Well, my near Epic Party is entering WGR1 - Greyhawk Ruins. Way ahead of schedule, and I hadn't gotten around to fully converting and upscaling it. My plan is to let a lot of it stay low-level. I don't want them campaigning in there for years and years, so at their level it should be possible for them to get in and get out fast. They have a goal - the tunnel leading to the Isle of the Ape (to rescue Tenser, since banished there by the only other person who knows how to get to that Island - Iggwilv).
So quickly looking through, there are definitely some traps and features I can upgrade to Epic, but I thought I would also see if anyone else has any. First off, I have the Circle of 5, and their apprentices. I can definitly make them a challenge. Int the Tower of Zagyg is the Diamond Golem. I am thinking of making this an Epic Golem. I might just use the Mithral Golem rather than converting it, there are some similarities. There is a lich apprentice of Zagyg who will be a challenge. And some advanced, fighter trolls, and advanced specters I can upgrade a little. They will still be a push over.
Any other thoughts for must have Epic features in the Ruins? Anything from the ELH that perhaps I should just add in there? I think one of the museum pieces should be a ELH monster in stasis - just to introduce it. Many of the magical traps might be modeled under some kind of existing epic magic feature.
I do think the dungeon will be a challenge, though not much to slow the party down. They won't need to rest every few encounters, but it should provide some nice attrition for them.
And then there is the treasure. There are some great treasures, in cluding an intelligent staff of the magi, a powerful near-epic sward, and several artifact level devices that need to be at least respected.
If anyone else has ideas they wanted to throw in to the mix, I would love to hear them!
The party got moving faster than I expected. So I had to do some work on the fly. They went straight into Zagyg's tower, and down the main stairs, and continued down into the 3rd level, bypassing 1 and 2 altogether. I used improved versions of the Ogres and Trolls - using just the Barb4, and Ranger6 versions that are pre-stated in the MM. It was not real challenge for them, as they are all 18-20th level, btu it used a few charges of a staff, and allowed them to enjoy their vastly superior firepower and try out some different tactics. The gates I let them detect easily (programmed illusion spotted by Arcane Sight) and they are strong enough to break the portcullises. Cloudkill had no effect since they were covered by Heroes' Feast, but it at least made them feel more secure that anyone less powerful could not have gotten that far easily.
The fun comes in the rooms on level 3. We only had 2 combats - they opened the sarcaphogus that is supposed to contain a Fire Giant Mummy. I replaced it with a CR17 Deathbringer from MMII. I put Hextor symbols on his armor, to give them some concern. Doesn't fit the theme of the room, but I was in a hurry. A Mummified FIre Giant fighter would be pretty awesome too, as long as he had enough HD.
The Gate to the Abyss they left alonw for now, but seem to want to go in. THey don't know where it goes, but they are looking for a portal somewhere deep in the tower... I haven't decided for sure where it goes, but I will soon. I am thinking that it is not known from the other side - otherwise it would be used more. It was supposed to be trying to lure something through. I thought of making it Fraz's lair, or Vaprak, or someone else. I will definitely make it connected to the rest storywise befoer they go. Not Lolth, and not Demogorgon or Orcus, that is all I know.
The Pearl is interesting. I made the AMF work as long as the pearl is in the room, then the curse takes effect. I gave a DC 25 Reflex save to take half of the 4d10 damage from the clam shell.
FInally, the king and queen I upgraded a lot to 2 Hunefers. The party is way overmatched - but I don't want them to be killed anyway. The King and Queen will not prusue if the party leaves. In time, they can learn of a connection between these and the Soul Husks of Iuz....
That;s it for now. More upgrades in the future...
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