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Help needed for player created problem

Help needed for player created problem

Warning there are spoilers to Hoard of the Dragon Queen here.

I am running Hoard of the Dragon Queen and need help for something the group has done.

First let me state that this is my long time real life group that has been meeting for seven years, which consists of three experienced players and four
Not newbies, but not experienced enough to be party leaders
moderate players, the difficulty has been adjusted for seven players. We are five sessions into HDQ and the game is going great, everyone is having fun including myself.

The group is using very unconventional ways to dealing with the challenges they encounter. Their tactics make sense, they roleplay them out beautifully, and there is no exploitation of the rules or loop-hole nonsense. I am quite proud of this group as this is the first attempt at anything not 3.5 D&D and they are not relying on skill checks but prefer to role play out the situations.

Also I am not looking to punish my players; I need help making sure the response to the situation they created makes sense.

That is where they left off.

Since the cultists cannot leave the cave until the dragon eggs hatch I am trying to plan what defenses and actions the Raiders would be starting to put into place. The scary thing is they KILLED NO KOBOLDS, so I am thinking the cave would become a kobold death maze since most of the human guards are dead and Frulam would basically just tell them to go nuts with the traps.

Besides Frulam and Cyanwrath there are 6 Berserkers, about 20-30 kobolds, 3 drakes, and a roper.

The camp outside of the cave has lots of trash, huts, and useless things kobolds would have access to.

I have not committed myself to the kobold traps plan yet; I wanted to see if anyone had a better idea or could point out something that I should be doing.

If the kobold trap dungeon becomes the way to go I would be looking for ideas to draw the group in before starting the gauntlet then try to keep putting pressure on them to keep them moving.

Thanks in advance, any comments appreciated.

Maybe have some kobold sappers cave them in after they delved far enough, so their only option is to go on through the traps? This reminds me of a particularly nasty area in Baldur's Gate where you have to cross a trapped bridge, so you send your rogue to deal with it, except some kobold archers are positioned right behind the bridge and just out of sight until the rogue is dangerously positioned. You could even make the trap obvious enough so they spot it for sure and feel confident enough to lower their defense.

I don't know if the bandits and the kobolds are allies, but it seems like they are, but it would make sense for the bandits to retreat in the caves if they know the party is coming back for something.

I agree, that the simplest way to pressure the group to move forward would be with a collapse or virtually impenetrable barrier that blocks the way back.

That kind of trap is standard for kobolds too. Collapsing tunnels, either to corral enemies, deny areas, or protect the kobolds own escape.

The theory must be that the kobolds can easily make new tunnels.

An option that would be naturally painful, but voluntary. The kobolds could reduce the accessible tunnels to those "small" creature tunnels, that medium creatures squeeze through.

Collapse and death trap with promise of collapse the majority of the medium tunnels.?

Once inside a long "small tunnel... Turning around is difficult, changing lineup is difficult, ability checks are disadvantaged.

Kobolds enjoy almost every advantage if the PC's choose to advance through their small realm.

Even the traps become more difficult by virtue of being addressed with disadvantage....

As for drawing the party in, aside from the fact that your PC's already want to go in. If you deny retreat, and only forward will allow exit at all. I have used 3/4 cover firing positions, for long range crossbows, to apply pressure.

But additionally, would a relatively simple mechanic of a deadline work?

Once the enemy is alerted to Party Entry. (Silent Alarm spell is a good option,) it will only take the enemy X amount of time to evacuate the PARTY objective, or lock it all down denying the party access.

So this Cyanwrath is in charge right? He's guarding the eggs. Can the eggs be moved? How loyal are the Kobolds? Are we talking religious fanaticism or something much less?

How much time does Cyanwrath need to buy before the eggs hatch or whatever? If Cyanwrath thinks they can easily exit the caves once the eggs hatch, why not collapse every entrance and just wait it out? What can Frulam and Cyanwrath do together to hide or protect the eggs while the Kobolds do whatever Cyanwrath tells them to do?

Would Cyanwrath send out a strike force to hit the adventurers in the village? From his perspective would a sneak attack on the PCs have the potential to kill or wound enough of them that they could not afford to return before he completes his goal? A kobold night time infiltration and assault on the PCs might liven things up.

If I were Cyanwrath, and I needed 3 days or less I would have the Kobolds collapse the mine entrances (leave one camouflaged escape route) and hit the village. If he can maul the PCs bad enough they won't have time to heal and dig their way through. Unless they hit him immediately after the attack. PCs wounded and low on spells would work in Cyanwrath's favor.

All of this, and when you prepare those rooms with murderholes that kobolds love? Don't forget to spread totally useless trash on the ground. Pieces of broken furniture are useful for neither cover nor concealment, but they make the terrain broken enough that running is hard, and tumbling is at a disadvantage!

Trash! Yes! The answer was so simple! Thank you AsenRG!

I figure they only have 1 day to prepare, bringing all the trash into the cave to hide all the traps and whatnot would make perfect sense.

Some other ideas
-The cult hires the scouts in the camp to be lookouts

-the berserkers could break apart the "heavy timber" guard tower and start to make what looks like fortifications inside the cave. The group will come back to the cave finding the fortifications "under construction" but in truth it is a wall that will be shut when the adventures enter by the scouts outside. This will prevent escape and the scouts could be positioned behind the wall firing arrows at them if they try and approach.

-the huts could be reconstructed inside the cave to cause confusion, and hide falling rock traps (whole ceiling of the hut falls too)

-Light the trash floor on fire so it slowly keeps pushing the group forward.

Will check out Tucker's next

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