|Douglas Muir 406|
SPOILERS for an encounter in In Search of Sanity. If you're going to play through this module, stop here.
The Argus Wall is written as having hardness 10, 40 hit points, and a break DC of 23. The surface heals 2 hit points every round. If any part of the wall is attacked, the eye’s pupil sprouts fangs and immediately attempts to attack any creature within 5 feet (+2 attack, 1d8 damage).
Okay, even granted that it's an object with AC 5, a group of second level PCs are gong to have a hell of a time with this. If they try hacking, they'll need to dish out attacks doing 13+ points of damage to even dent this thing. (Not dpr! Individual attacks.) Unless they have a raging power-attacking barbarian, that won't be easy; and then they'll have to keep it up for probably 10 rounds or more, while the eye screams in agony. Good for SAN checks, I guess, but...
Holy water I guess would bypass the Hardness? So if you had a dozen flasks, you could probably kill it that way.
A Strength check is a bit more promising; a character with 16 STR and an assist has a 15% chance of doing it. If you have a bard, that's 20%; a raging barbarian, 25% or 30%. Have two or three different PCs try, with assists, and it's not inconceivable. Still not great odds.
The other way past it is to use the mirror. I get that the creature's single line of speech is a clue, but it's not an incredibly obvious clue, and there's no check the PCs can roll (Arcana?) to give them a hint.
If you've played or run this: how have you seen people deal with this haunt?
No planchettes, and I think Medium is the only class with really low level haunt interaction.
That said, this was the haunt my players got most easily. (Well, player- I've got one particular player who works out haunts, sometimes with a clue.) The cries of "What am I become?" were enough for them to figure out that they should show it what it has become. The group comes across two mirrors, so it might help to emphasize them when they come across them. Having the wall repeat itself with emphasis might help. A knowledge check could reveal that its nature- mostly a giant eye- suggests that any way to deal with it will involve sight, vision, or images. (An illusion of itself should work as well.)
Oh, and make sure they know that it's a haunt. K:Religion for haunt details in general, K:Planes for info on this particular haunt.
The haunt rules say that GMs can allow communication with a haunting spirit:
working out a series of codes (such as one rap for “yes” and two for “no”) or by calling out words, numbers, and letters for selection by the spirits.
Such messages can be formed at the rate of 1d10 words for each minute a character makes a successful Linguistics check, with a DC equal to 15 + the original haunt’s CR. Such communications are typically unreliable and cryptic, never conveying knowledge beyond what the spirit knew in life.
Then it says that planchettes, ouijas, and other gear like that, increase the rate to 3d6 words per minute. But a piece of chalk, or simply rap x1,rap x2, could work.
Now, this is,supposed to work with inactive haunts (0hp) but if your party doesn't get the clue of "what have I becone?", this can be a thematic way to continue
|Benchak the Nightstalker Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8|
|Alexander Augunas Contributor|
My players were really paranoid after one of them checked out behind the currents, got attacked by it once, and ran away. So since only one player had seen it, the others were like, "How do we check this out without getting attacked?" So the skald says, "Well, I bought a hand mirror. Why don't I stick it under the curtain so we can see it and maybe identify it?"
And that was the end of the Argus Wall. Anticlimactic, but REALLY satisfying because it taught my players to look for clues in the asylum to deal with the other haunts. And of course they loved the irony of the situation.
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My players tried several different things before finally defeating it with a mirror.
They tried holy water, clerical channeling, shooting it from a distance with missile weapons, and finally misinterpreting the "what am I become" to mean the Argus Wall was not happy with it's appearance, so they applied cosmetics to it. (Yes....it was surreal). They then accidentally dispelled it by showing it itself in the mirror after they applied the substitute eye-shadow, etc.
It was hilarious.
My players tried shooting it down (for no effect, hardness 10 and regeneration 2 is close to impossible for low level parties unless you enter in melee range and use a sledge hammer or similar). They tried to answer the wall's question, saying things like "a wall", "a monster", "an eye", etc.
Then one player with sensitive mind tried to use Psychometry on it, and I used it to reinforce the "what am I become" thing, telling the player that he felt what the wall felt, which was a deep desire to know his appearence. And that everything was silent while he was doing it.
They finally connected the dots, and used the steel mirror to defeat it.