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Chitleen Shudra wrote:
I've always thought a Master / Blaster build would be brutal for a pugwampi / unchosen gnoll combo.
might work if you could keep the Unchosen from snacking on the pugs. Speaking of Unchosen, I just killed another PC in my Legacy of Fire game. It's probably good to break off for a while. I seem to be on a PC-cidal streak.
Thanks again, ALL. I'll definitely contact you if life regains some normalcy to delve into the lower levels.
The Shoosuva was from a classic D&D article circa Dragon magazine 80s about Gods of the orcs, gnolls, etc. They had a slow paralysis ability.
I tried scaling down a nabasu, but found innervation is really dangerous. Also the DR was too high. I scaled back more toward a Large Yaenit as the base. I think the slow gaze worked pretty well. A dex draining bite was intended to allow the possibility of creeping paralysis. I'm still not sure about that. I like neg levels somewhow to produce more ghouls, but maybe just add ghoul fever to the bite to take care of that??
Anyway. Thanks again for being game. Maybe this summer I'll have more time to solidify this better and resume. I'll let you know either way.
I really hate to do this after FINALLY finding a great group of reliable and fun players, but I feel like I need to put this on hiatus for an indeterminate amount of time.
I still have plenty of ideas and sketches of things to come, but filling it in as we go along has become difficult lately as RL has become more demanding.
I certainly appreciate your patience and being game as I try some things out. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the last few encounters. Feel free to inflict them on your own players.
The Gremlin Tower for example, shows some potential for intermediate level gremlin threats. Pugwampi druids might be challenging- entangle really pins PCs down. Problem is that relying on pug warriors to bring some damage is going nowhere. Their attack bonus is just too low and no damage. poison might do something, but again- good luck getting past AC.
The druid summoning a swarm of bats might be especially cruel though if you figure entangle won't affect flying creatures. I don't know if stirges are kosher- as magical beasts, they ought to be affected by the unluck aura, but they are listed as pugwampi allies so I gave them a pass.
Jinkins have some cool potential after you give them crossbows. Otherwise they get creamed coming within reach. Allied with a pug or two and lead by a sorcerer, you can bring the pain by greasing your prey and then taking advantage of sneak attack damage against flat-footed bigguns.
Lockjaw- well at least you're making your saves in style...
Seamus bounds forward one more time and jams his pike into the demon. The pike doesn't penetrate far, but it is enough. Even as the other dwarves crowd in, the terrible lambent eyes fade and the thing collapses into a bubbling heap of some chalky tarry substance.
Seamus darts in again to strike leaving a painful welt though the supernatural hide resists some of the damage. Karrak follows to bring his dorn-dergar into play as the glowing hammer disappears. The hit is solid though not at full extension of the chain and lands somewhat softly. Lockjaw draws upon the divine power to heal and his focus isn't in his attack which is infuriatingly slow and ineffective.
The demon continues to focus on the holy warrior. Its assault is lacking in conviction as it weakens, but its bite leaves a mark and again threatens to tighten the paladin's muscles into a stiff rigid state.
and dicebot turns again just when you might have a chance...
Seamus bounds back into the battle, but perhaps he is a bit too juiced as he fumbles his pike strike. Karrak's celestial ally continues nibbling little burns with its beam, but the floating hammer seems stymied. The doughty priest however, lands a solid hit on the evil outsider before stepping back.
Despite the holy power that floods through the paladin and Chiteen's assistance, Lockjaw just can't move fast enough to land another blow on the demon. The fiendish monster bats the floating light back to the celestial realms and turns again on the paladin. It is looking a little haggard under the combined assault however. Its claw rends the stone plate, but jaws merely grate against mineral.
Lockjaw-I think that you missed this line above: 8 claw, 5 bite, fort DC 15 or 3 dex damage (+2 ceremony bonus applies to save)
Seamus hits the 'roids in the back while everyone else mobs the demon. The glowing archon darts around to the rear unleashing another series of burning rays whilst the glowing hammer dances around though it fails to strike. Karrak steps up to meet the enemy and his dergar impacts drawing what serves for demon blood. Lockjaw continues fighting though as if in a nightmare, his limbs barely move in time to his will. His slow hammer misses as Chitleen steps to his side.
The bloodied demon snarls as it is beset from all sides. It turns its wrath first against the glowing celestial. The weaving orb dodges claws, but suffers a dire bite.
now that's what I'm talking about! Did you apply Karrak's +9 hp channel?
The great pale demon spreads a jagged toothed smile as it hops forward on its squat crooked hind legs. Lockjaw is ready however and even though it feels like he is moving through honey, he steps forward to meet the demon with divine might flowing through him. The sound of the blow echoes through the old library and the great luminous eyes of the fiend flicker as if in doubt for the first time.
It falls on the paladin though it remains entangled by the sticky strands of Chitleen's bomb. A claw hits slashing a burning welt and jagged teeth grate over the stone armor leaving a shallow bite behind. Though shallow, the bite sends necrotic torpor through Lockjaw's muscles.
sorry about the lack of maps. My brother updated Java on my computer and that's F'ed up my maptools. I can get it to run now, but it won't read the very files it's saved so I have to keep the program open and if I happen to close it for any reason, I have to rebuild the maps from scratch each time. Very Annoying!
So I don't think all is lost yet. Karrak has spiritual hammer for what's worth. Lockjaw is down, but not out. He's -4 everything for neg level and slowed, but smite makes up a bit of that.
Ok, it does look pretty bad...
there's always a chance for a little Deus ex / mea culpa...
Still moving at a glacial pace, Lockjaw reaches over to aid Seamus with a radiant hand. That alone saves the halfling as the demon playfully cuffs him with a heavy paw that leaves the small warrior swaying on his feet.
A demonic voice echoes in you minds, I am rather looking forward to fresh meat, the last bunch were getting rather smelly!
Seamus leaves a gaping wound in the ghast gnolless' side though only a trickle of old black blood seeps out. The floating archon blasts another beam through the evil priestess and then before Lockjaw can move his heavy half-paralyzed limbs, Chitleen manages to get another bomb aloft for a direct hit. The undead ghast gives only a gargled half cry as her entire head melts away from the alkhahest. The long dead body topples to the ground leaving only the horrible pale hyena demon though that may be all that is needed. It doesn't even flinch as the arcane acid that melted the priestess splashes across it's snaggle-toothed muzzle.
The halfling's pike whirls about dangerously striking every enemy in range. The demon just shrugs off the weapon, but the ghast harassing Lockjaw finally goes down as it is smacked in the back of the head.
Seamus- you can hit the priestess as well so take another attack.
yeah, the dice certainly aren't on your side... and maybe the demon is a l-e-e-tle too powerful. I'm scaling it back a bit as we go.
Actually, I don't believe Lockjaw loses any abilities. These are very temporary neg levels. There is the penalty and hp loss, but it states no spell loss and I imagine that applies to class abilities as well.
Seamus jabs his pipe pike back at the demon though even his magical polearm leaves only a shallow wound on the supernatural hide. Karrak focuses all his divine might at the priestess. The glowing hammer is deflected by the grotesque leather armor, but the glowing orb that appears manages to hit the ghast with a beam of burning light.
Lockjaw continues to struggle, his hammer heavy in his hand as he feebly wrestles with the undead gnoll. Neither gets the upper hand. Chitleen's nerves get the better of him as a flask again sails afoul (1d8 ⇒ 4) barely splashing the twisted priestess. The priestess gives a sputtering curse and calling upon Kabriri sends out a burst of dark radiance that heals most of her wounds and restores some of the grievously injured ghast's crushed abdomen.
Laughing at the halfling's feeble attempts, the great gnoll demon lays into Seamus tearing and biting at the noble halfling.
up and: 1d8 ⇒ 6
The bomb flies high just missing its target to shatter behind and between priestess and demon. The ghast dodges the spray and the demon ignores the acid baring rows of dagger-like teeth. A glowing double-headed flail appears near Karrak just missing the cleric.
The ghast on Lockjaw continues mewing hungrily black coagulated blood dripping from its long tongue as it pries at his armor. The great pale demon pads forward snapping its jaws and moaning eerily as a great clawed hand smashes the bounding halfling.
Staggered by the violation of his very life force, Lockjaw can barely raise his hammer against the undead gnoll. Karrak calls for a celestial ally against the demon. Seamus leaps forward to jab at the shaman and bounces back missing. The priest of Kabriri begins a spell as Chitleen hurls a bomb.
Bombs away, Chitleen.
yeah, trying to find a loophole as I critted an enervation to hit roll... we'll just call that max damage. I hope that I didn't make this encounter too tough.
Lockjaw is blasted by the demon's strange black ray and feels his life energy ebb away! Lockjaw-4 neg levels
Lockjaw's horribly maimed ghast clings to unlife as it continues to dig at the stone plated that protect the paladin. The ghastly gnoll shaman replies in kind to Karrak's spell casting by spraying a circle of coagulated blood around itself and the demon.
The great glowing hyena demon cackles with a malice that rattles in your marrow and lifting a paw sends a black energy bolt at the paladin.
Lockjaw's swing is a long time coming, but he smashes his hammer deep into the ghast's chest as Karrak again sprays a silver circle to ward you all. Seamus' lance is set for the enemy's approach.
Chitleen- you're closer to the front line than the enemy so you have cover, not them.
Although it is not a species with which you are acquainted, the creature is obviously a demon and likely resistant to magic, fire, cold, and mundane weapons.
Seamus grits his teeth against the bite's worse effects and choking up on his lance rams it through the pale gnoll's head. Chitleen and Karrak get ready on the second line.
Karrak's crossbow flies over the remaining ghast's shoulder. It mews horribly as it continues to claw and bite at the slow moving, but heavily armored paladin to no avail. It's calls of distress are answered however, as the double doors burst open revealing yet another gnoll dressed in a flayed dwarf skin and bearing a double flail.
Behind it is a horror. A great beast whose head nearly reaches the ceiling as it trundles forward. It appears more like a great emaciated hyena than a gnoll. Though its features are humanoid, it seems more comfortable on all four legs. It's back is covered in a shag of mangy gray fur in contrast to bare white limbs. It's dish-sized eyes radiate an unhealthy yellow light. As it's baleful gaze passes over you, you feel near paralyzed by the malevolence.
The adventurers have grown inured to the stench of death with all they've endured lately, but Lockjaw still finds himself caught off guard as two more gnoll ghasts appear among the stacks. The ever hungering undead spring from behind the shelves before anyone can react and bite at the warriors in the lead. Lockjaws heavy armor serves him well once more, but the small piker suffers a filthy bite.
Chitleen 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Karrak 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 + 2 = 8
Lockjaw 1d20 ⇒ 1
Seamus 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Foe 1d20 ⇒ 18
Though vile, Lockjaw doesn't detect any supernatural evil from the hanging carrion or the dark feast, but there is definitely evil here. A faint emanation comes from the double doors.
Carefully testing the doors, no trap is activated and they swing open easily. The long narrow chamber beyond is lined with cells which seem to have served as small workshops though little has been left behind; only a couple worktables, a broken stool and empty shelves. It opens into a square chamber with tall shelves that look to have been a library of sorts. Now most of the shelves are broken or sagging and scraps of brown parchment molder in heaps. As soon as you enter the place the scent of death which has been pervasive since the dining hall becomes overwhelming.
passing ghast- fort DC 15 or sickened.
It takes a moment or two for Karrak to realize what he is seeing. Two old tables stand nearby to the right side piled with a grotesque banquet. A rib cage lies open and emptied of all the organs within, bare except for strips of muscle and skin dangling from the thin curved bones. A head gapes eyeless and tongueless with toothmarks embedded in the cheeks. It is likely not wise to further dwell upon the remains of such horrible acts.
At the other end of the room, several corpses hang from the ceiling. There is a faint popping sound which you realize comes from the maggots dropping from the dangling cadavers. A pair of closed double doors stand across the way.
The carnal stench of ghast strikes you as you enter the central court of the building. Likely they are near and perhaps only just left this chamber. You again pass the ancient carvings commemorating losses and victories as you circumnavigate the great monument to the defiled shrine room. The doors are open and inside only the rubble of the corrupted earth elemental remains. The door to the Gremlin Tower is closed, but the unexplored opposite door is open.
no problem. So Lockjaw at 47/59?
The halfling's light is the only flicker in the gathering murk as the party moves to the ornamented and domed treasury. The doors at the top of the stairs are shut once more, but no skeletal guards remain to fire upon you as the password is tried once again and the heavy doors creak open.
Later in the day, the adventurers gather in the courtyard of the caravanserai to prepare for another foray against the Shoosuva. Although Tarrar's absence is keenly felt, a sense of purpose resonates through the survivors. It is as if Torag himself has blessed your mission to purge the blasphemous undead from the mine. Aktosh and the two elderly former slaves see you off and bolt the caravanserai gates behind you.
The group moves back down the promenade past the broken statues and graffiti illuminated by the outside light that filters into the front of the Grand Transept. At the district wall, you note that the pile of corpses near the gate has been reduced to a small reeking mound of bone chips and detritus. Whatever was in there appears to have eaten its fill and moved on.
Once past the wall that divides the transept, the light quickly dims. Chitleen applies an attar to grant darksight like the dwarves, but Seamus finds himself hindered by the loss of light.
The bier catches quickly engulfing the shrouded form upon it in an inferno within moments. Thick black smoke rises toward the battlements guarding the lost mine's entrance and a faint exiting breeze guides it to the sky beyond. Those in attendance stand silently; watching and reflecting until the fire begins to fail and charred remains and burned wood collapses though embers continue burning through the night. What is left of the bones can be gathered in the morning, but for now, it is time to get what rest you can.
8 Ersatus. Next day and preparations.
Karrak Ironhand wrote:
I guess I was thinking of the Ceremony spell.
OK, that's a new one to me. How about Karak loses a 1st level spell the next day in exchange for everyone benefiting from an all day +2 sacred bonus against death effects, and I'll throw in level drain and negative energy damage with that.
Truther and Trathis brought a fair amount of wood and oil in the last caravan so you have the materials for the pyre although more wood will be needed soon. If your bosses don't return soon, a logging trip to the Forest of Tombs might be needed.
Although weary, there is no rest for the dwarves as they toil to stack a bier to lay Tarrar upon for cremation near the entrance of Zolurket. Finally it is done and you wipe the sweat from your brows and prepare to burn the fallen dwarf.
any final farewell from Karrak?
Chitleen takes the first opportunity to return to his lab leaving the dwarves to deal with their dead. Aktosh accepts the weapon gratefully. "No, I did not craft this fine weapon, it was made by the ancestors that once dwelled herein. I am not so great a warrior as Tararr, but I swear to Kols that I will put it so the best use I can."
He looks sadly at the dead dwarf, thinking deeply. "Cremation is not our way, but this cursed mine leaves us little choice. It is a long journey to any other desert dwarf settlement and we would not be welcomed anyway. It should take place under sheltering stone, but perhaps near the entrance as far from the tainted mines as possible."
Grumbling, Aktosh disappears from the roof and opens the doors to admit the adventurers. "I thought I told you before that these mines are cursed. Oh, might have been before you healed me and I could hear myself speak again. Sometimes they come back, the dead I mean, twisted and hungry especially if they were killed by undead. The gnolls always burned their dead when I was a slave."
"I don't mean no disrespect, but it's better to burn 'em right away or feed 'em to the oozes like you did last time. No, the oozes ain't right for Tarrar. I'm just saying that I wouldn't leave a body lying around in this place overnight."
"By the way, I hope you don't mind that I took it on myself to get rid of the heads you posted around. I don't think the werebats will be back anytime soon and they were only liable to draw trouble."
A large nose and dangling beard appear above the caravanserai doors as Aktosh investigates the disturbance. "Ah, so you've returned." He notices Tarrar and the beard sways as the old dwarf shakes his head. "Is he dead? It'd be best to burn him soon if he was slain by undead. Heck, burn him even if he wasn't slain by undead; you can't be too careful in this damned mine."
I believe it is time to bring in Seamus. Not sure what he's doing hanging around lost mines, but feel free to fill that in, BBB.
As for the hooked lance, I still like the pipe idea so call it a hollow pike. +1 hooked lance with a bit of a bowl worked into the hook. It can be used for imbibing pesh, tobacco or what-have-you or using alchemical substances. For example, alchemist's fire can be poured in and remains ignited causing the weapon to deal an additional 1d6 fire damage for 1d4+1 rounds. I also see it as originally a kobold weapon and used for alchemist coal without the sickened effect.
So I've got a friend who is going to restart his Skull and Shackles campaign with the second book (4th level I think), anyone interested?
As a related note, I will be starting a grad class in addition to teaching full time + job so I might have to delay or end this campaign depending on how much of a work load it is :(
It's a class with the American Meteorological Society, Karrak- I noticed that that's your gig : )
Noting their precarious position with one companion killed and resources depleted, the adventurers make for the exit through the round room holding the great monument covered in bas-relief portraying hte history of the dwarves that once dwelled here. The door out to the Grand Transept remains open and the party swiftly drags their dead with them as they skirt the promenade back to the caravanserai.
Karrak Ironhand wrote:
Can we bar the door? Go back up the ladder and block the trap door?
there are three doors out of this room- Gremlin Tower to the south, the ghast went north, and then the eastern door you originally arrived through. It leads through the Monument Hall and then back out to the Grand Transept and back to the caravanserai. You could also certainly go back up the Gremlin Tower and climb down from the watch tower if you like.
Karrak whirls out a circle of silver powder that forms a holy ward. Chitleen continues his defensive game mostly kworking to deflect the festering claws and blackened teeth.
Lockjaw is heartened by the holy circle and smashes the wounded ghast where it stands crushing bone and sending it to the ground where it lies to move no more. Its fellow undead panics before the radiant field around the fierce dwarf paladin and quickly backpedals through the opposite door giving a wailing call for assistance leaving the party alone for the moment to ponder whether to retreat from the treasury or deal with ghast reinforcements.
I'm assuming Chitleen is still fighting defensively though he wouldn't have hit either way. Also, I don't believe Karrak was threatening with the chain flail what with scrolling and casting and all.