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JoeSchmoe
Memunite
(12/1/03 10:44 pm)
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Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
Okay, my group is JUST about to enter the IF by way of area 21 of the OF. Because I am leaving for England in a few weeks we have just 3 7-hour sessions left to complete the module.

I've looked through the IF a bit already and figure that I can hopefully do the recovered temple in one fight-filled session, so that will be the last session I hope.

What can I skip in the IF, or speed up or whatever to make things go a bit faster so that the IF is wrapped up in approximately 14-15 hours of play time? Of course I want them to experience everything but don't want to just go "okay, your next fight is..." :) I'd like to keep the Deck of Many Things since I have ALWAYS wanted to have one in an adventure (either as DM or player), and I do think it adds to the chaotic nature of the adventure.

Other than that, any suggestions?

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(12/2/03 6:48 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
For one thing, make the secret buttons to the sublevels obvious, if you want them to get to the sublevels. If not, just remove the sublevels saying that the bottom of the spike is solid. Next, any in-between stuff (e.g. selling of items, travelling to Verbobonc, raising, etc.) should be done OOC, and grossly approximated. +/- 1000gp will make little difference.

As others have said before, the top level of the spike is way too dangerous and really has little effect on the game. It may cause your game problems that are not needed, so perhaps they could be made easier, or just give the players a bad vibe, encouraging that they not go in there. Don't put the First or the Third there as it will likely lead to a TPK.

I would plan one session (at most) for the Inner Fane, then leave two sessions for the remainder of the adventure. That way you have more time for a proper ending, should you need it, and you might. Besides the Recovered Temple, there's also the Fire Node.

msherman
Ophanite
(12/2/03 8:26 am)
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Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
I'd skip the inner fane, entirely. There's nothing crucial to saving the world there, really. Give the party cleric an omen or something. You really might need the 3 full sessions in the recovered temple/fire node.

Actually, skipping the fire node might be a good idea, too; once the party is close to the main temple, have Imix summoned out of the node by the Champion to complete the ritual, and the big climactic fight will involve everyone at once.

Thrommel
Runechild (mod)
Council of Magisters

(12/2/03 8:37 am)
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Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
I agree with the I2K.

Actually, I would skip the whole Inner Fane entirely. Send the PC's to the Recovered Temple. It will take at least two sessions, possibly three.

And if they start churning through the Recovered Temple, it's a lot easier to add encounters than it is to start chopping things out.

Have the Black Circle be a portal to the Recovered Temple grounds instead of the IF. Youre players will be none the wiser and you can always say the BBG's have temporarily relocated to oversee this most important operation. Place the Deck in the Fire Node, or even better, put the skeleton and deck seated on the throne in the Old Nexus (RT 31). A little present from Zuggtmoy.

On your timeline, I think they'll enjoy the Recovered Temple as a nice change of pace (especially after defeating the OF already) and they'll be able to feel the adventure wrapping up and the pace will quicken of its own accord.

So, skip it, is my advice.

-Thrommel, who received a couple of pointy teeth as a present once.

Andorax
Cherub
(12/2/03 9:41 am)
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Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
Alternately, combine a few ideas here...let them get into the IF, make the button obvious (and perhaps the stair hidden), and put the Tourbillion on sublevel 1. Thus, the PCs immediately go from door to trexes to...oh look, there's the old recovered temple.


Another thing you might consider (see Best of Boards page 2) is to ramp up the elemental effects of Imix' presence in the world to make it REALLY OBVIOUS that the Inner Fane is not where they need to be right now.


A third possability, depending on how timing works out...you might add some Hommlet reinforcements to deal with the lesser opponets. Have them hold off the Ogres and the Hobgoblins flee and scatter before them so that the party can focus on rushing right past, getting downstairs, and confronting the serious and important foes.


It's no big deal if you finish the adventure a few hours early...it might be fun to just kick back, put your feet up, and tell the tales of your grand adventure. It is a big deal if you finish too late, though...so I'd say that your best bet is to hustle-hustle-hustle and get them through with a *targetted goal* of completing in two sessions, just to give you some fudge factor if things go wrong.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

JoeSchmoe
Memunite
(12/2/03 9:18 pm)
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Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
Some very good suggestions, thanks guys!

The group does have a bad vibe overall about the IF but since they received plenty of help from Varachan (after killing Hedrack and Thrommel) - who told them where the cornugon, drow, mind flayer and dragon were -they are of course feeling a bit cocky. Some atrocious initiative rolls on my part aided the defeat of most of the aforementioned creatures, but the dragon is actually still alive (flew away) and so is the mind flayer (plane shifted when his invisibility was spotted and he was attacked).

Anyway, I will try to plan one and a half sessions for the recovered temple and fire node, at least - that's roughly 10 hours of play. I haven't looked through that section too closely yet but I imagine it will be pretty tough.

I'll look at the sublevels of the IF and see what can be skipped/moved. The group is really focused on the orb of silvery death since they just got it and feel it's really important, so I might have to move that IF location around so it's easier for them to find. Alternately, since they have no idea that are are even levels to the IF I can move it all around to my heart's desire I guess :) at least, enough to suit the group and the time constraints.

How important/deadly are the Third, Second and First? Someone mentioned skipping one of them (I can't see all the posts in the reply screen, sorry!) so I'd guess they aren't all essential.

Thanks again!

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(12/2/03 9:28 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
If the PC's know about the Triad, all three are important. However, none are integral to the story, except maybe the Second (one of them should be overseeing the renovations and be around while Imix is present). The others could easily be removed and "off on a mission", which you can plan additional adventures for later.

One more comment is that the Inner Fane has the talisman of pure good, so it could potentially be quite important. Varachan knows about it and probably already told the PC's. To help speed up the IF, perhaps Varachan could give them ALL the details. That way, it will be much easier, they can prep, and its exploration would be very quick.

JoeSchmoe
Memunite
(12/2/03 10:51 pm)
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Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
I might do that (Varachan giving them a run-down of the IF, that is), have one of the Triad off on a mission, and if things are progressing too quickly then have The Second show up or something.

There are still about 21-24 hours of gaming time so there's plenty of opportunity to see how things progress.

Thanks for the help folks - I'm off to do some reading on the IF!

Siobharek 
Cherub
(12/3/03 5:55 am)
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ezSupporter

Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
Just a quick reply on the First: Properly prepared, he's a killer. After my group sent the entire IF tumbling into lava - thanks to some good negotiation with the Azer - the First 'ported to the RT and went off to get some street cred by taking on the group solo. He attacked them in the RT corridors, just off the ogre/giant complex and with repulsion and anti-life shell he was pretty close to untouchable. In the end, the fight took close to one 7-hour session and he caused 5 deaths on 4 PCs - yes, one was true res'ed during the fight and went down again.

So if you're on a schedule, I'd leave him out, cool though he is.

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

JoeSchmoe
Memunite
(12/3/03 7:48 pm)
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Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
Hmmm. Something to really consider! Maybe I can water him down a bit or flub some rolls to make it memorable for the group, but I'll have to play a lot of it by ear, depending on how the group does while in the IF.

Thanks!

JoeSchmoe
Memunite
(12/7/03 8:44 pm)
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Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
Did the Inner Fane in one 7-hour session!

Skipped a couple of the sub-levels (the quasits and the 3-d map room), left out the doomdreamer who helps the half-dragons, left out the First, but left everything else in. Even got to do the Deck of Many Things, which left a party NPC (the sorcerer) and the party cleric imprisoned, which is a drawback but makes things interesting.

The group killed the Third disappointingly easily but on a lighter note the big bad fighter did get swallowed WHOLE by the half-dragon and he had to cut his way out (the fighter advanced through threatened squares and the half-dragon got a crit on his bite attack!).

So now the group has to figure out how to leave the IF (the now-missing cleric had cast etherealness on them all to get past the door, which didn't let them in) and head to the recovered temple, preferably after discovering out how to find their missing party members.

Siobharek 
Cherub
(12/8/03 3:01 am)
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ezSupporter

Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
Is it too late to re-establish the 3d map room? Because that is in fact the best way of transporting to the RT.

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

Kenmis 
Mortal
(12/8/03 8:56 pm)
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Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
IMC, they nearly cleared out the IF, had just the Tabernacle left, and they were pretty frightened by all the bad stuff they had been hearing about the top of the fane. I managed to divert them to the recorvered temple because the party cleric cast Commune and asked a very straightforward question "Will it do us any good to clear out the rest of the inner fane?" to which Corellon answered "No."

So they moved on. Omens or dreams or commune spells and the like can very easily lead the players where you want them to go.

JoeSchmoe
Memunite
(12/8/03 9:02 pm)
Reply
Re: Fast-tracking the Inner Fane and recovered temple
Siobharek - I could have them visit Varachan before they leave the OF, who could 'remember' the detail of how to get to the map room, and therefore the RT quickly...actually, it would be quicker for them to get to Verbobonc that way to get a scroll of Freedom to set free the two spellcasters who were trapped by the donjon card from the DoMT, then they could get to the RT via the map room.

I'd cut it out just to save time before, without really considering what it could be used for! I guess I could have Varachan tell them that now they've gotten this far he will help them one last time by telling them how to get to the map room (which could be entered via Hedrack's chamber or something).

Time for a group email I guess! :) Thanks for the tip!

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