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Here for a while
(2/27/03 4:24 am)
The Recovered Temple
My players (along with Elmo and Ingrith) were discovered by the Succubus whilst investigating the well, who then escaped and has alerted the rest of the complex...

So far the heroes have completed a very bruising encounter with the ogre warriors and Trond as well as defeating the Greater Elemental (when they dispatched it so easily with an elementaal greater slaying arrow, the stone giant decided to retreat back to his quarters to regroup).

They also managed to discover Kella the Druid who has told them everything she knows and has decided to join them in battle...

And so my party with a Fire specialised (and obsessed) sorcerer and no +3 weapons is contemplating their assualt :lol

Anyway does anybody have any suggestions how the Second might conduct the defence. I can't be the first GM to be in a similar position.

Here for a while
(2/27/03 5:11 am)
Defending the Recovered Temple
Well - sending the Succubus to alert Dein, Kex, Falrinth to the intruders' presence would be a first step.

Moving some of the creatures into tighter groups will bolster the defences - if one group is attacked, reinforcements arriving quickly will make for much tougher encounters (if that's what you're after).
Given that the Second is in command, and is highly intelligent but very alien and insane, I reckon the defences should be a little weird (apparent holes in the defences?) but show flashes of evil brilliance. You could work a true weakness in there too, if you need to throw your group a bone.
(Forces all clustered in one spot, allowing a handy teleport to pass most of them? )

Of course, this is all presuming your group get past Dein and his giants, or maybe Dein and his group go below rather than face attack by these intruders 'alone' - herding their slaves before them.

I lean towards some sort of 'lure' defence which seems beatable but turns horribly nasty (if you're using the Aboleth-Second illusions could be a major part of the 'lure' effect - e.g. illusory fire-guardians/elementals to draw spells or anti-fire buffs, then an ambush by <fill in some non-fire creature>.
The illusory fire-elemental thing could use up some spells which the group might need in the fire node (flash of evil foresight by the Second) if they get that far.

The long stairs that lead down towards the Greater Temple are a good place for any sizable forces to rally, with reinforcements possible from any of the side rooms.
The text specifically mentions the Ogre elite fighters being positioned here, waiting to charge up the stairs to join an ongoing fight.

Make full use of the Ogres' reach and flanking positions and give them some spell-support from one or more of the Doomdreamers. And keep hobgoblin and ogre overseers handy for use as shock-troops, or maybe in the case of the hobgoblins just as "human"-shields. Makes pegging the DDs with arrows of slaying a little tougher.

IMC I gave the Ogre elite (only the Ogre Fighters) the feat Large & In Charge from S&F, which will make them a fair bit tougher.

One particularly horrible troop combination is moving the two Iron Golems up to the Ropers' room (area 18? originally suggested by Andorax?). Are Ropers immune to poison?
If not, the golems might kill one or both of them inadvertently - golems are dumb. Maybe this is a 'weakness' in the tactical genius of the Second's defences? (but let's face it, chances are the Ropers will survive it anyway).

Or Kex plus golems (Kex mostly using his antimagic ray) - then again, I don't recall exactly what effect this has on golems - if they retain their DR in an antimagic area then how can you kill them? This is a party-killer if it works like this - sombody tell me it ain't so...

Or Kex plus Golems plus Ropers...but that's just plain evil.:evil

I'd script a reaction chain for when the PCs start to come downstairs something like this (but allow a couple of rounds' slippage for the chaotic nature of most of the beasties - they might not stay at their 'posts' all day):
1. A watcher (the succubus, A.N.Other) watches for lights at the top of the stairs (is this area 17?)
2. Watcher signals DDs and alerts grunts who either move into flanking positions in the side rooms (count rounds for movement) or are there already (count rounds for alerting them - teleport makes this quick, obviously).
3. DDs muster in one or more defensible areas where they'll be able to see (and target) any melee (if your group use light-sources, the DDs can lurk in the dark somewhere out of sight).
4. Horrible carnage ensues...

Grumgarr - who's glad you asked, cos he's in the same boat, more or less

Edited by: Grumgarr at: 2/27/03 5:20:00 am
Can't leave now (mod)
(2/27/03 7:18 am)
Re: Defending the Recovered Temple
IMC, I moved the beholder into the room with the two ropers. It was a very messy fight.

If you want to get nastier, you pair the iron golems up with the beholder nd put them on the stairs to the lower level. The golems are invulnerable to the anti-magic cone and the party won't be able to get through the golems' DR while their magic weapons don't work. Their only hope will be to use missile fire to drop the beholder. Meanwhile the golems close and wreak havoc.

Another particularly evil tactic I used was to have the two rakshasas pose as slaves, infiltrate the party, and ambush them when they least expect it. I killed one character this way (mostly because the party split up and he was vulnerable). That spell immunity is harsh.

The Recovered Temple is brimming with firepower, this is definitely one area where tactics can make for a tough fight. Only problem is that there really aren't any reinforcements available, so once the big guns go down, the party really has an advantage.

Also keep in mind that the DD's might very well abandon the upper level in order to defend the lower level. Once they realize the potency of the party, they will surely attempt to circle the wagons and move things ahead with all due haste. They have a couple of rituals to perform, so that can be one way you can clue in the party that they don't have time to make a lot of forays and retreats.

Be sure to throw in lots of ooky atmospherics, like drums beating, fires suddenly burning purple, a wave of negative energy washing over the party (only like a d6, but it should be a wake-up call) etc. IMC, the land surrounding the Temple caught fire.

Note that too much of this stuff can cause a party to go rushing in unprepared, so be careful with your pacing.

Good luck!

-Thrommel, playa killa.

Here for a while
(3/4/03 5:27 am)
Re: Defending the Recovered Temple
Thanks for the replies... My players head into what i believe may be their death tomorrow.... :evil

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