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Registered User
(2/11/02 8:46 am)
Great idea about the PC's head nailed to the door.... Have to remember that.

Bobby Nichols

A polar bear is a rectangular bear after a coordinate transform.

Registered User
(2/19/02 12:07 pm)
And away we go again.
Ok then. We left off in somewhat of a sticky spot, but we've managed to progress a bit, and the group's got their feet under them once more (just in time to have them swept back out again).

Tsindin made a mad dash for the exit, discovering that she was, indeed, invisible. She paused for a moment in the Trog's room (13), when she saw the Zombies making a stack of the dead Gnolls and Men in the corner of the room. Took note that Leto was nowhere to be seen, and dodged past the Zombies (who were under orders to move corpses, and thus, didn't stop what they were doing to AoO the Sorceress).

She was almost to the doors when she saw Mereclar and Wormspike emerging from the guardroom (2). Overheard a comment of "...she'll break sooner or later. Then we can hand her over to the Earth Temple. That, plus the fresh corpses, should make that lizard happy."

She investegates for a bit, seeing Room 2 restocked with the Gnolls (5 survived), and decides to leave. She heaves and she pushes on the door, and it budges...a little. Wormspike sticks his head out of the commons (6, I think) "wha...summon outther?" She pushes again, and runs for all she's worth.

Ok, so she ran as swiftly as she can...didn't see Leto's severed head. And she's now on her way back to Rastor. She's got a better move than Rurick, so I had her catch up with him about an hour shy of town.

Now to Lyssa...alas, for Tsindin did not try to rescue her (they were planning on coming back the next morning to try it).

Lyssa takes a good look around, decides she's little enough to lose, and tries to break her ropes. "Burst Ropes" is DC 23...she rolls a 19 (please note, with Bull's Strength, her present Strength is 24), so the ropes snap with ease.

A quick listen check, and no...the Gnolls hear nothing (she's locked in the storeroom, room 14). Lyssa listens at each door, picks up a rock from one of the carts, and waits for the voices to die down (they don't).

After half an hour, she finally gives up, and throws her shoulder at the door. For reference, the DC to break down a barred door is 25. She rolls a 19! Smash!

Gnolls stare at the half-naked wounded Half-Orc Priest in wonder, as she books for the door (she saw the guardroom before, so she knows which way to run). Round the corner, hits the door running, it flies open (gee, there's a big difference between a 9 and a 24 strength), and now Lyssa is running for HER life (and again, missed Leto's severed head...I've ruled the rest of him was fed to the Howler, as there's not enough to raise nor animate). they all made it out alive, save for poor Leto. All of Lyssa and Leto's stuff is in a lockbox in Mereclar's quarters right now, waiting on someone to Identify the magics.

Well, they meet up with the wizardess in town...alas, it's Rurik who does so, and so she won't even speak to him (the guy's got the personality of a brick wall...with offensive graffiti on it). So they gather at the Grey Lodge. Lyssa spends the evening dressed in a loincloth, halter-top, and (thanks to one of the nice barmaids) an ill-fitting flowery shift. Rurik has vowed to never let her live that down.

They met a wizard in town by the name of Zane. (Wiz 5 / Elem. Savant 1 (earth), who came here following rumors of a source of vast Elemental power. The party has explained to him the evil nature of this power, and he's decided to join them to see the evils laid low (and the power part...well, some of that might just wind up in his pocket).

They restock Lyssa with spare equipment left under lock and key in town (the Chainmail +1 from the Old Temple, and a Morningstar that Tsindin's been carting around, but never uses). They meet Pete, the Small Earth Elemental (Zane's), and they set forth. They get all the way up into the mountains, within half a mile of the Main Gate, and...a long debate ensues. 90% of it is "and then what do we do when the big thing comes out and kills us all?"

Pete is sent in to scout. He travels through the earth, peeks his head up into room after room, reaches room 6, and sees (and is seen) by the Trog Priest. Pete flees as fast his stumpy little limbs will let him swim through the ground.

Well, with Pete spotted, they're convinced they stand no chance of getting in against an alert, aware, and fully ready gate guard. They decide to try their luck with the South Gate instead.

Pete goes scouting once more. He finds less guards, more lax. He finds the Air Temple, and sensing both the evil of the place, and the opposed element (air/earth), he retreats. The party conferences, and decides they can handle this, but sends Pete one last investegate that hole in the wall a ways up and to the right.

Ouch. Pete didn't see the Spectre coming. Surprise attack...miss. Pete loses inititive. Regular attack...hit! Pete's got 2 neg levels. Pete flees. AoO...hit! Pete's got 4 neg levels, and serious damage. He flees back to the group, sinks into the earth, and remains outside while the PCs take on the South entrance.

Quick question folks...I'm at a loss.
A Small Earth Elemental has 2 HD. A Familiar has "a number of HD equal to it's master", and a Familiar's total hps are "always 1/2 of his master's total."

So...what happens when a Familiar is energy drained?

I ruled (perhaps too generously) that Pete had 6HD, so he wasn't drained to death. As well, I ruled that, despite his negative levels, his hps were still dependant on Zane's, and thus did not go down any due to the draining (despite being at a -4 to ANYTHING he wanted to try to do).

How would you handle this same situation?

Back to the story. Well, the doors weren't barred (geez, but the security's lax in this place unless there's a recent alarm). A MM takes down the guard in the loft. Gnolls pop out down the hall, and Ogres from the room across the way from the entrance (I ruled that they were able to hire two Ogres to replace the one slain with the gold of the previously-slain group). That's when the Fireballs and Lightning Bolts began to rain down.

I got Rurik and Lyssa, who were up front, pretty badly with my Ogres and with K (the commander, disremember his full name). K is awfully nasty, especially with the Air Sword! He nearly took down Rurik. I terrified Tsindin and Zane (left behind, alone, at the entrance) with an Ogre, but due to some learning about how 5' steps and Castind Defensively works (they are catching on), they managed to take it down, and the same with the Gnoll who came after them.

Eventually, they catch a fleeing K with an Acid Arrow, just as Lyssa comes charging up to heal Rurik's "in the negs" rear (he tried to chase down K, ran past a Gnoll who got a lucky shot, and was dropped with the Sword of Air's "air blast" power).

Anyways, I figured by this time the Gnoll had rapped on the lesser cleric's door, and that she, reluctantly, decided that sending her Dire Bear Skeletons would be better than seeing the party rapping on her door. She turned them loose on the PCs, and proceeded to go talk to Falrinth.

The PCs manage to take down the four Dire Bear Skeletons, but at this point, they're rather nervous. They're trying to decide to loot or to run. Rurik grabs K's body, and they break for the exit, just as two Air Elementals (a Small and a Large...used Fal's Summon III for one as well) come down the corridor in a huge hurry.

The PCs decide to run, and Falrinth decides that pursuit would not be wise.

So the party's back in Rastor...they've ran half the night, they're dead exhausted, and they've got K's body to loot, and 100GP worth of diamond dust to find so Lyssa can Restore Pete before the 24 hrs are up.

Falrinth and his under-cleric are picking up the pieces, and animating the corpses left behind. The "raiding party" of 7 warriors and a 3rd level cleric have been recalled, and the under-cleric is biding her time, waiting to see if she can find a good opportunity to stab Falrinth while he's weak.

Question the second...if the Air Sword's power is tied to the Air Temple, how far from the Air Temple can it venture and still function?

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

Registered User
(2/19/02 5:04 pm)
Re: And away we go again.
Energy Drained familiars?

You've handled it fine, so far. The elemental has suffered four "negative levels" at this point giving him the -4 to all skill, ability, attacks, saving throws and effective levels. Howver, after 24 hours he'll have to make four Fortitude saves at a DC of 15. The first save will be at -4 because of the negative levels, but if he makes that one the next save will be only at -3. If he fails then he actually looses a HD and everything that goes with it (hit points, BAB, base saving throw bonus, skill points ... etc.)

That is unless the familiar can recieve a restoration spell cast on him.

Energy Drain is nasty.

Air Sword: as long as the altar exists in a functioning state so is the sword. You can take it anywhere: across country or across planes of existance. Just as long as the altar is not destroyed. At least, that's they way I am going to play it.

Registered User
(2/20/02 6:58 am)
Re: And away we go again.
"If he fails then he actually looses a HD and everything that goes with it (hit points, BAB, base saving throw bonus, skill points ... etc.)"

But his hit points DON'T go with his hit dice...they're totally unrelated. That's the bizarre thing about familiars.

Should I reduce his hit point total to what Zane's was when HE was a (2, 3) level(s) lower? That's going to take some interesting mathematical gymnastics.

It'll be a moot point, as Lyssa can restore him, and will before the time is up. Thanks for the vote of confidence, though.

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

Rowan Wolfmoon
Registered User
(2/20/02 10:39 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Personally, I'd just go with lowering the things related to level loss *besides* hit points. Hit Points of a familiar are the only thing directly generated from the master and in my opinion if the master's hit points are the same, so are the familiar's. If you wanna think of it in a roleplaying sense...perhaps the familiar's abilities are his own, but because of the deep link he and his master have, his life force is a direct result of the master's life force...and so on :-P. (Although this should go in the opposite direction...if the master is level drained and loses max hp due to this, the familiar's hp should decrease accordingly)
And as you said, I'm sure you'll restore the poor fella before you have to worry too much about it, but this is how I would rule it as a DM.

Registered User
(2/25/02 10:16 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Well, we've further progress...yay.

Ok, "progress" might be a bit of a strong word. But we had a good gaming session.

Our intreped band, plus a corpse, had a lovely sleep-in until noon or so a quarter-mile out of town. They stripped and buried the body of Kellial, and headed into town.

Rurik managed to catch word that he could potentially get gemstones from the Smith, or from Deepingdark (who I mistakenly made into a he). Rurik's distrustful of someone who "has no official position, and is seen here or there about town", so he goes to the smith, who just happens to have some dust, left over from cutting stones for jeweled pieces. Purchases 2 doses worth (for Restoration spells).

Needless to say, Pete's back up to full health now. Alas, the smith didn't have any pearls (identify), so now Rurik is wandering around town aimlessly. He happens across Deepingdark (or someone by that description) at Tal Chemish's place, and waits until Deepingdark leaves. Talks him into meeting over at the Grey Lodge after dark.

Meeting goes off without a hitch. Tsindin and Rurik meet with Deepingdark, as Lyssa and Zane sit at a table across the way, so as to have the Half-Orc not drive up the price. Tsindin, being a Sorc, is the most charismatic of the group. Well, Deepingdark sets a small black iron coffer on the table, covers it with a black cloth, and manipuates it underneith the cloth. Removing the cloth, he turns it round to show the silk-lined surface on the inside, with a number of pearls of various sizes, shapes, and colors.

Eventually, he winds up selling them a 110, and two 120s, negotiated down to 180 GP & two 100 GP Amethysts.

Meanwhile, Tal has a chat with Lyssa and Zane. Zane has no interest in such things, but Lyssa, hearing about something that might "improve her strength" still further perks right up. Tal recognizes her, and informs her that he thought that her wagon (from over a month ago) was abandoned, and wound up selling it (she didn't ask "to who", dang it). But that he'd give her the 20GP he made on the deal. She agreed to take 2 doses of Tanbrosh as a "kind gesture".

Well, Rurik was immediately suspicious of the Tanbrosh, so Zane went out of town again and summoned an Azer, saying "here, drink this...and tell me what it does". This after Tsindin's "Detect Poison" produced a "maybe" result.

I know a Neutralize Poison will end addiction, but are drugs a "poison"?

Anyways, the Azer reported back that he felt stronger and more powerful...and the spell ended. So now they don't know WHAT to make of it.

In the meanwhile, Zane tromped back into town, and off to bed. He memorized identify, and the whole NEXT day was spent identifying Kellial's former stuff. Rurik now holds the Sword of Air, and is still frustrated that he doesn't know the command word to activate it.

Somewhere off in the background, Fachish's Lesser Planar Ally digs up Kellial's corpse and heads back to the CRM with it. Festrath has that Raise Dead scroll for a reason, after all (well, he *had* that scroll).

The trip back to the CRM is mostly uneventful, but a pair of Dire Wolverines gets the heart rate pounding a bit.

The party's back at the CRM, ready to take on the South Entrance again. Some scouting by Pete reveals that once again they've put an entrance "on alert". So the debate ensues for how to get near the entrance without alerting anyone to their approach.

Ye gods, haven't any of these people heard of UNDER COVER OF NIGHT? They've already written off any chance of getting into the main entrance up the 300' high ramp because they'd be seen. They burned an invisibility potion so Zane could sneak up close to cast a summoning spell. What's wrong with just waiting on a fragging cloudy night?

Ok...rant over. They "sneak" up (the South Gate's easy to sneak up on...the arrow slits open out into the cave, and the watch post is overrun by a Spectre). Zane summons a Tojanda to burn a hole in the west guardroom. Somewhat distracted when, halfway through, the Tojanda stops to ask "there's some soft, fleshy things here..can I burn them?" "No, finish burning a hole in this dang wall!" So now there's a 3x5 hole in the wall.

Lyssa comes charging through, and is AoOed on either side by the two guards. Then comes their inititive. Flanking, and still stabbing, they get past Lyssa's not-so-pathetic 18 AC (she refuses heavy armor and shields). Now she's hurting.

Quick note on my restock of the South Entrance. Preious casualties were:
3 guards
7 gnolls
3 ogres
4 Dire Bear Skeletons

Replacements are:
1 3rd level Cleric (Farthis)
6 guards - these two were the same party that captured Lyssa and his former party over a month ago.
Kellial (raised)
10 Medium and 3 Large Zombies (guards/gnolls/ogres animated)

Back of the guardroom has 2 guards and Farthis just walking in. Tsindin's MMs drop one flanking guard on Lyssa. Zane's "resonating sphere" (Flaming Sphere, Sonic substitution) shakes up the 3rd level cleric, and Lyssa butchers the other fighter near her, as Rurik yells "Get outta my way".

Alas, nobody hears Rurik's frustration. Part of their "strategy" was to have Lyssa cast silence on Rurik so that he can run up to the mage and cleric types and disrupt their spellcasting.

Farthis and guards run, barring the door behind them. Resonating sphere does some damage to the door, then is snuffed out as Rurik comes running up (silence), and then slamming into the door with his spiked armor.

Then comes Lyssa. What IS IT with her and breaking doors? 19 on the die. 27 result. I swear...if I ever do place an Iron Door in front of them, she'll manage to break it down!

Well, Lyssa stumbles across the hall and thuds against the opposite door. To her horror, a host of zombies start shambling towards her, and she makes out Farthis and Choranth back in the room at the end of the hall, flanking Kellial (back from the dead).

Tsindin manages to MM the zombie near Lyssa, but Zane can't see to shoot anything, and can't advace or else he's in Rurik's silence effect.

Rurik goes last, and comes running in, along the walls, up to the platform to get the drop on the two guardsmen up there.

We had to break session there. Rurik just looked up the long stairway and saw the numerous Zombie Gnolls, Fachish, the Small Air Elemental (Summon Monster III) and the Large Air Elemental (from the Temple of Air). Unbeknownst to him, Fachish had the same idea the PCs did (really, I thought of this first...they didn't clue me into it), and the Large Air Elemental has a Silence cast upon it as well.

Next week...will Lyssa survive being mobbed by Zombies, or will she manage to turn them back from her? Will Tsindin and Zane save the day with mass-damage spells, or will they be silenced (perhaps forever) by a Large Air Elemental? Who will Choranth fry with the Circlet of Blasting taken from Zane's player's two-characters-ago character? And stay tuned for "Rurik vs Kellial, part II: I want my sword back!"

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

Registered User
(2/25/02 11:17 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Silence on the Large Air Elemental... I love it!

I have some flying spellcasters in my party that will REALLY be hurting when I pull this tactic on them.

Also, I liked the touch of using Fachish's scroll to recover Kellial. If the PC's get to use Raise Dead, the Temple should too!

Great recap, thanks for the idea!

-Thrommel, who says if the PC's get to use Slay Living, the Temple does too!

Registered User
(2/25/02 11:37 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
I just had to figure the scroll was there for some other purpose BESIDES providing the PCs with loot. So I thought about it. Who's Fachish going to raise with it? Not Choranth...she's a scheming little witch (who's behaving right now only because the PCs are a darker, nastier threat). Not her Barbarian lover. Not one of the Ogres, surely.

Fachish's most trusted and dependable ally is Kellial, and he's considering giving him the Air Sword (or, IMC, already did after the first successful repelling of PCs). It only seemed logical that he's going to go to the trouble of recovering Kellial's corpse and raising him. Even at 6th, he's an effective ally.

And I'm thrilled to hear that you like my "silence the Air Elemental" idea. PLEASE tell me how your PC reacted to it when you pull it on them. As for myself, I'm just going to have to somehow convince them I didn't just steal their idea (now it's a whole week, real-time, since they entered...they may not be so willing to buy that I made it up myself).

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

Registered User
(2/25/02 10:29 pm)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
I like the silenced air elemental idea as well, I'll be stealing that for when my players get their butts over in the neck of the CRM.

Great read btw, keep it up!


Registered User
(2/26/02 1:14 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
I agree that it is a GREAT idea, though I think I will be placing it on an earth elemental. As long as the earth elemental is under the ground the PCs will not even notice the silence...

Registered User
(3/4/02 1:40 pm)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Ok...note for future reference...the Silence on the Air Elemental thingy (especially the Large, with staying power) is devistating!

Here we go:

Lyssa stepped up and cleaved down a couple human-zombies.

The Zombies advanced, working to overwhelm Lyssa with sheer numbers. No hits this round, but she's low on HPs. The Large Air Elemental comes whipping around the corner, settling on a point between Lyssa and the two mages. Lyssa is now silenced.

Fachish advances, casting Air Walk to get a good point of view. Remaining human guards on the ground load Heavy Crossbows and are out of the fight with readied actions from here until they get opportunities for shots. The two guards up on the platform try to bull-rush Rurick off, but the AoO butchers one, and then misses the other (who failes the Str contest with the 25-or-so Rurick).

Choranth takes the Circlet of Blasting (taken from poor Scott a month and a half ago) and fries Rurik. Kellial takes up a guarding position in front of the priests (Choranth and my NPC 3rd level fellow).

Zane advances, and loses his spell as he discovers the Silence.

Tsindin launches another MM at another zombie, trying to buy Lyssa some breathing room.

Rurik sticks to the plan, charges down the wall, shrugs the AoOs, and plants himself squarely in front of Kellial, who uses his held action to attempt a disarm.

Ok...I may be way off base here, but Kellial firmly believes that the Sword of Air is his by right. So I had him obsessively trying to disarm Rurik until it became clear he'll die easier than disarm.

The battle grinds a bit here. A few rounds become very repetataive.

Kellial fails his disarm efforts, whilst the two clerics and one guardsman bash on Rurik, who keeps 5' stepping out of trouble and slashing at Kellial.

Lyssa cleaves away at Zombies, as more and more still advance. Eventually, she gets a chance to heal herself up somewhat. The flood of Zombies continue to press her back. Somewhere in there, the Small Air Elemental dies off.

Fachish, seeing what's going on and thinking Lyssa's well in hand, backs up Kellial. He casts a cure spell, moves, and touches Kel (did I interpret wrong? I think that's legal). Then backs off, waiting to repeat again.

The Air Elemental pummels Zane, pummels Zane, and drops Zane as he tries to flee. He then goes after Tsindin, pummeling her once, missing her once. The PCs kept moving fast enough that I never quite managed a double-hit on either mage. Pete emerges from the earth below Zane and manages to stabilize him and feed him a potion of healing.

Lyssa FINALLY catches on, and turns the zombies. She obliterates 6 regular (Med), and turns the two ogres (20 on the D20, 12 on the 2d6). Nearly dead, and seeing the Air Elemental about to slay Tsindin, she charge the elemental, hoping to disappate it and get everyone out safely. Rurik's beyond the door now, and out of sight.

Fachish kept blasting on Rurik with spells. I lost count of how many things he made his save against. Blindness, Hold Person (3x), Cause Fear (twice).

Finally, Rurik realizes he's about out of HPs. He finally breaks and flees, and wouldn't ya know...that's when Kellial gets his Crit with the borrowed MWK Longsword. 20-15 for a total of 20 damage. Rurik's in the negs, but makes his Autohypnosis roll and stablizes.

In the meantime, Lyssa's killed the Air Elemental, potions of healing have been gulped down (the party's nearly out), and Lyssa peeks her head out. Yup, badguys at 12:00, and Rurik's nowehre to be seen (round the corner). She lets out a yell, Tsindin charges in (and sucks up two Readied Xbow bolts). Then it happened.

Fachish casts Confusion, and both Zane and Tsindin fail. Roll reactions? They both attack Lyssa! Fortunately, they are both armed with bare fists, so she shrugs it off (despite both of them hitting, and then rolling 3s for damage!) So the mages are contemplating their navels, and Lyssa is trying to grab them both and make a run for it.

Tsindin managed to gather up her marbles for one round (0 on d10), steps out into the hall...all the baddies are in a nice tight group (save for Fachish, he's up on the platform), so she manages to cast her first Fireball of the entire battle...and it's devastating. Choranth is reeling (thanks to her Endurance, she lived). Kellial and the 3rd level Cleric drop. Fachish comes charging down from on high, only to be met by Lyssa.

Lyssa attacks Fachish and CRITS! 32 damage in one blow. This isn't her Greatsword +1 folks...that's back at the main gate. This is her borrowed, cruddy Morningstar. Fachish turns and converts his Dismissal (4tH) into a Cause Critical...and botches his Concentraiton check!

So Choranth comes up behind Lyssa and says, in a low tone, "I'll help you finish him if you leave, now!" and fakes a swing at her.

Lyssa makes the devil's deal, and CRITS AGAIN against Fachish. So much for the great High Priest of Air.

So Lyssa gathers up Rurik's corpse (sans Sword of Air, Kellial got that when Rurik went down). The mages are still gathering their marbles, while Choranth seeks to stabilize whoever is still alive.

Well, the Confusion ends, and Tsindin takes Lyssa's hint and heads for the door...but Zane wants to spite the badguys with one last spell. Lyssa is carrying the (still silenced) Rurik, so conversation is impossible. Zane turns to go back and fire off a spell, and Lyssa grabs him by the back of the shirt and starts pulling her out.

While this is going on, Tsindin pours one of their last Healing potions down Rurik's throat, bringing him around. I groan.

Rurik, when he realizes he's not still in combat, tries to figure out what's going on. Lyssa and Tsindin are trying to leave, Zane is sulking, and he doesn't have his nifty new sword.

So he reasons...we're still alive, so we must have won. My sword's missing...they must have just forgot. I'll go back and grab it.


When he emerges from the entrance, the Ogre Zombies (who have, at last, returned) show up and proceed to attack. Rurik, unfazed, takes 'em on by himself.

Zane, concerned for Rurik, darts back out into the hall and thumps a Zombie with an empowered magic missile. He (but not Rurik) hears a hollar "This is your last chance to honor the deal and leave alive" from behind the (secured) double-doors. He responds "I made no such deal."

Kellial fires two arrows from out of the arrow slit, and Zane slumps to the ground, again!

Choranth scrapes the bottom of the barrel, and comes up with the last Hold Person between the lot of them. Of all the times for Rurik to fail a save.

Tsindin grabs Zane, and they run. Last healing potion stablizies Zane, and Lyssa manages enough healing to not die instantly when her Endurance runs out.

Final count:

2 Ogre Zombies, 4 usable medium corpses (including Fachish and Rurik), Choranth, 1 normal fighter, Kellial (6th due to being raised), and the 3rd level Cleric. Kellial is re-equpped with Rurik's gear, and has the Sword of Air back.

Zane, Tsindin and Lyssa are still alive (and back in town two days later). They're out of healing potions, and trying to figure out what in the world to do now.

I'm promoting the one surviving guard to 2nd, and I'm giving Choranth 5th level. She's the High Priestess of Air now.

And Steve (Rurik's player)...well, he's coming back with a Psion. Can you believe it? A Wizard, a Sorceror, a Psion and a Cleric (the only "fighter" in the group). This isn't going to be pretty.

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

Registered User
(3/11/02 8:11 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Success! And on a night with such bitter bad news IRL to go with it.

Jake has quit the campaign, stating that he's been having problems at work with the late night. I would have discussed it with him, but he chose to quit via email.

After discussing it with the group, his PC (Zane) will continue, at least for now, with them as an NPC.

A bit more mechanical information. Fredrick (the Savant) is a 4th level Psion and 2nd level Metamind. His Trigger Power is Ectoplasmic Coccoon, which could get nasty. I may have to start adding Free Action to my strategy page, along with Invisibility Purge (he has Invisibility as well).

On to the story:


A stranger blew into town, and sought rooms at the Grey Lodge. IMC, the Grey Lodge only has 3 rooms, each of them double-occupancy, so with Lyssa and Tsindin occupying one, and Zane in another, the stranger was given a choice between rooming with a convolescing wizard or paying double to get a room to himself. Being rather personable, Fredrick took the former choice, and introduced himself to Lyssa, Zane, and eventually Tsindin in turn.

About an hour later, a fellow in black plate mail shows up, pays the double-rate for the last room, and heads upstairs immediately without speaking to, or even looking at, anyone.

Oh well...PCs didn't take the bait. Next morning, this messenger for the Temple heads for the west gate, and the PCs may never see him again. Perhaps his note will get into their hands someday, and reveal the existance of "the ancient temple" (my way of introducing the FToT).

So now they're off to the South Gate once more. Their new companion has provided them with means beyond what they've had in the past, and slaps an invisibility on each and every member of the party (spending nearly over half his personal power in the process).

Pete goes under, comes up on the other side of the doors, unbarrs, them, and opens them. The invisible PCs step in the door, and the fireworks begin! The main doors were barred, so I figured the inner doors (to the Barbican) were open. The badguys were:

4 warriors on either side in the guardrooms.
1 warrior in the sniper stand
2 warriors, Kellial, the 2nd level fighter, and the 3rd level cleric (from the raiding party) in the Barbican.
2 Large Zombies (former Ogres) in the hall, directly below the platform.

4 Gnolls and Graud in the Gnoll Quarters.

Choranth in her quarters, with 4 human Zombies.

That's it...that's what I've got left.

Well, Lyssa opens with a Silence on Kellial, which turns out to do more harm than good (again), as Kellial charges, and Tsindin's fireball manages to fry the 3rd level cleric, the only spellcaster in the area. The 2nd level fighter, who is wearing Leather and bearing a rapier and buckler (that once belonged to a certain assassin) DOES make his save, and Kellial sends him running up the great hallway (through pantomime, since he was silenced) to knock on the doors and call in the troops.

Zane catches a Zombie Ogre in a Sonic Bolt, which doen't harm Kellial (since he's in the silence area).

Warriors open the doors on either side, and attack who they see in the doorways (Tsindin and Fredrick). It's already looking bad for the good side.

The ogres are turned. The Gnoll's door is knocked on. Kellial gets in Lyssa's face and manages a nasty blow (on top of some fairly solid hits from the Ogres). Zane slams the door shut again, and barrs it (he was behind the door). Tsindin takes a step back, and fireballs the other guardroom, eliminating all four soldiers there. Fredrick tried a second time to cocoon Kellial, and Kellial makes his save again (aaaaargh).

Sniper takes a shot at Zane. And the round is over.

Lyssa goes into turbo-ginsu mode, and criticals Kellial...using a Feat of Strenght...Power-Attacking by 4. Morningstar smashes him into tiny bits.

Graud, 4 Gnolls, come boiling out into the hall, only to be met by Tsindin (who barely manages to reach the far side of the Silence around Kellial), who levels the lot of them with another Fireball...all but Graud himself, whom she just made mad...very mad. Zane's attempt to Melf's Sonic Arrow the retreating 2nd level fighter is foiled by the Silence.

Graud charges, and nearly cuts Tsindin in half. Lyssa sweeps in to injure Graud some more, and Tsindin combat-casts to finish him off with magic missiles to the face. The 2nd level fighter alerts Choranth, and fires an arrow from down the hall at Lyssa. Fredrick finally manages to cocoon somebody (the fighter), just as 4 medium Zombies boil out of Choranth's room, Choranth herself darts past, heading for the Altar of Air...and Zane manages to call up a Sonic Sphere to start dissonating Zombies to death. My four trapped warriors in the guardroom continue to try to chop the door down.

Guardsmen break out, and meet up with a recently-healed Lyssa. Zombies continue their slow, pathetic progress down the hall. Zane sends Sonic Spheres dancing around. Then, much to everyone's horror, a Large Air Elemental comes darting around the corner, just as Lyssa's cleaving wipes out 3 of the four guardsmen, and Tsindin's Magic Missile the last.

Tsindin cuts loose with a fireball that damages the Air Elemental (and manages to fell the Zombies as an incidental bonus). Zane blasts the Air elemental with a Sonic Bolt. Both of them run for it. Getting desperate, Fredrick dumps most of his remaining points and throws a Greater Concussion at the Air Elemental...and fells it!

Party charges up the hallway. Choranth peeks round the corner, only to discover four adventurers standing and everyone else (including the Air Elemental) dead. She has gone into desperation mode here, and I'll be inviting comment in the "Evolution of the South Gate" thread for where to go from here.

Anyways, they've seen the Altar of Air itself, they've looted the bodies, and they're congratulating themselves heartily for having finally succeeded at getting into the Temple and making real progress.

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

Registered User
(3/18/02 12:37 pm)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
And now the group goes into high gear.

They camp the night in one of the two guardrooms, leaving every door they can barred from the inside (thanks to Pete's ability to bar them from within).

Then, with the Pete (the Small Earth Elemental Familiar) and Gilgamesh (the Hero-aspect Psi Crystal) standing watch, and an Alarm on the door, they collapse into some much-needed sleep.

3 hours later (random roll), a group of Fire Temple warriors, out on patrol, come up to the gate and pound on the door, demanding entrance. The PCs contemplate negotiating briefly, then Zane blasts them to oblivion with his one remaining Sonic-substituted Ice Burst. Lyssa drags them into the other guard room, they reseal the gates, and go back to sleep (after pocketing the cash they were carrying).

Comes morning. Zane exhults his newly discovered powers. Lyssa questions Kellial (yes, I know he's dead...Speak with Dead has made SOP into "first we kill them, THEN we question them"). Between their "chat" with Kellial, and rifling through the papers in Fachish's room, they've discovered much about the Air Temple.

Careful investegation of the altar discovers the hollow the Air Sword used to lie within, and the Unhallow effect that Lyssa can't think of anything she can do about. A bit of excitement when Fredrick moves aside a tapestry to look behind it, and (under confusion) starts blasting away at the rest of the party with Ecto Cocoons, then capering about the room screaming, gibbering, and running his hands through his hair.

Then they proceed west, into the Orc Caves. A hairy battle with the Hydra, which manages to pummel several PCs rather badly (those critters have nasty written all over them). Then on into the caves further still. They find the stairs leading up to the Orc commons. Pete goes up there, confirms there's "about 20 fleshy things, about your size." So Tsindin and Fredrick charge halfway up the stairs, and Tsindin launches a Fireball into the room. Then they run back down.

Two Orc warriors (the only survivors) pursue, and are easily cut down. Then silence. Then wailing and crying.

Lyssa creeps halfway up, and calls out "what temple are you with?"

"What? We have a shrine to Grumsh up here, that's burning thanks to you. Are you ready to come kill the rest of us off yet?"

The next two hours are a very haphazard melange of orc-blasting, with Lyssa alternating between grim necessity and being on the verge of bursting into tears (Zane's Sonic Burst in the other large common room, which slaughters every last man, woman, and child Orc in the room, really got to her).

They've been up to the doors to the West Bridge, but haven't tried to bust 'em down yet.

At the last, they made their way to the door to the Dwarven Temple. The Psion manages to pick it open, and proceedes to fall into the pit, but was stopped by Lyssa having a rope 'round his waist. So she lowers him down to the floor to check out the corpses.

As soon as there's pressure on the bottom of the pit, the lid AND DOOR start closing. Lyssa, in desperation, jams the Portable Ram she found in the Orc quarters into both gaps, and manages to stop both short of slamming the 6" diameter of the ram (which is now starting to splinter).

A few desperate rounds later, Fredrick is dangling from a bit of rope held (through the wall) by Pete, and Lyssa is collapsed, exhausted, in front of the door. Zane knocks the door open, shoves the pit open, and Fredrick is rescued.

So we broke session with both the door and the pit lying open, and the group seriously wondering where to go from here.

And now I need to bone up on the bridge complex, and start converting an Ogre Mage mini.

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

Dalavar the Wolfmage
Registered User
(3/18/02 12:57 pm)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
It is nice to see a group take advantage of the familar like that. My groups familars all seem to be just there for the benefits and never actually used in game.

I suspect my group will convert from the kill first and then go find something else to kill to the kill first, speak with dead, go find something else to kill pretty quick.

Registered User
(3/25/02 10:01 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Well, I hate to break it to you Dalavar, but that's now coming to an end. It's a shame, too...but it was awkward with my doing it through an NPC instead of it being player-led.

Our intreped band finally figured a way across. Zane summoned a Celestial Dire Eagle (I figured it was about par with a Fiendish Dire Bat), Lyssa cast Bull's Strength upon it, and it ferried the party across the pit. Zane then filled the hallway with a Leomund's Secure Shelter, and they rested the night...very securely (back of the sheter towards the hallway, front towards the Dwarven door and pit trap).

On the morrow, they set forth, dismissing the Shelter. First stop, the font. Fredrick stared at the font in wonder for a while, then finally decided it was "too good to be true" and walked away. Nobody poured anything into it.

So the group makes their way to the next door. Half an hour later, and with much cursing, Fredrick casts his picks to the ground and gives up (Taking 20, he has a 29!)

So Tsindin gives up her (and the party's) last Knock scroll, and the door opens. She steps right in to get a good view with her Detect Magic...and gets stomped with 11 points of arctic chill (thank goodness she made her save). far, no serious problems. Then Fredrick decides to snag one of the spheres. I ruled that the spelltrap would reach out and hit someone, even if they were using magehand/farhand, so *wham*, Fredrick's making two saves...and he fails 'em both. here's where it gets interesting. Fredrick's standing in the doorway. Everyone's behind him in the hall. He's just been turned into a Dwarf and Dominated into defending the spheres against any interference/meddling. So what does he do?

Takes a step forward, turns, and closes the doors, locking them from inside.

A lengthy argument, shouted at the tops of their lungs (through the stone door) ensues. "C'mon Fredrick...we need to check this next room out". "Nope, gotta stay here and protect the Spheres!"

I look up Polymorph, Dominate, and (to be extra informed), Break Enchantment. I study over things a bit, and determine a few things...some DM ruling in action here:

1) I did NOT rule that his Strength would have to be that of an "average" Dwarf. I let him keep it at 17. It's well within the possible range of a Dwarf, it's not an "improvement" over his present state, and without it, he would lose all of his Primary Psionic powers. The others didn't matter, as his Dex and Con (10 and 12 respectively) ARE the average for a normal Dwarf.

2) On the basis of not forgetting what you already know, he kept his bonus Human feat, and human skill points up to that level.

3) As well, since he didn't "grow up" a Dwarf, learned bonuses and trained bonuses (Orc/Giant benefits, for example) were denied him.

Anyways, Lyssa, Tsindin and Zane investegate the next room...the Dwarven Temple. They take one look at the Golem, and run back.

So now they can't go forward, can't go back, and can't leave their trapped companion behind. So they dig into their recently-bolstered food supplies (they found the Air Temple's larder...and even depleated as it was, it's plenty for 4). They camp again. The next morning, they lure Fredrick (the Dwarf) into opening the doors, while Zane hides and fires Dispel Magic after Dispel Magic at him to remove the Domination (it took all 3 he had memorized!)

So after all that...they leave the spheres alone. Summoned creatures lure the Golem to the far corner of the room as the party sprints for it...and Fredrick (not used to his Dwarven body) winds up going slowly. The party's even more shocked when the Golem drops back into the ground instead of pursuing Fredrick.

So now they are in the room with the Emerald (essense of Dwarvenkind). Not willing to trust much of ANYTHING at this point, they break the chain and lower it into a backpack, not touching the emerald at all.

They find the Dwarven Priest's quarters. Another half hour, more cursing, and a nearly bent lockpick later, Pete travels through the floor and opens the room from within.

They loot the room, bust the chests open with a crowbar, and find the gold key.

Alas, but now the PCs got cocky. So they come to the iron doors leading into the treasury. So what does Fredrick do? Does he check for traps? Does he tell everyone to stand back?

Sticks the key in the keyhole on the right, and turns it.

Wham. 20'x20'x2' of stone gets dropped on the WHOLE PARTY. Pete is smashed to rubble. Zane and Fredrick are knocked out cold. Tsindin barely manages to struggle out of it, broken and bleeding.

Lyssa manages to drag both Zane and Fredrick out of the rubble, stabilizing them with Cure Minors. She then carries them back to the Dwarven Priest's quarters, and puts them in the beds there. Some more rest and recovery, many healing spells, and the mourned loss of Pete, the Small Earth Elemental (and dangit, I only *just* got a mini for him).

They find the secret door leading to the Hydra cave, and they find (after some prompting from me...yes, it's a gimmie...but with the 3 of them, they really needed it) the secret door leading outside. So they limp their way back to Rastor.

Several miles down the road, they decide to experiment with the Emerald. So they tie Fredrick up, and hand him the thing. now we have a faux Dwarf being exposed to the Essense of Dwarvenkind. My DM ruling? He now has ALL the benefits of being a Dwarf...the stonecutting, the Orc Hatred, the Giant Dodging...the whole meal deal. He's no longer having to make checks for his new form. He's 100% all Dwarf now. I'm wondering if the trap and the Emerald were placed where they were for that very reason?

And now the PCs are resting in Rastor and preparing for their next trip up....after visiting the Scrollmaker for some more Knock scrolls!

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

Dalavar the Wolfmage
Registered User
(3/25/02 10:45 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
mourns pete!

I love how you handled the dwarfling. I can see a couple of my players following a similar bent and so it gives me a heads up on some ideas on how to play things.

How long before Lyssa starts getting paranoid about anyone doing anything without checking with someone else first ;)

Registered User
(3/25/02 12:29 pm)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
Lyssa's just heaving an immense sigh of relief that she wasn't the one to go into the sphere room and grab one of 'em first.

As well, there's one other scrap of good news coming down the line. She's a stone's throw away from 9th level, and the capacity to raise the dead in-house. Hopefully, SHE stays alive from here on out.

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

Registered User
(3/26/02 2:06 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday night PCs
:rollin That dwarven temple is one of the funniest parts in the CRM. Your story is just as much fun as mine, though my PCs did not get polymorphed. Their fun was in the necklace and the non-dwarf who touched it :evil

Edited by: madfox at: 3/26/02 2:07:08 am
Unregistered User
(3/27/02 6:01 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday Night Pcs
I really liked the way that you used Pete, but I thought I would mention something that got overlooked. The section on elementals on pg. 5 says that "...if a nonevil elemental or elemental creature is summoned and then brought into these areas, a chance exists (equal to one-half the chances listed above) that the being will be immediately converted to evil."

The only reason I know this is because a new character in my campaign (a Pale Master actually) wants to have an earth elemental familiar. I can't wait for the familiar to fail his roll.


Registered User
(3/27/02 6:06 am)
Re: Andorax's Sunday Night Pcs
As a player changing the alignment of my familiar would cause me to become very angry, especially if it means the familiar leaves or makes my life difficult. A familiar is mentally a part of the wizard and is completely different from a normal summoned or gated elementals. IMO that connection offers more then enough protection against the evil influences. Your millage might vary of course, but make sure your player thinks the same about it.

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