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Here for a while
(4/24/03 11:41 am)
Monster Summon 7 and Scrying
I was perusing the PHB last night and a very eveil tought occured to me....

My gorup just took out the water temple. That makes 3 temples. Victor had a shot at taking out a group member but failed. Luckily, he escaped, and spooked the party good. Hedrack sent both assasins to investigate the bolt hole that the party was holed up in (Dwarven bolt hole in Earth bridge area) while the party was out investigating the air temple area. They (the PCs) returned to find that the secret door was disabled and it looked like the water trap had been set off... (bethe went down instead of up :rolleyes .

Anyway, next on Hedracks list is to send out ukemil and the Lions. But wouldn't it be much easier to get a feel for your opponents if he did the following:

Step 1 Varachan scrys the party with the crystal ball while they are likely at rest (lets say 1 am).

Step 2 Hedrack whips up 1d3 Eryines (devil) with a monster summon 7. He has them for 14 rounds and they will do what he commands.

Step 3 Tell your new soldiers to prepare for battle, they would then go invisible.

Step 4 Point to the image in the crystal ball and tell them to go there. They teleport without error to the target. If they do not see the image in the ball, have Varachan take a few rounds to describe it.

The eryines pop into being around the PCs as they sleep, attempt to charm the person/people on guard, and then set the party against eachother, or try for a coup de grace on one of the sleepers.

Hedrack gains the following by doing this:

- Disturbs the PCs rest
- He can watch the battle in the crystal ball and get an idea of their tactics
- He doesn't have to make a deal or payment as with planar ally

On the down side, my players will freak when they find out that they don't get any XP for the battle.

So, is this a viable tactic for Hedrack? would he think to use it? Is there a problem with it that I'm not seeing?


Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 1:31 pm)
Re: Monster Summon 7 and Scrying
Problem #1:


Hedrack whips up 1d3 Eryines (devil) with a monster summon 7

Monster Summoning carries the alignment descriptors of the creatures summoned. In this case, [Evil] and [Lawful]

A cleric cannot cast a spell of a descriptor opposed to their own alignment, in this case CE.

Problem #2...the "no XP for encounter" rule is based on the idea that the PCs are encountering both the summoner and the summoned. If Hedrack isn't at risk, isn't actually encountering the PCs, and isn't participating in the Erines' battle, I would DEFINATELY award XP. One could make the argument that every extraplanar being in the CRM was summoned, called, gated, or arrived there in some manner as the result of a spell, in some cases even cast by clerics that aren't around anymore. Why in the world would a sensible DM deny XP to his players because of that?

By the way, 1 AM is a good time. I've pegged Tharizdun worshipers as being midnight-memorizers, so they should get their full compliment of spells by 1 AM and be ready to roll.

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

Still here? Wow.
(4/24/03 1:33 pm)
Re: Monster Summon 7 and Scrying
I think it's a good tactic, except that a chaotic cleric cannot cast a lawful spell (which is what summon a lawful creature is). So, assuming you can pick a suitable alternative, it's a fine idea. However, I think you should award experience for it. A precedent for awarding XP is given in the WotC module Speaker in Dreams.

The one problem I have is the use of Varachan. Perhaps Hedrack informs Varachan of the plan sometime before midnight, giving him the opportunity to warn the party somehow. Maybe a hasty message scrawled on the wall where they've holed up "Keep one eye open while you sleep".

At the very least, give the PC's on watch listen/spot checks to notice the teleporting in of the creatures.

Here for a while
(4/25/03 4:52 am)
Re: Monster Summon 7 and Scrying
I did a very similar tactic with Hedrack using a Planar Ally spell.

The party was retsing in Verbobonc, snug in their beds at around 1:30 in the morning.

At midnight Hedrack prays and gets spells.
Summon a Planar Ally (vrock) and makes a deal. Vrock kills party, gets their treasure. Vrock agrees.
Hedrack buffs up the Vrock with cleric spells.
Hedrack uses the Unholy Font in the OF and casts Greater Scrying on the party (he has done this before, and met the party in combat once by this point).
The Vrock sees the room in the font and teleports their to wreak havoc.

The party had two people keeping watch, so they weren't totally off-guard. Hedrack was starting to have some suspicions about Varachan at this point so he took him "out of the loop".

The party did alright, defeating the Vrock, but the worst part for them was that the party cleric was in the middle of a week's work of creating magic items (I think they were increasing the + on a suit of armor), so the combat ruined that attempt.

From the SRD on Item Creation:
. The character can do nothing else while working. During rest periods, the character can engage in light activity such as talking or walking but cannot fight, cast spells, use magic items, conduct research, or perform any other physically or mentally demanding task. The caster can take a short break from working (for naps and the like) as often as he or she likes, so long as the character spends at least 8 hours out of every 24 working on the item. The character cannot take a day off: Once the process has started, the character must see it through to the end or admit defeat. If the caster is disturbed while making the item, or spends less than 8 hours working in any period of 24 hours, the process is ruined. All materials used and XP spent are wasted.

It was harsh and hit my players where it hurt (their pocketbooks!), but at that point it was my plan to start pushing them along. No more big rest weeks, moving at their pace, taking two weeks to make custom items, etc.

It worked. They now are nearing the end (in the recovered temple now) and I'm pushing them (and they're pushing themselves) without respite, barely giving themselves time to rememorize spells. The tempo of the adventure is reaching a peak (which should cumulate with Imix!).

Looking around
(4/27/03 10:27 am)
re scrying
Well, if the scry/teleport strategy is a viable one in your world then your world should go down the drains pretty much instantly as with the present rules it is trivial for a powergroup to jump around and kill any opposition that exist in the world. The PC's would die as soon as a powerful char learned that they existed and there is no real way to defend oneself if you don't want to be holed up all the time. Much can be written about this combo but it all amounts to a destroyed world.
Unless I am mistaken it is one of those things that got changed in 3.5?
If you start using such a strategy I foresee problems with your game.

Here for a while
(4/27/03 2:09 pm)
Re: re scrying
nilsolsson wrote:
Well, if the scry/teleport strategy is a viable one in your world... [snip]

As far as I know, the "scry/teleport strategy" is viable according to the rules as written. In fact, the text of the teleport spell specifically addresses the possibility of teleporting to a scried location. Of course, you can introduce your own houserules into your campaign, but teleportation is a normal fact of life in standard D&D. PCs and NPCs that have survived past mid-levels have learned to prepare for and deal with this sort of attack.

I'd be interested in learning what teleportation or scrying houserules you use in you campaign.

Here for a while
(4/28/03 4:51 am)
Re: re scrying
Here's some thing I do for this:

Use Andy Collins' variant Scry check rules. This boost up how difficult it is the scry someone over the core rulebook DC's. Andy's Scry rules also include the possibility of turning the Scry back and the target being able to Scry the caster of Scry. This happened IMC and gave the PC's a look at Hedrack!

Don't forget to make Scry checks for everyone to notice the Scry sensor. It's a Scry check DC 20 - unskilled get it like an Int check, so anyone might notice it.

The DM should point out to the PC wizard (and other Knowledge:arcane types) that there is a simple spell - Detect Scrying.

Detect Scrying
Level: Brd 4, Sor/Wiz 4
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 ft.
Area: 120-ft.-radius emanation centered on the character
Duration: 24 hours
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
The character immediately becomes aware of any attempt to observe the character by means of clairaudience/clairvoyance or scrying. The spell’s effect radiates from the character and moves as the character moves. The spell also reveals the use of crystal balls or other magic scrying devices. The character knows the location of every magical sensor within the spell’s area.
If the scrying attempt originates within the area, the character also knows its location. If the attempt originates outside this range, the character and the scrier immediately make opposed Scry skill checks (a creature without the Scry skill can make an Intelligence check). If the character at least matches the scrier’s result, the character gets a visual image of the scrier and a sense of the scrier’s direction and distance from the character (accurate to within one-tenth the distance).

So this make it automatic to see when you're being watched. Once you know where the sensor is, you can let rip with Dispel Magic, etc. to shut it down. You can also pass a warning so everyone is not caught by surprise.

IMC the bad guys don't overuse Scry. It takes a lot of effort to set it up and attempt it, and it may be turned around on the caster. Realize also that casting Scry takes a rather large (physically large) material component: a large mirror for arcane or holy font for divine - this is somewhere in the PHB, it isn't specified in the SRD. It's either under Scry or Greater Scry.

If you want some other things to make the "scry/teleport in" tactic less effective, I believe Monte published some spells in one of his books that redirects teleport spells. I'm not sure of the details on this, perhaps someone with it could elaborate?

Here for a while
(4/28/03 7:00 am)
Scrying and summoning

Hmm. I guess it does make sense to award XP for such an encounter. My think was... they can just hole up or run away and 10 rounds later, poof, enemy is gone, returned from whence it came. Of course it just wouldn't happen that way... full XP makes sense.

I definately missed the boat on the whole LE summon monster bit. To tell the truth, I was just looking for a monster that could teleport at will and the erinyes are definitely the best suited for this task. I guess this thread is rendered moot by the fact that he cannot summon any demons that teleport at will. Oh well, it was an interesting thought.

I am trying to impress upon my players that they have been notice by the outer fane, and that it is a Bad Thing. They have been scried on regularily for the last 2-3 weeks. For the first 2 by Varachan, who was made aware of them early on and has helped hide it from Hedrack. The PCs have noticed the scry attempts 3 different times, so they assume they are watched regularily. They were carrrying around the amulet of inescapable location for a while, which didn't help. Then they were picked out easily because one of them possessed the Sword of Earth. What bothers me is that they have made no attempt to protect themselves from scrying in any way. They just don't worry about it. Instead, they use all of their spells to gird themselves for battle (which makes them formidible to say the least). But they have willfully left a chink in there armour by ignoring the constant serveillance, and thise is something that a smart enemy should and would take advantage of. If they know they are being watched, usually when at rest, and they don't protect themselves, why shouldn't the enemy send a demon into there midst to kill them in their sleep or wreak havoc on them?

As to teleporting to a scried location, it is completely legitimate in my gaming world. More from lack of definition than anything else. My gaming world is there strictly to host this module. I am also bleassed with players that don't look too far outside of the current scope. Frankly, I think there are way too many "If wizards can do THIS, why isn't the world like THIS" if you think about it too much.

Thanks everyone...

Still here? Wow.
(4/28/03 7:33 am)
Re: Scrying and summoning
"I guess this thread is rendered moot by the fact that he cannot summon any demons that teleport at will."

Whoa, easy, not so hasty! Have you checked the MMII, FF, or other sources? If you find nothing useful, make one up yourself! A good way to do this is just use the stats for the erinyes, come up with a different description, and poof, instant teleporting demon.

Here for a while
(4/28/03 12:42 pm)
Re: Scrying and summoning
Rather than highjack this thread, I created a new thread to discuss the activation time of Varachan's crystal ball.
Eventually, the PCs may get their hands on this item, and things could get ugly for the bad guys.

Edited by: blakwind at: 4/28/03 12:44:08 pm
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