Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Okay, here is the low down on the latest game, followed by my thoughts about it. Hope this is of use or interest to someone out there :D

02:25 – After a short rest, the group, despite their wounds and weariness, vote to carry on a bit further, if only to make use of the remaining light from their second Sunrod...
An identical corridor stretches ahead

03:05 – After moving down this corridor checking for traps. No traps
Ormid opens Dundorin lever door. See the spiral stairs beyond. Vyrleen checks for trap.

03:15 – No traps! Move on! Group come to flight of stone stairs, that spiral into dark waters 45' below.

03:20 – At bottom of the stairs, vyrleen strips off and dives in

03:22 – Vyrleen reports two corridors; one to the Southeast, the other to the Northeast, roughly 45' below. Offers to dive back under and to explore further. Group agree.

03:25 – Vyrleen uses the groups' rope ladder as an anchor (held by the Warforged), and dives down.

03:26 – Gets to end of Northeastern tunnel. Discovers that the source of water is here; pouring through several large cracks in the roof. An ancient cave in blocks the tunnel
The Vyrleen re-surfaces (loose his grip on the ladder, when an over enthusiastic Warforged races away with it, tearing it free), catches his breath and dives down again

03:27 – At the end of the Southeastern corridor, discovers another collapse. Also sees that there are several dislodged floor stones, and that the water is draining into a lower chamber past them.

03:28 – Vyrleen back up top. Discusses with group. Several plans formulated. Group is unhappy about forcing the flag stones down the SE corridor, as the rush of draining water would almost certainly sweep the unfortunate to an unknown fate. Ormid proposes somehow blocking off the NE corridor, to allow the remaining water to drain naturally. However, the practicalities of this prove too much and this plan is abandoned.

03:35 – Ormid states he will go an examine the NE corridor

03:36 – Ormid dives and swims to in-flow area of the corridor. Realises he can seal the cracks the water flows in through with his artifice, and does so.
Because of the effort, Ormid begins to run short on air, and begins to drown.
Panicked swim back to surface. Manages to make it back, though only just (Looses 6 Healing Surges)

03:37 – Group decide to rest, to see if the waters will recede.

::NO ENCOUNTERS::

14:00 – [Sunrod 3 of 6 used] Tunnels drained, time to move on

14:10 – Group slog their way through the muddy gunk in the drained tunnels, and are soon trying to dislodge the collapsed flagstones, to gain a clearer view of the area below.

14:15 – After a number of attempts, the stones are dislodged.

14:17 – Llewellyn is lowered into chamber below on the rope ladder. Reports a large, rubble and fungus choked chamber, with Dundorin Stone Pillars, a dais, and directly beneath where the water has been flowing, a large pond, formed in a water carved depression. Still lots of water in the chamber. Also spots furtive movement.

14:25 – Group enter the Rotting Hall.

- Shambling Mound lurking under the water attacks; only the Warforged and Vyrleen are not
surprised.
- Other vegetable horrors emerge – four Ustilagor fungi and a Basidirond
- The Warforged is caught in the throes of powerful hallucinations for the entire fight, and attacks
at random. Other members of the party are hampered by the psionic dread the tiny brain like
Ustilagors inspire.
- The Shambling Mound envelops Gyllithed, but is quickly dispatched. The other fungi are a lot
harder to remove

14:27 – Following the battle, the group have a brief argument, when the Vyrleen presents the scroll he stole a while ago from Ormid. Ormid informs him it's a fake and burns it (much to the Vyrleen's horror as he is pretty positive it's not a fake).
- Brundorson makes his feelings about thieves very clear, though he is quite happy (he
hallucinated that he was being attacked by Trulls in the previous battle, and believes he has
slain one)
- The group decide to split up to search the chamber and adjacent chambers

14:45 – Large stone chest is found in side room. Llewellyn, with the help of Ormid, opens the
complex Dundorin lock, and Mithril Bars are found within, along with several useful elixirs, and an enchanted cloak (which the Warforged claims). Llewellyn steals a scroll written in Dundorin from the chest also .

And that's where we left it for this week. So, time to discuss this game.

Okay, the whole water filled corridors bit, actually played very well, even though the group did something I had not anticipated. What I thought they would do is send the Warforged (who has the best Endurance check) down the corridors, and that he would kick the loose flagstones out, creating (as they predicted) a powerful rush of water, which would put him at a huge risk of falling into the chamber below (suffering damage and being Prone), and having all the monsters there get a surprise round on him. Worse, the rest of the group would have to find some way to get to him before the fungi destroyed him - not easy at all.

Of course, I had given a fairly easy chance for the Warforged (or whoever) to stop themselves being sucked through the floor, so it wasn't a raw death trap...honest.

However, Ormid's suggestion was by far, the more sensible one (and I was gobsmacked that the Vyrleen - that's a Halfling folks - was the one doing the diving), and I was only too happy to let them use that plan. I was also really happy when he started to fail Endurance checks after undertaking a strenuous activity, as it added some serious drama to the proceedings (Ormid was one Healing Surge away from starting to take 7 damage per round by the time he broke the waters' surface).

With the waters cleared (I gave a nice XP reward for this, as if each character had defeated a level 7 monster), the group moved in.

Okay, the fight. The Shambling Mound was from the Monster Manual. However, the other monsters (4 x Ustilagors 1 x Basidirond) were homegrown conversions from 1st edition / 3.5.

The Basidirond was a Level 6 Controller, and with its Aura 5 that caused Hallucinations (and forced victims to choose random targets and to use random attack powers each round), it behaved very much like one (although every other attack it had failed or it didn't get to use). However, the Ustilagors (Level 7 Lurkers) acted more like Controllers, as their Aversion Auras (which temporarily hedge characters out, and Push them), kicked in from all angles.

This coupled with the terrain, made for quite a controlled fight, which was not really what I had intended. It was tough too - though the hallucinating Warforged caused some very tense moments when he targeted players. Muwahahahahahahaha!

By the way, I would post the stats for my monsters, but can't seem to get the tables to copy right here. Sorry :(

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