Weirdly I did slow things a little :
Corinstian didn’t join in on round one
2 of the bone devils were delayed by the song of silver
Thrune was delayed one round because they but barriers up
I never brought in Zella and her priests
Round 4 priests have not shown up
Norgorber guys have walked in at end of round 6 so effectively 7
But splitting was crazy
I do think the guy who jumped down thought he would be joined
The Kineticist can now “ride the blast” so should have been able to follow really really easily (and get back if needed).
Indeed he should have followed in the surprise round and then on round one two of them would have unloaded some full attacks and some of the early road blocks would be out
Basically everyone made some mistakes
But I think I will brief them on some of roguerogue’s points. I did this before when they had a torrid time with midnight mirror (which is quite brutal)
Thanks to everyone for the advise from my previous game where my group triggered the whole temple
We played it out at the weekend and I started by withdrawing Thrune and the Gardener completely and having Grivenner withdraw to the fire to buff and heal
The skinsaw cultists showed up and they were still terrified of the Jorogumo from previous experience
It was a grueling encounter which they got out of. One character triggered the Song of Silver Breath of Life after getting hit by a critical Slay Living. The high priest is dead but the vampire will still be around as she was merely forced to retreat to her coffin in gaseous form
So the ritual is effectively out of the window as not only is the high priest dead but I don't think there are 5 devils left. So my assumption is now Thrune just wants to try and eliminate the PCs when they next come after him hoping that will break the rebellion
I quite like the idea of them fighting him three times with the final one being in the Belfry. I think I am going to have to wing where he attacks them prior to that and hope he can either be bailed out or teleport away if they do get the upper hand
Relatively minor question :
Does anyone have any suggestions about replacing the ioun stones (cursed and uncursed) in the temple shop. I am using ABP so I ideally need a good faith item and something that is a "no-brainer" can be disguised as a stone of weight
There aren't many items that are as big a "no-brainer" as the stat boosts. I found this when replacing the Book 2 gifts
I mean I could try and use a different cursed item or ditch this part altogether
I was just interested in ideas
In an interesting development from the aftermath of the fight:
I have a player who is playing an ex-Red Mantis. He apparently didn't follow through on his final mission to murder someone in Kintargo and actually stayed in town and married that person
He never really explained to me why they wouldn't have killed him for this but I have left it hanging
Anyway I forgot that I put all the prisoners taken in the Keep so wanted someone for the Hellwasps. For dramatic effect I killed of the character's twin sister who is still a Red Mantis (and with whom he isn't on amazing terms)
He wants to send a note back to Red Mantis HQ to say "Stop sending Mantis after Thrune, I will eliminate him and then hand myself over to you".
What he doesn't know:
- The Red Mantis never sent the sister to take on Thrune in my current interpretation (legitimate authority and all that)
- My idea is that the sister has been covering for him for all these years (perhaps even getting the organisation to believe he was dead)
- Thrune get eliminated as far as the party knows at the end of Book 4 and the signs of him coming back do not appear until Book 6
I have no problem with people retiring their character if they think their story has reached a natural end. But in this case he would be somewhat unwittingly doing it. But it is tricky to discuss this all without revealing the plot
However what I am not factoring in is that if I recall correctly there are ritual notes in the temple and Thrune doesn't have a heart. So that might stay his hand. If not I will have to just have it so he is not immediately executed by the Red Mantis and perhaps let him play Book 5 as a different character...
(Assuming he doesn't die in 4 but Kineticist with very high Con, ability to be at range, buffer of non lethal before death and the Song of Silver Breath of Life means that is unlikely)
I just thought I would share some of the weirdness! I don't think the fallout for this would crystallize for quite some time yet!
My game has been stalled a bit due to life and schedules
I am interested in how people ended (or plan to end) this volume.
I understand cutting the the bridge fight as written as that doesn't feel right
But defeating Thrune and then going to the Belfry and exorcising the bells doesn't feel climatic either
I have Thrune being the only major NPC from the main temple being alive but my players are taking liberties with how many times they are leaving and coming back so I feel like I should do something. I completely missed the part about the Resurrection scroll on my many readthroughs. So I might bring him back. I am not sure what he would do given a large chunk of the temple have been beaten
At the very least I might reduce some of the treasury and have him bind a Barbed devil to service (as 1E doesn't support 4 on 1 fights especially with Hex spamming witches)
My plan had been to have a Thrune attack during the final clear out phase of the temple (they have all of the top floor except the clay golems and hell hounds to do). Then have him flee to the Belfry
I really wanted him in the Belfry so I can have him monologue to explain the cool story (and name) and Asmoden and muse on who will be "next" for a similar fate
But him plus the Belfry inhabitants would certainly be a TPK without NPC allies. Perhaps 2 waves? Have him fight after the Asmoden. In that case I would need some allies with him to prevent a 4 on 1 mugging. Does anyone have any suggestions? Perhaps some Erinyes from a early triggering of the bells would be the best fit (maybe advanced)
But thinking on it I would want the order to be:
- Beat Asmoden and Herecites
- Exorcise Bells (hopefully they have the spells!)
- Fight Thrune
So that Erinyes idea might not work...
I meandered into thoughts about what I am going to do
But what about everyone else?
I think I saw DM Living mention having the Asmoden come down to the Nave?
I have seen another talk about cutting the bridge and the Belfry
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I didn't have the PCs clear out the belfry because I felt that the defeat of Thrune had to be the climax of the book.
As part of the epilogue of the book they used NPC allies / high priestesses / priests of the various good faiths clear it out as it served as a way to get the different churches to all work together, which lead to each of them starting to use the church afterwards.
If you REALLY want to keep it in, shift it to the beginning of book 5 (or at least make it look like it's what kicks off book 5).
Maybe during the Silverspan celebration the bells peal and don't stop, which should cause the PCs to investigate, then run it as written.
As for Thrune being the only main bad guy left, I don't know what's been going on in your game or what the current situation is, but my initial thought is to get Thrune out of the temple, have him get back-up in the form of devils and/or like-minded NPCs, and have him bring the fight to the PCs. Make it so that the players don't feel like they can keep running away. Have him get a bunch of devils to start running though the streets killing random citizens as they're trying to find the PCs, have Thrune supporters (Chelish Citizens Group, Hellknights, Dottari, random citizens) beating up regular citizens and rioting against the rebellion.
For NPCs for Thrune to recruit, maybe the head of House Sarini is a level-appropriate sorcerer? Maybe Nidal sends some people to help Thrune?
Put so much pressure on them that they're aware that if they keep attacking and running away many, MANY citizens are going to die.
I just realized that Team Thrune has access to an orb of storms (p. 54, the vault). The weather thing is very flavorful, but when exactly should they use the 1/month storm of vengeance ability?
And, if used in the city, how many civilians should die from:
* 1d6 acid (no save) over 360' radius (or 407,150 foot area, or 16,256 tactical squares)?
* lightning bolt to 6 buildings?
* 5d6 bludgeoning (no save) over 360' radius (or 407,150 foot area, or 16,256 tactical squares)?
I ordinarily would just say "lots" but we're tracking citizen deaths at this point in the AP.
Depending on how aggressive Thrune is and how dangerous the streets are, I'd probably only roll a D100.
I'd pick this because a) it's likely that there aren't a lot of people outdoors and b) people would likely be able to get to cover pretty quickly before taking enough damage to die. (Most NPCs have a least a level or two of "commoner")
Edit: I only responded to the acid rain damage.
For the lightning, perhaps use the event where buildings are lit on fire?
Hailstones, MAYBE another D100 people as most would've definitely made under cover by then but anyone that doesn't is very likely dead.
In my campaign, this will be a "twist of the knife" event. If all goes according to plan, the PCs successfully run their barricades scenes to defeat the waves of soldiers, Hell Knights, and devils. Think "Les Miserables But They Win." THEN, the BBEG uses the orb to decimate their neighborhood anyway, right in the heart of the Old Kintargo street rebellion. THEN, the PCs get to go on offense against the BBEG thoroughly hating him.
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PCs stormed the temple of Asmodeus, interrupting the ritual and forcing Corinstian to fight them. Barzillai tried a distraction play: mounting the dragon and flying out to lay waste to the city.
I had Corinstian summon the biggest scariest devil he could (one single pit fiend). The party tried to run past it and attack the high priest directly but the first AoO from the pit fiend is a huge crit and kills their dawnflower-bard. The magus made it past the fiend though and rolled a spellstrike crit, killing Corinstian.
Their paladin, juiced up on every spell and potion imaginable pursued the dragon and with the party's archer + Ellia Nones (gunslinger from Scourge of Belial) rolling some hot crits (guns crit x4 remember), the dragon was brought down. Barzillai survives the crash, greater-commands Ellia to face him, and does a full attack with that mace of his, critting twice, leaving her at -30 hp super-dead.
This enrages Cassius, her captain, who was also outside the temple at this time fighting, and he charges Barzillai, rolling yet another crazy crit and leaves Thrune at -20 hp. Incapped but not dead, the paladin drops onto him and chops him to pieces, finally killing him at -200hp.
Crazy fight. Largely decided by massive crits. Goodtimes.