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    Canonfire :: View topic - Keep on the Borderlands and TOEE tie-in
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    Keep on the Borderlands and TOEE tie-in
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 08, 2003
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    From: Cape Town

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    Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:44 am  
    Keep on the Borderlands and TOEE tie-in

    Hi All.

    I would like a logical way to tie in the above modules. My Players are currently busy playing a combination of Keep on the Borderlands and In Search of the Unknown, which I set in the Yeomanry. That decision seems to be coming back to bite me in the **** as I want to run the TOEE next.

    The journey between the Yeomanry and Hommlet is vast and so much could happen between. I would really appreciate any input into getting the PCs to Hommlet in the least railroady manner possible.

    Thanks in advance!

    Darrel
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
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    From: Mt. Smolderac

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    Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:59 am  

    The connection between the Shrine of Evil Chaos in KotB should be pretty easy, the problem is the geographical distance. I see two options, although I'm sure there are more.

    1) Just move Hommlet and the ToEE to the Yeomanry. It's not canon, but if you're not too intent on your game being canon, no big deal.

    2) One unique thing the ToEE has is its tie to Zuggtmoy, who has never had a huge presence in the Flanaess. If you leave some clues that the cult they discover in KotB is somehow tied to Zuggtmoy, and the party consults someone on this who knows about the ToEE, combined with there being a big threat, the path should be pretty clear. A journey by sea could be the quickest way. If you need some level filler in between, the party could end up going up against a certain group of slavers in the Pomarj. An interesting idea might be to combine the concept of A4 with A1; have the party captured when their ship is attacked by pirates of the Yellow Sails. But I digress too much, perhaps. Anyway, by ship to the Wild Coast is an easy hop to Hommlet and the Temple.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:20 am  

    The Caves of Chaos in Keep on the Borderlands has the cave with the evil priests and undead forgot which lettered cave it is. This is the logical point for all the clues leading to Hommlet as well as the motivations. Just make the clerics of that cave members of the elemental evil cult perhaps under the Elder Elemental Eye pseudonym.

    The clerics might also be pulling the strings of the humanoids in the other caves towards greater evil i.e., do our bidding and you humanoids get access to our clerical magic. But in a chaotic sort of way.

    1. The highest level cleric in the Caves of Chaos has written instructions in his quarters from a superior at the Temple to spread the faith, indicating that the borderlands region is suitably unstable. This superior need not be at the Temple or vicinity of Hommlet, perhaps he operates out of a town called Rastor in the Lortmils near an abandoned dwarven mine a little closer to the Yeomanry than Hommlet (Expandable if you have access to the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil). This superior himself reports to someone at the Temple of Elemental Evil. Dont forget to add scrolls of sending for those underlings to report.

    2. Those altars, with the curses, in the Cave with the clerics might not be the result of enchanting by the clergy, but discovered there, already radiating chaos and evil. Make the Caves of Chaos a location where elemental chaos and evil have a strong nexus to the Material Plane. The elemental evil clergy are there to exploit this. Perhaps these alters have the additional feature of allowing lower level clerics to store the souls of sacrifice victims in gems (supplied by superiors) after hours-long rituals and incantations. These soul-filled gems are then sent to the main Temple for use by the higher level priests to make magic items, expand the elemental nodes, etc. This creates a reason for evil folks to be at the Caves of Chaos, and to try to retake them if their initial force is defeated by the PCs. The PCs then have to backtrack to see where these reinforcements are coming from, and why going through the Caves one time didnt seem to end the threat to the Keep and the travelers on the nearby road.

    Variation the caves of chaos are highly attuned to elemental evil earth. The very stone of the place is easier to enchant than other stone and the folks back at the Temple want to repair some damage from the siege after the Battle of Emridy Meadows. The clergy at the caves are actually running a mining operation and need plenty more skeletons and zombies for the work. A disreputable caravan is hauling the rare stone (which is not particularly suspicious looking) to Nulb and onward.

    3. Humanoids from the Caves dig up graves outside the Keep in the night, the clerics animate it as undead, and send the resulting zombie in a barrel as tribute to the Temple with a disreputable caravan that had passed through the Keep just days earlier, and was ultimately bound for the east to Nulb. This theme is found in the Return to the Keep on the Borderlands.

    4. A PC may have a relative who has gone missing from their farm near the Keep. The relative's soul is now in a gem, along with those of other victims, with a courier headed for the Temple. This one is a bit more railroady.

    5. That wacky hermit out in the woods is actually an evil fungus loving druid worshiping Zuggtmoy. He is really the one guiding the clerics in the Caves as well as trying to persuade the lizardmen down by the river of the need to destroy the Keep. Insane, he believes he needs the clergy to harvest souls, mine special stone, or create more undead to free his patron. Perhaps he is right. He runs away when plans fall through, heading towards the Temple.
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:17 am  

    Smillan and A Baneful Backfire are correct in that the evil clerics of the Caves of Chaos are easily associated with the clerics of the Temple of Elemental Evil, however you choose to implement it.

    In my own campaign, I had the PCs discover parchments in the private sanctum of the Caves' head cleric that pointed them to further adventure. It can be as easy as that, or as complicated as providing many foreshadowing encounters with elemental evil during the party's forays against the Caves.

    SirXaris
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Oct 08, 2003
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    Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:41 am  

    Thanks guys!

    I had changed the cult of Evil Chaos to that of Tharizdun but methinks the Cult of Elemental Evil is probably better suited.

    The bigger issue is really the journey and the potential for tedium. I like the idea of a sea journey very much!
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 29, 2006
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    From: Dantredun, MN

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    Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:55 pm  

    One of the best things about T1-4 is the sandboxing, intrigue, and advancement provided for low-level characters. If your campaign plays through B1, B2, and a lengthy overland journey before Hommlet, the setting loses a lot of its charm. 3rd and 4th level characters will probably trounce the moathouse and head straight to the megadungeon without developing much depth in town. It also forces you to introduce a whole new set of NPC's and throw out all of the relationships and plot hooks the players have developed at the Keep and in the Yeomanry.

    I'd recommend seeing how things develop naturally in the Yeomanry and saving T1-4 for another campaign. Harnshire is nearby, so you could tie B2 into Night Below or build you own dungeon for the B2 cult leadership. If you still want to capture some of the ToEE flavor, you could mashup the DMG sample dungeon (which came from Gary's original Temple) with Monastery of the Crimson Monks/Dungeon of the Fire Opal, Gary's dungeon geomorphs, and something like the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar.

    smillan_31 wrote:

    1) Just move Hommlet and the ToEE to the Yeomanry. It's not canon, but if you're not too intent on your game being canon, no big deal.

    This would be challenging because the Temple's proximity to Furyondy and Veluna is of strategic importance to Iuz and Iuz features prominently in the module.
    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:46 pm  

    Chiming in now.

    I've had my player run all throughout the Flanaess before, starting with Hommlet then running him all the way through Keoland en route to the coast.

    Running backwards, here is what you can do if you don't mind linking (unrelated) adventures together to get your PCs to where you want them.

    En route east, have them run afoul the Saltmarsh (U) series with the lizard men, pirates, and sahuagin. This is a GREAT series that will challenge your players' wits and cunning as well as make them think while also giving them some stiff combat from time to time.

    You can link this to the Slavers of the A series, if you like, thereby taking them to the Pomarj and Wild Coast. Afterwards, they are only a hop, skip, and a jump to Hommlet via the Gnarley Forest.

    Another module you can introduce, if you have it, would be Cult of the Reptile God, set near the Dim Forest in the Hochoch area, if memory serves me right. That's another great module.

    This will achieve a few things. Firstly it will give your PCs some time to advance in level for ToEE. Secondly, it makes the overland travel less tedious, though admittedly it will take longer. Thirdly, it exposes your PCs to some of Oerth's greatest old school, canon modules.

    -Lanthorn
    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Verbobonc

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    Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:35 pm  

    I lean towards Vestcoat's opinion Personally, all of the campaign outlines I have developed focus within a region (Sheldomar Valley, Western Nyr Dyv, et. al.) with occasional excursions beyond it. This enables the characters to become a part of the world they inhabit, build strong and complex relationships with NPCs, and become invested, instead of just passing through, looting the place, and moving on.

    If you find a way to move ToEE to the Sheldomar, I think the level issue has to be addressed, as 4th level characters would easily steamroll the moat house, and make short work of the upper levels of the dungeon. Likewise, if they experience a lot of adventures en route, they will also have increased their powers to the point where they will be even more formidable. You could address this by scaling up or down the various classic adventures, but that is a lot of work.

    BTW, Vestcoat, great mention of the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar. That is an underrated module that is easily inserted in any campaign with minimal work. While I am not a fan of the FR setting, many of their products are top-notch, and can be adapted to Oerth with minimal work. Perhaps we should start a thread on adapting FR modules to Oerth....
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 07, 2004
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    From: Mt. Smolderac

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    Thu May 01, 2014 7:57 am  

    vestcoat wrote:


    smillan_31 wrote:

    1) Just move Hommlet and the ToEE to the Yeomanry. It's not canon, but if you're not too intent on your game being canon, no big deal.

    This would be challenging because the Temple's proximity to Furyondy and Veluna is of strategic importance to Iuz and Iuz features prominently in the module.


    Furyondy and Veluna are of strategic importance to Iuz, but being able to open up a front on the flank of Keoland would also be a good strategy, and considering how the war turned out, with Keoland throwing it's support and resources behind Furyondy, might actually work out better for Iuz. If Keoland is distracted by a threat coming from the Yeomanry region, they'll be less likely to send troops to support Furyondy against an invasion from Iuz.
    There are narrative challenges to changing the location of the adventure, but those can be rewritten pretty easily. Same thing with the level of the threats in the moathouse, just beef up the threats there ,but then that could lead to having to ramp up successive levels in the Temple. If that were the case it would probably be more work than anyone would want to do, but then there is always the option of skipping the moathouse, since it's not that vital to happenings in the Temple. The Caves of Chaos could easily serve as the prelude to the Temple that the Moathouse does. In fact you could mash up the two, putting Lareth in the Shrine of Evil Chaos, and even combining Hommlet with the Keep. Just plop the Keep on that site of Burne and Rufus's keep, south of the road. Now Hommlet has two inns, a tavern, two blacksmiths, and another shrine to whatever god you want to place in the Keep's shrine. Again, it all depends on how much work Warlock wants to do to adapt it.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu May 01, 2014 10:07 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    Smillan and A Baneful Backfire are correct in that the evil clerics of the Caves of Chaos are easily associated with the clerics of the Temple of Elemental Evil, however you choose to implement it... I had the PCs discover parchments in the private sanctum of the Caves' head cleric that pointed them to further adventure...


    -That, and there's the priest and his acolytes in The Keep.

    IMC, the TOEE tie-in is easier, since I set the Keep and the Caves where the Suss meets the Welkwood, right across from the meeting of the Jewel and the Handmaiden. To get them all the way from the Yeomanry requires a lot of intermediate adventuring, as Lanthorn suggests, but you could throw in something TOEE related on the side.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu May 01, 2014 5:59 pm  

    You can always try magic for a less grueling journey...pursuit of a cleric/foe through a one way gate or magic device, one off amulets of recall zapping the party to somewhere unsavory...
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu May 01, 2014 10:39 pm  

    The levels issue isn't applicable as I run Mongoose's Legend system (a derivative of RuneQuest) so there are no levels, combat is always fairly dangerous, especially when you pit groups of monsters against the PCs.

    I don't mind using additional GH modules along the journey but I would like to maintain a level of consistency to the theme of the story. I have never run Salt Marsh so I will take a look at it. Also maybe Baltron ' s Beacon ...
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Fri May 02, 2014 2:04 am  

    You could always link the evil clerics in KotB to the Cult of the Flaming Eye in the Moathouse, which leads to the ToEE. All you need to do is leave laying around a message from some mysterious personage named "L", and mention "...our agent in Hommlet...", or something else suitably vague.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri May 02, 2014 3:47 am  

    Ah Cebrion, I did exactly that - I hope it isn't too vague for my Greyhawk newbies. Session Three is happening tomorrow so will see where they get to Happy
    CF Admin

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    Sat May 03, 2014 7:40 pm  

    Timrod did some really good T1-T2-B2-DMG Monastery sleuthing in his blog @

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2012/01/dmg-sample-dungeon-part-1-background.html

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2012/01/dmg-sample-dungeon-part-2-down-stairs.html

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2012/02/dmg-sample-dungeon-part-3-room-3-and.html

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2012/02/dmg-sample-dungeon-part-4-cult-of-fiery.html

    as well as

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2012/09/more-fodder-in-case-of-sample-dungeon.html

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2012/07/b2-t1-keep-of-hommlet-self-diagnosed-t1.html

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2012/09/more-fodder-in-case-of-sample-dungeon.html

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2014/04/moathouse-friday-lareth-conspiracy.html

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2013/02/hommlet-heart-of-village.html

    Well-worth checking out!
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat May 03, 2014 9:43 pm  

    Thanks grodog definitely going to check that out now.
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