Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Hook Mountain Massacre Conversion PDF v0.1

And finally to go along with today's rather enormous update, the compiled conversion document for The Hook Mountain Massacre. I'm going to try to release the PDF version at the same time I finish the adventure conversion from now on. We'll see if that continues to work out.

Note that the file linked to is a zip archive containing a PDF of the conversion document and individual PDFs for each quest card. This is the format that will be used from now on.


The Hook Mountain Massacre Conversion v0.1

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Secret Chamber

When the tremor subsides, a new passageway is quickly discovered behind the collapsed north wall of the keep's prison. It leads to a stairway descending downward into darkness.

In this conversion, a hidden portal to one of Karzoug's many vaults lies beneath the keep. None of the Black Arrows were aware of its existence, but the quake has revealed its entrance. Now the undead charged with protecting the vault wait for anyone brave enough to test the runelord's defenses.

This short side trek draws heavily upon Dungeon #169's Hall of the Snake God for inspiration. The maps provided there are great for these two encounters, with a bit of alteration. The first map's entrance should be a staircase leading down, not an entrance from the outside, and the snake trap should be removed from the pit in the lower chamber (though the pit is still present, courtesy of the quake that reopened these chambers).

These encounters also make use of some of the monsters found in the published adventure's bestiary, converted to 4th Edition. They are both fairly straightforward.

For the upper chamber, I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 3,250 xp (Level 12 Encounter)

For the lower chamber, I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 3,550 xp (Level 12 Encounter)

Neither of these chambers contains any treasure, but at the rear of the lower chamber is a glowing yellow portal surrounded on the ground by two alternating sets of blue and green runes. A Perception check (DC 25) notes that some of the green runes are sitting above small cracks in the ground, likely caused by the tremor. An Arcana check (DC 25) determines that the portal's condition is tenuous; by the time the PCs can examine it, only two minutes remain before the portal collapses completely. Looking through the portal, the party can see a room beyond filled with treasure but without doors or windows of any sort. Within the vault on the other side of the portal is a massive pile of Thassilonian coin worth 8,500 gold pieces, as well as a shining gold breastplate bearing runic markings - purely ceremonial, worth 6,500 gold pieces (these are treasure parcels 5 and 7 from level 11 and parcel 6 from level 12). The vault also contains treasure parcels 3 and 4 from level 12, sitting neatly in the room's corners.

The party does not have long to retrieve everything, and may need to employ some quick thinking to move nearly 200 pounds of coinage out of the vault in two minutes. When the portal collapses, the vault's contents are lost and anyone still on the other side is trapped with no clear exit. The green set of runes on the ground fades and disappears, but the blue set remains. This is actually a permanent teleportation circle, and allows a party with access to the Linked Portal ritual to memorize the rune set in order to return to Fort Rannick's basement whenever they wish.

If the party successfully explores the secret chambers, they receive three victory points.

Who You Gonna Run Screaming to for Help?

If the PCs dealt with the crypt (B15) in the secret caverns behind the keep during the retaking of Fort Rannick, this event does not take place; the PCs receive three victory points automatically. Otherwise, a servant or member of the staff who wandered back into the caves bursts into the main hall of the keep shouting about ghosts. This should lead the PCs to investigate the crypt in earnest.

Run the encounter in area B15. If the PCs successfully defeat the specters, they receive three victory points.


Allow this event to play out naturally over the course of a few in-game weeks as described in the original adventure. Continue to allow the steward of the fort to roll checks for weekly events. The PCs will eventually want to get rid of the local hero. They have any number of options to accomplish this (deception, pleading, threatening, etc.) but, as with the snake oil salesman event, as long as he leaves Fort Rannick the PCs receive a victory point.

Silas Tor and His Wondrous Trinkets

This event should play out as described in the original adventure. Using the Arcana skill to sense the presence of magic (DC 25) reveals the dwarf's trinkets as frauds, and Insight checks (DC 27) uncover the deception as well. You can allow the PCs to try and calm the crowd down and disperse them before driving Silas away, but as long as the dwarf leaves before causing too much trouble the PCs earn a victory point.

Stalking Monsters

Reports of marauding humanoid monsters on the roads demand that the Lord or Lady of the fort act, lest they be cut off from the rest of the world. The monsters are not difficult to find - they are, after all, attacking travelers on the road. The culprits are a band of lycanthropes - werewolves - and their worg pets. They attack the PCs on sight, sending the worgs in first and following close behind. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

  • Werewolf Lord
  • 3 Werewolves
  • 4 Worgs
Total: 4,250 xp (Level 13 Encounter)

Their banditry has netted them 3,000 gold pieces worth of loot, which can be found on their bodies (treasure parcel 8 from level 11).

Dealing with the monster threat provides the PCs with two victory points.

Filth Fever Outbreak

If this event arises, the fouled water supply causes many of the keep's occupants to become sick. The party must build a new well at a cost of 75 gold pieces and a week's worth of work. If a new well is not built, no other construction projects are completed due to constant illness (and perhaps even a few deaths among the staff). Building the new well gives the party a victory point.

Fire in the Fort!

In the middle of the night, a fire breaks out in the fort's stable. Putting it out is a skill challenge, outlined below.

Skill Challenge: Fire Brigade

Setup: The PCs must organize a bucket brigade or come up with some other way to put out the fire before it destroys the affected structure and spreads to other buildings. In addition, they must attempt to rescue a groom trapped inside the burning stable before he dies of smoke inhalation.

Stat block:

Brigands Attack Fort Rannick

Rather than turning this event into a siege as described in the original adventure, a group of bandits takes advantage of the poorly-defended state of affairs at Fort Rannick to try and take it for themselves. They have hired a skilled alchemist to fashion an explosive device to breach one of the fort's curtain walls.

The bandits arrive without warning, setting the explosive device and waiting for it to go off. The PCs are alerted to their presence by the fort's staff, and must choose to either engage them on the other side of the wall in an effort to disarm the device before it explodes, or wait for it to blow a hole in the wall and fight them within the grounds.

The combat encounter is mostly identical regardless of where the fight takes place, except that if the PCs take the fight to the brigands they can engage in a skill challenge to disarm the explosive device. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 4,100 xp / 4,600 xp (Level 13 / 14 Encounter)

The bandits have a combined 2,000 gold pieces worth of assorted coin and valuables on them (treasure parcel 9 from level 11).

Successfully repelling the attack before the wall is breached awards two victory points to the party. No victory points are awarded if the wall is damaged.

Stat block:

Weekly Fortress Events

A number of events are possible over the course of the two months of the PCs' stay. The original adventure required Charisma checks each week to determine what happens during that period. This conversion uses similar checks, though with a different results table to account for the shifted math in how ability checks are made (and to adjust a few of the events themselves).

At the beginning of each of the PCs' first seven weeks at Fort Rannick during the winter, have the PC appointed Lord or Lady roll a Charisma check and compare it to the table below.

  • 1 - 7: Attack. The fort is attacked by brigands. See the section entitled Brigands Attack Fort Rannick for details on running this event.
  • 8 - 9: Fire. A structure within the fort catches fire. See the section entitled Fire in the Fort! for details on running this event.
  • 10: Fouled waters. The keep's old water source becomes contaminated. See the section entitled Filth Fever Outbreak for details on running this event.
  • 11 - 13: No event. Nothing noteworthy happens this week. The party receives an automatic victory point.
  • 14: Stalking monsters. Bloodthirsty humanoids threaten roads near Fort Rannick. See the section entitled Stalking Monsters for details on running this event.
  • 15: Snake oil salesman. A traveling con artist appears at the fort. See the section entitled Silas Tor and His Wondrous Trinkets for details on running this event.
  • 16 - 17: Hero problems. A local legend decides to grace Fort Rannick with his presence. See the section entitled Earthbreaker for details on running this event.
  • 18 - 20: Haunted crypt. One of the fort's staff discovers the ghost problem in the fort's caverns. See the section entitled Who You Gonna Run Screaming to for Help? for details on running this event.
  • 21 - 27: No event. Nothing noteworthy happens this week. The party receives an automatic victory point.
  • 28 - 30: Beneficial travelers. A group of merchants, performers, nobles or other helpful individuals arrives at the fort. The party receives two victory points.
  • 31+: No event. Nothing noteworthy happens this week. The party receives an automatic victory point.
If the same result is rolled more than once (note that each of the three "No event" results can be rolled once) move down the chart to the next highest result.

On the eighth (and final) week of the party's stay at the fort, a tremor uncovers a hidden passageway previously undiscovered beneath the keep. See the section entitled Secret Chamber for details on running this event.

Rebuilding the Keep

The first order of business ought to be the reconstruction of important areas of the fort. During the ogre assault, the occupation, and then the reclamation of Fort Rannick, many key defenses and buildings were damaged or destroyed. Mayor Shreed is happy to provide the fort's steward with 200 gold pieces worth of credit per month to go towards any reconstruction efforts (and appoints a clerk with overseeing the appropriate use of those funds). Use the following rules for dealing with such projects.

Two elements are necessary to complete any construction project within the fort: time and money. Time is measured in weeks, with most projects requiring one or two weeks to complete. The available pool of laborers and skilled craftsmen in the region is limited, and thus construction is limited to a single project at a time. Each project has an associated cost which represents the purchase of raw materials and the hiring of workers to complete the job. The party may use either credit provided by Turtleback Ferry for this purpose or their own funds, should they run out.

The following construction projects can be completed during the PCs' stay.

  • East Gate: The ogres all but demolished this gate during their attack on the fort. Restoring its hinges and replacing the door takes a week and costs 50 gold pieces.
  • Old Guard Tower: Regardless of whether it was knocked down during the reclamation of the fort, this tower is not fit for use and needs to be rebuilt. This takes two weeks and costs 100 gold pieces.
  • Cook House: Much of the equipment in here was destroyed by careless ogres, and the interior requires a lot of clean up. Restoring it takes a week and 40 gold pieces.
  • New Barracks: Even if it survived the reclamation, the barracks are too much of a hazard to see use. They need to be cleared and rebuilt. This takes two weeks and costs 125 gold pieces.
  • Keep Entrance: The door to the keep itself needs repair, and much of the keep's interior was damaged in ogre occupation. This work takes a week and costs 50 gold pieces.
Each completed construction project awards the party a victory point.

Keeping the Keep

Use this series of notes should the PCs decide to spend time at Fort Rannick following the conclusion of the events of The Hook Mountain Massacre.

The first order of business in taking up residence at the fort is to have a PC take up the mantle of Lord or Lady. Whoever is chosen for this position will be responsible for overseeing the fort's restoration and upkeep. Give the party a minor quest reflecting their charge, requiring them to leave the fort in a strong, defensible state before they depart.

This conversion makes use of the victory point system seen in a number of 4th Edition adventures. Consult the following table to determine the number of victory points the PCs accumulate during their stay at Fort Rannick:

The total accumulated victory points at the end of two months determines the outcome of the PCs' stay.

  • 0 - 10 Victory Points: Fort Rannick is in terrible shape by the time the PCs depart. They fail the minor quest to look after the fort, and their stewardship is stripped from them.
  • 11 - 17 Victory Points: Fort Rannick is restored to its former glory. The PCs have completed their minor quest to look after the fort.
  • 18+ Victory Points: Fort Rannick is in better shape than it has ever been. The PCs have completed their minor quest to look after the fort, and their reputation as stewards grants them a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks made in Varisian settlements.

The End of The Hook Mountain Massacre

The threats to the region have been dealt with, for the time being. Fort Rannick is reclaimed, and no organized ogre tribe remains to challenge it. Turtleback Ferry stands, the plan to flood it and claim its villagers' souls unrealized. Myriana's undying wrath has been appeased. The PCs can settle down for the winter and enjoy a rest from the trials of an adventuring life.

The original adventure contained a chapter entitled "Keeping the Keep" in which a number of possible events are outlined that might occur during the PCs stay at Fort Rannick during the winter. A full conversion of that chapter follows.

Regardless of what happens during the intervening period, by the time winter eases up on Varisia, the PCs are made aware of the new danger to Sandpoint, and ultimately to all Varisian civilization. Fortress of the Stone Giants is up next.

D7 (Circle of the Sisters)

The party's true goal is found here. They must defeat Lamatar in order to take a portion of his body back to Myriana's ghost.

The three hags located here are each distinct from one another. Larastine is a bog hag, Briselda is a briar hag, and Grelthaga is a night hag. Their three auras need to be monitored carefully during this fight. Thanks to Grelthaga's aura, PCs lacking low-light vision or darkvision will have to deal with concealment penalties for most of the fight. See page 262 of the Player's Handbook for more information on light categories. Briselda does her best to engulf the entire cavern in zones of briar over the course of the fight.

Lamatar's proximity to the powerful covey ritual engulfing the region in a supernaturally heavy winter has turned him into an icewight. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 3,800 xp (Level 13 Encounter)

Treasure parcel 1 from level 11 can be found here, either on Lamatar's body or in the hags' possession. In addition, some extremely valuable reagents are left unused from the hags' ritual: 500 gold pieces each of alchemical reagents and rare herbs (treasure parcel 10 from level 11).

Stat block:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Burnt Offerings and Skinsaw Murders PDFs Updated

Wizards of the Coast released their Dungeons & Dragons fan site policy (and accompanying fan site kit) earlier today, and I've updated the blog and both completed conversions to reflect that. The new versions incorporate a couple minor changes, but the new policy compliance is really the only major change. This project now operates under fan site licenses from both Paizo and WotC, which is what I had hoped to eventually do since I began it.

Burnt Offerings Compiled Conversion PDF v0.7

The Skinsaw Murders Compiled Conversion PDF v0.2

Monday, August 3, 2009

D9 (As the Dread Kings of Old)

In this conversion, Barl originally arrived with three stone giant henchmen. Two remain.

Barl avoids wading into combat himself, much preferring his ranged powers. Should a prime opportunity present itself to catch most of the PCs in a blast or burst, he isn't above catching his bodyguards in the area. Be mindful of the giants' stone bones power. If you're not careful you'll start forgetting to make use of it every round. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

Total: 4,000 xp (Level 13 Encounter)

If Barl is killed, any remaining stone giants make a run for it, trusting in their long stride and ability to navigate mountainous terrain to see them through.

Barl has a Sihedron medallion around his neck. Give it the powers of a level 14 magic item (treasure parcel 2 from level 11).

Stat block:

D6 (The Clanhold)

In keeping with this conversion's theme of Barl creating horrid undead to cement his control over the Kreeg ogres, a spirit devourer created to keep a threatening watch over the slaves in the mining tunnels returns to the clanhold just as the party arrives. Terrified by the foul thing, the ogres - even the Kreeg taskmasters - fight especially bravely. While the PCs might be able to kill them, what the spirit devourer is capable of is far worse than mere death.

The spirit devourer attempts to trap the most obvious user of radiant energy, or the party defender. If it feels it can get away with it, it uses devour spirit three times each turn in order to maximize its chances of consuming a soul (and giving it a steady flow of hit points). A creature that enters or starts its turn in a forge pit takes 6d10 points of fire damage. I suggest the following encounter for a party of five adventurers:

  • 8 Ogre Thugs
  • 2 Ogre Savages
  • Spirit Devourer
Total: 3,200 xp (Level 11 Encounter)

Be sure to use the Monster Manual version of the Spirit Devourer - the version displayed in the D&D Compendium has incorrect text for the devour spirit power.