Winter IrondDM (Winner)!

Greybar

No Trouble at All
To give Seasong some kudos:

The enstoned (is that a word?) blackguards are very nice. The sound you hear in Texas all the way from Masschusetts is the YOINK of me grabbing that idea. Of course, in my campaign it's an evil tyrant who commonly uses a variant flesh-to-stone on those who oppose her, but still.

John
 

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seasong

First Post
Quickbeam: Saturday looks best to me. How about Saturday AM, to maximize your time? That will also give me some extra time to prep for my Friday session.
 

mythago

Adventurer
1. Medusae can be male--or at least, when I double-checked the MM, it didn't indicate that they must be female. (Of course the historical Medusa was female, but then she didn't do many of the things ascribed to the MM versions either...)

2. Really, I didn't think the medusa/lich with mook guards was out of line. I used the D&D party I'm usually in--about 4 to 5 12-13 level characters--and judged whether we would have been able to take out the monster. A challenge? Sure, but having seen our dwarven warrior (who is a fighter with some levels of barbarian) chew through high CL encounters, I wasn't that worried about the numbers being imperfect. With the statues as a clue, the PCs should know that they're at least dealing with a powerful sorceror, and plan accordingly.

3. I am, again, a victim of overzealous self-editing. Originally the PCs were going to return in triumph to Gaol-Isle to fetch Calistan personally, having to negotiate with the kraken en route. But with fear of the wordcount running over, I snipped that.

Good luck, seasong and Quickbeam!
 

incognito

First Post
Seasong and Quickbeam: I can post the ingredients, 6 PM on Friday, if this would help your timelines. Is that ok?

Mythago: While I am happy your Dwarven barbarian and current party are so effective, I have to say IronDM submissions are judged for their general playability, not one particular party.

I myself DM a campaign which at one time contained 3 rogues; this made anything that could be 'sneak attacked' vunerable, but that does not mean I should write a scenario with an EL +8 encounter for the IronDM contest and expect parties to live through it.

I consider you a brilliant writer who needs to take just a bit more time to fine tune, and you are going to start sweeping these things.
 
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mythago

Adventurer
While I am happy your Dwarven barbarian and current party are so effective, I have to say IronDM submissions are judged for their general playability, not one particular party.

Absolutely. I was just explaining why I used a high-CL creature for a mid-level party--I didn't just pull it out of the air. Of course it would depend a great deal on the character classes, players, dice rolls and what have you.

I consider you a brilliant writer who needs to take just a bit more time to fine tune, and you are going to start sweeping these things.

Well shucks. Thanks. :)
 


incognito

First Post
Final Round!

Quickbeam vs. Seasong

ingredients
Single combat
Cycle of life
Brass ring
Frenzied, elven monk
Hidden agenda
Lernaean Hydra


The time is now 5:50 EST. Good luck quickbeam and seasong.

Note: extra ingreidents were always for the Grand IronDM Final Round. Since we are not using this, for this round, there are no extra ingredients.
 


Quickbeam

Explorer
Alrighty then :). I'll miss the bonus ingredients for this Final Round battle, but hope to craft a prize-winning story nonetheless!!
 
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seasong

First Post
Save Our Hydras! (level 7-9)

Ingredients
Single Combat: Luan Ti's driving desire, and a situation the PCs may find themselves in.

Cycle of Life: The locale for the scenario; part of the basic conflict.

Brass Ring: Both a ring from the City of Brass, and from its definition, "A person or thing worth catching"; as a prize.

Frenzied Elven Monk: Luan Ti, one of the motivating forces for the action, combined with his ring.

Hidden Agenda: Luan Ti's reason for being at the Manaen Academy; Wolfwood's reasons, period; possibly the PC's reasons for being at the zoo; every reason for the action that ensues is a hidden agenda.

Lernaean Hydra: The real brass ring for Luan Ti, and possibly a second (or first) really nasty fight.

Summary: Rescuing a hydra from murderous intent, with a few fights, a possible chase scene, and a few lying scumbags. This is a minor scenario, meant to be inserted into the cracks in a larger campaign, but still creating some of the alliances, enemies and loose ends that are the hallmark of an adventurer's career.

Note: I typically enjoy having very political situations, and most of my scenarios involve hidden agendas for someone. Heck, I hardly call something an agenda iffen it ain't hidden ;). So when I saw "hidden agendas" as an ingredient, I decided that I had to go with a fairly straight-forward pair of fight encounters, with hidden agendas driving the action instead of being the action. The actual "action" is fairly straightforward, if unusual (subduing a hydra rather than killing it; a three-way battle between party, monk and hydra; possibly chasing down a ranger through "planned wilderness").

Background

The Manaen Zoo

Just outside the city limits, where ordinances against magical beasts and their ilk do not apply as strongly, the Manaen Academy rests its ancient foundations. Equal parts scholars, naturalists and followers of Obad-Hai (or insert your neutral nature diety of choice), the academy is a bastion of knowledge about the natural world, its methods and uses. As a niche academy, it tends to attract individuals from a variety of fields, so long as they are nature oriented.

The Manaen Zoo is less of a zoo and more of a guided preserve, but most folks refer to it as a zoo due to its "caged" nature. Covering a 5 mile radius, the zoo has been carefully rebuilt with a variety of spells (move earth and stone shape high among them) and manual labor to produce a series of micro-ecologies that are somewhat, but not entirely, walled off from each other. Each ecology ranges from a few acres to a few square miles, depending on what they contain, and is maintained constantly by wary wardens. The stated purpose of the zoo is to provide an area where the cycle of life can be rigorously studied, and also to provide non-followers of Obad-Hai with some of the majesty of nature in a more acceptable manner than simply tossing them into the wilderness.

Roughly five years ago, a 5 headed lerneaen hydra baby was found orphaned by a company of mercenaries working for the city to "clear out the wilderness". The academy helped raise it and rebuilt an area of the preserve to house it, where it is now the prize "exhibit" of the Manaen Zoo. It's been a monster for upkeep, and is easily the deadliest predator in the preserve, but has also provided fascinating insights into the nature of specialized regeneration... and has brought the academy a lot of money from nobles who want a glimpse of the beast.

For the most part, the hydra is mild-mannered and, since it is rarely starving, actually safe to be around. Many of its visitors affectionately call it Mouth for a charming tendency to open its mouth as wide as possible and stretch its neck when it's hungry... which is almost all the time for at least one of its heads.

Efreet's Wrath

A ring from the City of Brass, this unassuming brass ring provides its wearer with the ability to frenzy once per day for 5 rounds. A frenzy works just like the barbarian rage ability, but also has the effect of altering half of the wearer's melee damage to fire damage. The ring is worth about 10,000 GP. It is owned by Luan Ti, below, and is how he intends to fight the hydra.

Luan Ti

Luan Ti is a LE elven monk/11 (CR 9), and a "great white hunter". To prove his innate superiority, and to hone his formidable abilities, he seeks out challenging creatures to defeat in single combat... and he's not above taking on adventurers of various stripes to prove himself, either. In short, he's an adrenaline junkie, seeking ever-greater challenges.

Luan Ti should have normal equipment for a monk of his level, but his prize possession is Efreet's Wrath, a brass ring which allows him to rage and simultaneously alters half of his damage to fire damage.

His favored saying, oddly, is "It is not enough to reach for the brass ring; you must also enjoy the carousel", usually said in regards to living a full life and testing his own limits.

Luan Ti recently heard of the lernaean hydra, and has decided that it will be his next foe in single combat. To that end, he has entered the academy in the guise of a nature lover, using his excellent knowledge of monsters and beasts of all kinds for admittance. He has been at the Manaen Academy for a month now, plotting his route to provoke the hydra into battle with him, without arousing suspicion; his plans for afterward are to pretend great grief over the hydra's death and "leave in shame".

A Hidden Agenda

Luan Ti has a secret ally... a ranger/6 named Wolfwood who (unknown to the monastery) has hydras as one of his favored enemies. It is known that he is not fond of Mouth, but he has studiously avoided the creature and does not otherwise seem impassioned about the matter. He justifies his hatred of the creature by the cost of upkeeping it, and the danger it presents to the surrounding countryside.

Wolfwood is the one who made Luan Ti aware of the hydra, while on a business trip for the academy, and has arranged for an event during one of the big "visitor days". He's arranged for Luan Ti to be on 'hydra duty' for that day, and spiked the meat with foul-tasting herbs so the hydra won't eat it... when the visitors come, he's hoping it will go mad with hunger (he's right) while Luan Ti is on duty.

Luan Ti is unaware of this, and is still trying to work out a way to provoke the hydra. He'll be fairly relaxed on the day of the event.

Note: the reason for the deviousness is that Wolfwood knows he can't take the hydra himself, and he can't convince the others that the hydra would be a threat. Luan Ti is a fortunate happenstance who is both willing and capable of killing the monster.

A Kink in the Plans

Unfortunately, some members of the academy noticed Mouth's lack of interest in his food, and discovered the herbs in the meat. They don't yet know how did it, so they intend to try to find out.

To achieve this, they have hired some adventurers to pose as tourists (who can defend themselves). They will then sit back and observe events carefully, to find out who behaves in a way that implicates them. They have no reason to suspect Yuan Ti, but they will when he first uses lethal force on the hydra (Manaen handlers always try subdual damage first).

Once they are fairly certain of who it is, they will come down hard.

Hooks/Setup

The key with this scenario is to get the PCs hooked early into the action, so they have some background before going in. Setup items:

- Luan Ti should be known to them from earlier encounters, and they might find themselves wondering what a beast hunter like him is doing in a nature-lovey place like the Manaen Academy (he will pretend, however briefly, to have "changed his ways", and will then try to get them out of the academy before they can talk).

- Wolfwood should have met them while they were on their way to the academy (for whatever reason, see below). Depending on how that meeting went, he may even offer to hire them to help provoke the hydra! In this case, they will likely know why Luan Ti is there - this could be an interesting, different encounter, in which the PCs provoke a monster with the express purpose of getting someone else to draw a bead on it (however, see the Action section below).

- If at all possible, having the party be the ones who killed the hydra's parents (by having had them fight a weaker lerneaen hydra years before) could make for an interesting "reunion". In this case, Wolfwood doesn't need to hire them, as the hydra will berserk as soon as it scents them. Luan Ti will try to get them to run away while he takes care of it (see Action, below).

- Don't kill the beasts, even the hydra! This should be emphasized throughout their visit by the people operating the academy. The animals are valued, and killing them really puts the hurt on the academy... to the point that the academy's enmity will be very near terminal hatred. Not all PCs will listen, of course, in which case you may have an additional fight/chase as the PCs try to get out of the zoo alive.

Hook #1: One good motivator for the PCs to be heading to the zoo is to simply hear about it. Mention that a lot of adventurers visit the zoo to get an idea of the kinds of things they might face, and mention the tame hydra as a behavioral study.

Hook #2: The PCs are hired by Wolfwood. See above for some detail on this one.

Hook #3: The PCs are after Luan Ti. He can be a real bastard when he's looking for a fight, so they may have a grudge to settle with him... or maybe he acquired the brass ring by taking it out of a horde they "earned". They've heard he's come this way, and someone matching his description has been seen wearing the ruddy robes of the Obad-Hai worshippers. In this case, have the hydra attack Luan Ti as they arrive, and if they help kill him, then it turns on them.

Hook #4: The academy has hired the PCs to pose as tourists (see Kink in the Plans, above). They are to be obnoxious, nosy, tourist-y. Wolfwood, having seen them in non-tourist garb, will have some idea of what they are doing, and will try to keep them away from the hydra pen. The meeting with Luan Ti will be interesting... as they will likely realize immediately why he is there, and he'll know why they are. See #3 for how the battle might go.

Action

As mentioned above, this scenario is meant to be blended with earlier events. Some roleplaying with Luan Ti and Wolfwood, some background on the academy inserted into everyday events, and then visiting the hydra should help this blend into the campaign as a whole and not seem like a contrived situation where the PCs have to try to subdue a big cuisinart lizard. Once it gets into motion, however, several fights can and should break out...

The fight with Luan Ti and the hydra should be a 3-way. Luan Ti will be trying to kill the PCs (so he can fight the hydra himself), the hydra will be trying to kill everyone, and the PCs will likely be trying to kill Luan Ti and subdue the hydra... or even subdue both, if they don't really hate Luan Ti.

In all likelihood, Luan Ti will go down first, in which case the hydra will focus its attention on them. At this point, various low-level members of the academy will have arrived and will be shouting/begging them not to kill it; if they do kill it, there will likely be yet another fight, and the PCs should be severely reduced in resources at this point.

When this seems to be getting stale, have a higher-power member of the academy come in and call a stop to the fighting: "There is a bigger issue. Wolfwood was the source of the problem, and he has escaped into the zoo. We can't afford any more loss of life - can you capture or kill him?" A few quick negotiations on the exact amount of gold, and the chase is on.

Wolfwood is fast, stealthy and cunning. He should make a good chase scene, and the beatdown should be cathartic enough to make up for having to subdue the hydra.
 

Quickbeam

Explorer
Seasong vs. Quickbeam
Iron DM Finals

Smuggler's Blues
This adventure is suitable for characters levels 7-10. The city of Trumbull can be replaced by any large city with access to a waterway used for transport.

Ingredients:
Single Combat
Cycle of Life
Brass Ring
Frenzied, Elven Monk
Hidden Agenda
Lernaean Hydra


BACKGROUND:
Lucien Nightbreeze is an elven monk who trained for years with the Order of the Golden Phoenix in the renowned monastery at Othah. He was banished from the monastery for straying from the monk’s path by studying the arcane arts. An ambitious elf, Lucien resolved to start his own academy, one that he could shape to match his image of the perfect being. Having studied legendary tales and ancient myths while in Othah, Lucien was fascinated with the Lernaean Hydra. This creature was said to have had nine heads, the centermost being immortal. Each of the heads is believed to have possessed the ability to breathe venom, and could regenerate if severed from the whole.

So it came to pass that Lucien established the Hydra Clan, recruiting promising humans to he personally trained in the ways of the monk. Lucien limited his clan to eight students. He instructed each pupil in a different style of combat, and taught them specialized arcane spells to augment their individual powers. These combat styles (and the students themselves) were named after different venomous snakes to reflect the eight distinct mortal serpent heads of the Lernaean Hydra; whereas, Lucien symbolized the immortal central entity (as an elf, Lucien would outlive countless generations of his pupils). Whenever one of the clan members died, Lucien would select and train another pupil to take his place, thereby regenerating the severed head. The elf intended to use his clan to covertly infiltrate all walks of life within the city of Trumbull and from these positions manipulate commerce and politics to their will.


SET UP:
It is now nearly a century after the founding of the Hydra Clan. Lucien and his pupils are firmly ensconced in Trumbull. The townspeople have no idea that the Clan exists, yet the monks quietly wield great influence over the city through their various positions of authority* (see subsequent post for NPC’s). In recent months, the Hydra Clan has begun to dabble in several new lucrative ventures including the smuggling and distribution of opium. Trumbull’s Wharf Boss is a man named Cyrn Po – a grizzled individual who happens to be one of the Clan members. Two weeks ago, Cyrn and some dockworkers were caught unloading the contraband one evening by the Sheriff (Brann Durmak), and convinced him to take weekly payoffs in exchange for his silence and inaction. While Brann now knows that Cyrn is part of a larger smuggling ring, he has no idea of the Clan’s existence.

The Hydra Clan meets only once a month at Lucien’s manor, in order to protect their secrecy. During the most recent meeting (three days ago), several of the clan members were enraged at Cyrn’s carelessness in being discovered and in forming an ongoing agreement with the Sheriff. Some even suggested that Master Lucien would be within his rights to banish Cyrn, and find a replacement. Lucien told his pupils that there did not appear to be a serious risk of the Clan’s discovery, and insisted that they maintain their composure and return to their normal activities, hiding his own serious concerns. He told his students that he would consider a way to deal with the meddling Sheriff.

Last night, Cyrn went into the woods about a half mile outside of the city in order to meet with Sheriff Durmak, to give him his second scheduled payoff. Durmak left a formal banquet in order to meet Cyrn at the designated clearing. He was wearing his ceremonial brass chain shirt at the time. The Sheriff had a hidden agenda in meeting with the monk. Durmak had a halfling rogue named Zandi, an informer who owed the Sheriff some favors, hide up in the branches of a tree near the clearing. The Sheriff had decided to double-cross Cyrn by killing him (and taking the money, of course), in order to personally take control of the incoming contraband by confiscating it in order to sell the opium himself.

When the signal was given, Zandi fired a crossbow bolt into the monk’s back, at which point Durmak administered a killing blow with his mace. Cyrn grasped at the Sheriff as he fell, tearing at the ceremonial armor. As the Sheriff looked down at his victim, he heard the snapping of a branch behind him. Both Durmak and Zandi scoured the woods for the unseen intruder, before attributing the noise to a passing animal. In actuality, a small boy named Jasper had been playing nearby and was drawn to the sound of voices. Jasper recognized Sheriff Durmak from his ceremonial chain shirt, and fled in horror at the sight of the monk’s murder. Not knowing where else to go for safety and solace, Jasper ran to the church of St. Cuthbert (or suitable deity of retribution) where his family were parishioners. Nearly in shock, Jasper relayed his tale to Brother Horace. The cleric knew that Jasper was no liar, but also understood that such a story told by a small boy, would not hold up to public scrutiny against the word of Sheriff Brann Durmak.

After giving up their chase for the unseen watcher in the woods, Durmak sends Zandi back to Trumbull to listen for any reports pertaining to the murder. For his part, the Sheriff goes back to find Cyrn’s body with the intention of hiding the corpse. To his dismay, Brann hears the feral sounds of something feeding as he approaches the clearing, and is startled to see a twisted humanoid figure hunched over Cyrn’s body. In the light of the full moon, Durmak can see the dark skin of the creature glistening with Cyrn’s blood, and the being rips into the dead monk’s flesh with its greedy maw. His eyes fixed on the face of the feeding beast, Durmak unsheathes and throws a dagger at the creature, striking it in the shoulder. As the creature turns to flee, a cloud passes overhead, and the Sheriff loses sight of the beast. He does not see that the creature is winged.

The beast is a Berbalang (Fiend Folio), which feeds upon dead humans during the three nights surrounding the full moon every month. The creature’s cycle of life is tied directly to the lunar cycle, and its body lies dormant except for these short feeding periods. The Sheriff has disturbed the Berbalang’s cycle of life by interrupting its feeding, and the creature will seek to feed again after it has healed from the attack.

Durmak, seeing the damage done to the corpse, realizes that he now has a cover story for the wharf boss’s untimely demise. He brings the body back to town and sounds a general alarm. He tells those who gather that some monster is on the loose, and is responsible for the death of Cyrn Po. He offers a reward on behalf of the city for anyone who can locate and slay the beast.


PC HOOKS:
1) The party is in Trumbull during the general alarm, and is drawn to the city center, where they hear Sheriff Durmak’s tale. The party may wish to seek out the creature in the hopes of collecting the reward, or increasing their reputations as heroic adventurers.
2) If the party is not drawn into the adventure on their own, Brother Horace approaches the party after the general alarm or the next morning. He explains that the church does not have the resources to investigate Jasper’s story, and believes that nobody else in the city would consider questioning the Sheriff’s motives. As a priest of St. Cuthbert, he believes that no crime should go unpunished, and the Sheriff has already made his intentions to conceal the murder plain with his lies.
3) Upon learning of Cyrn Po’s death, Lucien panics. The frenzied, elven monk does not believe that Po fell victim to some mystery creature in the woods, knowing his pupil to be too powerful. He suspects that either the Sheriff or even one of the other members of the Hydra Clan has murdered Po: the Sheriff because of the illicit arrangement, and another clan member because of the harsh remarks and high tempers at the last meeting. He will approach the party and offer to hire them at a hefty price to investigate Po’s death. His story to the PC’s will be that he fears someone is trying to hurt his business interests. Killing the wharf boss will put things on the waterfront in disarray, while blaming a monster in the countryside may hurt caravan trade.


RUNNING THE ADVENTURE:
** If the PC’s choose to pursue the monster alleged to have killed Cyrn Po, it is likely that they will want to speak with Sheriff Durmak for more details. He will tell the party that he saw some creature feeding on the body by moonlight, and wounded the beast with a thrown dagger. He says that the monster then fled towards the east moving with eerie silence (it flew), but he can say no more since the moon ducked behind some clouds. Durmak will also describe the location of the clearing where he saw this “attack.” Sense Motive and Bluff checks will reveal nothing useful, since none of these statements are false. If the PC’s move to investigate the clearing, a Search check (DC 15) will allow party members to see several brass rings lying partially buried in the dirt. These are actually loose pieces of the Sheriff’s chain shirt, which tore free when Po fell on Durmak during the encounter. Clever PC’s may comprehend the significance of these rings based on their description, or the DM may allow an Intelligence check to make the connection. A Wilderness Lore check (DC 20) will also reveal two small sets of footprints at the scene (one belonging to Zandi, the other Jasper), and several broken branches in a nearby tree indicating that others were present. If the characters choose to confront Sheriff Durmak with the brass rings, he will become quite flustered before regaining his composure and explaining that they must have come loose while he was picking up the body.

Should the party continue looking for the Berbalang, PC’s with tracking skills will conclude that the beast left no trace of its departure, and may well have flown off. Following the Sheriff’s directions, the party will come upon a series of small caves, and in one of these rests the Berbalang’s physical form. If the PC’s engage the creature in combat, they will almost certainly strike it dead with one blow…perhaps another signal that the grizzled Wharf Boss was not slain by this beast.

** If the PC’s follow the Hook provided by Brother Horace, they are likely to head straight for the clearing using Jasper’s directions. The same Search, Wilderness Lore, and Tracking checks noted above apply here. Armed with the brass mail rings and Jasper’s story, the PC’s will likely seek to confront Sheriff Durmak. Once again, he will attempt to explain the rings away – quite poorly in the face of the PC’s strong suspicions. However, without conclusive evidence of his crime the Sheriff isn’t about to confess, and further questions will be of no use. If the characters choose to collect information on Po in an attempt to learn who would want him dead, they will likely encounter several members of the Hydra Clan – albeit unknowingly. With a Gather Information check (DC 20) the PC’s may learn any/all of the following:
> Cyrn Po had previous meetings with the Sheriff.
> The Wharf Boss was considered to be extremely tough and hearty, and those along the docks do not believe some boogeyman monster killed him in the woods.
> He was seen leaving the manor of Lucien Nightbreeze on several occasions.
> Po was involved in illegal activites.

The other Hydra Clan members* (see subsequent post) are certain to be present in some of the areas where the party is attempting to gather information. Fearing that the party will inevitably discover their group and/or expose their lucrative opium trade, the Clan members will seek to eliminate the PC’s. The Innkeeper may lure one character into a backroom with pressing private information; the Guard may approach the party leader and claim that he has vital knowledge about Sheriff Durmak; the Merchant may catch the attention of one PC and offer to share a secret with them; etc. The point is, they will attempt to divide and conquer the party, engaging only in single combat encounters. The DM may choose when and how to employ these single combat ambushes, but under no circumstance will the Hydra Clan members attack the party en masse.

If any of the Hydra Clan monks are defeated and thoroughly searched, the party will notice a peculiar tattoo just below the neckline of each monk. This tattoo is the elvish character for “hydra” and should indicate that the assailant was not some random thug. Unfortunately, almost no one in Trumbull knows anything about the Hydra Clan, and only a Bardic Knowledge check (DC 25) will help explain the significance of this symbol.

** If hired by Lucien, the party will either want to begin by exploring the clearing (which they will have to find by either asking the Sheriff, or dumb luck) or by heading to the wharf for information of Cyrn Po. Exploring the clearing will be handled as previously noted. If the PC’s choose to head for the waterfront use the Gather Information checks listed above, and begin the single combat encounters thereafter as the Hydra Clan moves to protect their existence and drug smuggling.

At some point – and especially after enduring several surprise individual battles – the party should want to physically see Cyrn’s body with their own eyes. They may wish to examine the “monster” bite marks; they may be looking for signs of foul play; they may be looking for clues pertaining to the strange elven tattoos. In any event, a close examination of Po’s corpse will reveal:
> a severely damaged skull from the Sheriff’s mace
> a small penetration wound in the back from Zandi’s crossbow
> the elven hydra tattoo
> and two brass rings from Durmak’s chain shirt still clutched in one hand.


Additional Encounters and Conclusions:
All of the subversive elements and scheming within Trumbull begin to unravel as the party explores the different aspects of Po’s life and death. With the various clues, rumors, attacks, and obvious lies, two final destinations of the mind will be reached. First the party will conclude that Sheriff Durmak was responsible for Po’s death – the brass rings clutched in the dead man’s hand should seal the deal! Instead of facing the gallows, Durmak and Zandi will fight the PC’s to the death. Second, the party should conclude that some secret group or society has taken root in Trumbull. The various rumors learned by the party (in particular the one which brings Lucien into play) or information obtained from defeated Clan members, will lead to a final confrontation at Lucien’s manor. Lucien and any surviving Hydra Clan members will battle the group viscously…but the DM may choose to have one Lucien escape to re-establish the Hydra Clan elsewhere. Regardless of the initial Hook, the party will be amply rewarded by the Trumbull City Council, and may even receive titles and lands depending on your campaign.

Final note: If the party’s investigation takes more than four days without significant progress, or if the Berbalang is not discovered in its lair, the creature returns to Trumbull seeking revenge on the Sheriff…and of course food. This will throw a huge curveball at the party, by providing some small measure of credence to the Sheriff’s story.

The subsequent post contains NPC information not crucial to the judging process, but nice for actually running the campaign as it was devised. :)
 

Quickbeam

Explorer
NPC’s for Smuggler's Blues:

The Hydra Clan
Each of these NPC’s is a LE Monk 7/Wizard 3
Provide equipment & magical items to suit your campaign
They all know the following 1st levels spells:
Endure Elements, Mage Armor, Shield, Charm Person, True Strike
They also have two of the following three 2nd level spells at DM’s discretion:
Cat’s Grace, Bull’s Strength, Endurance
Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Focus - Unarmed, Spring Attack, Combat Reflexes
Skills: All have max ranks in the monk skills Tumble, Balance, Climb, Jump, Listen; and the Wizard skills Concentration, Spellcraft. Four of the Clan have max ranks in Hide, the other four in Move Silently.
Attributes (approximately): STR 14; DEX 16; CON 12; INT 12; WIS 16; CHA 10
HP 62 each; AC 17; You're on your own for BAB, saves, etc. ;)

They are:
Ghanir Ward (Mamba) – Thieves guild member; specialty spell Spider Climb
Ichil Raines (Cottonmouth) – Popular Innkeeper; specialty spell Shocking Grasp
Leishan Park (Asp) – Head of Merchant Association; specialty spell Jump
Elmin Barre (Copperhead) – City Guard; specialty spell Expeditious Retreat
Sulat Chin (Cobra) – Plantation Owner; specialty spell Burning Hands
Amar Xiang (Adder) – Banker/Jeweler; specialty spell Chill Touch
Cyrn Po (Sidewinder) – Wharf Boss [deceased]; specialty spell Magic Missile
Restam Yount (Viper) – Influential Councilman; specialty spell Obscuring Mist

Master Lucien Nightbreeze LE Monk 10/Wizard 5
Provide equipment & magical items at your discretion
Wealthy Businessman/Aristocrat; specialty 1st level spell Color Spray
Lucien has access to Lightning Bolt, Haste, Gaseous Form as his 3rd level spells
Feats: Same as above, plus Improved Initiative
Skills: Same as above (with more higher ranks), plus Diplomacy
Attributes: STR 14; DEX 18; CON 10; INT 12; WIS 18; CHA 14
HP 75; AC 20; You are still flying solo for BAB, saves, etc. :p


edited to provide additional DM info for NPC's...have fun!!

This story was inspired by The Five Deadly Venoms
 
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Quickbeam

Explorer
Well, I'm up early with the kids this morning and managed to squeeze a few minutes away to read my opponent's entry. I liked the animal preserve/zoo (used one myself in a prior tourney :)), and always appreciate new magical items and recurring NPC villains. It's a clever take on the ingredients provided...and I wish you good luck, seasong!!

Our two entries could not have been more different, and it's going to leave our noble judge weighing vastly contrasting material. I don't envy his task in this battle!

P.S. I want to reiterate, that my NPC post (which has been editied) should not be part of the Final Round judging process. I expect the previous entry to stand on its own, and the NPC material was simply included for those interested in running the adventure. Thanks.
 


Majicthise

First Post
However this ends up...it was an inspiring tournament. Thanks to the participants for their hard work and creativity.:D As someone fairly new to EnWorld, I think what you all are doing here is great, and I am glad that I've been able to watch this tournament from the first round until this - the end.
While not every idea had been a winner, there have definitely been some really interesting NPCs and scenarios.
Not wanting to say too much about this round until it has been judged, let me just say that I really clicked with one of the entries this time around. I think that you both came up with creative modules , and I wish you luck.
 


Quickbeam

Explorer
seasong said:
A bump for great JUSTICE!... er, judgement. Whatever. Uh, just wanna know who won, don't mind me...

Yeah...what he said ;).

And thanks for the encouraging words Majicthise. I know the first time I saw Iron DM here at EN World I was completely taken with the idea.
 

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