Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

D&D June-8-2004

Yet more copy-and-paste-from-chat chronicling:

So, in our last thrilling episode, they'd fought a beholder at the top of a black tower at the center of the Lake of Optalis, the dragon's eye.
They'd used a bunch of their spells to do so, and were feeling a bit drained.
So I'd planned to attack them with [DELETED] during the night, to add to their complications.
But they decided to try to secure the area first.
So they went down to check out the dead beholder and look for passages.
So I decided to bring out the advanced umber hulk that I'd prepared for the next day.
Fortunately, I'd generated the stats already. I'd decided that the CR 14 'truly horrid umber hulk' was just too evil.
So I came up with one that was CR 11 according to the monster manual's guidelines.
The PCs had forewarning, because it came climbing out of a shaft calling "My Lord, I come. Turn your gaze upon me, that I may not beguile you."
(The umber hulk had been hit by a few too many charm monster rays from the beholder.)
So, the umber hulk gets up, confusing two or three party members.
It's a big sucker, with glittering compound eyes like disco balls.
So the unconfused wizard averts his eyes and drinks a potion of glibness.
With his +30 to Bluff, he persuades the umber hulk that the beholder was killed by the vampires, and they're here to help.
He gets the umber hulk to put a bag over his head to not confuse the party members--which I allowed without too much trouble because the umber hulk has tremorsense.
The umber hulk goes over to the beholder, trying to revive it and wake it up. One particular remark from it makes the party wary: "My Lord, our assault on the Beast Of a Thousand Eyes is nearly ready."
The glib wizard is still fast-talking him, but all the other PCs gather to strike him. The fighter uses a True Strike/Power Attack combination, the rogue makes a bunch of flanking attacks--and all told, the PCs do over 60 points of damage in one round of attacks.
Prolix bluffs the umber hulk again to say "They didn't mean it, they must have been confused," but the umber hulk doesn't want to stick around, so it burrows down into the ground.
This gives it a round to think without getting bluffed, and it realizes, "Hey, I should be attacking these people!"
Whoops. :)
So a round or two later, it bursts out of the ground to attack the sorceress--but everybody's readied spells and so forth, so it takes a lot more damage.
It goes back down into the ground and tunnels off to find some healing potions.
So in order to try to follow it, the druid wild shapes into a dire badger, which can burrow.
And it has scent, which I'm willing to let her use for a tracking job like this. So she's following it through the ground.
But the umber hulk is lying in wait for her, and she gets confused by its gaze.
And the umber hulk is smart enough to know that if a confused creature gets attacked, it attacks that thing next round. So it leaves her alone and goes tunneling off towards the rest of the party.
Since it has tremorsense, it knows where to go to cut them off in the badger tunnel.
I've forgotten the details now, but I think it managed to confuse the rogue. It then got attacked by the fighter, and full attacked in response for 51 points of damage.
It got savaged by the fighter and wizard some more. As it was near death, it bellowed, "I'll flood the tower before I'll yield to you!" and goes tunneling off. A few rounds later, water starts flowing in. Relatively slowly, but still coming.
But meanwhile, the rogue, the wizard, and the druid are all confused, with almost 16 rounds left on the confusion clock. The fighter has about 9 hit points. Furthermore, there's some uncertainty about whether attacking the druid in dire badger form would cause her to do the rage-until-death that dire badgers do.
The rogue is attacking the wizard, and since he has about four attacks through two-weapon fighting, he's having sort of a food-processor effect.
So the fighter ends up throwing a rock at the rogue to divert his attention to him.
Fortunately, this is successful. The rogue starts throwing his returning dagger at the fighter, with little attention to whether or not he's actually holding the dagger when he throws it.
But they're down in the chamber where the umber hulk had its potions, and water is beginning to trickle in.
Larissa the sorceress gets down and helps chase the rogue around.
Meanwhile, Prolix the wizard and Liandra the druid in dire badger form are taking their confusion out on each other.
This is hard on Prolix, and he ends up falling unconscious and hoping that he'll stabilize.
The good news is that I rule that falling unconscious makes him no longer an active target for Liandra. The bad news is that Liandra is too confused to heal him.
But Larissa has a couple of paladin levels and can lay on hands. She dumps all her laying-on-hands ability into Prolix.
This turns out not to be tactically optimal, because this wakes him up and makes him a target again. Having him unconscious but stable might have been better.
But nobody's been attacking Liandra, so the random rolls for the confusion let her wander out of the tunnel.
Turok grapples Prolix and manages to carry him out.
And I decide to cut short the confusion effect because the umber hulk hasn't been around in a dozen turns to reinforce it.
So, the confusion gaze attack turned out to be *extremely* effective. I had wanted some gaze attack to fit the 'eye' theme of the Lake of Optalis, but most of the gaze effects I saw in the monster manual were petrification. I think this was a much niftier battle.
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