T1SW - Village of Hommlet

I’ll share my final thoughts on the Moathouse. By big concern is what I call the “Dark Barn Issue” – going back to one of the first sessions I ran under D&D 3.0 where the group spent an hour or so real time investigating the outside of a dark barn that contained nothing more than a horse. The moathouse has that same risk – a fortified position that players can take a long time to figure out how they want to approach.

So my change is a simple one, with interesting implications and it ties it to some good material that you folks, of course, missed :P

In the module, the bandits are part of the the Temple forces there under Lareth. It implies the Temple is about to reveal itself as a force again in the world. I am changing it that the bandits are independent. The region has gone so calm that most merchants travel in small groups, not big caravans. So the bandits have had a heyday, but they are not big enough to raid Hommlet itself. However, the Temple is not ready to reveal itself and has been forced into action when the bandits took over the Moathouse and made themselves enough of a problem for Hommlet to put out the call for adventurers. People poking around the Moathouse eventually leads to people poking around Nulb and the Temple. The Temple has sent Lareth to “take care of the issue”. Basically, remove the bandits, lie low, and when the heat blows over he is to leave some of his special zombies to guard the area until the Temple is ready to reveal itself.

A note on Lareths Special Zombie’s. Lareth is a priest of Lloth – which is really weird given he is a MALE HUMAN and not a female drow. My rationale is that he is a artist in pain and suffering and that happen to draw Lloth’s notice (who appreciates such things in her female drow priestesses). He has the Zombie power (as per the SWD), but has learned techniques to make permanent zombies. Basically, if you weave the magic in via vivisection (while the individual is alive), it traps the tortured soul into the soon to be dead body. The “soul” keeps the body from rotting. The initial system shock results in them being equivalent of a zombie for a couple of months. After that, the tortured soul comes to the forefront, resulting in a transformation to a Ghoul (cunning, evil intelligence). If you weave the magic in on a dead body, you just get a permanent zombie that starts to rot (no soul) and eventually becomes a skeleton.

So, how does this change the scenario?

  • The bandits suddenly went “dark” for the last week.
  • There is no real threat in the top part of the Moathouse (Lareth has removed the bandits and is laying low, hoping people just leave)
  • PCs find signs of a struggle (recent activity, blood). There is a big blood smear on the floor leading from the bandits quarters to the stairs down (you folks took the secret door and missed the next parts)
  • The main dungeon has zombies in the module. These are now the bandits. There is one guy on the table – alive, but all opened up, organs on hooks hanging from change, etc (~Guts check)
  • There is one other living bandit in a cell – completely insane – PCs might get some info from them
  • Some of the zombies are “dead” pull out the Ravenloft Zombies!
  • The Ogre is still alive. I figure Lareth now commands him. He will either kill him right before he leaves to keep as a guardian or take him back to the temple
  • There are ghouls in the module – these were made by Lareth back at the Temple
  • The rest is just to have some creepy things – a few zombie/ghoul fights, then a big fight at the end with Lareth and his minions.

I hope these changes provide a new twist for anyone that has played the Moathouse and allows the group of 8 players to get to explore the place in the 4 hour time slot.

Gathering information in Hommlet:

Everyone picks how they want to interact with the town. Suggestions

  • Merula and Marcus have good Streetwise
  • Ramel could use Faith to get info from the church/Druid
  • Fox might use Stealth to seriptisiously listen in
  • Gar and Rommel could use Gambling

You get one card on a success, two cards on a Raise. If you get more than one Raise, you can provide one card to someone else with a good line of reasoning. The cards determine who you are talking to and any complications.

  • Cleo the Farmer, father of Elmo and Otis, head of the militia. He can provide information about bandits in the area
  • Elmo – drunk and gambling at the Welcome Wench. Same info as Cleo, but provided in a more entertaining manner
  • The Weaver – followers of St. Cuthbert, recently moved to the area (2 years) from Verbonec. They know little of the history, but have heard rumors of bandits
  • The Traders Rannos and Gremog – evil, servants of the ToEE. Will try to find out what the PCs are up to. A complication might be they tip off the Moathouse and bandits attack on the way.
  • Melubb the Moneychanger – if Persuaded, he will tell of outsiders occasionally coming to town to exchange gems and coin. They smell “swampy and damp” to him.
  • Brewmeister – His nephew and wife are new to the area – have had some of his deliveries stolen and would love for the culprits to be captured. Offers reward
  • Black Jay – retired elf adventurer. Only talks to those of elven blood. Complication – sic’s dogs on strangers (have PC roll to get away based on whatever skill they like – use the Mass Combat rules for result as if PC tries to influence battle). To elves, he talks of how the Moathouse draws evil and malcontents.
  • Church of Saint Cuthbert – Canon Terjon – is rather grumpy as he is action oriented but is forced to babysit the church while Y’dey is gone.
  • Del (will be Old Del in Return to) – trapper – people are not friendly to him. But if persuaded, he will talk of some of the old trails around the moathouse appear to be in use again.
  • Jaroo the Druid of the Grove – If no offering, not help. Complication – come up his Bear and startle him! He only tells that there are “stirrings” in the area, and not good ones.
  • Burne and Rufus – Complication is they some offend and are chased off by the guards. They tell of their plans for the town to grow but have concerns. The Moathouse is the place to check out as it always seems to be the source of evil, such as when a Troll was about last year.
  • Turuko the Monk and Kobort the fighter – Complication is they offend Turuko and a fight breaks out. Turuko seeks information, especially when the party looks to go out to the Moathouse.

Area 01: Giant Frogs

Creature: Giant Frogs
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6A, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 6, Parry: 6, Toughness: 6(1), Charisma: 0
Special Abilities:
•Lurk: If in murky water, +2 to Stealth
•Pounce: If leaping from the murk with surprise, lands on target doing Str X 2 damage (2d8)
•Tripping Tongue: Up to 2" away, may “Shoot” out tongue to initiat trip attack. Treat as Entangle power. Next round, Str check – each success/raise pulls target 1" to frog. If pulled ot frog, auto bit d6 + Str
•Bite: d8 to hit d6 + Str damage

Name: Lareth the Beautiful, Priest of Lolth
Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d10, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d4, Faith (Miracles) d10, Knowledge (Religion) d6, Persuasion d8+4, Taunt d6
Pace: 6, Parry: 6, Toughness: 9(3), Charisma:plus 4Power Points: 25
Edges: Very Attractive, Command, Level Headed, Unholy Warrior
Hindrances: Vow: Lolth, Arrogant
Gear: Staff of Striking, Plate Corselet(3 – Chest),
Special Abilities:
Embrace of Lolth : (Entangle) A Web entangles a single target. Even if break free, the target is -1 to Skills linked to Str or Agi
Eye of the Spider : (Blind) Lareth flings a spider (or spiders) that lands on the target’s face. They automatically sting if they hit (the Agility check represents the throw misses). The effects of the poison are as per the spell. The poison initially gives the person the vision of a Spider (8 facetted eyes) – but the human mind cannot handle that input. It results in total confusion (Shaken) or the mind shuts down the input (Blindness).
Healing Venom : (Healing) This works only on follower of Lolth. Otherwise, it damages the person (note: not a combat spell as the recipient must remain relatively still during the casting).
Lolth’s Favor : (deflection) Thin threads of silk/web foul weapons that try to hurt the caster

Staff of Striking : 10 PPs (3/1 round)

  • No PPs used: Fighting to hit, d6 + Str Damage
  • 2 PPs used: Fighting to hit, d6 + Str Damage, AP 1
  • 4 PPs used: Fighting to hit, 2d6 + Str Damage, AP 1
  • 6 PPs used: Fighting +1 to hit, 2d6 + Str Damage, AP 2

Name: Ogre
Creature: Ogre
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d12, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d4, Shooting d4, Stealth d4, Throwing d6
Pace: 7, Parry: 6, Toughness: 11(1), Charisma: 0
Gear: Massive Club d8 (Str+d8), Unarmed Strike d8 (Str), Hide Armor (+1)
Special Abilities:
•Sweep: Roll 1 attack against all adjacent targets at -2 penalty
•Size +2: Adjustment to Toughness based on creature’s mass

(note, module indicated an underpowered Ogre. I pulled back the Strength and made him Size +2 instead of Size +3)

Consider Hellfrost Knockback rule:

The physical attacks of large creatures can knock over smaller foes. In order to cause knockback, the attacker must make a successful Fighting attack. The blow does not have to cause damage, it just has to hit. The victim cannot avoid this—no human can hope to remain standing after being on the receiving end of a frost giant’s colossal war axe. An opponent who is knocked back into a relatively solid object (hay bales and glass windows, for instance, are not solid) is automatically Shaken. This is treated as a separate injury. A foe Shaken by an attack who is then knocked back into a solid object suffers the effects of successive Shaken results. Opponents may try to Soak any initial damage from the attack or spend bennies to remove a Shaken condition before the knockback is applied.

Knockback is based on the relative size of the attacker and victim. For instance an ogre (Size +3) is four Sizes bigger than an goblin (Size –1). However, it is only two Sizes bigger than an orc warrior (Size +1).

  • 1 or fewer Sizes larger: No knockback.
  • 2 or 3 Sizes larger: Victim knocked back 1” and falls prone.
  • 4 to 7 Sizes larger: Victim knocked back 1d4” and falls prone.
  • 8 to 11 Sizes larger: Victim knocked back 1d8” and falls prone.
  • 12 or more Sizes larger: Victim knocked back 2d6” and falls prone.

Green Slime

This creature looks like… well, like slime! It’s acidic touch eats away inanimate objects, and
turns any flesh it contacts into more slime. The slime itself isn’t really a living opponent, so it
should be treated more as an environmental hazard rather than a monster.

Contact with the slime will immediately begin to dissolve any metal or wood it contacts; if it’s
not burned or frozen off within 3 rounds, the items will be rendered useless, and will be
completely dissolved in 6 rounds. Any cold or fire based magic will destroy it utterly, or flames
equivalent to a normal torch (though these will damage the victim as well, of course!). If the
slime isn’t removed from living flesh in 3 rounds, the target must begin making Vigor saves each
round or take 2d6 damage as they’re turned into slime themselves.

T1SW - Village of Hommlet

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