Game Thread Iron DM DNDOG- 2007- Kitchen Stadium Round 2 Paintedbear v. Robison - RPG Crossing
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Old Dec 2nd, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Iron DM DNDOG- 2007- Kitchen Stadium Round 2 Paintedbear v. Robison

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Old Dec 2nd, 2007, 09:26 PM
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PB vs. Robison: Round 2- Match 1

Strange Pupil
Enraged Ape
Collapsing Mountain
Holy Bow
Inaccurate Account
Unfulfilled Wish

Best of luck to you both!
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Last edited by Colatine; Dec 2nd, 2007 at 10:57 PM.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 09:37 PM
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Like my last entry, I want this to be used by any level party. With this in mind, I will once again be leaving out definite DC numbers, levels, and such. If anyone wants to run this, modify it to what you need and have fun.

Dwarven Deception

PCs are hanging out in the Dried Up Wench, a hive of scum and villainy. There’s a dwarf there crying in his ale, with a matted beard. He is Alric Bezzten and he has been disowned from his family because he decided to become a wizard rather than axe-wielding bad-ass paladin of Moradin like the family tradition dictated. He claims he only wanted to do magic, and they treated him like a criminal. He begs the heroes to help him get to Katyrlac Mountain, and the dwarf community there. He has cousins there who are more lenient towards traditions and they would surely loan him the money to help pay their escorting fee. A Sense Motive check would reveal he is leaving something out, but any attempt to press the matter will result in him dissolving into a blubbering, wailing, sobbing mess. He has a small amount of gold on him, and he offers to pay for their supplies now if they agree to take him, as well as a hundred gold down payment for the rest of the reward.

On the second day of traveling, the party is caught by an elf in heavy armor and a dwarven priest on ponies. The elf, Lelloc Dwarfborn, follows the priest’s lead completely and does a lot of observing.

The priest, Praklob Haldup, is pretentious, rude, and not a very nice dwarf. His presence clearly agitates Alric. He tells the band ”The dwarf you guard is a traitor to his family and his kind. Release him to us and you shall not be harmed.”

If the PCs fight, the dwarf and elf will make a strategic withdrawal. If they try to get the truth out of Alric, he accuses them of lies, gets flustered, and casts invisibility, teleport, or some other spell to get him out of the reach of the party, and heads towards Katyrlac Mountain himself.

If Alric leaves, Praklob will tell them that Alric is a violent heretic, worshipping Niktanda. He slew half his family with a fireball when they tried to turn him back to the One True Way of Moradin. Lelloc was squired to Alric’s uncle, learning to be a true paladin of Moradin, and is seeking justice.

Just to clarify, yes, Lelloc is a paladin of Moradin. If asked, the story is that she was an orphan found by some merchants on a trail. Nobody knew where she came from, and she was too young to talk, so they brought her in and raised her as a dwarf. She thinks of herself as a dwarf, and loves Moradin with all her pointy-eared heart. Like an elf, however, she favors the long bow and has a gilded bow embossed with the holy hammer of Moradin slung across her back.

Alric is rumored to be seeking the priesthood of Niktanda to learn the Unholy Bow. The Unholy Bow is a complex ritual that summons an avatar of the goddess, who sows destruction and chaos everywhere she goes. Lelloc and Praklob beg the adventurers to help them stop Alric and the cultists, so that the community can survive.

Katyrlac Mountain has a small dwarven community, called Katyrlac, on its upper slopes below the snow line. Near the base of the mountain on the northern slope there’s a small cave entrance with footprints leading in and out of it. If, somehow, Alric has led the party all the way here, he leads them in. Otherwise, this can be found with a Survival check (with the Track feat), or a Search check.

Inside the cave, it leads to a labyrinthine series of tunnels. There are traps, but if Alric is with them, no traps are sprung. There is one way through the tunnels that doesn’t spring traps. Appropriate traps for this would be springloaded spears from the walls, pits, pits with spikes, and blades that swing out at approximately neck height for a human or elf, but just above head height of a dwarf. If pressed, Alric will say his cousins are a wary people. He will lead them to a large ante-chamber with four doors, including the one they enter. He knocks on one door, a round affair with a grate set in the middle of it as a peephole. He whispers an exchange with a guard, smiles to the party, and says he has to go in to explain who they are to the elders. If they will stay there, everything will be taken care of. Upon going through the door, his grinning face appears at the peephole again and he simply says ”I lied. About everything.” and scampers down that hallway. The two other doors open and some very angry monkeys come out. If the PCs are high level, there are more apes and increase the hit dice. In their case, the apes are covered in scars and burns, and are prodded out of their doors by unseen assailants with spears from “murderholes” in the wall. They have been magically and “scientifically” experimented on, which has made them very angry and much stronger and more dangerous than a regular ape. If the PCs are lower level, the apes have been experimented on as well, but this could decrease their strength as you see fit. Make this a good challenge, but not overwhelming. The doors are locked, including the one they just came through (it had been shut and locked by someone unseen behind them). The doors are strong and locks are good, but can be broken/picked with a good effort.

If Alric is not with the PCs and she is not already with them, Lelloc catches up with them at the cave entrance. She offers her assistance, and tells them that Praklob has gone to the mountain town to warn them of possible danger. If they refuse her, she’ll tell them she has to find Alric anyway and they might as well make use of her skills and her bow. The tunnels are harder to get through, but Lelloc can carry several healing potions, a wand of cure whatever, or some other such healing help to assist the party in getting through. Upon reaching the antechamber, it’s a similar situation, except instead of Alric a guard peeks through the peephole and shouts ”Alric was right! They followed him here!” and then the pissed off primates come out to pummel the puny PCs into pitiful pieces.

The PCs can continue from here further into the mountain. Soon, they come across a massive cavern with pillars everywhere. There are several cultists around. Due to the nature of the goddess they worship, they don’t have a uniform of any kind, and many are low-level wizards/sorcerors. Almost all are chaotic neutral or chaotic evil. Several are armed with dire flails, the preferred weapon of Niktanda. There’s a trio of people performing a complex “dance” in the center of the cavern, on a raised dias. These are Alric (wizard), a goblin (priest), and a one eyed gnome rhythmically thumping a decorative staff on the floor (bard) as they “dance.” Their dancing does involve a lot of elaborate bowing motions, but never to each other. Always to the outside of the dias or to its very center.

Lelloc will tell the PCs that they have to interrupt the Unholy Bow or they are all doomed. Give them a full minute (ten rounds) to engage at least two of them in combat or an avatar of Niktanda will appear, who will start destroying cultists, pillars, and PCs without preference. Lelloc will stand back and use her bow and her healing skills to supplement the PCs.

If the cultists look like they are losing, they will start attacking the pillars in earnest. Once 1d6+1 on each side are destroyed (hardness 10, hit points 10. They are made to come apart easy.), the ceiling on that side will start to fall in. Players should be careful about area effect damage spells because of this, but they likely won’t realize this until at least one has been taken out.

If the entire ceiling collapses, a good chunk of the mountain will come down. There are escape tunnels spotted throughout the cavern for this eventuality, but the PCs will have to be very fast to get into one if they are on the dias fighting the unholy trio at the time. Otherwise, they could likely be considered with 100 feet of an escape tunnel at any time.

After defeating the cultists, saving the Katyrlac community, and especially the death or capture of Alric, Lelloc tearfully offers the PCs her bow. It’s at least a +1 holy long bow, but can be given better stats if your players have better gear. She tells them her need for justice is done and she wants them to have it as a token of her gratitude. The Katyrlac community, if it survives (the complete dropping of the ceiling will destroy the community which lies directly above it), will also offer gold and dwarf-made gear to the successful heroes.

Niktanda
Niktanda is a goddess of chaos and magic. She is represented as a humanoid with three heads, constantly arguing with herself. Her symbol is a forked lightning bolt, and her favored weapon is the dire flail. She is worshipped primarily by insane individuals, chaotic wizards, and anarchists. Her domains are chaos, destruction, luck, and magic.

Ingredients
Strange Pupil – Two here. Alric, as a dwarf wizard as a student to a priest of a god of chaos and magic, and Lollec, the elven paladin of the dwarven god.
Enraged Ape – Trap, and one of the first signs of the chaos set into play by the cult of Niktanda. Really, who experiments on monkeys and uses them as guards?
Collapsing Mountain – The intent of the Niktanda cult
Holy Bow – The Unholy Bow being the ritual to summon an avatar of Niktanda, and the Holy Bow is Lollec’s weapon.
Inaccurate Account – The lies Alric told the party at the beginning
Unfulfilled Wish – If the PCs do their job, the cultists’ wish to bring down the mountain and destroy the dwarven community will be unfulfilled. Mainly, however, it is the center of the lie that Alric spins for the PCs.
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 02:09 AM
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Here is my entry. I had my wife proofread it (English is her native language) so it should be free of stupid errors.

In the Minds Eye
An adventure for a party of 6-8 Level 15 characters
Background

Many Years Ago
Many years ago a Druid by the name of Darwinous awakened a Silver-Back Gorilla to aid him in his quest to find the Inner Mind’s Pupil, a magical item with strange properties, Legend has it that it was created from an eye plucked from a god during the time of darkness; when the gods of righteousness battled the gods of evil for control of the Prime Material Plan. Darwinous died before he fulfilled his quest. On his death bed, his dying wish was to have Markus the awakened gorilla finish the quest they had begun years ago.

Present Day

Markus now stands in front of the PCs fair city amongst a forest of trees or rather an army of awakened trees and other Monstrous plants. He demands access into the city and claims that he has tracked the Inner Mind’s Pupil, a dangerously evil item that his master sought to destroy his entire life. Marcus claims that the item was brought into the city by a caravan from an archeological dig on the far side of the mountains that border the city a week ago. He wishes to search for the item within the city so he can fulfill his masters dying wishes to destroy the item. The king, not wanting to let a gorilla and his army of plant minions inside his fair city, agrees to find the magic item for Markus to take with him away from the city. Markus reluctantly agrees, and moves his army into the mountains surrounding the city.

Where to go when things get tough
With the threat of impending war looming in front of the city, the king can not spare any men from the guard. So, the PCs being of high standing with the King are contracted by him to find the Inner Mind’s Pupil and deliver it to Markus’s camp in the mountains.

The Goose Chase is On

A Gather Information Check (DC15) reveals that the caravan Markus spoke of entered the city a week ago and sold the majority of its goods to an antique dealer in the market district.

Glenburg’s Antiquities

The PCs arrive at Glenburg’s shop. Upon questioning Glenburg, a rather fat gnome, they find that he did receive an item matching the description given to him by the PCs around a week ago. He tells them that he was going to sell the item to a cleric in the church district but it turned up missing a few days before he was suppose to complete the deal. The item was only worth a few hundred gp so he did not worry too much about it. Throughout the whole interview with Glenburg, he is nervous and acts as though he is hiding something. (Glenburg has +8 to bluff). In the end, he asks the PCs to leave his store.

If the PCs choose to come back after hours an Open lock check (DC30) opens the lock on the front door to the shop. Once inside the main entry a search (DC32) reveals a Reverse Gravity trap. (DC32) Once inside the shop PCs find Glenburg’s accounting books, and are surprised to find that according to his books his story was true. However a search check (DC30) of his office reveals a hidden compartment. Inside, they find another set of accounting books. They seem to be written in code. A Decipher Script (DC15) is required to break the code. According to these books, Glenburg was running a black-market operation out of his store and the Inner Mind’s Pupil was sold, for a1000 pp, to the leader of a thief’s guild based in the harbor district. There is a note in the memo section that is mostly illegible. What the PCs do manage to make out are the words: “to adorn Holy bow”.

If the PCs choose to confront Glenburg during their first meeting/if the trap was triggered.: PCs are now forced to do battle with a very pissed off Glenburg (Expt5/Ftr10) as well as 2 other level 15 fighters.

Harboring a Wondrous Item

The thieves’ guild hall is a rather unremarkable building located just inside the walls of the Harbor district. Unknown to most outside of the guild is that the small unremarkable building is only the surface entrance to a large underground compound.

The entrance to the compound is guarded by two ftr12/Rog2 characters. The guards are dressed as beggars. A spot check (DC25) reveals their true nature. If the PCs try to enter the guildhall the guards will attack.

Once inside the guildhall the PCs will find it lavishly decorated much more like a palace then a guildhall. The compounded has five floors.

Compound break down by floor
Floor 1----------------general guild living quarters
Floor 2----------------mess hall and common room
Floor 3----------------armory and war room
Floor 4----------------officer living quarters
Floor 5----------------Guild leader’s living quarters


While in the guildhall PCs have a 75% chance of encountering wandering guild (1d6+1 caster) members, rolled every 30 minutes.

The PCs find nothing of interest on floors 1 and 2. They, however, find a fine collection of bows some enchanted some not, none of which are adorned with the (insert cool name here). The PCs find nothing of interest on the fourth floor. To enter the Guild leader quarters an open lock check (DC30) is required. An extensive search will not turn up the wondrous item. The PCs will however find a +2 keen longsword, 500 pp and an elaborately painted portrait of the guild leader standing on the deck of a large boat. The boats name “Holy” can be seen clearly painted on its side.

Holy the Boat, not the Weapon

The PCs have little trouble finding the boat. If the PCs go right for the bow of the boat they find Inner Mind’s Pupil set in the eye of a winking serpent figure head that snakes its way up the bow of the boat. If the PCs don’t, a search (DC20) reveals Inner Mind’s Pupil

Special Delivery, Death upon Delivery

The PCs take the Inner Mind’s Pupil to Markus. They meet him at the top of the ravine his army is camped in. Markus brings with him 1 human assistant (Druid level 10) and one Dire Bear. Markus seems very grateful that the PCs have retrieved the Inner Mind’s Pupil for him He says in an educated tone that seems awkward coming from the mouth of a Gorilla ”The world is a much better place now that this item is no longer lost within it.” Markus gives a bow of gratitude as the PCs go to hand him the wondrous item. Once he has the item in his hands, he begins to laugh maniacally. Now that I have this, I will destroy civilization and raise nature up to become the ruling kingdom of the world just as my master intended. With a quick motion Markus sends his Dire Bear and druid companion forward to attack the PCs while he falls back to use the Inner Mind’s Pupil to cast a spell. Markus will cast spells augmented by Inner Mind’s Pupil, as his companions engage the PCs in melee combat. Once his companions are killed or he is brought down to half HP he will fly into a rage attacking PCs in melee combat with his club.

Once the PCs defeat Markus, he staggers to the edge of the ravine and falls over into the ravine below. It is not for certain whether the impact destroyed the Inner Mind’s Pupil or explosion was the result of one last spell cast by the defeated Markus. The only thing that is for sure is that the massive explosion shook the mountain to its core. The walls of the ravine begin to crumble and the ground shakes. The PCs now have 8 rounds to travel 200 ft. If PCs fail to do so they are caught in a landslide and take 8d6 points of bludgeoning damage (reflex save DC15 half) and are pinned beneath rubble. PCs are then subjected to suffocation rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide until freed or dead.

After the dust settles the PCs are amazed to find a new valley where the ravine used to be. The collapsing mountain buried the majority of Markus’ army. Those who survived return to where they came from
, wanting no part in anymore fighting.

The Cast

Markus: (level 13 druid) a usually cool tempered cunning awakened Gorilla. However when things don’t seem to be going his way he slips into his more primitive nature becoming enraged and very violent.
Glenburg: Retired caravan guard. Now he makes his money selling antiques from a small store in the market as well as running a black market where he sells most anything to the highest bidder. Glenburg is a nervous and untrusting gnome.
Inner Mind’s Pupil: A rare wondrous item about 3 inches in diameter. It is dark jade green with a pitch dark circle in the middle, which seems to fluctuate in size depending on its angle. It appears to be made of glass, and is slightly concave. Once it is placed against the wearer’s forehead it will float there as if attached and will remain there until the wearer wills it to be removed. It has this magical effect. 1/day+users caster level this item can replace one component of a spell as well as increase one of the spell’s effect parameters (Damage, duration, area, range, creatures summoned) x3. For example if Melf’s Acid Arrows deals 6 before bonus it would deal 18 damage after the bonus is applied. If a spells has more then one effect parameter the user must specify which one to apply the bonus to.

Ingredients review
Strange Pupil: A wondrous item by the name of Inner Mind’s Pupil, Also Markus was the pupil of Darwinous and I think we can all agree that Apes make for strange students.
Enraged Ape: An awakened Gorilla by the name of Markus
Collapsing Mountain: This buries the majority of Markus’ army after he is defeated
Holy Bow: The place where Inner Mind’s Pupil is found. PCs originally mistake this to be a weapon but later discover it is the front of a boat named “Holy”
Inaccurate Account: Glenburg keeps two sets of account books one for his legal business and one for his black market business. The first account book the PCs find provides an Inaccurate account of Glenburg’s business. Also Markus claims that he seeks out the Inner Mind’s Pupil to destroy it. This is a inaccurate account of his true intentions.
Unfulfilled Wish: Darwinous’ dying wish was for Markus to continue his quest to find the Inner Mind’s Pupil and use it to destroy civilization. The PCs thwart Markus’ attempts most likely destroying the Inner Mind’s Pupil in the process, leaving the wish Unfulfilled.
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 06:36 PM
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The Judge's Judgments:

Robison wins with 2.5 votes over Painted Bear with 0.5 votes. Robison moves onto the championship round.

COLATINES VERDICT

Adventure Hook and Introduction

So now we are on to round 2- I expect the contestants to raise the bar. Let’s see how they did. The adventures were vastly different with emphasis placed on different ingredients with each of the players. So let’s take a look at the hooks and the intro. The ingredients provided were also a bit more interpretive, making the contestants jobs more challenging. Robison, I commend you for being a non native English speaker and doing so well, and even for participating in this competition. That said, it won’t be a factor considered in the verdict for me.

PB once again gives us a side trek- I am not sure why it is a side trek, looks like a full blown adventure to me. I liked the initial set up, with Alric playing on the player sympathies to get them to help him. I even enjoyed the pursuit and the two NPC’s, especially the elven maiden who considers herself a dwarf. Very well done. However, I have one big issue with this. If Alric could simply have teleported or run away, why did he need the PCs? There seems to be no good reason for it. Also, if the PC’s were to truly escort him all the way, what would he do with them? It would seem that the party would be a hindrance for his plan, especially if he is planning to bring on the chaos.

Robison gives us something out of King Kong- sort of. I liked the hook, with the Gorilla demanding the item and the PC’s being hired by the King ( Robison has a king fetish me thinks). The hook itself is straightforward but sensible. Also, the intro provides a very flavorful setup. Well done.

Adventure Design and Cohesiveness

I had issues with the overall design and cohesiveness of both parties adventures in places, however I enjoyed reading both parties adventures thoroughly.

PB does a wonderful job of integrating most of the ingredients; I liked his multiple uses of ingredients, including the holy bow and the “strange pupil,” though in some cases his ingredient use was stretching things a bit. I loved the final climactic encounter within the mountain chamber with the possibility of the mountain collapsing on the PC’s. The NPC’s are all rather well done too. However, there were parts of it that were rushed and a bit convoluted. The monkeys seem more a throwaway than anything else: the unholy bow seems rather arbitrary; why are these guys trying to collapse the mountain? If they knew the ritual why did they even need Alric? I don’t buy the inaccurate account and the same with the unfulfilled wish either. I do understand that the inaccurate account get’s the PC’s involved, but the issue I have with it is noted in the adventure section above. And the unfulfilled wish…meh. Overall, the skeleton is there for a good, maybe even great adventure, but PB needed to have spent more time on the adventure to smooth out all of these holes.

Robison gives us a nice little set up once again; this adventure is a big improvement on the previous effort; kudos to yourself and the “editor.” We have a very cinematic adventure here too; with talking apes, live trees and a nice, flavorful little encounter and break-in bit in between. Very tricky use of holy bow too; I am a bit double minded on this one- I am not sure how the “holy” part comes in other than being a name- and using a naming convention for an ingredient is a no-no for the use of ingredients for me. I have similar sentiments for the “strange pupil.” The collapsing mountain is just a throwaway at the end too; it has no bearing on the adventure at all.


Ingredient Use
Strange Pupil- Pb gets the nod here; more deviously done and multiple uses of the ingredient as well. Robison’s use is ok, but I am not sure why the magical item needed to be a pupil. Also, as described, I am not entirely sure how the item is evil or for that matter “worth it” for Markus. It certainly wouldn’t have helped him destroy civilization. A more cataclysmic item, along with being the eye of an actual creature ( what if the eye was indeed part of a creature, where it attaches itself and literally becomes the pupil of the creature?) would have helped.

Enraged Ape – Robison’s use is vastly superior; Markus is the catalyst here. PB’s use is just an encounter.

Collapsing Mountain- I’ll give a slight edge to PB here; at least his use makes it interactive, though I would have liked to have seen a more prevalent use of the ingredient by both parties.

Holy Bow – Hmm this is a toughie; the edge goes to PB for the multiple use, and the ritual is cool, the weapon is just hitched onto an NPC; he could have made the need for the holy bow more central somehow. I loved the word play used by Robison, but find the use of the holy bow a bit of a no-no (the “holy” part).

Inaccurate Account- Robison’s use is definitely better in this regard; it plays a better part in the adventure overall. Pb’s use is ok, but not as good as Robisons.

Unfulfilled Wish – Robison’s use is definitely better; it is the driving force for dear Markus. I think PB had trouble with this ingredient most of all as it is not really integrated into the adventure.


Final Judgment

Overall, though close, I find Robison’s entry better. PB has great potential, but Robison integrated the ingredients better overall and has a more interactive and interesting adventure. Nod goes to Robison. Based on the prior round, I had considered Robison to have the tougher time; proved me wrong. Well done, both of you!


Admin SecurisPainted Bear's entry: Dwarven Deception

In this entry, PB gives us a clear and concise story arc. The hook where an unlikely dwarven wizard bemoaning his misfortune greets the PCs is a good opening. It will only work on the kind-hearted hero types though. We're then offered a series of incremental, if/thens and contingencies that lead us to the climactic mountain dropping end. I think that the transitions between encounters was smooth and that the flavor that the cultists added was an excellent element. Paintedbear shines in the organization aspect of his planning. Since these cultists like experimenting and torturing animals, I'd have liked them to have more of the creatures about to thwart the PCs in the ritual scene. An elven paladin of Moradin an unique addition. Having the ironies, dwarven wizard and elven paladin or Moradin, pitted against one another, I think, would be entertaining to see played out.

Robison's entry: In the Minds Eye

Robison gives us the unfulfilled wish of a dead druid, providing the PCs with a merry little chase. The artifact changes hands a few times and I like that trick but wished it had been expanded to more small encounters so as to muddy the PCs thinking. Glenburg and his cohorts make a good encounter but without some smaller challenges surrounding the encounter is doesn't stand out as much as it could. Having the Mind's Eye Pupil stolen is a good touch but having it stolen from the PCs is even better. I felt the guild being guarded by just two members was too light a touch. I would have had the guild manned. A stronghold shouldn't be so easy to enter. Having the artifact end up on the bow of a ship is an awesome interpretation of the ingredient but again, the PCs aren't challenged by obtaining the artifact. In the end, I wasn't expecting a twist here, Markus the awakened gorilla druid is the real villain. Not absolutely necessary, having some of Markus' lesser minions trying to intercept the artifact even while the PCs are hunting it would have been a good tip off of Markus's true nature. Overall, I'm to understand that this is a high level adventure which I'm lead to believe by high DCs and high level NPCs. The difficulty would be felt in some instances by the PCs but not through out.

The Ingredients

Strange Pupil - Paintedbear's dwarven wizard/ elven paladin juxtaposition is a nice play on stereotype reversal. Robison's use of an awakened gorilla druid is a step out the door and down the lane in terms of creativity. I didn't think the connection of the artifact being a 'pupil' was very strong except that in name. I liked the gorilla, point to Robison.

Enraged Ape - tortured apes versus awakened gorilla. I used monkeys as an encounter before and it is quite a lot of fun. It's like shooting PCs in a barrel. I already gave my nod to the gorilla but I have to give this trap a nod as well. point to Paintedbear.

Collapsing Mountain - I love the tragic end and the fact that the PCs must run for their existence. Both DMs deliver gold here, for me. Point to both

Holy Bow - Dual use in Paintedbear's submission. One as weapon and a second as a ritual. The weapon is standard but the ritual is not. I didn't mind the lack of detail here because the PCs wouldn't need to know it. Robison's hiding the artifact in plain sight is only good as a writers detail. Mechanically, a good search check negates the encounter. Good detail but not a great encounter. Point to Paintedbear.

Inaccurate Account - A lie versus hidden ledgers. The lie was alright. It didn't strike me as particularly creative but it's effective as part of the hook. Having the PCs need to discover the hidden ledgers is stronger use of the ingredient. It's more interactive and of a higher importance to the party. Point to Robison.

Unfulfilled Wish - Paintedbear's use of the unfulfilled wish remains an unfulfilled wish only if the PCs disrupt the ritual. It's a creative use that looses its intent if the PCs fail. Robison provides us a clear unfulfilled wish by having the wisher die leaving the wish to a strange pupil. I think the interplay of the two ingredients provide the stronger use. Point to Robison.

The Judgment

I enjoyed both submissions and I believe that either of these DMs are someone I'd like to play under. I think that both submissions are strong. I liked that Paintedbear provides a focused and clear series of encounters. Robison gives us tons of creative potential. As of writing this sentence, I have not counted up the points I awarded. The count favors 4 to Paintedbear and 4 to Robison. A dadburn tie!

Silent Tiger
Initial Thoughts on Painted Bear's "Dwarven Deception"

PROS: The duplicative nature of Alric and his getting the PCs in a position to help his evil ways is a very good plot hook. The plot for the adventure is good. It has plot twists when Alric's true nature is revealed. It has a short dungeon crawl ending with an epic battle in the temple underneath the mountain to save a dwarven town.
CONS: There seems to be some questions as to how some details are related. Why does the temple use monkeys and apes and why are they experimented on? Also I would like to see the NPCs given a little more detail into personality and motivations.
USE of INGREDIENTS: [Overall: A-]
Strange Pupil [A] Points for double usage. Good that Alric is a good dwarf gone bad and Lollec is definitely unique being an elf turned dwarf.
Enraged Ape [C] What is the connection between the cultists and the apes/monkeys?
Collapsing Mountain [B+] Incentive for the PCs getting involved to stop the cultists, but do the PCs find out before they have a chance to stop the cultists or is it sort of a fringe benefit?
Holy Bow [A] Points for double usage. Like the ritual that the PCs have to interrupt, don't like as much as an item, gets better when it is a reward for the PCs.
Inaccurate Account [A] Alric uses this to get the PCs to help him, good plot hook.
Unfulfilled Wish [B-] Good as background and plays a semi important role in the story.

Initiative Thoughts on Robison's "In the Mind's Eye"

PROS: Having a very good moral dilemma makes a good adventure to bring out PCs motivations and personalities. This one has nature vs civilization dilemma in that the PCs have to choose to help Markus or defend the city. This however is not known until the end and makes a good twist to the plot and give the PCs an epic battle to end the adventure. Also added into the mix is a scavenger hunt adventure to try and find the missing item, with red herrings thrown into the mix to confuse the party.
CONS: There seem to be some holes in the hunt for the missing item. Where did the guild master go? The guild master is not at the guild hall nor at his boat, which in turn one has to ask why it is called "holy"? The battle at the end also seems to be rather abruptly introduced into the mix. Maybe a little more transition would be good. Also, what happens to Markus and the Inner Mind's Pupil at the end when the MT collapses.
USE of INGREDIENTS: [Overall A]
Strange Pupil [A+] Double usage extra points. One as the main item for the hunt and adventure garners it points. Markus as a Strange Pupil is a weaker second usage.
Enraged Ape (B) Yes, Markus is the main opponent in this adventure, but he enraged part of the ape need to be played up a little bit more.
Collapsing Mountain (B) The epic battle ends in a collapsing mountain which also is a good explanation for how Markus's army is defeated.
Holy Bow [A] Double usage extra points. First the PCs think that the IMP might be in a Holy Bow weapon but then they get clues that the IMP is in the bow of "Holy" the boat.
Inaccurate Account [B+] This works good as a red herring to throw the PCs off the trail of the IMP.
Unfulfilled Wish (B) Good use for background setting the whole adventure up and why it happened, but will the PCs encounter this during Markus's ranting?

Which adventure would I run as a DM? Both of them. They are both very good. I think that I would however run Robison's "In the Mind's Eye" first of the two though.

My Final Vote: Robison. For better story in my opinion and better twisted uses of the ingredients.
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Last edited by Silent Tiger; Dec 6th, 2007 at 06:47 PM.
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 09:12 PM
PaintedBear PaintedBear is offline
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I want to go ahead and say thank you to the judges for giving me good feedback and giving me this opportunity to show off my skill set. I had a lot of fun with this game and will gladly jump in again next time it pops up.

Robison, I told you you'd win this one. Congratulations on a round fairly won. Give 'em hell in the finals.
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