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    Canonfire :: View topic - Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth 596CY
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    Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth 596CY
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 222
    From: Modena, Italy

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    Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:36 am  
    Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth 596CY

    Last night while playing "Seeds of Sehan" in the city of Exag, my players surprised me with an unexpected turn: they want to explore the Lost Caverns, even though they know they have been "cleansed" some years ago and Drelzna has been slain.
    Any suggestions on how to develop the adventure?
    Even quick imputs are okay, I just need to have the ball rolling!
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
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    From: Modena, Italy

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    Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:56 am  

    Just a few ideas...
    Tsojcanth is now a lich and dwells somewhere in the caverns.
    Drelzna had vampire "children" which now seek revenge or have coalesced in a cult.
    Graz'zt sent some minions to investigate the empty ruins.
    Mordenkainen (whose citadel should not be too far) has been investigating the ruins for Tsojcanth's scrolls.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 12, 2003
    Posts: 273
    From: Boston

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    Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:13 pm  
    Re: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth 596CY

    MToscan wrote:
    Last night while playing "Seeds of Sehan" in the city of Exag, my players surprised me with an unexpected turn: they want to explore the Lost Caverns, even though they know they have been "cleansed" some years ago and Drelzna has been slain.
    Any suggestions on how to develop the adventure?
    Even quick imputs are okay, I just need to have the ball rolling!


    The Lost Caverns were turned into a Living Greyhawk Core special for 595 CY by Chris Tulach, former LG Circle member and now RPGA guy. I helped to playtest the special event during a meeting of Iuz metaregional triad members in Wisconsin during the spring of 2005. I don't recall the plot points, but I do recall that my already damaged 7th level half-orc uber-tank (who had just told the party cleric to go heal someone else instead of him) died an awesome death after rolling a nat 1 while leap attacking a grell spellcaster (a hit would have killed it) followed by a nat 1 on a Ref save vs. a sudden maximized fireball cast by the same grell spellcaster (I believe Tulach used the unassociated class levels rules and practiced spellcaster feat to give thing a crap load of caster levels). Imo, this was also the event that convinced Tulach that Leap Attack needed to be removed from the LG campaign after my tank pwned everything he threw at the party with one hit (until the grell spellcaster, that is).

    It may be possible to get a copy of this mod from Chris Tulach or some other authorized RPGA person, to look over for ideas.

    Casey
    former LG BK Triad member
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 222
    From: Modena, Italy

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    Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:35 pm  

    I have also found this very interesting, almost 100 page free module

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/duad/20071012

    which I am almost convinced to DM, and Grodog's interesting analysis of the module

    http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/gh_s4.html

    I do not really like the idea of Tsojcanth being a demon, however. I'd rather have it a lich or demilich.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
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    Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:28 pm  

    Unless they have been through it before, or you have somehow substantially relied on the canon history of when it was cleaned out, I just run the original.
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    Plar of Poofy Pants
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    Joined: Mar 04, 2003
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    From: Nyrond

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    Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:11 pm  

    Or if they know she's been slayen throw in a nice twist of her being resurrected and re-undeaded (made that word up me-self) and back in residence.

    Alternatively... a powerful illusionist has moved in and is using his magic to make everyone believe she is back... let your party go in all decked out and ready to handle a vampire only halfway through the battle realizing they aren't fighting what they think they are....

    "Darn it... I thought all this holy water would have done more damage to her by now. And how is she protecting herself from my sunblade?"

    Illusionists are even more fun when you have them masking something that really is there with an illusion of something else. We had an Epic battle with a titian and it took us most of the battle before we realized it was a high powered illusionist using Bigby's crushing grasp in conjunction with his illusion of a titan. We sure thought the titan was there, I mean the thing kept picking people up, giving them a nice damaging squeeze, and throwing them across the room.

    For Drelzna have a normal NPC fighter with armor and weapons like she used and just enough illusion overlay to make the party fall for it. Then sit back and enjoy as they waste much of there efforts on undead combat tactics that were unnecessary.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 03, 2009
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    From: The Horned Society

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    Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:09 pm  

    Dungeons don't stay empty forever.Even cleansed dungeons could be re-filled in nearly no time at all with newer tribes of monsters moving in,especially if there's little competition for food and treasure.Perhaps you could refill the dungeon via planar gate?
    If i'm thinking correctly,your players levels should be at fairly decent levels at this point,so i would make a real challenge for them,possibly adding a few powerful demons or maybe you could add a hidden drow tunnel leading to a deeper part of the unexplored underdark,or even over-matching them to the point of running like hell and not daring to return for a while.I find level draining monsters best in these cases.The possiblities are truly endless.
    I think i would have them fight it out with a more powerful "ghost" version of drelzna,with triple level draining abilities if you apply those rules to your game and probaly would'nt use the canon rules as closely.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 26, 2002
    Posts: 498
    From: Canada

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    Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:04 pm  
    Re: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth 596CY

    MToscan wrote:
    Last night while playing "Seeds of Sehan" in the city of Exag, my players surprised me with an unexpected turn: they want to explore the Lost Caverns, even though they know they have been "cleansed" some years ago and Drelzna has been slain.
    Any suggestions on how to develop the adventure?
    Even quick imputs are okay, I just need to have the ball rolling!


    First question:

    Were the caverns cleaned out in YOUR campaign?

    You, as DM, can overrule any canon, at any time and for any reason you desire.

    If your players want to explore the caverns, you as DM are entirely within your rights to simply declare that the Caverns have in fact never been cleaned out at all, and that the rumors that they were in fact cleaned out are just that...rumors.

    Drelzna could still be down there waiting for the next band of adventurers who've come seeking her mother's treasure. The caverns could have become a nexus for many different beings from different planes, bringing their traps and treasures with them. The actual layout of the caverns could be entirely different from the canon version, if you as DM want to tailor the module to better suit your players.

    You should only adhere to canon if you want to. If you want the Lost Caverns to be totally virgin territory, unspoiled by anyone else before your players arrive to explore it, then make it that way. If you want to add six more levels and replace Drelzna as the main villain with someone out of the Boneheart, tying the whole story back to Iuz, do it.

    Canon is there to provide some ideas to get you started. Use what you want and throw out the rest.

    As DM, you and you alone can decide what's best for your gaming group. Don't let slavish devotion to canon get in the way of making your players' descent into the Lost Caverns the very best adventure it can be.

    Gary Gygax would have wanted it that way.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 21, 2003
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    From: Germany

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    Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:53 pm  

    MToscan wrote:
    I have also found this very interesting, almost 100 page free module

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/duad/20071012

    which I am almost convinced to DM


    Ari Marmell's Dungeon adventure Iggwilv's Legacy: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth was discussed here and here on CF!.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 14, 2005
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    Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:41 am  

    The expanded adventure is one of the best I've seen from WOTC in a while, personally. I would run with it, but that's just me. Personally one of my beefs is there are not enough adventures featuring gnolls (it helps that I have about twelve gnoll minis to fuel this frustration Happy )

    If I were running a post-Drelzna Upper and Lower Caverns (since it sounds like you never experienced the expanded version yet), then I would populate it with demon worshipping undead using gnolls as a main antagonist (and a good way to mix things up, even if they are expecting it). Make heavy use of zombies, outsiders, undead outsiders, gnolls, outsider gnolls, half demon gnolls, etc.
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 1445
    From: Wichita, KS, USA

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    Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:05 pm  

    Personally, I'd leave the magic boat there, then send them over the falls to the previously-undiscovered underground lake level, which could be filled with all sorts of interesting things (Drelnza's spare coffin, Iggwilv's labs, Tsojcanth's libraries, Tsojconth's cloning apparatus, etc., etc.).

    And thanks for the plug, MToscan :D
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
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    From: Houston Texas

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    Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:37 pm  

    Just about every game I have ever run is all part of a continuous mythology. I've never run the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth myself but I do include references to Iggwilv in many of my campaigns. Since you seem more comfortable sticking with canon I would suggest to run it assuming it is already cleaned out.

    For example, what if the adventures that cleaned it out decades ago had built a secret base there. This would be especially appropriate for a Wizard NPC trying to set up a secluded place to do research, a Cleric NPC wanting to cleanse and sanctify the once defiled land or a Rouge or Ranger wanting a hidden wilderness base. What if the inherent taint of the surrounding lands eventually corrupted the once noble hero's? Hell, what if they weren't nearly so damned noble in the first place? Far too often people assume that adventure means hero but hero to whom? What if they were just money grubbing scum bags looking to make a quick buck or if the Cleric was a disciple of Grazzt or some other demon Prince trying to find clues to his patron or the wizard was trying to uncover the secrets of demon binding?

    Personally I like staying within canon because it allows me to focus on detail instead of having to create a whole new function but even when staying within canon there is room for deviation. For example having a commonly known fact of canon be simply common belief where as the truth behind the matter is less clear cut and maybe even patently false. The canon is still involved int he story and gives you as the DM the ability to involve the players in what I like to call an "Ah-Ha" moment when seemingly contradictory information is reconciled and things make sense once again.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 26, 2001
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    Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:29 am  

    There were numerous expansions described in the original, the cavern the pech were digging to, the deeper area reached by the waterfall, more maybe. The Caverns are rumored to be a planer nexus, so who knows what may have popped in. There's also the cavern with the gates to the four different planes, all of which have a way back into the Caverns. And, Last but not least, Iggwilv is free, so she, or a minion may be fortifying the place.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
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    Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:21 am  

    Thank you very much, everybody. I have finally come out with a first rough draft of how the adventure should evolve (besides, yes, my character are of decent level even tough very disparate - i don't like having them agree to be all of the same level so I let them decide without knowing each other's level and we came out with a 6th, a 12th and a 16th level characters :))

    That said, here's the idea.
    The PC find out a demonologist in Krestible (originally a PC of an old campaign) which is "bodyguarded" by a huge plate-clad golem (another ex-PC which was killed by the demonologist - but the players don't know).
    The demonologist ask them to follow him to the Caverns.
    At the caverns, they find the hold of the party which originally cleansed the caverns. The taint has got the best of them and the hold is now demon-infested (i use possession rules from Fiendish Codex I) but yet the characters don't know. The righteous cleric of Pholtus was a really tasty victim for the aspect of Graz'zt who possessed him some years ago. Grazz't wanted to keep an eye on the Caverns and who better than a righteous, powerful demon-hunting priest?). Some seedy, obscure side track could be inserted in the Hold.

    Once they adventure in the Caverns (with help of the possessed priest) the party finally finds the deeper caverns, and Drelzna (I am using the Iggwilv's Legacy module). The demonologist here betrays the PCs, and they see him exchanging items with Drelzna. Drelzna is giving the demonologist the first real copy of the Demonomicon with annotated diaries of the history of Iggwilv during the past century when she conceived Iuz and conquered the perrenlands. In change the demonologist gives Drelzna the amulet he uses to control the half.colem ex-PC construct. With this amulet Drelzna, who recently found Tsojcanth's phylactery, plans to control the suel lich which lives in the lower caverns, by placing his phylactery within the amulet. Using this amulet Drelzna plans to get Iuz's soul gem and control him - too.

    Of course the amulet is a major artifact of control - even though I still have to elaborate on who exactly built it. Suggestions welcome.
    The demonologist thus betrays the party and excapes - he will use the Demonomicon on his revenge against Iggwilv - which is his personal sworn nemesis. The party now has to fight Drelzna AND the aspect of Graz'zt. Or let the two fight for the possession of the amulet. I'll come up with mre detail later...
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
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    From: Modena, Italy

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    Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:34 am  

    Ah by the way, does anybody have statistics for the original adventurers that delved in the Caverns? Namely: Cathartic, Ethelrede, Flemin, Dunil, Weslocke, Hockerbrecht, Arocken and Benedict...?
    Someone can also confirm that Cathartic, Arocken and Dunil are females?
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
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    Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:56 pm  

    They're all the pregen PCs in the back of the module, so you should have easy access to them, if you have the module, MToscan. If you need info/summaries, post back.

    I'm also going to get to run S4 again in the near-ish future: first time in 20+ years. It'll be wonderful to return to this module :D :D
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