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D&D 4E Running Commentary on Rel's 4e Campaign (Complete 8/2/10)

stobil

First Post
I was going to try and write another update but today is my 15th wedding anniversary and other stuff is taking...precedence.

Can't really blame you for that! Since it was my birthday yesterday I was unable to check last night to see if you'd updated for similar reasons. :D
 

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Rel

Liquid Awesome
Just a notification that I'm moving this thread to the 4e discussion forum because of the reorganization of the forums a while back. Under the current setup of the forums I think this is the most appropriate place for it.

As for updating I had planned to yesterday but found suddenly that I was in the position of kicking off my next (short, Savage Worlds: Deadlands) campaign last night and needed to get ready for that in a hurry. I'm going to go ahead and do an update for this one today in just a little while though.
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
The journey onward to Old Karak Tor had them stop in at the Tree of Life atop the plateau that held the Prison Mines of Pelor. Although they had available the quicker means of transport in the Sanctuary/Steelslicer combo they wanted to use it as little as possible for now. Nobody felt comfortable being inside it with the light from the void of the Place Between Places shining in and inducing insanity on any who beheld it.

At the Tree of Life Mialain performed a ceremony to officially ordain Llyra as the Priestess of Melora that she had become. They also took the time to pick some of the fruit that could help sustain them if finding food on their journey became a problem. Steelslicer roamed around a bit sniffing at the place she'd been prisoner for many years. They did not linger long however before continuing their journey.

Descending into the Mist they arrived at the River Gate of Old Karak Tor where the collection of dragon bones there held the Mist at bay. Zanne and Mialain had concocted a plan for how to move the dragon bones in large quantity. While Steelslicer, Astavian and Eshik kept watch for any Mist Demons the ladies would perform the ritual that they had copied from the walls of the cave/lair of Baelthrax the Blue Dragon. It had been one of the steps for creating his Dracotaur minions but the important thing to the party was that it animated dragon bones.

Unfortunately they had barely gotten started when the bow of an Arcanon Confederacy Flying Ship loomed out of the Mist and attacked. The Guildmasters aboard began to hurl magic at the PC's in the form of Lightning and Fire. This covered the assault by groups of their Bugbear minions who attacked with their battle axes. Some of these were magically Enlarged by the wizards of the Arcanon Confederacy and packed quite a wallop. Once the PC's were tied down with that assault they were beset by Ice Demons summoned by the Guildmasters!

These Ice Demons were soon identified as a major threat as they had the ability to swoop in and grapple the PC's, engulfing them in a prison of ice. This held the PC motionless and subjected them to crippling pain from the stabbing cold.

Zanne hurled horrible magics at the decks of the ships, ultimately robbing one of so much of its crew that Mialain was able to hurl it into the side of the plateau with her control of the winds. Astavian and Eshik hacked their way through the horde of Bugbears and attacked the Ice Demons whenever they could. Steelslicer swooped among the ships slashing at the crew with tooth and claw.

Finally realizing that they had to destroy the summoning circles that the Guildmasters were using to control the Ice Demons, Eshik flew up to the deck of the ship and began hacking at the magical inscription. Astavian was there to aid him thanks to Steelslicer gripping him by the armor and dropping him on deck at Eshik's command. Zanne kept the wizards on their toes with her area effect spells like Stinking Cloud and the Hunger of Hadar while Mialain and Llyra were forced to cast one healing spell after another simply to keep their allies standing.

At long last the circles were destroyed and the PC's were able to mop up the remaining Arcanon Confederacy mages, crashing the other Flying Ship in the process. It was a hard fought battle but they could not spend more than a few minutes resting afterward. They hurried to complete the ritual before any more AC forces showed up. Luckily nothing else bothered them and after successful completion of the ritual they had created three "Bone Golems". These were placed inside the Sanctuary for later use.

They then set a course for Opkhar and the lair of the Dweller.

********

I can't really do this battle justice because many of the details are forgotten. But I can tell you that it was one of the most hard fought, and at times frustrating, battles of the entire campaign. The combination of forces I sent against them was brutal.

The Guildmasters were based on the Sons of Mercy Wizards (with Fireball replacing their Thunderlance power) and those Icy Rays that immobilized the target were simply devastating in combination with the Ice Prison ability of the "Ice Demons" which were just renamed Ice Gargoyles. That combo kept half the party immobilized/imprisoned for a good chunk of the combat. Honestly it was so brutally effective that it was bordering on un-fun.

But hey, I didn't get my rep as a Rat Bastard for nothing and I have to imagine that the players all felt a sense of accomplishment when they finally defeated the last of those foes. I seem to recall that some of them threw dice at me.

I will say that one thing I liked about this battle was that it let me have them use the allies they had earned. Steelslicer and Llyra were both instrumental in them surviving this battle. Also I think it cut the pain of having your character Ice Prison-ed just a little if you had some allies around that you could help to direct the actions of.

Going back to something mentioned earlier, there was more "tying in old threads" going on here. They yet again visited the first, and most important, religious site that Mialain had established for Melora. And it also happened to be where they met, fought (with Zanne dying in the process) and ultimately redeemed Steelslicer. And later of course they got to use the ritual for animating dragon bones that I'd been anticipating they might use for this purpose for a LONG time. So that was cool.
 

Talltree

First Post
As I remember it, Steel Slicer nearly died during this fight becoming trapped in an ice prison. Mialain had to heal her at least twice.

This was yet another set of bad guys that immobilized us in some way - arrrgh! It was certainly a theme for the campaign!
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
As I remember it, Steel Slicer nearly died during this fight becoming trapped in an ice prison. Mialain had to heal her at least twice.

This was yet another set of bad guys that immobilized us in some way - arrrgh! It was certainly a theme for the campaign!

Did I ever tell you that you're cute when you're mad?
 


Robtheman

First Post
more pl0x

Hi! I've been reading this campaign avidly for the past two days. I'd love to hear it turns out.

As far as the mechanical analysis is concerned, I've learned a lot from reading both your and Piratecat's experiments with skill challenges. I plan to improve countless elements of a currently unfolding diabolical plan to kill my PCs. :devil:

As others have said, thank you for the play by play!

- Rob
 


Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
With the new 4e forum, it made sense to shift it. Keeps people on their toes.

Rel, in this last fight, was the question of who was going to win up in the air 'til the end, or was it a foregone conclusion dragged out by the immobilizing?
 


Rel

Liquid Awesome
Rel, in this last fight, was the question of who was going to win up in the air 'til the end, or was it a foregone conclusion dragged out by the immobilizing?

I'd say that the outcome was very much in question.

The Ice Prison thing that the demons were doing was Ongoing 20 Cold Damage. Add to that the fact that it was healing the demons by 5 points each round AND the PC was Slowed the round afterward and it made things very difficult for them.

It seemed that every time the PC's were about to gain the upper hand one of them would get Ice Prisoned and suddenly they were in a lot of danger again.

I'm going to try and get another update written by tomorrow. Wife and child are out of town until Sunday so that should give me some extra time.
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
The PC's once again set a course for Opkhar. As they headed toward their confrontation with The Dweller they were understandably conflicted. First of all, this was a god they were messing with. Despite Mialain and Astavian's fairly close relationships with their respective deities, and other similar encounters in recent months, this was nothing to be undertaken lightly. In addition, even if they succeeded in cleansing the Mist taint from him, it was likely to have profound implications for the worship of The Dweller in Opkhar, a deeply religious plateau. These thoughts weighed heavily upon them during their journey.

Preferring not to explain their purpose in Opkhar, they avoided making landfall in Sinking City or any other civilized area. Instead they sought out the narrow ledge where the Rhazul, leader of the Black Moon Cult, had his "griffin rookery/secret exit" that led directly into the vast subterranean cavern that held the Maw of The Dweller. They moored the ship without incident and went inside.

They wasted little time and proceeded through the chambers that they had cleansed of the Cultists so long ago and were at the shore of the underground lake. Having no boat of any sort, Eshik solved the problem of getting them to the center of the lake by having them enter The Sanctuary. He then stretched his wings and flew across the Mist shrouded water of the cavern to the island that held the Maw.

As he approached he heard an ominous voice rise from within the Maw, "Rise."

Chilling howls emerged from the Mist-choked pit and he could see the ghostly forms of The Dweller's hounds bounding out of the Maw. Eshik did not pause to confront them alone and instead swooped down inside the Maw. There he clutched The Sanctuary and vanished inside. Appearing within he simply called out to his companions, "We go!" An instant later they were all standing inside the Maw and were beset on all sides by the Ghost Wolves.

Eshik had brought with them one of the three Dragon Bone Golems that they had created and this began to disperse the Mist that surrounded them. Meanwhile they began to battle their way deeper into the Maw. The Ghost Wolves focused many of their attacks at the Bone Golem as thought it were the real threat. But their jaws sought out the party members whenever they defended it.

They continued to push their way into the Maw. As each Ghost Wolf was dispatched they could hear the voice utter "Rise" an another would emerge from deeper in to attack them. The Bone Golem was in pieces and Eshik called forth another from within The Sanctuary to aid in the battle as well as clearing the Mist. As more of the Mist was banished by the Dragon Bone they at last came to the deepest part of the Maw. There stood a sort of rough hewn stone altar above which floated a tremendous hammer. Mist seemed to float off of the hammer only to be banished an instant later by the Dragon Bone. For the moment it seemed that the Ghost Wolves had retreated or else could not emerge without the Mist.

"What's that?" asked Astavian.

"It's a big hammer," said Zanne. In response Astavian gave her an acidic look. Zanne ignored this as she was already trying to gain further insight into the purpose of this hovering weapon. After a few moments of study she declared, "It appears to be a gate."

"To where?" asked everybody else.

"Well I'm not certain but I'd guess that, based on the symbols of Pelor on the hammer, that it goes wherever The Dweller is."

They quickly agreed that, wherever that was, it was where they needed to go. Zanne and Mialain set to performing the Gate ritual that they had learned while in the Feywild. When it was complete the hammer pulsed with faint light. In unison the PC's reached to touch it and vanished from their home world once again...

(To be continued)
 

Rechan

Adventurer
I presume these were the same ghost wolves that the PCs fought the first time? If so, how'd they get such a fat increase in power?
 





Rel

Liquid Awesome
Sorry I've not been more prompt in posting updates. I managed to fall off my roof last weekend while trying to repair a leak in the rain. I'm ok. No broken bones, just a nasty cut on my chin and some general soreness. But it's kind of put life in slow motion for the last week. I should have one or two updates up sometime later this week.
 

Rechan

Adventurer
So Rel, how did you stat up Steelslicer when you used her on the PCs side? Did she turn into a companion character or were you using solo stats or what?
 

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