My 8th level party was almost killed by a 5th level expert


Shackled City Adventure Path

Scarab Sages

Ok, so the expert also happened to be a fire giant, but that’s besides the point. First I will set the scene, then ask for some advice.

Party Composition
Ander (8th level human wizard)
Torrek (8th level dwarven fighter)
Penelope (8th level Halfling rogue)
Dagmar (7th level dwarven cleric)
Gwydion (8th level human holy warrior)
Sorin (7th level shifter ranger/barbarian)

While the party is at a slightly lower than recommended level, we use a number of house rules to help bolster the group, including action points.

In our last session the party entered Vaprak’s Voice to find Alex Tercival. They were able to deal with the hill giants and ettins relatively easily. At this point the party decides to press on, instead of resting as the wizard’s player recommended. The cleric still had about half of his prepared spells, but by this point the human wizard was down to his wands and a few low level spells.

The party continues and faces Dugobras, the fire giant blacksmith. Even as he starts heaving fiery anvil pieces at the group, the two dwarves and the ranger decide to engage in melee, while the rest of the party hangs back using ranged attacks. Unfortunately, even Torrek’s optimized AC vs giants (at 37) wasn’t enough to keep Dugobras from pounding him into submission. When the dwarven fighter (the tank and meat shield as it were) went down (at 6 hit points and took about 27 points of damage), the party really kind of realized that they were doomed. Provoking an attack of opportunity, Sorin grabbed the dwarf’s body and tried to run. He got hit and was dropped to 1 hit point. The holy warrior decided to sacrifice himself by surrendering while the rest of the party fled.

Dugobras locked Gwydion up in the prototype cage and then chased down the party. Encumbered as they were Sorin and Dagmar were slow fleeing the ruins. Ander managed to escape and cast fly on himself to flee. Penelope managed to hide from the fire giant and wait for him to pass. At the exit to the ruins Dugobras caught up to Dagmar and killed him. He almost killed Sorin, but the ranger was able to just barely escape after dropping Torrek’s body.

Meanwhile, Penelope snuck back to check on Gwydion and found him locked up, she released him and the two snuck out, after Gwydion threw the cage into the magical fire, destroying it.

So here’s where we ended. Ander has fled, thinking he is the only survivor. He plans on resting and recovering spells, then returning to avenge his friends. Sorin is in the sewer pipes without a map trying to find his way out. Gwydion and Penelope have escaped but are still in the pit that houses Vaprak’s voice. Each of these 3 groups feels they are the only survivors of the massacre.

So now I need to figure out how to play this. The survivors don’t really plan on retreating back to Redgorge or Cauldron. I figure at the start of the next session (in 2 weeks) they will find each other so they can plan their attack. But, right now I have 2 dead characters and 2 players I don’t want to be sidelined for long. Ideally the group would like to rescue the bodies of Dagmar and Torrek so they can be raised (neither player wants to create a new character) but until that happens I need to find something to keep them involved in the game.

Any suggestions?


Frozen DM,

Sounds like that was a heck of session ending as far as running fights go. Hopefully, your group of players are jazzed to see how thing shake out, even with the two fallen party members.

To help with your players whose characters are awaiting recovery and resurrection, how about having a couple of other adventurers be in the area that your players could run for the session? These two adventurers could be operatives of the Church of St. Cuthbert looking for Alex, members of The Chisel sent for Alex, or just fortune hunters trying their hand in a very dangerous local. Just be certain that these new adventurers are going to be predisposed to helping the survivors take out the giant and recover their fallen companions. ;-)

To ease the burden on yourself, you could have your players design these temporary characters themselves, pending a review by you before the next session. Just give them the guidelines concerning the stats (I suggest the elite build since they’ll only be two of them), suitable classes for the two adventurers, level to be created at, starting funds to purchase equipment, limit on the money to be spent on magic items, etc.

Once the new characters are made for the limited run, have them come across the survivors and join forces, even if just for a limited time. If your group does well and recovers the fallen heroes quickly, you can have the new characters either make the journey back to Cauldron with the group or stay in the area based on what their original motivation for being there was. The important thing is that your players will still get to be participating and won’t be sitting idle on the sidelines while the survivors work at getting their bodies back.

Anyway, I hope that the above is helpful and let us know how things turn out.

Good gaming,
Mark

Scarab Sages

Marcos wrote:

Frozen DM,

Sounds like that was a heck of session ending as far as running fights go. Hopefully, your group of players are jazzed to see how thing shake out, even with the two fallen party members.

Yeah, the player's were pretty much on the edge of their seats trying to find any way of preventing a complete TPK at that point.

Marcos wrote:


To help with your players whose characters are awaiting recovery and resurrection, how about having a couple of other adventurers be in the area that your players could run for the session? These two adventurers could be operatives of the Church of St. Cuthbert looking for Alex, members of The Chisel sent for Alex, or just fortune hunters trying their hand in a very dangerous local. Just be certain that these new adventurers are going to be predisposed to helping the survivors take out the giant and recover their fallen companions. ;-)

This was one thing I was considering, I just want to make sure if I use this approach I don't make it seem like too much of a coincidence that they are in the area. I can't use the Chisel since I already established that the reason they asked the PC's to find Alex is that the Chisel's resources were stretched thin. I think another band of adventurers looking for glory might work.

Better yet, maybe I can tie them into a later part of the campaign, possibly a group looking for Spellweaver ruins.

Marcos wrote:


To ease the burden on yourself, you could have your players design these temporary characters themselves, pending a review by you before the next session. Just give them the guidelines concerning the stats (I suggest the elite build since they’ll only be two of them), suitable classes for the two adventurers, level to be created at, starting funds to purchase equipment, limit on the money to be spent on magic items, etc.

Yeah I might have them do that. I can have them generate out a couple of temp PC's (luckily, the two players are the two who most enjoy character creation in D&D, so I know they won't mind) and have them find the survivors. I might even make them the survivors of a different attack (demons most likely), so they band together for mutual survival & defense (and then the PC's can help them finish their quest which will net them some much needed extra XP).

thanks

Liberty's Edge

I'm not certain how you handled the PCs knowing that they killed. The adventure does offer Nidrama as a possible escape. She might have stabilized the PCs in order to protect them.

She does have the spell like ability to raise dead 1/day. If your PCs don't think it too strange, I would probably have the hags put the dead PCs on spikes outside the front door. She would raise dead first one and then the other.

They'd be in bad shape (probably without magical equipment) but they'd also probably have a strong desire to get revenge. Any items that weren't immediately useful might have also been put out.

Perhaps even better is if the hags put the dead PCs out in plain view as part of a trap. Nidrama doesn't want to raise them in a trap, but she can warn the PCs. They overcome the trap and she raises them over the next couple of days....

Good luck, in any case.


*ack* other survivors are too cliche, but since one of your pcs was in a cage, perhaps someone else also was. If not a pc then maybe a cleric with raise dead spells who will trade the spell for an escape (that's a two-for-one). Or perhaps the two are ghosts. A disembodied voice that only one of the other PCs can hear. They can not attack, defend, cast spells or anything, but can make spot and listen checks to help whichever of the groups they were fleeing with. I like the idea of an intelligent sword, perhaps hanging out in the sewers is such a blade. When in combat use the dead pc stats, when not in combat use the living pc stats. Lest this overpower the party, when the sword accomplishes its goal the "intelligence" will leave, leaving only a masterwork weapon. The goal could even be the slaying of the giant. This brings your party back to where they were before all the deaths O:)


How about the Stormblades helping out?
Felian and Fellorian (or whatever those darn elves names are)?

Scarab Sages

DeadDMWalking wrote:

I'm not certain how you handled the PCs knowing that they killed. The adventure does offer Nidrama as a possible escape. She might have stabilized the PCs in order to protect them.

Well the party's dwarf fighter was reduced to -21 hit points. As the rest of the party tried to escape, the dwarven cleric was reduced to -24. Eventually both bodies were left behind, and the last thing the ranger saw was Dugobras picking up their corpses and returning to Vaprak's Voice (I figure he would want to collect their weapons and armour for raw materials).

DeadDMWalking wrote:


She does have the spell like ability to raise dead 1/day. If your PCs don't think it too strange, I would probably have the hags put the dead PCs on spikes outside the front door. She would raise dead first one and then the other.

I considered Nidrama, mostly because both dwarves possess the Scion of Surabar trait. I'm not sure if I can justify her interference in mortal affairs, but I will consider this. I don't want to have her come to their rescue too much though, as I would like to see how the Player's resolve this problem on their own.

DeadDMWalking wrote:


They'd be in bad shape (probably without magical equipment) but they'd also probably have a strong desire to get revenge. Any items that weren't immediately useful might have also been put out.

Perhaps even better is if the hags put the dead PCs out in plain view as part of a trap. Nidrama doesn't want to raise them in a trap, but she can warn the PCs. They overcome the trap and she raises them over the next couple of days....

Good luck, in any case.

Yeah, definitely no equipment. The way I see it, the fire giant would be using their magical gear (mithril armour, cold iron axes, etc...) as raw materials for his full plate armour. Their other items will probably either be given to the hags as tokens, or kept with the rest of Dugobras' treasure.

Scarab Sages

Scott & Le Janke wrote:
*ack* other survivors are too cliche, but since one of your pcs was in a cage, perhaps someone else also was. If not a pc then maybe a cleric with raise dead spells who will trade the spell for an escape (that's a two-for-one). Or perhaps the two are ghosts. A disembodied voice that only one of the other PCs can hear. They can not attack, defend, cast spells or anything, but can make spot and listen checks to help whichever of the groups they were fleeing with. I like the idea of an intelligent sword, perhaps hanging out in the sewers is such a blade. When in combat use the dead pc stats, when not in combat use the living pc stats. Lest this overpower the party, when the sword accomplishes its goal the "intelligence" will leave, leaving only a masterwork weapon. The goal could even be the slaying of the giant. This brings your party back to where they were before all the deaths O:)

This is an interesting idea. I already established that the holy warrior was the only person caged (in the prototype soul cage) so other prisoners would have to be elsewhere in the ruins. Maybe a prisoner of the hags.

We also considered the idea of ghosts, maybe even make us of ghostwalk, but neither player is very interested in that approach. Right now they seem to prefer creating either new characters, or temporary characters that can be used as part of the rescue mission.

Scarab Sages

DMFTodd wrote:

How about the Stormblades helping out?

Felian and Fellorian (or whatever those darn elves names are)?

I considered the Stormblades (since they've actually "saved" the party a few times, mostly as a running nuisence) but I already established that they were being sent on a mission by Lord Vhalanthru to recover an ancient text. This plays into their next appearance in the Cathedral of Wee-Jas in chapter 7.

The Striders may be another possibility, although I have the same difficulty of introducing them at this point as I would introducing any other adventurers in the area.


Gwydion? Gwydion?! Hey, that's my character's name, and he's not even a D&D character!

I demand satisfaction! A roll off, at twenty paces, for the honor of bearing such a distinguished appellation. Choose your die, sir!


Devilfish wrote:

Gwydion? Gwydion?! Hey, that's my character's name, and he's not even a D&D character!

I demand satisfaction! A roll off, at twenty paces, for the honor of bearing such a distinguished appellation. Choose your die, sir!

Indeed. ;)

Scarab Sages

Gwydion wrote:
Devilfish wrote:

Gwydion? Gwydion?! Hey, that's my character's name, and he's not even a D&D character!

I demand satisfaction! A roll off, at twenty paces, for the honor of bearing such a distinguished appellation. Choose your die, sir!

Indeed. ;)

I will definitely speak to my player about this, I had no idea that he was going around usurping other identites for his own purposes, although I assure you, he has only the noblest of intentions :-)


Frozen DM wrote:
Gwydion wrote:
Devilfish wrote:

Gwydion? Gwydion?! Hey, that's my character's name, and he's not even a D&D character!

I demand satisfaction! A roll off, at twenty paces, for the honor of bearing such a distinguished appellation. Choose your die, sir!

Indeed. ;)

I will definitely speak to my player about this, I had no idea that he was going around usurping other identites for his own purposes, although I assure you, he has only the noblest of intentions :-)

*grins* Well, as long as he's not a shapeshifting, lecherous demigod with a tendency to get into brawls, he should be fine.

Sovereign Court

My players will likely face this guy next game (which sadly won't be for another 2-3 weeks).

It should be a challenging fight. Even though the dwarf will have a 36 AC vs him, that first +25 attack has a good chance of hitting and with Dugo's 250ish hit points he should be able to dish out some hurtin while they take him down.

Scarab Sages

Talon Stormwarden wrote:

My players will likely face this guy next game (which sadly won't be for another 2-3 weeks).

It should be a challenging fight. Even though the dwarf will have a 36 AC vs him, that first +25 attack has a good chance of hitting and with Dugo's 250ish hit points he should be able to dish out some hurtin while they take him down.

Not to mention the amount of damage this guy can dish out in a single round. Being able to do anywhere from 19-33 points of damage per hit (not to mention criticals) can take out even the sturdiest fighter in a couple of rounds. I hope your spellcasters have cold magic, or enchantments with high DC's prepared, because he's a tough encounter without them. Even worse is if he manages to grab a PC and toss them into the magical flames. The biggest reason my group got defeated was that the wizard was out of spells and none of the character's were buffed


Well, nearly the same thing just happened tonight. The party faced Dugobras--they had some buffs prepared and some cold spells ready and used fairly good tactics, but two PCs were killed deader than doornails and the rest were chewed up really bad---and the party was higher level than 8th on average and had more characters as well. +26 to hit for 2d8+17 damage, full round attack to boot is just a tough one for an 8th level party to swallow. I think Dugobras might be just a wee bit unbalanced for that level--the party had no trouble with the hags and even the glabrezu didn't press them into a corner as hard as that fire giant did.


This is weird. Last week my players and I ran through this encounter. I've [u]never[/u] had a fight last this long. Ten whole rounds.

Our group had some of the same problems. When we first started the Shackled City, I made a deal with my players that if I was going to stick with the same campaign for an extended period of time, they needed to devote themselves to the same characters. So, the rule was that if they died they could either get the character raised or start over at 1st level.

And so it came to pass that the group consisted of:
Torick Ironforge (2nd/2nd/2nd/2nd Dwarven Rogue/Cleric/Fighter/Shadowbane Stalker) [Don't Ask...]
Darthon Starke(8th/1st/1st Human Paladin/Rogue/Shadowbane Inquisitor)
Aust of Kingfisher Hollow (2nd/2nd Half-Elf Ranger/Sorcerer)
Celestina Rethwellan (8th/2nd Elven Cleric/Morninglord of Lathander)
and
Zraela Tauladrym (4th Half-Drow Bard)

We had some friends visiting who wanted to join our group. Never again. Like an infusion of pure Chaos, they were. I'd never actually seen Munchkin players in action before.

Grapthar (1st Human Fighter) and Abi (1st/8th Human Fighter/Rogue)
Rather than actually fight Dugobras they immediately tried to grab whatever wasn't nailed down.

Now notice all these Rogues. You'd think they would flank him to get at least +4d6 damage per round. No. Perhaps the Paladin would smite him? No, he wasted all his smites on the Imp at the entrance. I kid you not. The only ones doing damage were the Dwarf (equipped with the Dwarven Thrower hammer he got from Zenith) and the Elf (Lathander bless touch attacks on giants and their ridiculously low ACs).

The Paladin kept going solo into melee. He would make a charge attack, get beaten into unconsciousness, get healed and wake up. Rinse, lather, repeat. This happened three times, each time the party told him to get out of melee, because it wasn't working and he was giving them a -4 penalty on their ranged attacks. On the fourth time, he got beaten to -22 hp with one attack.

Finally they dropped the Fire Giant below 0 hp, and the Dwarf got a nice coup-de-grace moment. Dugobras mutters "Sisters... I failed you..." To which Torick replies: "The sisters are dead a**h*le... and so are you! *WHAM!*

Scarab Sages

In our last session we finally dealt with the results of the near-TPK against Dugobras.

The surviving members of the party managed to regroup at the entrance to the old tunnels that lead into Vaprak’s Voice. They decided to mount a rescue operation and at least try to recover the bodies of their fallen comrades. At this point, the surviving party consists of Ander (Wizard), Sorin (Ranger), Penelope (Rogue) and Gwydion (Holy Warrior).

The party makes their way through the tunnels to Vaprak’s Voice. Before exiting the pipe, the wizard casts invisibility on himself, Penelope and Gwydion, while Sorin takes an invisibility potion.

The party sneaks around to the rear entrance and shifts the wooden wall aside and enters the ruins. Inside they find signs that the bodies of the hill giants and ettins had been taken care of, they also hear the sound of someone working at a forge.

The plan is for the party to sneak up to the fire giant, the ranger (who has the fastest movement) to distract him while the other recover the bodies of their friends. Penelope decides to sneak ahead, which causes the door to the forge to open. She sneaks in as Dugobras realizes something is wrong. He manages to use his wand of displacement, and then strains to hear. He gets an idea of where the Halfling may be, and tries to use his wand of dispel magic. He can’t get it to work however. The group is disappointed to find that the bodies of their friends are not in the workshop.

The rest of the party watches as Dugobras keeps trying to find the intruder into his lair. He finally manages to get the wand of dispel magic off, and dispels the invisibility on Penelope. Luckily, at this point she was already around a corner, so the giant did not know where she was.

However, she soon set off a trap that had been set on a nearby door, alerting Dugobras to her presence. He tries to go after her, but the wizard sets down a cloud kill spell between them. The rest of the party moves to intercept the Halfling, while Dugobras eventually manages to dispel the cloud.

Eventually, the ranger’s invisibility is broken and he leads the giant on a chase outside of the ruins, giving the rest of the party a chance to explore Vaprak’s Voice. They eventually discover that the ettins and hill giants had been raised as zombies, and guard parts of the ruins. They also find the room with the elixir, but resist the urge to try it.

Because they were able to sneak this far into the ruins, they surprised the 3 hags and despite a challenging battle were able to defeat them. They also found the bodies of their two fallen dwarven companions.

Meanwhile, outside of Vaprak’s Voice, Dugobras has been throwing boulders at the fleeing ranger, and manages to knock him unconscious (almost killing him).

The party takes the bodies of their companions, and the hag’s treasure, and leaves Vaprak’s Voice. They also recover the unconscious ranger. They avoid a third encounter with the giant. They force march back through the tunnels and towards Redgorge hoping to be able to raise their friends.

That night, in the halls of the dwarven heavens, the spirits of the two dwarves, Dagmar and Torrek, encounter the spirit of Surabar Spellmason. He tells them that their battle is not complete and that he can interfere on their behalf this one time. Nidrama appears in an effort to prevent a breach of Celestial law, but she is rebuked by Surabar, who uses his power to restore Torrek and Dagmar to life. He also tells them that finding Alex is vital and that they will soon meet another that they must follow, despite what their best instincts might say. The fate of Cauldron could depend on it.

So now the party is preparing for their final foray into Vaprak's Voice. And I'm sure they will spend between now and the next session brainstorming ways of deafeating the giant.


Frozen DM,

It was good to hear that your group came back and were successful recovering their friends with some solid preparation and just a wee bit of luck. :-) I especially liked your use of Surabar to enable the dwarves’ resurrections along with using the encounter with Cauldron’s founder to foreshadow the things to come. I wish you continued success with your campaign and I look forward to hearing how your group finally takes down Dugobras.

Good gaming,
Mark

Scarab Sages

Marcos wrote:

Frozen DM,

It was good to hear that your group came back and were successful recovering their friends with some solid preparation and just a wee bit of luck. :-) I especially liked your use of Surabar to enable the dwarves’ resurrections along with using the encounter with Cauldron’s founder to foreshadow the things to come. I wish you continued success with your campaign and I look forward to hearing how your group finally takes down Dugobras.

Good gaming,
Mark

Well at the moment the players are furiously e-mailing each pother back and forth trying to come up with a possible plan of attack. So far they seem to focusing on a plan where, invisible and silenced, the rogue sneaks in and tries to catch him asleep to try and coup-de-gras him.

However, I've been thinking about Dugobras' motivations at this point. The hags are dead, so he is no longer bound to work with them. And at this point I don't think the demons of the Demonscar will have contacted him yet. He only wishes to use the magical forge to build his armour. So what I'm thinking of doing, is when the PC's approach for the 3rd time, they will find a message from the giant offering them a chance to talk. I don't think the players will be at all prepared for a possible diplomatic solution, but I'm sure our noble/wizard will enjoy the chance.

This also gives the PC's a chance to approach Alek Tercival and the final encounter in the adventure with full resources. I just haven't decided yet if the giant is going to return the equipment from the two dead dwarves, or if he will keep it as raw materials to use in fashioning his armour.


My players faced off against the diguised hags and Dugobrass yesterday. They had already killed two of the hags and were close to finishing off the last one when one player strayed to Dugobrass's area and drew him into the fray. It was a close one for the players. They ended up using levitation and spiderclimbing in the 60' tall room to get out of melee range once the fire giant had pummeled the fighter-types into submission.

The cleric was trapped in a forcecage by the hags using their covey powers early in the fight. He still was able to indirectly help because the main tank fighter had a shield other spell cast on him by the cleric, who was thus taking half the damage inflicted on the fighter. Even so, the fighter ended up withdrawing from the fight and using a cloak of arachnida to escape up a wall. The fighter/barbarian/monk in the group used spring attack effectively until he was the only one left directly confronting the giant. The spellcasters were all levitating or flying about and throwing down spell after spell on the giant. But it still took a long time for them to bring the giant down to low hit points.

Finally Dugobrass saw that the player character's tactics had removed his advantages, so he started to withdraw to heal himself with his wand of cure wounds, but as he left, the bard of all people let loose with two arrows (he was hasted) and hit with both, including a critical, killing the giant. The bard hardly ever engages in physical commbat, and when he does he is usually not very effective (though he has save the party's behinds many times with charm spells and diplomacy), so everyone was amazed that he killed the toughest melee monster they've fought yet.


Yea. Dugobras was fun. I almost killed a few of the PC's. I'm mostly a kind Dm and a few hits that would have killed the warrior types instead sundered their weapons. Which drew replies such as "I would rather have been killed". I stuck the dwarf hammer fighter in the forge, twice. What fun it was. The artificer fled, again. And the Healer spent all her spells. The paladin wasted several smites on the displacement effect. So much fun. And to think I almost made Dugrobras an Artificer instead of an expert. Yea!

Liberty's Edge

Frozen DM wrote:
While the party is at a slightly lower than recommended level, we use a number of house rules to help bolster the group, including action points.

This is usually the problem with the CR system. If your party isn't of the correct CR for an encounter or has more people than expected, then the balance between multiple, weaker creatures and one equal-or-higher CR creature is rather noticable, and often leathal.

My suggestions for future:

1. Keep an eye out for the other single-combattant "boss" type encounters and adjust them if needed.

2. Consider developing a side-adventure to give the players some experience between chapters.

As for what to do right now... I suggest just letting the PCs figure it out. Presumably, they will realize that they need to employ some help in getting back up to speed, so let them suggest how they're going to do that. This should make them feel a bit better about the encounter.

Scarab Sages

ajs wrote:

2. Consider developing a side-adventure to give the players some experience between chapters.

This is one thing I'm trying to figure out now. As it is, they will not be at the correct level for Test of the Smoking eye. I would like to introduce a side adventure at this point to help boost their level (probably 1-2 levels for some PCs). However, I also don't want to lose the momentum that happens between the defeat of Nabthatron (assuming the group survives) and Kauphoron's appearance.

Ideally I would like to have them stranded in the desert for a time, although that will depend on whether the wizard learns teleport as his 5th level spell when he levels up or not. I'm thinking I might introduce Kauphoron have him plane shift them to an abyssal portal town (time to dig out my planescape books) and have them try to reach Occipitus from there. I'm thinking I might make Occipitus a much more restricted plane until someone passes the test of the smoking eye.

Then I can run a small side adventure and try to get the party back to a level that will let them continue along the adventure path.

Dark Archive

Dugobras is tough, and I was concerned what he would do to just three players. However it says specifically he is not looking for a fight. He just wants to use his pay from helping the Ebon Triad to make himself a suit of Masterwork Full Plate. He just likes to use the spellweaver furnance to help with smelting and forging, because it gets so hot. In theory he could work adamantine in it.

My players, including one who is a blacksmith, just chatted to him. They found out about one of the Cagewrights too, the one who abandoned the Ebon Triad, although in the ET context (it explained where the skulvyn had come from at least). Basically they roleplayed :) It was a nice change of pace, the palyers had essentially slaughtered their way through the jungle, and then ettins and hill giants, and now they could have a chat with someone.

Yeah, I know, it suprised me as well :) The Saint Cuthbertian talk shop about smithing, and how long it would take Dugobras to make some custom specification masterwork heavy maces (to help arm the church, he inetdns to have them enchanted). He shared a keg of his dwarven mead with him as smithing is thirsty work, even for fire giants :) He was enlarged at the time as well so Dugobras didn't think of him as a little person. The Wee Jasian admired the prototype cage and discussed whether Dugrobras would be able to schedule in any masterwork crafting should he need materials to enchant, happy to pay of course. The paladin was confused, Dugobras was evil, but wasn't doing anything evil, and was clearly a very skilled smith who just happened to craft for coin. Perhaps he could be redeemed and stop making raw materails for evil employers? Being evil is not justification to kill on sight :)

And that was that. The players left him in peace and generally thought he seemed decent enough and where glad they hadn't been forced to fight him. As a further development they killed Nabthatoron (dimensional anchors, demon dirge, storm of law, holy storm etc) so Dreghakus is in charge and the hags are dead. Dugobras will most likely leave the Demonskar, I might have him turn up at Cauldron and ask after the PCs, saying they where interested in commisioning some work :)

Scarab Sages

Craig Shannon wrote:

Dugobras is tough, and I was concerned what he would do to just three players. However it says specifically he is not looking for a fight. He just wants to use his pay from helping the Ebon Triad to make himself a suit of Masterwork Full Plate. He just likes to use the spellweaver furnance to help with smelting and forging, because it gets so hot. In theory he could work adamantine in it.

Well here's the result of my player's planning. They returned to Vaprak's Voice, where they found one of the player's shields hanging from the main gate and a note attached inviting them in to talk. I decided Dugobaras was tired of the fighting, and wished only to complete his work in peace, especially now that the hags were killed.

The party, still cautious, let the invisibile, silenced rogue sneak in. When she got to Dugobaras' room, she found him asleep on his throne. She managed to sneak up and steal the wands he carries on him. Then she decided to open the treasure chest.

She failed to notice it was trapped (by 1 point too) and it explodes, immediately waking up the giant. He is angered at be woken up, but manages to calm himself. He eventually goes to the dungeon entrance and tells the group that he has no interest in fighting and killing them over and over again. He just wishes to be left alone. He even returns the belongings of their fallen friends as a means of trying to deal with them.

The group accepts his offer, arms themselves, buffs up and returns to his room. While the holy warrior and wizard try to talk with the giant, the dwarves (invisible and silenced as well) sneak up behind him. The wizard angers the giant, and as he moves in to grab him, the dwarves attack. At this point, the giant is unarmoured (his armour was destroyed by the explosion from the chest) and lacks his wands. He goes down pretty quickly.

The player's eventually make their way to Alek and encounter Nabthatoron. Sadly, they make short work of him too, but that was due to one player rolling about 4-5 natural 20's in the one fight (suspiciously lucky, but he always rolls 20's when things start looking bad for the group), while smiting and using deadshot (a ranged combat ability from Book of the Righteous) which was actually against the rules. I'm not too pleased about that result, but haven't decided how to handle things. I've decided to let the defeat stand, but I still want Nabthatoron to be a threat to the party, so demonic possession is now an idea I'm toying with.

Dark Archive

They broke parley? Deary me, guess they are chaotic or the dwarves worship Clanggeddin :) Certainly not a lawful act. Oh well, at least you tried to get them to chat to him :) I must admit I went with the whole eloquence thing, mind you he has only 13 Cha and +19 Intimidate but I guess I was playing him +19 Diplomacy :) I think playing him so relaxed meant the PCs where worried about how tough he was.

One thing is XP. My players know that if the negotiate and deal with a hostile encounter I will award them XP for avoiding it through non-violence. They also know that if they meet an non-hostile encounter, but get added benefit (learning of Grehlia more specifically in thius case) I will also award full XP. This makes being non-bloodthirsty and lawful easier on them as they still advance. They may not get as much treasure, but they still level up :)

Scarab Sages

Yeah, both dwarves are chaotic good worshippers of Clanggeddin, although the holy warrior and wizard are both lawful. On the other hand, they didn't join the fight until after the dwarves attacked. I still might consider how their alignment will slowly be drifting, since the group as a whole tends towards the chaotic.

I really wanted to use him as a means of feeding the party some information on the Cagewrights and possibly Alek. Up until now they've been pretty good at talking to certain NPC's, but this time around, the group was adamant that they would kill the giant, no matter what. They know I give full xp for nagotiating encounters as well, but they had vengeance on their minds.

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