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Cordo Crowfoot
Faen
(6/22/03 8:59 pm)
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Encounter with the Destrachan
My group wandered into the Destrachan pit area late in yesterday's session. They have really been destroying the opposition lately, were not challenged much by the air temple forces session before last, killed the hydra in the first round, and took care of the gargoyles in two rounds.

I think they are getting a bit overconfident, besides the fact that they are not searching throughly at all (thus missing many treasures and the scroll containing a warning about the destrachan) they just walked blithely into this new area with no scouting (despite the warning of the corpse) towards the end of the session.

The encounter went something like this:

Surprise round-
As they walked into the pit area the destrachan both opened up from around the corner using the nerve (subdual) 6d6 attack as per the tactics section of the module. Everyone takes a lot of subdual damage except Blix, the Rogue, and Aranel, the Wizard goes down.

Round 1-
Blix, the rogue took a 5-foot step around the corner, took a full attack but missed with all of them. Terjon had a silence memorized and cast a silence on the unconscious Aranel. This turned out to be a critical moment as the player of Terjon meant to cast the silence on Valeria, one of the two fighters, but said the wrong name, mixing up the two new PCs. He pointed to Valeria on the battlemat but unfortunately no one noticed his mixup.

The destrachan back up and both use the nerve attack again, but no one goes down. Valeria does a full attack on one destrachan, hitting twice and hurting it significantly, and Percy, takes a move and single attacks the other.

Round 2-
Blix tumbles around the destrachan that Percy hit, successfully sneak attacking it from the flank. At this point Terjon's player (also playing Blix) realizes his mistake. He wanted to heal Aranel but Terjon stands there dumbfounded after he realizes the situation is different than he thought and he can no longer heal Aranel.

The destrachans again both unload with nerve attacks, after which both the fighters, Percy and Valeria are near unconsciousness. Both the destrachans move back, the less injured one interposing itself in front of the injured one.

Percy and Valeria follow up on the closest less injured of the Destrachan, and do enough damage to knock it to -3.

Round 3-
Blix follows up to slash the remaining Destrachan for a small amount of damage (no sneak attack) and Terjon begins to bandage Aranel in the silence radius.

The remaining destrachan, seeing three opponents and tired of being poked with these metal objects changes tactics and unloads with the metal destruction attack. The players' jaws drop when they realize what is happening. Some minor items are destroyed, as well as Percy's +1 shield (not a big deal as they already have replacements on hand from Fachish and Kellial) and Blix's +1 mithral chain shirt of silent moves (worth 5000gp). Blix's player is really upset at this, especially as his own mistake led to the situation.

Later I realize that tactically it might have been better to use the nerve attack again as it would have almost definitely dropped Percy and Valeria. But I figure the Destrachan didn't know that and as DM thinking as the creature I was sincerely thinking "I must destroy those weapons! They are hurting me!"

I get a chuckle as a DM when despite the fact that they were truly in mortal danger (nearing the edge of the pit and the two fighters about to go down) the players freak out about their equipment being destroyed and immediately retreat into the silence area. They then revive Aranel and retreat while the destrachan hides around the corner of the room, realizing what is happening with the silence and putting itself out of missile weapon range.

---

We wrapped up the session at that point. I later determined the destrachan that went down stabilized at -9 hp.

I'm not very hopeful for the destrachan as I know the players are going to come back, probably with multiple silence effects in place, and really unload on the creatures.

But if you were an "extremely intelligent" and sadistic Destrachan who knew that some powerful humanoids were coming back - humanoids who knew how to neutralize your sonic attacks - what would you do? Any ideas?

I have some ideas but don't want to pollute anyone's brainstorming just yet. I really want to challenge my players but don't want to do anything unrealistic or not by the book.

"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

Zorlag
Faen
(6/22/03 11:44 pm)
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Maybe they could build some deadfalls or traps and if opponents fall in to them, then attack or collapse ceiling in top of them... Or just flee and ambush them later when they are not prepared.

Z.

Trithereon
Verrik
(6/23/03 1:49 am)
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Re: Encounter with the Destrachan
If you can devise a way for them to be forwarned of your PCs approach then the Destrachan could hide themselves beneath the sand of their pit (total concealment for a number of rounds they can hold their breath, +8 to hide checks if they must "snorkle" leaving the bulk of their bodies hidden). They remain hidden until the silenced adventurers leave their lair. The Destrachan then ambush them from behind when their magic silence wears off.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(6/23/03 6:25 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Encounter with the Destrachan
I don't have the map handy, but I'm thinking that the destrachan would make a pit covering the whole entrance so as to keep the ground-based party from even approaching. Although the destrachan might not think of it this way, the group will probably not be able to cast spells (like fly) to bypass the chasm. He should in fact do this right away, and the party will never know (they are enshrouded in silence). Then, the destrachan will blast away at the ceiling as the group stands on the other side of the chasm. I think the ceiling height is high so 8d6 (reflex save DC 15 for half) is a reasonable number. I think the destrachan can actually do this from around a corner. Perhaps he creates a little cubby hole near the other side of the chasm such that he will be able to detect the approach of the party.

The whole problem with this is that the party is effectively invisible within the silence. So, the destrachan will never know they are there. The other destrachan will probably not recuperate on it own, by the way, so it's effectively dead.

Trithereon has a good idea. Hide until they go away and then take the fight to the party when you can actually see them.

Losing that mithril chain...ouch! I'm "looking forward" to destroying my archer's magical chain shirt +1 of invulnerability (yeah, I stupidly gave it to him prior to RttToEE) and removing that overly powerful munchkin item from the campaign. :)

Offgall Fizziwigg
Faen
(6/23/03 8:13 am)
Reply
Re: Encounter with the Destrachan
Yeah, unless there is a cleric to heal it or someone to bind its wounds and nurse it back to health, the downed creature is likely to die from its wounds.

Infinity's idea is good. Set up some pitfalls that will make it hard to get to the last destrachan, and have it attack from a good range. It seems certain that the destrachan will die in short order. Make it as difficult as you can and do as much damage to the PCs as you can. You could even have it retreat to another section of the CRM to join forces with another temple if things go badly for the beast.

Cordo Crowfoot
Faen
(6/23/03 1:57 pm)
Reply
Re: Encounter with the Destrachan
Do you agree that it is reasonable for the remaining wounded Destrachan to seek out aid from the other Destrachan in area 101?

I don't think I'll have them joining temple forces or any non-Destrachan since the MM clearly indicates that nothing would ever agree to work with a Destrachan. ("No living thing would ever ally itself with this monster...")

As for detecting the party's approach, yes if they come using silence the entire way the Destrachan is out of luck. But if they move into the general area before using Silence, which I suspect they will do, the Listen +25 (that does include the racial bonus of +10, right? I always get confused on that...) means that the Destrachan will almost definitely hear the spells cast or any talking around the doors into room 96 or room 97.

Killiak 
Faen
(6/23/03 3:30 pm)
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Re: Encounter with the Destrachan
Quote:
("No living thing would ever ally itself with this monster...";)


Undead are immune to subdual damage.......
Use at your own risk!!!

Cordo Crowfoot
Faen
(6/23/03 3:45 pm)
Reply
Re: Encounter with the Destrachan
Blade Spirit is dead unfortunately... plus there is good evidence the blade spirit doesn't like destrachan anyway. :)

"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

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