During your stay in Hommlet, more than a few hints should have been dropped by now that the supposedly abandoned Moathouse is the next place to visit. Indeed, the Temple of Elemental Evil is planning a comeback, and planting a foothold here is one step in that process.
Entrance to the Moathouse
You’ll notice that the exterior of the Moathouse is in a rather secluded spot that’s both heavily wooded, and overgrown to an extent with vegetation. The Moathouse itself has a rather rundown appearance, making it the ideal secret base. Or so its occupants hope.
1. You’ll notice that there’s a couple of pools in front of the Moathouse. Within those pools, Giant Frogs wait in ambush. A common tactic for these creatures is to try and grapple a victim with their long tongue. If the grapple is successful, the Frog is vulnerable to physical attacks. The catch is that during the following round, the Frog will swallow its victim whole. The victim will then take damage every round thereafter due to getting crushed within the Frog’s innards. My advice is to advance very slowly and fight as few as possible at any given time. Once combat begins, let the Frog(s) come to you so as to avoid more joining the fray. Once a party member is grappled, concentrate all of your attacks on that Frog in order to prevent the swallowing.
2. Here is the entrance point to a tower. Inside will be a Giant Spider, which the party has no trouble killing by now. There will be a chest that includes a couple of potions, some treasure, a scroll of Charm Animal, a scroll of Ray of Enfeeblement, and a scroll of Protection from Evil.
You’ll also notice that the Rest icon is now green, meaning that this spot is perfect for the party to rest in.
3. In the main courtyard of the Moathouse, a large number of Brigands wait to ambush the party. Shouldn’t be a difficult fight. Alliria summons an Elemental to keep some of them occupied. Ferofist was able to use the Bane spell to surprising effect, reducing all of their attack rolls by centering the spell on himself. The party then basically worked slowly but surely round the perimeter, killing each Brigand one by one.
4. This is one entrance that leads to the 1st level of the Moathouse dungeon.
5. This is the other. A secret door lies at the other end of the bridge. I didn’t find any particular advantage to going through one door or the other. I found that the combat positions ended up about the same anyway.