Author Topic: KSB Snow Owl's Supplementary Campaign Journal Thread  (Read 543 times)

ksbsnowowl

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KSB Snow Owl's Supplementary Campaign Journal Thread
« on: June 15, 2017, 06:19:03 PM »
This supplementary thread is just a place for me to post all the scavenged supplementary threads that my Sunless Citadel Adventure Path - Campaign Journal thread had previously linked out to on the MinMax Boards.  It includes info from threads covering my planned alterations to the adventure path, plans for a short home-brew adventure to insert in the series, as well as side-quest journal entries that were used to teach new players the third edition rules when they first joined the group.

For those who used to follow my campaign journal when I was making regular updates, thanks for reading.  I have been making audio recordings of all the sessions since a stressful job nearly overworked me into a mental break-down.  My plan is to slowly go back and write journal entries for all those sessions, but I likely won't start in earnest until after the campaign has finished, at the conclusion of Bastion of Broken Souls.  My PC's have just wrapped up the leavings of Lord of the Iron Fortress as best they are likely able to do, and I expect they will make a level-long assault upon the Hall of the Fire Giant King to finish the threat that poses (it got intertwined with Lord of the Iron Fortress), and to level the majority of them up to 18th level before we start the final module of the series.  I look forward to one day completing the campaign journal; it will just take longer than I had originally thought when I started it.

ksbsnowowl

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Re: KSB Snow Owl's Supplementary Campaign Journal Thread
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 06:22:59 PM »
Originally posted June 30th, 2014:

Last week I started a new gaming group into The Sunless Citadel.  The group has one experienced player (also playing in my 20th level gestalt game), a fairly novice player (plays in my 20th level group, but has only had about 4 months of serious gaming under his belt), and a new-to-me player who has never played 3rd edition (played 2nd ed back in high school; 4th ed was out when he got back into D&D, so he had been playing that).  With a little luck, I'll be gaining a fourth player (a total D&D newb) this week.
They are 28 point buy, non-gestalt, and I'm generally not letting them use things from FR or Eberron.  Right now I have an Elven Rogue (will multiclass with Warlock), a Human Druid, and a Dwarven Barbarian.

Part of why I've started this game was to give the novice player a better foundational understanding of the game, by exposing him to a much simpler campaign, where he's not overwhelmed with 20 gestalt levels, and all that entails, and can actually learn the game from first level.  It was also to help me prevent DM-burn-out from the high level game that has started to get nuts.

I've never played nor run the eight "3.0 adventure path" modules that were published in 2000-2002, though I have picked several of them up at used book stores over the years, and have been holding a specific third party adventure in reserve to insert into the adventure path.  I've heard fantastic things about Sunless Citadel, which is why I've started there.  Very quickly, here is my planned campaign:

Levels:
1-3: The Sunless Citadel
3-5: The Forge of Fury
5-7: Adventure of my own design, featuring Poison Dusk Lizardfolk (will discuss below)
7-9: The Standing Stone
9-10: Beyond the Veil by Penumbra Press (written by Monte Cook)
10-13: Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (though it is designed for levels 9-12)
14: Unsure; I'll figure out something
15-17: Lord of the Iron Fortress
18-20: Bastion of Broken Souls

I've never been enamored by Speaker in Dreams, so I need to come up with something to fit in the 5-7 level range; I'll describe my plans for that shortly.  Although I have The Heart of Nightfang Spire (10th level), I've read that it is a real meat grinder, and overall quite boring to play through, so I plan to avoid it, and I've never owned Deep Horizons.  Also, as I'm looking at things now, I may well invert Demonweb Pits and Beyond the Veil; that would put EttDwP back at the levels it was intended for, and the main villain of Beyond the Veil is a 3.0 CR 12 Ghost Adult Black Dragon; 3.5 bumped all dragon CR's up by 1, so he's a CR 13, really, and I've always harbored the crazy idea of making him a half-red dragon black dragon, to help tie him in with Ashardalon (who would be his daddy), basically adding the fire subtype and giving him two types of breath weapon, which would add to his CR even more.

Stealth edit: I just opened up The Standing Stone and found some campaign-planning notes I'd written down over 10 years ago.  Apparently I had two alternate ideas, one with the half-red half-black son of Ashardalon described above, and one where I was planning to have changed the Black Dragon Ghost from Beyond the Veil into a female (and Ashardalon's mate).  In either case, the dragon from Beyond the Veil was killed by the druidic order featured in the backstory of The Standing Stone and Bastion of Broken Souls.  I'll have to play with this idea some more to see what I want to do.

Greater Edit: So I had a thought today about the Gulthias Tree... What if the vampire staked by the still-live branch got free?  He'd still be there, at the heart of the tree, after all.  Well, it appears that WotC had the same thought.  Indeed, the BBEG of The Heart of Nightfang Spire IS Gulthias, who was somehow released after the PC's cut down the Gulthias tree in The Sunless Citadel.  THoNfS also deals with the backstory of Ashardalon pretty heavily, which makes me want to make use of this adventure somehow...
   Since I've already decided I want to use Expedition to the Demonweb Pits for the 9-12 range, and had decided to move Beyond the Veil to after EttDwP... Add in that I needed something to fill in 14th level, and from what I've read, THoNfS is a meatgrinder that devours PC's of 10th-12th level...  I'm thinking of running Beyond the Veil and The Heart of Nightfang Spire together in the 13-14 level range.
   Beyond the Veil already deals with crossing over into the Ethereal Plane to fight the ghost dragon physically in his ethereal solid castle.  I'm thinking of taking the Nightfang Spire and putting it in the same location on the Plane of Shadow.  So there are two things tied to Ashardalon at the same place, but on two planes coexistent with the Material Plane (and on the Material Plane there is nothing of note there.)
   One of the hooks for The Heart of Nightfang Spire is even rumors of a black dragon (the PC's find him dead at the start of the adventure, but he was there).  I'll need to read through Beyond the Veil again to double check what became of the black dragon ghost's body...
   In all likelihood, I'll scale way back on the inhabitants of Nightfang Spire, and possibly tie the Black Dragon Ghost's final destruction to the heart in Nightfang Spire (which has undead boons already).  It'll take a lot of planning and some reworking of things, but I like the idea of it.

Mini-Edit:  I've been reading through Beyond the Veil again, and the tie-ins are just uncanny.  One of the foes in Storamere's palace on the ethereal plane is a "dragon blood-spawn" (quarter dragon template found in the adventure) vampire cleric who used to worship dragons... Gee, Gulthias is a vampire leader of a cult that worshiped dragons, but only became a vampire after his dragon "god" left the Material Plane.  The vampire in Beyond the Veil committed suicide (and thus unintentionally becoming a vampire, because he did it in an unholy shrine) after Storamere's daddy left... All I'm doing is changing that daddy to Ashardalon.


Gulthias was freed from the Gulthias tree by Sharwyn, and he teleported to the basement of the tower beside the Beyond the Veil half-bridge.  He encountered the adventurers there, who had just finished digging up the chest with the statue that awoke Storamere.  Gulthias dominated two of the adventurers, but two got away, into the sunlight, with the chest.  Gulthias fed on the two adventurers, and left them in the basement of the tower, in the pit the adventurers dug.  They spawned as Vampire Spawn (probably ~4th level) a few days later, and eventually were brought to the Plane of Shadow and Nightfang Spire.

There is some sort of "switch" inside the tower, that alters whether the half-bridge goes to the Plane of Shadow or the Ethereal Plane.  Gulthias switched it to the Plane of Shadow, and that is where it is set to currently.  Keep in mind that Davben will see the ethereal palace due to his constant see invisibility effect, so the PC's might well stumble into the Plane of Shadow, though they expect to go to the ethereal plane.

The two escaped adventurers were tracked down and killed by Storamere; the PC's should stumble upon the dead adventurers without much issue if they decide to try and backtrack them at all.  Although this was several months ago, the dragon ghost has only just now started really destroying anything near Iversham (make Iversham several days' travel through the swamp), though the number of killed lizardfolk should perhaps increase.

ksbsnowowl

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Fleshing out an adventure idea using Poison Dusk Lizardfolk
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 06:28:10 PM »
Originally posted June 30th, 2014:

So anyway, the main point of this post is to run my 5th level adventure idea past you guys and gals, and get input on it.  The idea just came to me yesterday, so it's a bit rough, yet.  The three things that started the wheels churning in my head were:
  • The Invisible Fist Monk ACF from Exemplars of Evil
  • Poison Dusk Lizardfolk from MMIII
  • The Sepulchral Thief template from Cityscape

Here are my quickly-jotted notes of the adventure idea:

Quote
Poison Dusk Lizardfolk - Sunless Citadel campaign idea
For the adventure to fill 5th-6th levels, use a Sepulchral Thief Poison Dusk Lizardfolk (Rog 3/Monk 2 w/ Invisible Fist - CR 7).  Lackeys can be Rog 1/Monk 2, or have NPC classes. 

Adventure Background
An adventuring party was murdered in town (town near temperate marsh) after having returned from an expedition into the swamp.

The party stole something from the Poison Dusk Lizardfolk tribe (admittedly, the Poison Dusk Lizardfolk had been stealing things from the town.) and so the lizardfolk came, murdered the adventurers during the night, and took the item back.  Maybe the adventurers had already contacted an art dealer or something, who will pay the PC's the same amount he was planning to offer the old adventurers.

The Poison Dusk Lizardfok's crime spree has been on-going in the town, but for the most part they had been undetected and/or unidentified. The Sepulchral Thief was created as he failed in stealing from a church? And that is what alerted the town to hire the first group of adventurers.

The party of NPC adventurers tracked down the most recent missing items, falling upon the Poison Dusk Lizardfolk village while their best warriors (the Rogue/Monk invisible fists) were away on a thieving mission.  The adventurers slaughtered many of the lizardfolk villagers, took a bunch of poison damage in the process, but recovered a lot of the items.  Some items were old (stolen from other travelers or a generation ago), and the party kept those, while returning recently stolen items to the townsfolk.

The Sepulchral Thief rose as undead, gathered his thieving gang, and vowed revenge.  He and his thieves murdered the NPC party in the night, and stole back what they could, both from the adventurers and the townsfolk.

Thus enter the PC's.  They are investigating the murders, (poison was involved; was it the lizardfolk or a disgruntled townsperson who didn't have items recovered and returned, or had items stolen once again?) and are asked to truly bring the situation to an end, unlike the previous party, who claimed to have finished things (bringing back heads & missing items), but were unintentional liars who were paid by the town.  The town tells the PC's that their payment will be the recovery of the payment to the previous party (now stolen by the lizardfolk, though the townsfolk only assume the payment was stolen by whomever murdered the former party, as all their gear & wealth is missing.)

So, the PC's enter town just after there was a murder of another adventuring group.  The town is small, and the constable asks them to help look into the matter (unbiased eyes, etc), and initial suspicions are on a red herring townsperson; after all, the murdered party had solved the problem...

The PC's look into the matter, maybe giving the lizardfolk a look on their own, or maybe only once items continue to go missing around town.  The party eventually track down the lizardfolk thieves, or encounter a small group of them during a thieving raid, and dispatch the problem... (enter site-based monster killing with added swamp environmental condition difficulty) ... or so they think.

The leader is a Sepulchral Thief, which is sort of like a Rogue-Lich.  When they die, the most expensive item on their person becomes their phylactery.  The item has to either be destroyed or cleansed with dispel evil or hallow (and succeeding on a CL check) for the master thief's soul to be destroyed, and stop him from coming back.  If the PC's don't figure it out, he can escape and become a constant thorn in their sides, or have a re-climax as he attempts to murder them later, too.


The Poison Dusk Lizardfolk

Part of the fun will be the ridiculous Hide modifier on these guys, so that makes me lean more toward Ninja or Monk w/ Invisible Fist builds (armor negates the poison dusk lizardfolks' racial Hide bonus).
Hide modifiers: +5 racial chameleon ability, +4 size, +1 from racial Dex bonus puts them at a net +10 before skill ranks or 25 point buy stats; The Sepulchral Thief leader will get another +8 racial* and +2 from racial Dex modifier.

*According to PHB p. 171, racial bonuses stack - "... With the exception of dodge bonuses, most circumstance bonuses, and racial bonuses, only the better bonus works..."


As I said above, the Invisible Fist ACF from Exemplars of Evil is one of the things that triggered this adventure idea.  It requires 2 levels of Monk, and replaces Evasion.  It grants the supernatural ability to, once every three rounds, become invisible for one round, as an immediate action.  Note, this is the condition of being invisible, not invisible as the spell, so attacking would not end it.

The basic plan is to make the leader a Rogue 3/Monk 2 with Invisible Fist.  Most of his lackeys would be CR 3 Rogue 1/Monk 2 also with Invisible Fist.  Poison Dusk Lizardfolk are normally neutral, so having a thieving contingent that are LN wouldn't be out of bounds, though thieving isn't a particularly lawful activity in the societal sense, being part of a different society than the humans, it could fall well within the code of ethics of the lizardfolk.  Either way, the potential "non-lawfulness" of thieving got me thinking of other ways to build the characters.

Making the leader a 5th level Swordsage would get a fairly similar result.  He could get 2d6 sneak attack from Assassin's Stance, and he could periodically turn invisible via Cloak of Deception.  Third level lackeys could still get Cloak of Deception, but wouldn't have sneak attack.  The problem is that Cloak of Deception won't refresh on its own.

To that end, I could do some sort of multiclassed Rogue 1/Warblade 2/Fighter 2, picking up Martial Study (Cloak of Deception) to allow the leader to refresh Cloak of Deception every other round.  Not a terrible idea, but perhaps not the best; they also wouldn't get Wisdom to AC.  Similarly, I could do Crusader in place of Warblade.

I could also go with a Ninja based build, getting the invisibility via Ghost Step and ki points.  Rogue 1/Ninja 4 would get 1d6 sneak attack and 2d6 sudden strike, could turn invisible a few times when needed, would get Wisdom to AC like the Invisible Fist and Swordsage builds, and unlike the Swordsage, would still get to add the Poison Dusk Lizardfolk's racial bonus to Hide (only applies when not wearing armor).

I could also head into more convoluted multiclass options, such as Rogue 1/Ninja 2/Warblade 1/Fighter 1, picking up Cloak of Deception via Martial Study, for two ways to gain invisibility.  But, neither of those options is quite as nice as what Invisible Fist is, since that is an immediate action, and lasts for one round (Cloak of Deception is swift, but only to the end of your turn; Ghost Step is a swift action, and lasts one round).

So, I suppose I'm looking for comments or insight into the basic premise of the adventure idea (the party participates in a murder mystery, and ends up cleaning up after the murdered adventurers who didn't finish the job), and I'm also looking for thoughts on which way to go with building my villains for the adventure.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

(click to show/hide)

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Fleshing out an adventure idea using Poison Dusk Lizardfolk
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 06:32:01 PM »
Originally posted August 11, 2014:

I worked up the stat blocks for the Poison Dusk Lizardfolk.  I have stat blocks for Rogue 1, Rogue 1/Monk 2, two different versions of Rogue 3/Monk 2 (using slightly different point-buy allocations), and the BBEG Sepulchral Thief Rogue 3/Monk 2.
My PC's for this campaign are 28 point-buy; I made these guys using 26 point buy.

Now that I think about it, I really should give these guys longspears... they have Combat Reflexes, and they would threaten at range and up close... though that would prevent the use of claws as secondary natural attacks...

Sepulchral Thief Poison Dusk Lizardfolk Rogue 3/Monk 2
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Poison Dusk Lizardfolk Rogue 3/Monk 2
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Poison Dusk Lizardfolk Rogue 1/Monk 2
(click to show/hide)

Poison Dusk Lizardfolk Rogue 1
(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 06:38:17 PM by ksbsnowowl »

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Against the Giants
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2017, 06:34:10 PM »
Originally posted March 04, 2015:

So, half my party met a grisly end in the town of Ossington, at the climax of The Standing Stone.  That leaves one newly-8th level character, and a 7th level character whose player was planning to leave the group at the conclusion of their investigations around Ossington.  Rather than follow the rules of the DMG and have my killed PC's come back as 6th level and 7th, since they both want to make new characters, I'm going to have them come in at 8th level.  As it is, due to previous deaths and negative levels, as well as failing to defeat the true foes of the adventure, the now-highest-level character among them is a level behind where I expected the party to be.

So, if the two dead PC's come in at 8th level with new characters, they still won't be ready for Expedition to the Demonweb Pits, which is intended for a 9th-level party of four.  Add in the fact we're losing our fourth player (though I am trying to recruit a new player), and I really need to cobble together an adventure of some sort to get them to 9th level, or possibly most of the way to 10th.

Then my mind started wandering... Expedition to the Demonweb Pits... GDQ!  There are conversions of the original Against the Giants adventures, and I actually have copies of the original adventure series... However, they suffer from a disconnect of the CR system.  The first installment, The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief is meant for 8th level characters.  But it is a large "dungeon" location filled with Hill Giants, which in 3.5 are CR 7.  It's been probably a year since I looked at it, but I recall calculating what some of the Encounter Levels would be... and I think there were quite a few that were EL 13 or higher.  Hill Giants in first edition only had 60 hit points or something like that; in 3.5 they have 102 hp.

I don't intend to run the PC's through the whole series of Against the Giants, but I think I will do the Hill Giant one... and at the end they will find a Drow emissary meeting with the chief, and they'll find the note on her that leads to the same point in the EttDwP adventure.  But I think I'll need to change the Hill Giants somehow...  Maybe just make them Trolls, then they are CR 5 creatures instead of CR 7's...

I need to work this out...  Anyway, this was just a quick note to myself, more than anything, but certainly comment if you have any ideas.

Edit:  So I looked at Against the Giants and I see why it would still work as written in a straight-up conversion to 3rd edition... Even though the cover says for levels 8 - 12, the first page of the adventure warns the DM that the adventure should be for NINE 9th-level PC's.

Maybe if I make them Ogres instead...

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Against the Giants
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2017, 06:36:06 PM »
Quote from: Keldar

You could always replace that drow emissary idea with a bunch of dead drow and knock a few hit points off most of the giants.

Yeah, just go with Ogers.

Quote from: MrPurple

why not the big brothers, skull crushers ogres MM3 or 4 I think? or a just some half giant with class levels.

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Against the Giants
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2017, 06:36:56 PM »
Originally posted March 05, 2015:

Skullcrusher Ogres might just be the best of both worlds... I'll run the numbers and see what the encounters end up looking like.
I was planning to treat these ogres as more "civilized," thus the large lodge they'd constructed.  Skullcrushers are perfect in that regard.  Just need to double check the CR and EL calculations.

Probably change their half-plate to breastplates.  I like this idea, thank you.

Prior to the suggestion of Skullcrusher Ogres, my plan was to scale everything down thusly:
Hill Giants replaced with Ogres
Stone Giants replaced with Trolls (or maybe Ice Trolls from UE)
The Cloud Giant replaced with a Hill Giant
The Hill Giant children (which have the same stats as Ogres) be replaced with Eneko (Secrets of Sarlona; Medium Giants w/ Powerful Build)
Ogres replaced with Half Ogre Warrior 2's
Orcs would remain orcs
Bugbears replaced with hobgoblins (Warrior 2?)
Dire Wolves replaced with normal wolves

That should make things much more appropriate for an 8th level party.  I'll run the encounter EL numbers for both the above, and with Skullcrusher Ogres.  Hopefully, the skullcrushers aren't too strong, at CR 5.

Edit: I ran the numbers, and the top floor of the steading will be enough to raise the party one level, and maybe about a level and a half, so there won't be a dungeon level.  The great hall is still something like an EL 15 (using skullcrusher ogres) or an EL 14 (using normal ogres), so I'll just stick with the Skullcrushers.  The party just has to be smart, and listen to the uproarious commotion occurring in that room, and not enter it.  The adventure was designed to have the PC's leave, rest, and return, and doing so will slowly dwindle the numbers that can join in the nightly carousing, while others are siphoned off to replace the guards the PC's have previously killed.  They experienced this same sort of thing with the goblins in the Sunless Citadel, so a little smarts will go a long way.

ksbsnowowl

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Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2017, 06:39:47 PM »
Originally posted March 13, 2015:

My group just got a new player last week.  It's his first D&D game since ~1997.  He had a blast, and is excited for this coming Tuesday...

One of my other players just had a family member die, and will be gone at the funeral next week.  It just so happens he was going to be gone the week after that for business...

So I want to hit the "pause" button on their current adventure (a truncated version of The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, using Skullcrusher Ogres in place of Hill Giants... Leading into Expedition to the Demonweb Pits), and spend the next two sessions on a side quest that will let the new player get comfortable with Third Edition, and learn his character better.

This campaign started in The Sunless Citadel, and that really is a great module, forcing the characters to make use of Jump, Climb, cover, etc... and thus teaching the players the mechanics of the game.  It will also be good, because it will fill the new player in on some of the campaign backstory, as he and the other characters (same players that did Sunless Citadel, but new characters) revisit the citadel...

Since the Drow are supposed to have been ramping up incursions to the surface in preparation for Expedition to the Demonweb Pits, and since the Sunless Citadel has two entrances to the Underdark, I figured that when the PC's arrive, they'll find a drow platoon that has set up shop in the citadel, enslaved the remaining kobolds and goblins, and is getting ready to start conducting some surface raids (or has already started... thus the hook).

They will get to see the remnants of their handiwork in the Citadel, but face a new threat.  And when they get to the end... they might find the Gulthias Tree dead (they didn't kill it) and chopped down... with a human-shaped hollow in the stump... they'll realize the vampire is gone and free (eventually they'll adventure through The Heart of Nightfang Spire.)

The party is 8th level, and all human:
Warlock 8 (eldritch chain, eldritch glaive, weapon finesse [for the glaive], flight, shatter)
Paladin 8 (power attack, mounted combat, ride-by attack, battle blessing)
Cleric 4/Ordained Champion 4 (of Heironeous)

As this is just a side-quest that will only get two sessions' time (3.5 hours each session), what exactly should I put them up against?  How many drow, and what levels?  That's what I'm having trouble determining.

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.  I'll likely take a look at the Drow Ninja 4 in the MM4 (first impression, I'm thinking drow with about 4 class levels), and I know Expedition to the Demonweb Pits has some CR 4 and 5 drow statted up in its pages.
Maybe a spiked chain tripper, to teach more about reach and AoO's?

Nothing too complicated.  I've got to stat them up by next Tuesday, and they won't be around for long

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2017, 06:40:31 PM »
Quote from: MrPurple

Some casters targeting different saves each rounds; and applying different conditions (nauseated, sickened, shaken, frightened, entangle) as a reminder to your player of how the mechanics work.

a drow that hit quite easely and against whom you need to fight defensively (big dex, wepon finesse, but low strenght as to not inflict to much damages, maybe some Sneak attack so he instead keep on finding flanking buddies), or one hard to hit and you'll need aid another to even your chances (expertise, dodge, maybe karmic strike to force your players to hit him, and not just forget about him)

a tripper / disarmer, for that a simple fighter 4 would be enough (spiked chain, expertise, improved trip)

a quagoth slave bull rusher (Big, high strenght)

And don't forget the drow matriarch with her meepo pet :p and her white dragon skin boots just a reminder of the past events.

ennemies using withdraw actions to avoid attack of opportunity
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 06:42:18 PM by ksbsnowowl »

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2017, 06:41:17 PM »
Originally posted March 14, 2015:

Those are some great ideas, thanks!  A quaggoth bull-rusher will be a nice option that I'd not even thought of.  I'll put him in the room with the shaft down to the lower level...  :smirk

I started searching through all my modules, and I found some stat blocks for Drow Sorcerer 6's in Mysteries of the Moonsea and Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land, as well as a Scout 4 stat block, and two 6th level clerics.  EttDwP has some Drow Fighter 4 stat blocks.

Just change out some feats and the attack lines, as well as the spell selections (the idea of targeting different saves for different "status" effects is a good idea, too), and then the hardest part just becomes deciding where to station them in the citadel.

The drow will make use of the low walls, much like the goblins did, but will only gain +2 cover from them (I think, I'll have to make sure of what I let the goblins gain; IIRC the printed value of the cover AC was pretty high -> 3.0 improved cover).

The use of Darkness will easily introduce the idea of miss chance.  Heck, just the fact that they are all humans will do that; beyond 20 feet they are going to be suffering shadowy illumination.

The darkness SLA's could even be used to dispel the party's everburning torch (though I think Værï's character has it...)

You've given me several great ideas.  Wonderful things to build off of.

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 06:45:09 PM »
Originally posted March 14, 2015:

Here are just some thoughts on what to put where in the dungeon.  I only want to threaten them with drow sleeping poison at the very start, when they have a chance to pull back if things go really poorly.  I definitely don't want this to be a TPK.



Area 3:  The trap is reset.  There is nothing at the bottom of it… except a single spike laced with drow poison.

Area 4:  There is a Drow Swordsage 5 up in the rafters (they made a “tree stand”) of the
   gutted tower.
   He will fire poisoned hand crossbow bolts down on the party until he hits one of them
   (or is under half hit points), then he uses Shadow Jaunt to teleport to area 25 (just
   north of the tower) or the hallway just south of 25, and goes to inform the other drow
   that there are intruders.

Areas 5 - 12:  Empty

Area 15:  Guard post (2 Drow Fighter 1’s, and a Drow Scout 4)

Area 19: east end - drow guard post (1 Drow Fighter 1, and a Drow Ninja 4)

Area 20: Kobold slave housing.

Area 21:  The former throne room for the Kobold Sorcerer queen, which contains an altar to a red dragon, has been defiled and turned into a shrine to Lolth.  The drow sacrifice a rebellious slave (held in area 34) here before each raiding foray.  There is some type of monstrous spider that lives above the altar (the Lolth-touched monstrous hunting spider from the MM4 seems a good option).

Area 24: Trap is still unsprung.  A low wall has been built just north of the trap, so a single drow guard can sit and watch south, down the length of the halls toward area 13 (in the direction of area 9).  He can retreat behind the door and close it, if need be.  The guard will be… heck, putting the 6th level Sorcerer here, with him knowing Lightning Bolt (and Web… and Magic Missile… though those don’t use different saves and status effects… I’ll have to think through what he’ll use), would be a nice tactical position.  The south door of 24 will be left open so he can watch that way.

Areas 25 - 30:  Empty

Area 31 & 32:  Similar set-up as the original adventure.  There is a kobold-made trap that will drop Alchemist’s fire when the door is opened.  The floor is littered with caltrops.  Two goblins have been chained to their watch positions on the north side of the low wall (area 32) so they cannot leave, and must fight for their lives.  They have been equipped with alchemist’s fire and flasks of acid (which will be a boon for the party Warlock, who has Baleful Utterance).

Area 33:  Similar set-up as the original adventure.  Kobold slaves are chained on the north side of the low wall, also with flasks of acid.

Area 34: Kobold and Goblin slaves that have tried resisting.  They are chained up here, in preparation of sacrificed to Lolth.

Area 36 (near 35): sleeping area for the drow of this level.

Area 37: I should put something here, but I don’t know what.

Area 40: Goblin slave housing.

Area 41:  Quaggoth, Drow Fighter 4 tripper with a spiked chain and combat reflexes. Plus a few drow fighter or rogue 1’s.  The Quaggoth with be a Bull Rusher, and try to knock foes down the shaft (8d6 falling damage, but Ref DC 16 to catch a vine)



Area 42: … ambush by the Swordsage?  Maybe not.

Area 47:  The main living area for the drow on this level.  This is likely where the PC’s will fight the Drow Cleric 6, plus a few minions.
Maybe the Drow priestess has Yusdaryl (the female kobold sorcerer 3) on a chain, as well as Meepo.  A few extra magic missiles in reserve never hurts…

The rest of the areas will have been cleared out, but are not being used by the Drow.

Thoughts?

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2017, 06:51:06 PM »
Originally posted March 17, 2015:

Here are the stat blocks I'll be using tonight:

Drow Swordsage 5
(click to show/hide)

Drow Scout 4
(click to show/hide)

Drow Fighter 1
(click to show/hide)

Drow Sorcerer 6
(click to show/hide)

Drow Sorcerer 4
(click to show/hide)

Drow Rogue 1
(click to show/hide)

Drow Chain Fighter 4
(click to show/hide)

Quaggoth Bull-Rusher
(click to show/hide)

Drow Cleric 6
(click to show/hide)

Kobold Flask-Throwers
(click to show/hide)

Goblin Flask-Throwers
(click to show/hide)

Human Skeleton
(click to show/hide)

Goblin Skeleton
(click to show/hide)

Lolth-Touched Monstrous Hunting Spider
(click to show/hide)

Lolth-Touched Monstrous Web-Spinning Spider
(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 06:53:12 PM by ksbsnowowl »

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2017, 06:52:48 PM »
Originally posted March 18, 2015:

This is basically just a side diversion for my Campaign Journal.

Tonight we had the first of two side adventure nights, as Værï’s player was gone, and will be gone again next week.  With Roderick’s player being new to the edition, I wanted to use the time to have a little more instruction during the game, and to teach Roderick some of the little nuances of the system.  The Sunless Citadel is a great adventure for that purpose, so I decided to level up the inhabitants of the citadel, with a mind to advancing the campaign’s story, and foreshadow what lies ahead.

With the party soon heading into Expedition to the Demonweb Pits, thus the drow increasing their surface raids, and with the Sunless Citadel connected to the underdark, I figured it would make a great base for their surface raids.

For all intents and purposes, we are treating these two sessions as back-story for the three new characters.  Apparently they met up prior to the baron’s hors d'oeuvres hour just before they went up against the skullcrusher ogres.

The quick set up for tonight is that the party was sent to the small village of Oakhurst.  There have been creatures raiding the area, and the mayor has sent word asking for help in determining the cause.  No survivors have seen what has been causing the raiding.  So far it’s mostly just been the few farms south of town.  They talk to a few people in town, using Sense Motive and Detect Evil to make sure nothing hinky is going on.

It’s early in the day, so the party heads down the Old Road, while Davben and Margel regale Roderick with some stories of the last time they were here.  They come to the first farm, about 2 miles outside town.  They asked in town, and this one was raided about a week ago.  They note the freshly dug graves, and try to search the area pretty thoroughly, Margel trying to figure out exactly where the owners died.  That’s too hard to determine, given the time frame, and the fact that other villagers had trampled the area when moving and burying the deceased.  The inside of the house appears ransacked, with nothing of notable value remaining.

We gloss over them similarly checking the next two farms, and then spend a touch more time joking around with the fourth farm, which was Urolph’s.  Margel even pulls out the sheet upon which he scrawled the large “U” as he described doing so to the door.  They continue on, and find a large ravine off to the right side of the road, and note a few pillars up ahead, where the road draws close to the ravine (cue Margel reusing his “pillars of salt” joke).

They inspect the area, Sir Roderick checking for the presence of evil.  Finding only a rope tied to a pillar, Davben makes use of his fly speed to descend into the abyss, finding a ledge about 50 feet down.  He looks around carefully, then sets his weight upon the ledge, finding it sturdy, and no foes present.  The other party members Climb down the knotted rope, and we take the time to help Margel and Roderick figure out their actual Climb modifiers after armor check penalties.  Given the penalties, Margel opts to remove his armor and place it in his Handy Haversack, which takes three or four minutes.  Sir Roderick also dismisses his warhorse.

On the topic of the warhorse, I opted to give Roderick a choice.  He could have the standard Poké-Mount as described in the PHB, which is somewhat silly, and needlessly limits how long the paladin can have the mount present each day, or he could have it 24/7, but still be able to dismiss it when needed, and is able to call it to him a number of times per day equal to his number of Smite Evil attempts per day, which is currently two.  It’s still somewhat Poké-Mount-ish, but whatever.



At the bottom of the rope Margel dons his half-plate once again, and the party heads down the stairs, getting treated to the boxed text describing the dark citadel that is revealed below.  They arrive into the courtyard (area 3).  Davben is flying, and Margel hangs back… knowing there is a trap, but not wanting to metagame and step around it.  Sir Roderick moves right to the door with the intention of using detect evil through it (I had just described how detect spells can sense through less than an inch of common metal, one foot of stone, etc), and triggered the trap, falling down the ten-foot pit, taking 1 point of damage, but not getting impaled by the poisoned spike at the bottom of the pit.

After Davben helps pull Sir Roderick from the pit (more learning about Climb checks), the paladin detects evil through the door, noting four auras (the fifth one is too high, and out of the cone of detection).  Davben cracks a Sunrod alight before they head in.  The players assume that the auras will be from undead, and we start looking up the rules for Turn Undead.  They were right, as Roderick opens the doors, they note four goblin skeletons meandering inside the tower.

Davben had hovered just behind Roderick’s shoulder (hovering over the trap) and readied an action to attack with eldritch chain when the door was opened.  He nailed two of the skeletons, but only rolled 6 damage, which was enough to bring the first target to exactly 0, destroying it, and knocking the second skeleton to half hit points.

At this point we roll initiatives, and Sir Roderick goes first.  He turns undead, and I finish explaining how turn undead works, and how it is a clunky mechanic because you always have to look up that damn chart on page 159 of the PHB.  Regardless, he blows the undead away, easily destroying all the 1-HD skeletons.

The party moves into area 4 and starts looking around.  I ask for Spot checks, and no one notices the Swordsage up in the rafters 20 feet above them.  Haha!  Eat this poison-laced hand crossbow bolt, plus Assassin’s Stance for +2d6 sneak attack damage!…. Natural 1  :shakefist

Initiatives are rolled, and Davben goes first, hitting the Drow and overcoming his SR to deal 6 points of damage, and starting to fly up toward the as-yet-unidentified attacker.  Sir Roderick moves under where the drow is balancing high above, and readies an action to attack him if he falls down into his threatened area (note that Sir Roderick doesn’t have any ranged attack; he might want to change that eventually).  Margel takes a five-foot step into the room and fires his crossbow up at the drow, missing due to the cover the rafter grants the dark elf.  He then uses his move action to start reloading his Heavy Crossbow.  The drow takes another shot down at Davben, missing again, then moves ten feet north, placing himself right against the north wall of the tower (I have decided there is a small window there, that looks down through a hole in the roof above area 25, which would allow him to use Shadow Jaunt to teleport away as a standard action).

Davben goes again, flying up to the level of the drow, and blasting him for 17 damage.  Well, at this point the drow is well below half hit points, so he’s going to be teleporting away ASAP.  Sir Roderick continues to ready an attack, and Margel finished reloading, then fired his crossbow up at the drow (I’m just now realizing that splitting a full-round action doesn’t work like that, and he shouldn’t have gotten this attack.  Oh well, I’ll note it in the recap e-mail, and make sure he knows for the future).  He hits with his attack against the drow (who has only 7 hit points remaining).  He’ll probably survive to escape… except Margel rolls 10 damage.  Well, –3 means the drow falls unconscious… and falls 20 feet, dying from the falling damage.

Well damn.  That swordsage sure was ineffective.  As he was actually killed unjustly, and the PC’s saw nothing to identify what kind of character class he had, he might just make a reappearance next week…

The party loots his body, getting a few potions and a mithral chain shirt, as well as some masterwork weapons.  The party opts to go with the northern inner door, to the hallway leading toward area 15.  Sir Roderick uses Detect Evil at the door, not noting anything.  They find the doors to areas 13 and 14 open, and the door to 15 closed.  Roderick detects evil on the other side, so the party devises a plan.  Davben makes use of his Hat of Disguise to assume the guise of the drow they killed in area 4, and he dons the drow’s own cloak to aid in the illusion.  Margel and Sir Roderick take positions in the doors of rooms 13 and 14.  Davben will enter area 15 in the guise of the drow, and draw the creatures in there into the hallway, where the other two will pounce upon them as they pass.

They take their positions and Davben steps through the door, closing it behind him.  The four drow hanging out in area 15 note his arrival, and address him in Undercommon (which I vocalize as gibberish).  Davben gets a look of “oh no” on his face, as he realizes he can’t talk to them in their own language.  He motions to them that there is a problem in the hallway, then feigns collapsing in a heap, making a Bluff check.  I give each of the drow a Sense Motive check, and the leader of this post, the Scout 4, notices that something isn’t right.  He makes a Spot check vs Davben’s Disguise check (taking the +10 from the hat into account), and just beats the warlock, recognizing the disguise as a disguise.  He barks some unintelligible orders to the other drow in the room, and moves forward, and stabs the now-prone Davben with his poisoned rapier, also adding his skirmish damage.

The barked orders are enough of a sign of trouble that I have the drow mooks as well as Margel and Roderick roll initiative, and the two PC’s go before the other drow.  Margel moves forward and opens the door to area 15, while Roderick moves through the door and attacks the drow scout, inflicting 17 damage.

Davben used his fly speed to fly 5-feet south and stand up (technically standing up should still take a move action, but I let it go tonight), then he used Eldritch Glaive, attacking the drow scout and one of the mooks, knocking both into the negatives.  Roderick or Margel knocked another drow to –9, while the other missed, and then the final remaining drow yelled a warning in Undercommon (a warning meant for the drow in area 19), and used his Darkness SLA then moved toward the gap in the wall that led toward the west.  An attack by Roderick overcame the miss chance, and killed the final drow.

The party waited a bit to see if the darkness would subside (it will take 10 minutes), then decided to explore the part of the room that wasn’t in darkness (the north end).  The door to 16 revealed an empty room, while the door to the east revealed a hallway that turned south, and eventually led to area 25.  After checking for evil auras and magic auras (the warlock can do that as will, too), they proceed into area 25, finding nothing of note.  Then they head into area 26, finding the magical fountain there (the same one they tried and tried and tried to figure out, and never did.)  None of them speak Draconic, but Davben does have a scroll of Comprehend Languages. He casts it, and I give him the translation of the word engraved on the fountain (“Let there be fire”).  They repeat many of the attempts previous tried.  Roderick lights a torch and holds it before the fountain.  He places the torch in the fountain’s dry basin.  Nothing ever happens, and they soon give up (and relate how they never could figure it out before).

The door to area 27 is open, and they peek inside, noting an old altar, bare of anything valuable, and several sarcophagi standing open, as well as the broken remnants of many bones lying about.  They leave and continue north, diverting west into room 25 (just south of 31).  The door to room 31 is closed, and the party almost turns back to investigate down hallway 28, but then Davben opens the door to area 31.  This triggers the two flasks of alchemist’s fire that had been rigged to drop when the door was opened.  They both missed the warlock, but he still took 2 points of splash damage, and it alerted the goblins north of the crenelated wall on the north end of the hallway.  And the hall is filled with caltrops again.

Davben still looks like a drow (he changed it to the scout from area 15 after they killed those drow), and he motions for the two goblins to come with him.  The goblins give each other a quizzical look, and a Sense Motive check tells Davben that they thinks he’s either crazy or stupid.  He hears a rattle of metal, and the clinking of glass.  After a few tense moments of the goblins not following him, he finally decides to just snipe at them with eldritch blast.  The two goblins had readied to throw flasks of alchemist’s fire if the delusional “drow” did anything untoward (ie - attacked them), and though the first attack missed, the second was a direct hit, burning Davben, and splashing both the other PC’s, who are standing adjacent to the warlock, but out of the line of sight.  Davben’s attack then concludes, and his eldritch chain knocks the first goblin unconscious, but leaves the second one with a single hit point.

Initiatives are rolled, and the goblin goes first. Davben then takes the second instance of fire damage, as he didn’t have time to put out the flames as a full-round action (sometimes initiative can screw you that way).  The goblin then throws another flask, and gets another hit, plus splash damage to Roderick and Margel; the small humanoid then ducks down behind the wall that provides him with cover.  Davben drops to the floor and tries to put out the fire… stop, drop, and roll did him no good, as a 14 misses the DC by 1 point (even with the +2…)

Roderick starts to slowly make his way forward, getting a bit more than half-way into the room with a double move, thanks to the caltrops.  Margel debates healing Davben, and ends up casting some kind of spell (I forget what), and moving into the hallway just a bit.

Completely surprised that he is still alive, the goblin raises his head and flings another flask of alchemist’s fire, nailing Sir Roderick while Davben burns for his final round; finally the flames go out.  Davben flies into the hall, but misses with his eldritch blast, striking the wall instead.  Margel moves forward a bit, actually standing directly below Davben, and also misses with his heavy crossbow.  Sir Roderick tries to put out the flames, but fails.  Sir Roderick burns for another 5 fire damage, and the goblin flings a flask of acid, missing and splashing a bit on Davben (off the wall).  Then Davben kills the creature with an easy eldritch blast.

Believe it or not, this silly encounter, which two of the players had basically been through before (only difference was the touch-attack flasks), was the hardest of the night.  Davben suffered 20 points of fire damage in those few rounds.  Two CR 1/3 creatures ended up being the toughest thing they faced the whole night.

They check out the goblins’ bodies, and see why the goblins looked confused and refused to follow Davben’s pantomimed command to come to area 25…  The goblins were chained to their guard post.  Each had about 5-feet of chain, enough that they could rest upon some disgusting bed rolls made of poorly-tanned hides, and stand watch at the wall.  The PC’s surmise that the drow must have enslaved the goblins… interesting.  They looted the remaining flasks of acid and alchemist’s fire.

They heal up a bit, and continue around to area 33.  Davben pushes ahead, knowing out of character what is coming… his former character, Belack, had been hit by five of six readied javelin attacks when he rounded this corner the first time all those levels ago.  This time he only faced three readied acid flask attacks, and I think he only took splash damage.  After the readied attack, he nails the middle of three kobolds who are on the north side of the crenelated wall in area 33.  It dies outright, but he misses the second kobold in the chain.

Roderick comes around the corner and throws a flask, succeeding in dealing 1 point of splash damage to the western kobold.  Margel’s attempted heavy crossbow attack is thwarted by the improved cover the kobold’s enjoy, so the party faces a second round of flask attacks.  Roderick is struck by one, but it's only acid, so he won’t burn next round, too.  Davben ends things by rolling 10 damage on the first attack in his eldritch chain, then scoring a natural 20 on the second in the chain, and confirming it.  I’m not sure if you can actually crit on the second in a chain, though I’m not sure why you couldn’t (you can crit with the secondary attacks in a volley; you just can’t sneak attack with them), but he just treated it as full 10 damage to both (as the secondary target’s damage is usually half of the primary’s).  I’m not sure how you would actually roll the extra damage for that…

The party finds that these kobolds have also been chained to their positisions… they look in area 34, and find several goblins and kobolds locked up in cages and chained to the walls.  All detect as evil… Sir Roderick is presented with a moral conundrum.  Here are all these evil creatures, locked up, unarmed, and helpless… is it right to kill them, or not?  For now they decide to just close the door and deal with them later.  Davben is all for just letting them go; Roderick is definitely not okay with that.

They check the door to area 38, which is a pantry.  The foodstuffs here are of slightly better fare than last time the party was here, though there is still a barrel of elf pudding, untouched by the drow.  Sir Roderick goes up to the west door and detects evil through it, noting there are four evil auras within 60 feet (which is conveniently the length of area 39).

Davben continues the attempted ruse to draw foes into an ambush, stepping through the door and closing it behind him, and waving for the others to come, and screaming.  They all start to move his way (they were over in the western half of the room), and when they get beyond the mid-point, and Davben opens the door to area 38 again, two of the drow have good enough Spot rolls that they see the two humans in the pantry (there’s also the fact that Davben is the one hauling around the Sunrod, but hey, whatever).

Initiatives are rolled: Margel, Davben, the drow fighters, then Sir Roderick.  Margel fires his crossbow at one of the front drow, dealing 3 damage.  Davben turns and flies up and forward (though still low enough to be attacked from the ground), then fries one of the rear drow for 13 damage, and chains to a second one for 6 damage, knocking both unconscious.  In the heat of the moment I think I forgot to have him roll SR.  Earlier in the night I had tried to get him to start rolling two d20's each time he attacked… one for the attack roll and one for SR, but he never did start.  I'm going to enforce him doing that going forward, as EttDwP will have a lot of drow.  He won't have to do it if the foes don't have SR, but when they come up against drow or fiends, I'll just require he roll them together.  It will end up saving time, anyway.

The two remaining drow fighters advance east toward the party, taking positions in front of Davben's location, forward to the right, and forward to the left, one of them hitting the warlock for a critical hit, and dealing poison, which Davben saves against, easily.  Sir Roderick strides forward, taking position underneath Davben, and slaying the one that was injured by Margel's crossbow bolt.

Margel drops his crossbow, equips his shield, and draws his longsword as he moves forward, standing beside Roderick, and just in front of the single remaining drow.  At this point someone in the party (Davben, I think) says in Common for the drow to throw down her weapons.  They intend to capture her and question her, if she can speak Common.  The drow throws down her sword and withdraws to the west end of the hall, along the center of the hall, and ending one square west of the doorway to room 36.

The party spends a round preparing to capture her.  Margel kicks away her dropped sword, and the others talk and do other things that aren't very memorable.  I also ask for Spot checks from everyone in the party… no one notices the drow Sorcerer (6th level) who is now hiding in the doorway to room 36; he had snuck there from his post in room 24 after hearing the combat.  When the drows' turn comes once again, the fighter draws her crossbow and fires a poisoned bolt at Margel, hitting, but the Ordained Champion saved; it didn't work on any of them the whole night.  I also cheated on the action economy a bit, as the drow could only draw and fire if the crossbow was already loaded… eh, whatever.  He could just as easily have been using a longbow; the crossbow was an artifact of me using pre-published stats from another book.

As the drow fires her crossbow, the sorcerer unfurls his scroll of fireball, and Davben sees as he reads it, and fires a glowing bead toward the party.  It erupts for 20 points of damage.  Margel failed his save, taking all of it, while Sir Roderick made his save, taking only half.  Davben activates an interesting immediate-action item he has, which once per day dampens a spell effect down to its minimum value (third eye: dampening?).  So he only takes 5 points of fire damage.

Well, Sir Roderick doesn't put up with a backstabbing sneaky attack like that, and double moves toward the door, having just enough movement to slip through the doorway and into room 36, thus threatening the sorcerer, who is positioned just to the west of the door.

Margel has a straight-line shot to the drow fighter who just shot him with a poisoned bolt, and charges, dealing 5 damage, which disabled the drow fighter (they only have 5 hit points each).
Davben moves forward and directs his attention to the more dire threat, using his eldritch blast against the sorcerer, hitting despite cover, and dealing 12 points of damage.

The drow sorcerer, threatened by Roderick and standing there with a mere 4 hit points remaining, tries to make the best of the situation.  I debated what to have him do for a moment… It would likely have been better to 5-foot step to the southwest and cast Web, centered somewhere beyond the doorway, so that it caught Roderick but not himself… but the angles weren't in his favor, and I didn't want to get too exacting in how I placed the webbing.  So instead the sorcerer stepped to the southwest, and cast Glitterdust, centering it on the eastern side of the doorway, catching Roderick and Davben in its radius.  Davben saved, but Roderick failed.  Excellent… this sorcerer has a chance.

The drow fighter 5-foot steps back from Margel, draws a potion, and downs it, vanishing from sight.  I take the time to explain about being able to attack into a square where an invisible foe is (or you think an invisible foe is) and attack with a 50% miss chance.  I point out that the invisible foe and the blindness are similar in that regard.  Roderick has a slight advantage during this first turn, as he saw where the sorcerer last was, so he knows where to attack, at least this turn.  I also point out the situation is similar with the drow that Margel is facing, and how tactically it is usually better to make yourself invisible, then move, so foes don't know where you are, but in these situations that would have incurred AoO's, so they made the best of it.

Sir Roderick takes his turn, steps forward, and slays the drow sorcerer with a single blow.  Margel steps forward, and at Davben's blurted request, he attempts to knock her out, missing.  Davben moves forward to her last known position and takes a swing with his fist, also missing… but wait!  Davben belatedly recalls he has See the Unseen, and thus can find invisible foes without difficulty, though he still wouldn't have hit.  We move forward with the actions; Davben's enhanced vision will come into play as we move forward.  Another round of misses, and the drow starts to move away, drawing a dagger in the process.  Davben's turn comes again, and he swings with his fist despite the dagger.  His gamble pays off; the drow didn't take the AoO, because it would have dropped her to unconsciousness and the dying state.  Davben's swing connects, and his single point of damage is enough to drop her unconscious, but not dying, at 0 hit points and 1 point of nonlethal damage.

That's where we ended it for the night.  I congratulate them on their fortuitous direction of movement through the complex.  If they had instead left room 15 heading west, toward area 19, that sorcerer would have been a much harder opponent.  A low wall had been constructed on the north end of area 24, giving him standard cover.  The door from 24 to 19 was left open, and he was watching southward.  When the PC's entered his alarm area (the T-intersection between areas 18, 16, and 13) he would have been on alert, and webbed them in that hallway, then launched glitterdust to blind them, and lightning bolts to fry them while they were stuck in the web.  Very fortuitous for the party.

They made it about half-way through what I have planned out, so it was a good evening.  The extra instruction went pretty well, but I need to be better next week at slowing down instead of running with the normal urge to speed play along.  Everyone found the night helpful, as all three of them are running new characters.

Roderick is getting a better feel of the rules, but still felt there were times things were just passing by with him not understanding (I think usually on other people's turns, maybe).  I said that next week I'll work to slow myself down, and asked him to please make use of next week, and if there is anything he doesn't understand, stop me and have it explained.  I'll really have to be conscious of slowing myself down next week.  I'll look through the foes they have yet to fight, and make a list of the specific things I want to teach with their tactics; that should help focus me and slow me down when those tactics come up.

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2017, 06:59:02 PM »
Originally posted March 25, 2015:

The second night of our teaching side-quest was tonight.  Margel's player fell ill and was unable to attend; since it was all about teaching anyway, we pressed ahead.  Even though I had planned the encounters for three 8th level PC's, Davben and Sir Roderick pushed through valiantly.  Margel had a pressing need to head top-side, immediately. ;)

We picked up right where we left off, and the two present members decided to place the unconscious drow female into one of the small cages in area 34.  They would deal with killing or not killing the evil occupants of that location later.  From area 33, they decided to head north, through the door to hallway 35.  They both stood at the door and detected for evil and magic.  No magic was detected, but there was evil.  Davben searches the door for traps, getting a 19.  I let him know that it seems fine, and he cannot find any traps with a DC higher than 20.  "But with my modifier I could get a 22!"  I then explain about the Trapfinding class feature of Rogues and Scouts, and how you cannot find traps with DC's higher than 20 unless you have that class feature.  Roderick then asks "what is a DC?"  I slow myself way down, and explain how the d20 system always has you rolling a d20, adding relevant modifiers, and comparing it to a target number (be that armor class, spell resistance, or a skill's difficulty class), and explain how skills have listed difficulty classes depending upon what you are trying to do, using Climb as an example (referencing the climb down the knotted rope from last week).  Good, there's learning going on.

They see the hallway, and Roderick goes to detect evil at the door to room 36.  There is evil on the other side, and Davben carefully opens the door.  Inside they find a sleeping area, with one drow sleeping on a bed roll.  Davben immediately goes over to the drow to wake it up, so as to draw it out to the hallway for him and Roderick to ambush... Wait, wait, wait.  Hold on.  Why not just attack it while it sleeps?  "Oh, yeah... but I already did it."  No, I'll let you not have woken the sleeping drow.  I then go on to explain about coup de grace attacks (full-round action, provokes AoO's, auto-crit, and the Fort save to die, even if the blow didn't kill them straight from hit point damage).  They line up to take their shots, Davben waiting to fire his eldritch blast as Roderick's blade strikes home.  Roderick's damage is more than enough to slay the drow outright.

After searching the room and finding meager loot, they head toward the door to room 37.  Davben sets off the trap, but makes the save to avoid falling.  He flies above the pit to check the door; it is locked.  He decides to use baleful utterance to shatter the door to splinters.  He takes a peek inside the room, noting broken tables, shelving, and a jumbled mess of stuffed animal heads (and kobold heads) that weren't taxidermied very well, and the room reeks of rot.  Since Roderick doesn't want to try and jump over that pit, the two of them backtrack through room 38 to hall 39.  Davben then shatters the other door to room 37.  They give it another cursory search, finding nothing of value.

They try the door just west of room 37, and enter the hallway there.  Davben peeks around the corner, using his Hat of Disguise to maintain his illusory drow form.  He sees the hallway bend around toward the north and west, and hears noise.  They sneak forward, and Roderick places himself flat against the west wall, just before that last turn that would head toward room 41.  Davben walks around the corner, looking like one of the drow they recently killed, and gestures for the two to come and immediately goes back around the corner, expecting curiosity to draw them along.  The two drow were talking in drow sign language, but the two of them start to follow after Davben.

Roderick has readied an action to attack the first drow to fully clear the corner.  At this point I have Roderick roll a Hide check.  It's basically to determine if the drow notices Roderick while it still has cover from him.  The drow made the Spot check, but failed to win the resulting initiative check, and took a blade to the throat as Roderick acted first, killing him with one blow.  At this point Davben went; he moved back around the corner to attack the other drow in the hallway, also dealing enough damage with one shot to outright kill the drow.

They are now looking at two doors, one to room 40, and the other to room 41.  They opt to check out room 40 first.  There is evil on the other side, and the door is locked with a padlock, from this side.  Davben prepares to shatter the lock, when Roderick points out that they could check the guards for a key...  Finding said key, Davben opens the door and takes a look inside.  The large room is filled with about 30 goblins, most all of them old or young.  The room is their living quarters, and now also their prison.  None of the goblins approach Davben's drow guise, and he exits the room, relocking the goblins inside.

Detect magic and evil at the door to room 41, and they detect both.  They try to put on the same ruse that has worked so well for them thus far.  Sir Roderick crams himself in the southwest corner of the hallway, just south of the doorway to room 41.  Davben tries the door, and when it opens he goes inside, seeing the room, the hole in the floor, and the purple light radiating up from below.  He also sees a drow sitting upon the throne, as well as two drow standing beside the door to area 40, and a quaggoth near the north wall.  The warlock again motions for the drow to follow, and one of the drow guarding the door to area 40 does follow, while all the other creatures in the room look on (the fact the quaggoth would have seen Roderick move eastward is the only reason he remained where he was just on the other side of the door; they wanted to draw the drow away).

I have Roderick perform the same Hide versus Spot check as the drow is about to pass through the doorway.  The drow didn't see him and stepped through.  I forget why, but the drow wasn't killed then.  Maybe Roderick didn't ready an action... that must be it.  Anyway, the two PC's and the one drow who is aware of the human's presence roll initiative.  I reiterate the concept of surprise rounds, and that it happens when some of those present (the other drow and the quaggoth) aren't aware of any foes.  So the drow guard wins initiative, and uses his action to five-foot step back through the door, gaining cover from Roderick, and drinking a potion of invisibility (I cheated a bit here; as drawing the potion should have been a move action, but whatever).  The drow also yells something about an intruder.

Davben can see the invisible drow, thanks to his see the unseen invocation.  He five-foot steps to get a bit better eye on the drow, then kills her with an eldritch blast.  Roderick moves into the room.

The other drow and the quaggoth all roll initiate, and beat the PC's, so now act at the top of Round 1.  The leader sitting on the throne stands up, his spiked chain already in hand, five-foot steps toward the door, and casts his Darkness SLA on his spiked chain.  He has the At Home in the Deep feat, so the darkness won't hinder him at all.  The quaggoth moves to engage Roderick, raging as he does so, and striking with his single claw for 8 damage.  The other drow guard also has At Home in the Deep, so moves toward Roderick and also activates her Darkness.  Davben flies into room 41, and I describe the circular domed room, and how you can't get over 10 feet up until about 10 feet into the room, so he moves in, and just up five feet.  As his head is now roughly 10-feet off the ground, I ask him for a Spot check; he gets a 16*.  He uses Eldritch Chain to first hit the quaggoth, then the drow chain fighter, and deals a mere 10 damage to the quaggoth, and 5 to the boss.  Both of Roderick's attacks against the quaggoth hit, one of them confirming a critical, and he deals a total of 24 damage, bringing the quaggoth to exactly 0 hit points.  I use the opportunity to explain about the disabled state.

The chain fighter moves east across the room, skirting wide of Roderick's threatened area, and passing just north of the pit down into the depths.  He positions himself 10 feet south of Roderick, and attempts to trip him.  He hits with the touch attack, and I explain about trip attempts, and the opposed Strength checks involved.  Roderick rolls a nat 20.... I get a 12... with a +7 trip modifier, that doesn't succeed.  I explain about Roderick being able to now counter-trip, and he attempts it, but the drow succeeds, and holds on to his weapon.  The quaggoth has been relatively ineffective, largely due to positioning of the battle (and that damn eldritch blast! ;) ) But he does take the opportunity to bull rush Roderick right here, succeeding, and pushing the paladin back into the wall, and drawing an AoO from the chain fighter, which hits.  Silly me, I should have tripped with that AoO...  Roderick asks about the quoggoth now falling unconscious, and I explain that he has the Diehard feat, and how that basically extends the disabled condition all the way down to the point of death.

* The drow mook stabs up at Davben's feet, missing, and Davben five-foot-steps up, so that he can activate Eldritch Glaive to attack her and the chain fighter.  Alas, it was a DC 20 Spot check to notice the sheet-webbing of the Large Lolth-Touched Monstrous Spider that was laid horizontally across the room, 10 feet above the ground.  He moves right into it, and became entangled.  Being entangled gives him a net –4 to his eldritch blast attacks, so he started having a lot of trouble hitting.  He decides to instead use Eldritch Chain, as the secondary attack will not suffer the lessened attack roll of an iterative attack.  He succeeds on the Concentration check and targets the blasts to the chain fighter and the drow mook.  He hits the chain fighter... but misses the spell resistance; that's the first time that's happened.  That doesn't prevent the chain from continuing, however, so his attack against the mook succeeds, and she takes 8 damage, knocking her unconscious.  Roderick attacks the quaggoth... and misses due to concealment.  He attacks again, slaying the raging creature.

Now the fun truly begins, and the monstrous spider moves toward its captured prey.  I give Davben a Spot check, and he only gets an 8... the spider's Hide modifier is +15 in its web...  She attacks him while he is denied Dex, and bites, hitting and inflicting 2 points of Strength damage.  The chain fighter tries to once again trip Roderick... and rolls a nat 1 on the touch attack.  Davben wants to use Eldritch Glaive against the spider, but he can't, because it is a reach weapon and it cannot be used against an adjacent target.  He decides to use Eldritch Chain again, making the concentration check to cast while entangled (and I waived what should have been a second Concentration check to cast defensively), but he does suffer an AoO for the ranged attack, taking another bite, and another point of strength damage.  He did succeed in damaging the chain fighter for 16 points of damage, though.  But the chained attack against the spider missed due to concealment.  Roderick then full attacks the drow chain fighter, five-foot stepping and scoring a critical hit! ... except the belatedly-checked concealment miss chance robbed him of the glory!  His second swing struck home, however, and the chain fighter died.

The spider bit at its intended morsel again, missing.  Davben decided he'd had enough of that, and used his vanishing cloak to become invisible for three rounds.  Roderick was at a loss as to what to do (recall, he has no ranged weapons).  I ask what the party did with the flasks of acid and alchemist's fire they picked up last week...  Roderick did use one last week, so I said he had two flasks of alchemist's fire, and one flask of acid on his person.  He pull out an alchemist's fire and chucks it up at the spider, missing by 2.  It sails past the monster and crashes against the far wall. 

Another attempted bite by the spider fails, due to the 50% miss chance for invisibility.  Davben pulls out a scroll of some type (CLW?) and lucky for him, he can always see invisible, otherwise reading the scroll would have been tough.  He succeeds in the Concentration check, and heals himself a small bit.  Roderick pulls out the other flask of alchemist's fire, and succeeds in lighting that spider up.  On its turn it drops down to the floor (free action), and attempts to roll around to put the fire out.  It fails.

An eldritch glaive from Davben strikes twice, and the spider dies before it even takes the second instance of fire damage.  Davben forgets about the poison, and ends up taking another point of Strength damage when the minute comes up.  Not bad, having only taken 4 points of Strength damage off of two bites and four saves.

[I lost a round somewhere in the description.  After all the land-bound foes were dead, Roderick spent one turn trying to intimidate the spider and goad it into fighting him instead of Davben.  It didn't work on a mindless vermin.  Like I've said before, these write-ups are never 100% accurate.]

I allow Davben to use Baleful Utterance to shatter the webbing, and he frees himself.  They don't want to leave the "nice-looking" (ie - masterwork) spiked chain behind, despite its radiating darkness being a hindrance to them, so they stick it and the other drow's gear into a handy haversack.  Then they discuss going down the hole.

But that'll have to be added later.

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2017, 07:00:02 PM »
Quote from: phaedrusxy

I'm loving the Detect Evil radar through the walls. I didn't know it worked like that! For some reason, I'd always assumed it required LoE.

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2017, 07:00:46 PM »
Originally posted March 25, 2015:

Yeah, that sort of caught me by surprise the first time, too.  I knew it could work through materials (and I did explain to him that it could do so), but it had honestly never crossed my mind to check at every door.  Bravo to him.  It makes a paladin a lot more palatable in a party, I suppose (though it hasn't been a "problem" yet; he just won't let you mass slaughter a lodge full of ogres by setting it alight, because there might be innocents).

The Detect Evil is handy.  But, it takes multiple rounds to get all the info, and without line of sight, all you get is number and general direction.  So in that regard it's not anywhere as powerful as the Nemesis feat (BoED) or Mindsight.  Still handy, though.

ksbsnowowl

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Re: Leveling-Up the Sunless Citadel... Reloaded.
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2017, 07:05:22 PM »
Originally posted March 26, 2015:

So Davben and Sir Roderick begin debating how to go about going down the open shaft.  Davben has a scroll of Feather Fall, which he will use to allow Roderick to just float down the shaft.  But there's a problem… it's a first CL scroll, so it will only slow him for one round (during which time he'll fall only 60 feet.  It's 80 feet to the bottom.  Also, scrolls are always a standard action to activate, so he can't just use it as an immediate action to save Roderick if he falls.

That's okay, I again go over the climbing rules, that the vines look to give as good a hand-hold as a knotted rope and a wall (thus, DC 0), and with his Strength of 18, and the –5 ACP from his magical full plate, Roderick is climbing at a net –1.  Add on a minimum of 1 from the die roll, and as long as Roderick isn't rushing (I then explain accelerated climbing), he can't fail.  Still, Davben flies down in sync with Roderick's climbing, using his fly speed and good maneuverability to act as a spotter for Roderick, effectively Aiding Another.  Roderick's good to go.

They get down the shaft, and find that the hole opens in a ceiling 20 feet above fertile, soil, and the last 20-feet is a free climb of the vines down to their rooting, and they are in a very large room (area 42).



They look around the room, noting the two closed doors, and hearing something from the opening to area 43 (a pair of quaggoth that are watching the passage from the underdark).  They ignore the sounds for now, and opt to start with the doors, going first toward area 47.

They open the door, seeing the columned hall, and they hear moans of pain.  Most of the doors are closed, but the one to 47b is open.  Roderick hangs back in area 42, and the disguised Davben takes a turn to reactivate his Hat of Disguise, making a length of rope that he pulls out look like a spiked chain, so he can imitate the boss from the upper level.  He then walks into 47b, and sees a male half elf and a female elf tied down to a table, side by side, with their lower legs hanging over the edge.  There is a drow standing near their heads, with a torture implement in his hand.

Davben continues the ruse that has worked so well, and motions for the drow to follow, then leaves the room and heads to the door back to area 42.  The drow torturer follows, but as Davben exits through the door, he hears another door open and close behind him, and hears two drow start talking.  Davben take position 10 feet south of the door, and Roderick just north of the door.  Davben just activates Eldritch Glaive continually, and he'll get an AoO if a drow survives Roderick's readied attack and moves out of the square.

The drow finish their short conversation and the torturer passes through the door to area 42.  He has just enough time to scream about an armed human before Roderick kills him.  The drow that was talking to the torturer saw the attack, and screams for reinforcements, draws his crossbow, and readies it in case the party comes through the door.  Davben and Roderick hold their positions, waiting for the foes to come to them.

They hear other doors open and close, and they wait; Davben uses the time to alter his disguise to look as if he has been battered heavily.  They hear the loud chanting of spellcasting, and they wait.  More chanting as the drow priestess casts Tremor, which has a chance to knock the PC's prone, but they both make their saves.  Though the PC's can't see it, the drow are moving forward.  The PC's continue to wait and ready, and the second round of the tremor knocks Davben prone.  Then a drow comes through the door.  Roderick's readied attack misses, and the drow sees a heavily armored human, and a prone, bruised drow comrade who is out of his reach.  He opts to attack Roderick, missing terribly.  The priestess calls down an Unholy Storm, which hampers Listen, Spot, and Search checks… and deals 2d6 damage to good creatures.  Roderick is dealt 6 points of evil damage, and Davben is thankful he's not Good.

Davben flies to the west, righting himself and flying up 5 feet.  This allows him to look through the door, and he sees the drow priestess, but he misses with his blast.  Roderick steps through the door, and attacks the two drow mooks that are located on the south side of that little hallway (I positioned the door on the north set of squares), probably killing one of them.  The remaining mook attacks, missing, and the priestess tries to turn the tide of the battle.  Though Roderick is right in her face, she decided to cast blindness/deafness defensively.  She has a +11 modifier to cast defensively, and the DC is only 17... she rolls a natural 1.  Now lacking confidence she can handle this intruder, she 5-foot steps to the southeast, making her mook the most-likely target.  Sir Roderick takes another 6 points of damage from the unholy rain.

Davben repositions himself slightly, and can see through the doorway, seeing both the drow priestess and the sole remaining mook.  He uses Eldritch Chain, targeting the priestess first.  Despite the penalty to ranged attacks imposed by the magical rain shower, he hits her… but fails to overcome her Spell Resistance.  This gives me the opportunity to explain that Eldritch Chain only cares about hitting, not about affecting, the target.  Despite it not affecting the priestess, it chains to the mook, but doesn't kill it (I think he rolled a 2 on the die for his CL check).

Roderick presses forward, deciding to use his Smite Evil upon her (he had previously gotten a 20 on a Knowledge [Religion] check to know that the god of the drow was Lolth, the demon god of spiders), and I explain that since he has two daily uses of Smite Evil, he can use both of them in the same full attack (the rules are a little unclear on if a Paladin can actually do this; regardless, it's not at all unbalancing to let the tin can have some nice things, too.)  He steps forward and swings at the priestess, but miss with a 20 (her AC is 21; I had forgotten it should have been 23 thanks to magic circle against good), despite the +2 bonus from his Charisma modifier.  He presses forward though, Smiting again... and scoring a critical hit!  He dealt 48 points of damage with a critical smite, slaying the drow priestess outright.  He was quite happy about that, and Davben was amazed.

The last mook was in a position such that withdrawing wasn't an option, so it did the only thing it could, and took a feeble swing at Roderick, missing.  Roderick took another 4 damage from the rain, then slew the drow and moved eastward into hall 47 to escape the storm's radius.  Davben hurried into 47b, shattered the bindings on the two surface elves there, and handed them each a dagger that had been plundered from one of the dead drow, telling them to stay and defend themselves; the party would be back to help them in a bit.

Around this time, the door from 47e opened, and a drow Swordsage 5 and Sorcerer 4 stepped through.  The drow won the initiative, and we just went into round 1, with the swordsage moving forward, drawing his short sword, and missing Roderick.  The sorcerer moved south from the door to the middle of the east end of the hall, and casts grease underneath Roderick.  The paladin succeeds on the save, and takes a swing at the swordsage, hitting for a bit of damage.  Davben moves into the room... and does something.  He must have missed or had his blast resisted by SR.

With Roderick balancing, and thus flat-footed, the swordsage strikes with the Shadow Blade strike, rolling a 17 and 13 on the dice, which with his +8 to hit makes the lower die hit... so he deals an extra 1d6 cold damage in addition to his sneak attack from Assassin's Stance.  I did forget at this point to have Roderick balance again due to being struck while balancing.  The sorcerer then cast web, catching both PC's in it, but only Davben failed his save.

Roderick fought from his entangled position, hitting once, and lessening the swordsage's hit points to 5.  Davben could see the drow sorcerer through the ~15 feet of webbing between himself and the edge, so he could attack the drow, though it would gain cover from him.  He hit it and one-shot it down to –3 hit points.

The swordsage had seen the other slain drow in the room when he entered, and had no desire to end up like his priestess, so he took a five-foot step back and attacked Roderick with Shadow Garrote, gaining sneak attack once again, and the eyes got wide when I started picking up d6's... Web is weird that way... It grants cover, not concealment, which means it doesn't in any way hinder a rogue (or swordsage) from dealing sneak attack.  He dealt something around 25 points of damage to Roderick with that hit, then drew out a potion.

Roderick tried to take the fight to the drow, but he had several things hindering him.  First, he had to make a Balance check, then he would have to make a Strength check to get free.  He failed the balance check badly enough that he fell prone.  Seeing things looking quite bad on the map, Davben pulled out a scroll of Obscuring Mist and cast that.  It encompassed Roderick and extended five feet beyond the "front" edge of the web.

Granted, since Roderick was just inside the edge of the web, and the mist only provides 20% concealment within 5 feet, the swordsage could have come forward to attack him, but he felt like living, so he snuck over, gave his potion to the sorcerer (healing him to 1 hit point), and the two fled over the next several rounds (into 47f, then down the length of the crack (44), then north to 43 and the exit to the underdark).

But since the PC's were trapped in the fog, they didn't see that.  Roderick is worried about his precarious position, both on the floor, and in the hit point department.  He swift casts a CLW by virtue of his Battle Casting feat, and then succeeds on the Balance check to stand.  He attempts the Balance check to start moving... and fails, falling prone once again.  Davben is freaking out, worried that he can't do anything.  I won't let him use shatter on the Web (it's an active spell effect; instantaneous conjurations are another matter), and oddly enough, he has no means of making fire (I explained that the web can be burned).

Roderick successfully stands (in truth, I think the grease would have ended just prior to this, but he made the Balance check, so it didn't impact things at all), and begins the full-round action to move with a successful strength check of 18.  Davben stood by helplessly; he might have tried the DC 25 escape artist check, but was incapable of succeeding on either it or the DC 20 Strength check.

Roderick finishes pulling his way out of the webbing, and then we realize that Davben has the torch, which is dumb, because he has darkvision from an invocation.  Standing there in darkness, Roderick pulls out a torch and gets it lit with flint and steel.  He then sets the webbing alight, and it slowly burns its way over to Davben, who takes a small amount of fire damage in the process.

Finally free, and noticing that the live drow are gone, they are itching to run after them.  They hurry over through room 47e, and at this point I just start drawing the rooms they find in small scale, drawing each room's outline and describing it when they enter the area.  I was planning to have three human skeletons somewhere in here (the remains of Belak the Outcast, Sir Braford, as well as the returned Sharwin), but by this point we were close to our ending time, so I just dropped the skeletons.

Sir Roderick and Davben forged ahead, checking every room, and finding them empty.  I would occasionally describe things, throwing in things resulting from the PC's actions (Belak's study being ransacked, the dead goblins there), and they eventually made their way to the Twilight Grove, where they could just make out the remnants of a tower on the far end.  They also, conveniently, found a trail blazed through the brush, and the paladin tromped his way over to the ruins while Davben flew.

In the courtyard of the ruins they found a large tree that had been cut down, and a woodsman's axe.  Davben goes over and picks up the axe, and I ask for Spot checks from the both of them.  Roderick succeeds, and notices an odd depression in the cut stump of the tree.  I draw it on the battle mat, and it's a massive tree, about 20-feet in diameter.  In the middle is a smooth hollow, shaped like half a human, but there is a splintered stick emerging up through where the human's chest would be.

For a little backstory, when the PC's "saved" Sharwyn and returned her to her family (and stole all her gear, including her spellbook), the family locked her in a room under watchful care.  They knew she wasn't quite herself, but didn't know how to make her better (curing her was impossible at this point).  Sharwyn had enough loose paper and writing supplies to copy down her uncast spells, and surviving the assault of the PC's gave her enough XP to level to 2nd level (gaining two spells, which included Charm Person).  So she assembled a form of loose-leaf spellbook, and then took action to continue serving the Gulthias Tree, of which she had been made a supplicant.

During the night she charmed the one person guarding her door, and the two of them snuck out, with a pair of wood axes, stole some horses, and went back to the Citadel.  They moved through the cleared-out citadel easily enough, and returned to the Gulthias Tree.  With Belak the Outcast no longer there to "shepherd" the tree, Sharwyn served the tree faithfully, and followed its desire to cut down the tree... freeing the vampire Gulthias, who had spawned the evil tree from the still-living branch that had been staked through his heart.  Killing the tree killed Sharwyn, but her Charm Person spell lasted long enough for the other individual to finish the job of freeing Gulthias, who promptly fed on him, and then escaped (Gulthias is a powerful wizard; I assume he would have just teleported away).

Although during the climactic battle of the Sunless Citadel, Belack cut off Belak the Outcast, and dove into battle before hearing all the information he could, the party did hear Belak explain enough about the Gulthias Tree (its name, the fact it spawned from a staked vampire, and the fact that Sharwyn and Braford had been made "supplicants" of the tree).  But Davben's player didn't recall the details, so the importance of the human-shaped hollow in the stump was lost on him.  From what he remembered, the hollows in the exterior of the trunk (which were used to make the supplicants) were used to turn people into vampires.  Well, he remembered the details about 50% right...  I told him to describe the events to Værï next time; he was actually there (as opposed to Davben), so he might get some more remembrance clues from the DM...

That's where we ended the evening.  I did a much better job of slowing down and teaching the things I was intending to teach this session.  I had written a list of teaching goals, and how I would meet them with the different opponents, and I think I hit about 90% of them.  Anyway, next week we should be back to the normal game, at least for a week (someone is traveling out of town the week after).

ksbsnowowl

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Re: KSB Snow Owl's Supplementary Campaign Journal Thread
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2017, 03:32:31 AM »
My first crack at a campaign journal was when I started making posts about my Viking-themed gestalt game.  I'm not going to completely repost it all, because that campaign is long over, and the point where it leaves off was five years ago or so.

But, someone took the initiative to save it all to the Wayback Machine, but they don't show up easily on google, even if you have the title of the thread exactly right.  So, here are links to the four archived pages of my Diary of a real life Gestalt Game thread.

Page 1: https://web.archive.org/web/20140709180524/http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=1969.0
Page 2: https://web.archive.org/web/20140709163036/http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=1969.20
Page 3: https://web.archive.org/web/20140709171432/http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=1969.40
Page 4: https://web.archive.org/web/20140709152313/http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=1969.60

Note that on page 3, reply #56, there is an asterisked spoiler that is supposed to show a map.  The Wayback Machine just shows an empty spoiler block.  Here is the map:

*
(click to show/hide)

The conclusion to the Tanarukk army/Red Hand of Doom conversion was written up elsewhere, in the thread planning the massive battle at the end of that plot arch:
Page 1: https://archive.is/lqFpv
Sadly, it looks like page 2 is lost for now.

This thread was also involved with the same campaign, and dealt with me making my game plans:
https://archive.is/g7xy6
The first spoiler from the first post (since archive.is doesn't maintain spoiler functionality, and the Wayback Machine can't archive the google cache):
(click to show/hide)

* The second spoiler of the first post:
(click to show/hide)

The third spoiler of the first post:
(click to show/hide)

Off-Topic spoiler from Reply #3:
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Also, just as a hold-over until I get a chance to repost my Sunless Citadel Adventure Path - Campaign Journal, here is an archive of the first page: https://archive.is/l5Eup
Second Page: https://archive.is/SBtt1
Third Page: https://archive.is/iF0Lm
Fourth Page: https://archive.is/VRWjJ
I do have the entire Sunless Citadel campaign journal saved, along with boards coding.  I was smart enough to back that all up...   ;)

Page 1, reply #1 spoiler about Jump skill:
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Page 3, reply #58 spoiler about a line of questions:
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Page 3, reply #58 spoiler about MotP & portals in the Beastlands:
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Randomly came upon this thread where I answered questions about "barbarian villages," providing info from the novel Windwalker: http://archive.is/6e4X7
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 05:22:00 PM by ksbsnowowl »