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Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/22/03 12:12 pm)
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Tightening the Recovered Temple Defenses
Ok, for those of you who've caught the latest episode in my Campaign Log (Andorax's Sunday Night Campaign), the party's withdrawn yet again.

I'm running out of creative ideas without resorting to overwhelming force.

Last time, they faced Lareth, Susain and Dugart in the Greater Temple. Lareth summoned a Greater Fire Elemental and just walked out. The Second watched from beyond the curtain and did nothing. Kex was kept back as a watchman and didn't advance until after the priests had fled.

Susain and Dugart safely retreated to the Inner Fane.


So...now what? My first inclination is to have all the other DDs (Estalion and Thuchos, although I suppose Thuchos could have been eaten by the Purple Worm) back in the Greater Temple area, along with a returned Dugart and Susain. Logically, at least one PA or GPA will have been summoned...Dugart has a demon's name as one of his Doomdreamer benefits.

Alternately, I can also see The Second having a complex illusion of all of the above in the room already, and then have the real ones step out from behind the curtain when the PCs waste their first round or two of attack spells.

I'd like to have Kex blast his way to another node. It won't be activated yet, but the additional tunnel can provide a cause for severe worry on the part of the party. Due purely to internal politics (presense of The Second), I'll be making it the Water Node's hallway.

The one saving grace I can think of is to have Lareth safely ensconsed in the Fire Node. If he has the Orb of Oblivion with him, he's already immune to fire and doesn't need any scrolls or such. This prevents another Greater Fire Elemental from pummeling them (and places it in Imix's room).



Other ideas? Do I need to try again to get the Orb of Silvery Death from the party during the night? Lareth knows Lyssa carries it. Do I need to "punish" Hommlet for harboring them? Should notable NPCs of Hommlet come along to help, providing more targets (and more fodder) for the big showdown in the Greater Temple?

Most importantly...how do I get a gunshy party with limited resources kicked in the arse and down that tunnel into the Fire Node?

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

ronin
Here for a while
(4/22/03 4:41 pm)
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Re: Tightening the "D" of the Recovered Temple
My PCs did the same thing IMC. They would head in, fight one battle, two at most, and then flee to safety. I had a feeling this would be an issue so I tried to plan ahead.

I used the environment around the PCs to forewarn them of things to come. I altered fire in every way I could devise. I had campfires grow larger, fire effect spells got stronger, and eventually had the PCs get a report of a lake on fire. This made the PCs start investigating these events. Thats when the party clerics started casting their spells.

Thru the use of these spells (mainly divination) and some deductive reasoning they had their own "countdown clock" to the destruction of the world as they know it. They weren't worried until they got an answer to a question about the end of the world. Then they figured it was no more than one week away (since divination doesn't work into the future further that a week).

I never clued them in one way or another, they just ran with it and got all sorts of paranoid. I had hoped for that to happen and since they didn't cast divination daily there was no way for them to "pinpoint" the exact day of destruction. They just knew it was less than a week away. Every day after that point they'd always wonder if they should ever leave and return another day. This pretty much kept them on their toes for the remainder of the adventure.

I suppose you could have an NPC cast divination and come up with the same result and inform the PCs. It seems you'd be locked into having the NPCs travel with the party after this though. Why would they just inform the party and not take an active part in "saving" the entire world? I don't think I'd punish Hommlet either since the DDs have a much bigger fish on their plate at the moment.

If you could time it right heres a thought. Have some NPCs travel with the party back to the recovered temple. Stage a battle in the greater temple area and use the NPCs for fodder (to an extent)as you mentioned earlier. Do your best to minimize the damage the PCs take while keeping the battle exciting (I know, a hard task indeed). Then as the last NPC falls have them shout out "Leave me, get to the fire node and stop Lareth!!"

If an NPC(s) gave the PCs information about the tight timeline, then pushed the PCs to move quickly while traveling with them, and then fell in a climatic battle in the greater temple to gain access to the fire node, all the while screaming for the PCs to "act quickly" to stop the destruction of the world, would the PCs decide to press on or leave to regroup and heal?

The above would leave alot to chance and then still may not work. I don't know if I could pull it off or not to be honest. Maybe it'll spur someone elses mind to come up with a better suggestion. If it makes you feel any better my group was a little shy about heading down that tunnel into the fire node as well.

Good luck Andorax. Enjoy the last few sessions. If your campaign went anything like mine it will be one to talk about for years to come.

ronin


Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 7:19 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Tightening the Recovered Temple Defenses
"Alternately, I can also see The Second having a complex illusion..."
I think this would be a great idea. Does your group typically prepare true seeing? This would punish them (possibly severely) for not being prepared like that. I like it. Definitely have Dugart summon an ally. Perhaps have all of them summon allies (maybe most if not all using lesser) as the first line of defense, once the party has been detected (probably by Lareth, who will send a minion to notify the DD's in the Greater Temple).

I wouldn't think Kex would be motivated on his own to start digging out another node. The DD's certainly aren't ready for it. He might, however, dig a secret escape route upwards, possibly convincing Falrinth or someone else to put a wall of stone (i.e. anti-magic eye up, float through, wall automatically closes behind him) blocking a vertical shaft to a concealed entrance on the surface.

I would not have the DD's attempt to retrieve the Orb yet. However, perhaps during combat the Orb can be targeted (with a dispel magic, disarm, or other things). It can still serve its purpose by pinpointing the party.

I also would not punish Hommlet in force. However, I think it would be a great idea for some townspeople to "disappear" and be present in the greater temple as potential sacrifices. Give them names or use some of the NPC's from the book, such that the party recognizes many of them. Have the DD's threaten to kill the innocents unless the party relinquishes the Orb of Silvery Death (for example). Lots of potential here. You can even use this as a method for getting the group down the hallway, by visible dragging a couple of sacrifices, er, townspeople, to the fire node.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 8:40 am)
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Re: Tightening the Recovered Temple Defenses
Some good ideas here.

1) Kex would be motivated by The Second telling him to. Remember, he's still on-site and well motivated to get the excavation underway, even if the rest isn't in place yet.

Still, I like the "escape route" idea, and I think the tunnel down towards the Water node will have an upward shaft to it.


2) My big concern is that the DDs know full well that anyone who actively bears and uses the OOSD will be immune to their spells and powers, and that WORRIES them (by the way, the party's shooting themselves in the foot by keeping it locked up).

3) I do like the idea of the sacrifices. I'll toy with that a bit over the course of the next few days.


On an unrelated note..I saw you added my takes on Eeridik and Tac to the BOB thread. When I did them, though, I didn't make the source very clear. Would you mind replacing

ATS 4 on Eeridik with "Acolyte of the Skin [T&B] 4"
and
TAT 3 on Tac with "Tattooed Monk [OA] 3"

I'd have just emailed you this, but alas you do not list your address.

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

Edited by: Andorax at: 4/24/03 8:43:43 am
Zenon
Here for a while
(4/24/03 9:19 am)
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Re: Tightening the Recovered Temple Defenses
Quote:
He might, however, dig a secret escape route upwards, possibly convincing Falrinth or someone else to put a wall of stone (i.e. anti-magic eye up, float through, wall automatically closes behind him) blocking a vertical shaft to a concealed entrance on the surface.


Umm, that won't work. The Wall of Stone cannot be cancelled by the anti-magic eye.

From the SRD:
Quote:
Wall of Stone
Conjuration (Creation)
Level: Clr 5, Drd 6, Earth 5, Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V, S, M/DF
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect: Stone wall whose area is up to one 5-ft. square/level (S)
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: See text
Spell Resistance: No


Duration is Instantaneous. According to the section on durations:
Quote:
Instantaneous: The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences of the spell might be long-lasting.


If it were Permanent like Polymorph Other, then the above tactic would work:
Quote:
Polymorph Other
Transmutation
Level: Sor/Wiz 4
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target: One creature
Duration: Permanent
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes


Quote:
Permanent: The energy remains as long as the effect does. This means the spell is vulnerable to dispel magic.


So, after the instant of creation, the wall is normal rock. It cannot be dispelled or cancelled by anti-magic.

The duration on a Fireball spell is Instantaneous. Would you allow an anti-magic field to "remove" damage done by it?

The above is a tricky concept (permanent and instantaneous, and what is subject to being dispelled or supressed).


Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 10:29 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Tightening the Recovered Temple Defenses
1. I don't have the module handy, but I thought the arrange with Kex was one of convenience, not one of obedience to anything having to do with the ToEE. This is similar to Falrinth. He's only there for the money. Either way, that's probably how I'll play as I don't see beholders letting any non-beholder be in a higher ranking position.

2. Yeah, I forgot about the immunity thing. That changes things drastically for the DD's. They still might not attempt an attack on the PC's directly, but might lure them into the RT again, with a sizeable (outside) force who has the sole purpose of extracting the OoSD from the PC. I don't recall if the immunity extends to summoned or called (via planar ally) creatures. Doubt it.

re: wall of stone - I was just thinking of an example. Perhaps a permanent wall of force then (maybe via a scroll or two)? If you have the 2e beholder modules, there was a special kind of black stone that was permanent, but could be dispelled. I forgot the name of it off hand though. If you are interested in this, I could look it up tonight when I get home and post again. Specifically, in the module, the beholder would wait above with the stone dispelled, while the party walked into the room, then he would close his eye, encasing the legs of the party in the stone. It doesn't hurt or kill (though it may suffocate and hold people in place) and if dispelled via dispel magic it is only gone for 1d4 rounds like a normal magical item.

BoB: I edited the thread. I don't have my e-mail posted, but I respond to PM's. If you (or anyone else on the RttToEE forum) needs my real e-mail address, however, please PM me and I'll send you my addy. I have no generic/anonymous e-mail account, so I generally don't give out my personal address.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 11:19 am)
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Re: Tightening the Recovered Temple Defenses
Ok...so he's there for the money. That doesn't mean that The Second STILL can't influence him, and tunneling is a whole lot safer than being part of the front-line defenses when the bad nasty heroes return.

I'm familiar with the beholder modules, and the black stone you're referring to. Alas, I figure that takes some serious time and resources.

Perhaps something as mundane as the stone archway leading to the water node being very carefully disintegrated in such a way that blasting the capstone with another disintegrate will cause the whole thing to come down, and he can escape free from pursuit up the vertical shaft?



Aside from that...any suggestions for a summoned ally that would be particularly good at "liberating" the OOSD from Lyssa's person?

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

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