(3/30/04 7:25 pm)
Pneumatik's campaign log|
I'm starting a new campaign that will consist solely of RttToEE. Characters are starting at 4th level. Rules-wise, I'm trying to limit PC's options to a reasonable level. The game is set in Greyhawk, so I don't have to worry about any crazy world-specific pclasses or feats. I'm allowing the Complete X books (or the old builder books until their replacements come out), and some limited stuff from Unearthed Arcana and the Book of Exalted Deeds.
I think that's all the background, so here are the PC's:
Jak: Jak is a CN or N deep-halfing rogue. He’s a trap-finding and disarming, sneaking and hiding thief. He spent one feat to use a repeating crossbow. Character-wise, he’s pretty much only involved in checking out the Temple of Elemental Evil because he wants money. He’s not evil, but he’s pretty much the only PC who’s not involved for a higher purpose.
Kaleel: Kaleel is a NG human cleric of Obad-hai from Geoff. She had a few bad dreams that have something to do with the elements themselves being corrupted. With little else to go on, she did a little research and found out about the Temple of Elemental Evil. Deciding that that was the place to go to, she headed out.
Marcus: Marcus is an archer from Geoff. He’s a bit of a hick, with a very low charisma and intelligence. A little less than half of his face is caved in from an ogre’s club. Somewhere back in Geoff, Marcus and Kaleel met up and started traveling together. Marcus’ player owns and played through the original mods, so Marcus’ grandpa told him about it when Marcus was younger.
Joseph: Joseph is a cleric/fighter from Keoland. He inherited his grandfather’s adamantine shield with cold iron spikes. The front of the shield is one huge holy symbol of St. Cuthbert. The shield is his primary weapon, and he uses it two-handed.
Beryl: Beryl is a dwarven wizard who enjoys everything earthen. Eventually, she’ll be going elemental savant: earth.
Toulak: Toulak is a half-orc half-Touv druid from the Amedio jungles. His player has decided that Touv druids all go on a quest early on in their career to prove their skill and ability to control nature and the elements. Considering all the local quests to be too wimpy, he decided to head out into the Flannaes and see what trouble he could find. After hearing about the Temple of Elemental Evil, he decided that was the place to go.
(3/30/04 7:27 pm)
Session 1: 3/27/04
The session started with the PC’s meeting in a tavern in Verbobonc. Joseph stood up and said, “Who wants to go to the Temple of Elemental Evil with me for the glory of St. Cuthbert?” The rest of the PC’s said, “Well, stuff St. Cuthbert, but that’s where I’m headed so I may as well join up with that guy.” Well, everyone except Jak, who thought, “Hmmm… that sounds like a good way to get lots of money.” So the PC’s headed off to Hommlet, the closest town of the TEE.
When they reached Hommlet, they went to the trading post first to see what types of items they could buy in town. They talked to Joman Dart for a little bit. He told them that he’d buy pretty much anything they wanted to sell him for half price. They asked about potions and scrolls, and Joman told them about Spugnoir’s place and Zerosh Nubric’s scrolls. He also told them about the temples of Pelor and St. Cuthbert, as well as Jaroo and the druid grove.
They went to Spugnoir’s “Potions and Elixers”. Most of the party went inside, while Marcus stayed outside to talk with Haunor. Inside, the PC’s talked to Renne. They found out her dad was a wizard and that he liked to go adventuring to look for more magic. Outside, Marcus talked to Haunor and found out what some of Spugnoir’s most powerful spells were, allowing the PC’s to determine that he was at least 7th level.
From Spugnoir’s, the party headed over to the church of St. Cuthbert (mainly at the urging of Joseph). They met Calmer briefly before talking to Canoness Y’dey. They talked to the Canoness regarding her opinion of the TEE. She voiced her concern that simply collapsing the temple wouldn’t stop evil as powerful as that which was in the temple. The PC’s asked her about the Spugnoir. She told them what she could and encouraged them to talk to Calmer, who was one of Spugnoir’s good friends. The PC’s asked Y’dey why she didn’t use the churches resources to investigate places like the moathouse and the old temple. She replied that all the available resources were generally used to take care of the less-fortunate residents of Hommlet.
The PC’s talked to Calmer next. He said that Spugnoir often liked to go out to the moathouse or even out near the old temple to look for magic that other people hadn’t found yet. Calmer said that Spugnoir had mentioned to him that he’d seen evidence out at the moathouse recently that people had been hanging around it. Calmer said that Spugnoir had headed out to the moathouse a couple of days ago to see what was going on. Calmer expected him to return yesterday, and was starting to get concerned.
Most the party wanted to head straight to the moathouse at this point, but Marcus pretty much insisted on going to see Jaroo first. I decided the druid grove was fairly large circular clearing in the forest with a ring of 9 or 10 trees, each a different type, in the center of it. In the middle of the ring of trees was a waist-high mound of earth with grass growing on it. When the PC’s arrived, “Jaroo” was alone in grove in front of the center mound. The PC’s asked “Jaroo” about the moathouse and what they’d heard from Calmer, and “Jaroo” said that he’d been out to the moathouse within the last week or two and hasn’t seen anything like what Spugnoir had supposedly seen. The PC’s were suspicious of “Jaroo”, but didn’t think of directly confronting him. I suspect that they thought “Jaroo” was a druid who had some reason to lie about the moathouse, not that he wasn’t a druid at all.
So the PC’s finally headed out to the moathouse. They found the tracks of multiple booted medium-sized humanoids outside the moathouse from maybe a week or so ago. They also noticed the four new planks over the drawbridge. Cautiously, they entered the courtyard.
And got jumped by the Big U. Utreshimon charged Marcus, who was in the front of the party. In the first round, Marcus withdrew and Joseph charged Big U. Joseph’s shield feats let him make a free trip attack when he charges someone and hits them with his shield, which he did to Big U. Utreshimon lost the contested trip roll and went prone. This put him on his back with both Joseph and Toulak’s ape animal companion in melee range. Joseph took quite a bit of damage in the fight but managed to stay conscious. Ranged support from Marcus and Jak, along with divine spell support from Toulak, made short work of Utreshimon. Kaleel spent most of the combat healing Joseph, and Beryl cast a few ranged touch attack spells that missed.
After defeating Utreshimon, the party went inside the moathouse. The searched the great hall, finding both bodies, first. They went down the hallway to the right, fought the grey ooze (I didn’t get to destroy anyone’s stuff), then went down the other hallway, searching every room along the way. After checking out the back room (they didn’t find the secret door), they went to sleep for the night. The next morning, they went downstairs to room 18.
Where they were promptly jumped by the two gnolls. Two CR 1 monsters do not a challenging fight for 6 4th level PC’s make, though, so that fight was short. As a rule of thumb, my gaming group likes to fully explore an area before opening any closed doors. Following this rule, they headed into area 21, where they fought one ghast and three ghouls. The poked around areas 21 and 22 but didn’t search them (so they didn’t find the secret door in the pillar) before gathering back in area 18 to debate where to go next. Spugnoir (in area 19 or 20) heard them talking and decided to risk opening the door.
Spugnoir told the PC’s who he was early in their conversation, so there was little chance of a fight breaking out between them. Eventually the PC’s noticed he was injured and healed him, so he told them everything he knew about the moathouse complex, including the secret entrance in the well a few miles away. He also told the PC’s about the evil clerics he’d seen in the moathouse dungeon area.
I was a little stuck coming up with a reason why Spugnoir was trapped underground when he had “dimension door” on his spell list. I eventually decided that he left his spell book at home to keep it from being destroyed, lost, or stolen when he goes adventuring. Otherwise, he’d have only have been stuck underground for 8 hours or so, and I can’t imagine anyone in Hommlet being worried about Spugnoir being gone for less than a couple of days.
Once they finished with Spugnoir, the party went into area 23, and then into 24. They made enough noise in area 23 that the NPC’s in area 24 were ready for them. The two gnolls were on either side of the door, far enough away to charge the first people who entered the room. The cleric was in the back of the room, taking cover behind one of the pillars. The fight, while marginally interesting, wasn’t very tough for the party. The PC’s gathered up all the evil relics in the room after determining that they were indeed evil-looking.
The PC’s finished off their time in the moathouse with room 25. I put the large ogre skeleton in the middle of the room, and that ended up making the fight pretty tough. The medium skeletons kept the PC’s from getting to the large skeleton, and the large skeleton could get to the PC’s while they attacked the medium skeletons from the doorway. Eventually, the PC’s won the fight. Joseph once again had a rough time, since he’s the only front line fighter in the party. Beryl managed to not roll above a 4 on any attack roll all night, which frustrated her player all night.
The party made its way back to Hommlet, where a well-rested Spugnoir identified all the items they found in the moathouse for just the cost of the material components. I didn’t tell the PC’s that the torches of revealing had anything to do with Tharizdun, but after thinking about it I think I’ll revise what the identify spell told Spugnoir and tell the PC’s how the torch is related to
(5/1/04 9:53 am)
Session 2: 4/10/04
I’m writing this up 3 weeks after the session, so some of the details are a little hazy. Also, my younger brother was in town for the night, so he played Xaod the Slayer.
The PC’s started the session off by heading back to the moathouse. They went through the secret door in room 24 and down hallway 26. They went right at the intersection to room 30, where they poked around and otherwise made noise that attracted the gnoll ranger in room 29. The gnoll ranger was defeated in short order.
After the fight, the PC’s found Geynor Ton’s journal handout in room 30. The players decided that Geynor Ton was similar to baby Stewie from the TV show “The Family Guy.”
Our play group tries very hard to avoid getting in more than one fight at a time, so before opening any of the doors in room 30 (and possible releasing more monsters), they headed to room 27. Jak snuck around the corner into room 27 and hugged the wall over to the hallway leading into room 28. As a result, the PC’s pretty much got the jump on the gnolls in room 28, easily taking care of all of them as well.
At this point, the PC’s opened all the doors in room 27, setting of the trap at 26. After figuring out what happened, they determined that they could manage to raise the portcullis if they worked hard enough at it. They never did find room 26A.
With no where to go from room 27, the PC’s headed back to room 30 and opened the doors in there, too. They headed down the hallway and get in the fight at 31 with the ghast. Geynor and Ysslansh, in 32A, heard the fight and joined in. The PC’s killed the ghast and Ysslansh and captured Geynor, much to the players delight. They tied Geynor up and questioned him about what was going on, but he wouldn’t talk other than to tell them that the Elder Elemental eye would crush all of their souls. They also poked around with the hole in the middle of room 32A. Since the obelisk was more than 60 feet away, no one’s dark vision could see it, so they tied a torch to Geynor, and lowered Geynor and the torch down the pit on a rope. They found the top of the obelisk quickly enough. They saw it “attack” Geynor when he touched it, draining his strength. Eventually they decided that no monsters were going to come out of the pit, so they left it for now and went walking around further into the dungeon towards room 33.
Xoad detected the evil of the undead in room 33, so he went in first with the ranged-attacking PC’s backing him up. Simply put, he lured all the ghouls out of the sarcophagi and he and the rest of the party killed all of them. The party then went into room 34 and into the ghoul caves. Following the left hand rule for mazes (“always turn left”), the party found area 34A before too long. The PC’s found the items in the statue (they’d already seen the smaller version of the statue in room 32A, so they figured something was special about it), but didn’t use them for anything. They did use an animal from Toulak’s bag of tricks (type I) to touch the alter, and they all watched it go translucent. They touched it again with an animal and found watched it drop, paralyzed. They hung around long enough for the alter to return to normal (the animal disappeared in a few rounds, of course), and left. They did question Geynor Ton about the alter. He said it was nothing that he was looking for. Some of the PC’s realized that he was actually really impressed and amazed with the alter, so the knew he was lying. However, they also knew that he was surprised to have seen it, so they figured he wasn’t worth questioning about it anymore.
Before they left for the day, the PC’s went over to the stone wall at 35. Determining that it might be related to the space in the dungeon that Spugnior had mentioned earlier that was blocked of from the bulk of the dungeon, they stone shaped (I think) through it. They figured out that 36 led out of the dungeon before turning their attention to room 37. They killed the cockatrices without trouble (no one turned to stone, dammit) and then left the dungeon and returned to Hommlet, and we stopped for the evening.
At this point, the players are still pretty oblivious to what’s going on. They used the identify spell on the torch of revealing in the previous session to figure out that it was related to Tharizdun, who they know to be a god of destroying everything. They’ve seen lots of priests and other people with symbols of the elder elemental eye on them. They found all the sacred items that were being collected room 24. They found the alter at 34A, and they read Geynor Ton’s journal talking about living in Hommlet. Despite all this, they haven’t said anything to me, or each other while I was around, about what the EEE priests are doing in the moathouse. Hopefully after going into area 32 next session, they’ll realize that something important is going on. I will also use a suggestion I read somewhere on these boards to have a plaque on the wagon that says, “Raster Mining Co.” If the PC’s end up going straight to Rastor and the CRM without taking care of Dunrat, I’ll probably have the PC’s receive a sending from someone in Hommlet when they’re in the CRM asking for help, b/c Dunrat will begin making people disappear.