Monday, April 25, 2016

Moathouse Frogs Follow-up

Just a quick follow-up from last week, regarding my players' encounter with the Moathouse giant frogs: The party eventually defeated them all, although the Halfling was hit by a tongue attack and was nearly swallowed alive himself.

The party Cleric was technically "dead" by the time the other characters managed to cut him out of the giant frog's stomach. However, per my house rules, there is a period of negative & declining HPs before a character is truly dead. Although it took the use of some magical healing resources, the other characters managed to bring the Cleric back up above 0 hp before he truly passed away.

Spugnoir also had to be cut out of the belly of the beast, but he had only just dropped below 0 hp at that point. However, the players did not know how badly off he was and he was the one who told them about this place and brought them here. Feeling responsible for his imminent demise, they expended magical healing resources on him as well and thus saved his life.

Because he spent several rounds inside the frog's stomach, I did require the Cleric to make Save vs. Acid rolls for his belongings. His clothing did not save, and so I described to the players how the Cleric's now-dissolving clothes were falling off his body and into a liquefying mass at his feet. Everyone thought that was pretty funny, but now the Cleric is wearing chain mail with no clothing underneath. I'm still trying to decide how that might affect his ability to act.

After nearly losing 2 or 3 characters to this first, initial encounter, the Halfling's player is advocating for the party to go back to Hommlet to rest, re-learn spells, and re-think how to approach the Moathouse. However, everyone else seems determined to forge ahead. In the screenshot below you can see the Halfling hanging back, while the others are preparing to cross the drawbridge and enter the Moathouse grounds...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Building the ToEE in Roll20 Continues

In my last post, my players were paused mid-battle in combat with the Moathouse's giant frogs. I have no new update from this past week, because we did not play. One player had to go out of town unexpectedly and another had in-laws unexpectedly drop in from out of town. However, things look good for this coming week and we should be meeting to play on Monday night as usual.

In the meantime, I've continued to work on duplicating the ToEE's surface level in Roll20. As with the moathouse, I took an existing map I found online and imported it into Roll20. Then I simply stretched it out to the proper scale and began laying my own detailed graphics on top of the map. Overall, I think it looks pretty good:

One thing that struck me while working on this map is just how huge the ToEE really is. Back when I ran this adventure in face-to-face games, we never actually drew out the upper works on a battle mat, but simply used graph paper. Only now, with Roll20's essentially unlimited battle mat space to work with, have I tried to duplicate the upper works on a tactical scale. This screenshot is just of the temple itself, and I had to zoom all the way out to 10% scale to capture it. You cannot see in this pic the surrounding ruined walls and other features.

My next task will be to trace out the walls and other obstacles on the Dynamic Lighting layer. This will make it so that the players will not be able to see around corners or pass through walls as they explore this map.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Running the Temple of Elemental Evil in Roll20

I've been very busy lately, importing the Temple of Elemental Evil into my Roll20 campaign and converting everything over to the Moldvay B/X ruleset which I currently prefer to play. So far, I've accomplished the following:

  • Village of Hommlet: Completely created and populated
  • Moathouse: Completely created and populated
  • Village of Nulb: Completely created and almost completely populated
  • Temple Surface Level: under construction

Last game session, the players arrived at the entrance to the Moathouse and were of course attacked by the giant frogs. We have a hard-set quit time, so we had to stop mid-battle. But here's a screenshot of the action in progress, with my own notations:

As you can see, things are off to an interesting start. I didn't really plan for the PCs to arrive at the Moathouse this quickly, but they sort of forced my hand. That might be a good topic for a follow-on post.