Gripe Gripe Whimper Whine. The rules guru had an attack of the rules lawyer Friday Night. I would go to describe the scene and not even finish before he was throwing rules at me. And tell the people that would not happen, or no one could see the scene because of the rules. At table; I had to tell him, to let me finish a scene. Also I did not put down half the jokes about the people hanging on the trees. Insert Bad BAD off color jokes.
I had just wanted to do an info dump from Jander Sunstar and let the group play in the hellwasp nest. Players. Sigh.
Story Awards Holy Protector -Filled with the pride and glory she once felt in the vanguard of the Hellriders, you have guided Zhalruban to her redemption. She has found her purpose in Dara’s mission and taken to the chosen of Ilmater as steadfastly as she did for Shalrel, her previous master. Zhalruban now serves as a guide, protector, and mount for Dara in all future adventures.
I had a very strong group of eight. Markov Wizard 10. Surahana Paladin 5 Rogue 4. Hanrzo Bard 9. Burt Bard 9. Kyth Fighter 6. Mimi Swashbuckler 5 Gloom stalker 3. Ander Druid 8. Shade 8.
NOTE on Tier 2 Pregen. You get the Level and Gold, that is all. It can apply this to a newly created PC. Or an established Tier 1 or Tier 2 PC.
Note on Sold Souls. If you sold your soul, and died the PC is retired. This backdated to the start of the season.
The group is awoken by Fai Chen. Not only has the Emporium disappeared; so have their tents. About a quarter mile away they see the smoke of another campfire. When they arrive the find Clarence of Elturgard son of Homer. Squire to Sir Shalrel Prall. He has been recently wounded. Which is strange since he is a member of the original Hellriders and the raid was a hundred years ago. His knight was pulled into the forest by devils. The group leaves Dara and Fai Chen behind as guard and goes in search of the knight and the unicorn Zhalruban.
The forest is strange and disquieting. But the fruit of various trees are tempting. Burt and Shade partake of the evil fruit. And enjoy it. The rest of group look strangely at the two. The path opens up into a clearing. A lawn gnome is hugging the stalk of a huge daisy. Kyth approaches the daisy only to find out it is a death daisy which tries to kill him. As the party is wilting the daisy, some assassin vines attack the rear of the party. After a few rounds they destroy the bad veggies.
They continue further into the forest and come a devil named Malenkthis. Who has a staff embedded with about thirty soul coins. Instead of loot dropping him, they talk. They learn about Zhalruban and part of the deal she made to keep her knight safe. (Well no they didn’t the module is badly written in parts and with eight people I did not read out the missing box text.) But Burt and Shade enjoyed more fruit.
The group presses further into the evil forest, the trees and flowers mocking them as they go. They come across a tree with a forty-foot trunk and sixty foot branches. (AKA 150 + feet big battle map. I also mixed two encounters.) A chain devil is swinging from the branches and does not like city slickers. After some causal insults back and forth, the devil decides these city folk will make excellent fertilizer. He attacks and his partner wakes up for his nap. They call the coon hounds out of the tree and set them on the city slickers. Some of party members flee just out of range of the branches (Reskinned the chains as branches.)
During the fight when only Burt, Shade, Kyth, and Ander are still fighting on the tree. Burt is killed but before he dies he as Flo the Death Insurance sells person to deliver “Little Timmy’s” soul coin to a buddy on the material plane. So Burt gives up his soul so Little Timmy soul can be saved.
The group takes a short rest. Shade and now Ander are eating the strange fruit. What is going to happen to them.
The party arrives in the center of forest. They have discovered (Yes I skipped this because lack of handouts. I suggest the dm create handouts for various info dumps.) Shalrel has been tortured since they were captured. Zhalruban’s has fallen into a deep depression. The group is stopped by two chain devils and a bone devil as they try to enter Zhalruban’s den. Her heart has been removed from her and is across the den in a stone cage. The group knows if they return the heart, they can break the spell on Zhalruban. They charge. During the fight Mimi gets close to Zhalruban. Mimi hears voices. Tell Zhalruban the truth and she may be able to break the contract. Most of the party fights on while Mimi pleas with Zhalruban to listen to the truth. Finally, Mimi convinces the unicorn of truth. Zhalruban recognizes the devils have not kept to the bargain, she breaks herself free.
Note to players, the fruit does nothing at all.
Note this adventure had a lot of good idea seeds but they go nowhere. Some of information on page 11 and 12 conflict with each other. I did a blend of the information. I suggest other DMs just skip this or hack the all the module together.
If you didn’t level last week, level this week. Or log four hours and 120 GP.
Magic Items One Soul Coin each.
I had a very strong group of seven. Surahana Paladin 5 Rogue 5. Shroudie Rogue 4 Wizard 5. Jeffery Darhma Monk 5 Paladin 5. Shade Bard 9. Job Blackwing Wizard 6 Fighter 2. Brandy Cleric 8. Mimi Dear Rogue 5 Ranger 4. They were generally over level for most encounters.
The group was trying to find the Spawning Trees. They got lost and stopped at an out house to ask a local imp for directions. Emery gave them directions and took the toilet paper with him. Just as he disappeared around a corner a huge chain link nearly kills Job. The party investigates and discovers the link is similar to the links drawing Elturel down into hell. They make a note of it and Job steals the outhouse.
They take another wrong turn and arrive at Mahadi’s Emporium. Which is a problem, since Jeffery is banished from the location. Job is trying to figure out a way to sneak him in when Bud the imp approaches the group with a fool proof idea. About a hundred imps roll out a five-foot wide barrel of beer, dozens of imps pick Jeffery up and shove him into the barrel and bung down the lid.
Bud “He be none the wiser. And the Troll skull Manor franchise has a new beer. Monk beer.” He then whispers to Jeffery. “Us Imps talk. And my cousins Pabst remember your friend killing him and shoving him into a beer barrel.” The flock of imps roll the barrel pass Mahadi and into the Troll Skull Manor franchise.
Meanwhile some deals are being made. (Note with the various advice, and clarifications on the AL Facebook page, I went off book for some magic items.) Shroudie sold his soul to Mahadi for a plus two hellfire dagger. Job traded some soul coins for a displacer beast. Shade traded some soul coins for working wings while maintain his hellish rebuke. Note since this season seems to want you to trade, use, burn soul coins I allowed this.
They get back on the road with Job sitting on top of the outhouse. Everything is going find until Shade hits a local farmers chicken coop. Twenty Abyssal Chickens attack the party. They are made short work on and they group travel down the road a bit.
Unfortunately, Route 666 is currently under construction. They see two supervisors, watching two tar pourers order poor Krikendolt who is spreading tar over the dirt road. The supervisor is not impressed with Mimi’s smack talk and most of the bearded devils attack. Well except for Krikendolt who tries to flee. The group murders the poor construction crew but let Krikendolt live after stealing his luck money and his lunch a live abyssal chicken. Krikendolt does give directions to tower of Urm.
The group arrive at the Tower of Urm to met two local chaps Torgrazk and Shranl who have just arrived also. Their mission is to kill Mordenkainen who owns the traveling tower and has not paid Zariel for a travel show permit. The group decides to kill Mordenkainen. One slight problem. His guest list of a Nycaloth and nine Mezzoloths are upset and decide the group are free lunch. Just peel and eat. And the fight begins. (Note no map is given of the tower, DMs will have to make a map.)
The Mezzoloths do a great job locking the party down on the first floor and second floor landing. Killing Mimi after a very hard fight. But this enrages the rest of group who finally gain a foot hold on the second floor and start wiping out the few remaining guests. Mordenkainen not wanting to deal with rude house guest teleports the tower away. Dropping the people on the second floor down to the plains of hell.
A note floats down as the group is dusting itself off. “Look for directions for what you seek at the Obelisk. AND WIPE YOUR FEET NEXT TIME.” Signed Mordenkainen.
We will pick up next time on the road to the Obelisk. The new tormentor only has the driver position and one day of fuel left.
Ok, I walked into the Dollar Tree to buy a new dry eraser. Why the dollar tree has an OUTHOUSE in its Easter Basket stuffing display I don't know. But I thought would be a nice prop. I did not think Job would steal it for the war machine.
Poor Shroudie. The player can be convince to do anything. Even after I warned him, his pc would be retired if I killed him.
Also I was surprise at locking down the pcs in the tower. The cloud kill and lack of movement helped the monsters.
Advance to level 11. 240 gp per level. Downtime 20 per level
Magic Items. Dimensional Shackles.
STAT BUMP SAY AGAIN STAT BUMP +1 to INT or WIS.
Your conditions are gone.
Allies How this work I don’t know. Ubbalux. Colonel Olanthius. Kostchtchie.
Story Award Mephistopheles Knows.
I had an average group of four. Arborn Warlock 5 Ranger 5. Shade bard 10. Jersey Wizard 7 Rogue 2. Maxwell sorcerer 5.
I had some starting problems since I was not planning to run the book but a module. But the city cancelled River Region Con. Also, my evil players notice I was trying to read the book before the game and engaged me in small talk. We did get a late start of 6:27.
The group was only using the demon grinder. (Which has been modified again. And yes, the owner can at a horn which plays Dixie. No cost. But post pictures of here in the thread.) In the distance they see an Obelisk surround by circle eight standing stones. A slightly mad wizard can not leave the circle, unless he figures out the code. But he needs help, if everyone would clap their hands to one stone and say the magic word he may escape. Most of them place their hands on one, one of them gets greedy. The magic words “Pizza. Pizza” are spoken and magic happens. Jersey is surrounded a swarm of tiny magic little ponies. Shade gets a monodrone and true seeing. The others take five magic missiles to the face. However, the wizard Ubbalux is still trapped. He tosses Jersey a magic mirror and tell them to follow its direction.
The mirror is tied into the HPS. Hell Positioning System. It will take them to the BLOODLESS CITADEL. It mostly works and except for Jersey they take a short rest. But then the free trial period fails, leaving them stranded. All Alone on the planes of Hell. No one in sight.
Well except for Rigorath’s Rest Stop which is only 500 feet away. Rigorath Rest Stop “Having no Toilet paper before it was cool”. Rigorath wears a jughead hat and asks you call him Gomer. Rigorath checks the oil on the war machine, it is a pint short but no worries. He can sell the group a map to the Bloodless Citadel but he needs a favor.
Dam yes dam up the River Styx he will give you a stat bump and help free the wizard Ubbalux. But one minor problem. The Bomber Baazit has been locked up by Deputy Barney Bethump. Baazit has the boom sticks. Just take a turn pass Floyd’s Barber shop, follow the red road until there is no more road. The group follows directions frees Baazit and get the boom sticks.
Baazit tells them the sticks must be drilled two rounds deep into the cliff. There is a certain placement order and firing order. On watch out for the hell combat air patrol. The CAP does show up and the adventurers destroy it. BOOM. The river Styx is dammed.
Gomer gives them they and map to Hellriders Crypt. When they get arrive, Jersey notices the key is for the rest room. Arborn is able to misty step to inside of the crypt, and see the pass code written on the wall. The door opens. The group enters. Arborn goes west. Shade goes east. Maxwell and Jersey stay in the center.
Both of the flankers are looking into two near identical rooms. Arborn’s is totally square. Shade’s room is missing a piece. While Arborn is yelling and asking for guidance, Shade decides to shift through the ashes in the burial room.
(Note again I did not read ahead. The map duplicates rooms. I miss read that initial and just did one room.)
Three ghosts arise from the ashes. Totally ticked off their peaceful slumber has been broken. They go to kill these intruders. Jersey flees and the rest fight. The crypt shakes in angry and everyone runs outside.
To see the arrival of Colonel Olanthius who is pulling up in his two-gorgon chariot with matching gorgon leather sides. As Olanthius is slowly putting his chariot in park, the group either engages him in conversion or spread out so they are not in fireball formation. In fact, Jersey spread out so far, he was pretending to pull maintenance on the war machine.
(My fault here. I should do a recap of the main issues and plot point at the beginning of the session. But some of the pcs were about to throw down. The players could not remember why they were here, etc.)
Private Shade finally calms the Colonel down. But to make up for messing up the crypt, they must proceed to the Ulloch arches (SNARK just an encounter to make you pull the map out the book) and follow the directions to Kostchtchie’s Maw. They will proceed to free Kostchtchie.
The arches did not even have a drive thru but they were a lovely golden.
At the maw, they look down a five hundred feet cliff. At the base of the cliff is a demon lord yelling in Giant and Abyssal. The group cast comprehend languages to know he wants out and his hammer. He is unguarded but in a pit of tar up to his knees. (no notes on how to free the lord, or ac of the chains, or anything else is given.)
Shade thinks if Kostchtchie is polymorphed into a bird he would be able to escape his chains. But the group can’t communicate this to him, until Jersey produces this tongue scroll and casts it. Jersey stays at the top with the engine running on the war machine while the rest fly down.
Shade gets to eye level with the fiend and about twenty feet away. Maxwell and Arborn are higher maintain overwatch. As Shade starts talking to Kostchtchie about the polymorph when four hell hounds erupt from the base of cliff and some chains arise from the tar pit. Arborn and Maxwell take out the puppies. Shade cast polymorph on the fiend. They all fly to top of cliff ticking of the chain devil.
Kostchtchie morphs back into himself. Farts in the pcs’ faces and wind walks off.
The END. We will start next week in Chapter 4. Page 134. Low Tier 3.
DM grumble. Some the encounters on this track of the book can be finished with a single die roll. I hack and mashed part of these pages to make more interesting.
I had a strong group of six. Wenek monk 10. Ava Ranger 5 fighter 2. Heskan the Mad Sorcerer 9. Elena Gobsmack bard 5 warlock 1. Rauf of the Sand Druid. Mimi Rogue 5 Ranger 4.
A few hundred years agon Weatherstone keep belong to Lord Drsysdale the eighth. Who offered up the souls of his peasants for wealth and to marry the most beautiful women of the lands. All his marriages were barren, and as he lay dying, he curses his lands so he takes it with him. The town and keep were dragged down into hell. During the Zariel retreat Glanring Ironbelly offer up his soul if Torm would protect Zariel. This tick off Torm and he entombed Ironbelly in a glass coffin which only could be open when the time came to restore Zariel. That time is today.
The group arrives near the town on the only high hill which proves cover and overwatch. The front gate of the keep is closed by a portcullis. However, a small breach is in the entranceway, which they could low crawl thru. A roving of about 15 devils are in town near the keep. The group decides to wait till the patrol moves away from keep and enter through the crawl space.
Two barded devils Jeb and Elly spy the group and start taking bets on their success. As the group gets into the entrance way, Elena trips a trap and a bucket of dungeon droppings falls on her. Elly pays off Jeb on a bet. Jeb and Elly trade barbs with the pcs and ask if they want to take bets on if the party will last. No one take them up on the offer. Ava after three tries of opening the main door amuses Jeb so much that he opens the second portcullis and opens the door.
The group has two choices. Open the two main doors, or open the side door. The group opens the side door and Jeb pays off his bet to Elly. See a well persevered skeleton Wenek attacks it. Ticking off the ghost of Kelda Ironbelly. After a few exchanges of blows, the both sides chill. Kelda tells the group how to get the secret door open, and gives then her magical sack. And tells them to give a kiss to her brother.
The group opens the side door to main hall. Mimi rushes in and kills three imps off the bat. The rest of group rushes and attack the imps and chain devils. Some use pot shots and hide outside. Others stand fast. Elena is captured by the chain devils, who tell the group to leave or else. The rest of group choose else, and the chain devils kill the goblin. (Read half the party was outside my attack range.) The fight continues with Heskan being dropped. He makes a deal with devil insurance guy. Just as he signs his soul away. He is saved by Rauf of the sand, and the last devil drops.
The group takes a short rest. Finding the key to the secret entrance, they use it. Walking, running, and flying down the corridor they take a little bit of damage. They find the tower chamber and figure out the four-part key. (This room is more for the bonus objectives). They are then transported to bowl chamber. In the center of chamber is a glass platform which they have been transport too. Below them is a glass coffin with Ironbelly in it. On it is statue of Torm which starts radiating good feelings. Just as they are getting their bearings the first wave comes in. Strangely they don’t attack the heroes but Torm’s statue. The party scatters on command of the druid. When they most do. The druid casts insect plague to great effect. With everyone either out the bowl, or flying over the bowl, the group defeats the first wave. During the second wave Heskan the Mad is kill. Setting a record of selling his soul and dying three hours later. The group defeats the second wave when the third wave arrives. The group kills off the minor devil but the boss Zeliathe takes Ava with him.
Note the Call to Action fight I dropped. I had to bring up the map editor and add in parts which were in the description but not on the map. This had some interesting ideas but bad editing hurts the module. The editing also makes it difficult to run. Only experience dms should run this and only reading before hand and take notes.
Enworld note. the monsters killed also reflect a pick up game of 09-07 I ran Saturday but I am not going to write that up.
Gain A level. 240 gp. 20 down time days. If you want.
Magic Items Ring of Free Action, Potion of Cold Resistance, potion of Heroism, Potion of Fire Breath, 1 Soul coin. Remember Soul Coins are consumable not permanent magic items.
One vial each of Toxic Hell Lice The vial contains enough bile to coat one creature and takes ten minutes to apply. For the next hour, attacks made against the wearer by hellwasps, rot grubs, and carrion crawlers are made with disadvantage. Gee DM, read the freaking box text during the game.
Gripe Gripe Gripe Some time this season all my monsters are going to get high initiative and the party is going to pay, but not this session.
With the partial opening of the state, I decided to host a game at my house. Everyone who RSVP either made it or contact me to cancel. So those people have first dibs next Saturday for 09-11 Tier 2. The game started at 6:30 and ended at 8:59. I was only running the main plot and not the bonus encounters. I was not really prepared as most of box text notes which I created for the module were on a pc which I did not have access to. So, I was half way winging it.
I had a strong group of five. Boris Fighter 8. Wenek Monk 10. Sukua Wizard 10. Brandy Cleric 9. John Jacob Paladin 10.
Dara threw all the kids in the SUV and dumped out the back by slamming on the brakes and then gunning it. Pulling off in a cloud of dust she threw their quarantine adventuring permission slips out the window. A millennium or two ago GMorian a silver dragon and beautiful elf (why is always an elf) name Lassa fell into true love. (don’t go there). However, Lassa had some issues. She did not think she was good enough for the dragon. So, she sold her soul to the Ice Ice Baby Devil Gee Zee, for make up hints, how to woo your lover books, and other tips. Just before the wedding day while filming for “Say yes to the Dress” Lassa slipped on a nasty patch of ice and died. GMorian learned of the contract and challenge Gee Zee to a battle royal. They been fighting for over a thousand years or so. Who knows time moves slowly in hell.
Dara’s permission slip told the group to climb down into the Avernus Strip (Put your clothes back on Boris) Mine Number 13. The devils used mine in the blood war to obtain resources to create weapons and armour. It is twelve miles across and the cliff they are at is 750 feet high. There are rope ladders leading down into the pit and a small badly camouflaged pup tent. In the tent is Vinny a bearded devil who barely escaped with her life from the Ice Devil’s Icee Stadium for selling unauthorized blueberry and cola Ice bile. (A very refreshing drink. Stop at your stop and rob and get yours.) Vinny wants souls for the ice bile and she has some information.
While John Jacob and Brandy are dealing with Vinny, the rest of group are trying to decide which rope ladder to use to get down to safely. John Jacob says he trade Vinny a soul coin for two vials of ice bile and Brandy will let her live. Vinny agrees. Vinny books to become a lawyer in Alabama. With the trading of soul coin John Jacob gains the story award Stain Upon My Soul.
Boris being bored with all the talk and being bored. (and the player not having a game in a month.) Yeats Sukua off the cliff. (DM What a Yeats? That is player vs player. Um.) Boris picks the gnome up and wins the universe record for safe gnome tossing by casting feather fall on Sukua and toss him down to the fourth ledge.
Boris, “Missed I as trying to hit bottom with him. “He then grabs John Jacob and Yeats both of them off the top of mine and aims for the bottom.
(OKAY. OKAY. OKAY. In one bored action, this triggers all four encounters at once. )
The monk Wenek spider climbs down toward bottom. Brandy always chooses the wrong rope ladder to get to bottom. Hellwasps, undead, and gravity oh my. They group fight off the monsters will only needing a short rest. Then they need to work through the swamp.
During their swamp travels some of the pc gain a level or two of exhaustion. They also discover Hollywood quicksand and one war machine railroad push cart. (Yes, I stole the quicksand scene from Blazing Saddles and John Jacob wanted the push cart. Push cart gives the user +10 feet of movement and holds two.) Just as they are leaving the swamp an Imp tries to sell his first customers in thirty-three years. Instead of buying it, they murder the imp. Steal the 10 gallons of Lemonade. And burn down the Lemonade stand.
They get to Ice Devil’s Icee Stadium. They see the dragon GMorian in an epic battle against Ice Ice Baby Devil Gee Zee of Dragon Chess. John Jacob is interesting as he gets +3 due being proficient in Dragon Chess. The group scout a little and find out the devil is cheating at Dragon Chess. (Gee a devil cheating.) They decide to lay their souls on the line and off an ICE CAGE SUMMISION MATCH against the Ice Devil and his minions. John Jacob is pouting because he wanted to play chess.
So, the battle begins in thirty by thirty cube made of clear ice, the adventures vs the Ice Devils. With the ice devils being arrogant they let the pcs attack first. This is a losing strategy as the party TKOs two of the wrestlers before the devils go. (OK my initiatives were 6 and 8). The group wins in three rounds and the devil releases the pcs, the dragon and his elf lover.
Gain A Level. 240 GP. 20 Down time days. If you want.
Magic Items. Potion of Poison, Potion of Superior Healing, 2 soul coins, potion of growth. Demon Ichor from Elliach was 100 gp per dose.
NO Staff of Charming. It would be awarded if you saved a Fai-chen.
Story Award ALL. I SAY AGAIN ALL. Fai-nal Purchase. OOPS. You help murder all the Fai-Chens. There are no Fai-Chens left. If you see a Fai-Chen he is a fake. You can NEVER trade with Fai-Chen EVER. Not at con. Not at the emporium. Not at the store. Not online. To remove this your pc has to pony up a raise dead. That is every pc that played.
Start time was 6:20 PM end time was 11:10 PM. We went long for two reasons. One I made dinner so there were food breaks. Two I threw in Bonus Objective A. Next week will be 09-12 Tier 3.
I had a strong group of five. Night Bane Paladin 5. (New to me player still running his first PC). Wenek Monk 10. Markov Wizard necromancer 10. Brandy Cleric 10. Sukua wizard 10.
The group had been partying hard for the last three days after their epic battle with the ice devil Ice Ice Baby Devil Gee. The last thing they remember is Fai-Chen 13 tucking them into bed. Sukua is woken up with a groin stomped as Dara accidently steps on him climbing into the tent. The Avernus’ sun light is burning holes in their heads as they suddenly discover they have massive hangovers. Dara explains all the Fai-Chens have disappeared while they were partying. Just as this is sinking in Sukua is again groin stomped as the imp Dilbert delivers a COD letter from Fai-chen 216. The letter asks the group to investigate 216 disappearance. The letter offers a reward. And tells them to trust no one.
The imp bows after Markov pays him, and groin bounces off Sukua and dashes out the tent. Dara tells the group she has talked to Fhet’Ahla (Mahadi’s secretary) about the disappearances. Fhet’Ahla has deigned knowing anything about the disappearances but Dara think he is lying. And Dara has notices Mahadi’s imp spies are following her. Burney the Barber may have seen Fai-Chen 13 or 216 in the last three days. Elliach the faceless may know something. Or if they are smart and cunning, they may be able to trick Fhet’Ahla into revealing something.
While they are deciding on what to do, Markov makes a food run. (Yes, he did. I forgot to get crackers and cheese for the chili dinner.) While waiting on the food to arrive the boots and saddles called is heard. Being reminded by Dilbert that part of their contract with Mahadi is to provide a quick reaction force, they hurry to fight of the attack. (BS. If this was mention in any of the other tier 2 modules, I missed it.) The group fights off a group of shadow demons, some quasits, and vrocks. (this fight had some issues as written.) After a short rest Markov finally shows up with breakfast. After eating they decide to confront Fhet’Ahla.
Being neither cunning, smart, wise, (nor did they listen to the dm) Sukua lets drop they are investigating the disappearances of all the Fai-Chens. (Groan. Not thirty minutes into the game and they are telling on themselves.) Getting no where they decide to check out Burney the Barber.
Ignoring the close sign Markov barges in. Markov is a license trader and dealer in the Emporium and he going to find out why Fai-Chen 216 has not delivered his beer, and other goods to the Troll Skull Manor # 1313 location. Now Markov has not dealt with Burney. Brandy, Wenek, and Sukua have. Brandy hair is a rat nest. She is pale. Tick off. Short tempered. She has been trying to save the child Zal Furden, who has acquired a hellish disease. Could one of the good people help her? (Ok this where specific beats general. Or where we say beep over ruled by box text. The disease is not named, not curable by anything the party has access to. Just a plot device.)
Markov ticks off Burney by demanding to know where Fai-chen 216 is. Then licking a soul coin, he offers her the coin to pay her for information. She jams the coin between his teeth, grabbing him by his throat and tosses him out the open door. Then slams the close sign through the window. The party has now stepped on her last nerve. Her eyes flash copper. Brandy offers to help but. Wait a minute. Why yes Brandy can transfer two levels of exhaustion to Brandy from the kid. (Note module says only good non-paladins can do the transfer. Hack to module 2). Brandy mentions a Susan. Um Sun Zhen Kang was asking about the Fai-chens about two days ago. She sent him over to Elliach. (I had fun playing up Burney being at her wits end. Every time the group would offer a suggestion, I got to shoot it down, and insult the pc in the bargain.)
As the group approaches Elliach’s Ichor Aweigh shop front, two human ears fly pass them. Looks like Elliach has been experimenting again. (Ok. Elliach is deft and mute now. While roleplaying him the first two time was fun, it is now boring. I just told the players to ask questions and I would say they were either writing it down, etc.) Elliach remembers talking to a Sun Zhen Kang but (stealing from Harry Potter) being fearful of Fhet’Ahla he downloaded his memory into a potion. He will sell the memory potion for a soul coin. Markov swaps the coin for the memory potion. STORY AWARD Markov A Stain upon your Soul. Keep track of the number of charges you use or sell.
The memory reveals the location and pass word to Sun Zhen Kang tent. Leaving his skeletons guarding the front of the tent, Markov and the party barge in. They keep going to the main room. (I didn’t get time to describe the front room before the group was happy moving into the main room.) The tent is curiously silent. Well not really the tent does cut out the outside noises. However, the rants, warnings, and ticked off voices of six flameskulls and four wraiths awaken the party that they are not welcome. Six fire balls, six flaming bowling balls of death. Lots of wraith attacks later. Markov is Dead and Sukua’s little displacer beast is too. The cleric is able to keep Markov’s soul from leaving. The group takes a long rest and then loots the tent.
The next morning, they get on the road to Asmodeus Temple. On the way they pick up Fai-Chen 79. No Fai-chen 77. No Fai-chen 50. No. WHY ARE THE NUMBERS ON FAI-CHEN’s neck counting down. BOOM! Oh, he was a bomb. After cleaning Fai-chen off the window, the group continues on. Sukua in the lead war machine picks up the kid father and tell him to wait in the vechile while they are on the mission.
We will not mention them trying to run over the innocent Auntie Mouthrot.
They get to temple of Asmodeus. Speaking infernal Sukua says his name. (Kept on asking the player what was key to Asmodeus temple. He rolled lots of dice before he clued on to the fact, I want him to say a certain word out loud in character.)
(Note due to time I had to hack the rest of module. I added some Sun Zhen Kangs, move some monsters around, and went with the theme of monster. AKA DM is a cheater. DM is cheating.)
They enter the temple. No on is home. They approach the locked door of the inner chamber when Sun Zhen Kang walks out of the lava pit. Sukua retells the group travels to temple. Wenek does catch the vocal slip. Sun Zhen Kang was surprised a Fai-chen escape. As Wenek is pointing this out. Sukua knocks the inner chamber open.
Where six Sun Zhen Kang are lowering some Fai-Chens into a second pit of lava. Five of the six Kangs turn toward the party. And it is on. The group wisely casts Dawn and Cloudkill into the chamber covering most or all the Fai-chens and Sun Zhen Kangs. Sukua closes it off with a wall of force. This will kill everyone in the chamber.
In the outer chamber two more Kangs climb out of the lava and a five headed Sun Zhen Kang teleport in. Sun Zhen Kang has discovered the duplication secret. And they are not big on sharing. After a good fight they kill off everyone including the kid’s dad who was a plant from someone.
Mahadi is sad that his former employee is totally dead. He gives them discount buffet tickets to the Infernal Rapture. He sells Sun Zhen Kang.
ALL DEALS WITH FAI-CHEN are null and void.
PS. The kid survived. I had some people asking about this.
(Ok. The module has some issues especially on how some information is given out. The maps need work as they are on the small side for the boss battle.)
Gain A Level. 1,600 GP. 20 Down time days. If you want.
Magic Item Potions of Fire Giant Strength * 3, Cloak of Arachnida.
No Story Award as you did not mess up.
Start time 6:22 PM End Time 9:42 PM
I had a weak group of five. Arborn ranger, rogue, warlock. Night Bane paladin. Markov necromancer. Brandy cleric. Sukua wizard.
Dara woke up the party with an unearthly scream like Oozy Osborne singing Wagner Opera in a J pop Wilhelm scream style. Illmater send her a dream about the hound-headed angel Verwyyr. Verwyyr was summon to the nine hells egos ago by a party of adventurers to defeat the Archduchess Qirozz (Queenie). The angel and party lost. Queenie stripped the flesh from the skull of the dog and made the Fetid Chalice. The hair of the dog mug pours out holy water every 666 days. Queenie throws a party during this time. It is a great honor or great bore to be invited to these parties. And there going to be a party TONIGHT.
Dara, “This is a mission of thief. You are going to steal the mug um chalice back. I don’t want to hear about your so-called mortals’ objections. You are on a mission from a gawd. No, you can’t wear sunglasses. Go NOW and talk to Mahadi. He always gets an invitation to go. Get into his entourage and steal the mug, um chalice. “
Sukua, Markov, and Arborn wake up Mahadi. He opens the second story window of his tent.
Mahadi, “What’s up dudes. I was asleep.” He yawns and kneads his neck looking down on the two.
Markov, “we are inviting you to Duchess Queenie’s party tonight.”
Mahadi, “what was that. YOU. YOU are inviting ME. To the archdevil Queenie party tonight?”
Sukua, “What your merchant friend meant is we heard about a party tonight. Could you come down and we discuss this.”
Mahadi slams the second-floor window close and the group hears him stub his toe on way down the stairs. A few minutes pass. Mahadi has taken time to change into his business clothes.
Mahadi, “So YOU. You have an invitation to Queenie’s party tonight. No. Don’t say anything. I know that is lie. I have not been the last two times. They have gotten boring. But since you must have a reason to attend. What is in for me?”
Markov, “We arrive in my war….”
Mahadi laughs,” You war machine is a silver-plated ford pinto hatch back. Please, I would be caught with your dead bodies riding it.”
Sukua, “What my party member means….”
Mahadi, “Just shut it. I have not had my Starbucks Mocha yet. Markov according to your contract 26 B section 5 sub part B (the plot requires it) is activated. You are going on a collection job. (this the bonus A objective). Mr. Giles French take their measurements.” An overweight imp starts taking their measurements. “Mr. French fetch the rest of the group. Take their measurements too. Markov Lady Gag Gag owes me a bag of soul coins. She is over due with her payment. She is a powerful night hag. Collect my payment. I don’t care how. Here are the directions. And the rest of your party and your piece of junk war machine. Go. Your finery will be done when you get back. If all of you get back. Bye Bye don’t let the door hit on the way out.”
The group drives to Lady Gag Gag cave and only get lost once since Brandy was driving. The plan is Sukua, Night Bane, and Arborn will enter the cave. Night Bane will ask nicely for the pouch of soul coins. The others will be the reserve. They enter the cave and as their eyes get use to the candle light, they notice some of them are standing on pit traps. A few quick shuffling of feet later.
Night Bane, “Lady Gag Gag your dear friend Mahadi ask for his payment. You forgot to send in your monthly service fee.”
Lady Gag Gag is a cute night hag. She is guard by six rough looking devils. She starts flirting with the paladin. “Such a fine man. I wonder how your lips would taste?” The flirting does make the paladin uncomfortable.
Lady Gag Gag, “I could pay it today. But it would require two of your souls. You are such a nice group.”
Night Bane, “No deal.” He is sweating either due to the heat or Lady Gag Gag undressing him with her eyes.
Lady Gag Gag, “My boys’ toys haven’t had any fun lately. They love new magic items to play with. Or new flesh bags to play with. Two magic items and I give you the bag.”
Markov, “I will give up my Rod of the war mage.”
Sukua, “I will give up my Ring of Free Action.”
Lady Gag Gag, “Deal!”
The deal is made and the party returns to the Emporium. (Who are these people and what have they done with my normal group?) They change into their new finery latter that day. Brandy casts Heroes Feast. The rest put on their makeup and game faces. They take off in Mahadi’s war machine it is a 1958 Ford Plymouth Fury name Christine Maine. The trip takes three hours. It is evening as they pull up.
Mahadi smiles and presents the invite. Whispering to the party, “Good Luck but don’t get my name involved. “A blue light flashes as he passes through the portal. The party discovers the blue light is a dispel magic. Some of them lose the heroes feast. Markov loses three of his skeletons. They are ticked off to discover a weapon check exists too. All the paladin’s weapons are locked up. All the magical staves are locked up. Most of the wands are locked up. Some of the group are able to palm a weapon, or wand. (Yes, a script depowering.)
They enter the main ball room. Think of any fancy movie ball room dance party with two hundred plus extras and a few “A” list stars. (Ok this a mostly social encounters only module. As there is a lot of verbal role play, I just going to sum up. I do suggest DMs use some props to make the named npcs differ.) The party has been going on for a while and the following are gone. No plates. No chicken wings. No pizza. No more infernal delights (Queenie’s specially candy) so quit asking about it. The party goers are holding their snackage with napkins on one hand. Talking and drinking with the other. (Note this is a heist module)
The dog face mug um chalice is in the center of the room. A flying bone devil is circling in a ten-foot pattern. It is protected by velvet ropes dripping blood.
The group splits up for information. The paladin is confused when the spell nerd Hastings will not talk to him. Markov and Sukua calm him down. They do get the information that after a good dance Queenie takes a 20-minute nap. He still has not eat his infernal delight.
Lexi the prancing Minotaur just flirts with everyone who takes with him. No information recovered.
Arborn flits with Queenie. He gets a dance card. And notices she has one infernal delight left. He also notices an invisible imp peaks out of the chalice.
Pingle wants an infernal delight cause eating two is not enough. His ego is so big the room is too small.
Zaralais is a very grumpy Androsphinx he hates the food, the beer, and the party.
Sukua using his imp discovers the following. Alarm spell on the chalice. Forbiddance on the pedestal it on. Glyph of warding on the chalice. Symbol of something on the chalice.
The group goes outside for a smoke break. And make plans. (They did. I was half listening in to it. After about ten real minutes the comeback with the plan.)
(I told them to position themselves and their marks and we do the plan one piece at a time. Everything before hand is happening at the same time. Action!)
Arborn is dancing with Queenie and fliting with her. He tires her out. She gives him her hat and her last infernal delights.
Brandy is chatting up the tray servant and getting nowhere.
Night Bane chatting with Zaralais discovering the sphinx wants to leave ASAP.
Lexi the Minotaur is not covered.
Markov and Sukua are chatting up both Pingle and Hastings. Pingle starts having a sneezing fit. After sneezing on the two he leaves to get his allergy meds. They discover Hasting is called Hasting because he always hastes away from a fight.
The dancing stops. Heralds announce Queenie will be taking twenty minutes to rest and recover from they fine dancing. Give Arborn a hand and smoke them if you got them. (note some magic rings were being used and I forgot who exactly took down what.)
Markov and Brandy start moving toward each other. Night Bane leaves the sphinx and move to the center of the room. Arborn moves withing twenty feet of the chalice and dispels the symbol spell. Using his imp Sukua dispels the glyph.
Markov and Brandy gets into a fight. Markov fires a fireball into the ceiling. And the fighting has begun. Night Bane moves to break up the fight. Arborn throws invisibility on the chalice and is noticed by the horned devil. But the devil does not leave his post. Using his imp Sukua takes down the forbiddance spell.
Markov grabs Night Bane and dimensions door out. Brandy turns and holds monster the horned devil, then runs toward Sukua. Sukua telekinesis the chalice to Arborn and runs toward Brandy.
Arborn not caring he is carrying the chalice with two imps in dashes toward the front door. Brandy and Sukua meet and dimension door out. An imp gives Arborn a black eye.
Arborn hits the door. Dumps the imps out of the chalice and curb stomps them. The group has made their escape.
Successfully! Well not really the cops talk to witnesses and they are identified as the group which came with Mahadi. Mahadi is not happy. No one know what fine he paid. No one has seen any wanted posters for the group.
(DM Notes this is heist module which bends itself over backward to let the players win. I did copy the archduchess and other monsters from elsewhere as they are not listed in the module. The module says if they go to a combat method of grabbing the prize is, they fail. Just that they fail. My group loved this module and I enjoyed hamming the npcs up. But the success of the module really depends on the tone of players.)
Arborn with Queenies hat. Night bane with the mug um chalice
Gain A Level. 1,600 GP. 20 Down time days. If you want.
Magic Items a +3 quarterstaff, a broom of flying, two potions of greater healing, two potions of climbing, and 10 soul coins.
No story award.
Start Time 6:35 PM End Time 10:05 PM
I had a weak group of three Night Bane Paladin. Cretin Paladin Warlock. Markov Necromancer. Markov had five skeletons and one simulacrum. Due to simulacrum and Cretin AC 25 I started treating the group as average after the first two combats.
The party is having bad dreams. The dream is a flash back of when Zariel’s friend was telling her not to go to hell. Zariel’s friend RASKAMEDIES was one her sergeants. Once Zariel and the Hellriders lost, Raskamedies retreated from the battle field. Heart pounding in sorry and angry. Raskamedies was kill by a horde of Hellwasps, who eat her body leaving the skeleton and beating heart behind. Loving the beat, the Hellwasps build a nest around it. The heart still beats today. It is getting louder. Louder. LOUNDER! The group wakes up in a warm sweat. All have experienced the dream. (OK it was a flash back or vision for those who don’t sleep.)
Having not have a good sleep. (And Will reminding about it.) The rolled a wisdom save vs the hell effect. Night Bane Failed. He is slowly turning evil. During their smoke break outside the tent after breakfast, they hear the heart in the back of their heads. They hear the buzzing of the Hellwasps. It is getting louder. Louder. LOUDER.
Cretin, “That sounds like they are actually nearby. It is loud. Almost real.”
Night Bane, “It is real idiot.” He points to three hellwasps crossing the red line and entering the Emporium.
RED ALERT. ALL OFFENSIVE SPELLS ARE ALLOWED. RED ALERT. ALL OFFENSIVE SPELLS ARE ALLOWED. BUT ONLY ON THE HELLWASPS.
The group take down the hellwasps near the red line which outlines the emporium. About 300 feet on the other side of line is a group of adventurers fighting some more hellwasps.
STAND DOWN. STAND DOWN. NO EXCEPTION RULE IS BACK IN EFFECT. THE NO EXCEPTION RULE IS BACK IN EFFECT.
(The writer gave no guidance on how to handle the first encounter which takes place inside emporium. I have previous ruled no offensive spells. Healing spells okay. Other spells I call by ear.)
Markov and party dimensions door the adventuring party. Telling his skeletons to close and target the hellwasps. (I think you can use a free action to command them but they would be 300 feet from the combat. I think I was cheated.)
The party is griping about who stole what. They have stolen a tourist hat. Some toilet paper. And a map. Between the skeletons, the party, and the npcs they take down three hellwasps, and Hellwasp swarm. But the npc lose one member of their party. (In the script.) While they are introducing themselves, some devils and imps show up to reclaim the toilet paper. The monsters go down quick. (This is when I just started to run the module with an average group.) After a brief thank you, the npcs plane shift out with their dead fellow.
Dara asks the group to find the Hellwasp nest and bring back the heart. It takes fours hours. (Um no. They have a war machine.) It takes two hours to find the wasp nest. They get in a short rest while doing so.
Arriving at the nest, Markov and his mini Markov dimension doors the group to the first chamber. Killing one Hellwasp quickly. Markov then cast various invisibility spells on the group. (The group would be mostly invisible the rest of session except during combat.) They also find a quarter piece of paper with some infernal writing on it. They have the choice of three exits which lead up into the nest. Or one block exit leading to something on this first level. They quietly dig out the second chamber to find a part of a halfling cloak and another quarter of the sheet of paper.
The group goes up. It is now dim light. They are invisible and hear the buzzing of three wasps. Cretin charges the wasps and kills one out right. The rest of part joins in. With only Night Bane taking damage. (Between tactics and high AC Night Bane was about the only one I could tag once combat started.)
Entering the fourth chamber Cretin slips down a tunnel into the nursery. Killing four innocent baby hellwasps. After climbing out the nursery, he kills the nanny Hellwasp.
They enter the final chamber 60 feet by 80 feet. (OH, freaking come on this boss fight and it is the second smallest of the chambers. With the high perception of Markov, they see the queen bee um wasp.) Between limited room, good tactics, invisibility, cloak of displacement, and okay rolls by me the monsters are cleared in four rounds.
They recover Raskamedies’ skeleton, heart, cloak and the last piece of paper. They drive home. Using wasp spit and his own Cretin pieces together the paper. They also have all the nice loot. Including ten soul coins. They give the body to Dara who starts working her magic on it. They clean up. Because.
The paper is Redeemable for one meal for your party at the Infernal Rapture and is signed by Mahadi. The waiter reads the meal of the day which sea hag crumbled cheese with pickled purple worm eggs, a main dish of two fried merfolk fillets with garlic butter potato fries, and yeti sorbet with a sweet infernal sauce for dessert. And girl scout cookies from real girl scouts. The waiter offers beer, wine, water, or bar drinks. They do have 100-year-old scotch made from real Scotchmen. Markov order three for table, but Cretin being a snob passes on his. So, Markov has two shots. The group passes most extras but Night Bane and Markov do take some wacky tobacco. The meal is loving like a hero’s feast.
(Everyone who ate is now at permanent disadvantage on social checks with Mahadi.)
The bill comes due.
Night Bane, “What bill? The paper said a free meal for us. I didn’t eat it. I just had a shot of booze and wacky tobacco.”
Cretin, “BEEP BEEP. It just said a FREE MEAL. Everything else is going to be extra.!”
Waiter, “How dare you sir. The water was free.”
Waiter, “Night Bane you owe us 11 soul coins. Markov you owe us 12 soul coins. You can pay can’t you. Or should I get Ms. Fluffy Bun Bun to come discuss the matter with you.”
HAAHAHAAA. It worked. Cretin did see through my lack of poker face. They others had to give up all their soul coins. Some gold pieces. And down time days. This time I did not let anyone off the hook with just soft choices.
Cretin has JohnC, Brandy, and Mimi’s Soul Coins. These are pcs who died during the season. And players have been paying cash money to get the coins back.
This module is seriously under powered even with Cretin being level sixteen and having an AC 25. I only hit the spellcaster and mini spell caster for damage using lair actions. I need two Nat 20s to even touch Cretin. The boss monster is weak, only has a +11 and in a small chamber. The light effects are easy cancelled by a cantrip. I would either add more wasps, or more monsters or both.
PS. While I was preparing snackage during the afternoon for the game, I got notice one my friends had die of Covid 19. His last pc was John Jacob. So as see some of the gamers didn't show. The ones who did were off their game.
Gain A Level. 1,600 GP. 20 Down time days. If you want.
Magic Items Belt of Stone Giant Strength, Wand of Secrets, Soul Coins 2, Scroll of Power Word Pan, Potion of Superior Healing 2.
Story Award Wards Got. You recover the Wards of Suffering. Dara and you can now enter the Canyon of Screams.
Start Time 6:30 PM End Time 10:45 PM
I had a strong group of five which I should counted as very strong due the necromancer and builds. Cretin Paladin Warlock. Markov Necromancer. Markov had five skeletons and one simulacrum. Botticelli Monk fighter. Brandy cleric. Terra Rouge Ranger. Terra could not fail some checks.
As Dara, Raskamedies, and Verwyyr are discussing the up coming mission Markov gets a summons to Mahadi’s office.
Mahadi summons Markov into his office, he is talking to two imps’ names Pabst and Bud. He speaks, “Boys take a bath,” He shoves the imps into a barrel of beer each. As they are sending up bubbles. “Take a deep breath merchant of mine! Tell me what you smell!”
Markov, “Flat beer, brimstone, …”
Mahadi, “I smell clean, fresh, GOOD air. You brought two angles into my mall. You are ruining my rep. I want them gone. I don’t care how! I don’t want to know. I will not fill out that statement you writing out. Get them out my Emporium.” The imps have quit sending up bubbles. Mahadi closes the lid on the barrels. “Let is rest for a week then the beer will be ready. Gone you hear me. Fresh air sucks!”
As Markov is leaving the office, he encounters Tara, “Tara we got a mission. Kill two angels. You get everyone out of Dara’s tent and across the red line then we mug them.”
Tara, “what does the red line mean? What is my cut of the mugging?”
Markov, “Red Line is the official end of Emporium. Any happens out there is legal. Forge me some eviction papers. I get Cretin to throw those bumps out.”
The papers are forged. The evil plans are laid. Cretin Markov enter Dara’s tent.
Markov, “Dara it is time to go.”
Dara, “Yes on your mission for my gawd. Where you stop only Illmater knows!” Dara starts chanting.
Raskamedies, “Dara they are not together you don’t know…”
A big blue box sweeps through the tent and Emporium. Sweeping up the party. TRADEMARK TRADEMARK THEIF. SUE SUE SUE. Um the teleport spell has a little problem. It sends them forward in time six months to Elturel. It is 0100. No moonlight. The stars are extra dim as if the dark was darky dark or extra dark. Elturel has been return to the Realms. But it too quiet. Too dark. No patrols. Almost no people.
Tara knocks on a nearby house. Not caring the windows of all the houses, the group can see have been boarded up. “I hear you in there lady. Open up.”
Lady, “No. You may be one of them. Go away. It is dark outside.”
Tara, “Just look out through the mail slot. We are peaceful we need to know some information.”
The mail slot opens. The lady sees a group of mix races and…. “SKELETONS. EVIL VAMPIRES. EVIL VAMPIRES. RUN!” The party hears her running away. They kick the door open just to see the lady dive into a trap door. Tara runs up to the second floor to stop the kids from fleeing. Markov has one of skeletons dump a bookcase on top of the trap door.
Tara, “But lady we just want information. We need to know where we are. What we need to do. We are not vampires.” A cloud of fog on the second-floor forms into a tall hillbilly.
Jethro, “Jethro Bow Dean. You are in Elturel. You need to be our lunch. And we are vampires. Jethro Bow Dean super genius vampire at your service. Shall we have a bite. Jed, Granny, Elly Mae, Mr. Drysdale get them.” Four vampire spawns form outside the house trying to surround the party. (What that combat went quick.)
As they are sweeping up the last dust of the vampires, a rat with a scroll approaches. Brandy takes the scroll and the rat turns into a skeleton. The scroll is from Dara. It is a map to the entrance to the Sorrowful Monastery. Their mission is to recover the Wards aka bracers of suffering and rescue if possible, the angel Yuriial.
The group follows the map with a minor setup of a couple of devils and buildings not falling on them. (gripe gripe. High AC. Pass without a trace.)
The group gets to alley to Sorrowful Monastery. No key. No door. Just a glowing wall. Which glows radiant damage. Summoning swarms of skeleton rats. Summoning vampire spawn. Tara is not happy the evil radiant light is hurting. She starts pressing bricks at random. The door is not opening.
Tara, “This beep hurts. “
A vampire spawn in a bad Irish accent. “Ah no Shit Tara. Lucky is my name. Coin tossing is my game. You should try it.”
The whole group see a spawn sixty feet up flipping a coin. (Don’t ask how everyone can see him when I told them it was darky dark and you had to have darkvision to see pass thirty feet.) After a good battle of five rounds. The wall opens with the help of three skeletons punching in the combination.
(Made some changes here. To find the coin which has the clue the perception check is so low Tier 1 PCs would have no problem. I increased the range of the radiant damage. Add in a swarm of undead rats for each group. The rats were supposed to do static damage each round. But had hit points and ac so they didn’t last to the bottom of the first round. I did like each vampire is a different race and has a bonus action.)
The group enters the first room of the dungeon only to find out it’s stinky. Lots and lots of bat poo on the floor. They move to prison cells. Um Monk cells to take a short rest. After the rest they enter common area where they are set upon two vampire spawn, and two zombie hordes.
Markov, “1 zombie horde!’
Dm, “What?” (Whine, necromancer can take control on one of the zombie hordes.”
Defeating the minor encounter, the group crosses the pillars of Absolution. Where Botticelli and Brandy fall to their deaths. Um Feather fall to the bottom but gain a level of exhaustion. Climbing up the other side they laugh as a skeleton blade trap. (the dice gawds love the pcs as a freaky skeleton pass a dex check that high.)
The enter the Chamber of Sorrow where five vampire spawn are eating on a live angel who is chained down by four chains covered in blood. With all the bones of their pass meals the floor is littered with it is difficult terrain. Five rounds later with Tara not even getting into combat, the vampires are dead. The angel is release and.
Vampire Krolfh Rorgur, “What about me! You forgot about me. You stupid human. What type of Dungeon Master forgets the boss monster?”
DM, “Listen Goblin Guts. Even if I include you in the room at the beginning, you may have lasted three rounds.”
Goblin Vampire Krolfh Rorgur,” but I had lair actions, a +11 to hit, over a hundred hit points. “
DM, “Shut it. It was about 10:40 and I wanted to go to bed.”
WHAT THE HECK. I FORGOT THE BOSS MONSTER. OOPS.
DM Note Vampires and Spawn still regenerate after chill touch. The Monster Manual write up is specific over the general PHB.
I would suggest DMs add hit points or change some monsters. I had some pc nuking a spawn per round and then getting a piece of another monster.
Specific vs general does not apply here unless the adventure/mod itself makes a note that it does for its versions of the Vampire and Spawn, or gives them immunity to the spell (or cantrips in general). Not even the dire troll (which probably has the strongest form of regeneration I've seen in this edition) can ignore chill touch.
Gain A Level. 1,600 GP. 20 Down time days. If you want.
Magic Items Red Dragon Scale Mail, Helm of Telepathy.
Story Award Faith and Trust You recovered the wards of Faithfulness for the Resting Place of Bloody Hooves.
NOTE. NO DISCOUNT TO YOU. BUT YOU HAVE A SHOPPER. You lose the 25% discount from the emporium but Yuriial the dieting angel can do your shopping on the prime material plane. Any from the Players Handbook price list, or AL shopping list can be bought at normal price.
Start Time 6:38 PM End Time 11:10 PM
I had a group of four which I counted as very strong due the builds. Cretin Paladin warlock. Markov Necromancer. Markov had five skeletons and one simulacrum. Brandy cleric. Sukua Wizard with simulacrum. Note Brandy was the only at APL, everyone else over.
The group was discussing the events of their forward travel in time, when the Emporium went into lockdown. Markov did not know what lockdown. The Emporium goes into lockdown 4 hours before they move out. No one can leave. Close your cash registers. Close your business. Strike your bands. Strike up the band. (Which plays badly, off key, and does not quit until you leave. This is motivation music.) Dara has recently been ordered to stay inside the emporium. But she has to lead the party to lost Bloody Hooves platoon which is inside the Canyon of Screams. (Dara being locked into the Emporiums was supposedly hinted out in 09-06 but the opening scene was garbage.)
Markov, “WHAT. Dara is going outside the wire!”
Cretin, “BEEP. She is a wimp. A fireball could kill here. I hate escort missions.”
DM, “Just for that your running Dara.”
Using their cunning, extra skeletons, and the three angels covering for Dara, the group escapes the Emporium. Two hours later with the slightly the happy sounds coming from the Canyon of Screams, they see the border patrol.
Bone Devil, “Halt in the name of General Everbleed. Stand too for inspection at the intersection for a little interrogation and possible vivisections. “
30 seconds later.
Markov, “A piece of well chewed bubble gum, a silver piece, three copper pieces and naughty postcard. They weren’t worth the cost of the material components. Let get us get inside. Out the wind. So, it will be quieter. “
DM, “As you enter the tunnel, the wind grows louder, the quieter, then very loud.” (Sounds of players booing the DM. Note. During part one of the adventure six madness checks are needed but not needed depending on text. I went with the wind being always present.)
They have entered a maze complex with a mass of tunnels broken up occasionally by square rooms which are 25 feet. Occasionally the tunnels close off the rear. A wall appears twenty feet behind the last party member. All the rooms come up empty. But the tunnels are dangerous with rocks falling, bad evil religious tracts giving the party headaches, or spine devils popping out of side tunnels. Just enough to bleed the party of resources.
The come to a quiet room which explodes into an evil radiant ball of light. Markov is blinded until Brandy cures him. (Grr Rooms are 25-foot square with glyph trigger if you come within 10 feet. I just had the first two ranks do the saves. The auto triggers continue for rest of module.)
Dara finds two arm slots a wall which opens the wall to second part of canyon dungeon. They travel a hundred feet when the wall collapses! Cretin disappears down a pit. A Dao appears and uses a wall of stone to split the party. Markov is killed, so is his simulacrum. (This bonus objective A the only second hard fight in the module. And yes, I was pill as much as possible.)
The party brings Markov back to life before he was dead dead. They enter a clean nice room which has four exits including the one they just use. In front of each exit is a symbol. Either shield, sword, mountain, or horns. They choose the shield. (Module has it random, or guess. Players asked good questions so I shorten the trip.) Now the tunnels and rooms are shifting while they are in them. They can feel the shifting and see rooms turn while they are trying to read room number. They take some damage in the tunnels and two glyph rooms. After the second glyph room they take a short rest. In the final small room Sukua makes friends with a Tressym.
They laugh at the next four glyph rooms. Taking some damage but not a lot.
They enter the Hall of Lost Platoon of the Bloody Hooves. It is ninety-foot square (I made it bigger.) With a ten-foot hall way at the center of each wall. Twenty-four stone tables are evenly space out in the room next to the walls. Dara has to perform a ritual to release the bodies from the tablets. She releases the female halfling Sir Gofer Beer. Um Sir Gidor. The knight is surprise at the news of the time which has pass and she cast a magic circle to protect herself and Dara. Dara takes a coffee break (Okay smoke and bathroom break while the dm sets up the boss fight.)
When we last saw our adventures. They were in ninety-foot square room. With equally space stone tablets AC 17 HP 10 which are holding members of the Bloody Hooves. Dara has started the second ritual. Lose condition Dara dead. Stalemate Condition twelve tablets destroyed. Ready Fight.
Seven Rounds. Three Tablets destroyed the final devil is killed. The party takes a deep breath.
Markov, “We can home now.”
“hahahaa”. The walls move covering the exits. The room twists in three dimensions dropping everyone to the floor.
General Everbleed, “Fools. Thank you for leading my minions to the lost platoon. Enjoyed being buried alive. Buried Alive. Buried Alive.”
To be continued. Next Week. Two-day long rest. I will update on what you can do when I full read the next module.
DMs Note. Including the Bonus A objective there two hard fights. Two medium fights and the rest are easy. The notes on the madness which has DC 10 says 6 checks if you outside but puts you inside after the first battle. I just did 6 checks. My players said the checks should have increase by 2 with each roll. The DC checks for the random trap like rolls were DC 16+ but the average damage is low for a tier three party. I bumped the damage up to max on a fail. The final battle before I change it is 60 feet square with one exit. All the party has too do is protect Dara from getting hit. The module highly hints the devils will all close to melee. I like the random rolls for various encounters but they were either light setbacks or very easy fights. The lockdown is bogus. DDAL09-06 does hint in the call to action the party is being watched but I must have missed Dara being a prisoner.
Advance to level 13. 1,600 gp per level. Downtime 20 per level. For those who were over 13, 4 hours play. 800 gp. No downtime.
Free Resurrection on Shade.
I think my group took the shortest route. Most monsters were rolling with advantage. Monsters were given higher than average hit points. Added some monsters. And one cheated flat out. Read to find out who. Also, the city was under curfew so time was called early and I made a decision.
I had a very strong group of five. Rondell Cleric Wizard with simulacrum. (I count a simulacrum as a pc due to experience.) Lilly Rogue. Bar Steelwind Monk. Shade bard. Rauf Druid. AC range from 15 to 21 before buffs.
The group parked their war machine and saw a huge quarter mile wide by three hundred feet high scab. It is oozing pus and blood. As they walk, climb, and slip up to the entrance the ground gets more difficult and spongier making it difficult terrain for the pcs. (Mom the DM is Cheating already.) Entering the scab, it goes dark. But Steelwind abilities allow him to glow like a firebug. So Light is thirty bright and thirty dim light. (DADDY. The PCS are cheating. Signed Friendly Fiends.)
Enter the second chamber they see a combination of stone walls and scabby walls. A clean, totally clean fifteen foot high stain glass window is present. The group having no good people in it leave the hell alone. Traveling deeper into the scab they come to the decomposing room. All sort of dead bodies are here. From player races, demons, devils, inert undead making it difficult terrain. (PC you already said that.) Six swarms of killer flies annoy the party. (I did about 20 damage all including a crit.)
Nearing the next chamber, they hear voices that (Steelwind excuse me.) They hear a shadow demon urging a lot of dretches to claw out a doorway to Crokek’toeck tomb. Lulu orders the party to stomp them which they do. (DMs I suggest you start the clock when the players enter the scab. Have the dretches remove five of wall per room the party explores.)
A little bit on, they hear pounding on a chamber door. Pounding on a huge chamber door. The door is twenty feet wide by ninety feet high (PCs you said 60 last night. DM. Shut it.) Trantolox a nalfeshnee and six Bulezaus are trying to battering ram the doors down. After a quick discussion where everyone agrees to make nice, have an alliance to get the doors open, and the decide who gets the sword later (PC those fools. Fiends. Those Fools.) Lilly opens the door.
A holy bright light burns into the chamber, knocking most fiends down half their hit points, and giving the pcs some upset stomachs and making them reconsider their evil ways. The party tells the devils to leave or die. They leave. (First warning of store closing early. And I did not like how the book setups the encounter.)
The first chamber is empty.
Flinging open the second chamber Bar Steelwind dashes and goes to lay his hand on the sword.
LULU, “FLASHBACK. FLASHBACK.”
The group goes back in time to one of Lulu’s memories. Her town is on fire. The smoke hovers about 120 feet above the ground. Treetops are all on fire. A huge forest fire is all around the town, there is no escape. They break into a ground crew and flight crew. They slowly enter the town when towns people appear. Some of the people are real and response, others are ghosts of a past time. The ghosts settle and become real.
First wave. In the middle of town an over turn cart protects Ella Deepwell from six dretches. (Look she is important they named her.) A Hezrou appears pounding on the church door, it wants to go in. A giant hyena is fighting a pug. Six gnolls surround the monk, (mainly because he always alone.) The hyena kills the pug, and charges the party. (DM note only the rogue goes before me. She has 25. The monster’s initiative is 20,19,18,17. Everyone else is 16 or below. While this is not the first time my monsters went near the top of the round this season. We can’t remember the last time most of the party went after the monsters. AKA my dice like playing in the game store.)
The flight crew picks up the ground crew and teleport, misty steps, dimensions door, and I don’t know what all but. They appear behind the Hezrou. The Druid puts up a wall of stone between the church door and the fiend. The dretches kill the what was the npc name? After killing the fiend, hyena, dretches, and most of gnolls who were sniping the party. Garoknul a Marilith ghosts in. The monk and half to flight crew moves to range. Taking him out in two rounds. The monk goes and kills the last of gnolls.
Third wave has six humans appearing at the town edge screaming for flesh and brains. Lulu declares these people have to be subdue. (I love this only half the party has non-lethal stuff.) The monk and druid put them to beddy byes.
(Second warning of store closing. Plus, the monk is the only one needing a short rest.) Fast forward part four.
(I combine wave five and six with some changes.) The monk looks around there is no one to pound on. He sighs. Suddenly six gnolls (Init 8) surround him. A barlgura (Init 15) appears next to Rondell and his simulacrum. Yeenoghu (Init 17) appears between Shade and Lily.
Lily ties to hide, but does not. (WHAT MY MONSTER CAN SEE THE ROGUE THAT JUST COOL WITH ME.) She snips Yeenoghu ticking him off. He skips over and pounds her into the dirt. Just as he going to finish her off, Shade makes a joke about his mother. Yeenoghu charges Shade. Only to get Forcecage by Rondell.
Yeenoghu, “Foul FOUL. THE PCS ARE CHEATING. HEY YOU. DM. Look on page 139 of the hardcover of Descent into Avernus. Read it. “
DM, “Ok. So, what.”
Yeenoghu, “Look at your cheat sheet. See his level. Now go to page 243 of the players handbook. Read the spell.”
DM, “Ok. Done. He has you. “
Yeenoghu, “Look at the PHB 113 especially the chart. They are cheating. I.”
DM, “You a fiend are you not. Are not evil?”
Yeenoghu, “I a huge fiend. I have a name. Of course, I am evil.”
DM, “Well cheat back. And don’t get caught.”
DM, “Can I get back to my game.”
Yeenoghu, “By my command. Kill the PCS.”
Yeenoghu give Rondell the evil eye, closes as close to Shade as possible and spits in his eye. While Shade is blinded and with his back to Rondell, Yeenoghu pulls one the Forcecage bars out of alignment and slips his flail out the bars. Having reach he bashes the flying Shade prone.
Rondell’s simulacrum one shots the barlgura with a spell. Steelwind kills one and half gnolls. Lulu heals Lilly. Lily snipes Yeenoghu. Yeenoghu flails away at the bard. The spell casters lightning bolt and other damage spells Yeenoghu. Steelwind kills another one and half gnolls.
Lily snipes Yeenoghu. Yeenoghu prone Shade again and gives him two death fails. Steelwind kills another one and half gnolls.
(Final warning. Store is closing Stop all games.)
DM. I had to make a decision. The Forcecage cheat was not caught to the second or third round. The party is very strong. The could save Shade for a round or two. But I was in contact. I just had the player running Shade roll death saves which he agreed to. He lost.
Scenes after the store close. AKA. The wrap up. Zariel arrives. She resurrects Shade. Zariel looks over the group.
Zariel, “I have one question which each of you must answer. Were you in my place, would you risk it all to save others?”
The END of the session. Next week we pick up on page 144. Give yourselves a full night’s rest. Currently Steelwind wants the sword but that can be changed next week. Please have your answer ready. Lulu has her full stats. This maybe a short game or go to closing. Your input will decide it.
Gain A Level. 1,600 GP. 20 Down time days. If you want.
Magic Items Ioun Stone of Leadership, Fochlucan Bandore, Potion of Superior Healing, Soul Coin,
Story Award You let Dara Die Once.
Start Time 6:31 End Time 8:54
I had an average group of three. Cretin Paladin Warlock, Shade, Markov with simulacrum, 5 skeletons, and skeleton swarm.
Between Dara talking to herself, the Sir Godord cutting hundred year gas, and Sir Everbleed mocking them every hour, the group is about to kill everyone. Finally, Dara gets a mission from her gawd and finds the keys to get out the prison.
They travel for about an hour in tunnels ranging from five feet wide to thirty feet wide. Their way is lit by a scout skeleton with a light spell on it. This was smart until the skeleton trip an alarm spell in the first big chamber. The first chamber opens into the second chamber with a set of doors on the north and south side walls. Between the skeletons, and high investigation the party only trips three symbols which had been placed on the floor. Shade is the only one really affected he becomes a pill for the rest of day. Half of the party does not notice.
Sareash a chain devil, some imps and a flame skull teleport into the room. The party take out the flame skull and some imps. But Sareash targets Dara with his chain killing her. Shade is surprised as a one appears on her forehead as he is giving her a potion of healing. (DM ok the monsters are try to kill Dara and a zero HP counts as kill. This will affect the next module.) As Cretin is killing Sareash. Sareash mentions he will be back.
Knowing Dara is the main target they put her in the middle to protect her. Taking the North door, they enter a dog leg before the room opens into large chamber with Sareash, five imps, and three flame skulls teleporting in. Also 3 flameskulls appear behind the party in the first room. A wall of force blocks the rear flameskulls. Good initiative, counter spells, and good spells take out the foes with little or no damage to the party. (Back to rolling low initiative for most of the monsters. Sigh).
The third room an elf bard playing a flute puts most of the party to sleep. Cretin ticks off the elf Yalanue of the Cloakwood. Who opens an invisible door and leaves. After waking the party up, Cretin charges through the door.
Enter a country side. No, the illusion of a country side. Markov dispels the illusion. Oops. He, the simulacrum, and horde of skeletons fall into a deep chasm. Take about a third of his hit points Markov is ticked off.
Spurhund an Orthon and his five Incubus attack the party. Shade plays kissy face with one, then kisses and runs away. Making his Incubus friends cry. Cretin takes out two Incubus while protecting Dara. Markov goes to fly out the chasm only for his simulacrum to hit disrupting the fly spell. The simulacrum dies. Markov wall of forces Spurhund. The party take out the Incubi and then Spurhund.
After a short rest Markov throws Dara into a tiny hut. The group back tracks to the southern door in the first big chamber. They discover it just a trapped room with some magic items in a coffin. (Note the group now had played all but the final boss fight and that includes the two bonus objectives.)
(Note the final boss initial set up depends on if the alarm goes off. But playing the pillars suggest the group can explore the boss chamber, fight, and a hint the elf could be reason with.)
As Shade enters the chamber playing his lute, he calms down Yalanue. Not by much just enough for him and Cretin to get into melee range. He then mentions her flute playing is flat occasionally and the fight is on. The fight last a round and half. The group releases the High Priest Horst Atheraice who heals everyone to maximum. He raises Yalanue and forces her to give up her harp.
(Part 2 is mess. It can be a hard boss fight for the APL. But you can explore the chamber before the fight. Wake up the Hight Priest during the fight. Take down Yalanue. And gain or lose a magic item due to the results of the fight. Part 1 is either traps which if a high passive investigation can be step over. Or combat which is only made interesting because Dara is the main target. Dara is not even given a stat block. I had to use 09-15 block.)
The player running Markov will not be happy next week. He has been using DM Xp to upgrade his zombies and stuff. IN 09-16 he was running a simulacrum, 5 skeletons, a swarm of zombies. It has gotten to the point that he could solo the dungeon with his build. And even when he ready to go on his turn he takes more time to get through than most of the rest of the group. I told him last night he would have choose, the simulacrum, or 5 skeletons (have 30 hp, ac 18, a hell banner which makes their weapon magical or the zombie horde.
Gain A Level. Downtime 20 Days GP 800 if you played last week 1,600 if you only played this week.
Magic Items Helm of Devil Command. Battle Standard of Infernal Power. Charm of Vitality.
My first two-person group. Cretin Paladin 12 Warlock 4. Shade bard 14. They both wanted not to reschedule so I played on.
I had the series of questions wrote up. From Chapter 4 Would you risk it ALL to save others. Answer. Risk All, Not risk all, I don’t work for you or other answer.
Chapter 5 Questions Were Save the City of Elturel and would you return to the prime material plane. Zariel question was redeem, kill, work with. The chapter 4 gave a different reward depending on the answer. The chapter 5 questions told me how to set up the chapter. (Chapter 5 is not well laid out. READ the full chapter especially page 154-155.)
As Cretin lays hand on the sword to claim it, he is cussed out in Sunday’s Best Dress Church Lady voice. He is not worthy. Shade is not worthy. Lulu is not big enough to carry it. Zariel’s sword lances the scab for (YOU KIDDING ME. NO. That would kill people from last week right out) for no hit points. They are tossed prone about three or so miles. Waking up to the river Styx. They are in the shadow of Elturel. It is about a hundred yards from touching down. They are the middle between Demon Army and Zariel Army. They break for higher ground.
Only to be stop short by two horned devils. (I reduce on attacking monsters except Zariel hit points. And did not play nice.) Cretin makes quick work of both devils when they get tired of hurling flame at the partnership.
They try to sneak through to Zariel’s side dodging fireballs from the side. (See hell has artillery too.) They stumble on a rumble of squad of Hezrou against Lucille the pit fiend. Two Hezrou break off and attack them. Lulu helps in the battle but is dismayed when both Cretin and Shade decide to join forces with Lucille. Lulu runs away. Cretin drags the sword through the dirt by scabbard belt.
Zariel finishes off a balor. Zariel, “Have you come to join me you cute men?”
Zariel, “have you come to deliver the sword to me?”
Shade, “Wrong again you sweet devious girl.”
Zariel, “This I guess you are here to save me. How cute.”
Cretin, ‘Wrong three times sister. We here to kill you and take over.”
Zariel, “Gosh you are cute. DIE!” And the battle is joined. Zariel knows the stats of everybody due to her high intelligence and spies. She takes out Shade first. (GRR. She has only two legendary actions. BOO! And one the does less damage than Cretin’s static damage.) She plays with the pit fiend and Cretin. Cretin is able to revivify Shade during the battle. Teleporting in out as need. Her luck changes as she tries to dispel Cretin back to the prime. (Dispel Good/Evil. I ruled it could send pcs back to prime if they failed their save. This is 1E ruling oops.) Cretin grins as he makes his only major saving throw of the night. After a little bit more of hard flirting, Zariel grabs the sword from Cretin.
Shattering across her knee she speaks, “You are cute Cretin. Come up and see me big boy. I just a whistle away. You know how to whistle don’t you. Just pucker up and blow …”
Cretin, “Blow me.”
BEEP Wife’s in my head says BEEP.
Zariel teleports away. The city of Elturel crashes into the hell landscape. Zariel, “we call it a draw.”
Shade, “We call a win because I only bard here.”
DM Notes. I am either going have print these notes out and take to the game next season. Or keep important notes and pass them out at games. The book is great until the party is over level for most encounters. Cretin AC and magic was so high I generally needed a Nat 20 to hit. Some other builds overwhelm the book and season.
I made hats for this season. ONLY 12. Both Johns have one coming. The rest of people who regularly played (you know who you are.) have one coming. If I have any left, first come first serve. Thanks for putting up with me. Now where Have I park that war machine.