Penny wise, Dollar foolish.
Yeah, sometimes the trip into the Deepdelve of Doom doesn't net the party a pile of coins thick enough to gag a dragon, and other times there are taxes, guild dues, training costs, armor and weapon upkeep, and reoutfitting costs to contend with that suck the players' coffers down. But when they party gets first hand knowledge of how to handle something and they decide on their own to ignore the single foremost clue on how to handle an issue - all for saving a pile of coins - you just know that it is not going to go over well.
They have faced off against T'Nagrath 3 times now. They know WHAT they have to do to kill him. But when faced with the daunting figure of 1,000 crowns, they opted to forego the Lightning Bolt spell and instead go for Shocking Grasp. The spell that does 1d8 + caster's level in damage. Forest trolls regenerate 20 hp/round, or only 1 hp/round from electricty. If taken down to below -10, they remain dormant for 2 hours until spontaneously regenerating around even the ashes of their burned up heart. Only a single slaying bolt of electricity into their chest can slay them. Read the operative word: Single. One. So even if they get him down to 0 HP and he passes out and they chop him into hamburger they need to do 10 hp of damage to the heart, and the 4th level mage casting Shocking Grasp is going to do 4 + random 1-8 or 5-12 hp of damage with a single bolt.
That means there is a 5/8 chance that they won't kill the troll. Even if they fire TWO Shocking Grasp's into the beast's heart - since all the texts they read and the sages they paid did say not only is electricty debilitating to these breed of trolls, but a single bolt of electricity would be needed to finish it off.
Of course, who is it that remembers this important detail? The player who was handling Zoltan. You know Zoltan? The dead thief? So there will be a player at the table with his new gnome character who is going to do his best not to metagame and know in the back of his mind - this is not going to go over well. :)
I cannot wait to see how this fiasco plays out on Saturday. ;) I am anticipating another verse in the "Assault on Fengarth's Tower" to be added to our merry song. Something like Brave Sir Robin's diddy from Monty Python's Holy Grail.
Write up follows:
It was after midnight and dozens…hundreds of townspeople arrived to help put out the fire that was consuming the two homes next to the party’s place. Buckets were drawn from the South Cistern and handed one after the other to the fires, eventually dousing them. Sir Walter and his own staff arrived on hand, helping as well. The guards spoke of their firsthand account of T’Nagrath’s attack and the group’s efforts in stopping it. Even Adeptus Bjorn showed but he stayed long enough to mutter, “I warned you all,” before departing.
It wasn’t until after 2 AM when the group got back to sleep – and that was only when they tacked up tarps from the yard over the busted window in the living room and the hole in the wall in the kitchen. The door had been broken in and was held on by a single hinge. There was no safe way to get up to sleep on the 2nd floor in our rooms so we camped out on the lower floor after stoking the fireplace and getting somewhat warm.
We awoke the next day because it was cold and noisy, not because we were rested. Groggy and tired, we hoisted Coruth’tae upstairs to go to Karis’ room where a rolled up rope ladder was stored. Fastening it to a secure part of the 2nd floor landing, he pushed it over the rail and the group tentatively went to their rooms and got their gear and what bits of value they wanted to take. From there it was a trip to the Blue and Dancing Minepick to get some breakfast.
While there they talked about what was going to happen next? The house needed to be fixed, as the cold air and weather was blowing through it. There was the unfortunate deaths of the 16 civilians slain by the errant Blessed Bolt of Thor (which the party was NOT going to claim responsibility on), as well as, according to the townsfolk, 5 guards killed and 3 more badly wounded. Killing T’Nagrath was going to be priority one. But we no longer had a Blessed Bolt of Thor – and electricity is needed to slay a Forest Troll with finality. A trip back to Cymbarton and the Mage’s District was in order.
We went from here to Slaine’s Manorhouse where we met with the Orihalcan Nobleman and half of his advisory council. There was thanks given back and forth, but the crux of the matter was Sir Walter wanted to commission the party as an adventuring group to kill the Troll. Some haggling occurred and the group settled on 1000 crowns and Sir Walter pays to have our house fixed. Sheriff Phozarn wanted to be a part of the expedition to slay the troll and there was some tension between him and Karis, but the others in the group decided it would be better to have a skilled swordsman with us to help take the troll down.
Returning home we outfitted ourselves, gathered food and drink for the horses, and planned a trip to Cymbarton to leave that very afternoon. We discussed plans and all agreed that we would go back to Fengarth’s Tower where we would kill the troll and NOTHING else! No exploring the tower, no treasure gathering – nothing. Didn’t want to have Sheriff Phozarn to be a part of anything else and we would take the Sheriff back as proof to the others that we took care of the troll and the matter is complete.
Sir Walter gave us half up front and according to Coruth’tae and Fabambus a Lightning Bolt scroll would be close to 1,000 crowns under normal circumstances – a kingly sum that we frankly did not have. So other ideas were thought on and we decided that originally Evian and her Shocking Grasp spell had been a good lower level deterrent to the troll – we should look into getting one of those.
We passed through Ponyboro where we stayed at the Rampant Griffon. A check up on the kobold women revealed that Lord Daernhorse had no place for them on his Demesne, but the Silverbough’s were happy to take them in. Currently they have a small place near the manorhouse and a plot that they work. They were happy to see the group but we spent little time with them.
Lord Ulric Wolverton paid the group a visit, asking if they had heard anything about his erstwhile son, Djohrgahd. He did request that when the time came and they did face him and defeat him, that the group would be decent enough to bring the body back home so he can bury him on the family plot.
We left from here and travelled to Cymbarton. Listened to the rules (no bows or xbows strung in town – weapons must remain sheathed – duels in public forbidden) and then went to the Adventuring Guild. There were some things to be done in town and the party discussed them at length before splitting up to take care of them. Things such as – getting a copy of Shocking Grasp and having it scribed in Coruth’tae’s spell book, buying the necessary raw materials to make our own alchemist lab, getting some of our esoteric and magical items identified, visiting the wheelwright to have sleight skids made for our wagon, and few other personal destinations.
From here we planned to leave Cymbarton and travel back to Orihalcus – should be back in town around the 8th. There has been sporadic snowfall so fall – with accumulation hovering around 6-8 inches accounting for new snow and current melt. But the group has suspicions that it won’t be like this for much longer. Eventually the trade roads do become impassable so we have to make it back to Orihalcus, take care of the troll at Fengarth’s, and then if we are hoping to go to Dargan’s one last time – would have to do it soon.