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srmilich
Here for a while
(4/20/03 6:57 am)
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Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Return to the Temple Of Elemental Evil Campaign Log –

Before I begin, I just wish to point out that this is the first ever time that I have Dm’ed, and I approached the task with some trepidation. All the members of my gaming group have had a go at this role, and some of them are quite good, I was kinda worried about sucking hardcore. :D
I decided on RtToEE as my first campaign, as although it is very large, it is very much predesigned, meaning I am not going to have to make stuff up on the fly very much.

The first session went very well, lasting about 12 or 13 hours! I had warned all my players that backup characters would be required, and that min/maxing was encouraged for PC survival. In that time, we managed to get through almost all of the Moathouse, and I exceeded my expectation of two PC deaths, by managing a 75% death rate of the party. (One of the deaths I can’t really claim, I may put it down to player tiredness, as she was doing some really silly stuff).

Anyhoo, on with the log….

Our heroes:

Ian : A human Cleric4 of Pelor
Dr Zane: A gnomish wizard4
Shiriki: A human Rgr1/Rog1/Wiz2 (Always changing appearance/name – going for shifter PrC)
Inuyasha: Human Monk4 -- (Going for for Shintao monk PrC (from OA)), kinda amusing as it requires LG alignment and the guy playing him tends to go evil a lot. He jokes he has a chip installed like Spike from buffy that keeps zapping him when he thinks evil thoughts, pretty entertaining)

Our heroic adventurers arrived in Hommlet in midafternoon having journeyed from Verbobonc for approximately 5 days. They were led by Ian, a priest of Pelor, having been sent by his superiors to investigate problems in the areas surrounding Hommlet. Upon arrival, the group first went to visit Yether the Keen, who informed them of sighting ochre-robed men on the roads east of town. He also asked them to talk to Captain Elmo for more information. They eventually went to the Inn of the Welcome Wench to obtain rooms and to wait for Captain Elmo.


Whilst waiting they did a fair bit of eating and drinking, not too much action at all. Ian attempted to ask various locals what they knew of the robed men or of the hobgoblins in Nulb, getting only blank stares in return. A quite amusing moment occurred when Redithidoor began his nightly performance (especially as our group of players hate bards with the passion of a thousand suns!!), only to be stopped by Inuyasha who got up on stage, asking him to stop because he was really bad. Ian (for some obscure reason) decided to pump Redithidoor for information as well, not really learning much. Redithidoor offered to assist the party, but Ian graciously refused (Vesta making faces and shaking her head behind Redi’s back kinda convinced Ian ;) ) Eventually, Captain Elmo made his appearance, and answered the party’s questions as well as he could. It was at this point that Chatrilon intervened, and failing to convince the party to travel to Nulb, was allowed to join their trek to the Moathouse by Ian (much to the chagrin of Inuyasha).


The next day, after buying some scrolls and potions, the party set off towards the moathouse. After much convincing, Dr Zane was persuaded to leave his horse and cart behind, so that the travelling would be faster. About halfway to the Moathouse, the party were ambushed by 3 hobgoblins. The party easily accounted for these humanoids, but for some obscure reason decided to waste spells on them. On freaking HOBGOBLINS! I shook my head in disgust and decided that they deserved to be killed by Big U.


Running into old ‘Del on the way, he gave them some hints on the area in the Moathouse, but I omitted letting them know about the dragon, as I wanted to see the shock on their faces when Big U emerged!! :p When they arrived at the Moathouse, they spent a little time scouting the area, until Shiriki went too close to the Giant frog and got pulled into the frogs mouth for a bite. I really wanted to swallow the gnome, but he was too far away (mmm, gnome). They dispatched poor Kermit without too much of a problem, and then entered the Moathouse itself.


Ian explored the tower while the others headed towards one of the eastern arches. It was at this point I decided to have Utreshimon emerge. The look on my players face was priceless!! :lol The first few rounds involved big U just hovering around, creating dust clouds and attacking Shiriki and Dr Zane. They didn’t really attempt to attack him at this stage, just took cover in the Moathouse or what remained of the tower. When Inuyasha emerged, he used a whip token to magically grapple big U and hold him on the ground. Everyone emerged from hiding at this point, managing to inflict about 60 points of damage on Big U in about a round and a half!! (Damn gnome and his spiked staff scored a crit, little punk! >: )


After escaping the whip, Big U decided to take to the air again, breathing on the party and inflicting a fair amount of damage. Not wanting to go near the monk again (that whip scared him a bit), Big U created another dust cloud, and everyone took cover again. It was then that I realised I could use my breath weapon again, and Dr Zane and Ian had taken cover in a tower….with no roof!! Big U swooped in on the tower, breathing his deadly lightning breath straight down…..resulting in one very fried mage!! First blood! :evil Dropping to the ground to finish off the cleric, Big U was attacked from behind by Inuyasha and Shiriki, who managed to inflict enough damage to finish him off.


This was a fairly hard battle, not made easier by the fact the PC’s and Chatrilon had no luck with their miss chances for the dust cloud. The heroes gathered up the valiant gnome’s body and equipment, and travelled back to Hommlet to make preparations to send him back to his family. (We learned about an hr later that the player who was running Dr Zane forgot to include a cat’s grace spell in his reflex save, and he would have passed if he had included that bonus, and would not be dead.) The party prepared to make their way back to the moathouse the next day. Meanwhile, Chatrilon conferred with Master Dunrat, who decided that between Chatrilon, Gren and the troops remaining in the moathouse, they could handle the rest of the party. (Chenashi was still to follow at a discreet distance, to mop up after the party, just in case)


The party managed to get to the Moathouse without further incident, and began exploring the interior. Ian found out the hard way that hitting an ooze with your magical mace is a bad idea, but between Shiriki’s magic and Chatrilon’s arrows, they managed to finish it off without too much trouble. In the black chamber, they also found a dwarf, who the dragon had kept unconscious until he needed a snack. This was Orbath, a dwarven invoker (replacement character for Dr Zane’s player). Orbath readily agreed to accompany the party further into the dungeon.


The party were ambushed by the gnolls, but managed to dispatch them fairly easily, as they did the ghouls and the ghast, thanks to the power of Ian’s faith. They also discovered a hiding Spugnoir, who after receiving healing revealed what he had discovered about the dungeon, and he also offered to accompany the party for a while. Just as they were about to enter the room containing Gren an co., Ian, attempting to listen at the door, slipped, banging his shield against the wall with a large clang! (Gotta hate natural 1’s!). Upon hearing this, Gren rushed to release the skeletons, and the gnolls prepared to smite the first person to enter the room.


The party entered to discover the gnolls with axes ready, three skeletons entering the room followed closely by three more and a larger specimen. Inuyasha, showing remarkable athleticism, rolled past the gnolls and skeletons, landing next to a now terrified Gren, and unleashed a mighty stunning punch. Gren doubled over in pain, but shook off the stunning effects. With most of the party stuck in the previous room, unable to enter because of the congo line of PC’s blocking the doorway, only Ian was able to act immediately. He boldly presented his holy symbol, destroying all the skeletons, including the ogre skeleton as it entered the room. With a shriek, Gren fled to the back wall, causing a part of it to shift to the right, and disappeared into the darkness. Shiriki and Orbath engaged the gnolls, while Ian prepared to join the battle. As he started to step forward, he felt a sharp pain in his lower back, as an invisible Chatrilon’s rapier sought out his heart’s blood, and Spugnoir looked on in shock, not understanding what was taking place in front of his eyes.


Unaware of what was occurring behind him, Inuyasha pursued the cleric, only to find himself at another blank wall. Searching for the trigger, he activated the secret door, speeding down the corridor. A line of torches lit his way, as he raced towards a now fully healed Gren waiting for him at the bottom of the ramp. As he drew closer, she looked over her shoulder, screaming “Now!” He was forced to dive under a rapidly descending portcullis, landing just short of Gren, now screaming for assistance. Her cries were answered by the tramp of clawed feet.


Ian managed to fight off death’s embrace, now turning to face a smirking Chatrilon and swinging his mace. Chatrilon gasped under the blow, backing away to the corner and activating his wand, disappearing from view. Having finished the gnolls, Shiriki and Orbath came to Ian’s aid, throwing flour around the room and casting dispelling magics in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the assassin. Suddenly, Shiriki screamed and fell to the ground, her body pierced by Chatrilon’s blade. Spugnoir tended her wounds, while Ian and Orbath attacked the assassin, managing to bring him down in a vicious battle. They then followed the path of their compatriot Inuyasha, leaving Shiriki in Spugnoirs care.


Finishing off the cleric quickly, Inuyasha ran back to the portcullis, attempting vainly to lift it. He then drew his katana, determined that whatever marched towards him would have to fight him fairly, one at a time. Gnolls began to file up the incline, barking loudly at the sight of their foe cornered. Inuyasha dispatched them one at a time, as his companions attempted to aid him by lifting the portcullis. Orbath cast a web at the gnolls, hoping to slow them down enough so that Inuysha would have time to escape. However, the heroic monk was easily mowing through the tall dog men. Ian managed to lift the portcullis thanks to a grease spell from Orbath, and a now healed Shiriki scuttled through to aid Inuyasha.


The effort of lifting proved too much for Ian to maintain, and the portcullis fell to the ground, pinning Orbath beneath its spikes. As Inuyasha dispatched the last of the gnolls, Spugnoir fired his last remaining spell at the apparent leader, only to see his missiles absorbed by the brooch worn by the monster. Inuyasha set fire to the web, and dashed down the ramp to engage the leader once the web was consumed, triumphing over him in single combat, while his companions rescued the dwarf.


Following this quite large scale battle, the party returned to Hommlet for rest, stripping the corpses and rooms explored of anything of value (yes, my players always seem to be kleptomaniacs), eventually having to retrieve the cart to transport the items. They also sought out information from Yether the Keen about the weird symbols all the cultists were wearing.


After subtle hints, followed by not-so-subtle hints from the DM that they couldn’t just take 3 days to identify all this crap (you’re on a time line dammit!!!), they returned to the dungeon, to find that Chenashi had been busy turning all the gnolls and Chatrilon into zombies. These were easily dispatched, as were the undead found in the upper areas. They also discovered the shrine to Tharizdun, but didn’t do anything in the room.


Upon entering the lower section of the dungeon, they were attacked by a ghast, Chenashi, Ysslansh and Geynor Ton, dispatching the foes fairly easily. Lowering themselves down the platform(s), they were fairly well freaked out by their surroundings. Enter the grell……


The grell managed to paralyse Shiriki and was about to fly away with her lifeless body when Inuyasha jumped onto a trailing tentacle, lashing out with his katana, severely wounding the beast with a single blow. The rest of the party busied themselves with lowering the platform as quickly as possible, before the grell crushed them (I ruled the feather fall effect of the grell didn’t end until it got to -10 hps, so it was kinda amusing to think of Inuyasha and Shiriki riding its bleeding corpse all the way to the ground, like a tentacled hot air balloon :lol )


Upon reaching the ground level by the obelisk, the party kept their distance from the obex, although Shiriki decided to test the black sun out by throwing a spider into it. The spider scuttled around for a bit, before stopping dead. Shiriki entered the sun to retrieve it, making her will save. Her owl, however, wasn’t so fortunate, screaming out in pain. This is where I think player tiredness may have set in. Instead of leaving the circle, she stood there asking her owl what was wrong. Again she made her save, the owl didn’t. FINALLY she got the point and dashed out of the circle with a twice wisdom drained owl. It was at this point that Festrath attacked, being easily smote by the party members.


When the party reached the obex, Shiriki was the first to climb the steps and touched the black gem, receiving her fruit and eating it, gaining +1 to her charisma. After this, the rest of the party all dashed to the obelisk to get their stat increases. Shiriki got greedy and entered again, losing 2 points of wisdom. For some inexplicable reason, she entered again, ate her fruit and failed her Fort save. No more Shiriki, only a white mist where she used to be. Never underestimate the power of lack of sleep on your players judgment is the lesson learned here. 8)


Advancing further along the floor, Ian tapped on the archway with his mace, releasing a grell who managed to paralyse and fly off with him, despite the best efforts of Inuyasha. Horrified by the loss of their companions, Orbath and Inuyasha fled the evil place, hoping to have better luck in Hommlet against the cult members mentioned in Geynor Ton’s journal.

Here is where the first session ended….it was a bit of a marathon, but all my players said they had a great time playing, and that I did a fantastic job for my first attempt at DMing. I have been threatened with an even more beastly gnome than the monstrosity that was Dr Zane, and a psion/rogue as replacement characters (apparently with war dog companions/mounts), as well as another priest of Pelor. Sigh…I love my friends.:\ I will have to increase some monsters in the future, I think, as they can all take min/maxing to a new level, but I probably won’t change too much. Except Lareth. Muahahahahahahaha! :evil


Anyhoo, that was our session about a week ago. We have our next session starting in about 11 hours, so I’m gonna grab some shut eye. G’night y’all, please give me some feedback about this, I would really appreciate it! Cheers, Simon.




Edited by: srmilich at: 4/20/03 7:01:58 am
Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/20/03 9:49 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
"...please give me some feedback about this, I would really appreciate it."

Since you asked...For one thing everyone had fun, so you did a great job as DM. Keep that in mind as that is the only important thing.

I'd suggest you not try to increase the bad guys, including Lareth. You will end up in a never-ending spiral of always trying to outdo your players. Sure, they may whip up on some bad guys now and then, but eventually it will catch up. Instead, try checking out the Splat Book Changes, especially the one for Lareth. 1d6+24/19-20 with the staff will put a serious hurting on any party.

On deaths, I'm glad your group handles them well. I must admit, it seems mostly the players fault, though I'd caution you about what you change in the module and make sure you do for story reasons and not because you want to see the shock on their faces. This is a long adventure and you don't want them to have learned helplessness, such that anything they do will not make a difference, they will always have to fight. Maybe that's fun, but don't underestimate the fun that can be had by skillfully avoiding combat, or actually preparing for it. In the case in point (Utreshimon), many groups, including mine, outright ignored Ol' Del. Think of the irony if your group said, "Yeah, right, old man. Dragon. Crazy old coot." and ignored his advice and still had to fight the dragon! Our group still talks about that.

Chenashi can't make undead. Dunrat can (3rd level spell), though it requires expensive components. I'd suggest you just allow the "evil of the obelisk" to justify the undead, perhaps applying the ghoul or ghast template to choice victims, maybe even the dead party members if their bodies were left behind. A ghoul Garrik is pretty nasty.

srmilich
Here for a while
(4/21/03 5:53 am)
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Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Hi Infiniti,

Yeah, thanks for the comments. I appreciate some info. In answer to your points:

Instead, try checking out the Splat Book Changes,

Yeah, thats what I was referring to. I spent half an hour increasing him re the splat books, ended up with my party not attacking him anyhow leaving the poor mad man alone :D

I'd caution you about what you change in the module and make sure you do for story reasons and not because you want to see the shock on their faces.

Yeah, you make a good point, it might have been better for flavour reasons, although they all did point out that had they known about the dragon, they would have buffed up to the max, meaning I would have had a lot more trouble hurting them....

At the moment, I have to maximise most of the enemies hit dice just to make them a challenge...(although I didn't in Utreshimons case) I dont see the point in them breezing through most encounters as they will quickly get bored. In the session we had today I had to fudge some attack rolls just to damage our party....even Rarkus struggled to hit our monk with any degree of regularity. What I am striving to do is make them feel challenged without wiping the entire party out. I think I am starting to succeed at this, dropped most of the party to low hps without managing to kill any of them, and they ended up using most of their special abilities/spells/powers to defeat the hobgoblins in the temple. I feel this means that I got the balance just about right.


Chenashi can't make undead. Dunrat can (3rd level spell), though it requires expensive components.

I know, poor Chenashi, only a 2nd level cleric. :b I assumed, as suggested in the book, that he had Master Dunrat's clerical scroll of animate dead, and also used the pool below the obelisk to make some more. The idea was he was trying to delay the party somewhat so that they could remove the carved stone block when the cart arrived.


Thanks for that Infiniti, at least someone is reading my post! If anyone cares, I will be posting the session we had today sometime this week! :smokin

Cheers,
Simon.

Cordo Crowfoot
Here to stay
(4/21/03 4:48 pm)
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Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Simon, I feel I must caution you... You are setting down a dangerous path in my opinion both with boosting of encounters/changing details and with fudging against the PCs.

Especially as you are a new DM, I would highly recommend playing things as written - not boosting or making any changes. I've been burned as a player myself on this in the past and it isn't fun - frankly many new DMs don't have a good idea of how to create a good balanced encounter or adventure. My party was just slaughtered about a month ago playing through a module after the DM made five or six changes in the oppositions' favor in the first encounter, and then proceeded to boost every encounter "as they weren't a challenge" to where we were facing an EL equal or above our level every time.

Spend the time that you would spend boosting studying the oppositions' abilities so that you can use it to it's fullest. Plan tactics for groups of opposition - especially those that have fought or trained together in the past. Use the environment to your benefit! Challenge yourself to do the most with the least resources (all while being fair to the players - don't have them tactically somehow know the abilities of all the PCs, who should be taken out first, but just acting on more general tactical knowledge, i.e. "take out the guys in back with no armor first").

I would be upset if I was a player and learned my DM didn't give me a warning about Big U as written in the module. You can play Ol'Del as a crazy old coot type, which makes his advice harder to believe, that's fine, but omitting the warning goes too far IMO - and a PC died in the encounter.

If you read through the boards you should be able to find lots of hints on how to play the opposition to their full potential without boosting them. You said the Ysslanth/Geynor Ton fight was a pushover. Did you use the Obscuring Mist while standing on the platform, drink a potion of levitate and release the rope when two or more PCs step on? Did you come up with a solid tactical plan for the Hobgoblins reflecting their experience in repelling parties of adventurers and other humanoid tribes?

As for the fudging, maybe it's ok if it is the last encounter of the day, no PCs are in danger of dying, and you just want to make them sweat... but you could fudge some damage on a PC, then have them critted and killed 100% by the dice, but only die due to the fudged damage you applied. It puts you in an awkward situation.

Finally, I'm never sure if DMs are just joking about having fun killing players, but if you are really enjoying it, think the players are getting their just desserts, or that they need to be dying to be challenged, you should rethink your approach.

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

srmilich
Here for a while
(4/22/03 2:07 am)
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Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Hey Cordo,
First of all, thanks for your input. I am always thankful for someone who has an alternate viewpoint or ideas that I can use. I will first say that maybe the way I have written the log is partly to blame for the constructive criticism I am getting, it does kinda sound like I am a bloodthirsty maniac out to kill as many PC's as possible. :evil

I have been reading the other logs, and it doesnt seem to me that I have been experiencing any more PC deaths in the early chapters than other groups. And the feedback that I have been getting from my players is that they are all still having fun...which I guess is the most important thing.

Anyhoo, to answer your points:

you are setting down a dangerous path in my opinion both with boosting of encounters/changing details and with fudging against the PCs

Ok, to clarify: The boosting that I have been doing is not of the class or item variety. I have changed the hit points on the monsters so that they have the maximum for their hit die and con modifiers. The main reason I did this was so as to not have them all wiped out in a round of combat...Rarkus would not have survived the first round had I not done this. My PC's are damage dealing machines :eek
It seems to work...the combats are not one hit wonders and my players can't just wipe everyone out in three swings.

I should point out that I will not be doing this as the encounters get harder (like in the CRM), and I havent done it in any encounters which have a CR higher than my party's effective level (like Wat or Utreshimon, for example). What I am seeking to do is not have my players yawn through the early parts of the module.

I will answer your fudging comment later in this post.

I would be upset if I was a player and learned my DM didn't give me a warning about Big U as written in the module. You can play Ol'Del as a crazy old coot type, which makes his advice harder to believe, that's fine, but omitting the warning goes too far IMO - and a PC died in the encounter

This is true, but the PC that died in the encounter managed to get off his buffer spells before he was injured by Big U, so he was not really disadvantaged. Also, as I said in the original post, the whole reason that his character died was because of a numerical error in calculating his Reflex save due to a cat's grace spell, not discovered until about an hour after the encounter. He failed the save by 1. Had he managed to correctly add up the values, the Utreshimon encounter would have been fatality free.
Also, I upped the challenge rating of the encounter to compensate for not informing my PC's, so they received much more exp.

You said the Ysslanth/Geynor Ton fight was a pushover. Did you use the Obscuring Mist while standing on the platform, drink a potion of levitate and release the rope when two or more PCs step on?

No I didn't. This would have been a great idea, had I thought of it. I seem to have a failing where I sometimes forget to make my NPC's use all their items in a battle. This is something I am working on.

Did you come up with a solid tactical plan for the Hobgoblins reflecting their experience in repelling parties of adventurers and other humanoid tribes?

Yes, I had them fall back towards the back of the temple, using the burning front section as cover due to all the smoke around (mage used a scroll of fireball to toast most of my lesser hobgoblins), and attacking the PC's as they emerged from the smoke.

As for the fudging, maybe it's ok if it is the last encounter of the day, no PCs are in danger of dying, and you just want to make them sweat... but you could fudge some damage on a PC, then have them critted and killed 100% by the dice, but only die due to the fudged damage you applied. It puts you in an awkward situation.

You make an extremely good point here. What I was seeking to do was not let our party monk, who is pretty much unkillable atm, feel like he had met an opponent of equal worth. He is played extremely competently, and I guess I took the easy way out instead of trying to find a tactic that would make him less effective.
I should point out that any die fudging went both ways, my hobgoblins suddenly started missing the cleric when he was on 1 hp. It probably does take away from the party being able to feel they have survived the combat on their own terms though.

Finally, I'm never sure if DMs are just joking about having fun killing players

I do sometimes pretend that I like it in front of my players (and they all know I am kidding). but I have never enjoyed it happening to me. Again, probably due to the manner in which I have written my log. Rest assured I am not out to ruin my players experience.


Thanks a lot Cordo. You have given me quite a bit to think about.

Cheers,
Simon.




Edited by: srmilich at: 4/22/03 2:17:30 am
Cordo Crowfoot
Here to stay
(4/22/03 4:43 am)
Reply
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
You are right that having fun is the most improtant thing, and if your players are enhoying themselves you are doing the job right. I look forward to reading the rest of your logs. How often does your group meet?

"They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers. They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came... They were scum who died violent deaths, hanging on to a certain cachet among the impressionable through their undeniable bravery and their occasionally impressive exploits" China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

srmilich
Here for a while
(4/24/03 2:08 am)
Reply
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
We usually meet every Sunday and a typical sesssion for us is about 7 or 8 hrs (although the first two sessions for my game went for 13 and 11 hours respectively!!!)

We currently have two different campaigns running (with another 2 on hiatus), mine and a Warhammer based one.

I should hopefully have the last Sunday's session written up and posted tomorrow (its a public holiday here then so I shouldnt have much else to do....depends on how much I sleep in I guess) :p

srmilich
Here for a while
(4/28/03 1:27 am)
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Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Session 2

This session went for about 11 hours, not as deadly as last time, only one PC managed to get himself killed. This may have been due to the fact that, surprising me yet again, my players set a new record in min-maxing by creating a halfling and gnome characters with war dogs. For some reason (perhaps I went momentarily insane) I allowed them to roll their war dog’s physical stats with 4d6 instead of standard stats. It might have been a good idea to actually check the war dog’s stats in the MM before I agreed. The halfling character also had her dog awakened. Sigh, I guess that’s what you get for wiping out 3/4 of the party the first session.
:\

Our party now consists of:

Inuyasha: Human monk4/Shintao Monk 1 (yes I know he doesn’t have the required ranks in knowledge (religion) for the prestige class, I allowed him to have it 1 rank short)

Riley: Halfling Rogue 3/Psion2 (replaces Shiriki)

Yan: Human Cleric5 of Pelor (replaces Ian)

Azharan : Gnome transmuter5 (replaces Dr. Zane and Orbath )

The session ended last time with Inuyasha and Orbath fleeing the moathouse, with the rest of their party having perished within. Once within the safety of Hommlet, Orbath took solace in Terrigan’s, attempting to drink the memory of the horrors there away. He was never seen again (player wanted to play another character). Inuyasha reported back to Yether the Keen, who was quite shocked at the slaughter of the party, as well as the report of what occurred underneath. He asked Inuyasha to report his findings to Elmo, taking his acolyte Yan with him.

Inuyasha sought out Elmo at the Inn of the Welcome Wench, and showed him the journal entry written by Geynor Ton. Elmo, picking up on the mill reference when it was pointed out to him, immediately asked the occupants of the inn for assistance. Two adventurers who were sitting quietly in the corner (Riley and Azharan) immediately volunteered. Gathering about a half dozen of his militia, the group set out for the mill as the sun finally set. As they departed, Inuyasha realised that Maridosen was not working that night, which puzzled him.

Ordering his militia to take positions a few metres from the Inn to prevent any escapes, Elmo reluctantly allowed Riley to do some scouting. Sneaking up to the window, Riley unfortunately happened to look through the window at the exact moment that Maridosen was looking in her direction (Natural 1 on a hide check!! It didn’t matter much, as Dunrat’s bird scout had seen the party coming anyway). Reporting this to a now pissed off Elmo, the group prepared to storm the mill.

Yan attempted to kick the door down, succeeding only in bruising his foot. Elmo smashed the door in, charging inside only to see Maridosen’s sword fly past his head and embed itself into a wall. (My turn for a natural 1) Inuyasha tumbled inside, unleashing a mighty sword stroke into Maridosen’s side. Toridan charged Elmo, swinging wildly, and just as Yan was about to enter the fray, darkness descended inside the Inn. Shortly after, there was a wild explosion, the window being blown out, and the door was suddenly blocked (Dunrat throwing a bead of force into the doorway)

Inuyasha and Elmo fought a fierce battle in the magical darkness, as Grune and Dunrat attempted to escape by the window. They were spotted by Yan, who managed to fell Grune, before being held by Dunrat. Dunrat attempted to escape, closely pursued by Riley on her wardog D’Artagnan, while Azharan remained behind to guard a now vulnerable Yan. D’Artagnan easily caught up to Dunrat, biting him fiercely. Dunrat dove into the river, masking his scent and thus enabling him to escape.

Meanwhile Inuyasha and Elmo managed to fell Toridan and Maridosen, and also drop Vacra before she could also use the window to escape. Once the darkness was lifted, they assessed the situation, managing to stabilise Maridosen before she bled to death. They then waited the few minutes before the magical sphere disappeared. Once the entryway was clear, the cellar was explored and chest discovered. The party then took the unconscious Maridosen to the militia cells, before bunking down for the night.
The next day, they sought out the advice of Canoness Y’dey, who informed them of the battles she had fought during the last rising of the Temple of Elemental Evil. She told of where the Temple was located, and also of Lareth the Beautiful’s role in the temple. She asked the party to investigate the ruins of the temple near the town of Nulb, just to ensure that it was not being rebuilt, the reports of ochre robed priests once again seen around Hommlet disturbing her. The party accepted the mission, immediately setting off for Hommlet.

Upon reaching Nulb, the party became quite disturbed at the change in weather, and all around vibe of Nulb. It did not seem natural. Deciding to see if they could find the cause of this phenomenon, they investigated a hostel which seemed to be more stable the rest of the surrounding buildings. Inuyasha flatly refused to step inside, and Riley ducked out after staying inside for a few moments. Investigating the bottom floor, Yan and Azharan were preparing to step upstairs when a ghostly figure materialised behind the gnome. Striking out with his longsword, he felled the gnome with one single stroke.

Yan, shrugging off the effects of the ghost’s horrific visage, attempted to strike it, his weapon appearing to pass straight through. Inuyasha repeatedly yelled for Yan to evacuate the hostel, having no weapon of his own that would affect the monster. When Yan ignored him, and fought on, he dashed inside to retrieve the gnome’s lifeless body, dragging him outside while the ghost ignored him, concentrating on the cleric. Riley dashed inside to help the cleric, her magical dagger slicing through the ghost. Between them, Riley and Yan managed to vanquish the ghost, but not before Yan had taken some nasty wounds.

Despite the close call, Yan went upstairs to investigate the rest of the hostel. He was attacked by a ghostly visage in the shape of a woman, and Riley was again forced to go to his aid. Together they finished the allip off, but not before Yan had twice had his lifeforce drained away. Not feeling at all well, Yan travelled back to Hommlet with the party to have his well being restored by the Canoness. It was there that they met with Hassan, who offered to help them in their travels.

Hassan: Human Monk1/Cleric1/Wiz3

Returning 4 days later, the party decided to skirt around the outside of Nulb, the party managed to get through the evil place without too much incident, although they were attacked by two wights, which were turned by Yan successfully. The party managed to head off down the road to the temple without further incident. They camped about 5 miles out from the temple, intending to investigate it in the cold light of day.

Upon reaching the temple area, they cautiously scouted the surrounds, with the sounds of dogs in the distance alerting them that the temple may have once been empty, but it was no longer. After completing their circuit, Riley’s sharp eyes spotted a glint of metal in the distance. The bushes rustled, and three shapes could be seen fleeing the scene. Yan quickly cast a spell of holding upon one of them, who became frozen in place. His companions halted their flight, and stood in front of their helpless party member, weapons drawn and prepared to defend him with their lives.

When it became obvious that they did not intend to attack unless attacked, the party questioned these three strangers. They introduced themselves as Fisturn, Baugh and Uvren. They were quite hostile and refused to answer any questions, especially Fisturn, due to the fact he had been frozen due to Yan’s spell. Eventually they left, the heroes being none the wiser as to their purpose of being in the area. Riley attempted to follow them, but was heard before he could get close enough to learn anything. He remained undiscovered, but having been alerted by the noise, the strange group made camp and stopped speaking. Riley eventually was forced to leave without discovering their purpose.

As the rest of the group waited for Riley to return, the sounds of barking dogs in the distance became closer. It was apparent that the dogs had picked up the scent of the party. They prepared to set an ambush, just as Riley returned. Eventually, three dogs followed by four hobgoblins appeared. The party mowed down the dogs with missile fire, before engaging the hobgoblins in melee. The hobbies gave as good as they got, before being overpowered as they were cut down one by one.

Having defeated the enemy, the party proceeded towards the main entrance of the temple. They came under fire from hobgoblins hiding in the ruins, and rushed to slay them before they could alert any others. They succeeded in the first objective, but not in the second. The hobgoblins inside threw javelins at the party as they dealt with the first raid, before falling back into the temple interior. As the party advanced, they could hear the sounds of hobgoblin shouting from inside. After waiting for an assault, they first created some holes in windows with large chunks of masonry from the ruins, before Hassan fired a fireball into the now broken window. He succeeded in killing some hobgoblins who were lurking in the temple entrance, and also set pews near the entrance on fire, black smoke now billowing out from the inside. After waiting several minutes for hobgoblins to emerge, and none being forthcoming, they entered the temple. Vision was down to zero, the smoke stopping them from seeing any further into the building. Inuyasha attempted to challenge the leader to single honourable combat, but his challenge was scornfully met by jeers from the hobbies, who challenged him to advance from behind the smoke to face them.

Eventually Yan grew tired of their taunts, and moved through the smoke. As he emerged, several javelins and a single crossbow bolt flew towards him, most of them missing their mark. He could see several hobgoblins gathered at the base of a staircase, with a much larger one standing at the top, barking orders. Inuyasha charged forward, tumbling past the mass of hobgoblins to land at the feet of the leader. With the commander in front of him and a hobgoblin behind him he had nowhere to go, but was in the thick of the action. Riley and Hassan also emerged from the smoke, firing their ranged weapons.

The large hobgoblin swung his two bladed sword at Inuyasha, who blocked the blow and disarmed him, throwing the sword behind him. One of the commander’s aides threw him a greatsword, then began calling for assistance from beyond the staircase. Inuyasha also removed the greatsword via the same method. (Some obscure OA feat that I didn’t know about….I did allow it in the game, so I have to deal with it now. Rarkus would actually have won the grapple check to not be disarmed if I had remembered the bull’s strength spell cast by Krebbich. Sigh.) Desperately, the commander drew his crossbow, all the while taking heavy damage from Inuyasha. He seemed to be healing the damage somehow, and Inuyasha eventually realised there was a cleric invisible near the leader.

Meanwhile, the others were dealing with about ten hobgoblins. Yan had already dispatched three with a well-aimed bead of force, but then took several blows, while Hassan seemed to be able to fend off the blows due to his shield spell. Riley, sitting atop D’Artagnan was remaining unscathed, due to his mount dismembering every hobbie within range. However, with a large roar, an extremely large ape launched itself off the top of the staircase to attack D’Artagan. Three claw attacks and one rend later, Riley fled the battle so as not to lose his mount. Yan and Hassan also fled into the smoke, after having been wounded badly by hobgoblins.

Inuyasha, after finishing off the leader, was battling the now visible cleric, turned around to see a large ape standing behind him. Finishing off the cleric with a single blow, he used the corpse as cover to prevent attacks by the ape. One claw still managed to get through, and he then leaped over the railing to momentary safety, until the ape performed the same manoeuvre and clawed him again. Sorely wounded, Inuyasha fled the scene.

The party regrouped and healed outside, as the ape and remaining four hobgoblins worked out what had happened and pursued. They were eventually put down, the ape after a heroic final battle. Standing victorious, the party searched the temple thoroughly, finding no sign of any Elemental Evil activity. They also freed a young carpenter, who they attempted to arm (I eventually had to beat the word non-combatant into their skulls to make them understand!). Taking a surviving hobgoblin prisoner, they questioned him at length, and also made him show any other places of interest in the area.

Yan explored the tower as shown by the prisoner, but finding it locked and his companions reluctant to investigate it further, he left without attempting to gain entry. Not finding any other information of value, Inuyasha released the prisoner, thanking the hobgoblin for his assistance. The hobbie fled, as did some remaining goblin slaves. Their mission complete, the party made preparations to return to Hommlet.

On the return journey through Nulb, they noticed in the distance a single human figure walking alone through Nulb. Inuyasha scouted nearby to determine his purpose, sensing evil in the man. He was nearly discovered, before the horribly disfigured man, muttering madly to himself, suddenly appeared to lose interest in the search and continued on. Not wanting to harm a mentally disturbed person, Inuyasha returned to the group, who continued on their journey. As they left Nulb, they also came across a druid known as Kella, who congratulated them on routing the hobgoblins, and promised to assist them if required the next time she was in Hommlet.

Upon returning to Hommlet and reporting to the Canoness, she was shocked to discover following the description given by Inuyasha that the mad man of Nulb was none other than Lareth the Beautiful, thought to be long dead. This so shocked the Canoness that she retreated to her chambers to pray for guidance from St Cuthbert. Finding themselves at a loose end for the moment, the party did a quick trip to Verbobonc to sell and buy magic items. This trip proved rather uneventful, aside from a quick encounter with two ogres.

The session ended here, with the party about to travel onwards to the Rastor once they have spoken to the Canoness. Enjoy peoples!!

The next session log should be up by the end of the week.

Cheers,
Simon.

srmilich
Faen
(6/20/03 7:01 pm)
Reply
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Ok, obviously the statement at the end of the last post was a blatant lie! :p

I did have that particular campaign log written, its just that life has intruded on my time. We have still been campaigning during that period, its just that writing a campaign log has been the last thing on my mind. I'm currently about three logs behind, so I will be posting them in the next day or two hopefully. My exams are now over, so I have no excuse or anything better to do.... :D

Anyhoo, on with the log....

Session 3

The following day, the party joined the Canoness to discover what she had learned in her communion with St Cuthbert. She reported that she had not been able to learn much, as St Cuthbert was apparently in the dark as much as she. (I decided that the cult was not that close to their goal at this point, so the Canoness’ god could not determine for what purpose Lareth had been resurrected. Either that or St Cuthbert basically told the Canoness to work it out for herself!!) She had decided to ask Kella, who had passed through town while the party was in Verbobonc, to keep an eye on Lareth for the moment, while she sent the party on another mission. She also mentioned that apparently someone who looked like Elmo had walked into the prison and freed Maridosen!

Following the information in Geynor Ton’s journal entry, specifically its mention of Tal Chammish, the village of Rastor and the so-called “Temple of All-Consumption”, she asked the heroes to investigate this further. She also “suggested” that her faithful acolyte Terjon accompany the group in order to represent the will of St Cuthbert. I did this for two reasons: One, so that we wouldn’t have to constantly have someone always playing a cleric should the current one die; Two, to assist the party with an extra member in the tough trials of clearing the CRM and the Inner and Outer Fanes. The party readily agreed, although I did have a number of my players mutter something about “I bet its another Chatrilon…..” :eek

The trip to Rastor passed fairly uneventfully, although on the evening before they arrived they were attacked by a group of four displacer beasts. I expected the group to easily account for the monsters, but I forgot what a great leveller miss chances are!! In the ensuing battle Riley was very nearly killed, and even Inuyasha was dropped down to below half hit points before the beasts were routed.

The group arrived in Rastor the next morning, still feeling a little sore after the battle. They were unimpressed with the small town, and were quite disturbed to see the occasional orc mixing with the populace. They asked a passing halfling for directions, who informed them that the Gray Lodge was the only inn in town. He also, when asked, said that Tal Chammish was reasonably well known in town (giving a description) and that he would most likely be in the inn at some stage. The party decided that entering the town as a group would attract attention, so they would pose as individual travellers until Tal could be located.

Riley and Yan entered the inn to procure rooms for themselves, accompanied by Terjon a few minutes later. Inuyasha knocked on the door of a residence across the road from the Inn, (which happened to be the residence of the wizard Tymerian) and asked a startled occupant if he could sit in her window for a while. Tymerian quite naturally refused, and Inuyasha instead climbed up the wall to sit on her roof and watch for Tal. Hassan, after asking another peasant about the location of Tal’s residence with no success, entered the inn and purchased a room, remaining there for the rest of the day.

Inside the inn that evening, Yan attempted to find out some information about the surrounding area. As he didn’t really go into specifics, I decided that he wouldn’t find out too much (Gather Information kinda sucked). Riley was doing the same, and he managed to find out the location of Tal’s residence, scouting it out without actually entering. Yan struck up a conversation with Jardeth, finding out some info about the town and its residents, but as he didn’t ask about Tal specifically, or a possible temple in the area, he didn’t learn too much of interest. To their frustration no one could tell the party where Tal could be found (I decided that Tal came and went as he pleased, not following a routine as such).

I stretched out the delay for a while, making my players sweat a little (patience is not a virtue sometimes :\ ) until Tal appeared, to the greetings of much of the local residents. He immediately went to chat to Thandain and Tunraug (who hadn’t got their daily Tanbrosh yet). (DM Note: I decided to play Tal as a cocky little man, confident in his power base and his position in the town. ) Riley, after observing him for some time, attempted to talk to Tal. He actually interrupted the conversation, and was quite rudely rebuffed by Tal, who resented the intrusion while he was trying to discuss business.

Eventually, Tal and the dwarves moved to leave the inn, so as to conclude their negotiations. Inuyasha, who had followed Tal into the inn after he had appeared down the street, also exited, calling after Tal. (He had spent the day on top of Tymerian’s house, and was now out of patience with the annoying little turd >: ) Tal, now even more annoyed at another stranger interrupting him, pretty much told Inuyasha to bugger off, then he moved off with the dwarves. Inuyasha responded by stunning Tal with a punch, throwing off the dwarves attempts to grab him, then pelting off down the street with Tal over his shoulder.

The rest of the party, who apart from Hassan had subtly followed Tal out, quickly mounted up and followed him down through the town and into the mountains. Tunraug and Thandain raced into the inn, trying to gather up the townsfolk in order to rescue Tal from the clutches of these adventurers who had kidnapped him. Terjon got Hassan and the two of them mounted up before the townsfolk could get organised, and followed the rest of the group. Eventually, when the angry town mob was left behind, a small distance into the mountains, Inuyasha dumped his unconscious captive, waiting for the party to catch up. While he waited, he changed into an ochre robe liberated from the moathouse.

The rest of the party eventually found Inuyasha, who explained his plan to try and trick Tal into telling about the temple once he regained consciousness. Riley went down to the trail to meet Terjon whose horse could not keep up with Inuyasha and the wardogs. The others hid out of sight so that Inuyasha could go to work, although Riley established a mind link to determine when Tal was telling the truth. When Tal woke up, Inuyasha attempted to convince him that he was a member of the cult from Hommlet, wanting to know why the wagon had not been sent and why Tal had not been willing to speak to him. Tal responded that Inuyasha had not communicated to him through the usual channels, and he had received no call for a wagon from him. Inuyasha then ordered Tal to go and get the wagon, and to accompany them into the Temple of All-Consumption.

This was a fairly good plan, and the bluff check was quite good. However, so was Tal’s sense motive, and after adding additional modifiers because he had been warned by Dunrat to expect visitors, the wagon had already been sent to pick up the carved column, and the bluff was a little hard to believe because of the way Inuyasha attempted to talk to Tal, I decided that the bluff didn’t fool Tal and he scampered to the safety of Rastor, and would be encouraging his minions to confront the party should they re-enter the township. The party eventually realised this, and came to the conclusion they were kinda screwed. They had no idea where the Temple was and they couldn’t go back to Rastor as as far as they were concerned, the entire town was “gunning” for them. (It won’t be, although if Tal hadn’t returned, Tunraug and the other Tanbrosh addicted townspeople would be encouraging a full search of the countryside in an attempt to locate him before they died from not getting their fix)

To add insult to injury, I decided to penalise Inuyasha with two chaos points, for acting contrary to his alignment by kidnapping Tal. (This is the way my group handles alignment, and if Inuyasha was to accumulate ten chaos points, his alignment would change from LG to NG) When Terjon returned to the party and discovered what had happened, he was very angry at what had occurred. He didn’t confront Inuyasha about his handling of the matter, but was not pleased that they had lost their only lead due to reckless impatience. The party eventually decided to make camp for the rest of the night, and to decide what to do the next morning.

It was decided in the cold light of day that they would attempt to search the mountain trails in an attempt to locate the hidden temple. There were four major trails, and Riley was able to ascertain which ones were primarily used by the dwarves and the group set off up one of the least recently used trails (which happened to lead towards the Main Gate). As they made their trek upwards, they had a brief encounter with an assassin vine, which managed to lash out at Riley as he moved past. The group quickly retreated, and the vine died under a rain of missile fire. A bit further up the trail, the party also came under attack from a group of temple guards out on patrol for sacrifices. They had the advantage of higher ground, which came to nought as Inuyasha bolted 100 ft up the trail to find himself right next to the guards (damn Boots of S&S!).

As Terjon and the others used their missile fire, Inuyasha smote the guards in record time, stunning one for questioning later. (I was quite surprised at this, as our players tend to kill first, ask questions later ) When the rest of the party caught up, Inuyasha and Riley began to question their captive. The guards name was….Bob (mind blank when coming up with a name…sorry) and he was on a scouting mission for potential sacrifices. He didn’t know too much about the layout of the temple (was mainly a guard for the main gate) and was not too sure of the purpose of the complex (I eventually had to mention to my players “He is just a grunt!!!”) Having got as much information from him as possible, the party let him flee down the mountain, clad only in a loincloth.

My players felt a lot better at this point, feeling that they must be on the right track to be encountering guards (I didn’t have the heart to tell them it was a random encounter). They continued on up the trail, noticing that as they went they seemed to be heading towards one of the larger of the mountains. They eventually came across a large entrance leading into the side of the mountain, with arrow slits around the outside. Close inspection of these by Riley showed a gnoll lying down asleep near one of the slits, apparently oblivious to the party’s approach.

The doors were unlocked, and the group cautiously entered the complex, halting in the main hallway when they were spotted by a group of gnolls standing guard. A brief attempt by Riley to fool them into believing that they belonged in the complex failed, and so he was forced to attack one with his dagger. Inuyasha also dashed to the rescue, felling another of the gnolls, but not before one of the creatures managed to pull on the nearby alarm bell.

Humans and gnolls began to stream out of the nearby doors, and Inuyasha soon found himself fighting for his life, with Riley aiding him as best he could. At the other side of the passage, Yan also found himself under siege from guards. Hassan cast a glitterdust spell, followed by a grease spell to occupy the guards facing Yan, and it seemed that the heroes would defeat them in quick order. However, the large double doors opposite the complex entrance crashed open, and a large group of warriors came charging out. Hassan, acting quickly, pulled out a magical scroll of fireball which obliterated over ¾ of the reinforcements. Yan, finishing off the last of his opponents, looked up to see a mass of zombies lurching forward to engage him. He attempted to turn them, failing miserably, and soon found himself surrounded.

Suddenly, a large beast with quills along its back charged out and engaged Yan from behind, followed by a half-elf and an ogre with weapons drawn. Terjon, Riley and his war-dog were busy fighting the remaining guards, and Inuyasha tumbled to the half-elf’s side, inflicting a mighty blow. As Yan tried valiantly to stay alive, he noticed a troglodyte in clerics robes move swiftly to the side of the ogre. As Inuyasha finished off the half-elf, and turned to punch the ogre, the cleric reached out and attempted to incant a spell. Inuyasha resisted the magic, and struck out at the ogre.

Yan had by now taken several wounds, and was forced to heal himself to stay alive. Fortunately his opponents were not hitting him as often as possible (I had forgotten to advance the howler as Monte had suggested, was just using standard monster manual howler). The troglodyte cast a spell again, this time reaching out to the ogre, whose eyes glazed over as he flew into a rage. He managed to beat on Inuyasha with his club, before Inuyasha dropped him with two more savage blows. Turning to the cleric, Inuyasha grinned, striking out with a fist, then wrestling the troglodyte into submission.

Having finished off his immediate opponents, Terjon raised his holy symbol, destroying the majority of the undead menacing Yan, but not before the howler was able to bite deeply into the Pelorian priest’s side, killing him instantly. The beast had taken a hefty blow from the spiked staff of Hassan however, and between Terjon, Inuyasha and Riley they were able to finish off the monster and the zombies. Gathering up as many items of value as possible, the party returned to Hommlet for rest and recuperation.


It was there that they met a well armed warrior who went by the name Toyfulzorn, who agreed to accompany the party in their mission to destroy the temple. Inuyasha also took time out to meet with his friend Kami, and to ask him to pick up the trail should he fall in battle. He mentioned this to Riley, so that the halfling could come and find Kami should something happen to the monk. (Thus setting the scene for a replacement character for the monk)

Toyfulzorn : Tiefling War1/Fighter4/Rogue2 (Character from a previous campaign, Warrior class was to compensate for Tiefling ECL)

The party made preparations for a return journey to the mountains. The trip was marginally uneventful, apart from an encounter with a lone stone giant in the mountains proper. Riley stunned the large monster with a mindblast, leaving it unable to defend itself while the group pummelled it into submission. After defeating the beast, the party made their way back to the temple entrance, only to find it was now closed and barred from entry. As a few arrows fired from the arrow slits flew past the party, Inuyasha smashed the door open with one massive blow, and the group rushed in, to attack a force of a few gnolls and two troglodytes. These were easily accounted for, and the party made their way northwards through the tunnels.

As they made their way through the darkened tunnels, they came across a trio of troglodytes, who hissed and charged into combat. They fell quickly under the blows of Inuyasha and Toyfulzorn, and the party resumed their trek into the next cavern. Toyfulzorn was sliced into deeply by a hidden troglodyte, who had charged forward with a quality greatsword. As Inuyasha and Toyfulzorn battled the warrior trog, a rocky shaped humanoid charged from the next room, and a large boar also emerged from nowhere. The warriors of the party battled manfully, felling the troglodyte as another one entered clad in full plate. The trog cleric attempted to cast a spell at Toyfulzorn, which he resisted. Then Inuyasha entered the fray, wrestling the cleric until she moved no more. The party quickly searched the enemies corpses, noticing that the greatsword was imbued with a strange brown triangle symbol.

It was here that our session ended. I get to have fun with them in the earth temple next. :evil

Cheers,
Simon.

srmilich
Faen
(6/20/03 8:39 pm)
Reply
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Session 4

After felling the Swordmaster and Miikolak, the party backtracked slightly to explore the north-western passages. They noticed the weird dark sigils on the floor, but nobody could actually read them. (Can you believe it, my party has all but four of the PH languages covered between them, and Terran wasn’t one of them! HA!) :lol Riley used a psionic ability to memorise the language for deciphering later. I suggested writing them down would be easier, but was I listened to? Noooo.

Riley scouted ahead, noticing a troglodyte sitting down, munching on some recently cooked food. With the rest of the party advancing about 100 feet behind him, he moved into the room, hoping to sneak attack the trog. Moving up right next to the trog, seemingly unnoticed, he slashed at her with a dagger. The trog managed to dodge at the last minute, picking up her tanglefoot bag and smashing it into Riley’s side. Riley suddenly found himself covered in a sticky web that made it difficult to move. As the rest of the party raced into the room, the trog drank a potion, shimmering from view.

Two more trogs charged into the room, brandishing their spears. Toyfulzorn and Inuyasha charged into combat, felling the monsters in quick order, but not before Toyfulzorn had taken a spear to the chest. Meanwhile, Riley attempted to search for the invisible trog. Hearing noises in the north-eastern passage, he and Toyfulzorn moved into the passage. Both swung wildly at where they believed the trog to be, but did not make contact. Inuyasha moved to the cavern entrance, by the sigils, as it was the only exit. His patience was to be rewarded. Rocks scattered as the invisible trog tripped near the entrance. Cursing in Draconic, she decided to take her frustrations out on Inuyasha, stabbing him in the side. Inuyasha struck out in retaliation, felling the trog with a single, massive blow.

Moving down out of the tunnel, the party continued onwards, coming towards a large cavern with a thin, trail leading through masses of unstable looking rubble. As they moved forward, they heard a hissing sound, followed by a mass of spikes tearing into their flesh. The manticore emerged from the back of the cave, claws extended.

Toyfulzorn charged, slashing out at the beast, which bit deeply into him as he neared it. Inuyasha did likewise, punching into the beasts leathery hide. Riley, concentrating hard, psionically levitated around the beast so as to attack from the rear. Hassan and Terjon fired at the beast with their missile weapons, while the manticore slashed out with tooth and claw, before Toyfulzorn ended its life.

Exploring a side cave, a small living area was found, which by the smell belonged to another troglodyte. Finding nothing of interest, the party continued onwards, exploring another side cave, to discover a mass of centipedes. Riley levitated through the seething mass, and one or two dropped from the ceiling, one succeeding in biting him. Riley explored the chamber beyond, finding another trog living area, and he searched it briefly, finding an amulet and some amethysts.

As the group continued on, they saw up ahead a rocky looking creature, which upon seeing them approach took to the air and flew off down the passage, making noise as it went. The party pursued, coming across a temple area, with troglodytes massed at the bottom of a dais, while one banged on some drums next to an altar, where two other troglodytes performed a sacrifice. There was also a large xorn sitting at the base of the altar, having just been summoned.

Responding quickly, Riley directed a mind blast at the troglodytes and the three mephits who were at the base of the statue, stunning many. Hassan removed a scroll and cast a spell of silence at the dais, hoping to disrupt any spellcasters.

Toyfulzorn charged the xorn, slashing out at it with his greatsword, however he noticed that it did not have as great an effect as he expected. Snearak, realising what had happened when he could no longer hear the drums, moved down off the dais, hoping to get out of the area of effect.

As more troglodytes charged into the room from another passage, battle was joined. Terjon joined Toyfulzorn to attack the xorn, while Inuyasha moved over to engage Snearak. Ushkathoth moved down the dais towards the xorn, while Riley began attacking the unstunned guards on foot, D’Artagnan having run in fear the moment he stepped into the room.

Snearak incanted a spell, hoping to capture the monk in a spell of holding. (For a moment, I thought I had him here, except for that +2 against enchantment… grrrr) The spell fizzled, and Inuyasha struck out, missing. Snearak tried again, but Inuyasha resisted, striking out and grappling the cleric, hitting the trog repeatedly. Meanwhile, Toyfulzorn was having a bad time of it, the xorn’s tough hide was resisting his sword blows and while it was missing him a lot of the time, the occasional claw and one bite had gotten through his defences.

Enter Ushkathoth. He reached out, casting a spell on the valiant fighter which clouded his thoughts, making him unable to think. Next the leader of the earth temple cast a spell of enragement on the xorn and together they pummeled the defenceless fighter into the ground, despite the best efforts of Terjon to save his companion.

The xorn, sorely wounded by the concerted attacks of both Terjon and Toyfulzorn, began to concentrate on the St Cuthbertian cleric, who was forced to heal himself to stay alive. Riley, having disposed of the remaining guards with some help from the crossbow of Hassan considered flight, being wounded himself. Seeing his companions’ plight, he re-entered the fray, slashing at the xorn with his dagger, while Inuyasha struck out at Ushkathoth, wrestling him like he did Snearak. Between the two of them, Terjon and Riley managed to fell the xorn, as Inuyasha finished off Ushkathoth.

The battle was over, at the cost of a comrade. With a sorry heart the adventurers gathered up the crushed remains of their friend, healed their wounds, and gathered up what valuables they could find. They decided to continue, examining one of the caves towards the back. Inside they discovered some prisoners, who were obviously next in the sacrificial line. One was an elf called Tenaris, who was extremely grateful to be freed. The others were two human peasants from Rastor, while the fourth was a large half-orc called…..wait for it…..Keith! Please feel free to snicker, I know we all did.

Keith: Half-orc Barb7 (replacement for Toyfulzorn)
For the short time he was with us, he was a riot. Every time I announced his turn in initiative by saying his name, we all burst into hysterical laughter.

Keith was as mad as hell about being imprisoned, so much so that Inuyasha and Riley were extremely reluctant to release him because of his ravings. Eventually, I (in the guise of Terjon) was forced to step in and release the barbarian, else force his player to make another character. Sigh, sometimes your players make it hard for you. :\ Keith gathered up his equipment that had been thrown in the corner, and decided to adventure with the group, to seek revenge.

Moving onwards, the party passed through another cave, before coming across a door. Opening it, they entered to find a large Athach there playing with some gems. Inuyasha moved forward, attempting to parley with it (this should have made me very suspicious, as he never does this sort of thing…..I was to learn why shortly). The athach responded by closing the chest, hefting its clubs and braining Inuyasha in the head! :D

Keith roared, charging the beast, getting a club in the head for his trouble. However, the Athach ignored the barbarian for the moment, concentrating on the monk. Two club strikes later and the monk was dead. (I was extremely surprised when this happened, apparently his player conveniently forgot to get any healing after the earth temple bout. I had been resisting him bringing in his monstrosity Kami until Inuyasha died, and he apparently decided to speed up the process)

Riley slashed at the hamstrings of the Athach, and Keith swung his greataxe mightily. While inflicting wounds, it was still up, and responded by clubbing and biting Keith several times. Keith’s strength was sapped from his body, making him less effective, and it took one final slash from Riley to bring the mighty beast down, with Keith bleeding profusely…on one HP and with rage to end in two rounds. Fortunately, Terjon healed the valiant half-orc before his rage could claim his life.

Now down two members, Keith gathered up Axred’s gems, and the party decided to head back to Hommlet, to inform Kami what had happened to his friend. Keith, having got some sort of revenge for the injustices inflicted upon him, decided to return to the orc village with his new found booty. He bid the party farewell, moving down the hill with the chest perched on one shoulder.

And here endeth the session, with the party arriving in Hommlet to bring Kami into the group.

I will introduce him next post….he is a monstrosity!!!! :eek

Cheers, Simon.

Cordo Crowfoot
Faen
(6/23/03 1:40 pm)
Reply
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Names of characters in your campaign sure make me sit up and pay attention since I speak Japanese and live in Japan (Inuyasha, Kami, Shikiri) and since one of my real names is Riley. :)

srmilich
Faen
(6/25/03 12:27 am)
Reply
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Hey Cordo. Well, thats hardly surprising seeing as both Inuyasha and Kami are characters from Oriental adventures. Don't take it as an omen or anything, but Riley died in this session, it doesn't mean I have it in for ya ;) , this session actually occurred about 5 weeks ago.

Session 4 (cont)

Oops, last session didn’t end when I thought it did. Here is the last little bit of session 4.

Okay, as promised, here is the beast himself.

Kami: Constrictor Naga Monk2 (replaces Inuyasha)

This is not the naga from the MM, nooooo. It is the naga listed in OA, a constrictor naga (Human upper torso, snake lower body) which is Huge, 20’ long and has 15’ reach. Because of its size, it does d10 damage, +20 to grapple checks, and was equipped with a ring of shocking blows. I didn’t actually think it would be that bad, but add on combat reflexes, so it gets 6 AOO’s a round, and Improved Grapple and it becomes horrendous. All for the low, low price of ECL +5. :eek

Our other new character was a recycled one…has been used in three campaigns so far. Much to our disgust, he has been brought back again…by unpopular demand, we bring you:

Yevgeny: Half-elf Bard7 (replaces Keith)

Sorry, the sarcastic comments are purely because all but one of our players utterly hate bards. We feel they are useful in a party larger than 6, but otherwise are crap. We have devised some home-brew changes for them to make them slightly palatable. In the 1 and a bit sessions he lived I think I was asked about 3 times to kill him ;-) I didn’t target him for death, it just ended up turning out that way. :\


Our heroes returned to the crater a few days later, only to find the large gates repaired and barred. Kami reared back, smashing the door into pieces. They found the entire entrance area vacant, and so proceeded on their way back through the mines. They were unmolested until they reached the Athach cave, and opened the door to explore the new area. Kami went first, and noticed as he entered a passageway a group of guards sitting down playing cards.

Kami moved forward so that he could strike out at any guard who attempted to move towards a nearby gong, and punched one dead in the face, killing him instantly. The other guards attempted to sound the alarm and to confront the naga, but were cut down before any of them got close. (It was about this point that I realised how much of a beast a naga monk is!!)

A guard from further up the passage stuck his head out, hearing the screams and clash of combat. He quickly raised the alarm, and shouts could be heard from a room towards the end of the corridor. Guards came pouring out of the passages with weapons drawn as the party prepared for battle. Some were cut down by Kami as they charged to attack him, dying either by a punch or via constriction in his tail if they survived the original attack. Yevgeny fired his bow, as did Terjon his crossbow, while Riley charged some of the guards atop D’Artagnan.

As combat became rapidly joined, Alsatian dogs came barking into the room, some attacking the Halfling, while others leaped at Kami, to become corpses within seconds. Soon, a large goblin-like creature came moving down the passage. It incanted some spells, directed at Kami and Hassan, which failed to work. Hassan cast a magic missile at the goblin, which passed right through it! All the adventurers realised that the goblin was an illusion, except for Yevgeny, who remained firmly convinced it was a ghost of some kind. :lol

Suddenly, a larger than average dwarf appeared out of nowhere, swinging his sword at Kami. The blade struck deep into the naga’s side. Kami resented this, swinging out with a fist, striking the dwarf and then wrapping him up in his tail. Kami squeezed, wringing the life out of the dwarf as he valiantly tried to free himself. When the dwarf fell, it seemed that the adventurers would win the day. Over half the guards were down or dying, and victory seemed assured.

Suddenly, the image of the oversize goblin disappeared, and it appeared to walk down the passage again. It was obvious that the image was not an illusion when it struck out at Riley with its sword. Kami moved up towards it, again lashing out and strangling the goblin with its tail. The goblin grinned evilly, and then vanished from the naga’s grasp, appearing on the other side of a passage leading out to a bridge. Seeing their leader flee, two guards followed him out to the bridge, but not before one of them started messing with a wall near the passage entrance.

Kami was suspicious, believing that there was some sort of trap set. Riley, having no immediate opponents, was the first to step out towards the bridge. He took three blows then fell to the floor, bleeding to death. D’artagnan moved forward, gripping his master’s neck to drag him to safety. Both he and Kami were forced to dive for cover as a blast of icy breath struck out at them. Kami reached out and plucked the unconscious halfling off the ground, handing him to Terjon for healing. Then the naga moved forward to engage the chimera, taking several blows for his trouble.

Meanwhile, the oversize goblin was making some sort of horrible screaming noise, then it emerged in a wolf-goblin like state. It charged the naga, but was brought down quickly due to its previous wounds, as were the two remaining guards. The party stood victorious over their opponents, and searched the corpses for valuables.

After being healed by Terjon, Riley decided to scout out the bridge area. He made himself invisible using his psionic abilities, and then proceeded to float about a foot over the bridge itself, moving towards the centre of the crater. As he began to get very close to what appeared to be a door, a bolt of lightning shot out from one of the towers on the interior crater.

Riley attempted to dodge, but was instantly fried by the electrical discharge. As the halfling’s companions stared on in stunned silence, D’Artagnan raced out onto the bridge to be with his master. At a distance of 900 feet, all the remains of the party could see a number of small black shapes emerge from one of the towers. They could hear the sounds of a dog yelping in pain, followed by silence.

Okay, before I get any messages screaming howls of protest about my towers killing a character, read the following.

I decided that after following the comments on the message board, that my towers in the outer fane could fire a lightning bolt from any point on the tower, just not the tip. However I decided that the bolt would not occur when someone is walking on the bridge itself, ie they are grounded. Riley was not grounded, and therefore was subject to a bolt. However, I had forgotten that, as written in the text, that the towers are supposed to inflict enough damage to frighten the characters off.

My bad. :(

Having said that, Riley had about a 70-80% chance of making a DC 20 reflex save and thus taking no damage because of his evasion. His player rolled a 3. Not too much I can do about that, chalk it up to a learning experience for the DM. I could have forewarned the PC’s by frying a bird before Riley got out there, but I didn’t think to. :\

One positive that came out of this was that Riley’s player got to play his fire loving mage called Nuke, who at present, is still alive and well in the campaign (not that he hasn’t had a close call though). Also, Kami’s player and myself came up with a humorous way to handle the situation.

Distraught at the loss of his companion, Kami threw the nearest bard onto the offending tower, which fell over with a resounding crash. “Ah, that’s better,” said the naga. “Who’s hungry?”

It didn’t actually happen, but we thought it was funny. :)

Cheers, Simon.

srmilich
Faen
(7/18/03 5:38 am)
Reply
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Session 5

The party decided that some rest and relaxation was in order. They decided to head to Rastor, hoping that any hue and cry over Tal’s kidnapping had died down. Hassan and Terjon being the only members surviving since Tal’s temporary disappearance decided to stay as close to the naga as possible, hoping that the large snake-man would discourage anyone who was bent on revenge.

Various residents scattered from the streets as they saw the naga heading towards them. One ran to the temple of Moradin, bringing the priest outside to ensure that the naga meant no harm. Once Kami promised to behave himself, the dwarven cleric allowed him to enter the town. (What I would have done if the naga wanted to come in no matter what, I have no idea)

The group entered the local tavern, and settled down to rest, relax and to try to recruit someone to replace their halfling friend. To that end, Hassan placed a notice on the wall asking anyone who was interested in enjoying an adventuring party to come and see him. Then he went upstairs to rest and renew his spellcasting capabilities. Terjon and the others remained downstairs, the former nervously looking around for Tal and his cronies. (I decided that Tal was keeping a low profile until he received a message from the temple telling him to do something about the party)

Yevgeny amused himself by performing a musical act, which was moderately well received by the predominantly dwarven crowd.

Kami spoke with the owner of the Grey Lodge, telling him what they were doing. Yarew was surprised that there was evil in the mountain complex, not being aware of its true motives. Half my players groaned, believing the entire town is in on a conspiracy to hide the temple’s identity and purpose. ;)

As the sun set, two people walked into the tavern, one of them noticing the sign immediately.

Will (Known by the nickname “Nuke”) : Human Wizard7 (specialised in evocation, obsessed with fire, favourite spell is fireball, casts it all the time. Hoping to become an elemental savant, has a fire elemental familiar called Toast. Used in a previous campaign, has the nuclear symbol as a birthmark on the back of a hand)

New Player
CatOwlToadWeasel : Human Fighter4/Sorcerer3 (Sorry about the name, I don’t even think I have it right. He named himself after the list of familiars in the PH. His player has a tendency to call his characters ridiculous names, like Pepper and Bobbitty, probably because he doesn’t take the game that seriously. I referred to him as Toadie for convenience’s sake)

Seeing them overlooking the notice, Kami introduced himself and explained that Hassan was currently resting and wouldn’t be down until the morning. Everyone decided that sleep would be an exceptional idea at that point, and retired for the night. The following day, the party made their introductions, and decided to return to the crater that day.

During the groups absence, the gates had been restored again. Arrows began to fire from the slits as the party approached. Kami again moved forward, smashing the door down with brute force. Hassan attempted to blind those behind a slit by using a smokestick, and to cover the entrance of the others as they charged inside the complex. Inside, they were met by a group comprised of human and bugbear forces.

Combat was joined, the enemy forces being depleted rapidly as the naga fought his way inside through a large group of bugbears. A large ballista bolt shot towards the monk, who deflected it with a fist, accidentally knocking it off its flight path and into an unlucky Yevgeny. Finally, the enemy forces were defeated, with few among the party being injured. My players began to mutter something about enemy respawnings…. :\

It was at this point that I decided that if I wanted combat to last longer than 2 rounds, I was going to have to boost the encounters somewhat. This naga was going to become a problem before too much longer. I was beginning to have doubts as to whether Chymon would be able to take him on. I decided that I would use the monsters as listed in the boosted CRM areas on ZansforCans’ site in the adventure for the moment, changing back if it became too hard.

The party moved back towards the bridge complex, (deciphering the runes preceding the earth temple along the way) and decided to explore the surrounding rooms. Kami found out about the arrow traps preceding the entrance to the commanders quarters the hard way. Finding the chest, the naga smashed the chest open, to recover the treasures within.

Moving out into the nearby passage, the party explored some of the surrounding caves. Yevgeny discovered a pit trap the hard way, falling into it and impaling himself on a spike. After being rescued by Kami, the group moved forward, and were ambushed by some dire apes. They charged the naga, and all were immediately killed as they came within his reach. The leader launched himself off a wall, leaping down onto the naga, getting in a claw attack before being grappled to death.

The party moved onwards, killing some owlbears as they proceeded, until they came across a water filled area with a boat near the far shore. Nuke flatly refused to use the boat, casting levitate and deciding to push himself along via the roof, while Kami chose to swim, seeing as the boat was not large enough for him. The rest of the group used the boat, and rowed out to investigate a strange looking pillar in the centre of the ‘lake’.

As they did so, an ugly looking woman appeared near the side of the boat and capsized it. Hassan and Toadie managed to make it to the pillar almost immediately, Yevgeny promptly proceeded to drown. Terjon, despite having a weaker strength and being clad in heavier armour, managed to make it to the pillar without too much trouble. Nuke, noticing the problems the bard was having, lowered a rope down to the struggling half-elf, pulling him out of the water.

The hag, meanwhile, began to fire arrows upon the group clustered among the pillar. Nuke responded by firing a fireball directly onto the hag. Sorely wounded, the hag continued to fire. Kami, after having reached the opposite shore, turned to face the hag, and felt his strength drain away upon looking at it. Grimacing, he threw his javelin of returning at the hag, spearing it in the side. As the javelin removed itself, the hag fell forwards into the water, dead.

The decision was made to explore the cave the hag was in, and to rest up inside until Kami’s strength was restored. Terjon immediately began to memorise the necessary restorations, while Toadie went in search of the hag’s bow, somewhere in the depths of the water. After a while, he located it and returned to the group. Inside the cave, the party discovered two humans, one in a catatonic state and the other apparently paralysed. Kami was in favour of leaving them to die, as he hated weak beings.

Eventually it was decided to wait and see if they could recover, and as the naga had to wait for Terjon’s restorations anyway, he reluctantly agreed. I was starting to get a little annoyed at the way my NPC was being treated, as they basically ignore Terjon unless they need healing, then they demand he cast his spells on them. This is partially my fault, as I haven’t exactly been roleplaying him much, and he tends to fade into the background as I have a lot of stuff on my mind. I may remove him if I think the party can manage without him. :rolleyes

The captured peasants eventually recovered, giving scant little information before Nuke and Hassan helped them get back towards Rastor. The rest of the party moved into the Water Temple area, taking the more northerly passage. I had decided that Urlurg had scouted the area of the bridge complex and the hag hideout while they were resting, and had reported this to Kelashein. As such, a large contingent of guards had been pulled out to the temple proper, and any plans for an alliance with the party were shelved.

To cut a long story short, the party wiped out what little resistance there was on the northern passages of the water temple. Nuke went through quite a few fireballs, more than I felt was necessary for the rather crap resistance he was up against. Kadiss and his elves put up some resistance, but fortunately his elves were attacked just after Kadiss had cast an invisibility spell, having heard the party coming, and after seeing his guards wiped out in about a round, he wisely decided to fly to be with the remaining temple forces.

Another amusing highlight was Yevgeny falling down into the pit trap and being paralysed by the carrion crawler, having to be saved by Nuke. :p

The party then took on the main part of the temple forces. They mopped up the initial guards, mainly the humans. I decided to use tactics, sending the guards out in waves to begin with, and the only high level character in the initial foray was Oomkaan, who Kami took out in record time. More and more kuo-toa came charging out, and the battle was on in earnest. As the forces inside the temple itself became aware of the attack, a large horn could be heard blowing.

Kadiss appeared, casting a feeblemind spell at Nuke, who failed his save dramatically, and so was running around on intelligence 3, due to his headband of intellect. Nuke, now spellless, threw bottles of bundled together alchemist fire at Kadiss, killing the elf instantly (6d6 +6 dmg, ouch!), :eek then ran away, his familiar standing nearby to herd him away from danger. My party began to worry, their damage wizard now out of commission.

It was at this point, in the middle of combat, that I was forced to end the session, as I had to go to work. Urlurg, Nilbool and Kelashein are about to enter the fray, and that water elemental is going to take on Kami in the ultimate fighting championship!!! :evil

srmilich
Faen
(7/18/03 5:53 am)
Reply
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
Session 6

When play resumed, there were still about 8 kuo-toa fighters still up, and a couple of humans guards, most on full hitpoints. Hassan backed up against a wall, using shield as a defensive measure and summoning bats with his wand. Yevgeny continually fired arrows while hasted and Kami and Toadie engaged the rest in melee. Nilbool and Kelashein emerged, casting their magics, only to have Hassan’s bats attack them and distract them.

Urlurg, seeing most of his enemies engaged apart from the bard, began to attack Yevgeny in earnest, doing lots of damage on the odd occasion he hit. Kami, about to slaughter the head cleric of the water temple, had his hands busy. The water elemental came charging out, striking out at the naga. No AOO’s as they both had 15’ reach, and I wasn’t sure which way it would go. I didn’t have the evil in me to use the demonically infused version from ZansForCans’ site, and I missed Kami’s AC by one several times (-4 penalty to attack and damage on land was saving the naga’s butt!!)

The combat seemed at a stalemate until two things happened. Yevgeny’s haste was about to run out, and he was low on hit points (Urlurg had begun hitting him with regularity). In desperation, the bard backed away 60’ and cast invisibility on himself. Unbeknownst to most of my players, (and me until I read the monster description the night before) kuo-toa have keen sight, so Urlurg simply charged forward and killed the bard with a single blow.

Now the party was in serious trouble, three members down, what with Nuke having fled, Yevgeny lying dead on the ground, and Toadie having also fled due to large amounts of damage, now hiding in his own bag of holding (Please don’t ask, I allowed it so as to avoid a TPK). Terjon was slowly smashing his way through the guards, but was running low on hit points.

As Urlurg returned to the fray, his eyes on Hassan, Kami finally dropped the elemental, managing to grapple it continuously and slowly wear it down with the electrical damage from his ring of shocking blows. (I had been forgetting the size bonuses with my grapple checks, so the elemental just couldn’t break free. I personally feel a water elemental should be able to escape grapples by becoming liquid momentarily, but there isn’t much more I could have done). :rolleyes

The momentum now swung the party’s way, with Kami free to take out Kelashein and Nilbool with ease, then turning his anger on the other guards. Soon, only Urlurg was left. He fled, diving into the hag pool in an effort to escape. Hassan pursued, summoning a shark to attack the kuo-toa. Urlurg evaded it, managing to make it to the opposite bank before he was speared by Kami’s javelin, killing him.

The party quickly looted the area, then took Nuke and Yevgeny’s corpse with them to Verbobonc, hoping to find a cleric to heal Nuke’s malady. Kami chose not to go with them, receiving an animal messenger in Rastor that warned him of the nagas being under attack. Kami bid farewell to the party, then left. (This was a generous offer from Kami’s player to retire the character, as he was drastically affecting game balance and forcing me to pit monstrosities against the party just to give him a challenge).

Upon their return from Verbobonc, the party had two new members.

Bellag: Elf Ranger7 (replacement for Yevgeny, going to become arcane archer)

Vellian: Pixie Rogue2/Assassin1 (NE pixie who had his entire village killed by a green dragon, and swore revenge. Spent time studying invisibly in an assassins guild, replacement for Kami. I may include his background in the game, meaning he recognises Hedrack's assassins, and that Varanthis destroyed his family and friends)

The discrepancy in levels for these characters is because I had decided not to enforce the one level lower rule for new characters until the average party level reached level 8, so as not to have the party becoming less effective as the combats got harder. I made an exception for Vellian from this rule as his player retired Kami in order to make the game more even, and I felt he shouldn’t be punished for that.

The party then returned to the mines, taking out the bugbears quite quickly, managing to hit a corpsebomb while in the mine cart due to some over-exuberant cart pumping by Toadie. They entered the bridge complex area, taking out the black pudding and the displacer beasts before the session ended, with me about to unleash Eeridik and his cronies. :evil

I have decided to continue using the boosted monsters, as Vellian is quite capable of taking out enemies quite quickly, always invisible means a sneak attack every single round!! I will alter this if it seems that the party is going to be overpowered.

Cheers, Simon.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(7/18/03 7:27 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Simon's Campaign Log (Newbie DM (Long!!))
"This was a generous offer from Kami’s player to retire the character..."

Quite so. However, I don't think you're much better off with the pixie assassin. It'll be even worse now as Vellian will always go off, in front, by himself and kill all the opponents. Now, you will go from everyone else getting lambasted to everyone else becoming bored as the pixie does all the work, except in rare cases.

PS Why did the water temple forces leave the water? They should have forced the party to enter the water, putting up a screen or two (e.g. obscuring mist) to keep out missile fire. That would have made the water elemental much tougher, allowing it to use vortex and get the +1 on attacks and damage.

Anyway, I hope everyone's having fun! I'd suggest you not boost, however.

DestyNova1
Faen
(7/18/03 6:13 pm)
Reply
Pixies
Perhaps Vellian should find it more difficult to death attack with tiny weapons.

srmilich
Faen
(7/19/03 4:31 am)
Reply
Re: Pixies
Perhaps Vellian should find it more difficult to death attack with tiny weapons.

Well, he can use small weapons, as pixies are small, not tiny. He currently uses a bow or his assassins dagger.

I don't think you're much better off with the pixie assassin.

That did occur to me too, but its worked out okay so far. Vellian tends to go off and do some pre-emptive looting or focus on one enemy while the rest of the group attacks. He almost never goes off on his own. Also, sneak attack won't always work against certain foes, so he is nowhere near as deadly as the naga.

He will generally only study foes that he considers worthy of his attention. For instance, as will be shown in the next log, Tac has evaded his death attack twice now, and that has really annoyed him!! :D

He also suffers from a chronic lack of hitpoints due to his high ECL. If someone sneezes on him, hes going to die.

The only problem is I haven't actually damaged him at all, his reflex save is insane, so he can usually dodge any area attack spells. I am prepared to wait though, and let him harass the mine residents, as Hedrack now knows there is a pixie in the mines, so he will have his minions making see invisibility scrolls so he can deal with the little bugger! Not to mention that invisibility ain't gonna help against Chymon.....:evil .....and he can't sneak attack Thrommel :evil :evil


Why did the water temple forces leave the water?

Well, I guess I got kinda overeager. Plus, I didn't like my chances of getting them to come into a darkened, water-filled area that obviously had more troops inside it....it kinda spells out TRAP in flashing neon letters....;)

srmilich
Faen
(7/29/03 3:15 am)
Reply
Re: Session 7
Session 7

This session occurred about three weeks after the last one, due to exams intruding in on our lives. 3 weeks without D&D….I am seriously surprised we didn’t all suffer from withdrawal. Hassan and Toadie’s players were not available for this game, and as they did not provide us with their character sheets, I basically made them invisible for the session….no exp for them!!

The party now stands as:

Bellag: NG Elf Ranger7
Vellian: NE Pixie Rogue2/Assassin1
Hassan: LN Human Monk1/Cleric1 of Fharlangan/Wiz7
Nuke:        CN Human Wiz5/Elemental Savant4
ToadWeasel: CN Human Fighter4/Sorc4
Terjon: LG Human Cleric9 of St. Cuthbert (NPC)

With Toadie and Hassan off on ‘a magical retreat’ somewhere, and their resources depleted, the party was most likely not ready for anything major. Nonetheless, they moved onward. Vellian moved forward to check out the next areas. He came across some guards, accompanied by two trolls. The troll smelt the pixie when he approached, and combat was joined, with one of the guards sounding the alarm.

Thanks to some well placed fireballs. Nuke managed to take out most of the guards, and two trolls, before some more trolls, Eeridik, Tac and the render, fully glyphed, made an appearance. Tac pummelled Bellag for a bit, while Vellian began to study the monk. Eeridik, sneaking upon the party and invisible (improved), let fly with a cone of cold, instantly killing Terjon. After taking some troll claw damage, and running out of spells, Nuke fled, followed by Bellag. Eeridik placed a wall of force at the cave entrance, and teleported away to report to Hedrack.

Vellian moved to assassinate the monk, and was extremely disappointed to find a wall of force blocking the way (Pure luck on my part that he was on the wrong side). In frustration, he became visible, and began to taunt the remaining trolls and render. Vellian noticed a scry bubble had appeared next to him, and after flipping it off, went to rejoin his companions.

So now, Hedrack knows there is a pixie in the group, and that these annoying adventurers are still giving him a headache. I decided that he would keep one of the assassins on standby for the next time they entered the bridge area. I really should prepare for this situation more readily, as well as Ukemil, the stalkers and Dunrat with Maridosen as well, seeing as they escaped the carnage in Hommlet. It always seems to slip my mind though….sigh. On the plus side, I got to loot Terjon’s corpse, which caused my players all sorts of consternation.

Quote: “But…but….the DM isn’t allowed to loot…”

Muahahahahahaha. :evil

The party regrouped in a cave near the earth temple, to discuss what had happened, and to rest and recover spells. I (in the guise of Hassan, who had momentarily returned) suggested that maybe the party was overmatched, and we should consider going in the opposite direction around the mines. Of course, my players completely ignored any suggestion which would save their lives. Huh, what do I know? I’m only the DM.


The remaining trio of heroes, after resting, returned to the bridge complex. Again, Vellian scouted ahead, finding the render sitting on the floor, chewing the remains of Terjon, accompanied by a troll. The render, smelling the presence of the pixie, began to chase it around the room, the pixie always flitting out of reach. Imagine a big, lumbering render, futilely chasing a mosquito around a room, and you might get an idea of how funny this would look. :lol


The troll, seeing the render acting this way, pulled the alarm rope again, and in response, Nuke fireballed the area, damaging the render significantly. 3 more trolls appeared in the next few rounds, followed by some more guards, Tac and Eeridik (again invisible). Nuke continually fireballed the trolls, while Vellian concentrated on Tac, sneak attacking him again and again. After Eeridik used a magical attack on Nuke, the mage responded by casting see invisibility, then fireballing the wererat. (Eeridik wasn’t in hybrid form, so his lycanthropy so far remains undiscovered).

After feeling the pain of Nuke’s attack, the wererat teleported away to near his quarters. Tac, in frustration and agony, fled through Eeridiks summoning circle, bringing forth the bebilith. Eeridik brought forth a wall of force just after the fleeing monk, managing to again stop the pixie from killing his foe. As he hovered by the wall, the pixie noticed the monk fleeing after gathering some possessions from a nearby room. Vellian, not wanting to get anywhere near the bebilith, fled, as did his companions, both Nuke and Bellag being sorely wounded by the attacks of monk, wererat, and the now dead trolls and render.

Again our heroes regrouped, having had to flee in the face of victory. They rested and recovered, and resolved to attack the bridge one last time, to overwhelm the remaining monsters. When they arrived via teleport, the bebilith saw them immediately and charged. Everyone withdrew into the small entry passage, where the bebilith could not follow due to its size, and Nuke fireballed it. Much to my disgust, I discovered no fire resistances for my poor little monster, and so it responded by firing a mass of webs to block off the passage.

Nuke discovered, to his dismay that he could not get the webs to light, so instead he dimension doored his companions to the summoning circle to bypass the obstruction. The bebilith charged Bellag, biting deeply into him, injecting mass amounts of poison and draining away his Con. The elf fled away from the monster, where it again fired its webs, trapping him inside. Nuke again fireballed the spider beast, killing it instantly.

Nuke, having used up his transportation spells for the day, decided to wait in a nearby passage, studying his spellbook, while Vellian scouted out the sounds of shouting he could hear from a side passage currently blocked by the ranger-enmeshed webs. Bellag tried futilely to break free, and could hear the sounds of large monsters tearing through the web to get to him. Vellian easily moved through the webs, emerging to see a troop of frightened looking guards standing in front of a locked and barred gate, while some ogres accompanied by two trolls attempted to get the ranger.

The ranger finally managed to free himself and break out of the webs just before a troll reached him, so he ran through the bridge area, to the other bebilith webs and attempted to get through those and escape. Vellian decided to amuse himself by attacking some of the guards, and then creating a permanent image on a nearby mural of humans being eaten. This proved too much for the guards to take, so they fled, breaking through the webs, and following the path set by the ranger.

A door further up the passage opened, and Vellian moved to investigate. Seeing Tac, he began to study him, following the monk as he moved to oversee the ogres demolishing the web. Finally, the pixie struck, stabbing the monk viciously. Tac staggered, but remained alive, then began to swing wildly, hoping to hit the pixie by luck. Vellian simply dodged, shooting Tac with his bow every so often.

Meanwhile, Bethe and Eeridik had teleported to the wererat’s quarters. The sorcerer cast improved invisibility on the assassin and himself, then they both crept out to where Hedrack’s scrying had revealed the lone wizard’s location. Bethe, having been forewarned about the fact the wizard had the ability to see invisible things, snuck up to a convenient location, studied the mage for a time, then struck.

Nuke faltered, but did not fall. Casting haste and then fly, he attempted to blast the sorcerer and the assassin with consecutive fireballs, taking two thrusts from the assassin for his trouble. He flew to the summoning area, repeating the gesture, (and taking a slash from Eeridiks dagger in the process – hello fort save vs lycanthropy) but also taking damage from the trolls who had been pursuing Bellag. It seemed he might destroy his enemies alone, until Eeridik managed to dispel all his current spells bar the endurance (just as well, if he had lost that, he would have been dead!)



Nuke attempted to flee, but ran into a wall of force the wererat had put up while the assassin had been preparing for his death attack. Eeridik ordered the trolls to capture the now defenceless mage, and Nuke was soon clubbed into unconsciousness. The wererat called for Tac, putting up a wall of force directly behind the monk as he fled, to avoid death by pixie. (Yet again saving the monks butt!! Vellian’s player was NOT impressed!)

Vellian saw Tac and Nuke shimmer then disappear via Eeridiks teleport spell, just before he disintegrated the wall of force with a scroll of disintegrate he had purchased. He took out his frustrations on the ogres, slaughtering the lot of them. He then attempted to monkey with the crypts, finding it beyond his strength, before leaving and returning to Rastor.

Later that day, Nuke awakened in a windowless, dirty cell without any of his items. He sat there for about half an hour, until Varachan entered the cell and introduced himself, explaining his role in the temple and that he was here to help. After sternly admonishing Nuke for attacking the bridge complex with so few, he advised him to try moving in the opposite direction around the mines, as he did not judge the party powerful enough to take on the might of the fire temple as yet. He then handed Nuke a scroll of teleport, as well as a bag of holding containing Nuke’s items. The wizard immediately departed.

And so I have introduced Varachan. It was probably generous of me to return Nuke’s items (most of them, Eeridik stole a few), but I think the party probably deserved a break considering the large number of deaths they have had. They will find a note in Nuke’s possessions from Varachan outlining the conversation he and Nuke had, and Nuke will notice the loss of his ring of protection and ioun stone of spell storing. Not to mention the fort save he has to make next full moon or become a wererat!!

Hopefully have a new log up shortly. I am slowly but surely catching up to our current sessions (only two behind now!! ;) )

Cheers,
Simon

srmilich
Faen
(8/3/03 10:18 pm)
Reply
Session 8
Session 8

The party now stands as:

Bellag: NG Elf Ranger9
Vellian: NE Pixie Rogue2/Assassin3
Hassan: LN Human Monk1/Cleric1 of Fharlangan/Wiz8
Nuke:        CN Human Wiz5/Elemental Savant5
ToadWeasel: CN Human Fighter4/Sorc4

With Nuke’s sudden reappearance, Vellian was immediately suspicious. He immediately holed up in a room in the inn in Rastor to question the wizard extensively, to determine why and how the cult had let him leave. After this had finished, Nuke examined his possessions, noticing a note from the cult member he had met. After all in the party had read the note and decided that Varachan seemed to be on the level, the note was destroyed. The decision was made to follow his advice and to go on the alternate route through the mines.

The party moved into the mine entrance area again, heading towards the south. They all decided to not use the carts, but to walk along the mine tracks. The basilisk created some serious argument about gaze attack rules, ending up with me having to explain that they still had to make saves at the beginning of their turn, even if the monster wasn’t actively looking at them. I think the discussion lasted longer than the combat. :rolleyes In any case the beast was soon slain.

Bellag wandered off on his own for a bit, disturbing the thoqqas who set him alight. The party soon dealt with the fire worms, while the elf rolled on the ground extinguishing the fire. As soon as the ranger composed himself, the group moved onwards to the next area, where Marlgran heard them coming, and hurling a thunderstone, deafening Nuke. The ettin then pounded on Bellag with his clubs, while his rust monster charged Toadie, dissolving his animated tower shield and magical greatsword. (I know, tower shields are made of wood. We realised this later, and I offered to return it to Toadie’s player, but he stated that his WAS made of metal).

Eventually, the ettin and his pet went down. Much confusion reigned when we realised that no duration is listed for the effects of a thunderstone, so I decided that Nuke would be considered deaf until he sought out some healing from a cleric. Probably incorrect, but as I couldn’t find any rule to the contrary, I had to judge the situation as I went along. So Nuke now has to make miscast rolls.

Toadie, now weaponless, took the ettin’s greatclub and the party continued on. They discovered the pool, and Toadie went swimming, discovering the corpses, while Vellian found the ledge and assorted valuables. Hassan went for a wander, bored with waiting for Toadie to finish his diving, and discovered the ochre jelly, which pursued him back to the party, to be fireballed by Nuke.

Afterwards, they all followed the side passage, walking straight past the kuo-toa spy, which vanished when it saw Vellian noticing it, emerging out by the platform. Vellian flew up to the top to examine it, and this was the point that Vranthis chose to strike. Swooping past, he breathed on the party as he emerged into the cavern. Vellian immediately hid, recognising the beast. (In his background, his family was killed by a green dragon, I inserted Vranthis as the likely monster.)

Nuke fireballed the beast, as did Hassan, while Bellag fired arrows. Vranthis sped past, biting the wizard as he did, before settling on top of the platform, to again catch fireballs and arrows for his trouble. Not feeling particularly well, he decided to flee into the Stalagos, breathing on the party as he did so. He shall remain there, nursing his considerable wounds until I decide to introduce him again. Maybe as the party takes boat out to the water door. :evil

The party checked out his cave, taking out the girallon and removing all the loot, then moved on, killing the digester and taking damage from a cave in before entering the fungus forest. For some inexplicable reason Nuke was offended by the beasts living amongst the fungus and set fire to it, but not before one of the umber hulks emerged, doing some damage and confusing the pixie before dying. There were some nervous moments as I made my rolls, with Hassan taking some sneak attacks from Vellian before the spells wore off.

The smoke from the fungus was quite thick, so the decision was made to rest and rememorise spells until it burnt itself out. Upon conclusion of this, they re-entered the cave, and Toadie charged along a side passage before falling into a pit, while the rest of the party engaged the umber hulk that had dug it. After finishing it off, they all moved into the southern passages, killing two trolls that guarded a door, but not before one of the beasts howled out for assistance.

After their deaths, the group waited for more opponents to come charging out, but were disappointed. They cautiously moved forward, listening at doors before moving on. (Giving me enough time to have the bridge forces organise their defences) As the party entered the bridge complex proper, they were attacked by the deinonychuses, and some temple guards, defeating them in reasonably quick order, before being attacked by more, the guards attacking in waves.

Heunar emerged from invisibility, casting a magic missile at Hassan, which was absorbed by his brooch of shielding. After my players got over their laughter at the idea of a half-orc wizard (“You have made a bad career choice!” quipped one player), he was fireballed by Nuke. Vellian meanwhile had flown over to the door that Heunar had emerged from, to see Tippesh there, staring in shock at this pixie who had appeared out of nowhere (had cast see invisibility to see where Heunar was).

Vellian noticed two hill giants lope past the end of the passage, obviously heading towards the rest of the party, before the hall went black. He dispelled the darkness, then dodged a fireball as the wizard attempted to kill him. He moved through the wizards quarters, snagging a potion as he went, before emerging out the other door to not see the wizard anywhere.

The rest of the party was fighting for its life. The hill giants had moved in, smashing everyone in sight, with Bellag having been cut off from the rest of the party as the wizards and Toadie retreated somewhat. He was being heavily pounded on by the giants, and the situation got worse when the trolls emerged from what was thought to be a previously empty room. Nuke responded by fireballing them, and was astonished to see one of them appear completely unharmed! (Go potion of protection from elements!!)

The trolls started inflicting heavy damage, eventually dropping Toadie to negative hp’s and seriously damaging Hassan and Nuke. Bellag, after dropping one of the hill giants had to contend with a troll at his rear, and Tippesh re-emerged, casting a lightning bolt at Nuke and Hassan before fleeing after catching one of Nuke’s trademark fireballs. The situation looked grim, until Vellian, responding to calls of “Save us death-pixie!!”, entered the fray, dropping one of the trolls. Nuke flew past the remaining troll and hill giant to cast another fireball from down the corridor when he heard a voice from over his shoulder.

“If you want to do a job right, you gotta do it yourself!!” D’gran, emerging from invisibility behind the mage, let fly with a cone of cold, badly injuring the wizard, and killing both the hill giant and Bellag. He then took a sneak attack from Vellian, and two empowered fireballs from Nuke to end his reign of terror. (I was disgusted at his lack of hit points due to ECL. Grr. He lasted one fricking round!! One! >:

The last remaining troll played a game of cat and mouse with Hassan, before Nuke killed it off, and lots of looting started. Vellian, in the course of his searching, came across the shackled Descritad, who he freed and then received all of the Halfling’s treasure in return. After this was complete, the party teleported to Verbobonc for some rest and relaxation, and where Bellag was resurrected.

The session ended here, with some various item buying and selling will occur, before the assault on the mines continues.

Almost caught up in my logs now!!

Cheers, Simon.

srmilich
Faen
(8/4/03 1:46 am)
Reply
Re: Session 9
Session 9

The party is now:

Bellag: NG Elf Ranger9
Vellian: NE Pixie Rogue2/Assassin4
Hassan: LN Human Monk1/Cleric1 of Fharlangan/Wiz8
Nuke:        CN Human Wiz5/Elemental Savant5
ToadWeasel: CN Human Fighter4/Sorc5
Descritad: CN Halfling Barb3/Rog3 (NPC)

Hassan and Toadie’s players were again absent, so they spent all the session doing something or other. Everyone else decided to spend some time in Verbobonc, the pixie wanting to buy some poison, the wizard wanting to sell some items, and the ranger decided to go spend some time in the wilderness.

Vellian opened one of the spellbooks he had picked up, belonging to Heunar and Tippesh, only to find that it exploded in his face. This was actually the first time I had damaged the pixie at all!! :eek Just to be vindictive, and to pay me back for doing it, his player had Vellian open the next book in a crowd of peasants, killing them all. >:

The pixie then amused himself by paralysing a young pickpocket, finding out the location of the local thieves guild, killing her, then putting her body in a bag of holding.

He then flew to the guild, attempted to gain entrance, failed, then dumped the body and alerted the guard of its location next to the guild. In the ensuing chaos, as the guards broke the door down, everyone fled the guild via the sewers, taking what they could. The pixie flew in after the guards, taking what crappy poisons remained, then rejoined his companions. That night, he short-sheeted almost every bed that was currently unoccupied, and wrecked the clothes of the occupants near the ones that were.

Also, later that week, he confused a guard, who started attacking nearby peasants, then created an image of a red dragon swooping down on the marketplace breathing flames. After scaring the occupant of a scroll shop away, he stole some scrolls and wands, and also organised the making of a skill boosting device that he used to get see invisibility permanencied on himself. All very amusing, and he earned himself some role-playing exp for acting so pixie-like.

On the second night in Verbobonc, Hedrack sent his stalkers after them, one to attack Nuke, and one to attack Bellag. Bellag’s managed to attack him several times, before he fled from it, and as he moves so much faster, it eventually gave up and returned to Hedrack. The other one attacked Nuke in his room as he slept, nearly killing the wizard before he fireballed it to death. Sigh, I can usually drop the mage to low hitpoints, but not quite finish him off. :\

The remainder of the time was uneventful, and eventually the party teleported back to Rastor, where the decision was made to search for another entrance, in case Vranthis came back. Bellag had questioned Descritad as to her role in the bridge complex, and she had mentioned of a possibility there was another entrance around, although she had never been there herself. After some searching, and an incident with a xorn, they came across another entrance which appeared to be unguarded.

Descritad moved inside, taking a shot from the sniper for her trouble, followed by shouting of “Intruders!”. Everyone charged inside a side room, attacking the gnolls that lurked there, while Vellian confused the sniper guard, who spent the rest of the combat staring blankly off into space. As the others emerged from the room, the slots on the barricade opened up, and arrows shot forth, while humans and bugbears moved from other rooms.

Vellian immediately disintegrated the door, exposing a mass of archers and some ogres, which Nuke promptly fireballed. One of them, armed with a rapier, charged the wizard and wounded him several times. The wizard soon found himself surrounded by Kellial, Graud and an ogre, as Descritad had charged off the corridor and been brought down by some orcs. Bellag remained near a doorway, firing his arrows, and the pixie killed the remaining mooks.

As Choranth, her skeletons and the elemental entered the fray, along with Fachish, Nuke panicked, as he was heavily wounded. He backed off one move, and fireballed the general vicinity, killing Kellial, Graud and two of the skeletons. Unfortunately, Bellag was also caught in the radius, and he was badly damaged by the fireball. The elemental moved up to Nuke, who tried to teleport away, only to find that he could no longer speak. Ah, silenced air elemental! Thank you Andorax!! Instead the wizard flew down the mountainside to recover some hit points.

The dire bear skeleton, (and thank you to whoever suggested using these monstrosities, (I forget who it was, I know they were designed by Sean K Reynolds though, thanks Sean!!)) moved up and full attacked the ranger, dropping but not killing him, leaving only the pixie, some guards and the two clerics and a skeleton remaining. Choranth grabbed the ranger and moved off with his body. The pixie attacked Fachish and killed his guards, but when he tried it again, the cleric let fly with an invisibility purge, exposing the pixie to all and sundry.

The pixie took damage from the skeleton and the elemental, as well as before he could resume his invisibility (I misread the purge description, thought it was instantaneous), and he dropped the dire bear. Nuke re-entered the fray, despite being low on hitpoints, and was gathered up in the vortex of the elemental, certain to be killed next round. Fachish had fled from the pixie, gaseous forming into the sniper room, so Vellian disintegrated the elemental with his last remaining scroll, to the resounding cheers and high-fives from the players. :D

Some quick looting was had, before Vellian and Nuke left for the relative safety of Rastor. Bellag is to be given to the gargoyles, possibly rescued if the party moves quickly enough, but the overall temple is pretty much gutted. I just hope I can convince my players to go back to the dwarven temple so that they can make a secure base, and so I can unleash Thrommel on my players later on. Andorax, you da man!! :evil

Cheers,

Simon.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(8/4/03 7:25 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Session 9
You must not let the pixie's actions in Verbobonc go unpunished. Verbobonc is a large city and certainly the thieves' guild is powerful. I'd wager that a high level rogue/assassin or ranger/assassin bounter hunter would be sent to kill the pixie. Indeed, even the town guard should be after him. There has been other threads on this (maybe you started them, don't remember quite honestly) and it is a very bad idea to have someone mess with such a large city without consequence. With spells like commune and speak with dead, it will be a simple matter to find out who did it and track them down. Paying a high level cleric to cast these spells is relatively cheap. At first, it seemed like the pixie character was not abusing it, but now he seems to be and should be removed before it is too late.

Also, the one trick wonder Nuke should find his one trick mitigated by spell immunity (also negates metamagicked fireballs, too, so it would work against empowered fireball).

Great updates, by the way, keep 'em coming!

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