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Against the Giants module

 
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:01 am    Post subject: Against the Giants module Reply with quote

I own both the original, and the Silver Anniversary release.

At the end of each section, at least for the hill giants and frost giants, there are teleportation areas permitting the respective giant leaders to move from one region to the next. Of course, I have questions.

1) At the hill giant steading, there is a massive chain that creates the dimensional effect if it is placed in a figure "8" loop and the characters (or giants) step inside. Does the chain ALSO teleport with the affected persons, or does it remain at the steading?

2) If the chain also teleports, can it be re-used again to get BACK to the steading?

Undoubtedly more to come, but we'll leave it with these two for now.

-Lanthorn
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I absolutely love those modules! Unfortunately, I didn't get to finish them the last time I ran a campaign.

As to your questions, I will venture that since they were written for AD&D, the answers from EGG's original point of view are probably not in the PCs' favor. The older editions tended to be deadlier. Evil Grin

However, it seems reasonable that the items should teleport with the user and enable a return trip. They were made for the giant leader's convenience and it would be very inconvenient, even for a giant, to travel over such a distance through the mountains - especially for a frost giant having to traipse through the Hellfurnaces to return home from a visit to Snurre's Hall.

SirXaris
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only run those modules one other time, but only the hill giant steading, when I was an early teen! Yeah, it's been THAT long ago... Embarassed

However, new player, and I am a veteran DM now. Not sure how far we will get, but preparing all the same.

I would agree that the huge chain should teleport with the user, for the logical reason you mentioned, but context clues make me wonder about that.

Follow-up question then: Is the teleportation chain usable in any locale, or is it specifically keyed to work only in certain spots?

The devil's in the details!

thanks again,

Lanthorn
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Wolfling
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the original adventure (which I've had the luck to both play and DM) intends the transportation to be one-way, it's really just a lazy transition mechanism between modules!

The method of transport between the frost giants and fire giants, a lever built into the icy wall is definitely likely to be one-way.

I always saw it as Eclavdra's way of remaining as the lynch pin and stopping the giant leaders easy access to liaise with each other, relying on messengers or or magic at the drow's disposal to keep the forces connected.

It's worth noting that the transportation chain requires a map of the glacial rift to function correctly. If you wanted to be lenient you could allow the chain to go with PCs and link in the map-key element somehow.

P.S: Hi everyone, it's been a while. Hope you're all well!
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolfling makes some valid points. I guess you will have to decide how you want your campaign to function.

Do you want your PCs to have the ability to teleport back and forth between the Steading and the Glacial Rift? If so, they probably will have little use for the hidden cave they find outside the Rift.

Perhaps, as Wolfling suggested, the magical chain is attuned to the map, so only that location may be teleported to. PCs magic users may research the magic of the chain and map and make maps to different locations at 10% of the value of the magical chain per new map/location. This option uses up gold and time and still limits the teleportation abilities of the chain.

SirXaris
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, Wolfling welcome back. It has been too long.

Secondly, I agree that the implication from context clues is that the teleportation is indeed one-way.

It just seems that's a LOOOOOONG walk back between locations for anyone to make, including the giants. And that assumes they know HOW to get back.

Yes, I will have to decide how I want to use the teleportation aspects.

Ok, more questions.

The original design has the drow behind the giant attacks, specifically Eclavdra, who serves NOT Lolth, but the Elder Elemental God. I guess I had forgotten that 'detail' and originally thought it was Lolth who was behind the whole plot, when, in fact, it was a totally different Power.

Curious...why would EEG really give a flying flip about assaulting the surface world? The only other module featuring a cult of the EEG is The Temple of Elemental Evil, I believe. I could see why Lolth might...especially since she has some ties to Iuz, who is hell-bent (pun intended) on ruling Oerth, and they have an alliance of sorts (she supposedly also had a part to play, if even small, in the design or construction of ToEE). But EEG?

-Lanthorn
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Wolfling
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole EEG stuff is really interesting but if you read through both the ToEE series and Queen of Spiders series with a fine tooth comb the Elder Elemental God isn't actually a common theme.

The Temple of Elemental Evil was completely fabricated by Zuggtmoy who felt that the concepts of Elemental Evil would be more appealing to mortal followers than fungus, slime and mold. So she created this whole facade. Only the inner temple/top echelons of the ToEE hierarchy even know that Zuggtmoy is the source of the temple's power and it was Zuggtmoy who created the elemental nodes. The elemental factions falsely believe they are worshipping some elemental powers.

The ToEE module explains Lolth's connection as being that when the ToEE was 'destroyed' the first time around, some cultists, such as Lareth, turned to Lolth for aid. It's stated she can't actually grant followers powers at this stage but has taken an interest in the Temple because she's power hungry and has her own desires on the surface world. SO her contribution to the Temple is during the second and current time around as opposed to the original construction.

The EEG kind of confuses things with the whole elemental evil vibe. Most people refer to the EEG as a single deity but the Queen of Spiders series specifically says Eclavdra abandons Lolth (due to political upheaval in Erelhei-Cinlu) and turns to one of the Elder Elemental Gods.

The tentacles and insanity themes of this particular EEG brings up Lovecraftian vibes and there is actually very little elemental in theme about his temples and magic items. The only time I've noticed a reference to the EEG as a single entity is in the temple in House Eilservs estates in Erelhei-Cinlu but here there is a reference to 'the (golden) Eye of the Elder Elemental God' which is open to interpretation; maybe the Eye is one of the EEGs and a specific entity, maybe it's symbolic, maybe the EEG is both a single deity and many at once, maybe the Eye is a kind of intermediary entity between mortals and the EEGs - it's really not clear. I think there's a lot of speculation that there is a connection between Tharizdun and the EEG but that entirely depends on your own view point.

So based on the original printed material - I don't think the EEG has anything to do with the Temple of Elemental Evil!
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolfling provided accurate facts, so I will offer a speculative possibility.

Since the EEG was fabricated by Zuggtmoy with the assistance of Iuz in ToEE, is it not possible that the EGG that Eclavadra has embraced is Iuz seeking followers in the hidden places of the oerth? Setting aside the information on the EEG in Queen of Spiders (since that is after the time and edition of your own campaign), it makes sense that Iuz would do this for several reasons:
1) He is power hungry and has little compunction about how he gains that power, or who worships him;
2) He may be annoyed at Lolth's intrusion into his efforts at the ToEE, so thought he would give her a taste of her own medicine, as it were, by subverting some of her worshippers to his own cause;
3) It would explain why the EEG seeks to have the drow expand their power on the Oerth's surface - that's where Iuz's main concern is;
4) Iuz is already familiar with masquerading as the EEG, so it wouldn't be too difficult for him to do it again in another venue;
5) Five Shall Be One and the Greyhawk Wars demonstrate that Iuz is willing and capable of pretending to be a different god.

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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points, all, and I appreciate your respective suggestions and references.

The symbols used in the module as well as the effects of various icons (altar specifically) as well as the tentacle rods used by the drow elves all fall into line with the write-up listed in Monster Mythology for the EEG. So my take is that EEG is an actual Power independent of either Lolth or Iuz. Since the cultists in ToEE used giants and ettins as guards in that foul place indicate these behemoths, as well as other monstrous creatures, are often used (pawns) by followers of this Power.

I am sure to have more queries later on the topic of the module. Thank you both for your posts and feel free to add more replies, if you like.

-Lanthorn
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grodog
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lanthorn wrote:
Secondly, I agree that the implication from context clues is that the teleportation is indeed one-way.


That's always been my interpretation as well, FWIW.

Lanthorn wrote:
The original design has the drow behind the giant attacks, specifically Eclavdra, who serves NOT Lolth, but the Elder Elemental God. I guess I had forgotten that 'detail' and originally thought it was Lolth who was behind the whole plot, when, in fact, it was a totally different Power.

Curious...why would EEG really give a flying flip about assaulting the surface world?


I've long been a fan of Merrick's thinking on this front, in his article at http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=165 Joe Bloch offers some recent thoughts in his blog posts at http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com/2017/07/lolth-in-vault-of-drow.html and http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com/2017/07/more-on-eclavdras-motives.html

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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wondering...

...how many of you (who ran this module) kept the drow responsible behind the giant attacks as it is written

OR

...how many of you preferred the alternative option, and made the cloud giants (evil clan) responsible instead.

I am leaning towards the former, but considering the latter, in my own existing campaign.

Opinions, suggestions, preferences welcome!

-Lanthorn
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Wolfling
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ran it as written originally, with the drow responsible and the PCs descending into the UnderOerth, rather than focus on the plight of Geoff. I think either could be fun depending on if you want an epic quest or to focus the PCs on a single realm and foster their bond with it.
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Originally, I ran it as written. I was in high school then, so didn't really even understand the Eilservs/Lolth/EEG triangle.

Last time I ran it, I planned to incorporate the cloud giants more than they were included in the original, but still have them as lieutenants to the drow, as it were. The cloud giants were the ones actually recruiting the other giant clans on behalf of their secret bosses, the drow.

Unfortunately, the campaign ended in the middle of the assault on the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, so I didn't get to do much with the cloud giants that time. I did expand the role of the cloud giant and the stone giants visiting Nosnra's steading, if you remember reading that far into my blog.

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