Goodman Games

DCC#26 The Scaly God
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Author:  Gailbraithe [ Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:42 am ]
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After reading this thread yesterday, I ran out and picked up The Scaly God. Looks pretty cool!

Author:  Jengenritz [ Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:53 pm ]
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A wise's a quality module.

Author:  Rick Maffei [ Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:34 pm ]
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Jengenritz wrote:
A wise's a quality module.

Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated (especially coming from a fellow "writer of deadly rooms")! :D

Author:  JediOre [ Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:21 pm ]
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I concur. This is a well crafted dungeon crawl, a.k.a. people will have fun playing it (and that's what it's all about!)

Author:  Rick Maffei [ Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:47 pm ]
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Thanks Jedi, my good man. We aim to please!

Author:  Chuul Killer [ Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:36 pm ]
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Jengenritz wrote:
A wise's a quality module.

Quality module, it's freakin' brilliant! I just finished reading this puppy and it's great, nothing I disliked about it, AT ALL, really, good writing. I'll talk about it more later but truly good stuff, wow, keep'em coming! Two thumbs way up!! :D

Author:  Rick Maffei [ Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:04 am ]
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I'm glad indeed the adventure was what the doctor ordered Chuul.
I'd be interested to know some specifics as to what you particularly liked -- it helps when I pull the next module idea out of the old Grey Room.
And remember, you owe us a dragon battle report when the time comes. :wink:

Author:  Jengenritz [ Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:34 pm ]
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This was a long time coming, but we finally wrapped up our adventures through this great module!

The Heroes of Ander's Farm vs. The Scaly God, final report (part 1)

[Adrian's note: as I stated in the first report, I scaled back several encounters because the party was beneath recommended level. Other encounters I removed entirely because this is a long adventure and I wanted to finish it over the course of a full weekend of gaming...for real this time]

When we last left the heroes of Ander's Farm, they had engaged the troglodytes lurking around the second level of the cave system near Whitefang Keep.

Licking their wounds, and with the warlock smarting from a near-death experience, the heroes and their caravan-guard hireling return to Whitefang Keep for some rest.

By the time they get back, the caravan guard is complaining about the inherent danger in a life of adventuring, and decides that he's had quite enough, thank you. By this time, another caravan has passed through Whitefang Keep, allowing Otto Rensman to resupply and offer different goods to the party.

[Adrian's note: I stocked the various caravans as if they were creatures with a treasure rating of "double standard" - the Rensman caravan was an EL 5, for example. I would assume they had any mundane equipment and randomly roll for anything extra...all this was done prior to going live]

Along with the new caravan came a burly but none-too-bright fighter, who had been briefed in the situation by Otto and was willing to sign on with the heroes of Ander's Farm.

Some negotiations later, everyone bedded down and prepared to re-assault the caves the next day.

As the party descended into the mountain, they regaled the new fighter with tales of their exploits thus far. In the course of doing so, they neglected to make good Spot checks, Belkar-style, and blundered into an ambush by several mountain trogs who, using their climb speeds, were clinging to the ceiling.

A brief fight ensued, and one trog got away (more on this later, oh yes). They backtracked a bit and ended up falling down the slide to the decapus pit. The cleric was CONVINCED that the illusion of the fallen paladin was a ghost of some sort, and tried twice to turn it while the rest of the party fought the decapus, who managed to pull the halfling rogue up to the ceiling where it was.

The party slew the beast and eventually figured out that the paladin was an illusion, and recovered his goods. Then they decided to push on (leaving an entire section of the 2nd floor unexplored).

In short order they found the "save point" on the 3rd floor, where the paladin's holy symbol had washed up in the consecrated cave. After much hemming and hawing, they pushed on...

[At this point I started removing encounters so we could wrap things up over the weekend]

...and explored much of the cave network without finding anything too interesting until they got to the natural bridge over the underground river-in-a-chasm. Things took a turn south here...I had replaced the razorwings with standard dire bats, believing at the time it made the fight easier...hmmmm...not so much.

The party, for their part, used some of the worst tactics they could. Although they had spotted the bats, they lined up along the edge of the cliff. They took pot shots during a surprise round (killing one bat outright), but were in a horrible position for the rest of the fight because the bats could outmaneuver them (even taking into account maneuverability). The fighter dropped (down but not out), the cleric rushed in to save him, and he decided to conduct the rest of the fight from prone.

Which, amazingly, was a brilliant strategy. Even with the penalty to melee from prone, the fighter was a buzzsaw, and bats started dropping (not before the ranger, although again the cleric was on the spot).
The warlock had a hard time hitting with his eldritch blast (this guy rolls 3s like nobody's business), and the rogue was perpetually out of position to flank.

It was a rough fight, but in the end the heroes emerged bloodied but victorious. They made a beeline for the "save point" and rested.

The next day they followed the sound of the pechs at work. One pit trap later (avoided ONLY because of the rogue's trap sense ability...this was a game of close calls), they found the corridor with the magic worked stone walls. These figures were a blast to act out (each with its own facial reactions). The pechs (unseen around a corner but heard) were finally alerted to the presence of the party when they set off the howling wolf (fear) face.

So they come around the corner just as the ranger and warlock (?) are taking off running, leaving the cloistered cleric and the rogue holding the bag. The pech are friendly if somewhat frustrating to talk to, however, and pretty soon the party is given a Sub-Quest: Kill the Trog Leaders. be concluded

Author:  Jengenritz [ Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:55 pm ]
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And now the end to our thrilling tale...

The Heroes of Ander's Farm vs. The Scaly God, final report (part 2)

Although brimming with purpose after having been given a sub-quest by the pechs, the party surprised me by considering turning on the earth fey and stealing their stuff. But this was not to come to pass, as time will tell...

The heroes marched back up to the troglodyte caves above them, failing to Spot a mountain trog clinging to the ceiling. The trog skittered away, and they saw him as he fled into the darkness (elf, three humans, and a halfling mean no darkvision). The ranger turned into a wolf (using the cloak she found in Halls of the Minotaur) and gave chase...right into a really big ambush.

The trogs, you see, had gotten sick of these humans (and elf and halfling) stomping around their caves, and had decided to do something about it. As a result, the party faced the sub-chief, the shaman, the chief, and a few schmucks all at once.

The wolf-ranger got missed by a ton of javelins, and realized she was in over her head. The rest of the party caught up just as she came barreling around the corner, yipping. The shaman starts off with a beefy cause fear, making the fighter flee combat. Down their meatwall, the fight got serious. The chief waded into the party, believing himself to be bullet-proof (and he kinda was). The rogue tumbled past the fray and set himself up for a flank (eventually taking down the shaman, who failed to cast defensively the rest of the fight), but drawing the attention of the sub-chief. The schmucks hung back and threw ineffectual javelins.

Things continued to go sour for the party. The rogue was dropped to -9 hp, and the sub-chief (extrapolating from the storyline laid out by the module) looted his body in mid-combat (he wasn't threatened) to find steel weapons. On his next turn, the rogue STABILIZED! Amazing.

The warlock shattered the chief's greataxe, but that only allowed the chief to open up the claw/claw/bite routine, which dropped the ranger. By this time, the fighter was no longer afeared, and rejoined the fight. The cleric bounced back and forth between the downed ranger and the fighter, who AGAIN was dropped and AGAIN chose to fight from prone and AGAIN was 100% more effective from that position, eventually killing the chief.

With the chief and shaman dead, the schmucks fled, leaving the sub-chief and his (Small) shortsword. He dropped the fighter (again) and paused to pick up his bastard sword. Now properly armed, it looked like he was going to fillet the warlock when a last-ditch eldritch blast finished him off.

Collecting heads, the party explored the rest of the mountain troglodyte caves, finding little treasure and no more trogs. Returning to the pech, they exchanged the heads for their due reward...that ring of stone tell.

The party returned to the "save point" and rested. By this time the wand of cure light wounds they found during Hall of the Minotaur was expended, but they party decided to press on rather than return to Whitefang Keep.

This decision would ultimately cost them their lives.

[It was getting late, so I decided to excise the rest of the module in favor of getting to Rathulagon...which is too bad, 'cause there was a lot of good-times adventure-meat left]

The party, healed and rested, started marching down into the darkness. A very, very long and winding road later, they entered the final cavern with the waterfall and tricky bridge.

[Everything was reading "boss fight"...the HUGE cave, the waterfall, the really long trek...everything.]

The party crossed the bridge safely and started advancing by torchlight along the cave's far wall...cleanly illuminating them to the dragon's 120 ft. darkvision.

I had the party make Listen checks to hear Rathulagon scrabbling out of his nook, and then they did something I could not believe.

They got in a line.

They had found a blue scale earlier, had seen the lightning damage on Whitefang Keep, and had talked to Otto about the natures of various dragons. Yet, they got in a line.

Rathulagon, being evil and not dumb, couldn't pass it up. KRAKA-BOOM!

One line of lightning later, the cloistered cleric, the warlock, and the fighter were all dead. The halfling saved and survived due to evasion, and only the ranger was not in the path.

At that point we called it a TPK...Rathulagon had been roused and there was no way the ranger and rogue alone could stand against him.

The party had a good run of it, but in the end Rathulagon was too much for them [even after I downgraded him to young]. The party enjoyed the game and the module, and we all immediately agreed to play a new campaign.

So thanks to Rick for writing a badass, fun module!

When we get going again, I'll post more storytimes about other DCCs we play.

Author:  Mike_Ferguson [ Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:08 am ]
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And many, many thanks to Adrian for running this bad boy. (I joined in on the tail end of the adventure as Mordigar, the burly but none-too-bright fighter mentioned earlier.)

It's definitely one of the most fun modules I've ever played. I tend to usually play either rogues or wizards/sorcerers that are ruthlessly analytical, so big dumb Mordigar the Meat Shield was a hoot to play. I've also never rolled so weirdly for a character in my life. Standing up? All 3s and 4s ... couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. From prone? Worked ou disgustingly well, and couldn't miss.

One of the reasons for playing a dumb fighter as well was because I'd read "Scaly God" when it first came out. While a couple of months had passed since reading it and playing it with Adrian's group, there were a few parts that I still remembered (the pech, and the final encounter), so I tried not to say anything when we entered an area, and tried keeping my tactics limited to just attacking the biggest thing in the room. Still, I realized just a little too late as we went from our (smart) scattered formation to our (stupid) line formation that we were probably in big, big trouble ... and then the TPK a minute or so later confirmed it. :roll:

Awesome, awesome adventure. Rick, you wrote a genuine classic. I'm glad I got to journey through at least a part of this one.

Author:  Rick Maffei [ Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:40 pm ]
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Jengenritz wrote:
They got in a line...

Rathulagon, being evil and not dumb, couldn't pass it up. KRAKA-BOOM!

Awesome recap Jengenritz, thanks! :D
I've really enjoyed your recountings here, well told and I hope you continue with other DCCs when time allows.

Many of the encounters are not "hard" (by the book) CR-wise, but I tried to add an environmental factor (such as the "bat bridge") to many encounters to up the ante, and I've been curious just how easily a party could get to the final show-down with big blue.

Curious: what was the beginning and ending level make-up of the party?

Author:  Rick Maffei [ Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:45 pm ]
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Mike_Ferguson wrote:
I'm glad I got to journey through at least a part of this one.

Thanks for the kind words Mike.
I'll have to remember your unqiue fighting tactic the next time I play a "strategically challenged" fighter! :wink:

Author:  Jengenritz [ Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:23 pm ]
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Curious: what was the beginning and ending level make-up of the party?

I believe the heroes started at 2nd level (having risen up from 0-level during Halls of the Minotaur), and ended at 4th level...the minimum level given for the adventure.

Aside from a lucky axe-swing (through a doorway), they had no problem with Whitefang Keep itself...and that was a great lead-in to the adventure as well as a top-notch clubhouse for the party to rest in.

My group is new to dungeon-crawling (their prior experience with D&D was a series of more role-playing-intensive games with a GM who would sometimes fudge in the party's favor), so they probably made a few mistakes along the way that cost them, but they had a blast and we're looking forward to some love when we restart...

...which reminds me! I need to get planning that!

Author:  Chairman7w [ Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:34 am ]
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What a run read! Thanks for posting that.

Man, that adventure looks fun, I'll definitely pick it up. TPK? Hey - if they didn't want danger, they would have been bakers instead of Adventurers, right?

Author:  The Incredible Kid [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Rested and ready for Rathulagon

My party of one fifth and four sixth level characters have been mowing through DCC26. All they have left is 3-13 through 3-16. The players have found no trouble resting throughout the caves despite this quote from an earlier post on this thread:

"There are few "safe havens" in the caves, and PCs flopping down to rest in any old cave will be subject to wandering monsters, etc. Thus, if a PC is fast & loose with those fireballs (etc.) early on, they will find themselves ill-prepared for the final encounter. "

The module makes it clear that wandering monsters come from the different encounter areas, and that they should be deleted from those areas once they are encountered:

"Slain monsters should be removed from the total number of monsters in the appropriate area."

My players have been effectively wiping out entire levels as they go, and the ecology seems closed enough that rather than drawing in random creatures to give them yet more combat in really combat-heavy sessions, I have allowed them to rest in the caves. Before that they were resting in Whitefang. I made them fight two wyverns, and many extra trogs, so it wasn't like I was giving them an easy time when they decided to rest.

At this point they have figured out that they are up against a Blue Dragon. They want to exit the caves, return to Wildsgate (That is their current home base, and my replacement for Lastever in the module.) to craft scrolls and potions with combat with a Blue Dragon in mind. Their intention is to take on the Dragon as armed and primed as possible.

I feel like I will have to act very aggressively and restrictively if I am to thwart their plans. I figured the only thing that would stop them is if the Pech wall them in. But Rathulagon looks so tough, if any players were to die (and I suspect that is a likely outcome) because I forced them into a particular encounter, I would feel awful for keeping thoughtful, intelligent players from preparing themselves as best they saw fit.

Thoughts? I figure I can make Rathulagon fully challenging even if they think they are ready for him.

Besides, Lady Aborn and her army are still out there, as well as an angry Azubal scheming for revenge.

:?: :?:

Author:  Rick Maffei [ Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:52 pm ]
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The quote was mine, so I'll take the blame for that! :)

The pech could wall them in, or a rockslide (common in the area) could wall them in (leaving the dragon's exit tunnel as their only exit), but ultimately it might be better to let the players do as they will.

If the PCs take longer than 5 days to return, Rathulagon will automatically know something has happened because of his missing "appointment" with Ssustre; he could, of course, find out earlier if you desire. The dragon is certainly smart enough to take precautions if he discovers that powerful invaders have entered the complex.

I'd recommend bumping Rathulagon up one age level, and playing him smart. He can leave his cave anytime he wishes -- perhaps, as the PCs make their way back along the treacherous mountainside paths on their way back, they will be surprised as big blue dives out of the sky and makes a strafing run (those paths are nice & narrow for lightning bolts and the PCs probably won't have drank those protective potions yet), or perhaps he simply drops a few boulders down on their heads. Or perhaps, sensing the slaughter that has taken place in the caves, he flies outside, tracks down the remaining hobgoblin horde, drags several leaders back to his cave to act as his personal guard.

You might also slip a few items into the dragon's hoard that he might make use of: dust of disappearance, an efreeti bottle, an elixir of fire breath (that'll give those pesky electricity-proof adventurers a surprise), or perhaps he wears a special collar of invulnerability.

You get the idea. Rathulagon is many things, but vulnerable should never be one of them. :twisted:

Author:  The Incredible Kid [ Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:08 am ]
Post subject:  Thanks

Thanks for the suggestions, Rick. I think my players are going to have a hard time with it no matter how I handle it.



Author:  Rick Maffei [ Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:05 am ]
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Do let us all know how it turns out IK. Re-tellings of dragon battles are a great pleasure to old-timers such as myself. 8)

Author:  The Incredible Kid [ Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Censer details?

Hello again,

My players still have not had their confrontation with Rathulagon, but unless things go terribly awry, it should go down tomorrow. Last session they hacked through the Aurumvorax with only one player coming near death. I originally logged on to post some questions about the Censer of Weal, but looking in the DMG, I am assuming, based on the stats for the Censer of Controlling Air Elementals, that the Censer of Weal is 6-inch wide, 1-inch high, and weighs one pound.


Author:  Rick Maffei [ Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:09 pm ]
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Those dimensions sound fine. (I pretty much pictured it along those lines, though perhaps a taller than 1 inch and cone shaped.)

Sort of this shape: ... censer.jpg

But any shape will do!

Author:  ATOM [ Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:08 am ]
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Another great mod! I love the player handouts! Great Artwork too! :wink:

Author:  The Incredible Kid [ Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Much appreciated

Thanks for the visual aid, Rick. We'll see how tonight goes down.


Author:  Rick Maffei [ Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:54 pm ]
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ATOM wrote:
Great Artwork too! :wink:

I was extremely pleased with the way the artwork turned out. We have a very talented group of artists lending their hand and making our modules truly sing.

Those reading this should check out Andy's great work too (via links in his original post). Gotta love those DAT-inspired illustrations. 8)

Author:  ATOM [ Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:02 am ]
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Rick Maffei wrote:
ATOM wrote:
Great Artwork too! :wink:

I was extremely pleased with the way the artwork turned out. We have a very talented group of artists lending their hand and making our modules truly sing.

Those reading this should check out Andy's great work too (via links in his original post). Gotta love those DAT-inspired illustrations. 8)

You are a pretty good writer Rick. I will have to purchase your other works. Jim Goodman has a very very good art team. All the artists styles compliment each other very well. It was originally for all the cool artwork that I began purchasing the DCC series. There are no corners cut in the DCC series in regards to art content. The players handouts are excellent. They really add to the immersion. The Scaly God also resurrected lots of old D&D creatures, and the creature section at the rear was another great bonus.My favourite DCC Module to date! And not to mention a brilliantly
written module too. You should be proud of yourself Rick. :wink:

Author:  JediOre [ Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:30 am ]
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I'm happy this module is getting the attention it deserves.

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