After leaving the tomb, the party headed south to explore the castle of aberrations on their way back to Bisgen.
Shortly after leaving the road, Whyd and Callie spotted some strong magic off to the side, so the party went to check it out. There in a clearing bounded by four pillars stood a huge bronze minotaur statue guarding an altar.
Lia noticed the corpses of forest animals around the edges of the clearing. TheBeast suggested tossing in a squirrel to see what happens. The squirrel was immediately annihilated by the statue’s axe. Another squirrel and a rabbit were tossed in from opposite sides of the clearing – the statue chopped one and zapped the other with fire. When Whyd tried to float in a rabbit, it got zapped by the statue too.
Tiring of this, the statue moved toward the party. Lia spotted a vulnerability in its armor (perception). At first the party moved in with standard combat, but that proved ineffective. Lia spotted that the altar was made of magical binding stone (nature), so Callie and TheBeast moved to destroy it, while jd4 kept the Colossus’ attention. Destroying the altar weakened the Colossus a bit. TheBeast intimidated the souls animating the Colossus and jd4 also threatened it. Whyd, Lia, and Callie found vulnerabilities in its armor. Lia dumped water on one of the flaming pillars, extinguishing it. The Colossus ranted theat the party was proving even more annoying than the squirrels and bunnies! Whyd used her mage hand to extinguish another pillar, TheBeast hit one, and Callie got another. Whyd found a vulnerable spot when her summoned hound peed on the Colossus’ leg. The Colossus dropped to a well placed magic missile.
The chest he’d been guarding proved to be full of a variety of magical treasures.
This was pretty much the Skill Challenge described in Dungeon 173: The Colossus of Laarn. I made a few small changes to better fit the party.
What I really liked about is was that it looked like a standard combat encounter, but was instead based almost entirely on skill use. The Colossus was nicely limited, so if the party had gotten too annoyed, they could just walk (or run) away.
I need to do a better job signaling when skills can be used.
It made for a fun diversion – I’m going to allow more skill checks to allow for outs or simplification of combats.