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The Pit of Chaos quest--just finished

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from the Against the Ogre Horde Quest Pack.

The Pit of Chaos quest--just finished

Postby Jalapenotrellis » Thursday January 13th, 2022 3:12am

My group just finished this. They were warned ahead of time via the quest text of the Pit of Chaos permanently turning a player evil and reminded of it when the room was laid out.

They entered the room via the secret door option. The wizard and the elf used Pass Through Rock and a spell scroll for Pass Through Rock to clear the right side of the board while the dwarf and barbarian kited Festral and his chaos warrior squad around in circles, weakening the chaos warriors and killing one before Festral got smart and just decided to fortify himself into a corner of the main Pit of Chaos room and just wait for the heroes to come in with the ring of power. In our group, we play that stone door opening requires an action (thus you can't open it and move or attack immediately...otherwise what is the point?).

The problem is there was no guidance of "is it an action to deposit the ring of power into the pit? Do they need to be next to the pit to do so or just in the room?" I chose to have it not be an action and it be a free action to deposit the ring, and they still got within 2 squares of the pit to 'hurl' it in.

Festral has multiple opportunities to literally obliterate the players, and he also is one caster that DOES NOT need HP buff (I typically double enemy caster HP up to this point so they can at least get 1 spell off--Festral will kill a player each time he gets 1 spell off, it's very unfair):
1) Mind blast with 8 mind points against a barbarian or dwarf (2 mind points or 3 mind points) is death unless they have a Potion of Restoration (restores 1 mind point) from previous expansions left over. The barbarian with a Talisman of Lore is not much better off. You might consider letting him have the UK version of Mind points for this particular expansion, letting him have 4 mind points and leaving the Dwarf at 3 mind points. Or, you could give the Dwarf 5 mind points, and just keep the barbarian away. Then you have 3 players with 4-6 mind points.
2) Mind Lock can lock them in place for multiple turns with very little chance to save (they have to roll 3 skulls; oh and they can be Mind Blasted while Mind Locked, further reducing that chance if not just killing them). It is unclear if they roll 1 die in defense against: Mind Blast, Dominate, or Mind Lock, or if that 1 die defense means "against typical regular attacks.' I chose the player-favored interpretation--it is just regular attacks.
3) Dominate can send them off the chasm square if you're fighting there, or Dominate can send them into the Pit of Chaos itself, allowing control forever. It is unclear the mechanics of when that ends. I ruled that they can kill the player to end the evil takeover, but that is difficult to do when they can use potions and items. I even suggested to the players they offload all the gear and items onto another player.
He can do this 3 times each...The chaos warriors have the stats of ogres and act as meat shields.

Having played through this once, I'm really not sure how to modify it. Not that I'll ever get another chance to play this quest in my lifetime, lol. Perhaps increasing Festral's HP and reducing his Mind points down to 5, maybe? Perhaps having clear rules for how the Pit of Chaos works? Perhaps allowing players to substitute a full heal potion as a Potion of Restoration to get the mind point heal option so they don't literally just die for seeing Festral, who attacks with 8 Mind Point dice? I rolled 7 skulls a few times. They rolled 3 skulls on their 3 skull roll. They still die from that Mind Blast!

My players took about 5 hours for this quest due to much more table talk than they usually do, and these were my veteran players. I warned them it was an 8 out of 10 for difficulty and not due to much they can control.

They amazingly did well though due to splitting the party. I think Festral is much more deadly against a group since it is unlikley all of them will be able to escape him each turn. With 2 players on one side of the board and the other two evading him on the other side, he is stuck sitting in the middle because he is slow at 6 movement and his chaos warriors at 7. My players used potions of dexterity to kite them for a while until I wised up and just fortified him in the corner of the center room.

By this expansion, players should really understand the power of the Sleep spell compared to Genie, but my players don't seem to think Sleep is that good. But if you're fighting 1 mind point enemies that cannot defend, that is way better than trying to send 5 attack dice at their 5 defend dice, letting them attack back for 5 attack dice, and they can reposition. But I'm also trying not to hint too much. I think I hinted too much this last game because I was worried about them getting wiped. And they still almost wiped if they were to have approached Festral head on. He is HANDS DOWN, the most powerful caster enemy they have faced. The Witch Lord has nothing on him. Mind attacks are crazy in this expansion. Crazy! (ha ha)
Last edited by Jalapenotrellis on Thursday January 13th, 2022 8:22pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Pit of Chaos quest--just finished

Postby Anderas » Thursday January 13th, 2022 5:42am

I never thought much about this quest and the pit. Now that you laid out all the combinations, it becomes more apparent to me why it is considered a Meat Grinder.

Thanks for that entertaining report!


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Re: The Pit of Chaos quest--just finished

Postby Kurgan » Thursday January 13th, 2022 12:46pm

That's helpful feedback. If you just treat the pit as "okay now you have to kill this guy but when he comes back he's good again" it's not so bad, though still very hard.

Sleep is a very powerful spell, I agree!


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