Respen & Vale both trail the others down the corridor. Respen is concerned about getting caught in similar fashion as the others before. And Vale’s toe hurts. Respen helps him as quickly as possible down to the room as the others are investigating the obelisk. He looks about, trying to ascertain the runes, the layout of the room, and what is actually going on.
The text of this post was cut, and appended to the post below, to maintain continuity; Tam and I cross-posted, and I figured it would make more sense to have the post for Respen occur AFTER Tam's comment.
"Gentlemen. I can't put my finger on it but there ware voices and the sounds of breathing coming from this obelisk with the eyes." Tam cautiously leans a little closer to try to hear the breathing again.
Nothing. "No. I'm not hearing a thing, now. However, these runes...
I recognize them from somewhere, but they seem to be jumbled all around. It's all jibber-jabber. Hopefully, one of you will have better luck trying to figure it out."
This spell functions like silent image, except that sound, smell, and thermal illusions are included in the spell effect. While concentrating, you can move the image within the range.
The image disappears when struck by an opponent unless you cause the illusion to react appropriately.
Level: Brd 1, Sor/Wiz 1
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Effect: Visual figment that cannot extend beyond four 10-ft. cubes + one 10-ft. cube/level (S)
Saving Throw: Will disbelief (if interacted with)
Spell Resistance: No
This spell creates the visual illusion of an object, creature, or force, as visualized by you. The illusion does not create sound, smell, texture, or temperature. You can move the image within the limits of the size of the effect.
A bit of fleece.
Respen, you are still in the entryway with Dewydd and the others. Do you want to enter the room?
“Wait!! They’re illusions. On or about the obelisks. Don’t touch just yet. I need to inspect them a moment further to see if I can figure out what they are.“
After a moment, Respen’s brow furrows. Calmly, he says in Common,”Tam, Thallok, you need to trust me; move quickly toward me now! Hack at your feet with your weapons. And MOVE!! “
Respen, as you are warning the party that the obelisks are both covered by illusions, you begin to concentrate, focusing your willpower, in an attempt to disbelieve...
It takes only a moment for Respen to pierce the veil, and see the truth of the matter, but it is already too late. As the words were leaving his lips, the trap was sprung!
What Respen saw, and what the rest of the party now also sees, is that the black obelisk is not black at all, nor is it smooth. It is covered in runes, much like the other obelisk. It is actually a beige color, and there are 4 keys attached to it, one on each side. The runes are written in the Sphinx's native language.
The other obelisk, i.e., the obelisk that Thallok and Tam were looking at, is not an obelisk at all! It is a large, foul, gruesome looking creature, which resembles a column of living rock, with a large, single, central eye, gaping maw, and six tentacles, each of which is almost 80 feet long!
While Tam and Thallok were looking at the obelisk, the creature was slowly encircling them (but not touching them) with two of its tentacles! Each tentacle had already encircled both Tam and Thallok 3 times! As the illusion drops, the tentacles suddenly tighten, SURPRISING both Tam and Thallok!
The other four tentacles had made it into the hallway, and had encircled Dewydd, Kleborn, and Sylvar once each. The last tentacle had begun to move toward Respen, but was still 15 feet distant from him!
Dewydd, Kleborn, and Sylvar are also surprised, as the tentacles tighten around them as well!
Respen and Vale are the only ones who are not currently ensnared...
This is a small, young one. The one you are facing is ancient, and huge.
What has happened is this:
These tentacles have scored an automatic hit on each character.
The base Strength Check DC ("STR") to escape (on your turn) is 26.
The base Escape Artist DC ("ART") to escape (on your turn) is 30.
The check DCs for Thallok and Tam are STR DC 32, or ART DC 36
(each time a tentacle wraps around, the creature gets +2 to its DCs.)
The check DCs for Dewydd, Kleborn, and Sylvar are STR DC 28, or ART DC 32.
The tentacles will slowly drag victims to the creature's maw. (10 ft. per round.) When the victims reach 10 ft. distance, they are attacked by the creature's maw with a +4 bonus to hit, and suffer damage. [4d6+12] on any successful attack; this happens each round until the victim either frees himself, or dies.
The creature's maw can make a bite attack on nearby (melee range, 10 ft., which is the length of its reach) opponents, but if they are not held by a tentacle, then an attack roll (without the +4 bonus) must be made.
Everyone who was grabbed by a tentacle needs to make a Fort save, DC 23. Failure to do so will result in ability damage. (Temporary loss of Strength)
Remember: Some of you (Dewydd, Sylvar, Respen, Vale, Kleborn, and Thallok) have a +5 to your saving throw, because of Khubsheth's blessing!
Respen and Vale can go ahead and roll initiative, and if they beat the creature's initiative, they can act beforehand.
Everyone else should also roll initiative, but you will not be able to act in the surprise round.
The Creature: 25
Tam-Tam: 18 (Fort Save: 22, Failed.) Lose 3 pts. STR. (Down to 8 STR.) Dewydd: 17 (Fort Save: 25, Made it.) Kleborn: 14 (Fort Save: 35, Made it.) Respen: 11 Sylvar: 10 (Fort Save: 9, Failed.) Lose 7 pts. STR. (Down to 6 STR.) Vale: 8 Thallok: 7 (Fort Save: 22, Failed.) Lose 11 pts. STR. (Down to 12 STR.) Duncan & Co.: 5 (Two rounds away.)
Tam, Dewydd, Kleborn, Sylvar, and Thallok are suddenly grabbed by the creature's tentacles! Tam, Sylvar, and Thallok feel a surge of nausea rip through their bodies; there is a tingling sensation, and it feels as if their muscles have turned to jelly! Thallok feels significantly weaker, and Tam and Sylvar feel almost incapacitated! Given their current states, it seems unlikely that they will ever get free!
Dewydd, Sylvar, and Kleborn are pulled 10 ft. closer to the creature!
Tam and Thallok, who were right next to the creature, are immediately drawn to the maw for a nasty bite! The foul creature can only bite one victim per round, so it chooses the biggest threat: Thallok!
Attack vs. Thallok: AC 40 (hit); Damage: 19 (-10 DR) = 9 pts.
It's an easy thing to stuff the Orc into its mouth, but another thing entirely to rend his flesh; it's like chewing on a rock! Despite his weakened condition, Thallok's thick, briny skin saves him from serious injury!
Tam: Escape Artist check, DC 36: (15) = Failed.
Tam tries to wriggle free, but the creature's grip is too tight!
DEWYDD: Make a STR check, DC 28! If you succeed, state your action!
Respen speak two Draconic syllables, causing his actions to radically speed up. The spell is bastardized, a short version of another spell, in this case only lasting a few seconds. Respen is hopefully that the action is effective. In a quick breath he casts another spell, disappearing from view. He attacks the tentacle holding Dewydd in an attempt to sunder it, releasing Dewydd from its grasp.
Respinding to the commotion Lenny turns to the others. "Looks like they ran into something."
Ebony still waiting for the order says: "Do you think we should go see what's the matter."
The three wait a moment and Ebony nudges Duncan again. "I say, do you THINK we should go see what's the MATTER!"
Duncan: Takes a breath as if to say something then pauses.
Duncan: "Yeah... yeah... I guess so. Come on." And he leads the foursome down the hall towards the ruckus.
As they march Ebony pokes him. "What's wrong."
Duncan replies. "You've seen these guys fight. Whatever is up there I'm sure they can handle it. And if they can't handle it, what in the 9 realms are we supposed to do about it? We're in over our heads in here, and every time we engage the temples guardians just gives us another chance to prove it."
Ok, it's a well-known fact that ROLZ has a habit of rolling an insane amount of 1's and 2's, way more so than any dice roller I've ever seen. So to alleviate this problem, I've started re-rolling some of the rolls, until an average roll appears. This doesn't always help, but it does ensure that the players aren't getting short-changed by an imperfect mathematical algorithm. But be warned, I do it for the NPCs as well.
So, I re-rolled Respen's rolls: (After he successfully beat the creature's opposed roll)
Dagger base damage: 3 pts. (was 2 pts.)
Skirmish Bonus: 5 pts. (was 2 pts.)
Kelgore's Firebolt: Crearture resists the spell; however, the spell STILL inflicts 1d6, regardless of SR.
Fire Damage: Base 4 pts. (Fire vulnerability: doubled.) 8 pts.
Tentacle takes 16 pts. total damage from Respen's sunder attack. Even with Respen's original rolls, the tentacle would have been sundered. (Original damage should have been 12 pts.; tentacle has 10 hp.) So the re-roll in this matter is really a moot point. However, I cannot stand to see so many low rolls come off of that algorithm.
Respen strikes the tentacle that is holding Dewydd, hitting it at just the right angle! The blade erupts in flame as it makes contact with the tentacle, and the red hot blade slices through the rubbery flesh like a hot knife through butter! The tentacle immediately goes limp, and releases Dewydd!
This changes the initiative count:
The Creature: 25
Tam-Tam: 18 (Fort Save: 22, Failed.) Lose 3 pts. STR. (Down to 8 STR.) Kleborn: 14 (Fort Save: 35, Made it.) Respen: 11a Dewydd: 11b (Fort Save: 25, Made it.) Sylvar: 10 (Fort Save: 9, Failed.) Lose 7 pts. STR. (Down to 6 STR.) Vale: 8 Thallok: 7 (Fort Save: 22, Failed.) Lose 11 pts. STR. (Down to 12 STR.) Duncan & Co.: 5 (Two rounds away.)
DEWYDD: The escape attempt is counted as a free action; had you succeeded in your STR check, you would have been able to act immediately. Therefore, I am counting your regular action as a DELAYED action; now that you are freed, you are able to attack this thing. You are EXACTLY within charging distance of the creature's main body (60 ft. away); you note that it did not seem to notice or care about having its tentacle severed.
"That was uncomfortable," I growl through clenched teeth before adding with a nod, "You have my thanks, Respen." Turning my attention to the roper, I grin and state, "Allow me to return the favor!" as I charge it. Touching down briefly, I push off the floor and leap through the air, bringing my sword down in an overhead strike.
Four swings, three hits (32, 41 (crit threat - not confirmed), 28, and 21)
Tam, fully cognizant of the deadly peril he and his mates are in, and the extreme pain of being squeezed by these tentacles, can't help but wonder if this is what it's like to be squeezed by a large constrictor, like a python.
If he could get in enough breath, he'd be chuckling right now; but, under the circumstances...
First & Second Blow: 67+66 = 133 Hit Point Minus First Two Blows: 168 - 133 = 35 Third and Final Blow: 35-77 = -42
Roper is DEAD. [-42]
Although Dewydd makes four swipes at the gruesome monster, only three of them land; the reason is because the fourth and final attack did not take into account the position of the roper's body, or rather, the lack of position. The blow lands where the roper SHOULD have been; but after the third hit, which cleaved the beast in twain, what remained of the body fell away, so that the fourth blow struck naught but air. ~If I was going to miss,~ Dewydd muses to himself, ~I'm glad that this was the reason for it.~
THE ROPER IS DEAD! Its tentacles go slack, releasing all those who were within its grasp! Combat has ended almost as quickly as it had begun! EVERYONE: WHAT DO YOU DO?