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Rikkus's page

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Thank you very much, Scylla!!
I greatly appreciate your help.

When I started playing D&D about 12 years ago, the DM combined 1st and 2nd edition rules and ran his own high powered story that lead into the infamous H4: The Throne of Bloodstone. I have been through H4 three times before 3rd edition came out.

I recently aquired a copy of the adventure and am working on converting it to 3.5 (with beef ups for the lower demons and such) to use as an epic level adventure for my campaign.

The problem I'm having is that in 1st demons are listed by type, ie Type 1 Demons, Type 2 Demons, ect., and without ever having access to first edition manuals like my first DM< I have no idea which demons are which type. There are mention of Vrocks in a description, but with multiple 'Types" present that didn't help either.

SO PLEASE, can any of the old school gamers please post which demon types are which type of demon? I appologise in advance to any 'old' offenses <grin>. Thank you!

First let me say I think this is an awesome adventure and I'm enjoying running it (we had to quit right outside the last room). It also fit really well for me because the group hates monkeys. I'm running it as a side quest to the AP to help the party get back to the proper level. Do to the Lucky Monkey encounter, most the players don't care much for them. One PC actually has a true hatred of gorilla types though do to a bad encounter with gorillions, ending in his death. (I let the player bring the PC in from another campaign I could no longer run). This made it the perfect side quest for me.

Anyways, I wanted to point out the sorcerer is listed as casting invisibility and being positioned near the anvil. However Tellax has cast invis purge, with a radias that covers the whole room. Since Tellax would enter the altarroom before Shamok would cast invis, I decided he wouldn't of wasted the casting.

For those of you who have the Miniatures Handbook, I replaced Tellax's Summon Monster 6 with Planar Ally. With this spell he can summon an Aspect of Demogorgon. It adds more 'feel' in my opinion. The pupose of summoning a demon to fight is still served, you get to use a cool demon whose figure you may have from Archfiends, and you can also rule the standard 1+ rounds of negotiation be waived since this is an aspect of the demon whose temple is being raided at the moment.

{Evil DM Grin}

What I'm most curious about at the moment is how much editing/corrections will be made based off of the messegeboard?

For example there are threads about an error in Ike's tactics, Fetor not using the new metamatic feat he alone posseses, Hookface being both male and female....

So James, are you using the messageboard as a guideline for changes in the hardbound edition? Is it actually possible that things we have posted may become part of the HC?

When I ran the room three PCs died (or were paralized) almost instantly. The rouge tumbled into the room and took a full attack from the dragolich on the first round. It also didn't help that Fetor had been working his way towards the final room after the deminsion door to his 'bedroom.'

Anyways the monk grabbed the main fighter's body (he was the leader) and started running down the hall. The cleric was still halfway through the hall (taking his time due to the latices). Fetor, still alive, casts his last lighting bolt down the hall, killing the dwarf. The monk's evasion made him the only survivor.

The monk took the fighter to the church where he had prepaid for a reserection. Since the party used the moneychanger in town as a bank, the leader was needed for the monk to get his share back. After that the monk quit due to a 'bad party.' Everyone else made new PCs at the same level as the fighter and I had to run a side quest for them to regain a level. Afterwards the reentered and fought their way through a restocked dungeon and killed the dracolich they were prepared for.

I'm glad that Paizo is publishing the AP in HB for all those people who don't have it. I'm sure many people will enjoy it.

The $60 price sounds high, but Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil is only 192 pages, softcover, and $29.95, so the price isn't all that bad if it's 400 pgs+ and hardback. Still I bet many will put it down based on price alone.

I would like to have it but I will most likely decline. As stated by other $60 is a lot for something I already have, even if it is as one big collection. Also we're up to Lord of Oblivion so we may be done before the HB ever comes out, making the purchase that much more unusable by myself.

I'll start saving for AP2 in HB however. I subscribed to Dungeon only for the adventures since I don't have a lot of time to write my own anymore. Since I have a lot of unused material, more than enough to last a while, I let my Dungeon subscription run out. I was debating doing this for some time and losing out on the number of adventures helped me make that choice. Still, I enjoyed the work well enough I'd buy the AP2, w/o already owning it, for $60.
(BTW I know there are other threads about only 3 adventures per issue so I don't mean to sidetrack this threads subject)

Archade wrote:
I'm using the monthly upkeep rules in the DMG (and avoiding nickel and dime stuff for drinks at the tavern, etc). Won't they be suprised when those costs start going up! It won't horribly inconvenience them, but it will tie the city's problems right into their pocketbook...

That's what I have done as well. I already used the monthly upkeep portion in my other games. I've even made players mad by inforcing them to use one of the higher costs when their 18th level PCs take a break after a good encounter. Fortunatly my current group understands that a guy with a $200,000 salary isn't going to eat at Mickey D's every night, stay at the motel 8, but drive a porche. Thus they use an appropriate status due to gp funds and character personality.

They've been curious why prices have steadily went up, and now they've bought a house to try to 'cut back on long term cost.' Too bad it's going to backfire. Still, as Archshade said, the prices won't go so high to cause a real problem, but enough to make them notice......and care.

Well Maveric28, I think you made the overall right decision. I kind of like the idea of rolling each head's recharge seperatly, but you only need to keep track of the highest recharge rolled. The MM does state the BWs have to all be fired at the same time.

Of course if I didn't have a new player and a somewhat new player I'd be willing to try your method of each head being able to fire on it's own 'per rounds basis' as it does kinda make since. The DMG version of all heads having to fire in the same round is most likely due mainly for the simplicity it offers by comparision. Good job with the house rule!

GlassJaw wrote:
lordmolay wrote:
there was a 4th level monk in the party and was able to by pass the DR. Also my fighter was strong enought to chip away at the DR. the rest of the party could do almost no damgae to TE but they did take care of the advanced apes
Remember though that in 3.5, afflicted lycans only have DR 5/silver, not 10. That makes a huge difference.

You're right that inflicted lycans only have DR 5/silver, while true blooded lycans still have 10.

I couldn't remember if toungeeater was afflicted or not, but I thought he wasn't. Besides, how it was written, being still 3.0, the DR was intended as 10 and there was risk of infliction. With 3.5 afflicted lycans cannot inflict others. Even if I'd off know for sure he was afflicted I'd of made him a natural.

I did however leave hints to the party of various material available in Caldron, an made sure everyone was fully aware of the new DR system at start up. Too bad the only guy that listened until after TE was the brand new player, who bought a silver dagger and cold-iron dagger. He was quickly dispossed off in the fight however.

I figured the extra damage came from a fifferent source, much like the fire damage from a flaming weapon, the holy damage from a holy weapon, etc. As such the 2d6 damage bypassed the damage reduction automaticly, rgardless of the normal damage. The PCs in the group at the time barely survived the fight even with the deva's help and without my call it would of been a TPK.

Oh, did anyone else notice the demons CR was wrong. I can't remeber off hand but it was either 1 high of low.

Well lordmolay, looks like you made an interesting point on how different people interpet differently. If you want to go completely 'by the book' than this thread has no merit because it would be however the DM reads the entry. Besides, how many times in the past 4 years have the rules been changed. Each addition has its own erettas and also some monsters get redone in another book fixing mistakes in a prior book (ex. MMII version of a bone naga, the updated 3.5 MMII version of a bone naga, the serpent kingdom version of the bone nage [converted into a template]).

Another thing, why does it seem my_lego keeps argueing over the single jet 21d6 instant TPK game over blah blah when he's the guy who started the whole thread about why a CR 8 is that powerful. No offense meant to lego, I just think you wanted the correction but have been unwilling to accept it. Again lordmolay has a good point of do you think the MM would realy give a CR 8 a 21d6 BW every 1d4 rounds?!?! Compare that BW to the CR of other BW creatures. I know dragons are typically more vicious than hydras with their other abilities, but find the lowest CR dragon that can do 21 dice on a BW.

My_Lego wrote:

Secondly those heads really do produce one 21d6 blast. Both in the SRD and MM the cryo-Hydra produces one jet, not several and that jet does 3d6/head. That means that the pegs are a real hazard if the hydra rolls well, just hope that to many characters are not cought in the jet. But since the blast is not really that large the whole group probably won't get deep frozen. :)

Even James stated the that it is 7 different 3d6 blasts, not a single 21d6 blast. Just because the blasts are all released at the same time, they are being released by multiple heads, most likely in multiple directions.

However I could see a DM allowing only one save regardless of the number of blasts caught in, due to the fact you are dodging them all at the same time, and are considered the same attack. I'd also agree with multiple saves since they are also seperate breaths coming at different angles and such. I would say that this should be discussed as a group and become a 'house rule' and not a case by case concern.

Also, I didn't consider before the breaths being the same action when dealing with the pegs. I would agree with adding the damage together when applying it to the pegs since the damage is happening all at once, however it doesn't mean that enough BWs hit the area of a peg to due much, if any, damage. I'd still use one of the options I presented above if wanting to make the pegs a real threat in this encounter.

In another thread I spoke of a certain dwarf PC in my party. Because of a flaw his movement rate is half normal, so his movement is 10. Because of the spell weavers elixer that gives +8 str, -4 wis the dwarf, who had one level of cleric, couldn't cast his domain spell longstrider, or his scrolls of the same spell, to increase his movement rate. Their first encounter was the hezrou who banished them back.

It was very frusterating for the players. Remember though that much of the plane is open where there is a chance to avoid encounters. I've never really seen my group back down, hide or run until realizing that this demon could make their journey impossible to complete.

I agree overall with the 'last resort' tactic, after all demons love the flesh of mortals, and also love having them as captives. There were a few times however that I rerolled rather than deal with the drama of having the party try to hide before having to return to start.

I don't believe there's an actual rule on this or not but I ruled since the hydra has reach (10' I think), than it only makes since that it could fire it's BW from 10' away from the body, since the BW does come from the heads. Also since the creatures base also has a height, the BW can already be fired from say 10' off the floor level, 20' if you include the reach, allowing the BW to hit up to 40' above the chasms floor level.

I never bothered with the pegs because that week we had two old players (who had played 2nd with me and another guy in the current group) show up. I was having too much trouble keeping the game under control letting them know we enjoy 3rd, this isn't 2nd, and I wasn't going to stand for ruining everyone else's fun being ruined because 'well in 2nd edition we could...' etc. to mess with fine details. After looking up objects though you are right about the pegs not being a hazard due to 1/4 damage of max 18, with 10 hardness. If I was going to make the pegs an actual hazard I would suggest maybe reducing the hardness to 5 due to weathering, age, and such. Also apply cold damage at 1/2 rather than 1/4 due to long time exposure and frost build up. Of course if you are going to make these adjustments it is only fair to describe frost build up and such on the stairwell and maybe even a small balance DC due to ice (maybe DC5 at half movement with a +3 bonus for using the handrail)

Also I posted this info last night but it didn't show up. This thread really isn't the place to discuss this but it has happened to me a few times and it is wearing on my nerves.

cwslyclgh is right about needed a new thread to debate cultural influence. Also scapegoats aren't the reason for violance. Marylon Manson is the cause of all things evil, so there's no reason for further debate (for the record I like most of Manson's music, I only said that because Manson publicly took credit to be the scapegoat of all of America's problems).

Now as I said above, there are specific guidelines to show why Paizo doesn't publish evil based adventures besides just saying no or based on any beliefs, etc. Just by adhering to the WotC D&D 3.5 version and no other material regaurdless of tie ins keeps them from publishing evil based material.

Second, if you can't use the adventure 'to destroy the evil artifact' as a 'lets take control of the evil artifact' adventure, or any other SIMPLE alterations to make most adventures useable for an evil PC group, than HONESTLY YOUR GROUP ISN'T MATURE ENOUGH OR SKILLED ENOUGH AT PLAYING TO HANDLE AN EVIL BASED CAMPAIGN!!

In an issue's letter's section a while back one of the staff members, James I believe, answered a letter about why there aren't evil adventures. One of the comments he made was how most evil campaigns involve less time adventureing and more time with conflict between the PCs, which often leads to conflict between the players.

As a 12 or so year veteran I've experimented with evil PCs, adventures and campaigns with multiple groups and many different players. Overall it doesn't work. The players either end up fighting each other and nothing is ever accomplished or they end up playing a more neutral alnignment than evil.

Also many player's not only can't properly play evil, but many can't even react to evil PCs in the group. Example. A member from one of my old groups joined one of my newer groups. Later he started to DM an adventure he had started in the old group that only him and I had been in. I asked if I could use my old PC and he said yes. Morris had started out LN. He was a wizard/rouge, with a 5 con. His hp were very crappy and he deeply depended on everyone else for survival. This PC of mine had one of the highest death rates of any PC I've ever played, but his personality made him fun to play. He was a compulsive gambler, and a thief. Along the way his actions, as well as keeping and using an unholy sword found, the DM changed his alignment to evil (w/o ever telling the other players of the change). Morris was never played any different. He was forever loyal to the party because he knew his life depended on them. The only thing negative he ever did to the group was what he had done before the alignment change. Since the agreement was the group splits all treasure evenly that we find after an encounter, unless only one person took the risks or if a PC found the treasure on his own. Typical combat went like this.

Round1- move to the back, cast unseen servant
Round2- take cover cast invis. on my bag of holding
Round3- send the servant with the bag towards the treasure pile to collect money and objects for a round or two
Round4- cast some offensive spells to help finish the fight

This allowed me extra treasure w/o breaking the agreement. If an item went well with another PC, I'd give them this 'gift' to help insure my survival at a later time. Everything went great until about 2 weeks after the DM made me evil. Another player asked a question about what spells I had prepared and grabed my paper, then after seeing the alignment went completely balistic. We lost an hour of play because I had an evil character and how I was going to steal from the group, kill everyone in the group, etc. etc. This was the same character everyone knew I was playing, that everyone had been ok with, enjoyed, but now it was a problem because I was evil! The players even knew of the invis/unseen servant thing and had laughed about it, unconcerned since my PC wasn't a threat and that he'd give anything that would really help another character to them as a gift for protection later, but it was all different after the DM ruled me more evil than neutral.

Again, I'm not trying to make anyone mad, and I enjoy evil in the mix when it is done well, but for most it can't be done without problems.

Also one of the components sections in the back of Dungeon went on about player tactics and such. One of the things listed was not to play the antiparty PC. It tears the group apart, slows gameplay, and ruins other players fun. Put 5 guys around the table with evil in their alnignmentsd and you've got 5 antiparty PCs. Again how can Paizo allow evil adventures without going against other statments they have made about how the game should be played?

First off let me say I agree with Paizo's stand on publishing evil adventures. Also, regardless as to how even the majority of people play the game, vary the game or whatever, it is clearly written that Dragon and Dungeon magazines are intented to support the most current publication of the D&D game, and doesn't publish anything that supports any other d20 system. That said, seeing an evil adventure in Dungeon would be no different than if they published a Wheel of Time adventure now and then, or even a Star Wars adventure. How? The WoT and SW player's handbooks are published by WotC, but aren't the mainstream published D&D material. How again does this relate to the alignment issue? Player's Handbook, introduction, page 4 " taking on the role of a hero-a character you create." It's the 2nd line in the book!!

Later on the same page it states "Your characters star in the adventures you play, just like the heroes of a book or movie." On page 103 it says "Most player characters are good or neutral rather than evil. In general, evil alignments are for villians and monsters." So even though the book doesn't specifically say DON'T PLAY EVIL, it makes the intent known that they recommend playing non-evil based campaigns. So if Paizo stands by it's standards, than allowing evil based adventures is no different than printing a Wheel of Time adventure.

Now I'm not saying that people don't play evil PCs or campaigns. I've done it and am even running an evil PC in a friends adventure. I have a borderline evil PC in my AP campaign as well. The point is that Paizo shouldn't break one rule unless they were just as likely to break them all.

Moving on, also most people CAN NOT PLAY EVIL. They play psycotic maybe, maybe even psycotic evil, but not a real evil. Dragon recently had an article on the anti-hero and the guy hit a lot of points that I have had trouble getting across to people in the past over evil PCs.

And since people are talking about books, has anyone read Lyn Abbey's Dark Sun book, The Rise and Fall of a Sorcerer King? That is evil. The way Hamanu is described he is the most loyal of allies. A true friend. A guy I could honesty place my faith in if I lived in Pavek's shoes, but make no mistake. All know he is evil, and even his actions prove it. Cross him the slightest and experience a death unlike any you could imagine.

As someone else mentioned it's not hard to alter an adventure to evil PCs w/o the title saying "Let's be Evil and Kill, Death, Maim, Destroy." (or blood, death and vengeance for those of you to get that joke) If the adventure is about the PCs stopping the mad necromancer and destroying his artifact of unholyness why not run the thing as written? What evil cleric or mage in your group doesn't want to stop this necro before his power is too great? Which one doesn't want the evil artifact for themselves? Common, and give me a break. Half the adventures written in Dungeon are just as good for evil PCs with a simple hook change. As far as evil PCs stopping the forces of good, well it's hard to write.

Any well written vs the good guys story would involve the good guys trying to stop the evil PCs. That means a customized DM written adventure unless your gonna force your party to take certain actions to set up the encounters. Not very fun.

Lastly there was a side quest written a couple years ago where a deva and demon are each is a guise, fighting in the street. Each tryes to convince the party that they are the good guy and to help them but neither outside is willing to reveal what they are. Here is your evil PC approach. Adventures where the true good/bad guy are not clear w/o investigation. See, then it would get approved because the "ideal" goal is to figure out which side is good, and help them vanquish the evil side. If a DM is running an evil campaign however...

Anyways, Paizo keep up the good work. I'd like to see more conflict type senerios that could serve as good or evil based, so that others can use how they like (or even myself if I'm running an evil based) but can involve some investigation and role playing before the bloodshed (followed by light salad, sorry same inside joke as above).

Just my thoughts.

Of course the resisting cold damage only applies on a per round basis. That is once the resistance has been met the rest of the attacks that round penetrate the cold resistance. SO resistance works if only hit by a couple breaths at a time. If the group is clumped together and hit by the 21d6, cold resistance doesn't help that much.

However keep in mind that the railing gives cover, which gives the PCs a bonus on their reflex saves. That makes the DC18 a little more bareable. My party still almost had a TPK, but only lost a single PC in the encounter. Also one of the PCs jumped the railing to 'charge' the hydra. While this almost killed the PC, it drew enough attention to allow the rest of the party to take up more tactical positioning and was a big influence on the party's win.

As for the temple fight, that was a rough one. There was still 2 whips left when the demon appeared. The demon got killed 2 rounds before the head whip showed up and the party spent that time more concerned with treasure than with healing so were not prepared at all for another combat.

Ironicly one of the PCs was the perfect conter to the head whip's 'raise water flood the chamber' tactic. See the player rolled crap stats for his newest PC, 8,9,10,10,11, and 18. The idea was a hp master PC. his 18 con became a 20 for being a dwarf. He was also the atrtic varient published in a Dreagon issue some time back (no LA, gains I believe +4 con for -4 chr). Anyways he had a 24 con. He was the one who got caught in the chamber when the whip controlled the water to flood the room. Having a 24 con he could hold his breath for a very long time even when performing combat. In addition with his high hp due to his con mod, hp feats (he was a fighter and the dwarf/giant/dragon toughness feats in masters of the wild are available as fighter bonus feats), and Arcana Unearther variants (+1 hp/lev for half normal base speed) and 2 flaws to gain more hp feats, he had no problems with not being able to heal with potions. Even if he needed to heal he had 1 level of cleric and a cure light wounds wand tied to his shield. Top it off with right before leaving Cauldron he purchases multiple vials of longerbreath from Arms and Equipment guide, allowing you to increase the number of rounds remaining that you can hold your breath by 50%. (He bought these because in Flood Season the bridge elevator thing broke for being overfilled and while everyone else was able to swim or levitate, I had to figure up when it fell and if Jeff's PC had enough time to walk along the bottom to shore, which he did. He was weighed down with full plate, got a survival check to know the right direction to travel.) All in all the dwarf combated the whip alone until someone got the door open and let the water out. It was a very intense, very fun encounter that we all enjoyed.

Thanks again for the clarifications. However will including the possible web enhancement cause a rejection? Keep in mind the article is not at all dependent on the enhancement and it wouldn't hurt anything if it isn't accepted with the article. I just know many have voiced their opinion on wanting the extra material when available.

Again thank you for responding Erik.

When reading over the submission guidelines for Critical Treats I came across a couple questions.

The guidelines say limit your submission to a strict 750-1000 words. How do stat blocks play into this? Do they not count or do only the words count? What about when righting out the SA and SQ or a creature that has a long description of it's abilities?

The article I wish to submit uses a feat from Complete Warrior. Obviously the feat would be reprinted so the Threat would be useable to those without the source. Does the feat apply to the word count? Also in school 1 and 2 letter words, plus 'the' weren't to be counted on word count based essays, etc. How specific is Paizo on the 'strict 750-1000' word count?

My main concern is that I have a great history and tactics section that is hard to cut down without leaving a vagueness that could very well get the idea trashed. However when adding in the feat description and the word portions of his stat block the count is going to be kind of high (not necessarily over 1000), and this is without knowing if the numbered portions of the stat block count. Also I plan to submit a possible web enhancement on the guy. This optional information makes the villain much more usable but is completely optional. Will I been 'penalized' for including this extra portion since it will place me above the 1000 word count?

I know this can be a 'by the case' kind of question but I don't want to give away my ideas on the open forum. If Paizo needs more information to answer my messages please post where to direct my email and/or email me (I have automatic Spam deletion so I'd prefer you to post as well as email in case you don't go to my mailbox).

Thank you for your time.

Demi-lich appears in the Epic Level Handbook, and I'm almost sure winter wight is in there too. The Epic Level Handbook is 3.0 but at WotC website you can download the update/conversion booklet (for changed DR, CR, LA, etc for 3.5 rules).

If winter wight isn't in the ELH, try MMII or Fiend Folio.

The best solution is that they aquired their lantern while Asmodeous was still free. This gives Asmodeous the ability to replace the bebilith through various means, such as a different bebilith or a raise outsider spell, or even through his shape realm ability.

Another possibility is that if the lantern is taken, another lantern forms a day later as a replacement. In the times when Asmodeous was free, he would of replaced the bebilith through one of the means listed above but with him gone and the mummy dismissed, the group just had to walk through the "spider maze" and claim the lantern (maybe they had been waiting for this for some time?).

Toungeeater tore away at my party. There would of been a TPK if not for Bob. The whole party constintly complained about Bob the sorcerer, whose only melee weapon was a glaive (he took martial weapon prof). After all the comments of cutting it in half while he slept so he could hit things w/o backing up, two members were down, the rest about to drop and Toungeater felling good. Bob hit w/ a max damage crit for like 36 damage. It was still a close victory. Only one PC was standing at the end but only one actually died (the halforc fighter who had one silver dagger).

The DBG has prices for buildings. I don't have Arms and Equipment guide on me but it has prices for various ales and for servants and such.

Between the two you should be able to come up with a rough idea, although you'll have to come up with the taxes and such on your own.

I was wondering if we might see Hookface's lair in the AP2. I would love to send my party exploring into the lair. It's easy to deal with Hookface's involvement in AP1 with a campaign seed sidebar.

If Hookface survived the AP1 than the party encounters her in her lair. If Hookface was destroyed use the same stats listed as her mate who took over her lair after her death.

It's even possible to advance her an age category to throw off players who were in the first AP who believe they know all she can do. Also since she had many offspring a few lower aged dragons and half-dragons could be fun as well.

I believe using the metamatic rod is part of the action of casting the spell, but I decided that it would take too much of an action to be used on a quickened spell.

I also dropped circle of death for the same reason, I only forgot to list it.

I would use the dimension door tactic once. Save the second spell to bypass room 11 and head down towards the dracolich. Fetor is smart enough to retreat against a group that withstood more than a round or three after his listed tactics. He will be lower on spells but by warning the dracolich he not only strengthens thier relationship, but also has a powerful ally to help against this incursion. The greater teleport would be his escape in this final encounter. Remember if your party seems too weak to handle the additional trouble of Fetor by the time they reach the room, simply remove Fetor from the fight. As far as the PCs will ever know Fetor escaped after the initial encounter, but in reality the dracolich became enraged that Fetor didn't stop the PCs so he had to make a quick escape from the dracolich. Having Fetor encounter the PCs twice would make the regular mirror image useful. If you do plan a full out fight the second mirror image may still help, but not as much so I'd agree with the replacement.

Oh, and I left the dominate person for a couple different tactics. If the confusion works on 2 or more PCs than a dominate person on another PC will make the encounter all the more dangerous. Also, fighters and rouges normally lead. They also normally have the lowest will save. They can hold the party up in the 5' hall while the rest of the party still gets bombarded with magic missles, another confusion attempt (if you have more than one prepared), or even a lightning bolt. Depending on the indiviual party composition and who leads greatly effects this tactic, but it sounds reasonable. The wall of stone hinders more of the ruins than helps with a single encounter, and makes further uses of dimension door neccessary, from my point of view. However the fact that dominate person is on a scroll may be worth replacing the prepared version, but remember the DC will be lower.

Thank you though for your complement Matt. The party bypassed that room and are currently in the middle of the encounter w/ Xail, and were talking about backtracking to the Fetor encounter. I'm gonna tweak the spells a bit further possibly dropping the mirror image and/or the dominate person, and will use the diminsion door tactic you came up with. Good job!

Thank you James. I had just gotten Serpent Kindoms and remembered the bone naga being a template in there so didn't bother w/ looking anywhere else. Still the caster level would of been nice to be included in the stat block.

What are the odds of having future adventures list the source of monsters when taken from other books? For those of us with MMII, MMIII, Fiend Folio, Libris Mortis, etc. it'd be nice to easily look the monster up for any further information. I understand space restraints and such but the abreveated tittle and page for only a couple such monsters (if any) per issue wouldn't be any real space concern (like the aura, lighting, etc section became).

Not that Secrets of the Soul Pillars is a bad adventure but here is yet another villian's errors.

First off what kind of naga was Xail. It might of been handy to know which type of naga he was before the bone naga template was added. Even the example creature in Serpent Kingdoms says what type of nage in the heading.

Xail casts spell as a level...level...something or other sorcerer. After looking for the type of naga used to check against and finding it not listed I had to look at all the other nagas. This was a very bad error because I didn't realize no listed caster level until we were in the fight. All other nagas have a caster level 2 less than thier HD so I'll assume Xail is a 13th level caster. Oh wait he has to be at least 14th level to have 7th level spells. That would be 16HD or changing all the spell section.

Wait, a 14th level human sorcerer with crap hp, no special monster abilities, etc is a CR 14 but Xail is a CR11??!!?? How can that be with 14th level casting ability, naga and bone naga traits, etc. Again, lets reference the base creature that we don't know.

Looking at all the other nagas they all have a CR of 1 less than thier HD (which is also 1 higher than thier caster level). The bone naga template further increases the base CR+1. If Xail is a 14th level caster his CR would be 16. If he is 15 HD his caster level woul be 13, loss spells and have a CR of 15.

Add in Orgo and this is probably a EL 16 encounter. No wonder we didn't finish the fight, and the whole party is almost dead although the fully healed before leaving room 11 and coming here.

Also the room description says there is a 10 foot walkway around the room but the map says 5 foot.

I had already ran Ike but not Fetor before reading this so thanks for the catch.

I also noticed he has spells prepared with empower spell but using the lesser rod also. The tactics section should clarify that his empowered spells cast are using the rod first. Here's the spells I changed.

0th- same
1st- same
2nd- dropped 2 blindness/deafness for magic missle(death frost)
3rd- dropped the haste for another lightning bolt
4th- dropped 1 confusion for a lightning bolt (death frost)
5th- same
6th- dropped circle of death for magic missle(quicken,death frost)
7th- same

I felt haste made a poor choice for his other spells prepared unless used for movement to get away, which his dimension doors and teleport do better at. Remember Fetor needs the dimension doors to bypass room 11 so don't change them. The greater teleport is a must to return to town if needed or to escape. I left command undead and halt undead incase they are needed vs the dracolich if they ever have a sudden missunderstanding.

Changed round by round tactics as follows:

1- same
2- same
3- Opens the door and casts lighning bolt(death frost spell) empowering w/ the rod (spell still is a 3rd level spell after applying death frost, it only uses a higher slot). If foes are still alive casts a quickened lightnig bolt and takes a 5-foot step behind the door.
4- Casts a death frost magic missle (using the rod to empower) and a quickened death frost magic missle on a divine spell caster.
5- same
6- Attempts to pick of stragglers with vampiric touch (using rod to empower)

Also in the tactics Ike (after casting Invisibility) prepares a Flame Strike to cast in the surprise round as the PCs enter the room. Casting the spell makes him visible negating the purpose to useing the scroll anyways.

The party recently got attacked by the Breath of the Void. I had 2 small parties attack the group. The first was a weak suicide group sent so that a scry spell could see how effective the group was. Further down the road a second suicide group attacked. This group was a little larger and whose intent was to drag a fight out over as much time as possible. This way when they were almost all dead the real threats jumped into the fray. This way the PC w/ the Fang was almost out of rage and spent most of the real fight fatigued!! The real threat was an 9th level sorcerer beaffed with combat spells like bull's strength, cats grace, enlarge, mirror image, mage armor, shiled, haste, stoneskin and armed with spiked gauntlets. With him was an 11th level martial cleric with rightous might, divine favor and such already cast, and oh yeah, the Wrath of Turaglas with White Talon and his other wounding sword. It was almost a TPK. Two dropped dead and the other two each were in the negatives at some point.

After the fight the mul got his Int check to think the one short sword was like his spear so he picked it up. He just took 2 weapon fighting and is using both weapons. It kinda sucks since I have to keep track of all the Con damage by the wounding weapons but the mul would actually do more damage with his greatsword due to his feat selection.

The party is now breaking into the church in Secret of the Soul Pillars. If they think to try I'll let them find out a little bit about these mysterious fanatics and the weapons from the soul pillars.

That's about it for now since a scheduling change has us only playing for 3-4 hous a week. I do however want to thank Mouseferatu for his complement. Also thank you for writing such an excellent article!

I know one of the older threads talked about how the first AP wasn't fully planned in advance (as the second one is)so authors left things that the next authors could expand on if the wished. Alas none did other than as a possible reason to be in the square where Mauve (sp) is attacked.

It was said that she is to be in the second AP, but still no further word on her.

The method I use is to recalculate the party level. This by far is the easiest method. It allows you to adjust one thing rather than all the encounter levels.

Basicly, the EL is based off of 4 PC parties. Let's use a 7th level party as an example. A monster with the same CR as the party level is that EL. Ex CR7 is an EL7.

Two CR 7's are an EL9. Use the samething for party level. Two 4 man groups (or 8 PCs) at 7th level is a party level 9. This is a lot more accurate than 7x8/8=7 or 7x8/4=14!!

Using this method 6 PCs would count as a party 1 level higher, thus your 6 7th level would be a party level 8.

Try this method and you should have an easier time than constantly reconfiguring ELs and adding in additional villians.

Also Squid is right that you give EXP based on each monsters CR, not the EL. Although two CR 7s are an EL9, and two CR 7s give the same EXP as a CR 9, the method doesn't add up to the same for multiple creature or CR encounters. EXP is suppose to be figured up per CR and different EXP givin for PCs based on thier level (if they are differnt level PCs).

The way I plan things Adimarcus is still running the show using the shackleborn to open the portal. The souls are consumed by Turaglas as well. You could just as easily cut Adimacus from your campaign and have the shackleborn be a ritual to try to release the Ebon Maw, but remember his CR is 27 in his weak form.

As far as Vhalantru, if you still use the AP as written just adding in the additional storyline, he could possibly be convinced to help the PCs if they can give prove that Turaglas is running the show (an unlikely event). If you cut Adimarcus or decide Vhalantru is not only a cagewright but also a Feast member (possibly the Mouth) than his devotion to Turaglas would make him want everything destroyed by his God. The fanatical devotion of the religion is that Turaglas will consume everything. His followers help 'regrow' what is left behind so that there will be more to consume again. It would still give Vhalantru a base of power. Also members are fully prepared to die in Turaglas' name if it will further his return, believing they will be raised in the end.

Thank you for your feedback on the idea and post how things turn out.

There have been a lot of threads asking what to do after the AP, what have you changed in the AP, side quests ran, etc. So far I haven't responded to those threads simply due to having to go into a lot of detail. This thread is to show how my AP has evolved and what I have planned.

First of Turaglas apeared in DRAGON 312 pg 66. Due to the info in this thread being hard to use w/o the issue, I will not explain glossary terms in the article (ex. what's a "Mouth of Turaglas?"). However I encourage all to read if it sparks, buy a back issue.

Let me start with how perfect Turaglas fits into the AP. I planned on adding Turaglas as soon as I read his article. I figured I'd just add little things and start an epic campaign where the AP leaves off. However he is now a vast center of my story arc. Occupitus, is The Ebon Maw's previous layer of the Abyss. With his imprissonment the plane grew smaller and became unimportant, a place for deserters, until the war w/ Celestia and Adimarcus' reign. The description of the plane fit's in perfect w/ Turaglas' portfolio and indicates the power he still has from w/in his void. He has been manipulating Adimarcus as much as Adimarcus has been manipulating the Cagewrights. Also Turaglas created many demon species. The FF says the Demodand's were exciled from another plane (say the Abyss) due to some unknown reason (say servant's of Turaglas). Also the Shator's and Kelubar's blame th Farastu for this. Maybe because it's the only one not slothfull by appearance.

I have placed a rather large Feast in Caldron. Many members of the Cagewrights are members of the Feast, including most of the CW's leaders. Turaglas has manipulated Adimarchus into the idea of his freement not knowing that it will set about events allowing the Demodands to kill in Turaglas' name helping to free the Ebon Maw. The Feast members in the CW help incourage the process along fully aware of what's really happening. Due to the recent events the Feast becomes slightly more open than normal.

Whenever the party has been in need of a side quest to increase level I have somehow tied it in w/ the local Feast. Recently I let them compete against a group locating one of the Fangs of Turaglas. I let my party roll which of the 8 weapons it was and it turned out to be the shortspear. The party hasn't had a mental image yet but it will be very funny once they do. I am about to attack them w/ the Breath of the Void, lead by the Wrath of Turaglas. The party has argued over the spear already so what will happen once the get White Talon? On Occupitus I intentionally threw in encounters w/ Turagathshnee.

Clerics of Turaglas have attacked the party using spells like Cannibalize, Caustic Bile and Insatiable Hunger.

After the AP I plan to have the party have to find the Burning Toungue and fight the Keeper, eventually encounter the corrupted Vuren Krabath (and maybe a summoned Turaglas in Tragathshnee form), have the party attempt to recover and destroy various Fangs, and finally encounter the Ebon Maw himself, in trus form, surrounded by minions and followers.

I'll post more details later as time permits but I at least wanted to get the idea in the open.

The AP1 lists Archedemus as having two forms. Each form is given it's own stat block with it's own CR listing of a 23. Both forms must be killed. Each form tracks it's HP, abillities etc as a seperate creature.

So is it intented for Archedemus to be an overall CR 23 having the shift form ability or should he technically be counted as two seperate creatures, each of a CR 23 (and thus an EL25 encounter)?

I feel if he's only one CR23 his two forms should of been listed in one heading (like forsay a shapechanger) and then have his individual form abilities listed seperate. Being that both forms have thier own stat block/listing, own HP, abilities, etc and are in all ways treated as two completely seperate creatures except only one being allowed to exist at any one point in time that players should be awarded EXP for each form, especially if they would manage to defeate one form and not the other.

James please enlighten me to the intent. That way if Archedemus is suppose to be a single CR 23 I can make a DM call to make him two seperate CR 21s, EL 23.

By the way some people have been marking (SPOILERS) on the thread titles. That is pretty good other than this section is supposed to be for DM's only, according to the message board page. Players really shouldn't be on this page for any reason outside cheating or AP completion anyways(just my opionin).

The Hackmaster line is from Kenzer and Company and have at least two beholder figs.

Beholder K&C4059

Lewd Beholder K&C4061

When I got these a couple years back the store guy said the line is discontinued so you may have trouble locating them. The only bad thing about the figs is that I haven't gotten around to putting them together yet, but now that I'll acually be using a beholder...

I'll apologize as well for adding 'fuel to the fire', Katana and Paul.

The one thing we can (assumably)all agree with though is that we care about the mag and want to get the best benifits based on our own belief.

Anyhow Canada has cheaper prescriptions...

Terram I believe. Something close to that.

Gold Katana wrote:

Sorry, I'm not following your math. In two months, I get two mags for a total of six adventures. I pay $3.25 for each mag = $6.50 for those two mags. In four moths, I'll pay $13.00 but I'll get 12 adventures.

I think he was refering to the cover price which is $7/ month for 3 adventures. Your price has to do with subscription cost. Still your paying for 2 issues for what we used to pay for in 1 issue.

Remember PC death is another part of the game. If you mean can four PCs make it all the way through no problems the answer is no. Can four PCs at a time complete the seperate parts, sure. My group unfortunatly differs from 3-6 players so some weeks are a lot harder than others. The balance is a lot harder to maintain. The most difficult part thus far thoough for my group (other than dice rolls-see the missed by one thread) is magic items. Most the players already have in mind exactly what items they want their PC to have so they sell almost everything, posibly usefull or not. Then complain about not being able to buy what they want (I'm actually generating Skie's Treasury so no 'any item' availability) and fear going to the big city will make them miss out on something in the timeline. We know it won't but if the PCs are too concerned w/ the city's welfare than I'm not going to impart that info on them. I did suggest commisioning items they want and have them made but they have completely refused stateing it takes too long to get the item. They are now about to pay a spellcaster to teleport them to the city and back.

As always the character races, classes, personalities, type of adventure and the players at your table alter how 'beatable' an adventure is as well as unpredictable varieable (ie dice rolls). The AP fits the guidelines for EL so it is as close as any other adventure can be to it ability to be conqured.

As a final note I tried to run one of Dungeon's adventured a while back, the one for 20th level with the awakened whale and a storyline of turning PCs epic. Anyways I had a really hard time starting that adventure because no casters could cast divinations to find out about the dreams and the ,yeas very rich 20th level characters, refused to pay the money to have the spells cast. After an hour and one finally paying the money they tried getting out of paying a few gold to take a boat the someodd hundred miles to the location needed. Just goes to show adventures can differ based just on the players perspectives ans personality.

That's the name my group gave Skie as the party's name. Missed by One. After 3 weeks of being unable to think of a name they cleverly decided it fit since they has continueously failed saves, missed attack rolls, skill checks, etc by 1. The stated the saying still fits the PCs since they were a foot short of clearing the pit, or missed him by this much <hand singnal of an inch> and comments like that. Instead of telling Skie how heroic they are they tell her about how they constantly mess up, giving her constant amusement and laughter, but eventually pull through. Characters are always getting knocked out (1 potion short or should of healied one more time) and every player has had a PC die, more often from a stupid choice or from a bad die roll that from actual difficulty. It's kind of funny. The 'cleric' is a favored soul. When he aquired 3rd level spells he chose Animate Dead, solely for the porpose of transporting dead PCs back to town.

Anyways I was wondering what all group names anyone has and any story behind it.

I do agree w/ Paul. See when I subscribed it was for the adventures. I enjoyed having many to decide from, plus at that time I played w/ more than one group and was able to pass off adventures to another DM when they needed one. When Poly came around I didn't mind. It didn't cost extra and sometimes I found things in it I could use. When the issue price raised I wasn't too happy because everyone knew the extra dollar was for Poly. Still, I used enough of it that I didn't complain. Then we go monthly. I was so excited until I found out half the mag went to Poly and I was paying $7 for two adventures. I could buy those little pamflet (spelling??) adventures for less than that. When Poly was announced as being cancelled I rejoiced. Finally I was gonna get my 4-6 adventures again. Instead it's 3/month and other info that used to be in Dragon to make Dragon the 'player's orientated mag' and Dungeon the 'DM mag'.

Let's face it. Both mag's are more DM than any will ever be player's. (By the way, yes I subscribe to both). Even when I played 3-4 times a week, 3 different groups, and wasn't DMing there is no way I could untilize all the player's info in Dragon. PERIOD. The mag is great for player's due to advice, options, etc and I'm not argueing that. What I am saying is that it is the DM alone who can use any available information making any monster, class, feat, spell, tactic, ect, ect to use at any point in time. Unless you kill off your character every hour you can't use everythingin Dragon, just like you can't use everything in any of the books (ie Complete Fighter). I believ it was Monte who had an article in Dragon stating how the DM got to have fun useing any options from any books while the players are stuck playing just thier PC.

Yes I use Dragon as a player, but I use it ten times more often as a DM. Most of the time that it is used by a player it is when I find or remember something that fits what one of my player's character profile is. The same goes for any optional book I have. If there is only going to be three adventures in DUngeon I'd rather my money go into the adventures. Bring back the Reaction, Detection, Aura, Etc section. Sure I agree w/ the decision to cut it due to space but I'd rather have adventure material in Dungeon.

AS for the AP, keep it up. Sure there were a few quirks that have been brought up but it has been worth the memory thus far (just finished Zenith's Treachery). Of course if DUngeon had 4-6 adventures per issue...

Anyways sorry for my ramblings but does anyone agree??

I see both sides to this coin.

First I can understand not wanting to have things drawn out of other source material so that if you don't have the 'fiend folio' (example) you aren't at a loss. However Dungeon generaly does a good job of giving all the info needed (dry bones) for the used source material. I also agree with the lack of web enhancements later in the AP, but that discusion has been handled in other threads.

On the other side however one could get upset if Dungeon never used source material. Most Dundeon subscribers buy for adventures to run due to not haveing enough time to create thier own. If I buy Dungeon so I don't have to make adventures and buy any source material than I've wated money. I either can't use the source material or the adventures. I believe Dungeon does a good job of including material from alternate sources providind enough info for those w/o the book, but allowing us with the book satisfaction in useing the material.

Lastly the ff says little about demodands other than they were exciled from another plane long ago for some transgression, are the self appointed keepers of Carcie, are as much prisoners as keepers, anyone encountered are considered prisoners, and only leave the plane to get excaped prisoners or to 'recrute' more.

I recalculate the party's effective level. Basicly, if 2 CR6 creatures are an EL8, than 8 6th level pcs are a party level 8. Dungeon even did an adventure a couple years ago set in Dragonlance where the PCs run into Lord Soth in the past before he became evil (some kinda time travel or something). Anyways the point being the adventure was stated as being designed for 4 3rd level players or 8 5th level PCs.

It is about the same thing to up the party level as it is to up the EL but to me it's quicker and more simple to recalculate the party level than to recalculate EVERY encounter.

In my experience when you plan ahead like this the 'deva always falls in battle' before the said encounter. Oh well, glad to help anyways.

Since she plans to plane shift asap, and has little equipment, I would assume the plan is to don more equipment to continue the fight in part 11. Waiting until the next installment would be your best option for clairification.

I wouldn't penalize the party due to a members ability countering Embril's plan. I see many options available as she senses her inability to possese the bodies in range.

Remember the spell weaver knows the plan and can communicate telepathicly. The astral deva's ability is only 20' radius and can be dispelled (although he can activate it again on his turn as a free action, MM3.5 page 10-11). The spell weaver and Embril hold actions to go on the same turn. The spell weaver has greater dispel magic on it's spell list. After dispelling the aura Embril can attempt her possesion.

It can also try telekinesis to knock the astal deva back (or pull an ally closer) placing a target outside the proctective aura.

Otiluke's Resilient sphere cast at the deva would negate the protection to his allies as nothing passes through the sphere in either direction. A well placed wall of force could trap a single PC or two on the wrong side, and blocking the devas aura.

Quick kill. If the deva's dead the ability is too. Finger of death is an excellent choice to try to take the deva out but after one try it'd be best to dispel the aura.

The spell weaver could use it's plane shift ability to send the deva away...or send another PC to Embril wakes up and follows.

As far as the spell weaver's other spells possibilities include 'confusion' to possible send the deva away, 'baleful polymorph' has a chance of making the target lose his supernatural abilities, 'disintigrat' as a possible quick kill, 'bigby's crushing hand' as telekinesis example , and finally 'wish' to produce one of many other spells that could funtion near a stated example. (This is so neat I almost wish the deva was in my campaign...I am devious)

OH, and if you need to further "JUSTIFY" the spell weaver's actions of specifically targetting your deva PC'c aura point out it's +27 knowledge plane, +27 knowledge arcana, and +27 spellcraft to know the deva's natural ability and effects theof.

ONE FINAL AND GREAT OPTION is if all else fails have Embril return to her body and teleport away. In the 'backdrop' she aquires another casting of 'magic jar' either by getting a scroll or resting a day if time permits. When the party returns to Redforge (or in part11 if they go on first) they find out that Embril aquired Jenya Urikas, the high ptiestess of the church of St. Cuthbert (or other most important NPC in your campaign) as the appropriate sacrifice.

Please let me know if my babbling helped you.

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