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Siobharek 
A resident
(6/11/02 11:29 pm)
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Re: Goodness!
I used the map of a town called Cambe.

Politics
IMC, Rastor is situated near a disused mountain pass to the isolationist elven country of Celene. At the very outskirts of Verbobopnc, Rastor is somewhat independent, partially because of the rumours surrounding the ruins of a nearby dwarven citadel which was destroyed in the Hateful Wars, partially because of some discreet diplomatic efforts on the part of Celene in Verbobonc (which has the best claim to Rastor)

If there is an elite in Rastor, it's the dwarves. They control the mining and have skills in that area that others simply don't possess. The humans and the orcs work the rice fields and do most of the other trades in town. Despite the "elite" statement above, Rastor is fairly democratic. Most are content to let Rerrid work out the day-to-day details and a town council works out any major decisions. I know that it goes against the grain of traditional serf-based economy, but it fits with the story of three very different races living together.

Economy
There are many fields on the Cambe map, but considering the climate and geography, I made them rice paddies, which also gave me the orcs' rotgut rice whisky, as well as an idea about the menu at The Gray Lodge. Other items on the menu at the Lodge are Yarew's Finest, a somewhat indifferent ale, and Moradin's Blessing, a mead that Rerrid makes from the honey in some beehives near his temple.

Laws
I've given some thought to the laws of Rastor as well. The main law is that a man's hearth is inviolate. Burglary and forcing ytour way into another man's home is punishable by death. In the early beginnings, when the remnants of Clan Hammersong from the Stalagos mines made their peace with the orcs, this rule helped keep the peace. If a person went into his home, he could not be touched, and on this rule, a peaceful coexistence was built.

I hope this helps. What's eating me, though, is that I'm convinced that Monte has some kick-@$$ notes about Rastor, which I'm sure were cut for space reasons.

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

Trithereon
A resident
(6/12/02 1:24 am)
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Re: A few questions.....
Wow, It just goes to show how different two visions of Rastors can be.

My vision of Rastor was of steep forested hills rising on either side of a narrow valley. The town of Rastor proper is mostly a single road running near the river with a handful of buildings (a jailhouse, several taverns, a livery/dry goods store [Tal's], blacksmith, tanner ... etc) along side. There are several paths leading up into the hills where houses (human) and warrens (dwarves) overlook the valley and beyond them are the mines, furnaces, logging trails and quarries. The whole scene is one of narrowness. The buildings are old, worn and the roads unimproved and prone to wash-outs in heavy rain.

I pictured a small 1800's Appalachia mining town when I imagined Rastor. Dirty, poor and dangerous. Rerrid and what ever authority he is beholden to is the only law, and it is compromised by the nearness of the CRM and its distance from civilized lands. It has been forgotten by most which is just what its inbred noble family wants. As long as iron flows out to Veluna (which IMC lays claim to Rastor) as its tithe then there are no questions about the strange goings-on in the region. Occasional rumors about the CRM have leak out and have drawn adventurers in the past. But they have all died, or come to worse ends, while exploring the CRM and the ToAC.

However, this is only my vision of Rastor. I agree, I'd love to hear Monte's version.

Siobharek 
A resident
(6/12/02 1:40 am)
Reply
Re: A few questions.....
Trithereon, I remember your version from a while back, and I thought long and hard about how to use it. I didn't have a map of an Appalachian mining town - thought I had one from an old Dungeon mag, but it didn't pan out (sorry, couldn't resist that one) - and I know how keen my players are on maps. And I simply ran out of time with regards to the inbred noble family.

So my Rastor became Dark Hommlet, basically :o The upside to this is that my players can relate easily to it (and the nearby orc camp is spooking them anyhow). The downside is that I didn't exactly show off my amazing powers of creativity (or else I showed that I don't have any!).

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

Trithereon
A resident
(6/12/02 2:19 am)
Reply
Re: A few questions.....
That's cool. I am a pretty much a "fly by the seat of my pants" type DM. When the players asked for a map, I just sketched a line down the center of a piece of paper drew some blocks on either side of the line and said "This is the road, this is the livery, this is the jailhouse ..."

Unfortunately, my players spent only a single night in Rastor. They visited Tal that next morning, left town and have never returned. Had they roleplayed longer they might have run into Rerrid or learned about Tymerian. They know nothing about the orc camp (though are uneasy about orcish appearence they saw in many locals) and have no idea about the noble family that runs the show from it's grand, but overgrown and unkempt, mansion overlooking the valley.

Its all good.

madfox
A resident
(6/12/02 3:19 am)
Reply
Re: A few questions.....
In my campaign, Rastor appeared as an idyllic mountain town in a lovely green river valley in forested mountains. The mining was done in small mines in the mountains in the area near the town, but out of sight. Even the melting industry kept the place relatively clean. The people were nice and treated the PCs with respect and friendship. This behavior got my PCs more worried then when it would look like Thritherion's version. It certainly created some horror when they got into conflict with Tal. I had to do this, since I run the campaign on the Outer planes. The cultists prefer to keep the CRM in the Outlands. They do not like the idea of slipping into Pandemonium, so they keep Rastor as much alone as possible. Tal is their eyes in Rastor who uses the drugs to help him deal with nosy characters. Since the petitioners in the Outlands tend to compensate their behavior to keep an area within the Outlands, you got a lawful good Rastor with a chaotic evil dungeon nearby (even though the people in reality are true neutral) ;)

As of yet, I have not used the orcs and I am thinking of replacing them with a tribe of wandering baurials. Though a war between a tribe of baurials and the resident orc tribe might also be a good idea.

I did change the faith of Rerrid into that of Dumathoin. A more neutral and less caring deity that fitted more in the Outlands. Somehow I have difficulties seeing a lawful good cleric of Moradin as doing nothing when he knows of the existence of an evil cult.

My players btw came into confrontation with Tal and decided he was not worth the problems. They lacked the resources to help all those addicted and they knew without drugs these people would die. So they warned the law and made it clear to Tal that they would broke no negative attention from him or the locals. The law made it clear they would look into it, but since the drugs did not pose a real obvious threat to town security Rerrid is not too keen into risking the precarious balance. The PCs did stay in prison twice, though in both cases more because they want to be able to visit the town (and especially Rerrid -a 9th lvl cleric in my campaign-) then because the few militia men could really harm them. The diplomatic skills of the cleric of the group got them out both times with a simple warning. Since the PCs have not yet drawn the attention of the Outer Fane, Tal's request for revenge has not been honored yet.

[Edit: My sincere apologies for all the spelling errors I seem to be making today. Not that I spell my texts perfectly on other days, but today is a disaster.]

Edited by: madfox at: 6/12/02 4:15:29 am
Trithereon
A resident
(6/12/02 3:45 am)
Reply
Re: A few questions.....
The Outlands, madfox? That's really cool!

We should start a new thread just for sharing Rastor ideas! I am becoming increasingly interested in how others have potrayed this town.

P.S. I never mentioned the family name of the noble, did I? It's Chammish. Mwhahahaahahahaha!

Edited by: Trithereon at: 6/12/02 3:46:18 am
FuzzBender
A resident
(6/13/02 2:50 am)
Reply
Re: A few questions.....
Nice...

IMC, Rastor is a small village on the mountainside. It it quite democratic. Most of the buildings are wooden - though some dwarven houses are made of stone. There aren't any proper roads in Rastor, but paths between the shacks. There is hardly any town planning - houses are here and there, but mostly hunched together.

Dwarves form the "upper" class of Rastor and they are mostly miners or craftsmen (creating tools for villagers and for trade to travelling merchants). Orcs are mostly hunters and they sell their furs to Rerrid. Rerrid trades metal tools and arrows back to them. Other dwarves are not too keen on talking with the orcs, but they are not violent, since they are scared of retaliation from the orcish tribe. Humans are mostly farmers and herders.

There is a nearby manor house where a local "noble family" lives. The minor noble gets a hefty amount of gold from the Temple to keep tax collector's and his liege happy. As the noble in question is quite vain (and not too clever) he is more than satisfied with this (this way he can afford to buy fancy armour and a warhorse). The main servant of the household is, a spy for the Temple - just in case. The noble really doesn't keep contact with the villagers. His servants extract taxes by consulting with Rerrid.

The atmosphere of the village is bleak. Most of the dwarves that lived here during the destruction of their mines on Stalagos are really afraid. The temple spokesman has claimed that some of their relatives are still captured (lies) and will die horribly if the dwarves leave Rastor or talk to outsiders. Humans and half-orcs don't know much about the dwarven dilemma, as the dwarves keep their mouth shut. Now that PCs are skulking around, the dwarves are getting increasingly nervous, since they fear for their relatives and that doomdreamers might come and destroy the whole village. Therefore, they really encourage the PCs to leave them alone. Rerrid is the only exception - he sees the PCs as saviours (I rolled 20 for one PC, a dwarven cleric with CHA16, as an initial reaction). He has given them food and shelter (it is winter and mountains can be deadly) and told them lots of old legends and stuff about the Mines. The other dwarves are now given a hint that PCs should leave or...

That's about it.

Oh yes, I have Harn Manor stats for Rastor and I might post them later on, if there is any interest, though I still need to name the villagers in it.

DM Dan76
A resident
(6/20/02 9:19 am)
Reply
Re: A few questions.....
I have a question regarding a player of mine casting the "Divination" spell.
He will be casting it twice. The first time he will ask what the best course of action is to enter the mines. He will word it as such..... "Oh, great Fhalanghn, what is the best way for our group to enter this crater ridge mine complex?"
Now I am not to familiar with the Divination spell, but what would he be told? Would he be told that the best way in is to seek out a secret enterance (the dwarven door) or would he be told to go in the front door? Some Ideas on a response would be great.

The second question is this....."Oh great Fhalanghn, would you be pleased to see me take action for the killing of Tal?"
The player is LN, and Fhalanghn is N. The player wants to know what to do about the Tal incedent (see previous questions and/or read DM Dan's Campaign thread to find out what happened). The player is unsure of what to do. He knows they murdered Tal, and looted his store. Any ideas on what to do here??

Thanks for the help. It's always appreciated.

Siobharek 
A resident
(6/20/02 10:58 am)
Reply
Re: A few questions.....
Hokay, lets start off with a snippet from the SRD.
Quote:
Similar to augury but more powerful, a divination spell can provide the character with a useful piece of advice in reply to a question concerning a specific goal, event, or activity that is to occur within 1 week. The advice can be as simple as a short phrase, or it might take the form of a cryptic rhyme or omen.


The first divination should point the group to the lesser-used and weaker-staffed Main Entrance. How about: The setting sun will show the way. The Main Entreance faces West.

As to the second question, remember that divination deals with specifics, and leaves the god's desires out of it. It also tends to focus on what the cleric gets out of it, so to speak - hence the "good advice". But then again, isn't it always "good advice" to be on the good side of your deity? The "would you be pleased to see me take action for the killing of Tal?"-question strikes me a bit as if the cleric's player wants to know if he ought to do something about it.

Taking the question literally, the cleric asks his Neutral patron deity for Horizons, Roads, and Travel what he should do about a murder. Fharlaghn couldn't care less. He might have an interest in seeing the Trading Station restaffed (Roads and Trade tends to go hand in hand), but there isn't any moral or ethic reason for Big F. to get involved.

Had the question - or even the intent - been "What will happen if I take action for the killing of Tal?", then the answer might have been something like: When the blessing is a curse, then through the curse, blessing must be found. That means that the best Snaggletooth the cleric can do is to figure out an antidote and help the villagers. That might also get your cleric a few converts to leave the dreary, holed-up existence of staying put for a life on the road.

Hope that helps :)

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

Thrommel
A resident
(6/20/02 12:08 pm)
Reply
Re: A few questions.....
Hmmm... given that it's Fharlanghn, wouldn't he want the secret door (and thus least often used path) used?

Here's some bad poetry for you to use:

The dwarves were stout, with axes keen,
Yet their mightiest deeds remain unseen.

Masons of the highest art,
They gave this mountain a sacred heart.

Seek you a door without hinges, a road without signs,
There lies a passage to the depths of the mines.

Find the tear at the bottom of the crater's eye,
And you shall slip past the guardians' cry.


The "tear at the bottom" refers them to the south side of the crater (imagine the crater as viewed from above). It's also a word play on "tear" as in opening.

Hopefully the dwarven/sacred heart thing gives them some idea of what they're likely to encounter as well. This could be a really bad encounter if they don't have any dwarves in the party.

Just don't let them p*ss in the holy basin. ;)

As for the second question, I can't improve on Siobharek's advice. He's got a great line there.

-Thrommel, who invites everyone to improve on his bad poetry.

DM Dan76
A resident
(6/21/02 9:31 am)
Reply
Re: A few questions.....
I was thinking along the same lines as that.
I wanted to give them something cryptic that points them on the right path, but nothing too obvious.
I figure that I'll point them to the main entrance. I don't really want to just give away the secret enterance just yet. The ywill have to work for that one.

I will definately use a cryptic and twisted message regarding Tal's death. Something to hint that bad may come from it, but not really pointing out what will happen.

As always, thanks for the help!

DM Dan76
A resident
(7/23/02 6:03 am)
Reply
Re: What to do now........
Hello all,

I have a problem on my hands. My PC's are becoming an army. You can read all about it at my campaign thread.

A breif summary is that Xaod summoned a mount, which turned out to be a Rhino (he waited untill 7th level for that reason). Well that tank is tearing apart the opposition. It has a high bonus to hit, inflicts insane damage, has an AC of 20, and has near 100 hp! Maybe I'm playing it wrong, but Xaod can charge opponents with both him and the Rhino getting attacks. The Rhino dishes out on average 15 points of damage and Xaod with a lance inflicts around 15 points average. Thats 30 points of damage, and it's usually more than that.

Then there is the Dwarf Druid. He has 2 dire weasels, and a brown bear. The weasels are not that bad, although their blood drain attack is prety nasty. It's that F*%^ing bear. He is ripping everything appart. His claw attacks are +14 to hit and inflict heavy damage. His bite inflicts 2d8+12 damage!
He was dishing out around 40 points of damage per round. He took out the swordmaster in the earth temple in 2 rounds. I even made the swordmaster a 4th level fighter to make him more of a challange, but he was only able to attack once!

Am I playing these animal companions wrong? Am I letting my PC's get away with too much? What can I do to tame these wild beasts?

madfox
A resident
(7/23/02 6:21 am)
Reply
Re: What to do now........
Dealing with animal companions is never easy. Though IME experience DMs allow the druid too much control over their animals. Remember, those are normal animals and they will behave as such. If you allow animal companions to start out as a fully trained animal, you are giving too much leeway to your players. For example, attacking supernatural creatures is a trick all on itself above the normal attack trick. I would definitely consider troglodytes supernatural. The main sense of a bear is smell. I doubt a bear would be very willing to attack a troglodyte. Are these animals trained to withstand magical assault? Do you allow them to do anything more complicated then attack in a straight line? Finally, animal companions are dangerous and if you as a DM realize this so will the monsters.

One thing, I note that the druid has got a total of 12 HD of animal companions. I advice you to reread the animal companion spell and the druid description. Only a settled druid can have as much animal companion HDs as 2x his level. An adventuring druid (as this PC clearly is) can only have an animal companion HD equal to his or her level.

Edited by: madfox at: 7/23/02 6:23:48 am
Zenon
A resident
(7/23/02 6:30 am)
Reply
Re: What to do now........
I haven't brushed up recently on your campaign log, but from this post it seems like you have 7th level(or higher) characters going through an area of the CRM that's a challenge for 5th-6th level ones.

This is most likely why they are having an easy time of it.

The Water Temple in area K should slow down the Rhino, unless they have some way to move it across the water.

With the noise it makes moving, give all their opponents time to set up, buff up etc. Be sure to emphasis the noise it makes echoing off the walls...

If they go the other way towards the Air Temple, I believe there is an 8th level evil Druid in there somewhere (I think he is after the Air Temple towards the Fire Temple?). Make notes on what is so effective that the PC druid is using, and then give it back to them with one or two "DM improvements".

Arm the Warriors with some longspears and have them set to receive charges. Word of this attack type will spread. Automatic double damage from a phalanx of spearmen should curb the urge to charge everything. I also assume he had to spend a feat to get an improved mount? How did he manage that at 7th without a bonus feat? He had one at 6th, and should get another at 9th. Letting players save feats by not taking them right away is a way to get yourself into some bad situations (if that's what you did).

DM Dan76
A resident
(7/24/02 4:58 am)
Reply
Re: What to do now........
Well for starters the characters are around 6th and 7th level. There are also 7 of them. That in itself is making it easier for them than it should be.

I was unaware that only a settled druid can have 2x the hit dice for animal companions. I must have misread that and assumed that they always got 2x their hit dice. I'll have to correct that ASAP. I'm sure he will stick with the bear though, scine it can dish out the most damage. I know that there was a list of "tricks" that you could teach your animal companions, and that they could only know a limited amount of tricks, but I can't seem to find that list, nor what the llimit of known tricks is. If I could get my hands on that and make the druid choose what his bear can do, then it will set some limits to him.

About the Paladins mount. I may have misread that one as well. I didn't seem to see any mention of needing a feat to gain a greater mount, only that you couldn't get these mounts untill you were of a higher level. I'll have to read through DotF again and see if I missed anything.

I know that it will get tougher for these guys as they progress through the mines and run into situation that they are not tailored for, but I was shocked at what they are capable of when organized and rolling good.

Thanks for the input.

madfox
A resident
(7/24/02 5:05 am)
Reply
Re: What to do now........
Information on tricks for animal companions is somewhere in the DMG. If I remember correctly in the part that also discusses followers due to the leadership feat.

You are correct, that for the increased mounts the paladin does not need a feat. Never accept things in the splat-books at face-value though. Then again, a rhino is really not much more powerful then a well trained magical heavy warhorse. Since the rhino only has got 1 attack while a warhorse has got 3. Also remember that the eyesight of rhinos is not very good and they are easily startled by sudden movements. Though this is not mentioned in the MM and using RL examples in this way might anger your players who were not aware of it before hand. What riding skill does the paladin have? Rhino riding or horse riding? If the later, do not forget to impose a riding check penalty of -2.

Zenon
A resident
(7/24/02 6:47 am)
Reply
Re: What to do now........
From the SRD:

Quote:
Animal Friendship

Enchantment (Charm) [Mind-Affecting]
Level: Drd 1, Rgr 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One animal
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

The character wins the loyalty of an animal, provided that the character's heart is true. The spell functions only if the character actually wishes to be the animal's friend. If the character is not willing to treat the animal as a friend (for example, the character intends to eat it, or to use it to set off traps), the spell fails. An animal's loyalty, once gained, is natural (not magical) and lasting.

The character can teach the befriended animal three specific tricks or tasks for each point of Intelligence it possesses. Typical tasks are coming when called, rolling over on command, fetching, or shaking hands. They cannot be complex (complex tricks, such as accepting a rider, require the Handle Animal skill).

At any one time, the character can have only a certain number of animals befriended to the character. The character can have animal friends whose Hit Dice total no more than twice the character's caster level. The character may dismiss animal friends to enable the character to befriend new ones.


The above should also be in the PHB, but check to see if there is any wording differences. (the bold type is my emphasis)

With a group of 7 6th-7th level characters they're going to have an easier time of it. But also realize with the APL (avaerage party level) that high, and adjusted for almost double the "normal" number in a group, they'll be getting much less experience! Normal APL is figured from a group of 4, for the extra three as a quick rule, I'd bump it to APL+3 equal the new APL. So you group would be APL6+3= 9 when consulting the XP charts.

Are all these players, or are some NPC's?

BTW, I wasn't sure of the feat for improved mounts. I had remembered seeing something in DotF about it (or am I thinking Improved Familiar from T&B?). Hmmm, I'll have to check when I get home too.

DM Dan76
A resident
(7/24/02 4:44 pm)
Reply
Re: What to do now........
All of these are player characters. One player is playing Xaod, who was an NPC back when my group was only 5 player strong. It has grown now to 7.

Since they arrived at the crater ridge mines, I have been handing out xp to them as if they were 9th level. They have received nothing (0 xp) for all the CR 1 creatures they fought. All those humans and gnolls counting for absolutly nothing. Well that's not true, I have thrown them a few extra xp for the hassle of all those extra bad guys, but it works out to maybe 10 xp per player for every CR 1 they kill.

They should now start leveling at a much slower rate than before.

Zenon
A resident
(7/25/02 4:21 am)
Reply
Re: What to do now........
Well, looks like you're doing everything right, so things should balance out over a period of time. They'll go throught the first few temples like a hot knife through butter, but won't be gaining much in the process.

I've notice 3E has forced me to have a much more relaxed attitude towards DMing (in regards to PC power levels). I have to keep repeating my mantra whenever I feel the urge to take the PC's toys away from them -

"It'll all work out in the end, it'll all work out in the end..."

DM Dan76
A resident
(7/25/02 4:48 am)
Reply
Re: My DM Mantra
Yes I have a similar mantra I repeat to myself at times where the PC's are slaughtering me.
It goes like this..."The PC's are the HEROS........They are supposed to win......I am the EVIL CULT........I am supposed to loose.."

Also another question just occoured to me that I will have to have an answer for. It states that 4 medium characters can fit into the ore cart comfortably. I have 7 PC's in my group, 6 of which may want to ride in the cart. One of those is small, and two others are elves. I know they will argue that they could squeeze into the cart (elves being thin and all). Can they all squeeze in? If so, what sort of penaltys should I inpose on them?

Also can the same character working the pump lever to make the cart move also work the brake? Or would 2 differnet characters need to do this, each opperating a difernt lever?

Thirdly what would an identify spell tell the PC's about the sword of earth? Would it just tell them it's a +2 greatsword? I never got to use the special power of it, so the PC's would have no idea that it would do anything else. How would they be able to find that out?

Thanks in advance...

Edited by: DM Dan76 at: 7/25/02 5:05:48 am
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