Friday, 16 January 2015

The Aielund Saga: Act Four - Part VIII



The Tower of Blackwood Glade




So! We've defeated the mad King in Ironlord get-up and stopped the Aielund-Tusone war, but now it seems there's an even greater threat to face - the Saqarin.

We're standing in the tower's portal chamber, having teleported here from Fairloch's Market District. We're here to learn more about the Saqarin.

Lucas will see to your needs. I will return shortly. - Terinus slinks off to his bedroom and cancels polymorph.


Nellise rejoins me. I love her steely determination to bring Terinus to justice if his explanations fail to impress her.


Robert's only concern is how much he'll be paid..


We are now greeted by Lucas and Saphiron, the two brownies we almost squished last time we were here. Lucas is a merchant with ID ability and infinite buying power (like Hakim), but can also pay up to 30,000 GP for a single item. He doesn't really sell anything, though. Financially, we were struggling to make ends meet with only 50,000 GP in the coffers, but after selling the phat lewt from the Battle of Fairloch, we're now sitting pretty on a mound of 900,000 gold - but nothing to spend it on, at least at this stage.

Prattler

I love what they've done with the place. Nothing says 'home' more than a bunch of broken golems. - Robert.

Our handiwork from our last visit raid
We meet up with Terinus in his bedroom. At our request he removes his hood, revealing himself as Dak'kon Gith! He is from "a pocket dimension inside the Astral Plane." He invites us to dinner; we graciously accept.


Having finished our meal, Terinus expresses concern over King Osric's acquisition of an Adamantium Golem. From where or from whom did he acquire it? We'll need "powerful weapons" if we're to destroy it, and acquiring them will be our first course of action.


Much wine is sipped and many a cigar is puffed as Terinus divulges info on his former masters: Ancients aka Devourers aka Saqarin. The trio agree they sound like a rather unsavory lot.


Terinus now deactivates a shield and shows us to his hitherto inaccessible lab.

Nice digs. Lots of whirring devices and such. I bet he craps out the window just like the rest of us though. - Robert.

Switch on the power generator, and I shall set up the teleporter. - Terinus.

I do so.

Thank you. - Terinus.

The Gith now recalibrates the portal to send us to a Saqarin outpost sealed inside the belly of a mountain. Let's go get our hands on these uber-weapons!


We follow Terinus into the portal...


The Vault


We arrive unscathed, and look around dumbly.

Come... - Terinus.

We follow.

Arg! A trap... wand... door... - Terinus.

Terinus is paralyzed by a trap. 


I pick up the Wand of Lightning at his feet and fire it at the Energy Converter, releasing the wizard and opening the door to another chamber. Terinus is suspicious, since he didn't set the trap last time he was here...

Hand mod required!

This entire section of the wall has been smashed in with incredible force. The remains of a device can be seen within the wall. - DM.


We enter the vault proper..

No.. no it cannot be! The vault has been ransacked!

All that knowledge... stolen.

Normally aloof and clinical, Terinus also has a flair for the dramatic

Having regained his composure the Gith asks me to replace a power generator's crystal.


The dresser from which I procure the Crystal Rod zaps us for 228 electrical damage each - we laugh at each others' hair standing up.

The power generator is now functioning (+1000 EXP).


Now with power, Terinus uses the console to review security footage of what transpired in the Vault. When I impatiently ask what he saw, he tells me to look for myself. 

The panel flashes and blinks randomly at you. It seems to be working, after a fashion. - DM.


This is what I saw:

 *Cue cutscene*


The Vault


*Tusonites creep into the vault*

It seems safe enough. - Tusonite Chevalier.

*An Adamantium Golem lumbers into the chamber*

I don't care what His Majesty says, I don't trust that thing. - Tusonite Chevalier.

Keep your opinions to yourself, Sir Knight. - Tusonite Commander.

Sorry,  Sir. - Tusonite Chevalier.

*Osric strolls in*

Excellent, everything is as I was told. Our troubles are over, gentlemen. - King Osric Davignon.

 

Any idea how we are to get through that magically barred door, Majesty? - Master-At-Arms.

Of course. A simple matter, easily resolved with the right tool. 

*King Osric zaps the Energy Converter with a Wand of Lightning*

 

One last thing before we enter. Golem, destroy that scrying device. - King Osric.

*The Golem lumbers over and smashes the scrying device*

*Black out*

/cutscene

Terinus is understandably pissed off. Apparently, the only one who could have given Osric the knowledge to raid this place is an associate of his, another "warden"..


The Gith now recalibrates the portal destination to this "paranoid woman's" tower..


The Ebon Tower


I guess all their towers are built the same way. It looks almost identical to the Blackwood Tower. - Nellise.

Yep, this place is a carbon copy of Blackwood Tower.

I need to speak with you... come here. - Veronique Le Noir. 

The short of it here is that Veronique is, like Terinus, guilty of working for the Saqarin and is responsible for making Osric filthy rich and powerful (just as Terinus did for Seamus). She refers to both monarchs as "projects" and "King-puppets".  


 


Veronique teleports us back to Terinus' tower, but not before giving a word of warning: do not interfere with Osric.


The Tower of Blackwood Glade


Terinus now heads to the lab to scry for Osric's location (he's probably sailed back to Tusone by now, I guess..)


With Terinus' permission we loot his antechamber:

  • Bookshelf: (scrolls) Resurrection (4), Greater Restoration (4), Wall of Fire, Fireball, Globe of Invulnerability, Greater Planar Binding, Greater Spell Mantle, Isaac's Greater Missile Storm, Summon Creature VIII, Wounding Whispers, Energy Buffer, Dispel Magic, Delayed Blast Fireball, Clarity, Chain Lightning, Bigby's Clenched Fist. 
  • Chest of Drawers: Potion of Epic Healing (12), Potion of Heal (15), Potion of Restoration (15), other trivial potions.
We return to Terinus who has now located Osric in Myrfell Palace in Tusone. Our mission will be to rescue Criosa, take out the Dreadnought and end the threat posed by Osric.


We take the portal to Myrfell, at which point Terinus joins the party (cool, a party of four now!) I can now also enchant weapons through him, but obviously not here, so we return immediately to the tower lab in order to enchant and jiggle our inventories around in preparation for this assault on the Palace. (Why Terinus doesn't just join/enchant before Myrfell, I have no idea.)

First up, let's see what gear our two new companions come decked out with. Hmm.. not bad, not bad. But I think we can do much better:

  • Robert Black: Razor's Edge +5 (Keen, Mass crits 1d10, on-hit DC-14 Greater Dispelling, +1d10 piercing [2]), Chevalier's Shield +3 (Piercing resistance 10/-) Hellfire Shield +5 (SR 22, Regenerate [13] 1/day), Armor of the Warlord (DR 5/+5, Regen +1) Mithral Full Plate +4 (Imm: crits), Cloak of Resistance +2 (all-saves +2) Epic Mantle of Spell Resistance (SR 32), Gauntlets of Ogre Power (STR +2) Epic Gloves of Discipline (Disc +30), Assault Helm (Bonus Feat: Slippery Mind, STR +2, Saves +2, Disc +6, Intim +6, Regen +1), Greater Belt of Guiding Light (Imm: Death Magic/Fear, +4 Spot, Search, Listen, Lore) Belt of Fire Giant Strength (STR +5), Ring of Protection +5, No second ring Ring of Resistance +3, Amulet of Protection +4 Black Tiger Amulet (Haste, CHA -10 [lol], Imm: Death Magic/Disease/Mind-affecting/Paralysis, Regen +5, Evil/Neutral only), No boots Boots of Striding +6 (CON +6), Composite Longbow +3 Thunderstrike longbow (Mass crits 2d12, Mighty +5, Unlimited arrow: 1d6 lightning, Great Thunderclap [13] 1/day), Arrow +4 (198), Potion of Heal (3).
CHA 3 - such a charmer!
Ooo, I like your boots Terry! But I think they'd look better on me, what do you think? No? Well too bad! I'm takin' 'em..

  • Terinus Blackcloak: Staff of the Ancients +6 (+20 magical dmg, True Seeing, Regen +2. Cold/fire resist 10/-), Robes of Terinus +5 (DR 15/+7), Haste, Imm: Death Magic/Knockdown/Paralysis, all-Saves +2, Conc/Spellcraft +8), Epic Mantle of Spell Resistance (SR 32), Hood of Intellect (INT +8, Bonus Feat: Slippery Mind, Boots of Hardiness +4 Greater Boots of Agility (DEX +4, Bonus Feat: Improved Evasion), Ring of Clear Thought +6, Ring of Protection +5, Greater Amulet of Health (Imm: Disease, Level/Ability Drain, Poison, all-Saves +3, Regen +1), No gloves Gauntlets of Ogre Power (STR +2), No belt Belt of Null Magic (CON +2, Imm: level 6 or lower spells).

Wait what? No Spell Focus feats? Ze horruh! Mmm... perhaps I will give you the Belt of High Sorcery..

Terinus is badass, Spell Focus or not

I might as well bring Nellise and Lil ol moi up-to-date in this post, too:

  • Nellise Sanneman: Mighty Crossbow of Speed +5 (Bonus Feat: Rapid Reload, Mighty +4, Mass Crits 1d10), Nether Elf Plate Armor +5 (Haste, Imm: Darkness, Hide +12, CHA -2), Belt of Frost Giant Strength (STR +4), Cleric's Hood (+4 WIS, Conc +10), Blessed Vestments of Faith (DR 20/+5, Imm: Death Magic & Level/Ability drain), Epic Gloves of Discipline (Disc +30), Boots of Striding +6 (CON +6), Periapt of Wisdom +6 (WIS +6), Divine Ring of Holiness (Bonus cleric spells: 5/6/7/8/9), Ring of Protection +5, Bolt +5 (99).
WIS 39 - godly
  • Lilura: Gaston's Longsword +5 (Keen, Mass Crits 2d6, on-hit DC-14 Slow), Divine Half Plate +5 (Haste, Imm: Level/ability drain, Greater Planar Binding [15] 1/day), Fortified Shield of Endurance (DR 15/+6, CON +4), Belt of Fire Giant Strength (STR +5), Hood of Intellect (INT +6, Conc +10, all-Saves +1), Nymph Cloak +6 (CHA +6), Boots of Hardiness +4 (+4 AC dodg, CON +4), Epic Gloves of Discipline (Disc +30), Amulet of the High Priest Maecal (+5 AC nat, Imm: Death/Disease, Regen +1, SR 28), Ring of Regeneration (Regen +4), Ring of Protection +5.
I like what I see
  • Utility items: Ring of Elemental Earth (Greater Stoneskin, Earthquake 1/day), Ring of Fire Resistance (Fire resist: 30/-, vs fire saves +10), Ring of Power (Resist cold/ele/fire 15/-, Regen +1, Freedom), Panther Figurine (summon Astral Panther [capped at lvl20]), Potion of Epic Healing (28), Potion of Heal (50+), Bag of Holding (4), 900,000 cold hard cash and probably excess junk worth about 500,000 gold..

As you can see, all party members are perma-Hasted - I can't imagine playing NWN any other way.

(I actually hold off enchanting at this stage..)

Myrfell Palace Assault!

12 comments:

  1. "Gauntlets of Ogre Power (STR +2) Epic Gloves of Discipline (Disc +30),"

    Somewhat ironically, giving him the discipline gloves is a waste and he's better off with the +2 strength gloves.

    I also disagree with some of the other choices as well, but ultimately it doesn't really matter in this context most likely :) Can definitely imagine your pain trying to make Nellise work as a crossbow wielding cleric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it doesn't matter until I start getting pwned..

      Delete
  2. if you're game, Balkoth, something I'd like to see is crossbows turned into a genuine alternative choice. Instead of trying to match rate of fire with bows, disable the rapid loading feat to peg them to one attack per round. Then give them a big damage amount. They'll be nasty at low level, and at high level they'll be useful for bypassing DR - less overall damage, but better at bypassing protection. Ranged characters get a proper choice to make; rate of fire or one big shot per round (kinda how they work in RL).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting idea.

      While rapid reload could effectively be disabled (like you did with Dev Crit), getting Haste will still give you two attacks per round (both at highest attack as well). Another potential problem is AB versus AC -- if you assume you hit 75% of the time on your highest attack, then that's 1.5 hits per round for a crossbow and 2.3 hits per round for a bow, meaning a crossbow should do about 50% more damage per shot.

      But against a low AC enemy suddenly the crossbow may be hitting 95% of the time on the highest for 1.9 hits per round and the bow does 3.35 hpr (76% gap versus 53% with 4 AC, if the enemy has like 8 less AC that gap is even wider).

      And conversely versus a high AC enemy the bow will do much worse compared to the crossbow (aka, not just versus a high DR enemy).

      Thoughts? Seems the idea would work a lot better without the AB/AC system with multiple (decreasing) attacks per round.

      Delete
    2. Yeah it probably wouldn't work in a balanced fashion without a feat like pathfinder's 'vital strike', where extra attacks are folded into the weapons' base dice. Never mind, 3e is probably too archaic to modernise with radical ideas like this :P

      Delete
    3. I think it's more about working within the framework of the NWN engine. If it was possible to make every attack at the same AB, for example, then this problem could easily be solved. But we're kind of stuck with the paradigm of decreasing AB for attacks and thus we either need to work with it or circumvent it entirely (could easily do something like make activated feats or on-use properties of weapons be the primary damage rather than auto-attacks).

      Delete
  3. And then we're talking about redesigning the mechanics of the game system - which is why I've been working on my own system for the past two years ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Designing your own system is one thing, transferring it to a game engine is quite another ;) Hence why I've been working within NWN -- I'd prefer several things to be different, but still preferable to trying to do stuff from scratch.

      Delete
  4. Who said I was transferring it to a game engine? :P I've been running pnp games since 2008. Pathfinder is generally superior to 3x, but they all get convoluted at high level. I'm fixing that ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't say you were, I said I was :P I figured you were running non-video game...games? Odd turn of phrase.

      What do you mean they get convoluted at high level exactly? Due to the basic rules or due to how people suddenly try to mix and match every rule under the sun to come up with crazy combinations?

      Delete
    2. It affects the pnp version specifically - with a computer doing all the attacks and bonuses etc it's no problem. But with 6 characters, some of which get 10 attacks a round all doing their thing, combats went on and on. And the math! Additions and subtractions due to all sorts of variables, spells etc. Great for math geeks, terrible for everyone else. But like I said, just fine with a computer doing the hard work :)

      Delete
    3. Ah, gotcha, yeah, I can see trying to do all those dice rolls as being pretty terrible.

      Delete

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