Every Sunday night, I run my epic level D&D 4e home campaign. I prep my adventures in WordPress, then add to it and post it the day after we play. The intent is an adventure you can easily steal, with commentary at the end on how you might make it better.
The Journey Back
Last week the players caught a glimpse of what Zvomarana went through on day one of the siege. It’s now day four. Their characters however, have no idea about the troubles of the temple. They are on their way back to the Raven Queen to report their findings in the Bleak Fallows.
Along the way, with some moderate perception checks, they may notice evidence of the river of refugees who recently fled the temple. Scattered belongings, blood soaked soil, and feasting ghouls are all possible sights. The trail obviously leads from Zvomarana toward the Raven Queens citadel. A hard DC perception check may notice the caravan they had helped three days past. All within are dead and a score of ghouls feast upon their bodies. The Deck of Many Things may still reside within the wreckage.
- Encounter 1 – The Ghouls Feast: (20 x Abyssal Ghoul Myrmidon, 1 x “Pimped” Abyssal Ghoul Horde, ? x Abyssal Ghoul Hungerer)
- The minions kind of suck, so they deal an additional 3d6 damage to an immobilized creature. They gain resist 10 acid and their burst attack deals 10 acid and necrotic damage.
- The “Pimped” horde I made into a solo, personally I think it’s awesome. The body parts of all the slain minions converge together to form a horrible swarm of ghoulish limbs.
I didn’t add it as a power, but it can (of course) take its level in damage to drop dazed, dominate, or stun effects, even if no save is allowed.
Reward: The Deck of Many Things is based on chaos, so I can’t just give it to them. They could just “take a 20” to search once the ghouls are dead (yes I still allow that rule) , so they can’t just search for it. One person makes a roll, 11 or better and the Deck is there.
- Tip: Rolls like this really engage the group.
* Notice they don’t have to fight this encounter, they may just fly by. That’s why I made the DC hard. It piques their curiosity as to why it’s hard. If they do just fly on by, offer another perception check as they leave the tower.
Into the Citadel
Their mounts know where to go once they get close to the temple. Delatoth is nowhere to be seen; there are no guards to be seen at all. Rushing to the Queen’s aid, the players will come across Delatoth, along with four assassins and one soldier, fighting in the hall. Five dead soldiers lie on the floor, one dead assassin. Seeing you, Delatoth screams “Help me you fools!” then attacks an assassin. The assassins attempt to finish off the last soldier, then try to escape from the PC’s.
- Encounter 2 – Assassins in the Keep: (4 x Assassin Devil Cultist)
At the battles end, or if the assassins escape, Delatoth rushes off toward the Queens chambers. If they follow, they see Chadwink in the back corner of a passing room, holding a pick high, ready to defend his family behind (Ilsa and Hubert). If they talk to him, he looks around anxiously, then says, “It isn’t safe to talk here. Find me later.”
Reporting to the Raven Queen
The players arrive to hear the Raven Queen (Morrigan) angrily ask of Delatoth, “Did they harm me? Did they even enter my chambers? Then you did your job! Find out why your men couldn’t do the same and stop concerning me with such matters. Go!”
I had a little more prepared, but we were down a player so I cut the conversation short. All in all, it went nearly as planned.
- The players decided to fly back to the citadel, real high above the cloud cover, to avoid being seen by anything on the ground. I stressed that the reverse was true too, they wouldn’t be able to see anything on the ground. They were ok with that…
- I had them roll a hard DC perception check (same trick as in encounter 1) to get a peek through a gap in the clouds; refugees trailing like ants far below. It worked, they went to investigate. Proceed with adventure.
- I ‘d usually have been fine with them skipping the first encounter for now, but I didn’t want to have a big story based conversation without the warlord/bard around to share in it.
- The Horde of Limbs was really fun.. and mean. It makes for a great side-treck encounter, what party of adventurers wouldn’t want to slaughter 20 minion ghouls feeding upon gypsies amidst their shiny wreckage?
- You might remember I added acid to the monsters necrotic damage. This saved the encounter. At this level, everybody usually has some sort of variable resistance. Only by making it two damage sources was I able to make it effective at all.
- The minotaur actually dropped below zero and fought on in the negatives for a couple of rounds before running away and passing out.
- Funny side note: His power Diehard allows him to ignore dying, but become dazed and he still rolls death saves. As soon as he’s stabilized, he’s no longer “dying” so he falls unconscious if he’s still in the negatives. Mechanically it makes sense, but think about it in-game. It’s like The Hulk calming down…
- The warlock and assassin, the two strikers, were unable to get around the swarms 1/2 resist, even at level 22. Might want to work on that fellas.
- Question: Does a dominated character get any sort of save to diverge information when questioned?
- Chi-Kal actually killed the last standing soldier. Like, negative bloodied killed him. One of the perks of working for the Raven Queen I guess…
- One assassin escaped.
Next week, the conversation with the Raven Queen.