One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Yep. I'm gonna do it. I'm going to run Pathhawk, Greyfinder, whatever you want to call it.
Pathfinder, in Greyhawk.
I now have a group of players who are mostly unknown quantities. One player I have DM'd before. While they are not completely idiotic, who knows how the others will turn out to be as players. There is nothing worse than a DM presenting a bunch of information to the players' characters...and then getting a response like, "So...what happens now?" How I hope that doesn''t happen.
Running Temple of Elemental Evil would be dead easy, as I know it backwards and forwards, but there are some in the group who are old school, and who either know about it or own it. That goes for many other old school modules that I might normally look at using. Some of them also have EVERYTHING Pathfinder, so the PF adventure paths are out too (not that I find them all that well suited to GH anyways). And they have almost everything Dragon/Dungeon for the last 150 issues, so Paizohawk is out too. And so, apparently, I am going to have to do some work writing something up. [insert expletive here].
I may very well use this as an opportunity to delve into the Serpentfolk a bit. I already have a low level adventure set up, and this will give me a reason to update the adventure from 1E rules to Pathfinder rules, and the Serpentfolk themselves from 3.X rules to Pathfinder rules (not that the last one will take much effort). I originally had one of the early settings as Nulb, post ToEE, but I really need to change that, as it was going to be specifically linked to another group of PCs who didn't go through this adventure. Time to change that, as I like everything in my campaign to gel, and so this new group could also feasibly end up interacting with other PCs/NPCs that have existed in my campaign for nearly 20 years.
It will probably be a few weeks before we start, but I wanted to get some thoughts down. So far we have the following PCs:
Yep, no Rogue, meaning this could very well end up being the first ever TPK from poison needle traps.
If anybody has any adventure ideas (the more diabolical the better), toss them out there. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:49 am; edited 4 times in total
Yep. I'm gonna do it. I'm going to run Pathhawk, Greyfinder, whatever you want to call it.
The "old school" are "selling out" like flies!
Who now shall step forward and carry the banner?
. . . some in the group who are old school, and who either know about it or own it. That goes for many other old school modules that I might normally look at using. Some of them also have EVERYTHING Pathfinder, so the PF adventure paths are out too (not that I find them all that well suited to GH anyways).
And that is ever the problem. I have all of that bundled into one individual . . . Tiggertom.
I am going to have to do some work writing something up. [insert expletive here].
All my games with Tiggertom are "miss-mash" conglomerations of several adventures meshed together, with generous helpings of "home-brew" thrown in for good measure. I usually do a good job of surprising him -- him thinking he "knows" what's going to happen next.
But brother, it is anything but easy. So good luck with the up-coming game. If I can think of anything to help make it particularly "diabolical," I'll be sure to let you know. That part should be relatively easy . . . given that these "fools" shall venture forth without a Rogue!
I'm looking forward to reading about your upcoming campaign, Cebrion. I'm sure we can glean a few DMing pointers from your PCs encounters.
And they have almost everything Dragon/Dungeon for the last 150 issues, so Paizohawk is out too.
That's too bad. I was going to recommend The Savage Tide. It begins a bit slowly, but once the PCs head out to The Isle of Dread, it becomes rather epic. It is especially fun for auld-skoolers who remember The Isle of Dread in it's original form and find themselves with the opportunity to revisit it.
I suggest you come up with some possible campaign arcs and take a vote from your players to see what they'd like to focus on: dungeon delves (ruins, underoerth), wilderness treks (temperate, winter, tropical), nautical (piratical, underwater). You can still provide a variety, but you'll have a better idea of where to focus the majority of the action.
Yep. I'm gonna do it. I'm going to run Pathhawk, Greyfinder, whatever you want to call it.
The "old school" are "selling out" like flies!
Who now shall step forward and carry the banner?
2e or die for me, Mystic (with some 1e influences, of course). Count me in as 'old school.'
Cebrion, I am interested to hear what others have in mind. I don't think I have much to contribute since I don't delve outside my 'ancient' system. However, I may come up with some adventure and plot ideas once the ball gets rolling. Perhaps at this rate it is best for you to make a homebrew campaign, test out your players, get a sense for their style (role-players, hack and slash, a bit of both, etc) and their individual personalities. Have you spoken to any of the newbies at all? I have the utmost faith in your abilities, given your numerous posts and clarifications, but I think it is great that you are asking for some suggestions. I wish you and your players great fun.
Nah, I am not "selling out" (I did that long ago ). It is just what everyone is interested in trying out. I would prefer using 3.5E, or even 2E. I am going to keep things very bare bones though, meaning I will only be using the Core Rulebook + Bestiary + GM Screen. Which reminds me, I need to get the Bestiary and GM Screen. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I cannot recommend Raging Swan's adventures highly enough if you have need of a pre-written mod. They are not GH but they are 'Hawky in tone and feel as Creighton has a 'Hawky history. They are well written, organised and everything within them makes sense within the context of the adventure. They will easily port across to GH with minimal work.
Hmmm...if they do not have much in the way of BECMI knowledge, that series has some great adventures easily adapted into GH, and even the supporting Gazetteers have some great campaign/adventure starters.
I am afraid they probably do, as "old skool" in this case will often mean "I had the Basic and Expert boxed sets, and some modules, before I had any AD&D stuff." Bastards.
However, I am tempted to take the most recent B1 Into the Unknown and use that as a (heavily modified) starter, and I have always wanted to modify/update X3 Curse of Xanathon (set near the Glorioles or Lortmils), and X4 Master off the Desert Nomads and X5 Temple off Death (likely set in the dry Steppes) for a later rules set. Those adventures would come later though, but I will have to see how well versed in BECMI stuff they are before I could use any of them. Thanks for jogging my memory regarding using some of the BECMI stuff.
I had also considered using an altered version of the Desert of Desolation series, but one player has the original modules and remembers waaay too much about them. They are not making things very easy for me.
I will definitely check out Raging Swan too, to see if anything from them gels with my overall diabolical plan. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I could send you a copy of the adventure I submitted to the CC. It has maps and everything. Though it would need minimum changes to fit into a PF game. Unless you want to start them out somewhere besides Perrenland.
I may end up starting them out in my own thing near Seaton/Salinmoor, and then run them through the U series. Then I will likely drag them a bit north to Ket and X3 Curse of Xanathon. Then it is westward to the Dry Steppes and X4 Master of the Desert Nomads, and X5 The Temple of Death. All modules will be modified not only for game rules but for content and location. X3 in particular could well end up becoming very reminiscent of a Ray Harryhausen Sinbad movie.
But, I will have to see how familiar they with these modules. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
The U series are great, especially if you have a savvy player or two who doesn't "devolve" to the typical "let's kill everything in sight" mentality and actually figures out that the lizard men are NOT the real enemy...
Tomb of the Lizard King is a fun adventure, but I have already used it in my campaign. On the return journey back from the West, Baltron's Beacon is a possibility though. I may have that lead to GDQ, as I have never ran that and have always wanted to. As this will be post wars, I would probably use some of the Liberation of Geoff material (minus the lame stuff).
At least the players all turned in their character sheets for my perusal. Now I just need to make sure the n00bs didn't spend too many characteristic points, skill points, money, have the right amount of feats, etc., and make a summary of them on 3" x 5" cards. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Falnor Oaksplitter (Male Dwarven Fighter 1)
Orianos (Male Human Wizard 1)
Chin Yang (Male Human Monk 1)
Lem (Male Halfling Ranger 1)
Ionus (Male Elf Cleric)
Dawizz (Male Human Sorcerer)
Selinor ( Male 1/2 Elf Rogue 1) *NPC*
Yep, it's a sausage fest.
Well, Session 1 is over, and nobody died. These are my actual DM notes. As you can see, I use an abbreviated stat block for the relatively unimportant encounter stuff, because why would I not? If you want more detail, you can add it.
You all find yourself in the free City of Greyhawk. Some might be from the city, or from nearby, while others have just found their way there by one means or another from some place farther away. What has brought you together is hiring on as additional guards for a ship, the Tempest, which is bound for a port in the far southwest. For one of you at least, this is part of the journey back to a faraway home. For others, it is just your next adventure. 100 g.p. each for your services doesn’t sound too bad either.
The ship casts off early in the morning and drifts lazily down the Selintan River. On the second day, the ship enters Wooly Bay, and the city of Hardby, which the Captain tells you is ruled by a hereditary line of female mages, can be seen on the eastern river bank at the river’s mouth. The ship then sets sail south for the Azure Sea. A few days into your journey, you pass the port of Elred to the west, and as you do so a ship sets sail from there. It bears the dreaded yellow sails of the Slave Lords, and it would seem that it is following you. For now your ship is outpacing it. Perhaps it is just sailing in the same direction you are, but it continues to dog your trail the next three days, though it doesn’t seem to be gaining on you. Nevertheless, it has the ship‘s crew spooked.
On day six of your journey, your ship rounds the promontory of the Pomarj, the city of Blue at its apex. With the yellow-sailed ship still at your back, another ship comes into view around the promontory. It is a fast, vicious looking ship bearing dirty gray sails emblazoned with a black spear piercing a red flaming eye. If you can stay on course and not lose too much speed, your ship will continue to outpace the yellow-sailed ship, but first you must deal with this one, as it seems to be bearing down on you.
The captain and 1st mate have donned scale armor, helms, shields, and have broadswords. Eight of the crew are geared up in leather armor and helms, and carry small shields. They are armed as follows: 3 x short sword, 3 x hand axe, 2 x spear. The other four crew, one of which is in the crow’s nest, are armed with light crossbows. All have daggers. The captain also has a flask of flaming oil which he will only use if things look dire, due to the fire hazard to his own ship.
Cog captain (male orc, F3): AC 17 (14; 11); HP: 24, ATT: +8 or + 4, DMG: 1d8+3(battle-ax) or 1d8 (lt. x-bow); Str 18, Dex 12, Con 15, Wis 8, Cha 12; AL LE. Hide armor, large steel shield, helmet, dagger, lt. crossbow, necklace of finger bones, gold earring (50 g.p.), 32, s.p., 19 g.p.
20 Cog pirates (male orc, W 1): AC 14 (12; 10), HP: 6; ATT: +4 or +1; Dmg Id8+3 (battle-ax) or 1d6 (shortbow); Str: 17, Con 12, Wis 8; AL LE. Leather armor, large wooden shields, battle-ax, dagger, short bow, 20 arrows, 2-12 s.p., 1-6 g.p. each.
The orc ship will come along side and 10 orcs will throw grapples as the others shoot arrows. Then they will board. They will retreat if they lose half their numbers, unless they outnumber their prey. If the orc captain falls, the others will retreat and cut the grapples. If the orcs’ ship is boarded and they are wiped out, the Tempest’s captain will give them ten minutes to search the vessel, but no longer than that. If the PCs are able to do this, they will find 7 captive sailors in the hold who will gladly pledge their service to the Tempest’s captain. The orc captain’s quarters has a heavy chest, which holds the raider’s valuables: 1,087 c.p., 387 s.p., 51 e.p., 112 g,p., a fine silver and pearl necklace worth 250 g.p., a potion of invisibility, and a scroll of cure light wounds, command, and bless.
Well, they made short work of the Orcs (the orc captain was dropped with only two hits that did maximum damage; one from the Tempest's captain, one from Falnor), but two of the crew were killed. I thought this encounter might be a bit nastier, but a couple of positive energy healing bursts (using the Selective Channeling Feat) from the Cleric saved some butts to be sure. The orc ship was not damaged in the fight and so it was captured. A skeletal crew composed of the rescued slaves, the 1st mate, and a few of the Tempest's crew took it over. The coinage is being divided between everyone but the freed slaves, but the magical treasure and other bits are being given to the PCs. Weapons, armor, and other gear are being parceled out to whoever wants/can use it, with any extras going to the PCs. As per your everyday maritime salvage laws, the captain and his crew get the captured ship.
The yellow-sailed ship has closed the distance a bit due to the conflict slowing them down, but is not within threat range yet. And so they sail on... _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Sun May 26, 2013 1:41 am; edited 3 times in total
Pirates! That's a great beginning encounter for a campaign, Cebrion.
I don't know the circumstances, but I'll point out that Selective Channeling only allows the Cleric to disinclude one living being per point of Charisma modifier. If your Cleric PC has an 18 Wisdom, that still only allows him to disinclude up to four of the attacking orcs, so it wouldn't work quite so well in a melee the size of the one I'm picturing on their ship. I figure your PC must have positioned himself to maximize the effect on his allies and minimize the number of orcs within range, so I'm sure you already know this.
So, another game session survived. The journey by sea continued after the encounter wit the orc raiders. A few days later a small pack of sea ghouls (lacedons) boarded the ship at night, looking for some snacks. One sailor managed to get off a scream before being clawed and paralyzed. The two PCs and crew on watch defended the ship as the others awakened. Dawizz got shredded down to -5 h.p., and was being dragged to the ship rail by a sea ghoul, while the same was happening to the paralyzed sailor. Falnor the dwarf moved through a threatened square to save Dawizz, but the attack of opportunity hit him, he failed his save, and down he went, paralyzed. Orianos ripped off a few disrupt undead spells to save Dawizz, but the sailor was not so fortunate. Even though the sea ghoul dragging him to the railing took an arrow, it still dragged the sailor overboard. The remaining sea ghouls were put down by the remaining PCs and crew. Two days later the PCs debarked at Mantan, and were each paid their 100 g.p.
Much selling of acquired goods then ensued, plus a bunch of bookkeeping. Supplies were bought, ale drank, magic missiles were cast at the darkness, etc.
Selorin, who had been chasing down leads on potential jobs, returned late on day two in Mantan. The PCs went to a well appointed armed merchant ship at the docks to meet one Captain Jorb. Captian Jorb required a special delivery to be made to the House of Sheare in Monmurg. The delivery was a metal coffer, triple locked and sealed. Master Sheare himself would pay them 200 g.p. each upon delivery of the package, which is to be delivery overland. And so the PCs pick up the package early the next morning, and set off on their four day journey to Monmurg. What could possibly go wrong?
Two days out on the North Coast Road to Monmurg, in the early evening, the PCs are about to start looking for a suitable camping spot and settle in for the evening when eleven goblins and two goblin wolf riders ambush them. Four of the PCs notice the ambush before it is sprung, and so react. A sleep spell drop four goblins, while arrows wound one more. the PCs take a couple wounds in return. Then the PCs go berzerk and kill four goblins, both wolf riders, and one wolf. The remaining three goblins run for it, one is cut down doing so, and then the last feral wolf is taken out. The goblins are looted, and their bodies burned. Most importantly, no PCs go down, everyone is healed, and their progress isn't slowed. Two more days of travel should see them in Monmurg, if nothing else messes with them... _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
"..and so the intrepid adventurers finally made it to Monmurg, the capitol of the Hold of the Sea Princes, after dark. Not having even made it to an inn, Ionus was pick-pocketed by an urchin who ran into an alley way. You gave chase, and were ambushed by dark attired men intent on...something. Two of them, and the urchin, escaped; one of them apparently their leader. Among the rest none survived. Ionus has lost 25 g.p., 10 s.p., and 15 c.p. And a pouch. Slightly beat up, you made it to an inn, acquired rooms, and inquired as to the whereabouts of the House of Sheare. Wanting to get rid of your package before anything else could happen, you went straight to the House of Sheare.
At the House of Sheare you we met by rough looking guards at the gate, and eventually escorted into the presence of Master Sheare himself, who was flanked by half-ogre eunuchs bearing massive mauls studded with short, hooked blades. As his feet lay a large gray moor hound. You handed over your package to Master Sheare's seneschal, who unwrapped it, carefully examined it, and unlocked it. Inside was an small wooden box inlaid with rare woods, and an envelope, which contained a note and a small silver key. After examining the box, the seneschal handed it to his master, who said "Read the note." The seneschal unfolded the note, and read aloud:
"My patience draws thin, Sheare. On the eve of the New Moon, bring the Fang of Injat to where we first met. I will bring your daughter, who remains unharmed...mostly. If you fail in this, my next delivery will not be so pleasant as this one."
Somewhat more pale than before, Master Sheare opens the box. Inside is a white kerchief, and within its folds lies a dainty finger adorned with a delicate golden ring. Master Sheare looks up at you, his eyes slightly moist, his body quivering with barely controlled rage.
"And so you now see who you are working for. If I were a more impulsive man, your blood would at this very moment be pooling around my feet, but I can see by your faces, and other signs, that you are not a party to this...horror."
You continue to plead your innocence as to what the package contained, and tell Master Sheer your whole story- about how your were hired, of your journey to Monmurg, and about being ambushed shortly after arriving. Master Sheare seems more than satisfied, and confers with his seneschal in whispered tones for a moment before continuing. "How much did your employer promise you to make this delivery?" "200 g.p. Each.", you reply. "Well, I will give you a chance to earn your pay, and perhaps many times that again. This Fang of Injat which Jorg seeks is a dagger. I know where it is, but the men I sent to get it have not returned. You will find the Fang of Injat, and return it to me. If you can do that, I will have another task for you; one that I will reward you much more greatly for. My seneschal will give you the details."
Having said his piece, Master Sheare exits the room, followed by his dog and bodyguards. "This way, please." directs the seneshcal, who shows you to a sitting room. Refreshments are brought to you while you wait for him to return. When he does, he has two leather scroll cases and a wooden box containing writing implements. From one of the cases he draws forth a roll of vellum upon which has been drawn a map. He adds some details to it with his quill. In the lower right corner near a shoreline he draws a circle with a dot in the center, which he labels "Monmurg". Above it he draws a simple compass, and labels its arrow with an "n" for "north." The maps shows a trail heading in a winding, northwesterly direction from the city into the nearby moors. At its end is an "x". You are told that it may take as much as a week to get to your destination, as traveling through the moors is slow. There are sporadic trails, and if you are able to somehow befriend the moor folk, they may offer to guide you. Many dangerous things live in the moors, including the moor folk, so you'd best be on your guard at all times. The seneshcal then draws up a contract outlining your agreement to recover the Fang of Injat, and return it to Master Sheare. You all sign it, it is sealed, put in leather case, and carried off to wherever Master Sheare keeps such things. Your business concluded, you return to your rooms at the inn, and prepare for your journey on the morrow." _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Fri May 24, 2013 7:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
Much selling of acquired goods then ensued, plus a bunch of bookkeeping. Supplies were bought, ale drank, magic missiles were cast at the darkness, etc.
Pew! Pew! Pew!
"And so you now see who you are working for. If I were a more impulsive man, your blood would at this very moment be pooling around my feet, but I can see by your faces, an other signs, that you are not a party to this...horror."
Such a sneaky way to avoid doling out too much treasure to a low-level party.
Nah. That is all about the story. They are going to have the opportunity to make far more money, but they are going to spend much of it immediately, such as on horses, which they don't have yet, and special equipment, which they also don't have much of yet.
Horses are expensive (and are expensive to keep), the cost of specialty equipment adds up fast, and masterwork weapons are not cheap (+ 300 g.p. to the weapon's cost!!!). Some characters might also wish to upgrade their armor by a step or two. Oh, and the prices in the Hold are 10-20% higher than those listed in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, and merchants are buying select equipment spoils at only 30% of their actual value (and all of that is if they don't dislike the characters). I foresee a torrent of coin being spent on a moderate amount of these things. And that is how you get rid of coin. Well, that and cut purses.
And so there is some other party who seeks to thwart the characters in their task, or just has it out for them for some reason. They have no idea who that may be, or what their motivations might be.
The characters that complete this mission to the moors might be close to leveling up. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Mon May 13, 2013 10:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
In ancient times, the Flan ruled in the lands that bear their name- the Flanaess. Their empires rose and fell, leaving behind only shadows of their former glory. But this is not a tale of those times, but of a time before even then. A time when the races of man were young, and horrific creatures stalked the land.
In those ancient days, there rose to power in the West a great worker of magic by the name of Injat. It is not known when he came to the eastern lands, or why, but his presence was immediately felt. He became a great hero to the people, as he brought his magic to bear against the unnatural beasts that stalked the land. But Injat could not slay all of these creatures himself. He needed the help of great heroes, and he would provide the means by which they could aid in ridding the land of these deadly foes. To this end, Injat imbued a number of weapons with a spark of his own power. It is said that he made all manner of weapons so as to suit the varied champions who would wield them, and through their combined efforts, many of these beasts were destroyed in time.
But Injat could not live forever. No one knows of Injat’s fate, but the weapons he created to combat the terrible creatures that roamed the Flanaess remained. All of the weapons were eventually lost. Some were no doubt destroyed by the creatures they were meant to slay, while others were lost to legend or forgotten altogether.
Millenia passed, and the Flanaess became a less wild place. The peoples of the West traveled east, forever changing the face of the land and the identity of its people, and even the Legend of Injat faded away to nothing.
And so we played, and nobody died yet again (not that I am expecting it, but you never know). The players seem to be working together a bit more now. here follow an abgeviated retelling of the events as they unfolded.
So the PCs journeyed from Monmurg into the Hool Marshes to an area just south of the bend in the Javan River west of the city. During the trek, Orianos was mauled by a constrictor snake and Lem the halfling was chewed upon by a crocodile, but both survived. The PCs also managed to intercede in a combat between giant frogs and some marsh folk, killing many of the former, and saving many of the latter. They stopped one of the marsh folk from dieing, and healed many of them. Consequently the marsh folk befriended the PCs, and invited them back to their village for some spit-roasted giant frog. Yu-UM!
The following day, the marsh folk guided the PCs to the area on their map marked with an "X", which turned out to be a low, expansive mound overgrown with grass, shrubs, and a few sickly trees. The mash folk would go no further, saying that this area was cursed. Here the PCs found the camp of the others Master Sheare had previously sent to find the Fang of Injat.
Four tents surrounding a fire ring were set up outside the barrow entrance. Also outside the entrance lay the mostly consumed remains of a man crawling with beetles, centipedes, and other marsh insects. Examination of the corpse revealed that three of its right ribs had been chopped through at the back. Was it betrayal, or something more sinister...
Into the barrow they went, down a narrow sloping passage which opened up into catacombs. As they delved deeper into the barrow, they found evidence of fighting between long dead skeletal warriors in badly corroded armor of bronze, and wielding similarly corroded weapons. They would find more former explorers, and the remains of no less than a dozen skeletal warriors.
But nothing threatened them, except for two giant centipedes which had apparently crawled into the barrow to feast on one of the dead explorers. The characters made short work of them and moved deeper into the barrow, coming to a room with a skeletal warrior sitting on a stone throne. More carnage had played out in this room, yet nothing seemed amiss...until the dwarf inched forward to examine the skeletal warrior on the throne.
Abruptly, the air seemed to thicken, darken even, and time seemed to slow, as a low, sonorous sighing echoed throughout the barrow. Braziers on either side of the throne suddenly lit up with a pale green wytchfire, and two pinpoints of light sparked into life within the eye sockets of the skeletal warrior on the throne, and it began to move. The rattling of bones and the scraping of ancient bronze echoed from elsewhere in the catacombs...
..and that is where we stopped. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
...and so the undead animated and attacked. The majority of the PCs were engaged with the skeletal champion and about 8 skeletons, while the Monk held a 5' wide choke point by himself, dropping no less than 10 skeletons with his bare hands (okay, a few positive energy blasts from the cleric did help out a bit). In the end the PCs overcame the 24 skeletons and skeletal champion that attacked them with no loss of life, though a few of the PCs were brought down in the process.
After the battle, people were healed and the area was investigated. No "special" dagger was to be found anywhere, and no secret doors or compartments could be found either, so they looted the remains of the previous explorers, collected up anything else of value they could find, and then rested in the camp above. Nothing disturbed their rest, and the next day they headed back down into the barrow to investigate two collapsed passages.
They started in on digging out a collapsed room to the south which took them most of the day, and resulted in a further collapse which partially buried the dwarf. He survived, but it was becoming apparent to the PCs that their efforts seemed to be wasted, so the next day they tackled a passageway to the northwest. After a few hours of digging they were able to break through to a passage heading south which opened up into a large chamber. Here the PCs were promptly attacked by more skeletal figures, though the rotted attire on these looked more fine, and some of their weapons and armor looked in better condition also. Leading this group was a skeletal wizard of some sort, who blasted the dwarf with a bolt of acid which threatened to put him down. An ancient spell caster also conjured a giant snake from thin air, while the skeletal guardians hacked at the PCs.
The cleric had been keeping the PCs in the fight, and slowly but surely began blasting away at the undead with positive energy bursts. But it was the dwarf who made a key move by running past two skeletons so as to get to the skeletal wizard, who he promptly bashed with a morning star for maximum damage on the first swing. Three skeletal guardians also beset him, and he bashed away at those too. During the fighting, the monk had gone down, but the cleric was able to eventually get to a position to heal him and put him back in fight, where he took down three of the eight skeletons.
With some room cleared of enemies, the sorcerer was then able to get into the chamber and position himself to use burning hands to great effect, hitting three skeletons and dropping two of them. All the while, the wizard was using magic missile, two disrupt undead cantrips, and his crossbow to help out. The ranger and rogue couldn't do much with their piercing and slashing weapons, but the halfling soon figured out why and picked up a ancient bronze mace near a destroyed skeleton and proceeded to wreak havoc with it in his small way. The foes suddenly began falling fast, and the PCs concentrated their efforts on those that were left, eventually winning the day.
They ransacked the barrow, searching it high and low for any hidden places. They found a secret compartment built into a crude stone throne, where the remains of the ancient wizard's spell book was, and on the wizard himself they found a curved bronze dagger of superior manufacture that seemed as new as the day it was forged; not a speck of verdigris marred its surface. But, was it the Fang of Injat?
Of course it was! _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:10 am; edited 1 time in total
..and so the PCs started their journey back to Monmurg. This time they only ran into one encounter in the marsh- a bonesnapper. I wanted to put in a Greyhawk Monster from the 2E Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium, and settled on that one. It could potentially be mean, and the 3e version of it (see Sword & Sorcery's Tome of Horrors I, page 46) was fairly tough. I also laughed when I saw that it is now a magical beast, and guess what the dagger of Injat just so happens to be rather good at killing?
So the bonesnapper attacks Lem the halfling, and misses. Then Selorin the half-elf thief flanks it and gets a backstab shot on it with the Dagger of Injat, hits, and rolls a total of 1d4+3d6+6 damage, for 18 damage. A pulse of dark energy seemed to blast through the creature when he stabbed it, and the PCs were thinking "What the heck was that?!". The bonesnapper let out a thrill screech when the dagger plunged into it, and then Falnor the dwarf hacked into it with his axe from the front side for another 12 damage. Orianos blasted it with a magic missile for minimum damage, and then Lem slashed it with his sword for 2 damage (his minimum), which finished it off. The beast was skinned and they continued on, arriving at Monmurg with no further encounters along the way.
Master Sheare's seneschal wouldn't let them in, as they were covered in stinking mud, blood, and other filth, so they washed up and got some temporary clothes. Then they went in and got their 200 g.p. reward, each, but Master Shear had other news for them too. Master Sheare had received word that the PCs former employer, Captain Jorb, had apparently hired a female assassin, who just so happens to be about the height and build of his daughter, so he knows that a double cross awaited him. He planned to go to the meeting anyways, but he also now knew that his daughter was almost guaranteed to not be there, and that Captain Jorb would likely have most of his best men with him. Master Sheare then explained that he wanted the PCs to assault Captain Jorb's compound, rescue his daughter, and cause as much mayhem as they could while they are there. And so Master Sheare asked the PCs to name their price.
"We want 500 g.p. Each."
"Hmmm. I would have paid you twice that sum. Each. So, 500 g.p. each it is. If you are successful, you can keep the Fang of Injat in recompense, as I will have no need for it then. Hold on to it in the meantime, as I will have a copy of it made to bring to the meeting. If I fail, Jorb sure as hell won't be getting the real thing."
And so the PCs did then have their reward, sold off various loot they had gained, and spent their newly gained fortunes on upgrading their armor, weapons, copying newly acquired spells into their spell books, and so on, and all in just a few days time. Oh, and the monk was able to pick up a pair of master-crafted silvered nunchacku that he had commissioned upon arriving in Monmurg a few weeks earlier. With no other notable expenses, yes, that is what monks do with money I guess (watch out lycanthropes).
Their purses suitably depleted, the PCs prepared to travel back to Mantan so that they could arrive a bit early and scout out their target.
And that is where we are at as of June 23rd. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:16 am; edited 2 times in total
Captain Jorb's fortified compound lies one mile south of Mantan on the west side of the Coast Road. There is little in the way or trees or brush around the area.
The compound map:
The compound walls are 15 feet high, the towers slightly higher still. The tops of the towers are reached by ladders. The larger buildings along the outer walls appear to be slave quarters, while in between them are guard quarters. The main structure is a one-story fortified manor which rests on a raised foundation. The manor is made of dressed stone, and has narrow windows. The roof is flat, except for a center area which is peaked and covered in slate. A low wall runs around the perimeter of the roof, and there are spaced holes (scuppers) for run-off.
There is one guard (G) in each of the eight towers. In addition to the tower guards, you notice that the inner grounds are patrolled at all times by a pair of guards with two ferocious looking mastiffs (D) on leashes. They casually walk a circuit of the inner grounds. Also, outside the front and back doorways are two guards, standing to either side of the door. All of the guards are equipped with leather armor, swords, clubs, and daggers, while all of the tower guards also have light crossbows. At night the guards patrolling the inner grounds carry torches, and torch sconces on either side of the manor house's doorways are also lit. After careful reconnoitering of the premises and it guards, you think that there are three times as many guards as are on duty at any given time, with one third of them usually being in the city carousing.
And there you have it. Plan away!
..and so they made their plan and assaulted the place. Results in the next update. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
That's just a simple Dundjinni line map. It is a simple to use program, but is very good. You can go this simple, or go for much more depending on which graphic packages you add on to the basic program. If you get any art packs, I would recommend the Classic Dungeon art pack and the Castle-Temple-Village art pack. That will set you up for most things, and then there is a veritable ton of fan art you can download for free. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
No idea if it is Windows 8 compatible. Check the software info, or the forums.
EDIT: Dundjinni has some major bugs when working with Windows 7 or 8. There is a way to fix them, but it is a bit convoluted. Directions can be found by doing a Google search. There may also be a patch by this time though. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:06 am; edited 1 time in total
The attack on the fortified manor went extremely well. The PCs basically rolled moderately well, and the enemies rolled poorly, so they got waxed. The players did come up with a couple clever solutions to potential problem though, so it wasn't all luck. Around 60 slaves were freed, as well as Master Sheare's daughter. The manor was looted and the entire place was burnt to the ground.
Master Sheare's end of things went well enough, he taking in the disguised assassin/fake daughter, who, once on his ship, he promptly served wine laced with a paralytic poison. The PCs returned to Monmurg, received their rewards, cashed in their loot, upgrade their gear a bit, and they all bought mounts (i.e. "money sponges" ). Deciding that they had spent enough time in the Hold of the Sea Princes, they traveled north along the coastal road to Torvin, took a ferry across the Javan, proceeded on past Bale Keep, and arrived in the little town of Saltmarsh... _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER ALERT!!! Some details of U1-3 are revealed from here onwards!!!
Update: October 15, 2013
You have taken down the smugglers' ship, the Sea Ghost, and the ship and its contents (which were worth a small fortune) have been looted and sold off. Along with your reward, this has netted the characters 2,500 g.p. *EACH*, plus some useful items. The Captain, 1st Mate, and one lizardman were captured (and one sailor swam away into the darkness). On board the Sea Ghost in a secret area was an imprisoned sea elf (whom you may call Oceanus) that you rescued, and who has offered to help you in any further endeavors in the area, as he can. Lurking on board was a tiny, dragon-like creature which seems to have taken a liking to the halfling ranger.
Also on board the ship was found a hidden cache of weapons which apparently was going to be delivered to a local lizardman tribe. In return for their freedom, and 500 g.p., the Captain of the Sea Ghost has offered to give details regarding their activities, and the location of the delivery point for the weapons. The lizardman has demanded to be set free and be given the weapons, which have been paid for and are owed to him; the business of which has nothing to do with anything related to the town of Saltmarsh, or so he claims. The Town Council is currently deciding what to do, and, due to your involvement in these ongoing matters, has asked that you all sit on on the negotiations. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
The Town Council decides to send the lizardman home with the PCs as escort, and seek to establish why the lizardmen are in the area, and what their intentions may be...
"Having rested up from your previous endeavors, you geared up and made your way to the lizardmen lair. Avoiding any sort of faux pas, you did not anger the lizardmen and instead ended up coming to an agreement with them. You opened a dialogue regarding possible trade between the lizardmen and the town of Saltmarsh, and have agreed to do a service for the lizardmen (partially in recompense for killing a few of their people). That service is to eradicate a threat to them; the threat being a tribe of bullywugs living nearby who seem to be allied with some sort of "strange humans".
And so you have traveled through the marshlands, getting ambushed along the way by a bullywug hunting party. You destroyed the hunting party, but one bullywug, some sort of priest, escaped. You continued onwards under the direction of your lizardman guide, and eventually arrived on the outskirts of the bullywug village, which lay within a U-shaped area in the hilly marshlands. Having slain the village's two hidden guards in a very stealthy manner, you have crept into the village and launched a surprise attack." _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
The initial surprise attack killed one bullywug, and wounded another (not so good). The PCs then proceeded to assume the "spread out so that we can all be surrounded and chopped apart by as many enemies as possible at one time" formation, which they gradually figured out was probably not the best of ideas. Healing bursts from the cleric kept many on their feet longer than they would have been, and also caused some of the PCs to maneuver back towards a rally point centered on the cleric so as to be able to reap the benefits of those healing bursts. Two PCs were brought down to 0 hp, one to 1 hp, and another to -3 hp. The bullywugs did not fall back, ever, seeing to be in some sort of frenzied "fight to the death mode".
All told, nearly 40 bullywugs, 11 giant frogs, and 3 giant carnivorous frogs (advanced giant frogs) were slain, and the PCs did thereby level up. Next session will start off with the PCs looting the village and then running away to recuperate. then they will return to investigate, the cave opening in the side of the hill...which nothing came out of while the battle raged (lucky for them).
Sir_Xaris (and others): see HERE for the Positive/Negative Energy Channeling discussion) _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
Having come to the conclusion that a Cleric 5, two Cleric 3's, and three Cleric 1's would lead to a TPK simply by them standing there and using Negative Energy Channel, the alternate rules were instituted.
...and now the game is not stupid. In fact, it has now turned back into the game which I have always enjoyed. Clerics heal, they turn undead, but also have domain powers and still have their spontaneous healing capability (and not as 1d8 per spell level exchanged, but as the full healing spell of that level). Not to mention the much more fully fleshed out Cleric spell list.
And so, the "Just stand there and TPK." thing no longer being an issue, the adventurers continued their mission, descending into the dank tunnels of the marshy lair... _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
The underground lair consisted of twisting tunnels and chambers supported by rough-hewn, heavy beams, and finished with now crumbling mud bricks.
Initially a small group of hybrid guards engaged the PCs near the entrance, but they were quickly dispatched. The PCs delved more deeply, eventually coming across a chamber with three other exits. By the time they reached this place, the hybrids had time to get more prepared, and ambushed the PCs from three sides. A furious combat ensued, which the PCs eventually gained the upper hand in, causing the remaining hybrids to flee deeper into the tunnels. Continuing their exploration, they encountered some hybrid monks. The four lesser monks did little damage before being cut down, but their leader proceeded to lay low both the dwarf and the halfling, and badly wounded the monk. Seeing the dwarf and halfling both go down, the mage and sorcerer unleashed volleys of magic missiles to aid their compatriots in felling this deadly adversary. The cleric then proceeded to heal mainly the dwarf and halfling, and a potion of cure light wounds was also quaffed by someone. They felt good enough about their condition, and so continued onwards, the monk happy to have acquired a magical kama from the defeated monk leader.
Deeper into the complex they came upon a strange temple of some sort of humanoid frog god. Here they encountered more hybrids and their cleric leaders, but also a froglem! Yes, a golem made of frogs. A...um...froglem (thanks go to Matt finch for this bit of weirdness; I altered its appearance, and structure just a bit, and statted it up as a variant flesh golem, and it did not disappoint!). The dwarf charged the high cleric and froglem, and sucked up a lightning glyph of warding at the threshold to the high fane as well. The dwarf was in trouble, but the cleric was following up on his heals and had two more spells which could be converted to cure light wounds spells. This encounter was pretty tough for the slightly weakened PCs, but they came through it just barely.
Badly injured, they retreated back to the surface, where they created a fortified position from demolished bullywug mud huts and recuperated. During this time, they were sniped on from the tunnel entrance (which they had barricaded with parts of the mud huts) by a hidden enemy with a blowgun, but the halfling buried an arrow into something, and they were able to light the entrance area on fire as well, and so the unseen foe was driven off. Fully rested and healed up, they went back into the lair.
The PCs were a bit more paranoid this time, knowing that anything left would be on alert. They delved deeper into the complex, noting that a tunnel they had previously traversed had collapsed (or had been purposely collapsed). They continued on, eventually coming to an area where multiple tunnels were closed off with barricades defended by hybrids, who proceeded to launch of a volley of javelins at them followed by a web spell. More than half of the PCs were ensnared in the webs, and the few who were not attacked the barricade. The dwarf continued to whiff, while the monk got into a good position and began to hack down hybrids left and right with his kama. The halfling and thief concentrated on finishing off enemies on the periphery of the fight. Meanwhile, PCs struggled in the webs, all the while being targeted by javelins. The mage broke free first, and used a scorching ray to burn a path through the webs (he tried to also hit a hybrid with it, but missed). This created a safe path to move through as others also began to break free and maneuver. Burning hands and scorching ray spells from the sorcerer cleared more webs away, allowing those fighting in the barricade brawl to move safely to the other main area of resistance and dive into a whole slew of hybrids there.
At this time the dwarf finally started to hit stuff, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. A couple remaining lesser Clreics and an Adept were protected by a ten basic hybrids, plus a Fighter 2 and a Fighter 4, the latter of which was on par with the PCs both level and stat-wise. The dwarf proceeded to hack into him three rounds in a row, doing near maximum damage every time, and also great cleaving the bejeezus out of other nearby hybrids. The outcome was greatly aided by a simple grease spell cast near the dwarf. This resulted in a few hybrids going down, and taking attacks of opportunity from the dwarf when they attempted to stand up.
The hybrid Adept was able to escape before things went completely bad, while a hybrid Ranger sniper was never in a position of danger and so also escaped. The PCs themselves were beaten up pretty badly, and their spell reserves were pretty much tapped out, so they retreated topside to recuperate in their fortified camp. The two surviving hybrids proceeded to do the same, and gathered together what remaining allies they had. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:34 am; edited 1 time in total
The PCs were not sure how much more there was to explore, but set off again they did into the hybrid lair. Returning once again to the site of their previous battle, they proceeded down a western passage that opened up into a large cavern (roughly 100' long and 60' wide). Most of the cavern was a lake, with only a ten foot wide ledge on the eastern end (where they entered), and a 20' diameter island in the center of the chamber where there looked to be a glinting statuette perched upon a rocky pedestal. The monk, halfling, lizardman, and sea elf all swam out to it. No sooner has they done so than over a dozen giant frogs swam up from the lake and attacked them. Ten giant frogs, and 3 giant carnivorous frogs (I used the basic combat stats of boggards for them, but with base damage of 1d6) to be exact. The hybrid Ranger lurked in the lake as well, and took shots at the PCs with his blowgun.
Distracted by the frog attack, the remaining PCs on the shore were unaware of the approach of the Adept from behind them, who hit the ledge with a web spell. Only the dwarf and cleric were snared by it, and the sorcerer and wizard proceeded to burn two paths through it using scorching ray spells. Soon after the Adept cast a scorching ray of his own, hitting the sorcerer and narrowly missing the wizard. At that time, the dwarf broke free and was able to move towards the hybrid Adept, who used his last scorching ray to attack the dwarf. Both hit, doing 25 points to the dwarf, bringing him down to 17 hit points. The dwarf moved in and rolled a 3 to hit, missing the Adept. It was "Whiff!" time once again! A barrages of magic missiles from the wizard and sorcerer tore into the adept, wounding him slightly, while the beleaguered PCs on the island who had been somewhat torn up by the frogs were now gaining the upper hand.
The Adept now cast a burning hands spell, roasting the dwarf for 13 damage. Then the adept's poisonous toad familiar bit the dwarf for another point of damage, though the dwarf made his poison saving throw. He now had 3 hit points, but the Adept was now out of damaging spells. The dwarf geared back for another swing at the adept, this time rolling a 2. Whiff! The wizard and sorcerer moved into position to help out, another barrage of magic missiles slamming into the Adept, who was now looking a bit worse for wear. On the island, the PCs has good round of attacks, felling three of the giant amphibians in a single round, reducing their number to five. The hybrid Ranger kept plinking away at targets of opportunity with his blowpipe, but was mostly ineffectual (at least he was in no danger).
Back in the hallway, the Adept thrust a short spear at the dwarf, missing him, and in return the dwarf finally hit, chopping into the Adept for 9 damage, then cleaved the familiar for only minor damage. The cleric had also finally broken free of the webs, and moved in to heal the dwarf back up to 17 hit points, taking him out of imminent danger. The wizard also stepped up and hit the Adept and his familiar with a burning hands spell for 11 damage. The Adept was only slightly wounded by the attack, but the familiar was badly hurt. The halfling's pseudodragon buddy also showed up, stinging the Adept's familiar. It was at this time that the Adept contemplated a final spell, obscurement, before fleeing, but he failed his combat casting roll. His cover spell lost, the Adept then took another axe from the dwarf, and another barrage of magic missile form the sorcerer, dropping him. The dwarf then buried his axe in the familiar, killing it.
Back at the island, the final few giant frogs were laid low, and the sea elf and lizardman dove into the water, searching for the sniping hybrid Ranger. The hybrid Ranger was gone though, having fled through an underwater tunnel.
Having defeated their enemies, the PCs got the gilt statuette off of the island, and while swimming around the sea elf had found the remains of a dead adventurer in the lake who just so happened to have a magic sword and wand. The PCs explored the rest of the complex, finding minor loot along the way, but they also found a hidden treasure cache full of the bullywugs'/hybrids' main loot. The loot consisted of odd bits of jewelry, scraps of precious metal and some coins, plus a few potions, a scroll, and a helm of underwater action.
Asked if the PCs had satisfied their agreement, their lizardman companion confirmed that they had, and so they all returned to the lizardmen lair to report their success. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Haven't updated this in while, and a lot has transpired.
After completing their dealings with the lizardmen, the PCs returned to Saltmarsh along with a contingent of lizardmen envoys. Peace and trade agreements were struck, and messages were sent out to the sea peoples to gather together a council to discuss the Sea Devil Threat.
While waiting for the sea people envoys to arrive, the PCs wasted no time in thinking of ways to spend their reward/treasure in preparing for their further adventures.
Some of the PCs traveled to Seaton for supplies; namely those that spellworkers need to make scrolls...and a wand! Others traveled north into the Dreadwood, where the halfling ranger wanted to find a wolf companion. He was successful, and his menagerie now totaled two. In just a few weeks time, two scrolls were scribed, a wand of magic missiles (caster level: 5th; 50 charges) was successfully created, and "Drago the Wolf" had learned the command "Attack!" A few bits of improved kit in the form of masterwork tools of various types, healing kits, and masterwork weapons were also acquired.
The sea people envoys then arrived, and discussion was had regarding the sahuagin lair, that being the former home of the lizardmen. The lizardmen envoys had brought maps of their former home to share, and provided information on the locale area. They also offered to send a dozen lizardmen warriors with the PCs to act as guides, and in whatever other capacity required of them. The lizardman champion "Enik" would also continue to accompany the PCs, as would the sea elf Oceanus. The sea elves would send no others with the PCs, and neither would the locathah, merfolk, or tritons who would be stepping up patrols around the sahuagin lair in hopes of drawing the evil creatures' attention away from the land approach the PCs and company would be taking. The folk of Saltmarsh also offered the services of four of their militia, and the Stoutly Brothers whose fortunes had been greatly increased by their previous association with the PCs.
A few days later, the group set off for the sea devils' lair. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
They set sail with Captain "Red" Lambert and his crew aboard the Osprem's Breath. Nothing troubled them along their journey, and they dropped anchor about five miles north of the sahuagin lair. Taking a rowboat ashore, they then trudged through the coastal wetlands of the Hool Marshes, guided by their lizardmen companions. Near dark they arrived at the lair, and set up camp on the back side of a relatively flat-topped hill just north of the lair. That night, the halfling, the rogue, and the monk scouted out the area, and plans were made to assault a bronze portal in the hillside which lay at the end of a long causeway, in the morning.
[Aside: the PCs are 5th level at this time]
Early in the morning, the PCs approached the portal as quietly as they could, the quieter PCs leading the way. The wizard cast a knock spell on the bronze door, and everyone who was close enough to do so rushed in to attack whatever was inside. The PCs surprised some sahuagin guards, who they set upon. They quickly dealt with the sahuagin, barely finishing the last one off before it could swing a metal bar into a great bronze gong that hung on one wall.
Unfortunately, the noise of the fight alerted more guards in the room next door, who then fired crossbows at the PCs from behind the safety of a bronze portcullis which not only kept the PCs away from them, but blocked the PCs from further entry into the complex. Shielded by the dwarf, the wizard and the sorcerer moved up to either side of the opening while the halfling buried an arrow into one of the sahuagin. The wizard then blasted the sahuagin with a 18 point lightning bolt, killing three of them and seriously injuring their leader. The spell also blasted apart a portion of the portcullis. The wizard's efforts are quickly followed up by the sorcerer, who unleashed a burning hands spell into the area for 23 damage! But, doesn't burning hands max out at 5d4? Why yes, yes it does, but this draconic bloodline (fire) sorcerer adds +1 to each die of damage for his fire spells, and he rolled 18 damage to begin with! Suffice to say, the remaining sahuagin were all cooked dead before any of them could run off and raise the alarm/get help. The bronze portcullis was also further damaged, and the PCs were able to muscle their way through the enlarged opening.
The PCs delved deeper into the complex, coming across newly tunneled out barracks and weapon stores filled with armaments ready for use. These they carried out the exit, alerting the Stoutlys and marines who were keeping watch on the hill to come and get them. And so armaments for 120 sahuagin warriors were "appropriated". The PCs next came upon a prison area, where a few sahuagin guards were taken out in short order. One surviving prisoner managed to give them some information before he died.
Shortly afterwards, the PCs came upon a cold storage chamber filled with the hanging carcasses of lizardmen and various demi-humans and humanoids. After that, they found a storage area filled with more mundane things. Along the way, somewhere, they also found a hidden cache of items taken from adventurers who had tried to assault the place in the not too distant past. A few key items from the trove turned out to provide a great boost to the PCs, even though they were unable to make use of most of the more valuable equipment.
The PCs explored further, finally coming upon a room containing a staircase descending into water. The room was occupied by ten slaves hacking away at the stone of the room to enlarge it. Overseeing them were two sahuagin, while six others lounged about. The PCs' scouts had come upon the chamber by stealth, and so they formulated a plan of attack. The sea elf and the monk, the latter now sporting a cloak of the manta ray, rushed into the room and dove into the water, blocking off the route downwards, while the dwarf and rogue charged into the sahuagin and the spellcasters hurled magic missiles. Three sahuagin went down immediately, and the others attacked back, but failed to do more than minor damage. Two others went down soon thereafter, and then the ten slaves finally figured out that this was their big chance at freedom, and so joined the PCs in attacking the remaining sahuagin. Attacked from multiple sides, and unable to flee, the sahuagin were cut down. The prisoners were freed of their shackles, and turned loose to go topside and join the militia and lizardmen.
The PCs then prepared to descend into the flooded levels of the former lizardmen home, and into the lair of the sahuagin! _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:37 am; edited 3 times in total
Though I DM'd my friends through Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, I never got to play through, DM, or even read Danger at Dunwater or Against the Cult of the Reptile God, so I'm enjoying the overview of those adventures very much.
Nice. I fondly remember playing this a few years back. It was my only real time as a player of 3rd ed, and I had a Rhennee pirate/swashbuckler type guy. It was a lot of fun; and the U series quickly became one of my favorites. After we were done, I compared my module to what our DM did in translating it to 3rd ed. I found that it really translated well and was perhaps better than in its original form. It certainly seemed more challenging.
Descending the stairs, the PCs began exploring this first, fully flooded level. Soon they came upon a large chamber where dozens of female sahuagin were eating. Among them were some sahuagin hatchlings swimming about. At full health, and somewhat confident, they attacked. Three of the sahuagin hatchlings ripped apart a dolphin that the halfling ranger summoned, and so the PCs didn't feel all that guilty about killing them, having realize that, fresh from the egg, these young sahuagin were vicious killers from birth.
After wiping out all of the sahuagin in the chamber, the PCs found side chambers filled with more than 300 eggs, two of which hatched right before their eyes. They killed the two hatchlings, and believing (correctly) that the rest of the eggs would soon hatch, they destroyed them all, thus putting an end to the entire next generation of sahuagin in one fell swoop!
(*Note: While the egg crushing was not worth any XP, it certainly figured in later on in adjudicating the PCs' reward.)
After a few rounds of healing spells, the PCs continued exploring, passing up a room filled with two dozen sahuagin warriors. The marked the location on their map and hurried on as quietly as possible. Not long after, they came upon a long hall filled with tables. Here there was an alcove where a large stone head of Semuanya was placed. It had been defiled repeatedly, which raised the ire of "Enik", the PC's lizardman guide/companion.
From there they next sneaked up to another room. Inside, sitting on a raised throne, was the largest sahuagin they had yet seen, and this one had four arms! A true monstrosity, it towered over the other sahuagin attending it. The PCs were rather freaked out, wondering if there was any chance of defeating such a creature, let alone it and the others with it at the same time. As some sort of audience was taking place there, which involved an argument of some kind, the PCs evaluated their resources, and decided to take a chance. After gearing up with what spells they could cast on whomever to help them out, they set their plan in motion.
Not having yet been noticed, the PCs had the drop on the sahuagin (they had been getting pretty lucky in this regard so far). The cleric started things off by targeting the 4-armed sahuagin monstrosity with a doom spell, which failed. This was to be in preparation for the sorcerer's action, which was to shoot the creature with his wand. So, the sorcerer rolls to hit with...his rod of baleful polymorph. With a Dex of 10, his odds are not so good. He has to roll a 14 or better, and rolls...an 18! Okay, okay, the save DC is not too bad, being only 15. The monstrous sahuagin has a +9 Fortitude save, so he only needs to roll a 6. You can already probably see where this going, can't you. And so I roll the saving throw, and up comes...the dreaded 1!!! Really. You can't make this stuff up. Everyone laughs their butts off when the sorcerer stated, "I turn him into a clam!"
Shortly afterwards, the dwarf charged into the room and cleaved the bejeezus out of the nearest three sahuagin guards, killing one of them outright and badly wounding the other two. The halfling then fired his captured underwater crossbow, finishing one of them off; the wizard doing likewise to the other with a barrage of magic missiles. The monk also charged in and grappled a female sahuagin garbed in various bits of jewelry and a lavish harness (she was also holding some sort of scepter as well), thinking she must be a spellcaster of some kind (and she was). The others charged in as quickly as possible, attacking a chieftain, the remaining guards, and a shark that had been lurking out of sight near the ceiling of the room.
Despite being grappled by the monk, the sahuagin high priestess managed to unleash an unholy blight spell, which did a good amount of damage to many of the PCs and sickened a few of them. That sort of freaked them out. Realizing they were still in a dangerous situation involving a powerful spellcaster, the PCs began to unleash what devastation they could. The wizard and sorcerer put a total of nine magic missile into the sahuagin high priestess, and the monk began to choke her out. Oceanus the sea elf attacked the high priestess from behind, skewering her once with his spear.
The dwarf was busy fighting the sahuagin chieftain, who received quite a shock when his hooked net flew truly at the dwarf only to...somehow...slip off of him (the dwarf was wearing a ring of free action ). The chieftain got put down by the dwarf eventually, with some help from the others. The dwarf then started chopping at the high priestess, who shot a grayish ray from her rod at him. It hit the dwarf, and he was surrounded by murky tentacles that squeezed him. Not only that, but the tentacles seemed cause a sort of lassitude to ooze into his body...which was nullified by his ring of free action. The effect was short lived though, and the dwarf was quickly back in action. Having killed the rest of the sahuagin, and the shark, the other PCs ganged up on the high priestess, who was soon defeated. Also, during the fighting, a bejeweled sahuagin female and handmaiden tried to escape the area, but they were stopped by the application of sleep and hold person spells, and dispatched.
[Aside: This was potentially a TPK encounter, and is the most dangerous encounter the PCs have yet faced. And the biggest, baddest nasty of them all never swung a single weapon at the PCs. Removing this threat with practically no effort is without a doubt the biggest bit of luck the PCs have experienced so far in their adventures.]
Having expended much of their offensive and healing capabilities, the PCs looted the throne room and other nearby areas, gathered up their "clam buddy", and high tailed it out of the lair and to their hilltop camp. A few hours later, the sahuagin lair was boiling with activity, many patrols traversing the bay and swarming over the hill lair in a frenzy, but no trail back to the PCs camp was found thanks to the halfling ranger's efforts to cover their tracks.
One more update to come. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
I would almost want to "cheat" there and let the 4-armed sahaugin make its save. Of course, I'm not an overly nice DM.....
I know such an event can be anti-climactic, but I make all my rolls as a DM in front of the players so they can enjoy their good luck and not be so upset about their bad luck in that regard.
However, what I would have done is to have the sahaugin in the guard room bypassed by the PCs on their way to that throne room hear the fight and arrive to help. Their presence would have made up for the loss of the Big Boss.
I roll in front of them for everything except the most mundane of things, or the things they shouldn't know about. It was a really bad break for the Sahuagin Baron, and a very, very fortunate turn of events of the PCs. Even as buffed up as they were with spell enhancements at the time, if the Baron would have been active then things could have still gone very bad. Having updated all the critters to Pathfinder rules, here is what they avoided dealing with (this is just my own "combat" stat block, not a fully detailed one, but it is close to complete):
The Baron- Ranger 6 XP 2,000
Str: 18 / +4 Int: 12 /+1 AC: 23 (T: 18 FF: 18) BAB: +8/+3 CMB: +12 CMD: 28
Dex: 18 / +4 Wis: 15 / +2 Init: +8 HP: 80 /
Con: 16 / +3 Cha: 9 / -1 Fort: +9 Ref: +12 Will: +7 Att: +13/+8 (1d8+5) and +15 (net*) and 2 x +13 (1d4+2) and +12 (1d4+2) or +12/+7 (1d4+4) and 3 x +12 (1d4+4) and +12 (1d4+2)
Feats: Great Fortitude, Multiattack, Toughness, Dodge, Mobility, Improved Initiative, Endurance, Quickdraw, Two-Weapon Defense
Skills: Handle Animal +6, Perception +8, Ride +6, Stealth +10, Swim +13
Special Abilities: favored enemy (+4 att & dmg vs. elves; +2 vs lizardfolk), favored terrain (sea), hunter’s bond (give allies +1 to hit vs. favored enemy), track, wild empathy, combat style (2-weapon combat).
Gear: trident +1, net of snaring +3, ring of protection +2, (2) masterwork daggers.
Spells: 1st: resist energy, entangle.
As you can see, he is capable of putting out some serious damage per round. If the target is an elf, which the adventuring party included three of, he would get an extra +4 to hit and damage against them. Being +17 to hit with most of his attacks against those individuals, he would need to be rolling 4's to hit the elf cleric, and only 2's to hit the 1/2 elf or sea elf fighter/rogues. One round of attacks would in all probability do for each of them. The dwarf, the most heavily armored of the PCs, would be hit on 10's. At least he would be immune to the net of snaring, due to his ring of free action. I almost forgot something. I also rolled a 5 for the Baron's Will save for the baleful polymorph effect, meaning he lost his own mental faculties and special abilities, and so mentally became a clam as well. Very bad day for the Baron.
But, with the Baron active that would mean the High Priestess would be more active with regard to her spells, and her arsenal was pretty well stocked:
Sahuagin High Priestess- Cleric 8 XP 2,000
Str: 14 / +2 Int: 12 / +1 AC: 23 (T: 18 FF: 21) BAB: +8/+3 CMB: +10 CMD: 22
Dex: 15 / +2 Wis: 18 / +4 Init: +2 HP: 77/
Con: 16 / +3 Cha: 14 / +2 Fort: +13 Ref: +9 Will: +15 Att: +11/+6 (1d8+2) and +5 (1d4+1) or 2 x +10 (1d4+2) and +10 (1d4+1)
Feats: Great Fortitude, Combat Casting, Selective Channeling, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Spellcraft)
Skills: Handle Animal +4, Perception +11, Ride +7, Stealth +7, Swim +15, Knowledge (religion) +12, Heal +8, Spellcraft + 12 (+16)
Special Abilities: touch of evil (touch; sickened for 4 rounds- 7/day), scythe of evil (unholy weapon, 4rounds- 1/day), Icicle (ray, 1d6+4 cold- 7/day), Resist Cold 10, Command Undead- 5/day.
Gear: wand of the squid (59), bracers of armor +6, pearl of power (2nd), masterwork trident, masterwork dagger,
Spells: 0- 4 1st- 5+1* 2nd- 4+1* 3rd- 4+1* 4th- 3+1* Domains: Evil, Water.
0: bleed, guidance, resistance, virtue
1st: bane, divine favor, cause fear, magic weapon, protection from good*, shield of faith,
2nd: align weapon*, death knell, hold person, cure moderate wounds, spiritual weapon
3rd: bestow curse, blindness, magic circle against good*, prayer, summon monster III (fiendish shark)
4th: divine power, aura of doom (Ult. Mag.), spell immunity, unholy blight*.
Final update to come... _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Haven't posted in a while, but our hiatus will soon be up and I might as well give you the wrap up of this before posting about the new adventures.
The PCs high-tailed it out of the lair, dragging all sorts of loot up to the top level. There they signaled the sailors/lizardmen on the hill, who came down to the bronze door and helped appropriate a veritable horde of loot and useful items. All told, the PCs eradicated 43 sahuagin warriors, 3 lieutenants, 5 elite guards, 1 chieftain, the high priestess, the baron, the baroness, her handmaiden, 37 females, 17 hatchlings, 360 sahuagin eggs, and 1 shark. They also freed some prisoners, including a locathah, a merman, and a sea lion, and gathered vital intelligence on the sahuagin lair and the amount and disposition of their forces.
They traveled back to the ship and set sail for Saltmarsh, arriving just before the envoys of the sea races, who stated they were ready to attack the sahuagin. The PCs gave their report on the sahuagin lair, and also brought ought a certain "clam buddy" to bake. After boiling it for what seemed like long enough to kill it, the PCs pulled it out and cast dispel magic on it, returning it to the form of the sahuagin Baron...WHICH WAS STILL BARELY ALIVE!!! One chop from the dwarf finished off the disoriented baron, and so the council and envoys saw the demise of the sahuagin ruler.
The PCs (who were all now 6th level) quickly prepared for the attack, and all returned to the sahuagin lair. The PCs led a force of 20 lizardmen and 24 Saltmarsh marines (led by the Stoutley brothers) into the the upper entrance at the bronze gate. Now armed with a truly devastating amount of 3rd level spells (the sorcerer now had them too), the PCs slaughtered their way through the uppermost levels to the stone steps leading down into the submerged sub-levels.
While they were doing this, the entirety of the allied sea races overwhelmed the few sahaugin patrols in the area and then assaulted the main sea cave entrance. The sahuagin fought savagely, but they were outnumbered nearly five-to-one. The hammer blow came when the PCs finally arrived at the rear of the sahuagin forces and hit them with devastating spells and a ferocious assault spearheaded by the dwarf and monk. The sea devils broke and were destroyed.
The allied forces returned triumphantly to Saltmarsh, and a great celebration was held. The lizardmen had their home back, and though it was now partially submerged, plans were made to turn a portion of it into a trade center for the the lizardmen, people of Saltmarsh, and the allied sea races. To further strengthen relations, the council of Saltmarsh elected to establish "embassies" for the lizardmen and allied sea races in the town/on the coast.
The PCs themselves were rewarded with a sizable sum of gold pieces, and were also given a certain nefarious merchant's mansion, to be stocked with basic comforts and kept up for them by the people of Saltmarsh for all time (the PCs would need to supply any particular oddities, like laboratory equipment, other expensive/unique supplies, etc.).
And so the PCs did settle in for a while to enjoy their just rewards and the hero status they now held. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
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