03 10:23:38 am
Thrommel
Can't leave now (mod)
(2/10/03 7:35 am)
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Re: Lightning Towers
Unless someone else would like to add to these answers, I'm going to add this to the FAQ, since it seems to come up every other month.

-Thrommel, who likes the analogy of the the spider eater riders as Hell's Angels on Harleys.

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(2/10/03 7:40 am)
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Re: Lightning Towers
As far as I'm concerned, it should definitely be added. And Trithereon gives the answers for the questions, I think.

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

Eltern
Here for a while
(2/12/03 9:23 am)
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asdf
The general consensus of the hivemind, then, was that the lightning originates at the tip of the towers?

Eltern

SSShadowcat7
Here for a while
(2/12/03 9:34 am)
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Re: asdf
Tip of the towers was my decision.

Trithereon
Here to stay
(2/12/03 10:21 am)
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Re: Lightning Towers
I couldn't say what is consensus, but I also decided on the tip of the tower.

I like the idea of the towers being primarily a defense against flying intruders.

I don't like the idea of the lightning repeatedly damaging the bridges when strokes of lightning rain down upon bridge walkers. After you halve the energy (lightning) damage and then take into account the stone's hardness any stroke of lightning (10d6) will cause 0-22 points of damage (average 9) to the bridge.

OTOH, any single 5-foot section of the bridge will have hundreds of hit points thus requiring an unrealistic number of lightning strikes to sunder any portion of the bridge. Plus, certain magic spells may be able to mend the bridge's stone. It'd make nice roleplay clues about the hazards of the tower for the clueless bridge walker when he sees scorched pits in the bridge as a result of previous victims of the towers.

Basically, I can see it either way.

Edited by: Trithereon at: 2/12/03 10:25:45 am
Infiniti2000
Here to stay
(2/12/03 10:38 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Lightning Towers
Keep in mind that if the lightning can't hit the bridges, than anyone could easily fly in over the top of the crater, hugging the wall and make it to the OF without trouble from the towers (except for spider eaters of course). Personally, I find it kind of cool to originate the bolts from anywhere on the tower. This would be really cool if a PC were climbing the tower and the guards were watching and laughing.

Guard 1: "Should we blast him?"
Guard 2: "No, wait until he gets here..." (pointing at the wall about head high) "...so we can more clearly see it."

Abelard
Still here? Wow.
(2/12/03 1:18 pm)
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Re: Lightning Towers
One additional question suggested by this... the module states that anyone who approaches one of the doors but can't get through it will be slain. Unfortunately, it doesn't say by whom. The SER would seem to be the only ones really in a position to do it.

With this reading, by default the SER will ignore anyone who crosses a bridge, but then attack anyone who doesn't actually go in the door and tries to go back over the bridge. Events in your campaign could change this, of course - if the PC's are infamous and known to the SER, they might just attack sooner.

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