Part 5: Undermountain level 2, rakshasa and goblin dungeons
Now that we have dealt with the drow, let's take on the next dungeons.
As soon as you cross the first door, there is a bunch of rakshasa, the were-tigers, prepared to fight you. In the next room there is a portal that can be activated with the stone that the djinn gave you, and some slaves here ask you to open it for them. If you ignore them, you can go to the next room where the last henchman, Linu La'neral the elf cleric. You may add her to your group too, but chances are by this point you already have the maximum 2 henchmen the module allows. Oh, you are fond of her, and want to keep her around? You think that a cleric is a really nice addition as a henchman since it can complement your character with attack boosts, defenses, healing and undead turning? yeah, well about that... I will explain it in time, for the time being I can only tell: don't become too attached to the 4 original campaign henchmen. For real.
However you deal with the rakshasa charade, now you can loot the mini boss Shareesh and get another colored chain. About Shareesh's loot... he wields a unique two-bladed sword: Honor and Death. If you don't use one of these weapons for yourself and Sharwyn is in your party, you surely want to give this to her! let's equip this and OH MY GOD, ALIGNMENT RESTRICTION. Honor and Death can only be wielded by lawful characters, and since Sharwyn is a bard, she is restricted to be non-lawful. Like, pfffft, way to spoil a good chance to give her some good gear.
Now you may activate the portal, which leads to the street behind the Yawning portal inn. What the fart? Like... now?! Yeah, I do get that this was a rakshasa plan to escape, but this makes no sense for the player. By now you should be used to the gimmicky gadget of the Reaper relic to go from the dungeon to the inn and back, and this portal is in a really inconvenient place if you decide that you want to go quickly to the surface. Even with the pointless gate house, the relic is a much better teleportation device.
So now we have another colored chain. Wow... what happened? not only we got just one gimmicky gadget in this dungeon, we even lost one! the stone of activation! I mean, yeah we still got some loot from the rakshasa, but... is... is the hoarding coming to an end? Fear not, adventurers, for the true hoarding has only just begun. We have many hoarding yet to do, on to the next dungeon!
This is true dedication to the gimmicky gadgets. Until now we were the ones with the clunky gimmicks, but here... here! the goblins use a gimmicky gadget! See, these goblins are not just regular cannon fodder as in the original campaign: they can actually put a good fight. The thing is, they use the gimmick of covering you in green paint so that snipers can spot you from afar. Wow... the game is using gimmicks against us. Never mind that your henchmen cannot use the gimmicks on the items you equip them. (like haste from the chain mail of speed, or any of the musical instruments on a bard henchman)
In this dungeon we find Stoney the giant ,who gets the prize for the number 1 pointless character to ever be shoehorned in a place where he has absolutely nothing to do with his surroundings. He has a pair of boots of speed, which are a nice addition for almost any character classes. These are just nice loot, not gadgets, however! On the other hand, he uses a unique weapon, the Stone cold club. It's a unique club with:
1d6 cold damage
on hit: fear DC14 / 50% 2 rounds
only usable by giant
Another nice item spoiled by some pointless restriction. Basically you can only use this weapon if you are a rogue or a bard with the use magic device skill. Also, there is a double axe +2 on the floor, but it's pointless since by this point you should already have one for Daelan. Why didn't they at least make the giant wield a unique double axe that Daelan could use? After all he won't have much more chances to OOOPS, I ALMOST SPILLED THE SECRET... In time... all in time. The club is still a hoarding item to sell, so we take it!
Go to the end of the dungeon, deal with the goblin mini-boss and get the final Fisher Price chain. The goblin has fine loot, namely the belt of strength, which is nice for either you or a companion. (also, more strength means carry more gimmicky gadgets and loot)
There are some gimmick levers in this room, but they only damage you, so leave them alone.
With this we have all the gimmick chains of Fisher Pricing and we are ready to advance to the next stage. I have to say that this part felt so simple in design and so underwhelming in the loot department compared to the previous one... I'd even say that this would have been a better 1st stage, with the previous one being the next.
Anyhow, proceed to the center of the main area, put the ball on the round hole, the cube on the square hole and the pyramid on the triangular... no wait, the colored chains, sorry. After that, activate the pool and it will begin a random sequence of 6 options. (I even got a sequence of only 2 of the 4 colors once) It's like the Simon electronic game, but for whatever reason one of the colors is purple instead of blue. Also, it has no rhythm or sounds. So, more like a boring Simon.
After solving the puzzle (ugh...) the door opens, and Berger, the flesh golem from the cut-scene, is there. Another pointless character who appears for 5 seconds, is obnoxious like a spoiled teenage girl, has no influence in events past or future and will be forgotten by the next minute. He only tells you plot exposure. (even if the journal updates, don't bother going back to Durnan at the inn, he will just send you back to the dungeon to keep searching) Seriously, he doesn't even automatically start a conversation, you may cross the door, pass by his side ignoring him and proceed to the next stage.
We have finished the second stage of 3 in the first chapter, and we have been hoarding and carrying these gimmicky gadgets:
- the Reaper's relic
- its rogue stones
- the 7 ioun stones (one for each stat and one for armor condition)
- a rod of resurrection
- Halaster's glass
- Enserric the talking sword
- some musical instruments
- the gem of seeing
- the branch of giving
- 4 colored chains
- the chalice of Lathander
- the Djinni bottle
- a bag of holding
- the activation stone
From now on, the colored chains and the stone of activation will be remove from this list, since they already played their part. Again, you may carry around the stone of activation if you are insane, but since it's a plot item it that can't be sold, rendering it totally pointless, so no.
Thus we only actually got 3 new gimmicky gadgets in this area... do not worry, there is so much yet to come...