Issue 0, Volume 1 of the Living Greyhawk Journal explains how neither Tenser nor Robilar really "fit in" in with what is now the Circle of Eight, and both left the group. Here is how I used Robilar in my campaign.
Eventually, after Tenser receives part seven of the Rod of Seven Parts from the players in a trade, he decides to go on a quest for the sixth piece. He forms a group of epic level adventurers to seek out the piece, which is held by a powerful pit fiend named Visciannix (see dungeon issues #130 and #135.) I described to the players a scene where they witness these incredibly powerful individuals outfitting themselves for an excursion into Hell, one of them being Lord Robilar, amongst others. It gave them a chance to interact with some of the flavor of Greyhawk, and forshadowed what they would soon become: power players in the realm of Oerth.
Ultimately, Tenser and Robilar will return in the final chapter of the Age of Worms to loan the combined pieces to the group as aid against Kyuss.
Yeah, there are lot of awesome covers that, I too, would consider buying. I dont think any of those are on sale by Paizo, but the one in particular your looking for was done by Wayne Reynolds. Here's a link to his personal website, which you can use to contact his people for originals and prints.
My group has recently acquired some of the magic items from the Library of Last Resort, many of which were too large to use for medium sized characters or of the wrong kind for the wielder (e.g. no one in the party can wield the +1 keen scythe, and the Titan's adamantine hammer is Huge).
In order to tailor the items so that they may be used, the party's wizard thought to combine "Dispel Magic" and "Polymorph any Object" on the items. Since the polymorph doesnt work on magic items, he could dispel the magic from the item while he cast the polymorph to alter it. Thus making the +1 keen sycthe a +1 keen greatsword (or whatever), or a suit of Large magic armor a suit of Medium magic armor.
Taking it a bit further, characters who wanted to wear a ring of invisibilty but didnt want to give up the finger item slot thought to turn the item into a circlet of invisibility, or broach of invisibility.
I dont see a problem with the characters doing this, and its just the kind of thing I would expect high level parties to be doing. Also, I dont see a problem with the game mechanics, either. Eventually, the party has their hands on so many items they would need to find some way to "retro-fit" them for their use, rather just...taking them to market.
What do you guys think? Has this happened with your group, or have they found some other way to use their "spare" magic items. Do you think its broken that a high level wizard can do this and, other than the spell components (which total no gold value), should it be done with no cost of gold or experience?
I learned a new word today: Triptych. It means "a work consisting of three painted or carved panels that are hinged together", which isnt at all how its used in Richard Pett's "The Prince of Redhand". I love the adventure and it is without a doubt one of (if not the) absolute best adventures in the Adventure Path. But still, I wonder...why Triptych?
Was the Well initially supposed to be three-sided, mirroring the idea of it being built for a group consumed with the idea of a Triad. Was it an author error? Or maybe Im missing something.
Either way, its certainly another thing I can actually say Ive learned solely because a play D&D. Can anyone else say they actually knew the word "Triptych" before reading this?
Sean, to be honest...your pretty dang right. Ive DM'd the AoW for our group since the week the 1st issue was released, and my players are about to attend Zeech's banquet. Having read all of the issues, I often asked myself "how are they gonna survive that"? There ARE many encounters in the AP that seem like a landslide for the bad guys (the Swords of Kyuss, the fight with the mindflayer, pretty much everything in the Whispering Cairn, and few others you havent had to deal with yet...).
On the other hand, so many encounters end up being child's play for my group (and others, i think). The battle at Blackwall, Moreto the ghoul, and pretty much every fight in Return to the Whispering Cairn. My players manage to often defeat many of the encounters in less than two rounds. Kinda lame, for the DM and the players.
Im not sure about your DM, but Ive tried to stick to the "tactics" section of the monster description in the magazine, which details how the creature should prepare and operate during the fight. It usually involves the monster pulling a few punches, so to speak, and not being absolutely ruthless (hence all the guys not using their negative energy blast at the same time and consecutively, one round after another). So long as the group has fun and feels challenged, I dont care if the bad guys get trounced every once in a while. And when the bad guys have a severe case of "the upper hand", i usually just try to have fun with the fight, spreading the "love" around so all the characters take a good beating before someone figures out a creative and clever way to bring the bad guy down.
However, by the numbers, it is indeed a character-killer. But if your lucky enough to game with some guys that have been at it for over 20 years, just ask em about the first time they played the Tomb of Horrors. Now thats a lich with some notches on his sarcophogus..
I'm a huge fan of Greyhawk and refuse to DM for any other setting, but something that has always bugged me is the misuse of titles in the world. If Zeech is a Prince, then who is the King? And to what Kingdom?
Can Zeech not assume the role of "King" as it might seem too bold to Iuz, who still holds some sway in the Bandit Kingdoms? It seems a bit demure for the mighty Zeech, ruler of his own lands, to retain the title of "Prince", when surely he'd prefer a grander title.
So, why is Zeech still a Prince?
Peruhain of Brithondy wrote:
Just look at the encounters coming up in the rest of the adventure and you won't feel guilty giving the PCs too much help.
Well said. Looking at one of the other threads, Dragotha is to be a CR 27 encounter. It may not be asking too much for the characters to be rockin a new pair of "Boots of Ogre Power".
I like the items, but im pretty sure they'd be WAY more expensive than the allotted 40,000 gp. Im tryin' to stick rigidly to that rule, and heres a few items that ive managed so far. They dont have cool histories yet, so its just the item descriptions. You can find the rules for magic item creation on page 285 of your 3.5 DMG.
+4 Adamantine Greatsword that also grants it wielder a +2 natural armor bonus (39,350 gp)... for the fighter/swordsman
+4 Mithral Full-Plate of Speed (39,850 gp)... for the elven cleric
Cloak of Charisma +4 that also functions as a Cloak of Displacement, Minor (40,000 gp)... for the sorcerer
+5 Adamantine Full-Plate (41,650 gp)... for the paladin
One of my players has recently shown interest in taking the "Mage of the Arcane Order" prestige class and I would like a little more information to provide him with to flesh-out that section of his character. Being something of a "hawker", I know of the Grey College, but their is little source information for that group that I have found.
So, a challenge to the other Hawkers out there...name some of the Arcane Orders (other than The Eight) in Greyhawk and detail what is known of them (and what sources might be used to research them).
Thanks for the help!
My group has nearly finished the HoHR and will soon be entering the The Champion's Belt. After re-reading the adventure in an attempt to polish off some the finer points of the plot, I have a few questions concerning the adventure's continuity. If youve already ran this section of the adventure path let me know how this went for you, or how you plan to approach these problems when you come across them.
1. Raknian decides to assisinate the players for their destruction of the Ebon Triad cell (they may know something about his dealings with cultists) and because they apparently murdered his friend Theldrick. Seeing that he purchased the Apostolic Scrolls ties him to the whole Kyuss/Age of Worms thing, but it doesnt show the players why he wanted to assasinate them, and Im sure my players will want to know ALL about that. Am I missing something?
2. There are a couple of doors leading from the understructure into Raknian's home. My players will naturally want to explore that area as well, assuming that their will be more clues/villians/treasure beyond those doors. How did you deal with the problem of nudging the players away from breaking and entering into Raknian's home?
3. Im sure that my party will go scouting the understructure at night, and in doing so, will eventually defeat Zahol. Then, theirs the Ulgurstasta. Once its released from its slumber, the script states the creature is unable to escape room 32. It has a 20ft reach, but the hallway leading to room 28 is 25ft long, which means it can use of any of its melee attacks against the party. It can use its breath weapon once, and then continue with its tendril attack which has a 40ft reach. All of the archers in the party have magic ranged weapons, so its not impervious to their attacks. Ultimately it would be a short fight if my party trades blows with it in this manner. This means the Ulgurstasta would want to bust into the arena floor to improve its fighting chances. What happens then? That would probably alert any guards that werent complete morons (ultimately disqualifying the players from the last round of the games), and make things a little akward as the arena staff inspects to see where this gaping whole came from the next morning. All in all, the adventure would take a horribly akward twist if this fight goes ahead as written. Suggestions?
The players in my group were only slightly challenged by the spawn.
The adventurers returned from the swamp to find the keep in a hurried excitement. The new keep sergeant (the old one died during the assault) told the tale of their previous mage and what he had become. This became a short role-playing scenario with me playing an embarressed keep sergeant, betrayed Marzeena (she didnt know about the spawn locked in the basement), and the players trying to gain information about their next foe.
After making their plans, the players then descended the steps ino the basement. As they did, they heard the cellar door break and knew the creatures would be waiting for them. Bottlenecked at the foot of the stairwell, the fighter Corin was faced with three of the spawn. Fear saves. Our cleric, fighter, monk, and sorcerer all made their saves. The rogue and bard did not, and they were forced to about-face on their next turn.
The fighter dealt solid damage to the spawn in front of him. The spawn all retaliated with throwing worms, one drawing an AOO. The fighter's touch AC is lame and still only one of the spawn hit. The elven cleric turned two of the spawn (good rolls). The sorcerer threw an acid orb, missing the remaining spawn. The monk moved in to strike the spawn, hitting and drawing two worms on to her (that was a cool moment).
The fighter squished his worm. The cleric engaged with his longsword. The spawn hit the monk with another thrown worm, which she deflected (didnt think about that before I chose her as a target...dang). The monk squished her worm, and begged for help killing the other one. The sorcerer aided her in squishing her last worm.
The fighter, cleric, and sorcerer all dropped the final spawn. While observing the wretched corpses, the elven cleric noticed the worms were "mending" the physical damage done by their weapons and alerted the rest of his band that if they didnt "exhonerate" the corpses they would soon be reliving (or not) their most previous encounter. The basement was soon filled with the smoke of charred Kyuss corpses which ultimately would have to be cleaned by the garrison soldiers who let this whole thing happen in the first place.
The encounter was fast paced and the stakes are high, but with a good cleric, not overly difficult. It sounds that due to your cleric failing his will save, the party was REALLY hampered in the encounter. Could happen to anybody.
My party handled this with a nice simple ambush.
For the adventurers to encounter Zyrxog they must first pass through room M8 (the Stone Brain). Being that the item can speak telepathically with Zyrxog (a free action) and that the personality of the item is a clone of the Illithid's (Int 19), it would certainly take the opportunity to alert its master of intruders. Zyrxog should be well informed of the player's approach, and in my game, wont be "just floatin' around" his spawning pool when the players find him.
I have confidence in my players. They're all veterans. They're crafty. They have a strong knowledge of the rules. They're fair. And they're gonna get creamed by Zyrxog.
With his impossible-to-beat spell resistance, DC 23 mindblast, DC 19 suggestion ability, ability to planeshift, and strong balance of offensive and defensive spells, it just doesn't seem possible that my players (who will be 9th level at the time) are going to defeat him.
In this case, how did some of you who have already played this section of THoHR handle the scenario of a TPK?
Name: Ethan Kress
Event: Early in the evening, the band of adventurers were set upon by a pair of hideous trolls. The wretched creatures fought with a tenacity fueled by hate and revenge. It was in this dark hour that the brave Ethan fell to the claws of one of these creatures. May his life forever serve as a shinning example to his comrades...and as a reminder that the troll's rend is both horrible and deadly.
(Seriously. 2 claw attacks. 2 natural 20's. 2 confirmed criticals. Bite. Rend. Enough damage to send a 6th level character back in time.)
If your players are having trouble surviving the 3FoE, dont worry, theres a patch. There are two wands of cure light wounds in the temple, one belonging to Kendra in the Hextor temple, the other to the female Grimlock barbarian. Between the two wands, your players will have 74 charges of cure light wounds. Thats not including the slew of potions they should find on the bodies of the fallen throughout the bloodbath.
My players managed to lock themselves in each proper temple, resting to regain spells, and use the wands to heal themselves. The enemies were still a challenge, but their was never a need to go running to the garrison. It is the players who are the HEROES of this tale afterall, not a bunch 1st level warriors/security guards.
My players finally got to the egg-chamber last evening, so I thought I would post how the encounter went.
Thinking the egg to be that of a black dragon, the party was curious to see the creature and used a daylight spell and a couple of sunrods to shine light through one side of the egg. Im sure the egg would be pretty thick, but it was such an inventive idea that I decided to let it work. I told the players that they could see a "writhing mass" within the shell and that whatever it was it certainly wasnt a dragon. They realized they had to remove the egg from the chamber (suspecting it to be more worms) and the encounter became an interesting role-playing session that helped to unveil the treachery of the Ilthane to the lizard folk (who were still skeptical of the player's motives). The lizard folk, led by Hishka, removed their eggs in exodus to a new home. The party used the rescued soldiers to help carry the egg back to Blackwall Keep on a stretcher where they disposed of it in cauldron.
So far, no one has posted that they've (willingly) attacked the egg creating a fight with the Kyuss Spawnlings. What a shame. Im sure their are a lot of clerics out their who would love the chance to turn all those 1HD undead...like some kinda "divine fireball".
The clue is pretty obscure, and in the long run, almost pointless.
I'm pretty sure the clue is meant to indicate the number of times you have to turn the sarcophagus clockwise to point to the true tomb (its pointing at the Orange lantern when the players arrive).
Your players are probably going to explore the entire tomb anyways, turnig the sarcophagus to every tunnel and exploring them fully in the process, so it doesnt really matter if they get the clue.
Why would a tomb raider break the finger off the Sarcophagus? What is the finger doing mixed in with the rubble in area 5? Where is the best place to get cheesecake in Diamond Lake? These things arent important. Whats important is that your players are about to get their butts handed to them by an acidic beetle swarm and its mad slasher pimp, and if they survive that, they're gonna forget all about this whole "finger-clue ordeal".
Why would the players decide to destroy Ilthane’s egg?
The module alludes to the idea that the players will want to defeat the draconic kobolds and destroy Ilthane’s egg. However, the only arrangement prescribed as part of the peace treaty with Hishka is one involving the players “killing or chasing off the current king and lieutenant” and to have the characters act as an ambassador on behalf of the Twisted Branch tribe to the Free City. Why then, after the players defeat them both and rescue the captives, would they continue further into the home of the lizardmen? Furthermore, if they did continue into the Twisted Branch’s nursery, what would motivate the characters to strike/ignite/freeze/cast remove curse, remove disease, or....pour silversheen on the egg?
Its seems that Mr. Reynolds included this tidbit for a good reason (the encounter with the spawnlings), but I’m certain its something my players just won’t do. They’re more likely to try and take the thing to sell than just hack at the egg of (what they think to be) an unhatched dragon.
If you’ve already finished Blackwall Keep, tell us what your players did in the scenario. If you haven’t, let us know how you plan on dealing with what could be a “hollow encounter.”
Don't be hard on yourself over the siege encounter. I ran it with my group this week as well with stunningly similar results.
1) The party took the time to buff their fighter, currently at sixth level, who then proceeded to puree the reptiles with his Great Cleave feat. The ARMY of lizardfolk proved to be no match for the sword-slinger, while the rest of the party circled around the fray to aid the soldiers in the keep.
2) I don’t imagine the Twisted Branch lair will be much of a challenge either, so im planning to throw in a few extra lizardfolk “pets” to set the fighter back. I’m adding a few rust monsters stacked with the “reptilian creature” template from Savage Species, other gifts from Ilthane. My players should have good time figuring out what kind of giant lizard would be rust colored and have antennae.
I figured the players were due a decisive victory after being trounced by beetle swarms, owlbears, and one particularly nasty dire boar named “Beast”.
In the Three Faces of Evil, the adventurers ultimately defeat the Ebon Triad cultist cell in the Dourstone mine below Diamond Lake. Emerging battered and victorious, the players are quickly tackled by an onslaught of political power struggles on a playing field of intrigue and deceit? What next?
Would Smenk be prosecuted for his crimes of providing services to the evil cult? Smenk, being awfully persuasive, seems to have little trouble bending laws, especially when the local law enforcement is less than vigilant about enforcing them.
What of Dourstone? Does he face the same fate as Smenk, or do his ties with Ebon Triad make him fearless to the petty threats from the bunch of small local politicians.
If both mine managers are taken from Diamond Lake's power struggle, how does the power shift change? How does it affect the players? How do the other mine managers and governor-mayor divide the extreme profits left by the estates of Smenk and Dourstone?
What of the struggle between Dourstone and Smenk? The Ebon Triad probably wont be pleased to learn that Smenk was less than faithful to their agreement, and would certainly want him removed for his knowledge of their activities.
Some of you have already passed this conflict resolution in your own campaigns, and others will have to deal with it soon. Tell us how you will or have dealt with situation, and if you thought it was succesful.
Name: Clayton Redstaff