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Fergie wrote:
the customer is morally liable for all the company does for good or ill.

I don't agree. Be well.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I think thejeff summarized the reasons "just go found your own company" isn't really very realistic advice quite well.

"not only hard, but is a long shot gamble that is almost certainly going to pay less"

It's hard? No kidding, how is that a barrier? Anyone how gets up the morning and runs a business knows this, everyone who has a payroll that needs to be paid knows this. But if you want to set policy then the best way is to be the boss and run the company.

Long shot gamble. Sure, but if you have the talent and work ethic certainly trying to make your passion (which multiple people in this thread seem to have) your profession is worth it. The other option of complaining about policies of companies you don't even work for just seems, well kind of hollow. What do any of you know about running a publishing company anyway? Go do it and tell us about your way of doing it better.

Pay less. So you want to profit off the founders risk and hard work and want to bear none of it yourself. Your attitude is frankly defeatist, go read your posts. You put all this energy and passion into a company you don't own. Put it into your own endeavor and do things your way. Be well, and best of luck.


thejeff wrote:
nedleeds wrote:
Yoshua wrote:
nedleeds wrote:
There's a line at your door for people who love role playing and aren't drenched in angsty griefer victim politics. Fire whoever you want, you're a private business. Most of the white knights in this thread would happily shutter their gofundme or quit Panera to work for you. Don't bend to the mob or they'll bend you.
Just for reference.... There are quite a few current employees at paizo that also have patreons. So if people quit their Panera Bread job and by some miracle get a job at Paizo that possibly pays less I doubt they will be able to cancel their patreon or gofundme accounts....
Maybe they should consider an industry that pays more, or given the tools for self publishing and open source media tools start their own RPG company? You see, that's actually hard. Even the people here so scorned by an internal HR issue unrelated to the product itself (a ttrpg, a whimsical hobby for us lucky enough to not be substance level farmers, not exactly a life saving product) can go make a better Paizo with all the policies they want. By count in this thread you've got plenty of people. Be well and I hope you find satisfaction in your hobby vendors.

Creative RPG people want to work in the field because they love it, but that love can lead to exploitation.

Starting up your own RPG company is not only hard, but is a long shot gamble that is almost certainly going to pay less, possibly much less for years if it ever pays off at all.

I don't want good creative people whose work I enjoy to leave the industry and stop making that work in order to earn a decent living.

You sound knowledgeable, you could take the long shot, start the company and hire the good creative people. That way they get paid if you fail and they won't get discouraged.


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Yoshua wrote:
nedleeds wrote:
There's a line at your door for people who love role playing and aren't drenched in angsty griefer victim politics. Fire whoever you want, you're a private business. Most of the white knights in this thread would happily shutter their gofundme or quit Panera to work for you. Don't bend to the mob or they'll bend you.
Just for reference.... There are quite a few current employees at paizo that also have patreons. So if people quit their Panera Bread job and by some miracle get a job at Paizo that possibly pays less I doubt they will be able to cancel their patreon or gofundme accounts....

Maybe they should consider an industry that pays more, or given the tools for self publishing and open source media tools start their own RPG company? You see, that's actually hard. Even the people here so scorned by an internal HR issue unrelated to the product itself (a ttrpg, a whimsical hobby for us lucky enough to not be substance level farmers, not exactly a life saving product) can go make a better Paizo with all the policies they want. By count in this thread you've got plenty of people. Be well and I hope you find satisfaction in your hobby vendors.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

There's a line at your door for people who love role playing and aren't drenched in angsty griefer victim politics. Fire whoever you want, you're a private business. Most of the white knights in this thread would happily shutter their gofundme or quit Panera to work for you. Don't bend to the mob or they'll bend you.


nedleeds wrote:
8 years later and this is still one of the better RPG sessions I've ever run. I'm about to start a new campaign. (though likely not P3).

10 year anniversary! We never did get that last level mopped up.


8 years later and this is still one of the better RPG sessions I've ever run. I'm about to start a new campaign. (though likely not P3).


--Session 22 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Human Monk (St. Cuthbert), Ifersh, Half-Orc Druid and Emmett Fletcher, Human Ranger (Olidamarra).

DM Note: I handle the laughing songweaver Zaxis, Emmett's player handles the grim and determined Ilde. Everyone has leveled to 8th level

NPCs: Ilde Undgart Dwarven Cleric of Moridan searching for vengeance then eternal sleep, Zaxis Half-Elf bard searching for his sister Imma.

The Plot: Having grinded a little last session the players decide to advance the plot a bit. They consult with Y'Dey in Nulb on the state of the world, after hearing of the last faction leaders fall she feels that it is imperative to learn more about this Orb. She suspects that it may be the key to freeing Zuggtmoy and returning her to the prime material plane. The only real lead the party has is the mysterious wizard in the escape tunnel. Clearly none of the elemental faction leaders, save Allremm had any clue about the orb.

They rest up, grab a few extra potions of healing and head back out to the temple. They initially approach the broken tower. Emmett stealths his way up and determines that the tower has been repopulated with humanoids, most likely gnolls. The tower is well lit and full of chatter. In a serious departure from prior strategy the party opts
to avoid conflict and scale the temple wall. The burnt farmhouse provides the perfect backdoor to the escape tunnel. They cautiously head down the ladder and down the dimly lit tunnel. They are paranoid about the invisible assassin that nearly butchered them last time. As they near the wizards chambers they hear cries of pain, in elven. They also hear grunting mocking orcs shouting. Chopper sneaks up to the threshold and notices the door cracked open. He sees a badly bloodied, and beaten half-elf girl cowering beneath 2 massive orcs. Her face is gashed and bruised. She is dressed in rags. The party rushes in and their fears are confirmed; it appears to be Zaxis' sister Imma. The orcs are armed with falchions and they rush the party.

Combat ensues and the orcs prove to be heavy hitters. A couple of rounds in Chopper notices something suspicious about the bleeding Imma. She is moving fairly well for a badly beaten half-elf and her shoulders and arms are certainly not half-elven. The realization of what has happened is almost too horrifying for him to convey to
his teammates. He yells out just in time, "It's a trap! It's a trap!". As he does the flayed half-elf skin slides off the face of the half-orc assassin and she lunges to stab the ranger. The situation becomes clear to Zaxis who flies into a blood rage. Burning all his spells in an effort to avenge his defiled and dead sister.

DM Note: The party, having been skewered by high level rogues before know to eliminate the flankers first. The orcs are tough but not nearly as tough as Smigmal Redhand.

The half-orc finally submits to a Hideous Laughter and the party piles on; ripping her limb from limb. A quick healing burst later the party is outside of Falrinths door, they decide this next encounter might get rough so they buff up beforehand. The door is kicked in and Falrinth is clearly expecting the party, his Quasit associate attempts to run interference for his master. The monk attempts
to rush the wizard, but some poor initiative puts the party in the line of fire for a brutal Cone of Cold. There is little room in his chambers for him to manuever and escape, he lasts 3 more rounds and
gets off a Shout but eventually he falls to negative hit points. They decide to stablize him, bind him and try to intimidate him into revealing the location of the orb.

Falrinth explains that he was once part of the invading force that sought to destroy the temple during the Battle of Emridy Meadows. He admits that he was never truly interested in doing good,
but instead was interested in learning more about the great powers that the temple had access to. After the temple forces were routed, he began researching the true nature of the temple. He was eventually captured by Alrrem and brought to a man named Hedrack, who leads the greater temple. Falrinth agreed to research the orb and find it.

Falrinth at first denied having the orb, the party then decides to intimidate him again claiming that without the orb he is of no value and they will butcher him in this hovel and leave him to rot. A series of Bluff attempts by Falrinth fail versus the bard's strong +17 Sense Motive.

Eventually Falrinth admits he found the orb in a dimensional pocket, he has since been researching its nature. It's hidden in a secret room behind his chambers. He understands that the Orb is some kind of dimensional anchor to 4 pocket dimensions. Each of these four pocket dimensions, or ‘nodes’ is aligned to one of the elements (fire, air, earth, water). What he hasn’t been able to find are the gems that power the orb. The orb has four empty slots, one for each power gem. He suspects the gems may be lost forever.

The secret panel opens into a room filled with various tables, vials and measuring devices. Falrinth meekly points to an iron box on the table. The monk opens it up and is greeted with a Burnt Ether trap! Poison gas begins to fill the room and the monk passes his save and rushes out of the small back area coughing and gagging.

The party is now in the mood to kill Falrinth, however he has one more fact to reveal. He was tasked with one other thing, to weave a spell to get the great Prince Thrommel, hero of Emridy Meadows in eternal slumber. He knows the location of Prince Thrommel in the dungeon and he knows how to lower the spell. He pleads for his life. The party decides to grant him his wish. They also decide it would be best to bring the Yellowskull to the Canoness for further inspection. They beat Falrinth into submission once more, then they bind him and gag him and drag him back to Nulb.

This ends session 22 -> Next session 23

up next (Hulk Smash!)


--Session 21 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Human Monk (St. Cuthbert), Ifersh, Half-Orc Druid and Emmett Fletcher, Human Ranger (Olidamarra).

DM Note: I handle the ever jovial bard Zaxis, Emmett's player handles the Healbo ... err Cleric. Everyone is at 7th level; on the cusp of 8th.

NPCs: Ilde Undgart Dwarven Cleric of Moridan searching for vengeance then eternal sleep, Zaxis Half-Elf bard searching for his sister Imma.

The Plot: Romag is slain, the four have fallen. The remaining cohorts of the factions scramble for the deepest corners of the Flanaess! It's time to ... time to ... charge forward and save the world !!!

Not so much.

The party instead starts looking at their map of level one that Wonnilon provided them and trying to figure out which rooms haven't been ravaged. Using a red highlighter they determine that
a few unexplored rooms remain on the East wall of level one.

The factions are in disarray, the party now understands that the greater temple intends on somehow free'ing a powerful
demoness (perhaps using a relic called the Orb of Golden Death). Thankfully the party is relatively healthy after some healing bursts and doesn't have to trek back to Nulb before heading on for some boar killing.

DM Note: All combats in this session I accompany with Paul Stanley's 'Live to Win' from the game room sound system.

The party starts on the south east side of the level, and barges into a room filled with some harpies. Turns out the harpies are hanging out near some ghouls and they avoid the ghouls by roosting up high. Harpies lure people in; ghouls beat them up; and the harpies swoop in for snacks. MOst of the party saves against the captivating song and our prodigious ranger pins them to the ceiling with a hail of arrows. The ghouls and 2 ghasts aren't too much trouble though there were a
couple of failed paralysis saves.

DM Note: So most of the encounters on the first level are meant for 4-5th level parties. I had to adjust them on the fly to at least make them somewhat challenging. I'd also had a couple of mini's I wanted to use so this worked out pretty well.

The next encounter is in a room with a high ceiling and no light. The party is decended on by some dire bats. Again ranged weapons chew away at the bats pretty well; however a ravenous vampire disapproves of his pets being massacred and he soon joins the frey. The vampire is dangerous but doesn't have enough HPs to hold up versus
a 7th level party.

Finally the party decides to check out a trash room. Not knowing the age old adage "Where there be trash, there be Otuygh" they rummage around a bit. A Lifeleech Otuygh tears into them. The beast nearly kills the ranger, and they learn about it's obnoxious habit of stealing healing magic.

http://www.ddmdb.com/miniatures/798

Made for a rough fight, but some decent XP. After the fight the party is ravaged and limps back to Nulb.

This ends session 21 -> Next session 22

up next (The orb revealed!)


http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/community/gaming/campaignJournals/pFBe taTheReturnToTheRevengeOfTheSinisterSecretOfTheTempleOfElementalEvil

This campaign is taking place 5 minutes off Georgia Tech campus. It's near 75% through however.

I'd say we have 5-6 more sessions in it. I'd consider taking a look at some new applications for new players.


--Session 20 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Human Monk (St. Cuthbert), Ifersh, Half-Orc Druid and Emmett Fletcher, Human Ranger (Olidamarra).

DM Note: Spugnoir is dead as a doorknob, and Emmett takes the reigns of the NPC cleric. I handle the lively bard Zaxis. This is also the first session run under the PF Final rules with all characters converted.

NPCs: Ilde Undgart Dwarven Cleric of Moridan searching for vengeance then eternal sleep, Zaxis Half-Elf bard searching for his sister Imma.

The Plot: The PCs have slain all but Romag. The factions are in disarray, the party now understands that the greater temple intends on somehow free'ing a powerful demoness (perhaps using a relic called the Orb of Golden Death).

After healing up and putting their comrade to rest in Nulb the party heads back in for a reckoning with the remaining faction. Earth. After some discussion about whether to continue the ruse of being mercenaries they decide that their power level is sufficient to just kick the door in and tear Romag to pieces. They scour the
1st floor and Romags quarters, they find them all tightly locked up. Clearly Romag has (finally) discovered the treachery. The earth temple is holed up in their worship chamber the party runs out of options and decides to buff up and rush the worship hall (145 for those following along).

DM Note: The party metagames a little figuring that since Romag is on the 1st floor he must be the weakest. I throw a little wrench in the cogs in the form of a hired bodyguard named Karp Nord. He's a CL 9 Tiefling Rogue/Wizard/Duelist on retainer.

The earth temple has made its final stand here. Though it's curious how they knew the party was coming. Romag, his remaining 2 cultists, his elite guards (4 warriors) wait here. As the party enters
Romag shouts.

Romag wrote:

Traitorous curs, you have done nothing to stunt my ascent. You have only enpowered me by slaughtering my rivals. Now you are of no use to me and

you shall die!

The fighters rush forward and the cultists attempt hold persons on the PCs. Romag begins casting a summon spell. As the parties clash 2 large earth elementals rise out of the earthen floor. The party batters the elementals with arrows and hammers. The monk attempts to chase down Romag and stop him from casting. As he nears him he gets a nasty surprise, a rapier to the spine! An invisible assailant reveals himself.

Romag wrote:
Fools, you thought me so dumb as to not bring allies to this fight!

Ifersh responds by dropping a giant crocodile on his head. The following round some dire wolves join the fight. The earth temple is being eaten alive, Romag soon finds himself cornered. Most of his allies lie dead, and he begins negative bursting in a desperate attempt to save himself. It stings quite a bit but eventually the ranger draws close and works the master of dirt over with his battleaxe +2.

The last of the temple faction leaders lies dead.

DM Note: This session was only about 3 hours with the epic fight lasting over an hour

This ends session 20 -> Next session 21

up next (Killing boars!)


--Session 19 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Human Monk (St. Cuthbert), Ifersh, Half-Orc Druid and Emmett Fletcher, Human Ranger (Olidamarra).

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett takes the reigns of the NPC cleric. I handle the lively bard Zaxis.

NPCs: Ilde Undgart Female Dwarven Cleric of Moridan, Zaxis Half-Elf bard and follower of the laughing god and Spugnoir Human Male Wizard (converted to St. Cuthbert after his out of body experience).

The Plot: The PCs have slain Belsornig, and shattered his precious construct. Hearing the rumblings of the now suspicious bugbears to the north the party quickly loots the dead clerics. They grab a Chain Shirt +2, Heavy Flail +2 and a Heavy x-Bow +2 amongst some other scrolls and mundane items. They then head south to inspect what they assume to be Belsornigs lair.
They enter a large room with a pool in the center. As they approach the still pool they recieve a telepathic distress call.

ToEE wrote:

You suddenly receive a telepathic message! The triton is pleading to be released, so that it can prevent your deaths when the kraken,shown on the wall, materializes and

attacks. It will appear at any moment — so, as many as can, jump into the pool and help the triton break its chains! Soon it will be too late!

DM Note: The pool is described in the adventure as an evil intelligent planar creature. I gave it a Bluff of +12.

The party sees through the ruse and they decide to shoot it with a lightning bolt. It doesn't convey anymore messages. They rummage through Belsornigs chests and grab some gold and gems. They then head back north to the scene of the fight with Belsornig.
Unfortunately the room has some new occupants, the bugbears have broken through and 2 large water elementals have appeared (from their buddy in the pool). The party is quickly flanked by the elementals on the east and west, with the bugbears rushing in from the north.
The central fountain in the room is an annoying obstacle that keeps the PCs from forming a defensive front. The elementals hit hard, and Spugnoir finds himself in deep trouble.
The party is unable to get to him in time and he is smashed into a wet bloody mess by the sentient wave. After 3 or 4 rounds the party stabilzes the west flank and pounds the bugbears into submission. Spugnoir lies dead and the parties resources are seriously taxed.

DM Note: Some bad luck and bad positioning spell doom for Spugnoir. The reach of the elementals didn't help either. A tactical retreat back into the south room would have been the best move here. Then the 20' breach would have provided a choke point for their foes

Next the decide to take the shortest route back up to the 1st floor. They go up the west corridor, intending to head through the minotaur statue room and out. Unfortunately for them they run right into the try outs for the next minotaur guard. 4 minotaurs are bickering and arguing in the room (245 for you guys followin along).
The bovine thugs wheel around and rush the party. Initiative goes well for the party. They devise a plan.

Run. South. Very fast. If something gets in your way. Turn.

Chopper will attempt to stun the faster guards and slow them down then use his monkish features to avoid AOOs and run away. Eventually the PCs lure the minotaurs down near the original lair of the bugbears.
This gives them room to fight and use ranged attacks on the brutes. A failed confirm on a minotaur crit (x3 :o ) saves the party from another fatality.

The party is severely beaten. They decide to get out of the temple and get their healing on. 3 down one to go.

This ends session 19 -> Next session 20

up next (Papa was a rolling stone!)


--Session 18 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Human Monk (St. Cuthbert), Ifersh, Half-Orc Druid and Emmett Fletcher, Human Ranger (Olidamarra).

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett takes the reigns of the NPC cleric. While I handle the newly found Zaxis (like any player was willing to run the bard).

NPCs: Ilde Undgart Female Dwarven Cleric of Moridan, Zaxis Half-Elf bard and follower of the laughing god and Spugnoir Human Male Wizard (converted to St. Cuthbert after his out of body experience).

The Plot: The PCs now have a semi-rogue to help them along. The temple factions are reeling, but it seems as though the time for confrontation is near. Tasked with a plot to frame Romag with the disruption of the prison system the PCs were forced to free the prisoners when it was revealed that they were elven nobles. It's only a matter of time before Belsornig discovers their treachery. The party is now aware of a powerful artifact called the Orb of Golden Death, it is in the posession of a mad mage named Falrinth.

After resting up the PCs decide that the time to strike is now. They head back to Belsornigs lair. Having the trust of the bugbears laired in 221 and 222 the party passes through unscathed. They bar the doors behind them in case <chuckle> violence ensues. Sending the ranger to peek through the curtain to the south, they see Belsornig about to complete some kind of horrific ritual. His alter boys are murmuring and humming and he is tossing buckets of blood onto a large statue behind him. After some thoughts about trying to role play the scenario the party instead opts to run in and drop lightning on the evil do'ers. Taking a pre-round to buff up, and light up some flaming arrows the party charges into the huge hall of verdigris in 213.

At first glance it seems like a light weight fight. 2 cultist underlings, Belsornig and 3 bugbear guards. The party spreads around the north wall and the fighters try to close with Belsornig. The druid begins casting a summon to drag an augmented dire wolf into the fray. Belsornig cackles with glee as the party rushes them, spitting epithets and trying to move back up to the south wall. After the first round finishes the party realizes that there is more to this fight then it initially seemed. The idol to the west wall begins to shake and roll forward. IT'S THE JUGGERNAUT B@#TCH!

DMs Note: The Juggernaut was a really tough dude, I reduced it's attacks by one, giving it only one slam. But it still seemed to be an absolute home wrecker compared to some other baddies of it's CR. The original 1e juggernaut didn't have the DR and beastly damage. In hindsight I would have been better off subbing in some other 3.x construct rather than trying to tweak ole' Juggs. Again the 1e -> 3.x/3.P translation (see: any Giant) doesn't quite work out

They decide to concentrate fire on the spell casters while using summons and movement to stay away from the slow moving construct. Eventually Belsornig gets cornered by a Celestial Lion and the monk, and gets pummelled into paste. He didn't manage do do too much, a couple of swings and a neg burst. At this point more enemies from the east begin flying down the hall; some gargoyles. The DR of everything makes the fight tough going but the PCs whittle the juggernaut down and eventually bust it apart.

DMs Note: If not for the lure of looting they considered just running from the thing, as they couldn't see a way for it to get out of the hall given it's size. This fight, even moving at a pretty good pace took close to 2 hours!

This ends session 18 -> Next session 19

up next (GIMMIE THE LOOT !!!!)


Turin the Mad wrote:

Looks like busted links .. they bounced me to the store main page...

Keep up reporting on the game, it's been enjoyable "hearing" old school material done with PF Beta.

Just paste the literal links into a browser window. For some reason the thread move broke the linky's.


TAMorrison wrote:

Your posts are awesome - truly a great way to show what role-playing is all about. Having a group of PCs who are clever enough to pit the evil factions against each other is truly a pleasure to read, and they must be a great party to DM.

Thanks, our groups primary mission is to drink beer and throw plastic mini's on the table. But we've gotten a little ROLE playing in as well.

TAMorrison wrote:


I do have a few questions, though. What was Kelno's reason for not bringing a bugbear guard or two with him on the raid against Alrrem? Were they already dead?

Kelno's last guards were being courted by the goblin servants a few sessions back (session #13). The party unwittingly struck him a death blow by killing those guards. The rest were convinced to join the obviously more powerful water temple.

TAMorrison wrote:


Also, didn't one of the temples still have an active recruiter? If so, what has become of that fellow and does he still bring in new recruits?

Kelno's recruiter. Wat was Fire, Dick Rentch was Earth, and Gremag was Water ... they've never found Kelno's and obviously he wasn't doing to good of a job ... or maybe he was double crossing him.

TAMorrison wrote:


Does Romag automatically inherit the surviving members of the other decimated temples, or are their foot-soldiers more apt to desert the clearly compromised Temple of Elemental Evil?

That would be up to him to scoop them up. Romag has numbers right now, where as Belsornig clearly has higher quality troops.

Thanks for reading.


Turin the Mad wrote:

Looks like busted links .. they bounced me to the store main page...

Keep up reporting on the game, it's been enjoyable "hearing" old school material done with PF Beta.

Well we are going to swap to the PFRPG Final, I wonder if I can get the thread moved to the campaign journals section?


--Session 17 --

(i thought the thread had been eradicated ... looks like it just moved)

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick Human Monk (St. Cuthbert), Ifersh Half-Orc Druid and Emmett Fletcher Human Ranger (Olidamarra).

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett mourns for the loss of Han

NPCs: Ilde Undgart Female Dwarven Cleric of Moridan and Spugnoir Human Male Wizard (St. Cuthbert)

The Plot: The PCs are rogue-less, but definately have momentum on their side. Kelno and Alrrem lie dead, victims of their own averice and confidence. Belsornig remains confident that the PCs are his pawns. Romag is blissfully unaware of the carnage being wrought on the 2nd floor. The party is now aware of a powerful artifact called the Orb of Golden Death, it is in the posession of a mad mage named Falrinth.

The party are a bit beaten down and they decide to head back to discuss the information they have uncovered about the Orb of Golden death with the usual suspects in Hommlett and Nulb. Most of the information they get is suspect, however they get a little information about Falrinth from Burne. He was actually a mage in the service of the forces of good at Emridy Meadows, he was hired on to combat the evil forces by Prince Thrommel. Though he served the side of good, what nobody realized was Falrinth was a bit mad. He moved on after the battle and was later kidnapped by Alrrem, Alrrem brought the mad mage to the greater temple leader. This act of competence allowed Alrrem to rise to Fire Temple leader. Alrrem assumed his leader would torture Falrinth and throw him to the nodes, however as it turns out the mysterious temple commander had put the mercenary mage to work having him seek out the orb. Burne and his apprentice agree to research the Orb and to come up with a way to destroy it. The various factions implore the party to continue undermining the temple factions as support for a standing army grows.

Everyone heals up and decides to head back to the temple to eradicate the smug Belsornig. On the way back through the illusionary grove which protects the path to the temple the party notices a half-elf hiding up in the trees. He begins speaking in song ...

Zaxis wrote:
Greetings, fellow traveler. My name is Zaxis. Nice to meet you. I am a traveling bard. I am searching the whole Flanaess, high and low, far and wide.

After inquiring about the reason he is travelling alone in such dangerous lands Zaxis takes a more somber tone.

Zaxis wrote:
I am seeking my sister, who left home many years ago. My parents and I haven't heard from her, and we fear for her safety. Her name is Ima. She is half-elven, like myself. She is a wizard by trade, and she has specialized in the college of illusion. May I join you? There are rumors of bandits on these roads, and there's safety in numbers.

The party trusts the charismatic half-elf and they reveal that they have been exploring the temple, and posit that perhaps Ima stumbled upon the temple.

Zaxis wrote:
Excellent my friends! I will begin to write a tune about our adventures! Hmm, what rhymes with Ifersh?

The party heads back into the temple with the merry jack-of-all trades in tow. He seems to be good with a bow and that certainly can't hurt.

Returning to Belsornigs chambers without incident they interrupt some heinous ritual, two of the acolytes are shirtless and enduring some kind of scarification. Belsornig calmly turns around and smiles at the party. The PCs inform him that Kelno is indeed dead as a doorknob, and that he went down crying for mercy.

Belsornig wrote:
Excellent work, he needed to be put out of his misery. Well, just one more thing, if you don't mind. I need you to kill a bugbear and an ogre guard for me. Certainly menial work for powerful allies such as you, but I do need it done. They are in the north eastern part of this level. In fact, they are due east of the Hall of Triumphal Evil. They are guarding some prisoners, which I will warn you NOT to harm. Just leave them locked in their cells. Am I understood? Finally I need you to place this robe (Earth temple) on the bodies. I repeat. Do not. Harm those prisoners. The greater temple strictly forbids us from harming each others offerings ... however the fine print says nothing about the guards. <muhhahahaha>

Heading east across the 2nd floor the party decides to investigate some of the rooms they had passed by previously. They stumble into 207 and are greeted by a cold but noble sounding voice.

ToEE wrote:

The floor here is of white marble, the walls and vaulted ceiling sheathed in pearly alabaster. There is a "right feel" to the place, as a place of safety in a storm of evil. The room is bare and clean. A sheet of cloudy crystal substance seems to be set into the northern portion of the east wall. As you look, it begins to brighten, its radiance actually lighting the room! Two manlike creatures with wings of snowy feathers and radiant faces, robed in purest white, appear amidst golden tinted, cloud-like billows. A pale blue sky can be seen behind them. The mirror speaks,

"What are fair and just folk such as you doing in this foul place of pain and base wickedness?"

The voice appears to be pure and just.

Mirror of Bullcrap wrote:

Now, good folk, place each and every weapon you possess, all of your holy symbols, magic items, silvered items, and magical herbs

before this crystal — the Window of the Planes of Weal — and then quickly step out of the west door. Count slowly to 77, and do not return in that time, for we shall send a Ray of Just Might through these items. Any flesh in the place would be blasted to oblivion by the ray, and any mortal eye beholding its glory would be forever blinded. But all your items will be doubled in efficacy

The party calls bull on this whole deal and decides to split up, and send half the party to sneak around the back and see what's going on. The other half will risk the 7 years bad luck and smash the glass. What's going on is a trio of werewolves sitting around a smoking pipe. Two of the werewolves are normal sized lycanthropes, the other one is clearly their leader and is a massive feral beast. A nasty fight ensues in close quarters. The 2 normal werewolves are dispatched pretty quickly, but the large one uses his reach and his claw / claw / bite to inflict some nasty wounds. Zaxis fires up a song about how werewolves suck it, and the PCs eventually beat the beast down. Looting the foolish wolves yields some decent stuff. They burn some healing and decide to go investigate the prisoner situation.

Donning some robes (I forget exactly who they planned to blame this on) they enter the holding cell area. They see a well built bugbear and a massive Ogre in a black executioners hood holding the biggest cleaver they've even seen. Chopper decides to get the jump on the guards and ensure the prisoners are safe, he leaps past and unbars the door and enters the cell, which holds two badly battered elves. Unfortunately the bugbear slams the bar back shut and locks the monk in the cell as the battle rages on. The ogre misses a couple of prime shots pretty badly, eventually he bites it to a hail of missile fire.

Cell ‘228a’ holds four elves. 2 of the elves are nobles, Sir Juffer and Countess Tillahi of Celene, the other 2 are normal elves. The 4 of them were captured on their way from Verbobonc to Veluna by water temple agents. Sir Juffer fought valiantly but was eventually subdued; he is beaten badly and doesn’t have access to his spells. The countess is a powerful sorcerer but is also near death and unable to cast spells. The fire temple cell (228b) holds 3 humans, 2 are captured merchants from Veluna the other is an ex-Fire temple sergeant who was caught stealing from Antonio (an acolyte of Alrrem). His nick name is Danger, he is a rogue and is handy with a short sword. Danger claims he will gladly help in killing any and all fire temple agents. Chopper has had enough of these agents of evil and decides to exact some harsh punishment upon the ex-fire temple agent, he flurries him and splits his face in two.

Burning some healing surges the party heals the elvish nobles. They arm the two with magic weapons and armor from their extra stash, they decide to head to the 'safe room' and rest up. Refreshed and fully powered and armed the 4 elves set off for Hommlett using a map drawn up by the PCs. The two lords implore the PCs to continue their mission here and not to waste time escorting them. They also vow that the elves of Celene will be present when the time for war draws near.

The party sets its sights on Belsornig. It's time to wipe the smirk from his face and learn him some justice.

This ends session 17 -> Next session 18 (WARZoNE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


My Falrinth is pretty beast. His body guard is even more beast.

Some things are completely out of whack for the challenge level though. For example, in a yet to be written up session they went toe to toe with a Juggernaut. The 1e one was pretty tame, the 3.x one from MM II is insane. Frankly it's insane for it's CR 11. 6 slams at +21 ???

Hit Dice: 18d10 (99 hp)
Initiative: –4
Speed: 10 ft.
AC: 29 (–2 size, –4 Dex, +25 natural), touch 4, flat-footed 29
Attacks: 6 slams +21 melee
Damage: Slam 2d6+10
Face/Reach: 10 ft. by 10 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, spell-like abilities, squash
10d10+20
Special Qualities: All-around vision, DR 20/+2, construct
traits, fast healing 10, immunities, SR 36

How is that CR 11? That's the same CR as the Ogre Skirmishers. Rannos Devl however is the only named baddies with a confirmed PC kill thus far. Not bad for a little fat guy.

Rannos Devl - Human Rogue 10 – Male Chaotic Evil HP: 82 AC: 18 Flat: 14 Touch: 14 Speed: 30 Init: +8
Fort: +6 Ref: +11 Will: +5
Str 10, Dex 18 (+4), Con 16 (+3), Int 16 (+3), Wis 10, Cha 12 (+1)
Skills: Acro (+17), Appraise (+13), Bluff (+9), Climb (+8), Diplomacy (+9), Disable Dvc. (+15), Disguise (+6), Escape A. (+9), Intimidate (+14), Know. Dung (+11), Know. Local (+11), Linguistics (+11), Perception (+13), Sense Motive (+8), Sleight of Hand (+17), Stealth (+17), Magic Dvc (+12)

Feats: Weapon Finesse, 2-Wpn Fighting, Improved Init., Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Proficiency (Longbow), Weapon Focus (Short Sword), Iron Will, Spring Attack

Attack: Short Sword +1 (+13/+8) 1d6+1 (19-20) or Short Sword +1 and Dagger +1 (+11/+10/+6) 1d6+1/1d4+1/1d6+1

CMB: +7 BAB: +7

Equipment: Leather Armor +1, Short Sword +1, Longbow, 60 arrows, Explorers Outfit, Dagger +1, Amulet of Proof vs. Detection, Ring of Protection +1

Special: Trapfinding, Sneak Attack +5d6, Evasion, Trap Sense (+3), Imp. Uncanny Dodge


--Session 16 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick Human Monk (St. Cuthbert), Ifersh Half-Orc Druid and Emmett Fletcher Human Ranger (Olidamarra).

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett mourns for the loss of Han

NPCs: Ilde Undgart Female Dwarven Cleric of Moridan and Spugnoir Human Male Wizard (St. Cuthbert)

The Plot: The PCs have finally lost one of their own, and had another brought back from the brink of death. They are playing a dangerous game of deception between the various temple faction leaders in an attempt to weaken them all. The party has learned of the existance of a greater temple below and know the time is close to start meeting out some justice to the various temples.

DMs Note: To start this session we recapped the various sub-plots and quests the faction leaders have given the PCs.

- Romag
- Kitchen Cleaners (complete, killed giant viper)
- Slay two fire temple acolytes (complete, and had Oohlghrist do it for them to make it even better!)
- Alrrem
- Recruit the Troll Chief (moot, convinced Alrrem the chief was crazy killed him and returned head to Alrrem)
- Recruit the Ogre Tribe (killed the ogres, Alrrem not told yet)
- Belsornig
- Recruit the Troll Chief (moot, convinced him that Oohlghrist was loyal to the earth temple and then proved they killed him instead)
- Kill Kelno (outstanding and missing from the session 14 write-up)

Belsornig wrote:

His second task is a bit more difficult.

“The air temple is, excuse the pun, breathing their last breath. Kelno is alone and desperate, I’m afraid he might break the cardinal rule of the factions and come try to kill me himself. He must be killed. He retains a group of bugbears, convince them to join the water temple. If they refuse then slaughter them as well.”

Our adventurers decide to go inform Alrrem of the ogre situation. They lie and state that the ogres were all drowned when they got there. Most likely the work of the water temple. Alrrem takes several cleansing breaths and then reveals a task he had hoped to accomplish without the PCs help.

Alrrem wrote:

“Using powerful scrying magics I have discovered that my old enemy Falrinth is alive. Not only is he alive he resides within this very temple. I have also just discovered that Falrinth has the Key, the Orb of Golden Death. The key that can set Zuggtmoy free, if used properly. It would restore my place as the curator of the favored Temple. It is what I need!”

“He was known to be an expert on Zuggtmoy and her cult. That is why the forces of Furyondy allied with him. What they didn’t realize was that he is motivated only by his thirst for arcane knowledge. I captured him, thinking surely we would execute him but apparently Hedrack spared him and put him to use researching the orb. He would have known where she would have hidden the key. He must have finally been able to find it. Now I must have it back from him!”

Falrinth is a powerful wizard, if the party asks how they might defeat him Alrrem is no help.

“Do not tarry long with your preparations! The Orb cannot fall into the wrong hands. It must be liberated from Falrinth's possession before he does something foolish with it. Now go...and return quickly!”

If the party asks about the nature of the Orb.

“Yes, I knew you would take this task. The temptation of power is too great not to try. But before you try something foolish with it, remember that only I know how to control it. It would most certainly result in your doom to "experiment" with it yourself.”

Realizing this must be the wizard they randomly stumbled upon a few weeks back they decide molesting him right now might not be the smartest move. They however now have a new topic to discuss with their allies in Nulb and Hommlett - the Orb of Golden Death.

The party then decides to follow through on the task of killing Kelno, the air temple leader. They don't know much about the air temple, only that it is on the brink of collapse. Belsornig had given them Kelno's probably hiding spot, and reminded them to try and recruit any minions before killing Kelno.

DMs Note: As it turns out the party had already killed Kelno's new bugbear recruits, who were being served some dinner by a few goblins. That fight didn't leave anyone around for questioning.

The party practically bursts into Kelno's small chambers.

My_Script wrote:


Kelno, chief cleric of what remains of the air temple resides here. Kelno is desperate at this point, his only remaining forces are the bugbears in area 224. He is trying to get the bugbears in 226 to join as well, and he is treating them to a meal served by some goblin slaves. If confronted by the party Kelno is despondent.

“[The man turns to you and throws up his hands in an exasperated gesture] And who are YOU? I suppose you are here to kill me? Well, that's just great.”

He assumes Belsornig has sent the party to kill him. If the party claims Belsornig didn’t send them, or have no knowledge of Belsornig (or fake like they don’t)

“I'm talking about the other high priests! They've decimated the Air Temple, killing all of my apprentices and most of my guards. I especially hate that scheming Belsornig, although Alrrem is a close second.”

If the party indulges, he is somewhat humble being in the precarious position that he’s in.

“I would LOVE a little help here, man! I'm the only cleric left in the Air Temple! [He pauses and takes a deep breath] I am Kelno, the last remaining cleric of the Air Temple. I humbly request your services.”

Kelno has a few things he needs done to stand a shot at remaining a viable temple.

“I have three tasks I need done. If you do them for me, I will personally escort you to the Greater Temple for initiation into our order, and then you will have wealth and power beyond your wildest dreams. According to our goddess, each faction must fend for itself against the other. Only in this manner can the strongest, most worthy faction be determined.”

Kelno’s first task is getting some more bugbears. There are some new recruits of the water temple that he wants the PCs to recruit.

“Very close by is a room filled with bugbear guards working for the Water Temple. I want you to convince them to defect to the Air Temple. Promise them more pay, more food, less work. Just get them to defect! I must weaken the Water Temple's defenses and strengthen mine! Go west past my guard rooms to the passage that runs north. There is a secret door on the south wall of that passage, beyond which the passage continues southward. The first door on the east leads to the Water Temple bugbears.”

The party decides to take a different tact here with Kelno. They know they have Alrrem reeling, with his acolytes dead, many of his bugbear guards dead and several of his troops six feet under. They convince Kelno that Alrrem sent them here to kill him, Kelno knowing Alrrem sacrificed his own brother to the nodes wouldn't put it past the swine. The PCs convince Kelno to raid Alrrems chambers with them and put him down for good. Kelno can then claim the remanents of the fire temple as his own.

DMs Note: At this point, putting myself in Kelno's boots. He has nothing to lose here, if he refuses surely the PCs will kill him. If he complies perhaps the party will be weakened in the battle and he'll have a chance to kill them all.

Half the party heads directly across the long hallway of 227 and around through a secret door above 204. The other half heads through the south entrance to Alrrem's chamber. They hope he is in there, and to catch him in a pincer attacking from both sides. They agree to a count at which they will kick the doors in. Alrrem is indeed in his chamber plotting with the last of his troops, two Orc fighters and a 4th level human fighter. This fight ends up being a blood bath. As the party kicks the north door in the opposition is surprised and lined up badly. Spugnoir rips through the orcs with a lightning bolt, and the ranger is now Manyshotting with a Compound Longbow and Spugnoir has cast Flame Arrow on his quiver. He pours a volley of flaming arrows onto Alrrem (who ironically has no protection from fire :( ) and nearly takes his 57 hit points out in one round. A flurry from the monk and an overkill critical war hammer to the melon from Ilde ends Alrrems life rather quickly. He manages only a desperate Channel Negative ... his minions don't fare much better. The human fighter manages to get a charging lane on Spugnoir and takes a chunk out of him, but he is badly outnumbered and a 5 foot step from Spugnoir and the monk bounding across the battle map to get in between ends any hope of him killing the mage.

At this point Kelno has been firing electric bolts from the back, and unfortunately has a giant cloud over his head with two letters ... X P ... the party turns and rushes him. 16, 10 and 17 chunks of hit points are ripped from him and the druid finishes his miserable existance.

DMs Note: I had mixed feelings about this being a rout. On one hand it was a bit of an anti-climactic 'boss' fight, on the other hand the players had earned it by whittling down Alrrems forces and being general dicks to him. They caught this vibe and had a minor sense of accomplishment that they had done this the 'right' way, rather than just looking at numbers and rooms on a map and moving from room to room. Though I did tuck this away ... one of my temple leaders was going to put up a fight >:|

They loot the clerics and decide to head back to Hommlett to get some information about this Orb.

This ends session 15 -> Next session 16 (... JAIL BREAK !!!)


French Wolf wrote:

My next session is August 8th and I'm just prepping level 2. I am hoping that after the bloody nose they took last time from Romag, the party will start roleplaying a bit more like your guys.

Look forward to reading the next instalment.

Cheers

As a little preview. As of last night Romag was the last elemental faction leader standing in my temple :)

Everyone else is dead ... some met some pretty grisly fates.


We just wrapped up a short session with a long, long, brutal fight last night. That puts me 3 behind the posts here. I'll get them written up shortly.

As for the $5; I appreciate the offer, but if you like the next few write ups give the cash to the humane society. Need to make up for all the crayfish and frogs we've killed during this thing ...


hogarth wrote:
nedleeds wrote:

Also, for those reading and probably have more 3.x experience than I. Can somebody walk me through the whole Pounce/Rake/Claw/Bite/Rape things that the Tiger

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tiger.htm

and Lion

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/lion.htm

are armed with. It seems confusing when paired with the whole CMB system.

<this>

Lions and tigers also have the ability to start a grapple with a bite (lion) or a bite-or-claw (tiger). At that point they would make a CMB check (if they wanted to grapple) or a CMB check at -20 (if they don't want to be grappled). If it succeeds, then on their next turn they can make a CMB check (as a standard action) and two rake attacks (for "free", assuming the grapple check succeeded). As soon as a CMB check fails, the grapple ends.

Ouch, ok that's pretty savage. Spugnoir pulled an augmented celestial lion out and I wanted to make sure I knew all the grizzly options it had. All that and a smite evil!


hogarth wrote:
nedleeds wrote:


Choppers player is lurking somewhere in the interweb, so perhaps he can answer himself.

After the latest shopping spree he has a little more equipment. Truth be told, monks are typically on the short end of the equipment xmas tree because ... drumroll ... they don't use weapons, armor, scrolls and wands. He actually has the (GP wise) most valuable magic item, which is his Ring of Freedom of Movement. Coupled with his speed and retarded acrobatics check he can burn around the grid going where he whats regardless of difficult terrain. Also things like Entangle or Web can be cast over opponents then Chopper can hop around punching them all, while the rest of the party pelts with arrows/acid/fire.

He has Bracers of Armor +2, his new Belt of Dexterity +2, Ring of Protection +1 and the aforementioned RoFoM. Not too bad.

Ah! I looked at the line "Combat Gear: Unarmed Strike, Kama, Sling" and thought that was a little skimpy. :-) A Ring of Freedom of Movement is great, but an Amulet of Mighty Fists or a magic weapon would certainly help him hit.

Did you see the preview of the final version of the Pathfinder monk? It looks like they're going to get some nice extra abilities.

Oh yeah, sorry the gear blocks are probably inaccurate in some of those blocks since the gear changes pretty often I have the player hand write that stuff on their own papers, I just try to keep the base stats. His weapons are his fists, some masterwork Kamas (for zombies), and his now lost Baklunish Razor Hat (Exotic Weapon, Monk Weapon, 1d6 slashing, can be thrown).


Also, for those reading and probably have more 3.x experience than I. Can somebody walk me through the whole Pounce/Rake/Claw/Bite/Rape things that the Tiger

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tiger.htm

and Lion

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/lion.htm

are armed with. It seems confusing when paired with the whole CMB system.


hogarth wrote:

Hey, I just noticed that this thread is still going! I minimised the Playtest Reports area because I figured it was dead, but it's not dead yet...

Just a question: does poor Chopper the monk really have no decent equipment? That's rough for a level 6 character!

And what happened to the druid's Self-Sufficient feat? ;-)

Choppers player is lurking somewhere in the interweb, so perhaps he can answer himself.

After the latest shopping spree he has a little more equipment. Truth be told, monks are typically on the short end of the equipment xmas tree because ... drumroll ... they don't use weapons, armor, scrolls and wands. He actually has the (GP wise) most valuable magic item, which is his Ring of Freedom of Movement. Coupled with his speed and retarded acrobatics check he can burn around the grid going where he whats regardless of difficult terrain. Also things like Entangle or Web can be cast over opponents then Chopper can hop around punching them all, while the rest of the party pelts with arrows/acid/fire.

He has Bracers of Armor +2, his new Belt of Dexterity +2, Ring of Protection +1 and the aforementioned RoFoM. Not too bad.

The party talked the druid out of taking Self-Sufficient. He threatened to take Leadership when he recently leveled up as well, not wanting another character to manage I believe he instead opted for Great Fortitude.


--Session 15 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Ifersh and Emmett Fletcher.

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett handles Han (Han's player is out of town).

NPCs: Ilde, Han Wannabe and Spugnoir

The Plot: The PCs have been brewing up a keg of carnage in the temple. Alrrem's underlings are dead, the services of a great troll leader have been denied to the factions. The PCs have now been tasked with reinforcing Alrrem's forces with an ogre tribe, and with killing the water temple leader, Belsornig at the urging of Romag.

The PCs make their way out of the temple and head to the orc cave where they found Ilde and her dead clanmates. Knowing the general layout of the cave, they opt to send Han in to stealth his way around and hopefully get a feel for the numbers and positions of any ogres. He skulks around making some stellar stealth checks, he gets a bead on 2 ogres with clubs on the west wall, and some number of ogres in a lit area on the east wall.

Before initiating combat chopper decides to get into the cave a little way using his own impressive stealth skills. They rush the ogres and use the surprise round mostly moving and taking a couple of pot shots at the ogres. Chopper manages to acrobatic his way all the way to the north end of the tunnel only to discover that the ogres are led by an ogre mage. He has enough legs to base the ogre.

DMs Note: From the sad attempt to recreate the battle using mspaint.exe below you can see the party getting flanked. The two most dangerous ogres (the Skirmishers http://www.ddmdb.com/miniatures/623) are coming in from the east side. The north/south wall divides everything into a thin corridor on the west and a large middle room at the base of the falls. The druid ends up having to hold off the skirmishers coming westward. The party ends up pincered by the mage and the ogres with clubs to the north and the deadly skirmishers heading in from the east.

Pitiful Image of the Cave Scene.

Figuring the mage to be the biggest threat they concentrate on taking him out. The mage only gets off one cone of cold before he is dispatched, having been stunned and pelted with arrows. Spugnoir gets off a summon celestial stag beetle which helps hold the skirmishers off for about a round. The cone of cold however disrupts the druids summon (augmented Dire Wolf). This failed spellcraft will end up spelling doom for him. The skirmishers are able to close and spear him to death around the 4th round. Eventually the cleric holds the skirmishers at bay, and the parties 'hitters' are able to take them out.

DMs Note: The skirmishers are CR11 under 3.5 and ended up being pretty deadly threats. That beings said, the party still had a pretty good shot of making it out of of the encounter with no casualties. The druid has low HPs but augmented Dire Wolves are absolute terrors, had he been able to put a blocking wolf in between he likely would have survived. But the ogres were fast and had reach.

So here we have the party with its first dead PC. They decide to head up and off to Verbobonc with the body hoping for some help from the church of St. Cuthbert. They are also under geared at this point and hope to use some of their saved up loot to go on a shopping spree in a large city. Arriving in Verbobonc they head immediately to the temple. After some negotiating and pleading from spugnoir and chopper, describing the great works of good that Ifersh performed and the terrors and perils of the temple that still await them the church offers True Resurrection at cost (25,000 gp). This is within the economic grasp of the parties gold and still leaves them with some money to spend on gear. Ifersh is restored to his usual self, and the party decides to investigate some of the factions of Verbobonc and see how they might react to news of the temples reactivation. The first act is that Lord Wilfrick, leader of the gnomes in Verbobonc and a representative of gnomish interests in the region has requested an audience with the party. Through his sources, Nybble and Wonnilon he has learned of their acts of heroism. He promises to rally gnomish support for an assault on the temple, he says this will take some time but that he will be ready with an army when the time is right to strike. In the meantime he offers the party their choice (any type) of a ring of resist energy (10).

DMs Note: At this point the PCs are starting to (i think) feel like part of the bigger picture. They have gained notoriety in Hommlett and now in the city of verbobonc. They understand that the temple can't be completely destroyed forever without the support of an army. Their role at this point is more in subterfuge, undermining and information gathering.

With the support of Wilfrick, they decide to check out the other large temple in Verbobonc - the temple of Pelor. They are met there by a viscount who agrees to lend his support alongside that of the cudgel and the gnomes. The PCs then shop for a bit, the highlights include 2 belts of dexterity (one for the ranger, one for the monk), and a belt of constitution (for Ifersh's lowly 9 CON). Ifersh also picks up a Scimitar +2 to hopefully help him in close combat.

Ifersh urges the party to head back to Hommlett to deliver the information they have gathered on the factions, and the news that a greater temple exists.

After counciling with Burne and Rufus, the news spurs them to devote more resources to the keep and the standing army. They claim that they can't spare any effort to assault the temple, and that defense of Hommlett is their first priority. Jaroo perks up at the mention of the greater temple, he urges the party to consult the herbmonger in Nulb with this news, claiming that she is 'more than what she seems'.

Finally the party decides to head back to Nulb to rest in their home, and check up on Mother Screng the herbmonger. Arriving in Nulb without incident they stop by the Waterside Hostel to check up on Preston Weltz and Schemp the Paladin bartender. Strangely the hostel is locked up and nobody is answering the door, they assume perhaps Preston has already gone out of business. Heading back to their rickety home, unlocking the door they are warmly greeted by ....

LARETH THE BEAUTIFUL !!! Along with Rannos Devl, Gremag and two seedy looking minions. Quickly looking around they see the body of poor Preston Weltz hanging, entrails exposed nailed to the back wall. The PCs are surprised and in a bad spot, the surprise round allows Rannos and one of his minions to manuever for flanks. The initiative goes poorly for the party, Rannos rolls very high and gets off a 5d6 sneak attack on the lower level rogue Han Wannabe. His blade cuts deep scoring a 30 point sneak attack. A follow-up second attack on the nearly dead rogue also hits for another 20 or so, the shriek of pain from Han and ole' Prestons defiled carcass sends the party into a blood rage.

DMs Note: Remembering the near death from the assassin the party tries to take out the weak flankers quickly, knowing that Gremag and Rannos without flanks are not nearly the threat.

Several buffs and rounds later the 2 vile rogues and their henchman are down and only Lareth remains. He tries frantically to neg burst the party to death with his 4d6 bursts. But Ilde's healing, and the parties gang tackling eventually take Lareth down. This time however there will be no capturing and Ifersh crushes Lareth's skull like a melon.

Clearly the parties missteps came back to haunt them here. They had forgotten about Lareth's escape and hadn't quite tied that loose end up. Han is dead as a door knob, and the party is badly wounded. They head off to Mother Screng with the corpses, and all the news of the temple they've aquired in the past weeks.

Showing Mother Screng the temple robes, the bodies of their comrades, and sharing news that a greater temple exists is proof enough for Mother Screng to reveal her secret. She is actually the Canoness Y'Dey.

My_Script wrote:


Screng is of course Canoness Y’Dey. She is wearing a Brooch of Alter Self and has disguised herself as an old woman. Otis is also aware of her disguise and is here to support her and protect her. She is gathering information on the temple under deep cover. She will not reveal herself unless the party has some tangible proof that they are intent on bringing down the temple. This proof can include:

Robes, notes or other artifacts from the various elemental factions.
The Orb of Golden Death immediately provokes a response.

If the party takes a wild guess at her being the canoness she will deny it fervently. She will not accompany the party into the temple, but instead will assist with free healing, raising and other services. If the party is nearing the last parts of the temple, she may help with identifying the various artifacts (such as the Orb) that the party may come across. Her ‘daughter’, Hruda, may offer to join if Y’Dey reveals herself. Hruda is actually the adopted ward of Y’Dey, and is a former cutpurse turned warrior. She is a Rogue 1 / Fighter 2, she will advance as a fighter only barring some life altering event (maybe Y’Dey getting slaughtered).

Y’Dey also reveals that she has allied with Jaroo (against the wishes of many in the Church) and they have sent an agent named Kella (a druid of the Gnarley Wood) into the temple. They haven’t heard from her for over a week however and are concerned that she has died.

Y'Dey explains the entire ruse which brought the party into this grand adventure.

Canoness wrote:


You see, as fervent a believer as I am in St. Cuthbert I quickly realized that the rising evil we have all sensed couldn't be broken and beaten with outward force. It would require subtlety, and guile that is not normally acceptable among followers of the cudgel. Myself and a small faction within the church concocted this plot in the hopes of drawing out the evil forces that were clearly lurking within Hommlett. I have allied with Jaroo, of the Old Faith, an act that certainly would draw the ire of certain members of my church. Terjon is unaware, as are all but a few in the church. The decoy was in fact my sister, who sacrificed herself in the name of the greater good. Thankfully the body was returned to Dalmert and we will be able to raise her once this whole ordeal is over.

Things went pretty much as I had planned them in my script and notes:

My_Script wrote:


The woman that lies dead is not the Canoness Y’Dey. She is in fact a decoy sent by agents of St. Cuthbert. Information about her presence in Verbobonc was leaked in both Verbobonc and Hommlett in an attempt to draw out agents of Iuz. The ploy worked and there is now a dangling thread for the party to follow. The church suspects an evil presence in Hommlett but has been unable to determine the source. Given that most of the village still follows the Old Faith (Beory), they can’t overtly inquisition the residents. Politics it seems intervenes even in D&D. Their plan was to both uncover the evil force in Hommlett and fake the Canoness’ death. She then can assume an undercover position in another stronghold of evil, Nulb. All of this, of course has been planned to head off the rise of the Temple of Elemental Evil which the church suspects is nearing. Dalmert is aware of the plan; Terjon however is not as the church is unsure of who has been compromised in Hommlett. The assassination confirmed what the church already suspected and thus more plans are set in motion, including the Canoness’ mission in Nulb. The party inadvertently makes the perfect ruse for the church, as they can reveal these mysteries but if captured or tortured for information are truly unaware of the greater plan. What the church is unaware of however is the progress that has been made in the temple, its level of power, and the warring factions that include more than simply the Old One.

Unfortunately Y'Dey can't cast True Resurrection on the fallen rogue, or Preston. Otis however agrees to give them a respectable burial. Now rogue-less,

beaten and battered, an angrier but now convincingly united party must move on and finish what they have started.

BY THE CUDGEL !!!!! FOR PRESTON !!! FOR HAN !!!


ILDE UNGART
Female dwarf Cleric 6
LG Medium humanoid
Init +1 ; Senses Perception +4, Darkvision 60 ft. (+2 taste-based, +2 touch-based)
==DEFENSE==
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 21 (+8 armor, +3 shield, +1 dex)
hp 58 (6d8+21)
Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +9
Defensive Abilities Hearty, Defensive Training, Stability, Protection from Chaos
==OFFENSE==
Spd 20 ft./x3
Melee +1 Warhammer +8 1d8+3 20/x3
Melee Shortspear +6 1d6+2 20/x2
Ranged Mwk Sling +6 1d4+2 20/x2
Special Attacks Hatred, Combat Casting, Acid Dart, Magic Stone, Align Weapon
==STATISTICS==
Str 14, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 12
Base Atk +4, Cmb +6
Feats Armor Proficiency (Heavy) (PFB 82), Armor Proficiency (Light) (PFB 82), Armor Proficiency (Medium) (PFB 82), Combat Casting (PFB 83), Extra Turning (PFB 86), Shield Proficiency (PFB 94), Weapon Focus (PFB 97)
Skills Diplomacy +5, Heal +8, Knowledge (history) +4, Knowledge (the planes) +4, Linguistics +4, Sense Motive +11, Spellcraft +9
Languages Common, Dwarven
SQ Keen Senses, Channel Energy, Soften Earth and Stone, Touch of Law
Combat Gear +1 Warhammer, Shortspear, Mwk Sling, Masterwork Full plate, Shield, heavy steel +1
Other Gear Armor & Shield, Weapons
Class Abilities • AURA - A Cleric of Torag radiates a powerful aura of Lawful Good. (PFB 20).
• CHANNEL ENERGY - A cleric may channel energy as explained in the Channel Energy box. (PFB 22).
• CLERIC BONUS LANGUAGES - A cleric’s bonus language options include Celestial, Abyssal, and Infernal regardless of race. (PFB 22).
• CLERIC ORISONS - Clerics can prepare a number of orisons, or 0-level spells, each day. They can cast these spells at will as a spell-like ability. 3 at 1st level, or 4 at any subsequent level. Orisons are treated like any other spell cast by the cleric in terms of duration and other variables based on level. Orisons cannot be channeled through spontaneous casting. (PFB 22).
• CLERIC SPELLS - The cleric casts divine spells drawn from the Cleric spell list, as listed in PFA2 13. The cleric must meditate and pray for an hour each day to regain spells. (PFB 20-22).
• CLERIC SPONTANEOUS CASTING - A Good cleric can swap prepared spells for healing spells. An evil cleric can swap out prepared spells for inflict spells. A neutral cleric of a neutral god can choose one or the other upon taking the Cleric class. (PFB 22).
• CLERIC WEAPONS AND ARMOR - All simple weapons, all types of armor, shields (except tower shields), and favored weapon of deity -- Warhammer. (PFB 20).
• DOMAIN POWERS - Each of the cleric's chosen domains grants domain powers.
- Acid Dart (Su) - As a standard action, you can unleash an acid dart targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. The acid dart deals 1d6 points of acid damage + 1 for every two caster levels you possess. [PFB 178]
- Magic Stone (Sp) - You can cast Magic Stone (PHB 3.5 251) 3 times/day. [PFB 178]
- Soften Earth and Stone (Sp) - You can cast Soften Earth and Stone (PFBWE 35) 1/day. [PFB 178]
- Touch of Law (Su) - As a standard action, you can touch a creature giving it the ability to treat one d20 roll as if its natural result was an 11. This ability lasts 3 rounds or until it is used. This ability can be used after the die is rolled to change the result. Once a creature has benefited from touch of law, it can gain no further benefit from this ability for 1 day. [PFB 180]
- Protection from Chaos (Sp) - You can cast Protection from Chaos (PHB 3.5 266) 3 times/day. [PFB 180]
- Align Weapon (Su) - As a standard action, you can unleash an acid dart targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. The acid dart deals 1d6 points of acid damage + 1 for every two caster levels you possess. [PFB 178]
(PFB 22).
• FORBIDDEN SPELL ALIGNMENT - Spells with the Evil descriptor are forbidden by your alignment and your deity's alignment. Spells with the Chaotic descriptor are forbidden by your alignment and your deity's alignment. (PFB 22, 23).


IFERSH
Male half-orc Druid 6
CN Medium humanoid
Init +0 ; Senses Perception +6, Darkvision 60 ft.
==DEFENSE==
AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 18 (+3 armor, +3 shield, +2 deflection)
hp 38 (6d8+-5)
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +9
Defensive Abilities Resist Nature's Lure
==OFFENSE==
Spd 20 ft./x4
Melee Mwk Scimitar +8 1d6+3 18-20/x2
Melee +1 Club +8 1d6+4 20/x2
Ranged Sling +4 1d4+3 20/x2
==STATISTICS==
Str 16, Dex 10, Con 9, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +4, Cmb +7
Feats Armor Proficiency (Light) (PFB 82), Armor Proficiency (Medium) (PFB 82), Augment Summoning (PFB 82), Natural Spell (PFB 92), Shield Proficiency (PFB 94), Spell Focus (PFB 94)
Skills Climb +4, Fly +0, Handle Animal +9, Heal +9, Knowledge (geography) +4, Knowledge (nature) +9, Perception +6, Ride +2, Spellcraft +6, Survival +9, Swim +0
Languages Common, Druidic, Orc
SQ Nature Bond, Trackless Step, Wild Shape, Druid Woodland Stride, Summon Companion, Speak with Animals, Hold Animal
Combat Gear Mwk Scimitar, +1 Club, Sling, Hide, Shield, heavy wooden +1
Other Gear Armor & Shield, Weapons
Class Abilities • FORBIDDEN SPELL ALIGNMENT - Spells with the Lawful descriptor are forbidden by your alignment and your deity's alignment. (PFB 22, 23).
• DRUID BONUS LANGUAGES - A Druid automatically knows Druidic, and may choose Sylvan as a bonus language. (PFB 23).
• DRUID ORISONS - Druids can prepare a number of orisons, or 0-level spells, each day. They can cast these spells at will as a spell-like ability. 3 at 1st level, or 4 at any subsequent level. Orisons are treated like any other spell cast by the cleric in terms of duration and other variables based on level. Orisons cannot be channeled through spontaneous casting. (PFB 23).
• DRUID SPELLS - A druid casts divine spells, which are drawn from the druid spell list. Her alignment may restrict her from casting certain spells opposed to her moral or ethical beliefs; see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells. A druid must choose and prepare her spells in advance. To prepare or cast a spell, the druid must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a druid’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the druid’s Wisdom modifier. (PFB 23).
• DRUID SPONTANEOUS CASTING - A druid can channel stored spell energy into summoning spells that she hasn’t prepared ahead of time. She can “lose” a prepared spell in order to cast any summon nature’s ally spell of the same level or lower. (PFB 23).
• DRUID WEAPONS AND ARMOR - Weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, scythe, sickle, shortspear, sling, and spear, all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form they assume with wild shape. Armor: light and medium armor (but no metal armor); shields (except tower shields) but must use only wooden ones. Prohibited armor or shields render the druid unable to cast druid spells or use supernatural or spell-like class abilities 24 hours. (PFB 23).
• NATURE BOND (Domain Powers - Animal) - You have chosen nature-related domain powers. The Animal domain is detailed in PFA2 70. - Summon Companion (Su) - Conjure a creature as with Summon Nature’s ally I-II (PFB 277-278), but it remains untill dismissed or killed. Once the creature dies or is dismissed, you must wait 1 hour before summoning another. [PFB 176]
- Speak with Animals (Sp) - You can cast Speak with Animals (PFB 3.5 272) 3 times/day. [PFB 176]
- Hold Animal (Sp) - You can cast Hold Animal (PFB 238) 1/day. [PFB 176]
- - - - (PFB 24).
• NATURE SENSE - A druid gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks. (PFB 24).
• TRACKLESS STEP - Starting at 3rd level, a druid leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. She may choose to leave a trail if so desired. (PFB 25).
• RESIST NATURE'S LURE - Starting at 4th level, a druid gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like and supernatural abilities of fey. This bonus also applies to spells and effects that target plants, such as blight, entangle, spike growth, and warp wood. (PFB 25).
• WILD SHAPE - You can change into the form of a beast, as detailed in PFA2 16. (PFB 25-26).
• DRUID WOODLAND STRIDE - Starting at 2nd level, a you may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect her. (PFB 25).

7 out of 15 on the point buy :p


houstonderek wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
nedleeds wrote:
Healing Surge !!!
I have preety good eye sight and can disceren most food, but what is that ? It looks like corn with rice with noodles.

Scrambled eggs, buttered toast and hash browns covered with cheese. Cup of coffee next to it, and what appears to be a waffle in the background.

Standard breakfast around here.

"Healing surge" may refer to the wonders of greasy breakfast food as a hangover cure.

:)

Yes. That is accurate. I was both mocking 4th edition and displaying a tradition here in the greater metro Atlanta area - Waffle House.


EMMETT FLETCHER
Male human Ranger 6
CG Medium humanoid
Init +4 (+5 in forests); Senses Perception +11
==DEFENSE==
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+5 armor, +1 shield, +4 dex)
hp 65 (6d10+23)
Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +7
==OFFENSE==
Spd 30 ft./x4
Melee +1 Longsword +11/+6 1d8+5 19-20/x2
Melee Mwk Flail +11/+6 1d8+4 20/x2
Ranged Mwk Longbow, composite +12/+7 1d8+2 20/x3
Special Attacks Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot
==STATISTICS==
Str 18, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 13
Base Atk +6, Cmb +10
Feats Armor Proficiency (Light) (PFB 82), Endurance (PFB 85), Iron Will (PFB 89), Point Blank Shot (PFB 92), Precise Shot (PFB 92), Quick Draw (PFB 92), Rapid Shot (PFB 93), Shield Proficiency (PFB 94), Weapon Focus (PFB 97)
Skills Acrobatics +6, Climb +7, Diplomacy +7, Handle Animal +8, Heal +6, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (geography) +7, Knowledge (nature) +7, Perception +11, Ride +6, Spellcraft +6, Stealth +10, Survival +11, Swim +4
Languages Common
SQ Favored Enemy, Ranger Wild Empathy, Track, Favored Terrain, Hunter's Bond
Combat Gear +1 Longsword, Mwk Longbow, Mwk Flail, Elven Chain, Shield, light steel
Other Gear Armor & Shield, Weapons
Class Abilities • FAVORED ENEMY - You have bonuses to Bluff, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks as well as weapon attack and damage rolls used against the following creature types: Animal (+2), Humanoid (human) (+4). (PFB 35-36).
• RANGER WEAPONS AND ARMOR - All simple and martial weapons, light armor and shields (but not tower shields). (PFB 35).
• RANGER WILD EMPATHY - Change animal attitudes in a way similar to Diplomacy. Check bonus equals 7. Animal must be within 30 ft.. (PFB 36).
• TRACK - Add half ranger level to Survival checks made to follow tracks. (PFB 36).
• RANGER COMBAT STYLE (Improved) - Precise Shot, Rapid Shot (PFB 36-37).
• FAVORED TERRAIN - The ranger gets bonuses to Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks in Forest (+2) terrain The ranger's initiative bonus in this terrain is increased: : +5 in forests. (PFB 37).
• RANGER ENDURANCE - A ranger gains Endurance as a bonus feat at 3rd level. (PFB 37).
• HUNTER'S BOND - As a move action, the ranger can give companions within 30 ft. half the ranger's Favored Enemy bonus for 2 rounds. (PFB 37).
• RANGER SPELLS - The ranger can cast spells drawn from the Ranger Spell List (PHB 3.5 191-192) according to the ranger spell progression (PFA3 36). (PFB 37).

48 out of 15 on the point buy :)


--Session 14 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Ifersh and Emmett Fletcher.

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett handles Han (Han's player is out of town).

NPCs: Ilde, Han Wannabe and Spugnoir

The Plot: Our intrepid party can't turn back now, a billion pound stone slab has locked into place and the party has an enraged owlbear to the west and a 5-headed hydra to the east. They are on the hunt for a great troll chief. Han decides to see how far the hydras chain extends and since his player isn't there he feels more compelled to take risks (actually ... his player would have done it anyway). Sure enough engineering marvels in the temple never cease to amaze, and the maw of the hydra can only get about 5 feet from the edge of the wall. The party is able to scurry along the wall and make it out of the south exit of the room (202 for those keeping score at home).

As expected the troll chief is an imposing figure, he's adorned in bone armor and wields a really big greatsword. He also doesn't seem to care for the fire temple ("FIRE BAD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"). He threatens to kill them, but they talk their way out of it by promising riches. They decide to head east and check out the mysteries of the West Syyyyyde !!! They think better of descending to the 3rd level when they reach the downward staircase at 222a (the letters 'TPK' were etched in the keystone in the archway leading down). They are greeted by some bugbears in 222 who don't attack but instead pass the PCs off to the large room to the south.

DMs Note: At this point the metagame in the air says none of the priests are just going to throw down with the PCs unless the PCs so desire it. Normally this would have reeked of danger and trap, but at this point the faction leaders are more filled with hot air then trap.

The party enters a huge room 90' x 40'. There is a giant pool of water in the middle, and visages of squid, aboleths, and other wet creatures adorning the walls. This is clearly the water temple's rec room. A well dressed and calm man addresses the party as a few acolytes murmur and pray around the pool. There are 1/2 a dozen or so bugbears gazing at the party wondering whether or not they will be brunch.

Belsornig wrote:


(A dark haired man in a chain shirt and aqua robes looks up from his studies) You have finally arrived. You are late.

The PCs are obviously confused, by both the serene voice of this cleric as well as his assurance that he has been expecting them. They inquire as to how or where they have met, or how he knows them.

Belsornig wrote:


In a manner of speaking, yes, I know you. I have many sources of information, and I have been expecting you. I apologize for the delayed introduction. I am Belsornig, chief cleric of the Water Temple. I have been watching you through my agents for many weeks now. My agents are much more widespread than those of my amateurish rivals. I am not surprised you never discovered one of them. Like me, they are experts at their craft. After all, I taught them.

At this point they can't do anything but believe Belsornig, through the documents they found in the broken tower they know his recruiter is Gremag - who was in Hommlett undercover as a trader. They begin to question everything, and all the NPCs they've come into contact with. Belsornig’s first task is to procure the services of Oohlgrist the troll chief. His dialog is much like that of Alrrem’s, however he offers a belt of Acid Resistance (10) to help sway the troll. the troll. They also decide it's not a good time to engage Belsornig in combat. They agree to his task, wondering if he already knows they've offered to do the same for Alrrem.

After some discussion the party formulates a rather mad plan. They'll attempt to turn the troll chief against the fire temple, on behalf of the earth temple. They once again try to convince the troll to join (earth this time), they offer him the belt. He is convinced but is too lazy to get up and move against the fire temple. Thinking on their feet, the druid Ifersh moves out to the room to the east while the party continues to parley with Oolghrist. He casts flaming sphere and rolls it into the troll leaders chamber. The PCs all begin screaming and yelling about the fire temple attacking. The chief flies into a fit of anger, and heads east. The PCs swear they saw fire agents heading up the hallway that goes east then north. 2 of Oohghrists troll minions follow along. They end up in room 204. There are 3 Fire Temple Bugbears and an unfortunate acolyte. There are barely any scraps left for the players to beat on as the big O has bifurcated them. The players urge them to continue south to slay the fire temple leader. But being lazy in nature the trolls grab some legs and arms and head back to eat. The door bursts open and Alrrem is ready to fight. A solid Bluff check convinces Alrrem that Oolghrist turned on them after stating he'd join, and that he has just sprinted back down the hallway. Alrrem declares that the troll must die, the party claims they are undermanned. Alrrem orders his two acolytes to join them, he also gives them the ring of fire resistance (10) he planned on using to bribe the traitorous troll.

Carrying the banner of the fire temple the party charges (NPCs in front) down to confront the troll. Combat ensues and the party is going to have a tough time getting around in the tight confines of the troll chamber.

DMs Note: The party does it's first heavy buffing here, using Shield of Faith, Protection from Chaos, Bulls Strength, Owls Wisdom and even a Cat's Grace. It pays off on the dwarven cleric, who ends up being a tempting target with a ridiculous (~32) AC vs. Giants. The party also learns a hard lesson about big angry creatures with CLEAVE.

The party deftly puts the fire clerics in harms way, and slowly beats down the troll. They have to burn nearly all their healing to stay alive. As combat concludes the fire temple clerics lie dead and so does the troll. They coup-de-gras the giants and grab Oolghrists head, Ifersh briefly considers using it as a cod piece but instead they will use it as proof of the trolls defeat.

Returning to Alrrem, they show him the head and inform him of the death of the acolytes. Alrrem is at a loss, and implores the PCs to handle his next task.

Script wrote:


Alrrems second task is the recruitment of an ogre tribe reported to be based a few miles outside of the temple grounds.

“All the other Temples have ogre guards, but all mine were lost years ago in the Battle of Emridy Meadows. Now recently my scouts have discovered a small band of ogres that have taken up residence in a group of caves nearby. I want those ogres to join me!”

Alrrem has a map to the ogre cave. It’s the orc cave from earlier, if the party didn’t dispatch the orcs then they are there being bullied by the ogres who have moved into their territory.

Any questions about how to accomplish this task are met with frustration, “I don't care! That's your job! Use your diplomatic abilities to sway them to join the glory of the Fire Temple. Or just beat 'em up and drag 'em down here. Whatever suits your style. Just get me those ogres!”

The party heads back to inform Romag of the dead acolytes that Oolghrist dispatched. Romag is pleased at the mayhem the party has created, he has one final task for his mercenaries, he claims that a full audience with the greater temple awaits them if they can complete it.

Romag wrote:
Belsornig is the leader of the water temple. (spits) I do not like to even mention his name. Don't ever trust him, I can tell you that. He likes to think he's clever, and that his Water Temple has favor with the Greater Temple. But I know that is not the case. If he could get Hedrack’s flaccid penis out of his mouth for one second and actually speak about his accomplishments all would see him for the fraud that he is. This is the final task I was going to ask of you. He needs to be killed, badly. I cannot tolerate his manipulative games any longer.

The party agrees, and heads off to the 'resting room' that Wonnilon revealed to them. They manage to rest up and heal most of their wounds. They decide that they'll head out and dispatch the ogres, then head to Verbobonc in an attempt to better arm themselves before serving the temple leaders a little of their own medicine.

This ends session 14 -> Next session 15 (and a PC may die!!!!!!)


Before I write up the last couple of sessions. Anyone still reading? These take a bit to write up and I don't like talking to myself :)


CHOPPER TOUGHSTICK
Male human Monk 6
LG Medium humanoid
Init +3 ; Senses Perception +13
==DEFENSE==
AC 20, touch 18, flat-footed 17 (+2 armor, +3 dex, +5 monk bonus)
hp 44 (6d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +10
Defensive Abilities Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Mobility, Monk Evasion, Still Mind, Purity of Body
==OFFENSE==
Spd 50 ft./x4
Melee Unarmed Strike +7 1d8+2 20/x2
Melee Kama +5/+5 1d6+2 20/x2
Melee Unarmed Strike +6/+6 1d8+2 20/x2
Ranged Sling +7 1d4+2 20/x2
Special Attacks Combat Reflexes, Improved Unarmed Strike, Scorpion Style, Stunning Fist, Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike, Ki Pool
==STATISTICS==
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 11
Base Atk +4, Cmb +8
Feats Combat Reflexes (PFB 83), Deflect Arrows (PFB 84), Dodge (PFB 85), Improved Unarmed Strike (PFB 89), Mobility (PFB 91), Scorpion Style (PFB 93), Stunning Fist (PFB 95), Weapon Focus (PFB 97)
Skills Acrobatics +12, Climb +9, Escape Artist +8, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (history) +5, Knowledge (religion) +2, Perception +13, Ride +7, Sense Motive +13, Stealth +12, Swim +7
Languages Common
SQ Monk Fast Movement, Slow Fall, High Jump
Combat Gear Unarmed Strike, Kama, Sling
Other Gear Armor & Shield, Weapons
Class Abilities • FLURRY OF BLOWS - A monk may make a flurry of blows with special monk weapons and unarmed strikes interchangably, according to the modifiers in PFA3 30. (PFB 28-29, 30).
• AC BONUS - When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five monk levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level). These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load. (PFB 28).
• MONK BONUS FEATS - You have chosen the following monk bonus feats: Deflect Arrows, Scorpion Style, Combat Reflexes. (PFB 29).
• MONK WEAPONS AND ARMOR - Monks are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling. Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a monk loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and flurry of blows abilities. (PFB 28).
• UNARMED STRIKE - A monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike at 1st level as a bonus feat. The Monk can attack with any appendage, so no negatives for offhand attacking. The monk deals more damage with an offhand attack, by the tables in PFA3 29, 30. (PFB 29).
• MONK EVASION - At 2nd level or higher if a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion. (PFB 29).
• MONK FAST MOVEMENT - The monk has a bonus to base speed of +10 feet when unarmored and unencumbered. (PFB 29).
• STILL MIND - +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the school of enchantment. (PFB 29).
• KI POOL - A Ki point will buy for one round: 1 extra attack at highest BAB during a Flurry of Blows, +20 ft. speed, or +4 dodge AC. You have 3 points in your ki pool. (PFB 30).
• SLOW FALL - Within arms' reach of a wall, a monk may treat a fall as if it were 30 feet shorter than it actually is. (PFB 30).
• HIGH JUMP - Add monk level to acrobatics checks made to jump. Always counts as having a running start. Can spend a Ki point to add +20 to an acrobatics check made to jump for 1 round. (PFB 30).
• PURITY OF BODY - The monk gains immunity to all diseases including supernatural and magical diseases. (PFB 31).


--Session 13 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Ifersh and Emmett Fletcher.

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett handles Han (Han's player is out of town).

NPCs: Ilde, Han Wannabe and Spugnoir

The Plot: The weary adventurers forge forward through the second floor hoping to find the fire temple and further uncover the machinations of the evil temple. They are now aware of the greater temple and their presence on this floor.

Recap: After dispatching Feldrin and Brunk the PCs go south and east into the grand hallway which seems to bifurcate the whole second floor. They take a slight detour into a room that seems to be the source of some boisterous noise (226 for those following along). Han sneaks up and finds a room full of bugbears bearing no temple garb, being served dinner (sausages) by some goblins. The party plots and ambush to draw the bugbears out into the hallway.

DMs Note: The ranged fire is almost as good as up close at this point. The ranger is headed down the ranged combat path and has picked up a composite longbow (16 STR). The rogue is handy with a shortbow. The wizard has Point Blank and Precise and an at-will ranged touch acid glob (Conjuration school).

The bugbears eventually go down and the party is not too much worse for wear. Heading east towards the location of the fire temple the party is in pretty good shape and haven't really burned much in the way of resources. Eventually they turn south (209) and head into the chamber of the fire temple that Romag had marked for them (206). They pass through a curtain and are greeted by a well armed man and two large bugbears clearly adorned in fire temple armor.

They bluff their way through by claimed that they knew Wat and were recruited by him, they don't know what happened to him so they made their way down here themselves. A stellar check convinces the weak willed guard of their authenticity and they are ushered through to see Alrrem.

Alrrem wrote:
So, Wat finally did his job and brought me some recruits. Useless slime. I should replace him soon. Well, so much to do and so little time. You look like you'll do. Let's get started. Bow to me and swear fealty at once!

The parties pride gets the best of them here and they don't bow, instead trying to intimidate the cleric. Alrrem, in a position of faltering power and facing a pretty sturdy intimidate check concedes a little bit.

Alrrem wrote:
I am Alrrem! Former leader of the Temple troops and chief cleric of the Fire Temple! Now are you hiring yourself on as a mercenary to my Temple or not?!

Eventually Alrrem reveals his first task. Which is to try and convince a troll chieftain to join the fire temple.

Alrrem wrote:
There is a troll chieftain, just to the west of my Temple here. His name is Oohlgrist. He can bring in a score of trolls to join my Fire Temple. For your first task, I need you to convince him to join with me.

At this point the party is split up and the others are a little ways up the hallway past the curtain of the outer chamber. The party is also unsure of whether or not to start killing everyone in sight or take up Alrrems cause and see where that goes. The rogue, monk and ranger head back out to the outer room with the 2 bugbears and the guard leader. Then comes an interesting plan on the part of the PCs. They decide to yell out loud about a large stash of sausages they had aquired on the way down into the fire temple. This immediately provokes interest from the bugbears who overhear the tales of prepared meats. They PCs claim the casks of sausage are too heavy, and bugbears jump at the opportunity to help move the sausage (?).

DM Note: So where did the sausage come from? If you read through the original module you'll note that Gygax goes through great pains to detail every last foodstuff present in any given room. He describes "wrinkled apples", "rich sausages", "Some large blackish sausages are strung over the ceiling arches". The last one about them being strung over the ceiling sent me into a fit of laughter thinking about a scene from 'Freddy Got Fingered' involving Tom Green, a bundle of sausage, a keyboard and ropes.

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The bugbears follow the party up the hallway and they are ambushed at the turn. The PCs barely manage to subdue them even with a surprise round. The bugbears roll some insane saving throws vs. several attempts at Hold Person. The plan is to claim the bugbears took the sausage and ran. Meanwhile the party heads down to the lair of Oohlghrist. They see a wide portal with a slab hanging above (near 211), they decide to head south through the portal and as expected after the party finishes scampering through it the slab slams solidly into the stone surface. They are now trapped and judging from their map they are going to be forced down one of two paths.

The rogue is sent eastward lurking in the shadows (and rolling some crazy stealth rolls). He finds an odd looking scene, a 5-headed hydra chained to the floor in the middle of the room. It's hard to tell exactly how far the chain can extend. Heading back to his comrades and informing them of the beast they decide to scope out the other way, much the same it's a room with a chained owlbear roaming around the room.

We decide to call it quits and the party has some tough decisions to make.


Next few posts, I'll post the parties current stat blocks.


--Session 12 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Ifersh and Emmett Fletcher.

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett handles Han (Han's player is out of town).

NPCs: Ilde, Han Wannabe and Spugnoir

The Plot: Our party descends to the second floor ready for the evils of the other elemental factions. They have been tasked by Romag to kill Alrrem's

acolytes in retaliation for the death of Dick Rentch, one of Romag's most valuable recruiters.

Recap: The stairway leads down to a landing with a north and south passage. The party opts to head south in a 40' x 50' room with a statue of a

minotaur, or perhaps Baphomet. They begin investigating a pile of junk to the east side when they learn that the statue isn't a statue. It's a minotaur that

has been covered in grey dust. The minotaur charges into combat with its battleaxe and promptly whiffs.

The party is able to flank the horned horror and take it out with a couple of timely hits and sneak attacks. After the skirmish they notice a secret door in

the east wall.

Han checks it for traps and finds none, and learns that the wall is opened with a loosened stone block. He opens the door and steps through the portal, as he

steps through on the other side of the wall the stone on the floor shifts and a huge log loosens from the ceiling and crashes on top of him. He makes his

reflex save and ignores the damage due to his Evasion.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire Han finds himself surrounded by a pack of brigands who have been alerted by the crash. As he gets his bearings and

the dust clears he sees he is standing in a 10' wide hallway that heads south then appears to open up into a room. The brigands are rushing north, all 8 of

them! The brigands use their surprise to setup flanking positions on Han and clog the hallway up.

The rest of the party pours into the hall and begins chopping through the brigands. A couple of brigands fall then their sergeants appear from the south and begin shouting orders, the party is draped in Earth Temple robes; this appears to confuse the commanders. Finally after a few rounds of combat a sharp looking man adorned in a black and red cloak with horned shoulders shouts at the group.

"stop this madness! You fools, we are guardsmen for the greater temple, have you lost your minds?!!!?"

This gives the party pause, and they ramble a bit about how the brigands attacked first. Finally they decide to just rush this guy. As they charge southward down the hallway they cross a blind corner. A well armed Half-Orc sticks his blade out for a sneak attack. The fighting resumes, and the human leader curses the half-orc (Brunk) for not striking a killing blow. Brunk retorts by cursing him and questioning his manhood. Brunk is able to get some flanks and deliver some savage blows. The party wittles the weaker brigands away then dispatches the two bickering leaders. They loot the place then move westward through Feldrins bedroom into a side room. Cracking open the door they find 3 humans, and 3 1/2 orcs weapons drawn hiding behind overturned tables.

They intimidate them and learn that they are Brunk's gang. They've recently been hired on by the greater temple, but Brunk is not fond of his (now dead) boss Feldrin. After informing the gang that their master is taking a dirt nap they agree to drop weapons and leave.

That's it for this session, it was a short one.


HAN WANNABE[/bigger]
Male half-elf Rogue 6
CG Medium humanoid
Init +7 ; Senses Perception +10, Low-light Vision, Keen Senses

(+2 sight-based, +2 sound-based)
==DEFENSE==
AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+4 armor, +3 dex)
hp 30 (6d8)
Fort +2, Ref

+8, Will +3
Defensive Abilities Elven Immunities, Dodge, Mobility, Uncanny Dodge, Trap Sense, Rogue Evasion
==OFFENSE==
Spd 30

ft./x4
Melee +1 Sword, short +8 1d6+1 19-20/x2
Melee +1 Morningstar +5 1d8+1 20/x2
Ranged Mwk Shortbow +8 1d6 20/x3
Special

Attacks Point Blank Shot, Sneak Attack, Bleeding Attack
==STATISTICS==
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 12,

Cha 13
Base Atk +4, Cmb +4
Feats Armor Proficiency (Light) (PFB 82), Dodge (PFB 85), Improved Initiative (PFB 88), Mobility (PFB

91), Point Blank Shot (PFB 92), Skill Focus (PFB 94), Weapon Finesse (PFB 97)
Skills Acrobatics +11, Appraise +7, Bluff +13, Climb +6, Diplomacy +10,

Disable Device +11, Disguise +7, Escape Artist +10, Intimidate +5, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (local) +7, Linguistics +7, Perception +10, Sense

Motive +10, Sleight of Hand +11, Stealth +11, Swim +4
Languages Common, Elven
SQ Trapfinding
Combat Gear +1 Sword, short, +1

Morningstar, Mwk Shortbow, Masterwork Chain shirt
Other Gear Armor & Shield, Weapons
Class Abilities • UNCANNY DODGE - Retain your Dexterity

bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. You still loses Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. (PFB 15).
• TRAP

SENSE (+2) - +2 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +2 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. (PFB 15).
• ROGUE WEAPONS AND ARMOR -

All simple weapons, hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword. All light armor, but no shield. (PFB 38).
• SNEAK ATTACK - Deal +3d6 sneak

attack damage in addition to weapon damage any time the enemy is denied a dexterity bonus to AC or is flanked by the rogue. Ranged attacks must be within 30

feet to do sneak attack damage. (PFB 38).
• TRAPFINDING - The rogue can use the Perception skill to find traps whose DC is over 20. (PFB 38).
• ROGUE

EVASION - If the rogue makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no

damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor and is not helpless. (PFB 39).
• ROGUE TALENT - You have chosen the

following rogue talents: Finesse Rogue, Combat Trick, Bleeding Attack.
- Finesse Rogue - Gain the Weapon Finesse feat. (PFA3 39).
- Combat Trick -

You have selected the combat feat Mobility. (PFA3 39).
- Bleeding Attack - A rogue with this ability can cause living opponents to bleed when hitting

them with a sneak attack. This attack causes the target to take 1 additional point of damage each round for each die of the rogue’s sneak attack (ie. 4d6

equals 4 points of bleed). Bleeding creatures take that amount of damage at the start of each of their turns. The bleeding can be stopped by a DC 15 Heal

check or the application of any effect that heals hit point damage. Bleeding damage from this ability does not stack with itself. (PFA3 39). (PFB 39).

This ends session 12 -> onto session 13


--Session 11 --

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Ifersh and Emmett Fletcher.

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett handles Han (Han's player is out of town).

NPCs: Ilde, Han Wannabe and Spugnoir

The Plot: We left our party in the town of Nulb, having 'completed' their second task of delivering a note from Romag to Dick Rentch. In addition to the note they also delivered a bucket of beatdown on Dick and his posse. They commandeered the Waterside Hostel and swapped it to Preston for his 'house' which might be a more discrete base of operations.

Recap: The party decides to to return to the temple and inform Romag that Dick had met his demise by way of the Fire temples agent Wat. The road back to the temple finds them in the middle of a wilderness encounter (courtesy of an old school encounter table), it's 2 Giant Crayfish! The party manages to dispatch the two crustaceans without too much damage, and they make their way down to the temple first floor without any additional incident. Romag is upset to hear of the demise of his premier recruiter, and the fact that Alrrem (leader of the fire temple) was responsible, gets his blood boiling.

romag wrote:


“That is awful news indeed! I told him not to trust that sneaky Wat! I'm sure Alrrem had Wat just outright kill him! I must have revenge! Alrrem must pay! Fine then, instead of delivering the note I want you to slay Alrrem’s two underlings, his clerics. Alrrem is a bit much for you to chew off just yet but slaying his minions is a good start”

Romag has his acolyte, Hartsh, give the party a map of the dungeon 2nd floor - and a marking where the curates of Alrrem normally reside.

At this point the group decides to do a little exploring before they head down to the 2nd level. They make their way Northeast out of Romags chamber. They explore the areas around 139, 140 and 141 (for those of you following at home on your map :p ). 140 is a particularly disturbing room, with a ceiling mural of a giant eye and other revolting scenes of rape and carnage painted on the walls. They eventually reach the bizarre chambers down near 142 and 143. They spend some time with the 'Oracle' in 143, trying to discern the riddles behind it. The party asks it a number of questions, carefully writing down the responses. After a number of questions (and the noise of dice rolling behind my screen) they realize that it's nothing more then a giant magic 8-ball.

They decide to treck westward and see what lurks in the massive room with columns depicted on their map, room 145. At this point the party (thankfully) is adorned in Earth Temple robes. They emerge in the huge hall and see a 15' tall mound of earth in the middle. This is clearly some kind of worship / sacrifice hall. They begin to skirt the north wall when the ground rumbles and a massive stone creature (an Earth Elemental) erupts from the ground. It whirls towards them, looks at them, then pauses and begins walking in a small 20' circle. The PCs are relieved to not have to fight the massive creature. As they move westward, another one pops up and performs the same threatening motions. The exit the huge hall via the north west exit.

After heading further west the reek of carrion belows from a passage north (towards 146). Han sniffs out a sliding floor trap which would send its victims into a pit of 300 some odd giant rats. This is clearly some kind of garbage disposal solution that the environmental engineering staff of the temple have come up with.

The party then encounters the earth temple bugbears in area 147, using the robes to gain the element of surprise they gleefully slaughter the goblinoids. Han uses his elf DNA to notice the secret door out of the south west side. The sneakier members of the party slip through the portal and find a north south hallway with prison doors to the west and a small curtain covered chamber to the east. The chamber is a makeshift bedroom with a cot and several personal items. Scrounging around they find a small sized back pack with a map of the second floor, thieves tools, a hooked hammer, some small leather armor and a dagger. They also uncover the other secret door out of the south end of this back alley. The prison doors are all locked and unopenable from this side so they make their way back through the bugbear chambers. Ifersh decides to dispose of the bodies with the rat garbage disposal, in order to throw any earth agents off their tracks.

There a total of 6 prison cells, 3 are clearly empty. 2 contain a wave of zombies which rush out as the party opens the doorway. The party manage to beat down the undead with slashing weapons, and positive energy bursts. The final cell contains a stripped, bound and gagged gnome. The party ungags the gnome and initiates a dialog with him. His name is Wonnilon, he claims to have been down in this temple on a recon mission. His clan in the Kron Hills has been suspicious of the temples rise, and had traced bandit activity to it. The party is also in possession of a gnome friend ring which softens Wonnilons neutral attitude. He is a wealth of information about the temple, as he has explored most of level one and two.

script wrote:


“I need to get my stuff back. Most of it should be in the turnkey's secret corridor next door. I had some leather armor, a magical dagger, and a backpack with some miscellaneous items in it. If you could bring those to me, I'd appreciate it.”

“I am doing some reconnaissance for my people in the Lortmils. I must return to my work now and I’ll be more careful next time!”

The party hands him his stuff from the bedroom. He laments that it's all there except his crossbow and a scroll of control plants.

script wrote:


“Thank you so much for my armor and dagger. I did have a lot of personal time vested in that crossbow. I had made my own "special" modifications to it. And my scroll gave me the power to Control Plants.”

“From what I have heard, somewhere around here is a level of fungi and oozes and such. If I ever stumble upon it, the scroll might come in handy.”

“I was specially trained to infiltrate behind enemy lines in the Hateful Wars. I was decorated many times for my heroics in that war. Since then, I have tried to live a peaceful life, but I keep getting pulled back into the action.”

Ifersh informs him that fungii aren't plants, and so his scroll would have likely not done much good. Wonnilon also reveals that the evil chamber at 140 is avoided by all patrols for some reason. He has been using it as a place to rest safely. He also notes that the location of his jailor, a turnkey, is likely over in 152. Wonnilon is thirsty for revenge and agrees to accompany the party to dispatch his former torturer.

The parties sneaks open the door slowly and peer inside 152. They see a huge man in a chain shirt and leather smock flaying a human male from end to end while he hangs helpless chained to a wall. A bugbear stands behind him chuckling at the mans final screams of pain. The time for stealth is over and Cuthbert calls for justice. The party rushes the evil pair. A couple of sneak attacks dispatch the bugbear during the surprise round. The turnkey however doesn't go down so easy. He packs quite a wallop, and is tough to hit. He manages to back himself into a corner of the room to avoid sneak attacks, and gets some solid licks in. Eventually he falls and has his skull caved in. The remaining chambers hold two terrified female humans (farmers from near Verbobonc), and two orc brothers. The PCs decide to pay Wonnilon to escort the townsfolk back to Verbobonc, he accepts the job as he needs to return to report his findings anyway. The orcs are a bit different, they claim to be warriors and offer to fight along with the party for only 1/3 share. Ilde's rabid orc hatred makes that impossible, instead Ifersh has Ilde help the party drag the bodies to the rat disposal. Ifersh then gives the orcs the bugbears weapons and tells them to get out as soon as possible.

At this point the party is still in pretty good shape and the decide to descend down the stairs in the north west part of floor one, to floor two.

This ends session 11 -> Onto Session 12


Maveric28 wrote:
Awww.... no more posts? That's too bad, I was really enjoying that as a fun read. Looking forward to more if it comes that way, but if not, thank you for the entertainment thus far.

It's coming. Good to see people are still reading. 3 more sessions have been played since the last post. One long and 2 somewhat short sessions. I'll get to writing them up shortly.


All rooms guarded on all sides by Elder Earth Elementals. They've been paid in seashells to sit in the rock and wait for the game ruining PC to 'swim' by and get choked.


I'm see'ing 4-5 encounters as well. But I think my party is a little cautious. One of things that lets them keep going a little long is the channel positive feature. Another is the Conjurer (Wizard) with Precise / Point Blank Shot and his at-will Acid Dart. He can be a little more picky with his damage spells, and thus not be 'gassed' as early.


Windjammer wrote:


Do you remember the time in late 2007 and early 2008 when you could pick up 3E books really cheap because there was this hype that 4E rendered 3E obsolete? I detest those who were responsible for that sentiment.

I love those people. I haven't paid more than $6.00 (US) for a 3.X book and now have them all minus Expanded Psionics Handbook, and Spell Compendium (both of which seem to be holding their value). I was going to stay away from Eberron and FR but when I got *every* Eberron book and adventure for $65.00 it made it hard to pass up. Meanwhile people are out getting stroked for $30.00 for 4e books on Amazon ... with less material!


Jam412 wrote:
Hey Ned, Your thread actually got me to go out and pick up a copy of this adventure (maybe you can get WotC to give you a commission). I intend on eventually converting it to 3.x or Pathfinder. Can I perhaps, check out a copy of your script? I promise to keep it super secret from your players. Anyway, this has been an incredibly entertaining read. Nice Job!

Right now there is one session left to write up that has already happened (quite a session it was). I'm about 2-3 sessions ahead with my script, meaning it isn't complete yet. I anticipate the adventure concluding sometime just before Gencon. I'll have a complete script by then and would be happy to share it. Maybe Gencon 2010 I'll run the whole thing in a marathon :p


Grymore wrote:

So, where are you on Pathfinder? Do you like the changes made for pathfinder?

It has been years myself since I have played, but I am looking into it, and stepped in right in the middle of the 3.5 vs. 4e vs. P3.

I am really leaning towards P3 because I looked at 4e and was overwhelmed with all the leveling, at will powers, encounter powers, etc., etc.

3.5 just has too much, so P3 seems like a good starting point. Especially wiht the changes they have made to simplify things.

I think you make a great point about P3 being a more 'digestable' version of 3.5. My party were largely either new players (to 3.x anyway) throwing my whole bookshelf at them (Complete XXXXXX, PH 1, 2, Miniatures Handbook, etc. etc.) would have been overwelming. At the same time level 1-4 3.5 as played straight from the player's handbook can be a little tough to survive and a little dry in terms of options (see: Wizard/Sorcerer). Pathfinder seems to have kept my players interested in their core classes, and despite my decree of no multi-classing / prestiging until level 4 they all decided to keep going with their core class onto 5 (and probably 6). Some harp about conversion as being an issue, it really isn't unless you are insanely OCD about monster stat blocks. I general bump the hit points about 1-2 per Hit Dice of the monster. The CMB is easy to calculate, and honestly as we've gotten out of 4th level the differences are starting to even out. Initially the HP boost and slight power boost of a P3 character might make your typical level 1, 6 goblin encounter pretty easy. If things are going too easy just throw some Giant Frogs at them :)


--Session 10 --

(really took place 2 weeks ago, I am *still* 2 sessions behind)

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Ifersh and Emmett Fletcher.

DM Note: Once again Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett handles Han (Han's player is out of town).

NPCs: Ilde, Han Wannabe and Spugnoir

The Plot: We left our party in the ToEE on the 1st level of the dungeon. They had cut a path of blood and carnage through some *more* temple minions and were in pretty good shape. They decide to be a little more tactful this session and try to avoid a pure hack and slash.

Recap: The party decides to gather up the Earth Temple robes from the slaughtered guards and put them on. The plan is to bluff their way through an encounter or two in order to get a better inventory of the baddies that lurk here. They head up from 130 westward, hoping to check out what lurks in the large room to the north marked 145.

They encounter a pit trap out in front of 149, and manage to avoid it since Han was leading the way. Skirting along the edges of the now exposed pit they enter 149 - which houses a contingent of human Earth temple guards. The room currently houses 15 guards, 2 sergeants and a commander. The noise of the pit trap falling is enough to cause the leader to confront the PCs as they come through the door. The earth robes give him pause, however and Han begins trying to feign stupidity on his part. He claims they are new recruits and didn't know about the trap, and that they'd be happy to reset it if he could just point
them to Romag for initiation. The bluff check is pretty solid, and the commander isn't exactly Inspector Gadget. After repairing the pit he allows them to continue on, pointing out that Romag is typically in his chambers or in the barracks near 137 or 136.

DMs Note: Security is a little lax in the temple in general, there isn't a really good code word system or ID card for membership. I don't push it too hard, the robes are good enough to get a chance to talk your way through. I assume thats why Gygax left them scattered around the original adventure. Had the party rested overnight after slaughtering the guards in 129, 130 I would have made this much tougher as news of an incursion would have made it around the Earth temple Facebook group.

The party heads north then decides to skip the mysterious 'big' room thinking it might be more than they could handle. They loop down around through 148 and head over to Romags chamber.

DMs Note: I've written Romag to be a bit of a comic book villian, constantly boasting, giving monologs and speeches. Loud, obnoxious but at the same time aloof.

The party wanders into the chamber from the north end. Startling Romag and his 2 curates, who are going over some paperwork.

“Wha...How did you get here? This is all wrong. You should not have come here.”

Han attempts to convince Romag that they are recruits, and are here to get to work.

“Ah, yes more recruits then. Perhaps this is not so bad being up here. I get all the fresh meat this way. I mean, quality recruits, of course. Please report through the door here to my commander.”

The party (bluffing, diplomacy) convinces Romag that they are no ordinary men-at-arms and that Dick Rentch sent them here personally. To this end Romag decides to test the party, before doing so of course he has to brag and gloat for a little bit.

my_script wrote:


“Very well then, welcome to the Earth Temple. I am Romag, the chief cleric here. If Rentsch sent you down, then I know you must be good. He doesn't waste his time with losers. Are you ready for some work?”

“I have a small (gritting his teeth) but irritating task I need you to do for me. You see, due to our superior numbers, (proudly) and the fact that we are currently the favored Temple here, we have victory banquets often in a large room to the west of here.” (The party may respond that they aren’t cooks).

“No, no. It's nothing like that. A giant snake has made its way into the kitchen off to the side of the room. The beast killed my best ogre chef. And now the rest of the ogres won't even go near there. Kill that damned reptile and throw it in the mess hall for everyone to see. Then finally, we could get a nice cooked meal again. It would mean a lot to the troops, too. It just shows how superior we really are here at the Earth Temple. No wonder everyone wants to join us.”

DM Note: In my opinion one of the best aspects of the ToEE adventure is pitting the factions of the temple against each other, and creating mayhem among them. All the temple faction leaders have a little more depth and personality in my script. The original gave you their THAC0 but not much on personality and mission. So with my input and some material from the computer game each temple leader has some tasks they need done and some special requests, there just in case the party wants to use a little guile and actually pose as recruits or mercenaries.

At this point Romag shuttles the PCs off to the room south of his chamber to get instructions from his troop commander (Hartsh). Han chats up a bit and they find the guards scrambling to figure out who killed the guards on the south side of the floor. Obviously it had to be that damn fire temple. Hartsh points out where the kitchen is and sends the PCs on through the main barracks down through 133.

DMs Note: This gives the party a pretty good feel for how many troops are left. They walk through 2 large barracks with 20-30 troops total.

The PCs make there way over to 120 on the west side without incident. The kitchen is a mess, tables are overturned and the place reeks of spoiled flesh. A mostly consumed ogre corpse with a giant white hat lies rotting on the north edge. Lurking underneath the mess is a Large Viper. The party dispatches it without too much effort. They lop it's head off and return to Romag. Romag is thrilled to have his kitchen back in use and also has confirmed that the party is at least minimally competent.

my_script wrote:


“This should not be too difficult. I need you to deliver this sealed note to Rentsch up at the Waterside Hostel in Nulb. And make sure it remains sealed!”

So the party decides it's a good time to tie up some loose ends in Nulb, off Dick Rentch and perhaps get some rest. The way back to Nulb a wilderness encounter rears it's head. This time it's a Bullette ... a HUGE Bullette. Using a combination of decent attack rolls, summoned meat shields and peppering it with ranged attacks they manage to subdue the land shark. It ripped a couple of decent chunks of HPs out of the party, and never got to use it's Leap special attack (I forgot :p). I don't remember all the details of this fight, only that the party was shocked that something so huge (the Huge Bullette from Giants of Legend) didn't completely cornhole them.

The party hits Nulb and has to decide what to do with the note. Whether to try and break the seal on the note and read it, or whether to hand it over and play along. The end plan is to just take Dick by surprise (?), they whisper the plan to the Cuthbert agent that has replaced Wat at the bar (which is fine by him, as tending bar is very un Cuthbert like). Figuring Dick is the biggest threat (?) they decide to go after him first. The patrons of the Waterside Hostel join in as do the barmaids (Rogues). Dala and Pearl are level 3 rogues, Dick is a level 5 fighter and he has a level 3 fighter as a henchman. The party stays out of sneak attack situations and eventually overwhelm the whole Waterside Hostel. They then loot Dick and his minions for some decent treasure. Schemp (the Cuthbert agent) is pleased to be able to report back to the church in Verbobonc. Ifersh decides the best plan is to bequeth the hostel to Preston Weltz, in exchange for the house he keeps trying to sell him. Preston is more than happy to become the inn owner. The party is respected by the pirates, and so is Preston. There's a good chance they'll let him run it without incident. The party are now pround home owners ! (no wonder there's a mortgage crisis). They decide to rest up in their new shack.


--Session 9 --

(really took place 4 weeks ago, I am *still* 3 sessions behind)

Attendance: Chopper Toughstick, Ifersh and Emmett Fletcher.

DM Note: It's too tough for me to manage the 3 NPC's so Chopper handles Spugnoir, and Emmett handles Han (Han's player is out of town). There won't be much in depth character exploration for those 2 characters ... but if you've been reading along there isn't much character exploration going on here anyway :)

NPCs: Ilde, Han Wannabe and Spugnoir

The Plot: We left our party in the ToEE on the 1st level of the dungeon. They had cut a path of blood and carnage through some temple minions and were a little beat-up and drained of spells.

Recap: The party decides to head back out to the burnt farmhouse to attempt to nab a quick 8-hours of shuteye. They hope that the confusion of what happened to the ogres and gnolls might be blamed on another temple faction.

DM Note: I let the rest go without any interruption. I would have liked to seen some creativity here, the PCs have fire temple robes - they could have planted some torn shreds of the robes and cemented the subterfuge. But alas, my players are still like newborn calves on the roleplaying farm.

The party descends back down to the dungeon level 1 area where they left off. They are in full on kick in the door mode and start heading towards 127, 128 and 129. Essentially a couple of rooms and a long diagonal corridor.

They encounter some Gnoll guards (4) in the first room and go Commando on them, however they don't mop them up in time to keep the rest of the gnoll guards (7 more) and their bugbear (Fighter) leader from storming in. The battle rages through in room 128, and mostly goes the parties way. The gnolls are struggling to hit Emmett, Chopper or Ilde and the encounter burns up some party resources but doesn't seriously threaten them.

They turn the corner to the diagonal hallway, and are rushed by a troope of Earth Temple human guards. These guys are a bit better armed and trained. Geometry is a mother f'er however and as the guards storm down the straight hallway it lines up a savage opportunity for Spugnoir's lightning bolt (or in 4th edition terms his "Thunderous Electroblast Arc Rage Encounter Power"). He manages to roll well for initiative as well and throttles a bunch of bad guys and softens up the leader. The bad guys (7 warrior 1's, 3 fighter 1's and a fighter 5) are bottle necked pretty badly and get peppered by range while the party holds the breech. The lead fighter gets through the choke point eventually and causes some pain but over all the party handled the fight pretty well. The loot isn't great, but the lead fighter had some good looking gear as well as a map of this level of the temple.

DMs Note: A couple of things are starting to pay dividends. One is Spugnoir always being able to touch attack for damage (and Spugnoir has Point Blank and Precise Shot), the Ranger taking Quick Draw is paying off also - he's able to shoot (w/ Point Blank and Precise) when it makes sense and seamlessly switch to being the parties melee beater. The monk still misses quite a bit, but it's hard to tell if it's just dice or not, his player certainly doesn't roll even average on attack rolls. The ranger at this point hates animals and humans and has taken Hunter's Bond with his party mates rather than a companion. At this point, not one party member has attempted anything resembling a Combat Manuever, and I can't say I blame them, it rarely seems to be the best course of action.

This was it. We burned some of the earlier part of the session on book keeping, and leveling up. So it was a couple of long brawls, and the party being relatively unscathed. There was some discussion about perhaps being a little more stealthy about their exploration after I dropped another 8 Earth Temple robes on them.

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