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To the Aid of Falx (SPOILERS)

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:26 pm
by Buttmonkey
I finally got my first chance to play C&C Saturday night. My dad got me into D&D around 1981 or so and we played for a few years, but neither of us has played since around 1989. So, for Father's Day, I decided to run a D&D night for him. This led me to discovering C&C and deciding to use it instead of 1E (not least because I couldn't find my old DM Screen and our copy of the DMG is falling apart).

I ended up converting Frank Mentzer's old module R1 - To the Aid of Falx to C&C (as everyone here should know, it wasn't hard to make the conversion -- the main hassle was a lot of the magic items aren't referenced in M&T, so I just downloaded a copy of the DMG from Paizo and printed off the magical treasure section). For those who aren't aware of the module's plot, the silver dragon Falx spends his time guarding the entrances to a cavern system that houses great evil. It has come to his attention that a vampire (that probably lives inside the caves) has stolen 5 potions of silver dragon control. Falx is concerned that the inhabitants of the caves are going to use the potions to slip past him and then raid the local populace. Falx summons aid from far and wide. The party, made up of pregenerated characters, were the chosen few from many applicants to Falx. The silver dragon sends the party in to recover the potions. In return, the party gets to take an item from Falx's treasure horde for each potion of silver dragon control that the party returns to Falx.

The party was made up of some of my friends (all in their 30s with families) and my dad (60 or so with bad eyesight and years of D&D experience). All of my friends had played D&D as kids, but no one had any experience in the last 20 years (other than on-line stuff like WoW).

Things started off well as the party easily defeated a spectre hiding in the first tunnel. They then went down the next tunnel and discovered an elevator that took them down 20 feet. At the base of the elevator a watchman saw them approach and charmed them using a rod of beguiling. I'm afraid I didn't role-play this as well as I could have. Rather than have the watchman question the party to discovery their intentions, I just had him persuade the party to walk into a trap that dumped them into a large chamber filled with wererats.

The wererat breeding ground proved to be a large challenge for as the CK has to keep track of 32 wererats. Sounds easy enough until some of them get repelled by a scroll of protection against lycanthropes and the repelled ones get mixed in with rats that weren't affected by the spell. That combat took a very long time to complete, but was fun. At one point the wizard decided to cast dimension door to get the bleep out of the melee. He transported himself to the top of the elevator and then decided to go back down. The watchman charmed him again and this time sent the wizard down a hall to the entrance of the thieves' guild. I had the PC knock on the door a few times, but no one answered it. (Since these guys were relatively inexperienced and rusty, I didn't want to kill them off if I could help it.) The wizard went back to the watchman and as the watchman escorted the wizard back to the thieves' guild entrance, the charm effect wore off. The wizard got surprise and clocked the watchman with a staff of striking. My home rule is that a natural 20 results in double damage. The wizard used 3 charges from the staff and ended up doing a total of 28 points, killing the watchman instantly.

Rather than search the body, the wizard went back to the base of the elevator and pulled the lever that causes a huge chunk of floor to turn into a ramp, dumping the victims into the wererat breeding area (he also pulled the alarm lever while experimenting). I let the wizard do a DEX check to see if he could pull the lever and then jump onto the ramp. He rolled a 1 so I ruled he didn't quite make it and his toe was chopped off as the trap snapped closed. His next roll was better and he rejoined the party who had finished off the wererats by this time.

After dropping off the silver dragon control potion they found with Falx, they headed back into the dungeon and took a different route, leading to a bunch of wights. I decided not to pull any punches here and allowed the automatic energy drain whenever the wights scored a hit. The wights wouldn't have been too bad, but the cleric lost a level early which prevented him from destroying the wights when he turned them. After several encounters, a couple characters were down a level and the remaining 8 wights had been turned and were huddled at the back end of their lair.

The party then spent forever planning how to dispose of the remaining wights. They came up with several reasonably good plans, but no one was able to come to a decision and they kept cycling through ideas. At one point the players poured 12 flasks of oil across the floor of the lair and set it on fire, resulting in a wall of fire between the party and the wights. I think they planned to douse the wights with oil and then start shooting them with arrows. Once the wights ran attacked, they would have to cross the wall of fire and be ignited in doing so. Unfortunately, the party never made up its mind. Finally, my dad just started shooting the wights. This got the rest of the party to take action and the wights attacked (taking a couple points of damage from the dwindling wall of fire as they jumped over it).

The ensuing melee was fun. Just about all of the PCs dropped a level. Then the second rank got bored and decided to fire bows and darts over the first rank. I ruled that if they missed, they had to roll to see if they hit their companions in the back. In my favorite round of the night, the ranger/cleric shot the paladin in the back with an arrow, then the wizard hit the paladin in the back of the head with a dart. That was it for firing missle weapons into melee. Then the ranger/cleric decided he was going to dart through the first rank (3 PCs using long-swords standing abreast at the entrance to a 10 foot wide hallway). I decided to give him a chance to squeeze through without getting killed, but only if he rolled a 19 or 20 on a d20 (dexterity was a prime for the character). The roll didn't go his way and he got clocked with the paladin's +1 flametongue sword on his way through.

After defeating the wights, the players decided to call it a night. We'd been playing for about 7 hours and it was 2 a.m. A good time was had by all. Unfortunately, I think real life will prevent this group from gathering on any kind of consistent basis. As one of them put it, their lives are so hectic with young kids and work, that when they get a block of 6 hours free, D&D isn't at the top of their list of things to do. So, I expect I'll be playing online in the near future.

The most gratifying part was one of the players sent me an e-mail today that I was, by far, the best DM he'd ever had. (I think that must mean his old DMs must have really sucked! )

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:07 pm
by moriarty777
Sounds like you had a great time. I've never played or run the mod so I didn't know much about it... sounds like a fun little adventure!


Moriarty the Red
"You face Death itself in the form of... 1d4 Tarrasques!"

Partner to Brave Halfling Publishing

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:31 pm
by Buttmonkey
Thanks! And sorry for the typos. I usually try to edit my posts, but it looks like I didn't have the energy after typing all of that.

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:19 pm
by Omote
I do like this mod a lot. I've used it several times, bu hav added to it extensively. Great to hear it went well!!!


> Omote's Advanced C&C stuff <
Duke Omote Landwehr, Holy Order of the FPQ ~ Prince of the Castles & Crusades Society