Part 17: Do You Have Any Better Ideas?Update 12: Do You Have Any Better Ideas?
We'll pick up this episode with the most expedient encounter, dealing with Skyla. He's found in one of two rooms near the Dragonlance, and the encounter plays out the same way no matter which room you go to.
"Oh, you didn't know that? Too bad. Even now Sir Lebaum is creating the undead army that will fall upon your forces."
"Gods of Light, do you EVER shut up? Yes, we know about your pathetically complicated multi-stage plan and your preposterous idea that you're actually going to significantly threaten an army of Knights with low-level undead."
"And we'll deal with it after we deal with you."
"And now, I'm afraid that your usefulness is at an end. Goodbye!"
" it's like he didn't even know we were talking to him."
Skyla gets a custom sprite, but given his pathetic hit point total and armor class, he's really not long for this world. A fireball centered two squares above him will hit at least 3/4 of the enemies in view and probably kill all the squishes.
"If you think about it, he even failed at that last assignment. Rather than finding us, we found him."
"This is true now, about that treasure that was supposed to be nearby "
"Quite a useful selection. If Skyla had actually used some of this equipment, he might have presented a more formidable threat."
"Yes, but that would have gotten in the way of his rampant idiocy."
Continuing around the square..
"I think reading that might have given me an aneurism."
"No worries, a little healing spell will clear it right up."
"Let's just hurry up and spoil their plan so we can get out of here. I think the eggs were nearby "
"Umm is it me, or do those dragons seem just a bit bigger than the other ones?"
"I think we have an answer for that, now."
The blue dragons are one of only three dragon encounters in this game that use a full 4x4 sprite, and as you can see they are significantly tougher than the other dragons we've dealt with.. although their AC is rather pathetic, for some reason. Regardless, they've just been neutered.
The Dragonlance, you see, does its wielders hit points in damage to enemy dragons. For a high level, high constitution fighter like Boo this pretty much means that he can now get a one hit kill on any dragon in the game. To make things worse, the Dragonlance functions as a +5 weapon for hitting purposes. Given Boo's strength and character level that means he had about an 85% chance to kill that dragon. This isn't necessarily full proof, however, as the Dragonlance does your current HP in damage. If those two dragons had gotten initiative and both used their breath weapon on Boo, he'd be plinking away at them for 3 damage. At any rate, the encounter is over very quickly.
"I don't like the looks of this at all I'm afraid we might be too late."
"At least for some of them "
"We've got to stop the source, we'll just be sitting ducks down in the arena."
"Well, we'll give you credit for efficiency if nothing else."
"Skyla will pay. You! Go warn Myrtani that they survived!"
"It's a bit late for you to punish Skyla we've already dealt with him."
"And I've got just the thing for dealing with you."
"Death won't be able to protect Skyla from my punishment!"
For some reason Sir Lebaum comes with a minotaur entourage, with this being the last place we'll be seeing minotaurs in the game. It's a pretty random location. That said, they won't be around for long since death knights have no concept of friendly fire. Sir Lebaum, in addition to looking kind of like Darth Vader, has a few tricks up his sleeve.
First off, like all death knights he has the ability to cast a fireball once a day. This one has been kind of gimped, since normally the ability would be functioning as a 20d6 fireball. Death knights are also supposed to have a 75% magic resistance and a 10% chance of reflecting magic back on the caster, but that also seems to be missing from this fight. Probably a good thing, or else we wouldn't have a chance.
He also causes fear to all adjacent opponents, with a pretty good chance of making them flee in terror, and as you can see he can also summon some undead pals to help finish the fight. It's a tough battle, and it requires a certain amount of luck to win without losing someone permanently. The only thing you can really do is hit him hard and fast.
"Y'know, the fact that he sent messengers to warn somebody we were alive displays a certain lack of confidence in his own abilities."
"Seems like his self-assessment was right on the money."
"This can't be good "
A combat round is supposed to be 1 minute. That's also the lifespan of this particular blue dragon.
"I never thought I would see such a thing and if I was still spending all of my time in a laboratory, I never would have."
"Will you guys get out of the way? We're trying to watch the show here!"
"I'm starting to wonder if chasing a few draconians is worth all this effort. We've already kind of wrecked their battle plan "
"Yeah, but this way we make sure it stays wrecked. And besides, we'll be getting in on the finale too."
"An unusual method of travel, but it certainly beats walking."
"Another kender. How did they ever know?"
"I think we're getting close. The reds are starting to slow."
"Are there any of the Heroes of the Lance who aren't involved in this?"
"Well Laurana's not here, and I think Tika's pregnant, Goldmoon and Riverwind are off on their own, and Raistlin's mostly dead and Flint and Sturm are completely dead y'know, I know a lot of dead people and then there's Gil, and..."
"Nevermind, forget we asked."
"What on Krynn have we gotten ourselves into "
"Gable, before this you were the only kender I'd ever met who actually made sensible suggestions."
"Thanks I think."
"This is absolutely insane!"
"Do you have any better ideas?"
"No! And that's the worst part!"
We'll pick up next update with the assault on the Citadel, and the beginning of our entry into Myrtani's base. Right now Boo's about 10K from maxing out as a Knight of the Crown, while Ishmael has reached maximum level for a Red Robe and Elon has reached 7th level as a mage. We'll have another opportunity to train, so there's still some potential for improvement before the end.