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A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem 
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Greater Lore Drake

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Post A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
My players are continuing through the A series, but have hit a snag in the Slag Heap.

Spoilers ahead.........................

Spoilers.................

Spoilers..............

After defeating the harpies at the Shrine of Waters, the party stopped at The Pick and Axe. After interacting with some gnomes, they continued on to The Burrows. They easily distracted two dogs with food before encountering some orcs. They were mistaken for bandits working in the area. The orcs asked them if they were working for Froithmot (an Ungern leader). The party played along, and were escorted to him. After a bit of small talk, battle ensued. Five pc's, and two kobold adherents defeated five ungern, and two orcs. While searching the bodies, 16 orcs and two leaders approached the ungern throne room. The cleric managed to sound burst a good number of orcs, and others were taken down by the party. However, the players took somewhat of beating. Some were at negative hp, but restored with some healing water. The cleric and assassin/wizard were low on spells, and the orc leaders were dealing out damage. At the end, it came down to the orc chief and the hafling rogue. Both attacked simultaneously, taking the leader down to 6 and the rogue to -1. None are officially dead, but all negative except for the cleric at 0. There are 3 gnomes(friendly to the party)outside guarding the wagon. Any suggestions? Will the chief kill the players? Could the gnomes save them without it seeming like a lucky break? Otherwise, it's time for new characters.


Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:49 am
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
I don't know how many hp the Orc chief had started with, but if he took a beating and just when you think victory is upon you, I'd be spooked by 3 gnomes running in to see if they should be running away or still looking after the wagon, not knowing their intentions I'd flee to fight another day.

You could either have the Gnomes flee shortly after or if they have their heads about them, check the characters.

Personally I'd go with the flee option. :D

(Can't go wrong with a little old school Laurel & Hardy/Three Stooges slapstick.)

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Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:12 am
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Mogrl
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
Spoiler...


Spoiler....


Spoiler, potential players do NOT read!




I didn't have to deal with that because my players, my wife and kids, just started a big bonfire a little ways into the complex and cleared it out that way.

As for your situation, I do what the players do. Which, with most groups, is "kill them all". If they tend to take prisoners, I take prisoners. If they take prisoners and then interrogate or torture them for information, then that is what I do.

If you really want to save them, do what Sir Ironside suggested.

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Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:05 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
Spoiler...


Spoiler....


Spoiler, potential players do NOT read!



Realistically, I think the chief would be pissed off and start slashing throats.
Or, being a chief, he might be a little smarter and interrogate the survivor(s) if he can heal himself up a bit first.

That said, a close call can be fun now and then, and if the party is really attached to their characters, it might be more fun for the group's long term play that you fudge it a tad and they live.

perhaps a compromise.... they all pass out/ are at negative hp.. bleed out, the last thing the last conscious PC sees is the orc's wicked face as their world fades to black... go get a beer... cliff hanger.....

and they wake up to a dead gnome and a dead orc chief. One gnome gets them up to 0/1 hp so they can stagger out of the cave as the third, still at the wagon, starts shrieking that more orcs are coming but you might just make it if you all haul ass (just to hurry things along so this near TPK doesn't yield any treasure, LOL).

Just my 2 cp.
:D

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Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:54 am
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Maukling
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
I agree with Relaxo on this. Capture and interrogation might be a valid option, especially if you wantnto "save" the players (or at least prolong the inevitable). Otherwise, it'd be throat-slashing time, me thinks. You could pull a deus ex machina and have the gnomes come in and save the day. At this point, it might not bother the players a whole lot. :)

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Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:11 pm
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Greater Lore Drake

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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
The aforementioned orcs were in the same location containing Froithmot's throne, but I believe they answer to Seroneous. It's possible the chief might keep them alive to use in the mines, along side the enslaved gnomes. The gnomes who traveled with the party are from Dreddstun. The father and two sons offered their services after the party killed Keertruk the Ogre, his associates, and more Red Caps at the Ogre Inn. They also directed the players to a house inhabited by a thug who sold their wife and daughter's to Froithmot. The gnomes are just basic npc's, and may have no knowledge of what's going on inside the burrows. Short of the gnomes at the Pick and Axe, these folks may stand out like a sore thumb. I suppose I could have Miles Freland and his band wander into the Slag Heap. The players have heard bad things about him from some other npc's. He has dealings with Froith, as I recall. Not sure the players would benefit from this, but it's time to get into the meat of things. The pc's have left their mark in Gipsheim and Dreddstun, and that could make things interesting.

I believe somebody asked about the health of the orc chief. He's at 6 hp, down from 22. The gnomes outside were armed with light crossbows, AC 10. I've got until Sunday to figure it out. So many things to keep track of in these sandbox campaigns. A lot of behind the scenes politics and dealings. On top of this, they haven't dealt with the other orcs, Seroneous and the other driders, etc. Helllllllp! haha


Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:12 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
Gygax himself said you don't need to kill the PCs, just leave the players oppurtunities to do it themselves. :D You don't owe them success, if they press on with 1 hit point between the 5 PCs, they deserve it!

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Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:59 pm
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Mogrl
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
Relaxo wrote:
Gygax himself said you don't need to kill the PCs, just leave the players oppurtunities to do it themselves. :D You don't owe them success, if they press on with 1 hit point between the 5 PCs, they deserve it!


I would guess your referencing the quote in my sig:

""The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own." - E. Gary Gygax (1938-2008)"

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own." - E. Gary Gygax (1938-2008)


Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:59 am
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Red Cap
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
In reading the situation I think the Orc Chief would quickly loot a few obvious things then get himself to safety with the intention of send back some lackys to deal with the clean up.....

This gives you a chance to let the Cleric live. The gnomes could come to check on them and find the mass carnage and revive the Cleric who is the only one who is stable (you said the rest are negative and therefor will bleed out, depending on how you handle that.....) If they get the cleric back then a hard choice needs to be made, haul out the dead or take the the remaining items and get the heck out of there with 1 hp???

-Mike


Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:28 am
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Unkbartig
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
What's going to be the most fun for everyone?

The way I imagine it is that the Orc thwacks the Halfling Rogue and watches him fall unconscious. Bleeding, bruised, and out of breath, I could see him grabbing the nearest jug of wine, cursing and then stumbling to sit on the throne. Declaring himself "boss" of all he sees, as he spits out a broken tusk and wipes blood from his eyes. He then tilts his head back to take a long drought...

The cleric at 0 hit points watches this out of the corner of his eyes, and slowly the gnomes outside wander in with Crossbows, they survey the scene and see their unconscious brethren. Rage begins to boil as they slowly walk up to the Orc, who sees them but doesn't stop drinking...

As they are about 15m away. The Orc slowly lowers the jug and grips his sword and says.."Well, What are you waiting for cowards....You wait too long!"

At that I'd have the players roll for initiative. With the players taking on the role of the 3 Gnomes in a final battle to see if the PCs make or not.


Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:07 am
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Greater Lore Drake

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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
In all fairness, Froithmot intended to kill the pc's. They managed to deal with the threat, but the noise brought the orcs who remained in the rest of the burrows. To make matters worse, the ungern throne room was the end of the road. The 10 ft. hallway leading into the room was filled with orcs.


Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:14 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
Treebore wrote:
I would guess your referencing the quote in my sig...


Yeah I knew I saw it somewhere recently. :oops:

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Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:46 am
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Mogrl
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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
Sounds like a chance for a classic escape: impossible (tm) adventure. Strip them of everything and make the party figger out how to undo their stupidity.

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Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:36 pm
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Greater Lore Drake

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Post Re: A2 Slag Heap near tpk problem
I'm in favor of a way out. I'll explore all of the options, and come up with something. Those gnomes may end up slaughtered, and/or their equipment, weapons, wagon and oxen taken, but it's better than dead. Then again, a new player may enter the game this week. The possibilities are endless. Thanks for the help.


Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:02 am
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