Monday, May 17, 2010

How to run away from demons and find refuge with unicorns

After killing the beholder without much difficulty, the group continued it's search of the underground structure, searching for possible clues of the great valley and the lost tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali. A literal maze of cooridors, there was some disagreement as to which way to proceed.

"We should go north west from the room with the beholder in it. The beholder didn't just come here for no reason. Someone put it here to guard something. We should focus our search on rooms connecting to that room," says Vorian. Everyone agrees that this sounds just as good a plan as any, and systematically open the doors in that room to see where they go. One room has manacles on the wall, chains on the floor, and a large chasm. They also see a pile of plates in the corner of the room, along with a razor, presumably a make shift eating utensil. The group circumvents that room, and continues past it, suddenly coming upon a gold dragon taking up the entirety of a room, leaving no way for the group to enter.

" I was wondering when someone would find me down here," says the gold dragon in deep, somber tones.

"Well, yes. We just happened to be searching for dragons, as it were," says Casandra the bard with her usual wit."

" I find that hard to believe, but no matter. Perhaps there is something you could help me with nonetheless. I've been trapped down here for several days, trying to evade a green dragon. These cooridors are too small for either of us to travel normally, but if I shrink myself to attempt to escape, I fear he will find me and pounce on me in a larger form, giving him the advantage. But with your assistance, we may be able to slay the evil dragon and I would free from his harrasment."

"Fighting a dragon by ourselves may be too much. Can you assist us?" asks Vorian. The dragon nods, and then casts a series of spells, shrinking down to humanish size, but keeping his dragon form.

"Very well. Let's move quickly. These spells won't last long."

The now smaller gold dragon directs the party from a position in the rear, telling them to go towards the central room of the complex. Inside, they hear a scrapping noise. Aldoran listens but can't identify the sound. "Could that be the green dragon inside?" he asks.

"I am not certain. It sounds like it could be," responds the dragon, as the slight scraping sounds continue. Vorian prepares himself, and busts down the door, charging into the room. Inside, he is confronted not with a dragon, but three bebliths, large spider like demons. Vorian stumbles slightly, wondering as to the sagacity of his original plan.

Aldoran begins casting a spell upon seeing what is inside, but well before he is finished, the bebliths attack. Vorian thinks he may have to face off against only one, as they are too large and the room too small for them to bring attacks to bear. However, the first one to move climbs up onto the wall and approaches that way, presenting as much of a threat as one on the ground. It bites Vorian, causing a small wound, and Vorian feels a poison enter his body. The second one bites him as well, but it's poison is much more potent, and Vorian visibly shakes and stubmles under it's effects. The last one flings a web at Vorian which hits him soundly, immobalizing him.

Chamele responds by changing Vorian into a spider through use of the polymorph, which enables him to escape the web (I think stricktly a freedom of movement effect would be needed, which a spider eater has but is a supernatural effect and not granted by polymorph. In the end, I thought it would make sense to allow it though. Alternatively, he could have been transformed into an ooze and the acid would have eaten through, or some sort of fire magical beast to burn his way out.)

The dragon begins casting a spell, and then speaks in Abyssal, "It would be best not to fight us or interfere, lest you risk the ire of your superiors in the abyss." After speaking, one of the spider like creatures disappears.

Vorian, in spider form, moves out of the room, and then shortly after that a tiger appears, pouncing on one of the remaining spiders, but failing to do any lasting damage to it. Aldoran then chants, holding onto his wooden holy symbol, and reaches out, causing the stone wall to fill in where the door used to be. He then casts a delay poison spell on Vorian, still in spider form.

"That will keep you from getting worse for a couple of hours, but I fear that in your weakened state the poison will be more effective against you and more deadly. Without some sort of treatment, you may very well die. Let's get to the surface and see what I can do."

The group moves cautiously back to where they entered the complex, and they reach the surface after a short climb.

Aldoran, upon reaching the surface, casts a spell, and a unicorn appears. Aldoran speaks to it in Sylvan, asking for it's aid. It touches it horn to Vorian, but his appearance remains unchanged. "The poison is gone, but the damage it has done remains," says Aldoran, and then the unicorn disappears.

"I can reverse the poisons' effects, but I will need to wait until dawn, which is still several hours away."

"That will take too long. If we are to defeat the green, we must act quickly. I will take Vorian to a town where he can get his healing and return," says the gold dragon, who upon reaching the outside changed into his normal size.

"A bargain is struck then. If you take me to the town, I will vow that the green dragon will be destroyed," says Vorian.

Vorian and the dragon leave and return, taking about four hours. Vorian brings scrolls and potions of lesser restoration, as well as several vials of antitoxin. "In case we run into any more of those creatures," he explains, distributing them from his pack.

The group then reenters the underground complex, going back to the room with the demons. Upon opening the door, they see that it is empty. They travel from that room, and in the adjascent room, they see the green dragon, lying in wait.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tasty Ham!

Hey, I won the Tasty Ham Lotto! I thought an auction had sold, and checked my mail and found 10 Tasty Ham instead!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shadows of Undrentide

Well, last night I finished the first expansion for Neverwinter Nights 1, Shadows of Undrentide. Yes, it took me a very long time to get around to actually finishing it. Apparently, the last time I had played was back in 2008, and even then, just briefly.

I remember it being my game of choice for a short time when I was home and Mr Bebop was napping. So that would have been late 2007 and early 2008. Nowadays, I'm usually too tired to do anything other than nap when Gabe is napping too, so I hadn't been playing too much. That, and the fact that it is on my external hard drive makes it very unportable to play on the mac laptop, which is the version I have.

Anyways, enough excuses for it taking so long to finish. Overall, it was an enjoyable expansion. I think I was a little spoiled though. I had played through the original campaign with both expansions installed, so I had access to all the prestige classes, spells, crafting, and cloaks, so there was nothing new for me there.

I had a character concept in mind, a halfling rogue/ranger who took advantage of two weapon fighting and sneak attack to deal more damage. Unfortunately, this didn't work out well on several fronts:

  1. Because NWN 1 is based on the D&D 3.0 rules, weapons have size categories and using two weapon fighting as a small character meant using a small weapon in the main hand, and a tiny weapon in the off hand. This meant short sword and dagger for most practical reasons. But all the cool weapons are either longswords or double swords, all of which are two big for a small character to use.
  2. The interlude and chapter 2 have tons of undead or creatures otherwise immune to sneak attacks. Add on top of that the interlude has a door that can only be opened by a Paladin as far as I could tell, and ranger is looking like a poor choice.
  3. The skill implementation is poor, meaning keeping certain skills trained can't be done, even per the 3.0 rules. So I found myself wanting in certain skills that I would have wanted in my character concept.

Deekin the henchmen was the best of all of those available, as I didn't much care for the dwarf or the half-orc. If I were to play through it again, I would try it with one of them instead, but after experiencing their AI in Chapter 1, I was eager for a change in the interlude and chapter 2. But considering I've got plenty of other games available, I don't think I would play through this module again.

As has been said before, the ending was quite anticlimactic. After watching the end game cinematic for Final Fantasy IX, the end video for Shadows was horrible. Perhaps not a fair comparison, but considering the time frame, and that Final Fantasy came out in 2000, and SoU came out in 2003, it was a little sad. Also, even though I had the graphics turned up to the max, the game seems to be showing its age.

I'm thinking of skipping Hordes of the Underdark, which just seems to be an excuse for a high level campaign, and move on to Neverwinter Nights 2. Luckily I have the Mac version which is supposed to have fixed some of the major bugs from the PC version.