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    Adept Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:36 am  
    Age of Worms

    So I'm running Age of Worms now. I start Saturday night after Doctor Who (hurray!).

    I would like some tips from anyone who has played it before. I like to hear that kind of stuff from other people for perspective.

    I am running the campaign using C&C with heavy additions from AD&D splatbooks. I can convert enemies on the fly.

    Here is the party:

    TN Sueloise Thief
    LG Oerdian Paladin of Heironeous
    LN Grugach Druid of Obad-Hai
    NG Half-Elf (Oeridian/Wild) Ranger
    NG Oeridian Wizard

    All of the PC's are related to one of the NPC's in the adventure. I have woven them into the town of Diamond Lake pretty intensely.

    It should be good fun.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:46 am  

    I played the path up the the Champions' Belt so far and it is a very good adventure path. I'm interspersing other adventures too as I award less xp to slow group advancement. I also converted to 4e for Champions Belt, which served as a great way to playtest the new rules.

    My only tip is probably try to have some side treks planned out based on what you know about your players. It's all very well having detailed settings like Diamond Lake but it leads to players going off on tangents that can be a bit lame if you haven't planned the bare bones.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:29 am  

    I also agree with PaulN6 that some side adventures are going to be needed unless you up the XP amount from C&C critters and what not. I think by the time you get the the levels of 6+ in C&C the AoW campaign path is really going to jump ahead, powerwise, as compared to the C&C characters. If you have adjusted this XP issue, I think there will not be a problem running it as is, with neccessary conversion as needed.

    ~O
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:17 am  

    Yeah, I have been reading through the entire adventure path and I will be doing some toggling with the XP.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:16 pm  

    If i just knew how to upload a picture, i would show you the special "mini" i created of Kyuss... damn you should have seen the faces of the PC's when i put that mini on the table!!!
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:15 pm  

    chaoticprime@yahoo.com, upload it there.
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    Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:59 pm  

    I ran the entire AoW campaign and I have to say it was well worth it overall. It started out like most new campaigns, fun and fresh, but then turned into a slog in the middle. The beginning mods (around Diamond Lake) and some of the late-middle to high level mods (Alhaster-Riftcanton, woo!) were among the tops I've ever ran in the 3e era. A few of the mods in the early going (those involving the Ebon Triad) seemed needless to me but hindsight is 20/20. As a side note, some sidetreks might be good if you have the time to kill. My players ended up short of hitting 20th because of one reason or another involving not enough XP, I don't think I cut corners intentionally but anyhoo the survivors finished @17th-18th level which was well enough to complete the quest.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:43 am  

    How long did the whole campaign last?
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:42 pm  

    I would suggest scouring the Paizo boards for inspiration, specifically the AoW boards and the campaign journals:

    http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/olderProducts/dungeon/ageOfWorms

    http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/community/gaming/campaignJournals

    I ran AoW for 3 years, and got as far as Kings of the Rift (you or your players may encounter some burnout to start around the Spire of Long Shadows, btw).

    One idea I found in the boards but never used (because we were past it), was foreshadowing the PCs return from the Mistmarsh by having them play Cairn Hills militiamen defending Blackwall Keep from the spawn of Kyuss.

    A great idea I was able to steal was using the recipes offer by Vyvian Basterd (sp) to cook (well, I didn't do the cooking) up an actual feast for The Prince of Redhand.
    CF Admin

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    Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:34 pm  

    Krimeah wrote:
    If i just knew how to upload a picture, i would show you the special "mini" i created of Kyuss... damn you should have seen the faces of the PC's when i put that mini on the table!!!


    This sounds like it's worth seeing, Krimeah: have you been able to post it anywhere we can all check it out yet?
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    Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:50 pm  

    Can someone educate me on the Age of Wurms timeline? What modules fell into that era and when exactly did this take place? Would love to know books to read to catch up on this.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:02 pm  

    It ran in Dungeon Magazine from issue 124 - 135. All of the issues are available through Paizo.com, most of which are actually below cover price, too.

    It's a pretty epic adventure. The only criticism I have seen it get is that it is linear, but the very term Adventure "Path" betrays that without some manner of deception, as I have seen it put.

    My first session almost turned into a TPK due to the party just not thinking. They did make it, though, and I know I had a good laugh over it all.

    Nothing is quite as funny as an elevator shaft full of swarming acidic beetles and a rebuked wolf attacking the wizard after the druid controlling it dies.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:48 pm  

    What timeframe is it take place in? and
    I have every Dragon mag from 1 until then last one printed hehe, It has been so long I have forgotten this is in those magazines.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:21 pm  

    Post-war. It does not give you a precise starting date. You could technically run it at anytime as the locations in it are not very used until now. The town of Diamond Lake was pre-established, but I do not think Alhaster was.

    The timeline is up on the GH wiki.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:24 pm  

    I agree that the Age of Worms can take place at any time (relevant to published Greyhawk material).

    Looking over the timeline in the Wiki, I've been giving some thought to having a party start in 578 or so, and explain they are fleeing the chaos in Alhaster. I thought that might also better explain their invitation to Zeech's party latter in the campaign.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:33 pm  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    Post-war. It does not give you a precise starting date. You could technically run it at anytime as the locations in it are not very used until now. The town of Diamond Lake was pre-established, but I do not think Alhaster was.

    The timeline is up on the GH wiki.


    Though an exact starting year is not specified, references to other years in Greyhawk history (the Red Death, the dates on the Land tombstones, etc) point to a starting date of 595 CY.

    IIRC, Alhaster was also pre-established--I believe it appears on the map in Iuz the Evil.
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    Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:11 pm  

    I loooove AoW! My gaming group has been playing it for almost 4 years now (don't be intimidated by the time frame, we're just a leisurely, RP-intensive group). We started at first level in the Whispering Cairn, and are now 18th level and preparing to fight the first dracolich! It really is an epic adventure, which I feel is driven home even further by rubbing elbows with the famous, semi-famous, or infamous, encountering more than one well-known artifact, journeying to other planes and even other times.

    Some things to keep in mind:
    -AoW gets more than a little railroad-y at times. Once the PCs get the gist of what is going on, and notice that practically nobody else is working to stop it, there is little justifiable time for side-quests and such, as written. On that note,

    - The time frame seems EXTREMELY accelerated to me. In the span of a few months, characters go from nobodies to legendary heroes. If this fast pace works for you, there is nothing wrong with that, but if it strains your suspension of disbelief, you might want to pace yourself a bit more, offering months or more of downtime, at least between the early modules.

    - Some of the "normal" encounters are incredibly challenging, while some theoretical "boss fights" are a joke. Be prepared to alter encounters more than a couple times to suit your group's needs.

    - Read ahead when possible. There are many opportunities for foreshadowing, and even simply name-dropping here and there can make NPCs feel more like a part of a living world, rather than a stat block to be overcome.

    - From what I can tell reading the Paizo forums, when PCs charge ahead without a plan, TPKs happen. Our group has been fairly strategic; this, combined with very generous house rules for healing, has meant no PC deaths for us. (though some beloved NPCs have perished along the way)

    I'm sure I'll think of some other things later on. AoW is the best campaign I've ever been in, though this is in no small part due to our patient and open-minded DM, and a group of mature, experienced players that care about story and characters as much as monsters and loot. Whispering Cairn, with its Diamond Lake backdrop, is one of the best-constructed and most satisfying first-level modules I've encountered, and I've run it on its own more than once.

    Try to post with the occasional update! Let us know who your characters hate, who is an ally, any funny or harrowing situations that arise, whatever. Love to hear about other folks' experiences with this AP.
    GreySage

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    Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:26 pm  

    I think it'd be cool if the PCs took a trip to Gehenna to gain the aid of Mellifleur against Kyuss. He might contribute, at least, information and special-use magic items designed to work against Kyuss's creations. I've always liked many of the obscure monstrous deities that Carl Sargent invented for Monster Mythology. Despite being mentioned in three editions of the game now, Mellifleur often gets overshadowed by other gods of undeath like Vecna, Orcus, and Nerull, but positioning him as a rival of Kyuss who needs to keep the worm-god imprisoned for the sake of his own survival would be an interesting use of the character, I think.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:12 pm  

    Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool SPOILER ALERT!!! Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool

    I ran AoW with four groups simultaneously (four separate campaigns, that is), and in each case they finished the campaign in just under a year, with each group playing around 4-5 hours once per week.

    I, too, would recommend having a relatively large number of side-treks to help the players level up, especially if the C&C rate of level progression is slower than 3.5e's. This is because several encounters can be extremely deadly for underpowered parties.

    One note of caution, though: even though some encounters are very deadly, I found that certain key encounters at the end of the series were actually too easy. For example, the encounters with both Dragotha and Kyuss needed to be altered, since in all but one case my players won the fight in only about 3-5 rounds - or they would have, if I hadn't tweaked things on the fly!
    GreySage

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    Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:51 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    I think it'd be cool if the PCs took a trip to Gehenna to gain the aid of Mellifleur against Kyuss.


    That was an excellent article Rasgon, gave it 5 stars. Wink

    I think the side track to gain Mellifleur's aid would be great. Given the back story, he is indeed the perfect foil to Kyuss. Nice. Cool
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    GreySage

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    Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:42 am  

    I should have mentioned that the late 3e-era hardcovers Exemplars of Evil and Elder Evils, between them, describe a rather epic (but different from Age of Worms) plot to free Kyuss, beginning with a debauched family of Kyuss-serving nobles in Exemplars and continuing with a trip to the Tomb of Horrors to retrieve an orb of annihilation that happens to be a crucial step in the worm-god's liberation. The final scene is slightly silly, much of the plot isn't very fleshed out, and it's only one chapter in each book, but there are some interesting ideas and encounters there, and I think they could make good side treks in an Age of Worms campaign.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:35 am  

    I abandoned the campaign. I tried using C&C, but the rules do not accommodate the rising power of the adventure without an insane amount of effort on my part.

    I tried then to use 3.5, but just the core books to avoid the shenanigans of the system that I greatly hate. This was fine until the players were simply too wimpy to win.

    Ultimately, I decided to quit gaming for awhile. Three games a week was too much, and I burned out. It was not the sitting down, it was the planning. I do not want my hobby to seem like work.

    I am thinking about buying Swords & Wizardry, that seems to be the medicine for my ailment. Something simple.
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    Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:15 pm  

    I have a campaign with 10th level PCs going, but I'd like to turn them into the Age of Worms. They found a small jar with a Kyuss worm deep in a crypt of a Nerull Church (Old Kerk) in Perrenland, where IMC Kyuss studied for a bit and made research on different kind of worms and butterflies before returning to Sulm.

    Now I am a bit uncertain how to introduce Age of Worms, since the PCs are already high level. I'd like them to go through the whole campaign so I was thinking about scaling earlier adventures to fit a 10th level party.

    On the other hand the PCs have already thought of going to Greyhawk city where one of the PCs is co-proprietor of the Black Dragon Inn so I might as well start by running the Champion's Belt.

    By doubt is: do something very important happen in the adventures prior ro Champions Belt or can I drop the characters in the Campaign in Greyhawk? What are the puzzle pieces they will be missing? Have I done well by having them find the worm in a jar?
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:15 am  

    I'm being inspired to get back into this path sooner rather than later.

    You might be able to skip the early adventures - there's no requirement to play it as a path after all. I think each adventure can stand on its own and Champions Belt is where much of the lower level machinations come to a head.

    In some ways, converting the monsters to 4e makes it easier since you can tailor the monsters to the levels that the PCs have reached when you get to that module.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:06 pm  

    I think you could make the Champion's Belt beginning work; it shouldn't take too much tweaking. You'd have to do something to bring in the elements from the first adventure since the players will be visiting it eventually, and you may want to work in news of a plague of Kyuss spawn some way other than the original AP does, but beyond that it should be relatively easy I think.

    Let us know how it goes!
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