Sunday, March 13, 2022

Pelltar's Property Protection Paranoia

Ages ago, we had a look at Pelltar the Sorceror, most prominent citizen of Restenford. Today we're going to ponder his many properties and the overly protective measures he has put in place to secure them.

Grellus's Pelltar's tower:

First off we have the tower at the castle, to which he has a "deed" guaranteeing him access even in the event that the Baron should die--foreshadowing for the follow up module L2 Assassin's Knot. Because I just received my real estate license from the University of Wikipedia moments ago I profess no expertise on the matter, but I believe a deed essentially means that ownership of the tower has been conveyed to Pelltar. I've already discussed the significance of Pelltar's occupation of the phallus of Restenford, so let's get straight to the security measures:

  • All doors are wizard locked but also locked with conventional locks that are so complex as to inflict a -35% penalty on your thief's lock picking endeavors.
  • If anyone but a tall bearded man enters either the ground level door or the one at the walkway, a magic mouth yells an alert. We know that Baron Grellus is bearded, and is a strapping 6'2" tall, so he can probably pass the mouth unannounced. Pelltar is not given a physical description, but we can assume that he sports a beard and stands somewhere in excess of 6' tall as well.
  • Pelltar has animated 4 skeletons to attack anyone who enters the tower who is not accompanied by him.  
    • Whose bones are the skeletons made from? Is Pelltar a grave robber? Worse: is he a necrophiliac?
  • The doors are also fire trapped. More on that later.
  • The trapdoor to Pelltar's lab is iron-bound, barred, and wizard locked.
    • If the trap door is left open for more than 10 seconds--enough time for one person to enter safely--a hefty slab of iron will drop on the poor slob who tries to enter next, inflicting 3-30 pts of dmg.
  • His Crystal ball is covered in Dust of Sneezing and Choking: anyone touching it must save or choke to death while sneezing uncontrollably.

Pelltar's Home:

Nothing much here, just Pelltar--when he's not at the castle--and his three assistants Abracus, Fliban, and Gristla scribbling in their spell books. Yawn.

  • all doors are wizard locked and employ complex locks. It doesn't say that these locks are 35% more difficult to pick--like the ones in the tower--but such can probably be assumed.
  • inner hall doors have Explosive Runes scrawled on both the inside and outside.
  • his apprentice MUs all wear magic rings that allow them to pass through the Wizard locks
  • Presumably they also wear magic spectacles that prevent them from inadvertently reading the Explosive Runes

Pelltar's Warehouse: 

The sorceror has secured in this building approximately 7,800 GPs worth of goods including leather upholstered furniture, tapestries, fancy clothing, cutlery, and other assorted fineries. The highlight of the collection is definitely 800 gp worth of hard whiskey (presumably it's American or Irish whiskey and not Scotch or Canadian whisky [or one of those pretentious American liquors that chooses to drop the "e"]). Less impressive: 250 gps worth of Iron Rations; that's 50 weeks at PHB prices. There are also three suits of plate mail that are valued at 300 gp. each, 25% below the going PHB rate. Presumably, unlike almost everything else in here, they are of low quality.

  • Pelltar has hired a security guard--Welcar, the same tough but grizzled fighter who infamously faked his own death to give cause to the Lynching of the half orcs on the edge of town--to protect his warehouse.
  • In the immortal words of Montgomery Burns...
    Welcar is assisted on his patrol by a pair of guard dogs who wear magic collars that offer protection from sleep and charm spells. 
  • lest you try to poison said pooches, they will not eat any food offered them unless it comes from Pelltar or Welcar.
  • Welcar also patrols the other two warehouses nearby. One holds grain and preserved foods; presumably the produce of the surrounding farmland. The other houses the fishing fleet. Baron Grellus "lets the fishermen use it for free" which, as we all know, means that they stopped paying rent on the place a few years ago and the Baron lacks the huevos to kick them out.
  • The door to the warehouse is triple locked and each lock is Wizard Locked, Explosive Runed, and Fire Trapped. One should note the following per the descriptions of these spells: 
    1. Wizard lock is cast on a door or portal, not on a lock, so one door can be protected by Wizard Lock but once;
    2. Casting Fire trap on a door which is also wizard locked or hold portaled will result in the previous spell being negated. Lest you try to be clever, both spells would be negated if you reversed the casting order, and  
    3. Explosive Runes are cast on a "book, map, scroll, or similar instrument bearing written information," a category which, I would argue, does not include locks (or doors; see Pelltar's house, above). 
      • Further, Explosive Runes detonate when the text in which they are hidden is read, not when the item they are cast on is tampered with. If Pelltar did cast Explosive Runes on, say, the logo of the lockmaker, every time his security guard casually read "MasterLock" or "Schlage" while on patrol, the lock would explode. 
      • 3rd level cleric spell Glyph of Warding is described as "a powerful inscription magically drawn to prevent unauthorized or hostile creatures from passing, entering, or opening" (PHB pg. 47); that sounds like what Lakofka intended, no?
      • Seeing as explosive runes dole out 6d4+6 pts of dmg to the reader with no saving throw, how many watchmen did Pelltar go through before he made illiteracy a job requirement?
      • Are the skeletons guarding his tower the animated remains of these former watchmen?
      • Were the burned half orcs found at the edge of town merely replacement hires (for the temporarily dead Welcar) who failed their illiteracy test?


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