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55 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

Dragotha killed two of my players last time. They planeshifted to Magepoint and resurrected two of them.

Tonight, they went in with "Hide from undead" potions, which are 50 gp each. The wizard snuck in, cast dimensional anchor, and then opened up a gate in the ceiling above Dragotha. The gate opened up a portal at the bottom of the ocean in Acadia, which is an ocean of Holy Water (2d4 damage per quart).

On the fly, I didn't know if I should finish the battle or if they would have fun with more combat. I just subtracted half of his hit points before Dragotha seals the gate with a wall of force. The dwarven fighter teleported inside Dragotha's rib cage and attacked from there, where the breath weapons wouldn't really reach. Ultimately the dwarf severed Dragotha's spine with his axe, having two halves of the dracolich fall into the pool of holy water (they put a wall of force stopper over the chasm leading down into the wormdrake lair.

I could imagine my players siding with Kord and leading an evacuation out of the city. It says it's dangerous, but how dangerous? What if the players accompany them - how many die?

Manzorian gives a spellcaster three scrolls of wish. One scroll of wish is hard to handle. Is there any good one-stop location for the ins and outs of using a wish spell? There's nothing in the index of the dungeon master's guide.

When bitten by one of the bloated worms from a Kyuss Knight's eye, do those worms die from any paste that players are wearing?

I have a player hell-bent on playing a gnome illusionist.

The rules say you get a save when you interact with an illusion, and that the DM can modify saves based on how realistic the concept is. However, it doesn't establish what the saving throw is.

Is it 10 + the level of the spell + your bonus?

They want to appeal to him for money, weapons, and magic items for help in the tournament. I've presented him as someone rich as well as concerned about the Age of Worms, although opposed to the vulgar games. If they get a reasonably good diplomacy role, how could he conceivably say no?

My players have just acquired Ilthane's egg from the Lizardfolk's lair, in hopes of using it as a bargaining chip with Ilthane. They're heading back to Blackwall Keep, not even close to suspecting it of being filled with Kyuss worms. I'm wondering when the best time would be to spring the hatching on them. The players flew over the eggs to avoid destroying them and I wanted to reward them for that choice by not having it burst when the eggs were nearby. Also, it was getting late and players wanted to go home.

This time, I plan on having the battlemage rescued from the lizard lair, Marzena, being infected with a slow acting worm as she rests in the basement. That will do the trick of acquainting them with the worms.

I have four experienced characters and they just made it to the gates of the Tabernacle. They're at 20th level and they've taken very little damage.

They all have death wards cast on them and they've also cast spell resistance. They also have "fortunate fate" cast on them. Wail of the Banshee had no effect and Thessilar couldn't have known this. They took out one of the thesselhydra's with a flesh-to-stone spell. Zyrith knocked one of them out and into the green slime but he was immune to ability damage.

One of the characters, a cleric of Wee Jas, is good at turning and creating undead and has two devourers. One of the devourers "robbed" a thesselhyrda's soul and killed it. Another one did the same to Zyrith. I'm thinking it's just too powerful for him to have creatures with this kind of save or die effects, so that I'll have to lower the die roll. This character heals with negative energy or harm person spells, and will benefit from some of the area effects.

They've found out through Balakarde that the wormdrake has cold breath, so they'll probably be prepared for a number of breath attacks, the frost worms, and Mahuudril's spells.

I want to make them sweat without killing them. One thing to do is to raise the save for the insiders to -3, as the chapter says. I think I'll also add an Overworm to the wormdrake lair, and that I'll have to nerf the soul robbing abilities so that badguys get an easier save.

What kinds of wishes did players make using Manzorian's scrolls? And how did you treat them?

I'm confused by Balakarde's abilities - do they go away once Dragotha is dead?

A new player is joining our campaign n Friday and he's not used to 3.5. He would like to be a rogue. I was hoping someone had a ready made character or suggested class for what we need.

We don't need lock picking/trap disarming. We could use a charmer - someone with diplomacy. And we could use one that's good in melee. Any suggestions? The duelist feats look pretty useless to me.

If there is any conversation at all with Darl Quethos, I'm sure my party will try to explain why stopping the age of worms is more important than getting his eye of vecna. And if I were Quethos, I'd find that pretty compelling. Why would he want a world full of Kyuss zombies? He'd have to be pretty crazy, and thus far he's seemed pretty smart.

The alternative would just be for him to attack without giving anyone the chance at negotiation.

One thing that occurred to me - why not let Quethos get the location of Dragotha's phylactery, use that to trade for information, and then give this knowledge to the players too?

I was wondering if anyone filled out the Prince of Redhand by coming up with specific lines and stories for the hobgoblin and the fabler. Certainly there's a lot of room for creativity in what the hobgoblin brags about, and it would be funny if you sketched out how each skeleton dies in the macabre play.

Lots of characters are pretty thinly sketched out. I live near Hollywood and I have a friend who does improv comedy every week. He's not part of the group but maybe it would be cool for him to take over some of the characters.

One of my players is thinking of playing some sort of undead race that can cast spells. How would a worm/wormspawn affect him? We're about to start chapter 7.

Let's say Flycatcher is persuaded the party will bring him Moreto's head, either because he captured a party member and they want him back, or because they used diplomacy. I think my players are likely to do this. It seems inconceivable that he wouldn't warn them of the traps that lie ahead - such as the Blood River waterfall, or the lightning room. I realize he's crazy, but that seems weak to me. Has he never left that room, not even on his first journey? Also seems unlikely. He wants the characters to live so they can kill Moreto.

I have a player who was hit by a spawn of kyuss and then put on a periapt of health. The player doesn't know about the disease that incubates and sets in a day later. Does the periapt cure/remove existing disease or does it just prevent infection?

My players asked me a good question, and that is, "if the conscious members of a team surrender, but their summoned creatures or golems are still alive, does a team have to beat the summoned creatures/golems while everyone else sits back and watches?" This assumes that the surrendering team does not have complete control over summoned creatures, but that's not a bad assumption. Flesh golems can beserk.

Also, what if someone on the opposing team surrenders because of mind control effects? I assume that counts.

Finally, I'm wondering what Talabir Welik is supposed to do when the ulgarstasta appears. As written, Raknian announces the apostle of Kyuss. If Welik is a stickler he should fight the ulgarstasta and/or Ranknian himself.

This might be a stupid question, but I'm a first time DM. Is the Thieve's Guild a legally recognized and sanctioned entity? The title Guild implies that.

One of my characters had a back story where she was an enslaved gladiator. Her mission is to free other slaves. At the outset, I told her it was Loris Raknian, who also owns gem mines operated by slave labor. I want to give her the chance to kill Raknian without getting the entire town guard, etc., after the players.

If the players don't destroy the giant wormlike thing before fighting Auric and the gang, I can provide this chance easily. If the players seem to do well against the worm, Raknian could jump in the arena to fight to defend the worm so he can be recast as an undead badass. If Auric is eaten successfully, players can fight him in another plane later.

But if the players prevent the giant worm from disrupting the games ahead of time, which is the optimal course, things are murkier. Raknian presumably would find out that his lackeys have been killed and his dreams will not come to be. The only reason for jumping in the arena to attack the players would be revenge - he's got nothing left to live for, players ruined everything. This is such a bad action movie move, but perhaps its the best one.

If the PCs don't talk their way out of the attack on Tarquin, the local police take them to jail. But why would the police take them to Sodden Hold? Are the police ambushed by doppelgangers on the way to the real jail?

I could have misread this.

I was wondering what people at this list had Eligos reveal, and whether, in hindsight, he revealed too little too much. g/the-champions-belt-adventure

This page has him reveal that Raknian purchased apostolic scrolls.

My player's back story was that she was forced to serve as a gladiator for an evil gem mine owner. Said owner would sacrifice slaves and workers in the arena, etc. I told her weeks ago the owner was Loris Raknian, and decided to make him the leading figure in "Gravel City," which holds the annual tournmanent that Auric/Tirra/Khelleck won. Putting Raknian in the Free City as a major mine owner interfered with other back stories.

(Someone offered a different suggestion, but too late for that now).

I've skimmed the Champion's Belt (I'm only on TFOE). I thought of a way for her character to kill Raknian and free the slaves, which is what her raison d'etre is.

Raknian was increasingly beset by slave revolts and hired Khelleck to create gollums to maintain security a few years ago. Khelleck, however, tied his own lifeforce to the gollum so that Raknian would assure his victory. Thus, he rigged the games so Khelleck/Tirra/Auric would be the victors (had someone secretly spray rivals with ray of enfeeblement or something - I still have a few weeks to figure this out). Tirra finds out later and Auric doesn't know.

My players seem to like Tirra and one has a romance, so I thought about making her a little bit more of a goodguy than she is in the story. I'll have her also a former slave - forced to be a servant in a super polite human household until adulthood, when she runs away. This gives her sympathy with the slaves. When she finds out about what Khelleck did, this adds to her financial motivation to throw the games to the players. If the golems die, the slaves might be spurred to revolt; doubly so if Raknian is also killed. I plan to have Tirra fight in the arena but use her first shot against the invisible forces seeking to undermine the players to keep Khelleck alive.

It's not clear to me how often people are supposed to die in these tournaments - does anyone know? If adventurers voluntarily enter it would be plausible that they are not fights to the death.

Since I want to give my player the chance to kill Raknian, I'm thinking the sacrifice will be the Faceless One - I'll have him escape TFoE and hide with Raknian.

Anybody see any pitfalls? I haven't read beyond Champion's Belt.

Unless the players run into the shaman right away, I'm confused as to how they're supposed to figure things out and try a peaceful solution.

Let's say they kill one of the folk in 6c by melee and the worms come out. The other lizard folk might be surprised, but that wouldn't make them stop battle and stare. The players might conceivably offer to help but I don't know why the lizards would take them up on that after they killed a buddy, even if he was infected. It's not like they think the humans might have an explanation or a cure just because they happened to kill it in melee. They can't cure disease because the infected one is already dead.

Also, in the room with the eggs, is there any reason the players would destroy/crack open the supposed black dragon egg? Perhaps the shaman would tell them that Ilthana has been urging aggression against the humans, but still, going into a hatchery and destroying an egg is a bold move. It also seems like you'd have to put lizard folk in the area right after for there to be peace with anyone but the shaman. Otherwise, how would they see players destroying the worms?

Less importantly, the fights with the Lizard folk outside of Blackwall Keep sound tedious. Round after round with the same kind of creature. This doesn't sound like fun, but feel free to disagree with me. I was thinking of steering them to rescuing Marzena asap - the lizard lair is more interesting. (I should note I may be leaving town in 6 months and have been cutting out parts of many adventures to have a chance of finishing).

Perhaps I could have some secret exit and some means of getting to the lair (maybe someone has a map at the keep). This explains why the lair is relatively depopulated - many warriors are still sieging the Keep.

One of my characters uses a spiked chain that he is very fond of, and I think it might come up during the submerged showers part of the campaign.

I'm thinking it's something like a thrown weapon and therefore completely ineffective.

It also seems unrealistic to me that melee weapons suffer no penalties, but the Dungeon Master Guide doesn't mention it.

I had a player come up with a really good back story, listed below. I'd like to give him a chance to make the villain into someone he could potentially kill. Anybody see a problem with making this villain Loris?

The only issue is that he has no stats. I'd have to make them up.

The other issue is having such revolting slavery so widespread in the Free City. The player says there are thousands of slaves in the gem mines. But I can make the Free City as corrupt as I want, non?

Also, not all of the gladiators need be slaves.


The player is the child of two slaves forced to work as gladiators. They were killed in the arena. The arena's owner raised the child to fight. They also forced her to execute slaves from the owner's gem mines when they didn't work hard enough or misbehaved. She was later a successful gladiator but a priest snuck in and tried to inspire the slaves to freedom. The owner made her execute the priest, but not before the priest ave her a vision that made her reexperience all the suffering she inflicted on others. She then broke free and swore to free the slaves and kill the arena/gem mines owner.

I'm starting AoW with a new group. One of my players wants to be a spirit shaman destined to become a radiant cleric of Pelor.

There are some abilities he mentioned that I don't quite understand. This is the way he explains them to me.

1) Radiant Servant - he says that Empowered Healing works on all Healing Domain spells he casts. Is that right?

Also, he wants to get a version of practiced spellcaster for Turn Undead. This would let him count up to 4 levels from class(es) where he did not get Turn Undead ability (Spirit Shaman does not) toward his Turn Undead rolls. Basically his caster level for that ability only would be bolstered a bit to offset multi-classing. Does this seem overpowered or fair?

He can be a prickly player so I'm inclined to give it to him. But if I'm going to say no, the time is now.

As written, it seems highly overpowered. If it hits a helpless foe with its lash attack (a touch attack), the victim falls unconscoius the next round? And she's dead in the third round? What have other people done with this?

Also, if a monster approaches some creatures that are sleeping, and the night watchman alerts them, how many rounds before the party is up and at full strength?

My players contacted Balabar after capturing Filge, tying him up, and keeping him in their HQ. I had Smenk offer some assistance (an invisibility wand to get past the miners), and he demanded that he turn any incriminating evidence they found over to him.

It seems that Balabar wouldn't want any loose ends, so he'd try to kill the players if they left the Ebon Triad's lair alive. What would be the most realistic way to deal with this? My thought was that he could post assassins near the entrance of the mine, or perhaps their HQ. He's also resourceful enough that I think he could afford a locate person spell and find Filge; probably he'd free or possibly kill Filge because he's another loose end. If the players don't rest before leaving the mine, it could be a TPK, though.

I started the campaign in early July and might need to move to a different town next spring. Therefore, I've been carefully editing the adventures to get them as far as possible before I skipped town. This might be helpful to others looking to cut out the fat, so to speak.

Whispering Cairn: I eliminated all of the encounters (wolves, beetles, slasher) up to the abberation, and also eliminated the later beetles and fungus. In my mind, they had little to do with the grand plot. I also had Alistair Land be an obvious good guy so they would spend little time debating whether to help him or not. To avoid TPK, I put one of the Wind Warriors around the air elevator and another one in the tomb itself so the players could heal. They seemed to like this, except it was a little slow before the players finally had an encounter.

At Alistair Land's place, I had the owlbear dead when they arrived. Kullen's gang killed her, but not before Skutch was killed.

Three Faces of Evil: I haven't played this yet, but here's what I have in mind. In the temple, eliminate all rooms except for the room with the statues and the balcony, and the individual living quarters rooms. The statue room will be an interesting challenge - There will be ranged fighters shooting at them, and I'm going to have the mascot charging at them as well. The cleric will have fled the room and will be hiding behind 10 cultists in his own bedroom.

I haven't gotten much beyond that, but I'm restricting the Erythnul battles to 10 grimlocks and the boss. The maze sounds too fun to abbreviate too much, but I will still have to do it. What have people had the most fun with in the maze?

I thought the 3rd floor fight in the observatory was a fair fight when I read it, but that was partly because there is a cleric in the party who could turn undead. The cleric is new to D and D, and had some unlucky rolls. Therefore, she used all 3 of her turn undead spells against the skeletons by the entrance, who could have been relatively easily defeated.

The zombies had a lot more hitpoints than the players (who, though second level, had something like 17, 14, 14, and 10 hp). It didn't help that the players didn't shop around Diamond Lake for healing potions. I would have had Filge surrender, but they players were all targeting the zombies, partly because Filge had cover. My players survived the Whispering Cairn, but not the observatory.

I have read the rules for swimming and drowning, and I understand that characters can move 1/4 the number of normal squares swimming as simple move actions. In the Whispering Cairn, what if they want to just walk on the ground in the shower room - is it the same rules as swimming?

My characters are already inside the Whispering Cairn. I couldn't think of a way to introduce them that wasn't labored and that wouldn't delay the action too long.

I wondered if any of you had a creative way of introducing the adventurers. I was thinking I would just have Tirra approach one of my PCs at the Feral Dog and challenge him to a knife fight, going from there.

I have found no description in the dungeon magazines about places to buy/sell weapons, potions, etc. Is it that Diamond Lake is so small that it doesn't have them? If you construct them, how do you decide on inventory and price?

I spent three years finishing the Shackled City adventure path with a group of good friends and loved it. I am about to be a DM for a new group of friends, but I am wrestling over whether to do the Shackled City or the Age of Worms.

I'm concerned that learning a new world and story could be overwhelming while dealing with all of the issues of being a DM. I know the characters and world of Shackled City, and I may be a better DM. I've also started to read The Age of Worms and I'm not convinced its a better story than The Shackled City, but feel free to disagree.

What would be more rewarding? Would I be bored DMing a campaign I've played through, or do adventures/players differ so much that it won't matter? Would my familiarity with the Shackled City make me a much better DM, therefore evoking more enthusiasm from my players and more fun for me?


I was in Scottsch's Shackled City campaign for three years and the responsibility of DMing has now fallen on me. One thing that made D and D so fun for me was that the Shackled City had such a good story line and such a good opportunity for innovative role playing. Can anyone recommend a campaign book that is better, or almost as good, for 3.5?

I would almost consider doing the Shackled City with my new players...But I think overall it would be more interesting to do a new campaign with a new storyline.


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