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Waldo
Looking around
(3/28/03 12:09 am)
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Help needed with Earth Temple
Ok here's the deal, my players stormed through the Earth Temple and managed to kill everything, all the regular Trogs, the unique guys, the cleric at the ziggurat and his buddies, everything pretty much. Except, as a bizare mix of timing and luck would have it they never once ran into Uskathoth. So right now, the Earth Temple has been totally eraditcated except for Uskathoth (and his pets I guess). So what does poor Uskathoth do? The PCs did not destroy the altar or free the prisoners and Uskathoth now has all the Swordmaster's gear in his possession (long story), and by the time the PCs get back a week's worth of reenforcements will have arrived. So given the circumstances, can anyone suggest what Uskathoth does now? What's his plan? I'm kinda at a loss here

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/28/03 1:37 am)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
One of the Bridges has a visitor, Reokallitan, a cleric/rogue.

He'll be pulled in, ASAP.

The altar might be used to summon a xorn. Given the scarcity of normal grunts, you might consider upping it a bit and slapping the half-fiend template to the thing.

Otherwise, I'd add a troll, plain and simple. Or maybe buy some forces from the Earth Bridge.

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

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(3/28/03 2:05 am)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
dunno

i'd handle it differently i think

all the forces except for Usk have been killed, so that's just one 'poor' trog remaining, with a lot of gear.

abandon the temple completely, the altar is still there in case the doom dreamers ever want to repopulate the temple like last time when the fire temple killed nearly everything in there

one week isn't enough to restock it, and hiring mooks from other locations leaves those weakened

i believe it should be left empty, and have Usk join another force (probably a bridge complex)

i also don't think that there's enough time to summon another Xorn, since i thought the altars only worked like once per week, so i'd recommend against it

just leave an empty temple complex in its wake, no need to restock it poorly, just to give the pcs some more xp or treasure... they won, let em enjoy it... if they were gone a month or so, the temple could be properly restocked, but a week just won't do

have Usk ransack all remaining rooms and take the treasure. He might need it to bribe his way into the bridge complex or past some nasty monsters or enemies in the mines

just my thoughts again

Zenon
Here for a while
(3/28/03 5:02 am)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
Hmm, I'd agree with Siobharek in part.

I would have Uskathoth get word to Reokallitan, the trog cleric/rogue to rejoin him. Trade the prisonerss to the Water Temple for some gold, gather up any gear and have Uskathoth and Reokallitan go on a recruiting mission outside the CRM. This will make the Earth Temple look abandoned for now.

I'd look at what forces they can gather in about four weeks - possibly they head to the nearby Orc tribe to negotiate recruiting some forces from there and training them.

You could have word of this able to get back to the PC's if they visit Rastor via the two Orc hunters that frequent the town. Perhaps they are buying supplies or talk it up too much while they're drunk at the Inn in Rastor so you can spill a little of what is going on to the PC's so they can see the CRM is a living place.

After four weeks or so (plot it on a calendar), have the "new" Earth Temple force attempt to retake their "holy" ground.

smetzger
Here for a while
(3/28/03 7:31 am)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
I agree, he should be MIA for awhile while he recruits new forces. I think its important to not just have new recruits materialize, sure some just wander in from the outside, but most of them should be actively recruited and that takes resources.

Waldo
Looking around
(4/20/03 8:48 pm)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
Update:

Thanks for all the help guys but it actually hasn't come up yet. My freinds and I have had little oppurtunity to game since I posted this and when we did it was dominated by a PvP incident. The only development was an encounter with the cave apes which left 2 PCs and all the regular apes dead. Also, I forgot to mention earlier that the Uskathoth also has Mikolak's gear as well as the swordmaster's.

So here is the current state of things: Uskathoth has the gear and funds of the swordmaster, mikolak, 2 PCs, and a handful of regular trogs. In addition to his own stuff and the prisoners this guy has quite a lot now. Also, since the master ape is weakened and alone, I've been thinking of letting Uskathoth using some of his amassed wealth to purchase a scroll of charm monster or somthing like that. The PCs have no idea Uskathoth exists so he might be able to lay a pretty good trap for them given his resources. Does anyone have any suggestions what he might do under the new circumstances? And please, I'd rather not have him bide his time for months

Waldo
Looking around
(4/24/03 4:09 pm)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
Well my game is tommorow so for lack of a better idea I'll get Uskathoth to set up an ambush with Trogs and the Master Ape, possibly I'll get a Xorn in there too depending on the circumstances of the ambush. Anyone have any suggestions on where to place the ambush?

Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 8:34 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
First and foremost, he must get Reokallitan back. Secondly, summon a xorn (killing the prisoners). Despite the suggestion, I would not put any template on it for fear of doing it on the air elemental, salamanders, etc., until you're boosting everything! Just kidding, there, Siobharek. ;)

After that, you have two choices:

1. Uskathoth fights back with some assembled force. I don't think there is enough time to obtain any additional forces besides a xorn and Reokallitan, unless he can buy some from the air bridge complex. The master ape would not work with anyone or anything. Sure, he's intelligent, but he's intelligent for an ape. Unless you say that Uskathoth uses speak with animals, he can't even communicate with the thing. He would assuredly have Reokallitan with him before he even tried, and then you should seriously consider how the ape would react (remember that a group just attacked and killed all the other apes). By far, the best place for an ambush is the altar. That DC 17 cause fear each round is nasty.

2. Approach the party. Give them information on the air bridge complex and the water temple, and encourage them to continue their efforts there. Possibly even give them a couple of items in order to get them to leave you alone. I would still have Reokallitan and the xorn with me, however, just in case. Give Uskathoth Meld With Stone instead of the second, erroneous rage, and have Reokallitan do the talking (attempting to hide, of course, or perhaps just from atop the altar). Reokallitan can even say he is the last one, I bet the party will never realize that the high cleric still lives.

Oh yeah, don't forget the pets. :-)

Waldo
Looking around
(4/24/03 8:57 pm)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
"The master ape would not work with anyone or anything."

Hence I thought Uskathoth might use some of his now large wealth to purchase a scroll of charm monster or somthing similar. It's a bit of a stretch but Reokallitan is just too tough to be put in. My PCs are only 6th lvl, throwing in mr.CR9 would make the encounter a bit too hard for them. So while the ape thing is a little weird I'd rather go this way because I want the ambush to be tough but not too tough.

Edited by: Waldo at: 4/24/03 9:06:45 pm
Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 9:04 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
Unfortunately, charm monster is not a clerical spell. Animal friendship is restricted to druids and rangers, so Uskathoth can't use them. It's possible that Reokallitan might have use magic device, but I doubt it, nor would I think Uskathoth would risk it. That would be very dangerous. Don't just assume that everything works out for the bad guys all the time just so the super-ambush can be setup. This is why I'd suggest the second alternative (i.e. no ambush). This would be an interesting turn of evens for the players and probably make it more fun. It would help them think that other options exist besides combat all the time.

In any case, the ambush I outlined above, on the altar, with Reokallitan, Uskathoth, a xorn, and the pets would not be easy. Additional trogs wouldn't even be necessary. The only other suggestion would be for Uskathoth to have a prisoner handy to use as a hostage when things go bad. The only mooks I think that Uskathoth can get to at the moment are those in the air bridge complex. The PC's have the main gate pretty much under control, right?

Waldo
Looking around
(4/24/03 9:08 pm)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
You just missed my revision, yes I agree Reokallitan is not too easy. In fact I think he's a bit too tough. So now I'm really at a loss. Mainly I just want to have some kind of battle happen so I won't have to back track and dish out this huge pile of loot months from now

Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 9:23 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
Reokallitan is actually CR 8 (per the errata), but you're right, CR 8 + CR 7 = CR 9. That coupled with the altar might be too tough. The master ape, however, is CR 7, so he will not be much different. Given the new information (your desire to not have to backtrack), I would setup the ambush as I suggested (or a similar one). However, Reokallitan should be injured or at least he or Uskathoth need to use up some spells before the party gets there. His arrival could coincide with the party's arrival. Let's face it, a trip around the mines for Reokallitan could be quite dangerous. Because of this, you could feasibly lower the danger of the encounter, and thus the amount of XP you award. Definitely don't add any other mooks.

The other alternative is to not use Reokallitan yet (either the message never arrived or Reokallitan died on the way back) and have Uskathoth hire away some of the air bridge's mooks.

Waldo
Looking around
(4/25/03 6:29 am)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
Well if it was just Uskathoth, Reokallitan, and the Trogs that would be fine, but the Xorn makes it too tough. The altar isn't really an issue because none of the PCs are good (Well one is but he probably won't last too long, he's currently concocting a plan he thinks will let him safely fly around the crater). I'd rather not make Reokallitan too easy if I can save him for later so rather than weaken him I'll just use either him or the Xorn but not both. Reokallitan would be interesting but the Xorn's abilities also work well for a unexpected trap. So now I'm left with a choice, should the trap be set with Uskathoth and Trogs + Reokallitan or Uskathoth and Trogs + Xorn?

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(4/25/03 6:35 am)
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Re: Help needed with Earth Temple
If you could, leave out the xorn, and have Reokallitan carry a document hinting at his mission with the Earth Bridge. That way you'll give a hint to the dynamic nature of the dungeon.

The document might contain a promise from Eeridik to supply potions for the Earth Temple at reduced rates. Or simply a pledge to "the mighty Uskathoth" that the Earth Bridge complex will always provide free passage for the valiant delvers" of the Temple of Earth.

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

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