Friday, October 29, 2010

The Dungeon of the Ghost Tower -- 4e becomes S&W!

*** Spoilers Follow ***

The Dungeon of the Ghost Tower is and adventure from Dungeon Magazine #182.  If you have a DDO subscription, you can download it as a pdf.  I have a DDO subscription because I play an eladrin paladin in a 4e game run by my friend JD.

Anyway, I downloaded the module because I thought it would be interesting :) to read.  It was touted online as using ONLY TILES from the Dungeon Tiles Master Set (which I had recently bought).  It was this adventure that caused me to issue my dungeon building challenge!  (I will be assembling and stocking my DTMS dungeon very soon!  Stay tuned!)

I run an old school game twice per month on Thursday nights.  The adventurers are currently exploring CotMA.  I usually have 3 to 6 players and it's a drop in/drop out game.  

This week, in honor of Halloween, I pitched the guys a little something different; how about clearing a "ghost tower"?  They were game and we departed from CotMA and headed into the Witchlight Fens.

During the start of the adventure, the PCs met Traevus, a merchant/wizard whose brother had been beheaded by an evil wizard.  Traevus tasked the heroes with its return.  He offered them a reward and told them they could keep whatever else they found -- he just wanted his brother's head back.

So, they started here:
The Z's are "Grasping Zombies".  The zombies had HUGE clawed hands.  I gave them AAC 13 and if the zombie hit with a natural 20, it would grab onto the adventurer, pin his arms, and attack at +4 -- biting with unhinged jaws!  

Wow!  Who knew this would be such a tough encounter!  It went 8 rounds.  No one was able to turn any of the beasties (two clerics tried!).  The Owyn the Paladin and Rolf the fighter BOTH went to 0 HPs and had to roll on the Death Dismemberment and Dangerous Damage table!  At one point, Owyn had to roll THREE TIMES during the same round!  He ended up Stunned x2 and Knocked down.  Very lucky!  Eventually the tide turned; Elin and Oryx were key to defeating the zombies.  Kalen was actually very brave, casting Protection from Evil and then putting himself between the zombies and his allies.

Next came the buzzsaw room!

I made this room 8 boxes wide because there were so many PCs in the party.  I rolled a d8 three times when the party stepped on the pressure plates (they didn't look for anything).  They did see a glint of metal on the wall near #2 (the switch to turn the whole thing off) but they moved into the trap unawares.

Row 2, 4 and 5 were rolled and Owyn, Oryx, Kalen and Rolf had to save or be buzzsawed.  Owyn, Oryx and Rolf all opted to roll the d30 and all but Oryx saved.  He took 2d6 (7 pts) of damage from the saw.  Kalen "went all bullet-time" and was able to deftly dodge the sawblade with no effort.  This was related somehow to his putting a coin in the cup of the ape statue.  Interesting!  

Once the blades had run their course, the party ran for the exits -- some forward; some backward.  Collen moved toward the metal glint hoping that he could disable the room.  Whirring and clunking were heard as the trap reset and then --  CLICK -- another set of pressure plates!  Here come the blades again!  I rolled 3d8 and GOT 2, 4 AND 5 AGAIN!  Freaky!  Oryx, Kalen and Collen all had to save -- which they did and Collen turned the whole thing off!  Whew!

Now on to the tombs!
Where to begin?  There were 2 leader skeletons [AAC 14, 3 hits], 2 demonic bats [AAC 16, 4 hits] and a bunch of mook skeletons.

The clerics were able to turn the mook skeletons who ran for the back of the room.  Some entered the purple mist and found themselves coming right back out again.... teleport?  The party dispersed and attacked the leader skeletons and bats.  Collen was extra excited because BATS CAN FLY and he has a +3 sword vs. flying creatures!  The battle went four rounds, Collen, Owyn and Xavier took some serious damage, but the monsters were defeated.

Collen picked up a skull and threw it into the purple mist -- it came straight back out on the same trajectory it was thrown on!  Definitely teleport of some kind...

The party searched the sarcophagi and discovered a narrow shaft with a rickety ladder in #5 and #7 above.  A faint blue glow emanated from the depths of #7 while a leering, bloated yellow demon face looked back up the shaft at the party from #5.

What to do now!?!?  (more to come!)

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