Encounter Level 11 (2400xp)
Rather than repeat all of the relevant information you can read the plot outline for this delve here: On the Edge of the Shadowfell – Part 1
This is the second encounter, and involves only undead. Many players will find this a frustrating encounter due to the effectiveness of having multiple creatures with a daze aura and a creature with a recharging daze attack. If your party lacks a cleric in particular this can prove a big problem. It may be wise to ensure the party has met the Seething Wraiths (or a Mad Wraith) at least once before hand and so had a chance to work out tactics to deal with them (I made the mistake of not doing this).
Finally if you are going to use an encounter like this against actual paragon characters you are going to need to increase the monster’s levels by 3 for each monster so they have a chance of hitting.
It is worth noting that this encounter was run as presented against 3 PCs and a Companion Cleric, and for a number of reasons I ended up ignoring the recharge on the Dwarf Haunt’s daze burst, and when one of the ghouls dropped the cleric I took it out while it chewed on the Cleric, otherwise this would likely have been a TPK. (Yes I went SissyDM again despite calls for AngryDM.) As a result of this the party has retreated and I’ll be having a part 2.5 to the encounters as well, but we are gaining 2 players (in theory) to finally have a party of 5, so I guess less SissyDM is in order…
So on with the Encounter.
Read or Paraphrase The Following:
After the darkness of the rest of the complex this room is well lit, and filled with noise. Both the noise and light come from forges at which you see a ghoulish dwarf working. The floor before you is covered in blood, and there is nothing else in sight of note…
The encounter starts when the PCs (who should enter from the rightmost door) enter the Dwarf Haunt’s line of sight (going more than 2 squares from the entry), or attack a Barrow Ghoul.
- For 4 Players: Remove a Seething Wraith (ok so I should have taken my own advice!)
- For 6 Players: Add a Barrow Ghoul.
- Only the Ghouls and Haunt are visible at the start of the encounter, so do not place miniatures for the other creatures.
- Describe the Wisp Wraiths as emerging from the forge, rather than appearing randomly or comming through walls etc. Being Immune to fire means the Forge poses no danger to them.
- The Seething Wraiths can rise up from the floor or float through walls etc.
Features of the Area:
Illumination: Brightly illuminated by the light from the two forges in the starting area, and the room the forges are in. The other areas are dimly illuminated.
Blood Covered Tiles: These are marked by the blue “rectanlge” in the map with the tokens present. If you wish to do so these can be special terrain such as Bloodstone though I did not do so.
Forges: When a creature is moved by forced movement into one of the two squares immediately in front of a forge it makes an attack. +10 vs Ref Hit: 2d4+4 Fire damage and ongoing 5 Fire.
Black Areas: These are walls and both blocking and impassable terrain.
Symbol: This arcane symbol does not produce any effects unless attacked directly (see Ending the Encounter below).
The Dwarf Haunt will use its two area attacks in the first round spending its action point to do so. It does not particularly care if it injurs the Seething Wraiths with the Howling Terror power, rather using that power to ensure that the Wraiths are in among the PCs.
The Wraiths and Ghouls all attack the closest PCs to them, even though this is not the most effective tactic. However given the size of the Seething Wraiths aura most or all of the party will likely be encompassed in it as a result. The Seething Wraiths should also use their Touch of Chaos attack whenever available.
Ending the Encounter:
All of the incorporeal undead fight to the death, as they are bound in service to the villain of the delve. The Ghouls will fight until they can drag away a body to feast on (ie an unconcious PC), only fighting to the death if threatened after they drag the body away. However the Ghouls only leave the forge room to attack PCs.
Once all enemies are defeated the party can spend time Disabling the Symbol.
- Disabling the Symbol (Complexity 1 Skill Challenge 400xp)
Primary Skills: Arcana (Easy), Religion (Moderate), Endurance (Moderate), Athletics (Hard) or Melee attack (AC15)
Special: If the PCs have Dispel Magic available (and you are using it as an encounter power) it grants an automatic success, replacing the Endurance check.
Arcana: Allows the PC to learn that the symbol is part of a number of symbols being used to perform some ritual, and that it can be physically destroyed once positive energy is channelled into it. (1 Success Maximum)
Religion: Allows a PC to channel positive energy into the symbol making it possible to destroy it. (1 Success Maximum)
Endurance: When the PCs attempt to destroy it the Symbol seeks to drain their life force away. Each time a PC attempts to destroy the symbol with an athletics check or melee attack they must make the Endurance check or loose a healing surge.
Athletics or Melee Attack: The PC uses force to break the stones the symbol is inscribed into, thus disrupting its power. If the PCs choose to simply attack the rune they will require a weapon from the Hammer or Pick groups to gain a success with the attack. (1 Success Required)
If the PCs successfully disable the rune award additional XP for the skill challenge as well as the encounter xp listed above.