Re: Lair of Laodice - WARNING - SPOILERS.
- View Source***spoilers follow***spoilers follow***spoilers follow***spoilers
follow***spoilers follow***spoilers follow***spoilers
follow***spoilers follow***spoilers follow***spoilers follow***
I finally got around to GM M&M since having it lying on my hard drive since very 2006 (using the new 2012 RM&M, about which I will talk elsewhere). As adventure I had picked Lair of Laodice.
I've kept the dungeon and its background story as it is, but have heavily modified and expanded the frame around the dungeon. I have completely scrapped Gallos, Barros and Ava picking up the adventurers for cash & big prizes.
Instead, the PCs started as prisoners who had been convicted to death for petty reasons by the tyrant of Rhodos. They were led through a gladiatorial fight against other convicts [minor NPCs -just a warm-up fight to familiarize the players with the combat rules], and after the tyrant's thumbs-down through a final "unwinnable" fight against the "unbeatable" Kolossos of Rhodos [who got of course chopped to pieces quite easily, being just an ogre of Large size].
That was when the tyrant turned pale and ordered the PCs to visit him in his throne room. There, the PCs were told that there was a prophecy that the ruler of Rhodos would die within one month if the Kolossos was ever killed - unless he managed to take a look at the head of Laodice before the time elapsed. [Talk about the olympians having a twisted humour :) ]
The PCs were briefed about the legend of Laodice, and received the promise of amnesty, freedom and grand treasure if they managed to retrieve the head of Laodice (as opposed to being shot on the spot).
After having accepted the quest, the PCs were equipped with a galley and sent off to the island of Laodice.
There, they came across a shrine of Hermes, where a Chirronian Centaur had been put in office by the divine messenger to guard the necessary tools for accessing Laodice's lair until the time came that a worthy band of heroes managed to pass the Test of Wisdom. [A riddle losely based on Grimmtooth's Traps and a Confuciusian proverb - I can talk some more about it if anyone is interested.]
After a bit of experimenting, the PCs passed the riddle and were sent off with a map of the exact location of the lair, a golden key to access it and a Horn of Tritons to call nereids to grant them water-breathing.
That was where my modifications ended and the PCs got back on track of the adventure as written. They performed overall well, but in the end failed to kill Laodice (having missed the Aegis and having one of them being turned to stone). They instead opted to trick their patron with a fake, as they figured that he would be doomed by the gods either way (and as he wasn't that sympathic anyway).
* * *
Lair of Laodice was overall a highly enjoyable adventure.
However, I would strongly recommend to anyone pad it a bit, as the dungeon crawl itself is very brief - that part was done in just 2 hours for us, having solely missed out the barracks with the deep ones.
A note to other GMs by me would be that the difficulty of the adventure greatly changes if you change the goal from "collect treasure and GTFO" to "kill Laodice" (something I only realized during play). With EDC 22, regeneration and the need to fight blindly (attack -4), Sea Gorgons are _tough_. If I would run the adventure again with the altered goal, I would knock down her DC and remove regeneration, and scatter some extra mythic items that give attack bonuses (weapons of Hephaestus etc.) and/or offset blind fighting penalties.