Monday, July 27, 2009

Mountain Pass Ambush

As the PCs approach the base of Hook Mountain, they are engulfed in a snowstorm. The Kreegs have set an ambush ahead in the anticipation of an investigation of the Hook. They wait for the adventurers' arrival in a canyon fortified with a pair of long-abandoned stone watchtowers.

The ogre thugs arrive in two waves of six. The first wave descends upon the PCs from the other end of the canyon while the Overlord watches from one of the canyon walls above. When the first wave is demolished, he orders the second group in and leaps down to join the fray himself. The ogre in charge (possessed of some shamanistic power in addition to his brute strength - here, an Oni Overlord) is demanding an abusive of his slave troops. His interaction with the ogre minions is going to be the star of this encounter. He can hand out 5 temporary hit points each round, but deals 5 damage to any nearby ally who misses with an attack. Play this up. He rewards success with temporary hit points, and those who fail him have the life crushed from their throats at a distance by his aura (unless, of course, they've earned his approval previously, in which case they might be allowed one slip-up before he decides to kill him). In all likelihood, the Overlord will be responsible for nearly as many deaths among his men as the PCs are. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

  • Oni Overlord
  • 12 Ogre Thugs
Total: 3,200 xp (Level 11 Encounter)

The Overlord has a tome of rituals slung over his shoulder. Assign roughly 4,000 gold pieces worth of rituals to this book, including a couple your PCs might have been talking about looking into, and a couple they haven't considered but might find useful. The ritual book is treasure parcel 6 from level 11.

Note: This encounter was designed to take advantage of Paizo's GameMastery Flip-Mat: Mountain Pass map. The canyon side provides the perfect ambush site for the ogres. The encounter runs just fine without it, but if you want to add some exciting map artwork to your game this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

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