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Fingers of the Forsaken Hand -SPOILERS- 
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Ulthal
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Post Fingers of the Forsaken Hand -SPOILERS-
I ran a one time session yesterday for my group. I don't have all my players for my regular campaign so I decided to run Casey Canfield's Fingers module (U2). I had the 5 players make up 10th level characters of thier choice and handed out magical weapons and armor. Here is a review of the module. Sorry for the great length, it is a large dungeon.

The characters were all 10th lvl:

Dwarf Paladin

Half-Elf Cleric

Half-Elf Wizard

Human Fighter

Human Barbarian

In the trek to the dungeon the players made quick work of the Hill Giants and the Orges in the fort. Driskar the ranger showed them the path to the dungeon and let them be. The players came up with a good plan to cross the stone archway (ropes, pitons and a spider climb spell). The giant eagles nearly toppled the dwarf into the cavern.

In the Obelisk room the dwarf and the barbarian tried many different methods involving hammers and brute force to open the portcullis to each finger. The mage used a spell to read the inscription on the obelisk and the portcullis opened. The party started with the black finger and actually proceeded through the dungeon in the order it was written.

In the black finger, the paladin and cleric made quick work of the ghasts. The party avoided the mummy and the obsidian golem completely but the pit room was a blast, the dwarf paladin fell into 3 of the pits on his way to open the false door in the room. The shadow mastiffs were barley more than a slight annoyance for a 10th lvl party. The party avoided room 7 as soon as they realized sound echoed in there. The battle with the bodak was a bit anticlimactic because of the paladin's smite evil and the cleric's mace of disruption that made short work out of it. The funny part of the battle was the wizard, who threw the round gem from the pedestal at the bodak, he thought it might kill the monster instantly. It was quite funny.

The red finger was a blast for me, the demon door with the key holes had the players flabbergasted. The barbarian must have taken 80 damage trying different combinations of keys and the paladin took close to 60. There was no hope of them figuring it out so I had the wizard make an Int check (CL 10) to give them a hint "What was the only thing you haven't tried?" 40 hps damage to the fighter later, they removed the keys and opened the door. Noticing the extreme heat, the cleric cast endure and resist elements on all the party (except the barbarian who had armor of fire resistance). In the red finger the palyers made quick work of the rock worms and took the path through the salamanders, where they had a relatively easy battle, the Noble did do some significant damage to the fighter. The characters entered the magmin lair but they left them alone did not fight them. The fight with the elementals was quick but the party took a few hard hits from the elementals. The really desperate battle was with the pyrohydra, it used its breath weapons to nearly obliterate the fighter and the paladin. The barbarian was able to hold his ground because of his armor. The party did massive amounts of damage to the hydra before they realized it was futile unless they killed the heads as well. The paladin was slain in the battle (cleric used rod of true res to bring him back) With the hydra slain the wizard found the secret panel below the hydra and the barbarian reached for the gem, and was promptly obliterated by the flamestrike trap. The players avoided the mephit lair and the efreeti lair. The player of the barbarian had to leave at that time so the rest of the dungeon was completed by the other 4 players.

The blue finger was probably the easiest and quickest part of the dungeon. The players figured out a way to cross the water using a jump spell lots of rope and boots of speed on the fighter. The fighter jumped (jump spell and boots of speed) to each platform with a rope tied to his waist and they made a system of simple rope bridges with pitons to cross. The fighter being a hording type of player, collected all of the pieces of clothing as he jumped from the platforms, he even put the on. Upon reaching the archway with the glyph of warding the wizard used an identify spell to figure out how to get past the archway. The fighter put on the garments, and the cleric cast augury to ask if walking through with the clothing was a good idea. The fighter disabled the glyph and the party proceeded with the dwarf at point. The behir in room 3 blasted the dwarf with a lighting bolt, but after that the battle was quick and the fighter and paladin made quick work of the creature. The battle with the lightning naga was fun, I blasted the party with a lighting bolt as they walked down the stairs, once the fighter and paladin closed in with the wizard and cleric enhancing their abilities the naga did not last for long. I must say at this point that the party would have been long dead before this if not for the cleric and the handful of healing potions I gave them. A cleric is a must for the dungeon, also the party has rested for 8 hours 2 times so far in the dungeon.

The green finger proved a tougher challenge for the players. The room with the shambling mounds and the basin of murky water puzzled them. The dwarf decided it was best to knock the basin off its pedestal, and the mounds attacked. the party took significant damage and the wizard expended many spells fighting the creatures, trying to find a AoE spell that could hurt them. At the end of the battle all of the characters (except the paladin) had contracted the shambling mound disease. The paladin cured the cleric, who in turn cured the fighter and wizard. The party then went through the rest of the area quickly, with bandages over their faces to protect from the spores. The assassin vine room nearly killed them, but the fighter and wizard saved the day with a nat 20 Str check and some very high damage rolls with a pair of fireballs. The medusas were not very tough for the party as they figured out what was in the final room based on the number of statutes in the room. They placed bandages over their eyes and formed a circle with the fighter and cleric pointing their shields at the medusas. They petrified on of the creatures with her own gaze and the dwarf made several Con saves and killed the other medusa with his axe. The party destroyed the statues with a happy look on his face and sifted through the rubble and found the green gem. The party did not encounter the tendrilculos, they did not pass through that room.

The white finger was probably the most difficult for the party. The dwarf fell right through the spike pits in the first room and took large amount of damage. The party killed the winter wolves with little difficulty, the wizard was gravely injured in the battle with the remorhaz. The battle with the first worm was nearly a TPK. The entire party failed their save against the worm's trill so they were frozen in place when he blasted them with the breath weapon, the wizard and paladin were killed in the blast, the cleric used her rod of true resurrection (5 charges) to bring back the wizard, who with the fighter finally killed the worm. They found the gem and proceeded to the battle with the Facet demon.

The battle with the facet demon only last 5 rounds but here were the results:

The fighter was killed in the first round (black eye), resurrected by the cleric, the paladin used smite evil, then was petrified by the green eye, the wizard was hit with the blue eye and unharmed (he had all of the keys from the red finger) and he used several fireball spells on the demon to injure it greatly, The fighter survived the white eye, charged through the wall of fire the wizard cast on the demon, the fighter cast the final blow with his two attacks (10th lvl ftr) but not before the demon cut off the fighter's leg at the knee. A quick but action packed battle.

So the final stats of the dungeon were:

Playing time: 10 hours (much of the dungeon was skipped though)

Characters killed: Dwarf (twice), Wizard, Fighter. (All resurrected)

Character Petrified: Dwarf (left for dead, not way to cure him)

Number of times party rested for 8 hours: 4

Fun rating for CK ****1/2 (out of 5) I thought final boss was a little weak, if he was tougher I would give 5 stars.

One note I would like to add, the facet demon can deal out damage, but a high level wizard and fighter can make quick work of him, here is what I would recommend to make the facet demon a bit tougher:

Spell Resistance 13 or 15

Ability to heal self beyond Regeneration

I had a blast running this, the players said they had fun, but not as much as the normal campaign, they said they did not feel as attached to these characters.
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Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:20 am
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Lore Drake

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I'm thinking of running this in my homebrew at some point in the future, sounds like a blast. Thanks for the write up..
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Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:16 am
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Mogrl

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Thanks for the write-up! I do plan to use this eventually (the party fo 4 is 4th to 6th level (the Ranger died in the Mysterious Tower and was reincarnated, lost a level), so it will be a while before I get to use it. I am going to be using Brians Killer Cave modules tonight (Kobold) and in the near future.

But it is good to see where I may need to buff up the adventure. My group size is 4 instead of the recommended 6, so maybe I will try and hold off until they are 10th or 11th level instead of right away at 9th level.

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Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:25 am
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Red Cap

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nice write up

Ken
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Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:10 am
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Lore Drake
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Thanks for the write-up! It's fun to see how other groups progress through it.
My suggestions for making it tougher, if desired:

1) Increase the amount of ghasts in the Black Finger, suppliment them with a score of ghouls or so, or make them turn-resistant. Turning undead wipes them out pretty quickly.

2) Increase the number of Salamanders by 2. Make them very responsive to any sort of disturbance, and have them use reach weapons.

3) Play up the environmental stuff as much as possible. Keeping an eye on exposure damage in the White Finger is really important, because it forces resources to be expended. Ditto for Red.

4) Seed some encounters in the Sanctum. I cut out an entire section of the dungeon for publication due to lack of space. It definitely helps to soften the characters up a bit before the final confrontation.

5) When this was a 3E adventure, the Facet Demon was based on a Retriever, which had all of the Demon and Construct attributes. Restoring these makes a big difference in the final battle, too.

6) When the phrase is read aloud on the Obelisk, have the exit portcullis go down. Make it so it will not raise until all of the gems are placed within the Obelisk, so the choice is either: go down, or leave.

7) Put an air elemental in the Pillar room of the Blue Finger (so there's one in the air, and one in the water.) This helps make Fly, Levitate, and Jump *very* interesting.

I'm glad you and your group enjoyed it!
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Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:32 pm
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Ulthal
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Thanks for the input Fiff. SInce it was a one night session, with one time characters I ran the module as is. Yes adding 3e demon and contruct abilities (converted to C&C of course) would make the Facet demon a real dousy. I would have never guessed it was a 3e module before it has a real old school feel to its style.
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CK the CK
"My goddess touched me at an early age."

-Grikis Valmorgen, Paladin

The beginnings of my homebrew campaign world and info for my play by chat game:
http://kbdekker.googlepages.com/home


Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:17 pm
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Lore Drake
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It started as a 2E adventure for use with Dragonlance at one point in time. (Notice the color scheme). I then converted it to 3E for the plane-hopping campaign I was running when the party went to Krynn.

I took out all of the Dragonlance stuff, changed around the premise a bit, and reworked some of the encounters to bring it back to C&C.

Thanks for the comment about it feeling old-school. The idea for it came from some serious nostalgia. I remembered learning to play with dungeons that had all kinds of fantastic creatures and changing terrain, and there was a huge sense of wonder and danger involved. I guess one negative side-effect of growing up is the need for everything to "make sense". My goal was to recreate the sort of dungeon that I remember, yet have it be plausible.
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Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:18 pm
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Ulthal
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Plausible in the sense that the character populate a world with dragons, dwarves, and faye. But of course you can have these fantastic elements and still have a plausible game. The CK just has to avoid any overly preposterous situations.

The only real complaint I have about the module is the maps of the fingers. Each map is very small, and is aranged in a standar N S E W format. However the descriptions of each area realte to the actual placemnent of the fingers around the hexagon, this made the desription hard to match with the maps at times. Of course this could just have been a layout issue. Of course this was a minor inconvienence in an otherwise great module.
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CK the CK
"My goddess touched me at an early age."

-Grikis Valmorgen, Paladin

The beginnings of my homebrew campaign world and info for my play by chat game:
http://kbdekker.googlepages.com/home


Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:27 pm
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Lore Drake
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Yep, the mapping is an issue with this one. I debated actually submitting a map with all of the areas on a single page, but that quickly became a problem, since the areas themselves are quite large. The scale of the map became an issue. I have the original pencil drawn map on a grid of very small squares.
In hindsight, it would have been a good idea to include some text to explain the maps and how the hex room related to them.

Also, the formatting of the maps suffered a bit. I submitted CC2 drawn maps. Somehow, when they were redone for the module, walls, doors, and other things ended up missing entirely. However, I can tell my map was used as a base because some of the same irregularities are in there. The maps probably should have been completely redrawn.

But that's a minor thing. You figured it out and had fun so that's all I can hope for.
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Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:04 pm
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Ulthal
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It was a minor inconvienence. I enjoy the module alot and would consider running it at a con, but its a long one. Of course I could run it to go Fri, Sat, Sun at LGGC next year.
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CK the CK
"My goddess touched me at an early age."

-Grikis Valmorgen, Paladin

The beginnings of my homebrew campaign world and info for my play by chat game:
http://kbdekker.googlepages.com/home


Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:47 pm
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Unkbartig
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Originally set in Dragonlance, eh? Interesting...

I plan on running this as part of my campaign, once we get to that point (still a long ways off, sadly). For the facet demon, I've been thinking of giving it some sort of signature magic item, to toughen it up and to give the adventure a memento item, as it were.


Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:06 pm
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