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    Default [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    After much planning, expense and frustration at uncommitted players, my summer run of Red Hand of Doom set in Eberron took off.
    Out of the original six PCs I had expected, I only ended up with four---with each player handling two characters.

    The characters are :
    Spoiler
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    Holden Magroen (Dwarf Crusader 5, affiliated with the Silver Flame and de facto party leader)
    Loven Magroen (Warforged scout Rogue 5, Holden's adopted "brother")
    Ashiedae Jiourrn (Human artificer 5, affiliated with House Orien)
    Kikkeni Yurashtai (Kalashtar psion 5)


    Three of the above names are rather silly puns. :P

    Anyway, since the campaign has a different setting, I took some liberties with the adventure intro and added a prologue.

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    The PCs started out in Flamekeep, the capital of Thrane---seat of the Church of the Silver Flame's power.
    Awakened in the middle of the night by a summons to the Cathedral, the PCs drag themselves out of bed.

    They were called by Jaela Daran herself, the 11-year old Keeper of the Flame. She explained to the PCs that she had been seeing disturbing visions of hobgoblin warriors stirring in the eastern wilderness of Breland, and that among them were dragons and other creatures of great power. The visions would always culminate in the image of a great clawed hand sweeping across all of Khorvaire, and blackness in the end, and a whisper---"Five Sorrows."

    Kikkeni and Holden know that "Five Sorrows" in Draconic is "Tiamat," the daughter of Khyber and one of the most powerful demon overlords with the power to corrupt and enslave dragons. If she somehow breaks free, she can single-handedly plunge all of Eberron into another Age of Demons. On the other hand, the dragons of Argonnessen could perceive the threat and launch an apocalyptic invasion of Khorvaire, like they did to Xen'Drik ages ago. Either way, death and destruction will rain from the sky onto the continent. Jaela sends the PCs on a downsized chartered lightning rail train to Vathirond, the easternmost city of Breland, immediately.


    Ride the Lightning

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    The train ride is uneventful and comfortable for the most part---the Silver Flame had chartered a first class cart for the PCs, so everyone was comfortable---except perhaps for Ashiedae, who couldn't stand the smell of Holden's homemade, alcoholic gravy--which he poured on everything he ate. At the end of a long day of travel and two hours from their destination, a tall, broad-shouldered female guard tells the PCs that they're close, and they might want to get some rest since they arrive late at night.
    Kikkeni and Holden decide to go to sleep. Ashiedae stays the hell away from Holden, while Loven sits on guard due to his lack of need for sleep.

    Soon after, the lights in the cabin go out. Ashie hears something walking along the roof, and Loven rushes to wake his brother up. Ashie wakes up the sleeping Kikkeni, just as she realizes the train is accelerating.


    Rakshasa
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    Ashie tries to walk up to the front of the cart so she could check up on the engine car, but the door opens. It's the female guard who'd told them to sleep earlier, and she asks if something was the matter.
    Ashie asks if something is the matter, because the lights went out and the train seems to be accelerating.

    The escort snarls, saying she can't let the PCs go any further, and draws a black-bladed, curved greatsword. Roll initiative.

    The PCs are trapped in the narrow aisle in this order:
    <Holden><Loven><Space><Kikkeni><Ashie><???>
    Initiative goes as follows: Holden, Loven, Ashie, Rakshasa, Kikkeni.

    Due to the darkness, only Holden can see properly.
    Holden goes first, but is rendered unable to attack or move by the lack of space. He moves in front of Loven. Loven attempts to tumble past the assassin but fails, ending up where he started. Ashie retreats to make room for the frontliners and get a light infusion going. The monster is next, and she changes shape into a slick-skinned, eel-headed humanoid form. Kikkeni can see in the shadowy light from the door that the monster has backwards-twisted hands--the mark of a Rakshasa. They were usually spellcasters, but this one is evidently a warrior of some sort---a Naityan Rakshasa. Somehow, the agents of Tiamat were onto them.

    Kikkeni attempts to get out of the way, drawing a slash from the Rakshasa. Already injured, she has no other recourse but to blast the Rakshasa with energy missile. The hit connects, but does little to slow down the beast. Holden then takes his turn, and is able to land a solid Mountain Hammer, breaching the fiend's damage reduction. Loven again tries to tumble past, but fails miserably and draws an AOO--which thankfully misses. Meanwhile, the train continues to accelerate to bone-shattering speeds.

    Ashie's light finally gets going, and she casts it on Loven. The little warforged scout glowed like a disco ball, allowing everyone to finally see clearly. She manages to run past the Rakshasa into the engine without getting AOO'd, but Holden yells after her---"It's dangerous for you to go alone!"

    The Rakshasa tries to lay the dwarf open using its Ghost Blade maneuver, and deals significant damage. Kikkeni uses constrictor's touch, wrenching the Rakshasa's outfit into an uncomfortable position. For a while, this is the only damage they get as everything else just bounces off the Rakshasa's DR and Loven fails to tumble past repeatedly.

    Ashie reaches the control room of the engine and sees the Dragonmarked pilot of the train lying dead. Since she was the only other character with an Orien dragonmark, she attempts to gain control of the train, over and over again while the Rakshasa severely injures Holden with its Shadow Garrote strike. He thankfully makes the Fort save, or else he'd have been vulnerable to the Rakshasa's sneak attack in the next round.
    Kikkeni activates intertial armor and stays back. After another series of unsuccessful attacks by Holden and Loven, the Rakshasa changes to its Elusive Adversary form and runs off into the train's engine. Everyone gives chase, with Holden picking up his adopted brother and dropping him inside the train engine car so that he can run close enough to flank.

    Ashie realizes she has an angry displacer beast-like monster charging at her with a greatsword, so she decides to drop the lightning reins first and use align weapon on her crossbow---the only way they'll get to deal any damage to the Rakshasa.

    Loven gets as close as he can, attempting to tumble past so he can flank the Rakshasa, but his checks just keep falling short. The Rakshasa takes one step toward him and hacks into him viciously with its greatsword and then takes a bite. All three attacks connect, injuring the rogue within an inch of his life.

    Kikkeni steps up and shoves the Rakshasa hard against the ceiling with telekinetic thrust--the Rakshasa falls far enough to take even more damage. Holden is unable to go any further, and unsuccessfully tries to hit the Rakshasa while it's on the ground. Loven withdraws into the first class cart to prevent his impending scrapping at the monster's hands. Ashie takes a shot with her crossbow but misses, and decides to just turn her attention to stopping the train from hurtling out of control.

    Although the PCs have been experiencing great difficulty in dealing with it, the Rakshasa decides it can't do enough damage in this condition and tries to run out the door, successfully tumbling past Holden, but failing to get past Kikkeni. Everyone panics, thinking the fiend was really trying to kill Loven.

    Holden again tries to strike unsuccessfully, and Loven switches to his bow. Due to the light spell cast on him, however, he has no real way to hide. Without the light, the rest of the party is unable to fight in the dark. The Rakshasa, however, unexpectedly veers right past him and climbs onto the roof of the first class car.

    Everyone agrees that it would be a good idea to disconnect the rear carts and leave the Rakshasa there, but Kikkeni remembers that there was one more cart to the rear. She runs with everything she's got, risking getting left behind with an angry rakshasa to check if there are still people in the back. She gets to the rear, sees the door to the galley cart in the rear hanging open. She calls out, but nobody answers. Deciding that she's risked enough, she decides it's time to run back.

    Ashie remembers she left her homunculus--an iron defender--behind in the first class cart and orders it to run up to her. Holden and Loven successfully decouple the train, and the rear carts begin to decelerate. Just as Kikkeni is about to run back, however---the Rakshasa drops down right beside her and gives her a vicious slash, dropping her to 1 HP.

    The player faces a tough decision---escape with her life or die trying to jump across the widening gap between the train cars? She decides that Kikkeni would rather risk running and provoke the AOO instead of withdrawing. Running would take her further and allow her to get close enough to the front of the cart before the gap widens any further. She provokes the AOO.

    The Rakshasa rolls a 20.

    Not wanting to see the party blaster die in the first encounter, I give her the alternative choices that she could do. She could withdraw, spend a full round action to gain Psionic Focus to activate her Speed of Thought feat (giving her a boost to her jump to clear the widening gap), or withdraw and then just jump the next round. She decides it's better to have a lower bonus than to have a higher DC, and withdraws, intending to make a running jump the next round.

    The Rakshasa furiously pursues Kikkeni, but she runs across and makes her jump. Rolling low, she spends an action point to clear the gap as Holden catches her. Left behind, the Rakshasa snarls at them from the first class cart while they pull way.

    I ended the session there.


    Thoughts

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    The party handled the encounter surprisingly well, considering the Naityan Rakshasa was CR 7 and the terrain was very unfavorable--not to mention the uncontrolled elemental in the train's engine. The part is still considering using Kikkeni's energy bolt to rip through the carriage's floor with sonic blasts, destroying the mounting of its conductor stones and sending the whole thing off the track.

    It was a really bad move of Ashie to cast light on the guy who relied on stealth, although it would've been even harder to fight blind. DR 15/good and piercing and the 50% miss chance would've made it almost impossible to damage the Rakshasa.

    Now that the PCs have finished the intro, I'll be dumping them into the adventure proper, starting off from Vathirond (which replaces Dennovar in the adventure), and taking the 120-mile journey from there to Drellin's Ferry via chartered House Orien coach. From there, the party is going to see a lot less of civilized Khorvaire. Eastern Breland is quite easily the middle of nowhere, bordered by the Mournland (wasteland of a country destroyed in the Last War) to the east, Darguun (fledgling goblinoid nation) to the south, and mostly open plains and savannah to the west. The nearest large city to the west, Starilaskur, is a good thousand miles away.

    The threat of Azarr Kul's Red Hand of Doom cult is too remote to be dealt with by a large mobilization of Breland's army, and Thrane of course isn't willing to send its military into another country's territory.


    Spoilers
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    Azarr Kul's immediate objective after crushing Elsir Vale and Vathirond is to march east to the Mournland, where an enormous arcane Khyber seal sends power to Tiamat's prison proper---the Pit of Five Sorrows in Argonnessen. There are five such seals across the world, but weakening the seal will allow Tiamat to send in more and more of her Aspects, bolstering the hobgoblin cleric's power and allowing them to face off with Breland's considerable military might. He's even made a pact with the self-appointed Prince of the Mournland, a rogue troll warlord who has brought his band of mercenary berserkers into the Red Hand military---the border with the Mournland, after all, is not guarded well.

    If Azarr Kul manages to breach the first Khyber seal, it could either give him a massive boost in power---or it could provoke a draconic invasion the likes of which have not been seen since the dragons destroyed Xen'Drik.



    Even with just 2 players, I'm really looking forward to next session, where they first tangle with the Red Hand marauders.
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-04-23 at 09:11 PM.


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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Sounds cool!

    Question: I don't know much about Eberron, but I seem to remember something about dragons not following their typical D&D alignments. If so, will you be changing any of the chromatic dragons in RHoD to metallic ones?
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Dragons aren't restricted to their traditional alignments in Eberron, true. In Dragons of Eberron, there's an example of a one-eyed CE silver dragon who took over a tribe of frost giants and hunts down drow for food. Even the Lawful Good ones will generally not care much about the rest of the world unless it threatens them---and when they feel threatened, they usually resort to a scorched earth policy.

    That's how Xen'Drik (empire of giants) was crushed 80,000 years in the past. They were invaded by the Quori (nightmare creatures from the plane of Dreams), so the dragons helped them out. Towards the end of their reign, their slaves (the elves) rebelled, so they tried to exploit the dragons' magic again. It didn't work out as planned and the giants ended up endangering Eberron, so the dragons decided to end the giant civilization once and for all.

    I don't think I'll be swapping out the dragons in the adventure, though---dragons of the same age category have different CRs depending on their color/metal, so it might make the encounters a bit too difficult. Metallic dragons are generally stronger.

    However,
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    Azarr Kul's co-conspirator is a high-ranking agent of Tiamat, a half-bronze dragon Naityan Rakshasa named Indravan-Yagna. He was the one who sent the Rakshasa assassin onto the lightning rail.


    Eberron Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal. NOW COMPLETE!
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    I like the changes you've been making, and the lead-in is very clever. Don't be afraid to use the module as a guideline, and try to give the party as much freedom as they can in choosing where to go and what to do. Be careful that you're not overwhelming your party with the difficulty of the encounters (a rakhshasa at 5th level? Dangerous!).
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Thanks, it took a while to figure out how to change the adventure hook--I avoid using the "treasure hunting" hook unless that really is the point of the adventure.

    I used the Naityan Rakshasa from Tome of Battle. It's a CR 7 melee fighter that gains martial maneuvers and stances depending on what form it's in. They were able to breach its Spell Resistance just fine, although they had a lot of trouble dealing significant damage to it due to its DR. Most of the hurt was dealt by the psion.

    I did "script" him to run away at a certain point, which he did--just that the kalashtar running to the back was way too tempting a target.

    That said, this encounter was originally supposed to be against six PCs, but how easy it would have been is debatable--six PCs would've had an even harder time due to the constricting terrain.


    Eberron Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal. NOW COMPLETE!
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    i think i remember when you posted a thread about adjusting RhoD to Eberron, it was you, wasn't it? i'm glad to see you following through.

    a 2 player party cane be a curse or a blessing, depending on the players. i liked the "warforged scout as an adopted brother" idea. the challange for the players is not to play both their characters the same, and also not to play them as two seperate teams who happen to be together.

    i don't have RHoD, and my eberron books aren't with me, but ido have some questions, if i may:
    1) east of Vathirond? i always thought there were maybe up to 20 miles up to the mournland from there. isn't that a bit too close for the setting? of course you can always change the distances. but even so, they are bound to travel in the shadow of the mournland- how are you handling that?

    2) if i gather right, then some of the adventure takes place in the mournland itself (the ghost lord perhaps? definetly the fane of tiamat) i'm intrigued as how you plan travel and survival there.

    3) so, are the goblinoids composed of disgruntled tribes of Darguun, or some other background?

    4) a half bronze dragon Rakshasa? in Eberron? now there is an interesting character! how did it come to be, especially considering the enmity between the species.

    5) i'm intrigued by the "prince of the mournland" (the troll) is he a replacement to the ghost lord? he has a definite advantage in the mournland (the fast healing work i presume, or is that halted too?)

    6) is Vathirond going to replace the major city in the campaign (forgot it's name). if so, how do you flavour it? this place has changed hands the most during the war, and probably has quite a few bitter chips on their shoulders, especially against characters from Thrane (though that may change in a hurry once the party prove it's worth). i've flavoured it some what for a campaign i was running in the past, i could share ntoes if you like.

    7) are any of the dragonmarked houses going to get involved in this? i'm asking since one of your characters is affiliated with Orien. just intriguing, that's all. (i can certainly see Deneith elite merceneries working for the other side, perhaps even sent to track down and hunt the party in the main settlement, where the main force can't enter)

    all in all, it seems you've put some considerable though about modifying the module to the game world, and it sounds intriguin indeed. Kudos to you! i'll be watching this thread as long as you post on it. (also, i suggest you read Saph's and Kjones threads, just to know what to expect)

    just remembered one last point you should be prepared for- RHoD tends to have a high mortality rate, and with Eberron's general approach of high magic being rare, reincanations and raise dead spells may be realy, realy, realy hard to come by (unless the artificer makes some scrolls). i suggest ou may send a messanger/ cohort from Jaela who is capable of such a feat, just to keep the party going.

    good luck to you,
    Kol.

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    One issue for you to consider. The Vale should be isolated - the Horde is a serious threat to a rural community, but not to any kind of empire with a significant standing army. (Hell, even Brindol puts up a good fight.) How do you plan to convey that sense of isolation in the context of Eberron, such that the party's first instincts won't be to run for help from outside the Vale?

    (Keep in mind that I know little about Eberron.)
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    i think i remember when you posted a thread about adjusting RhoD to Eberron, it was you, wasn't it? i'm glad to see you following through.

    a 2 player party cane be a curse or a blessing, depending on the players. i liked the "warforged scout as an adopted brother" idea. the challange for the players is not to play both their characters the same, and also not to play them as two seperate teams who happen to be together.
    Yep, that was me. I put a lot of planning into this early on so as to avoid the traps I fell into in my first campaign.

    i don't have RHoD, and my eberron books aren't with me, but ido have some questions, if i may:
    1) east of Vathirond? i always thought there were maybe up to 20 miles up to the mournland from there. isn't that a bit too close for the setting? of course you can always change the distances. but even so, they are bound to travel in the shadow of the mournland- how are you handling that?
    Looking at the map of Breland in Five Nations, Vathirond is still a good 160-odd miles from the border. I'm putting Elsir Vale to the west of Vathirond, and the starting town (at least according to the adventure), should be 120 miles to the west. They're going to be quite far from the Mournland.

    2) if i gather right, then some of the adventure takes place in the mournland itself (the ghost lord perhaps? definetly the fane of tiamat) i'm intrigued as how you plan travel and survival there.
    I thought about that, but decided against it. Azarr Kul's Fane is further west of Vathirond.

    Here's my edited version of the RHOD map:
    http://eberronrhod.files.wordpress.c...eoverworld.jpg
    I edited out the locations of the Fane and the Ghostlord's lair since this map was for players, but
    Spoiler
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    the Fane is in the Wyrmsmokes and the Ghostlord's Lair is in the Thornwaste, as per the original module.


    I don't really intend for the PCs to go into the Mournland. If they fail to stop Azarr Kul from overrunning Elsir Vale, he will continue to push east into the Mournland to get at the Khyber Seal--this is where either of the Worst Case Scenarios happens: Tiamat breaks free or the dragons invade Khorvaire. At that point it's pretty much a game over scenario.

    3) so, are the goblinoids composed of disgruntled tribes of Darguun, or some other background?
    Definitely. Lhesh Haruuc has a hard time holding the tribes together, and Azarr Kul's people are one of the many splinter groups.

    4) a half bronze dragon Rakshasa? in Eberron? now there is an interesting character! how did it come to be, especially considering the enmity between the species.
    On the thread I posted way back about Tiamat in Eberron, someone said that Tiamat's heralds are half-dragon rakshasas. Tiamat can dominate dragons of any color or metal, so it wouldn't be a stretch for this to happen.

    5) i'm intrigued by the "prince of the mournland" (the troll) is he a replacement to the ghost lord? he has a definite advantage in the mournland (the fast healing work i presume, or is that halted too?)
    Spoiler
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    I intend for him to figure in the Siege of Brindol, as I'm going to use the War Troll stats from MM3. He's going to be quite a bit harder. My intention is that he replaces the hill giant and ogre grunts in the final battle with Wyrmlord Kharn.


    6) is Vathirond going to replace the major city in the campaign (forgot it's name). if so, how do you flavour it? this place has changed hands the most during the war, and probably has quite a few bitter chips on their shoulders, especially against characters from Thrane (though that may change in a hurry once the party prove it's worth). i've flavoured it some what for a campaign i was running in the past, i could share ntoes if you like.
    Vathirond is the replacement for Dennovar. The central city in the adventure is Brindol; Vathirond is only the fall-back city in case Brindol falls. I would appreciate notes about it, though.

    7) are any of the dragonmarked houses going to get involved in this? i'm asking since one of your characters is affiliated with Orien. just intriguing, that's all. (i can certainly see Deneith elite merceneries working for the other side, perhaps even sent to track down and hunt the party in the main settlement, where the main force can't enter)
    Since Elsir Vale's in the middle of nowhere, the Dragonmarked Houses will only have a very minor presence in Elsir Vale. Orien's going to be carrying them for the most part, but after that they're on their own. I made Kellin Shadowbanks, the halfling innkeeper, a member of House Ghallanda, but that's probably the limit of the Houses' presence in this area. It's remote and not very profitable.

    all in all, it seems you've put some considerable though about modifying the module to the game world, and it sounds intriguin indeed. Kudos to you! i'll be watching this thread as long as you post on it. (also, i suggest you read Saph's and Kjones threads, just to know what to expect)
    Thanks, I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out so far. And I've been followng both their threads; they're the reason why I was inspired to go ahead and do this as well.


    just remembered one last point you should be prepared for- RHoD tends to have a high mortality rate, and with Eberron's general approach of high magic being rare, reincanations and raise dead spells may be realy, realy, realy hard to come by (unless the artificer makes some scrolls). i suggest ou may send a messanger/ cohort from Jaela who is capable of such a feat, just to keep the party going.

    good luck to you,
    Kol.
    From the looks of it, another player might be joining, and he's playing a druid. There might be a lot of reincarnation monkeying, like what happened in Saph's campaign. It would be hilarious to see how that will turn out--especially the warforged scout.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjones View Post
    One issue for you to consider. The Vale should be isolated - the Horde is a serious threat to a rural community, but not to any kind of empire with a significant standing army. (Hell, even Brindol puts up a good fight.) How do you plan to convey that sense of isolation in the context of Eberron, such that the party's first instincts won't be to run for help from outside the Vale?

    (Keep in mind that I know little about Eberron.)
    Eastern Breland is about as isolated as one can get on the central continent of Khorvaire. While Breland's army is pretty powerful, almost all of it is garrisoned in the west, around the major metropolitan centers and the borders with Droaam (nation of monsters). It would take a very long time to mobilize the Brelish army to move the thousand-odd miles to Elsir Vale.

    Thrane, the nation the PCs came from, is to the north of the area. They wouldn't dare send a military force into Brelish territory---especially since the Treaty of Thronehold, which concluded the very recent Last War, had just stopped the Five Nations from annihilating each other.

    To the east is the Mournland, which is full of Very Bad Things. The PCs won't get any help out of there, though Azarr Kul did.

    To the south is Darguun, the goblinoid nation from which Azarr Kul's clan split. Though he's a pretty nice guy for a hobgoblin warlord, Lhesh Haruuc has enough of a difficult time dealing with civil war within his own borders; he's not likely to send any help to the PCs. Like Thrane, he's got his hands tied---any large force he sends across into Breland will be construed as an act of war. Besides, the PCs have to cross a very high mountain range and survive other not-so-kind goblinoid clans wigging around the borders.

    Thanks for all the comments, guys, it helps a lot in fleshing out my other ideas. [Here] is the story version of the events of yesterday's session.

    Stand by for the next chapter!


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    don't have much to say, other then thanks for the speedy replies. i'll dig through my notes when i get the chance and look for the info on Vathirond. however, since it's only a fallback, i doubt you'll need any of it.

    main things i remember though (maybe you can use them for some other town, maybe even Brindol):
    1- mayor was a female human warrior/expert, who'se husband and sons died in the war fighting for Breland. she is bitter to outsiders, having long ago decided that Vathirond shall take care of itself, not trusting the outside forces who have squabbled and killed quite a few of the city's population. the city's guard are all quite veteran soldiers (though nothing compared to adventurers) under the name "Vathirond's true". a small outpost of the brelish army has also been set here, mostly as a force to deal with the horrors of the mournland under the command of a dour dwarf wizard (in truth a changling who is loyal to the brelish crown, but has kept his/her true identity a secret)

    2- the town sports influences from thrane, breland, and cyre, and customs, behaviours, even dress code and language are mixed.

    3- there is a quite a sizeable ex-cyrian population here. (third or fourth in size after New Cyre). these survivors are only partially accepted here, as they tend to stick to customs of their old country. however, since Vathirond was under Cyrian rule twice, some of these custom also prevail here. it's a very mixed and charged autmosphere.

    4- there is a small operation of House Orien here, which tries to follow the old lighting road into the mournland, and perhaps retrieve valuables (some say that there was a special cargo delivered that eventfull day, but when ever someone follows the tracks inside, they lose them in the myst and find themselves miles away)

    5- another small operation is that of a specialist healer from hosue Jorasco, one (with a small team), that specializes in psychological stress as well as the strange afflictions people living close to the mournland suffer from. (in my campaign there were several diseases related to closeness to the mournland). the halfling is optmisitic, jolly, and enthusiastic to the point of annoyance. s/he realy believe in the affects of positive thinking. the team both treat the sick, as well as research into the nature of the decay of the mournland.

    6- there are two strange beliefs in the town. the first is very small, that of the Ashen Faced- a small group of pilgrims from Thrane, led by a paladin who led a company against the mournland on the day of mourning, and were close to where the wall of mist stopped. the paladin was deeply affected, and pondered this, and came to the conclusion that all who participated actively in the war were somehow responsible for the horror that befell that day. so he took the Oath Of The Sleeping Phoenix, which demands he wear ashes on his face and clothes every day, and help those he have wronged (the Cyrians) until he makes amends for their previous actions (and then be cleansed by the silver flame like a phoenix does at rebirth). s/he persuaded other to follow him/her, and ventured to the closest place they could reach.

    these guys can be a potential source for future adventurers.

    7- the second strang belief is "the forsaken": a group of Cyrian who believe that the soverign host has forsaken them, and are now looking for a new divinity to save them. i don't remember the exact details of this "cult", but it's somehwere between The Becoming God and the blood of vol (they believe in creating their divine being through their own actions and belief). i do remember i had their leader be captured in a darguun slave cage when the mist descended on it, and the mist covered only his right arm, which became dead flesh. this human from then on carries his dead arm with pride, and many repsect him for it ("i live with the memory of that day by my side constantly!"). he is charismatic, manipulative and diplomatic, but works in secret to wreck havoc on all who have some how betrayed Cyre (which he considers pretty much everyone, even some cyrians). this guy was a major villain in my campaign, but you could just make him an interesting character in yours, with some modifications.

    8- other then that there were the usuall religions in town.

    there is probably more, Vathirond was pretty importent in my campagin as i said, but i just can't remember. if you wish for more i'll try and dig it up.

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    Thanks Kol, I appreciate it.

    I'm preparing for the first marauder attack in the module, and I noticed that the foldout map provided covers a smaller area than the one shown in the actual encounter entry. o_o Weird. It seems to leave out the eastern side somewhat.

    Since I'm using Tome of Battle, I made some changes to some of the Red Hand rank-and-file members. Especially of note are the Bladebearers and the Doom Fist monks, which I made Ftr 1/Warblade 3 and Monk 2/Swordsage 2, respectively. It's okay to post the statblocks I made here, right?

    Leaving them out first, but I'll put them up later if it's okay.
    Spoiler
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    In any case, I figure that Uth-Lar in the first encounter will be able to do quite a bit more damage due to Wolf Fang Strike and Steel Wind, and also allow the regulars to have better chances of hitting with Leading the Attack. However, I figure that once he's taken out, the marauder attack should collapse pretty quickly, as it should. In my experience with martial adept monsters, they're usually only able to land a couple of maneuvers before they get mobbed and taken down (or glitterdusted). Except for that one ridiculous time in another campaign where glitterdust backfired---the PC wizard stopped the two hobgoblin warblades on a castle wall from attacking---so they did nothing but spam White Raven Tactics on their caster companion. That sure taught the PCs to abuse save-or-sucks, hehe.
    No Wizard in this campaign, and the Artificer hasn't made any scrolls of glitterdust, so I don't think I'm going to have trouble with that spell anytime soon.

    I'm not so sure if I should do anything to the cleric. His second level spell selection seems pretty lame---monsters healing only prolongs the fight and rarely makes things more interesting. Any suggestions?

    Finally, I felt like playing around with the hell hounds and replaced them with fiery, raptor-like creatures. They still use the hell hound stats, but I had a couple of Guard Drake miniatures I wanted to use, so I just "reskinned" the Hell Hounds.
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-04-25 at 10:49 PM.


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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    Thanks Kol, I appreciate it.

    I'm preparing for the first marauder attack in the module, and I noticed that the foldout map provided covers a smaller area than the one shown in the actual encounter entry. o_o Weird. It seems to leave out the eastern side somewhat.
    Yeah, it does. It's a shame - the maps are really cool, but you only get three of them, two of which don't come into play until much, much later. My players got all excited when I busted out that map for the first encounter, and were a little disappointed when we went back to our normal whiteboard.

    However, for a few of the bigger battles, I printed out map tiles - really cool if you have access to a color printer (they'll eat up a lot of ink/toner). I don't remember exactly where I found them but you can probably find them by digging through the links here. That link has a lot of good resources in general, even if a lot of it is 404'ed. (The MIC treasure conversions in particular are well-done - don't stick with default treasure. Especially the sword in the basement of Vraath Keep.)

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    I'm not so sure if I should do anything to the cleric. His second level spell selection seems pretty lame---monsters healing only prolongs the fight and rarely makes things more interesting. Any suggestions?
    Give him more scrolls of summon. When he started summoning hell hounds into the middle of my group, they were all, "Aw, hell, naw!"

    Then they killed them really quickly. But it was fun.

    Don't forget to make him invisible!
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Thanks again, kjones. I did pick up the MIC recently and I wanted to use it to give more treasure to the PCs, since as the module says, there's really not much they can buy.


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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Here's the links, HTH:

    Chatper I
    Chatper II
    Chatper III
    Chatper IV
    Chapter V

    I referred to these extensively - frankly, a lot of the treasure placement in RHoD is just poorly done.

    I point once again to the +1 frost bastard sword in the dungeon of Vraath Keep. A +2-equivalent weapon is too much for a 5th-level party, a bastard sword is not a particularly useful weapon for most people (EWP), and there's not much there for other party members to use. It's just... bad.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Thanks again, kjones. Lots of helpful links there. I have to admit that from the get go, I saw the +1 frost bastard sword and died a little inside, thinking "nice to put in high-level loot that nobody is ever going to use." That thing is really going to have to go.

    Anyway, a flavor-related issue brought up by one of the links I read:
    The module makes extensive use of giants; Warklegnaw's tribe of forest giants, and the hill giants in the employ of the horde. The thing is, giants (at least the "true" giants, barring ogres and trolls) are not native to Khorvaire, instead coming from Xen'Drik---which was trashed in the ancient past by the dragons, as I'd mentioned in an earlier post. As such, giants shouldn't really be around.

    Here's my solution:

    Warklegnaw
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    An interesting solution proposed on one of the links was using an enclave of lycanthropes to replace Warklegnaw's tribe. This works well with the reclusive nature of lycanthropes in Eberron--the Church of the Silver Flame initiated a bloody crusade against the lycanthropes, aiming to eradicate them, but this particular group got away---at least, until Amery Vraath came along. A member of the Silver Torch (the extreme Silver Flame hardliners), he led his own inquisitions into Elsir Vale from his keep, pushing deep into the Witchwood in search for Warklegnaw's group of lycanthropes. The lycanthropes got even, ravaging the keep and razing it, mortally wounding Vraath. The keep was abandoned, and although Warklegnaw is still alive, he's hurting, bitter, and sick. There might be some friction with Holden, who is a crusader of the Silver Flame, but the player was clear his character did more in the military campaigns of the last war.


    Azarr Kul's giants
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    This is a bit more difficult. Ogres are easy enough to come by, but by and large, even the primitive hill giants aren't native to Khorvaire, and they certainly wouldn't have been able to launch an expedition all the way into central Khorvaire all the way from Xen'Drik.

    Trolls are native to Khorvaire, especially in this area, but I didn't want to have too many of them. They're feral creatures and as a rule, I'd want to keep the number of regenerating creatures low. Furthermore, there's the giants' role as living trebuchets.

    Thankfully, Monster Manual 3 has a pet favorite of mine: The Skullcrusher Ogre. They're slightly smaller than the usual ogres, but are stronger, smarter, and more disciplined. The vanillla skullcrusher is CR 5---stronger than the vanilla ogre, but not as strong as the Hill Giants I mean to replace. The CR 8 skullcrusher sergeant in the book, however, is a lot closer to the Hill Giant's stats:
    -Approximately the same HP.
    -Substantially higher AC, but that's due to the full plate the sergeant is wearing
    -Same BAB, similar AB
    -Similar saves
    -A lot more feats due to 3 fighter levels
    -Similar ability scores

    Finally, skullcrushers share something in common with the giants: Rock throwing. They're not as good at it, having only a range increment of 100 feet (as opposed to the 120 that Hill Giants get), but they seem to fit the bill well enough.
    I might have to do some tweaking (warrior levels instead of fighter to get rid of the mass of feats, as well as keeping the CR low, less equipment), but I think the skullcrushers can make a good, flavor-consistent replacement for the Hill Giants. Also, I prefer neat-looking ogres in spiked armor to 12-foot tall cavemen.

    I was thinking of making the skullcrushers part of the Prince of the Mournland's employ (will get to that in a bit), as a tribe from Droamm hired by some now-dead army who escaped Cyre before it blew up.


    The Prince of the Mournland's Company
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    Still thinking of an official name for his lackeys, but here's my plan for them:
    The Prince himself was a troll chieftain from Droamm who had proved to be smarter and more tactically capable than most trolls, who prefer to rush into battle and tear stuff apart. In an effort to beef up Cyre's beleaguered military, the Prince and his tribe were hired as mercenaries by Cyre, and initially this proved successful.
    However, the high command at Metrol was not content with the trolls' impressive combat ability and sheer tenacity, so they decided to come up with more experiments, partially funded by a renegade branch of House Cannith that specialized in warforged grafting (ie, renegade mastermakers).
    Unfortunately, the experiments in improving the strength, intelligence, and tenacity of the trolls--namely removing their vulnerability to fire, which was common on the battlefield--were only successful in one case: The troll chief who became the Prince of the Mournland.

    The experiments drove the rest of his tribe almost completely insane (even by troll standards). Not wanting to put the benefit of their aggression to waste, the trolls were grafted with armor that clung to their regenerative skin, and implanted remotely-detonated magical bombs into them, so that they could kill the trolls should they go out of control. The result of this salvaged experiment was a new superweapon: the bladerager troll. (See Monster Manual V)

    Nobody wanted to be responsible for the control of these monsters, so they gave it to somebody who did---the Prince of the Mournland. A telepathic device was implanted into the Prince's brain, allowing him to control his former tribe.

    However, this new superweapon, which might have decided the battle on the Day of Mourning had the Prince and his tribe supported Cyre's warforged legions, was nowhere to be found on that fateful morning. Many suspect that in exchange for future services, some organization that was aware of the devastation that would turn Cyre into the Mournland later that day told the Prince about it. (Due to House Phiarlan's apparent escape from the apocalyptic explosion, some circles believe they were responsible for the Prince's desertion, as they seemed to have advance knowledge of the destruction.)

    Whatever the case may be, the Prince of the Mournland is said to have watched the sky catch fire over Cyre with the rest of his tribe and the other mercenaries (skullcrushers) who joined him. The Prince saluted his creators for one last time before marching off into Breland. The confusion on the Day of Mourning, along with the arcane fallout and the alleged House Phiarlan cover-up allowed the Prince and his tribe to escape into the Wyrmsmokes in the little-known and isolated parts of Eastern Breland almost undetected. The Prince makes a living hiring out his tribe's services to special interest groups, usually from Darguun. Azarr Kul is his latest client.

    I'm still weighing if I should go on with this. The Prince, with his DR/adamantine and vulnerability to acid only (not fire), would make the battle with Kharn a lot tougher. Even if the PCs did manage to perform a successful assassination attempt against Kharn, they'd still have to deal with the Prince and his regenerating, slash-happy suicide bombers.
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-04-27 at 07:20 AM.


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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    my humble opinions of your modifications:

    1- Warklegnaw
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    i like the idea of the shifters hiding in the woods, especially since msot of your party is from Thrane. but... it seems a bit unbelivable that they stayed so close to the nation that hunted them for so long (especially since Thrane even controlled this area for some time during the last war). i suggest you add some serious concealment magic to the settlement, to explain it hiding. another idea that comes to mind is a Kalashtar settlement who is protected by the psionic forces. (could play well with your party's psion). hey, you can even combine the two ideas- lycanthropic Kalashter... combining the feral with the spiritual/ mental.


    2- Azarr Kul's giants
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    the skull crusher sergents are fine, but i have an idea who might be a bit more iconic to Eberron. how about modified warforged titans? replace one of their arms with a sort of a mini- cataput (or ballista), and you have a walking living siege engine. they could be remants of the old war repaired and used by Azarr Kul's forces. i suggest to make them look beaten up, perhaps even a bit rusty, perhaps displaying old banners such as of Cyre or Thrane. your artificer would love to fight these... and they are a bit more memorable than ogres. (i don't have the right MM so i can't realy tell if skull crushers might be cooler)


    3- The Prince of the Mournland's Company
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    interesting idea you have there, but i have a few problems with it:
    - the players are likely to just see the outcome of the story- horrible strange trolls, but they probably won't learn what led to them, which is a bit of a waste of a good story. it would only confuse the players i think.

    - the battle at Brindol is hard enough as it is, the end fight should focus on Kharn, and your monsters seem to steal the thunder. plus- unless the players have some way to know of the suicide bombing, then it is realy unfair (and would probably result in one or more character deaths) to spring it upon them. if you want them to fight these trolls, have them fight a few earlier in the campaign, so they'll have some idea what they are when they get to brindol.

    - the party lacks a wizard, and the artificer ain't likely to produce a wand of melf's acid arrow or something else that cause acid damage. plus, the party's resources will be spread thin or over by the time they face the prince. result- he is nearly invincible, perhaps even tougher than Kharn. have the party learn of this elite foe (perhaps even face him earlier, and run away?) if you plan to use him.

    - over all the trolls present a whole new kind of threat the party needs to especially prepare for. give them the info and time to prepare, don't use them as mere surprises, and especially not at the battle of brindol- it is complicated, surprising and full all unto itself.


    i hope i haven't discouraged, all in all interesting ideas.
    Kol

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    my humble opinions of your modifications:

    1- Warklegnaw
    Spoiler
    Show

    i like the idea of the shifters hiding in the woods, especially since msot of your party is from Thrane. but... it seems a bit unbelivable that they stayed so close to the nation that hunted them for so long (especially since Thrane even controlled this area for some time during the last war). i suggest you add some serious concealment magic to the settlement, to explain it hiding. another idea that comes to mind is a Kalashtar settlement who is protected by the psionic forces. (could play well with your party's psion). hey, you can even combine the two ideas- lycanthropic Kalashter... combining the feral with the spiritual/ mental.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Hmmm. Well, the idea behind Warklegnaw's tribe is that he's got enough muscle to help delay the horde, but not exactly join the battle. Kalashtar are fond of throwing up cloaking devices that conceal entire communities, true, but I think they'd have to have a fair amount of trade to sustain their community. A permanent community might be a bit too hard to conceal unless the nearby towns agreed to keep them secret, shroud or no. The kalashtar lycanthropes is interesting, but I feel that the players will wonder too much about the strange breeding and fall off the hook---it's happened to these particular players before.

    I was thinking that Thrane did find the lycanthrope enclave---Amery Vraath did pick fights with them---but due to strained supply lines and the difficult terrain, his men couldn't push far enough into the forest and the nearby mountains. In the end, the werefolk got even and trashed Vraath Keep. By the time the news got to whomever Vraath's superiors were, Thrane realized they had bigger fish to fry.


    2- Azarr Kul's giants
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    Show

    the skull crusher sergents are fine, but i have an idea who might be a bit more iconic to Eberron. how about modified warforged titans? replace one of their arms with a sort of a mini- cataput (or ballista), and you have a walking living siege engine. they could be remants of the old war repaired and used by Azarr Kul's forces. i suggest to make them look beaten up, perhaps even a bit rusty, perhaps displaying old banners such as of Cyre or Thrane. your artificer would love to fight these... and they are a bit more memorable than ogres. (i don't have the right MM so i can't realy tell if skull crushers might be cooler)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ooooh. I was seriously considering adding a titan or two to Kharn's forces, but I never thought of mounting siege engines on them. I'm definitely going to use this---probably a mix of the ogres and the titans.


    3- The Prince of the Mournland's Company
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    interesting idea you have there, but i have a few problems with it:
    - the players are likely to just see the outcome of the story- horrible strange trolls, but they probably won't learn what led to them, which is a bit of a waste of a good story. it would only confuse the players i think.

    - the battle at Brindol is hard enough as it is, the end fight should focus on Kharn, and your monsters seem to steal the thunder. plus- unless the players have some way to know of the suicide bombing, then it is realy unfair (and would probably result in one or more character deaths) to spring it upon them. if you want them to fight these trolls, have them fight a few earlier in the campaign, so they'll have some idea what they are when they get to brindol.

    - the party lacks a wizard, and the artificer ain't likely to produce a wand of melf's acid arrow or something else that cause acid damage. plus, the party's resources will be spread thin or over by the time they face the prince. result- he is nearly invincible, perhaps even tougher than Kharn. have the party learn of this elite foe (perhaps even face him earlier, and run away?) if you plan to use him.

    - over all the trolls present a whole new kind of threat the party needs to especially prepare for. give them the info and time to prepare, don't use them as mere surprises, and especially not at the battle of brindol- it is complicated, surprising and full all unto itself.


    Spoiler
    Show
    Okay, good points. I was fine with adding a more dangerous monster to the final battle with Kharn, to be honest, but the Prince is going to be much harder to kill. (Btw, I made Kharn a Crusader 10 to make him a great deal tougher and more dangerous; the Favored Soul/Talon of Tiamat combo seemed really weak for an act boss to me.) Still I keep forgetting that the psion can't make her energy powers deal acid damage. Somehow I kept thinking she could. Perhaps this idea might be canned.


    i hope i haven't discouraged, all in all interesting ideas.
    Kol
    No problem, I appreciate the comments. They're helpful either way, and I'd rather have constructive criticism than no replies.
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-04-27 at 10:52 PM.


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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Regarding Kharn:
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    If you want to edit his stats, I'd make Kharn a Ruby Knight Vindicator (reflavoured, of course, but pretty much just using the class requires reflavouring so that's to be expected...). Crusader 1/Cleric 4/Ruby Knight Vindicator 5, to be precise (Favored Soul doesn't have turning so it wouldn't qualify without handwaving, and I frankly agree with your assessment; also, in this particular case, Crusader 2/Cleric 3 may be more interesting as it doesn't actually cost him a spell level). Spellcasting of an 8th level Cleric and maneuvers as an 8th level Crusader.

    Pretty much precisely what you'd expect from the chosen one of a martial deity - absolute kickass melee prowess to go with potent spellcasting. He'd only need 2 levels for the elusive Ruby Knight Vindicator 7 and level 5 spells + swift action casting. But I think the above is more loyal to his fluff, and more effective than Crusader 10.

    Hell, you could toss him something like Glaive or Scythe (unfortunately you can't pick style points for running him with Claws, Tiamat's favored weapon, as...well, Kharn doesn't have any) and truly enjoy the action economy of getting your out-of-turn AoOs, in-turn swift, standard & move abilities and free action recovery.


    But I wouldn't toss him there without any spellcasting in there as going into a battle without Dispel Magic, Air Walk and similar abilities is just asking for a walkover, unless you decide to acquire them through other means; PCs have access to plenty of pesky buffs and easy flight by the time the fight comes along and having Kharn stand around dumbfounded as the PCs fly and bombard him would be anti-climatic to say the least.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-04-27 at 11:14 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Great suggestion, Eldariel. Thanks a lot, that'll really help. I was also a bit miffed that his maneuvers were just too monotonous.


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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Glad I could help; only the best for your players Another thing I'd personally rework is his equipment - presently they're rather bland, but you could rather easily make them more interesting (as I alluded in kjones's thread, giving him a weapon made out of some infernal material could be very interesting, especially if it's something PCs haven't encountered).

    And of course, defensive stuff and stuff that allows him to act more; Circlet of Rapid Casting, Belt of Battle or some such. He can afford all that if he does his weapon/armor enchanting himself (with spells) rather than buy already enchanted weapons (and why wouldn't he? He's got the power.). Also, it'd make some really nice loot for PCs, something they're probably dying for in this campaign which mostly caters basic +X items. Considering the amount of allies he's got, I'd also consider a Martial Script of Order Forged From Chaos. That particular maneuver is perfect for commanding troops, and he'll often have his own Move Actions to burn anyways after initiating a strike, using a counter/boost/swift spell and enjoying a good position.


    I just calculated his combat gear wealth and it comes down to about 60500gp (of course, ~13000gp of that is the Full-Plate even unenhanced (enhancements adding another 9000gp to it), which you'll probably want to keep as it's such an awesome fit for him - at least the Red Dragoncraft part of it).
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    I was wondering why he had so much gear. Currently I settled for the recommended PC gear equivalent of 49000 GP, but if he has 60500, then I could afford to give him more.

    Currently he has:
    Spoiler
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    16650: +2 red dragoncraft full plate
    4000: gauntlets of ogre power
    4000: Periapt of wisdom +2
    18318: Kor'Korvuul, the Crimson Carnage (+1 brutal surge bloodfeeding scythe)
    2000: lesser rubicund frenzy
    2000: ring of protection +1
    1000: cloak of resistance +1
    1000: dispelling cord


    I could probably swap out a couple of those for the circlet of rapid casting.

    I made the following changes to the encounter:
    Original Encounter:
    -Kharn
    -2 ogres
    -2 hill giants

    My first plan:
    -Kharn
    -Rage Drake as Kharn's mount
    -The Prince of the Mournland, War Troll

    As per Kol Korran's suggestions, I dropped the War Troll since it's likely he's going to be waaay tougher than Kharn.

    The encounter now stands as such:
    Spoiler
    Show

    -Kharn
    -Rage Drake
    -2 whitespawn berserkers (why these guys are hanging out in this heat is beyond me---must be the immunity to fire their mounts give)
    -2 redspawn firebelchers (fire immunity on the whitespawn will be hilarious)

    -I fear for anyone who gets charged by the Rage Drake while Kharn's Leading the Charge stance is active. 'Nuff said.
    -The whitespawn and firebelchers will serve the role of artillery. The berserkers have composite shortbow^5s, and with their mounts can add a lot of harassing fire. Should the mounts die or Kharn order them to close in, they charge.

    If the party proves exceedingly tough, I might throw in a couple of skullcrusher ogres with class levels or a Bluespawn Godslayer.


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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Wops, pardon me, he only has 50500gp. I accidentally counted his armor & shield as +3 rather than +2. That said, you could easily cut the +2 from the armor (4k), Gauntlets (4k), Ring of Protection (2k) & Cloak of Resistance (1k), which is almost enough to get him the Circlet (15k) - all those items are rather unnecessary as he can do it all himself. As you've still got about 2k worth of wealth unspent (if you gave him 49k), I think trading those for the Circlet is a fair game.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    That encounter sounds interesting, but beware. Keep in mind that this is a EL 12+ encounter coming right on the heels of 6-8 other EL 10+ encounters (and party level will probably be 9-10 at this point). To enumerate:

    • Defend the Walls (EL 11)
    • Fight Abithraix (EL 10, but these two aren't really comparable - he's a friggin' dragon)
    • Streets of Blood, first wave (EL 9)
    • Second wave (EL 10)
    • Third wave (EL 11)
    • Fourth wave (contingent on the destruction of the hatchery in Chapter II) (EL 12)
    • Fifth wave (contingent on negotiation with the Ghostlord) (EL 12)
    • Sniper Attack (EL 11, with a lot of potential for nastiness, particularly if they get themselves poisoned by Skather)


    Many of these can be leveled by giving the party NPC allies, but some of them (notably Sniper Attack, Defend the Walls, and Abithraix, due to fear effects) will not lend themselves well to that route. Six encounters above party level is a lot.

    Finally, keep in mind that Kharn may not be alone. Any surviving Wyrmlords will be there with him, and if the party did not break the Ghostlord's alliance, he'll be there too. That will make a big difference.

    You'll be better able to judge this when the time comes and you can see what your party looks like going into (and during) the battle. I'm just saying, be careful. Many times in the past have I made the mistake of making encounters that were really awesome, but much too difficult for the party.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Thanks kjones. Brindol is still a long way off, so I've a lot of time to think about it. If the party gets beaten up too much in the initial battles, I'll probably just default to the book (with the exception of Knight of Five Sorrows Kharn. That is a keeper.)

    Anyway, Session 2:

    The Terminal
    Ashie, the artificer, successfully brought the train's berserk air elemental under control. Slowing down the train would mean the rest of the trip takes 2 hours, while keeping it at maximum speed means they arrive at the terminal in less than 30 minutes---at the risk of losing control of the train again, derailing, or smashing into the Vathirond Terminal, likely killing themselves and a lot of people in the process. Deciding to play it safe and avoid an imminent crash, Ashie slows down the train.

    Kikkeni, the Kalashtar psion, having been dropped to 1 HP in the previous encounter, is healed with a wand of lesser vigor.

    Knowing that the party is now riding one third of the train they'd departed Flamekeep in, and that the said remaining third of the train contains several dead crew members, the party figures out what to tell the authorities at Vathirond. After weighing the pros and cons of lying and Holden, the dwarf Silver Flame crusader, says he's beholden to tell the truth, and so they reluctantly agree.

    The train arrives at Vathirond, and Father Larrister, the local contact, is shocked to see that only a third of the train is left. Holden quickly tells him they were attacked, and Larrister quickly calls in his guards to seal off the train before anybody tries to investigate, much to the chagrin of the House Orien personnel in the station.

    Larrister brings the PCs to go to the Silver Flame diocese so he can brief them further.

    At the Diocese

    The PCs explain exactly what happened. Larrister is shocked, but since the PCs successfully identified the assassin as a rakshasa, Larrister explains that it wasn't a random attack; a rakshasa who stayed in close proximity to them for hours wouldn't have made a mistake. The attack was a deliberate assassination attempt, and the PCs have also come to this conclusion. Intrigued by the turn of events, Larrister says that they may be up against more than just a warband of hobgoblin bandits.

    Larrister explains where they're headed next: Drellin's Ferry, a town at the forefront of a lot goblin attacks. Since the town is in the middle of nowhere (we joked that Drellin's Ferry's town motto is "More Nowhere than Nowhere"---there really is a town in central Breland named Nowhere, but at least the Lightning Rail system gets there. Drellin's Ferry is over 160 miles from the nearest station.), Breland can't really mobilize an army to meet the threat of a few random bandit attacks; said army would have to cross most of the country, and frankly, King Boranel is more concerned with the hostile Droaamite attacks on Breland's western border than random bandit attacks in the east. The PCs have yet to make the Rakshasa-Khyber-Tiamat connection, but I expect they'll get there by the time they get to Wyrmlord Koth. Either way, Larrister is convinced the PCs are up against more than just "random bandit attacks."

    The PCs bed down for the night in the diocese, waking up to find a House Orien coach specially chartered for Drellin's Ferry. The coach driver/courier, Kien d'Orien, is a man of few words. Loven, the warforged scout rogue and the dwarf's adopted brother, says the carriage reminds him too much of the boxes humans put equipment in, and declares that he wants to ride on the coach's roof. Kien sarcastically tells him to enjoy the 160-mile ride. Loven shuts up and sits in the carriage.

    Holden also opens up a letter that Larrister slipped him as they left; the Letter talks about Amery Vraath and his failed lycanthrope-purging crusade into Elsir Vale. Vraath was nasty, bloodthirsty and altogether unlikeable, and ultimately he was killed by the lycanthropes he was hunting. There are lots of rumors about him being infected with lycanthropy himself or that his ghost haunts his old base in the Witchwood. Larrister simply asks Holden to check out Vraath Keep while he's at it, but the old vicar himself says he never really liked the guy.

    Marauders
    Ah, the first encounter in the module. Kien spots the ambush for the PCs, and stops the carriage a few miles out of Drellin's Ferry, and in a dreadfully quiet manner, tells the PCs that there's an ambush just up ahead. The PCs get down. Kien hangs back to protect his cargo from looters, while the PCs engage.

    Roll initiative.

    The battle goes very, very badly for the hobgoblins. All of the archers miss their first attacks, and for the most part, miss over and over again for the entire encounter. Loven decides to sneak into the woods and carries his bag of boulders---one of the most fun low-level items for rogues, ever.

    Ashie lays down a wanded entangle spell in the middle of the area, covering almost the entire map. However, since the trail down the center had no foliage, only the hobgoblins in the trees are entangled. Almost all of them fail; the only one who made the save was "hobgoblin A," the furthest down the right side of the map. Hobgoblin A constantly makes high saves and high attack rolls, even a couple of natural 20s. I dub him "Lucky" henceforth.

    Kikkeni takes a round to get psionically focused.

    Soon after, Uth-Lar the bladebearer and Zarr the cleric rush out of the farmhouse, telling the PCs to attack the spellcaster (at this point, Ashie is the only person who's cast anything.) The two of them rush down the path with the two scorch drakes (just the hell hounds I reskinned to become bipedal lizards). The scorch drakes run at tremendous speed.

    One of the scorch drakes runs past Loven, who throws a pebble from his bag of boulders. It would've likely been a fatal sneak attack, but unfortunately, he rolls horribly and misses. Holden, maul drawn, sets about bashing in heads on the left side of the map. He hits one hobgoblin, which he kills with a massive crit on his second turn. (x3 crit = win) With two hobgoblins dead, all but one of the archers entangled, and every single one of the hobgobins rolling badly, it looks like it's over for them.

    Zarr turns invisible; Uth-Lar runs at full tilt toward Kikkeni. Uth-Lar successfully lands an AOO on Kikkeni as she tries to slip away, while the archers keep firing at Ashie.

    Kikkeni, with her 40-foot speed thanks to Speed of Thought, is able to get out of the way and shoots an electric energy bolt across the path, frying one of the scorch drakes and one of the archers. Ashie buffs herself with shield. Uth-Lar pursues Kikkeni into the forest, but as he enters he passes by Loven, who attempts to sneak him with his shortbow. The attack hits, but Uth-Lar's uncanny dodge prevents him from getting creamed by the sneak damage.

    One of the scorch drakes engages with Ashie's iron defender homunculus, damaging it for half its HP with a single bite. Holden charges the scorch drake with Battle Leader's Charge, reducing it to a fine red mist. Holden: 3, Red Hand: 0.

    The second wave of hobgoblins doesn't do much better. Most of them miss consistently, although a number of solid hits land on Kikkeni and Ashie over the course of the battle, dropping them to single digits. Kikkeni responds in kind by killing almost all the second wave with one application of energy missile and then runs off into the forest. Ashie, on the other hand, is unable to help much. A CL 1 magic missile wand really doesn't do much. Uth-Lar pursues Kikkeni, and Holden follows. Ashie orders her homunculus to chase down Uth-Lar as well.

    Holden saves Kikkeni with Defensive Rebuke, forcing Uth-Lar to attack him. The bladebearer obliges, cursing Holden in his language (Holden knows Goblin; I translate Uth-Lar's swearing as "Your mother has less honor than a flee-bitten centaur whore") but his rolls are also bad. Only one of his Wolf Fang Strikes hits, and his Wall of Blades counter to parry Holden's Mountain Hammer rolls a pathetic 3. Zarr reappears behind Holden and nails him with an inflict moderate wounds---Holden fails his first save but uses his Zealous Surge to reroll his failed will save. He takes token damage.

    Loven throws another charge of his bag of boulders from concealment, this time successfully sneak attacking Zarr. The cleric takes significant damage and is left bleeding (c/o Pathfinder Rogue talent); Ashie helps by pumping him with another shot of magic missile.

    The homunculus shakes down Uth-Lar, finally dropping him to exactly 0 HP. Only Zarr and two hobgoblins---one still entangled and the other ready to piss in his pants---are left. Zarr attempts to rally the two and uses his smite on Holden, but Holden has cover thanks to the foliage. Zarr misses, and finally collapses due to blood loss. Holden makes sure he's dead with a coup de grace. The unentangled archer runs for the hills. The other one is stuck, and in no morale to fight any more. Loven walks up to him and executes him with an arrow to the back of the head.

    I changed the treasure here. I said one of Uth-Lar's short swords broke and replaced it with a bunch of low-level magic items that had been with the merchant whom the hobbos had ambushed earlier. Same thing with Zarr's armor; nobody needed it, and since the town doesn't offer much in the way of gear, I decided to scrap it.

    Loot:
    -one darklight (Secrets of Sarlona). A very interesting magic item that can change ambient light when imbued with psionic power. Due to simpy changing the ambient light and not emitting actual light, nobody can really pinpoint the bearer. The party finds it a very interesting item and thinks of all the various applications of the said lantern---then they see another darklight already in Kikkeni's gear list (the character's loot was prepared by me in an emergency due to players being unable to come). They shrug and move on.
    -healing belt. Without a cleric, they needed it.
    -restful crystal. Now the dwarf doesn't take his armor off anymore. Ick.
    -eternal wand of shield
    -everlasting rations
    -355 GP
    -one unconscious hobgoblin marauder.

    The party also hoovers the miscellaneous mundane gear and stacks it onto the carriage and ties up Uth-Lar BENEATH the carriage. They haul everything into town.

    Kien delivers his goods and leaves while the PCs talk to the militia.

    Tarnished Silver
    Due to my re-fluffing of Amery Vraath as an unlikeable Silver Torch zealot who made life more than a little difficult for the Ferry folk during the Last War, the militia are wary of the PCs. However, desperate to have the hobgoblins dealt with, they're let into the town.

    Loven nonchalantly drags Uth-Lar toward the Old Toll House while the two girls look for an inn. They decide on the Old Bridge, which is a House Ghallanda operation---the only one for miles around.

    The dwarf and the warforged start talking to Norro Wiston, and Soranna is impressed by how the PCs dealt with the ambush so easily. The women arrive just as Speaker Wiston offers a pay of 500 GP. Holden hates goblins so accepts off the bat; the others are fine with it. They tie up Uth-Lar in a cell.

    Holden=Jack Bauer

    Holden makes an Intimidate check as Uth-Lar comes to. Uth-Lar's steely façade and pointed-back ears melt away---despite his+4 bonus to resist Intimidate checks, he rolls low and Holden easily makes his point by smashing a chair into powder with his maul.

    Uth-Lar sings like a canary, telling the party about Wyrmlord Koth's base in Vraath Keep, and also mentions Azarr Kul. He's not sure of the entire horde's command structure, and gives no certain description of Tiamat's involvement---all the PCs know is that Tiamat is involved, since the hobgoblins keep raving about her, and that the holy symbol Zarr carried was Tiamat's. The PCs puzzle over the title of "Wyrmlord," but Uth-Lar doesn't know why that title was chosen.

    Holden explains to the party that the worship of Tiamat---a demon Overlord---is unheard of among goblins. The ancient goblinoid Dhakaani empire was agnostic, trusting in its own glory more than any gods; Darguun, the nation of Lhesh Haruuc, at least publicly worships the Sovereign Host in order to appear more civilized; other goblinoids in Darguun may turn to the worship of the Dark Six, the Sovereign Host's dark brethren. An actual cult of a demon Overlord is very, very rare, as most of them are in suspended animation.

    Ashie asks if there were other races involved. Uth-Lar snaps back at the artificer, saying that unlike humans, "the People" or "the Dar" have always considered themselves a single race with three different bloods (this is consistent with Eberron's goblinoid fluff), and that humans were fools to separate them into three different races.

    Uth-Lar mentions Karkilan the minotaur, but the PCs seem to gloss over this---Uth-Lar begins to get his courage back, Holden smashes Uth-Lar in the knee. Uth-Lar mentions one last important bit of information---the Red Hand is coming to slaughter the "human river village." Ashie presses Uth-Lar some more for information, asking if the horde will continue pushing eastward past Drellin's Ferry. Uth-Lar, his courage and adrenaline back, simply keeps raving about the Red Hand coming.

    Annoyed, Holden orders Loven to shoot him "where it hurts," but I tell him that Uth-Lar is too far gone and any further attacks would kill him. Holden then grabs Uth-Lar's broken knee and twists it. Roaring in pain, the hobgoblin simply keeps swearing and says that he's confident his brethren would feast on their innards, even if he were to die.

    The party leaves Uth-Lar, and Soranna leans over to Ashie, saying that it was nice of them to leave the hobgoblin for them to take care of for the night. Loven hears this, turns around, and shoots Uth-Lar in the head. Soranna sighs, drags out the body herself, and orders one of her men to bury it out back. The captain tells the party that Vraath Keep wasn't far, and that meeting up with the woodsman Jorr could help them get through the Witchwood without much trouble.

    Shopping
    The party visits Delora Zann, but she's closing down for the day, so the party goes to sleep. Early the next morning, they go to Morlin Coalhewer, who accepts Holden as a fellow dwarf, and purchases the masterwork longswords and suits of mail. The party donates the rest of the gear to the town guard, much to Soranna's delight.

    The party spends the gold buying scrolls from Brother Derny, the local cleric of Dol Arrah (female Pelor to non-Eberron players, she's one of the Sovereign Host, the predominant pantheon-based religion), and Sertieren the Wise. Finally, they buy mounts and gear from Delora Zann, and ride off for Jorr's place.

    Jorr the Badass and Hydra Soup
    Jorr greets the PCs in typical hillbilly fashion. They make their intent to explore Vraath Keep known; Jorr blows them off and tells them that it's just "down the road, can't miss it." He responds a bit favorably to their flattery, but since the PCs feel they can't trust him yet, they only speak in uncertain terms. He responds by saying the wood isn't that unsafe, and that while the Keep is haunted, they don't need his help. It's only when they mention the goblins that he perks up and offers his help.

    Not long after, they arrive at the Blackwater Causeway. Jorr takes point, tells the PCs to keep watch, and leads the crossing. The PCs dismount and take the horses with them. Jorr fails his spot check and misses the Hydra completely.

    "Aw hell. I dinnow there wuz a hydra here."

    Roll initiative.

    Intiative goes as follows: Kikkeni, Loven, Hydra, Jorr, Ashie, Holden. Kikkeni's Knowledge check result spooks the player; she advocates either mounting the horses and attempting to run full speed across the causeway (which would've made an awesome chase scene reminiscent of that one area in Metal Slug), or running back toward the town. Holden stows his maul and draws his greatsword.

    I simply tell her that the hydra will give chase, that horses can't run at full speed with a rider, the causeway is too slippery and rickety to cross with charging horses, and that the beast will follow them all the way back to town if they ran.

    Kikkeni uses inertial armor, while Loven tries to get cover and hides to snipe. The hydra takes the path of least resistance---the river. Ashie fires a ray of enfeeblement from a scroll, greatly crippling the hydra's abilities. Its attack bonus is down to +5, and its bites no longer had their damage bonus. Jorr Rapid Shots, hitting both times. Holden scrambles straight into the path of the monster as it swims up the river to where the causeway crosses the deep water.

    Kikkeni opens fire with her energy bolt, but rolls low. To make matters worse, hydras have good reflex saves despite their size, and takes very little damage. All its heads are intact. Loven sneaks the hydra with his bow, dealing a good amount of damage. The hydra moves in to attack Holden, using its superior reach to savage him with bites. Only one hits, and deals a pathetic 4 damage. Jorr keeps the arrows pumping, dealing 7 more damage. Ashie fires a magic missile from her wand, dealing 2 damage. Holden pulls out a blast disk, sets it to "Proximity," and plants it in the bridge.

    Turn 3. Kikkeni blasts again, searing off a head. Loven sees what his brother is doing, and makes a run for it, climbing back over the causeway to the side opposite the hydra. The hydra stays put, attacks Holden with everything, and misses all but one bite. Again. Jorr goes "What th' hell are ye doin'? KEEP SHOOTIN'!" and stays on the bridge. One more Rapid Shot: 17 damage. Ashie makes a run for it, jumping into the bog on the east side of the causeway, and Holden makes a run for it, ducking under the hydra's would-have-been devastating sextuple AOO (none of it hit), and jumps into the bayou as well.

    Turn 4. Kikkeni blasts yet again. A second head comes off, dealing damage to the beast's body. Loven is already off and running away. The hydra takes the bait and steps right into the blast disk's range. BOOM.

    The bridge is sheared off its posts and falls into the water on the far end. Unfortunately the hydra makes its save again. It does take enough area damage to shear off another head, though. Jorr almost falls, but manages to stay up---and keeps shooting. "I hope that wasn't the only one ya got, because it's still COMING!" Another Rapid Shot and the hydra's HP is down to 26. Holden swears at his failed plan, stomps back toward the hydra and plunges his greatsword into the body.

    And rolls a 20.

    And confirms with a 17.

    The hydra's heart bursts under the impact of 28 damage, and the whole thing collapses into the water.

    End of session.

    Thoughts
    Spoiler
    Show

    The PCs have extracted a good amount of information from the clues that have been dropped, but their patchwork of intelligence isn't meshing together just yet.
    1. They do know that a certain "high wyrmlord" is directing attacks through a lesser "wyrmlord."
    2. They do know that the hobgoblins are planning a massive attack on Drellin's Ferry, possibly with bugbears and goblins as well.
    3. Karkilan the minotaur is mentioned, but the PCs don't really realize he's a minotaur.
    4. The PCs know the base's location. Vraath Keep is their next target.
    5. The hobgoblins worship Tiamat.

    What they don't know:
    1. The Rakshasa attack was more involved than they realize.
    2. The exact structure of the Horde is unknown.
    3. The relevance of the title "wyrmlord" is still unknown.
    4. They don't know when "the day of ruin" is.
    5. They don't know exactly how the Horde plans to move, or how far they're moving. In fact, they don't know if there's a Horde at all. They only know of the "Red Hand."

    The first encounter was a bloodbath. I was consistently unlucky with rolls except for Lucky, and in the end he got fried with a single energy missile. The encounter is a lot easier than its EL lets on, as the module admits, but even as a martial adept, Uth-Lar sucked---I blame it on bad rolls.

    I really didn't know what to do with Zarr---I figured he could add some battlefield control, but all he did was sneak up and then start attacking. Too little, too late.

    I may have given a lot of treasure in that first encounter, but the PCs aren't going to get much otherwise. A bunch of low-level, "cute" treasure (situational but otherwise useful) instead of high-level "let's sell this" loot, seems to draw the players in more.

    The hydra encounter was priceless. The module has the hydra running away when its HP goes down, but I figured the PCs could kill it anyway, so I let it fight on. Jorr's presence did make the battle way easier, but in the end, the PCs still took the glory. Ashie didn't do much damage, but ray of enfeeblement was absolutely crippling even if it didn't drop the hydra's STR to penalty levels.

    I'm concerned about Loven. He's had a lot of opportunities to sneak, but it seems he's not able to optimize well. The player isn't so sure about what direction to take with his build either. I was suggesting going with Crossbow Sniper, but he's still considering it. Any advice?


    Next week: Vraath Keep.
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-05-01 at 08:00 AM.


    Eberron Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal. NOW COMPLETE!
    Sakuya Izayoi avatar by Mr. Saturn. Caella sig by Neoseph.

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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    nice recount. i especially liked how you played out the interogation, and the hydra fight. your players seem to know what they're doing (the ray of enfeeblement was definetly in place)

    it seems you party had better fortune with the hydra than other parties i met. nice work.

    oh, and byt the way- i love how you integrate all kinds of little Eberron-flavour-pieces into your world, like the mention of The Dar and so on. i'm thoroughly enjoying that AslanCross

    got nothing to add realy,
    Kol

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    nice recount. i especially liked how you played out the interogation, and the hydra fight. your players seem to know what they're doing (the ray of enfeeblement was definetly in place)

    it seems you party had better fortune with the hydra than other parties i met. nice work.

    oh, and byt the way- i love how you integrate all kinds of little Eberron-flavour-pieces into your world, like the mention of The Dar and so on. i'm thoroughly enjoying that AslanCross

    got nothing to add realy,
    Kol
    Yeah, I think the Ray of Enfeeblement was what made the party so "lucky" vs. the Hydra (because the hydra probably needed to be rolling around 18-20 to hit anything at that point). I guess it goes to show why debuffs are awesome against single tough guys.

    By the way, just curious, was Holden Power Attacking? Because 28 seems "small" for a critical.


    Awesome session, I'll have to echo Kol in the Eberron flavour praise - it really makes it feel totally different from Your Average RHoD (Heh.) giving it a certain color of its own.

    Great chapter, keep it coming! I'm interested in seeing how your players tackle the bigger, more tactical obstacles to come.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Yeah, I think the Ray of Enfeeblement was what made the party so "lucky" vs. the Hydra (because the hydra probably needed to be rolling around 18-20 to hit anything at that point). I guess it goes to show why debuffs are awesome against single tough guys.
    Indeed - none of the party's I've ever DMed through RHoD have ever done any debuffing, and the Hydra has been among the toughest encounters in the first couple of chapters of the module. It took some handwaving to keep it from being a TPK at least once, though most recently it wasn't so bad what with the Improved Sundering Wizard/Fighter PC.

    I'm liking the recap so far, even if I'm not as familiar with Eberron as others. One thing I might have done differently would be having Uth-Lar give out less information during the interrogation. I mean, yeah he rolled pretty badly, but he's supposed to be an elite Red Hand trooper, right? I would think he'd be even more resistant to intimidation/torture than anyone else. (And speaking of, your party seem to be really good at the torture, intimidation, and execution thing - I think it'll be interesting if any of them get captured later and have to beg for mercy from any Red Hand "interrogators." )
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Thanks for the comments, guys. It helps to know I'm doing something right (or wrong). ^_^

    The ray of enfeeblement was indeed the primary reason the hydra wasn't as strong as it should have been; at Holden's AC of 21, the beastie would've needed 16 or higher to hit. I was particularly concerned about the special hydra Combat Reflexes at first, but again this was practically neutralized by the ray. It was kind of a metagame choice on the player's part, since she remembers their party wizard in an old FR game nailing the first boss with it. Still a good choice, though.

    Henceforth she's going to be scribing more of these; I need to find a good way to keep the fights challenging. We're using the Craft Point variant from UA so as to not waste the entire point of the artificer and still be able to run around Elsir Vale as the adventure demands without sitting around just so she could craft.

    Quote Originally Posted by rtg0922 View Post
    I'm liking the recap so far, even if I'm not as familiar with Eberron as others. One thing I might have done differently would be having Uth-Lar give out less information during the interrogation. I mean, yeah he rolled pretty badly, but he's supposed to be an elite Red Hand trooper, right? I would think he'd be even more resistant to intimidation/torture than anyone else. (And speaking of, your party seem to be really good at the torture, intimidation, and execution thing - I think it'll be interesting if any of them get captured later and have to beg for mercy from any Red Hand "interrogators." )
    I do think I slipped a bit with Uth-Lar's mention of Azarr Kul; I just thought it was reasonable for him to know that there is such a person--the intro of the adventure does begin with the warlord giving the speech with everyone listening. I guess it wouldn't have hurt to omit that, as the PCs can now guess at what's beginning to mobilize. Apart from that, I've only revealed what the "capture a hobgoblin" sidebar detailed, and I made him start to rave when I realized the player thought he could keep up the Jack Bauer act.

    Strangely enough, one thing the players seemed to miss was to ask Jorr where the hobgoblins are coming from. They only know about Vraath Keep; they have no idea that there's a much larger force camped out somewhere. They still have Jorr with them anyway. (How did you guys run him? Did he accompany them into Vraath Keep? I intend to do this given his hate of the goblins and his agreement to help them fight.)

    I have no idea how the players are going to sneak into the keep. The players have always been pretty lousy at stealth, and it doesn't help that the only guy who has Darkvision isn't particularly stealthy. They're going to need some creative use of the darklight here. It's a pretty good thing too that two of the PCs can understand Goblin. I need to compose some elf jokes for the guards to tell each other at night.


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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    The ray of enfeeblement was indeed the primary reason the hydra wasn't as strong as it should have been; at Holden's AC of 21, the beastie would've needed 16 or higher to hit. I was particularly concerned about the special hydra Combat Reflexes at first, but again this was practically neutralized by the ray. It was kind of a metagame choice on the player's part, since she remembers their party wizard in an old FR game nailing the first boss with it. Still a good choice, though.
    I think it's actually quite logical for the character too, even if she [the player] did it for reasons other than in-character choices. I mean, anything that doesn't cast spells is usually a good target for Ray of Enfeeblement. If the player was able to figure out that it's probably going to brawl (which, by the thing's size and the number of heads is something you can deduct, especially if it's not breathing fire or casting spells) and not much else, it seems like the most logical thing to do to take the weakening spell most likely to have a crippling effect on the thing and throw it at it; casting Ray of Enfeeblement is pretty much sits right at home there.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    I think it's actually quite logical for the character too, even if she [the player] did it for reasons other than in-character choices. I mean, anything that doesn't cast spells is usually a good target for Ray of Enfeeblement. If the player was able to figure out that it's probably going to brawl (which, by the thing's size and the number of heads is something you can deduct, especially if it's not breathing fire or casting spells) and not much else, it seems like the most logical thing to do to take the weakening spell most likely to have a crippling effect on the thing and throw it at it; casting Ray of Enfeeblement is pretty much sits right at home there.
    Yeah, it definitely is, though she did mention herself that she remembers how helpful it was in the old campaign.


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    Default Re: [3.5] An Eberron-flavored Red Hand of Doom Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    They still have Jorr with them anyway. (How did you guys run him? Did he accompany them into Vraath Keep? I intend to do this given his hate of the goblins and his agreement to help them fight.)
    Well, my players really didn't trust Jorr at all at first. A couple thought he might actually be in league with the goblins. They got some information on the keep from him, but didn't actually hire him until after the battle. I think he helped out at the battle of Skull Gorge Bridge, though.
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