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Yup, immune to crits always means no sneak attacks...

And yeah, the changes to DR, etc., can be attributed to the creature being updated from the 3.0 rules in FF to 3.5.

Good luck with the encounter!


FatR wrote:
I intend to drop... Gathering of Winds... revisiting the same dungeon is not particularly awesome.

Just in case you only skimmed over AGoW, it's really only the entryway to the Whispering cairn that gets revisited - after battling Ilthane, the adventurers go into the freshly excavated wing just inside the entrance to the Whispering Cairn & are teleported (likely unknowingly) to another Wind Duke tomb they've never been to before. They might think they are in the same dungeon as in the first AP installment even though they are miles and miles away from it, but at worst it should seem to be a large section of it that they couldn't get to before.

Not saying AGoW doesn't have a few wonky parts though; that's undeniable (see this thread where the adventure's author, Wolfgang Baur himself, suggest dropping the portal-ghoul-thing altogether and downgrading the oculus demon's eyebolts from free to swift actions), and it sounds like you are having lots of fun customizing the AP to suit your game... I would never try to tell someone they shouldn't drop an adventure that doesn't appeal to them; just saying that if you are dropping it, don't do so because the PC's've been through its dungeon before - that's simply not the case.


One of my players' lizardfolk PC kept it for a while, wanted to sell it and insisted on RPing the haggling, then gave up in a huff when I therefore had the guy who could have bought it offer a ridiculously low first offer rather than make a correspondingly high counter-offer that would have ended up getting him the suggested price. So he decided to keep it, named it Albert (pronounced the french way, a-la "Colbert Report" so that it sort of sounds like "owlbear"), then forgot about it while they were raiding Filge's observatory. Forgot to look for it when they came out too. Little Albert wandered off while they were in the observatory and hasn't been seen since.


D'Oh! I just noticed the Appendix entry for True Ghouls at the end, had hoped to get back from break in time to post a, "never mind about that part of my question," but you beat me to it. I did notice there was no mention about summoned undead there though. The rest of what you posted looks pretty interesting & I'm going to have to take a little time to digest all that. Some of the sources you mentioned aren't in my collection, but the ideas look cool anyhow. I am familiar with the evolved undead template - wound up using it on a bunch of the advanced wights I created to fill in the gaps when the PC's had a real mess to deal with (or to escape) at the end of the Champion's Belt adventure...

I also have another thread about this adventure bookmarked, where IIRC some changes to the oculus demon are recommended, and I'll probably seriously consider using some of those changes too - especially the ones suggested by Wolfgang Baur, who wrote the adventure & created the oculus demon! Looks like I have my work cut out for me before the next session. I should have probably worked all this stuff out ages ago...

Thanks for the info & suggested tweaks, & always happy to hear any more ideas that others may have come up with!


When the PC's encounter Moreto in AGoW, the adventure mentions that his 2 mohrgs and summoned undead will try to keep the adventurers at bay while he casts spells at the beginning of combat. But it doesn't say anything about how he summons undead, or what type of undead he can summon. Did I overlook something?

Are true ghouls maybe in the Monster Manual or some other source and I just somehow forgot or never noticed them? No sourcebook is mentioned in his description. If these creatures have been printed in a 3.5 source, reading their entry might explain some of this stuff that's not clearly explained here - I'm assuming the spectral transformation ability that is named in his stat block but never detailed refers to his becoming a spectre upon being killed (described in the Tactics entry without referring to that ability), but perhaps there's more I should know about that before the encounter as well...

While we're at it, I'd be happy to hear about anything other DM's did to spice this enounter up a bit other than what's printed in the adventure. But mostly I'm just curious about the summoned undead.

Thanks to anyone who can clear up some of this stuff,


Adding more lizardfolk (maybe include some elites that have been advanced in different ways?) to the siege is definitely a good idea - my players' PC's made mincemeat of the beseiging force in no time, as have many other parties who played it by the book, from what I've read. Some other cool ideas already posted here too.

The only tweak I gave this adventure was to allow one of my players' lizardfolk PC's to remain with the Twisted Branch tribe as their new ruler, taking Hishka as his cohort via the Leadership feat I gave him the benefit of as a bonus for as long as he remains king of the lizards (all 3 or so of them who survived the party's assault, anyhow!) He took the offer & made up a new character who he's still running - this offer was too good for the character to refuse, as it represented all of the power-hungry PC's long-term goals. But there is a good chance the party will run into King KoKo again some day, when they least expect it...

Good luck,


Consider calculating Z's correct Mind Blast DC manually before you run this encounter - IIRC it is overstated by at least 2 in the adventure. Could make the difference between a memorable yet challenging victory for the party and an unfair TPK, as nearly happened when I ran it.

Good luck,


Thanks;I guess that rules out figuring it out based on tabletop D&D rules...

So all that's left is to narrow down the scope of my question and ask again: would anyone who knows DDO have any ideas why my character wasn't allowed to select this feat?

Thanks again,


Quick question regarding the feat, Superior Weapon Focus...

Does it exist in D&D3.5? I also play DDO, and my character there needs to pick up that feat, but it wasn't available to him at ftr15 despite meeting all the prerequisites - those that were listed in the feat description when I hovered my mouse over it, anyhow...

If anyone familiar with DDO knows whether there are additional prerequisites - fighter or character level, perhaps? - I'd appreciate it if you could let me know. Aside from that, if anyone knows the answer to this as applicable to plain old tabletop D&D 3.5, that would be nearly as good - most of the rules are pretty much the same. I'm not even 100% sure the feat exists in tabletop D&D, but the name sounds familiar so I think it is probably in one of my accessory rulebooks somewhere (it's not in the SRD; I checked).

I used to be able to remember all this stuff...



Awesome stuff! Aren't WWG pdf's great? I built the first 2 levels of the dungeon from A Gathering of Winds with them, and it turned out great; eventually I hope to get some decent pix to post too.

With all the rooms within each of those levels that differ in altitude by as much as 30 feet (not to mention the room with the funnel-shaped floor and the complicated pudding room with its raised gallery which required a few parts cast from Hirstarts molds to complete), I don't think I'll be attempting anything quite so ambitious again for some time - I'll probably stick to floors only, ie. no walls, at least for narrow hallways etc. The whole thing took me a couple months of evenings to build & they're already almost ready to go down even deeper into the dungeon, which is a bit sad... But still, it was lots of fun to build, each level of the dungeon can be fully assembled so as to be fully to scale and fully playable in all 3 dimensions, the players were quite impressed, and despite what's been said above, the WWG pdf's really don't require a huge amount of skill to use - mainly what's needed is a little bit of gear, a fair amount of patience, a reasonably steady hand, a lot of free time, and enough of a budget to cover the cardstock and printer ink that are needed. Which isn't in any way to downplay the awesomeness of this arena; it's to explain how versatile and easy to use WWG's pdf terrain sets are. With a few sets, you really can build just about anything you see in a Dungeon magazine map, and then some. I got mine through Paizo's store & the only problem I had was that Windows' default unzipper doesn't work for unzipping these pdf's. Took me a while to puzzle that one out... I think they have a note about that on the site now, which should help anyone else who buys some.

Those froghemoth and ulgurstasta sculpts are really cool too! I wish I had a bit of wifely assistance with my D&D props once in a while... My froghemoth (a converted rubber squeaky toy frog with greenstuff tentacles, barbed tongue, eyestalk, and teeth added) didn't manage to get fully painted (the rubber - actually plastic full of "plasticizers" to make it flexible - didn't play well with the primer; live and learn. Tip: soak rubbery toys in mineral oil or baby oil for a week to leach out the plasticizer chemicals then wash well before trying an aerosol primer on them!) before I had to throw it down on the tabletop, unfortunately, nor did the so-so swampy water effect I tried for on the base manage to fully cure before one of my players put his mini down on it to represent having been swallowed whole, which left a permanent dent in the water shaped like the bottom of the base of his mini. The Reaper purple worm I had been working on painting green for my ulgurstasta never even got past the primer stage before they encountered it so I wound up using a DDM plastic purple worm in its place instead. Oh well... At least I got my Ilthane (a 1984 Grenadier green dragon, IIRC) painted up before the party got back to the Whispering Cairn for the start of AGoW...

Anyhow, enough rambling on from me - again, awesome arena & custom minis!


Not to nitpick (much), but I think Savage Species is a D&D 3.5 sourcebook. Please correct me if I've misremembered, but IIRC it says so inside the front pages, although it actually came out before the 3.5 core books & thus uses some terminology that got changed by the time the 3.5 PHB/DMG/MM finally did come out... Calling it a D&D3.25 rulebook would not be completely inaccurate. Dragon Magazine published Savage Species-style level progressions for at least some monster classes in the 3.5 era, that much I know for sure - I have a player who created his 3.5e lizardfolk PC starting at 1st level using the monster class progression from issue #318.

I would consider my WoTC D&D3.5 rulebook collection incomplete without it, at any rate. Not that it's complete (yet) even with it, mind you...

FWIW, I also keep my copy of FF, MM2, A&EG and SBG with my 3.5 books on the shelf, since my group plays 3.5 and those books were never revised to my knowledge. I'd do the same with BoVD if I had a copy. Note, I'm not claiming those ones are actually 3.5 books - just Savage Species.

But again, please correct me if I'm wrong about that one somehow. Wouldn't be the first time...


Dungeon #105, according to Google - I didn't have the time (or geographic proximity) to flip through my collection either.

That's the one where he was on the cover, IIRC. And it's a 3.x version, for the record.


Yup, what The Chelish Inquisition said - note that it's a variant rule though, so you're free as DM to apply it or not as you wish (without having to call it a houserule, that is); personally I'd normally only use it if they're taking cover behind something that's not a creature; say, a huge and fragile glass beaker filled with acid/alchemist's fire, or a highly breakable quest item, or what have you. Then the rule is useful for seeing if the surroundings may get damaged in cases where this may make a difference. Not too sure I think it's fair to make them take that -4 (or burn a feat) to fire into melee to represent being very careful not to hit the wrong guy, then have them hit the wrong guy anyhow... Just my 2cp though.

We tried using this rule for firing into melee IMC a couple years ago and gave up on it after just a session or two as it seemed more cumbersome than it was worth.


Urizen wrote:
What's the air speed velocity of an unladden kobold?

What do you mean? An African or European kobold?

Edit - Ack! C.J. beat me to it.

This is awesome! First thing I'm going to use it for is to stat up all the monsters from the Summon Monster spells. Except I don't see the celestial template there. Anyhow, I'll do what I can until that appears.

I recently advanced a griffon manually by adding the fiendish template, for my Age of Worms campaign. I posted the stats here. So since I had them handy I tried using your monster advancer to create the same beast so as to compare the results.

Here's what happened when I tried it in the full version with nothing selected by Fiendish and Griffon:
"Error marshalling java.util.List: Error reading collection. Input parameter probably is not a collection. (Missing: [). See the logs for more details."

When I tried it in the Quickened version though, it seemed to work just fine, although there were one or 2 things that differed from my own stat block. Nothing hugely important, but you may want to be aware of them. So at the risk of making myself seem like a nit-picking whiner, here is a list of these discepancies:
- (extraplanar) did not appear alongside the creature's type (assuming it is encountered on the Material Plane - maybe a bad assumption on my part?)
- there was no note that attacks from the creature's natural weapons count as magic weapons for the purpose of bypassing DR (perhaps because this is assumed for any creature with DR x/magic?)
- the creature's rake attacks are included in a 2nd Full Attack entry for when Pounce is used (which is better than the statblock I wrote up), but there is no separate explanation entry for Rake down with the other special abilities/attacks like Pounce, Darkvision, etc. - might be nice to have that there since it can use Rake in a graple as well as in a pounce IIRC and DM's may forget this.
- near the bottom in that same section with the special attacks/abilities, it has both a "Darkvision(Ex): 60 ft." entry and a "Darkvision(Ex): Darkvision up to 60ft." entry, which seems redundant - probably comes from having DV60 in both the base creature and the template?
- The version your application generated had fewer skill points than mine. Mine has the same skill bonuses as the base griffon from the SRD, and I don't see anything in the template that would change this. Actually, I just checked and the base griffon in your application has the same too-low skill modifiers as well.

It's entirely possible that it's my statblock that is in error for any of these items. I'm just letting you know what I see here that seems a bit glitched at a very quick first glance, in hopes that it might help you fine-tune this already-impressive thing closer to perfection. Like I said, this is awesome even if there are a few little things still to be worked out, and I am sure I'll use it a great deal. A huge amount of work has obviously gone into this, and it really shows. Thanks!


I wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
...And as for hated house rules, massive damage. Ugh !
What houserule is that? I'm only familiar with the massive damage rule from the core rules.
Fake Healer wrote:
...My hated houserule is Massive Damage. Dumb rule.

Same question, since the first one went unanswered - in what way is this houserule different from the Massive Damage core rule? Just curious.


The reason I hate (most) fumble houserules is because they tend to make a 20th level fighter 4 times more likely to drop his sword or stab himself in the kidneys in any full attack as a non-proficient level 1 commoner. Granted, there are probably some variations that compensate for this in some way. These merely annoy me and my intention is not to discuss those here. In defense of fumble rules though, some could occasionally maybe give a DM a chance to apply some of the weird rules you see in the core books here and there that deal with lost limbs, etc., when there are no rules (except vorpal swords and hydras) explaining how limbs/appendages can possibly get lost or removed in the first place. How do you cut off someone's leg in D&D3.x? I'd probably allow it during a coup-de-grace, but that's definitely another houserule.

I haven't played in a game where the DM ruled that skill rolls auto-succeed/fail on a natural 20 or 1, but I wouldn't like that either. At a certain point, a rogue should be able to automatically tumble past an enemy without provoking AoO, just as a caster of sufficient power should automatically succeed at casting on the defensive. IMO. So no auto-failed skill rolls on a natural 1 for me, please. Conversely, a character's personal best (ie. a natural 20 rolled on, say, a spot check) shouldn't necessarily always be good enough to spot someone of a higher level with max'ed out ranks in Hide no matter how well they have rolled. What if the other guy rolled a 20 on his hide check too? They can't both auto-succeed...

Gorbacz wrote:
...And as for hated house rules, massive damage. Ugh !

What houserule is that? I'm only familiar with the massive damage rule from the core rules.


roll4initiative wrote:
The DMG states that the beads of a NoF can be thrown up to 70 feet. Does the thrower need to make a ranged (touch) attack or does the bead just land anywhere the thrower wants within the 70 foot range?

Interesting question; I never considered this before, and there has been a NoF used in my campaign. The SRD entry doesn't specify; the simplest rule would be that it works like the fireball spell (which involves throwing a "bead" too, if only in the "fluff" text), ie. no attack roll - the victims get a reflex save for half damage like a normal fireball, and generally effects that require an attack roll don't offer a save. Plus you don't need to hit a person with it; just to have it detonate where you want it to. You could require they roll a 5 or better on a ranged attack roll to have it detonate in the intersection they choose (like the standard AC of 5 for a 5' square) like a splash weapon, but what's the point? I believe the SRD entry also says they can "easily" throw it that 70 feet, which I interpret as meaning no attack roll is required. For these reasons, IMC that would (and has been) the ruling.

Feel free to disregard and add an attack roll mechanic, of course. One might even rule that "easily" throwing it 70 feet just means that 70 feet is the range increment, therefore they could throw it up to 5 times that distance (10 if a sling is used, but treat the bead as a stone rather than a real bullet for determining attack roll modifiers, perhaps? I dunno, just spitballing here) if they're willing to take the standard range increment penalties. That could work if you really want to add an attack roll rule. Then you get into questions like, "Should something extra happen to someone who actually gets hit by the bead (no save, perhaps?)"... Seems like a lot of extra bookkeeping to endure for little or no gain IMO though. It might also make the item more powerful than the spell in certain situations.

I'll be sticking with the simpler ruling above for my game, FWIW.


Sorry if I misled you; I do tend to ramble on sometimes. They fought another black pudding previously in the sewers in HoHR (rolled randomly on the sewers encounter table in that adventure), and the fiendish griffon figurine I mentioned also came from that adventure. We're in A Gathering of Winds now, for the record.

I just picked up a mini to use for Flycatcher (Reaper minis' "Cadirith, Demonic Spider"), but I fear that it will probably end up being way too big for a Huge monster once the legs are attached (though I haven't yet fully ruled out cramming it onto a 3" base with a little clever bending & reposing), and that it won't get fully painted until it's too late. Oh well, it won't hurt to have a freakin' huge spider mini in my collection anyhow...


Dennis Harry wrote:

I have players that try to cram 3 actions into one round too. Usually they are great ideas too bad the rules cramp their style :-)

So in your campaign Allustan was kidnapped and brought to the Free City Kang?

Nope, Allustan is trapped deeper in the tomb as per the adventure; they've just come back to Diamond Lake from the Free City to deliver Eligos' notes to him. They're in the dungeon looking for him, but haven't yet found him. They're also looking for the cleric's wizardly cohort, who was abducted by Flycatcher during their first session in the tomb.


More than you can possibly know... that player frequently comes up with unusual and cinematic ideas like this, but I'm so rarely able to allow them, as they invariably involve cramming at least 3 actions into a turn - when I explain he'll have to complete the last part of his maneuver in the next round, he generally abandons the plan (but not without some grumbling) rather than go ahead with it in a manner that is supported by the rules. This time was the happy exception & I'm glad to say he was able to slide down the inside of the hull (as the boat was wedged into the room with the nose down and poking out the door) to relative safety just before the boat disintegrated.

No PC deaths after all either, though there was one awfully close call - the monk finally dropped the pudding down to 3 hit points with the first attack of what would have been a flurry of blows, but he failed his save and the acid damage took him down to -9. Before his next turn, the 2nd round of fire damage from a flask of alchemist's fire (of all things) destroyed the pudding, so the cleric had time to rush over and drop some healing on him before he (90% likely) spent his next turn dying. During those last few rounds the rogue also blundered across one of the Word of Law traps (dictum spell - all but one (lawful) party member deafened and slowed for several rounds), which I was sure was going to end in disaster for everyone. But somehow they pulled through. I'm very happy I can say this, not just for the sake of the campaign but also because I spent a couple of months' worth of my free time building the entire first and 2nd level of the tomb in WorldWorks Games cardstock models (and some HirstArts casts in dental plaster as accessories), and they have so far only explored most of the first level, which wasn't half as complicated to build as the 2nd level... Anyhow, they barely had time to shut themselves in the puddin' room and quickly quaff a few meagre cure potions before the irate salamander noble burst into the room after destroying the unexpectedly fiendish griffon. Fortunately, they were able to appease him with more treasure and some effective grovelling.

Next step: get back their treasure, after resting up & healing. Then on to search for Allustan and the cleric's abducted cohort. Should be an interesting session next week...


wraithstrike wrote:
I am about to run that chapter this weekend, or at least as much of it as I can. I had forgotten about the cursed items somehow, thanks.

I think I mentioned 3 different chapters in the OP - which one are you about to run?

FYI, in last night's session the party finished off the pudding just before the Salamander burst into the room demanding explanations, apologies, and compensation for the dirty trick the party had played on him - it took the berzerker sword (also kept from Xyrxog's collection, though this time they told him the item's true nature), a partially depleted wand of Shatter, and a 1st level pearl of power to placate him enough to avoid a battle they weren't in any position to win since they were still quite badly damaged from the gargantuan pudding. They decided to retreat and camp outside the cairn, then come back and try to get their stuff back the next day, possibly by sending the salamander home using planar magic. I wonder if they'll ever actually get any further into the dungeon...

Hopefully the fiendish griffon stats will be helpful. I've always thought it would be cool and useful if someone statted up all the templated creatures from the various Summon Monster lists & posted them somewhere, but I haven't yet been motivated enough to find the time to do it myself.


Oh well, it was a long shot. I actually managed to get it done here during a break, so here it is for anyone else who needs it. Looks like I spelled Griffon wrong when I was trying to do a search for it; maybe it's already here somewhere in an old thread. Note, I didn't make any changes other than what's in the fiendish creature template, so the fluff like prices for their eggs and all that stuff is probably wrong. Pretty sure about the crunch though - but please correct me for future reference if you spot any mistakes!

Large Magical Beast(extraplanar)
Hit Dice:
7d10+21 (59 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 80 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 17 (–1 size, +2 Dex, +6 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+15
Attack: Bite +11 melee (2d6+4) (as magic weapons for bypassing DR)
Full Attack: Bite +11 melee (2d6+4) and 2 claws +8 melee (1d4+2) (as magic weapons for bypassing DR)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Pounce, rake 1d6+2, Smite Good
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, DR 5/magic, Resistance to cold and fire 5, SR 12
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +5
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 5, Wis 13, Cha 8
Skills: Jump +8, Listen +6, Spot +10
Feats: Iron Will, Multiattack, Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Any Evil-aligned plane
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pride (6–10)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always evil(any)
Advancement: 8–10 HD (Large); 11–21 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: +5 (cohort)
Griffons are powerful, majestic creatures with the characteristics of both lions and eagles. From nose to tail, an adult griffon can measure as much as 8 feet. Neither males nor females are endowed with a mane. A pair of broad, golden wings emerge from the creature’s back and span 25 feet or more. A griffon weighs about 500 pounds.
A griffon cannot speak, but understands Common.
Griffons prefer to pounce on their prey, either diving to the attack or leaping from above.
Pounce (Ex): If a griffon dives upon or charges a foe, it can make a full attack, including two rake attacks.
Rake (Ex): Attack bonus +8 melee, damage 1d6+2.
Smite Good (Su): Once per day the creature can make a normal melee attack to deal extra damage equal to its HD total (maximum of +20) against a good foe.
Skills: Griffons have a +4 racial bonus on Jump and Spot checks.
Although intelligent, a griffon requires training before it can bear a rider in combat. To be trained, a griffon must have a friendly attitude toward the trainer (this can be achieved through a successful Diplomacy check). Training a friendly griffon requires six weeks of work and a DC 25 Handle Animal check. Riding a griffon requires an exotic saddle. A griffon can fight while carrying a rider, but the rider cannot also attack unless he or she succeeds on a Ride check.
Griffon eggs are worth 3,500 gp apiece on the open market, while young are worth 7,000 gp each. Professional trainers charge 1,500 gp to rear or train a griffon.
Carrying Capacity: A light load for a griffon is up to 300 pounds; a medium load, 301–600 pounds; and a heavy load, 601–900 pounds.

Would anyone happen to have a stat block handy for the fiendish gryphon from the cursed figurine found in Zyrxog's museum (HoHR)?

I just remembered I am gonna need it for tonight's session - I can't figure out what I did with the one I made up a while back, and I'm not going to have time to work one up after work before I head out to my game... It's possible I have a copy at home somewhere, but I had thought I had left a copy on my hard drive here at work - apparently not.

The party's pyromaniac cleric, who discovered the figurine's true nature during the battle with Madtooth the hungry in CB (snicker), traded it - a bit dishonestly, I must say - to the Earl of Coalchester (AGoW) in exchange for safe passage and some information. Then when the party (literally) stumbled across the elder black pudding in the room down the hall, he yelled back offering more treasure in exchange for help in dealing with the pudding. The Earl, happy with the treasure he'd been given in their first exchange, agreed. But being tasked with defending the tomb, he decided to intervene in the least direct manner possible - by activating the bronze gryphon figurine (which after all had been the intruders' possession until just moments before, not to mention the fact this would be low-risk to himself personally and wouldn't require him to actually get his hands dirty) and sending the gryphon in to attack the pudding.

So the salamander is going to have to deal with the fiendish gryphon that just turned on him before he'll be able to go take his revenge on the PC's, and I will have to resolve that round-by-round as the fight with the pudding progresses, since I didn't manage to resolve the fight between the NPC and his new toy between sessions as I had planned.

So if anyone else has statted this beast up and has it handy in copy/paste-able form, I'd be much obliged if you'd post up the stats here for me. Thanks in advance,


You probably want to double-check the stats of the 3FoE denizens before you get to that adventure - it's been a while but IIRC there are at least a few mistakes, ie. tieflings somehow wielding 2-handed weapons and heavy shields, etc... Not that big a deal really, but more observant players may call you on it.

The real killer typo doesn't arrive until Hall of Harsh Reflections, in the form of an overstated mind blast DC for Zyrxog the illithid that has been responsible for the gods only know how many unfair PC deaths.

As for Blackwall Keep, the worst thing about that one was IMO that the actual lizardfolk siege is too much of a cakewalk. My players easily mowed through all the lizardfolk in a short time and never really felt like they were in any real danger, and I've read here how it was the same in a lot of other games. So if you're looking for someplace to advance some of the monsters or add a few nasty surprises of your own devising, that could be a candidate for where to do it.

Glad to hear my campaign is actually ahead of someone else's - we're currently in the middle of A Gathering of Winds, which is IIRC the 6th chapter. Mind you, it's taken us 4 years to get there... but really, we're only half as slow as that makes us sound - we alternate between this campaign and the FR campaign one of my players runs, switching back and forth at the end of each adventure.

Good luck with the AP & keep posting; I'm sure both of you and your groups are going to have lots of fun with this campaign...


Began the BP encounter in last night's session, and wouldn't you know it - after all this back-and-forth, they decide not to split the pudding after all! So now several of them are very low on HP and the cleric's healing spells are starting to run low. But we had some good fun.

The highlights of the evening:
- The rogue (same one who got killed by the random BP in HoHR) almost got eaten by this one too when he stepped on it. Never step on an ooze lord! He was fully grappled and constricted, but managed to somehow escape when the BP's grapple roll opposing the rogue's Escape Artist check came up a natural 1! I don't know if it is the 'official' rule, but IMC I have ruled that automatic successes and failures are possible on grapple rolls, since they are so similar to attack rolls.
- The pudding had the fighter (whose ancestral ceremonial +1 greatclub had just been dissolved) backed into a corner (on one of the staircases in the BP's room), so he activated his swan boat feather token, jumped into the boat, and now hopes to "sail" across the pudding and out the door into the hallway where it's a bit safer. I no longer feel guilty for not preparing as much for this session as I normally would have liked - who could possibly have anticipated that?!? Suggestions for how to adjudicate this would be welcomed; at the start of the next session the battle will continue, with the fighter in his boat (1 round after activating it). The session will start on the Fighter's turn. I don't believe the boat will have any chance of fitting through the door, but it should probably be destroyed by the pudding since it has been in contact with its acids for 1 full round anyhow (though he will argue against this, I'm sure).
- The cleric had bribed the Earl of Coalchester for safe passage and a bit of information by giving him a figurine of wondrous power - Zyrxog's bronze gryphon! When things got really nasty with the pudding, he called back to the salamander for more help, offering further bribes - the salamander agreed to settle on terms later and activated the gryphon to help the party deal with the pudding (he couldn't possibly attack it himself - compelled by conjuration, you see...)! This was also in the last round we played - the PC's heard the Earl scream in rage as the fiendish gryphon turned on him - I guess the cleric had assumed the cursed gryphon would get along better with the salamander than it had with him the time he activated it (during the battle with the Froghemoth in CB... Or was it the one with the Ulgurstasta? Either way, that was pretty funny, but another story altogether...). Looks like they're now caught between a rock and a hard place, but at least (hopefully) the gryphon will keep the Earl busy for long enough for the PC's to deal with the pudding before facing his wrath. The Earl may well also burn a few more of his spells dealing with the gryphon... He doesn't have too many left anyhow.

The pudding is now down to about half its original hit points. I fear there may be a PC death or 2 in next week's session.


bodrin wrote:
I would do the math again, it would be split into 16 (16 * 7 HP = 112HP) The first ooze becomes 2 oozes, those 2 oozes become 4, the 4 become 8 then finally the 8 become 16 on the final split the original 115 hp creature is now 16 gargantuan 7 hp oozes not 32 7 hp oozes (32 * 7 = 224HP)

Sure, but the Elder Pudding I'm (still - took a break over the holidays, but back to it this Thursday) about to deal with in AGoW starts with 290HP.

1 pudding w/290hp => 2 w/145hp => 4 w/72hp => 8 w/36hp => 16 w/18hp => 32 w/9hp...
That's the pudding I was referring to when I mentioned "this pudding" above, but I can see how it got confused with your 115HP example. Sorry for the confusion.

Making the save would split the pudding, failing wouldn't as they cause no damage (MM page 201 Split), in my opinion, however nasty Dm's could rule validly that the attack hits and splits the Ooze before dissolving.

Not so sure; the Acid ability only states the weapon must "strike" the pudding (in the SRD anyhow) - nothing says it has to actually damage it. The Split ability says the P/S weapon can't damage it anyhow (even with a successful saving throw, presumably), just as you pointed out. So I'm (currently) leaning toward ruling that splitting and weapon destruction can both happen - just striking it also seems to be the thing that triggers splitting (but that "immediately" is still in there to make me keep wondering if I have got it right...). But I don't think I'm all that nasty - I let their weapons and armor survive, taking just the regular acid damage (minus hardness) when they fought the one in the sewers of the HoHR adventure, after all... If not for that, the cleric wouldn't still be wearing Theldrick's old plate armor!

Thanks for the continued replies,


A Man In Black wrote:
Check out True20 (or Mutants and Masterminds, which uses a similar system). All attacks are save-or-die, but if you only fail by a little you get stacking penalties to future checks. It might be what you're looking for.

From the OP:

SavvySinner wrote:
I stumbled upon this gem when I was perusing True20...

That's where he got this from...

A Song of Ice and Fire RPG (AKA SIFRP), another Green Ronin game, also has a combat/damage system that makes death a real possibility even for seasoned combattants. Suddenly flight or surrender start to sound like real options... I haven't quite wrapped my head around it well enough to explain it to anyone else yet, but the basics are explained in a free "quickstart" pdf available on their site, if you're interested. Not sure how easy to adapt to D&D it would be though.


The King in Tie-dye wrote:
As cool as that would be, I'm also a 16 year old kid with a minuscule budget. Anything too complicated is way beyond me and my current bank account of $11.

Ah, I see. Been there. Hey, don't sweat it - when you get to be my age (in 20 years or so), 10 of those $11 will be earmarked for mortgage payments, insurance, utility bills, etc. Enjoy it while it lasts! :o)

One thing my gaming group does is to each chip in $2 per session that can be used by anyone in the group who wants to pick up stuff that might enhance our games. People have the option (and are highly encouraged) to make/build/paint something for the campaign instead if they'd rather. Mostly people chip in the $2. It adds up fast; maybe something like this would work for your group. Depending on how many players you have, you could probably have enough for either the glabrezu-like demon and the angel wings pack (or just the wings from the angel/large bird of your choice) for a glabrezu with some archon features, or the Deva and the creature components pack for a (slightly more expensive) archon with demonic appendages (ie. claws, horns, tail), and a pack of green stuff within just a few sessions (maybe just a couple weeks if you throw in that $11)... Just a thought. Hope it helps,



Doesn't sound like something you're going to find in an unmodified mini... If you're geared up for and open to the idea of doing a little conversion, Reaper Miniatures has some stuff that might make for good parts/bits:

- Reaper Figure Finder (use search term "angel" & take your pick - the Deva looks the closest to the D&D 3.x MM Trumpet Archon artwork IMO, but has no trumpet that I can see at a glance)
- A Reaper musical instruments pack; includes a long straight horn
- A Reaper musician with a different type of big horn; not sure how much work to remove
- A Reaper Glabrezu-like demon (or use the link above with search term "demon"; there is another one with 4 arms and lobster claws that will show up... BTW, the "angel" and "demon" searches also turn up angelic/demonic wings packs, if that helps.
- A Reaper conversion pack that includes claws, horns, etc.

Most if not all the parts of their multi-part minis can be purchased separately through their site also...

A lot of images in their figure finder have little triangles spaced out along the edge that help show the size of the mini, but not all of these ones have them; sorry I can't say whether or not they'd make good parts for a huge mini.

For the sheet music you could use the dollhouse stuff linked above, or else roll out some thin sheets of green stuff to wrap around the end product & freehand-paint the notes onto.

There's a thread about people's various takes on a {BBEG} mini for the AoW finale here, BTW, in case you haven't already seen it.

Good luck, have fun, and make sure to come back and let us know what you came up with!


Yes - thanks very much, James.

Bodrin, I've done the math and this pudding could potentially be split into 32 gargantuan 9hp oozes. 32! When you ran it, did your party lose a lot of weapons & armor to its acid ability? That is some nasty stuff.

Unfortunately, the only fireball chucker in the party is the cleric's cohort, who's been abducted by Flycatcher already. Maybe it's actually for the best, as this gives them less motivation to split it into as many pieces as possible... (After the rogue got melted by the black pudding from the random sewer encounter I rolled in HoHR, they decided that from that point on their strategy against BP's would be to divide and conquer, ie. split them into many pieces & bombard the weaker resulting puddings with damaging area effects) I have no idea where I'd fit so many of them without 'cheating' by having them overlap and share space in combat (which is at least a lot easier to visualize with oozes than with most other types).

Should I assume that s/p weapons used to attack the pudding that get destroyed by the acid are still able to split the pudding, or would they have to succeed on that save, lest the weapon or ammo be "immediately" destroyed before causing it to split?

Thanks again for all the replies,


TheDrone wrote:
Can I Call My Guy Drizzt? wrote:
Also, if the feat meant for two handers to retain the bonus it would have said so.

To be very nit-picky, there is a "weapon in your off-hand" when you are weilding a two-handed weapon.

I see no reason why you would not be able to use IBD to retain your buckler armor bonus to AC while using a two-handed weapon.

This thread has been very informative. I never knew there was this penalty to using a buckler with TWF. I always treated a MW buckler as a free +1 shield bonus on all my characters.

Aside from the not understanding how bucklers work until just now, I agree. Although IMC I would double-check all the relevant rules in the actual books before ruling on this. Without having done so, the 'nit-picky' point does ring true IMO.


The World's Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure, linked. The key word in the title being "technically"...

Enjoy ('cause who doesn't enjoy pie?),


I am reading "splits into two identical puddings" as only meaning that the two puddings produced are identical to each other. But since it makes no mention of them being a different size than the original, I tend to think you are probably correct. But I probably will houserule this one, as I can see my entire dungeon overflowing with gargantuan black puddings before long otherwise... :o)

Thanks again for your input; I'll make sure to post again once the encounter takes place, though that won't likely be until sometime in the new year.


Yes, that is the ability I'm asking about.

You have emphasized the fact that the 2 new puddings are identical to each other. But are they identical to the original? Clearly not, as they each have only half the HP of the original... But should they be the same size as the original? Maybe. Smaller? Who knows? The more I think about it, the more I think it doesn't really make that much difference. Smaller ones are easier to fit in a dungeon of limited size, but then there's a bit more bookkeeping too, what with the changing size modifiers to AC, attack rolls, grapple checks, etc.

Then there is the question of how one visualizes the splitting... Is it getting cut in half, or is it splitting like a cell? The former would support the freshly split puddings being a size category smaller (ie. roughly half the size) than the 'parent' pudding, and also seems to mesh well with the halving of each new pudding's hit points; while the latter might support the new puddings being the same size as the original.

So I'm mostly just curious how others have answered this question. Based on your reply, shall I assume you would make the freshly split puddings each the same size as the original?

So far, I'm leaning toward having them decrease in size when they split, mainly because the area where my players' PC's will encounter the pudding is a fairly cramped space and there just aren't that many 4X4" places to put more puddings down on the grid. Even with puddings that do split into 2 smaller puddings, I fear there could eventually be a lot of them forced to share space, which they should not technically be able to do while in combat, as normally they would be "pooted" (as our group refers to it) to the nearest available space that's big enough to hold them, should they try to stop in an occupied square. I would probably allow them to use the squeezing rules & fill up smaller gaps between other puddings rather than make them get pooted too far though.

Thanks for the reply,


Thanks for the feedback, ST. This encounter might actually happen in tonight's session; if so, I'll try and remember to come back & post how it went.

Cool idea about having the "original" retain its size, splitting off one at <size -1> though (as I interpret your Evil DM's method), even if it does sort of fly in the face of the "splits into 2 identical puddings" rule. But it's too much remembering which ie. gargantuan one has already been split once and which one hasn't, for my tastes. My way that doesn't matter & only the hit points need to be tracked on a pudding-by-pudding basis...

Anyhow, it's quitting time and I have to get home to prep for tonight's session.




I already posted this in the D20/OGL3.5 section, but since it is particularly relevant to the A Gathering of Winds adventure and I'm sure that there are people reading this who have run this encounter, I think that I should maybe have posted it here instead. Apologies if this kind of cross-posting is considered out of line here, but this is where I really wanted it to go, and now it's too late.

Anyhow, the question is about what size the new black puddings should be after the original pudding splits - ie. same size as original, or smaller?

Here's the thread I posted, which goes into a bit more detail (or at least a bit more rambling).

Thanks, and feel free to reply either here or there - I'll be checking both.

PS. Did anyone else have the opportunity to consider this issue earlier in the campaign? I did; there was a black pudding in the wandering monster table for the sewers in HoHR en-route to Zyrxog's lair. It wasn't easy, but I rolled one up and it ate one PC so thoroughly dead that the party was lucky to have been able to salvage enough of him to get raised!

I am wondering if, when a black pudding gets split, the 2 new puddings, each with 1/2 the original's HP, would be smaller than the original. ie. would a Gargantuan pudding split into 2 Huge puddings, which could then each split into 2 large puddings and so on, or would they keep splitting into twice as many Gargantuan pudings?

The SRD says, "the creature splits into two identical puddings, each with half of the original’s current hit points." Clearly, the 2 puddings are identical to each other, but that doesn't say whether they should be identical to the original. Since they're clearly different from the original at least in terms of hit points, I tend to think the new split puddings could or maybe even should be smaller (which seems logical... especially since I seem to recall reading that doubling or halving a creature's actual physical size is generally equivalent to changing sizes by 1 category), but that is only in general; I have no clearly applicable rules basis for this situation in particular, and it's not like D&D doesn't have oozes that can grow quickly given the right stimulus. Is there an obscure FAQ out there somewhwere that covers this?

If no better suggestions or new info arises here, I'm going to go with the, "the creature splits into two identical puddings, each with half of the original’s current hit points and one size category smaller," option...
ie., 1 Garg. BP w/290hp => 2 Huge BP w/145hp => 4 Large BP w/72hp => 8 Med. BP w/36hp => 16 Small BP w/18hp => 32 Tiny BP w/9hp.

That seems to make sense, and is also much easier to fit on most battlegrids than 32 gargantuan puddings would be

Just wondering how have others dealt with this, and why they do or don't believe they were following the rules upon doing so.



A series of (c. 2004) articles by Sean K. Reynolds, found on Monte Cook's website:
Dealing With Large Parties Part 1: Challenging Encounters
Dealing With Large Parties Part 2: Handling All Those Players
Dealing With Large Parties Part 3: An Afterword

Part 1 will be the most relevant to the question at hand, but the rest may be of interest as well. Possibly it's more useful for designing encounters from scratch than for adjusting those found in Dungeon adventures... But generally speaking, IMO where D&D 3.x is concerned, SKR seems to know what he's talking about, and here he addresses the very issue you're dealing with - so I figured it was worth finding the articles again and posting some links for you. Hope you find them helpful!


Aw, shucks, you're kidding - someone actually actually enjoys my ramblings? I don't even post here very often, but that sure is nice to hear.

Since you asked, I'll see if I can overcome my natural indolence and actually tear myself away from the HBO channel & my mini-painting gear long enough to take some AGoW terrain (& Ilthane the black - actually Grenadier green dragon #2505, c. 1984, painted the wrong colour and with basing inspired by the cover art of Dungeon #129) photos to post online; best bet would probably be to take photos during tomorrow evening's D&D session, get a series of shots as rooms get attached onto the explored sections... They might not have the best lighting compared to shots using tripod & multiple desktop lamps w/daylight bulbs etc., but maybe they'll look OK. I'll try and remember to bring my camera, at any rate. Anyhow...

We now return you to your regularly scheduled tapletop battlegrid mapping options discussion...

Hey Jay Walsh, let us know if any of these solutions work for you, or whether you come up with something else that does. I think a lot of DM's and players are always on the lookout for new simple and easy options for this kind of stuff. I certainly don't want to build every dungeon in the AP out of cardstock, that's for sure; my insanity does know some bounds... Glad I tried it once & it was lots of fun to make, but in future I'll probably stick to just making a few key encounter areas per adventure, possibly without even having any walls attached where possible (ie. other than to separate adjacent rooms that share a gridline)...


Honestly, if pre-drawing isn't an option, drawing as you go is about the easiest way there is in my experience. The only thing quicker and easier than erasable markers - that I've tried, that is - is to use an easel-pad of 1" graph paper, from ie. Staples. Don't bother erasing or hunting for special markers - just draw with anything that writes, then flip over a new page as needed. As a bonus, this way you keep all the old maps at playable scale, for when the PC's backtrack or return to an old location.

But WotC's Dungeon Tiles are pretty convenient too sometimes - epecially when the party wanders off the edge of the easel pad.

Some very nice options include casting terrain bits in dental plaster/hydrocal/whatever using HirstArts molds (time- and labour-intensive: mix, pour, wait, blot, scrape, wait, pop, repeat, dry-fit, assemble/glue, prime, paint), and building terrain in cardstock using WorldWorks Games pdf's (not quite as time/labour intensive as HA, but a little more expensive for printer ink refills, cardstock, UHU sticks, X-Acto blades, etc.: print, cut, score, fold, edge, glue). But I would not say they are more convenient than drawing maps out by any stretch of the imagination. Quite the opposite. But they do produce extremely nice-looking results if you have the patience for them. Dwarven Forge terrain is also extremely attractive & can set up pretty quick, but wow is it ever pricey.

I have recently completed building the entirety of levels 1 and 2 of the dungeon from the A Gathering of Winds adventure, mostly using WWG cardstock models, supplemented with a few HirstArts pieces. The whole of each level can be assembled together room by room, including all the walls and the occasional 30-foot dropoff, rooms at differeing heights, etc. This took a couple of months of my free evenings, but could have been done much faster if I had left out the walls and the differing heights of one room as compared to the next. I think my players will be impressed, and there are only 2 rooms where I am a little concerned about how easy it will/won't be to get our hands in there to move minis around. Worth it if you're a terrain-building nut like me, but otherwise I'd say you should likely pass on these - but do check out their excellent websites; you never know... To me, building this stuff is relaxing and a nice break from painting minis once in a while. But I'm definitely ready for a break from cardstock and plaster at this point. We just began playing the adventure last week, but they are still fighting the angry black dragon outside the dungeon's entrance, so we haven't actually used any of it yet... We'll see how convenient it is to actually use during this week's session, I suspect.


nomadicc wrote:
Thanks for all the info! I've picked up the PDFs for 336 and 338, for now, to capitalize on the 'night on the town' info, which I may work in as a backdrop/interlude, and the Wormhunter PrC, which I'm sure one of the PCs will find interesting!

Is the "night on the town" Wormfood the one with the details of the businesses in Midnight's Muddle, with the map of the area surrounding the Crooked House Inn?

If so, one of the really cool things about it, IMO, was that the little map conforms exactly to a section in this big map of the City of Greyhawk, right down to the individual buildings. So if you want, you can show your players exactly where they are staying in the "Free City" (ie. Greyhawk). This way, you add a huge number of possible locations for the PCs' days and nights on the town while they investigate the doppelganger/illithid activity in Hall of Harsh Reflections and wait for the Champion's Games to begin. If you keep a copy offline, you can even add new labels and red dots on your own for your own group's use; ie. you can add labels to the Crooked House Inn, the Cold Forge smithy, and so on. It's even possible to use the basic framework with completely different maps if you're feeling ambitious, but I digress...

The only other Wormfood article I've actually used so far was 'Gating in the Heavy Hitters' - one of my players (the only one who actually provided me with a background for his PC, which I felt ought to be rewarded) runs a fire-worshipping cleric, so when he got himself killed in 3 Faces of Evil in such a way that the rest of the party was unable to bring his body back to get raised, I had Gendinom Furnace-Master, the massive fire elemental, intercept him in the afterlife and offer to send him back for a price - ie. bring the (unique) Ebon Aspect's body to the Bronzewood Lodge's ring of standing stones, along with materials for a special ritual that would summon Gendinom to collect it as payment to be incinerated in his magic furnace; the materials cost the same as a Raise Dead spell. This made for a fun solo mini-trek for that PC, allowing him a chance to regain some of the XP he lost for dying by fighting off a pack of wolves who were sniffing hungrily around his horse while he camped out en-route to the Lodge. Oh, and to walk on red-hot coals as part of the ritual, which he has been trying in vain to convince the other PC's to try ever since, in an attempt to convert them to fire-worship AKA pyromania...

Good luck with your campaign! Age of Worms can be loads of fun, but it can also be a real meat-grinder at times. Enjoy...


Pop'N'Fresh wrote:
...They... are doing the Hextor temple next week. This should be another bloodbath.

Yes, yes it should. When I ran 3FoE we came as close as we ever have to a TPK in the Hextorite Battle Temple (which my players still refer to as "the kill room"), which they blundered into unawares just as the cultists had planned. Those who survived were captured for later sacrifice (presumably in the planned ritual to awaken the Ebon Aspect), and were lucky to find themselves imprisoned with an assassin/spy from Hextor's true church's secret police who'd infiltrated the cult with orders to destroy and suppress before being discovered among the acolytes. He and the PC's helped each other overwhelm a guard and quietly escape their cell (which I had to add to the map), but he ran off with all of Theldrick's XP once he'd successfully delivered his death attack against the leader while the party battled their way through his minions. Of course, I ran it using the 3.5 rules, so your experience may be a little different... Good luck!


IIRC the adventure specifically recommends letting the PC-replacing doppelganger simply use the replaced PC's stats & abilities, presumably so that you don't have to worry about all this stuff. Doppelgangers by the RaW always seem to throw a monkey wrench into things anyhow. From a RaW standpoint, since you said that's how you want to play things out, you could consider this recommendation as the Rule as Written for the doppelgangers in this particular adventure, which should override the regular rules. Presumably the rest of the adventure has been designed to be in balance with this in mind. Or, it could be that Zyrxog &/or the doppelgangers have an intelligence network so extensive that they are able to come up with a convincing duplicate for pretty much any adventuring character by selecting an infiltrator whose abilities match up very closely with the victim's. There you have it, you're good to go. Just a matter of picking which PC gets replaced, and really, you could even wait right up until the Big Reveal to decide which character has been replaced. That way it's a suprise for everyone; not just almost everyone...

The good news is, HoHR should provide a better challenge to your PC's than EaBK did - my players made mincemeat of just about all the lizardfolk too, never did really have a tough encounter in that entire chapter. They even left a PC behind in the swamp - the party's lizardfolk wilder, who took over the role of 'King of (all 3 or so surviving members of) the Twisted Branch tribe', which was basically his dream come true. But HoHR was a different story. The encounter with Zyrxog lasted 3 whole sessions and nearly became a TPK - would have been one for sure if I hadn't played up Z as overconfident enough in his own superior genius that he thought he could afford to toy with the party a bit (to drive up the level of terror in their minds, naturally - it's tentacle-slurping good!), only to have his buffs run out in the nick of time - his published mind blast DC (overstated in the adventure) which I used for the first two sessions of the battle, was certainly a factor as well; you'll want to correct that, IMO. We even had a PC death in the sewers leading to Z's domain - I got "lucky" and rolled up the black pudding on the random sewer encounter table, and with no room to maneuver and no significant arcane firepower (with which to do the old 'ok, you guys cut it up into many smaller pieces then I'll drop a fireball on all of them' trick) in the group at the time, they had a pretty rough time of it. For some reason, I want to believe there was another PC kill in this adventure, but I can't think when or where so maybe it was a different chapter... Maybe the giant octopus under the Sodden Hold? Hard to remember... By the end of the adventure, they didn't even want to search Zyrxog's treasure room - too paranoid to trust or even touch anything because of all the dirty tricks that are riddled throughout all parts of this adventure. Casting Analyze Dweomer on everything in there was the smartest thing they ever did in that adventure, I think, though they did forget to cast it on the bronze griffon figurine. Than wound up being highly entertaining the first time it got used, in one of the big battles in the following adventure (Champion's Belt).

Yikes, starting to ramble again here - point is, don't worry so much about the dopelgangers, nor about having another cakewalk on your hands with the HoHR adventure.

Good luck,


Dennis Harry wrote:

I can't seem to locate that post, can anyone provide a link? I convinced my wife to do the cooking :-)


I remember having a heck of a time finding it too, and now I can't find it again either. Can't remember what search term(s) I used the first time... But I did copy/paste the recipes into a Word document, which I still have. If you can figure out some way to PM me (if Paizo forums have PM capability?) with an email address, I'd be happy to email you a copy. If not, and if nobody posts a link to VB's original recipes post withina reasonable time, I'll try and remember to copy/paste it all back into a post here sometime soonish.


Alex Martin wrote:

The product above looks much better than what I would suggest:

Flip Chart Graph Paper

I have used this kind of paper on the spur pretty happily. Just something handy that you can generally pick up at your local office supply.

The easel-sized flip-pad of 1" graph paper from Office Depot is cheap and IMO perfect for D&D gaming. Once upon a time we used a flexible plastic sheet on top w/erasable markers, but we soon gave up on that and just started drawing right on the paper & we still have plenty left after a couple of years of gaming. Plus we still have all those maps of every dungeon drawn up in playable (ie. 1" grid) scale for future use/reference (which came in very handy when our party took over a castle from a group of vampires - now we live there & can whip out a relevant level's maps as needed, on the fly). I heartily recommend it.

Drawbacks: If you roll the pad up & pop a couple of elastics on it between sessions, it starts to get a curl to it & a couple beer bottles will need to be placed on each end to keep it from wanting to roll up if, like us, you can't be bothered to make sure it gets rolled the opposite way every time. If you just flip your old maps over rather than carefully removing them, it will eventually start to get a bulge at the top end of the pad (see beer bottle solution already mentioned) & the flipped-over maps will gradually begin to take some wear and tear. That's about it.

I expect that if/when we do eventually use up the last of our pad, we'll pick up another ASAP, as it is very easy to deal with and transport, plus there's no messing around with "erasable" inks. It also works well in combination with other terrain accessories - ie. HirstArts plaster walls can quickly and easily be placed on top of the grid to define playable space, as can WorldWorks Games cardstock terrain models, or what have you.


My group all had 4th level PC's when we started this AP with Chapter 1: The Whispering Cairn back in early February of 2006 - we had played through several other adventures starting from 1st level before I decided to morph my campaign made up of randomly strung-together Dungeon adventures into an Age of Worms campaign. I had to make extensive use of Scaling the Adventure sidebars up until they began the Champion's Belt adventure (part 5), when the level of the adventures had finally caught up to the average party level. By the time that adventure was done, the PC's were all ahead of the adventures again - ie. they had been almost ready to level-up when they began CB.

We've had lots of fun so far, though having to advance so many monsters has been a bit of a pain at times. I mean, it's always fun to tweak things a bit just because you want to, but when you pretty much have to, just for the adventure to present a decent challenge, it can get old quick. Especially if you don't have a whole lot of free time to begin with, and wind up having to give up precious hours that would otherwise be spent painting BBEG miniatures for the encounter at the adventure's climax or something just in order to get it all done. We're now gearing up to begin the next adventure - A Gathering of Winds - sometime in the next few weeks after the guy who plays our rogue's wife gives birth, when we can be sure to have the whole group together with no missing players for at least a couple sessions in a row, so I suppose I really should be getting on with checking that sidebar and retyping some pumped-up stat blocks... Yeah, I know, we are taking forever to get through this campaign, but it's not as bad as it may sound - we alternate between this campaign and the group's other DM's FR campaign every time we complete an adventure, so at least half of that time we were playing a different game, plus I'm pretty sure there have been at least a few times when the other DM actually waited until we had played through 2 or even 3 adventures in his campaign before we switched back to my campaign, for instance when I was too busy with new babies around the house to prepare for DMing multiple sessions...

Anyhow, the point is, even though our group started the AP a fair number of levels higher than intended, and even though that has made a lot of extra work for me, I'd say it's been worth it so far - there are some great adventures in this path!

Good luck,


One goblin-related Dungeon adventure not found on Rezdave's list is Unfamiliar Territory, from issue #119. The goblins are meant to be the villains (some of the villains, anyhow), but you could easily use their lair as a base for starting your own goblin campaign. Perhaps the skeletal dragon trapped in the basement and the insane imp which the band's leader has ensnared for her own malign purposes could provide some adventure fodder for your group's monstrous PC's.

I mention it only because it's the only goblin adventure I can remember running out of Dungeon, and because it wasn't on the list already given - not saying it's tailor made for a monster campaign or anything. But it was lots of fun to play through at any rate. Maybe worth a look, if you have access to the mag in question.

Good luck,


Crust wrote:

Thanks for contributing, Kang...

...Lastly, the party lizardfolk druid was at one time the exiled heir to the throne of the Twisted Branch tribe... he is now their king....

My pleasure! Heck, nobody at home wants to hear me ramble on about my D&D game...

Funny enough, one of my players ran a lizardfolk wilder right from the start of the campaign, and that PC left the party at the end of the Blackwall Keep adventure too, and for the same reason - to be the new king of the (3 or so surviving) Twinsted Branch 'folk. I gave him Leadership as a bonus feat and what's-her-face the hermaphro-druid from the adventure as a cohort, but only for so long as he stayed in the swamp to rule the tribe, unless he wanted to update the character enough to burn a feat to make it permanent, should he ever again make an appearance in the campaign. Which may actually happen in time for the party's upcoming return to Diamond Lake and the battle with Ilthane they're not expecting, since his replacement PC (a human crit-optimized falchion-fighter with an accent like Pepé le Pew) seems to be thinking about leaving the party after nearly getting killed by wights. Normally I'd be sort of glad to be rid of the silly accent, but he always made his lizardfolk character sound sort of like JarJar so... meh. I'll count myself lucky if I can just prevent him from playing the twin gay incestuous paladin brothers he's always going on about rolling up. I am 50% sure he's only kidding about that...

We didn't know we'd be turning the campaign in to this AP then (it didn't yet exist, as I mentioned above) so I didn't have a chance to bring any Twisted Branch lore in ahead of time like you did; that's a very nice touch.


I began DMing my campaign before the first AoW issues came out, so we wound up playing through several adventures before they PC's made their way to Diamond Lake for the Whispering Cairn. Needless to say, I am well sick of using those Scaling the Adventure Sidebars!

Here are the 'extras' I've run the players through:

Mad God's Key (Dungeon #114)
- The missing pages from the recovered library book turned out to be Raknian/Zahol's copy of the Apostolic Scrolls in Champion's Belt
- They had another run-in with Iron Tusk (now a Slaughter Wight (LM))and some of his new undead pals on top of the city walls in the aftermath of Champion's Belt
- Iquander the librarian became friends with the party's pyromanic fire-worshipping cleric, who had been trying to do research to learn more about the source of his mysterious divine visions and powers (he had used Kossuth, a FR deity, as a basis for building his PC. I worked with him a bit on the concept and ruled that there was no such deity known in the campaign world - he was happy to be questing to discover the god that had already discovered him). Iquander was last seen getting mobbed by wights along with the rest of the spectators in the arena, just after the last match in the Champion's Games, though he wasn't seen by the PC's. The party got into a battle with some slaughter wights & advanced elite wights when they tried to make their was to the library to rescue Iquander after the Champion's Games went all wrong...

Unfamiliar Ground (Dungeon #119)
- killed off my DMPC, Chuck, the halfling knife-thrower (a Swashbuckler/Fighter working up to Master Thrower IIRC) - death by getting strangled by a really big snake - in this one. Reaper's 2705: Skeletal Dragon made for a suitably impressive (to my players, who are used to seeing factory-painted DDM figs on the table) Snapper mini. (while I'm at it, here's my version of Zyrxog, if anyone's interested. That encounter took 3 whole sessions to complete! I also scratch-built a Madtooth the Hungry model using a rubber toy, some wire, and 'green stuff' putty, but I never got done painting him in time for that encounter. Now, sadly, I have no motivation to do so anytime soon, so who knows If I'll ever complete that one... I've got an old Grenadier mini I'm using for Ilthane to finish painting before I worry about anything else!)

Final Resting Place (Dungeon #122)
- I had been bugging my players to send me backstories for their PC's, so of course most of them never bothered. So I decided to give one of them a history of my own devising. The party rogue, Olidon, suddenly gained the last name of Rifter. Hrodel (the hook) was his cousin. I also gave them an Aunt, Hrofanna (AKA naggin' Aunt Fanny, when she's out of earshot), who had raised Olidon in the Great City (AKA Greyhawk, AKA the Free City) so as to keep him away from Galehaven and the Rifter Family Curse that allegedly been responsible for the violent and young deaths of the Rifter males for generations (though the fact that adventuring is the family business couldn't have helped...) There might be some truth to the existence of the curse - Olidon has suffered more PC deaths than any other PC in the campaign so far... Aunt Fanny has continually made appearances throughout the campaign ever since, usually flipping out on the party for endangering his life again and scolding him for disappearing for months at a time without remembering to tell her he's leaving town after all she's done for him over the years and why doesn't he appreciate the fact that she's given up her youth and her home and her whole life for him not that he seems to appreciate her sacrifices... They finally got rid of her in the Champion's Belt aftermath - They went to rescue her from the wights who were taking over the city, only to find she'd become a particularly nasty one herself - gave her 4 extra HD and the elite array, plus the evolved undead template. She kept her back turned as they came into her house while she chopped meat for the evening stew, until they had barred the door behind them. Then she turned around, revealing her transformation (plus the fact that the stewing meat was baby - gross, I know, but I was going for a horror vibe that night) just before dropping a cloudkill on the party and calling her advanced elite wight buddies down from upstairs to attack... Cloudkill in an enclosed space no bigger than the spell's area is quite fun when you have no Con score and can reroll %miss chance dice, I must say!
- I also had Uncle Kai's former adventuring party's cleric (named him Jarsop - can you guess his faith?) show up to preside over his funeral. Now long since retired from adventuring, he has since risen high in the ranks of his priesthood and has become a bishop in the Free City (most recently seen getting mobbed by wights along with the rest of the spectators in the arena towards the end of the Champion's Belt chapter of the AP, though not seen by the PC's). After the funeral, he was most likely involved somehow in the fact that the whole town began calling Olidon's party the Last Men Standing, which was what he and Kai used to call their own band. The name has followed them around ever since, and the PC's eventually finally accepted it as their own and used it as their team name for the Champion's Games. Turned out to be truer than they could ever have imagined...

Dusanu (AKA Rot Fiends) and a Death's Head Tree (Dragon #339)
- While resting up in Galehaven after the Rifter funeral, the party heard stories about some colourful halfling merchants who'd been through the area recently. While en-route back to Greyhawk from Galehaven, despite having been warned not to stray from the path, they heard some moaning cries from the woods. They went to investigate. On the way to the Death's Head Tree that was making the luring sounds, they found a cart built for small people hidden in the trees not far off the path. Soon after that, they found the halfling merchants... only by this time, they had become rot fiends. Between the forest path and a Death's Head Tree is a great place for Dusanu mold to flourish, as the tree will call in new hosts for them quite regularly wherever brave adventurers (or foolhardy half-pint merchants) travel! Once they destroyed the rot fiends, they continued after the voices and got whomped by the tree. They prevailed in the end, but all of them had been affected by both the rot fiends and the seeds from the tree's head-fruit.

The Beasts of Aulbesmil (Dungeon #131)
- I only used part of this one. The part needed some Remove Disease or Remove Curse spells cast on them, so I gave them a place to find them. No wererats came into play - they met up with the town ranger to report the plant creatures that had attacked them in the woods & to inquire about divine healing to get rid of the lingering effects of the rot fiends and death's head tree seeds. In exchange, she wanted help with one of 2 missions: rescue a visiting noble's young relative from some nasty orcs, or take on a particularly large and nasty owlbear that had been seen in the area. Lucky for them, they chose the orcs - I rebuilt that owlbear to have a good chance to kill several of them. They succeeded, so the ranger got her druid friend to make an appearance to cure the PC's.

Gendinon, Furnace Master (Wormfood, Dragon #343?)
OK, not really external to the AP, but I included this guy in 3 Faces of Evil. The party lost badly in the Hextorite Battle Temple; the cleric was killed and the rest were knocked out and locked in a cell for later sacrifice in the ritual intended to awake the Ebon Aspect. I had the dead cleric's soul show up in Gendinom's furnace room, where it had been intercepted en-route to his afterlife by this powerful agent of the cleric's unknown deity. Gendinom told him his Master still had plans for him, that he'd send him back to the land of the living (for a price - some unique creature or magic item to be thrown into the G's magic furnace), and not to be so stupid next time and get himself killed when there was still their God's work to be done. He gave the cleric instructions as to how his payment may be delivered - a ritual costing the same as a raise dead spell, involving walking on coals and opening a portal at the ring of standing strones at the Bronzewood Lodge. The cleric made a solo trek out to Bronzewood with the body of the Ebon Aspect not long after they completed the adventure & made it out of the mines.

Post-Champion's Belt:
- When it hit the fan after the Apostle Ate Auric & all hell broke loose, I had to wing it for a few sessions. I basically just designed a bunch of encounters with gangs of wights and advanced wights and variations on wights. The players had a few things they wanted to try to do in the city before booking it back to Diamond Lake, and I just threw one of 2 of these encounters their way on each of the missions they chose to go on until they were ready to get the heck out. I've given some details about a few of these already above. In the end, they found nobody powerful enough to help them - anyone who matters was at the games - and weren't able to rescue any of their friends or family members, who were already turned into wights whether the party managed to track them down or not.

We'll be starting up the next adventure after CB in a few weeks after we finish the 4e playtest (ie. the quickstart adventure from WoTC's site) that my friend is running for us; not sure what extras might get thrown in now and then from this point on - that depends on what kind of curveballs my players may throw my way, I suppose.


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