Then they set off towards Tergia, climbing down into the gorge to do so.
They encountered a pair of gibbering mouthers on the way down. It was an odd combat--the mouthers did hardly any hit point damage, but confused PCs did more damage to each other. The gibbering mouthers only managed to drain Constitution once; the monsters fought off grapple attempts every other time. (Though the grapple rules confused us all.)
I need to think about what monsters to put at the bottom of the gorge to create the Heart of Darkness mood that I'm going for. I have other considerations to juggle, too:
- I'd like to give them a battle that will let them feel studly with their various new powers and new magic items.
- My ideal make-players-feel-cool battle would be a battle that had defeated them before that they could now handle--but there's been no such battle. So I would like to give them such a battle now, so I'll be able to reuse it that way another time. But I want it to be a battle that they can run away from with some success.
- I have decided that I will rarely give the PCs one battle of EL equal to theirs in in a game day, since that ends up just being free XP.
- on the other hand, I don't want them to gain XP too quickly, since I've been somewhat discombobulated by the speed at which they've been gaining levels (and some of the published adventures that I'd like to run are for levels that are well within sight now.)
Fast advancement from puny to epic levels is definitely part of what I wanted for this campaign, but sometimes I feel things are going a bit too fast for my tastes; I often have trouble knowing how to pose good challenges for the PCs.