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 Undermountain and the Ethereal travel
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Fendrikor
Learned Scribe

Australia
189 Posts

Posted - 10 Sep 2018 :  07:03:46  Show Profile Send Fendrikor a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I have a connundrum for you all, and as realms scholars.

My party are currently playing through the 2e Ruins of Under mountain boxed set but i have updated it to 5e. We are running a multiparty campaign with 26 players in all, running as a guild based out of the yawning portal.

Recently they encountered one of Nadrun's magic doors. An old wizened wizardly face took shape within the doors stone work and it asked them to answer riddles two to enter through.

Thedra Stonefinger, a dwarf barbarian, thought he would try his hand at the first riddle but answered incorrectly. As a result the door opened wide its maw and began to vacume him into the void beyond (it was a planeshift spell). He failed his saves and was pulled through, everyone deemed him dead and they left the door.

The random plane i sent him too turned out to be the border ethereal, depositing him at the foot of the door he could see the party asif through frosted glass. Lonely in that mist shrouded realm he had no means of communicating with them, and they had no idea he was still alive.

The priestess of Eldath, Nerida Cresswell, rolled an insight check to determine what might have happened and couldnt shake the feeling she was being watched, swearing she had glimpsed Thedra from the corner of her eye.

They returned to the well, he followed them to it but remained at the bottom as the party ascended.

He then asked if he could do some reconnasance through undermountain while the party were away.. i said a tentative 'i dont see why not' but it left me wondering how traversable is Undermountain given its barriers to planar travel?

Can he pass through the walls? Could he simply fly down into the deepest depths? What might he encounter?

I was considering ghosts of drow, duergar, ancient dwarves of Melairbode, Ethereal filchers, chests or things that exist in the ethereal but not the material and more. But i would love to brain storm this with anyone who is interested.

How would you rule or limit travel within undermountain in such a form?

'Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup'

Edited by - Fendrikor on 10 Sep 2018 07:04:11

The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2020 Posts

Posted - 10 Sep 2018 :  07:42:51  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For the most part, Undermountain is not proofed against Ethereal travel. There are several specific exceptions - so pretty much any time you want something to block the ethereal travel.

In such cases things are enchanted to "block all scrying attempts, and #147;scramble#148; gaseous, ethereal, and noncorporeal beings trying to pass"
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6684 Posts

Posted - 10 Sep 2018 :  09:20:00  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Undermountain is already infested with monsters and traps and deceptions ... there's no reason some of them couldn't be ethereal.

You might want to "remind" your players that ethereal creatures (like ghosts) might lurk within or be trapped within such a dangerously magical place, and that these things might remain inert until their attention is attracted by ethereal intrusions.

[/Ayrik]
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2020 Posts

Posted - 10 Sep 2018 :  11:21:31  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found a specific quote about it:

"various phase spells and abilities generally work, allowing creatures to merge with, and move through (as opposed to destroying, altering, or temporarily removing) stone"
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1728 Posts

Posted - 10 Sep 2018 :  17:00:07  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fendrikor

left me wondering how traversable is Undermountain given its barriers to planar travel?

Can he pass through the walls? Could he simply fly down into the deepest depths? What might he encounter?

Non-passable things include living tissue, certain materials (special types of mortar made with gorgon or maedar blood, for one), magic effects: [Force], some Abjuration.
Given that Undermountain includes countless magic fields holding it together, protecting, or absorbing some spells to fuel others, and some of them can be more that a little wonky, it's probably not much easier to navigate the place on Border Ethereal than on Prime, except where "flight" is useful.
Yes, there should be some ghosts. Also, some gaze attacks (specifically including basilisks) affect Border Ethereal from Prime.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3193 Posts

Posted - 10 Sep 2018 :  17:49:17  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-That sounds like one hell of a group/campaign with that many people.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Fendrikor
Learned Scribe

Australia
189 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2018 :  04:15:59  Show Profile Send Fendrikor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Alright i ruled that he can travel most places. If for some reason Halaster wanted to block Ethereal travel to a specific room he will use the Basilisk / Maedar blood mortar mixture.

Currently they found the Dwarf to be alive, but with 3 points of exhaustion. They used a blink spell to bring him food and water and are now considering using a Banishment spell to bring him back to the prime material... having the mage blink and cast banishment while within the Ethereal. They have been using Sending to communicate with the barbarian, who has already fought off one ghost. Suffice to say, his survival is in constant jeapordy.

Heres hoping they can save him!

I did a recount and currently there are 20 players not 26 and most of the players RP on discord in the yawning portal inn between delves into undermountain... Recently they started exploring the Sewers looking for another entry into undermountain (If they are sucessful, they will discover the long dark stair).

Thankyou for all your input!

'Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup'

Edited by - Fendrikor on 15 Sep 2018 04:16:17
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