My campaign is heading toward it's climax. The party will be attacking Iuz in his Citadel. As far as I know there is not much detailed information about it (at least not enough). I have looked up everything from all the available sources that I found in the greyhawk index. I am looking for any ideas about how to go about designing this. I have access to all Greyhawk material except novels so anything you can point me to there will help also.
The party of 7 will be around 30th level. What I really need are ideas to make this Citadel a sinkhole of evil. I don't nessesarily need adversaries and defenses (but ideas are welcomed), but mainly the actual design and specifics about some of the rooms that ooze evil.
Any ideas on how to make this a climax to 6 year campaign the best everl! I need stuff like layout of rooms, memorable decoration, unique room concepts, even traps, anything that will scream Iuz at his most evil and vile!
This is not exactly what you asked for, but may be helpful long term in your campaign.
A CF thread called "The Soul Husks of Iuz" discusses how it is that Iuz could actually be killed. That is, your party might beat him in Dorakaa, but will the Soul Husks or his Soul Gem protect him from total destruction?
AFA your question, Iuz is the Lord of Pain, Deceit, and Wickedness. IIRC, the levels of the jail-donjon in City of Skulls were the Halls of Wretchedness, Halls of Torment, and Halls of Suffering, or something like that.
So, first and formost, torment. There should be a lot of intelligent creatures, good and evil, continually tormented for his amusement and the instruction of subordinates. Creatures impaled. Creatures with limbs ripped out, but still alive. Creatures burned but barely alive. Creatures with metal bolts driven through their bones, then the flesh healed over and chains attached to the bolts. Creatures in painful cages. Torquemada stuff. Thumbscrews. Iron boots. Branding irons. Creatures being fonged until their intrails are their extrails and their extrails are their intrails. Pain. Lots of Pain.
Second, deceit. Remember the window / mirror in ToEE. It is not that nothing can be trusted...most things are what they seem. But a few things turn out different at the worst possible time. Orcs, zombies, and other menial creatures COULD be shape-changed demons. Powerful looking demons COULD be orcs with illusion spells. The wretched prisoner hanging in a cage from the cieling COULD be an illusion covering the mage who is using projected image to pelt the party with mass damage spells. I think Iuz himself would be too vain to have another living creature impersonate him, but there should be a permanent illusion of him covering a sphere of annehilation for anyone who wants to run up and do melee. As a DM, I think I would have a permanent chance that any demon the party used a mass-damage or other powerful spell against was actually an underling, and any fodder they ignored until it got within melee range was actually a powerful demon.
Also, a la the ToEE mirror, there should be powerful magic that confuses the party and disguises their appearance to one another, that separates them from each other so that they don't know if the demons they are attacking are actually friend or foe. And vice versa.
Oh, and the real Iuz shouldn't be killable with a single knife thrust. Sorry, Rose fans.
For something speficic from my campaign, in the Command Room of the Tower of Fear in Izlen, there is a net hanging from the cieling. Each cord in the net acts like a rope of entanglement, so any creature hung from it cannot escape. The net is filled with barbed hooks like fishooks, that continually pierce the flesh of the trapped creatures, and create a drizzle of blood down into the room. Any creature placed in the net takes one day per level or hit die to "bleed out" and die. Any evil creature on whom the blood drips regenerates 1 hp per round per entangled creature while in the room. Any good creature on whom the blood drips suffers a -1 to hit and to save for each entangled creature while in the room.
Also IMC, Iuz's intelligence network (boneshadow and others) keep files on "soft targets" associated with powerful PC's. If the PC's ever try something that actually threatens Iuz's existance (attacking the Soul Husk Caverns or assaulting Iuz in his palace), demon bag teams are immeadiately dispatched to collect hostages. Friends, family, mentors. Anyone the PC's actually care about. Then the PC's are given the choice of continuing their attack on Iuz or saving the lives of their loved ones. About half of the hostages will actually be real, the ones the demons had a chance to grab, and the other half will be change-selfed succubi that have been already been given dossiers on the intended victims and have trained for the role. If the PC's choose to press Iuz, many of their loved ones WILL die. If they rescue the hostages and retreat, they WILL be betrayed whenever is most opportune for Iuz.
GVD has a CF article about the recipes favored by Iuz (all involve sentient creatures and torture is an important part of their preparation). You could riff off of that. _________________ My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
Thanks Kirt! That's exactly the kind of ideas I need!
Anyone else have any cruel ideas for the Wicked One. Maybe some maps from other structures I can use for the layout of the Citadel. I have access to most D&D modules for plucking maps from. Maybe some ideas for defenses? What would you do if your party attacked the Old One?
Any ideas are welcome! _________________ "What the curtains?"
I think much has to do with how you play/imagine Iuz because how you envision Iuz will shape all that is around him. Thus, your designs should be an extension of Iuz. I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for but I'll give it a shot. Examples:
1. He is so overconfident that most of his defenses are outlieing but closer to home his meglomania won't let him believe that he is anything but secure and thus his innere defenses are actually weaker as one draws closer.
Perhaps he is drunk with power and so addicted to his "amusements" that Kirt mentions, that he is blind to the things nearest to him. He is so busy bringing Oerth under his power through intrigue into other nations, that intrigue under his nose is missed.
Thus, if the party can actually get around these outer defenses without calling attention to themselves, their chance of surviving and "winning" is at least 50/50.
This doesn't mean, though, that there aren't any nasty surprises in store for the unwary.
2. Perhaps Iuz is not only a meglomaniac but also steeped in paranoia. Joseph Stalin is a perfect historical example of a man with so much power and could produce so much fear in others, yet was full of fear himself on a grand scale. He would have people close to him systematically executed if he thought they were betraying him or becoming too powerful in their own right. Going outside was a difficult task for him. In his limosene he'd have curtains all around the windows where he sat in order to prevent a person seeing in and possibly assassinating him.
On one hand this is tremendous power and yet on the other, when the chips are down, when you killed those most loyal to you, in the end who will be by your side?
Could Iuz start falling apart as his plans are falling apart? Could he strike out and destroy the very thing he has exerted great effort to build and expand in the attempt to protect himself?
What if instead of the PCs doing a full frontal attack, they instead did disruptive things that were hit and run or diversionary by pointing to Iuz' lieutenants? It sure would be interesting to see Iuz' reactions.
For me I have always envisioned Iuz as unstable to some degree and that he thinks of himself bigger and more powerful than he really is and this is his major weakness. Oh, to be sure, he is dangerous and cunning and a power to be reckoned with, but a power that can be short circuted.
As for his castle (or whatever he dwells in), I always imagined it rough in nature; grand in size but not grand in aesthetics. It arises out of a great swamp, perhaps built on a piece of land 150' in elevation above everything else.
1. His fortress is as rough as he is; it is as brutal and severe as he is. Scarred black and gray rock make up the walls, turrets, etc. Low lighting with patches of intense darkness is the norm.
2. The massive doors that lead to the huge courtyard radiate a blackness that seems to drink in light. They are made up of a material not of the prime material plane. In fact, anything that ipasses through of good alignment sets off an immediate alarm . Maybe the doors are an extra-dimensional creature, boiund by some strange magic, and because this entity is so evil the larm is actually a painful reaction to being in the presence of good.
3. The surrounding countryside reflects his nature: dangerous, blighted, and cursed. The land is so dangerous that even his troops and leutenants avoid swaths of acerage. Could the PCs travel these avoided areas and slip through? What aberrations exist there?
4. Swamps with vile creatures and quick sand at various points, spreading out and sorrounding Iuz' abode as one gets closer.
5. There is only one road that leads away from and to the fortress and is heavily guarded by patrols, with Iuz letting the swamp surrounding his fortress as the deterrent to invasion. I think a rogue wiill be very important here if the PCs decide to scale the rough cliffs and walls.
As for maps and other things, have you checked out the free downloads at WotC website? They are quite adaptible. Let us know how it works out.
IIRC, one of the High Priestesses has a Chime of Hunger. She likes using it after setting out horrible feasts - dung, offal, bodies. Imagine if the forces of Iuz were able to capture someone the party cared about (party member or NPC) who was then killed, partially cut up, and then dumped in front of the PC's as a chime of hunger was sounded.
There could be several magical compulsion areas, forcing PC's to eat, drink, sleep, or have sex...any of the basal needs.
I think anyone assaulting Iuz without mind blank or similar protection should be toast.
As far as maps, I think the maps in City of Skulls are worakable for the city itself. One just needs to do the interior design on the palace and cathedral. _________________ My campaigns are multilayered tapestries upon which I texture themes and subject matter which, quite frankly, would simply be too strong for your hobbyist gamer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mp7Ikko8SI
Frustration - though not the prince of deception, deceit is one of Iuz's areas of specialty. Imagine the frustration if after an epic battle the PCs find out that they have wasted all their spells on a Polymorphed Balor? What if this happens again and again and again. They are drained of resources, but the real Iuz is yet to come.
When I was DMing the Age of Worms recently, it occurred to me that Quicksilver Hourglass, Dawn of a New Age, and Into the Wormcrawl Fissure (all from Dungeon magazine) all have elements that could be combined to form a sort of "uber-fortress" that might work well with Iuz. Time and space prevent me from drawing out a detailed plan, but you might want to check out those three adventures for ideas.
I have used all of those already. IMC Iuz planned the release of Kyuss so he could kill him himself and gain his portfolio. Imagine the surprise when the party faced not only Kyuss, but Iuz as well! They had several clues but never put it together. _________________ "What the curtains?"
A place this evil should hinder the party every step of the way, especially if they're good. Clinging, life draining mists or choking vapors drifting in the halls would work well. A chamber floor covered with bleached bone dust laced with dust of sneezing and choking can disable many PCs but does absolutely nothing to undead guardians of the room. Magical darkness or undisperable fogs that limit vision to 5' will also slow down any party, then hit them with something that has blindsight. Curses are also a good tool. Maybe an area that carries a curse with wounding/withering effects that can only be removed under very specific conditions. On Iuz's home turf, I'd have certain areas that cause nausea to good PCs unless they make a save, in which case they are only sickened. Skulls are an abundant motif in Iuz's palace, have some of them cause fear or (shaken on a save). The idea is that there are still side effects after they make th initial save.Things that may seem like minor nuisances to an epic party but slowly take their toll.
Module DL13 Dragons of Triumph has an excellent map of a temple/citadel. If you still need a map for Iuz's palace that would work pretty good, with some alterations.
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