Monday, October 13, 2008

C19 (Throne Room)

This marks the PCs' final confrontation with the goblin menace (save the minor threat that the goblin wives in Bruthazmus' room pose). It should be a dramatic encounter full of Ripnugget's taunts and goblin rallying cries (which often sound more like insults than encouragement).

Any creature forced into one of the four spiked support columns is dealt 1d10 points of damage from the protruding spikes. Ouch.

We're also changing things up for this fight. The PCs have fought dozens of goblins by now, and they are no doubt becoming somewhat predictable. For this final battle, I've taken some of the recently released kobold monsters and retooled them to look like goblins. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 875 xp (Level 4 Encounter)

Make heavy, effective use of the pikers' ability to ready attacks with a bonus by positioning them near Ripnugget, then using Stickfoot to drag an unfortunate (and now prone) adventurer into triggering their melee attacks. The cutters can run interference, but don't expect them to last long with the party pulling out daily powers for what should clearly be a climactic fight. When Ripnugget becomes bloodied, he uses his Alchemical Juggernaut ability, pulling out one of Gogmurt's most powerful alchemical concoctions and throwing it to the ground, inhaling the billowing green smoke.

Ripnugget carries treasure parcel 1, and treasure parcel 6 can be found either here or in Ripnugget's room (whichever you feel is appropriate).

Stat block:

C18 (Shadowmist)

Shadowmist is in pretty pathetic shape when found by the PCs. Restoring him to good health is a skill challenge.

Skill Challenge: Tending to Shadowmist

Setup: After many days of confinement and starvation, the once-magnificent warhorse Shadowmist is a shadow of his former self. Little more than skin and bone, he is in need of prompt, careful attention if the PCs wish to prevent the horse's death.

Complexity: 3 (8 successes before 3 failures)
Level: 3 (450 xp)
Primary Skills: Nature, Heal, Athletics

Nature (DC 11): You have spent time caring for horses in the past, or have had to suffer long periods surviving without food yourself. You know a few things about how to safely handle Shadowmist, and whisper some calming words to the horse while expertly instructing your companions. The first success with a nature or heal check indicates starvation and reveals that feeding Shadowmist will provide a one-time automatic success.

Heal (DC 16): While horses may not have been your most common patient, you're familiar enough with methods of care for living creatures that you can get Shadowmist on his feet again. The first success with a nature or heal check indicates starvation and reveals that feeding Shadowmist will provide a one-time automatic success.

Athletics (DC 16): Once Shadowmist is back on his feet, he reacts violently to any attempt to restrain him, and worse still if spooked (say, by a failed nature check). A strong arm can help rein the warhorse in so that he can be tamed.

At least one success in this challenge must come from either a successful heal check or administering food to Shadowmist.

Success: You restore Shadowmist to passable health and calm him to the point where he can be safely led back to Sandpoint. Upon returning the horse, award the PCs the quest reward from the minor quest Horse Thieves!

Failure: One too many mistakes and ill-advised decisions results in the proud warhorse succumbing to his exhaustion and starvation, collapsing dead in the yard. This also results in the PCs failing the minor quest Horse Thieves!

C11 - C13 (Trophy Hall)

At this point it is practically inevitable that the PCs have alerted at least the top level of the fortress to their presence. The goblins within the fortress have fortified it with two groups. One is positioned in the trophy hall with the goblin dogs from the exercise yard, and the other waits within the throne room. The defense here is being marshaled by the two commandos, who yanked a pair of goblin grunts from the barracks to muster the goblin dogs. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 750 xp (Level 3 Encounter)

There is a good deal of potential exploration to be done after the conclusion of this fight. Divide treasure parcel 10 up so that it can be spread throughout this level. 40 gold pieces worth is found in the form of Ripnugget's holy symbol in C23. The rest should be split between the chest in the treasury (along with treasure parcel 4) and Ripnugget's possessions.