It has updated notes on enc 3-4, based on a playtest I did of it.
Good luck and happy sword-swinging!
In order to head off any typo issues that come up with the next encounters, I thought I'd come post them long before they come up. Also, DMs, check through these two encounters and let me know if you see any issues. Questions and clarifications are much better made here than on the day in question!
First, a couple general notes:
Font of Healing: These last encounters have been grueling, so throw your PCs a bone and let them regain 2 healing surges if they have 2 surges or below. My best recommendation for this is to have the pools of water in H.10 (see page 40) be fonts of healing. They still inflict 2 cold damage at a touch, but they also restore 1 healing surge to each PC who braves the cold, or 2 surges to a PC who has 2 surges or fewer remaining. Each PC can only benefit from this healing once this season.
Notes to Encounter 3-3:
Scaling: If you have a weak party, drop one of the skeletons. If you have a strong party, add one skeleton. If you are concerned that the encounter as presented is too tough for a normal party (5 2nd level PCs), drop one of the tomb motes—this will require they all gang up on one PC to get their tomb tactics ability off, but that in itself is extremely deadly, so maybe they shouldn't!).
Illumination: Not a fix, but remember that the area is darkness except for what’s noted.
Treasure: It isn’t clear from this line, but the box marked “C” on the map is where the treasure is.
Notes to Encounter 3-4:
[sblock]Page 40: Make sure you refer to this page. The PCs should have a chance to see the cavern choker before the fight, and if they dispose of it—or even just hurt it—that will make the battle a lot easier.
Scaling: This is an exception to the scaling rules as presented at the beginning of the module, just because this encounter is so tough. It’s pretty much scaled for a strong party as presented.
If you have a weak party (4 or fewer PCs of any level, 2+ PCs in the party lower than 2nd level, 2+ players who are new to the game, or you lack one of the four party roles: defender, striker, leader, controller), then remove the deathjump spider or the cavern choker (your choice) and one of the elf archers.
If you have a normal party (5 PCs of 2nd level), then remove one of the elf archers to bring it down to a more standard level 4 encounter.
If you have a strong party, go nuts!
XP typo: The encounter is actually worth 950 xp, not 900, making it a tough level 4 encounter. Each PC should still get 190 xp for participating in the encounter.
Initial box text: There hasn’t been mention of a portal key before, so you should revise what Xeres says to this: “Come and die then, lesser creatures,” he calls. Then, in his other hand, he holds up a gleaming silver key similar to those you used in the chambers above. It glows brightly and you recognize it as a device to open a portal. “Or stay back and starve to death in this place, if you be cowards.”
Xeres's portal key allows the PCs to leave the dungeon and live to fight another day (after you read the ending, of course).
Development: Waking Fayne: Give your PCs some clue that helping Fayne can help them in the encounter. They should have figured it out by now, but in case they haven’t, there you go. Turning off Xeres’s aura makes a big difference in the encounter (see below for a further note as to the aura). And though it says “she does not take further standard actions”, you should feel free to have her intercede when necessary if you think it’s dramatic and/or appropriate.
UndergroundRiver: If a creature happens to be immobilized (such as from Xeres’ Lightning Binding) when it saves against the river’s current, it may still shift out of the river, and is just immobilized on the shore. The shifting does not represent actual movement in this case, but rather just pulling yourself to safety. Otherwise, a DM could interpret this to mean that a PC who is immobilized and dunked in the river might save against the river but still be immobilized and thus just caught in the current again at the beginning of its next turn—in effect, the PC has to make two saving throws *at once* in order to escape.
Waterfall Pit: The last line of this note regards if you want to expand the module with your group in later adventures. It does not pertain to the DDE series.
Xeres: His powers got a little typo’d, or at least they are unclear based on the MM2+ style of presenting powers. So here we go:
Offensive Warding (radiant): Add the following line: “If Xeres’s aura is ever deactivated, he suffers -3 to his AC until the end of the encounter.” This is to play up the swordmage flavor, and also as an olive branch to PCs who are having a devil of a time hitting him.
Vicious Broadsword: Damage is correct, but crit: 1d12+14 damage; remove the “and slide target 1 square” effect. (Sliding a PC into the river every turn is overpowered and, frankly, a bit silly.) If you still like the concept, nerf it to a luring strike: “1d10+4 damage, Xeres shifts one square and slides the target into the square he just left.”
Sword Burst: Damage die is wrong; should be 1d6+4 damage, crit: 1d12+10 damage.
Lightning Binding and Hellfire do not benefit from the vicious weapon property. They could, but that would just be overkill.
Languages: Xeres speaks Abyssal, not Infernal (which I’m pretty sure doesn’t actually exist as a language in 4e)
Deathjump Spider: This monster is widely thought to be pretty overpowered, so consider making its “Death from Above” an encounter power or at least recharge 5 6, rather than an at-will.
Also, thanks to everybody--DM and player alike--for sticking with it. I know there were ups and downs, but I hope there were more ups than downs, and that folks had fun amongst the bloody mayhem!