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A cup of coffee
(6/2/03 12:55 pm)
CRM question
My group has just assulted the Main Gate of the CRM for the second time. The first time they entered they had a grand melee with the guards, pushed north to wipe out the Earth Temple, retreated from the Atach (sp?) Then cleared out the mines to the south right up to the Western Bridge Complex, turning back from a fight with the trolls.

After that they went to Verbobonc to re-equip, and get one player un-pertified. All in all it has been 31 days since they first assulted the Main gate (at least half of that in travel to and from Verbobonc).

The book says that the regualr forces repopulate at the rate of 20%/ week, and monsters repopulate at 10% per week. So when they came back to the main gates this is the force I had waiting for them.

All the warriors in rooms 3 and 5 were back, and 50% of them in the barracks were back. The Gnolls in rooms 2 and 4 were replaced with bugbears, and 50% of the gnolls in the barracks were back. Mereclar was back (he feigned death the last time when a PC did half his hp in one blow), and Terryingit was back (ressurected), Wormspike, and the Howler were not replaced.

They handled it no problem.

So I ws wondering if this seemed reasonable? I was also wondering if I should only repopulate the "temple" sections and leave the underdark creatures from the mines section dead, or if I should repopulate the mines section with random encounters of aprox the parties level, with some easier and tougher fights for variety?

Last thing, I wanted some feedback on my idea for repopulating the earth temple. After killing all the Trogs, the party left them in the altar room and decided not to mess with the altar. I planned to have the power of the altar raise Uskathoth as a Heuvuca, with the goal of performing a very specific ritual to summon a new high priest. (I was thinking of a half fiend half earth elemental or something)
To do this Heuvuca Uskathoth needs several sacrifices and some time. He can get the sacrifices from clerics or warriors who wander into the Earth Temple to see what it's state is. Once the new boss arrives, he begins recruiting followers at the suggested rate.

Feedback is welcome.

A guitar
(6/2/03 11:29 pm)

Re: CRM question
Great ideas, all of them. I especially like the Earth Elemental Altar ideas. Uskathoth as Huecuva... Just brilliant.

Personally, I didn't restock at all, with the exception of the temples where I, too, had the altars summon elemental creatures. I'm convinced that the CRM will take enough time and give enough XP for the party to enable them to take on the Fane.

In my old Temple of Elemental Evil campaign (where the adventure also provided restocking rules) we all ended up being ridiculously overpowered because of all the extra XP we got. I fear that the same could happen if you take the restocking too seriously in this campaign.

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

A song from the sixties
(6/3/03 4:54 am)
Re: CRM question
I'm with Siobharek on this one. I ran it fast and loose with restocking. I think the only thing I actually restocked was the gate by the Earth Temple after the PC's had their very first go at the CRM.

Something like this has to be played by ear in each campaign. If your players blow through 3/4 of the CRM in a session, then fall back to Verbobonc for a month, then by all means, restock! But if they are chipping away a piece at a time (through no fault of their own) then the constant restocking they'll face has the chance to really put them off, giving them the impression that they aren't making any headway.

IMC, from the light grumbling I heard from my players and looking at the size of the CRM, I realized it had the very real possibility to become the "endless fight" especially if the PC's had to withdraw to Verbobonc (2 weeks each way). So I chose to go very light of the replacements, and only in important areas. I think the rarity of the replacement has brought it into focus better for my players, highlighting the fact the CRM is a "living dungeon" without overdoing it. YMMV.

From what I've seen from the DM side, it hasn't really affected the XP flow to the PC's. They are close to where they are supposed to be in levels and last sesion I had them figure their GP totals in items, etc (roughly). They came out within a few thousand each way of the DMG recommended wealth per level.

Side note - the Rod of Force that Lareth has as the Champion of Elemental Evil really throws off the GP/level calcs, the dang thing is 125,000 gp!

A cup of coffee
(6/3/03 7:23 am)
Uskathoth the Heuvuca
Ok, so after reading your comments I've decided to only sparsely repopulate the mines area, maybe an encounter or two. I am still going to repopulate the Earth temple with the undead Uskathoth, as this is a key location, and the party left it half finished. The consequences of their decision is as follows.

After slaying al of the Troglodytes, leaving them to rot, and not destroying the altar of Earth the party has inadvertently aided in the creation of a Huecuva. Uskathoth has risen thaks in part to the evil powers of earth and the grave that flow through the altar he was left dead beside.

New stats for Uskathoth

Uskathoth the Huecuva Undead Priest 6, troglodyte        AL NE        CR 8
S16 D13 C- I6 W19 Ch15        HD:8d12 (65hp)                init: +1                speed: 20 x3
AC: 29(30) (+1 dex, +2shield, +8armour, +8 natural)                F+5/R+3/W+12
Attacks: Melee +7,        Ranged +5
        MW Morningstar +8        dmg: 1d8+3
                or 2 claws        dmg 1d4+3 + blight
        + bite +5                dmg: 1d4+1 + blight
        Javelin +6                dmg 1d6+3
Skills: Conc +6, hide +1(+5), know(religion) +4, spellcraft +4,
Feats: toughness, dodge, multi attack, scribe scroll, weapon focus (javelin)
Specials: Blight (F14, or diseased. 1 day, 1d2 Str/Con. Two saves cures), Turn Res +2, DR
15/silver or air.
Domains: Earth: turn air creatures
        Evil: +1 evil spell levels
Insanity 4 (Wis 23 for all spells, effectively Wis 15)
Spells: 4/5+1/5+1/3+1
0th: cause minor x2, detect magic, resistance
1st [Pro vs Good] divine favour, magic weapon, random action, angry ache (F17 BoVD), Grim
Feast (R&R).
2nd: [Desecrate] resist elements, bull's strength, Tharizdun's Touch, Bone Blast (F18 BoVD),
Darkbolt (F18 BoVD).
3rd: [stone shape] Bestow Curse (W?19), Wrack (BoVD DC19), Flesh Ripper (BoVD)
Equipment: Platemail, large metal shield, torn black robes, MW morningstar, 3 javelins, curved
Description : At first glace, he still resembles a troglodyte, only he no longer exudes musk. He has a black obex carved into his forehead and earth runes carved all over his flesh. His eyes are hollow and throw off the spark of undeath.

Encountering Uskathoth . Uskathoth cannot think like he once could. He is now obsessed about finishing a special ritual that his madness has envisioned. He wanders to the prison, but is foiled by the lack of prisoners so he returns to his den to await word from his servants that new prisoners are available. He is currently in his lair room 223, but may be found wandering anywhere within the Earth temple. If he has prisoners he will likely be in area 219, if he has 6 he will be in area 220

Random encounters for Earth temple area are as follows:
0-60        no encounter
61-70        1d6+1 guards - investigating the stories of battle that have tricked into the air gate. Uskathoth may have captured one or more of these soilders. EL4
71-73        1d4 Huge Centepedes - escaped from centepede pit, or just wandering EL 4
74-76        1d4+2 gnolls - also investigating the earth temple, or looting EL 4
77-80        4th level cleric with 1d4+1 guards from water or fire temple investigating earth temple EL 5
81        Average Xorn - summoned by Uska and then left to it's own devices        EL 6
82-83        1d2 wraiths - spirits of the dead priests or trogs, trapped by the evil of the place        EL 6
84-86        Dire ape from dire ape infestation area
87        Fyir - MM2 Spawned by the horrible dreams of the Doomdreamers and the constant stryfe of the CRM. EL 3
88-90        Earth Mephit - Randomly spawned by the altar as it is no longer tended to, max 1/week        EL 3
91-93        medium Earth elemental - spawned by altar, max 1/wk        EL 3
94-00        Uskathoth - Wandering around scrawling terran runes on the wall, mad notes on the ritual he wants to perform to summon an earth demon.

Development: If Uska can get 6 sacrifices he will fix the drum (via make whole) and use monster summoning 3 to summon a least elemental to play the drum while he performs the ritual. When finished all victims will be dead, and a half elemental demon will be summoned, who will prepare to re-start the earth temple.

I wrote this up before the party decided to go back to Verbobonc for a month. So now I am trying to decide if Heuvuca Uskathoth has finnished his ritual yet and summoned the new boss. It's hard for me to justify him NOT being able to capture 6 people in 4 weeks. Any thoughts?

Edited by: ArdentAnimal at: 6/3/03 7:30:57 am
A song from the sixties
(6/3/03 3:55 pm)
Re: Uskathoth the Heuvuca
I don't know if becoming a heuceva affects one's skill points, but Uskathoth should have 35 skill points as a Cleric 6. You have him with 6 skill points total.

I would suggest: Concentration +11, Knowledge - religion +12, Spellcraft +12, Hide (CC) -2(+2), Move Silently -2, Speak Common, Speak Terran, Speak Troglodyte.

The -2 on Hide and Move Silently have a base score of +5. I factored in an arbitrary -7 armor check since I can't recall the penalty for plate mail.

Also, instead of having the PCs stumble upon Usk and his new boss without explanation, it might be more fun to have them stumble upon him finishing the ritual, too late to stop it. At least they'll know the how and why. While you're at it, I would suggest having the earth demon leave Usk to his own devices and flee if things go bad.

Just my 2cp

A trophy
(6/3/03 7:14 pm)
Re: Uskathoth the Heuvuca
I don't know if becoming a heuceva affects one's skill points, but Uskathoth should have 35 skill points as a Cleric 6. You have him with 6 skill points total.

Not to be contrary since I have no clue about the Huecuva template either, but Clr 6 gives you 2+Int mod skill points. With an Int 6, your pinned at the 1/level, so 6 skill points.

But, more likely, if the template doesn't modify the base creature's skill points, just use the values in the text for him and adjust them based on the change in stats. Most undead templates I glanced at do not modify the base skill ranks (again, have no clue about the huecuva). Some do grant bonuses to specific skills, however.

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Edited by: ZansForCans  at: 6/3/03 7:17 pm
A cup of coffee
(6/3/03 7:59 pm)
Re: Uskathoth the Heuvuca
For the skills, I just applied the new stats to the ones listed under his entry in the book, but your right, upon taking a closer look they are messed up.

The way I calculate it Uska should have 27 skill points (cleric + int = 3 (x4 at first level) + (3 x 5 cleric levels)
And for being a Trog he should have Hide+ 7 (before dex,armour mods), and Listen +3 (before mods)

Trying to keep him as close to the book as possible this gives Uska:
Concentration +11, Hide +8(+12), know(religion) +10, Listen +6, Spellcraft +10 (in the book he seems to be 9 skill points short)

The Huecuva template doesn't mention anything about skill points, so I think you're right, just apply the new stats to the old skills. This means Huecuva Uska should have the following skills before being modified by equipment:
Conc +9, Hide +8(+12), know(religion) +7, listen +7, spellcraft +7

Thanks for pointing that out, let me know if my math is right and I'll edit his skills in the above post.

BTW I was planning on having the PC's encounter him wandering the halls, writing strange runes on the walls that the PC who speaks Terran, and has knowledge(occult), could decipher as a ritual to restore the Earth temple, but since they have been away for so long the "summoning the new boss just as the PC's barge in" is a good suggestion. Any ideas on what demon I should add the Half-elemental template to for this. I've been toying with the idea of using a Dao myself...

A trophy
(6/3/03 8:29 pm)
Re: Uskathoth the Heuvuca
The way I calculate it Uska should have 27 skill points (cleric + int = 3 (x4 at first level) + (3 x 5 cleric levels)
And for being a Trog he should have Hide+ 7 (before dex,armour mods), and Listen +3 (before mods)

Uskathoth's skills are right in the text (I just double checked this for the errata thread last week). Here goes... ;)

Monsters with HD > 1 don't get the x4 bonus on skill points when taking their first class level since the class HD adds to their base HD (not replace them like 1 HD monsters). You treat this just like multiclasssing (per MM intro).

He thus has 3 x 6 = 18 Clr points to spend and has 6 ranks in Concentration, Knowledge (rel), & Spellcraft. However, since his Int is 12 he also has more base Trog skill points to spend than the average Trog. Humanoids start with 6+Int points, so he has 2 extra ones over the base Trog (Int 9). He's got one extra rank in both the racial skills, Hide and Listen. If you apply his stat bonuses and the armor penalty ( -8 ) you'll find it matches the text exactly.

So, like I was (trying) to say above, just modify the text skills for the stat changes of the template and you'll come out right.

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