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5E Enhancing "Rise of Tiamat" (Practical stuff to try at your table!)

Sadras

Hero
Okay my two groups are now converging at the 3RD Council Meeting.

The SKT party left the Temple of the All-Father after it came down crashing on Harshnag and the Iymrith and journeyed out of the Spine of the World, low on resources and without much of their basic climbing equipment (as that had been carried by Harshnag). A tough trek, which saw them picking the easier paths despite loss in days, hiding and running away much of the time.

They made their way to the Valley of Khedrun before they had a chance encounter with Felgolos again. He filled them in on his wanderings and what he had learned as well as that he had been invited to the cloud giant fortress above Evermoor by Countess Sansuri (foreshadowing SKT chapter 9). The dragon dropped them near Mirabar where the intrepid adventurers sought out an official to tell their tale of what they had learned at the Eye of the All-Father. They quickly received an audience with Selin Remur, the marchion of the city (SKT pg 98) who decided it was high time that Mirabar should have their own Lord's Alliance delegate represented at these Council Meetings.

They along with Selin made their way to Luskan where they took a ship bound for Waterdeep to inform the Council of what they had learned. While in Waterdeep Leosin Erlanthar took the opportunity to schedule a private meeting with the two new delegates (Selin Remur of Mirabar and the tiefling Nightshade for the Zhentarim) who would be attending the Council just to bring them up to speed as two what had already transpired in meetings before.

Needless to say the characters were all up in arms once they found out that the Zhentarim had joined but moreso because Nightshade was accompanied by the remaining two Seven Snake members (Xolkin and Kella Darkhope).
The 7-snakes had tangled with the party before in Nightstone and had resulted in 5 7-snakes deaths, a PC death and another PC permanently scarred across her face. The meeting ended in a failure with the characters and snakes both drawing weapons, before Nightshade walking out and the Harper attempting to calm the situation and informing the party and Selin just how important the Zhentarim faction* be included, adding that "Personal vendetta's were immaterial given the ultimate goal of the Cult. Anything else paled in comparison to the threat of Tiamat."

Next session will include both groups at the 3RD Council Meeting. Fun, fun, fun!


*The Zhentarim claimed they had a dragon mask.
 
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Does anybody know of any side quests that would include a blue dragon's lair? My dratted players just came up with a good hook, but now I have to figure out how to tie it in to the overarching story!

I am cross-posting this to the Hoard thread as well.
 

Sadras

Hero
...opens the casket holding the (fake) Green Dragon Mask and instead of finding the Mask within she unleashes two spectral floating (giant-sized) heads- both bald Human males, although one of the two sports a large number of tattoos on and about his scalp.

“I am Severin, Wyrmlord- the Voice of Tiamat, and…”
“… and I am Rath Modar, your worst nightmare!”

(snip)

The casket and the Green Dragon Mask then dissolve, swirl and transform into a shimmering six-foot wide circular portal, a pulsing doorway to another (fiery?) realm...
So inspired by the above from this thread - and it just so happens my table is at the 3rd Council Meeting, but no fake Green Dragon mask, I have come up with something similar.
I will have one of Dagult Neverember's aides with 2 helpers abruptly interrupt the session and bring in a large wooden chest and immediately open it in the centre of the room....revealing the two heads

Rath Modar's head flies into the air and with a chorus of other voices behind him says...

Ancient Runes be Inked upon the Floor
Summon forth a Multi-Planar Door
Let one Establish a Link to the Astral Plane
And with Another
Bind Gehenna and Do the Same
Lastly, scream Avernus’s corridor through
And let them face their Enemy True

Needles to say the aide and the helpers are the first slain (one can always Speak with Dead afterwards)

Thus in addition to the ambush on the party, there is an attack on the Council Meeting - where the PCs fight the enemy for their own survival, have to save the delegates and hopefully close the portal. The portal is a large triangular shaped, 3-way portal, opening up pathways to three realms (Astral Plane, Gehenna and Avernus) from which pour out Githyanki (Tiamat's allies), Yugoloths (paid mercenaries) and Abishai (Tiamat's devils).

I developed additional possible PC actions during the conflict:
  1. Arcana maybe used to inflict damage on the portal (DC 15 inflicts 1d10+ Int Mod damage, DC 20 inflicts 2d10 +Int Mod damage);
  2. Religion (Faith) may be used to inflict area damage to all fiends (Yugolothos and Abishai) including the Enemy Force;
  3. Athletics/Acrobatics may be used to prevent wounds to a delegate (DC 15 prevents 1 wound, DC 20 prevents 2 wounds)
  4. PCs may inflict damage to the Enemy Force (refer below), where the I use the average AC, resistances, saves, immunities of all Combatants (refer below) to determine final damage dealt.
Each of the Delegates (12 in total - I have added a Lord's Alliance delegate from Mirabar) have special powers and when its your turn can determine which delegate assists you for that round and thus benefit from their power (so movement and positioning is not important - all ToM).
Delegate powers: Provide flanking bonus (+1 to hit), provide +1 AC, heal 1 wound to a delegate, inflict damage on the portal, cast Light (negating Darkness spells from Yugoloths and Creeping Darkness from the Black Abishai), or +1 bonus on saves, inflict 2d6 points of sneak damage (Rian Nightshade), gain advantage on a skill check.

Enemy Force:
Besides the actual listed creatures attacking the PCs there is an Enemy Force that wounds the delegates (rolled randomly on a D12 to determine which delegate is wounded). Each delegate may sustain 3 levels of wounds afterwhich they fall unconscious and possibly die. The Enemy Force starts off with (700 hit points - less one round of attacks by delegates on those stepping through the portal) and for every 50 hit points, inflicts a wound level to a delegate. i.e. Rolled randomly to see which delegate receives a wound and how many (delegates may receive multiple wounds in a round of combat).
During a combat round, each delegates (who is not unconsious) inflicts 1d12 points damage to the Enemy Force.

At the end of every second round the Enemy Force grows by 210 (70 from each portal door), thus making the destruction of the portal pivotal for the survival of the delegates.

Portal and Floating Heads:
The Portal cannot simply be dispelled. Dispel Magic closes but 1 pathway for a round, before it is reoppened again by Rath Modar. The head may also Counterspell, which it uses to protect the Portal.
Severin in the meantime hurls insults at the characters and delegates.
I'm thinking the portal hit points to be about +/-100-150 and one has to use Arcana to damage it.

Combatants:
All the while the PCs have their own creatures to deal with
1 Black Abishai, 2 White Abishai, 3 Githyanki Warriors, 1 Githyanki Knight, 2 Mezzoloths, 1 Nycaloth and the 2 floating heads (Severin & the Rath Modar) - complete with Legendary Actions.
Since this is the mass chaotic combat - I have also given the enemies an additional +1 bonus to hit (accounting for flanking).

Escape and the Succubus:
The exist to the Council Chamber are locked and barred. The succubus from Death at the Council is using her fiendish powers to manipulate key members of staff into doing her bidding..laying more breadcrumbs for the PCs to finally catch her and deal with her.

I am running this in two days time, will revert, and let you know if I approximated the numbers correctly. :geek:

We have 5 PCs (11th level) and 1 NPC (7th level). This will be their second deadly fight of the day.
 
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