Weather:Cool, partly cloudy
Player Characters:Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 365 points
Elias (Wiggles), Wood Elf Cleric, 298 points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger), Human Thief, 360 points
Polly (Kalzazz), Wood Elf Archer, 348 points
Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 382 points
3 Elite Trolls
Roargroth, Troll Boss
Gar and Nar, Ettin
We started in the Giant Cave, where four of the PCs (but not Elias, because he had church) had just defeated four trolls. They knew via scouting with an Invisible Wizard Eye that there were more trolls in a smaller cave up above, but wanted to discuss the best tactics to defeat them, rather than just charging right up.
Seépravir decided to cast Invisibility on herself and fly up to check out the trolls. Zaber was a bit annoyed by this since he was the most experienced scout, but by the time he lodged his objection the wizard was already out of sight. After flying up a steep trail, she went down a short passage, leading into a cave about 60' in diameter and 15' tall, containing four trolls and a lot of piles of refuse, trash, and debris. The trolls appeared to be standing guard.
She cast Hush on herself, then flew past the trolls, toward the exit at the back of the cave, and then cast Create Fire. She then started spreading the fire out across multiple hexes, then moving the fire, using Shape Fire. One of the trolls quickly noticed, and started yelling in probably-Troll. Then he decided to try to put the fire out by urinating on it, but this didn't work, and Seépravir responded by moving the fire into the troll's hex. (At that point I had to compute how much damage the fire would do, because if it would do any damage then it would count as an attack and Seépravir's Invisibility would go away. But it was spread out enough to be a 0-damage minor annoyance, so I decided it didn't count as an attack this time.)
At this point all four trolls were watching the fire and either running away from it or yelling. One started toward Seépravir, and she decided it was time to leave, and flew over the troll's head and out of the cave, then back down the steep path to where the other PCs were waiting. In the meantime Elias had showed up, a bit wet from some boating at default skill level, and using his Flaming Flail for light.
The other PCs were bored of waiting around for Seépravir, and Garreth suggested that they just go up there and kill the trolls. This motion passed. Zaber didn't have a light source or Dark Vision (his Night Vision was plenty for the dimly lit giant cave, but not for any pitch black places), so Polly lent him a Continual Light bodkin. Everyone except Elias still had a Flight spell going.
The PCs reached the passage into the troll cave, the trolls spotted the PCs, and it was combat time. Because Polly had her bow and the trolls didn't have any ranged weapons, she got to shoot them while they closed range. She picked a target, shot it in the leg, crippled the leg, watched the troll fall over, then shot it in the neck, leading to a stun. Zaber and Garreth flew up near the ceiling in prone position to maximize the free space for Polly to shoot through. Meanwhile, more trolls emerged from the back of the room into line of sight. One was a larger troll with a club and huge shield, definitely not one Seépravir had seen before. Seépravir decided to cast Great Haste on Polly to increase her rate of fire.
Polly decided to keep shooting the prone troll rather than picking a more mobile one. This was quite effective at making green stuff come out of the troll's neck, but trolls are very tough, so it didn't really achieve much. Elias, with his usual disregard for tactics, decided to charge out of formation to get at the trolls sooner, rather than giving Polly more time to shoot them. This caused Garreth to reluctantly move forward next to Elias to keep him from getting ganged up on, but still stay up high.
Seépravir, still flying near the ceiling, decided to Great Haste herself next, so she could cast twice as fast. Polly decided to shoot another troll in the back, but the big troll with the shield sacrificially blocked for his ally. The troll decided to shield rush Garreth; Garreth was pretty close to the 15' high ceiling, but the troll was about 10' tall with long arms and a huge shield, so he could reach. Garreth dodged.
Elias decided to use his Divine Grace ability, and rolled +10 to DX for 13 turns. +10 brought his DX from a fine-but-unimpressive 12 to a ridiculous 22, and his Flail skill from a pretty good 15 to a kind of silly 25. Seépravir responded by casting Great Haste on Elias so he could use that weapon skill twice as often, and then another one on Zaber. Zaber decided to use his double turns to fly in, All-Out Attack, then fly back out of the troll's reach so it couldn't hit him back, an impressively unsporting strategy that basically made him invulnerable unless a troll was smart enough to take a Wait maneuver. Meanwhile, Polly kept shooting trolls in the legs and neck, often, leaving a pile of slow trolls leaking green stuff, but no dead ones because trolls don't die to mere arrow wounds.
By this time a troll was in katana range, so Garreth fast-drew and started taking rapid deceptive attacks. I made the troll make a stupidity check before it could deign to retreat, since it was large and dumb and fearless, and it rolled a 17, so that troll actually didn't know what retreat was. Without the +3 to dodge for retreating, and with a -3 for Garreth's deceptive speed, its odds of dodging weren't great, and it got its leg crippled and fell down. (Garreth was disappointed it didn't come clean off, but trolls have a lot of HP.)
Elias's turn came, and, unlike the rest of the PCs, his weapon was on fire so could actually kill trolls, not just give them some minor injuries to regenerate from. He knocked one troll unconscious with his flail, then attacked a second one but missed. Seépravir dropped her Invisibility to have one less spell on, and cast Mass Daze on three trolls. She rolled a 6, not quite a critical success because all her spells on lowered her effective skill below 16, but still hard to resist. All three trolls failed to resist, and decided to just stare into space until attacked. Seépravir yelled out to leave those ones alone until all the un-Dazed ones were finished off.
Zaber again flew in, chopped a troll foot, and flew back out to safety. Polly shot a troll in the neck some more, piling up damage but still failing to kill it. Garreth crippled both arms of the already prone troll under him, reducing it from claw/claw/bite to just bite, and only if it could reach while prone.
Elias, ignoring tactics, started to attack one of the Dazed trolls. His four companions screamed to leave the Dazed ones alone and finish off the ones that were horribly wounded but refused to die because the wounds did not involve fire. He first achieved a coup de grace on an unconscious troll that was below -5*HP; as soon as fire was applied it insta-died. He then fire-flail swatted the one that Garreth had crippled, and while that one required dice rolls as it wasn't quite unconscious, it failed to dodge and he finished it.
At that point there were no standing, un-Dazed trolls left, and all the prone trolls were grievously wounded enough that one hit from Elias's fire would finish them off, and then four (or even five if Seépravir wanted to help) PCs could simultaneously attack each Dazed troll before it would wake up and get any defenses, so I called the fight rather than making people continue rolling dice. Eight more trolls were burning, in addition to the four that had been killed down in the big cave. It was a fairly big fight but the PCs weren't really challenged.
Seépravir had noticed that one troll had magical hide armor, so they recovered that, though it was pretty singed from its wearer being set on fire. Otherwise, the trolls just had some clubs and one huge shield, and a couple more non-magical suits of scorched hide armor. And a whole bunch of piles of filth. I asked if the PCs really wanted to dig around in that nasty gross cave, but of course they did -- there might be treasure! Zaber took a swig of something strong first though, for protection. Zaber, who is good at searching, found a rod and a staff and a ruby and a lot of coins. Polly, who is also pretty observant, found a couple of her own unbroken arrows and some more coins. Garreth, who is not as good at searching but is persistent, found some bones and some rocks and some things that come out of trolls and one copper piece, and then decided to stack rocks around burning trolls to make a nice fire pit.
Seépravir cast Seek Magic to see if they missed any magic items, and found the nearest unknown magic was a bit to the south. Zaber scouted ahead that way, and found another cave that looked like trolls lived there, but no more trolls in it. There was a mace leaning against one wall. The cave also contained a large bed of soft fungus, and searching under that revealed a niche with some coins, some red stones, some orange rock, some purple stones, a grey stone, and a sword. Garreth used his weapons knowledge to identify the sword as a shortsword, a type of sword popular among tiny people and people who don't care about doing maximum damage. Seépravir used her Merchant skill to identify bloodstones, amber, and garnets. The grey stone was magical.
At this point the PCs decided to go talk to the ettin again, with two goals in mind. Seépravir and Zaber wanted to steal the ettin's magic ring, but without Elias knowing. Garreth wanted to get the ettin's help moving the giant turtle shell to the elevator. So the whole group flew back down to the big cave and then southeast toward the ettin. Zaber asked to be turned Invisible first since the ettin didn't know about him, to make later burglary easier.
As they reached the stalagmite forest containing the ettin's lair, the ettin's huge wolf bounded up to greet Polly, who had previously fed it several chickens (which had been intended for feeding to giant clams but everyone forgot). Polly didn't have any more chicken, but she did have a bunch of giant turtle meat (which had been intended for luring trolls, but everyone forgot). Elias advised Polly to shoot the wolf because all wolves are evil, but she did not. Garreth, who spoke Orc and Undercommon and thus could communicate with the ettin, struck up a conversation about killing all of the trolls and the giant turtle. Gar believed him but Nar was skeptical. They led the ettin and wolf back to the turtle shell. The wolf licked some meat off the shell, then hopped in the stream and gorged on giant turtle carcass for a while.
Gar told Garreth that he couldn't carry the turtle shell outside of the cave, because it was his duty to guard the pyramid. But they eventually struck a deal where Polly could help the wolf guard the pyramid for a bit, while Gar and Nar helped carry the turtle shell to the elevator. Fortunately, both halves of the split party achieved their goals without wandering monster attacks. At that point, Garreth and Polly and Elias headed back to town, while Seépravir and Zaber lingered behind.
Zaber invisibly searched through the stalagmite forest for the ettin's lair, using his Tracking skill to look for where the huge footprints went. He eventually found a large stalagmite hollowed out into a residence, with the ettin sitting inside and the giant wolf lying outside. Zaber starting flying in silently and invisibly, but then the wolf started sniffing the air, and Zaber aborted the mission, not wanting to risk a fight. When he got back to Seépravir they discussed learning the No-Smell spell to complete the stealth collection. They then flew home, actually arriving before the others, because they were flying unencumbered rather than pushing a heavy wheelbarrow.
The troll fight took a while because there were 5 PCs and 8 trolls, but it was a cakewalk. The PCs had pretty good tactics and a Heroic Archer and Great Haste and Mass Daze and very good defenses. The trolls had regeneration. So they took a whole lot of damage without dying, until Elias eventually got around to hitting them with fire, and then they died.
You do not get to use Luck to make your opponent reroll a critical success on a defense roll, which forces the attacker to roll on the fumble table. This is pretty clear in the rules and I'm not house ruling a change to it. (However you can use Luck on the roll on the fumble table, to possibly get a less bad result.)
Garreth rolled a 16 on his resist disease check for searching through piles of troll refuse -- and passed anyway because of the +5 Resistance to Disease for being a half-orc. Every advantage comes in handy once in a while.
It's mildly amusing how the PCs have befriended the ettin, and gotten information from them, and fed their wolf, and talked them into helping them move a heavy turtle shell, but they still can't resist trying to steal their magic ring because PCs must have every magic item that isn't nailed down.