A planning thread in the aftermath of W33: Hell on Wheels.
Date: 27 Feb 2011 16:07
Number of posts: 79
RSS: New posts
One good thing about Slumath being so well defended is that he could thin out the next batch of giant associates who come checking on the now-silent volcano. Hopefully both sides will wear each other down, or at least we get an idea how to best deal with Slumath's defenses. Perhaps the goblins in the caves could be worked to send messages to the giants for another band to come on over. Maybe the Dogballs goblins who supposedly have some influence into the decision making of the giants could be used to affect this as well. I'm wondering if using this one stone to take out two birds might wind up being the most productive; it could also backfire in a couple different ways, but with the right amount of magic, sneakiness and general BSing, it could be pulled off.
We may have to instead slog through the volcano the hard way, taking losses and such, but it seems targeting Scather's hoard is still the best strategy. Also, what does Scather think of Slumath? Would it be possible to play them against each other as well?
Now that I think about it, those 80 flesh-golems could whittle down the defenses of Slumath too, preferably if he didn't think we were involved with it. I wonder if we could set up a patsy or at least a disguised party member to hire out the golems to clear out either the surface of the caldera or maybe some of the tunnels. At least they'd be setting off some traps or forcing Slumath to show what he's got so far. At least putting some pressure on Slumath right now is a way to keep him from really tightening the bolts down.
This may sound crazy, but is our moral claim to Scather's treasure any better than Slumath's? He fought hard for it, but we thought he was just another villain so it would be cool to kill him and take it. But it sounds like Slumath isn't too villainous.
In other words: before we decide how to take out Slumath, we ought to figure out whether to do it at all.
I vote for raiding Hell. My emergency backup plan is shot, however, as it involved designating Caswyn's then-unused 4th-level special ability as a "interact with ephemeral spirits" power that we could use to bundle Maldoor for transport.
If Slumath were truly causing harm, Darwin of Drumthwacket would be the first to rise to defeat him. However, he is providing a counter balance to the giants and the dragons. The value of the treasure he is guarding does not outweigh the service he provides. His first chioce would be to rescue Maldoor. Although he has never met the great Wizard, he has heard great tales of how Maldoor has brought balance to this world. Nothing would please him more than to bring Maldoor, a force for balance that was prematurely taken from this world, back to his rightful place. His second choice would be to go back to the Tomb. Anubis's gold does no one any good locked up where it is. It could do a lot of good if it were freed.
Of all the frequently-played primary characters, it looks as though only EN is close to leveling. The party would need a score similar to the Pharaoh's tomb to level everyone up. These gp bombs seem to come after a couple sessions of peeling off the outer layers of the dungeon onion. In this regard, Slumath's/Scather's volcano is fresher/still full of traps and guards than the tomb, though dealing with Anubis may still be the toughest nut to crack in terms of getting the rest of the loot out. I'm wondering if there are any possible mini-quest locations that may promise a smaller payoff but be a nice location to put secondary characters through to build them up.
As far as the moral question with taking out Slumath, I really don't see the problem. This hoard was derived from tribute paid to a menacing dragon, who lost the treasure to Snurre's giants, which in turn was captured when Slumath and the Gynarch's forces took out the invaders. So taking out the hoard isn't exactly going to be attacking the Orphanage of the Sisters of the Blessed Minute. He did charm those elves for such a long time that they didn't need to be charmed anymore and is a necromancer using undead as guards. He's pretty much a neutral opportunist, not unlike the Grey Company. The idea that Slumath is defending against the giants and dragons is worth noting - the giants WILL come back there; if the party played its cards right, it could wind up with a dragon's hoard, a defensible new location, and a power vacuum of dead frost giants, dragon-kin and an 11th level wizard that it could step in exert a stronger influence.
The plunder in the tomb is tempting, but we need a plan for dealing with Anubis. Sooner or later, we'll have to deal with it (or miss out on sweet goodies).
If we have qualms about taking out Slumath or don't think it will be a one or two session deal getting the hoard, then maybe going to get Maldoor would be the way to go. He'd definitely help the party getting those high risk/high reward objectives taken care of, but the Savage Land of Nirvana just frightens me. I don't think any non-magical weapon will do jack there, and see 15-20HD dinosaurs a constant threat on the random encounter tables. That said, it could be fun, but I think this could be as deadly as the other two capers, just without the promise of mass treasure to counter the risk.
Eric G's mention of dinosaurs in his latest post prompted me to remember a loose end from Saturday night's game (Session 33): After the defeat of the balrogs and en route to the volcano, the party flew over a group of primitive humans. It was a random encounter, and everyone understandably filed it in the "Useless Information" folder.
Often wandering monsters have no narrative import, but perhaps a few do. Granted, I've missed several sessions, so I can't successfully bring together all the occasions that our swords & sorcery adventure has crossed over into the prehistoric adventure genre (I wasn't even there for the allosaurus that chomped Chrystos' robo-liger.), but perhaps the group has overlooked a clue. What if there's a nearby gate to the lost world of pterodactyl riders? I'd visit that world through that gate if I could find it.
long post got deleted arrrrrrrgggggg fucking wikidot!
i cry again for better tech, alone
upshot: John Fighter won't do the anti-Slumath or the anti-Anubis. I think we can contrive a reason he doesn't actually rat the party out or fight against them, but no 7 hit die idiot with umpteen retainers either. I can run another character if people really want those options.
Let's get Maldoor. We just need to prep for dinosaurs. Don't we have a spell against being swallowed whole?
Don't we have a spell against being swallowed whole?
You're thinking of Zolobachai's Omnipotent Laxative. Not only would it have saved Maldoor in the first instance from Purple Worm digestion, and maybe Loki the Liger, but it could also protect us against demonic dinosaurs.
Unfortunately the spell has only been proposed, not researched. It would take two weeks of research, and costs $200 for each 1% chance of success (starting at $4K for a 20% chance, up to $20K for a 100% chance). I'm quite willing to do it, and am delighted that my idea might actually be useful, but I have no money, and it wouldn't be ready in time for W34. On the plus side, I'd have enough ooomph to protect 3 people for an entire day and maybe recover my 2nd level slots too.
Other methods of avoiding dinosaur digestion would be to fly around in the Menegril's old spelljammer. We'd have to worry about pterodactyls and such, but it would presumably be faster and safer than slogging through the jungle.