TOEE: back home, investigation of the spy, and the road to the mines
by, 04-20-2010 at 12:33 PM (356 Views)
Ok, our heroes clear out the moathouse and head back home.
They meet up with Elmo and Spugnoir and intercept the cult spy (his name eludes me at the moment).
I used Spugnoir as the official authority (assuming the PC's helped him in the moathouse) on all things elemental evil. I give enough away to help them along, but not too much.
Elmo has the PC's (if they haven't already) gather the spy and interrogate him themselves. I had this as a skill challenge (difficulty 2). I treated it like reasoning with a slaad from the Underdark supplement. The gist is if use diplomacy or bluff, the DC is hard, but intimidate is average. Also, history, religion, and insight give bonuses and one time successes. These skills give hints to that intimidation is the best route to interrogation. They may also give some insight into the questions they are asking (like where is the cult at).
Success results in the players knowing the headquarters of the cult is at the crater-ridge mines. Failure results in the spy doing his darndest to escape to freedom. If subdued again, the players gain one success and the challenge is promoted to difficulty 3. This is repeated until the spy dies or falls unconscious. If the challenge is failed at difficulty 5, the spy absolutely refuses to answer any questions even if threatened with his life.
Assuming the players find out about the mine, I minimized the interactions in the town of Rastor. I also skipped the stuff at Nulb for personal reasons. I feel it doesn't add much to the story (short of an encounter with Lareth), and decide not to hint at its importance until it is important (after the inner fane is penetrated).
I also am not a fan of random encounters in 4e, so the road to the mines is uneventful.
Now depending on how your players approach the mines, there are many ways to deal with infiltration issues. For my players, I made it so traveling to Rastor from the mines is an easy ride, but long walk. My hope is if they need to leave, Elmo helps reinforce areas they have already cleared out. But he won't help initial clearing of areas.
Next time, I'll go over the main entrance of the mines.
One thing important to note is the direction the players decide to follow. My players have chosen to go south, but I will detail what encounters I was going to have if they went north up to the end of the earth temple.