Story Hour: Idylls of the Rat King **Spoilers**

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GenghisWayne
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Story Hour: Idylls of the Rat King **Spoilers**

Post by GenghisWayne » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:31 pm

So this thread will describe the adventures of the Gannu Mine described in “The Idylls of the Rat King”. I would also like to include some “behind the DM screen” information. Basically because I thought it might inspire others out there to run a game, and also because I’m very happy to take suggestions and help in my first foray into DMing games.

So without further ado, some meta-game info on me and the players…

To date myself, I cut my teeth in gaming on the Moldvay D&D Basic Set and played some AD&D 1E in campaign run weekly down at the local comic book store when I was in high school. However, I haven’t played any D&D since then.

In the meantime, I’ve been playing miniature wargames with a regular group here in town for the last few years. I’m the new one to the group as some of these guys have been gaming together for over 25 years! It’s mostly historical wargaming, but we do play a homebrew fantasy wargame too. All the guys (no ladies) have played D&D; indeed, some remember playing before the D&D franchise began. Now I just mention this to give you an idea of the attitudes that most of the players have regarding gaming that they may bring to the D&D table.

So anyway, the bug has hit me. I decided that I wanted to try out the new system. Everyone else seemed eager to play again, and so not to be intimidated by never being a DM and having about a tenth of the experience as the rest of the group, I announced that I would run a good old Dungeon Crawl, and my preparations began…
Last edited by GenghisWayne on Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Preparations for the first session

Post by GenghisWayne » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:44 pm

This is what I did to get set up...
  • Read the PHB pretty much cover-to-cover (except the spells), Read the Combat chapter like 4 times. Read a lot of the DMG, and the relevant monster entries in the MM. I would basically be teaching everyone the mechanics so I had to be ready.
  • I read the “Idylls” a couple of times. What can I say, I’m new to this, and I figured it would help. In the second reading I tried to “game” through it in my head a bit. Hopefully this helped with descriptions and recollection.
  • I created characters for everyone. I gave everyone the option to make his own character (as long as it wasn’t a Druid), but everyone was happy to let me do it. So I used PCGen to assist me. I cooked up about 12-15 different characters and then let everyone choose his character based on a 2-line description. I probably got carried away with this part, but I was having fun.
  • Since I had purchased the PDF version of the module, I was able to blow up the maps a bit and imported them into MS Visio as images. I did this so that I could type annotations on the maps and use “callout” boxes to point to the traps and monster locations (I could even fit the DC numbers for the secret doors and the trap stat blocks). I have to say that this was well worth the effort, as I was able to keep things moving without having to flip around in the main descriptions. I only had to refer to them for flavor text, treasure, etc.
  • I built a miniature dungeon! I used some Styrofoam, razor blade, and a soldering iron to fashion some dungeon tiles. I used the soldering iron to draw a battle grid. I painted everything with some black latex house paint, then dry-brushed them with a couple of greys. So I made x number of hallway pieces, y number of room pieces, etc. Basically I can represent the same amount of dungeon at one time that you can with a battlemat. The Idylls map is all right angles so that helped a lot.
  • I entered everyone’s character on Initiative cards as well as all of the monsters of the first two dungeon levels.
  • I copied the player handouts into Power Point and set them with some cool fonts. Then I printed them out and "aged" them by crumbling them up and soaking them in coffee left over from breakfast. No seriously, I did. :o
  • Finally, the week of the first session, I sent everyone individual emails with a quick character background and some plausible excuse as to why his PC would be standing outside the Gannu mine that weekend J It was the least I could do, since I was railroading them down the first tunnel.
I accomplished all of this over the course of about 2 months. So maybe this was a bit overkill. But remember, these guys are miniature gamers. Also, I'll admit I was leaning on the props as I'm not too sure of my DMing abilities.

Next post, Session #1

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Post by GenghisWayne » Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:48 pm

Session #1

The town of Silverton has hired a band of adventurers to rid it of a tribe of goblins that have been attacking the silver caravans. These goblins have holed up in a silver mine that was abandoned long ago. The group of adventurers is as follows, all 1st level, 0 XP:

* Cerrac, an Elven Rogue
* Griff Roaringbell, a Dwarven Barbarian
* Harg, a Half-Orc Barbarian
* Karl (just Karl), Human Fighter
* Osfrid, Crusader of Pelor, Cleric
* Wrath Truebeard, Cleric of Moradin
* X (name unknown), a Human Wizard

["X" actually does have a name, but for some reason his player doesn't want any of the other players to know it. Ah well, if it's fun for him...]

Day 1

Town locals led the adventurers to the entrance of the mines. A quick look at the “abandoned” mine confirmed that lots of humanoid traffic had been going in and out of the entrance. It seemed the goblins hadn’t done a very good job at concealing their hideout. The party lit lanterns, formed into marching order, and headed into the mine shaft. Cerrac easily identified the false cave-in at the end of the entrance tunnel and opened the secret door to reveal 5 goblins ready to defend their lair.

Without hesitation, Griff charged into the closest goblin quickly killing his target, and X sent one to the floor with a magic missile. Pushing past his companions, Harg charged the downed goblin and chopped off the dead humanoid’s arm.

“That’ll teach him,” Griff teased the Barbarian. “Why don’t you try one of the LIVE ones?”

Wanting a prisoner for questioning, Karl managed to wrestle one of the goblins to the floor.

One goblin ran out a far exit from the room, and although the last goblin fought well, he was no match for the party and was soon defeated.

Cerrac questioned Karl’s prisoner in goblin. All he was able find out was that the entire tribe resided in the mine, and that the chief’s name was Rezzomar. Not sure what to do with a prisoner – “I say we kill ‘em!” suggested Griff – the group decided to tie him up and have the captive lead the way.

Cocky from the easy victory the party decided to split up. Wrath explored a dark passageway hidden behind a secret door discovered by Cerrac. The elf followed the dwarven cleric to keep an eye on the wanderer. Meanwhile, Griff, Karl, and the goblin prisoner explored an empty dining hall, finding only bad goblin beer and rotten food. The two warriors moved back into the hallway about the same time that the Wrath decided to open a secret door he had discovered on the other end of the tunnel he was exploring.

For his brashness, Wrath was rewarded with two crossbow bolts in the chest as he’d walked right into an ambush. Four goblins had barricaded themselves in the room behind heavy wooden tables. Cerrac quickly yanked the wounded dwarf out of the doorway, and, in response to taunts and insults from the goblins, bluffed “Stop firing you idiots, Rezzomar sent us!” Unfortunately, the elf’s haughty nature only summoned more insults from the skeptical goblins.

Their insults were soon to stop. Osfrid’s bane spell took the enthusiasm out of his opponents. While the goblins reloaded their crossbows, the crusader charged one of the barricades pushing it back and knocking one the greenies to the floor. Running from the hallway, Harg almost reached the other table. Next, X managed to disable two of the goblins with a sleep spell; fortunately, Osfrid and the half-orc were able to resist its effects. Gravely wounded from the crossbow ambush, Wrath spent the next few rounds healing himself. The battle raged on….

…meanwhile, strangely ignoring the sounds of the their companions in battle, Karl and Griff moved away from their friends to explore more of the mine. Opening the next door they came to, Karl was viciously attacked by two Dire Rats. Faced with the choice of assisting his companion and keeping the prisoner, Griff decided to let the goblin free and charged into the doorway to attack the vermin. The fighters struggled to land blows on the rats, and suffered painful bites in return…

…back to the battle with the goblins. As his companions fought the humanoids in the barricades, a recovered Wrath decided to explore some connecting passages. This took Cerrac from the battle as he needed to keep an eye on the inquisitive dwarf. Eventually, the goblins were defeated by Harg, X, and Osfrid. But not before…

…Griff and Karl were ambushed by goblins while fighting the Dire Rats in the doorway. Their escaped prisoner had returned with friends looking for revenge. Karl had managed to kill one of the rats and continued fighting the other. Griff turned to face the goblins; unfortunately, before he could land any blows, the Dire Rat bit the dwarf and sent the Barbarian to the floor unconscious and bleeding from several wounds. In response, Karl chopped the vermin’s head off. Next round, in an amazing display of prowess, Karl cleaved the heads off of the two ambushing goblins and slammed the door before any others could attack him and his dying comrade.

By this time the others had run back from their battle to assist their trapped companions. Rounding a corner in the hallway, Wrath stepped right into the midst of the ambushing goblins. Wrath and Harg managed to slay the three goblins in front of them, and Cerrac badly wounded another down the hall with an expert bow shot. Soon, the goblins were defated in the hallway, and the party was back together. The clerics were able to heal Griff before he bled to death.

Nearly everyone was wounded and the spellcasters were about tapped out for the day. So the group decided to spend the night in the empty dining hall, and barricaded themselves inside. Despite a midnight raid by a small group of plucky goblins, the group managed to get some needed rest. “Thanks for the help, cousin,” jeered Griff at the snoring Wrath.

Day 2

Tracing a path back along the route of the ambushing goblins from the day before, the party moved through a secret door, a large barracks, and a long winding tunnel. Eventually they came to a door where Cerrac could hear squeaking coming from the other side. Ready for another fight with rats, the fighters moved to the front and opened the door.

Harg charged through the door, across the room, and over a table where he slipped and fell to the floor before reaching the vicious creatures. “Very impressive!” remarked Griff, as he ran by slamming into one of the Dire Rats. Osfrid double-timed into the room to separate the fallen half-orc from the filthy beasts. Luckily, he was just in time, as the Dire Rats struck back. Next into the room, Karl skewered one of the rats with an amazing javelin throw from 10 feet away, past Griff’s tall hair, and into melee. Eventually, the other Dire Rat was surrounded and overcome by the group, but not before Osfrid is wounded and forced to use one of his curing spells.

Once again, Wrath wandered away in search of more trouble as his companions battled the Dire Rats. Cerrac followed closely behind in case the cleric decided to catch some more crossbow bolts with his face. While keeping an eye on Wrath, Cerrac discovered another secret door but decided not to share this information with the dwarf until the rest of the party caught up.

After Cerrac “disarmed” the poison needle trap to the secret door, the group found an old chest. With the assistance of X’s detect magic spell, the party found a magic, silvered sword in a hidden compartment in the floor of the secret vault. An old message found with the sword spoke of an ancient evil deep in the mines.

Unfortunately, Griff and Cerrac’s loud arguing over who should get the sword attracted a band of zombies who snuck up behind Harg and attacked. The half-orc is badly wounded, but Osfrid was quick to jump to assistance. “Pelor’s Light Banishes You!” commanded the crusader, and the zombies quickly fled back down the hall.

At this point, the adventurers decided they needed some rest and headed back to the inner barracks pushing broken crossbows and dead goblins out the door to make room for their bedrolls.

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Session #1 Behind the Screen

Post by GenghisWayne » Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:22 pm

We had a blast. :D

Some lessons I learned...

* 3.5 characters are complicated, the players were remembering AD&D and the looks on their faces when I passed out the characters sheets were a little funny and a little concerning. One player really should have remembered his reading glasses!

* I shouldn't have sweated a long speech going over the rules since they only let me spend about 10 minutes on that before Wrath's player said "Let's go!". It pretty much worked out fine without the big orientation speech.

* Karl's decision to grapple and capture one of the goblins and the subsequent interrogation caught me off guard. But I think I did OK. I wish I was better at the roleplaying thing. I just related the captured goblin's actions and responses in the third person (lame?). This is the hardest part of DMing for me I think.

* Cerrac's player surprised me by trying to bluff the goblins, dropping their chief's name to add weight to the ruse. I made Cerrac roll a bluff check (Cerrac has low charisma), and it didn't work. I really regret that because I want to reward this kind of play. Next time, I'll be sure to make it easier by giving a better circumstance bonus, or simply fudging the contested roll for the goblins...but then I told myself, no fudged rolls.

* I think Wrath's player was testing me by wandering off and splitting the party. As for the split party, I was way too easy on them. I think they could handle the two simultaneous melees, but I let them coordinate and communicate too easily. Our wargaming habits crept in here. My tendency was to just keep things moving. To my credit I did finally exploit the split party by running some of the goblins out of their post to attack the two PCs fighting the rats. This seemed realistic to me since they had to free the captured goblin.

* The arguing over who gets the magic sword brought out something else I didn't expect: PC vs. PC competition. I think some of this motivates Wrath's wandering (although, I think his player just likes being a loose cannon). Hmmm...maybe I can motivate them to start thinking like a team.

* By and large I ran the encounters as they're detailed in the module, and these guys walked all over goblins and rats. I think the module says 4-6 characters of 1st level, so I was little easy on the seven of them. I'll beef things up in Session #2.

* I goofed on some game-related things like letting Karl see in the dark :oops: Ah well, that's a new DM for you.

In any case everyone had fun, and they were looking forward to Session #2.

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Post by ynnen » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:15 am

Wow! Talk about dedication and preparation! Way to go with all the hard work you did before the players even sat down to the table for the first time -- hopefully they appreciate all the time and effort you put into their gaming experience.

The sessions sound like a lot of fun. Despite some rough spots where it sounds like you weren't sure how things were handled, it looks like everyone had a good time -- and that's the most important thing!
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Post by Harley Stroh » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:01 am

This game sounds like so much fun!

(I wish our GM (me) put this much time into his home sessions. ;) )

Be careful about beefing up the dungeon too much --- there's a serious nasty down at the bottom of those mines.

I can't wait to hear the next log!
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Post by GenghisWayne » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:01 pm

ynnen wrote:Wow! Talk about dedication and preparation! Way to go with all the hard work you did before the players even sat down to the table for the first time -- hopefully they appreciate all the time and effort you put into their gaming experience.
Thank you! I think the group does appreciate it. Some of the games they've run have been pretty stunning, I'm just shooting for "average" for this crowd in terms of visual presentation.

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Post by GenghisWayne » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:06 pm

Harley Stroh wrote:This game sounds like so much fun!

(I wish our GM (me) put this much time into his home sessions. ;) )
Heh, well we'll see how long I can keep this up.
Harley Stroh wrote: Be careful about beefing up the dungeon too much --- there's a serious nasty down at the bottom of those mines.
Well you'll see in the next log entry that I did beef things up a little. But yeah, the PCs haven't met the clerics, G'Zogah, or Narzy yet. I'm curious to see how I run those encounters...

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Session #2

Post by GenghisWayne » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:48 pm

Session #2

Day 3

On the previous day, Griff had to leave the party to attend a tribal ritual. Harvest season meant that his tribe was holding the Festival of the Cleansing, Griff’s favorite as it entailed bathing in freshly brewed ale. However, this meant that the stout barbarian would not be with the party for the next 3-4 days. [i.e., the player couldn't make the session]

Again, the party was made up as follows…

Cerrac, an Elven Rogue
Harg, a Half-Orc Barbarian
Karl (just Karl), Human Fighter
Osfrid, Crusader of Pelor, Cleric
Wrath Truebeard, Cleric of Moradin
X (name unknown), a Human Wizard

The party was not molested during the night. They had supped on the rancid food left in the goblin’s feast hall. Fortunately, Wrath was able to purify the food so the meal was adequate. During the next few hours the party explored much of the uppermost level of the mine. Torches were taken from sconces so that the humans could see as X was running low on lamp oil.

[Ok, maybe I was too generous, but I figured that the goblins would actually light their home. Also, I won't be giving away light sources or food in the lower levels so this sets the precedent that the party has to consider this.]

Breaking into the goblin’s armory, Cerrac found a Masterwork Greataxe that was passed over to Harg. The elf’s amazing senses also located a loose stone in the wall of another room. Hidden behind the stone was another message from the past…something about flooding the lower levels with holy water to cleanse them of evil. [Also a funny moment as everyone was convinced that if Cerrac touched the loose stone they'd all get Death Ray'd or something]

A shrine to a rat god was later discovered. Osfrid walked away with some mysterious scrolls, while the avaricious Wrath leaped up the unholy statue to pry loose its gem-eyes. A wry comment from Cerrac regarding the dwarf’s “resourcefulness” sent water flying out of Karl’s nose. [Well, Karl's player anyway.]

Eventually the party found the throne room of Rez-zomar, the goblin chief. The party’s ability to get information from the chief was cut short as Cerrac sent an arrow through the thigh of one of Rez-zomar guards, and Osfrid cast Create Water on the goblin-chief. That’s when something weird happened…cursing the party as fools, the soaking wet, Rez-zomar transformed into a half-goblin, half-rat, wet thing. His guards quickly fell, but the wererat chief gave the group a tough fight. They were able to overcome him when Karl tackled the small rat-goblin, holding him still so that the rest of the group could kill him. Behind Rez-zomar’s throne the party found a grate in the floor that covered a shaft leading far below the room where they stood. Close examination of the grate and a Read Magic spell cast by X indicated that the grate was silver-plated and warded to prevent the passage of evil undead beings. However, it was apparent that the goblins paid no attention to this dire omen as the grate was not locked and some goblins could be heard far below…

[An AC 23 for Rez-zomar is tough for a first level party. With Karl holding Rez in a grapple, his AC dropped to 19 but things were pretty stalemated for a while. In any case I thought the grapple was a good use of tactics pitting a larger, stronger human vs. a smaller wererat.

I'm not sure what the heck Osfrid's player was thinking with the Create Water??? I think he thought he could drown him or something. Creative! But no. The best I'd allow is forcing a concentration check.

Also, I gave Rezzy 4 bodyguards instead of 2, but they still evaporated by the time The Rezzomater had transformed into hybrid form.
]

Not wanting to explore further without better preparations, the party decided to return to Silverton to re-supply and to notify Laglidden that the goblins had been taken care of. However, the Guild Leader informed the disappointed adventurers that he was sure they had not killed enough of the goblins. He reasoned that so few goblins could not have hijacked guarded silver caravans. He did, however, encourage the party to keep at it and paid for their rooms at the Silver Cup Inn.

Next the party went to see Harg’s friend Renna, the local healer, to see to a nasty bite that Karl suffered while wrestling with Rez-zomar. Renna informed the party that the great evil mentioned in the old messages referred to something that was uncovered 100 years ago in the Gannu mine. Whatever it was, it killed many miners. Paladins were sent to battle the unholy presence. They were only able to lock the evil away deep in the mine.

Day 4

The party stayed in town. They sold the gem-eyes and Rez-zomar’s fine equipment. However, all of the proceeds went to potions, scrolls, and some silver-tipped ammunition. Karl went to see Renna who was helping him overcome a sickness that was starting to come over him…

[I allowed X to scribe some scrolls, but only a couple, because I wanted to keep the player interested; I don't think he's used to playing a wizard.]

Day 5

Back to the Abandoned Gannu Mine. Karl went to see Renna again although he was feeling much better. The fighter’s strong immune system and high metabolism seemed to be able to stave off the feverish feelings he’d had the past few days.

When re-entering the mine, the party’s cautiousness was rewarded as Cerrac uncovered a tripwire set to alarm the goblins of their return. Instead, the elf and his companions surprised the goblin guards and quickly killed them all before they could warn any of the others. The party then retraced their steps across the deserted level to Rez-zomar’s chamber.

Wanting to sneak up on the goblins at the bottom of the shaft, Cerrac and X opened the warded grate and silently descended the ladder. However, it seemed that the goblins below must have heard the rogue and wizard as they quickly hushed their yammering and extinguished their light. With their initial plan thwarted, the rogue and wizard climbed back up the ladder to discuss with the rest of the party the best course of action.

Not able to bear the deliberations any longer, Wrath forced the issue. The strategizing came to an abrupt silence as the rest of the party watched, mouths agape, as the dwarf opened the grate, winked at the elf, and climbed down the ladder. That seemed to spur the others to action as they struggled to keep up with the dwarf who was by now standing on the lower level in the dark room in the crossfire of goblin crossbows. Fortune smiled on the audacious cleric as the goblins merely scratched the dwarf as he charged one of the barricades protecting the goblins. Two rounds later, the rest of the party was in the room fighting alongside Wrath. Cerrac and X had managed to light a lantern and a torch so that they could see. Two rounds after that, the goblins were dead, and Wrath’s frontal assault had secured the party a beachhead on the second level.

[Ok, this was simply hilarious. Everyone was really debating how best to attack the goblins, when Wraths player yells out "I'm going down the ladder" grinning from ear to ear. He was obviously meta-gaming, but he sure kept things moving. I think he would have had just as much fun if Wrath hadn't lived.]

Regrouping, the party began to explore the level. Karl opened the next door they came to, counted 8 goblins inside, and closed the door again. When the dimwitted goblins opened the door to attack Karl, there were 7 goblins and 1 wererat inside. Karl’s tactic of using the doorway as a choke point paid off as the goblins were forced to fight their superiors two-on-two. X sped up the development of the battle with a Sleep spell that sent 4 of the goblins to the floor. Karl easily Cleaved through the slumbering goblins, and by this time only the wererat remained. However, this wererat was not to prove as tough as the well-equipped Rez-zomar, and Harg and X were able to finish him off. Unfortunately, Karl was knocked unconscious by the wererat earlier in the fight…

[Another adjustment, I substituted one were-rat for a goblin.]

…meanwhile, Wrath had wandered off again. Cerrac peeked around a corner but could not see the dwarf in the dark. A short time later, the elf heard a loud slam followed by a clanging bell coming from the down the hall. Lighting a torch and hurrying down the hall, Cerrac rounded a corner in time to see Wrath climb out of a pit trap. The dwarf looked a little shaken as he cleaned the cobwebs and dust from his beard. He then suggested, “Maybe we should head back to the others before someone comes to check on that bell”. Agreeing, the elf followed the dwarf back to the others who were tending to the fallen Karl.

Here we leave the daring adventurers until next time…

[So this was a "freeze time" ending to this session. Karl was healed back, but what about the alarm? I added the pit trap and alarm as means to discourage too much of Wrath's wanderings. It seemed logical that the goblins would be on their toes since they'd been attacked two days before.]

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Post by Harley Stroh » Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:31 am

Wow...another great session. I'm glad Wrath made it through the hail of bolts --- I think every party has a Wrath at one time or another.

How are your players adjusting to the new rules? Sounds like they are doing well. Fun move with the grapple to slow down the were-rat. (It recalls the Sin City movie, when Marv locks himself and Kevin into hand cuffs to slow him down...)

Anyhow, awesome session. It is really, really fun to hear the dungeon told through your group's experience. You are doing an amazing job as GM.
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Cut scene

Post by GenghisWayne » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:18 pm

A Cut Scene for the Idylls of the Rat King

Time: Day 5, 16th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

Location: Somewhere in the Abandoned Gannu Mine. A
thin human pipes a melody on a flute. Occasionally
stopping for a sip of wine and to speak softly to one
of the creatures at his feet. A large goblin enters
from one of the two doors leading from the chamber.
They both speak in the common tongue.

Thin Man: [puts down flute] What is it?

Goblin: It seems they’re back. We heard the alarm
just a few moments ago, but the pit was empty.

Thin Man: Well don’t screw this up like Rez-zomar.
Just kill them. We can give the strong ones to the
gnome.

Goblin: Yes, well Rez-zomar didn’t like to think; we
have a plan this time. [pauses] About the gnome, can
he do something to help?

Thin Man: Never mind him. He’s busy…ahhh…replacing
our losses. Besides he’s our only source of income
since your people haven’t had a successful raid in a
week. You have G’Zogah up there for that kind of
help.

Goblin: [muttering] G’Zogah is mad.

Thin Man: What? Oh forget it, just take care of them
or I’ll personally make sure you spend lots of time
with the gnome.

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Cut Scene

Post by GenghisWayne » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:31 pm

So I sent this "Cut Scene" in an email out to the players to get ready for the next session. I liked the idea of using a cut scene as mechanism to let the players enjoy some of the plot points that sometime only the DM gets to see. Maybe if I were a better DM I could weave this into play, but I'm not sure.

In any case, besides reinforce some of the module flavor this scene attempts to

* hint about the abilities and role of "the gnome"; Osfrid knows he's a Necromancer but he hasn't told any of the other players yet.

* there are at least 3 levels since someone is refering to the level they're on as "up there"

* introduce another name G'Zogah

* warn the party that the enemy can replace losses and is attempting to create a more coordinated defense

* remind the players what's happening since we only play once a month!

The goblin in this scene is The Jailor. For some reason with all of those knowledge skills I picture him as a calm, thoughtful, well-spoken, evil goblin :-) Also, I don't know why, but Lawrence has to be thin.

For the next session, I think I'm going to attempt a running battle across the 2nd floor. I'll divide the remaining goblins into strike teams lead by a were-rat, the Jailor, or a cleric. Hit and run will be their tactics. If the players want to assume they can run blindly down hallways after the "little goblins", well they might be pursuing a feigned retreat into an ambush or they might not :twisted:

I guess I'm trying to make sure the players don't get bored. I think they're a little careless and haven't really felt threatened. Reviewing the 3rd floor I see some real nasties (e.g., Ogre Zombies) which are perfect. I'll definitely see if they're smart enough to run. But until they get there, I want to keep it scary.

I'm also considering having Narzy animate some of the dead goblins. This seems well within bounds, but is it too much?

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Post by ragnar1965 » Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:20 am

I'm also considering having Narzy animate some of the dead goblins. This seems well within bounds, but is it too much?
You just need to judge how things are going. If your characters are starting to show signs of being overwhelmed, then pull back. The thing that I'm noticing as a new dm is that my players have the most fun when they are pushed to the very limit and come out on top. The only piece of advice I can give you about what is coming up is this...don't fudge things to allow your characters to find things that they wouldn't ordinarily because you want them to have that cool sword or face that certain monster. In other words, don't let yourself be sucked into the thoughts of how cool it will be to see how your party handles Serenna. If played properly, she will most probably result in a tpk. If I'm remembering right, they can only find her with if they get the +5 circumstance bonus from finding one of the notes on the upper levels. Otherwise the search check is too high for a 3rd level rogue to find. Like I said, I'm going off memory, and I could be wrong. Anyway, I've enjoyed the story and look forward to seeing how it ends up.

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Post by Black Knight » Fri Oct 07, 2005 1:24 pm

I'm finding this to be a fantastic read. As the writer of Idylls of the Rat King and it's first GM, I must say that you and your players are why I write and run games. My group is very much like yours, even the "impatient dwarf".

Having Narzy replace fallen goblins with zombies and skeletons definitely allows the holy characters of the party an opportunity to move to the front of the party. Rangers and rogues will have the spotlight in the hit-and-run ambush style. The ogre zombies are non-intelligent, unless Narzy and Lawrence really work together to repel the PCs (example - Lawrence provides a few clerics to Narzy to control the undead in the field).

Note: the goblins know these tunnels as well as you know your own home. Leading the PCs into traps or forcing them into tight areas is a viable tactic to use (and very harrowing for the players). A pit trap and three or four goblins with crossbows or even a few "pet" scorpions or dire rats is enough to make many players feel the mortality of their beloved character.

Congrats on the great game. Keep up the fantastic work! Feel free to email me directly if you want some other tailored traps to spring on your players. :twisted:
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Goodman Games Writing Credits: A few 3E DCCs, a Complete Guide, and a few books for Blackmoor.

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Post by JediOre » Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:09 am

In case you've missed these, here are two older threads dealing with this module:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=106

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=35

I find it very helpful to read what others have done. Makes my brain come up with all sorts of ideas....

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Post by GenghisWayne » Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:17 pm

ragnar1965 wrote: don't let yourself be sucked into the thoughts of how cool it will be to see how your party handles Serenna. If played properly, she will most probably result in a tpk.
Yeah, thanks for this advice. I'm thinking the same thing. I'm actually a little concerned that at this point the players think they're supposed to destroy the "great evil" because they found the +1 silver sword with the note telling them to hack away. I didn't fudge this part. Now I need to make sure they get some clues that maybe they ought to leave Serrenna where she is.
ragnar1965 wrote: Anyway, I've enjoyed the story and look forward to seeing how it ends up.
Thanks for the encouragement. The next session update should be next week.

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Post by GenghisWayne » Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:44 pm

Black Knight wrote:I'm finding this to be a fantastic read. As the writer of Idylls of the Rat King and it's first GM, I must say that you and your players are why I write and run games. My group is very much like yours, even the "impatient dwarf".
Hey thanks. We're all having a lot of fun with the adventure.
Black Knight wrote: The ogre zombies are non-intelligent, unless Narzy and Lawrence really work together to repel the PCs (example - Lawrence provides a few clerics to Narzy to control the undead in the field).
This is a great idea. Actually, I just reviewed the stat blocks of the ogre zombies. Yikes! For a 1st level party that's a one-hit kill. What I think I'll do though is if I get another big group at the next session, I'll have the goblin clerics take the ogre zombies on their strike teams (or if the PCs level up). Otherwise I can assign a bunch of goblin zombies to them which should tone down the encounter for fewer PCs. I just think it would be cool flavor to have the goblins the players defeated come back from the dead. :twisted: Also, I'm curious to see of the players catch on and start taking measures to prevent the zombie-making process.
Black Knight wrote: Note: the goblins know these tunnels as well as you know your own home. Leading the PCs into traps or forcing them into tight areas is a viable tactic to use (and very harrowing for the players).
Yeah, I'm a new DM, but I know these players pretty well. I know they'll have more fun when the goblins start fighting smarter. I wanted to start out with "dumb" goblins since we were all learning the rules and I had no idea how deadly things would be. But I think I can start with the dirty tricks now.

Black Knight wrote: Congrats on the great game. Keep up the fantastic work! Feel free to email me directly if you want some other tailored traps to spring on your players. :twisted:
Thanks again. I do have a question about recommended character level. I've been keeping track of XP earned "by the book" and everyone but Griff *should* be 2nd level. This seems like very fast advancement to me, and I'm betting the players (all AD&D players at one point or another) would be very surprised if I told them they were all 2nd level already. I've read that 3.5 advances characters much faster and this seems to prove it to me. I'd like to slow PC advancement a bit since we're all learning the game; at this point the more practice I can get before we start in with the dimensional anchor vs. polymorph vs. astral projection rules the better.

However, I am a little concerned that they'll be too weak to deal with some of the later encounters if they stay at 1st level (even if they're smart enough to leave Serrenna be). Does anyone have a sense for the minimum character levels needed later?

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Post by GenghisWayne » Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:54 pm

JediOre wrote:In case you've missed these, here are two older threads dealing with this module:

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=106

http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=35

I find it very helpful to read what others have done. Makes my brain come up with all sorts of ideas....
Thanks, I had not seen these threads. I like the idea of letting the PCs make the mine "free" of evil so that Silverton can use the mine again...but then Serrenna breaks out. When the PCs return to Silverton in a few months the people are somehow...different. OoohhWeeeeOoooh.

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Post by GenghisWayne » Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:35 pm

Session # 3

Day 5

After the battle with the wererat, X, Wrath, Karl, and Harg went back to town saying something about Karl needing time to recover from his wounds. Just then, Griff barged into the room still smelling from his ale bath and looking a little unsteady like he might have been drinking from his bath water.

“I could hear all yer shouting from the top of the mine shaft; you should have gotten me this morning. I told that innkeeper to make sure ye knew I was back in Silverton, bah!”

So for this session, the adventurers are…

Cerrac, an Elven Rogue
Griff Roaringbell, a Dwarven Barbarian
Osfrid, a human Cleric of Pelor

Realizing that they had set off an alarm, Cerrac suggested throwing one of the goblin corpses into the pit so that the other goblins would think one of their own had fallen in. So Griff hoisted one of the dead goblins to his shoulder and hustled down the hall towards the pit. They seem to have gotten back before the goblins arrived, and Griff tossed the corpse down the hole. However, Cerrac could hear goblins moving closer from two different directions, as the pit was located in the middle of a T-Intersection in the tunnels. So the party backed around the corner listening for any clues on whether their ruse would paid off.

Soon the whole party could hear a goblin voice say, “Bloody hell, it’s that clumsy Ertsac. I told him to watch his arse around the pit.” It seemed that the trick had worked, and they waited for the goblins to retreat. Luckily, the elf’s keen ears detected that a group of footsteps seemed to suddenly halt rather than fade into the distance, tipping the party off that maybe the goblins weren’t so gullible. After waiting in vain to see if the goblins would eventually retire, the party decided to rush around the corner ready to attack.

As they rounded the corner, Cerrac spotted two goblin archers at the far end of the hallway (beyond the pit). The elf saw them first and loosed an arrow, which bounced off the corner where the goblins were taking cover. Another battle had begun, but this time the adventurers had to cover 80 feet of hallway with an open pit in the middle before reaching their foes. Griff and Osfrid made double moves carefully skirting the edges of the pit trap, but the goblins would get two more shots before the dwarf and cleric could close to melee range. The barbarian slammed into the goblins first but missed his target. Once he could see around the corner he discovered that the two archers were led by a goblin cleric who was standing about 10 feet behind them. Next round, Osfrid charged into the second archer braining him with his Morningstar while Cerrac fired arrows from behind his comrades. At this point the party was beyond the pit trap and the T-intersection.

The two goblins retreated back down the hallway with Griff close on their heels and Osfrid running to catch up. Just then, two arrows flew past Cerrac’s pointy ears, and the elf whirled around to see three goblins about 50 feet away moving up from behind the party. Griff continued pressing the cleric and his guard, and Osfrid turned on the three ambushers. The Cleric of Pelor managed to slay two of the ambushers smashing their helmets into caved-in skulls, and the leader of this team (The Jailor) fled back the way he came. The party would have been relieved to seem him go, but he was obviously calling for reinforcements. In any case, the elf and the cleric could not pursue him because Griff was still fighting for his life against the cleric and his sidekick. The dwarf must have still been drunk from the last few days’ bacchanal because every swing of his axe seemed to miss by a large margin. The one wound the dwarf inflicted on the evil cleric was quickly healed. Osfrid stepped in line next to the dwarf, but they were unable to defeat the pair before the Jailor had returned with reinforcements. Goblin arrow fire wounded Cerrac who moved around corner into a side passage near the melee. The situation looked even worse as Cerrac spotted a wererat rounding the corner to stand next to the Jailor.

Griff recollects: “There we was…a foul rat-priest and goblin on one side and 3 goblins and a wererat on another. We were all bleeding from wounds, and me axe was failing me. I figured we’d be pushing up the daisies when that haughty elf shouts out something in goblin that stopped ‘em in their tracks.”

Discovering that the side passage where the party had been trapped led to a room of goblin females and young, Cerrac shouted a threat that they’d kill all the women and children if the goblins didn’t let them retreat. The Jailor responded to Cerrac’s threat by ordering the other goblins to back off. All but one of the goblins complied with the order; but Griff hacked down the disobedient one. Still surrounded and outnumbered 2-to-1, the party quickly came up with a plan to end the stand off. They ordered the evil cleric to move past Griff and Osfrid as he was the only one barring their path of retreat, and they ordered the rest of the goblins back down the hallway giving the trapped adventurers some breathing room. Osfrid poured lantern oil on the ground; they fled down the open tunnel; and Osfrid ignited to oil to cover their retreat.

[DM Comments: What can I say? I felt I'd only be punishing the players for the rest not shopwing up that day. I slightly overdid it on the ambush, but the players were rolling very poorly too. So this seemed a good way out, they came up with the plan themselves (They were desperate.). Cerrac managed Bluff Roll of 19 for this one.]

The party retreated to the room leading to the upper level and spiked the door closed. Overruling Osfrid, who wanted to try and fight the goblins, the party decided to return the Silverton to rest up. It seemed Griff needed another day to sleep off the ale, and Osfrid was low on spells.

Day 6

After a night’s rest at the Silver Cup Inn, the three adventurers headed back to the abandoned mine determined to maintain the element of surprise. Ready to face a team of guards at the entrance, the party found only a trip wire leading to an alarm, which Cerrac disabled. Next they headed towards Rez-zomar’s room to the grate leading to the lower level.

Scouting ahead of the rest, Cerrac heard goblins down a side passage. After waiting to see that the goblins were not moving, Griff and Osfrid charged down the passage, and Cerrac stayed in the main tunnel to guard their backs. The dwarf and cleric slammed into the three goblins – it was the Jailor with two archers. Recovered from his hangover, Griff managed to kill one while Osfrid (who had earned the name Osfrid the Goblin Smasher) brained the other to death. While they were dealing with the much tougher Jailor, Cerrac was fired on by 2 goblins archers backed by the cleric of Narrimunth. This second group of goblins were advancing along the main tunnel. Osfrid left Griff to finish off the now-wounded Jailor to charge into new threat. Again the Goblin Smasher made quick work of the two archers aided by shots from Cerrac. By this time, Griff had defeated the Jailor and was running back to help Osfrid. The evil cleric was fighting well and managed to heal himself of wounds from Osfrid’s morningstar. Eventually however, Griff and Osfrid managed to flank the cleric and Cerrac sent him to his rat-god with an arrow through the eye [natural 20, Sneak Attack].

Searching the bodies, the party found a pair of ornate armbands on the evil cleric and 20 gp on the two leaders. Next they continued to Rez-zomar’s throne room to go down to level 2.

[They found/foiled the ambush fair and square this time. Also, I must say that the teamwork went up in quality as the number of players dropped.]

They knew there would be goblins posted at the bottom of the ladder. Rather than elaborating on a plan, they simply performed a full frontal assault with Griff in the lead. Again, the goblins at the bottom of the stairs missed by a wide margin on their initial shots at the intruders. Facing two archers and a wererat, Griff and Osfrid charged the archers. The wererat took the first round to transform to hybrid form, on the second round he charged into Osfrid wounding the Cleric of Pelor. By now Griff and Osfrid had dispatched the archers. On the next round, Griff stepped behind the wererat, and made a savage flanking attack with the silvered + 1 sword. The wererat fell without a sound cleaved in half at the waist.

After a routine search of the bodies, the group explored a different corridor than the previous day. They found a hole in the floor of a dead end hallway; above the hole was rope and tackle making up a lift or elevator. It seemed the mines had a lower (3rd) level. Across the hall from the lift, the party searched a room. This office contained empty crates that looked like they were used for shipping silver. Cerrac and Osfrid scanned through the papers on the desk where they discovered a general ledger. The ledger accounted recent silver shipments to Bard’s Gate. It seemed as if someone had reopened the mine for business. Also, no one believed that the goblins were the ones keeping accurate records of the mine’s profits.

[All in all, a fun session. The ambushes were fun for everyone; the players realizing the mortaility of their PCs. Osfrid and Cerrac, having 3 sessions under their belts, level up.]

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Post by King Donkey » Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:54 am

We had to tie up our Wrath's and occasionally strap explosives to them to keep them with the party. This is GREAT btw, keep it up!

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Session #4

Post by GenghisWayne » Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:58 pm

Session #4
Day 6, 17th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

For this session the party consisted of

Cerrac, an Elven Rogue - Level 2
Griff Roaringbell, a Dwarven Barbarian
Karl (just Karl), Human Fighter (joins party later in session)
Osfrid, Crusader of Pelor, Level 2 Cleric
Wrath Truebeard, Cleric of Moradin
X (name unknown), a Human Wizard
Drogo Steelhelm, Dwarven Fighter

Note that Cerrac and Osfrid are now second level adventurers.

Cerrac grabbed the ledger reasoning that it would provide some evidence of the evil doings in the mine. With that the party left, and continued exploring. In a nearby room, they surprised 2 wererats and 3 dire rats after kicking in the door. Before the goblin-wererats had time to transform, Griff and Drogo were on them hacking them to pieces in 2 rounds. The dire rats were soon to follow.

Taking the South exit from the wererat room, they again surprised their foes (Cerrac is now scouting well ahead of the party). This time 2 Goblin Clerics were caught chanting to the Rat-god of Filth. Once again, the two Dwarven warrior charged into melee, one priest falling almost immediately. However, once they’d entered the shrine, the piles of bones to either side of the altar jumped up and 4 goblin skeletons moved to attack. The skeletons didn’t last long. Osfrid called upon Pelor and half of the undead goblins disintegrated to dust, while Wrath sent the remainder to cower in the corner. Meanwhile, the last priest was fighting for his life, only managing to cast protection from evil and get off one attack before the dwarves slashed him to bits.

X cast a Detect Magic about the room, and zeroed in on the armbands of one of the priests. Putting two and two together, Osfrid pulled out the armband they had taken off the priest upstairs, and X confirmed that it too was magical. After some experimentation, the armbands were passed to X who put them on. “Bah! These ones don’t have gem eyes,” Wrath complained. He and Drogo knocked over the statues of the evil gods smashing them to bits.

Backtracking a bit the party covered an unexplored side passage. Cerrac peaked beyond a door to see body parts and shambling corpses inside. Closing the door and calling for help, the rest of the party joined him. Osfrid stepped in and turned the zombies, who cowered in the far corner of the room. Cerrac made a quick search of the room, and finding only body parts, everyone decided to simply leave the cowering zombies where they were.

Later, Cerrac found a secret door to a room long unused. Osfrid dispatched the 8 animated skeletons with a wave of his holy symbol, and Cerrac found an ancient message warning the party to leave the evil spirit of the mine alone.

After this discovery, there was only one unexplored area on this level. Kicking open the door, the party faced G’Zogah, an insane goblin wizard. The mage ordered his servants to attack, hit Griff with a Magic Missile, and then ducked back behind a stack of crates. The dwarf barbarian went into a rage and charged after him. The rest of the battle the party picked their way though the maze of shipping crates while G’Zogah popped up to fire a magic missile from his wand. Finally he was cornered, and Griff chopped him to pieces. The battle-mad dwarf had been seriously injured by the goblin’s spells, and while still enraged he cut out the mage’s heart and ate it.

[I had planned a layout for the room ahead of time as we play with miniattures. I placed crates and tables so that they couldn't charge G'Zogah or his cronies. He was able to send 4 magic missiles into Griff before he went down. Still, the party simply swarmed all over the goblins.]

With Griff fatigued (but not hungry), and the spellcasters spent, the party grabbed two of the crates of silver ore and headed back to town. X scooped up G’Zogah’s spell book and silver dagger before leaving. Back in town they gave Lagleddin an update on their progress and cashed in the two crates of silver ore for their 25% salvage fee. Osfrid and the rest of the party tried to renegotiate their agreement with the leader of the mining operation, but better sense prevailed when they realized that the town’s livelihood was at stake, and that they’d already been given every courtesy and consideration the poor miners could afford.

[Players! Never enough loot for them. I actually managed to shame them for trying to milk more money out of poor old Lagleddin.]

They decided to spend the next two days recovering the rest of the silver ore they’d found where they defeated G’Zogah. Most of the funds were spent re-equipping the party. Griff bought a chain shirt, and Drogo bought a suit of chain mail. The rest of the funds were mostly spent on healing potions and holy water, as the party hadn’t forgotten the contents of the messages they’d discovered.

Day 9, 20th of the Month of the Crimson Dragon

Karl joined the party as they headed back into the mine. Their plan was to see what was at the bottom of the lift.

Descending to the 3rd level, the group took one look at the walking corpses and animated animals, shouted “We don’t need no Stinking Badgers!” and charged. Drogo and Griff slew one of the zombie badgers before Osfrid turned them down the tracked tunnel.

[I think everybody around the table shouted this out. No one missed the joke :-) ]

Out the south exit, the party rounded a corner in the tunnelin time to see the retreating zombies cross the path in flight. Moving up to a 4-way intersection, a mining cart silently sped down the tracks at Cerrac and Griff. The elf’s reflexes saved him, but Griff only managed to stop the ore-filled cart with his face. After dusting himself off, they sent the cart onward hoping to smash some of the retreating zombies from behind.

“Which way now?”
“Well, if we follow these tracks, they’ll probably lead straight to who we’re looking for,” reasoned an amazingly-insightful-even-though-his-INT-is-only-8 Karl.

So the party followed the tracks. Rounding a bend they found the cart they had pushed; it seemed it had picked up a lot of momentum as it had crashed over sideways smearing the retreating zombies into a messy pulp. Unfortunately just beyond the wreck were two Ogre Zombies. The Ogre Zombies didn’t seem to notice the party as they were busy knocking huge chunks of rock out of the wall of the tunnel. Osfrid stepped to the front of the group and turned the huge undead down the tunnel. Drogo and Griff righted the cart, refilled it with ore, and pushed it ahead of them with the idea that the cart would mask the sound of their approach.

After ten minutes of walking, they caught up with the two Ogre Zombies who had turned around and were headed back after the group. In a display of horrifying strength, the lead Ogre Zombie flung the cart off its tracks, smashing it into the wall. Fortunately, it offered some cover for the group, and before anyone was hurt, Osfrid was able to turn the undead again. Realizing that they had better defeat the Ogre Zombies once and for all, Karl, Griff, and Drogo pursued the retreating Ogre Zombies down the tunnel. They were able to take one down before they reached a large chamber lit by torches.

At the far end of the chamber they discovered a dead warrior on an altar with his arms and legs hacked off. The three fighters continued to battle the cowering Ogre Zombie, while the rest explored the room…except X and (oddly) Wrath who refused to enter the unholy place. Just then, 4 zombies burst through the door, but before they could attack Cerrac, Osfrid sent them back out the door in flight.

At this point, Cerrac saw a gnome with sickly pale skin crawl with amazing speed down one of the columns in the chamber. The gnome stopped eating a severed arm long enough to inform the party that they were about to die, then scurried back up to the ceiling. This must be Narzy, the gnome necromancer they’d heard about.

While the battle with the Ogre Zombie was drawing to a close, Narzy summoned 2 Skeleton Zombies into the room who attacked but missed Cerrac. Quick to respond, Osfrid disintegrated the large skeletons with the power of the Sun God, Pelor. Next, Karl stopped fighting, and started pleading with the rest to stop attacking the “kind gnome”. He then proceeded to climb the nearest column in order to reach Narzy.

The rest of the battle was fought between Narzy, Cerrac, Wrath, and X. Cerrac’s arrows kept missing the gnome, as he was able to dodge across the ceiling amongst the columns. However, X’s Magic Missiles delivered from G’Zogah’s wand were taking their toll on the Gnome. Wrath summoned a Celestial Owl and sent it up into the ceiling where it pecked and scratched at the crazed necromancer. Realizing he was losing, Narzy headed for the door, but before he could leave, X finished him with a flask of Alchemist fire. The gnome’s little body fell crisply to the floor.

Relieved, the victors searched the room and Narzy’s remains. X pocketed another spellbook, and Cerrac removed Narzy’s leather armor, which didn’t look at all like it had been on fire. The group then decided to head back to town for some rest.

[I stole the idea of a beefed up Narzy from a thread on ENWorld. I had Narzy under the effects of a Spider Climb and an Expeditious Retreat spell. Eating the severed arm grossed everyone out; two players didn't go into the room at first, hehe. I think he would have died much sooner if he hadn't been hanging from the ceiling. Which brings me to a topic I'll post in the next message: Osfrid is too powerful.]

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Osfrid too powerful?

Post by GenghisWayne » Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:49 pm

I think maybe Osfrid is too powerful. I'd considered that maybe I had played the Ogre Zombies and Skeletons wrong. But after reviewing the rules for Turn effects, and mulling it over the last few days, I think I played them right.

The party walked all over the Ogre Zombies because Osfrid turned them. So the Zombies slowly shuffled down the tunnel in retreat. Well, the fighters pursued and were able to hack away with no fear of reprisal from the retreating Ogre Zombies. Instead of being a very dangerous situation, this was a little dull as they chipped away at 55 hps.

I also don't buy that I should have made the monsters more powerful. This is mostly a 1st level party; the Ogre Zombies are 4 HD and could one-hit kill half of the PCs. Looking over Osfrid's stats, this is how he can trivialize these monsters:

Charisma 16 (based on a 28-point buy, this is his best stat, so he's not munchkin'd)
Improved Turning
Extra Turning
Knowledge religion 5 ranks
2nd Level

So that means his Turn check is d20+5 as 3rd level cleric, and he does 2d6+6 Turn Damage. As an added bonus, with the Sun domain, once per day he can Destroy undead instead of turning them. Hmm....

He's got a 95% chance to destroy 8-18 skeletons and to turn 4-9 2HD Zombies. He turns 2-4 Ogre Zombies and Skeletons 65% of the time. The pair of Ogre Skeletons were assured destruction once he made his turn check.

Comparisons:

an old-school, AD&D 2nd level Cleric:
Skeleton 70%, Zombie 55%
1-12 undead turned
Zero chance to outright *destroy* anything at 2nd level.
No rule for Ogre Zombie, etc. but 25% is probably consistent.
Also, NO RETRIES.

Castles and Crusades, 2nd level Cleric (swap his Cha and Wis to make him more effective at turning)
Skeleton 60%, Zombie 55%, Ogre Zombie/Skeleton 45%
2-13 undead turned.
Zero chance to outright *destroy* anything at 2nd level.
Also, NO RETRIES.

Hackmaster, 2nd Level Cleric
Skeleton 50%, Zombie 30%, Ogre Zombie 15%
1-4 undead turned.
Zero chance to outright *destroy* anything at 2nd level.
Not sure if you can retry in HM or not.

I don't want this to be an old system vs. new system thing, but Wow! I didn't see that coming. For me, I think plain old skeletons and zombies should be a threat to 1-2 level characters. There's a lot to like in the new rules, but this isn't one of those things, imho.

Now Narzy, that's another matter. He *should* have charmed Osfrid, not Karl. I blew that one. But still, something's wrong when you have to beef up skeletons and zombies to attack a 1st level party.

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Post by King Donkey » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:40 am

Yay! I dunno, I like reading about other people's games.

It seems that cleric is tailor made for stomping undead. With his feats, deity, etc maybe it wouldn't hurt to pump up the undead level to take him into account. I'm kinda curious as to what's gonna happen if they find the "easter egg" in this adventure.

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Post by ragnar1965 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:58 am

I think maybe Osfrid is too powerful.
I don't think he's too powerful. He set his cleric up to be an expert at turning undead. It's important not to take that away from a character. If they have bested the bad guys within the rules, then that's great. I believe that in every adventure, each character should have the opportunity to shine. Your cleric is designed to be turn undead. That means that he is going to suffer in other areas that a different cleric might excel. Besides, it's going to happen soon enough that he'll be up against monsters that are beyond his skill to turn. When he attempts it and fails, who do you think the monster is going to see as it's biggest threat? The cleric isn't going to shine in melee combat, and isn't going to shine in casting until much higher levels. I think you did just fine with the skeletons. Of course, I'm a dm that likes to see the party excel and prevail. I believe that the harder it is for them to prevail, the more fun they'll have. But, I never intentionally put the pc's in a situation that is beyond their ability. Now, that being said, I have taken them through this adventure and am currently taking them through Vault of Larin Karr from Necromancer Games. Then, they'll go through Rappan Athuk. I won't purposely put them in that position, but they will find themselves in that position plenty without any help from me. :twisted:

Oh well, I've rambled on long enough. Keep the updates coming!

GenghisWayne
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:18 pm

Catching up

Post by GenghisWayne » Sun Feb 05, 2006 10:56 am

I haven't posted an update in some time. Our group meets once a month, and the party spent the December session away from the Gannu Mines. In that session we did the following:

- switched from D&D 3.5 to Castles and Crusades game system
- introduced the campaign world: The Wilderlands of High Fantasy
- met some NPCs and introduced some plots and themes that would extend beyond this initial module
- ran a short side adventure that was heavy on Wilderlands elements to sort of set the tone

So Silverton is now the village of Anvil which is found on the Rorystone Road far to the north of the City State of the Invincible Overlord, and with an arm wave from the DM, all of the PCs are from the Dwarven city of Thunderhold. So that should bring us up to date with the next adventure log for January.

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