Talons of the Horned King

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PeelSeel2
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Talons of the Horned King

Post by PeelSeel2 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:31 am

So I see where this is out on RPGnow, does that mean the print version is being shipped?

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Post by superfan » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:23 am

Indeed!

I've been waiting for all these NEW modules to hit the shelves at my local game store "The Source" and no sign yet.

:( :( :(

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Post by goodmangames » Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:08 pm

The print version is getting shipped out to subscribers on Monday. Not too much longer to wait! And it should be in stores the week before Christmas.

My printer has been really backed up, which is why these are flowing out so late. You'll see #37 hit stores about 2-3 weeks after #36, and then #38 will follow not too long after, assuming no more delays. I'm hoping they'll catch up soon.
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Post by Ogrepuppy » Sat Dec 09, 2006 5:08 am

Cool! I'm a subscriber, and I haven't received a module yet! I'm very excited and looking forward to this!

....Oh, wait.....

...That means you're gonna be bum-rushing my credit card several times over the next few weeks... :shock:


[scrambles to cancel additional pr0n site subscriptions]

...OK. We're cool. Fire away. :D

(Hey, I have my priorities. D&D first, ladies second...especially when there's so much free stuff available... :wink: )

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Post by PeelSeel2 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:18 am

Just saw the Pre-Auth for this on my debit card!! Here it comes!!!

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Post by trancejeremy » Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:12 pm

So how is this module? And more specificially, just how science-fictiony is it? Is it's more like Expedition to Barrier Peaks, or is the spaceship just a relatively minor thing

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Post by Mike_Ferguson » Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:22 pm

trancejeremy wrote:So how is this module? And more specificially, just how science-fictiony is it? Is it's more like Expedition to Barrier Peaks, or is the spaceship just a relatively minor thing
I was hoping someone else a little less biased would jump in to answer, but since not ... I'll give it a shot. (I'll try to remain as spoiler-free as possible.)

I'll just address the second part of this - namely, is the adventure more like Expedition to Barrier Peaks, or is the spaceship just a relatively minor thing?

Well, the first half of the adventure is relatively science-fiction free - in fact, if you put something else at the Talons besides the ship, it could be played completely without any sci-fi influences.

The second half of the adventure, though, has some distinct similarities to "Barrier Peaks". I wouldn't consider the presence of the spaceship to be something minor - it's very important to this part of the adventure.

Also, included in the adventure are some guidelines and suggestions for incorporating science fiction into an ongoing fantasy campaign ... including ways of minimizing the sci-fi influence in "Talons".

Hope this helps!

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Post by Warduke » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:21 am

this looks to be an awesome module. a must have for all the old school kids
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Post by None the Wiser » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:36 am

SPOILERS! FOR DM's EYES ONLY!










I have a quick question for Ferguson & Co:

Can the PCs use a chime of opening (presuming they find the one hidden in Batu's hut) to open the _locked_ mechanical doors inside the Kra-dhan ship (such as the door that shuts behind them in Area 3-5 or if they trigger the locking mechanisms via the computer consoles scattered throughout the ship)? The adventure specifcally mentions the effect the chime can have on the hatch in the Decompression Chamber, but doesn't mention anything specifcally about "locked" doors.


My gut instinct would be to have the "technological" locking mechanisms on the doors override any magical effects (just as the Iron Spiders are immune to magical attacks). But why else would the chime of opening be included in the adventure? Hey, if it's just there to offer the PC's false hope, I'm all for it! :twisted: But I was wondering if the author of the adventure had any thoughts on the subject. :?:

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Post by Mike_Ferguson » Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:30 am

None the Wiser wrote:SPOILERS! FOR DM's EYES ONLY!










I have a quick question for Ferguson & Co:

Can the PCs use a chime of opening (presuming they find the one hidden in Batu's hut) to open the _locked_ mechanical doors inside the Kra-dhan ship (such as the door that shuts behind them in Area 3-5 or if they trigger the locking mechanisms via the computer consoles scattered throughout the ship)? The adventure specifcally mentions the effect the chime can have on the hatch in the Decompression Chamber, but doesn't mention anything specifically about "locked" doors.
Short answer: yes.

Long answer: the decompression chamber turned out to be an incredibly difficult challenge in the first playtest of the adventure, much more so than I wanted it to be. It almost got axed from the final draft of the adventure. However, I liked the concept of the chamber, and was reluctant to just get rid of it so easily.

I figured letting the players find a chime of opening would be a good compromise, particularly since there's no guarantee that they *will* find it. And the chamber worked out well with the chime in the second playtest, so it stayed in the adventure.

If the chime works on the chamber, though, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work on the other "locked" doors in the adventure. So I would allow it to be used elsewhere in the buried ship. It's only got 3 uses/charges, so it shouldn't have a *huge* impact on the adventure (although it could probably ruin the "fun" of area 3-5). :twisted:

Use whatever best fits your game, though, 'Wiser. You raise an interesting point about the iron spiders being immune to magic, so it's certainly plausible to say that it only works in the chamber. However, I allowed the chime to be used throughout the ship during the various playtests for this adventure ... and would allow it to be used the same way if I ran the adventure again for some reason.

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Post by None the Wiser » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:10 pm

Thanks for the quick reply, Mike! That certainly helps clarify things!

My party just made it to the edge of Batu's hut at the end of our last game session. Only by the time they got there it was about 7:00 PM, and only those with darkvision could make out the gnarled tree. The Monk/Sorceror put on the ring of climbing and tried to climb up to ring the bell but failed his climb check. Then the Cleric started banging on the side of the hut with his hammer to elicit a response from within, and that's when the dire wolf finally pounced! Whether or not they attempt to parley with Batu will depend entirely on wether or not the Paladin can prevent the Rogue from doing or saying something impolite. :roll:

Personally, I can't wait to see how they handle the challenges inside the ship, and it would be a shame if they all bought the farm inside the Decompression Chamber before they even got there. :wink: I think I'll allow the chime of opening to function the way it was intended (presuming they find it)! 8)

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Post by Mike_Ferguson » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:41 am

None the Wiser wrote:Thanks for the quick reply, Mike! That certainly helps clarify things!

My party just made it to the edge of Batu's hut at the end of our last game session. Only by the time they got there it was about 7:00 PM, and only those with darkvision could make out the gnarled tree. The Monk/Sorceror put on the ring of climbing and tried to climb up to ring the bell but failed his climb check. Then the Cleric started banging on the side of the hut with his hammer to elicit a response from within, and that's when the dire wolf finally pounced! Whether or not they attempt to parley with Batu will depend entirely on wether or not the Paladin can prevent the Rogue from doing or saying something impolite. :roll:

Personally, I can't wait to see how they handle the challenges inside the ship, and it would be a shame if they all bought the farm inside the Decompression Chamber before they even got there. :wink: I think I'll allow the chime of opening to function the way it was intended (presuming they find it)! 8)
Fantastic stuff, 'Wiser. Sounds like your group is having a good time with this. :)

I'll be curious to see how your players reacts to Batu - let me know (if you can) how that turns out. That encounter can go a million different ways - Batu can help out the party tremendously, or it can wind up being a TPK. It's one of my favorite parts of the adventure.

That specific encounter actually was (loosely) inspired by the Baba Yaga adventure that got published in Dragon Magazine, years and years ago ... back when adventures *were* published in Dragon, and well before Dungeon Magazine even existed. I say *loosely* because I was only going by my memory of the adventure ... I finally dug out the copy of Dragon that had the original Baba Yaga adventure a couple of months ago, after "Talons" got published, re-read it, and noticed that my memories of it were way off. :roll:

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Post by None the Wiser » Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:50 am

OK, Mr. Ferguson, I have a new question for you! 8)

In encounter Area 3-15 (The Cryogenic Chamber) it says that revived members of the crew will move in front of the "pyramid console" to protect it, but no stats are given for the pyramid console itself. Should it have the same (or similar) stats to WARDYN in terms of hit points? Or would the Generic Computer stats apply? Any thoughts?

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Post by Mike_Ferguson » Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:51 pm

Oh, the pyramid console isn't nearly as massive or powerful as WARDYN.

I would use the Generic Computer stats provided in the beginning of Area 3 for the console.

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Post by None the Wiser » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:50 pm

Cool! Thanks for the quick reply! 8)

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Post by None the Wiser » Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:03 pm

Ok, I just got back from vacation and I've had a week to sum up how my players have fared thus far...

I played Batu as senile and forgetful, plus I made her an out-of-season tour-guide for the Talons. Hence my Paladin detected a wavering aura of evil around Batu as the mood took her. My players killed her Guardian Dire Wolf, THEN rang the bell. :roll: Shortly after the bell was rung, Batu opened her door and invited the PCs in to sit and share a bowl of soup. She had already prestidigitated a bowl of porridge in order to make it taste like her favorite brand of soup, and of course everyone who was willing to taste the “soup” tasted their own favorite brand. The Paladin was unfailingly polite, so Batu was willing to let the party Wizard cast rope trick and settled down for the night (her plan to pilfer their goods while they slept handily thwarted by the rope trick).

The next morning everyone smelled the best breakfast that they had ever dreamed of drifting from Batu’s porridge pot. The Cleric was worried that perhaps Batu’s flickering aura of evil might indicate that she was being mentally controlled by powers unknown. So the Paladin recommended that the Cleric cast protection from evil on her to cut off any nefarious outside influence. Of course, being the CE creature that she was, Batu took offense an having a good spell cast on her, and she even went so far as to cast touch of fatigue on the Cleric. But the Paladin’s ungodly Diplomacy role upgraded Batu’s mood from “hostile” to “indifferent.” So she was willing to let them stay and let the Cleric recover and at least finish their breakfast.

Then (out of character), I chided the group for not attempting to detect magic on Batu before casting a spell on her, which prompted the Cleric/Fighter to use his wand of detect magic on her. In turn, Batu made her spellcraft check and decided to detect magic on the party. Once she realized the party was carrying some fairly nice magical items, all bets were off and she attacked first.

Her Ice Web spell worked reasonably well, but she rolled miserably on her touch attack for her Cold Blood spell. Surrounded by enemies (six PCs in all) she went down fairly quickly, but the Paladin insisted on doing enough subdual damage so that she wouldn’t die.

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As for the doors to the Kra-dhan ship, my party had one person at the top of the ladder pushing buttons and yelling down at another party member to press the same button sequence next to the bottom door of the Decompression Chamber. Unless the party randomly pushed buttons and somehow triggered the correct sequence to close the door up top, this room shouldn’t really be too hard. The bottom door won’t open until the top door has closed, which presumes that the party figured out the correct sequence for the top door. Plus, if they’ve found Mukhur and Ohgul’s letters, they should have advanced warning the green gas is bad for them and not lollygag about.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Speaking of Ohgul, the party happened to press the Skull icon on the dias and so Ohgul had no spells to defend herself with. :cry: On the bright side, the Monk/Sorceror had no spells agains the Frost Giant Skelton later on and the Paladin almost died as a result. :twisted: Even later (this time due to a random roll) the Wizard was doing max-damage against the immature Rehmoraz, so the weird magical effect of the Talons has benefited the party more often than not. Of course, they haven’t wandered into the room marked “Death” on Mukhur’s map, so things may be looking up for the DM this weekend. :twisted: :D

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Post by Mike_Ferguson » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:30 pm

Cool stuff, 'Wiser. As always, glad you're enjoying it so far.

Also glad you used Batu like that - she was always meant to be a flexible encounter, meaning you can play her as a straight-up combat encounter, or something more like you did as a role-playing encounter. I like trying to put a few of those in my adventures - that way, you can play it the adventure as a straight dungeon crawl the whole way through if you choose, but if you want to mix in some role-playing encounters, it's pretty easy to do so.

Keep posting, and let us know how your party fares! :)

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Post by None the Wiser » Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:00 pm

Ok, it's been a while since I last posted, but I figured I should let y'all know how this adventure turned out for my party:

It’s been a couple of months now, but here’s what sticks out in my mind:

The Rogue crept all the way through the ventilation duct from area 3-7 to 3-18 to scout ahead and had to find his way back through the arboretum (area 3-12) alone.

The WARDYN room battle was fairly tough, but once they sweet-talked WARDYN into telling them where the bridge was and whether or not the ship’s captain was there, they planned an assault on the bridge that went fairly quickly, but not before Merykare Setep got off a couple of good grenade hits.

The best part of the adventure (for me) was when the party finally searched the “Death” room, saw the dragon laying there and sent the Rogue in first – BY HIMSELF! …and of course got trapped inside until the Wizard used a Knock spell to get the door open. They did try a few fireballs, but once the White Dragon took flight, they all ran a way like little girls and NEVER CAME BACK!

The party saved the Cryo-chamber for last and took down the med-tech before he was able to release too many of his brethren.

Having Borys tag along and push buttons was great fun. They initially let Hjálmgeirr go only go find out later that he was a wanted criminal. The Paladin insisted on going back to hunt Hjal down after the adventure was over to do penance.

All in all, I’d say this was my favorite DCC I’ve run so far. Keeping track of the magic variance effects was a little tedious, but well worth the effort. Also, I found that the treasure for the adventure was pretty darn generous if you let the PCs sell everything they find.

While I would have preferred to have a village pre-made for the adventure (for Kyarovsk) I did enjoy inventing the Rassylov family and the town denizens the PCs got to interact with, plus it was good practice for a neophyte DM like myself.

Hats off to Ferguson and Co. for a great gaming experience!

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