The Let's Play Archive

Temple of Elemental Evil

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 1: Character Creation

Let me start this one off with a disclaimer: all players in this campaign are fictitious. Any similarities to real goons, living or dead, are purely coincidental.

“C’mon, it’s Michael Bay, what did you expect? I expected explosions, and by god, there they were!”

“It’s just a shame what he’s doing to the franchise. The shows were a lot more—”

“The shows were half-hour toy commercials! They didn’t even bother—”

Guys, guys! Lewis is here, so can we please get started building characters, finally?

“Oh, if you insist.”

Suzie, you said you had an idea already?

Ijuuin Enzan posted:

For the sake of it.

Party Alignment: Neutral Good
Name: Garrett
Gender: Male
Race: Human
Class(es): Ranger/Rogue
Alignment: Neutral Good
Description: As a child, Garrett was recruited into the Keepers but later rebelled against their secretive, hierarchical ways. He left the mysterious organization, went into business for himself as a thief and now uses his Keeper skills to steal from the rich and give to himself. Garrett comes across as cold and ruthless, but also seems to have a professional pride and will only kill when absolutely necessary.

I just thought we could use the character from our solo campaign. It would save some time.

Well, he’ll need to be leveled down some, but that could work, sure. Still, I’d need the others to approve since I gave Garrett some extra stats to compensate for working alone.

“So long as Lewis isn’t the DM, I don’t care how overpowered a PC is.”

“What’s this? Bob and Suzie ‘roleplaying’ together? Alone? Eh? Eh?”

It’s not like that, Hal. Just something to pass the time together after work. Is anyone else close to finished? Hal?

“Yeah, I had my concept down a while ago.”

Lord_Ventnor and KezzKezzan posted:

Name: Hammerdown "Ham" Hardboot
Gender: Male
Race: Dorf
Class(es): Wizard
Alignment: True Neutral
Description: Hardboot has never once given a fuck in his long dwarven life. There are no fucks to give. Nothing can get any kind of reaction out of Hardboot. The world collides and demands some interest, but unfortunately Hardboot is a Dwarf so he gets a +4 to stand his ground.

Zero fucks.

Hardboot laughs at your fuck-giving, for he needs none. And I told you I’d play a wizard someday.

That’s a pretty simple concept, I’ll give you that.

“How come you keep playing dwarves?”

They’re short, hairy, and love a good ale. The way I figure it, why not play as myself?

“Wait, is that a pirate hat you drew on your character design?”

No. Fucks. Given.

William, looks like you’re almost done. What did you make?

Nemo2342 posted:

Party Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Name: Big McLargehuge
Gender: Male
Race: Gnome
Class(es): Barbarian
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (or Chaotic Good)

Lacking the knack for tinkering, crafting, or magic that other gnomes seem so adapt at, Big (not his real name, obviously) decided to capitalize on the one thing he was good at: smashing things. While still quite calm and intelligent for a barbarian, watch out if happen to make a joke about his height; the last guy who did that is still looking for his teeth.

Gnome barbarian.
Hold up. Did you really name your gnome “Big McLargeHuge?”
That is awesome.
Thanks. By the way, sorry for bailing on Lewis’ steampunk game. Shift changes really suck. So what happened?

Hal killed my character with a golf club.

Only because you asked so politely.

I was trying to break your conditioning…

But the brainwashing was chemically induced, remember? You should have sent him to me first, hon.
Oh, relax, Bob. That was the most awesome moment the entire campaign.

Yeah, but it meant I had to sit out for the rest of it. Paul? Are you ready yet?

“Well, I was thinking…”

simplefish posted:

Party Alignment: Neutral Evil
Name: Cyril Bandersnatch
Gender: Male
Race: Halfling
Class(es): Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Domains? : Strength, Healing
Due to his short, slight form, and tired of being picked on all his life as the Ginger Kid, Cyril was obviously out for two things: a way to put himself back together after his schoolyard fights, and a way to get better at them. Thus, he became a cleric.

His main aim in a battle is not to get hit. In fact, he favours dexterity almost to the exclusion of everything else, relying on his Feat-of-Strength-at-will and Enlarge Person spells if that tactic doesn't work. Also, Cyril harbours aspirations of getting enough money together for a meaty hireling. Said hireling, in Cyril's mind's eye, would be a torch-cum-shield-bearer, preferably of the Tower variety. After all, no need to be the one the arrows are aimed at, and tower shields are such good cover for shooting behind from.

Cyril spent some time making up for his poor strength investing in an Exotic "Repeating Crossbow", so that he could keep his distance in a fight without having to use up magic except in emergency. He's mean at buffs, but is known to grudgingly cast them on his compatriates. Healing, though, is a different matter. Any wound on them, he reasons, is one less on him. Best to keep the party feeling healthy and charging in while he lurks in the shadows.

Cyril is something of an alley-rat, so when going into the great outdoors is what some might call over-prepared. He has been known to take a tent in addition to his bedroll and blanket, but is rarely seen carrying them: Cyril has a knack for bartering his healing abilities in return for using the party fighter as a pack mule.
“Or maybe…”

simplefish also posted:

Party Alignment: Already voted
Name: Pookey Dobblespots
Gender: Female
Race: Gnome
Class(es): Sorcerer (I'm thinking Necro/trans primarily, but whatever you like)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Familiar? - Snake. No, you don't want to know why.
Poor old Pookey. I'm sure not a single one of us would find it easy being a lesbian necrophiliac prone to uncontrollable aspbergic outbursts or pure arcane magic. Doesn't exactly make finding friends easy. Still, that's what our little gnome necromancer found herself living every day, and her development into an antisocial, impulsive, twisted and depraved sorcerer has been perfect in almost every way.

Pookey is embarking on adventures not for the glory, the gold, or even the objective. No, she wishes to grow in power so that she can be strong enough to have the Ultimate Undead Orgy, after which she'll gladly bleed herself dry into a coconut shell and call her life complete. But hey, that's just how Pookey Dobblespots, Gnome Necromancer, rolls.
“Wait, since William is a gnome, how about…”

holy cow, dude posted:

Party Alignment: Already Voted
Name: Thorax Thunderthighs
Gender: Male
Race: Elf
Class(es): Monk
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (Or, well, I suppose he could always be played true neutral for alignment requirements)
Thorax Thunderthighs had a complex upbringing. He was born on a pirate ship which had actually just been retaken by its original crew. Quite what his mother was doing there (though he suspected Buxom Beer Wench was likely) Thorax never found out, because she slipped on the afterbirth and fell overboard.

Not wanting to be stuck with a tiny elf to bring up for the next several hundred years that would outlive the present crew, the ship's captain declared him a curse on the vessel and when they next made port, Thorax was sold to a bunch of dwarves for work down the mines. It was they who named him Thorax for his pigeon-like chest, and after seeing how weak he was down the mines, a dwarven family took him under their wing and so he gained the name Thunderthighs.

Yet even elves have broody cen"teen"ary years, and being something of a manchild, who could only wish to have livejournal like these modern kids do, Thorax decided that his parents could not understand him, would never know what pain he was goingthrough, and how unique his dark troubles were. His down-to-earth (and then some - dwarf joke) parents weren't about to put up with his whiny crap any more and so told him to shape up or ship out.

Thorax Thunderthighs left.

He found his way into spirituality and incense after he took his fancy to a hippie elf chick on a sort of gap-decade, and while she pretty much ignored his pandering, Thorax did end up at a monastery where martial arts were taught. This was totally rad and blew his 100-year-old mind. Immediately, he ditched the girl, and as we first meet Thorax he has completed his training, and, instead of wanting to make his own mark on the world, wants to know what the world is going to serve him up on a platter next.
“Or are you still sticking with the stupid alignment restrictions? If that’s the case, then…”

just buy the game yourself already, it’s on GOG posted:

Party Alignment: Already voted
Name: Ginger Vitus
Gender: Male
Race: Gnome
Class(es): Ranger (2WF)
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Ginger is, of course, totally bald. Nobody knows what colour his hair used to be, but there *is* that other rumour about that moonlight night, and the firey root... but let's not go there. His tracking skills are top-class, and he's often found himself on lookout duty too. Prefers not to get involved in politics, and personal philosophy is that if he's ordered to do it, if it all goes wrong it isn't his fault -- so he'll always choose to follow rather than lead.
Uses dual weild to flail his gnome hooked hammer around. Sticks to the fringes of combat, usually picking the weakest enemy and engaging before going to help out a stronger ally already fighting.
Sorry, no. You’re a bard.


The rest of us were talking before you came, and we decided that since you’re the only one who likes to do shit in character, you need to be the talky class.
I kind of like to roleplay.
And you have some social skills, so go figure. But Paul loves to roleplay, and that means he has to be the bard. C’mon, man. Take one for the team.

Dopilsya posted:

Party Alignment: Chaotic Good
Name: Josephus
Gender: Male (possibly a eunuch)
Race: African-American
Class: Bard/Rogue
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Description: Bedder of empresses, inventor of the Ethiopian Flim-Flam, and sometime Jew, Josephus has been a down-on-his-luck ne'er-do-well since his childhood days. Nevertheless, his wits and cleverness make him uniquely suited to the adventuring lifestyle. Whether it's escaping armoured soldiers using chemical weapons, or his skills in forgery, thievery, and disguisery proving useful, he always manages to land on his feet all while raising spirits with his jovial personality.

Wait, “African-American?” Greyhawk is about as white-bread as it gets, plus there’s neither an Africa nor an America. I’ll just call that “half-elf.”

I just don’t like getting pigeonholed, you know?
You were drowning in indecision just a few minutes ago. You’ll be fine.

Lewis, do you have anything ready yet?

“I do.”

Tempest_56 posted:

Party Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Name: Heronius Napalam XIII
Gender: Male
Race: Human
Class(es): Sorcerer
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Description: Heronius Napalm XIII, esquire - scion of a long line of Napalms. All powerful sorcerers and wizards, all specialists in the art of flame. All raging egotistical assholes. The Napalms have a long history of being involved in, well, history. Not for the sake of the world, mind you. Any good done is wholly secondary to proving their fame and finding tremendous riches. This means they often end up involved in grant schemes and plots, foiling them to advance their own name (and occasionally setting their comrades on fire in the meanwhile). Heronius the Thirteenth is just another in the family line and unfortunately lives up to his name - the numbered part. He's never had any luck in trying to find fame and fortune. But he's sure that THIS time the adventure will be a success! He shall become rich and famous and crush the dissenters under his flaming boots. They shall pay - they'll ALL PAY!
NO. Not again.

Dear lord, did we really run through twelve of those bastards?

“Yep. Although I think about half of those were from Bob venting frustration after killing him off became a running joke.”

Still, not again. Play something else.

“Relax, I had a real idea lined up, too.”

Ben Kasack posted:

Party Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Name: Alistor Keystone
Gender: Male
Race: Dwarf
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Description: Alistor has always been someone who liked to help people, if only it got him something decent out of it. The big thing he dislikes is party arguments and has NO problem smacking his party members(with or without a weapon, depending on the situation)to get them back in line and stay on the task at hand. I mean, come on. If he smacks them just a LITTLE too hard, he can always heal them back up. What good is a meat shield already tenderized?

Sweet, dwarf five!

“Dislikes party arguments?” Didn’t you once say that “Players make the best villains?”

Well, yes, but that only applies when you set it up beforehand, like in my steampunk game. We’re heading into the Temple of Elemental Evil, and although we’re playing 3.5, there’s still some vintage 1st edition dickishness in store, and that means party cohesion is key.

Hang on a sec. Did you really spend your first feat on Greatsword proficiency? And you’re Chaotic Good? Are you sure you didn’t play this module before?

Play it, no.

And did you read it?

Right, not that I should have expected otherwise.

Hey now, I was considering being a half-orc cleric of St. Cuthbert, mostly because of the cathedral in Hommlet, but since everyone else was building Neutral and Chaotic characters, I figured I should stay to that side of the spectrum. Party cohesion, after all.

Well, anyway, I think that’s about it, so let’s get started.

Wait, what about Alex? I haven’t seen him in a while.

Alex graduated and moved away. I thought you all knew.

It’s not like he added much to the party anyway. He’d probably have made a knockoff Elminster or Rincewind or something.
Hold up, Alex was in college? The guy had less hair than my dad!

Early-onset baldness. It happens. So as I was saying…

So we’re already a party? But how did we get together?
We met in a tavern, duh.

Right door, why not?

Please note that I'll be glossing over more of the battle mechanics as we go along. I'm taking these first few combats slowly to show off how things work.

As you move into the room, a small air elemental spots you and moves to attack. Paul, you’re up first.

I move to attack!

You hit for two points of damage. William?

Same thing.

You deal 11 points of damage, dispersing the elemental.


The room beyond the elemental appears to be some sort of workshop, with various (non-valuable) odds and ends, plus a chest partly hidden behind the central table.

Sounds like that’s my cue. I search for traps.

The chest is indeed trapped.

I’ll roll Disable Device.

Ooh, looks like you failed and set it off. Take 7 points of damage.

Damn, that leaves me with just one hit point. Lewis, would you mind?

Certainly, I'll just convert Shield of Faith to Cure Light Wounds...there. Now you may want to roll again; the trap might have reset.
I know, I know.

Your second attempt is successful, and the chest springs open. Inside, you find 6 gold pieces, two unidentified potions, and a key.

A key? What for?

The other door back at the entrance. Suzie could have picked it, but this order works out better.

In the second room, you discover a pair of zombies. Suzie, you won initiative.

I fire an arrow.

Ooh, bad aim. Hal?

I cast Enlarge Person on William.

Right, I should mention that that moves William’s character up to Large, since I think it kind of sucks to move Small characters up to Medium only to deal as much damage as anyone else.

Cool. I guess your character really is Big McLargeHuge now.

However, it’s Lewis’ turn.

I believe I shall try out my new Sun Domain power: Greater Undead Turning.

One of the zombies immediately collapses. William?

Can I reach the other zombie in one turn?

Not quite, but you could make a charge attack.

That’s a nice app, by the way.

I know, right? I like how it’s based on circles instead of squares or hexes. It doesn’t handle three dimensional movement well, though.

So how’d I roll?

You kill the zombie in a single strike, ending the combat.

In a room past the zombies, you discover another chest just behind a sarcophagus. Sadly, it’s locked.

Not for long.
You open the chest, which reveals a treasure map!
I take a look.
The map shows a treasure horde buried near Rainbow Rock!
Great. …And where would Rainbow Rock be?
Garrett scans the map, looking for some geographic location to recognize. His eyes settle on a small village with an ancient battlefield nearby. The battlefield is named Emridy Meadows, and the nearest village is a little place called Hommlet.
Never heard of it.
I mentioned it a few minutes ago.
Oh. Well, let’s go then.
“I am going to be rich! Hommlet, here I come!”

Next session. We’re running pretty late tonight.

I admit, that was an interesting way to get us involved in the area. Did it have to be so generic, though?

That’s only because everyone went with Chaotic or Neutral alignments. I had different ideas for other alignment mixes. For instance, if you had all been Chaotic Good, I’d have the Elven Council send you to investigate a pair of missing nobles, while if you were all Neutral the druids would have you go and check with the local member. I’d say my prologues were about half working with organizations and half random encounters.

Not bad. I’m looking forward to next week.