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lightnng
Memunite
(11/2/03 8:13 am)
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CRM dynamics question
Ive been reading/participating in this forum for a long while, but I dont think Ive seen an answer to this question. It has also never occured to me before :-) This means its probably a silly question, but please bear with me.

Basically, now that my party has routed out the earth temple, and I fully anticipate them trying to destroy the altar, Ive spent some time rereading the material regarding the OF responses. The thing that struck me is that it says two things happen once the party eliminates a second temple:

1. Hedrack and his cronies start taking an interest in the party (scrying, assasins, whatever; part II intro)
2. The two other temples vacate (!); (see "concluding the adventure", page 7 - the reference is to clearing half the mines, but two temples would pretty much amount to that)

While Ive seen a lot of discussion on (1), it seems that nobody is playing the module as written in regards to (2). I can sort of see that, because (1) and (2) are a little contradictory - if the CRM has no more challenges, the party will be headed to the OF anyway, and sending someone to deal with them has little point or merit. Also, what happens in this mass exodus? where do all these monsters go?

Im curious as I suspect that the party will soon turn around and go after the air temple (due to some character hooks I planted); Once they overcome that, I would judge the half the mines have been cleared.

Also, an interesting point - that means that a clever party can eliminate the CRM without ever having to deal with either the water or fire temple!

input will be appreciated.

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(11/2/03 8:32 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: CRM dynamics question
Two temples does not equate to half the CRM. Here are the areas, in no particular order:

1. Air Temple/South Gate
2. Main Gate
3. Earth Temple
4. WBC/Fire Bridge
5. NBC/Air Bridge
6. Water Temple
7. Bugbears
8. EBC/Fire Bridge
9. Fire Temple

Typically, the first to go are the main gate, earth temple, and air temple. If the WBC is also taken out, that still leaves at least one more major section to clear out before it is half or greater than half.

In any case, it really only matter if you think your group is ready to take on the Outer Fane. I would not do option 2 (vacating the CRM) unless the group is ready to take on the Outer Fane. For that, they should be 10th level or so.

"Also, what happens in this mass exodus? where do all these monsters go?"

The major players (Tessimon, D'Gran, etc.) might go into the Outer Fane. Minor players might go to Rastor or nearby towns. The mooks might be appropriated for various things (adding mooks to the towers, used as a food source in the Outer Fane, vampire spawn) or would just do their best to make it to the nearest town. I've had some of them join up with the heroes.

"Also, an interesting point - that means that a clever party can eliminate the CRM without ever having to deal with either the water or fire temple!"

That's possible, but keep in mind that 'half' the CRM might not refer to the numbers of monsters, but the strength. You might very well decide that the WT, FT, and EBC constitutes more than half the strength.

arcane12
Memunite
(11/2/03 11:56 am)
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Re: CRM dynamics question
also, I believe, that the concluding the adventure paragraph refers to what happens once the adventure is over: Do the left over cultists attempt to rebuild what they had or give up and scatter, never to be heard from again. I think this is the point that was tried to be made - once the ouer fane has been sacked, and Imix stopped, the remaining cultists will/willnot try to rebuild depending on how much of the EEE forces remain.

However it would be interesting to show the change of heart as the PC's clear the mines - If they have take out both gates, the earth and air temple, then the air Bridge forces may be willing just to negotiate or even flee once they have an escape route. The only thing that really holds them there is fear of the masters of the fanes - these are not the sort of people you want hunting you to punish you for abandoning your post (assassins and dangerous elementals at their bidding that can be sent out to hunt down traitors).

lightnng
Memunite
(11/2/03 1:20 pm)
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Re: CRM dynamics question
Thanks infiniti... thats pretty much my conclusion too. If they get the NBC in addition to the WBC and air temple (which is how I think it will go), then I will consider this particular condition filled.

I think what I'll do in this case is have the water and fire temple pretty much eliminate each other at about the same time my group takes out the last of the five major sections above. They will hear about this from a few survivors who they will encounter running out from the mutual massacre. Ill leave a few mooks in place and drop enough hints so that the party will want to visit both water and fire temples for clues, but it will be much easier for them than if they took them at full strength. Ive done some calculations and I think that by going this route Ill get them to 10th level by the time they are done (right now - after winning the Main entrance and the earth temple - they have two 7th level and four 6th level chars).

ZansForCans 
Cherub
(11/2/03 8:51 pm)
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Re: CRM dynamics question
Quote:
also, I believe, that the concluding the adventure paragraph refers to what happens once the adventure is over: Do the left over cultists attempt to rebuild what they had or give up and scatter, never to be heard from again.


I agree with arcane12 here. That's how I've always read this bit, especially in the context of the next paragraph about what remaining Triad members might do.

But, in the dynamics of this CE cult, I certainly could see the last two temples looking around seeing there is only one thing standing in the way of them having the whole CRM to themselves. I think if you end up doing this lightnng, it would be cool to set up an area that was the Final Battle™ complete with residual molten masses, pools of fetid water, and steam everywhere :)


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lightnng
Memunite
(11/2/03 10:15 pm)
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Re: CRM dynamics question
Ooh ooh... yes this sounds pretty cool zansforcans :D

Well, we'll see how things develop. I will report, although since we play every two weekends, it will be about two-three months before we get there anyway... (so I like to be prepared well in advance, OK? 8o )

Gwyddno Maolan
Memunite
(11/3/03 1:00 pm)
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Re: CRM dynamics question
Quote:
Also, an interesting point - that means that a clever party can eliminate the CRM without ever having to deal with either the water or fire temple!


Well, the only circumstance under which I'd consider that "clever" is if the PCs have the levels, information, and lesser keys to take the fight to the Outer Fane. Usually, you need the experience, loot, and clues found in the Fire and Water temples to attain all of those things. Bypassing the CRM too quickly is as dangerous as taking it too slow - you do not want to knock on the Fire Door with a group of 7th level characters.

Gwyddno Aonaranach - Serene Master of Pain and... Forestry?!
Earedwyn Lanngaoth - Swashbuckler Extraordinaire
Last Warden Standing, Vae Victis!

arcane12
Memunite
(11/3/03 1:33 pm)
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Re: CRM dynamics question
ooo sounds good :) Both my groups are getting close to this, especially the Sunday group - They have taken everything out from the earth temple(map L) right down to the water boats (map E) and will have cleared map F by the time they hit the fire temple (their target of the moment :P ) so rough calulation would be

Map L - F = EL 5+6+6+7+7+8+8 = ~EL 12
remaining Map G-K = EL 7+7+8+9+9 = ~EL 12

About halfway (they hit the earth bridge, and will prolly kill a few fire forces on the way). I think an epic battle (with all the water forces invading the fire Temple, just a skeleton crew left behind) in progress as the party approaches would be great :) Then the remaining forces that don't flee can be rounded up to secure the relevant bridges.

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(11/3/03 3:07 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: CRM dynamics question
If you clear out any part of the CRM, make sure you at least give it credible time. If the party is on a blitzkrieg, the CRM may not vacate in time. Allow some time for the information to get around that someone is killing everyone and everything in the mines.

Oh, one other thing. I'm sure someone would tread upon Eerdik's summoning circle before leaving. Good-bye CRM forces, hello bebelith!

deafdungeonmasterRIT
Dynama
(11/3/03 7:44 pm)
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hmm
Once the temples are destoryed.. it will effectively become no man's land. Believe it or not.. it is your choice, but I will strongly suggests to use Tarren as a rising power pose to take over CRM. For this situation, he will not bother himself with PCs unless they are interferring with his interests.

No one have been paying attentions to what I have been saying past months.. but I really think it is a GREAT idea that Tarren take over and establish "plant temple" filled with plant based inhabitants. Those mooks left over will be his new servants.

Thrommel, once free, can take over a temple called it as a temple of death and used it as a bastion to ward off remaining threats and possible increase his victims. After all, that is a good place for Thrommel to start with.

For Zert.. I think he will either cast his lots with PCs or Tarren.. if not.. then he leave CRM and moves to Verbonoc.

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