2007-10-22 Marked For Death

PCs who succeed in mopping the floor with Red Hand scouts, skirmishers. or marauders inevitably draw the attention of the horde’s leaders. After all, everyone else is running away.

Run this encounter when you think the time is right for the Red Hand to turn the tables on the PCs. – Red Hand of Doom, p. 46

When Ulwai Stormcaller stepped out of Hravek Kharn’s tent, cold sweat had congealed into liquid ice dripping down her back, and she could barely control her shaking fingers. Inside, Kharn was brooding over Ulwai’s dismal failure. The Ghostlord, gone. His bonedrinkers, gone. The Tobu valley, gone. Saarvith dead, and the Greenspawn Razorfiends, gone. And the looser Koth. And two dragons, all gone. Clearly, something had to be done. And he remembered the Blackspawn Raiders. Hm… No need to risk Abithriax. With some planning… A trap… Surely the humands would… But would they? Of course they would…

And so it came to pass that the party – after having delivered 3000 gp and gems worth another 3000 to Lord Nimond up in his mountain fortress, and after having cleansed the this part of the Kako valley from the worg riders and spies that had been trickling south – came upon a gruesome scene: Two ogres and six hobgoblins were torturing two humans hanging from a tree. The party charged into combat, and the trap was sprung. Two greater barghests had hidden six blackspawn raiders with Invisibility Sphere and strengthened them with Mass Bull Strength. And as soon as the party had revealed itself as being the notorious heroes of Hakone, the barghests charmed the ranger, used Crushing Despair, the raiders used their acid breath weapons and +3 Power Attacks with their two handed weapons.

Unfortunately we had to stop the fight around 1:30am. Bad timing. Argh!

The book says that the raiders will fight using +7/+2 (2d4+13/18-20). I hadn’t checked the numbers and was surprised. +13 to damage!? So I quickly looked them up in the Monster Manual IV. There it said +10/+5 (2d4+3/18-20). Mass Bull Strength increased that to +12/+7 (2d4+5/18-20) – my first mistake: Should be +6 damage because STR 14 → STR 18, damage bonus for a two handed weapon: +4 × 1½ = +6! +3 Power Attack changed that to +9/+4 (2d4+12/18-20). Still not the numbers seen in the book. I also noticed that they carry an oil of magic weapon which they have not yet applied. And I forgot the +1 to-hit because of masterwork falchions. Gaaaah! And their potions of Protection from Good… And their Cure Moderate Wounds potions. Too many things to keep track of. I think I forgot their DR 5/magic or good as well. But that only affects the rogue… I think I’ll just forget about the potions for the moment. Anyway, even if you consider the oil, the numbers still don’t add up. Oh well.

So with the oil applied, Mass Bull Strength, no masterwork bonus (does not stack with the oil!), and doing a Power Attack +3, that should be +10/+5 (2d4+13/18-20). And without Power Attack: +13/+8 (2d4+6/18-20).

And a note to my players with the Eye of Cheating I: The blackspawn raiders are CR 4 – the CR 10 you saw was for the blackspawn exterminators…

We need a replacement for the Wizard. His player is going to be missing for a few weeks and move to Germany at the end of the year.

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