That worm comes at you under two conditions: if you walk in front of the stairs (as a result of the true seeing
trap you guys sorta found) or as a result of walking atop the landing.
There's really no way to avoid him, but the conditions under which the fight occurs change dramatically.
If you meet him at the foot of the stairs, he's a fully-operational Death Star, including his tail sting. If you fight him on the landing, he's pinned (not in the grappling sense) and has to wriggle free, with no access to his stinger.
IF he had lasted one more round, he would have destroyed the entire landing while wresting himself free, making everyone (including himself) make Reflex saves from falling blocks and rubble.
P.S. Adrian....I have a message from Peter Adkison. He would like to thank you for being the Union Station hall monitor and help desk. Your check is in the mail.
Laughed. Out. Loud.
Seriously, I didn't mind doing it - how often is it you get to have a conversation with one of Indianapolis's Finest about the relative merits of succubi? how often is it a police officer browbeats you into eating White Castle sliders? - but MAN I wish it hadn't been necessary!
Echoing (and paraphrasing) something Joseph said on another thread, round 1 was BRUTAL. Some of the tournament attendees had the "thousand-yard-stare" coming out of that round...0-level ain't no joke.
But as fathead properly pointed out, there's something innately heroic about those characters - hopelessly outclassed - going toe-to-toe with Gazihmon, Agig the goblin shillelaugh
-druid, and their minions.
The best teams adapted to the situation, used nonconventional tactics, and - most of all - knew when to say "when."
The coolest stories I heard from round 1 was from the teams that tried to lure Agig and his dire rat into the traps they had bypassed...or into the alchemost! Brilliant!
Anyway, this year we really asked the teams to step up...to bring their A-game or get butchered. I hope it was at least a little fun as well as challenging.
...by exploding a ground zero fireball in its' stomach...
I have to say, I was rooting for that! I was working on a paraphrase of Oppenheimer's "radiance of a thousand suns" quote (in re. the Trinity atomic blast) to make it appropriate to a fiendish purple worm detonating from inside...so cool!
Even though I (unforgivably) confused the sequence of rooms (I blame the sliders), once you guys found the secret door in the ceiling of the implosion
-door room you were cooking with gas...and the backtracking that afforded you let you find the tarot cards you had missed.
Hope you guys - and ALL the tournament teams - make it next year...
...and oh yes, there WILL be a tournament next year.