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msherman
Ophanite
(12/4/03 7:10 am)
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What's next for Hedrack?
My party has survived every assassination attempt Hedrack's thrown at them:
- Gez, goblin assassin (replacing one of Victor/Bethe -- I'm left with a female Assassin named Bethe, but with Victor's stats), followed them to Verbobonc. He failed to kill anyone, but did return to Hedrack with a sample of the Cleric's blood on his dagger for use when Scrying, as well as 'liberating' Tessimon's Tentacle Rod when the party sold it in town.
- About 6 weeks later, when the party returned to the area, Gez attacked again, along with 1 Invisible Stalker (leaving 1 at the air door), in the wild a couple days north of Rastor. Both were killed.
- A few days later, Ukemil and the lions attacked, while the party was camped in the WBC. Only one lion survived, as Ukemil cast a CSW on it when it was down to 1hp, and sent it fleeing back through the fire door. Presumably Chymon enjoyed the snack.
- The next night, Hedrack pulled out the big gun, and cast Planar Ally to bring in a Glabrezu demon. I'd been hoping that he'd attack a few days in a row, but the Cleric got rid of him the first night with a lucky Dismissal. Hedrack sacrificed the entire staff of the Water temple to the demon as payment for what he thought would be 14 days of service. Hedrack is, to say the least, a bit miffed.

So what would Hedrack do now? I'd certainly like to send _something_ each night as long as he's able, but I'm kind of stumped. I guess he could swap all his L7 spells for a night and send 3 Babau (Summon Monster 7), but then he'd have to use a regular Scry instead of Greater Scry to find the party and there's a better chance of saving against that. There's also a single assassin and stalker left, which he could send. Any other ideas?

Rayal17
Mortal
(12/4/03 7:40 am)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Have him seriously start warding the Fane. I mean, he knows the enemies are either really tough or lucky. So, try luring them in and blasting them with glyphs and wards. That, or have him start creating holy ground in important areas that he will have people fight in. Make them fight on his terms now. Obviously, Assassins are not going to work on the group, so the best offense is a great defense in this case.

Andorax
Cherub
(12/4/03 8:16 am)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Actually, the module is specific that if the three attempts (Assassin, Stalkers, Ukemill) don't work, he 'circles the wagons' and goes on defensive. I'd stick to that, at least until the PCs assault and damage the Outer Fane itself.

If the PCs hit the OF and run, then the gloves are off. I sent one last assassination attempt after the PCs, but it was after two hit-and-run attempts on the Outer Fane (and the next time out, they took Hedrack down).

I sent the remaining assassin, the two Stalkers (who had failed last time to track them) and the two Naga who made a very nasty team, btw.

Both had Fly and Invisibility cast upon them. One would cast Fireball. The next round, the first one delayed until the second one acted so they'd be more-or-less simultaneous. The Fireball Naga cast Invisibility...the Invisible Naga cast Fireball. Basically, they made it look like a single Naga teleporting back and forth and fireballing them. Meanwhile, the Stalkers were throttling people, and the Assassin watched, waited for an opening, and clung tightly to the Refuge stick Hedrack had given her (If everyone else died, her job was to report back everything he could about the group).

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

Grumgarr
Kalkydrite
(12/4/03 8:20 am)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
I agree that Hedrack would concentrate on defending the Outer Fane.

As well as spell-wards etc. one mundane thing he could do is pass word to all the guardians that incursion by a powerful group is expected - even passing on descriptions and tactics if he knows these from scrying or escaped bad-guys. This will alert Varachan too, but I guess he already knows a lot. They might even have orders to let them pass unmolested, or to retreat immediately and raise the alarm (have methods provided - horns, gongs, drums). Sonic blast-Glyphs also serve well as warnings.

Then have an ambush plan somewhere - let the PCs in, even try to lure them in...does he know which keys the PCs have (and therefore which doors they can use)?
There was an excellent thread a while back suggesting having Hedrack set up a very nasty ambush at the Fire Door (TPK-material - Chymon, plus Naquent and Ogres and Hedrack in the wings waiting to join the fray, possibly with the drow (etc. you get the horrid picture) as back-up)...and having Varachan get a message to the PCs at the last minute that coming in the Fire Door would be disastrous!

If Heddy doesn't know when to expect them though, it's only fair that his forces can't all be tooled up and ready...if he does know when they're coming, they're in for some pain.

Have Hedrack plan something really nasty for the PCs when they finally come to the Fane - his home turf - based on what he knows of the PCs...then warn them via Varachan.
If they can use another Door, great. If not, they may just go ahead regardless of the warning though, which likely spells their doom...

Don't be shy of pulling out all the stops if they push on - getting into the Outer Fane when it's ready for you should be well-nigh impossible and make 'We're invincible!' PCs think twice. Give them a fighting chance in the form of Varachan's warning, and if they don't heed it, make them wish they had.

Bwa-ha-haa, I believe is the term :)

Grumgarr

msherman
Ophanite
(12/4/03 8:21 am)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Good point about the module's instructions, Andorax. I'll wait until the first attack on the Fane before sending more attacks, and sending the Nagas (with the remaining assassin and stalker) sounds like a good idea. I'm guessing a few nights of calm will probably scare them even more -- "what could he be planning _now_?"

Infiniti2000
Cherub
(12/4/03 9:27 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: What's next for Hedrack?
That nagas group was incredibly nasty. I remember the long discussion on whether or not the sleeping character gets a reflex save, due to the necklace of fireballs.

Btw, the text in the area 14 for the Elder Earth Elemental also states that Hedrack will give it a description of the PC's and may send it after them as well. A buffed EEE would be incredibly nasty, particularly if it were to wait inside the bridge itself, to spring up behind the party after they enter another door (e.g. the Fire door). I'll let you pick appropriate buff spells, but spell immunity or spell resistance, bear's endurance, protection from elements, and bull's strength are some of my favorites. Shield of faith and magic vestment would also be good.

Btw, does the planar take the payment up front or after services are rendered? If the latter then the WT would still exist.

msherman
Ophanite
(12/4/03 9:45 am)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Good point about the planar ally. It is a negotiation, so I'd say a Demon would definitely demand up-front payment (a Devil would be more likely to accept a deferred payment, with an intricately crafted contract to ensure it).

smetzger
Memunite
(12/4/03 12:12 pm)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Quote:
Actually, the module is specific that if the three attempts (Assassin, Stalkers, Ukemill) don't work, he 'circles the wagons' and goes on defensive.


Where in the module does it say this? I've been looking but can't seem to find it.

Andorax
Cherub
(12/4/03 12:16 pm)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Page 39, 2nd column, 2nd paragraph:

Quote:

Hedrack, the Master of the Outer Fane, likely sends one of the two assassins in area 16 (Outer Fane) to deal with the intruders. The other he keeps in reserve. If this response fails, he sends the troglodyte priest and the four dire lions in area 39 (Outer Fane). If the PCs defeat these creatures in turn, he sends one other force: one or both of the invisible stalkers from area 36 (Outer Fane). After this, he sends no others, waiting instead for the PCs to enter the Outer Fane, where they are on his territory.

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

grimbold
Memunite
(12/8/03 12:29 am)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
There is one more thing you could do:

Have Hedrack secure the corpse of one of his failed assassins (easy to do with an invisible stalker) and raise him, then give him to Thrommel to make a vampire-assassin out of him and send him out again ....:evil

That´s what´s happening IMC now.

Can someone help me with applying the vampire template to a Victor who has lost one level of assassin (due to raise dead)?

deafdungeonmasterRIT
Cherub
(12/8/03 7:26 am)
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or...
Hedrack can attempt to kill one cohort or PC and re-animate him to become a corpse bomb. That include his assassination, too.

msherman
Ophanite
(12/8/03 7:34 am)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
IMC, that can't happen for two (related) reasons: 1) I treat the Stalagos as running water; 2) Hedrack simply doesn't trust Thrommel enough to give him such a powerful spawn.

Thrommel's already got one spawn, an ranger who used to be a cohort in the party, who will be stationed at the air door to strengthen it now that one of the stalkers and ukemil are gone. But he can't cross the water, so he'll be waiting for the party to attack before he can counter-attack.

Cordo Crowfoot
Cherub
(12/8/03 1:08 pm)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Hey, cool, you used Gez! :D

Also, very nice idea with regards to the requirements for obtaining the Glazebru's service. I may use this is at it makes a sensible reason for the rest of the mines to be cleared out.

"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
Ophanite
(12/8/03 1:30 pm)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Yeah, Gez was great, thanks Cordo! He was a much more interesting assassin than Bethe and Victor.

As for clearing the mines, that's becomming a bit critical in my game; the party's all 11th level now, and still hasn't hit the OF. I've really got to stop letting them waste time in the CRM.

Edited by: msherman at: 12/8/03 1:31 pm
blakwind
Memunite
(12/8/03 9:45 pm)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Quote:
As for clearing the mines, that's becomming a bit critical in my game; the party's all 11th level now, and still hasn't hit the OF. I've really got to stop letting them waste time in the CRM.


It might be time to have the surviving temples abandon the CRM. You could leave a few unaffiliated monsters around to harass the PCs if they get delusions of security.

arcane12
Memunite
(12/9/03 11:44 am)
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Re: What's next for Hedrack?
Also I had a thought: Once Ukemil fails his assassination mission, there is suddenly a gap in the outer fane ranks. Perfect time to promote someone.

I will probably promate Tessimon IMC as she controls the last remaining temple, but the water forces did their raid and sucessfully took out the platform. (I have judged the platform to be a seperate item to the altar that makes stuff).

I do not see this as a failing directly by Tessimon as she cannot help if a 'mad bomber' rushes in to take out a single thing. I will then consilidate the remaining forces into the fire temple, however I will relocate the earth bridge characters into the outer fane (they almost managed a TPK, they just had to leave to get more trolls giving the party a short time to escape. They only looks a few mooks too - gotta love em trolls) and also Omatharis and perhaps Rui.

Then each bridge will have a ward plus a lesser planar ally (elemental, just to scare off small critters from wasting a powerful ward). Also the Boats will be scuttled - no need without a water temple, and can always get some more.

Obviously Hedrack will plan on restocking the mines, but it will take time for decent forces in enough number can arrive, so until then the best option is to consilidate what forces remain, take the cream of the crop for himself, and hole up to take them on his own ground.

Hope this helps you with ideas on what could be done in your game :D

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