Posted Wed, May 15, 2013 by Dalmarus
You've conquered The Cloak Tower, now you're ready to dive into Cragmire Crypts. Grab your dice and get ready to roll for initiative because it's go time!
The Cloak Tower was a nice warm-up exercise, but now it's time to get a little more serious and prepare for your trip into Cragmire Crypts. It's bigger, badder, and... um... bodacious? All kidding aside, this is a fun dungeon that introduces your party to several new aspects of dungeon exploration. The crypts are rife with undead, spiders, traps, and more traps.
You can find Cragmire Crypts deep in the territory of the Many-Arrow Orc tribe within Blackdagger Ruins. If you travel to the far west of the map, you'll discover a thin road leading up the side of a steep hill. Follow that path, and the entrance will be waiting for you at the end.
Cragmire Crypts is designed for a group of five characters ranging in level from 21 to 30 (these are also the queue limitations). An average group of players, level 23-26, should be able to complete the dungeon with no real problems. Just as you could with the Cloak Tower, you can queue up to run this dungeon with a random group of four other players anywhere you're out running around, or gather a hand-picked party and battle your way through to the front door and enter there. If you choose the manual route, there are no restrictions as to who you bring along.
As I mentioned earlier, there are several new aspects of dungeon life Cragmire Crypts introduces to players. One of these is a mandatory puzzle that must be solved in order to continue past the early parts of the dungeon. Don't panic though – it’s a piece of cake. As you’re making your way through the dungeon, you'll come across an unlit magic brazier directly across the hall from a huge magic barrier - you won't be able to miss it. Light that brazier, and one you'll find further down your natural path. Once those two have been lit, turn around and head back to the barrier where you'll now find a previously unrevealed third unlit magic brazier. Light that one and the barrier will come crashing down.
Be aware that when you light the second brazier mentioned above, you're going to be introduced to something else new - monsters popping up behind you. As you travel through the rest of the dungeon, this is going to become a common theme. Don't be too quick to rush into the next room, because a group of skeletons or spiders hungry for your blood may have just sprung up behind you.
Not to be outdone by mandatory puzzles or suddenly spawning monsters, your intrepid group of adventurers will also encounter one final new piece of dungeon-delving awesomeness - illusionary walls. There are a lot of them in this dungeon which can hide enemies, treasure, traps, and more. If there's one overlying theme with this dungeon it's, "Stay on your toes and be ready for anything to pop out."
If you take your time while going through Cragmire Crypts, you'll be fine. Explore everywhere. Sure there are tons of traps and monsters, but there are also a lot of chests waiting to be opened. So many, in fact, that you'd better make sure your inventory has plenty of space before you enter.
There are three full bosses and one mini-boss within Cragmire Crypts. You have no choice but to fight Kallos Tam (the first boss), a Competing Adventure Party (second boss) and Traven Blackdagger (the final boss). There is an optional mini-boss in between the adventure party and Traven, named Daughter of Lolth. Each regular boss will drop a rare (blue) piece of equipment for the party to roll on. They will also drop a pile of Lion Seals that all players can collect, which can be used to purchase special equipment from a vendor back in town. Be aware that anything that would normally affect a target’s movement or ability to attack will have no effect on these bosses; they are immune to any form of knockback, stun, freeze, etc. You have been warned.
Name: Kallos Tam
Class Type: Caster
Kallos Tam is a bit of a conundrum because he can be an easy fight or one that can get completely out of control quickly. This evil wizard is a summoner of exceptional skill and speed. When he's not laying the smackdown with impressive AoE (Area of Effect) spells, he's summoning skeletons and other undead to his aid... in groups. It doesn't take long before it feels as though you're fighting an entire army. Fortunately, with the exception of a few of these undead, most are low level and can be burned through pretty quickly. As long as all party members avoid Kallos Tam's AoE spells, the group can primarily concentrate on Kallos as a whole. Once he's down, the undead horde leftover can be quickly taught why it was a mistake to heed the call to battle.
Name: Competing Adventure Party (a party of five
Type: Casters, Fighters, and a Rogue
Known Loot: Mantle of the Host Tower (Neck - Level 26 - Any Class
Obviously, no one ever told this group of adventurers that it's better to work together. You won't even have a chance to say hello before they start attacking. The AI controlled group works well together, so don’t get complacent and be prepared for a fight. Ignore the fighter and rogue in the beginning. Kill the female casters first, then the fighter and rogue, and then the final wizard, Samulkin Farcaster.
Name: Daughter of Lolth
Class Type: Spider
Known Loot: None - Guards 3 chests within the room
There is a four-way hall in the lower levels of the dungeon. On the east side of the map, up a set of stairs that lead to an illusionary wall, you'll find a fire pit. Follow the hallway past the pit and you'll find the Daughter of Lolth. While she looks massive and vicious, this is an easy fight. Stay out of her webs, avoid the spitting poison, and it won't take long to turn send this favored of Lolth back to see her maker. Most parties I traveled with had no idea she was there so enjoy showing your party something new!
Name: Traven Blackdagger
Class Type: Fighter/Rogue
Other fights may have been relatively easy, but that was just to lull you into a false sense of security. Traven Blackdagger didn't become one of the most feared Pirate Lords on the sea by being a pushover. He's fast, likes to teleport around, and has a massive amount of hitpoints. Oh yeah, one more thing - he has a continual stream of adds joining the battle. Unfortunately for the party, these adds are serious business. Enforcers, hexers, bandits, cutthroats, and more will be stopping by to make your life hell.
There are a number of different ways to take on Traven and his band of merry pirates, but the way I've found that works best so far is to have only one or two players concentrate on Traven. If one of them is a Thief that has Deft Strike, all the better - they're going to need it to stay behind Traven as he unloads his attacks. Everyone else needs to be protecting the Cleric (if you have one) from the adds. Although it's normally a good practice to have the Control Wizards involved in a DPS battle, you're going to be much better off if you keep however many of them you have playing on full crowd control duty instead. Between using Chill Strike and Entangling Force, they'll be able to do a decent job of keeping things somewhat under control. It's going to be tough and somewhat long fight, but hang in there and keep going and soon your group's cry of victory will ring out.
The Cragmire Crypts are fun, packed with action, and a good stepping stone on your way to dungeon riches and glory. The good news is that if you keep your head, bring plenty of potions, revive your fellow adventures when needed, and persevere, you'll be fine. The not-so-good news (depending on your perspective) is that this is just the beginning of tough battles, as you'll see next week when we bring you our guide on the Lair of the Mad Dragon.