Part 9: What Goods a House in a Moat?s a House in a Moat?
Alright, guys, I dont want to waste yet another session on the stupid alignment debate, so I decided to write this down:
Good means you will inconvenience yourself to help others, where helping is the chief motive,
Evil means you will inconvenience yourself to harm others, where harming is the chief motive,
And Neutral means any act which is neither of the above.
Lawful means you follow the law of the land unless it conflicts with a strict code of personal ethics,
Chaotic means you disregard the law of the land when it suits you and you maintain a loose code of personal ethics,
And Neutral means you fall somewhere in between.
You dont have to like the definitions, but so long as were playing Temple of Elemental Evil, this is what were using. Okay?
I seem to recall we spent more time fucking around in town than arguing about alignments, but sure, whatever.
So what all did we end up doing last week, anyway?
Let me check my notes.
Well, the first thing we did was get everything identified. A couple of the more important pieces were the Green Elven Chain we gave to Big, and the Cloak of Elvenkind that Garretts using.
So did we decide if its a +10 or a +5 to Hide?
I was thinking of 3rd edition instead of 3.5. Its just +5.
By the way, you realize that Green Elven Chain is simply +1 mithral chainmail?
I like the special name better. So after we did that, we presented the bloody head of the giant to Brother Smyth, who was suitably impressed by our combat prowess.
Suitably impressed? I remember it more as a
No shit holy shit
kind of conversation.
Next, we returned the holy symbol to High Priest Terjon. He was happy to see it again, and offered a further discount on his services for the future.
We also considered a few different magic items, but since it would have wiped out our collective funds to get even one, we decided against it for now.
You guys are no fun. Id be totally rad with a Headband of Intellect.
Seeing that he wouldnt be needed, Hal spent the rest of the session trying to shake down the brewer.
I was the one running around to the quest-givers, and Lewis was arguing with Bob about alignments. What did you do, William?
I brought a USB stick for the Xbox.
Also arguing about the alignment system.
Fine, with that settled, I suppose youll head to the Moathouse next.
The heck is a moathouse, anyway?
Forget I asked. So, William, how goes the hunt now that youve switched teams?
Eh, not too well. I thought itd be easier since, you know, were all off in our own little corner. But its like everyones either crazy or taken.
So basically its just like the rest of us?
Goddamn, he still isnt done. Anyway, if you want to know where the good gay bars are, you just ask me, kay?
Why do you know where the gay bars are?
Man, with all the drunk and disorderlies Ive responded to, I know where all the good bars are.
William? Hal? I need your initiative rolls.
Yes. You are being attacked by giant frogs.
Well, hot damn.
Suzie, youre up first.
I move around to flank and deal 10 with the Sneak Attack.
Dont forget to roll Tumble to avoid Attacks of Opportunity okay, thats good enough.
Should I go into Rage yet?
Might as well. Well need to kill the frogs fast if we dont want them to Swallow us Whole.
Okay, Im super pissed off now.
And thats enough to kill it. Of course, its not the only giant frog in the swamp. Everyone should roll initiative again.
Am I still Raging?
Yes, its only been seconds.
Wow, thats actually enough to bring it past -10, so it is completely dead now.
Of course, theres still another frog in the area.
How do you keep rolling higher each time?
Its a gift.
But youre not out of the woods yet.
Ha ha, critical hit!
I imagine it must be nice to know you can actually hit things now.
Am I still Raging?
Well, kind of
Oh, like you could ever compete with a Barbarian for damage output.
Im just amazed our best damage dealer cares the least.
Everybody roll Spot Okay, Suzie and William, your characters notice the telltale indentations of a secret door on the rock side.
Hang on, Im not sure we finished exploring out here yet. How does the regular entrance look?
Oh, right, plus theres one more giant frog in the swamp.
And now theres one less.
At least I did more damage this time.
If thats all to see out here, we might as well pop our heads in the backdoor.
Urgh. What you see is a large group of bandits, including a large man you take to be their leader. While they seem surprised by your entrance through the side door, they are still within arms reach of their weapons and quickly scramble to attack. Roll initiative looks like Suzie is going first.
Ill move to attack the leader right away. With sneak attack, thats 13 damage.
Dont forget to roll Tumble; a few of the bandits have Rogue levels. That looks good, carry on.
Och, 10 damage, tis but a scratch!
You realize youre a Wizard this time, right? I think that was more than half your hit points.
Och, ya be ruinin me self-image!
Sure. My turn? Let me give Inflict Moderate Wounds a shot. Casting defensively, of course roll Concentration, plus 12 that will do. Now the touch attack
17, pretty good. Really, Moderate is kind of like my greatsword, but with slightly better damage potential and an easier AC to hit.
Why are you even telling us all this?
I just like to brag sometimes.
15 damage with a longsword, and thats a little below average.
Oh, just wait. Itll get better.
Looks like were finally around to you, Hal.
If Suzie is the one facing down the bandit leader, how about I cast Bulls Strength on her? Casting defensively, of course.
You realize thats a touch spell, right? Youll have to run past several bandits to get to her.
Oh. Guess Ill just lie down over here, instead.
Suzie? Youre up.
Ill attack the bandit leader again crap.
Right, so the bandit leader goes into Barbarian Rage, then proceeds to
Hmm? Oh. Um, err
Instead of attacking Garrett, the bandit leader chooses to attack the wolf Meleny happened to conjure up earlier, provoking an Attack of Opportunity.
Hey, I didnt say anything
Only 7 damage, but thatll be enough to take the leader down. Next are some bandits now you, Suzie. Ooh, nice shot. Now another bandit gets his shot
Hang on, if he was at 0 hit points, why did he attack? Now hes dying from the exertion.
Tell me, if one of you guys had 0 hit points and knew youd get stabilized and/or healed if your side won, would you try and get one last shot in or just stand there?
Depends on whether Im running with PKers or not.
Player Killers. Not every roleplaying group out there is as friendly as we are.
There, Hal, see? Im a fair DM.
Oh, dont worry, I still remember the tetanus fiasco from last time. Still, you made it kind of obvious.
(Crap, Melenys too far away to get her a Cure Light Wounds.)
And on that note, the last brigand dies.
Time for the
Oh, and you also Spot another secret passage leading down.
Time for the looting! Also maybe some exploring afterwards.
We should probably clear out this level before proceeding.
Fair enough. In the next room, you see a few Dire Rats. They seem non-hostile at this point.
The party then encounters a giant viper
But it turns out to be no big deal.
Next they find some stirges (think giant mosquitoes crossed with the ugliest bat youve ever seen)
In spite of so many appearing, none even connect, which is good, since they deal Constitution damage.
Also, there was a Giant Tick.
Its times like this that make me wish there was a Giant Exterminator prestige class.
So is there an actual point to killing a bunch of oversized household pests?
You mean aside from the experience? Well, if thats not enough, there is a lovely-looking crossbow in the next room, but its unfortunately guarded by a Giant Lizard.
Not for long.
I loot the body.
Why do you always say that? Theyre just animals, theres never anything
Well, Ill be damned.
You cant even use shields. Hell, I think the Druids the only one of us who would use a shield, and shes restricted to non-metal armor only. At least itll sell for a nice sum.
Whats in the chest? Oh! Search, Disable Device, and Open Lock first.
Relax, the chest is unlocked and trap-free. Inside, you find some copper pieces, scale armor, bolts, silver bolts, and a second masterwork light crossbow.
Hal, you should take one; maybe now you might hit something with it. Who else uses light crossbows?
Ive got one. I dont think anyone else does, though.
Then that settles that. What next?
Why dont we go outside and ambush the ambush?
I like the way you think.
I also like the way you backstab. Damn!
One rather one-sided cleanup later
Why is there a trap on a set of thieves tools?
Maybe they were in the middle of setting a trap when you burst in on them. Roll Disable Device. You did want the toolset, didnt you? Its not like a village like Hommlet will have them for sale.
I know, I forgot to buy them at character creation again, but I just dont understand why thered be a trap on them.
So what else is there in the courtyard?
Theres a guard tower by the front gate that looks mostly intact.
Inside, theres a spider that gets the drop on you. Everyone roll Reflex.
Ha ha! The coup de grace is mine!
Thats not what that phrase means. Hell, thats not how you even pronounce it.
Well, what would you shout, then?
If youre going for fencing terms, youd be better off with something like, Ha ha! The point is mine! Or maybe, Thrust! Parry! Riposte! You are beaten! You really ought to look this stuff up if youre going to try and use it in-character.
Hey, guys, if youre done with shop talk, I should probably mention that Melenys gained another level just now.
Youre getting her Natural Spell, right?
Yeah, but I figure nows a good time to end the session anyhow. Let me just tell you whats in the chest and well wrap up.
Well, maybe once we know whats on those scrolls. Paul, if youd care to mark off your 0th level castings?
Done. Thats 3 uses of Read Magic.
Ray of Enfeeblement, Charm Animal, and Protection from Evil.
Oh, my delicious spells, I must gobble you all up.
Charm Animal is a Druid spell, but anyway, ew.
Its like donuts for the soul! Or spellbook, at least.