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Planning a yule themed encounter. (D&D 3.5)

   
Planning a yule themed encounter. (D&D 3.5)

So my group of poor displaced 1940s super heroes have succesfully aclimated to their new classic d&d environment and liberated themselves a base of operations.

Before I start them on a reflavored version of The Red Hand of Doom, I want to give them a quick yule themed session.

This friday I will have only 3 players, all lvl 5 now. A good cleric, a factotum, and a ranger with a snow leopard.


My initial idea was to have them investigate some odd wreaths that popped up all over the nearby town. Though I find myself not really knowing how to work on that idea.

I have a plot from the villian of the day's angle. Using both the holidays and the night as a cover, an evil druid has mounted a wreath on every door.

The wreaths are intended to all trigger at the stroke of midnight and attempt to strangle every humanoid they come across. If they are threatened, they are "programmed" to trigger early. If they feel it nessesary, they will all flock to the center of town and form a tendriculous. There the druid villian is disguised as a random traveller who is sitting and drinking in the tavern.

Now its obviously up to the players to decide how to progress, all they know is that the wreaths just appeared, and that the local authorities are concerned.

I'm thinking, if they choose to use gather information, they learn that the guards spotted someone smelling of incense and eggnog hanging a wreathe the night before, but that he escaped before they could detain him.

From there, they can try the tavern. If they manage to find the guy, they can confront him, but he will trigger the early activation of the wreathes in the hopes to distract them if he feels threatened.

If I feel them to be in trouble, I can have the half ogre bartender help them out. He will be a lvl 3 commoner with the fire breathing ability of that dragon disciple class from the dragon books. (Cant remember the names right now, both class and specific book. Not the mags.)

Questions:
Do you think a group of 3 distractable lvl 5s can handle that in 4 hours?
What should I use as the base monsters for the wreathes?
What CR should the Druid be if he is teamed up with a tendriculous?

Questions:
Yes.

For the wreathes, I would use the stats for your favorite smallish CR 2 or 3 monster and just make them count as plants. I was originally thinking Greenbound goblins (CR 2 1/3), if that helps.

3 level 5s against a CR 6 tendriculos and a Druid of any level are going to be hard pressed. They have a cleric, which is good, but the factotum probably won't be able to do much. I would say the Druid should be no higher than about level 3 or 4.
5 is too high - at the same level as the PCs he would be a boss fight on his own. Coupled with a monster that, barring shenanigans by the cleric, should be handily out-damaging the rest of the party together? It would be pretty raw.
Lower than 3 and he only has 1st-level spells. How did he ever get this together in the first place? He has to be strong enough to be believable, but not strong enough to be a walking TPK, which druids can become (and sneak up on you doing it, too).

Alternatively, you might consider using a shambling mound instead of a tendriculos. Less damage output per round, still CR 6, but not nearly as nasty if they don't trigger the electricity thing too often.

Just lost the ranger too. She has work, meaning I am only gonna have 2.

I think I'll go with the Shambling mound. TY for that.

As for rewards, I was thinking a vine themed +1 weapon for the factotum (she uses Bolos), and that bracelette that produces a handfull of goodberries every day for the cleric. Having a hard time recalling the name of it.

Edit:
It just dawned on me, the best enemy to be the wreathes might just be an army of "transforming" boguns. I know they are only CR 1, but they are made with a low lvl spell. I'll need to look over their stats later, I cant seem to find them in the SRD.

If you go the shambling mounds route, you could have the wreaths as seedlings that are growing.

That destroys the druid idea, though.

Oooh, great tie in. I could hype up a sense of danger but afterwords point out that no one was actually hurt. Then have every "corpse" turn into a wrapped gift.

Rudolph the red-nosed megalocerous...?

How'd this go, DK?





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