Posted by : David Guyll April 22, 2011
Hmm...there's a lot more going on here than I thought...
Once the players destroy all the zombies in the town square and fix the barricades, they can take a breather and try to figure out exactly what the hell is going on. Ashlyn is looking for her companions (who disappeared in the church several days ago) and the Sunsword. Finding out the fate of her companions is going to be worth a minor quest reward, while the Sunsword itself is a major quest (what with it being an artifact and all).
There's also a couple of businesses worth mentioning: Bildrath's Mercantile and the Blood of the Vine tavern. Bildreth's Mercantile is only really useful insofar as it gives the players a place to buy gear and pawn their loot, though it's possible that either the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind or Sunsword can be found there. The Blood of the Vine Tavern, on the other hand, is mostly a place for them to get some information. Specifically that the plague began in the church (in case the players need more direction), the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind, and Madam Eva.
Ideally after everything is said and done, the players should have two primary directions: go to the church, or visit Madam Eva out in the Tser Woods. This part of the conversion assumes that they head to the church first to, you know, tackle the whole zombie-plague-thing.
E6: Ghoul Foray
This encounter can happen at any intersection while the players are heading to the church. At this point the players might be tired of encounters happening at intersections, but this one has a dead horse! The encounter has some zombies milling about, with ghouls waiting in ambush. Since zombies don't really eat however, I think a better idea is to have ghouls lurking in the buildings, having just recently fed on unfortunate "survivors". They could see shattered doors, with streaks of blood running over the threshold.
- 3 ghouls
- 2 ravenous ghouls
Here the players confront Danovich, the man responsible for all the shit currently hitting the fan in Barovia. His son was killed, and in a lapse of judgement decided to re-animate him as an undead monstrosity using a book filled with terrible rituals, which is the reason all the zombies are up and about. I mean, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Anywho, this is one of the first "boss fights", and so I want it to be tough and memorable.
First, the church is filled with bodies of former citizens, sitting on the pews. I like to think that they came here hoping for divine protection, and died from a combination of necrotic taint and zombie intervention. Danovich was formerly a cleric, so I guess in this scenario he'd be an artillery (leader) that can animate some of the corpses as zombie minions, boost his undead allies, and do some other evil-cleric stuff like weaken, deal necrotic damage, drain healing surges, and perhaps redirecting healing magic (or dampening it). The zombies, on the other hand, will just be run of the mill level 5 zombies.
In the original adventure when Danovich is pressed in melee, he tries to flee using the hole in the floor. I figure that when he's bloodied, he dives/teleports into the hole, where he gains additional support from his former son and other zombies. Also, the area underground is mostly dark, making it difficult to see for characters without darkvision or low-light vision. On the plus side, there's plenty of cover from the corruption corpse's ranged attacks.
- Danovich, fallen priest
- 4 infected zombies
- 1+ zombie shamblers
Alter: Creatures adjacent to the aura gain vulnerable 5 necrotic.
Pews: These act as difficult terrain. Characters can hide behind them to gain cover from ranged attacks.
Treasure: Danovich has a pretty good stash of loot; there's some pages from the Liber Blaspheme (which details an Undead Servitor ritual), a gold chalice worth 150 gp, a pair of silver bells worth 50 gp each, three potions of healing, and 300 gp worth of residuum.
E7A: Church Understory
This is where Danovich's son is being kept, along with some zombies that managed to get in the church. Since blasphemes are typically paragon-tier monsters, I have to scale him down to make him a more suitable challenge. Also to mix things up a bit, I figured I'd add some ranged zombies to the mix.
- Doru, blaspheme
- 2 chillborn zombies
- 2 corruption corpse
Difficult Terrain: The planks underneath the hole in the floor are difficult terrain.
Pillars: These provide cover from ranged attacks. They can also be knocked over (or burnt up) with a Medium DC Strength check, which could cause more parts of the floor to collapse.
Table of Alchemical Components: This is the stuff in the upper-left hand corner of the map. It acts as a table of combustibles (DMG2, page 63).
That's it for part two. Hopefully next time I can wrap up Barovia...