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Surrealfish
Looking around
(4/14/03 5:08 pm)
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A Players Summary
We've just finished Return, and our GM gave us full permission to come in here and see what other people have done with the same set of adventuring material.
I trust our GM completely to do a very good job with the supplied game, and he included several alterations to it including using the power gems as binders to contain Imix, and a lightning area where metal plates covered the ground in place of what he described as a "fairly boring area".

The final fight was fairly large, and we did on a weekend evening to ensure we could fit it into one session. From the lack of adventure-ending posts I see on the board, I thought you We've just finished Return, and our GM gave us full permission to come in here and see what other people have done with the same set of adventuring material.
I trust our GM completely to do a very good job with the supplied game, and he included several alterations to it including using the power gems as binders to contain Imix, and a lightning area where metal plates covered the ground in place of what he described as a "fairly boring area".
I thoroughly enjoyed Return to Temple, as did the entire group. The encounter levels were fairly well balanced, and we especially liked the mix of "mooks" amongst the tougher foes throughout the Mines.

The final fight was fairly large, and we did on a weekend evening to ensure we could fit it into one session. From the lack of adventure-ending posts I see on the board, I thought you might appreciate how the end of our campaign looked.

At the entry into the recovered temple we were a rather large group who had suffered some large casualties and thus the lower level characters:
Human Cleric 12 (Kelanen) - Myself
Human Cleric 10 (pelor)
Dwarf Fighter 7/Rogue 1/Barbarian 2
Human Monk 12 (had a prestige class - I forget which one)
Elf Wizard 9/Elementalist 3
Hound-archon 10
Human Sorceror 12 (with a prestige class summoner)

We used the monk and hound archon as scouts who were effective in scouting out, thus enabling us to destroy the ogre elites without taking any casualties, same for some more ogres guarding the hobgoblins - accidently killing Kella in the process (fireball and then the hound archon bit her head off before she had an action to polymorph back). The first problem we encountered was against 9 stone giants and their magi. However, recognising this as a large fight, out came the 5th and 6th level spells and we killed them with few problems. We continued onwards and the hidden earth elemental nearly killed the monk before we could smash it.
The biggest problem was the Beholder - it encountered us in a corridor where its main eye ensured we had to close with it, thus it deathspelled our monk and was looking nasty till a well placed crit killed it off - love that keen/improved crit greatsword. Afterwards, when Falrinth and friends ambushed us on our way to walk out, we nearly lost a couple of people before some see invisibilities on the close combat people ensured a quick death to the doom dreamer and spugnoir, while Falrinth fled for his life.
We rested up overnight and continued in for the last time. I was impressed we only had to pull back once in the entire recovered temple - although that could be put down to having 7 people.

Going down into the last level, the ropers were easy, the iron golems just couldn't hit the high ac of pumped clerics, and the ogre elites died to constant fireballs.
We encountered the 4 remaining doom dreamers alongside 4 huge fire elementals. We had thought this would be a hard fight, so we targetted the clerics. Our cleric of pelor fired off a couple of hold persons and got lucky on both of them, enabling some summoned Girillons to tear them to shreds, while one fled after having healed himself and got smashed again to nearly dead. The fire elementals got dismissed or blade barriered to death, but just as the last one was killed...

The cleric of Pelor goes wandering down a tunnel and sees Imix coming right for him. He flees back into the party as Imix storms out. Meanwhile, "Zuggtmoty" emerges from the curtain while had been busy grappling with summoned Girillons for some time. The illusion of Zuggtmoty doesn't confuse many people, and the Aboleth shows itself informing everyone that it is time...and the gong begins in the background.

I open up with a harm spell on Imix, using the modified version (10 hp /level max) for 120 damage, slicing through his spell resistance. The monk spring attacks off him, using a three-sectioned staff +4 to chip in. Then it's Imix's turn. He full attacks me (as I did a 3rd of his hp in damage) and hits 3 times for 90 damage, killing me outright. I wasn't terribly impressed, as I was wandering around with 37 ac at the time. Imix cleaves and just about kills the other cleric.
Meanwhile everyone else pounds Imix with high end spells, he absorbs many of them with his high saves but is getting whittled down. Imix is seriously wounded, and flees into the inner sanctum where Lareth is ready to finish the ritual, leaving the Aboleth to hold the curtain. Bad idea.

The monk tumbles into the area, smashing Imix again and then leaping upon lareth only to hit a wall of force and collapse to the ground.
The cleric of pelor goes for the desperate shot and flame strikes Imix and the Aboleth, finishing off the Aboleth which had been getting pounded from our Dwarven fighter, and the divine damage from the flame strike was enough to slay Imix - just as Lareth let down his force wall to throw the orb to him...bouncing off Imix's dead chest and clattering onto the floor.
Lareth, poor mortal that he is, then gets obliterated by the combined firepower of the group, finally getting beheaded by the hound-archon wielding my clerics greatsword.

In summary, I'd say Imix is tough, but not that tough - he doesn't have the Hp to survive multiple clerics with harm, and his spell resistance is a tad low. But if he had arrived even one round earlier when there were still doomdreamers around, it would have been an entirely different story. Lareth is a wuss, but that could have been due to the fact he only had 6 seconds worth of actions in the entire fight.

If you would like any run downs on how certain elements (no pun intended) came through in other parts of the adventure, just ask - I'll be less verbose next time.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/15/03 6:36 am)
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Re: A Players Summary
Welcome, congratulations, and no need to be less verbose...we LIKE verbose here.

My group is just now about to enter the Greater Temple (via a stoneshape...the entrance is currently blocked by a Wall of Force). They've seen three DD clerics in there, but have no idea about the Aboleth behind the curtain, or of Kex the Beholder hiding in the passage leading to the Fire Node.


Don't feel too bad about Kella...by now, you guys are able to wipe out normal ogres pretty quickly. In my group's case, she was dropped into negatives but not killed outright by a barrage of fireballs from the Invisible Tsindin the Sorceress.


If you'd really like to know how other groups have done at RttToEE, there's several campaign logs here. I think mine holds the record for the longest, but it's been being built on for nearly a year and a half now, so it's that way by rights (Andorax's Sunday Night Campaign).


I guess one of my biggest questions is...did you feel like you had a good sense of direction in the adventure? Did you always have at least *some* idea of what to do next, where to go?

A close second to that is...did your group get emotionally "caught up" in the story? Did you feel a sense of urgency about completing your task? Did you get a deep, personal dislike of any of the enemy NPCs?

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

msherman
Here for a while
(4/15/03 6:44 am)
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Re: A Players Summary
How do you think you guys would have managed with a second Elemental Prince in the fight? I've got a sub-plot going in my game that may or may not result in the Air node getting opened, as well.

Surrealfish
Looking around
(4/15/03 1:12 pm)
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Re: second lord and group enjoyment
Cheers guys.

Yeah, Kella was pretty funny dying too quickly, Mother Y'day was a bit embarrassed when she raised her back later...

We did feel like there was a good sense of direction and what to do - our Gm didn't need to prod us along too much, the unsubtle notes left in Hedracks quarters and the Doomdreamers spire filled in any blanks we had. The big thing we missed right up until the spire was the torches of revealing - we barely used them at all. This didn't 'appear' to hinder us too much however. We did get caught up quite well in it, although not emotionally charged, we often stretched our limits to ensure we got more done inside a days adventuring simply to hurry our passage towards saving the world.

As for hating certain NPC's, well, we didn't tend to get many bad guys returning to try and kill us later, simply because we tended to overrun their section of the crater area or temple. D'gran escaped us, and with scrying we found him trying to become the champion and limped off into the night never to return. Chymon was killed very quickly and we beheaded him/her and disposed of the head to ensure no raise dead. Funnily enough, she/he came back as a big skeleton, minus the bite attack...
The big ones we hated were the lead doom dreamers. We encountered them when they were fully buffed up, we had two killed, I was force caged (but teleported out - yah for travel domain) and another held and captured. We had to flee, but went back in within an hour to catch them off guard, minus their buff spells. Worked a charm - but they were the ones who really gave us a good run.

Oh yeah, and Lareth deserves special mention. We hated him from the outset since we thought he was a simple evil herbalist who refused to sell us herbs. Thus, when we encountered him in the recovered temple, cries of "Kill the bad herbalist" were abound...

The other thing of interest was - most of our group was neutral, with a couple of Good aligned people (monk and hound-archon) to act as our conscience. This meant we happily dealt with evil people who didn't lie or act overtly destructive. Thus we dealt quite happily with Varachan and even went out of our way to save him after he had been ratted out. This helped a lot in getting certain pieces of information, however we pretty much just charged into most fights - the only prep work we tended to take right up until the recovered temple, was to cast all our buff spells.


msherman, as silly as it sounds, I'd say the presence of another Lord is entirely dependent on the group makeup, and how well they plan ahead. We lacked significant numbers of +3 weapons - in fact the only ones we had were from my GMW on my Greatsword and the monks three sectioned staff plus the cleric of Pelors mace. As for spells, we were lucky in that our mage liked to cast mass haste which is VERY nasty, plus had energy admixture so was casting fireballs using lightning - which he had memorised due to the knowledge that the fire node was open. But we were very fighter-light (and thus hitpoint light), only one fighter/barbarian, with clerics doubling as warriors. For most of the campaign we didn't even have a fighter! Just hordes of rogues, bards, sorcerors etc.
In our group - we would have struggled with another Lord, simply because a full attack round from Imix would kill any one member of the party. Double that and we die quite quickly. But, that said, given ten-fifteen minutes to teleport back for resurrections we could have taken one with a bit of difficulty but I would have been fairly confident.

Oh yeah, on a side note, we almost always used our cleric spells as their memorised useage, rarely as actual healing except in combat. We had many wands of cure light wounds which were used post-combat. At 500gp a pop you might only get 3-4 fights out of the 170+hp warrior, but it lengthens your PC's adventuring time by a lot more.

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