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madfox
Still here? Wow.
(3/14/03 2:26 am)
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Re: Earth Elementals and Tremorsense
You know, the weird thing is that the elemental template [earth] in the Manual of the Planes does give out tremorsense. Considering that earth elemenatals live in an environment without light (or even air for that matter) I think I would also hous-rule that part. The only downside is that it would make small earth elemental familiars slightly stronger and better to have...

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/14/03 2:30 am)
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Re: Earth Elementals and Tremorsense
Maybe the tremor sense could be given a reduced range for Small Elementals. Say, 10'. In case of familiars, have it replace Alertness.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(3/17/03 9:31 am)
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Re: Earth Elementals and Tremorsense
Seems a sensible enough alternative.

By the way, we didn't have a session last night (as previously established). Looks like they're anxious to play next week though, so I should definately have results for then.

Just to let everyone know, it looks likely that the group is going to shoot for defeating Imix and call it good at that point. I don't know if they're going to want to go back to the ToAC and take on the Inner Fane afterwards or not. We've already laid some plans for the "next campaign", and I don't know if they're going to be excited about that to the extent that they don't want to keep after RttToEE beyond achieving a "victory".

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

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/17/03 12:14 pm)
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Re: Earth Elementals and Tremorsense
Of course, there's also the opportunity to go Epic later on: Entropy Strikes Back: Return of the First!

Any which way you go, I'll be looking forward to reading the installments.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Mystehawk
Looking around
(3/22/03 7:17 am)
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Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs

I will be looking forward to them as well. It sounds like a nicely themed climatic ending might be on the horizon. It's definitely been interesting so far. A very cool campaign indeed.

Mystehawk
wondering about Meridian, ID, where are all the gamers?

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(3/24/03 7:31 am)
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Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Well, another week's gaming has come and gone. Late start, and a large dinner, resulted in minimal progress. But that's par for the course.

They checked out the secret door in the southern "room 8" of the Recovered Temple, and found their way into the Stone Giant's section. Surprisingly, the two stone giants FLED from them when they entered.

Unfazed, they pressed on...and right into the mess.

Several hours of game time (and about two minutes of IC time) later, seven stone giants and a half-fiendish stone giant lay dead. Hosts of healing had been expended, including the last Mass Heal scroll they had purchased in Verbobonc, and a very exhausted and terrified party did a quick looting and fled the Recovered Temple.

Just to let everyone know...a few comments about rooms 9 and 10:

1) Dein can use his Unholy Aura to affect ALL of the Stone Giants at once. This is exceedingly deadly, increasing all ACs to 29, saves strongly, and especially dropping an SR of 25 on everyone in the room. This can decimate a party in a big hurry.

2) I will admit, I undersold the bad guys on one tactical point. I did not Blasphemy right away, while I still had all my badguys alive. A round of dazing with all of my giants still alive would have been a TPK, plain and simple.

3) Even with ACs in excess of 30, and hit points over 100, I had both of the party's big bruisers (Spud the Ogre and Bryan the "more often than usual" Troll) down to the teens on hps...twice...with Cure Crits being thrown around both before and after the Mass Heal. It was a tense night, and one which the group honestly feels they came out of by the skin of their teeth.


I've officially given them an "uneventful" night (back in Hommlet), and am picking the campaign up at dawn, with a meeting between them and Kella, the druid they nearly killed. I'll start another thread to plot, plan and scheme.


A final note...Mystehawk, I live in Boise! There are gamers to be found, even if not in huge numbers. Feel free to drop me an email sometime...I wouldn't mind getting together and chatting, about RttToEE or other gaming related topics.

bobmcooper@msn.com

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

Thrommel
Can't leave now (mod)
(3/25/03 7:56 am)
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Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
One thing my players pointed out to me after this encounter: unholy aura only gives you SR versus good spells and spells cast by good creatures.

I can't remember if your party is all good, but in my case the druid's spells wouldn't have been affected.

Magic is traditionally a giant's weakness and I agree - this encounter can easily get VERY ugly.

You're on the home stretch man, I hope the players feel things are picking up!

-Thrommel, who notes that ugly is as ugly does.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(3/31/03 8:02 am)
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Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Well, things went fairly well with the last session.

To start off...I gave the PCs a bit of a fair deal. I decided to go after the Assassination route, but back it up with a warning. I had Yundi spotting Falrinth and Smigmal slipping into town and warning them.

The PCs, to their credit, acted immediately and went post-haste to the keep. They were taken to speak with Burne, who was "quite upset" about what had happened, and suggested they immediately search the keep. He then paused a moment, and asked Tsindin to return to the room. Asked her about the Orb of Silvery Death (which they had not mentioned before). Told her a few things to give others time to 'begin their search', and then Smigmal struck!

Opening round...death attack: Tsindin made her save. Sneak Attack damage pathetic.

First round of combat...Tsindin saves versus Resiliant Sphere. Tsindin sucks up the damage from a two-handed sword blow. Tsinsin manages to get a spell off...Ghost sound, a dozen of herself shouting "LYSSA!!!!"

Spud the ogre was dutifully standing outside the room...not because he thought there would be trouble, but because the others thought him too dense to be any help searching. He rolls init (poorly) and joins in the fray.

Falrinth gets serious...disintegrate! Tsindin SAVES!

Smigmal also gets serious, unleashing a series of sword blows. Between the earlier dagger strike, the disintegrate damage, and three two-handed sword strikes, it's more than Tsindin can survive, and she drops.

Spud bursts in the door and bashes Smigmal back.

Falrinth snarls at Spud, unleashes a quickened Lightning Bolt in his face, and teleports away. Smigmal grabs Tsindin by the wrist and reads off the D-Door scroll*, also vanishing.

The group eventually finds Tsindin's looted corpse in the woods, and are able to raise her (alas, itemless and VERY angry). They drain Kella of all information she has on the Recovered Temple, and Wind Walk there to take them on after gathering up some spare equipment for Tsindin.


My take on the defenses...I fell back from the top level, leaving a Wall of Stone blocking off room 11, and slapping a Greater Glyph of Warding (Flamestrike) on the back of that wall.

I left the Ropers as-is (save for having the Second slap them with Protection from Fire), and moved the ogres to just south of the tunnel, again as scripted for an "alerted" temple. I kept everything else more-or-less as-is. In the temple proper, I placed Dugart and Lareth, and Kex is lurking out of sight in the tunnel to the Fire Node.

Well, the group reaches the wall, and begins preparations. They go back into one of their old tricks, and Lyssa casts Silence on Spud. Tsindin (standing back) summons a Xorn to bust the wall down. The wall is busted, the glyph set off (Spud was standing too close, but with lots of cover he only took half damage), and then things got odd.

You see...Spud had never been there when they've used Silence before, and wasn't warned ahead of time of the plan. So he's going a little berserk because he's in a silence field and has no idea why!

The party eventually calms him down, while Tsindin slips past...and hears the drums and chanting for the first time. In a panic, she runs back INTO the silence, and remains there for as much of the time as she can (I got her seriously freaked out).

The fight with the Ropers went fairly well...burned some resources healing up and both of my shifty PCs (Tara the Druid and Bryan the Druid/Shifter) are carting 'round strength damage...6 each.

The fight with the Ogres and the Iron Golems was also quite something. Tsindin blew up the Ogres a lot with Fireballs, and Bryan kept them busy...initially by charging them, later by being a troll they needed to "keep down". I had them play a bit clever, though...one tanglefooted his corpse, another bashed it again, and a third ran back into the main temple area to grab a couple torches to burn him with. Alas, the runner caught a Fireball from Tsindin, and the last two were felled by Spud (more about this later).

The Iron Golems initially charged Bryan when he came out, then nearly finished him off with AoOs when he charged the Ogres. They then proceeded to pummel at Spud and Lyssa.

Survival was based on three key elements:

1) Tyra repeatedly slapped Spud on the back with healing
2) Tsindin threw Lightning Bolts and kept the Golems slowed (dead PCs if not for that)
3) Lyssa had a Stoneskin up, and a +3 (GMW) weapon to smack them with.

Spud, however, took the spotlight for desperate ogerish tactics. Slamming the Iron Golem for all he was worth, and doing no damage (+2 weapon), he dropped his sword and ATTEMPTED TO GRAPPLE them. When this failed, he ran right past them and smacked down the last two Ogres (just as Lyssa finished off the first Golem). Seeing the remaining golem attacking "his beloved", he turned and BULL RUSHED the Iron Golem...I rolled pathetic, he rolled hot, and the thing was shoved 15' away! After that, he tries again, and succeeds in GRAPPLING the thing.

Lyssa manages to do enough damage to finish it off, Spud is a mass of wounds, and Bryan has been shoveled into a sack for a couple of minutes...but they all survived it.

I ended the session when they went up the hallway, witnessed the conclusion of the ceremony as the hapless victim is dragged into the altar, and realized why it's silent...it's not because of Spud this time, but the Wall of Force that went up just as they approached.


Alas, two weeks will go by before we game again. Conflicting travel/vacation/event schedules. But in three weeks I will be recapping the ceremony at it's height, and will begin with the three priests, with the Second and Kex waiting in the wings.

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

madfox
Still here? Wow.
(3/31/03 8:11 am)
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Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Sounds like you had a fun game ;)

Quote:
The group eventually finds Tsindin's looted corpse in the woods, and are able to raise her (alas, itemless and VERY angry).


Angry? :lol I think my players (and even their PCs) would be relieved. They would fully have expacted to find the corpse at least in little pieces, if at all. The last time I had an invisible enemy trying to grab a corpse, I never saw my players get so worried in such a quick time. They completely ignored every other monster on the battlefield, got several AoO in the process as a reward and then tried to grapple with whatever was dragging the corpse of their friend along. Then again, trolls do eat dwarf meat, so the situation was slightly different. It also taught them to pay attention to their hit points, because at level 6 there will be area attacks that deal more then 30 damage.

Edited by: madfox at: 3/31/03 8:12:45 am
Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(3/31/03 10:00 am)
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Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
It was as much or more due to her having lost 12th level (and her ever-so-long-awaited 6th level spell) than the stuff...although she had accumulated a LOT of stuff, and she WAS the party's designated Bag of Holding carrier (they're lucky to not have lost the Orb of Silvery Death, but Lyssa wont' let anyone else even look at it).

Still, as a player, I think she's taking it well. It didn't hurt that she's not that far from 12th now, again, due to the huge amount of XP they gained last night (two Iron Golems helps a lot with that)...and the fact she's a Sorceress and not a Wizard makes a big difference too.

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

Grumgarr
Here for a while
(4/2/03 3:35 am)
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Tactics for Dugart, Susain, the Second...
Having just completed an epic, three-weeks-of-play running battle from the Ropers all the way to the Second, here are my selected highlights, suggestions and regrets about what I did and didn't do with the bad guys.

I had Dugart set up as near impossible to hit - armour and shield both +4 due to Magic Vestment, Shield of Faith for deflection up the wazoo...and his shield being Light Fortification helps too.
I armed him with True Seeing and made him the thinking-man's tank - used his spells to deadly effect while maintaining high AC. He escaped the PCs when they assaulted Falrinth's lair and raised the alarm - they >really< wanted to take him down.

Susain is most concerned with completing the ritual, but is cackling, hopping, barking mad - have her shriek at PCs constantly, and make full use of her Dark Secret power - also a good time to showcase her Force domain spells and her Ring of the Ram.
She should have good SR, has evasion and surprisingly good Reflex saves for a Doomdreamer, plus her AC will leap if she gets (and dons) the Amulet from the ritual.
I had her prepped with (oh, what's the name of the spell - 1st-leve Chaosy-thing that grants a 20% miss chance against ranged attacks - good for rays!).
She's listed with a wand of Bolts of Bedevilment (which she should cast from her own spell list early and use every round), but at 5th level it's too high for a wand - replace it (Blast of Force?) or drop it.
Use Otiluke's Res. Sphere on the Cleric and Bolts of Bedevilment on the Tanks.
I'd have her buff her AC regardless as it's a little low due to her light armour - does the Force domain include the Shield spell?
One thing to bear in mind when mapping out the temple is how far the curtain is from her - inconsistent use of the curtain can make or break the PCs assault, and it's not really fully detailed - does it inflict damage? 6 per blow like a lesser tentacle rod? what's its attack bonus? (the text says it attempts a grapple - or several - as an AoO on anyone coming within reach, but doesn't give an attack bonus, or specify a limit to how many AoOs it can get per target). Decide how you want the thing to work, and make the bad guys pay the same penalties for getting too close.

The Second has a few nasty fire attacks from That Ring, and should use them on clumps of PCs - the evil cultists are pretty much immune to fire in the Greater Temple due to the Prot. Fire effect, and this is also a good cue to PCs that their own fire attacks aren't going to cut it (wasted PC actions here can mean baaaad stuff). And them thar Aboleth illusion powers should be used to good effect to divide PC attentions, distract and allow Dugart and Susain to kick some. And throw in some 'real' summoned beasties if necessary to match the odds a little, and keep the good guys guessing.

Perhaps most importantly of all, if the ritual goes ahead, the Eye swims into view in the altar stone - everyone present gets to make a Will save (I'd suggest this is a good use of the Madness domain power for the DDs).
This can be totally crucial and the effect of a failed save is based on a pretty arbitrary die roll, so you may wish to decide ahead of time what effects won't kill the fun (I had one of the tanks go Insane and the player spend most of two weeks' play getting to decide nothing about his PCs actions - decidedly not fun). Stat drain and all are fine. Death? maybe a bit heavy.

Good luck!
I look forward to hearing how they do.

Grumgarr


Cordo Crowfoot
Here to stay
(4/2/03 6:48 am)
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Re: Tactics for Dugart, Susain, the Second...
Great reading as always Andorax.

Just out of curiosity, what did Tsindin pick up for her 6th level spell?

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/2/03 7:22 am)
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Re: Tactics for Dugart, Susain, the Second...
The irony is...she still hadn't decided by the time the ambush was sprung (I ruled that you need a good night's rest to gain the benefits of a new level, and this was in the evening prior).

Right now, Mass Haste, Disintegrate, Chain Lightning, Veil, and Analyze Dweomer are her big five preferences, and she's agonizing over which to narrow it down to.

One of the things she's peeved about losing is the 1,500 GP component for Analyze Dweomer she SPECIFICALLY went out of her way to buy during their Verbobonc shopping trip.


Grumgarr, thanks for the analysis. I'm working up the list of what I'm going to do with the temple attack myself. I'm seriously thinking of having Lareth toss a couple of summoned baddies in (via the Orb of Oblivion) and then book for the Fire Node (which he'll be immune to, due to the Fire-Gem-Bearing Orb of Oblivion).

I've decided not to give Lareth the elemental templates, or anything else special like that. He's the Champion, but he's not infused with any great and mighty powers or anything, which makes him something of a coward. He knows he's outclassed, and he'll run and hide rather than face the PCs directly.


Also, just as a reminder, both Sunday the 5th and Sunday the 12th will be missed weeks of RttToEE...we should be resuming on the 19th.

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

Edited by: Andorax at: 4/7/03 6:49:10 am
Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/14/03 6:59 am)
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Re: Tactics for Dugart, Susain, the Second...
Yup...no gaming last night, as scheduled. Had a wonderful weekend with my dear wife at the "Weekend to Remember" Marriage conference though, and am very glad for the time spent.

Looking forward, though, to next sunday's battle in the Greater Temple.

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

wolff96
Here to stay
(4/21/03 9:54 am)
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Update
So, your players are back in the saddle again this week, right? Looking forward to it.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/22/03 11:47 am)
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Re: Update
Sorry for the delayed update, folks. And sorrier still for the bad news.

The battle progressed, and it was back and forth for quite a while. Bolts of Bedevilment are fairly nasty and effective, and Dugart kept Spud out of the action for a long time with it. On the other hand, he didn't get a lot done himself either.

Here's a basic breakdown:

1) Susain and Dugart both cast Bolts of Bedevilment (described as a swirling globe of multi-hued light around their hands). Lareth fires off an Invisibility Purge (just in case).

Lyssa uses Stone Shape to open up a trench under the Wall of Force (covering the entrance) and Tsindin begins summoning (Thoqquas, to help with the digging). Spud drinks a Potion of Blur.

2) Susain and Dugart ready actions to blast anyone coming in from the hole that was opened (not large enough for the big boys yet). Lareth begins summoning a Greater Fire Elemental with the Orb of Oblivion.

Lyssa fires off a second Stone Shape, along with the Thoqquas, the gap is now passable. Tsindin sends the Thoqquas to burrow underneith and come up under the Altar, in hopes they'll destroy it. Spud rolls under the wall.

3) Spud survives the initial onslaught of the Fire Elemental, and the first Bolt of Bedevilment (Susain's) misses due to Blur. Dugarts' hits though, and he's out of the action. Tsindin summons an Arrowhawk. Bryan shifts into a Fire Snake (Fiend Folio).

Memory isn't round-by-round at this point. Lareth, contemptuously, turned his back on the fight and headed down the Fire Node hallway, leaving the Fire ELemental to do the work. LOTS of damage from the Elemental. Spud spent a LOT of time out due to the Bolts. Finally came 'round, grappled Susain (who had advanced intending to use her Slay Living on Tsindin), and was stunned when she used her Dark Lore ability on him (I ruled it was verbal only, and thus usuable (with a successfull concentraiton check) while grappled).

Tsindin did a lot of blasting, and a lot of Dispelling.

Finally, as things got hairy and the two clerics were nearly out of spells, Susain returned to Dugart's side on the platform, Dugart kicked over (and thus burned out) the creset with the Torch of Revealing that was holding the curtain at bay, and Word of Recalled back to the Inner Fain with Susain.

So the party advances to see where Lareth went, and finds Kex the Beholder covering Lareth's "strategic withdrawl". Unbeknownst, there's also a Wall of Force blocking the corridor, which Kex has made a hole in with his antimagic ray (I ruled it takes just long enough for him to scoot through it before it reforms).

Seeing a Beholder, panic ensues. Brian and Tara are paniced to see their shifted forms vanish on them. Tsindin just plain panics, and runs for the corner just north of the corridor, hoping to get behind his AM ray. Then she makes a fatal mistake...instead of BLASTING Kex, she starts a full-round summoning spell.

Lyssa and Spud do some nasty arrow damage (Spud found a string for the Huge Mighty Composite Longbow (+5 Str) from the CRM). Then it's Kex's turn.

Am I wrong in thinking that 1) Beholders thing Mages are serious business, and 2) There's no use using Fort-save eye rays on big, beefy looking Half-Orcs and Ogres?

I tossed Sleep, Charm and Inflict Moderate at Spud and Lyssa (only 3 rays per arc, remember). Tsindin, in a different arc from me, received Disintegrate, Slay Living, and Telekinesis (slam her around). She failed on the first save...and was turned into a pile of ash.

Tsindin is dead beyond the party's present capacity to recover.

Another volley of arrows later, and Kex fled (having taken 51 hps of damage). Lyssa and Bryan advance, to discover that there's a wall of force guarding his retreat. Spud charges up to the altar platform to get a shot at Kex...and the Curtain wakes up!

Nobody got killed, but some serious maiming resulted from the Curtain. It's brutal, and what it loses in strength against large, powerful opponents, it makes up for by being able to bring more tentacles to bear (I used my own stats for it in the recent thread about the Curtain).

Eventually, they break everyone free, blast it a bit, and give up. Demoralized, exhausted, and mourning the loss of Tsindin, they turn back into mist form (Wind Walk still in effect) and return to Hommlet.

Due to the speed at which things have been happening, they actually arrive back in Hommlet within about an hour of their having departed.

Word has it that an Elven Ranger/Wizard/Spellsword will be awaiting them upon their return.

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

wolff96
Here to stay
(4/22/03 1:02 pm)
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Re: Update
Yowch.

That's a nasty fight. I think the real killer is your ruling about the Wall of Force and the Anti-magic eye. The ability to hold an opening and then fire through it as the wall is re-establishing itself... no wonder the Beholder kicked so much butt.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/22/03 2:25 pm)
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Re: Update
You're mistaking my ruling...I did not allow the Beholder to "fire through"...only to run through at top flight speed (ie, the opening is large enough, if he's moving quickly, that he can get through it as his eye cone is no longer affecting it).

I did not allow the Beholder to take cover behind the Wall of Force, save for when he had complete cover as he retreated.


On the other hand, he DID pick up the Drum with his Telekinesis power and try to use that as partial cover...

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

Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/22/03 2:44 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Update
Real sorry to hear about Tsindin. Is the party not willing/able to spend the time/cash to go to Verbobonc for a true rez? Bummer about his items, too.

Love the campaign, though. I can picture Kex using the drum as cover..very funny. :lol

So, do the players (at this point) hate the two doomdreamers more or Lareth? :evil

Cordo Crowfoot
Here to stay
(4/22/03 8:09 pm)
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Re: Update
From my reading Tsindin seemed to be quite the tactical force. I bet the party will miss a pure arcane caster...

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