Same group as Tower of the Black Pearl. After the tower the dwarf wanted to do some mining. The group also wanted to find out more about the pearl and its history. I gave them three hooks: sell the pearl in town to an underground buyer Billy found, travel up the coast to Thelport and see a sage at the wizards guild, or kill a man eating beast that took over an old silver mine on Barren Hill. Once I mentioned a silver mine away they went inland to kill the man eating beast.
All 2nd level
1/2 orc barbarian
dwarf magic user
NPC Olof human cleric of pelagia
Even with the help of a cleric I had real concerns about a TPK so I nerfed the final encounter a bit. I dropped the bear cubs and ditched the flood of water. Honestly I ditched almost all of the druids help. Normally I don't do this but I just started this group and wanted them to have some success before I started to kill them all off. This fight was a death trap. Michael Tresca did a fantastic job of turning a bear into a monster.
The group went inland a day to a farming community and were greeted by the men folk. After being laughed at for going against the beast of barren hill and warned that it couldn't be tracked, trapped, or killed the adventure started.
They entered the cave and searched around a bit then went down the tunnel. The rogue set off the shrieker by throwing oil on it and setting it on fire. After that the 1/2 orc jumped the pit because he loves to jump. The rest made it across one way or another just in time for the rogue to spring the trap. I wanted to give them a chance to outrun the boulder just like Indiana Jones so everyone got a chance to jump the pit and run to the first cave. Olof is the only one to fail and falls into the pit. I can't believe the dwarf makes it but a natural 20 came at the right time. This would be his only good roll of the night. I swear this guys dice are cursed
. This is when I had the goblins come in and attack. The 1/2 orc charged in and just wrecked everything for the goblins. This ambush quickly went south and Bagosh ended up running away as the only survivor.
They were convinced that the tunnel led somewhere and worked together to push the boulder back over the pit. They then used the pitons they had to lock it in place. Olof was rescued at this time also and healed himself of damage. They were ticked that the tunnel was a dead end and took 20's to find the secret door. The fire trap is set off by the rogue then the group moves down the tunnel. I don't know why but I thought the dotted lines on the map were a slope and not a tunnel. The PC's were supposed to swim through and up into the bear's lair. I screwed this part all up and it just slowed things down so I moved on and had the bear attack. I don't know why it makes no sense, but I just had it in my head that this was a slope and that was that.
The bear's frightful presence scared the 1/2 orc and dwarf off and left the rogue and cleric to do the fighting. The cleric was the victim of a full attack and was torn in half after a rend. The rogue ran around and fought the bear until the rest of the group recovered their wits. The 1/2 orc and his axe do most of the work along with the rogues sneak attack. The barbarian is a death dealer. He almost never rolls low for damage. The dwarf is almost no help at all.
I had the druid escape and maybe he will come back later with the bear cub. I haven't decide yet. I feel a little bad about tipping the scales in favor of the PC's, but there is just no way they were going to survive if I hadn't. Anyhow the group kills the beast and are greeted as heroes by the farmers. The mine is sold to the lord of New Port along with the bear's pelt. This is were we ended the session.
Has anyone else run this one and how deadly was it? This seems like a TPK machine to me. The Beast of Barren Hill seems even more deadly than the 0 level adventures I've run.