Epic Battles

Morrinn
Morrinn
edited December 2011 in General Discussion
I felt like sharing one of the most hard core fight's I've had to run which took place in my "4E Tomb of Horror game":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/tohe a couple of months ago.

First some background;

Our heroes were a group of mercenaries who'd gotten tangled in some great big plot involving the old tomb of Horrors and some terrible interplanar shenanigans with some unknown powers siphoning raw arcane energies between the shadowfell and the feywild.
Without really knowing exactly what they'd gotten themselves into, they discovered that they now needed to travel to a city called Moil to find and destroy some McGuffin that was causing them some problems.

Now, here's what they didn't know, but were about to rapidly find out. Moil, called the City that Waits, is this cursed city comprised of ruined towers that for the past few millennia has been sinking into a necrotic ocean in the shadowfell. Our McGuffin is located in a massive floating complex, somewhere in the city, and the device is simultaneously pumping raw arcane fuel around the planes, warding off the mindless undead inhabitants of the city and keeping the complex's improbable construction floating above the necrotic sea.

As the character's navigated the city, they came across a vastly superior foe in the ruins, this thing called "The tortured vestige". This thing was capital 'N' Nasty, and nearly wiped them out before they managed to flee into the perceived safety of their target dungeon. That fight alone nearly caused the game to end in an all party wipe if they hadn't found the means to escape in the nick of time.
Once inside they began hunting for the device and fought clawed and kicked their way through several nasty traps and monsters. Finally they found the antechamber containing the device and began puzzling over what it was and how to shut it down.

Now, I'd planned on this being a two step fight where first they'd fight the guardian of the machine, an Acererak Mimic that would spring on the players the moment they began fucking with the machine, and then after disabling the engine they'd have to survive the crumbling construct and onslaught of undead from the city long enough to be deus ex'd out of the place by a nearby planar dromond.

Unfortunately, after being ambushed by the mock (but still very powerful) demilich, the players somehow got it in their heads that disabling the engine would maybe weaken the guardian... so, *during* the extremely difficult combat with the mimic, they advanced the fight into stage two, and as the machine burst into flames the room they were fighting in began to tilt... then fall into the necrotic ocean below.

So there they are, battling an enraged demilich, standing on unstable ground that's slowly giving way to black necrotic waves. They are low on hit points, the walls are crumbling and the mimic has just soul sucked the warlord when guess who joins the fun! The vestige from earlier... That impossibly difficult foe they had no hope of besting.
The situation could not get any worse. The characters were literally clawing at the walls, trying to climb the domed ceiling to get to any higher ground. I had at the start of the collapse thrown a die to see how long they had to survive before the nearby dromond came to help them and it was really quite a close call.

I ended up throwing them a bone and having the vestige act as an opponent to both the players and the demilich, so that helped them concentrate fire while the two creatures battled for a short moment.
Eventually the mimic fell dead and the dromond arrived just in the nick of time for them to flee the scene, but that was probably the most tense and close to a total party wipe I've ever put my players. The fight only ended up calming the leader who's soul had been obliterated by the demilich.

So yeah, that was fun =)

Anyone else got a good fight to share?

Comments

  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,922
    Hey Morrinn

    That does seem pretty hectic, I have to admit. I was trawling around some old posts and was drawn to this one because my characters are about to enter a massive encounter which is a very high CR Level and I don't really know how well they will do. Perhaps I'll be able to add to this thread a bit later once it is all over. I envisage the encounter taking up at least two full sessions.


    twiggyleaf
    "Shimring - The Faces of Divinity":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shimring
    (a multiplanar 3.5 D&D campaign)

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • tic
    tic
    Posts: 44
    What a cool thread! I look forward to reading your additions to it, Twigs.

    My players are still only second level, so I don't really have an epic battle they managed to participate in to share, but I did make them - at level one - desperately flee through such a situation, and it was pretty epic.

    I'd stuck my players in what essentially was a Harmonium-run concentration camp on the bottom-most layer of Arcadia during the second session of the game, and so the first few games focused on the trials they faced within it. Unfortunately for the Harmonium, it turns out that imprisoning chaotic creatures in order to force them to become lawful turns out to not be such a Good (capital G good) idea, and so the plane eventually fell into Mechanus (as per Planescape canon).

    I had a cell of anarchists assault the camp, their intent being to expedite this collapse. One of them flew invisible overhead of the camp to spam Planar Breach until she got a big enough hole in the planes that demons started spilling through. By the time the plane actually shifted - waking up everyone in the camp for sheer unnaturalness - the PCs had to run past their guards, a legion of demons, a cell of anarchists and their eladrin summons (one bralani and five lilendi), and some inevitables that (inevitably had to) show up to investigate just what in the holy hell just happened to Mechanus.

    While running through this chaos, I made them fight some formian workers that were confused and pretty mad about the whole thing.

    They failed their checks to ID prettymuch everything that was there too, other than successfully determining that the planar breach spamming chick was an aasimar. Haha.
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,922
    Tic

    ...and that just goes to show how even epic events can occur at low levels!


    twiggyleaf
    "Shimring - The Faces of Divinity":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shimring
    (a multiplanar 3.5 D&D campaign)

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

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