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 Post subject: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:50 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

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My group has entered the castle and cleared the gatehouse but the rogue slaver escaped and warned the others and they are on alert.

Then the party cleared out the spire and are using it as a base of operations. They plan on camping in the top of the tower with the trap door bolted for protection in the next session.

My question is if they camp what would the slavers do? Would they continue to wait in their ambush area? Or would they try to assault the tower while they camp knowing they are there?

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 Post subject: Re: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:38 pm 
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IMHO, if Ikenvar is still alive, he would probably set about doing something particularly nasty, like building a large smokey fire in the base of the tower to force the players out and demanding they throw their weapons, etc., out of one of the high windows before exiting.

Another thing he might do is alert the orks on level 2 to the presence of dangerous adventurers in the hopes of getting them to do his dirty work for him, thought that may cost him in the long run.

If the party is firmly entrenched and the numbers of the Iron Manacle remain high, they may just post a watch around the tower, sending the rogue in to set various types of simple traps along the descent from their "safe" spot. The smoky fire option could work here if there were a way to quickly set it while the party was still descending.

In fact, it shouldn't be too hard to create a few tripwire traps to send players careening down stairs/ladders/hatches if the tower is filled with smoke (-4 to the Spot/Perception DC due to smoke), separating them, then pounding them with missiles and stenchpots as they run reeling and gagging out the door.

:lol: Oh man that sounds fun!


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 Post subject: Re: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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fonkin wrote:
IMHO, if Ikenvar is still alive, he would probably set about doing something particularly nasty, like building a large smokey fire in the base of the tower to force the players out and demanding they throw their weapons, etc., out of one of the high windows before exiting.

Another thing he might do is alert the orks on level 2 to the presence of dangerous adventurers in the hopes of getting them to do his dirty work for him, thought that may cost him in the long run.

If the party is firmly entrenched and the numbers of the Iron Manacle remain high, they may just post a watch around the tower, sending the rogue in to set various types of simple traps along the descent from their "safe" spot. The smoky fire option could work here if there were a way to quickly set it while the party was still descending.

In fact, it shouldn't be too hard to create a few tripwire traps to send players careening down stairs/ladders/hatches if the tower is filled with smoke (-4 to the Spot/Perception DC due to smoke), separating them, then pounding them with missiles and stenchpots as they run reeling and gagging out the door.

:lol: Oh man that sounds fun!


Great idea! I was going to suggest getting the orcs involved but the tripwires and smoke sound like a hoot. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:55 pm 
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The Iron Manacle has lost only 3 members the two in the gatehouse (rogue escaped) and the rogue in the tower.

If I throw the IM at them full force it would consist of about 4 (War1) Slavers and 1 (Rog1) and would include Ikenvar and Melchin.
That's pretty heavy with no way to retreat. That puts 7 against 7 but with Ikenvar and Melchin's levels it is super dangerous.

(The party consist of 7 1st Level PC's)
Human Fighter
Human Paladin
Human Cleric
Elf Wizard
Half Elf Rogue
Halfling Druid
Half Orc Ranger

Last week they found the hidden trapdoor in the ground floor of the spire and went down to investigate and found the room and the second secret door that led into the level 1 dungeon. However when they met the owl bear skeleton I really played it up... (12 foot tall and glowing red eyes and how cold the claws were when they dug into the rogue.) It hit and almost killed the rogue with one claw so they retreated like wounded children. Back up to the tower but not before they blew most of their spell load to no avail and when they couldn't hardly damage the thing they guessed they were a level below where they needed to be.

Thus the need to camp to regain healing and spells etc. It is currently about 3pm in the afternoon so I guess with guard rotation they will camp for at least 12 hours (3am)

Obviously if the monks attack why they are not recovered it would be a bloodbath. So if they attack I say do it toward the end of the twelve hours so resources of the party are pretty much back.

So how many to hit them with to be fair? Or do you think Ikenvar would hit them with everything at once...??? Doing non lethal damage to capture could not be done with arrows. So if arrows started it would be to kill and not capture.

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 Post subject: Re: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:36 am 
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A TPK at first level happens. If they trapped themselves at the top of the tower then they should pay the price. These are slavers and I can't see them being very merciful. I think they give them one chance to surrender. If the answer is no they would attack full force. They have way to much to lose by letting the PC's live.

No matter the outcome I think the Players will run back to town the next time they need a rest.

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 Post subject: Re: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:47 pm
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I have to agree with DCCFan. The slavers face a tough choice; capture/kill the party or relocate their operation. The best possible outcome for them would be to capture the party and sell them to the orcs (earning them a profit and removing a pesky problem at the same time).

However, don't forget that Ikenvar's motivation is to rebuild the Iron Manacle; if they take too many losses, their operation will suffer and they face the possibility of the orcs taking THEM as slaves, or simply killing them outright.

Thus I would play the slavers as sneaky and ruthless as possible with the following objectives:
1. Capture the party.
2. Kill the party if #1 is impossible.
3. Flee if #1 and 2 are impossible.

The 12 hour wait gives the rogue ample opportunity to sow traps in the tower that will weaken/separate the party. While the traps/smoke/whatever will serve to weaken them slightly, it will also irritate them. You want the party to hate the slavers; it will make it all that much more satisfying when they finally beat them.

Worst case scenario; the party dies. The players learn a lesson and pick up new characters.

Second worst case; the party is captured and sold to the orcs. Then you have a choice; continue running the adventure with these characters as slaves attempting a Prison Break scenario OR they pick up new characters who will "unlock" the pre-gens once the slavers and orcs have been defeated.

Best case, they fight their way out of it and win. (The monk, of course, escapes!) :))


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 Post subject: Re: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Ok so hear are the tactics that I've come up with.

Using the hay from the stables should be of ample supply to start one hell of a smoke fire to fill the tower. They will set this on the second floor to real smoke out the top while they wait in ambush with trip wires on the stairs between level 1 and level 2. On the ground floor there will be 1 (war1) slaver with staff and 1 (war1) slaver with bow to pick off the first party member to fall down the stairs. Ikenvar waits outside the door using his enlarge person potion to attack the first one out the door.

Meanwhile since the party left the secret door open in the lower tower that leads to the level one dungeon I figured that the slavers discovered it and how it leads into the tower. Melchin the monk will be awaiting in the safe room down the ladder with 1 (war1) slaver with staff and 1 (war1) slaver with bow. In case the party tries to escape through this route.

The slaver rogue will wait at the back of the tower in case someone tries to use a rope to come down out the window.

If the PC's defeat the first 2 slavers on floor one and head out the door to engage Ikenvar I will have Melchin and the second wave come through the trap door and attack from the rear. (Evil DM)

If the battle goes badly for the slavers the monk will slip back down the trapdoor... lets see if the PC's try and follow after already running from the owlbear skeleton.


Now for the chance of detection. I'm sure the PC's will have watches setup through the night looking out the windows of the tower. What should be the chance of detecting the slavers on approach to the tower? Second they also have a modified druid shape shifter that can turn into an Eagle and I'm sure they will have him scouting at some point.

So basically I just need an idea of how to work out possible detection by the party. Obviously Melchin's crew won't be detected underground.

I also could have the entire gang use the tunnels and chance of detection would be 0% until they were in the tower. Then I could just tell them at such and such time that they smell and see smoke. I'm sure they would go right for the window but the rogue should fire off a warning arrow to discourage it while seeking cover around the curve of the tower. If they do drop a rope I'll have the rogue throw oil on it and light it up....

Or (Evil DM Again) and equal thing to do would be to start a brush fire below the window to discourage climbers and rope use....


Keep the ideas a coming guys.....

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 Post subject: Re: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:32 am 
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I thought everyone might like to know how this situation played out.

My group of 8 PC's ended up deciding to camp starting about 4pm in the bottom floor of the spire with 2 pc's on guard in rotation. 1 in the top of the spire and one just outside the spire door to keep watch.

At sunset I had the guard in the top of the spire notice that some slavers was filling one of the wagons with hay near the stables and hauled it back around to their encampment area. This immediately got the talk of them getting burned out of the tower talk going. They decided not to wake the group but alerted the next shift of PC guards.

At around midnight I had a rogue slaver sneak up from the dungeon area and approach on a scouting mission up the ladder from the hidden room. Our Rangers wolf companion heard the rogues approach and began barking at the trap door. The PC's awoke donned their armor and remained in the dark. The half orc Ranger opened the trapdoor and peered down into the darkness seeing the rogue climbing the ladder he decided to take a shot at him with his bow and barely missed. Our cleric also flung a blanket down the trapdoor with the hope of confusing the rogue on the ladder but the blanket went harmlessly by the slaver. Being on a scouting mission the slaver quickly retreated and went to inform Ikenvar of their camping on the first floor so the smoking them out idea was off.

The PC's closed the trapdoor back and set their two previously captured slavers on the trapdoor and continued to wait and prepare a couple more hours and kind of wait and see.

Well about 4am they began to worry about a predawn attack and decided that they would move first. Staying under the cover of darkness they slipped there way out of the spire and down the path to the stable area and here is where I the DM was caught off guard.

In a well thought out plan like something out of an epic movie the half orc slipped in and started untying horses and slapping them on the rear and got them running in all different directions as the rest of the group doused the buildings in oil and two rounds later a fire was ablaze.... I had the fire creep about 10 feet per round down the buildings. The PC's approached in the firelight and had ranged weapon PC's and the cleric just out of the light radius in the darkness as they advanced.

Now from my perspective they just loosed the slavers only transport and had lit the place ablaze which I figured infuriated Ikenvar to no end so I had them come out of hiding just like the PC's wanted. I had 4 slaver warriors come out and form a line almost militant snapping to attention as Ikenvar stepped out after using his enlarge potion and had him really played up and he intimidated the half orc ranger and he ran scared to the back of the PC's. The PC's in the light stayed back and stopped their advance while the hidden ones continued rounding toward a better ranged position using the tents for cover.

Ikenvars line advanced but did not charge yet as he tried to intimidate the Paladin but did not succeed. However I had another four slaver warriors step out and take rank behind the first group this one with crossbows as the monk Melchin tumbled out Bruce Lee Style to take control of this line. With this the PC's was scared at what they were facing.

Now the stage was set for the final battle. The half orc ranger decided to go search through tents in the darkness while the rest of the group fought. At first anyway. The party wizard and Beguiler stepped up and cast Sleep simultaneously. Downing 2 of the front slavers and two of the archers successfully. However no other front line PC's attacked yet and the ranged hidden ones assumed their final positions.

On the slavers turn they spent the round kicking and slapping the asleep slavers to get them back on their feet which basically wasted their round but neither side had yet drawn first blood still sizing each other up.

Then as the PC's round started here came the action. The Paladin charged Ikenvar directly but missed. Out of the darkness came the PC Fighter who crit on a front slaver and using Pazio's crit hit deck managed to take 2 slavers out together as her blade sliced through both at once. Other Ranged weapon fire began on Ikenvar. Along with magic volleys of anything useful the PC's magic users had in their arsenal.

Ikenvar connected on his round and the Paladin shook it off another slaver attacked the Pally and missed. Melchin tubbled up and over Ikenvar and the Pally flanked him and did a good damage from the back to the Pally. The archers returned fire into the darkness without much success but they did manage to hit the party wizard and take him down to 2 hp.

The wizard fled for cover of the darkness the battle continued. The party Cleric (Who originally came up with burning the stables idea) decided that the Pally could not handle both the monk and Ikenvar on him another round so he stepped out from the darkness within 10 feet of the monk, he reminded me he still had his oil flask in his hand and lit a tinder twig in it and tossed it for Melchin. It connected and set him ablaze. In turn it infuriated Melchin and he charged the Cleric on the next round not even bothering to put out the flames.

I had Melchin try to grapple to set the cleric back on fire as well and he failed, the Cleric in turn somehow managed to bullrush and knock prone Melchin who was still ablaze. Well the first slaver leader to go down was Ikenvar but not before the Paladin went down as well. It was obvious the PC's had the upper hand now and the half orc ranger and his wolf returned from searching tents and began to engage the last couple slaver archers.

After putting himself out Melchin saw the battle growing dim and ran for the exit. At full run he was 10 foot from the gatehouse when the beguiler put him unconscious with a bow shot.

Thus the party didn't lose anyone, but the Ranger and Wizard went down unconscious and the party now has 2 captured slavers now and Melchin captured as well.

However I did give everyone an extra 50 xp apiece for the great plan to draw the slavers to them.

Instead of burning the PC's out I think it happened the other way around.....

Oh well such is the life of a DM, I'll get them on the second level.....

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 Post subject: Re: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:15 am 
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Thanks for the update. It sounds like it went well for the PC's after all. :D

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 Post subject: Re: What would the slavers do?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:35 am 
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Agreed, thanks for the update!

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