Ripper DMing: Temple of Elemental Evil VII

This post is two weeks late, and is marked by the last day that my old laptop was functional. I somehow got it booted up one last time, got all of my files pulled off of it and ran it's last game. Fear not! I now have my shiny new laptop, and got everything transferred over to it. I had to learn Windows 7, and tweak everything into submission, but I think that I've got everything set up now; YAY!

Tonight's game has been canceled, as Shannon is setting up house in a new home; right down the street! Which is awesome! Not the no gaming part, just that he lives closer now. Back to the game!

The players must had felt bad for drinking and fighting, they decided to explore different areas of Level 1, and almost got themselves killed by 2 harpies. Again, I forgot about elven super ability number 255, you can't charm an elf. After I had everybody charmed and was getting ready to eat them, Shannon had the brainfart that changed the situation and they were able to get the upper hand. I've even played an elf in the last campaign, and I should know this stuff, but I am a scatterbrain. I told them though, that it is their job to remind me about their special elven abilities during the game. I'm used to DMing for humans only, and that is how I think.

The fights were enormous, and they had a hell of a time keeping themselves alive. My wife felt that this was the hardest part, and they did kill almost a hundred HD of monsters.

I had reorganized the dungeon to catch them off guard. For the last three games they had taken the same route, so I set up an ambush, however when they took the different route, they didn't run into it. COOL!!!! It helped them on two separate fronts, the badguys who were part of the ambush couldn't be at their normal stations, thus they had an easier time fighting large groups, and two . . . well I lied. It was only one front but two fronts just sounds so cool, don't you think?

I also scaled off on the Random Encounters, I rolled one every once in awhile, but not on a regular schedule like I had been. This southern portion of the level seemed more dangerous then the Northern.

We also ran into a big problem, and one that I just wasn't willing to deal with, and hoped for the best which they got. The large collection of pirates laying low scared the crap out of me! We play inside of our heads, but this fight would definitely require miniatures to determine. Way to many men! And I'm just not prepared to do something like that yet, however I'm getting there. We went out and got some giant sheets of paper which I am in the process of marking. We'll put plastic around it and I can use dry-erase marker to mark the things. My wife said that she'll let everybody pick a mini from the collection upstairs, and for bad guys she purchased a huge tub of little plastic cowboys and indians to use as markers. Once I get everything put together and use it I'll definitely be posting about it! I have never used miniatures during a campaign before, and am in the process of ironing out the Mini rules. LOTS OF WORK TO BE DONE!!!

A bizarre event also happened. In the hall of bones, that trap set off and the evil aligned cleric actually rolled a twenty and seized control of one of the monster skeletons! HOLY CRAP!!! They made me play by myself to determine the outcome of that fight, and the monster skeleton won. Now they have a pet skeleton and I have to figure out how long the monster will stay with the party, and refresh my knowledge of stealing undead monsters. Actually, I've never had an evil aligned cleric in the party before, only good or neutral ones who had the ability to turn undead, but not steal it. I found out about that rule by years of playing Ravenloft. It may be just a Ravenloft rule, however I'll keep it in the game. It really isn't that big of a problem, it is just another henchmen right now, and they know that it is a time-bomb waiting to blow. As soon as they run into a high level cleric, he's going to turn it against them faster then a cat with a can tied to its tail.

Overall it was an exciting game! And everybody sighed in relief when it was finally time to put the books away and were really shocked when the XP earned was all in the 4 digit ranges. I think that everybody gained a level.

On a side note, not only was this my old PCs last game, but it was also Rydan's as well, so no more Wizzard :( Rydan loved playing Wizards, and even though he was brand new to the game, he taught me a ton. His favorite spell was "Grease" a spell that in all my years of playing was generally ignored, but he really got thing working for him! He was the deciding factor in many fights though brilliant use of a bizarre spell. I'll miss you buddy, and just want you to know that you will always be welcome at the table.


Unknown said...

Grease, best spell ever !

Some exerpts from my last Ad&D game :

Got horse-riding villains charging on you? Not anymore (Woah! Woah! skid, fall and crunch)

That owlbear got your fighter in a bear hug? Not anymore (out like a bar of soap between your hands)

Door is stuck ? Not anymore..

Mouse said...

Sounds like things are coming along pretty well!

One thing to watch out for... On one of the lower dungeon levels there is a ring of spell storing. Once the group I ran got a hold of this item they steam rolled just about every encounter afterward. It pretty much spoiled the campaign. Hopefully you'll handle it better than I was able to.

I'm looking forward to the next update!

RipperX said...

I reread the description from the DMG, but I must admit that I don't see anything particularly alarming about this, though I will admit that I've never play-tested the thing. I am curious, what exactly went wrong? It doesn't really read like it is a campaign buster?

Mouse said...

My memory is pretty fuzzy on it since this was about 16 years ago. I seem to recall the party storing a slew of fireball spells in the ring and blasting any serious threat into oblivion.

I don't have the old DMGs to read whether or not we were playing with the item by the rules. Perhaps the reason it was unbalancing is because we didn't play it properly.

Anonymous said...

Elves 90% resistant to charm not immune, but yeah it usually works in their favor. And the ghouls that are part of that trap wouldn't have much effect either.

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