Hey there! I played in the group Bastard Sons of Lee Van Cleef; we made it to the 2nd round and were the first alternate for round three. Sadly but unsurprisingly, all three teams showed for the final round.
I was running Rootli; our band also had the aristocrat/monk, the dwarf rogue, and the adept/cleric. Here's a synopsis of how we did:
We drew the central entrance with all the wax. Our big mistake was trying to disarm the trap before the stairwell, which failed enough to set off the trap and do significant damage, especially considering the low levels of the characters; we burned our only cure light wounds spell before we left the area!
We didn't have much trouble with the alchemost. The druid with his rat did serious damage though; at the end of that fight, the adept I believe was at -6 and stable, and thanks to consuming the goodberries our rogue was at 0 hit points--he could come with us and offer advice, but couldn't do anything other than move to help us out! My character was still at full health, and the aristocrat was at 3 hp.
Fortunately, we had no problems with the maze or the spheres; it took us about 20-30 minutes to figure out the spheres (with no hints). After finishing those two areas, we quickly figured out the Tarot cards and advanced to the final area.
There we realized we were in way over our heads, and called the game rather than suffer a TPK. At the end we had one PC at 3 hp, one at 0, my character was at -3 hp (reduced from full hit points in one round of full attacks from the baddie), and one stable at -6. Still, no actual PC kills!
We rolled ass this entire round, which critically prolonged the second fight and made disabling traps a nightmare. I've never seen so many 4s come up; I HATE that big die!!
We failed our spot checks vs. all the exploding gourds, but with Thoromir leading the way, he made his Fort saves handily, so no lasting damage was done. The dragon battle took a while to complete due to the difficulty of fighting it in and out of the mist, but thanks to having a speedy monk, we were able to keep up with it and take it down.
In the root passage, the shambling mounds went down with little trouble, but taking out the spellcasting mound proved much more time consuming. We opted to simply wait out the spike stones, but first tried a failed attempt to lure it out, which was our biggest tactical error of the round--we should have taken it on when we had it lured most of the way, or simply let the spell duration expire and go after it. We squandered maybe 20-30 minutes of game time on that.
Once the spike stones wore off, we went in and engaged it in a protracted battle that wasn't helped by being incapable of hitting it. Our dwarf, using the plant bane axe, needed a 10 and a 15 to hit, as I recall, and he made one of those rolls maybe one round in three. We tried using aid another a bit, but ended up having characters drop when it turned its attention on them. Fortunately we got a good roll on the wand of ray of enfeeblement (6 Strength total penalty, for -3 to hit/dam per attack), or it likely would have killed some or all of us.
Eventually, however, we managed to put it down, and continued on with maybe 45 minutes left in the round.
We investigated the pillar and made some guesses as to the panel order, but decided not to mess with it (in retrospect, we should have tried out some of our guesses). We started up the ramp; the dwarf repeatedly failed disable device enough to set off the first trap, but made all his saves. We then found the secret door, and entered the area to encounter the goblin on the cat and the monk/fiend guy; however, time was called after the surprise round, before any real combat had occurred.
I'd like to extend my thanks to my fellow players; it was a real pleasure running the group with you guys! Should I make it to GC next year, I'll be more than happy to team up with you again, and this time take home those first place trophies!
PS: While I understood the axe and weapon finesse, I do seem to recall an error elsewhere on one of the sheets--I think a PC had Spell Penetration, which listed as only +1 to overcome SR, when it should be +2. Never came into play, though.
_________________Author: Mother of All Encounter Tables; Bits of Magicka series
Coauthor: Rappan Athuk ReloadedCastle Whiterock Kills: x10