September 9, 2010

Showdown in the Upper Temple of Orcus – An Overdue Update

[general Rappan Athuk spoiler warning]

[Update: 9/9/10 12:15 PM] After checking my notes again and conferring with my players, I realized I had a few things wrong. I've noted as such below]

[photos compliments of Dave the Knave]
It has been a long time since I mentioned the ol’ Showdown in the Upper Temple of Orcus scenario going on in my Rappan Athuk campaign. The campaign has been on hiatus for a couple months now, but we are firing it up again tomorrow.  Dice will roll.  Lionshead will be swilled.

Anyhow, here is the second update I promised… back in April

So after whipping the cadaver collector’s highly-susceptible-to-rust ass, the party added insult to injury, and used it to block one of the doors to the lower-level, hoping to blockade the seemingly unending freight elevator of death.  The party had previously used stone shape to blockade the other door, so both were corked at this point.  My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I believe the party then healed up, cast buffing spells, and generally prepared for the next wave of baddies.

The party had routed a vampire would-be bad ass last time and he came back with some friends for payback.  Here was the hit list:
You’ll note that these dudes all could become incorporeal, gaseous, or ethereal, and as such, were able to pass through the party’s blockades.


The battle was a lot of fun to DM, with the vampires harrying the party from the skies, the fumes of the nightmares thwarting various heroics, and such.  However, the Phantasm was a bust. It has this cool magic jar-like ability, allowing it to possess people.  But damned if that freaking NPC dwarf fighter, Lady Bombis (known to the group as Lady Marmalade) didn’t make every save to resist it.

I can’t remember too many specifics at this point, but the party eventually brought down the  vampires and their mounts (although one or both of the vampires might have escaped). [The vampire spawn couldn't breach the antipathy zone, so he was kind of screwed from the get-go. His mount had no problem, though. It's been confirmed both vampires lived to fight another day. Reoccuring villians, anyone?] I believe Bonnie’s Hunter of the Dead was lighting up the undead with her Radiant Sphere (from the Magic Item Compendium).  I had a lot of fun, especially with the nightmares. I can’t recall the last time I used that creature in play and I don’t think I ever have in 3rd edition.

There was a rather funny rules debate at one point when Sam tried to make a case for an AC bonus for being prone.  Ha, but his wizard was prone under the flying vampire who was about to toss a shortspear at him, so  technically he could have received a +4 versus missile attacks.  Suffice it to say, DM logic over-ruled by-the-book accuracy at that point. I’m not sure how being spread-eagle beneath a flying opponent warrants an AC bonus. (To clarify, this wasn’t a heated argument, rather Sam tossing out a rule and hoping the DM would go for it. I did not.)

Eventually one of the divine spell-casters, likely Rob’s Shaman, turned the Phantasm, the nightmares were brought down, and the vampires were slain or routed.

Shortly thereafter, a pair of carcasses (from the Creature Collection III) laid siege to both blocked entrances and finally removed the physical barriers to the room.  These things are basically undead transports, being hollowed out giants that carry undead within them.  They sound cooler than they are and are kind of a one-trick pony. It was pretty fun to surprise the players and launch black skeletons out of their bellies, though.  The carcasses did make attempts to envelope some of the PCs but to no avail.  The party made fairly quick work of this assault. [This combat actually just started at the end of the last session, so we'll be picking up with it tomorrow.]

So, there you have it.  This Friday we pick up here.  This whole showdown has been fun, but I’ve vowed to the group that the next session will be the last encounter.  I’ve something special planned for it and have little doubt it will make it a memorable session.  I’m pulling out the stops for this one. 

Damn,  I love this game.
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