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Looking around
(3/11/03 12:00 pm)
Ulthwithian's Campaign Log, Take 2
All right. First, dramatis personae:

I. Sir Gwydion, Human Rgr1/Pal3 of Mayaheine, Shield Lands expatriate, going for Knight of the Chalice

Militant. Very militant. The player of Gwydion, Jeff French, is the core of any gaming group I play. He's in his mid-40s, ex-Marine recon, rather no-nonsense. Also a natural leader (IMO), and everyone trusts him. Likes playing Paladins, though is wondering if he should play a non-Paladin to get more out of his military experience.

Gwydion basically goes to Hommlet as a favor of the Church of Pelor, whose priest in Hommlet has received startling news from travelers.

II. Sylvina, Elven Rgr4, Celene Border Guard, going for Deepwood Sniper/Arcane Archer w/Inuki, wolf companion

Sylvina is played by my fiancee, Carol Selby, who comes from a WW background but is taking to 3E with more enthusiasm than I thought she would have. She likes having effective-to-the-point-of-scary characters, and generally likes to sneak.

Sylvina is traveling to Hommlet from the kingdom of Celene on a whim that an old fling of hers from 20 years ago, one human named Jaroo, has been sighted in the town. She is rather impetuous and headstrong (and very young for an elf).

III. Garsak, Human Abj4, also ex-Shield Lands, going for Incantatrix (Incantator?) w/weasel familiar named Wheezer.

Garsak is played by someone I met in an Anthropology class, Bill Bundy. Rather practical guy, but his background is almost all 2E, so we sometimes butt heads over how the rules work (or what a monster is like) in 2E rather than 3E. :rolleyes

Garsak travels to Hommlet to contact his mentor, Spugnoir, about the Incantator's Order he has heard about. Anything that increases Garsak's ability to help his homeland is okay in his book.

IV. "Joxer", Elven Rog4, from nowhere in particular, going for Temple Raider of Olidammara

"Joxer" is played by a friend from church, Jim (Seamus) Flynn, who is in his early 40s, and is the king of the offhand remark. When asked the name of his character, Seamus went on for about 15 seconds in Gaelic (which he's pretty proficient in), and then said, "But if you want a name to call me by, use Joxer." This is typical of Seamus. :D

"Joxer" is an elven rogue who wanders into Hommlet because he's looking for artifacts and relics from the old Temple. What does he do with them? Well, read on... ;)

So they all come into town. Garsak looks for accomodations along with Joxer, and go to the IotWW, while Gwydion and Sylvina head for appointments. Gwydion goes to Yether, and hears about rumors, while Sylvina heads for the Grove. There she meets Yundi, who tries to dissuade her from meeting Jaroo (trying to play him as the young human dazzled by the beautiful elf), but she does meet "Jaroo" finally, who is sort of noncommittal towards her. She leaves rather hurt, which Yundi tries to alleviate. (At least, that was the intention; I have no idea how much of that Carol caught.)

So they all get to the Inn of the Welcome Wench. Redithidoor is there, and his playing is SO bad Garsak literally pays him to go to Terrigan's to play. :D I loved that part.

Anyway, they get to meet most if not all the NPCs. They successfully 'chum up to' Xaod (nightmares notwithstanding), sort of look dubiously at Questin, and fend off Chatrilon at every turn. Gwydion didn't like him from day 1. Note that Gwydion likes to use his detect evil ability a lot, and may have used it on Chatrilon, but I figured that with Chatrilon's lack of people skills Dunrat loaned him the ring of mind shielding when Dunrat was not in public. So nothing, but Gwydion still didn't trust him. I guess I played up the 'sinister' thing well enough. Maridosen raised little suspicion. In the end, they decide to head to the Moathouse after Xaod said 'nothing but hobgoblins in the Temple' and decide to leave _really_ early in the morning in case Chatchkie (as a friend likes to refer to Chatrilon) still wanted to tag along (they really didn't want him going with them).

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Garsak did swing by Spugnoir's and found out he was missing.

Well, they meet up with 'ol' Del' and the word 'dragon' brings them ALL up short. As I thought he would, Gwydion pumped this guy completely dry, and so they got all the info... dragon, clerics w/ 'help', undead, the whole deal. So, they being the bright intrepid adventurers they are, they decide to wait until dark to sneak up on the dragon. I love my players not knowing very much about 3E stuff... specifically, draconic senses.

Please note no one in the party has darkvision.

So Joxer, invisible, and Sylvina (with Inuki) head down about an hour after dark towards the moathouse... where they see Utreshimon hovering over the moathouse courtyard. Uh oh. Initiative time.

Well, Utreshimon decides, with his surprise round, that he's just going to blast them with his breath weapon. I know how U's tactics are written in the book, but I played him as trying to deter the characters from disturbing his fun with the cultists.

Well, Joxer's invisibility is useless this close, but Utreshimon fails his Spot check vs. Sylvina (Cloak of Elvenkind GOOD!), so U decides to roast Joxer... who FAILS his Reflex save. So he's pretty toasty from the get-go. However, rolling an abysmally low Initiative for U, everyone else gets to go before his first normal action.

Sylvina casts Hunter's Mercy. In this campaign, Hunter's Mercy is 'if hit, then crit', not 'auto-hit, roll for crit'. I find the as-written spell kind of b-b-b-busted.

Joxer reaches into his HHH for a healing potion.

Garsak, Gwydion, and Xaod charge, but are like 400+ feet away.

U? Well, U just settles down into the courtyard, breaking LOS with Sylvina (who is not pleased).

Now, since she doesn't want to lose Hunter's Mercy, she moves to the doorway into the courtyard, fires, and hits for 20something damage from her arrow. This pisses U off no end.

IIRC, Joxer starts climbing the wall of the moathouse to get potshots in, and the others are arriving in due order.

Another note: the HPs for this game, at the time, worked on a 'auto-half, roll for other half' basis. That is, for a d8 hit die, they got 4 auto-magically and rolled a d4 for the other 4, thus generating anywhere from 4 to 8. To be fair, I did this for the monsters as well. This gave U about 142 HPs.

Well, U starts his hover thing and attacks I believe Gwydion, who uses +1 Full Plate, and my dice weren't rolling well, so it's not very effective.

Gwydion decides to Smite Evil, and CRITS _through_ the hovercloud. Another 20something damage off of U. (Gwydion and Joxer both have Blind-Fight, which definitely helped)

The rest of the combat is a blur, but Utreshimon actually died due to the heroics of the party and Xaod's warhorse. U got to use his breath weapon a second time but didn't kill anyone unfortunately.

At that point, we stopped the session. Only 4 or so sessions behind in reporting, but must go watch movie now. Report more in 2 hours or so.


Looking around
(3/14/03 4:53 am)
Those Poor Gnolls...
After killing Utreshimon, the party rather cursorily explores the upper story. They just basically looked in each room, said 'nothing is here', and moved on. Consequently, no fights, but no treasure. So they start going down the stairs by sending Sylvina first... who beats the Listen check of the gnolls and promptly skewers one with an arrow. It's not much of a fight after that.

After that little skirmish, they start exploring... and they choose to check out the east rather than the west of the room first. No Spugnoir yet. ;) Anyway, they fail to notice the Ghast in ambush, and so it attacks the scouter, Joxer. This is the first time that Joxer gets paralyzed by a Ghast. Since I mention it, you can guess it's not the last. Inuki, Sylvina's wolf, is also paralyzed in this fight, which stops Sylvina's rain of death long enough to drag her to safety. I think everyone in the party has a very high appreciation of the danger level of Ghouls and Ghasts after this fight. Please note that, since there is no real Cleric in the party, it's pretty hard for this group to deal with Undead 'usefully'. I shudder to think what they're going to do in Nulb...

So, after that little fight and failing to find the pillar secret door, they head up to the northeast door. Open that, go through there, and find Gren with her helpers. Well, the fight goes pretty standardly at first. Gren goes to get the skeletons (I used the template to actually make it 6 human skeletons and 1 ogre skeleton), and then Garsak summons 3 celestial badgers to 'help'. Well, since he can't speak Celestial, they just attack... blocking the door. This causes a tense moment since at this same point the human skeletons moved in and started something of a swarm. Then Xaod moves in and dusts ALL 6 human skeletons. Garsak then uses (and promptly falls in love with) Web, which catches Gren and basically removes her from the fight. It also incidentally covers the blanket with all the 'goodies'.

Anyway, fight more or less over. They clear the web without the use of fire (yeah, took a while), and grab the 'goodies'. They're sort of confused about some of the stuff (how confused you'll learn later) but grab it all. Joxer in particular was interested in getting the stuff.

So they continue, and Joxer (in the lead) spots the portcullis. Gwydion categorically refuses to let it remain operational behind him (I like Gwydion because he's rarely fooled, and quite cautious, which hopefully means they'll survive longer), so everyone turns to Joxer to 'take care of it'. In a scene right out of Mary Poppins, Joxer pulls out of his 'backpack' (a Heward's Handy Haversack) his 8' long long-handle thieves' tools and starts to tamper with it. And, in the space of 6 seconds, totally destroys the thing (I basically ruled he blocked the groove that it would fall in; important for later).

So they continue, find the 'door room', and spot the inattentive gnolls to the north. Plotting ensues. They decide to make Sylvina and Joxer invisible (via potion and spell), and get them to Coup de Grace some of the sleeping gnolls, their death screams the signal for Gwydion and Xaod to charge. Well, just for effect (the Gnolls' Listen checks are REALLY bad) I asked for Move Silently rolls.

Sylvina rolls a 2, Joxer a 1. However, with their modifiers, this STILL beats the Gnolls' Listen check of 3. They were all cursing and swearing and 'there goes that plan' until I said, "The gnolls don't appear to hear the collision in the corridor." At that point, fiendish grins bloomed on one and all.

Needless to say, the gnolls never had a chance.

Back to the door room, they start opening the doors, and when the 'trapped' door is opened, this awful screeching sound reverberates through the complex. Joxer, indeed, disabled the trap. He also alerted people to their presence (oops). Realizing the danger they're in, they start heading back the way they came, and bump into Garrik. A little imposing, but 5-on-1 odds isn't very good. Garrik falls.

They continue south, and get to 'the living chamber' room. They set off the trap, get all the stuff inside, and I hand them Geynor's Journal, where we stopped the session.

Has everyone else had REALLY a hard time grokking the Journal? My party (at the time) just floated over the 'flourmill' reference, though they latched on to Chatrilon really quick. Some thought that the Jeweled Scepter on the blanket was the Obelisk?!?! They kept prying me for information, but I had to keep a close watch on my tongue.

Anyway, next time will be the death of many a cultist... and nearly the death of the first PC.


Looking around
(3/14/03 5:01 am)
Few things...
Sorry, forgot to mention a few things at this point.

First, up to this point, Sylvina has missed all of once with her bow. She is _deadly_. BTW, both Gwydion and Sylvina are playing MC Rangers.

Second, at some point they went back to town, though not long enough to disturb the functioning of the moathouse. I believe it was right after killing Utreshimon. Deciding they didn't know who to trust, they decide to do all their plotting in the Druid Grove, which Jaroo did not mind as long as they respected the plants. Jaroo even offered to go buy some equipment for them so that Chatrilon couldn't try to weasel their way into the party. The party gratefully accepted. Needless to say, he went and informed the cultists immediately about the goings-on. :evil

Finally, this campaign is a lot rougher than the ones I usually run. It's helping me to understand exactly what parties can deal with, and what they can't. In that way it's an invaluable resource to me. Thanks, Monte. :D

Anyway, gotta run.


Still here? Wow.
(3/14/03 7:47 am)
Re: Those Poor Gnolls...
Good writeup!

"Well, since he can't speak Celestial, they just attack..."
Badgers, even Celestial badgers, aren't smart enough to talk anyway, IMO, though I suppose you could rule differently. I would at least think about this before your player learns Celestial.

If I read it correctly, the wagon should be showing up the next day. Have you planned yet for that? If you time it, you might find that the wagon shows up while the PC's are engaged below.

Looking around
(3/18/03 4:42 am)
About Celestial...
IMC, at least, Celestial creatures can _understand_ Celestial, even if they can't speak it. This way he can have more control over his summoned creatures, and I don't have to control them in combat. Besides, even if he shouldn't be able to do it now, it'll come in useful later anyway.

Since I enforced the rule, he picked up Celestial at 5th level. I think it's a good idea. ;)


Looking around
(3/18/03 5:40 am)
All right, having found Geynor's journal and being rather confused by it, they settled down to argue over whether or not they should return to town or not. They finally decide to keep going 'a little further'. So Garsak writes this letter to send back to Hommlet:

"I, Garsak, slayer of the blue dragon, smiter of undead, and opponent of the vile priests of the Temple of Elemental Evil, write this treaty with the purpose of declaring the state of the region of Hommlet to be unsafe. The once scattered and defeated forces of the Greater Evil are gathering forces to combat against the light.
My companions, noble paladins Sir Gwydion and Sir Xaod, wary yet wise Joxer, and always deadly Sylvina have uncovered troubling evidence to the existence of Dark forces. The dark forces of Iuz, Lolth, and Zuggtmoy are organizing and searching for scattered relics that heroes a score of years before had vanquished and cast into the depths of the earth. But now the Dark Lord's servants have found at least one such relic, the Dark Obelisk, amongst the ruins of the moat house. This is one of perhaps many such items that the agents in ochre robes press onward in the darkness to recover for the evil gods.
They have an unusual alliance with gnolls in scale armor and foul undead (ghasts, ghouls, and worse) in order to conquer the community of Hommlet. But luck is still smiling upon the faithful and bold, for a sinister blue dragon, Utreshimon, interrupted their planned assault upon Hommlet and slew their chief priest, Master Thaque, delaying their plans and leaving the cell temporarily leaderless. It seems that they have lost Gungash as well as Festrath, two important lieutenants.
Despite these timely, yet only temporary setbacks, the evil will not rest as their forces are many and well-organized. As of this moment two agents of the Dark Lord reside at the Inn: Chatrilon, the rogue, and possibly his gnome companion have served as spies and envoys to aid the dark cause.
Beware of the many ways of the Evil temple worshippers, their forces strike from shadow and darkness. Many more such agents may yet hide in plain sight.
Unfortunately, my companions and I are too occupied to deliver this in person. I still search for my missing mentor and friend, Master Spugnoir. But all is not lost; the forces at the moathouse are at the very least temporarily disrupted. And we may have recovered part of the Dark Obelisk. We will press on to destroy the remnants of this cell and report in person with all possible speed. If we do not appear before the next full moon, send a column of your most faithful and courageous followers to finish what we in our weakest hour could not accomplish."

"Faithful and Bold,

Garsak and Company"

Just thought that you guys might want to see this from the players' point of view for once. :) Anyway, I believe they decided then to go back and search all the side rooms they had gone past, and thus found Spugnoir. They obviously treated him nicely (though I played him a bit on the irascible side; think Zedd), and he went back to town, taking the letter with him.

At this point, they went back to where they had found the Journal and kept going. They thus ran into the Ghast on the stairs... which paralyzes Joxer. Sorry if I've commented on this before, but I find it heartening how the players will actually stop swinging at bad guys to pull their friends out of harm's way. In any event, this alerts Geynor and Ysslansh, who stop to cast Prot. from Good on themselves before investigating. Well, when you do HPs the way I do (see above), ghasts actually take a while to die. So they just finish it off when the Clerics arrive.

Who promptly die. You know, I thought they were supposed to be a bigger challenge than this. Everyone saves against the troglodyte stench, Geynor is whacked into next Tuesday so quickly it was really disheartening, and so only Ysslansh was left. He at this point had a 26 AC. This made it rather hard for the party to hit him, though Sylvina was still doing rather well. When the Prot. from Good wore off, he died rather quickly. When is +2 AC not a +2 to AC? When it halves (or more!) your chance to get hit. Yay, statistics. Let's carry on.

Anyway, not sure if this is before or after the above fight, but they also made their way to the secret altar, where they got to fight more undead... and the ghast paralyzes Joxer AGAIN. By this point, Joxer is really developing antipathy for Ghasts. I also gave the party a lesson in 5' stepping, when the Ghouls chased a retreating character through their lines (it wasn't a solid front line) and kept trying to hit him.

So they get to the Altar room. Joxer immediately looks for secret compartments in the statue-thing. And finds them. Since no one else is willing to enter the room with the altar, Joxer wraps each artifact up in the white blanket that he kept from Gren's room, and puts them in the HHH, and evades any question from the PCs on them. Luckily, most party members are too smart to try the 'bell, book, and candle' routine here, and it's soon a moot point anyway...

After this, they finally work up the courage to go into the obelisk chamber. They find the elevator/platform. Well, they all get on, start to lower themselves... and the grell attacks.

Now, I noticed that some of you had the Grell attack on the second platform. Did I misplay this? I think it's a little fairer this way, especially considering that my party was quite beat up at this point... they didn't need to fight _both_ the Grell and Festrath.

Anyway, the Grell attacks the Mage, paralyzes him, but the party manages to kill the creature (with ranged attacks, no less) before it manages to carry the Mage off. So they get down to the Obelisk itself (me being very careful not to call it the Obelisk), I think Joxer gets off to have a look around, notices the veins coming alive and starting towards him, and jumps back on the platform. The party goes back up, loots _every single corpse_ of _every single saleable item_ and goes back to town.

I'll talk about what happens back in town a little later. Ja mata ne.


Still here? Wow.
(3/18/03 7:01 am)
Re: Excelsior!
That letter from Garsak is great! Tell your player good job!

"I thought they were supposed to be a bigger challenge than this"
I'm guessing they didn't fight in the pit room? The clerics should've waited in ambush and not left the room. Did Ysslansh pull the levitating-while-holding-the-platform-aloft-in-obscuring mist-trick? Things would have gotten a lot more difficult with one of the paladins 60ft below on top of the obelisk.

"Now, I noticed that some of you had the Grell attack on the second platform. Did I misplay this?"
I think the module actually says it will attack on the second platform, but either way is fine. There is no "misplaying" it, so don't worry about it. :)

Here for a while
(3/18/03 7:18 am)
>That letter from Garsak is great! Tell your player good >job!

Yeah, I was very happy with it. I believe he's going to get bonus XP for it, which will almost certainly go to making more Potions. This may work quite well if it continues. Note no real Healer in party (though almost everyone can use CLW wands).

>"I thought they were supposed to be a bigger challenge >than this"
>I'm guessing they didn't fight in the pit room? The >clerics should've waited in ambush and not left the >room.

Well, by the module they go to investigate if they hear the ghast fight, which they did. So I let them cast Prot. from Good and go investigate.

>Did Ysslansh pull the levitating-while-holding-the->platform-aloft-in-obscuring mist-trick? Things would >have gotten a lot more difficult with one of the >paladins 60ft below on top of the obelisk.

Obviously he did not. I was aware of this trick by reading the boards, but I followed the module on this one. Besides, Gwydion would have been too smart for that, I _think_. Gwydion is too smart, Joxer doesn't rush people, Garsak fires spells, and Sylvina fires a bow, so the only person who could have been caught by this was Xaod.

I did mention the possibility of this to Gwydion's player about a week after the session, and :lol you should have seen how big his eyes got. I don't think he really likes me reading the stuff here.

>"Now, I noticed that some of you had the Grell attack >on the second platform. Did I misplay this?"
>I think the module actually says it will attack on the >second platform, but either way is fine. There is >no "misplaying" it, so don't worry about it.

Not all that worried, but it did convince the group to return to town, and that may have been for the good. Anyway, trying to read up for when the campaign gets going again. I'll try to write up the rest of the events shortly.

Thanks for the feedback. :) It's really appreciated.


Here for a while
(3/19/03 7:59 pm)
Going back to town...
All right, so the group goes back to town with 'gobs o' stuff' and settle down to try to change it back into cash... which they find hard to do. They end up putting 900gp worth of the stuff in store credit (they use that to buy horses and stuff), but I've made plain there's only so much they can buy.

Anyway, they rest up to 'go back' to the moathouse. They are on an inverse sleep schedule due to waiting for nightfall to assault the moathouse/U. So when they wake up they decide to go back to the Temple of Pelor 'one last time' (I think to try to get Endure Cold cast on all party members to outwit the cold of the chamber)... where 'Elmo' greets them and tells them that Jaroo needs them in the grove immediately.

Well, they go to the grove, where an ambush by the cult in town greets them (I got this idea from the board, don't remember who, thanks to all). Arranged in a semicircle about 50' away from the party is Vacra, Maridosen, Dunrat, Grune, Toridan, and Chenashi (not in that order, I don't think). Chatrilon is already invisible, and a few buff spells have been cast. At this point, initiative is rolled (I ruled it wasn't surprise because 'Elmo' had told them something was up, and it was sufficient to warn them off). BTW, 'Elmo' had been bringing up the rear 'to deter anyone (Chatchkie) from following them'.

In the first round, Garsak hits negatives from 'Elmo' (the doppelganger) wailing on him and Vacra shooting Magic Missiles at him. The party learned a valuable lesson from that one, let me tell you... Chenashi and Dunrat both throw spells, neither work (this party has good Will saves, by and large), and Maridosen starts her bowfire. Sylvina begins the rain of death, Toridan rages and charges Sylvina, Gwydion goes over and chops up the Doppelganger, Xaod lays hands on Garsak, and Garsak cuts loose with a Web.

To give you some idea how this is set up, I have an dry-erase mat with squares on it, perfect for this. I just put pennies on squares in random locations to mark trees, and then asked the players to place themselves on the map. I then placed the opponents. Now, Web is described as a '20' radius burst' but requires it to be anchored on two opposing surfaces... is the burst in a plane or a genuine burst? Basically, Garsak targeted two opposing trees and I ruled it covered the entire 20 foot burst from the target point. Seems a little busted if you ask me...

anyway, if you've taken a look at the cultists in town, they're basically not-high Str people with poor Reflex saves, which means Web is highly effective against them.

The Web takes Maridosen, Toridan, and Dunrat out of the fight temporarily.

At this juncture, Chatrilon has had enough time to study an opponent for the sneak attack... and I choose Joxer to attack. So, I roll, hit easily, and ask for the Fort save, which Joxer naturally fails. I then felt like a TPK DM, so I decided that the cult wanted prisoners, so I opted for paralysis rather than death (but please see below).

People see this, freak out, and gang up on Chatrilon. By Chatrilon's next action, he is able to turn invisible with 1HP left. Garsak on his action points out that weasels have the Scent feat, and asks Weezer to sniff out Chatrilon, which he does, and Garsak uses the information to MM Chatrilon, who dies.

Vacra, meanwhile, uses Burning Hands (anyone ELSE think her as-listed prepared spells are USELESS?) to burn away the Web, injuring the people in it slightly but that is considered preferable to the alternative. Inuki is actually able to fend off Chenashi fairly well, and Toridan and Gwydion go at it for a while.

Garsak then throws a second Web which catches half of the people again.

From there it's basically mop-up.

Now, as to what happens actually with Joxer... see, I screwed up. Joxer has Uncanny Dodge I, which among other things allows him to keep his Dex bonus to AC when attacked by an Invisible target.

Which means he had his AC for when Chatrilon attacked.
As he was not also flanking Joxer, Chatrilon could not Sneak Attack him.
As the attack was not a sneak attack, it therefore could not be a Death attack.
Which means Joxer was shorted 20something HPs and 3 rounds of action due to a mistake on my part.

Anyway, that's the story to this point... I have one more log to write before I get back up to 'current'.

Write more soon.


Here for a while
(3/21/03 11:07 am)
All right, as I said, when Garsak got hit by the MMs, the party learned a valuable lesson; namely, that when you get magic items, USE THEM. Having retrieved Garrik's Brooch of Shielding from his cold, dead body _and_ having Identified it, they should have given it to Garsak, the MM Magnet (really, Mages are).

So, in the cleanup from the fight, they find the chest from the flourmill in the Grove (Dunrat was getting ready to 'clear out' and so brought the chest with him) and they got his note. Sylvina knows how to get to Rastor, and since she's really quite put out with the cult for killing Jaroo (they found his body in the grove as well), she basically bullies the party into going to Rastor to track down this cult (which doesn't take much, admittedly).

Please remember that at this point they still haven't met Festrath, so they don't have that note. Also somewhat interesting (not to mention funny) is the fact that after this fight the party was becoming quite paranoid. Gwydion was coming to the conclusion that they should kill the entire town because there was no way to figure out who was really people and who were impostors. :lol I really got a kick out of that.

After this point the party levelled up to 5th (save Xaod, who I give Cohort xp), and Sylvina took her second Favored Enemy in Shapechangers. Gotta love Revenge as a motive. :D Garsak completes the prereqs for Incantator, Gwydion continues going up in Paladin, and Joxer finishes his prereqs for Temple Raider.

Oh, yeah, an interlude of sorts before this fight. While the party was resting, Joxer was awoken by masked men in his room that he hadn't heard. They identify themselves as members of the Church of the Laughing Rogue and ask Joxer to prove his commitment to Olidammara, at which point Joxer turns over the artifacts from the secret altar room to them. They take them all save the bead, and thank him, then leave.

So, anyway, the 'morning after', cooler heads prevail, and the entire town is NOT slaughtered outright. :p They leave to journey to Rastor.

Well, on the way they meet up with a random fight, a Huge Monstrous Spider. Does anyone ELSE think they're not exactly an EL 4 monster? Well, it starts 400' away, and Sylvina with her Far Shot _still_ can't miss, and when it finally gets in melee range... oh dear, the gruesomeness. It hits Xaod (who was in the way between it and Sylvina) and poisons him bad, Inuki tries to bite it, and its AoO drops her to 0. However, this uses up the AoO so Gwydion charges and connects, Sylvina keeps up the arrow storm, and Joxer even circles around and successfully Sneaks it with a bowshot.

So the end result of the fight is Inuki having lost Strength and at 0HP (she played dead after the AoO), Xaod at 0 Strength (thus useless), and no other real damage. However, having no ability to heal ability damage, they turn back to Hommlet, which is where we ended the last session.

Now, I have a few questions for the ever-so-more-talented gamemasters on this board. I believe the group plans to return to the moathouse to fully check out the obelisk chamber, and that's good. I'll probably have them 'run into' the cart squad there. My question, though, is that can any of you think of a way to deflect them towards Nulb? That may be a slaughter to them considering their lack of clerical abilities, but at the very least I'd like them to clear out the old Temple for some useful XP and equipment.

Any ideas?

Also, ideas about Rastor and pointers as to exactly what can go wrong with CRM insertion would be appreciated. Thanks!


Still here? Wow.
(3/21/03 11:18 am)
"...Joxer even circles around and successfully Sneaks it with a bowshot"

How does this work? Do you allow flanking with ranged weapons?

"My question, though, is that can any of you think of a way to deflect them towards Nulb? That may be a slaughter to them considering their lack of clerical abilities, but at the very least I'd like them to clear out the old Temple for some useful XP and equipment."

Did you mean away from Nulb? If so, have them run into Kella the druid, who can also help with some of the ability damage via lesser restoration. She would warn them about the dangers of Nulb, that she has seen powerful undead there (wraiths and wights) and advises against it until the group is more experienced. She might even help them out with the temple by pointing out some of its defenses and a general layout, though the party could also get this information from Elmo and Xaod.

Here for a while
(3/21/03 11:36 am)
"How does this work? Do you allow flanking with ranged weapons?"

If the attack comes from the opposite corner of a threatening melee attacker, yes. I believe that's in Song & Silence, isn't it? He was directly opposite Gwydion, and he did take the -4 penalty for firing into a melee, and he was within 30', so I don't see any reason for NOT giving him the flank and thus sneak attack, ne?

Now, if it had been just him and Sylvina on opposite sides of the spider, no flank there.

"Did you mean away from Nulb? If so, have them run into Kella the druid, who can also help with some of the ability damage via lesser restoration. She would warn them about the dangers of Nulb, that she has seen powerful undead there (wraiths and wights) and advises against it until the group is more experienced. She might even help them out with the temple by pointing out some of its defenses and a general layout, though the party could also get this information from Elmo and Xaod. "

Actually, I guess what I meant was towards the Temple and not towards Nulb... this helps, really, using Kella. Thanks. :) I can guide them to take a detour around Nulb and so they can hit the temple...

though a problem may have is that they may not even want to go near the old temple. I relied on revenge to give Sylvina an enduring motive to take out the cult, but it may bite me in the ass because she's running with it hook, line, and sinker and I have a feeling that once they get to Rastor they won't want to go back to Nulb and the Temple...

I think my best bet would be to prod Joxer to 'go pick things over just once' at the Temple, since he likes to get his hands on 'rare antiquities'.

Sound plausible? Maybe I can have Xaod talk to Joxer about what he saw in the Temple....

Oh yeah, and thanks for the quick reply. :)


Still here? Wow.
(3/21/03 12:01 pm)
Re: Ah...
As the party leaves the moathouse, they can run into Kella, changing shape from, say, a lion into herself, and out of breath. "Quick! A couple of merchant wagons were seized by the hobgoblins at the temple!" She can then lead them through the forest path and to the temple. There she might help with a couple of buff spells and promise to help them if they return (some healing, lesser restorations, or even reincarnation if you want), but wouldn't join in the actual fight. After all, she is the last line of defense for the forest. She also might be aware of greater things with the cult and doesn't want to let on yet and she cannot risk herself.

Re: the ranged sneak attack
That's cool, I didn't remember seeing that rule in S&S. I'll have to look it up. Btw, if the spider was large and there was a 5x5 section of the spider (who is 10x10) not in a threatened square, then he would not get the -4 penalty.

It seems like you have a great game going. I look forward to reading more about it! I hope you don't mind the interruptions. :)

Here for a while
(3/21/03 12:04 pm)
Re: Ah...
"How does this work? Do you allow flanking with ranged weapons?"

If the attack comes from the opposite corner of a threatening melee attacker, yes. I believe that's in Song & Silence, isn't it? He was directly opposite Gwydion, and he did take the -4 penalty for firing into a melee, and he was within 30', so I don't see any reason for NOT giving him the flank and thus sneak attack, ne?

I think this is a common house rule, but I'm pretty sure by the RAW, you can only flank with melee weapons--you and your opponent have to threaten (in the official RAW AoO sense) the foe's square from 180 degree directions.

You can still sneak with a ranged weapon w/in 30', but you have to catch them flat-footed against you (winning Init in the first round, invis, etc).

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Here for a while
(3/21/03 12:29 pm)
:o Wow, I just reread the part about flanking in Song & Silence, and you're right.. heh. That's so weird, because that's the way we've _always_ played flanking... ah well. I think I'll keep playing it the same way, because it'll just confuse people now. I'm the resident 3E guru, and so I feel really bad missing this. :|

Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


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