Game Thread Iron DM- DNDOG 2007- Final Battle- Robison Vs. Agwolf - RPG Crossing
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  #1  
Old Dec 7th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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Iron DM- DNDOG 2007- Final Battle- Robison Vs. Agwolf

On to the final Battle. Who will be the FIRST DNDOG Iron GM??
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Old Dec 8th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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Ingredients:

Fallen Star
Clockwork Woodsman
Ancient Choker
Living Room
Banishment
End of the Road

Both of you have 36 hrs. Best of Luck.
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Last edited by Colatine; Dec 8th, 2007 at 11:56 AM.
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Old Dec 9th, 2007, 09:28 PM
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The Star of Chaos
For four level 10-12 Characters

The Hook:
The PCs are staying at the End of the Road tavern, in the town of Kaziksburg (named for its kobold founder). The first evening of their stay, a loud explosion can be heard in the forest surrounding the town. Trazin, the kobold keeper of the tavern tries to keep everyone calm. However, many of the tavern's patrons have fled the building, leaving only a handful of humans and kobolds as well as the PCs. “We'll get word of what's going on soon enough. I think one of- ah, there he is.” From one of the windows, a human shaped object approaches the tavern. It reflects the lantern light from the windows, and before long the metal person has entered the inn. Rapidly turning gears are visible inside its metallic frame, and it carries a very large axe over one shoulder while a pile of lumber is held over the other. The clockwork woodsman set the pile of lumber down by the hearth, while Trazin moved behind it and flipped a switch. The machine stopped immediately and Trazin examined its damage. “Wow...look at these scorches...and those dents...whatever did this certainly isn't natural.”

As the hamlet was relatively unused to hostilities, it would take some time for the town's militia to prepare itself for whatever had caused the disturbance. Trazin looks over to the PCs and asks them to see what's happened. Being an innkeeper, he won't have much to offer them, but he'll let them stay on the house and include free meals. If the PCs still refuse, he'll offer to enchant some of their items.

Trazin explains that the clockwork woodsman will lead the PCs back to wherever it was damaged. However, since the magic in the machine is minimal, it won't be able to stop if there's danger. Hence, the PCs have to protect it on the way. As soon as they're ready, Trazin will flip the switch and the clockwork woodsman will immediately begin to move out of the tavern. It moves at a rate of 20ft per round, with just enough sense to avoid hitting trees or other obstacles. However, it will do nothing to defend itself. On the way, have the PCs face one or two battles, primarily with animals having the entropic or anarchic templates, but some minor extraplanar creatures are possible as well. The creatures won't necessarily be aiming for the clockwork woodsman, but won't hesitate to attack him if he's within range. In the event that the woodsman is destroyed, the PCs can still reach the site, they will just need to use Tracking or Knowledge: Arcana, Nature or The Planes checks, and encounter another group of animals on the way.

After the fight(s), the group will arrive at a horrific sight. A huge asteroid has crashed into the forest, and it is surrounded by a green glow. The plant life around the asteroid appears dead and decayed, and the vegetation further out is starting to show similar symptoms. The woodsman (if he is still moving) will be gathering up another pile of logs before heading back towards the tavern. There is no visible way to enter the fallen star, and PCs with a connection to nature will be feeling nauseous and weakened.

On the way back to the tavern, the PCs should notice that many of the trees are starting to lose their leaves, a sign that whatever is causing the other trees to die is beginning to spread. If the PCs are eager for another fight, try using some extraplanar creatures this time, to give them an idea of what's to come. However, they should all be either chaotic or evil creatures. When they reach the tavern and tell Trazin what they found, he will enter the back room of the tavern for a minute, then return to the PCs. He will explain that the tavern was built atop the town's original mine, and that one of the shafts ends near the asteroid. He asks that the PCs get some rest while the town's miners dig a tunnel into the asteroid. While the PCs are sleeping, however, Trazin will be working on the clockwork woodsman. It will have the statistics of a level 12 fighter, and if the PCs were successful in protecting it earlier, he will also have enchanted it (if the PCs failed to protect it, he'll have had to start from scratch and won't have had time to enchant it).

Into the Darkness

When the PCs wake up, they'll find that Trazin has gathered the town's militia and that the miners have successfully dug an entrance into the fallen star. Trazin asks the PCs to lead the group into the asteroid to find out what's consuming the land. Once the PCs agree, he explains that the clockwork woodsman will be accompanying them, and that he's enchanted it so that he can see what it sees and communicate to the party through a gem in its mouth. With that, he leads the PCs and the militia into the back room and then into the mines beneath the tavern. It does not take long for the PCs to reach the newly-dug tunnel, and awaiting them at the end of it is a room that resembles a nobleman's parlor, except that the walls don't appear to be walls at all. Just as the PCs and the clockwork man enter the room, the tunnel behind them caves in. The PCs are separated from the militia, but Trazin tells them through the woodsman that the miners are already on their way and should have the passage cleared soon.

The wall directly ahead of the PCs appears to be a sunny countryside, reminiscent of the path leading towards Kaziksburg, and the edges of a road are visible around a door at the wall's center. A small path of dirt even leads from beneath the door to the center of the room. The appearance of the other two walls is entirely up to the DM, and should represent another plane. The doors on either of these two walls should lead to a room that appears to be from the plane on the wall. However, creatures of different planes, even opposing planes, can be in the room (since the asteroid is borne of chaos), and interacting with each other (some possibilities are listed below). Additionally, the rooms don't have to contain creatures, but they should be specialized according to the party. So a party with several rogues will find a room with very complex locks or traps, while a group featuring paladins may find a room where they have to make a difficult moral/legal choice. Also, once the PCs have passed through two or three rooms, it is possible for future rooms to represent events or locations from the PCs' pasts.

A very soothing voice will greet the PCs as they enter, apparently coming from the walls themselves, and will tell the PCs not to be alarmed. The voice will introduce itself as the very room the PCs are standing in and tells them that what they seek can be found through a path in the center room. It will also tell them that the key to the room can be found by going through a few of the other doors.

Following the PCs from room to room will be a very ancient and sly choker. He cannot attack the PCs, since he is ethereal, but he will follow them between rooms and comment, mock, or criticize them as they move from room to room (he speaks Common). In the Living Room, he will explain, “What you seek lies at the End of the Road, but you will never find your way without my guidance. If you cannot end the cycle, then I shall leave you wandering endlessly. Discover the key, and you will save more than one world.” Once the PCs have finished whatever challenge or puzzle awaited them in the room, the choker will give them a cryptic clue that will help them in the final chamber. For every clue the choker gives them, the soothing voice will tell them the opposite. He will also offer insight as to what might await the PCs in each room, if the walls don't provide enough clues.

Every time the PCs exit one of the random rooms, they will find themselves back in the Living Room, and after going through one or two rooms, the miners will have made a big enough gap so that a cleric on the other side of the rubble can give them healing. However, it will be some time before it is wide enough for the PCs to move through. Before finding the key to the central room, however, the PCs should go through at least four or five random rooms. They can keep on going through as many as they want, and some reward should be given if they choose to go through many more than is required (probably in the form of a room containing a chest of treasure or magic equipment). The number of required rooms can be increased or decreased at the DM's discretion, but all of the choker's clues should be presented before the PCs enter the central room.

 


Many Roads, One Goal

Once the PCs enter the door with the image of the road, they'll find themselves inside what appears to be the End of the Road tavern. Trazin will be sitting at a table looking at the PCs in shock, “What are you doing here? You need to get back down into the mine and finish up! You're so close!” However, this is the first trap the choker warned the PCs about, and if the PCs re-enter the mine shaft, they will find nothing more than a dead-end, and the passage will collapse behind them (hopefully, they'll have remembered the choker's advice to avoid this trap). Once they have disbelieved the illusionary tavern, they'll find themselves in what appears to be the heart of the asteroid.

At the opposite end of the room are two beings, an Aasimar (looking as holy and good as possible) and an Erinyes (looking as foreboding and evil as possible; this may also be substituted for a more powerful or weaker devil according to the party's abilities, but it should still be threatening to them). Between them stands a pedestal with a golden key on it. Between the PCs and the planars are three walls of differently colored fire. Beneath the PCs' feet is a coating of dirt, giving the appearance of a dirt road atop the stone floor. The road splits into two directions, passes the first wall of fire at two different points, and then reconnects before splitting into two again for the second and third walls. The Aasimar will tell the PCs to approach from one side of the path for each wall, while the Erinyes will tell them the opposite. This is another peril the choker spoke of, for the Aasimar will always be lying and the Erinyes will always be telling the truth. Passing through the correct side (the one suggested by the Erinyes), will cause no harm to the PCs, but going through the incorrect side causes 5d6 damage. Putting out the wall via cold spells will only work for one round, at which point the flames will spring up again.

Past the walls of flame, the PCs will find themselves at the end of the chamber's dirt road, standing before the two planars. The devil will congratulate the PCs for making it so far and tell them to take the key and proceed through the door behind the planars to find their just reward. Above the door is the inscription, The End of the Road.The Aasimar will, surprisingly, agree with the devil (if that doesn't tip off the PCs, I don't know what will). The choker will have explained this trap to the PCs as well. Touching the key will immediately make both the Aasimar and the devil attack them. After the fight, attempting to open the door will only trigger yet another damaging trap. The ideal solution is for the PCs to remain on the dirt path and state that what they seek isn't here.

Heart of the Star

Whether or not the PCs fell for the door trap, the final illusion will be dispelled (dismissing the Aasimar and the devil as well), and a man dressed in extravagant robes will appear and start applauding the PCs. Before him, on another pedestal, lies a Diamond that exudes a powerful magical aura, as well as an aura of evil. This is the Fallen Star Diamond. The room itself has changed entirely as well, the stone floor disappearing to a writhing mass of tentacles. The man is not very intimidating at all (and in truth, is only level six or seven). “I must say, you put on quite the show! My name is Bartolo Marzon, and I must congratulate you for making it this far. I hope you've enjoyed yourselves as much as I have watching you. I must say, a few things still have me perplexed, but that matters not, for you've served your purpose and provided me with entertainment. Now,” he summons a portal, “Be off with you and send another bunch of adventurers my way, for I grow bored with you.” Of course, no sensible party would ever accept his offer and venture through the portal. Trying to talk to him or approach either him or the Diamond will cause the choker to speak again, “Be cautious...for he is not as he seems.” Marzon responds, “Ah, so it was you who was guiding them...I shall have to remove you before the next group comes, as you may make things too easy for them. As for you,” he looks back at the party, “I believe I asked you to leave...perhaps you need some assistance.” The choker will not appear...yet, but once the PCs begin the fight, he will materialize behind Bartolo and do his best to interrupt his spellcasting.

Bartolo isn't exactly a powerful wizard, but he will be casting all of his spells through the Diamond in front of him, which will multiply the effects of everything he casts through it by five (so aimed spells such as rays, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, etc. will be amplified, but self-targets and touch spells, like Shield, will not). The choker will be assisting the PCs, but the tentacles coming from the walls will be trying to break his grapple, as well as keep the PCs away from Bartolo. Once the PCs have defeated Bartolo, the choker will pull a ring off of Bartolo's hand and give it to the PCs explaining that it is a Ring of Banishment. It was how Bartolo moved the asteroid from plane to plane, waiting for other creatures to take part in his twisted game. He tells the PCs to use it on the Diamond so that both it and the asteroid are banished from the plane, and without Bartolo to begin its life-draining process anew, the asteroid will be rendered useless, the diamond locked away forever.

Here, the PCs have one final choice. If they are more evil-inclined, they may choose to take the Diamond. The choker will desperately attack them, trying to recover the diamond, but given the PCs' levels, it won't stand a chance. As the choker dies, its body will morph into that of a very, very old man, bearing a look of desperation and shock. The Diamond can then be used by the PCs as they see fit, but since it draws its power upon life force, it bestows one negative level each time it is used (Bartolo avoided this by having it draw power from life outside of the asteroid). The asteroid, without the Diamond at its heart, will become useless and stop affecting Kaziksburg.

If the PCs are good-aligned, they will use the ring on the Diamond. They now have only a few short rounds to escape the asteroid, which will continue to try and knock the PCs unconscious with its tentacles. Once the timer is up, the asteroid will disappear to another plane. The PCs will find only the body of a very, very old man in the center of the crater, a look of relief upon his ancient features.



Ingredient Summary:
Fallen Star – The asteroid-shaped dungeon that drains the life force from the environment to fuel the magic of the Fallen Star Diamond, which multiplies the potency of any spell cast through it by five.
Clockwork Woodsman – Leads the PCs to the asteroid, then upgraded by Trazin to become an NPC helping out the PCs during their trek through the asteroid.
Ancient Choker – An old man who was turned into a choker by one of the dungeon's traps. Was able to become ethereal through another trap and has since been trying to stop Bartolo with the help of adventurers. Offers several important clues that will likely save the PCs' lives.
Living Room – The dungeon itself. The main room that the PCs will frequently return with the soothing female voice (controlled by Bartolo) that will tell the PCs to ignore the warnings of the choker. Also, the room where the PCs confront Bartolo will be alive and attack the PCs with its massive tentacles.
Banishment – Used by Bartolo to travel from plane to plane, and ultimately used by the (good) PCs to get rid of the asteroid once and for all.
End of the Road – The name of the tavern, as well as the recurring theme and essential clue of the final room.
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Old Dec 9th, 2007, 09:42 PM
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Faces
An adventure for 6-8 player with level 6 characters.

Background

Over the last few months the city has been terrorized by a serial killer. The killer has not only killed close to 15 victims, but has mangled their bodies beyond recognition. All of the killer’s victims have been found choked to death. More importantly however, is that all of the victims have had their faces ripped off. The cities best Master Inquisitive has been on the case since the beginning but has failed to produce any solid leads. The city newspapers have named the killer the Face Snatcher.



A Press Conference

The PCs are standing in the middle of a large crowd holding invitations to attend a press conference held by Sir Grimsby the cities best Master Inquisitive. Over the tops of those in the crowd, an aging human can be seen standing behind a podium that is almost as tall as him. His eyes wear a look of defeat and a frown that can be seen framed between his gray handlebar mustache. “Today I regret to inform this great city that I am no closer to discovering the identity of the Face Snatcher than I was two months ago.” Sir Grimsby pauses for a moment. “Fear not for I have not given up. I have called this conference to announce that I will be recruiting the help of some young individuals to help in the investigation.” Grimsby seems to chuckle softly to himself at the mention of younger individuals. The crowd is utterly silent. It is a known fact that Sir Grimsby works alone. He is a huge glory hog. The fact that he is now willing to share that by seeking help, speaks volumes. “Will those that have received invitations to this event please step forward. Through your works of courage and heroism you have proven yourselves worthy to assist me with this case.”

The Grimsby Estate

After the commotion of the press conference dies down, Sir Grimsby leads the PCs to a carriage which takes them to a rather large mansion on the outskirts of town. It is surrounded all the way around by a tall thick brick wall and an iron gate blocks the only entrance into the compound. The carriage rolls to a stop in front of two large double doors. Sir Grimsby is the first to get out of the carriage. He stands to the side as the PCs exit the carriage. Grimsby, always the lady killer, will help any female PCs out of the carriage, but will for the most part ignore the male PCs. Grimsby leads the PCs to the front door and jiggles the handle. “Oh dear, I think my age has gotten the best of me again. Where did I put my key?” Sir Grimsby begins to pat himself by checking the pockets of his vest then his pants. Finally, Grimsby pulls out a black case from a back pocket. “It has been awhile since I had to do this, I hope I remember how.” Grimsby opens the black case and pulls out a set of lock picks. After a few tries, Grimsby pops open the door and walks inside. He spends only a few minutes glancing around the entrance before proclaiming. “Here they are I can’t believe I left home without them.” He pulls a set of keys off a hook by the door and waves the PCs in. “Welcome to my home; you all will be staying here with me for the remainder of the case.” With a swooping motion of his hand, Grimsby says, “the guest rooms, kitchen and library are all that way. Feel free to wander a bit and help yourself to whatever you find. My butler will collect you when I am ready to meet with you to discuss the case.”

The PCs roam the house for about an hour when a fat Halfling walks up to them and introduces himself as Master Thindor, Sir Grimsby’s butler. He leads the PCs through a long hall way past the library then stops in front of an ornately carved door. Thindor motions for the PCs to wait there as he enters the study and closes the door behind him. The PCs hear Thindor introduce them and then Grimsby dismisses him. A door can be heard opening and closing from the inside of the study. A few moments later, Grimsby calls for the PCs to enter. They find Grimsby sitting at a large desk flipping through some papers. Grimsby spends the next hour explaining that roughly 15 victims have been killed by the face snatcher, all of which have had their faces torn off all the way down to the bone. He also says that he has concluded that all of the victims were alive at the time of their defacing. Grimsby then stands up and begins to move slowly to the door. “That door leads to the library.” Grimsby points to a smaller door to the left of his desk. “Do some research if you like; my old bones have begun to protest the length of the day, so I am off to bed. Don’t stay up too late, we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.” If the PCs bother to search Sir Grimsby’s study (DC 10) reveal a field journal with the last 3 months of pages ripped out of it.

A Fallen Star

The next morning the PCs are awoken by pounding on the mansions front down. When they go to investigate they find a member of the city guard standing on the front porch. “There has been another murder! Come with me, I will lead you to the scene of the crime.” Just as the PCs begin to make arrangements to leave, Sir Grimsby appears at the top of the stairs that lead to his master suit. “Wait just one minute. I hope you are not planning to leave without me. I don’t want you to steal all the glory you know.” The old man takes an additional 30 minutes to dress and meets the PCs out in front of his house.

The crime scene
The PCs push their way through a crowd of city guards to find a faceless young human women lying in a heap of trash behind a tavern. The city guard explains that this is the body of Ariel Rosedale, a very famous Bard that had just performed at the tavern the night before. Before the guard can finish or the PCs can interject their opinions, Grimsby pipes in, “I think that our killer has become more confident after I admitted my failure to capture him at the conference yesterday. This is the first high profile murder of the case. The rest have been streetwalkers and common folk.” A search check (DC15) reveals that she was not robbed and there are no signs that she put up a struggle at all. Bruising around her neck indicates that she had been straggled to death. Also, written on the back of her fiddle apparently in her own blood, is a very peculiar phase.

fiddle inscription
I have been all
I have seen all


A Gather Information check (DC10) reveals that a number of patrons saw Ariel’s manager exit the alley way about 20 minutes before her body was found.

The manager’s loft

The PCs enter the loft through its elevator entrance. A Disable Device check (DC15) is required to rig it to operate. The PCs slide open the doors and are assaulted first thing with the smell of old oil and rotting flesh. Ariel’s manager must have been involved in more then just musical concerts. Scattered about his loft were various parts to machines and constructs gears, and empty oil cans. More disturbing however was the body of Ariel’s manager. He is found faceless lying in the middle of his loft. From the smell, it is apparent that he has been dead for a little longer than the bard they found earlier, maybe 8 hours longer. A trail of blood is found leading from the body across the floor to what appears to be a clockwork golem dressed in a woodsman outfit holding an axe that is slung over his shoulder. Once the PCs are within 5 ft of the golem it springs into life expertly chopping and swinging his axe in an effort to behead the closest living thing. Sir Grimsby is completely startled by this turn of events and shuffles as fast as an old man can to the far end of the room completely avoiding combat. Every now and then he shouts words of encouragement to the PCs.

Once the PCs dispatch of the golem they find another massage scrawled across the golems back in the latest victim’s blood.
Golem Inscription
I have been four feet short
And eight feet tall

Not finding anymore clues of value, Grimsby suggests turning in for the night.

Closer to Home

Once back at his mansion, Grimsby invites everyone into his parlor for a round of drinks and to discuss today’s turn of events. Grimsby pours the last drink and moves to the fireplace. “It is a bitter cold night tonight would one of you strapping young lads mind fetching some wood for a fire. It is Master Thindor’s night off. He was supposed to stock the wood before he left. He must have forgotten.”

The PC that goes to retrieve the wood receives a shocking surprise. Master Thindor is found strung up in the wood shed faceless and killed in the same manner as all the other victims. It is hard to tell how long he had been dead due to the freezing temperatures outside. Carved into his chest is another cryptic message.

Chest inscription
I am as close to you now as a friend
I will kill you all at the roads end


One of these skills (DC10) Knowledge local, Knowledge engineering and architecture, or Gather information can be used to find the following: This fine city was designed in a way that let every road either exit the city to a main trade route or circle back on itself. This has earned the city the nickname The City Where No Road Ends. A commonly known but less advertised fact is that there is one road within the city that does have a dead end. This road can be found in the beggar’s district.

The Beggar’s District

The Beggar’s District is nothing more than the polite upper crust way of saying Ghetto. All of the buildings the PCs pass are rundown, boarded up, or falling in. The PCs have no trouble finding the dead end. The road ends right in front of a large rundown house. Unlike most houses in this part of town, this one doesn’t have anyone sleeping in it’s doorway or under it’s porch.

The PCs enter the house through the front door. The foyer opens into a large great room flanked by two large staircases on either side. At the far end of the room is a finely crafted armoire. The cloud of flies emanating from it tells the PCs that it is worth investigating. Once the armoire is open, the smell of rotting flesh bursts forth causing all the PCs who fail a Fort save (DC10) to become sickened. Inside the armoire is every face that had been stolen hanging from hooks. Every face except those of the 3 latest victims. One odd addition to the collection is the pale skinned face of an aging human with a gray handle bar mustache. It is at this point that the PCs realize that Grimsby is no longer trailing behind the party.

The Rooms Come Alive

An evil bone chilling laugh can be heard coming from somewhere within the house. “I think you might be missing these.” Three freshly harvested faces fall from the upper floors of the house followed by a heavy click resonating throughout the house. The walls begin to shake, the floors tremble, and before the PCs have a chance to group up, heavy stone slabs fall, slide, or pop up into place from the walls, ceiling, and floors. As the dust settles, the PCs find themselves alone or with a partner depending on how close to someone they were standing when the trap was sprung. In the distance, heavy gears can be heard ratcheting as well as stone grinding on stone. Every 10 minutes the corridors of the maze will sift directions. During this time, there is a 5% chance that PCs grouped together will become separated.

Evil Monologue Do you like my Maze of Living Rooms? I suggest you stay close to your friends, I wouldn’t want you to get separated. Stay alert and this will be more than fun. Unlike Grimsby you might prove to be a challenge. (More insane laughter can be heard) Let me tell you a story. 100 years ago, a Baron of this very city married a beautiful young commoner. Even though it was frowned upon, he was that much in love he didn’t care. The Baron and the young lady lived happily together until she became pregnant and gave birth. An abomination is what the Clerics called it. The child had gray skin, pale pupiless eyes and a face devoid of all but the faintest hint of a mouth and nose. The young lady was accused of being a shapechanger and thrown into the dungeon to await her execution. Up to the very day she was sentenced to die she proclaimed her innocence. No one seemed to believe her. The Baron however took pity on the young women. He freed her and allowed her to live. Unfortunately, all the pity he had in his heart for her was not accompanied by mercy. He killed their baby as she watched and skinned her face, demanding that she never again wear the face of the woman that he had loved. She was then carried to the edge of the city where he banished her from the city for the rest of her life. I was barely an adult when he cut off MY face and killed MY baby and stole a piece of me. It was years before I returned to the city. I built this maze in the years that followed and lured you city folk in to torture. Recently though, I have become bored. The homeless and drunk have proven to be little sport of late. That is when I began traveling out into the city amusing myself by killing and torturing those I came across. It is truly priceless to see the look on someone’s face when I turn into their loved one and begin to strangle them while I am skinning off their face. Much to my joy, my antics finally stirred up some attention. Good old Grimsby was so much fun. Until he finally figured me out. I really did feel bad about killing him but oh, how I have enjoyed being him. I will feel bad when I kill you all as well. Until I do, we will have lots of good fun that is funny.


Combat
Doppel-Grimsby will use the separation of the party to his advantage. He will approach a PC/group of PCs disguised as one of the other party members. If they see through his disguise he will retreat as soon as possible. If PCs fall for his trick he will accompany them though the maze for a few moments then attack and retreat back into the maze.

DM tip: To improve the flow of combat the evil monologue can be broken up into parts separated by Doppel-Grimsby encounters


Once the death blow is dealt to Doppel-Grimsby he falls to the floor convulsing, his face and body shift through every form it has ever pretended to be. The PCs only manage to make out the face of Grimsby, Thindor, and those of the PCs. With one last jerk, his body fades into his natural form, a very ancient looking doppelganger with massive scars covering its face. It then collapses dead at the feet of the PCs.

The Cast
The doppelganger: She was driven insane long ago by a torture inflicted on her by the man she loved.
Sir Grimsby: The cities most renowned Master Inquisitive. He is highly intelligent but just as absent minded. (victim)




use of Ingredients

Fallen Star: Famous Bard that was killed by the doppelganger (gave a clue)
Clockwork Woodsman: A golem found in the Managers Loft (gave a clue)
Ancient Choker: A very old doppelganger who’s preferred method of murder was strangulation (The bad guy.)
Living Room: a mechanized maze of ever changing rooms
Banishment: one of the things the doppelganger was punished with when she was discovered by her husband
End of the Road: The location of the final battle
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Final battle- Robison vs. AGwolf

Ingredients

Fallen Star
Clockwork Woodsman
Ancient Choker
Living Room
Banishment
End of the Road

ST's VerdictInitial Thoughts on AgWolf's "The Star of Chaos"
PROS: The plot of this story is very good. There is mystery over the nature of the fallen star and how and why nature is being destroyed. Also I like the ideas of the magical roomed interior of the asteroid. There are a lot of traps for the players and room for the DM to tailor something specifically for their parties.
CONS: The various traps and magical rooms are a pro but they are also a con. The traps suggested, in my opinion, need to be developed even further. I found the battle at the end almost too chaotic with too much going on at once. Along with that, everything seems to be not what it appeared to be and actually just the opposite. Maybe let one thing be what it appears just to throw something different in there.
USE of INGREDIENTS:
Fallen Star - Good - This was a main ingredient to the plot and a mystery
Clockwork Woodsman - Good - He was there all along, though during the mines he seemed like a third wheel for the party
Ancient Choker - Fair - Good that it gave clues to the party, but I didn't like that it was a polymorphed old man
Living Room - Great - A shifting morphing dungeon of trapped and trickery rooms. Evil laughs abound
Banishment - Fair - Probably the weakest of the ingredients.
End of the Road - Good - Double usage: Tavern is fair and the theme in the rooms is good

Initial Thoughts on Robison's "Faces"
PROS: Very good mystery that keeps the players looking around trying to figure out who the murderer was and why they were murdering all these people. I like the background for the justification of the murderer. The living room and protagonist enemy gives a good final battle. Well done with enough detail and flavor.
CONS: Well, I had the good ole inspector pegged as the killer only a little bit into the adventure. Could have used some better suspects to put the blame off on or some misdirections to throw the PCs off the trail.
USE of INGREDIENTS:
Fallen Star - Good - not the obvious and offers the PCs a clue and an investigation
Clockwork Woodsman - Bad - Yes it offers a clue, but why is it in the manager's office?
Ancient Choker - Great - the antagonist and reI'm late getting started due to being burgled. I'm going to use a shortened format to get this done.

Robison, Oh! how I love the Ripper. A Holmsian mystery where Moriarty is Holmes and every other face the PCs see. I love this. It's well written as a narrative and has a dash of mechanics in the areas that concern the unknown bits that will help drive the game onward. There are some typographical errors but I don't believe the detract from the overall scope. I think that the ingredients mesh smoothly together. At first, I had questions about the clockwork woodsman's purpose but later the mechanical skills of the doppleganger are revealed and it makes sense. More of this would have been something I'd have added in small degrees. Accents, maybe, if not an outright encounter or two more. I, for one, hope that this is a work in development to pad out the corners to make a completed guide to playing it.


AGWolf, a planar maze. I've used a version of this idea but that's something else. I love this one as well. The PCs are set on path which has as many steps in it as it needs but more if those become needed. It has a "if it's fun and working, keep doing it" so it allows the players choices but at the same time it's not ramming the course of events down there throats. It also grants the DM control over the course of events and if the DM is sensitive to the players, the adventure can be extended. I didn't notice any typographical errors but it is late. I think that, again, the ingredients are used in a smooth unified mix. At the end, though, I'm left asking why? and how? in regards to the aisamar's and erinyes' part in defending the key and the PCs somehow knowing they should disbelieve the illusion and then speak specific words to move the adventure along. I think more explanation is needed here for me to understand the 'why' of what's going on.


Ingredients: This will be hard but I'm going to do it by my likes.

Fallen Star: A murdered bard v. an asteroid dungeon - AGWolf - I think this is the strongest and most compelling element of the entire adventure.
Clockwork Woodsman: A golem v. a golem - Both - I didn't see a difference in these two in terms of their presentation. Yes, one was an encounter while the other was an ally, but still.
Ancient Choker: A doppleganger v. a choker transformed wizard - Robison - I was more convinced by the increasingly active role of this villian over the passive aid given by the choker.
Living Room: A mechanically trapped room v. an ensorceled room that speaks - Robison - This device is more aid to the modus operandi of the villian.
Banishment: The reason for revenge v. spell affect - Robison - This increases my suspension of disbelief.
End of the Road: A run down neighborhood v. a tavern. - Robison - It's an incredibly more expansive use of the ingredient. A beggarsville can harbor much more ill and potential chance for encounter than a tavern.

The Judgement:

I appreciated the narratives in both AGWolf's and Robinson's final entries. Both were well written and full of the details that spin a wonderful adventure. Each planted clues and hints for the PCs to discover and puzzle over. They made their adventures potentially thrilling for players and easy to navigate as DMs. I think that Robison offers us a more cohesive theme and a stronger use of the ingredients. It was tough to make this comparison. I spent three hours reading and making my calls. Because it was tough, I had to streamline my thinking to what appealed to me most. This decision isn't offered over what is better functionally as much as it is what I personally liked more. Thank you both for an excellent read and some outstanding adventures.ally shines in the final battle through trickery
Living Room - Great - utilizes the antagonist's strengths and offers a challenge to the PCs
Banishment - Fair - Background mostly and not very important to the overall story
End of the Road - Good - Clue that the PCs have to figure out and location of final battle

Which adventure would I run as a DM?
Robison's adventure wins out over AgWolf's adventure by a hair.

My Final Vote: Robison's "Faces" wins out, as I just found it better written and more complete


Sec's VerdictI'm late getting started due to being burgled. I'm going to use a shortened format to get this done.

Robison, Oh! how I love the Ripper. A Holmsian mystery where Moriarty is Holmes and every other face the PCs see. I love this. It's well written as a narrative and has a dash of mechanics in the areas that concern the unknown bits that will help drive the game onward. There are some typographical errors but I don't believe the detract from the overall scope. I think that the ingredients mesh smoothly together. At first, I had questions about the clockwork woodsman's purpose but later the mechanical skills of the doppleganger are revealed and it makes sense. More of this would have been something I'd have added in small degrees. Accents, maybe, if not an outright encounter or two more. I, for one, hope that this is a work in development to pad out the corners to make a completed guide to playing it.


AGWolf, a planar maze. I've used a version of this idea but that's something else. I love this one as well. The PCs are set on path which has as many steps in it as it needs but more if those become needed. It has a "if it's fun and working, keep doing it" so it allows the players choices but at the same time it's not ramming the course of events down there throats. It also grants the DM control over the course of events and if the DM is sensitive to the players, the adventure can be extended. I didn't notice any typographical errors but it is late. I think that, again, the ingredients are used in a smooth unified mix. At the end, though, I'm left asking why? and how? in regards to the aisamar's and erinyes' part in defending the key and the PCs somehow knowing they should disbelieve the illusion and then speak specific words to move the adventure along. I think more explanation is needed here for me to understand the 'why' of what's going on.


Ingredients: This will be hard but I'm going to do it by my likes.

Fallen Star: A murdered bard v. an asteroid dungeon - AGWolf - I think this is the strongest and most compelling element of the entire adventure.
Clockwork Woodsman: A golem v. a golem - Both - I didn't see a difference in these two in terms of their presentation. Yes, one was an encounter while the other was an ally, but still.
Ancient Choker: A doppleganger v. a choker transformed wizard - Robison - I was more convinced by the increasingly active role of this villian over the passive aid given by the choker.
Living Room: A mechanically trapped room v. an ensorceled room that speaks - Robison - This device is more aid to the modus operandi of the villian.
Banishment: The reason for revenge v. spell affect - Robison - This increases my suspension of disbelief.
End of the Road: A run down neighborhood v. a tavern. - Robison - It's an incredibly more expansive use of the ingredient. A beggarsville can harbor much more ill and potential chance for encounter than a tavern.

The Judgement:

I appreciated the narratives in both AGWolf's and Robinson's final entries. Both were well written and full of the details that spin a wonderful adventure. Each planted clues and hints for the PCs to discover and puzzle over. They made their adventures potentially thrilling for players and easy to navigate as DMs. I think that Robison offers us a more cohesive theme and a stronger use of the ingredients. It was tough to make this comparison. I spent three hours reading and making my calls. Because it was tough, I had to streamline my thinking to what appealed to me most. This decision isn't offered over what is better functionally as much as it is what I personally liked more. Thank you both for an excellent read and some outstanding adventures.




Colatine's VerdictAdventure Hook and Introduction

We have two very different adventures in the final round. A murder mystery vs. a planar jaunt; event the ingredients are used differently, making the final round, as it should be, very difficult to judge.

Agwolf gives us a meteorite crashing down near where the PC’s are, and a sort of strange radiation plague. The beginning itself raised a lot of questions, some of which Ag fails to address. Who made the clockwork woodsman? Why? Is Trazin the maker ( it sounds like he is). If so why is he running a tavern? It oozes flavor, the woodsman, but it leaves me shaking my head and a bit confused. Then we get to the meteorite, again, if the plant and animal life is dead and dying, presumably from something that sounds like radiation, what about the PC’s? Will they mutate? Why would they willingly go into the meteor? If I was in a party and there was such a sickness, I would try to get the hell out of dodge. The whole tunnel to the meteorite was also rather contrived.

Robison gives us a murder mystery. This version of Iron DM seems to be the place for all sorts of heinous crimes. The set up is simple, as Robisons set up’s tend to be, and effective as well. I like the “press conference,” but would have liked to have seen a more definitive plot hook (maybe the good inspector has worked with the PC’s before/ is a mentor etc.) which would make sense in him selecting the PC’s specifically.

Adventure Design and Cohesiveness

The scope of Agwolf’s adventure is on a grand scale. I really enjoy his ability to devise locales, traps and encounters. However, I find this entry to be his weakest of his three in this competition. There are too many unanswered questions and holes- why is the wizard-cloaker still here? What is the purpose of this interplanar maze? Why did it crash? What is the motive of the BBG? What are the Erinyes and the Aasimar doing here to begin with? Is the whole place a grand illusion like the holodeck? I love is main concept, but the execution needs a lot more refining. The encounters are very random at this stage.

Robison’s design is simple and elegant, even though a bit contrived. I am not too sure about the sudden reveal and the muahaha moment. I think a few more suspects, and more of a tie-in; for example the good inspector being a mentor to the PC’s might have gone a long way in making the adventure exceptional. The clockwork woodsman encounter was also just a throwaway. It could have been anything and does not add any element to the adventure. I loved the BBEG monologue and also the face skinning bit. Robison is a sick sick man. I hope his SO looks at him peculiarly after proof reading this entry.


Ingredient Use
Fallen Star – Agwolf wins this hands down. Robison’s use is ok but not as extensive.
Clockwork Woodsman – Agwolf’s use is better, though both parties could have incorporated the ingredient a lot more into their adventure
Ancient Choker- Robison’s use is superior. Agwolf’s choker was just..odd.
Living Room – Both parties use it well, but Robison’s use was superior and more flavorful
Banishment – Meh, I call this even.
End of the Road- I like Robison’s use slightly better and the little clue as well. Both parties used this difficult ingredient well. For the future, stay AWAY from using an ingredient as a naming convention unless there is a very good reason to do so.

Final Judgment

The winner is Robison. I am actually a bit surprised as his first entry was not the best. However, he has continued to improve with each round and has done an exceptional job with this entry. Well done.

Agwolf, tough luck. I would have picked you as the favorite, especially considering the prior two entries. This entry, though good, was not up to mark. You have been exceptional throughout this tournament.
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Old Dec 11th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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Your 2007 DNDOG IRON GM is Robison.No one gave him a chance; a man of humble beginings who had to struggle against.... Robison, enjoy the title and congrats from all of us. You have an open spot in the next competition to be held in 6 months. Kudos, champaigne, and vengeful apes to you.

Thanks all of you for taking the risk and competing. It takes lots of guts to do this. It has been a learning experience for me as well! Hope to see you all in 2008.
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