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    Canonfire :: View topic - Reddit Tip: Adapting Waterdeep Dragon Heist to the Free City
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    Reddit Tip: Adapting Waterdeep Dragon Heist to the Free City
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 13, 2020
    Posts: 34
    From: Emigre from Mystara

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    Sat Dec 31, 2022 11:52 pm  
    Reddit Tip: Adapting Waterdeep Dragon Heist to the Free City

    Adapting Waterdeep Dragon Heist to the Free City of Greyhawk

    Taken from a Reddit post of a few years ago I thought worth preserving on CanonFire.

    By u/msal309
    At https://www.reddit.com/r/WaterdeepDragonHeist/comments/aceob8/adapting_waterdeep_dragon_heist_to_the_free_city/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

    “Hey everyone!!! In a few weeks my adventuring party will be starting Waterdeep Dragon Heist, with the caveat that we are actually playing in the Greyhawk setting, and not the Forgotten Realms. As such, I have begun the large undertaking of adapting a fair bit of the content from Dragon Heist to be setting-appropriate. This poses a few problems, some minor and some major.

    First, and probably most relevant, is simply a name-swap of some of the major NPCs. It's not necessary with some, as they happen to be generic enough that their names are irrelevant, or unique enough that they do not have a directish equivalent in Greyhawk (for example, I don't see any way to replace Xanathar, so Xanathar is simply existing in my version of Oerth). For Vajra, I am replacing her with Jallarzi Sallavarian, the youngest member of the Circle of Eight (a council of hyper-powerful peacekeeping wizards) at the time of our campaign.

    For some NPCs, though, this presents a much larger problem. Laeral Silvermane is an essential piece of the campaign, a Forgotten Realms signature, and the Open Lord of Waterdeep. In Greyhawk, the city is run by its Thieves' Guild (another problem I will address). It is a decision I am carefully weighing, whether to change essential Greyhawk lore for the needs of the campaign, or possibly add Laeral Silvermane as another Circle of Eight-aligned Wizard and change her background lore to fit the setting better (what I'm currently leaning towards) and simply make her another powerful figure in the city.

    Next is the issue with some factions not having a direct correlation in Greyhawk. The Lords' Alliance is an easy equivalent, but a good-aligned peacekeeping force like the Harpers has no equivalent. So the Harpers become agents of the Circle of Eight, their mission to maintain neutrality instead of being a force for good. Force Grey is, in my opinion, way too cool of a name and fortunately fits the city of Greyhawk swimmingly.

    Many of the locations of Waterdeep have simple translations to Greyhawk, or are unnecessary. The Cassalanters will still worship Asmodeus. The existence of tieflings wasn't difficult, as I already have a tiefling player (we are starting the Heist at level 3 after working through some story-setting stuff for after WDDH).

    The first few encounters in the Yawning Portal and the rescue of Renaer Neverember are going to be skipped. These are the following adjustments I have run with for now:

    -My Volo-equivalent (a homebrewed writer character of my own design) sent them on their first quest, which they are currently on right now. The deed to Trollskull (which will actually be The Nymph in the Garden Quarter of Greyhawk) will be their reward for completion of the quest. Renaer will end up being a mutual friend of the NPC and a PC of mine with the Noble Background, and will be trusting of them already. This information isn't relevant to the Greyhawk adaptation but I thought it necessary for clarification purposes.

    -As such, Xanathar and his guild are a mystery, fine with me seeing as the Cassalanters are the main villains and knowledge of Xanathar isn't totally necessary.

    -Lord Dagult Neverember will actually be former Lord Mayor Nerof Gasgal, run out of town for embezzling, booted from his position in the Thieves' Guild after betraying the trust of former confidante and current Guildmaster Org Nenshen, and driven to Dyvers where he looks to run the same scam, using his relative anonymity (as the scam was discovered by Org, but kept a secret so as to not discredit the Thieves' Guild) and many Noble and Thief contacts to gain a foothold. Nenshen is looking to return the money as quickly and quietly as possible, taking his own cut (25,000gp) and giving the players a cut (25,000gp) if they help the city retrieve it without raising too many red flags, mainly those of the more lawful powers that be. This will be a major adjustment that I will be adressing more specifically at a later date.

    I will be sending out periodic updates to my progress and my hope is for this to be a comprehensive guide for those wishing to use Dragon Heist in the Free City of Greyhawk in the future. It is a compelling and interesting city with many imitators, Waterdeep among them.“
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    From: So. Cal

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    Mon Jan 02, 2023 11:36 pm  

    I've played through the adventure, and it could easily be ported over to Greyhawk. Considering who built the city, all manner of unknown areas are just waiting to be found below the city. I might consider swapping the Yawning Portal for an existing inn with a portal to the ruins of Castle Greyhawk...or to some unknown depths beneath the city.

    Bregan D'aerthe = Thieves Guild
    Lord's Alliance = Oligarchs
    Force Grey = Elite extension of the City Watch who handle problems beyond the capabilities of the regular City Watch. They operate outside of the concerns of the the Oligarchs, and are not always aligned with their wishes, but they make a point of not *openly* opposing them.
    Emerald Enclave = Collective of various druids, rangers, elves and gnomes, etc. in the area (i.e. Grarley Rangers, etc.)
    Harpers = A new group headed by Tenser (or use the Circle of Eight if you want to go with the whole "Balance" theme).
    Order of the Gauntlet = Perhaps a name change, a combined group of good religions (Heironeous, St. Cuthbert, and Rao most likely).
    Zhentarim = Agents of Dyvers/The Scarlet Brotherhood
    Xanathar Guild = Change name, but essentially the same.

    The adventure locales fit right in. Various personalities can be replaced with less grandiose personages, or new ones created to fill their roles.
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
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    From: TregMallin

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    Tue Jan 03, 2023 5:14 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    I've played through the adventure, and it could easily be ported over to Greyhawk. Considering who built the city, all manner of unknown areas are just waiting to be found below the city. I might consider swapping the Yawning Portal for an existing inn with a portal to the ruins of Castle Greyhawk...or to some unknown depths beneath the city.

    Bregan D'aerthe = Thieves Guild
    Lord's Alliance = Oligarchs
    Force Grey = Elite extension of the City Watch who handle problems beyond the capabilities of the regular City Watch. They operate outside of the concerns of the the Oligarchs, and are not always aligned with their wishes, but they make a point of not *openly* opposing them.
    Emerald Enclave = Collective of various druids, rangers, elves and gnomes, etc. in the area (i.e. Grarley Rangers, etc.)
    Harpers = A new group headed by Tenser (or use the Circle of Eight if you want to go with the whole "Balance" theme).
    Order of the Gauntlet = Perhaps a name change, a combined group of good religions (Heironeous, St. Cuthbert, and Rao most likely).
    Zhentarim = Agents of Dyvers/The Scarlet Brotherhood
    Xanathar Guild = Change name, but essentially the same.

    The adventure locales fit right in. Various personalities can be replaced with less grandiose personages, or new ones created to fill their roles.


    In the original, is the Xanathar Guild a usurper to whatever Thieves' Guild exists in Waterdeep? Or is it *the* Waterdeep Thieves' Guild?

    EDIT: I looked a bit at The Alexandrian's Remix notes and found that the Xanathar faction is at war with the Zhentarim faction. So that maybe could be like two rival thieves' guilds in Greyhawk.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
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    Wed Jan 04, 2023 7:06 pm  

    Not without precedent in Greyhawk. At one point, the Beggarmaster tried to overthrow the Thieves' Guild before he disappeared. Unless your players have read the Gord the Rogue novels and already know what happened to the Beggarmaster in canon, you could always have him come back to try again.

    Or Og Nenshen (head of the Greyhawk Thieves' Guild) and Nerof Glasgul (Lord Mayor of Greyhawk, and member of said Thieves' Guild) could have a falling out, with a resulting war in the shadows between the two factions.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
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    From: TregMallin

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    Thu Jan 05, 2023 6:52 am  

    Ah yes: "here, catch!"

    It seems to me Gord did go back for it.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 05, 2023 10:14 pm  

    I don't think so.

    In Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins, it mentions that where the Millstream exits the city, occasionally gems, coins, and the random bone wash out. Given where it flows underground in the Thieves' quarter, it's almost certain that's where Gord killed Theobald with his own treasure, dumping both into a hidden segment of the Millstream.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
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    From: TregMallin

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    Fri Jan 06, 2023 6:34 am  

    Vulcan wrote:
    I don't think so.

    In Greyhawk: The Adventure Begins, it mentions that where the Millstream exits the city, occasionally gems, coins, and the random bone wash out. Given where it flows underground in the Thieves' quarter, it's almost certain that's where Gord killed Theobald with his own treasure, dumping both into a hidden segment of the Millstream.


    Could be.

    As for "went back for it", I was referring to Chapters 11. 12 and 13 of City of Hawks.

    What's in the box would have to diverge from the novel in order to fit in with the prize in Dragon Heist.
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