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(4/20/04 3:25 am)
Air Temple Response?

Okay, so the semester is rounding up here (grad student) and we're all parting ways for the summer. One game left.

Last game they began the assault of the Air Temple. They ran up on Graud And Co. who retreated to the pillar in room 71. There was a short battle there ... I hate fireball. It's just an annoying annoying spell.

The two survivors of that battle fled down the hall screaming murder. Fachish was in the temple and summoned up a Large Fiendish Air Elemental (I just like the Fiendish template for some reason. Mmmm, tastey evil. Not exactly core, but ...)

First round Fachish casts Silence on the Air Elemental ... brazaa. Unfortunately, the new Sorc made her Will save, even with the rather sick DC. (Jondar has been replaced with Shandriss The Faetouched Sorceress of 24 Cha ... AKA Jane-dar.) I think only two PCs failed it. Good saves all around. (( Now, by my reading, everybody in the area of a Silence gets to make a save, even if it's on a creature that accepted the spell. Is that a correct reading of those rules? Otherwise THAT is the best spell in the game.))

The elemental, however, was very mean.

It flew in and whalloped on the sorc for a few rounds until the Barbarian closed, then turned into a whirlwind and sucked up the Sorc's familiar and stayed just out of reach. They damaged it pretty good and I had the familiar to 1hp (a pseudo-dragon. The player had it out and about doing things, so, fair target). Finally the dragon saved and escaped and the Elemental ran back to Fachish to get a Cure Serious.

During the combat, Fachish has Prot. From Energy (Fire) on and Sanctuary ... this keeps him out of harms way up on the altar. He summons in a Large Monstrous Fiendish Spider that tags the Sorc for 5 St damage and brings her to 3 Str. Next round he heals the Elemental, then casts Summon Monster II. The next round a Fiendish Wolf appears and hits/trips the Sorc to prone. Both summoned monsters had to get a 20 to hit, and both rolled natural 20s on their first round. Very odd.

Choranth appears on the scene and Holds the party's Arcane Archer. Then the elemental flies over and sucks him into the whirlwind and whacks him about on the walls. The AA's Cohort (tank fighter) attempts to attack the Whirlwind and gets sucked in too, taking damage. Then the Healer is next to go, voluntarily jumping into the maelstrom to get a Cure on the dying AA (crappy HP and he'd spent 3 rounds taking almost max damage in the whirlwind). NEXT was the Enlarged buffed Barbarian ... soon the only people NOT in the Whirlwind were the Sorc and my fiance's Clr/Rog. I thought I was going to get a TPK there for a minute.

I gave Fachish a scroll of Summon Monster IV for some reason I don't remember, and he summons a Yeth Hound ... the AA and the Cohort both fail the save and are panicked. Finally Janedar the Sorc casts a big Magic Missile and drops the Air Elemental, which drops the whole party. The NEXT ROUND, Choranth casts Silence on the Sorc and she blows her save. That round Fachish comes out of Sanctuary anyway so he dumps a Blindness on the AA as well. The two biggest damage dealers in the group are now useless. The archer can't see and the sorc can't cast.

Now ... here's what's sticky. I ruled that the Gnolls down the hall heard the battle, and came in after 5 rounds. They're just "Cleave Bait" at this point ... but does that mean the Ogres and the Kellial can hear the battle too? Should they come to aid?

In a round or two the Rog/Clr is going to use her Prayer Beads to UnBlind the AA and a Dispell Magic to (probably) get rid of the Silence. Fachish is down to a few more good battle spells, like Confusion and Lesser Confusion, but mostly out and otherwise he's of no use. Same with Choranth. If Kellial and the others don't show up, the tide is going to turn in 2 rounds. We stopped the battle there, as it was late.

Next week is the last game of the semester. I'd like to end on a bang. If we start from the last round and Kellial And Co. don't hear the fight, then it's going to be 2 rounds of that, some healing, and then they'll sweep through the rest of the Air Temple. Even at 7th level, with the few Mooks he has, Kellial is going to be a speed bump to the party. The Arcane Archer does about 3d8+3d6+21 damage per round and the barbarian a little less than that. Between the Greatsword, the arrows, and Scorching Ray I doubt he'd last two rounds.

But if I bring him in now, with the party off balance, it might just be a TPK. It'd be a nice big end battle ... I'm just not sure. So far Fachish and Choranth have kept the party on the back foot for something like 8 rounds, but the party just has staying power and after their spells are all cast, Choranth and Fachish are toast ... perhaps they should retreat to the Barbican?

Any ideas?


(4/20/04 3:41 am)
Re: Air Temple Response?
Hmm... concerning your interpretation of the silence spell:

Actually, I think a creature only gets a saving throw if it is the target of the spell.

So if the elemental is the willing target, complete silence moves with it and everything inside the area is silenced, NO SAVE.

Illusion (Glamer)
Level: Brd 2, Clr 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Area: 20-ft.-radius emanation centered on a creature, object, or point in space
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates; see text or none (object)
Spell Resistance: Yes; see text or no (object)
Upon the casting of this spell, complete silence prevails in the affected area. All sound is stopped: Conversation is impossible, spells with verbal components cannot be cast, and no noise whatsoever issues from, enters, or passes through the area. The spell can be cast on a point in space, but the effect is stationary unless cast on a mobile object. The spell can be centered on a creature, and the effect then radiates from the creature and moves as it moves. An unwilling creature can attempt a Will save to negate the spell and can use spell resistance, if any. Items in a creature’s possession or magic items that emit sound receive the benefits of saves and spell resistance, but unattended objects and points in space do not. This spell provides a defense against sonic or language-based attacks

(4/20/04 4:22 am)

Well they're going to be throwing THAT on the Invisible Pseudo-Dragon every combat, then.

That's just impossible to fight against. We're going to be having the Silence Wars ... they cast Silence on the invisible flying familiar, I cast Silence on some tanks, they cast Silence on a rock, I cast Silence on a Fiendish Gnat ...


Night Beast
(4/20/04 6:49 am)

Re: Air Temple Response?
Now, by my reading, everybody in the area of a Silence gets to make a save, even if it's on a creature that accepted the spell. Is that a correct reading of those rules? Otherwise THAT is the best spell in the game.
I agree with grimbold. There's no save against a silence in your area, but you can move outside the area. Of course, the creature can follow, but hey, no one's perfect. It's a tough spell if you're not expecting, but not so overpowering as you might think. An opponent spellcaster (who is usually affected by it) can just move and dispel the silence. No biggie. If it's placed on a creature, there's an actual added bonus in that you might dispel the creature (if summoned) or at least any additional buffs on the creature.
Now ... here's what's sticky. I ruled that the Gnolls down the hall heard the battle, and came in after 5 rounds. They're just "Cleave Bait" at this point ... but does that mean the Ogres and the Kellial can hear the battle too? Should they come to aid?
The gnolls, yes, the ogres, no. The gnolls will tell Kellial that something's happening, but I wouldn't think he would come right away. He's in an incredibly defensible position. However, should you decide to have him show up to defend Fachish, it is entirely reasonable. For one thing, he may be thinking that if he helps out Fachish he will finally get the reward of the Air Sword. Indeed, during the combat, Fachish might tell him to get it and swat the pesky intruders. That would make for a moment to remember.
But if I bring him in now, with the party off balance, it might just be a TPK.
Here's a word of advice you should consider whenever you think of the above statement. Don't worry about a TPK as much as making sure you play the NPC's actions appropriately for your game. In this situation, I think that the gnolls will definitely hear what's going on. Moreover, there's a good chance Choranth yelled down the hall to "move their asses". The gnolls would definitely warn Kellial and given Kellial's personal motivations, you'll have to decide if he takes the fight to the party. If he does, he probably splits his party up and he takes the high road (north hallway, up the spiral stairs). If Fachish retreats (contrary to the module, btw, which I'm pretty sure states that he fights to the death on the altar) he would also head down the north hallway, perhaps fleeing out the balcony to gain help (foolishly, perhaps) from the towers. It would be cool for the players to see him air walk up towards the towers for help only to get blasted from the sky.

Btw, where were Choranth's bear skeletons? Those are not weak and should be there. Another thing you might have forgotten is that if Choranth sees her doom in sight, she will turn on Fachish. Don't forget the opportunity for a good RP moment in the middle of battle. Let the players know that they are fighting evil, which is sometimes willing to fight itself. Even if Choranth thinks that they will defeat the PC's, if they are strong enough to take out Fachish (and she probably reckons they are), she might still decide to carry out her traitorous schemes. If Kellial appears at the moment Fachish dies (and he should, if you go this route, just for story's sake), she will yell out, "Hold your sword, Kellial. This has been my plan all along. I now lead the Air Temple!"

Mr Kaze
(4/20/04 7:43 am)
Re: Air Temple Response?
1) Silence can be cast on a point in space (no save) or on a target (target gets save). Target will then move to grapple the caster, thus completely screwing up their tactics of using a Silence to shut them up or move to grapple the other caster and have virtually no way to know whether or not they're going to be getting any reinforcements before they're reduced to bloody pulp. Quite frankly, if you view silence as being insanely powerful -- I don't think it is, it's just a tactics disruption; remember that you will find it unbelieveably difficult to communicate tactical changes with whoever's got the silence on them -- then your casters should be taking the Silent Spell feat (I found a use for it when the sonic-breathing silenced dragon was grappling me in a non-EE game) and keeping a couple of spare spells (especially Inflict type spells) on the ready and silenced.

2) If I were in your position, I'd have Fachish run from the party, use the gnolls as cover and get behind Kelial and the ogres -- tactical retreat. He may be fat, bald and evil but he's never directly described as suicidally stupid. If he makes it, then he'll order Kelial and the ogres to keep continue the fight. If he fails, then Kelial could fight or surrender, or thank the party for disposing of that fat pompous jerk (who never did give him that magical sword as was laid out in his contract). Personally, I've never really cared for Choranth -- "I'll backstab my superiors to their untimely demise and thus my superiors will promote me because they love that Walking-Down-A-Dark-Alley feeling that only I can give them" just doesn't make sense to me -- once again, "Evil" is not the same as "Stupid". But if you want to bring her skeleton bears in at this point, you should send her back to her room to collect them -- they shouldn't just appear; it's a cause + effect thing.

::Kaze (had his players take on the entire air temple all at once on their first run through because they'd practically walked through to Fachish's room and then spent several hours beating him up and interrogating him until Choranth -- notincing the handful of bodies and the missing Fachish -- called 'em out. That was when the barbarian launched into combat against the skeletons, but the fighter decided to sulk and then hide behind the bard when the air elemental went after her...)

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