Last Breath of the Dragon Queen – Encounters

Encounters

This module is just a string of encounters without too much complexity. Part of the problem with this is that there are so many encounters that the players will need long rests, but there needs to be incentive for the players to not take too many long rests. The way I’ve structured the encounters, the entire module has a budget of just over 120,000 adjusted xp per player. This equates to 3 days worth of adventures total. What I plan to do is to emphasize that Tiamat is recovering control and power and the longer they take the stronger she will be. I plan to address this by adding a young dragon for each long rest over two that that party takes (i.e. if they take 3 long rests, add 1 dragon, or 2 dragons if they take 4 etc.).

The battles are pretty straightforward, but they might get bored fighting so many dragons. In any case these are the encounters…

For a party of five:

4th Edition Encounter 5th Edition Encounter XP Adjusted XP difficulty
Death From Above 3 Azharul Dominion Ships 2 Azharul Dominion Ships 30000 45000 Hard
Audience Chamber Quanathrik, Exarch of Tiamat,
1 Dread Wraith Assassin
Quanathrik, Exarch of Tiamat 50000 50000 Hard
Red Broodmother’s Lair Red Brood Mother 1 Ancient Red Dragon (MM) 62000 62000 Hard
Dragonborn Honor Guard Dragonborn Annihilator,
3 Champions of Tiamat, Dragonguard Dragonborn Champions
1 Dragonborn War Priest (VGM),
2 Dragonborn Blackguards (VGM)
12800 25600 Easy
Green Broodmother’s Lair 1 Green Brood Mother,
2 Dragonborn Vampire Lords
1 Ancient Green Dragon (MM) 41000 41000 Medium
Hall of Vanquished Champions 1 Deathshrieker,
1 Terrifying Iron Golem,
1 Lich Castellan Wizard
1 Banshee (MM), 1 Lich (MM) 34100 51150 Hard
White Broodmother’s Lair 1 White Brood Mother,
3 Dread Bonespitters
1 Ancient White Dragon (MM),
1 Dragon Skeleton
30000 45000 Hard
Gate Chamber 1 Runescribed Dracolich Consort of Tiamat 1 Ancient Red Dracolich (MM) 62000 62000 Hard
Black Broodmother’s Lair 1 Black Brood Mother,  Death Strangler Vines 1 Ancient Black Dragon (MM),
1 Death Strangler Vine
38000 57000 Hard
Observatory 1 Beholder Ultimate Tyrant 1 Beholder Ultimate Tyrant 25000 25000 Easy
Blue Broodmother’s Lair 1 Blue Brood Mother 1 Ancient Blue Dragon (MM) 50000 50000 Hard
Tiamat’s Platform Tiamat Tiamat (RoT) 155000 155000 Deadly

For a party of five, the total xp is 117,980 and the adjusted xp is 133,750 per player. This is just over the goal of 120,000 xp (3 x 40,000 per day).

For a party of six:

4th Edition Encounter 5th Edition Encounter XP Adjusted XP difficulty
Death From Above 3 Azharul Dominion Ships 3 Azharul Dominion Ships 45000 67500 Hard
Audience Chamber Quanathrik, Exarch of Tiamat,
1 Dread Wraith Assassin
Quanathrik, Exarch of Tiamat,
2 Wraith (MM)
53600 80400 Deadly
Red Broodmother’s Lair Red Brood Mother 1 Ancient Red Dragon (MM) 62000 31000 Easy
Dragonborn Honor Guard Dragonborn Annihilator,
3 Champions of Tiamat, Dragonguard Dragonborn Champions
2 Dragonborn Warlords (VGM),
1 Dragonborn War Priest (VGM),
4 Dragonborn Blackguards (VGM)
37400 74800 Hard
Green Broodmother’s Lair 1 Green Brood Mother,
2 Dragonborn Vampire Lords
1 Ancient Green Dragon (MM),
1 Spellcaster Vampire (MM)
54000 54000 Hard
Hall of Vanquished Champions 1 Deathshrieker,
1 Terrifying Iron Golem,
1 Lich Castellan Wizard
1 Banshee (MM), 1 Iron Golem (MM), 1 Lich (MM) 49100 73650 Hard
White Broodmother’s Lair 1 White Brood Mother,
3 Dread Bonespitters
1 Ancient White Dragon (MM),
4 Dragon Skeletons
45000 67500 Hard
Gate Chamber 1 Runescribed Dracolich Consort of Tiamat 1 Ancient Red Dracolich (MM) 62000 31000 Easy
Black Broodmother’s Lair 1 Black Brood Mother,  Death Strangler Vines 1 Ancient Black Dragon (MM),
3 Death Strangler Vines
48000 72000 Hard
Observatory 1 Beholder Ultimate Tyrant 1 Beholder Ultimate Tyrant,
2 Half Dragon Diviners (VGM)
32800 49200 Medium
Blue Broodmother’s Lair 1 Blue Brood Mother 1 Ancient Blue Dragon (MM),
2 Air Elemental Myrmidon (MTF)
55800 83700 Deadly
Tiamat’s Platform Tiamat Tiamat (RoT) 155000 77500 Deadly

For a party of five, the total xp is 116,616 and the adjusted xp is 127,041 per player. This is just over the goal of 120,000 xp (3 x 40,000 per day).

Concluding the Adventure

I plan to add two new twists to the end of the adventure. First of all, in order to kill Tiamat for good, they need to use the Arrow of Fate. When Tiamat Drops to 0 Hit Points, Bahamut can sense this and portals in to urge the players to slay Tiamat once and for all. If they do this, I’ll give them the ending from the module.

However, when Bahamut appears, whoever holds the Arrow of Fate will feel it urging them to reunite the two halves of Io once more. If the player’s do this, I will give them an ending along the lines of The Dark Crystal (The Dark crystal – Ending Scene).

Io, once more restored, speaks to the characters:

The age of dragons is over. Too long has the war between our good and evil sides torn the mortal realm asunder. It is time for dragonkind to reconcile and withdraw leaving mortals to find their own path without the further meddling of dragon. 

I thank you for all that you have done. It took a true hero among mortals to finally put an end to our eons-long struggle. Farewell.

At this point, Io and all dragons everywhere, fly up to the heavens and disappear to lands unknown.

Conclusion

It has been a long journey working on this conversion project. My first blog post was in January 2015, almost 5 years ago! I’ve been running three different groups through this. Two are currently playing through Test of Fire and the third group has started Last Breath of the Dragon Queen, so I’m not done yet, but it is getting close.

In a previous post, I mentioned that it would have smoothed out the leveling curve if I had included Fist of Mourning. If I have time I may go back and do a quick conversion of that adventure, but I won’t be redoing the levels on all the other adventures.

I hope that people found this useful and thank you for all your patience.

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Posted in 19 Last Breath of the Dragon Queen, Conversion | 1 Comment

Last Breath of the Dragon Queen – Custom Monster, Traps and Hazards

This is it, the last set of monsters. I pulled the stats for Tiamat from the Rise of Tiamat module, so that saved me the hardest part.

Custom Monsters

The ships themselves are not monsters, but they can be run as if they were, as described in the module.

Azharul Dominion Ships
Gargantuan special, neutral evil
Armor Class
 18 (ship: natural armor or marines: chainmail and shield)
Hit Points 232 (15d20 + 75)
Speed fly 10 ft. (hover)
Str 18, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 15
Damage Immunities thunder; necrotic, poison and psychic from single target attacks
Condition Immunities prone; poisoned, charmed, frightened from single target attacks
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Draconic (crew)
Challenge 16 (15000)
Hissing Corona Any creature that enters or starts its turn within 20 feet of the ship takes 10 (3d6) lightning damage unless they are standing on the deck.
Collective Operation The dominion ship is operated by multiple dragonborn crew, and attacking or controlling them individually doesn’t hamper the ship. The ship is subject to area attacks normally, but is immune to poison, psychic or necrotic damage from single target attacks, as well as the charmed, frightened and poisoned conditions from single target attacks. In addition, the ship can take opportunity attacks with the Dragonborn Marines every turn instead of once per round.
Crew Suppression A creature adjacent to the dominion ship can spend a standard action to attack the visible crew members. They don’t fight back; such an “attack” automatically succeeds. It does no damage but leaves the dominion ship unable to make its melee attack until the end of its next turn. If the same creature performs the crew suppression attack three rounds in a row, the thunder-echo projectors are likewise unable to attack until the suppression ends.
Actions
Dragonborn Marines As a bonus action, the marines attack creatures on the deck or adjacent to the ship. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 25 (3d8+12) slashing damage.
Thunder Echo Projector The thunder echo projector targets a point within 130 ft., all creatures within 25 ft. of the targeted location must make a DC 18 constitution saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) thunder damage on a failed saving throw or half as much damage on a successful one.


Quanathrik is basically an ancient blue dragon with the ability to transform into a dragonborn form and throw a stun attack.

Quanathrik, Exarch of Tiamat
Medium dragon, lawful evil
Armor Class 22 (natural armor)
Hit Points 481 (26d20+208)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
Str 29, Dex 10, Con 27, Int 18, Wis 17, Cha 21
Saving Throws Dex+7, Con+15, Wis+10, Cha+12
Skills Perception+17, Stealth+7
Damage Immunities lightning
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 27
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 23 (50000)
Legendary Resistance (3/Day) If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Lightning Reformation When Quanathrik’s breath weapon is not available, the dragon may teleport up to 60 ft. and take the form of a medium dragonborn instead of taking a move action. He can return to dragon form as a bonus action. While in dragonborn form, he cannot use his breath weapon, fightful presenece, bite, claw or tail attacks.
Actions
Multiattack (Dragon form only) The dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite (Dragon form only) Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (2d10 + 9) piercing damage + 11 (2d10) lightning damage.
Claw (Dragon form only)
Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d6 + 9) slashing damage.
Tail (Dragon form only)
Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d8 + 9) bludgeoning damage.
Frightful Presence (Dragon form only)
Each creature of the dragon’s choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
Lightning Breath (Dragon form only)
The dragon exhales lightning in a 120-foot line that is 10 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw, taking 88 (16d10) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Hurl Lightning (Dragonborn form only)
Quanathrik directs lightning to a target within 100 ft. the target must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw, taking 11 (2d10) lightning damage plus 11 (2d10) thunder damage and the target is stunned until the end of its next turn.
Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Detect The dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Tail Attack The dragon makes a tail attack.
Wing Attack (Costs 2 Actions) The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet of the dragon must succeed on a DC 24 Dexterity saving throw or take 16 (2d6 + 9) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its flying speed.
Lightning Attack (Costs 3 Actions) Quanathrik makes a hurl lightning attack.


A dragon skeleton is just a big skeleton with multiattack. I kept the swim speed for them because they are in the water for the encounter.

Dragon Skeleton
Huge undead, lawful evil
Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 200 (16d12+96)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.
Str 22, Dex 10, Con 22, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 8
Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities
exhausted, poisoned
Senses
 blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages understands Draconic but can’t speak
Challenge 9 (5000)
Actions
Multiattack The skeleton makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d10 + 6) piercing damage.
Claw 
Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 6) slashing damage.


I had a little trouble with the vines. I was going to make them CR 5, but when I tried that they would have been too trivial. At CR 9 they are high on attack, but low on damage making them at least relevant against a level 20 character.

Death Strangler Vines
Gargantuan plant, unaligned
Armor Class 10
Hit Points 203 (14d20+56)
Speed 5 ft.
Str 24, Dex 5, Con 22, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 6
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances piercing
Senses passive Perception 20
Languages –
Challenge 9 (1800)
False Appearance While the vines remain motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal plant.
Actions
Vine Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d10+7) bludgeoning damage and the target is restrained (escape DC 18). A creature already restrained at the start of the vines’ turn takes 18 (2d10+7) bludgeoning damage. If the vines have 6 creatures restrained, it may not make another attack unless it releases one of the restrained creatures.


The beholder ultimate tyrant is a beefed up version of a regular beholder.

Beholder Ultimate Tyrant
Huge aberration, lawful evil
Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 287 (23d12+138)
Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 22, Int 18, Wis 15, Cha 19
Saving Throws Int+10, Wis+8, Cha+10
Skills Perception+14
Condition Immunities prone
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 24
Languages Deep Speech, Undercommon
Challenge 20 (100000)
Legendary Resistance (3/Day) If the beholder fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Antimagic Cone The beholder’s central eye creates an area of antimagic, as in the antimagic field spell, in a 150-foot cone . At the start of each of its turns , the beholder decides which way the cone faces and whether the cone is active. The area works against the beholder’s own eye rays.
Actions
Bite Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit : 21 (6d6) piercing damage.
Eye Rays The beholder shoots three of the following magical eye rays at random (reroll duplicates), choosing one to three targets it can see within 120 feet of it:
1. Charm Ray. The targeted creature mu st succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the beholder for 1 hour, or until the beholder harms the creature.
2. Paralyzing Ray. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 18 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns , ending the effect on it s elf on a success.
3. Fear Ray. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
4. Slowing Ray. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target’s speed is halved for 1 minute. In addition, the creature can’t take reactions, and it can take either an action or a bonus action on its turn, not both. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
5. Enervation Ray. The targeted creature must make a DC 18 Constitution saving throw, taking 54 (12d8) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
6. Telekinetic Ray. If the target is a creature , it must succeed on a DC 18 Strength saving throw or the beholder moves it up to 30 feet in any direction. It is restrained by the ray’s telekinetic grip until the start of the beholder’s next turn or until th e beholder is incapacitated.
If the target is an object weighing 300 pounds or less that isn’t being worn or carried, it is moved up to 30 feet in any direction. The beholder can also exert fine control on objects with this ray, such as manipulating a simple tool or opening a door or a container.
7. Sleep Ray. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw or fall asleep and remain unconscious for 1 minute. The target awakens if it takes damage or another creature takes an action to wake it. This ray has no effect on constructs and undead.
8. Petrification Ray. The targeted creature must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save , the creature begins to turn to stone and is restrained. It must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends. On a failure , the creature is petrified until freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic.
9. Disintegration Ray. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw or take 67 (15d8) force damage. If this damage reduces the creature to 0 hit points, its body becomes a pile of fine gray dust.
If the target is a Large or smaller non magical object or creation of magical force, it is disintegrated without a saving throw. If the target is a Huge or larger object or creation of magical force, this ray disintegrates a 10-foot cube of it.
10. Death Ray. The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw or take 82 (15d10) necrotic damage. The target dies if the ray reduces it to 0 hit points.
Legendary Actions
The beholder can take 3 legendary actions, using the Eye Ray option below. It can take only one legendary action at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The beholder regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Eye Ray The beholder uses one random eye ray.
Lair Actions
When fighting inside its lair, a beholder can invoke the ambient magic to take lair actions. On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the beholder can take one lair action to cause one of the following effects:
Slimy Terrain A 50-foot square area of ground within 120 feet of the beholder becomes slimy; that area is difficult terrain until initiative count 20 on the next round.
Grasping Walls Walls within 120 feet of the beholder sprout grasping appendages until initiative count 20 on the round after next. Each creature of the beholder’s choice that starts its turn within 10 feet of such a wall must succeed on a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw or be grappled. Escaping requires a successful DC 18 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check.
Eye An eye opens on a solid surface within 60 feet of the beholder. One random eye ray of the beholder shoots from that eye at a target of the beholder’s choice that it can see. The eye then closes and disappears.

Traps and Hazards

Dragon-Eye Disintegrator Beams
Trigger When a creature moves into or starts its turn in a square more than 10 feet above the floor.
Detection
Perception: No check is required to see the glowing eyes on each dragon-head entrance.
Arcana DC 14: The eye-beams will disintegrate anything that flies upward toward Tiamat’s platform.
Arcana DC 17: Tampering with the eye-beams may trigger them, but they draw energy from a powerful life-force beyond the dragon-doors.
Countermeasures Killing all five brood mothers disables the disintegrator beams.
Four successes at a DC 19 Arcana or Thieves’ Tools check disables one dragon-head disintegrator, but each attempt, successful or not, triggers the beams against every creature in the chamber except Tiamat, including those on the ground.
Actions
Disintegration Ray A thin green ray springs from the dragon eyes to any creature, or a creation of magical force, such as the wall created by wall of force.
A creature targeted by this spell must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 19d6 + 40 force damage. The target is disintegrated if this damage leaves it with 0 hit points.
A disintegrated creature and everything it is wearing and carrying, except magic items, are reduced to a pile of fine gray dust. The creature can be restored to life only by means of a true resurrection or a wish spell. This spell automatically disintegrates a Large or smaller nonmagical object or a creation of magical force. If the target is a Huge or larger object or creation of force, this spell disintegrates a 10-foot-cube portion of it. A magic item is unaffected by this spell.


The shard is very gimmicky and has a very 4E feel to it. In 4E movement, especially push, pull and slide against enemies was very important. In 5E, I found the shard to be irrelevant to the encounter. If you can, get the party to move to the middle of the room by having Quanathrik teleport and take cover in the balcony when he changes to dragonborn form.

Shard of Annihilation
Armor Class 18
Hit Points 200
Damage Resistance all
Trigger When a creature enters any of the squares covered by the mosaic, the shard appears and acts on initiative 0. The shard fills one square, but doesn not provide cover or block movement.
Countermeasures Destroying or disenchanting the mosaic is the only way to destroy the shard. any square will suffice; they’re all AC 18, HP 200; resist: all. Characters who succeed a DC 16 Arcana check understand the nature of the shard and how to destroy it.
Actions
Annihilating Move On its turn, the shard moves 25 to 50 ft (5*1d6+20) along the mosac. Each creature in a square that the shard enters must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw, taking 51 (10d6) necrotic damage on a failed saving throw. In addition, targets that fail the saving throw take 4d6 necrotic damage at the start of their turn. They make repeat the saving throw at the end of their turn to end this effect. A creatures reduced to 0 hit points by the shard’s damage is destroyed, reduced to a pile of fine gray dust.


Nothing too special about magma and the magma geysers.

Magma
Treat it like water (in that characters must swim their way out of it), but entering the magma or starting your turn in the magma deals 5d10 fire damage.

Magma Geyser
Trigger The geyser rolls initiative when one or more characters move within 20 ft. of any magma geyser space in the room. Each round on its initiative, it attacks. a particular geyser goes dormant if it misses everyone or if there’s no one in the burst to hit. It’s possible for characters to trigger multiple geysers. They all act on the same initiative, but they might go dormant at different times. If all go dormant, roll a new initiative if another is activated.
Actions
Burst all creatures within 15 ft. of the geyser must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (5d8) fire damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a success. Creatures who faile the saving throw must also make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw. On failure a creatures takes 3d6 fire damage at the start of their turn and is blinded. At the end of the creatures turn they may repeat the constitution saving throw to end the effects.


Again, with less focus on forced movement in 5E, the chompers, I mean rising and falling blocks, are much less of a threat.

Rising and Falling Blocks
Trigger The trap is triggered by any movement in the room.
Countermeasures Dexterity (Theive’s Tools) DC 18: a character in one of the block areas or adjacent to it when the block is fully in the chamber (at step 2) can jam it, thereby preventing further movement.
Arcana DC 20: Certain carved runes on the blocks can be defaced, which will send the blocks hurtling into the pits one last time.
Actions
Block Movement On the trap’s initiative count, blocks A and C move in the following pattern:
1. up into the ceiling (bottom of the block flush with the ceiling, top flat against the roof of the opening);
2. down to form walls (bottom and top flush with the floor and ceiling);
3. down into the floor (top flush with the floor);
4. down to the bottom of the 90-foot pit (top 60 feet below the floor);
5. up to floor level (top flush with the floor);
6. and so on in an endless cycle.
block B moves in the same pattern, but it begins with step 3.
Fall into a pit when the block is up: 9d6 bludgeoning damage
Fall into a pit when the block is all the way down: 6d6 bludgeoning damage
Crushed against ceiling: 2d10 + 40 bludgeoning damage.
Crushed against floor: 3d10 + 50 bludgeoning damage.


Nothing too special with this.

Tainted Water
Thin Ice When a creature enters a space with thin ice, the ice gives way. The creature that triggered the trap immediately attempts a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw. If it succeeds, that character is prone in any adjacent square not in the thin ice area. If the saving throw fails, the creature is dunked into tainted water taking the damage described below.
Actions
Tainted Water Any creature that enters it or starts its turn in the tainted water takes 22 (4d10) poison damage plus 22 (4d10) necrotic damage


To make this trap more relevant, I wouldn’t have the dracolich show up or the gate trap activate until the party moves into the room, probably when someone investigates the vortex or one of the gates. Or, if they ignore everything and decide to move through the room, spring it on them when they go to take the stairs on the far end of the room.

Far Realm Gate Trap
Armor Class 18
Hit Points 100
Str 30, Dex 0, Con 30, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha 0
Damage Resistances all
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Trigger Every round, two of the gates (use 1d8 twice to determine which ones) reveal a passageway to the Far realm. Nothing comes through the gate, but those who look at the horrors of the Far realm put their sanity at risk.
The gates open and close at initiative point 0. They attack anyone standing within 20 ft. instantly, and they make an opportunity attack against anyone moving within 20 ft. of them while they’re open.
Detection
Perception DC 18 The character sees a flicker indicating which two gates will open the following round.
Arcana DC 22 The character recognizes the Far realm and knows it’s not safe to look at.
Countermeasures A character can engage in a skill challenge to shut down a gate. Complexity 1 (4 successes before 3 failures). Dexterity (Thieves’ Tools) DC 22. Success causes that gate to stay dark even when it would be randomly triggered. Each failure causes the gate to explode. The third failure sucks the character into the Far realm, where he remains until someone rescues him-an adventure in its own right.
Death Explosion When reduced to 0 hit points, the gate explodes.
Actions
Horrible Visions The gate attack anyone standing within 20 ft. instantly, and makes an attack against anyone moving within 20 ft. while open. All creatures with 20 ft. must make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw against fear or take 27 (4d10 + 5) psychic damage and ongoing 5 psychic damage and is stunned for 1 minute – affected creatures my repeat the save at the end of their turn, ending the effect.
Explosion Any creatures within 40 ft. takes 27 (4d10 + 5) radiant damage and is stunned for 1 minute – affected creatures my repeat the save at the end of their turn, ending the effect.


The force bridges are interesting, but cumbersome to track. Once someone in the party casts fly on everyone they are irrelevant.

Force Bridge
Detection
Perception DC 18: There seems to be a pattern to the timing: three rounds on, one round off.
DC 21: There are faint clouds of dust that move on each bridge in the second round of the bridge being on, as if there’s a wind there.
Arcana DC 21 There’s a surge in kinetic energy at each bridge during the second round.
Countermeasures Succeeding on a DC 21 Arcana by an adjacent character disables the trap. The bridge no longer deactivates to cause characters to fall through and the whirlwind push effect ceases for the duration of the encounter.
Operation Once activated with a free interaction with the environment from the beholder, roll 1d4 to determine which bridges will shut down first (1 = 1 and 5, 2 = 2 and 6, 3 = 3 and 7, 4 = 4 and 8). Then roll initiative for the bridges, and in the following round those bridges shut down. Each subsequent round at that initiative point, two more bridges close down (the next two numerically), and the bridges that were inactive become active again. add two more bridges to the pattern until all have activated once (in the fourth round), then continue cycling through in order in the off-active-push-active cycle. For example, if the initial 1d4 throw is 3, then in the first round, bridges 3 and 7 shut off. In the second round, bridges 4 and 8 shut off and bridges 3 and 7 reactivate. In the third round, bridges 1 and 5 shut off, bridges 4 and 8 reactivate, and bridges 3 and 7 make their push attack. In the fourth round, bridges 2 and 6 shut off, bridges 1 and 5 turn back on, bridges 4 and 8 make a push attack, and bridges 3 and 7 remain active. In the fifth round, bridges 3 and 7 shut off, bridges 4 and 8 remain active, bridges 1 and 5 make a push attack, and bridges 2 and 6 turn back on again. This cycle repeats until the beholder is slain.
Actions
Push all creatures on the bridge must make a DC 13 Strength saving throw, taking 24 (3d12 + 5) force damage, are knocked prone and pushed 15 ft. away from the centerline of the bridge.
Falling Falling from the bridge to the floor below (120 ft.) take 12d6 bludgeoning damage and are knocked prone.


Bowling for heroes.

Tornado Alley
Trigger As soon as the brood mother notices the characters, the trap triggers, and the cyclones continue until she is slain. The first cyclone appears when the trap is triggered. On initiative count 0, all existing cyclones move and two new cyclones appear at the base of the cliff, rolling 1d8 to determine each cyclone’s path. If both rolls are the same, only one new cyclone appears that round. If two cyclones start in the same track, place one in front of the other. Each is 10 ft. in diameter. The cyclones provide heavy obscurement.
Actions
Move When a cyclone moves, it follows the path that matches the number rolled when it was created. The cyclone moves 45-70 (1d6+8)*5 ft.
Whirlwind When a cyclone enters a huge or smaller creature’s space, or a huge or smaller creature enters it space, the creature must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw. Before making this saving throw, a creature can drop prone to automatically succeed the save. On a failed save, the creature takes 3d10+6 bludgeoning damage and is thrown 40 ft. in a random direction (but always into another lane). On a successful saving throw, the creature takes half as much damage and is knocked prone, but is not moved. The creature must succeed a DC 13 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to avoid being knocked prone when it lands.


Next post will be the encounters for Last Breath of the Dragon Queen.

Posted in 19 Last Breath of the Dragon Queen, Conversion | 1 Comment

Test of Fire – Skill Challenges and Encounters

For this adventure, the players started at level 18, but I had them level up to 19 and get a long rest after the Efreet Alliance skill challenge. It felt very artificial and thinking back, I had the feeling that perhaps I should have included the optional adventure, Fist of Mourning, way back between The Temple Between and Beyond the Mottled Tower. However, I did make this work.

Forgotten Fire – The Keening Delve

I went ahead and put all the optional encounters and traps on the map, this fleshed things out and helped me to justify giving the players a level-up halfway through the module.

The adjusted xp budget for an adventure day at level 18 is 27,000 xp. It takes 40,000 xp to go from level 18 to level 19.

For a party of five:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
Forgotten Fire
Slaad Outpost 1 Black Slaad Overlord,
1 Red Slaad Reaver,
4 Black Slaad Void Nexus
3 Black Slaad (MM),
3 Red Slaad (MM)
23100 46200 Hard
Elemental Rift 1 Thunderbolt Cyclone,
6 Shardstorm Icewinds,1 Caustic Slayer
1 Tempest,
2 Air Elementals (MM)
23600 47200 Hard
Primordial Shrine 1 Abyssal Ratlord,
2 Nycademon Warmasters,
3 Kazrith Flametongues
1 Nabassu (MTF),
1 Devourer (VGM)
23000 34500 Hard
Denizens of the Delve
Denizens of the Delve 1 1 Eladrin Lich,
2 Mariliths, 2 Soulspike Devourers
1 Lich (MM) 33000 33000 Hard
Denizens of the Delve 2 1 Balor, 1 Beholder Eye of Chaos,
1 Thunderblast Cyclone
1 Balor (MM) 22000 22000 Medium
Denizens of the Delve 3 2 Abyssal Rotfiends, 1 Efreet Karadjin,
1 Efreet Pyresinger,
1 Glabrezu, 2 Great Flameskulls
1 Sibriex (MTF),
1 Efreeti (MM)
27200 40800 Hard

 

The xp, comes to 13,940 per player with an adjusted xp of 25,580 per player. If all of the optional Denizens of the Delve encounters are included, the adjusted xp goes up to 44,740 and the actual xp goes to 30,380.

For a party of six:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
Forgotten Fire
Slaad Outpost 1 Black Slaad Overlord,
1 Red Slaad Reaver,
4 Black Slaad Void Nexus
3 Black Slaad (MM),
4 Red Slaad (MM)
24900 49800 Hard
Elemental Rift 1 Thunderbolt Cyclone,
6 Shardstorm Icewinds,1 Caustic Slayer
1 Tempest,
5 Air Elementals (MM)
29000 43500 Hard
Primordial Shrine 1 Abyssal Ratlord,
2 Nycademon Warmasters,
3 Kazrith Flametongues
2 Nabassu (MTF),
1 Devourer (VGM)
36000 54000 Hard
Denizens of the Delve
Denizens of the Delve 1 1 Eladrin Lich,
2 Mariliths,
2 Soulspike Devourers
1 Lich (MM),
1 Marilith (MM)
48000 48000 Hard
Denizens of the Delve 2 1 Balor, 1 Beholder Eye of Chaos,
1 Thunderblast Cyclone
1 Balor (MM),
1 Beholder (MM)
32000 32000 Medium
Denizens of the Delve 3 2 Abyssal Rotfiends, 1 Efreet Karadjin,
1 Efreet Pyresinger,
1 Glabrezu, 2 Great Flameskulls
1 Sibriex (MTF),
2 Efreeti (MM)
34400 51600 Hard

The xp, comes to 19,067 per player with an adjusted xp of 21,933 per player. If all of the optional Denizens of the Delve encounters are included, the adjusted xp goes up to 46,483 and the actual xp goes to 34,050 per player.

The City of Brass

The city of brass takes up the bulk of the adventure. There are only three required encounters, but it is likely that the players will have some failures during the skill challenge to cross the city. Be sure that the players have a rest at some point before they start the attack on the Barracks of the Ring of Fire (Ecounter B5), because they will not have time for a rest after that until the module concludes.

Skill Challenge – Estumishu’s Favor

I ran this challenge pretty much as written, with the characters facing off against an Efreeti (MM) with the DCs:

Primary Skills
Persusasion: DC 14
History: DC 7
Intimidate: DC 17
Perception: DC 14

Secondary Skills
Arcana or Insight: DC 14
Bluff: DC 17
Endurance: DC 7

Skill Challenge – Through the City of Brass

I also ran this pretty much as written with the following DCs:

District  Athletics  Deception  Intimidation  Stealth
Arches 13 13 13 13
Ashlarks 13 16 13 13
Avencina 16 13 16 13
Castings 13 13 7 13
The Char 13 16 16 13
Cindersweeps 13 7 13 13
The Foundry 13 13 16 13
The Furnace 16 16 16 16
Escalate 7 7 13 13
Keffinspires 13 16 16 7
Marlgate 7 16 16 13
The Plume 16 13 7 13
Pyraculum 13 13 13 7
Rookery 13 16 16 13

City patrol encounters that arise from failures in the skill challenge are listed in the next section.

Encounters – City of Brass

At this point, the players are level 19. The adjusted xp budget at level 19 is 20,000 xp per player per day and it takes 50,000 xp to go from level 19 to level 20.

For a party of five:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
The City of Brass
Canal Crossing 1 Greenspawn Defender, 2 Azer Maulers, 5 Fire Archon Flamebows, 5 Genasi Blackhearts 1 Genasi Blackguads (VGM),
2 Genasi Evokers (VGM),
1 Azer Champion
18900 37800 Hard
Gate Crashers 1 Redspawn Magmastomper,
2 Salamander Thrallmasters,
10 Salamander Fireshields
1 Young Red Dragon (MM),
1 Efreeti (MM),
4 Salamanders (MM)
20300 40600 Hard
Outside the Barracks 10 Fire Elementals (MM) 18000 45000 Hard
Lord of the Efreets Bashumgarda, Lord of the Efreets, 2 Ring of Fire Pyremasters,
9 Ring of Fire Flamerunners,
6 Ring of Fire Magmacasters
Bashumgarda, Lord of the Efreets,
1 Efreeti (MM)
29200 43800 Hard
Bahamut’s Fall
Eternal Flame 1 White Dragon Firelord,
6 Efreet Scalespawn
1 White Dragon Firelord,
2 Red Guard Drakes (VGM)
25900 51800 Hard
Namissi’s Revenge Namissi, Blue Exarch of Tiamat Namissi (Ancient Blue Dragon (MM)) 50000 50000 Hard
City Patrols
Slave Patrol 1 2 Azer Maulers,
6 Genasi Blackhearts
1 Azer Champion, 1 Genasi Evoker (VGM),
1 Genasi Blackguards (VGM)
13900 27800 Medium
Slave Patrol 2 1 Salamander Thrallmaster,
8 Salamander Fireshields, 8 Fire Archon Flamebows
1 Efreeti (MM),
2 Fire Elemental Myrmidon (MTF),
2 Salamanders (MM)
16600 33200 Medium
Elite Patrol 1 1 Efreet Pyremaster,
1 Efreet karadjin,
6 Efreet Magmacasters
1 Phoenix (MTF), 1 Efreeti (MM) 22200 33300 Medium
Elite Patrol 2 1 Advanced Efreet Pyresinger, 3 Efreet Karadjins, 9 Efreet Flamerunners 3 Efreeti (MM) 21600 43200 Hard
Draconic Disciples 1 1 Greenspawn Defender,
3 Dragonborn Champions
1 Adult Green Dragon (MM),
2 Dragonborn Assassins (MM)
20800 41600 Hard
Draconic Disciples 2 1 Redspawn Magmastomper,
3 Dragonborn Death Knights
1 Young Red Dragon (MM),
2 Dragonborn Warlords (VGM)
22700 45400 Hard
Dragon Lords 1 Ancient Black Dragon 1 Ancient Black Dragon (MM) 33000 33000 Medium
Dragon Lords 2 Ancient Iron Dragon 1 Ancient Brass Dragon (MM) 25000 25000 Medium
Dragon Lords 3 Ancient Copper Dragon 1 Ancient Copper Dragon (MM) 33000 33000 Medium
Dragon Lords 4 Ancient Green Dragon 1 Ancient Green Dragon (MM) 41000 41000 Hard

The xp per player for the main encounters is 32,460 and the adjusted xp is 53,800. With the addition of any of the city patrol encounters it would be easy to go well over this, so this is easily 2 “days” worth of encounters.

For a party of six:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
The City of Brass
Canal Crossing 1 Greenspawn Defender, 2 Azer Maulers, 5 Fire Archon Flamebows, 5 Genasi Blackhearts 3 Genasi Blackguads (VGM),
2 Genasi Evokers (VGM),
2 Azer Champions
31700 63400 Hard
Gate Crashers 1 Redspawn Magmastomper,
2 Salamander Thrallmasters,
10 Salamander Fireshields
1 Young Red Dragon (MM),
2 Efreeti (MM),
4 Salamanders (MM)
27500 55000 Hard
Outside the Barracks 12 Fire Elementals (MM) 21600 54000 Hard
Lord of the Efreets Bashumgarda, Lord of the Efreets, 2 Ring of Fire Pyremasters,
9 Ring of Fire Flamerunners,
6 Ring of Fire Magmacasters
Bashumgarda, Lord of the Efreets,
2 Efreeti (MM)
36400 54600 Hard
Part Four: Bahamut’s Fall
Eternal Flame 1 White Dragon Firelord,
6 Efreet Scalespawn
1 White Dragon Firelord,
6 Red Guard Drakes (VGM)
27700 55400 Hard
Namissi’s Revenge Namissi, Blue Exarch of Tiamat Namissi (Ancient Blue Dragon (MM)) 50000 25000 Easy
City Patrols
Slave Patrol 1 2 Azer Maulers,
6 Genasi Blackhearts
2 Azer Champions (VGM), 2 Genasi Evoker (VGM),
1 Genasi Blackguards (VGM)
22800 34200 Medium
Slave Patrol 2 1 Salamander Thrallmaster,
8 Salamander Fireshields, 8 Fire Archon Flamebows
1 Efreeti (MM),
3 Fire Elemental Myrmidon (MTF),
3 Salamanders (MM)
21300 42600 Medium
Elite Patrol 1 1 Efreet Pyremaster,
1 Efreet karadjin,
6 Efreet Magmacasters
1 Phoenix (MTF), 3 Efreeti (MM) 36600 54900 Hard
Elite Patrol 2 1 Advanced Efreet Pyresinger, 3 Efreet Karadjins, 9 Efreet Flamerunners 4 Efreeti (MM) 28800 43200 Medium
Draconic Disciples 1 1 Greenspawn Defender,
3 Dragonborn Champions
1 Adult Green Dragon (MM),
4 Dragonborn Assassins (MM)
28600 42900 Medium
Draconic Disciples 2 1 Redspawn Magmastomper,
3 Dragonborn Death Knights
2 Young Red Dragons (MM),
2 Dragonborn Warlords (VGM)
28600 42900 Medium
Dragon Lords 1 Ancient Black Dragon 1 Ancient Black Dragon (MM),
1 Wyvern (MM)
37600 56400 Hard
Dragon Lords 2 Ancient Iron Dragon 1 Ancient Brass Dragon (MM),
1 Wyverns (MM)
35300 35300 Medium
Dragon Lords 3 Ancient Copper Dragon 1 Ancient Copper Dragon,
2 Wyverns
37600 56400 Hard
Dragon Lords 4 Ancient Green Dragon 1 Ancient Green Dragon (MM),
1 Wyvern (MM)
43300 43300 Medium

The xp per player for the main encounters is 32,483 and the adjusted xp is 51,233. With the addition of any of the city patrol encounters it would be easy to go well over this, so this is easily 2 “days” worth of encounters.

I do apologize for taking so long to get these last few posted, but we are almost done! Next up is The Last Breath of the Dragon Queen.

Posted in 17 Test of Fire, Conversion | 2 Comments

Test of Fire – Custom Monster, Traps and Hazards

Custom Monsters

Once again, many of the monsters I was able to use directly from the Monster Manual, Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. There were a handful that required customizaiton.

For the Tempest, I took the Elder Tempest from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes and scaled it down to CR 18.

Tempest
Huge elemental, neutral
Armor Class 18
Hit Points 241 (21d10+126)
Speed 0 ft., fly 120 ft. (hover)
Str 21, Dex 26, Con 23, Int 2, Wis 21, Cha 14
Saving Throws Wis+12, Cha+9
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities lightning, poison, thunder
Condition Immunities exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages –
Challenge 18 (20000)
Air Form The tempest can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Flyby The tempest doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy’s reach.
Legendary Resistance If the tempest fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Siege Monster The tempest deals double damage to objects and structures.
Actions
Multiattack The tempest makes two attacks with its thunderous slam.
Thunderous Slam Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d6 + 8) thunder damage.
Lightning Storm (Recharge 6) All other creatures within 120 feet of the tempest must each make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 27 (6d8) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If a target’s saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is also stunned until the end of its next turn.
Legendary Actions 
The tempest can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The tempest regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Move The tempest moves up to its speed.
Slam The tempest makes a slam attack.
Lightning Strike (Costs 2 Actions) The tempest can cause a bolt of lightning to strike a point on the ground anywhere under its storm. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 16 (3d10) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

For the Azer Champion, I merged the Azer from the Monster Manual with the Champion Template from Volo’s Guide to Monsters.

Azer Champion
Medium elemental, lawful evil
Armor Class 17 (natural armor, shield)
Hit Points 143 (22d8+44)
Speed 30 ft.
Str 20, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10
Saving Throws Str+9, Con+6
Skills Athletics+9, Intimidation+5, Percption+6
Damage Immunities fire, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses passive Perception 16
Languages Ignan
Challenge 9 (5000)
Indomitable (2/Day) The champion rerolls a failed saving throw.
Second Wind (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest) As a bonus action, the champion can regain 20 hit points.
Heated Body A creature that touches the azer or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) fire damage.
Heated Weapon When the azer hits with a metal melee weapon, it deals an extra 3 (1d6) fire damage (included in the attack).
Illumination The azer sheds bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet.
Actions
Multiattack The champion makes three attacks with its warhammer or light hammers.
Warhammer Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage plus 3 (1d6) fire damage, or 9 (1d10 + 5) bludgeoning damage plus 3 (1d6) fire damage. The champion does an extra 7 (2d6) damage if the champion has more than half of its total hit points remaining.
Light Hammer Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4 + 5) bludgeoning damage plus 3 (1d6) fire damage. The champion does an extra 7 (2d6) damage if the champion has more than half of its total hit points remaining.

For the Genasi Evoker and Genasi Blackguard, I used the Evoker and Blackguard templates from Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Based on the Fire Genasi subrace in Elemental Evil Player’s Companion I gave them them +2 Con, +1 Int, Damage Resistance to fire, 60 ft. darkvision, produce flame (cantrip), and burning hands (1st level)

For the White Dragon Firelord, I started with an Ancient White Dragon and added fire immunity and the Steam Shroud legendary action option then I modified the bite attack and breath weapon attacks to change the cold damage to cold and fire damage.

Ancient White Dragon Firelord
Damage Immunity fire
Bite Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d10 + 8) piercing damage + 4 (1d8) cold damage + 3 (1d8) fire damage.
Breath Weapon (Recharge 5-6) The dragon exhales a blast in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw, taking 36 (8d8) cold damage + 36 (8d8) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Legendary Action
Steam Shroud The dragon creates a 30 ft radius cloud of steam centered on itself. The cloud spreads around corners and the area is heavily obscured. It lasts until the start of the dragon’s next turn.

Bashumgarda, Lord of the Efreets is a beefed up version of an Efreeti

Bashumgarda, Lord of the Efreets
Large elemental, lawful evil
Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 225
Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft.
Str 22, Dex 16, Con 24, Int 19, Wis 17, Cha 20
Saving Throws Int+8, Wis+7, Cha+9
Damage Immunities fire
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Ignan
Challenge 9 (5000)
Elemental Demise If the efreeti dies, its body disintegrates in a flash of fire and puff of smoke, leaving behind only equipment the efreeti was wearing or carrying.
Innate Spellcasting The efreeti’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 17, +9 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: detect magic
3/day: enlarge/reduce, tongues, fireball
1/day each: conjure elemental (fire elemental only), gaseous form, invisibility, major image, plane shift, wall of fire
Legendary Resistance (3/Day) If Bashumgarda fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
Actions 
Multiattack The efreeti makes two scimitar attacks or uses its Hurl Flame twice.
Scimitar Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 6) slashing damage + 7 (2d6) fire damage.
Hurl Flame Ranged Spell Attack: +9 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (5d6) fire damage.
Legendary Actions 
Bashumgarda can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Bashumgarda regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.
Scimitar Slash Bashumgarda makes an attack with his scimitar.
Burning Wrath (Costs 2 Actions) All creatures within 20 ft. of Bashumgarda must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw. On failure, a target takes 3d10+5 fire damage and is blinded, or half as much damage and is not blinded on a successful save
Spellcasting (Costs 2 Actions) Bashumgarda casts a spell.

Traps and Hazards

Encounter K1: Slaad Outpost

Entropic Nexus
Speed fly 30 ft. (hover)
Trigger The entropic nexus appears and rolls initiative when any creature except a slaad moves adjacent to the altar.
Aura of Decay Creatures who start their turn adjacent to the nexus take 3d10+5 necrotic damage.
Countermeasures A character can attempt to dispel the nexus using arcana skill. To dispel the nexus requires 3 successful DC 16 arcana checks before 3 failures. On success, the nexus dissipates. On failure, it splits into two unstable nexus that each have a 50% chance to disperse at the end of their turn.
Actions
Grab Tendrils emerge from the nexus and attempt to ensnare a living creature within 15 ft. of the nexus. The targeted creature must make a DC 16 dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 3d10+5 necrotic damage, is grappled (DC 16 escape) and is pulled adjacent to the nexus. The nexus can grapple up to 8 creatures at a time.
At the end of their turn, creatures grappled by the nexus must make a DC 10 constitution saving throw. Each round the the creature is held by the nexus increases the DC of the saving throw by 2. On failure, the target is pulled into the Far realm and removed from play. At the end of the nexus’s next turn, the target appears in an unoccupied space adjacent to the nexus. The target returns from the Far realm as a misshapen and horrid version of its former self. It is incapacitated. A greater restoration will restore the target to its former form at which time it is no longer incapacitated.

Encounter K2: Elemental rift

Elemental Rift
Trigger The elemental rift is triggered and rolls initiative when any creature that does not have the elemental origin approaches within 10 ft. of it.
Once triggered, the elemental rift floods the cavern with unnaturally bright light. Any creature with darkvision must make a DC 14 constitution saving throw, a creatures who fails is stunned. the saving throw can be repeated at the end of the creatures turn. Once a creature makes a successful check, it is immune to this effect. Elemental creatures are immune to this effect.
Pure Elements Any creature that starts its turn adjacent to the rift takes 2d8 cold damage plus 2d8 fire damage plus 2d8 lightning damage. Any creature that flies or jumps over the rift takes 1d8 cold damage plus 1d8 fire damage plus 1d8 lightning damage. Any creature that enters or falls into the rift is held suspended by fierce winds, takes 3d8 cold damage plus 3d8 fire damage plus 3d8 lightning damage and is immobilized as if grappled (DC 16 to escape). Elemental creatures are immune to these effects.
Countermeasures A creature may make a DC 14 Arcana check as a bonus action. Creatures who succeed receive a +2 bonus to save against the rift’s next attack.
Actions
Elemental Surge 1d4 non-elemental creatures are randomly targeted. Targeted creatures must make a DC 16 dexterity saving throw. A creature who fails the saving throw takes 1d8 cold damage plus 1d8 fire damage plus 1d8 lightning damage and is stunned for one round, or half as much damage and is not stunned on as successful saving throw.

Encounter K3: Primordial Shrine

Lava Vent
Any creature that ends its turn adjacent to a lava vent takes 2d6 + 8 fire damage. A creature that enters a lava vent or starts its turn there takes 3d8 + 10 fire damage

Additional Encounter

Entropic Collapse
When a creature casts a spell or carries a magic item into an ancient dusty room, it triggers a temporary unweaving of the strands of time. Although reality reasserts itself a few moments later the damage to the psyches of those who have glimpsed beyond time take longer to heal. The dust typically covers 10 continuous squares in a room
Detection DC 18 Perception: The character notices that the swirling dust appears to glow with a faint luminescence.
DC 16 Arcana: The character notices and identifies the telltale dust glow that often presages entropic collapses.
Trigger When a character carrying a magic item enters a square that contains the dust, or when a character in a square that contains the dust casts a spell, the hazard attacks.
Actions
Dust Cloud All creatures in a 35 ft. diameter hemisphere centered on the trigger location must make a DC 17 Charisma saving throw. On a failed save a creature takes 29 (6d6+8) psychic damage and is stunned, or half as much damage and is not stunned on a successful save. Stunned creatures may repeat the saving throw at the end of their next turn, becoming no longer stunned on a success.
Celestials, fiends, animate and undead are immune to the effects of an entropic collapse.

Haemnathuun’s Heart
This fist-sized cut crystal is is built into a shrine in the center of the room. When a creature move within 25 ft. of the fragment, it starts emitting bursts of psychic energy from its facets.
Armor Class 17
Hit Points 100
Saving Throws Str -5, Dex -5, Con +5, Int -5, Wis -5, Cha -5
Damage Resistance all
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Detection DC 14 Perception: the character spots the strange gem.
DC 17 Arcana: the character recognizes it as a fragment of the fallen primordial Haemnathuun.
Trigger When a creature within 25 ft of the soul gem makes an attack, the gem rolls initiative.
Countermeasure A character can engage in a skill challenge to detach the fragment from its socket to disable it. To succeed requires 4 successful DC 19 Dexterity (Thieve’s tools) checks before incurring 3 failures. On success, the gem is detached and the trap is disabled. On failure, the gem explodes in a 45 ft. diameter sphere, and all creatures within the explosion are subjected to the effects of Echoes of the Blood Lord.
In addition, if the gem is destroyed by damagae, it is also explodes, as described above.
Actions
Echoes of the Blood Lord Each round the gem emits a 25 ft. cone of psychic energy in a random direction. A creature in the area must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, on failure it takes 27 (4d10+5) psychic damage and is stunned. While the creature is stunned, it takes an additional 1d10 psychic damage at the start of its turn. At the end of its turn, it must make another saving throw, ending the effect on a successful save.

Symbol of Suffering
Anyone familiar with magic recognizes the symbol as a powerful ward against approach. But its exact nature isn’t known until a creature steps close enough to comprehend it. Once triggered, the symbol inflicts excruciating pain.
Detection DC 14 Perception: The character notices the glowing symbol.
DC 16 Perception: The character recognizes the nature of the symbol
Trigger When a creature approaches within 25 ft. of the symbol, the trap attacks. Once a creature has entered the area it can remain in the area without suffering further attacks. The trap attacks again when another creature enters the area, or if a creature leaves and then reenters the area.
Countermeasures An adjacent character can disable the trap with a DC 18 Thieves’ Tools check or a DC 16 Arcana check.
Actions
Ward Attack A creature entering the warded area must make a DC 14 Charisma saving throw, taking 20 (3d6+10) psychic damage and its movement speed is halved. While the creature’s speed is reduced, it takes an additional 15 (3d6+5) psychic damage at the start of of its turn. At the end of its turn, it must make another saving throw, ending the effect on a successful save.

For the Voice of Chaos there should be at least 6 motes (I used 12) and they should be positioned in a room so that the characters need to walk through them.

Voice of Chaos
Armor Class 17
Hit Points 75
Saving Throws Dex +9, Con +7
Damage Immunities thunder
The walls of a ruined cavern echo and amplify the keening wail of the delve to a deadly hazard. Shimmering fields of sonic energy echo through the chamber.
Detection DC 12 Perception to notice the fields of shimmering sonic energy.
DC 12 Arcana The character identifies the nature of the fields and knows that if the concentration on a single creature rises too high, it will result in an explosion.
Trigger When a creature enters the space of a shimmering field or starts its turn in one, the sonic echos amplify on the character. At the start of a creature’s turn, if it has at least one field effect on it, the nearest shimmering field moves to enter the creature’s space and makes the same attack, attempting to latch on to that creature.
Countermeasures A creature may make a DC 10 dexterity check to remove an attached field from an adjacent creature. For each 5 points that the check exceeds the DC, the shimmering field can be pushed 5 ft.
A creature in the same space with a shimmering field may make a DC 16 Arcana check. With a success, the shimmering field unlatches from the character and does not attack again until the end of the character’s next turn.
Limited Zone The shimmering fields only occur in a particual location and while that location can be somewhat large, the shimmering fields do not move out of that area. If a creature with attached shimmering fields leave the area, the shimmering fields detach at the boundary.
Latch On When a creature is attacked, it must make a DC 16 dexterity saving throw, on a failed saving throw it takes 13 (1d8+9) thunder damage, and the mote attaches to the creature.
Explosion When six shimmering fields attach to a creature, the fields are destroyed in an explosion, affecting all creatures within 20 ft.. An affected creature must make a DC 16 dexterity saving throw, taking 28 (4d8+10) thunder damage and is knocked prone on a failed saving throw, or half as much damage on a successful saving throw.

Encounter B3: Canal Crossing

Lava Canal
The fiery canals that crisscross the City of Brass are a deadly hazard. The canal in this area flows normally, generating intense heat that can be felt from 50 feet away. Any creature that ends its turn on the top of the basalt wall takes 2d6 + 8 fire damage. Any creature that enters the canal takes 3d8 + 10 fire damage and is slowed for as long as it remains in the canal.

Encounter B4: Gate Crashers

Elemental Vent
Vents jetting pure elemental energy dot the area before the wall. Any non-elemental creature that ends its turn adjacent to an elemental vent takes 1d6+2 cold damage plus 1d6+2 fire damage plus 1d6+2 lightning damage. A creature that enters an elemental vent or ends its turn there takes 1d10+3 cold damage plus 1d10+3 fire damage plus 1d10+3 lightning damage and is stunned until the start of its next turn.
Actions
Eruption Each round on initiative count 0, roll a d6 for each elemental vent. On a roll of 6, the vent flares up unpredictably. Any creature adjacent to the vent takes 3d8 + 8 fire damage.

Encounter F1: Eternal Flame

Fire Fountain
Fire Pool Any creature that starts its turn in the air above the fire pool must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take 3d8 + 10 fire damage. Any creature that enters or starts its turn within the fire pool takes 4d8 + 10 fire damage.
Onyx Pillar Rough-topped pillars of magical onyx thrust up 5 feet above the roiling surface of the fire pool, including one large pillar that is the centerpiece of Tiamat’s rituals. A creature standing on an onyx pillar is partially protected from the crippling heat of the fire pool. Any creature that starts its turn on or above an onyx pillar must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take 2d8 + 5 fire damage.
Firefall Raw elemental fire surges like a waterfall down from the fire pool. The firefall is the only access from the open whirlpool to the warded fire pool. The 20-foot-high firefall can be ascended by flying or with a DC 16 Athletics check. A creature that flies up the firefall takes 3d8 + 10 fire damage. A creature that ascends the firefall with an Athletics check takes 4d8 + 10 fire damage.
Fire Whirlpool A creature that ends its turn on the onyx wall of the whirlpool takes 2d6 + 8 fire damage. Any creature that enters or starts its turn in the whirlpool takes 3d8 + 10 fire damage. A creature that starts adjacent to the wall must make a DC 10 Acrobatics or Athletics check (a standard action) to hold to the edge. A character that fails the check or starts in out of reach of the wall is caught up in the vortex.
Whirlpool Vortex A creature that starts it turn in the vortex must make a DC 13 Acrobatics or Athletics check (a standard action) to escape the vortex. One creature on the wall can aid this check. On a creature’s third failed check to escape the vortex, it is pulled down within the elemental maelstrom and irrevocably destroyed.

Encounter F2: Namissi’s Revenge

Weak Roof
The shattered roof has been weakened in the areas indicated on the tactical map. A creature that walks on one of these areas triggers a collapse, and must make a DC 16 Acrobatics check or plunge down in a fall of rubble. A creature that falls is buried. A buried creature can clamber out of the area of collapse with two DC 16 Athletics checks. Up to three characters adjacent to the collapse on the roof can assist this check.
Namissi is too large to fall if an area of weakened roof collapses beneath him. If the blue exarch triggers a collapse, he is slowed until the start of his next turn.

Posted in 17 Test of Fire, Conversion | 1 Comment

Those Once Loyal – Encounters

This adventure has 3 main sections followed by a concluding battle. Unlike many of the other modules in Scales of War, this adventure has different branching paths depending on the character choices.

Part 1: The City of Healing

If the players fight every encounter in this section, the adjusted xp is just under the 25,000 per character per day for both a party of five (24,520) and a party of six (23,000), while the normal xp is 14680 and 16233 per player, respectively.

The encounters are scaled for a party at 17th level. In addition to the monsters that I customized, I pulled some monsters from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (MTF) and Volo’s Guide to Monsters (VGM) and I flagged them in the encounter tables.

For a party of five:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP difficulty
Dragon Strike 2 Silver Dragon Scourgers, 4 Angels of Radiance, 6 Empyron Attendants, Kalad Adult Silver Dragon (MM), Young Silver Dragon (MM),
2 Angels of Light, Kalad,
Collapsing Roof
21400 42800 Hard
Fiery Abduction 2 Assassin Devil Abductors, 4 Brazen Devil Guards Pit Fiend* (MM),
2 Horned Devils (MM), 3 Barbed Devil (MM)
19800 39600 Hard
Tracking The Devils 6 Legion Devil Militants 3 Barbed Devils (MM) 5400
Covered Retreat Pit Fiend, War Devil Mauler, 2 Cambion Hell Thralls, 4 Legion Devil Militants Pit Fiend (MM), Barbed Devil (MM) 26800 40200 Hard

For a party of six:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
Dragon Strike 2 Silver Dragon Scourgers, 4 Angels of Radiance, 6 Empyron Attendants, Kalad 2 Adult Silver Dragons (MM),
4 Angels of Light, Kalad,
Collapsing Roof
32800 49200 Hard
Fiery Abduction 2 Assassin Devil Abductors, 4 Brazen Devil Guards Pit Fiend* (MM),
3 Horned Devils (MM),
3 Barbed Devil (MM)
27000 40500 Hard
Tracking The Devils 6 Legion Devil Militants 3 Barbed Devils (MM) 5400
Covered Retreat Pit Fiend, War Devil Mauler, 2 Cambion Hell Thralls, 4 Legion Devil Militants Pit Fiend (MM),
4 Barbed Devil (MM)
32200 48300 Hard

The first encounter, Dragon Strike, has the goal of pulling the party away from Amyria in order to allow the devils an opportunity to come in and grab her. Depending on how much help you want to provide the party, you can have Kalad join the encounter (unless they dismissed him in some way). I used the same stats for him as I used in the Siege of Boradin’s Watch, which makes him extremely weak for the encounter. If you think the party needs more help, you can use something stronger for him.

Instead of fighting in the doorway, the dragons should use the Collapsing Roof to attack the party without being seen. Once the party is drawn out and you feel it is appropriate, have the second encounter, Fiery Abduction, burst in from the back of the great hall. In this encounter, The Pit Fiend is completely uninterested in attacking and just wants to grab Amyria and carry her off, he will only fight if someone is preventing him from getting her. The rest of the devils are there to cover his escape. If the party manages to rescue Amyria (use dimension door to extract her, spirit her away beyond reasonable reach, etc.) then the Pit Fiend will retreat, leaving the other devils to cover his retreat.

In the encounter, Covered Retreat, the Pit Fiend is the same as the one in the Fiery Abduction encounter and if he received any injuries there, he will still have them.

Part 2: The Platinum Dragon’s Fastness

In this section, the adjusted xp is again near the 25,000 per character goal, being 25,810 for a party of five and 25250 for a party of six, with the normal xp being 15,900 per player for a party of five and 16833 per player for a party of six.

For a party of five:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
Hell’s Fury 5 Hell’s Furies 2 Erinyes (MM),
A Gusting Wind
16800 25200 Medium
Devoted Guardians Quoriel, 2 Guardian Wyverns, 4 Angels of Warding Planetar (MM),
2 Wyverns
19600 39200 Hard
Bahamut’s Throne Godforged Colossus, Platinum Seal,
4 Angels of Great Valor
Iron Golem (MM), Platinum Seal,
Deva (MM)
20900 31350 Hard
No Sanctuary Eye of Bahamut Eye of Bahamut
Accidental Prisoners Dispater, Infernal Ironguard, 2 Legion Devil Militants Titivilus (MTF), Horned Devil (MM), Warded Dias 22200 33300 Hard

For a party of six:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
Hell’s Fury 5 Hell’s Furies 3 Erinyes (MM),
A Gusting Wind
25200 37800 Hard
Devoted Guardians Quoriel, 2 Guardian Wyverns, 4 Angels of Warding Planetar (MM),
2 Wyverns
19600 29400 Medium
Bahamut’s Throne Godforged Colossus, Platinum Seal,
4 Angels of Great Valor
Iron Golem (MM), Platinum Seal,
2 Deva (MM)
26800 40200 Hard
No Sanctuary Eye of Bahamut Eye of Bahamut
Accidental Prisoners Dispater, Infernal Ironguard, 2 Legion Devil Militants Titivilus (MTF),
2 Horned Devil (MM), Warded Dias
29400 44100 Hard

In the Encounter, Hell’s Fury, the default for the Gusting Wind is to only occur on a 1 in 6 chance. When I ran the encounter I had the gust happen at the end of every round and instead of blowing them towards the door, I just had it blowing east (to the bottom of the map).

I tried running the encounter No Sanctuary in a couple different ways. When I had the devils attempt their escape while the party was fighting the Eye of Bahamut, it set up a situation where the party did not want to talk to Titivilus. The problem with this is that he has important information about where to go next, unless the party has already spoken with the Aspect of Moradin.

In the encounter, Accidental Prisoners, I replaced the Dispater with his Lieutenant, Titivilus, since his stats are available in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.

Part 3: Rainfather

I was a bit more sloppy with scaling the xp in this section. If the players fight everything, it is around 50,000 adjusted xp per player, which is twice the recommended amount per long rest. However, the party shouldn’t fight everyone. If they negotiate well, they can avoid the fight and extra monsters from the Finding the Soulforge skill challenge. In addition, they need only go through one of either the Forgeworks or Godsworn Warriors. Lastly, unless they are completely belligerent, they shouldn’t be fighting in Moradin’s Forge. That said, I did have a group that did do nearly everything, including fight with the Aspect of Moradin, so plan accordingly. I did not give them a long rest in the middle, and, although they were extremely spent by the end, there was no party wipe.

If the party does end up fighting everything the adjusted xp for a party of five is 50,220 per character or between 29,000 and 35,000 if they take a more reasonable approach, and the normal xp is 32,840 per character. For a party of six, the adjusted xp is 49,017 per character or between 29,000 and 33,000 for a more reasonable approach and the normal xp is 35,033 per character.

For a party of five:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
Finding the Soulforge – Part I 2 Slaughterstone Hammerers 1 Stone Golem (MM) 5900
Finding the Soulforge – Part II 5 Slaughterstone Hammerers 2 Stone Golems (MM) 11800 17700 Easy
Finding the Soulforge – Part III 2 Storm Gorgons 1 Storm Gorgon 1800
The Rainfather’s Thrall 1 Storm Titan,
4 Storm Gorgons
Storm Giant Quintessent (VGM), 2 Storm Gorgons 18600 37200 Hard
A Thousand Teeth Morgol the Undying Morgol the Undying 41000 41000 Hard
Godsworn Warriors Iron Golem Juggernaut, Godforged Bolter, Godforged Slashers Iron Golem (MM), Oaken Bolter (MTF), Helmed Horror (MM) 17900 35800 Hard
Forgeworks Forgeworks,
5 Slaughterstone Hammerers
2 Iron Golems (MM), Forgeworks 30000 45000 Deadly
Angelic Defenders 4 Angels of Supremacy, 14 Angels of Valor Legionaires Planetar (MM),
2 Angels of Light
16400 32800 Hard
Moradin’s Forge Aspect of Moradin, Forgespirit,
2 Godforged Blade Bearers,
8+ Forgesworn Dwarves
Aspect of Moradin, 4+ Forgesworn Dwarves,
God Anvil
20800 41600 Hard

For a party of six:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
Finding the Soulforge – Part I 2 Slaughterstone Hammerers 2 Stone Golems (MM) 11800
Finding the Soulforge – Part II 5 Slaughterstone Hammerers 3 Stone Golems (MM) 17700 26550 Medium
Finding the Soulforge – Part III 2 Storm Gorgons 2 Storm Gorgons 3600
The Rainfather’s Thrall 1 Storm Titan,
4 Storm Gorgons
Storm Giant Quintessent (VGM),
6 Storm Gorgons
25800 51600 Hard
A Thousand Teeth Morgol the Undying Morgol the Undying, Hydra (MM) 44900 44900 Hard
Godsworn Warriors Iron Golem Juggernaut, Godforged Bolter, Godforged Slashers Iron Golem (MM),
3 Oaken Bolters (MTF), 5 Helmed Horrors (MM)
25900 51800 Hard
Forgeworks Forgeworks,
5 Slaughterstone Hammerers
2 Iron Golems (MM), Forgeworks 30000 30000 Medium
Angelic Defenders 4 Angels of Supremacy, 14 Angels of Valor Legionaires 2 Planetars (MM),
4 Angels of Light
23800 49200 Hard
Moradin’s Forge Aspect of Moradin, Forgespirit,
2 Godforged Blade Bearers,
8+ Forgesworn Dwarves
Aspect of Moradin, Stone Golem,
4+ Forgesworn Dwarves, God Anvil
26700 40050 Hard

Part 4: The Bridge of al-Shihal

This encounter is pretty straightforward. The Planetar should only attack those who attempt to go through the golden curtain and otherwise stay out of the fight.

For a party of five:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
War for Heaven Dakranad, Zachariel Dakranad,
Planetar (MM)
75000 75000 Deadly

For a party of six:

4th Edition Encounter Encounter XP Adjusted XP Difficulty
War for Heaven Dakranad, Zachariel Dakranad, Planetar (MM) 75000 37500 Hard

The total xp for all the encounters in the module is 78,420 per character for a party of five and 80,600 per character for a party of six. This is well over the 40,000 needed to advance from level 17 to level 18.

The next module is Test of Fire. I have it prepared, but I haven’t run it yet. I’ll try to get it posted soon.

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Those Once Loyal – Skill Challenges

There are only two major skill challenges: Tracking the Devils and Finding the Soulforge. There are several smaller challenges or skill checks. For all of these, I used the conversion table:

4E Difficulty Class 5E Difficulty Class
21 10
22 11
23 11
24 12
25 13
26 13
27 14
28 14
29 15
30 16
31 16
32 17
33 17
34 18
35 18
36 19
37 19
38 20

Tracking the Devils

I wound up running this skill challenge pretty much as written:

Entire Challenge
Insight – Insight DC 16
Perception – Perception DC 16

Stage One: Passages
Dungeoneering – Survival DC 13

Stage Two: Chamber of Doors
Arcana – Arcana DC 11
Thievery – Dexterity (Thieves’ Tools) DC 16

Stage Three: Mounting Stairs
Athletics – Athletics DC 10

Stage Four: Shadowy Passage
Stealth – Stealth DC 17 (group check)

Success: The characters find the portal and are not surprised in the Encounter: Covered Retreat.

Flawless Success (no failures): Remove 3 Barbed Devils and the party gains surprise in the Encounter: Covered Retreat.

Success (one failure): Remove 2 Barbed Devils.

Success (two failures): Remove 1 Barbed Devil.

Failure (three or more failures): The party is surprised in the Encounter: Covered Retreat.

Finding the Soulforge

I ran this skill challenge loosely based on the existing skill challenge.

Stage One: Exploring Torzak-Belgrin

In this section the party pokes around the city until they figure out where they need to go to get the information they need and then to gain entry there. If the party accumulates 3 failures, they fail this Stage.

Stage One Part A: Where to go, who to see?

Religion (DC 7):
The character recalls Torzak-Belgirn is where those chosen by Moradin are invited to spend their time in the afterlife. A success by 3 or more (DC 10) reveals that Moradin can sometimes be found here, but he is often away at a hidden forge some where in the mountain. A success by 6 or more (DC 13) reveals that Moradin’s personal forge is known simply as the Soulforge. A success by 9 or more (DC 16) reveals Lord Ghoren to be the proxy ruler here; if anyone would know where the Soulforge might be found, it would be him.

While the minimum DC is 7, a 16 is needed to know that Lord Ghoren is the person to see.

Perception (DC 7):
The character spots a massive forge situated higher than all others. Strange constructs patrol its perimeter.

A success here points the party to the right place and is basically a free success.

Investigation (DC 7):
The characters ask around about the Soulforge. A successful check turns up nothing definitive, but the characters do learn that Lord Ghoren would know the answer and where this lord might be found. A character who succeeds by 3 or more (DC 10) learns the name of an unhappy functionary who lets anyone meet the lord as a petty vengeance for some past slight, thereby granting the characters 1 extra success. A success by 6 or more (DC 13) also reveals that those who complement Lord Ghoren on his craftsmanship can go far with him

Stage One Part B: Getting Inside

Once the party has Identified Lord Ghoren as the contact that they need to question and the location of his keep, they need to figure out how to get inside.

Stealth – 2 Group Checks (DC 13):
With this check, the characters try to infiltrate Lord Ghoren’s keep.  A second successful attempt allows the characters to sneak past the guards and into Lord Ghoren’s chambers. Failure on either attempt causes the party to fail this stage, unless the party can succeed a DC 16 Deception check. On a success, the party can proceed to Stage Two.

Persuasion (DC 13):
The characters persuade the functionaries who restrict access to the lord that they have legitimate business and to let them past. A failed check, in addition to counting as a failure, increases future Persuasion DCs by 2 for the duration of this stage. On a success, the party can proceed to Stage Two.

Failure (either by accumulating 3 failures in the stage or by failing a stealthy entry): Ghoren is alerted that someone is searching for the Soulforge and warns the aspect. The aspect adds reinforcements to Encounter: Forgeworks — Two Stone Golems (for a party of six) or One Stone Golem (for a party of five).

The party is then taken to Lord Ghoren for questioning.

Stage Two: Audience with Lord Ghoren

The party need 4 successes to pass this stage before they accumulate 3 failures. Although there is a formal framework here, I tried to run it more informally as a roleplaying encounter with checks made where it seems appropriate.

Special:
Characters who are worshipers of Moradin gain a +2 bonus on skill checks made during this stage.

Characters who complement Lord Ghoren on his fine armor gain a +2 bonus on Persuasion checks made during this stage.

If the party failed Stage One, they suffer a -2 penalty on skill checks made during this stage.

Perception (DC 7):
The character notices that Lord Ghoren wears exceptionally fine armor. This skill earns no successes.

Deception (DC 13):
The character tries to conceal the party’s true purpose for seeking out the Soulforge. This skill can provide a maximum of 4 successes. Once a character uses Deception, all characters have a -2 penalty on Persuasion checks.

Persuasion (DC 13):
The characters ask for aid in their mission, using honesty and their mission’s seriousness to sway the lord to their side. This skill can earn a maximum of 4 successes. Once a character uses Persuasion, all characters have a -2 penalty on Deception checks.

Insight (DC 13):
You see into the lord’s heart and realize that the dwarf wants only to serve Moradin to the best of his ability. The first success with this skill reveals that Ghoren takes pride in his armor, while the second success reveals intimidate’s futility. This skill can earn a maximum of 2 successes.

Intimidate:
Lord Ghoren’s duty outweighs any threats that the characters can put against him. Each intimidate check counts as 1 failure.

Religion (DC 7):
The character recalls Moradin’s character and exploits, citing examples about Moradin’s virtue to help show that the characters have common cause with the god. The characters must have earned at least 1 success with Persuasion before using Religion will count as a success. This skill can earn a maximum of 1 success.

Success (4 successes before 3 failures): The party is told the location of the Soulforge at Rainfather’s Beard. Proceed with stage three.

Failure (3 failures before 4 successes): The characters fail to impress Ghoren and earn his enmity. Stone golems attack the characters in his throne room. If (when?) the characters defeat the constructs, Ghoren grudgingly reveals the location of the Soulforge. Proceed with stage three.

Stage Three: To the Rainfather’s Beard

The easiest way to get to the Rainfather’s Beard is to fly there, using the spelljammer (Mercy’s Blessing) or any other means. Otherwise, they must climb down the mountain.

Flying down requires 2 Arcana or Acrobatics (DC 13) checks from the pilot to navigate the spelljammer through the dangerous terrain. Each failed Arcana check deals 50 damage to the spelljammer. If both checks are failed, this stage fails.

Parties climbing down the mountain must make two group Athletics checks (DC 16). Each failure results in everyone taking 4d6 bludgeoning damage from falling. If both checks are failed, this stage fails.

If this stage fails, the party alerts the guardians, add 2 Storm Gorgons (for a party of six) or 1 Storm Gorgon (for a party of five) to the Encounter: Rainfather’s Beard.

That’s all for the skill challenges, in the next post, I’ll talk about the encounters.

 

 

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Those Once Loyal – Items, Custom Monsters, Traps and Hazards

Items

At the start of the adventure, the players can gain access to Amyria’s spelljammer, the Mercy’s Blessing.

Mercy’s Blessing
Pilot. The pilot must sit at the spelljammer helm, at the vessel’s rear.
Crew. In addition to the pilot, the vehicle requires a crew of five, all of whom use a standard action each round to help control the vessel. Reduce the vehicle’s fly speed by 20 ft. for each missing crew member. At fly speed 0, the vehicle is unable to travel and flies out of control.
Load. Thirty medium creatures; forty tons of cargo.
Out of Control. When out of control, the vehicle moves forward at half speed (not including any modifiers for its sails). Each round, it has a 75% chance of descending. It descends 25 ft for the first 10 rounds it’s out of control. After 10 rounds, it descends 50 ft per round. If the vehicle hits the ground while out of control after descending more than 100 ft., it is destroyed.
Sails. The vehicle takes a penalty or bonus to its fly speed from -20 to +20 ft depending on the strength and direction of the wind.
Spelljammer Helm. A ship equipped with a spelljamer helm may move from one plane to another.
Using the navigation focus, the a ritual caster conducts a ritual (10 minute casting time). At the end of the ritual, the caster names a location. The location must be a fixed place. Once the location is named the pilot makes an arcana check. The check determines the distance between your vehicle and your destination when you arrive on the plane.
Arcana Check – Destination Location
19 or lower –      100 miles from destination
20-24 –                  50 miles from the destination
25-29 –                  10 miles from the destination
30 or higher –    Arrive at destination
Instead of choosing a specific location, you can also choose a plane as a general destination. In this case, the vehicle appears in a random location on that plane (no arcana check necessary). It’s not necessary for you to have visited the destination plane to use the ritual in this manner.

Custom Monsters

With the addition of Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, I was able to use existing monsters for most of the module.

The first monster I needed to create was a Storm Gorgon, which is a modified version of a regular Gorgon:

Storm Gorgon
Large monstrosity, unaligned
Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 114 (12d10+48)
Speed 40 ft., fly 40 ft.
Str 20, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7
Skills Perception +4
Damage Resistances thunder, lightning
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages –
Challenge 5 (1800)
Trampling Charge. If the gorgon moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the gorgon can make one attack with its hooves against it as a bonus action.
Actions
Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d12 + 5) piercing damage.
Hooves. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d10 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
Storm Breath (Recharge 5-6). The gorgon exhales lightning in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a target 1d10+5 lightning damage plus 1d10+5 thunder damage and is stunned until the end of its next turn. On a successful save the target takes half damage and is not stunned.

Next up is Morgol the Undying, which is a scaled up hydra:

Morgol the Undying
Gargantuan monstrosity, unaligned
Armor Class 22 (natural armor)
Hit Points 429
Speed 40 ft., swim 40 ft.
Str 26, Dex 12, Con 29, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 7
Skills Perception +9
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages –
Challenge 22 (41000)
Hold Breath. The hydra can hold its breath for 1 hour.
Multiple Heads. The hydra has five heads. While it has more than one head, the hydra has advantage on saving throws against being blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, stunned, and knocked unconscious.
Whenever the hydra takes 60 or more damage in a single turn, one of its heads dies. If all its heads die, the hydra dies. At the end of its turn, it grows two heads for each of its heads that died since its last turn, unless it has taken fire damage since its last turn. The hydra regains 15 hit points for each head regrown in this way.
Reactive Heads. For each head the hydra has beyond one, it gets an extra reaction that can be used only for opportunity attacks..
Wakeful. While the hydra sleeps, at least one of its heads is awake.
Actions
Multiattack. The hydra makes as many bite attacks as it has heads.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (2d10 + 8) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) radiant damage.

Next up is the Aspect of Moradin. Unless the party is especially belligerent, they won’t be fighting him. Nonetheless, I did create stats for him:

Aspect of Moradin
Medium celestial, lawful good
Armor Class 20 (plate armor and shield)
Hit Points 184
Speed 25 ft.
Str 30, Dex 16, Con 25, Int 15, Wis 25, Cha 20
Saving Throws Dex +9, Con +13, Wis +13, Cha +11
Skills Athletics +16, Persuasion +11, History +8, Insight +13, Intimidation +11
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities fire, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., truesight 40 ft.,  passive Perception 17
Languages Common, Dwarven, Celestial
Challenge 17 (18000)
Legendary Resistance (3/day). If the Aspect of Moradin fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
Magic Resistance. The Aspect of Moradin has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Charge. When the Aspect of Moradin uses a dash action, he can use a bonus action to make a warhammer attack. If the move was at least 10 feet in a straight line immediately before taking the bonus action. On a hit the Aspect of Moradin does an additional 2d8 bludgeoning damage and the target must make a DC 24 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone..
Innate Spellcasting. The Aspect of Moradin’s spellcasting ability is Charisma. He can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: command
3/day: banishing smite
1/day: destructive wave
Actions
Multiattack. The Aspect of Moradin makes two warhammer attacks.
Warhammer. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (1d8+10) bludgeoning damage.
Legendary Actions
Aspect of Moradin can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Aspect of Moradin regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.
Destructive Wave (3 actions). The Aspect of Moradin casts destructive wave.
Warhammer Strike.
The Aspect of Moradin casts destructive wave.
Teleport.
The Aspect of Moradin teleports up to 50 ft. to an unoccupied space he can see.
Lair Actions
On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the Aspect of Moradin can take a lair action to cause one of the following effects
Eternal Returns.
For each forgesworn dwarf is reduced to 0 hit points in the last round, two more forgesworn dwarves appear in unoccupied spaces adjacent to the aspect of moradin.
Din of the Forge.
The clanging of hammers fills the air, deafening all non-celestial creatures in the room.

Forgesword Dwarves are Veterans (MM p. 350) with the dwarven racial traits added (DMG p. 282) and the weapons swapped out with a battleaxe replacing the longsword and a hand axe replacing the shortsword.

Last up is Dakranad, the mithral dragon. I was really hoping they would publish something for mithral dragons before I got to this. Instead I had to cobble together this:

Dakranad, Mithral Dragon
Gargantuan dragon, neutral evil
Armor Class 24 (natural armor)
Hit Points 643
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
Str 27, Dex 30, Con 23, Int 22, Wis 27, Cha 25
Saving Throws Str +14, Con +13, Wis +15, Cha +14
Skills Persuasion +14, History +13, Insight +13, Intimidation +14, Religion +13
Damage Immunities radiant
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft.,  passive Perception 18
Languages Common, Draconic, Celestial
Challenge 25 (75000)
Legendary Resistance (3/day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Actions
Multiattack. The dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d10 + 8) piercing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d6 + 8) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage.
Frightful Presence. Each creature of the dragon’s choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 22 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
Breath Weapon (Recharges 5-6). The dragon exhales radiant energy in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 24 Dexterity saving throw, taking 71 (13d10) radiant damage and is blinded until the end of its next turn on a failed save, or half as much damage and is not blinded on a successful one.
Teleport. The dragon teleports up to 120 ft. to an unoccupied space that he can see.
Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Detect. The dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Tail Attack. The dragon makes a tail attack.
Wing Attack (Costs 2 Actions).
The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet of the dragon must succeed on a DC 25 Dexterity saving throw or take 15 (2d6 + 8) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its flying speed.

Traps and Hazards

In the first encounter (Dragon Strike), if the players refuse to exit the building, the dragons can cause portions of the roof to collapse on the party (and Amyria and the attendants) while remaining our of sight of the party. This should force at least some of the party outside to deal with the dragons.

Collapsing Roof
A DC 16 Athletics check, causes stones and timbers to fall inside in a 20 ft diameter area below. Creatures inside must make a DC 16 dexterity saving throw, taking 20 (2d10+9) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Creatures who fail their save are knocked prone and become immobilized until they or an adjacent creature succeeds a DC 12 Athletics check.
The area covered in debris becomes difficult terrain that lasts until cleared. Each section of roof can only be collapsed once.

At the entrance to the Platinum Dragon’s Fastness, there is a hazardous wind gusts that threaten to blow players off the platform. At the end of each round, there is a 1 in 6 chance that the wind gusts strong enough to cause a problem.

A Gusting Wind
All creatures on the battlefield who stand on a solid surface must make a a DC 14 Strength saving throw. Flying creatures on the battlefield must make a DC 16 Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the target is pushed 5*1d6 feet towards area 3.

The platinum seal guards movement beyond the throne room in the Platinum Dragon’s Fastness.

Platinum Seal
Trigger The seal attacks any creature that starts or moves within 30 ft of the seal.
Countermeasures
A character adjacent to the platinum seal can engage in a skill challenge to disable the trap and unlock the door. DC 13 Arcana or Religion, or DC 16 Thieves’ Tools. Complexity 1 (4 successes before 3 failures). Success disables the trap.
Failure cause the platinum seal to send out a blast. Each creature in a within 25 ft must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. On failure, the creature takes 14 (2d8+5) psychic damage plus 14 (2d8+5) radiant damage, and the target is stunned until the end of its next turn or half as much damage on a successful save.
Destroying the Iron Golem also disables the trap.
Seal Attack
A creature starting or moving within 30 ft of the seal must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. On failure, the creature takes 8 (1d6+5) psychic damage plus 8 (1d6+5) radiant damage, and the target is teleported to a space adjacent to the Iron Golem or half as much damage on a successful save and is not teleported.

The Eye of Bahamut guards the treasure chamber.

Eye of Bahamut
Armor Class 20 (only attacks against the eye cause damage)
Hit Points 540
Saving Throws all +10
Speed 10 ft.
Trigger. When a creature moves within 25 ft of the statue, it animates, rolls initiative, and makes an attack on its turn to include the triggering creature in the blast.
Countermeasures. An adjacent character can climb onto the statue by succeeding on a DC 13 Athletics check. A character on the statue moves with the statue when it moves. Such a character can engage in a skill challenge to detach the Eye of Bahamut from the statue and thus disable the trap. DC 16 Dexterity (Thieves’ Tools). complexity 1 (4 successes before 3 failures). Success detaches the gem (it becomes a nonmagical diamond) and disables the trap. On Failure, the Eye of Bahamut to makes an explosion attack.
Death Blast. If the gem is reduced to 0 hp, it makes an explosion attack.
Explosion. All creatures within 20 ft of the statue must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On failure, the creature takes 54 (8d10+10) radiant damage, or half as much damage on a successful save.
Actions
Blast. The statue sends out a blast in a 25 ft cone. Creatures in the blast must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On failure, the creature takes 27 (4d10+5) radiant damage, and the target is stunned for one round or half as much damage on a successful save.

Within the treasure chamber, most of the dais are warded:

Warded Dias
Trigger. When a non-dragon creature enters a dais area.
Ward Attack. When a creature triggers the ward, they must make a DC 17 constitution saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature takes 9 (1d8+5) lightning damage plus 14 (2d8+5) force damage or half as much damage on a successful save. In either case, the triggering creature is pushed 10 ft.

Within the Soulforge, the automated forgeworks can present a hazard to passers by.

Forgeworks
Operation
The nozzles blast on initiative 25.
The conveyor belt moves on initiative 20, 10 and 0.
The claw operates on initiative 15 and 5.
A creature that enters the crucible must use an action to make a DC 13 Strength (Athletics) skill check to exit the crucible.
Countermeasures. A character spots the control panel on the opposite side of the room with a DC 16 Perception check. A character adjacent to the control panel can shut off the device and disable the trap by succeeding in two DC 16 Thieves’ Tools checks. Success shuts off the conveyor belt and claw. Failure on either check causes the control panel to explode: all creatures within 35 ft must make a DC 14 dexterity saving throw, taking 3d12 + 9 piercing damage, and is knocked prone and stunned until the end of its next turn. On a successful save, the target takes half damage and is not knocked prone or stunned The trap is disabled if the control panel explodes.
Crucible A creature that enters or starts its turn in the crucible takes 6d10 fire damage and is on fire. Upon leaving the crucible and until someone takes an action to douse the flames, the target takes 1d10 fire damage at the start of each of its turns.
Actions
Nozzle Blast (Initiative 25). Each nozzle blasts a 15 ft cone of fire. Each creature in that area must make a DC 13 dexterity saving throw, taking 18 (1d8+9) fire damage and the target is stunned until the end of its next turn. On a successful save, the target takes half damage.
Conveyor Belt (Initiative 20, 10 and 0). A creature on the conveyor belt is moved 10 ft along the track.
Claw Attack (Initiative 25 and 5). The claw targets one non-construct creature that is not on the belt. Melee Attack : +6 to hit, targets one non-construct creature in the room that is not on the belt. Hit: 18 (1d8+9) bludgeoning damage and the target is pulled onto the closest conveyor belt location.

Lastly, the God Anvil gives a minor benefit to celestial creatures:

God Anvil
Celestial creatures within 25 ft of the god anvil receives a +1 bonus to attack rolls and deal an extra 1d8 radiant damage on all melee attacks.

In the next post, I’ll go over the skill challenges.

Posted in 16. Those Once Loyal, Conversion, Uncategorized | 2 Comments