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A song from the sixties
(6/1/03 9:07 am)
CRM 161 - Steeran & Fesad
I'm currently preparing the bugbear mines region in the CRM (areas 161-172) and stumbled onto Steeran (using the stats from the errata) & Fesad. My group has been very effective and consists of seven characters, so I have been thinking about giving the bugbears some more beefy spells and enhancing their tactics - with int and wis at 13, they shpould actually fight pretty well. I came across some inconsistencies, so I have some comments and questions for the hivemind:

1) They are 5th level characters - shouldn't they have their racial alertness feat as well as *two* others, in Steeran's case even a bonus feat (for beinga 5th level wizard)?

2) Steeran's Spells/day should be 4/3/2/1 as per a fifth level wizard, not 4/4/2/1. Scratch a Magic Missile?

3) Is there any reason why Steeran shouldn't specialise as an evoker? He has taken the spell focus (evocation) feat and the extra spells seem a very good deal.

4) giving noth of them the 0-level spell "no light" from BOVD should play to their strength (infravision) very well.

5) Having made Steeran an evoker (opposed school: conjuration), I add darkness, devil's eye (BOVD) and no light to his spell selection

6) I exchange soundburst for animal messenger, as per errata, in Fesad's spell selection as well as magic circle against good for devil's eye and shatter for silence.

The encounter plan is now: the party is heard approaching (if it makes normal noise, i.e., contains at least one character in heavy armout just plunking along) and Fesad and Steeran head for the ledge (I assume they are busy preparing the elven corpse before).

Round 1: The party triggers or detects a glyph of warding. Steeran casts "Darkness" to encompass the whole cave, from floor to ceiling and from the entrance just up to the ledge. Fesad casts "Devil's Eye". The party gets a listen check (DC 20 passively, DC 15 if actively listening) to hear the soft spell incantations on the ledge.

Round 2: Steeran casts "Devil's Eye", Fesad casts "Animal Messenger".

Round 3: Steeran casts "Lightning Bolt" at the party, Fesad casts "Silence" into the middle of the cave, covering most of it, but again not the ledge.

Round 4ff: Fesad buffs herself (protection from good, shield of faith, endurance) before engaging in melee while Steeran blasts the party with "magic missile" or "flaming sphere", trying to prevent anyone from climbing up the ledge. Climbing 12' is at least a full-round action for most characters. Is a DC of 15 appropriate for climb checks in this situation? How does the magical darkness affect the DC?

Round 10: Urolax arrives with two Bugbear Rogues from 162,one other bugbear having been sent to collect reinforcements from 166. The rogues are ahead of Urolax and attempt to sneak attack the part's rear.

Round 14: The reinforcements (12 bugbears) arrive

Off-topic miscellaneous question: would the darkness effect end if Fesad is slain?

Critical comments and advice would be very welcome!

Roland the red
A cup of coffee
(6/2/03 6:54 am)
Great tactics! The DC15 is probably fine, the walls should be fairly easy to climb (DC13) but the drakness gives a circumstance penalty, thus DC15...or thereabouts. Maybe even DC17.

I like the Flaming Sphere, especially on climbing characters. When climbing, you are denied your dex bonus, and don't quote me, since I don't have my books on me to verify, but I believe they are denied reflex saves unless, of course, they let go (and for only 12 feet, thats not unreasonable) automatic damage with Flaming Sphere...wicked.

Roland The Red, who once again wishes he had his books/notes at work.

A song from the sixties
(6/2/03 2:50 pm)
Re: Adept?
(sigh* gotta agree with Roland - it would be nice to have the books with me here at work.

However, I hadn't noticed that the errata say that Steeran is a male bugbear wizard - I thought Steeran was a female Adept?

A guitar
(6/2/03 5:21 pm)
Re: CRM 161 - Steeran & Fesad
1. Almost. Steeran should have four feats: alertness as a bugear, two wizard bonus feats (one scribe scroll), and one more at 3rd level (base 3HD). I'd suggest adding in scribe scroll and greater spell focus (evocation) as a splatbook option, or brew potion if not. Fesad gets only the alertness feat and one more character level feat at 3rd level.

2. You forgot the Int bonus extra 1st level spell.

3. No reason. Sounds like a good suggestion.

4. no light sounds like a good addition, but remember that they have darkvision, not infravision. Too much 2e for you. ;)

5. ...and remove ray of frost. Good choices. Care to flesh out the remainder of the spellbook (something the errata does not do unfortunately)?

6. More good choices, though I disagree with replacing shatter. Shatter is a domain spell, so you must choose shatter (chaos) or desecrate (evil). Obviously, shatter is the better choice.

"Off-topic miscellaneous question: would the darkness effect end if Fesad is slain?"

Spell effects do not terminate if the caster is dead or unconscious unless the spell requires concentration.

"However, I hadn't noticed that the errata say that Steeran is a male bugbear wizard - I thought Steeran was a female Adept?"

Steeran is "statted" in the module as Female bugbear wizard 5 (inline stat, not statblock in the appendix, of which there is none). However, the text refers to Steeran as male multiple times. Also, the statblock in the errata was made by Monte himself, who corrected it to Male.

A guitar
(6/2/03 11:35 pm)

Re: CRM 161 - Steeran & Fesad
Hah, when I ran those bugs, I completely missed the fact that Steeran is supposed to be male. Because I though he was female, all the bugbear leaders ended up being female, which gave me a short back story of the tribe being almost wiped out because of the stupidity of the male leaders. Then the females stepped up, deposed the male leaders and saved the tribes.

All that because I can't read ;)

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

A song from the sixties
(6/3/03 5:19 am)
Many Thanks!
Wow, thanks a lot, everyone!

This is my first 3E adventure, and our group is learning the new rules bit by bit. The player of our Diviner was quite surprised to learn that she should have taken Scry ranks early on, not just when she arrives at 7th level and can actually cast scry. Another player with a gnome characte rwas dismayed to find that she cannot see in total darkness. Thus the darkvision/infravision mix-up is humbly noted. So much for "no light".

Having read the Erratta/Questions thread, I tend to giving Steeran the "Craft Wand" feat, which explains the wand in her posession and allows me to describe it as being of bugbear-make (e.g., a humanoid bone carved to shape and carved with mystic symbols, the carvings colored dark red-brownish from blood.)

I will flesh out the remainder of the spell book this evening and post it.

Damn, I forgot about the domain spell shatter. Will correct my mistake there, too, this evening.

I am thinking of using "The Slayer's Guide to Bugbears" to flesh out the bugbear tribe. Would anyone here be interested, or is that sourcebook to far-out obscure to be of general interest?

A guitar
(6/3/03 6:26 am)
Re: Many Thanks!
"I am thinking of using "The Slayer's Guide to Bugbears" to flesh out the bugbear tribe. Would anyone here be interested, or is that sourcebook to far-out obscure to be of general interest?"

Definitely! I like your idea about the craft wand.

A song from the sixties
(6/9/03 4:36 am)
Revised stats & tactics for Steeran & Fesad
Fesad & Steeran

Fesad: Female bugbear Clr5; CR 7; Medium-size humanoid (goblinoid);

HD 3d8+3 plus 5d8+5; HP 46; Init +1; Spd 30’; AC 18 (touch 11, flat-footed 17);

Atk +7 melee (1d8+2, morningstar) or +6 ranged (1d6+2, javelin);

SA Rebuke undead 2/day; SQ Darkvision 60’; AL CE;

Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +7;

Str 15, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 9.

Skills/Feats: Climb +3, Concentration +7, Heal +2, Hide +4,
Knowledge (rel) +3, Listen +4, Move Silently +7, Spot +4;
Alertness, Combat Casting.

Deity: Hruggek. Domains: Trickery; Evil (cast at 6th level).

Spells Prep (5/5/3/2; base DC = 11+spell level):

0-detect magic (2), guidance, preserve organ* (BOVD), no light (BOVD);
1st-change self (d), command (2), heartache (BOVD), sanctuary;
2nd-invisibility (d), silence, animal messenger;
3rd-Magic circle against good (d), contagion.

* already cast

Possessions: preserved heart, +1 small wood shield; cloak of resistance +1,
pearl of power (1st-level spells), morningstar with blue star sapphire in hilt
(900 gp), javelin, potion of cure mod, leather armor.


Steeran: Female bugbear Wiz(Evoker)5; CR 7; Medium-size humanoid (goblinoid);

HD 3d8+3 plus 5d4+5; hp 34; Init +1; Spd 30’; AC 15 (touch 11, flat-footed 14);

Atk +6 melee (1d8+2, morningstar) or +5 ranged (1d6+2, javelin);

SQ darkvision 60 ft.; AL CE;

Fort +3, Ref +5 Will +5;

Str 15, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 9.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +6, Climb +3, Hide +4, Knowledge (arcana) +4,
Listen +3, Move Silently +7, Spellcraft +3, Spot +3;
Alertness, Craft Wand, Spell Focus (Evocation).

opposed school: Conjuration

Spells Prepared (5/5/3/2; base DC = 11+spell level):
0-preserve organ* (BOVD), detect magic, light**, resistance;
1st-charm person, magic missile (2)**, shield**;
2nd-darkness**, flaming sphere**;
3rd-Devil’s Eye (BOVD), lightning bolt**.

* already cast
** cast at 7th level

Possessions: preserved heart, bracer of armor +1,
wand of magic missiles (as 5th-level caster, 25 charges), potion of fly,
morningstar, gold bracelet with inset garnet (200 gp), pouch with 640 gp.



Fesad & Steeran each have a bleeding heart taken from the corpsebomb in
area 161A and the elf lying on the floor here. Both cast a "preserve organ"
spell on the organs each morning to ensure their continued suitability as
evil spell components (BOVD, p. 45). When used, they have a 25% chance of
increasing the caster level by +2.

When casting contagion, Festad inflicts red ache, causing the temporary
loss of 1d6 strength points to the target.

Encounter Notes:

The entire cave is lit by numerous (14) small pots of fat with wicks
serving as makeshift candles. They are distributed evenly in the cave
walls and on the ledge, and the smell generated by the burning fat is
foul to most non-bugbears. The light is very weak, but creatures with
lowlight- or darvision can see fine.

The entrances to area 161 are each about 10' wide and about 8-10' high.
Searching either entrance for traps should take about 8 rounds, assuming the
floor, walls and ceiling are checked to a depth of 5'. This search is
necessary to detect the glyphs of warding. Unless the searching PC
specifically states that she searches the floor first, roll 1d8 to
determine the round in which the glyph is found. Disabling a Glyph takes
2d4 rounds.

1: the PCs are heard approaching. Steeran and Fesad climb onto
the ledge.

Round 1: the PCs trigger a glyph trap or start searching for traps.

PCs with lowlight- or darkvision have a chance to spot the two bugbears on
the ledge. Fesad & Steeran have 3/4 cover as seen from the entrance and are
trying to hide their presence by lying low, gaining a +3 circumstance modifier
to their opposing hide rolls. Conversely, they are tryinmg to gain a head
count on the PCs and thus attempt to "spot" the number of PCs.

Round 2: Steeran casts Darkness, Fesad casts Animal Messenger.

The 20' radius darkness is centered near the coordinate cross just
below the rightmost "1" in "161" on Map I. It thus affects Area 161
up to the ledge, both entrances and part of the railtracks outside.
It is cast just so that it covers most of the ledge-wall, but not
the ledge itself. The geometrically inclined DM may draw a diagram
for illustration for clarification.

Round 3: Steeran casts Devil's Eye, Fesad casts Magic circle against good

Round 4: Steeran casts Shield, Fesad casts Silence, again so that it affects
the entire area up to the ledge, including the entrances.

In the following rounds, Steeran blasts PCs who enter with lightning bolt
(enhanced with her preserved heart, i.e., cast at 9th level if the 25% chance
comes through) and magic missiles from her wand. She uses the wand liberally,
as she crafted it herself and can easily replace it. However, her own spells
are cast at 7th level, so she initially uses those.

Fesad prepares to battle PCs who climb up to the ledge, casting No light
and Detect Magic in preparation (if she has time). Climbing up the ledge is a
full-round action requiring a climb check (DC 16) due to the darkness. Fesad
waits for anyone to turn up at the brink of the ledge, then uses Command
("Fall"), Heartache or Contagion on them before engaging in melee if she has to.
She uses her Pearl of Power if she runs out of Command or Heartache spells.

If combat goes badly, Fesad uses sanctuary and invisilbility, Steeran her potion
of fly, to escape. If faced with no escape, they attempt to parley, volunteering
information on Eeridik and the earth bridge complex.

A guitar
(6/9/03 7:14 am)
Re: Revised stats & tactics for Steeran & Fesad
sheetghoul, great stuff! How does Steeran cast evocation spells at 7th level? The DC on Steeran's evocation spells are at 13 + spell level due to the spell focus. You're missing 3 spells from her list (1 0th, 1 1st, and 1 2nd).

A song from the sixties
(6/9/03 7:47 am)
I misread the Spell focus feat description; of course Steeran still casts evocation spells at 5th level! Thanks a lot for catching this not insignificant detail. As for the spells, I suggest adding

0- Ghost sound
1- Burning hands
2- Endurance

Thanky again for checking the stats; this board is just great!

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