Saturday, December 6, 2008

11/29 Game part 2

Life has been busy. This part is short, since I didn't actually get to run most of it. The next encounter looked like this:

The party is railroaded down the hall as it moves through the Castle and merges with the hall that goes around the perimeter. The outside wall has tall narrow windows that open to a beautiful view of the dawn sun and the Castle high above the ocean, and above even the clouds. Destruction is everywhere and it is evident that something came this way. The party hears yelling in the distance and get to about the edge of the above map before they are able to pick out any words, if anyone speaks the Deep Speech. Here is the encounter:

UH - 2 Umber Hulks
O - 2 Ogre Thugs
F - 1 Foulspawn Seer

The party will likely investigate. The umber hulks have tremorsense 5, so unless supernatural means are used to conceal them, once the party is within 5 squares (even through the wall) the Umber Hulks charge.

The logic behind this setup is that as the sun rose the umber hulks sought some kind of darkness/protection, and the foulspawn seer is trying to motivate them to continue on. The ogres are pushing the umber hulks trying to move them out of the room, but nothing short of battle will get them to go. This battle has potential to be deadly. With the foulspawn seer's aura the umber hulks have a +20 to hit with their main attack and a +18 vs will. The seer himself is pretty painful, and I aimed to keep him protected by his brutes as much as possible.

If we we were running ahead (ha, so naive I was) I had a short battle planned against the monster tasked with guarding the door, a hydra. It would start bloodied and with one of it's heads dead. For fun.

The last battle we started but did not finish:
The monsters:
L - Lich (Custom NPC using the DMG rules for adding a template, with the Lich template added)
S - 3 Skeletal Tomb Guardians
DS - 2 Dark Stalkers
T - 2 Trolls

Here is the stat block I used for the Lich, typos and all:

Lich (Human Wizard) Level 11 Elite Controller (Leader)
Medium Natural Humanoid (Undead) XP 1,200
Initiative +9 Senses Perception +9
Necromantic Aura (Necrotic) aura 5; Any living creature that enters or starts its turn in the aura takes 5 necrotic damage.
HP 248; Bloodied 124
Regeneration 10. If you take radiant damage, your regeneration doesn't function this turn.
AC 28; Fortitude 23, Reflex 25, Will 23
Immune Disease, Poison; Resist 10 Necrotic
Saving Throws +2
Speed 6
Action Points 1
R Magic Missile (Standard; at-will) ♦ Arcane, Force, Implement
Ranged 20 Target: One creature +15 vs Reflex 2d4+5 force damage.
a Scorching Burst (Standard; at-will) ♦ Arcane, Fire, Implement
Ranged 10 Area burst 1 +15 vs Fortitude 1d8+5 fire damage
a Color Spray (Standard; encounter) ♦ Arcane, Implement, Radiant
Close blast 5 +15 vs Will 3d6+5 radiant damage, and the target is dazed until the end of your next turn.
a Fire Burst (Standard; encounter) ♦ Arcane, Fire, Implement
Ranged 20 Area burst 2 +15 vs Reflex 4d8+5 fire damage
a Wall of Fire (Standard; daily) ♦ Arcane, Conjuration, Fire, Implement
Wall 8 within 10 squares Effect: You conjure a wall that consists of contiguous squares filled with arcane fire. It can be up to 8 squares long and up to 4 squares high. The wall lasts until the end of your next turn. Any creature that starts its turn adjacent to the wall takes 1d8+5 fire damage. If a creature moves into the wall's space or starts its turn there, the creature takes 4d8+5 fire damage. Entering a square occupied by the wall costs 3 extra squares of movement. The wall blocks line of sight. Sustain Minor: The wall persists.
Spellmaster (Minor; recharge 56)
The lich regains the use of an expended encounter power.
Necrotic Master
The lich can convert any attack power that it has to necrotic, change a power's energy keyword to necrotic, or add necrotic energy to an attack power that doesn't normally deal energy damage.
Blur (Minor; daily) ♦ Arcane, Illusion
Until the end of the encounter, you gain a +2 power bonus to all defenses, and enemies 5 or more squares away from you cannot see you.
Dimension Door (Move; daily) ♦ Arcane, Teleportation
Teleport 10 squares. You can't take other creatures with you.
Staff of Defense (Immediate Interrupt; encounter)
Gain a +3 bonus to defense against the attack that triggered this.
Alignment Evil Languages Common, Deep Speech
Skills Arcana +15, Religion +15
Str 11 (+5) Dex 12 (+6) Wis 14 (+7)
Con 17 (+8) Int 21 (+10) Cha 13 (+6)
Equipment Staff, robes

Built using Asmor's Monster Maker. The Lich is aware of the party and uses the surprise round (as the door is opened) to cast blur. The dark stalkers start hidden, as to the two skeletons on either side of the Lich. This means the part sees one skeleton and two trolls. The lich uses fire burst, since it is an area burst and thus it can't be determined where the attack came from. The three visible enemies move right up and engage the party.

The sick, evil part comes at the first dark stalker's turn. He uses his racial dark fog ability to cover the party's area in darkness. Now blinded, the skeletons and dark stalkers engage. The Lich can now engage with whatever he likes, though he will not get close enough for them to see him. Because the dark fog blocks the sight of PC's and the trolls, but not anyone else, the PC's are at a huge disadvantage. The trolls function as regenerating roadblocks, allowing the rest of the Lich's team time. The lich saves his wall of fire till he can get everyone, or until he needs it to block line of sight, though he will still try and do as much damage as he can with it. The second dark stalker will use his dark fog at his leisure, aiming for optimal placement. The Lich saves color spray and dimension door with his action point to use in his escape attempt. He always tries to escape if reduced to less than 100 HP.

Of course, it did not go like that. Dan must be the only wizard in the world who chooses dispel magic. He dispelled my dark fog, and the party saw the enemies moving in. The second dark stalker used dark fog on his turn, but Dan used his paragon path ability, from the Spellstorm Mage path, to regain his dispel magic and do it again. Still, the skeletons got 4 attacks a round, and the dark stalkers were invisible and doing much damage. The party figured out that there was something throwing spells at them, and that it must be under the effect of blur. We had to call it a day before we got too far, though.

I think the last fight has a pretty high chance of a TPK if the party is not prepared for the nasty trick I pulled. The lich is not seriously powerful, his at-wills are not that tough and his to hit is lower than the average PC. It is the combination of Spellmaster and Fire Burst that makes him a threat. Regaining that will quickly tear the team down, as the hallway they start in is the same size as the burst, meaning they have to move into the room to spread out. Regeneration 10 and 248 HP is sick, too, especially since the party had no divine characters with them, so radiant damage was only coming from the warlock.

In case you want to tack a story on to this, or are wondering at a reason for the madness, I do have an actual adventure here. The lich was a mage who left his order to pursue forbidden knowledge. After decades, centuries of study he concluded that the next step in his evolution required the power of life energy of the heart of a Castle. He spent the next few decades developing and testing a Ritual to do this, and your players have rudely interrupted him. As for what happens if they defeat him. . .a mobile base of operations like a Castle is a perfect reward, and an awesome plot device in a high fantasy world like that. Different adventures every week are possible when your players can travel the world at will...

If anyone runs it, let me know how it goes.


No comments: