Friday, July 31, 2015

a return to the surface
[5e Dwimmermount]

We were missing the player who plays the party wizard, Sulla, last session. Rather than have him split from the party somehow I just ran Sulla alongside the group, paired his initiative with Tsetsig's, and always announced what I intended to do with him so other players could veto or give commentary on what they thought Sulla would do.

I've been treating the random encounter tables for Dwimmermount as a finite list of monsters.
For the Path of Mavors, level 1, the random encounters listed "gelatinous cube (1)" which I translated as "there is 1 gelatinous cube somewhere on this level" and likewise when the same entry appeared on the next level down I only ever had one gelatinous cube appear.
This means I look at the random monsters as the active components to the level, which are sometimes a part of the factions and groups that are also on the level. But as the forces are whittled down in the rooms, I look at the random encounter list and think "what do these guys do when their friends are no longer in the rooms? what do they do when they find their friends' dead bodies?" or I look at the more beastial monsters and think "when this creature isn't roaming, where does it nest?"

Last week, the session ended with Horatius exiting the cloning chamber and running smack into a pack of rust monsters. The party made short work of the four beasts, and only Ilona came away from the fight with a damaged weapon - everything else used was magical.

The noise drew the attention of some nasty fellows coming down the hall, and as Horatius looked around the corner he saw the troll that had killed Braak followed by his holy warrior friend and two other miscreants. All of the PCs each uttered the word "Micma" to prevent the teleport trap from affecting them, and one of the troll's friends noticed and loudly announced "That word, Micma, must be what turns off the teleport trap!"

Levity dropped a stinking cloud in their enemies' path and one of the troll's friends unleashed a fireball into the party. Several fireballs were thrown on both sides and Levity worked hard to keep his companions alive and fighting. The troll fell to Horatius'es blade and one of Sulla's firebolts, and the battle ended when Sulla placed a crown of madness upon the dumb fighter accompanying the troll who then attacked his wizard friend. They had one friend left, an elf, who ran.

This is the rival adventuring party I mentioned before. The party could have easily TPKed from these guys and some of the characters did almost die. The stats I gave them are:
Greenfellow, straight Troll stats out of the MM, but his double claw attacks were replaced by the flaming sword which did magical 2d10+4 damage while he was wielding it
Tarf the dumb wannabe palading, Gladiator on page 346 of MM
the elven rogue, Spy on page 349 of MM
Gimble the short wizard, the same stats and spells as Sulla - the party wizard

The second fireball that the party got hit by was incredibly weak though (
I rolled a 15 on 8d6!) and if Levity hadn't made his saves from the fireballs then the quick healing he performed might not have happened.

At the end of the fight, Horatius picked up the troll's sword and he heard a voice telling him to kill orcs. He dropped the sword immediately and Sulla began casting detect magic as a ritual while Tsetsig cast identify as a ritual on the troll's sword, but after 1 minute the teleport trap activated and the party was forcibly split up!

Every time somebody declared they were doing something I kept asking "Right here?" and nobody announced that they were moving away from the trap, so I figured it would activate on them. No sense in giving them the benefit of the doubt. I rolled for random monsters for each group that split up but nothing was encountered. The teleportation ended up being nothing more than a nuisance, this time.

They reunited and sat just outside of the teleport trap while Tsetsig took the troll's sword then cast animate dead on the holy warrior (who had been dubbed Paladumb by the players). They decided to work their way to the elevator and return to the Path of Mavors.
They found the elevator easily enough, it was right where they expected it to be (after aligning the maps) but it wasn't operational. Horatius found the secret door to the power room behind the elevator. Levity was the only one who could make out the instructions on the control panels and powered up the elevator. They returned to the first level and Ilona instantly sought out Rigob to inform her of Poach'es death.

Rigob spoke of more soldiers and people coming from the town below, all were brought by the priest of Typhon, Louys Herint, and Ilona decided to confront the priest. Horatius led the way. When they got to the chapel they found him writing letters while two personal guards lounged behind him. Horatius confronted Louys by burning the letter he was currently writing, one of the guards stood and a fight seemed imminent. Ilona interrogated them and determined that one of the guards had let the troll in. Tsetsig commanded him to kneel and Ilona cut off his head - though it took two swipes of her axe. Ilona then informed Louys that he was not to bring any more people to Dwimmermount without her authority, otherwise she would take his head next.

Then they divvied up their loot, Krishka and Puzz insisted on bringing the rest of their people up from the lower levels (which they did without complications), and then Tsetsig and Sulla returned to town.

It took about 2 hours to play out the scene with the priest and then determine who was going back to town and what was being bought. Mostly minutia, but everybody received about 300 gold and 375 gp worth of gems. In previous games I've always played with a silver standard so that seems like a lot to me, but something tells me 6th-level characters should be getting more from a dungeon crawl. I've decided to start using the treasure rewards as written from now on - though I will continue to add quirky magic items wherever I see fit.

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