View Full Version : Test of Spite Dungeon Direct: The Monkening, Part II

2010-03-26, 07:21 AM
Welcome to the Test of Spite dungeon, thread II.

The party travelling through this monster-filled deathtrap is currently as follows:

Jaya Ballard (http://www.thetangledweb.net/forums/profiler/view_char.php?cid=35671), Task Mage, an evoker wizard, played by Claudius Maximus.
Gladiator (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6409074&postcount=4), a dwarven monk, played by Sir Giacomo.
Dok (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=161051), a dwarven druid, accompanied by his pet leopard Dog, played by Olo Demonsbane.
And Tina (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=137099), a human rogue, played by Mostlyharmful.
The rules of the dungeon are unclear, but based on empirical evidence, seem to be as follows:

The dungeon is comprised of a series of demiplanes, linked together by one-way portals.
People killed in the dungeon disappear, leaving only a skull. They revive after a brief length of time, usually one or two demiplanes back.
Virtually everything in the dungeon is designed to kill you in painful and unusual ways. This includes most of the creatures living in it.
There is reportedly an exit at the centre.

The Story So Far

The party have progressed through a variety of demiplanes, beginning with a desert and proceeding through a castle surrounded by a forest, an icy underground cavern, and a small temple to Pelor which sits on top of a maze of undead-infested catacombs. The temple to Pelor is the domain of Lilian, a powerful succubus demon who had been posing as a priestess of Pelor, and who commands a number of shadows.

The party's last encounter with Lilian left Dok dead and Jaya badly weakened. While the rest of the party were able to escape, Dok revived two demiplanes back. He retraced his steps to the temple to encounter Lilian again. This time, the meeting was less violent; Lilian seemed interested in some form of truce with the party, though her exact intentions are still unclear. Dok has so far kept most of the details of the meeting to himself.

Meanwhile, Jaya, Tina, and Gladiator have found themselves in a new plane, an aquatic environment with neither air nor ground. The demiplane appears to be nothing but water, with vertical pillars of stone the only landmarks, and is apparently the home of three creatures; an uilitharid and two outsiders similar to movanic devas. They attacked Gladiator and Jaya on sight, but Gladiator and Jaya were able to resist the uilitharid's mind blasts and evade combat. Tina, returning to the scene after having discovered the exit portal to the next demiplane, was just in time to see them disappear via a teleportation spell-like-ability. At this point Dok caught up with them too, and the party was once more united.

Current situation

The party is in an aquatic environment. There is no air, but the waterheart gems all of you are carrying supply you with a water breathing effect. Movement is via Swim checks. Visibility is clear to 30 feet; everything from 30 to 60 feet has concealment; everything further than 60 feet away has total concealment. Tina, Gladiator, and Dok are in good shape, but Jaya is low on spells and has taken a significant amount of Strength damage. Tina has discovered the location of the exit and is reasonably sure she could find it again. The location of the three creatures that attacked you is currently unknown.

Sir Giacomo
2010-03-27, 12:34 PM

ooc: For those interested, the first part of the saga can be found here. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6427304#post6427304)

Gladiator repeats his recommendations:
- that Dok heals Jaya if possible
- that he also buffs the party with long-term buffs as in previous encounters (Gladiator providing a rod of lesser extend)
- that the group then finds the portal - and hey, Tina appears to have found the exit portal! So let us move there and possibly the enemy will be there, too.

Claudius Maximus
2010-03-27, 04:42 PM
Jaya slowly and painfully turns to Dok: "You wouldn't happen to have any of those "Restoration" spells handy, would you?"

I agree we should go for the next portal.

2010-03-27, 05:19 PM
I suggest that I scout ahead for a distance of a few hundred feet while disguised, the four of you follow when I give you the sign it's safe to procede between good hiding places. The portal is a good ways off and we've seen at least some potential opponents with magic and the lack of clarity in obseving the environment means ambushes are likely.

Tina will disguise herself as a harmless looking merfolk before proceding towards the portal.

2010-03-27, 07:09 PM
Disguise noted. Any spellcasting you want to do before you set off?

Claudius Maximus
2010-03-27, 07:51 PM
Not on my part, no.

Is the sheet accurate, in that Jaya only has 23 hp left?

2010-03-28, 05:28 AM
Not on my part, no.

Is the sheet accurate, in that Jaya only has 23 hp left?

No, it's not. You should all be on full HP after you healed up from the undead fight.

Sir Giacomo
2010-03-29, 03:37 PM
Gladiator also changes the slippers of spider climb back to the boots of speed (1 round left in the latter, which may yet come in handy....).

Olo Demonsbane
2010-03-29, 08:21 PM

Dok casts Lesser Restoration on Jaya for [roll0] points healed.

He then casts Greater Magic Fang three times on Dog and once on Gladiator.

Claudius Maximus
2010-03-29, 08:31 PM
"Better than nothing..."

At least she's not carrying a heavy load any more.

Sir Giacomo
2010-03-30, 12:49 AM
For his GMF (this time on his right foot) Gladiator provides his rod of lesser extend, and offers the other charges for Dog.

Claudius Maximus
2010-03-30, 01:00 AM
(Hold on, do we have two of these rods, or one? I ask because it was in Jaya's inventory, with a price marked -suggesting it was a bought item - and yet I seem to remember it being mentioned as loot.)

2010-03-30, 08:50 AM
Two, if I remember right. One bought, one loot.

Sir Giacomo
2010-03-30, 09:40 AM
ooc: wait- there may be even more rods of lesser extend in the group...
...Dok had one from the start, iirc...
...Gladiator has one from the start...
...Jaya also had one on the sheet with a price tag strongly suggesting it was there from the start....
...and now you guys mention one as part of the loot...
...does the group thus have FOUR rods????

Olo Demonsbane
2010-03-30, 10:39 PM
Yeah, that's weird....Dok has one.

Dok thanks Gladiator and uses the rod to extend all of the GMFs, finishing the last one with one charge from his own rod.

Sir Giacomo
2010-03-31, 12:43 PM
Well, I guess then, after the sudden realisation of near-unlimited buffing power, :smallbiggrin: the party warily ventures to the portal that Tina detected.

2010-03-31, 01:28 PM
OK, you've finished preparations, and are letting Tina guide you to the portal, correct?

Claudius Maximus
2010-03-31, 03:58 PM
As far as I'm concerned, yes.

Olo Demonsbane
2010-04-01, 11:15 PM
Fine by Dok.

2010-04-02, 08:05 AM
You start swimming, Tina in the lead.

You're becoming used to this demiplane by now and the journey seems to take only a little while, although it's difficult to tell time underwater. After a few false turns and reorientations, Tina finds her way back to what she's identified as the exit portal.

However, it's occupied. The three creatures from before - one uilitharid, two devas - are at the portal, the uilitharid right on top of it, the devas patrolling. Tina, being in front of the party, spots them before they can see her and withdraws back to signal for the others to stop.

You're currently treading water, a short distance away from where you believe the portal to be. From past experience you know that visibility extends to about 60 feet in these conditions, and you're pretty sure that any creatures present at the portal will spot you as soon as you come within that range. What do you do?

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-02, 09:51 AM
"I say we go for it. Those guys are nothing a little lightning can't solve. Well, except for the Devas."

If we're choosing to enter combat, Jaya will cast Mirror Image and Protection from Evil on herself.


If we're being cowards and not fighting the monsters we can barely hurt, I suggest we find somewhere to rest up. Where we're going to do that safely is the problem.

2010-04-02, 02:44 PM
I say we try to seperate them, probably difficult since they'll want to stay together but it would make it a lot easier to take them down, we could even try to leave the Daevas alive. If we charge in then we should all focus all we can on the mindflayer since it's death will almost certainly change the behaviour of the other two.

That being said since they're on guard and we haven't seen anything else in this demiplane I agree that a rest out of sight would be tactically sound. My vote is for finding a defensible hiding place.

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-02, 04:29 PM
If the Ulitharid is controlling the Devas, it's quite possible setting them free from its influence could get us some new friends.

I happen to have both a means to detect spell effects and a means to end them. I could try to free them if they're enchanted.

If we're going to attack, Jaya will also cast Arcane Sight beforehand.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-03, 03:04 PM
"So the big one controls the two...daevas which are in fact friendly once released from the spell of the big one? OK, so we could focus our attacks on the big one.
I could pose as something that looks similar with my magic hat (since I have a similar size). And this may be enough to keep it secondguessing until I can reach it. But likely it will try to blast me again before I reach it - and the two devas will likely attack me. So whatever ranged attacks you can do should try to separate the daevas from the big one. Maybe one of these force bubbles that you used before, Jaya?

As for resting before ... if you feel it is possible, Jaya, by all means. But in this odd waterworld I have the feeling that the stones' power to let us breathe could end any moment - and I do not like to stay here longer than absolutely necessary."

2010-04-03, 03:35 PM
The stones do seem to be the unkown variable... so I suppose fate wants us to prove we've got some.:smallmad:

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-03, 10:55 PM
Well, I don't know for sure whether the Devas are being controlled. I think it's likely, given their normal alignment, but I can't be sure until I see them.

I agree our best bet is to divide and conquer. If I can't dispel the Devas, I'll try to trap them in a Resilient Sphere. I just hope they can't teleport.

Olo Demonsbane
2010-04-03, 11:04 PM
If we plan to attack, Dok will cast Barkskin and Freedom of Movement on himself, sharing them with Dog.

2010-04-04, 06:14 AM
does anyone have a spare protection from evil? If not I'll use a scroll but that's not as secure as a proper casting...

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-04, 11:40 AM
I'm afraid I only have the one.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-05, 05:06 AM
"You could maybe use my pearl of power (lvl 1) to recall a protection from evil, Jaya - I hope that will do."

edit: in case we decide to attack, just prior to attacking (i.e. getting within 70ft or so of the portal), Gladiator will cast shield from his ring of spell storing.

"Let me suggest a way to attack:
I could disguise myself as one of these big mindflayers with my hat of disguise.
This way, I may be able to get close enough. Tina could pose as Jaya (with her hat of disguise) and come along as if in thrall of me. The others would attack from afar, trying to divide the devaes from the mindflayer as soon as combat starts. What do you say?"

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-05, 10:13 AM
If we're attacking, Jaya takes Gladiator's Pearl and casts another Protection from Evil on Tina.

Just remember that if I can see them, they can most likely see me. And I don't think I can swim well enough in my current state to close on some signal, at least on my own.

I do have an Invisibility spell, but those don't work very well underwater.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-05, 11:09 AM
"That is why I am suggesting that you, Jaya, stay behind, and that Tina disguised as you comes along."

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-05, 03:53 PM
But how am I supposed to isolate or dispel the Devas if I can't see them?

2010-04-05, 06:03 PM
But how am I supposed to look fabulous wearing THAT?

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-06, 01:08 PM
"To answer your concerns, girls: Jaya, just give Tina and me a headstart of one round. Then close in with Dok to attack them at range.
Any other non-fashion problems with this strategy?"

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-06, 01:15 PM
I'm saying that since Jaya's Swim modifier is negative, I can't guarantee she can move into the battle in the first few rounds (more likely than not she will simply flail about ineffectively). I'm not sure how effective it would be to cling to Dok/Dog to facilitate movement, but if that's a reliable means of getting around, I suppose that would solve the problem.

Olo Demonsbane
2010-04-07, 12:00 AM
Dok is already having Dog pull him...could he carry another? Dok only weighs 25 pounds...

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-07, 12:16 AM
He'd still be on a light load while carrying both Jaya and Dok.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-07, 11:37 AM
I take this as support for Gladiator's plan.:smallsmile:

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-07, 01:46 PM
If Jaya and Dok can actually move into range within a turn of your approach, I suppose it's okay.

2010-04-07, 06:34 PM
You've been treading water and deciding what to do for a short while. Nothing's come out to pick a fight with you as yet.

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-07, 06:46 PM
You've been treading water and deciding what to do for a short while. Nothing's come out to pick a fight with you as yet.

I suppose I'll ask you directly: Can Dog carry both Jaya and Dok, and would doing so make it easier for them to get around?

I assume we test the method out to some extent, unless the answer is obvious to us.

If so, I'm fine with Giacomo's plan. If not, I guess I'll still consent, though Jaya will have only a 35-45% chance of moving in any given round, without some outside help.

2010-04-07, 07:00 PM
I suppose I'll ask you directly: Can Dog carry both Jaya and Dok, and would doing so make it easier for them to get around?

Subject to checking Dog's exact load, the answer would be yes. It'll require Dok to be giving him commands, though (unless Dog has been taking lifeguard classes and has "tow half-paralysed humanoid while underwater" as one of his trained tricks).

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-07, 07:12 PM
If we're handling Dog as a quadruped, he can carry a light load of up to 199.5 lbs. Unless I missed something, he would be carrying 176 lbs. when carrying both Dok and Jaya (this includes all their equipment, and Dog's barding).

2010-04-07, 07:28 PM
If we're handling Dog as a quadruped, he can carry a light load of up to 199.5 lbs. Unless I missed something, he would be carrying 176 lbs. when carrying both Dok and Jaya (this includes all their equipment, and Dog's barding).

He can tow you without problems, then. Just decide whether you're hanging on or whether you'd rather tie yourself to the saddle.

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-07, 07:46 PM
Jaya opts to hang on.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-08, 12:18 PM
So, provided Dok and Tina agree, we go ahead and buffed as mentioned.

Gladiator puts on his hat of disguise, changing his appearance to the likeness of a big mindflayer.
Supposing he gets help from Jaya:
"How do I look?"

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-08, 01:03 PM
"That's... actually not that bad."

It should be reduced by at least 2 (for being a different race). At any rate, it would fool Jaya, so it's a success in her eyes.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-10, 11:45 AM
"Dok, Tina, do you agree with the plan?" The giant mindflayer asks in Gladiator's voice.

Olo Demonsbane
2010-04-10, 11:50 AM
Well...I can't think of a better one...

Spot [roll0]

Your disguise might need a little work though...it's good, but I can see right through it.

2010-04-11, 07:01 PM
How about I be your human, stunned though thoroughly nubile captive? If I llok pretty, smart and docile enough it might buy us an extra half second to make this ludicrous excuse for a plan workable...

Tina reverts to human appearance and pulls out her manacles.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-12, 12:01 AM
"Excellent...now let us go ahead with this before we detect any major flaws..."


2010-04-12, 04:54 AM
Still here. Tell me what you're doing, and I'll tell you the result.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-13, 11:28 AM
OK, here's what the group will do (as far as I understood it, pls anyone correct me when I'm wrong)

Dok casts long-term buffs on Dog (GMFx3, extended) himself shared with Dog (barkskin, freedom of movement) and on Gladiator (GMF on right foot, extended). (using up Gladiator's rod charges, and 1 of Dok's rod charges)
Gladiator has used his hat of disguise to quite good effect to pose as a large mindflayer similar to the one sighted.

The party then moves towards the portal until it is within around 80ft or so, out of sight of the opponents:
Dok astride Dog, Jaya holding on to Dog.
Gladiator with Tina holding on to him (I guess he swims faster than she does).

Then, short-term buffing time!
Jaya casts mirror image, arcane sight and protection from evil on herself. Then another protection from evil on Tina with the help of Gladiator's pearl of power. Gladiator casts shield from his ring of spell storing.

Then, Gladiator and Tina (posing as a mindless slave in her normal appearance) move towards the portal (swim speed is 15ft in surprise round, 30ft as full-round movement) and try to close in melee range with hopefully the opponents/mindflayer not yet attacking them at range due to confusion.
ONE round later, the others on/with Dog move closer just in line of sight to attack with spells at range, trying to separate the devas from the mindflayer.

I think that's about it...Good luck everyone!

2010-04-18, 12:03 PM
Sorry for the delayed update.

After some consideration, I've come to the following conclusions:

I don't have the time to properly DM this game at the moment. My final law exams are beginning in one month's time, and while I'm keeping up a couple of my D&D projects (mostly my real-time games and and a campaign journal) I've put all my DMing work on hold.
The original purpose of this game was to be a Monk test. The game's now been running for nearly one full year, and honestly, I think the test is as close to finished as it's ever going to get. We've had a fair variety of encounters which have been debated extensively. If I continued running this game for another few months, we'd get through maybe a couple more encounters, which I don't think would make that much difference to the sample size.
Finally - and this, to be honest, is probably the most important reason - I've started to lose interest in DMing the game. Part of it is probably due to the constraints of the challenge - pure dungeoncrawls are fun for a while, but eventually, without any plot, they get dull. The other part has been due to having lost two out of the four original players. While I've no complaints at all about Olo and Claudius as replacements, each change has made it harder for me to keep focused.
For these reasons, I'm afraid I'm going to have to step down as DM. It's not an ideal time to do it, but it's probably better than doing it in the middle of a combat, and as my exams get closer my updates will get worse and worse.

If you guys can find a replacement DM, I can give them all the relevant information very quickly (it's not all that complicated). Apologies for not giving you guys more warning, and especially to Claudius, who's had very little chance to do anything.

That said, I've very much enjoyed DMing the game for all of you, and hopefully you've enjoyed it as well. However, all things have to end, and this is the end of my run DMing the game. Hope you've had a good time in the Test of Spite dungeon! :smallsmile:

term1nally s1ck
2010-04-18, 02:09 PM
Wasn't sure where to put this, can't find an OOC thread, and didn't want to send 5 PMs.

I could DM this, if the info is available.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-18, 03:25 PM
Well, Saph - you jumped in initially (from the beginning) - I like to thank you whole-heartedly for your DMing. From your campaign journals and overall comments I have come to see you as one of the best DMs posting around here.
We disagreed on some rulings, but overall you put in a lot of effort into it, including some good stories/roleplaying around Lilian, the demoness (or whatever she is).

That said, term1nally s1ck, thanks a lot for offering to continue this story.
I guess it now depends on whether everyone wants to continue.

I'd like to - but I can understand when people say that nearly a year of a monk test is enough.

With the stuff played so far, I think I can give a comprehensive assessment of what I think can be learned from this test in the general playthreads.

Olo, mostlyharmful, Claudius Maximus - what do you think?

- Giacomo

2010-04-18, 03:54 PM
I could DM this, if the info is available.

It's fine by me. I'll wait on the responses of everyone else to see what they'd like to do.

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-18, 06:34 PM
I completely understand your decision. Thank you for running this game up to this point, and doing it as well as you have. Good luck on those exams.

I would be willing to continue under term1nally s1ck.

Olo Demonsbane
2010-04-19, 08:11 PM
Thank you so much Saph, it has been a pleasure playing under you. I completely understand, and wish you good luck you your tests. :smallsmile:

I think I'm ready to be done with this though. Playing a druid, especially one without wild shape, is not exactly my favorite. I'll gladly pass Dok on to someone else if the rest of you wish to continue.

2010-04-20, 11:09 AM
thanks Saph, it's been really fun playing with you in this test, hope it all works out for you. all the best.


2010-04-20, 11:37 AM
OK, so who'd like to continue playing under a new DM, and who's going to be stepping out?

Olo's said he's going to be leaving, Gia would like to continue - what about Mostly and Claudius?

2010-04-20, 02:49 PM
I'm starting to feel much like you that this test has served it's stated purpose and without you, it'd just be me and Gia from the original cast. To be honest It's been great but I wouldn't want to keep in it although I'd be fine with someone else running Tina or subbing in a new rogue.

term1nally s1ck
2010-04-20, 02:54 PM
Well, it's up to Claudius and Gia. If they want to continue, and can find a couple of people who'd take over the other two, I can run it. If only 2/4 of the people doesn't seem like enough to want to carry it on, then maybe it'd be better to call it here.

Claudius Maximus
2010-04-20, 03:21 PM
At this point I don't think that continuing this will help settle any arguments. It also seems like it might be too much trouble to replace so many people, and at this point we'd only have one of the original participants.

If this is curtains for the Monkening, I won't have any objections. That said, if people are still interested in this, I would be willing to continue playing Jaya.

2010-04-21, 06:53 AM
OK. I guess it'll come down to whether it's practicable to find two replacements, then. Terminally, looks like this'll come down to you - do you want to go recruiting?

term1nally s1ck
2010-04-21, 09:29 AM
I feel it'd be a little strange to continue it with only 1 of the original participants, and like the others, I think the test served it's purpose. The monk did nothing to outshine completely unoptimised characters, and never really served it's purpose as a tank.

Sir Giacomo
2010-04-21, 03:14 PM
OK, I do not think continuing the test under these circumstances will be worthwhile.

I'll probably post an analysis of mine on it to follow up on Pharaoh's Fist first thread.

At this point - thanks to everyone for putting an effort into this. It is rare to test a class to such an extent (even though it still likely was not comprehensive enough).

And - good luck for the exams, Saph!

- Giacomo