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Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/16/04 10:55 pm)
Am I doing this right? Is this overkill?
Comments appreciated.

Semaj - Rgr5/Rog1/Clr1
Wade - Sor6/Ftr1
Eloen - Wiz7
Magnus - Clr7
Haikum - Clr6/Ftr1
Kwog - Rog6/Brn1
Tenaris (NPC, increased stats) - Ftr7

The party killed the two trolls in room 36 last time, and came upon the western bridge complex pretty much unprepared. One fireball and a few blows traded later, they retreated. Total damage to D'Gran's forces - 6 human warriors and one of the dinos are dead, everybody else is in good shape. Well, Tippesh died as well but see below.

Now here is the deal. The party is going back to Rastor to regroup and plan their attack. But this gives D'Gran time to plan his defence. He is a little miffed that they killed his trolls, but he didnt see them do much damage otherwise so he is licking his chops for their anticipated return.
First thing he did after verifying the party's really gone is get Tippesh raised (calling a favor from Tessimon). Then he came back and organized his forces. What I'd like your opinion on is whether I am overdoing this - I won't mind a few deaths, but I would like to avoid a TPK. However, D'Gran is smart and vicious and I want to organize his defences accordingly.

The plan:

A torch is placed near the top of room 31, and a sentry is places on top of the stairs in room 35. Once the party shows up, he will immediately bolt (at half-speed) to inform D'Gran of their arrival. This is done via the mental alarm spell Tippesh has cast in room 36 as well as verbally.
It will take the sentry three rounds to navigate through and beyond room 37, on account of 36, 37 and the whole area between them being filled with refuse and oil. Once he is there, Tippesh will await the next mental alarm note (so the party has passed the middle of room 36) and provide a signal to D'Gran, who will then cast darkness to cover 36-37 and light up the refuse in 37. It will take the fire 3 rounds to spread fully to room 36, and it will burn for a total of 2 minutes, catching the party by surprise.

Once they make it through that, D'Gran has deployed as follows:

Tippesh is standing at the door connecting the corridor from room 38 and the entry corridor. She has readied action to cast fireball at room 37 as soon as someone appears in the doorway from 37, then move to room 38.
D'Gran is hovering, invisible, near the bottom end of the entry corridor. He has readied action to shoot at the first person to appear in the doorway from room 37, then retreat right to the main corridor.
Slaazh and Krall are below D'Gran, and have readied actions to move and attack whomever is at the doorway to 37 as soon as Tippesh has cast fireball.
Heunar and the dino are in the corridor between 38 and entryway. Heunar will release the dino as soon as somebody passes the trolls, then retreat to 38 and close the secret door.
Two human warriors are also standing in that corridor, with a readied action to shoot at the first foe to appear in front of the door.
Four more warriors are standing between 39 and the main corridor, with ready action to shoot the first foe to appear in front of that door.
The central point between the bridge and room 44 is darkened.
Rau is still guarding the bridge, but will join upon command from D'Gran or if he feels like it.
Vech and wolverine, as well as the gnolls from area 50 are in 44, awaiting a command from D'Gran or either of the wizards to join in.
Four other human warriors are in 45, listening and waiting to join in.
The gnolls in 51 are still guarding the door from the Orcs, but will join on command from D'Gran, wizards or giants.
Heunar and Tippesh have also coordinated a web+lightning bolt joint action which they will spring on the party as soon as it is at the top of the main corridor (with Heunar being invisible before casting Web).

This about sums it up. I am trying to design it so D'Gran is letting his cronies do his dirty work, but he will certainly chip in as necessary, and will call in his reserves (the giants etc.) if he feels they are needed. He doesnt think much of the party after their paltry performance last time, but they kill his other trolls so he's decided to be cautious.

Am I overdoing this? Does the party have a chance of surviving? Am I underdoing it? What do you think?

Crimson Coil Cultist
(1/17/04 4:14 am)
Re: Am I doing this right? Is this overkill?
I probably shouldn't be posting as it's late and I'm on my way to bed but...

My first impression is that if D'Gran doesn't consider the party a threat, then why is he making all these preparations? Also, why does the sentry run at half speed back to D'Gran?

Don't put Tippesh at the front with the fireball. She doesn't have many hit points and one well-placed shot from a bow takes her out of the action. IMC, she wasn't even at the front and got taken out by a bow-shot.

I like using D'Gran this way. The party will see him and go "AAAH!!!" at the sight of a demon. Plus, they will expect him to be visible from now on. Once he's fired his weapon and retreated, have him go invisible again.

It seems that you've got a few people ready to act and everyone else hanging back. Most of the (cannon fodder/mooks/peons, take your pick) are waiting at the back. You seem to be using the secret door as a weapon but why not put more creatures behind it. Instead of just the dino (who's gonna get his butt whipped), have one of the trolls backed by some mooks below D'Gran, and put the other troll and some mooks with Heunar and the dino. Then, the wizards and/or giants can use their respective range weapons on the party.

The web/lightning bolt idea is really neat. I'm gonna write that down somewhere.

You wonder how the party will do? If they are prepared and don't act totally stupid, they will wipe the floor with the Fire Bridge Complex. In other words, fun times should be had by all.

Zag:rollin ig

Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/17/04 8:33 am)
Re: Am I doing this right? Is this overkill?

D'Gran isnt overly concerned, but he is cautious. He was less worried before he spoke to Tessimon, but she has already heard of how they wiped the earh temple clean and let him know about it. In essence, he thinks krall and slaazh, with support from the wizards and a few low-level mooks can probably kill them, but he'll be around to make sure they do. The fire path is just for cruel fun, you know, on the lines of "gentlemen, start your ovens". I forgot to mention another detail, which is that once the fire reaches room 36, it burns a rope that holds a large fishnet above the entry to 36 from the north, which will drop the fishnet to delay anyone trying to use that exit. It's very cleverly set up, and difficult to spot, especially with the darkness :D

On the other hand, he doesnt want to commit all his forces to this potential battle, and the low level mooks are useful to have around, especially if those idiot orcs decide to attack too for some reason (rumors fly fast in this dang dungeon). Plus the entryway is only 10 feet wide, isn't it? It only grows to being 20 ft. wide after the bend into the main corridor. Or am I reading the map incorrectly? That's why the forces are deployed the way they are, with the force in 44 ready to go either way or even split. I plan to use the Orcs in the party's favor if things turn really dire, sort of a way to distract some of D'Gran's forces if I need to save the party's butt (and its not even Deus Ex Machina).

They have already seen D'Gran briefly btw. I gave him an additional ability, which is that he turns invisible at will as a free action - he usually attacks then immediately invisibles. My players are frankly terrified of the guy already. The haven't met the giants yet, but suspect they are there, and this suspicion will be confirmed by a letter from Varachan (his first contact) on the night of their stay in Rastor.

Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/17/04 9:24 am)
Re: Am I doing this right? Is this overkill?
So you've got 2 trolls, 2 hill giants, 1 Ogre Mage (buffed), a dire wolverine, 2 spellcasters and a handful of other sundries going against a group with 1 actual fighter and you're wondering how well it will go?

In my experience, the dwarves -- and gnomes, but we didn't have any -- of the party will certainly survive (+4 dodge AC vs giants on top of their normal AC is a huge buff). Your clerics -- unless they've got Flame Strike stuffed up their robes -- will be in trouble. Your sorceror (if equipped with Fireball and Scorching Ray) should really shine if he survives the first couple of rounds -- unless D'gran and his trolls have gotten an Endure Elements getup going on. Everybody else is probably a bit hosed -- trolls and giants flanking makes for a world of hurt.

Also: Don't forget that D'gran has a cone of cold spell-like ability that he can use on his trolls -- they'll regenerate faster than the PCs. ;) He can also polymorph (though I've not read enough about polymorph to know the best usage of it) to really mess with the party. And he's got this big ol' sword that he can use to thwack wands and casters and such (since you've been cruel and are letting him use invisibility for free) -- remember, this is one sick bastard puppy of an oni who throws rocks at halflings for fun. He's not going to be content popping a round off with a bow and then going and sulking in a corner while his underlings have all the bloody fun.

Shouldn't be a TPK, but don't expect your party to make it through. They can probably get the caster, dino, cannon fodder, 1, maybe both, trolls -- but I expect that they'll be running really short (or just plain running away) when they get to the hill giants and wolverine.


Deathmantle Cultist
(1/17/04 10:13 am)
Re: Am I doing this right? Is this overkill?
Invis as a free action is a HUGE bonus to any creature. That's a +2 CR IMO

Furthermore; this is gonna be a long and very tough fight. Your party will most likely be running

Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/17/04 11:15 am)
Re: Am I doing this right? Is this overkill?
Oh, other thing I just realized -- Trolls have Scent. If you've not made full use of their existing feats already, try swapping an otherwise unused feat out for Blind-Fight. Then D'Gran can really cut loose with darkness, trusting his trolls' scent + blindfight abilities to royally out-class the party. (Though if you're burning garbage in the area, that might waste the scent ability and therefore be a poor tactical -- no matter how atmosphere-setting -- choice.)

When it's dark all around, nobody can tell whether you're invisible or not. :evil


Brother of Venom
(1/17/04 1:32 pm)
Re: Am I doing this right? Is this overkill?
D'Gran's forces seem very well prepared. Almost too well prepared and somewhat unbelievable. You should have the plan fall apart half way through. All those chaotic forces should react appropriately. Tippesh, if pressed, might even join with the party and give them some help, perhaps fireballing the trolls.

Allowing D'Gran to use invisibility as a free action is cheese, IMO. If you do it, you had better have a very good reason, and give the PC's the opportunity to figure out why he can do that. Giving a bad guy such a powerful advantage for no reason is never a good idea. You can give him Quicken Spell-like ability, but that replaces an existing feat and can only be used 1/day. It can be taken multiple times, but each time replaces another feat (giving one more time per day).

Crimson Coil Cultist
(1/18/04 5:48 pm)
Re: Am I doing this right? Is this overkill?
Yeah, that was my feel without doing the same in depth analysis that everyone else is; D'Gran is "intensely chaotic", which is why the Doomdreamers have stuck him out in the CRM anyway. He might be able to come up with this plan, but making it work is something else altogether.

I'm missing that bit about the dwarves and gnomes, but there doesn't seem to be a straight up fighter type in the party apart from the NPC Tenaris; my experience is that the hill giants deal out a world of hurt even to well prepared parties; the two of them together, plus the low level mooks, will reduce the available hps very quickly...

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