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Sobus Tooms
Human
(4/13/04 8:26 am)
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Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
I just had to share the events of last night’s game…

First a little background. The PCs had learned from the evil druid (Terrin I believe his name is) that the only way into the Fanes is to have both lesser keys joined and then "blessed" at one of the altars. He also told the PCs that the priests of the individual temples (i.e. fire, water, earth, air) know how to properly bless the keys.

The PCs manage to take out the fire temple and left a bloodied and unconscious Tessimon sprawled out on the altar. The PCs quickly realize that Tessimon is "still breathing" (-3 hp) and decide to stabilize her, bind her, and then revive her so they can find out how to "bless" the lesser keys.

Tessimon reluctantly agrees to divulge the secret of "how to bless the key". She instructs the PCs to move her from the altar, to the edge of the fire pit so she can instruct the PCs from a distance. They comply…

She tells them they need to light the candelabra. They comply…

She tells them they need to place the joined greater key on the altar. They comply…

She tells them they need to hold the tentacle rod high above the altar. They comply…

She tells them they need to begin beating the drum. They comply…

The altar begins to swell and change color. Fire bursts forth from the fire pit. Chunks of rock begin falling from the ceiling as the room begins to tremble. This continues thoughout the ritual…

The salamander egg appears after several rounds. Tessimon instructs the PC holding the tentacle rod to dismiss the egg by touching it. They comply…

At this point the after seeing the altar’s transformation, all the PC’s fail their saves. Everyone takes some sort of ability loss except for the paladin of the group who falls to the ground. They continue, assuming this is some part of the bizarre ritual to "bless the key". The sorceress of the group runs to the paladin’s side only to discover that he’s dead! She screams and turns to the rest of the group just in time to see a massive black and purple tentacle shot out of the altar, grab the priest of Moradin and suck him into oblivion.

After viewing this atrocity the dwarven defender who was keeping Tessimon at bay, and now seeing her laughing manically, decides enough is enough and lops her head off.

Too funny! I was dying inside! Some how I think Tessimon got "the last laugh".

Anyhow, what the PC’s discovered on the altar after the dwarf’s obliteration was a gnarled wooden staff inscribed with all sorts of magical runes. This was were the session ended.

I haven’t yet decided what Tessimon would have wished for (other than a staff of some sort). I’m a bit torn, I could give the PC’s a powerful staff to compensate for the loss of two of the PCs or I could make it some evil cursed item. I have until next session to decide how to move forward. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

fjeTheNarrator
Human
(4/13/04 8:52 am)
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Sense Motive?

Did anybody get/ask-for/make a Sense Motive roll against Tessimon?

--fje

Sobus Tooms
Human
(4/13/04 9:02 am)
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Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
Surprisingly not. They were caught up in the moment I suppose.

I should mention that this is the first campain experience for these PCs. Heck the first D&D experience for some of them. They're having a great time of it and learning every step of the way. Although the events of the evening may have appeared to be cold and callice it was a good time to be had by all. The players totally understood thier errors and couldn't believe that they went along with Tessimon's ruse for so long.

With regards to the evening events, there were plenty of clues to indicate that they needed to be wary of Tessimon and this ritual. If the PC's had asked for a Sense Motive check one would have been given, but as a DM I wouldn't voluntarily offer such a roll since it indicates to the PC's that there is something amiss.

The PC's will have to learn to use their skills and this was a good lesson for such.

Edited by: Sobus Tooms at: 4/13/04 9:20 am
msherman
Briar Beast
(4/13/04 9:15 am)
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Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
What about against Tarren? The greater key doesn't need to be blessed at all -- the two ways to cross are to use the greater key, or to be blessed at the altar.

Since that kind of hosed your players, you might want to consider making the staff Tessimon wished for a partially charged (16 charges) staff of life.

Sobus Tooms
Human
(4/13/04 9:29 am)
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Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
OK, hold on. Nobody got hosed. Everyone is having a great time playing the RTTTOEE.

My understanding of the Greater Key is that the key needs to be blessed in order to access the door. Whether this is the case or not - this is how we are playing it in my interpretation of the campaign. So Terrin was not lying to the PC's and no a Sense Motive roll wasn't necessary at that point since this was the "truth".

The night's events only heightened the evil nature of the Temple of All Consumption and how dangerous it inhabitants are. Nothing more nothing less.

Mr Kaze
Staj
(4/13/04 10:05 am)
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Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
Tessimon would've certainly been wishing for a Staff of Fire
(burning hands, fireball, wall of fire; Price 17,750 gp) -- though you may need to sub-out the Fireball for Flame Strike (using 2 charges) to ensure that she'd be able to use it if she survived. After all, just because she's crazy doesn't mean she's stupid -- she killed 2 party members while having ~0 HP, right?

Alternately, there's a Abbott's Staff (from Oriental Adventures) that comes in under the GP limit -- Quarterstaff +2/+1 with +1 shaman caster level... maybe rejigger that to Quarterstaff +1 Unholy/+1 with the +1 cleric caster level. It's something that the party can't use easily that won't do them much good against the forces of evil (as the unholy gives a negative level to good characters and doesn't add its 2d6 damage to evil targets -- and it requires two hands to wield in combat anyway!). Furthermore, there's the moral quandry of "If you've got an item which can only be used for evil, can you ever sell it to an uncaring third party?", clearly negating the bulk of its value for a righteous Paladin + Moradin leaning party. So that's the option I'd go for (because I'm evil like that).

...And thus another party learns about the value of Sense Motive, Zone of Truth and Speak With Dead. I wish them luck with the inner fane where they'll be learning about the value of Will Saves!

::Kaze (is impressed -- that's the kind of crazy evil that's supposed to be going on in this temple!)

Infiniti2000
Night Beast
(4/13/04 11:41 am)
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ezSupporter

Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
I think it was great, Sobus! Unbelievable that they did that! It'll be nice when the find the book on the ritual. :) It's always fun when players actually do the big things we wish they'd do. Fwiw, I would not have rolled Sense Motive checks either unless they asked for it. New players or not. This was a complete RP moment and it seems like it was a lot of fun regardless of the outcome.

"I haven’t yet decided what Tessimon would have wished for (other than a staff of some sort). I’m a bit torn, I could give the PC’s a powerful staff to compensate for the loss of two of the PCs or I could make it some evil cursed item. I have until next session to decide how to move forward. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated."

Since she wasn't on the platform, I wouldn't have it produce her wish. Pick a party member on the platform and have it be something he or she could use. Also, I'd have that character know what the item does, as it could be attuned to them, perhaps with their name written on the staff in fiery violet runes. You definitely need to attune the staff to Tharizdun somehow. If it is a staff of fire, for instance, all the fire is purple or even black. The staff moans occassionally, like the sound of tortured souls. It whispers "Tharizdun" during the midnight hour. It has the symbols of Tharizdun and the Elder Elemental Eye engraved all over it. Also, perhaps the priest of Moradin's holy symbol was somehow absorbed into the staff and priests of Moradin get a 'bad feeling' around it.

Mr Kaze
Staj
(4/13/04 12:10 pm)
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Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
Quote:
I would not have rolled Sense Motive checks either unless they asked for it. New players or not.


Quite right. So long as the DM isn't rolling skill checks -- which I don't advocate; far too much bookkeeping -- then skills like Search and Sense Motive don't work until the player decides that their character needs to stop and think about what's going on. To which the DM replies "Roll it."

After all, even master theives don't automatically Hide and Move Silently around at the grocery store or in church... ;)

::Kaze

Grushnak23
Staj
(4/13/04 1:58 pm)
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Too Funny
That is hilarious. I would love to try and pull that on my party, but they are seasoned veterans. I may do it anyway if the situation presents itself. Of course before the characters make their sense motive check, I as the DM will have to make my bluff check against the players.

LostSoul
Staj
(4/13/04 2:13 pm)
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Sense Motive
Generally, I assume PCs are Taking 10 in regards to Sense Motive checks (or any passive skill) when I don't want to ask them to roll for it. Then I roll the NPC's Bluff check and compare.

That's how I see it.

Caedrel
Ghoul Worm
(4/13/04 3:20 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
Hahaha! I thought this was great, and I'm glad your PCs had a good time and can laugh at it themselves... it sounds like the sort of decisions you make at 2am and groan when you look back on them in the morning :)

As a minor point, I suspect Tessimon would have been better off letting the egg hatch - the eye was about to appear anyway, and I'm sure she would have appreciated the extra manpower the salamanders would have provided in that situation :)

Mr Kaze
Staj
(4/13/04 4:21 pm)
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Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
Quote:
I suspect Tessimon would have been better off letting the egg hatch


Depends on whether or not the party was beat up enough for the Salamander to kill 'em or not. I'm not sure that I'd have salamanders hatching from eggs with spears in hand regardless of the condition of the party, so Tess probably did the smart thing by having one of the heroes get their soul shredded like wet tissue paper and calling it even.

'Course, if you give the salamander that absurdly overpowered "Final Strike" death throes feat from Savage Species, then she might want it to be unleashed just so it can die...

::Kaze

Caedrel
Ghoul Worm
(4/14/04 2:27 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
I thought the Eye appeared irrespective of whether the egg hatched, so I didn't think it was a matter of either / or, but of getting a salamander AND "soul shredding" one of the heroes.

Of course, that's operating purely from memory: if the module says that the Eye doesn't appear if the salamander hatches from the egg, I'll withdraw my comment about it being better for Tessimon to let it hatch.

Caedrel, who's happy to admit when he's gotten it wrong. Most of the time, anyway. :)

madfox
Night Beast
(4/15/04 12:52 am)
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Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
I have to agree with Infiniti2000 on this one. Perhaps make it something for the dwarf defender? I love the irony in that...

Su Ge Liang
Human
(4/18/04 9:59 pm)
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Re: Tessimon Gets the Last Laugh
I had a similar situation in my game. In my game she wished for a [i]Flesheater Rod[/i] from the Book of Vile Darkness. It's slightly underpriced at 18000gp, useful for anybody, and thoroughly evil. In essence it summons (1/day) a swarm of shadelike flesheaters that devour the intended target (3D6 dmg/round for 1d6+1 rounds, Will save negates).

In my situation they stumbled into the summoning ritual in the Earth temple. I upgraded the altar but had Tessimon on hand to supply the Lesser Tentacle Rod (at Hedrack's command, to help repair the damage she had done earlier). The party is slightly overpowered for where they are and they were clamouring for more challenge and more treasure, so I decided to give them something memorable. The victim was a PC who had been captured while scouting; the intention was to rescue him but that was not possible.

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