One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Tomb of Annihilation features a Greyhawk big bad (Acererak) and many classic Greyhawk monsters (grungs, vegepygmies, etc.) but officially is set in the Forgotten Realms. There are some suggestions in the book for using it in a Greyhawk campaign, but they're brief and shallow.
So here's a more in depth conversion.
Syndra Silvane: You could just call her that, or make her a more famous Greyhawk mage. One suggestion: she's Jallarzi Sallavarian of the Circle of Eight. She died during the events of Vecna Lives at the hands of Halmadar the Cruel and was later brought back to life. She meets the PCs in her tower in Greyhawk City's High Quarter, as described in Return of the Eight. Now withering away, she consulted her friends among the Circle of Eight (many of whom were dying of the same mysterious malady), who learned from the liches of the Hexad the source of the malady: the Soulmonger, a device kept somewhere in deepest Hepmonaland.
Szass Tam: On Oerth, this could be Count Dahlvier, foremost of Mortellan's coven of liches, the Hexad. As Mortellan wrote, "The Hexad's primary purpose is to avoid future depredations by other rival evil entities such as the near world-ending incidents involving the archlich Vecna and the worm-god Kyuss." Sounds to me like they'd definitely be interested in Acererak's latest scheme.
Acererak: Acererak is himself, more or less. As for how he got back after the events of Return to the Tomb of Horrors, this may be due to the events of "Prisoner of the Castle Perilous" in Dungeon #153 (in which case the villain of this adventure might actually be the simulacrum from that adventure) and/or the efforts of the githyanki lich Kastya Zurith-Movya from Exemplars of Evil.
Ras Nsi: Ras Nsi was a Touv paladin of Kundo, ruler and sworn protector of the city of Tolanok in central Hepmonaland. As the city grew wealthy, priests of the serpent god Meyanok appealed to the greed of the ruling class, persuading them to join in Meyanok's worship so that the city's wealth could go to them, free of the pious hectoring of Kundo's priests to invest the money in building and defense. Ras Nsi succumbed to Meyanok's temptation, but the city's lower classes revolted against their decadent leaders. Facing the loss of all his power and wealth, the now thoroughly evil Ras Nsi joined with the priests of Meyanok and called down a curse that withered all vegetation within five miles of Tolanok. Thousands died in the ensuing famine and they rose as undead, which have spread throughout the jungles like a blight. As for Ras Nsi, he forged an alliance with the yuan-ti and was transformed into a yuan-ti malison. Together with the yuan-ti, he laid traps along the path of Prince Okelo of Ichamamna, and as Okelo attacked the yuan-ti, the yuan-ti flanked him and conquered his city, enslaving and corrupting the people there and transforming them into accursed serpents like themselves. Ras Nsi has risen to become ruler of Ichamamna, calling himself Steelteeth, the Scalebender, keeping his old name a secret known to few.
Omu: Omu is, on Oerth, replaced with the yuan-ti city of Ichamamna. Beneath its streets lies the Fane of the Night Serpent (Meyanok is the Night Serpent) and nine imprisoned trickster gods.
Port Nyanzaru: On Oerth, this is the city of Ikelan, south of Ichamamna in Hepmonaland at the mouth of the Ikani River. Unlike Chult on Toril, Ikelan is not the only human city in its equivalent land, but it's the one that concerns us here, the closest civilized port to where the PCs need to go. Ikelan has been an independent state since the collapse of the Touv kingdom of Kunda centuries ago. Flip the map upside down or reverse it, since Ikelan is on Hepmonaland's western coast, and add the Ikani River to the map, either just north of the city or in the middle of it (terminating in the city's harbor).
Rokah: Though a Touv, he is a spy for the Scarlet Brotherhood.
Undril Silvertusk: Is a half-orc priest of Heironeous and a representative of the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom.
Inete is an acolyte of the Touv god Katay.
Lerek Dashlynd is from Irongate and, secretly, a spy for the Iron League, possibly in the employ of the Splintered Mind or Azure Masks.
Malar's Throat: The name of this Ikelan slum should be changed to Damaran's Throat. Damaran is the Touv god of vermin and cowardice.
Temple of Savras: This is a temple of Katay, god of decay, inevitability, order, and time. As god of time, many diviners serve him.
Temple of Gond: This is a temple of Kundo, god of building, noise, music, and defense.
Temple of Sune: This is a temple of Xanag, goddess of metals and beauty.
Hall of Gold: This is a temple of Nola, goddess of the sun.
Temple of Tymora: This is a temple of Berna, goddess of passion and forgiveness.
Volothamp Geddarm: You could just use him as is, I suppose (maybe he's even traveled the planes from Toril to get here). Another suggestion: Valerius, Erol Otus's player character described in The Rogues Gallery, a fighter who's said to be constantly wandering in search of peoples, ancient civilizations, and scientific curiosities. A more familiar NPC might be Robilar. Any wandering NPC the PCs are familiar with would work. Maybe Heward, Keoghtom, Grimmri Fischer, or even Gord the Rogue.
Merchant Princes: Use as-is. The ruler of Ikelan in The Scarlet Brotherhood accessory is Prince Kyoto, but just assume he retired and was replaced by Ekene-afa.
Emerald Enclave: Perhaps this should be a purely local organization, but perhaps they're affiliated with the Rangers of the Gnarley.
Red Wizards of Thay: The Hexad. Valindra Shadowmantle is in Hepmonaland as their agent.
Ytepka Society: As is, this is a local organization.
Aldani Basin: This is deep in the Zolteo Jungle, where another, minor river meets the Ikani River.
Undead Territory: The undead remnants of the lost city of Tolanok have spread throughout the Zolteo Jungle and will be frequent hazards in this adventure.
Shrine of Ubtao: This is a shrine of Uvot, god of prosperity.
Bay of Chult: This is the bay off the coast of Ikelan.
Ataaz Kahakla: All of the Chultan locations should be placed somewhere in the vicinity of the Zolteo Jungle. Add another minor river as appropriate.
The Cauldron: I'd place this on the coast by Odan Ridge.
Fort Beluarian: This was founded by Seekers from the city of Sasserine in the Amedio Jungle.
Temple of Helm: This temple in Fort Beluarian is dedicated to Saint Cuthbert instead.
Heart of Ubtao: This is the Heart of Uvot.
Hisari: I'd place this in the Kelo Hills.
Hrakhamar: Also in the Kelo Hills.
Imix Shrine: As is. Imix, the Prince of Elemental Evil Fire, makes sense for firenewts on Oerth.
Hvalspyd: This frost giant ship is on the western coast of Hepmonaland, and the PCs will travel past it while journeying to or from Ikelan (I know they're supposed to teleport there but... maybe they don't?). The frost giants are from the land of the Ice Barbarians, and they're a long way from home.
Ishau: This sunken city is in the archipelago called Breeka's Teeth.
Jahaka Anchorage: These pirates are anchored in Breeka's Teeth.
Jahaka Bay: Replace with Xuxchan Bay off the coast of Hepmonaland. The River Tath is the Chiuhtle River, which runs by the Olman-Suel trading city of Chebikav. Not an important part of this adventure, but the player characters may anchor there on their way to Ikelan.
Kir Sabal: In the Kelo Hills.
Land of Ash and Smoke: In the Kelo Hills. Maybe the PCs have to cut through there to avoid yuan-ti patrols?
Nanny Pu'pu: Worships the Olman deity Mictlantecuhtli (who might be the same as Nerull, if you want).
Mistcliff: In the Azteotl Hills, along the coast.
Mezro: On Oerth, replace this with Tolanok.
Nangalore: In the jungle along the PCs' route.
Nsi Wastes: South of Tolanok, north of the Kelo Hills.
Orolunga: This is a Touv name for an Olman-created ziggurat now watched over by a guardian naga, somewhere along the PCs' route.
Port Castigliar: An abandoned fort somewhere on the western coast.
Snapping Turtle Bay: On the coast between Breeka's Teeth and Ikelan. Most coastal locations should be in this area, so the PCs can pass them on their journey. It could be between Breeka's Teeth just west of Odan Ridge.
Valley of Lost Honor: This is a desolate region just north of, or among, the Kelo Hills.
Wreck of the Star Goddess: Change its name to The Star God. The crew are indifferent worshipers of Celestian and the ship is a spelljamming vessel hailing from the asteroid Ceres in the Grinder in Greyspace. They crashed after fighting off neogi pirates while on their way to Greyhawk City.
Wyrmheart Mine: This mine was founded by mountain dwarves from Irongate.
Omu: As above, this is the city of Ichamamna (although the title of the chapter, Dwellers of the Forbidden City, is a reference to another yuan-ti city in Hepmonaland). The "nine trickster gods" are relatively minor animal spirits who claim to be lesser children of Breeka.
Froghemoths and vegepygmies: In theory, these monsters first arrived on Oerth with the Barrier Peaks crash a century ago. Placing another section of the Barrier Peaks ship buried beneath the city might make sense. This could be the "meteorite" mentioned in the adventure.
Old Omuan: This is Old Kundali, the ancestor of the modern Touv tongue. Use the Hepmonaland Runes from page 37 of The Scarlet Brotherhood.
Dendar the Night Serpent: This is the Touv god Meyanok. The yuan-ti of Ichamamna, who are of mixed Olman and Touv heritage, prefer Meyanok to other gods.
Ras Nsi's treasure: Most of the treasure is probably from Hepmonaland, so a wine flask from Ikelan, a bejeweled doublet from Kundanol, a cloak from Chebikav, a harp from Xolapeqa, cushions covered in silk from Sharba, etc.
Black Opal Crown: This crown was crafted by an ancient Suel mage, or by Ivid I perhaps, or by a mage of the Sinking Isle.
Eye of Zaltec: Call this the Eye of Tezcatlipoca or the Eye of Huitzilopochtli. The gem was once mounted in Tamoachan in the Amedio Jungle.
Dragonbait: Some other fighter-type character? Perhaps Phoebus, a fighter reincarnated as a lizard man, mentioned in The Rogues Gallery, Slavers, and Dragon #351.
So I am setting my campaign in 576CY in the port of Hardby. So some of the references will not work for me. I do appreciate the thoughtful conversions ideas and some of them are gold for how I plan to run it.
If I can get my Campaign off the ground soon I will post up some of the conversion ideas I have that are a better fit for my pre-GH Wars timeline.
PS Mort, it is awesome when we can have a positive conversation about newer material and how it can be used for our favorite setting!
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