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Ok, here's the deal. I have a Ad & D game on friday the 23rd and the I just got named the DM.
I have a great idea for an adventure but I want some input from some LO experts here also. Maybe some random encounter ideas and possible monsters to occupy some dungeon rooms.
Here's what I have to start with and I will be adding more over the next couple of days as I get some poster input.
Cinnabar is the last ‘city’ on the outskirts of the borderlands. It represents the farthest eastern outpost of the Artenian Empire. Although it is considered to have no strategic value it is a viable training ground for the Artenian infantry by virtue of it’s location on the outskirts of the Emen Rasha desert and at any given time there may be a company of cavalry and/or a battalion of infantry undergoing harsh condition training.
Occasional thrill seekers, treasure hunters, archaeologists and other wayfarers and travelers have been known to venture into the desert for their own reasons from time to time and as a consequence the city is home to the Far Eastern Caravan Company. For a nominal fee and a generous percentage of whatever is discovered these caravans will provide bodyguards, pack animals and provisions for those brave enough or fool hardy enough to venture into the desert of Emen Rasha.
Legends say that this was not always desert. That long ago there was a mighty kingdom in Emen Rasha and that it lies buried under the sands awaiting some lucky or unlucky traveler to discover it. The inhabitants of the Emen Rasha kingdom were powerful beyond imagination and once rivaled the great gods themselves. Disdaining the gods the Emen Rashans declared themselves to be above them and for a while this affront went unchecked, only serving to feed the ego’s of the Emen Rashan’s.
God’s are fickle and jealous beings and it wasn’t very long before some of them noticed the little mortals. The god’s eventually ‘drew straws’ to see who would be the one to set these little mortals straight, and the ‘winner’ went of to do battle with the Emen Rashan’s.
Having no more interest now that the matter was to be dealt with the god’s turned to themselves for their eternal amusement. Weeks went by with no word from the god sent to deal with the Emen Rashans and to the surprise of the remaining gods the kingdom was still there and seemingly growing in power!
Gathering themselves together the gods attacked Emen Rasha with such fury and vengence that all that is left is what lies here now. A barren desert wastelands that has stood here for untold millennia. Of the Emen Rashan’s there is very little evidence they ever existed. But it’s enough to set tongues wagging in the pubs here in Cinnabar, where everyone has a map to treasure to sell you but no real inclination to get at it themselves.
For various reason ( I can’t go into much detail here as I have yet to see the character sheets ) your party finds itself in the employ of the Far Eastern Caravan Company and several weeks into your first jobs as bodyguards.
Your little caravan consists of 8 wagonloads of supplies drawn by camel and 15 other bodyguards besides yourselves. Being the newest recruits you seem always to be under the constant glare of the caravan master whose harsh manner and demeaning treatment of you has been combining with the constant glare of an unforgiving sun to fray your nerves and foster a bit of ill will.
This caravan was hired by Professor Breken Stipes and his daughter Olivia. They are highly regarded archeologists and very open to talking to everyone in the caravan that will listen about the Emen Rasha and their hopes in finding more evidence of the location of the lost kingdom. It’s from them that you have learned the legends and the information.
Having located a sight on a previous caravan the professor is sure that further exploration will yield results.
Other campfire rumors have alerted you to the existence of of bandits that roam the desert and the possible existence of some form of Thri-Kreen Death Cult. It’s for these reasons that you’ve been hired.
Here is where I am unsure how I would like to proceed and so let me bounce some ideas off you guys.
A: A desert twister engulfs the caravan destroying most of the supplies forcing everyone to head for the dig sight quickly where there was a spring.
B: The caravan master and other guardsmen are members of the desert bandits and by drugging the food they have taken the entire caravan excluding the professor and the adventurers and left them all to die forcing them to make for the digsite and spring.
From here the adventure can continue.
Once at the digsite the adventurers refill their waterskins and the spring will dry up after several days. In the meantime the professor.
A: Distraught over his daughter demands the party scour the desert for her. Which they do finding all the bandits slain by Thri-Kreen and no sign of the daughter but a trail that leads to a passagway below under the sands
B: Or if we chose option A earlier than he discovers a passagway leading under the sands at the digsite and all but a few left to guard the digsite ( slaughtered later by the Thri-Kreen ) proceed underground.
There will be desert scorpions, Thri-Kreen, mummies other undead and possibly a lich, but any other ideas will be much appreciated.
Now that the adventurers are underground I need some good ideas on monsters, traps, rooms and other such ideas. I don’t personally lack for them, but I bet there isn’t a shortage of ideas you all could come up with that I haven’t thought of.
Thanks in advance for any input.
I want to start the adventurers off between 3rd and 5th level and move them upwards quickly. Obviously they won't face off against any Lich at the low levels, but the professor and his daughter will also be mages of some power 15th for him and 7th for her.
Last edited by Joker; December 20th, 2005 at 19:52.
First I must say that even though I love to play fantasy RPGs I'm not all that skilled in AD&D.
I have not played it since Temple of Elemental Evil back in the 80's (?).
When we play fantasy I'm near always the GM and my world is more...less...eh, so if my advice seem dull and very "of-spirit" for an AD&D GM (DM?)just ignore me
If you have new characters to play with, why not making them yourself? I found this to be a great way to "root" them in the world. It also gives you the opportunity to add some extra flavor things in their background. Things that explain why they are working for the Professor and how they know each other.
If you know your players, you'll know what kind of characters they like and you could use this to make very likable characters for them.
I also would avoid making the Professor to powerful a mage as this easily makes the game unbalanced, the PCs more or less "tag along", why not make him a merchant or a plain Scholar?
One important ingredient in this adventure should be the Desert itself. The harsh conditions and maybe some strange geographical thing. The Dig site could be in a valley where lightning comes from the ground or where there once was a forest, now the trees are all petrified. Something special.
Make them paranoid. A horse (or what ever they are riding) breaks a leg, the next day all that remains is the skeleton. Nobody has seen anything.
During the nights they are haunted by nightmares. Play sessions when they think they are having the watch, let things escalate go crazy after a while (the sand begins to rain upwards etc) when the evil dragon squeezes them he calls out their names. The "dragon" is another party member trying to wake them up from their sleep..."It's your turn now, and be careful, I think I saw something huge flying across the sky". Then a few sounds from the deert will be enough to keep them alert the rest of the night.
The desert bandit idea is nice, but have just a couple of bandits among them. People like the chef and a couple of the diggers. They do not need to poison everybody, the Professor is enough. They might only try to keep the dig site a secret, trying to keep the party from going there. They could even be the good guys, like some secret order of "keep the hidden hidden".
After poisoning the professor they start using some black magic (hypnotism?) to make him either tell them where the site is or to make him leave.
While on the night-watch a PC can hear them from within his tent. When the PC approaches they leave, maybe hitting the PC hard in the head or, again, using magic, to make him/her pass out.
Give the adventure a bit of "detective-story" moment iwhen they reach the site. Who is the traitor...Spice it all up with the unseen horror in the dark.
The digging goes "well" and the tomb or dungeon or whatever opens up, but the creatures within are far more powerfull then expected. And they have an agenda. Show of the terrible power of the beings in there and make the PC run away, maybe taking the now rather regretful professor with them. His daughter was sacrificed to the "evilility from the past " and will appear later as a powerful vampire or something.
Now the dark power arises in the desert and they have no chance whatsoever to stop it. Make them feel like they were the ones awaking it. When they arrive back to civilisation people will tell tales of the horrendous powers now haunting them at night. The bats have become hostile and plague has killed entire villages.
The dead are walking and they are heading this way.
If one of the PCs goot their hands on any magic items or weapons in the desert this could be what they (the undead) are looking for.
Now the only thing hat can stop this unholy power is something even further into the desert, the profesor might know where to look...
That's how I would have done I think. You wouldn't even need a dungeon, just a desert and a gate
Those are great ideas! Thanks.
For the professor, I was toying with the idea of him being an illusionist or possibly just having lost his spell book so the pc's could have access to some good firepower ( once ) without overbalancing the adventure.
Making the desert an enemy is a great idea, and I will use that.
Also, I like the idea that the daughter gets 'turned' it offers a whole other level of wickedness.
Thanks for your input.
I've been thinking a bit more on the Professor, and why not give him defensive magic only? It would be (IMO) a good way of keeping them alive yet not make them too powerful.
"I've made this circle and as long as you stand inside it, you cannot be hurt"-kind of thing.
The one thing that really made roleplaying fun again for me, after some years of dungeon-bashing, was when I changed the focus.
The journeys between the dungeons were earlier quickly dealt with "You travel for eight days and nothing happens". But now this is what takes time. My last "adventure" was played once a week for about half a year and it contained only two really small dungeons. The rest of the time was spent traveling and talking to people, gathering info about the area and so on .
Oh, that's right, you are playing now... Who am I talking too...
Perhaps he has some kind of magical item that lets him cast select spells, or perhaps just one.Originally Posted by Andusciassus
Maybe some kind of rod, ring, or sceptre?
This way he is not defenseless, but not overpowered.
With the bandit attack, have about half of the bandits rebel, and then the party can be suspicious of the remaining ones, and they can be used for the (accidental) activation of traps and such to keep the party on their toes while in the underground cave complex.
Steal some ideas from the Mummy/Scorpion King and similar movies, they're generally pretty good for traps/encounters etc.
Have one of the bandits, or even the professor or his daughter (super twist!) betray the PC's and seal them in the cave complex, forcing them to find another way out. Maybe the professor/daughter could be a shapechanger (rakshasa perhaps).
Just some random ideas.
I love the evil dream idea!
Make sure to have loads of traps, watch the Mummy and rip em all of from there.