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benhamtroll
Verrik
(9/18/03 11:23 am)
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ezSupporter

Fire Temple Altar
Well, my party actually used the altar in the Fire Temple. Crazy idiots . . .

They managed to Charm the Greater Fire Elemental I threw against, and the wizard of the party got very curious about the altar (even after one of the party members got killed in the Moathouse . . .). So, they convinced the Elemental to beat on the drums while he stood on the platform waving the Tentacle Rod. He made his save, but the elemental failed (as did the cohort Gnoll Cleric . . .) and he went insane, but just kept beating the drum. Then the tentacles came out and grabbed the elemental destroying it and netting the party a Headband of Intellect +6. Just what they needed . . . >:

Anyway, I just wanted to share.


the times have been, That, when the brains were out, the man would die, And there an end. .
www.benhamtroll.com

WarrenWright
Faen
(9/18/03 11:38 am)
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Re: Fire Temple Altar
I'm sure you were just waiting for an opportunity to drop in the +6 headband, right? You must be so thrilled right now. he he he he

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(9/18/03 12:00 pm)
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ezSupporter
Lessons Learned
My group went against the Fire Temple last Saturday. Here are my lessons learned and additional comments.

* The caster level (CL) of the fire in the pit is not given. I used 11 (same as the protection from energy - fire). The wizard in my party actually dispelled the fire for 3 rounds.

* Decide now what to do if the wizard casts Evard's black tentacles on the floating platform. I decided, since Tessimon was buffed and on the platform, that he would have to beat her spell resistance. Otherwise, I would decide that it doesn't affect the altar or drum.

* If you are in the pit surrounded by fire, do you have concealment? I ruled that the raging fire provides full concealment (blinded unless you are a fire creature) and -10 on listen checks.

* How fast can the platform move laterally? I ruled that it has the same speed vertically or horizontally (20ft per round total).

* Does the 'level' requirement to control the platform correspond equally to HD? I ruled yes, and thus a 9HD average salamander (3.5 rules) is higher level than an 8HD halfling druid. If they are equal level and neither is a cleric of Big T (or EEE), then I suggest an opposed Charisma check.

* The burning skeletons cannot hit the broad side of barn. Even if you have Tessimon/Firre cast bless, they will be little better off. First of all, have Tessimon bolster them. The cleric in my party was level 8, so he had no hope of turning them after a great bolster attempt. Secondly, the skeletons will stick around for a while due to their relative decent hit points and DR. Finally, they are SMART (10 Int). Do not forget this. Have them flank, aid another, or mass grapple. If four skeletons grapple the best fighter (or even a mage), it will be an altogether different battle. It's quite reasonable (given time) that Tessimon or Firre would have given or would give the skeletons orders to attack specific PCs.

* Zert is useless unless he can make full attacks. Even then, his secondary attacks are little better than the skeletons. Expect him to be crappy.

* Give Arlainth a potion of levitation and stick up over the side of the pit out of melee range.

* While the PCs are hacking on the door (if they need to hack), have them 'hear the sounds of 20 or so armed warriors drawing their weapons and readying shields'. This would be Firre's ghost sound and is surprisingly effective. You will hear comments like "Where are all the blasted invisible warriors" or "Look out, it must be an invisibility sphere!" They might burn some resources finding this non-existent warriors.

* As soon as Tessimon is in trouble, lower the platform into the fire. Then, beat the drum. The candles, if not lit, will be lit by the fire. Have her summon more salamanders (let the egg break) and raise the platform so that all the enemies can look at the eye. That DC 20 Will save is REALLY nasty. Half the PCs will likely fail it. IMC, the cleric went insane, the wizard permantly lost wisdom, and the archer took Con damage. Also, while in the fire, Tessimon, heal thyself!

* Decide what to do about the tentacle that reaches out to grab the nearest living creature. Which creature will it grab? Although it doesn't say, my suggestion is that it will not grab someone wielding the tentacle rod.

* Use Tessimon's scrolls of flame strike. Two of those in a row and the party is hurt bad. Do not worry about friendly fire, particularly Zert. If he can't take a little divine damage, he's not worthy.

* Have a high level fighter with freedom of movement is bad news indeed for Tessimon. She can hit all day with the tentacle rod (+9 is more than enough for touch AC), but she cannot grapple. In such a case, lower the platform back into the flames so you get concealment (see point above) and summon the eye and more salamanders.

* If the sorcerer casts grease on the beaters for the drum, use the tentacle rod!

ZansForCans 
Litorian
(9/18/03 12:50 pm)
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Re: Lessons Learned
Quote:
... netting the party a Headband of Intellect +6


You forgot the part ", which can only be used for evil." See, it's not so bad. :b


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benhamtroll
Verrik
(9/18/03 2:24 pm)
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ezSupporter

Re: Lessons Learned
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the already half-insane Human Mage in the party is now carrying the Demon Stone. So that's one positive thing . . . :evil


the times have been, That, when the brains were out, the man would die, And there an end. .
www.benhamtroll.com

Caedrel
Sibeccai
(9/18/03 10:51 pm)
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Re: Lessons Learned
Quote:
* Zert is useless unless he can make full attacks. Even then, his secondary attacks are little better than the skeletons. Expect him to be crappy.

IMC, Zert was crappy the second time around (after he'd been raised and had therefore lost a level). First time around, my party had split up trying to guard three separate corridors, and in the subsequent 1:1, he and Arlainth did some serious damage - maybe my guys have lower ACs than Infiniti or something...

And am I missing something about the operation of the altar here? They've fulfilled the conditions, but how did the party know to ask for a magic item? I suppose if they'd read the Book of the Dark Eye nearby, they'd have known.

Also, it sounds like the Greater Fire Elemental must have been Called rather than Summoned - I wouldn't think that the tentacles could (or would) grab a Summoned creature, given that they don't really "die" if you kill them...

WarrenWright
Faen
(9/19/03 8:52 am)
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Re: Lessons Learned
Thanks infiniti2000.

What level and how numerous was your group?

I'm a little worried about much that is left in the CRM being a challenge for my group.

They are lvl 7-9: 5 players with 2 cohorts.

They kick major ass.

gnome illusionist 8
gnome rogue 3/illusionist 5
human paladin 8
human bard 9
human cleric 8 (almost 9, damnit)
human fighter 7 (cohort of the paladin)
human barbarian3/ranger1/fighter1 (cohort of illusionist)

D'Gran's crew was a challenge, as you read, but they got the best of them in the end, and gained a lot of exp. Now they are all approaching 5th level spells. ack.

Warren

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(9/19/03 10:01 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Lessons Learned
"...maybe my guys have lower ACs than Infiniti or something..."
It depends on who Zert was attacking. I had thought he was gonna drop before even attacking anyone, but the group starting concentrating on different opponents, particularly Firre. I used the Fangs of the Vampire King spell from the BoVD, so they thought the gnome was a vampire and got scared. :)

The main fighter had an AC of 27 I believe, being buffed by the spellcasters. It turned out that Zert was not completely useless because he was able to get into melee of the NPC (Tenaris, 4th level fighter) and kill her quickly.

"What level and how numerous was your group?"
Aldoroc - Human Fighter 8 (spring attack, greater wpn focus, +17/+12 attack roll)
Sylvan - Elven Wizard 8
Verilia - Halfling Druid 8
Kale - Human Fighter 6/Ranger 2
Shangor - Dwarven Cleric 8
Aramil - Elven Sorcerer 7/Dragon Disciple 2
Tenaris - Elven Fighter 4 (NPC)
Nilbool
3 Kuo-toa Fighters
water mephit
Urlurg and Kuo-toa fighter (killed by the guardian salamanders and hell hound)

The animal companion Tiger was left in the NBC with the cook.

The battle took 8 hours. The result:
Killed: Tessimon, Firre, Zert, Arlainth, 2 salamanders, 1 hell hound, 6 burning skeletons, 4 human warriors
Dead: Kale, Tenaris
Insane: Shangor
Retreat: All PCs and simultaneously 2 more called salamanders

All in all, it was a lot of fun for everyone. If I had anyone else from the FT arrive, it would have been bad.

PS benhamtroll, my apologies for usurping the thread. I had planned to make a post on this and your post made it convenient. :)

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(9/25/03 6:12 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Aftermath
We took a week off last Saturday (I went deep sea fishing in the gulfstream off the coast of Florida). This week we start up again and I thought I'd run what I was planning by you guys to see if you can poke holes in it or suggest alternate actions. Since it pertains to my hijack above, I thought I'd just continue in this thread.

The party's badly hurt, low on spells, the archer and NPC (Tenaris) are dead. They have the bodies and have looted Firre, Zert, and Arlainth. Tessimon is also dead. Comments:

1. Skassik has been wanting to get rid of Tessimon and particularly Zert for a while now. He was ambivalent towards Firre. He has Tessimon's body and tentacle rod, but wants the Sword of Fire. He will attempt to parlay with the injured party while gathering the remaining Fire Temple forces in the main altar room. If the party will join the Fire Temple on a return assault on the Water Temple, they can have sanctuary in their current location. Skassik will even set up some guards to protect against the EBC. In addition, he will trade the scroll of raise dead for the Sword of Fire (helping out the dead party member).

2. If the group rejects the plan, they will have to contend with the remaining FT forces (not insignificant) on one side and the alert EBC on the other side. Tac has been watching all this from the shadows (he was never noticed). Remember that Nilbool bribed their way to the FT, but not back out.

3. Tarren knows about the fight and about the group. He wants help to fight the ToAC, so he sends an animal messenger during the night (hopefully while the party has sanctuary outside the northern FT door) to the halfling druid. "I have the spell components for a reincarnation. Help me fight the unnatural ToAC. Other side of Fire Temple. Your druidic friend, Tarren." I might need to reword this to get the group to push past the Fire Temple to get to Tarren. I think there's a good chance the group will go for this, even if they accept Skassik's offer.

4. Does Skassik know how to use the altar? He has the tentacle rod and even a prisoner (Jurrikath is still alive). Any good suggestion for an item? I really want to use it, not because I want Skassik (or the party eventually) to have a 50,000gp item, but because if they accept the offer, they will have a HUGE moral decision to make when they see Skassik using the altar on an elf prisoner.

5. How many salamanders can/will Skassik summon? I've already had it used twice during the fight. Do you think 3/week is a reasonable number?

Thanks for listening and for any responses/questions!

Cordo Crowfoot
Dynama
(9/25/03 11:45 pm)
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Re: Aftermath
Hey Infinity2k, as far as the item for Tessimon, I ended up on going with a Lavender and Green ioun stone. The reason for that was that it is an interesting item, it was obvious to the players that it was a new addition to her equipment, and best of all I could adjust the price the players got for it by having part of its charges used up.

"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

msherman
Kalkydrite
(9/26/03 6:16 am)
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Any parties ever use the altar?
Has anyone else ever had their party try to use the altar (or the one in the Moathouse), and if so, what did they get?

A member of my party was going to while he was Demonstoned, but the stone got crushed before he had the chance. I think the party's going to go back to the moathouse now to destroy that altar.

Edited by: msherman at: 9/26/03 6:26 am
benhamtroll
Cherub
(9/26/03 8:17 am)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: Any parties ever use the altar?
My party tried to use the one in the Moathouse, but didn't have a tentacle rod. They go their thief killed instead, but he was raiseable.

They had the tentacle rod in the fire temple, and activated it. They had fodder in the form of a charmed fire elemental, which got sucked in (which is good, since they were having a hard time killing it, and it would have been PISSED when the charm wore off). They got the aforementioned Circlet of Intellect +6 out of the bargain.

I dread the fireballs to come . . .


the times have been, That, when the brains were out, the man would die, And there an end. .
www.benhamtroll.com

Cordo Crowfoot
Dynama
(9/26/03 10:15 pm)
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Re: Fire Temple Altar
Benhamtroll, I meant to comment on your situation but got sidetracked. The way I see it, making any sacrifice to Tharizdun with the altar should result in immediate and major repercussions.

At the minimum alignment shifts. I would also probably rule that clerics of good or neutral deities wouldn't be able to cast spells until they atoned, and showed that their atonement was sincere by destroying the benefit (the magic item) that they received from the sacrifice.

They are messing with deep and dark EVIL forces, and shouldn't see this is a "free magic item". There should be repercussions for their actions.

The players may claim "but we killed an evil fire elemental, that can't be evil", but dedicating it's death and destruction to Tharizdun certainly was.

Edited by: Cordo Crowfoot at: 9/26/03 10:17 pm
ronin
Memunite
(9/27/03 2:44 am)
Reply
Re: Fire Temple altar
I agree with Cordo as well. Performing that ceremony/ ritual is paying homage to Tharizdun and should be dealt with immediately.

I had a similar situation IMC with the skeletal dealer in the Inner Fane. A paladin and two clerics drew cards from the deck! The only two that didn't draw was the fighter and mage. Needless to say they were in quite a tough situation when they realized they had no powers!

Let us know how it turns out. Good luck.

ronin

msherman
Kalkydrite
(9/27/03 5:00 am)
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Cards?
So, Ronin, don't leave us hanging, what'd they draw?

ronin
Memunite
(9/27/03 1:42 pm)
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Re: Cards
I didn't think I'd be able to remember what the exact cards were but luckily I found the page stored on Zans Page 21 link.

From Page 21:

"After hearing about the "Ritual of Chance" and the mentioning of cards Darien drags Kinback around the stone to see what's going on over there. As he does both Paedrig and Vallis declare they would each like to draw a card each as Samuro stands there in shock at their statements. Darien rushes forward stating that he would like to draw one also so I allow all three to grab a card each.

Darien (cleric of Tyr) draws the ruin card. Vallis (cleric of Brandobaris) draws the balance card. Paedrig (paladin of Torm) draws the flames card. Of course every one of them is disappointed except Samuro cause he knows whats about to happen next but he stays quiet for now."

It was funny how all 3 draws were bad. Samuro laughed quietly to himself since he had a good idea they were going to be stripped of their powers (He lost his as a paladin in the moathouse after eating the dark fruit).

All in all it was a very memorable session.

ronin

msherman
Kalkydrite
(9/28/03 6:39 pm)
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Re: Cards
Man, that's nasty. How did they recover from such bad draws... or did they?

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(9/29/03 9:12 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: Aftermath
Well, the group accepted Lord Skassik's (he calls himself Lord now that he is in charge) parlay and have agreed to join with him on an attack on the Water Temple! They traded Zert's swords for Tessimon's raise dead and heal scroll (yeah, she doesn't have heal, but now she does! avoids a trip to the Big City). They also got the animal messenger and the druid REALLY wanted to use the reincarnate, but the party leader du jour said no. They accepted the hospitality of the FT and holed up in the now vacant barracks (on the ledge). The druid cast the heal on the cleric (making the caster level check) and the cleric cast raise dead on the archer. The archer was 300XP from 9th so he took a HUGE hit in XP. Owie.

The wizard was invited to the celebration of Lord Skassik's ascension. Remember, he had amnesia and now knows he was part of the FT, so Skassik remembered him. He declined. The group heard the midnight screams of Jurrikath, but ignored them, realizing (correct or not) that they were powerless against the FT forces. Well, Skassik knows how to operate the altar and used it with the prisoner. 15 minutes laters the screaming abruptly stopped and the party could sleep in peace. Skassik now sports +1 mithral full plate of Spell Resistance (17 or 19) and light fortification.
The party has not seen him yet, so I could still change this (maybe a +1 adamantine unholy frost greatsword).

The next day, they were joined by Virith, 3 elf warrios, 2 fire mephits, and 2 average salamanders and decided to go the land route, clockwise around the CRM. They've killed the ants, talked with Tarren (buying all of his concoctions and one reincarnation's worth of herbs and unguents), killed the first destrachan, the blade spirit, and the cloakers. They didn't go down the other destrachan's passage and never searched the ledge for the lost dwarven treasure.

It was a fun night though. We did a lot of RP despite the obvious dungeon crawling. The interaction with Tarren, Virith, and everyone was fun. They realized Tarren was evil, and paid him heartily for the concoctions and information. When the elf warriors were knocked brutally unconscious by the destrachan (28hp of nonlethal will do that), the party decided not to take them any further. Virith calmly pulled out her flaming short sword (a gift from Skassik) and was about to murder them before the party stopped her. Instead, she stripped the bodies, giving 4 of the CLW potions to the group (keeping the other 2 and the gold). They gave the unconscious bodies to Tarren, who gleefully accepted the experimental subjects. I'm thinking of making them into Fungus Humanoids, ala that B-movie "Mushroom People" or something like that. Any ideas?

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