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Dan Harms
(7/11/03 10:14 pm)
Fire vs. Water + Players
My group's gotten together with the Water Temple in order to attack the Fire Temple, as the book describes. A search of the threads didn't turn up any descriptions of this. Has anyone else done this? What was the outcome, and what do you think are important considerations?

(7/12/03 1:15 am)

Re: Fire vs. Water + Players
I ran it (you might want to check my thread) and it worked OK.

One thing I found pretty useful was to show the tensions between the kuo-toa, the humans, and the elves. The elves, being newcomers, are at the bottom rung of the ladder, while the kuo-toa and the humans circle each other in an uneasy truce. As a group, the kuo-toa are more powerful, but Kelashein's position carries a lot of weight. I had Nilbool cuff Kadiss severely at some point which gave the PCs the opportunity to talk to him. I made Kadiss an elven nationalist who saw the CRM as the perfect plug in a pass between the human/gnomish city-state of Verbobonc and the elven nation Celene.

Other than that, I ran the setup pretty straight. Remember that the kuo-toa warriors can't affect the salamander guards. Remember also that if the disintegrate fails, Nilbool and the monitor will be outta there the next round (courtesy of Nilbool's teleport scroll).

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

(7/12/03 11:52 am)
vs. Earth??
My PC's just got chased into the Stalagos by Vranthis and I'm going to have him be allied with the earth temple. I'm going to have him have overheard Moolowik's recruitment proposal and offer help to the party in helping the water temple attack the fire in return for the party planting something nasty in the water temple so the earth temple doesn't get left behind.

I like the wheels within wheels feel of putting this out there and I hope the party goes for it. It also provides a good opportunity for Vranthis to be used for RP and not just hack'um.

Cordo Crowfoot
(7/12/03 3:27 pm)
Re: vs. Earth??
I'm about to run it, potentially starting in today's session but definitely by the next (August 3) session.

(7/13/03 8:13 pm)
Re: Fire vs. Water + Players
IMC, my group kicked down the door to the South Entrance and hammered on the Air Temple (they started the CRM above 4th level, so I was okay with that).

The Water Bridge, being closest, figured this out first - their Water Temple connections paid off Claaginred to make the party an offer of an alliance to attack the Fire Temple. They agreed (which surprised me), but the party had the much tougher ask. The Water Temple gave them a guide to get them past the destrachan, but the Fire Temple itself was fierce - they had to battle through the cavern with the summon fire elemental orb, the mephits, the smoke filled room, the guard room and the barracks, before finally reaching Firre's room and peeking through the curtain. I'd decided by this time that the Water Temple assault was already well under way.

I've always thought that the Water Temple assault is a bit half assed - by the time they battle past the salamander guards and the hell hound, they could very well be facing the full might of the Fire Temple inside with only Nilbool and Urlurg left. That's fine since they're only planning a lightning strike, but the plan is entirely dependent on Nilbool makinng a DC 13 caster level check to be able to use the scroll of disintegrate (as a Wiz5, he needs to roll an 8 on a d20 or above) - if things go pear shaped, he needs to make a DC 12 caster level check to use the scroll with word of recall (even worse, since he's only a Clr2).

IMC, he failed the first and I deux ex machina-ed the second. The party arrived just in time to see the Urlurg kill the sorceror they'd been chasing (Arlainth), the burning skeletons killing the remainder of the Water Temple mooks, Firre and Tessimon laughing maniacally, and Nilbool and Urlurg getting out with the word of recall. They were also pretty tapped by that stage and retreated, and then started heading back the other way round the CRM (away from the Fire Temple).

A couple of days later (game time), when Mooliwik emerged from the water and made himself known to them with a purely fictional story about co-ordinating with another attack on the Fire Temple, they were curiously receptive. They went back and basically took out the remaining Fire Temple forces all by themselves, although Tessimon buffed on her floating platform gave them grief. They seem to have forgotten that the Water Temple said they were going to be attacking as well - it should be interesting when they finally reach the Water Temple itself.

I'm thinking that Kelashein is quite happy to ally herself with outsiders to take down the Fire Temple, although all bets are off once Tessimon has fallen. She may be delusional enough to think the Water Temple can take easily deal with the group that destroyed the Fire Temple, but she's more likely to try and lure them in with promises of false reward into an ambush by her water based forces, cackling evilly as she reveals the depth of her deception... :)

Cordo Crowfoot
(7/13/03 11:19 pm)
Re: Fire vs. Water + Players
Siobharek gave me some very good feedback on organizing the fire temple's defense in this thread:

My players started the assault in yesterday's session.

They fought their way past the salamanders, and soon after they downed the last salamander at the edge of the smoke, they saw a ochre robed figure run and open the doors 60' to the north. I decided not to make it clear it is Tessimon as I was putting her right in front of them for dramatic purposes, and didn't want them unloading on her for hell and holy leather (plus it makes sense that she would pull her head up.)

I did get a bit of a scare though when the flying dwarf fighter BARELY reached her with his 60' movement, made a single attack and critted (x3!!!). She took 30 odd damage but it wasn't enough to take her down, and no one was close enough to stop her from stepping inside the door and shutting it.

At that point I described her demonic arm that closed the door, and I had the invisible Nilbool scream "Auuuuugh! That was Tessimon!" The players were upset to have missed taking her down so it worked pretty well. :)

Since this was all done to increase dramatic tension, and as I don't want to hand them Tessimon's head easily, I made a quick decision that Nilbool didn't have the password, and they had to beat the doors down, giving Tessimon four rounds to heal and start moving her platform towards the ceiling.

Anyone ever thought it is ridiculously easy for PCs to destroy 2-inch thick metal doors (I thought the same thing at the air temple's barbican) with power attack available to the fighters?

Dan Harms
(7/18/03 11:54 pm)
Re: Fire vs. Water + Players
Tonight, we had our confrontation.

To prepare, I'd put together a sheet showing the various members of the temple, their times of arrival, and their stat modifiers (due to buffs, the unhallow in the temple, etc.) This is very helpful, IMO.

I ran the first part pretty much as the previous poster did, save I allowed the party's magic circle against evil to block out the two salamanders and the hellhound (I generally consider outsiders to be "summoned or conjured," and it's not that big a factor because usually the PCs decide to lower that protection and beat the crap out of them anyway.) They saw Tessimon run past, then spent a couple of rounds using Sense Motive to figure out if the kuo-toa were telling them the truth. The two players trying couldn't roll a Sense Motive above 5, so they sighed and headed in.

Within, Tessimon had already ordered her skeleton guards to the entrance and had gone "upstairs," leaving the group baffled ("Where's the altar?"). The skeletons kept them hedged in and busy for a couple of rounds, long enough for Zert to show up with the rasts. As these reinforcements headed across the room, Tessimon came down, fully (almost) buffed. As the rounds went on, Firre, Arlainth and his warriors, and Skassik joined the fray.

The disintegrate didn't go well - the altar made its save easily. Nilbool tried to get out, but (surprise!) failed his caster level check on the word of recall. He and the sorcerer resorted to lightning bolts to hit Tessimon and the altar. Eventually the monk with the Ring of Jumping leaped onto the platform, and the cleric cast silence on him. A few magic missiles later, and it was over for her.

The other members of the Fire Temple got romped upon. Zert didn't even get to attack, as Urlurg managed to stun him twice in a row as others crowded around him. The first round that Firre showed up, he was slowed, enervated, and enfeebled. (Kobold sorcerers seem to have a lot of pent-up frustration with gnomes.) He did manage to poison Urlurg, who died "off-screen" after the fight. Skassik showed up, only to be dismissed by the cleric. (BTW, does anyone know where a chart to roll for random planes exists in 3E? The cleric made that 20% chance for alternate destinations in the spell description, and we'd like to know how much trouble Skassik's in...) Arlainth showed up late in the fight, firing off fireballs left and right, but a couple of arrows soon put him out of commission.

In the end, the altar was destroyed when the dwarf barbarian/fighter raged, jumped onto the platform, and beat it with his axe until it crumbled. He climbed out and the group ran out of the room, fighting their way past the salamanders and hellhound. The kuo-toa kept going; some members of the group tried to stop them, but bad luck and Escape Artist checks kept them from catching up.


1) The Water Temple team must be supremely overconfident or stupid. Nilbool should be given an item to duplicate Word of Recall, and perhaps another that allows Disintegrate, to escape those blasted caster level checks. Urlurg needs a weapon of some sort to use on fiery creatures, and perhaps some ranks in Tumble.

2) Watch all the boosts. Nilbool had to use his haste to cast his shield and mage armor, I forgot Arlainth's mage armor, and Tessimon's description in the text doesn't list spell resistance as one of her chosen boosts. (Contrary to the text, too, she can't use slay living as a ranged attack.)

3) Kuo-toa fighters don't hit much, but they're not hit a lot. Their main use is to serve as focuses for attacks that won't be targeted against others. Having magic circle against evil didn't hurt either.

Any questions/comments?

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