Monday, 6 January 2020
Hacking the Classics A1-4
So nice comments on last few posts and i was asked by Tim Baker about Al Quadim setting stuff after these posts. I quit dnd about 91 and got more into RQ and CoC and TSR Marvel and homebrew SF games. Basically product lines from around then were of less interest to me art and text wise. Plus earlier modules are simple and easy to work with. They have simple plots easily made more complex. Making less complex or more open is difficult. Post Desert of Desolation series and Dragonlance more so things became more linear and overly detailed and over written into the 90s. Brave ideas got watered down. Demons and devils were persecuted for being to evil in a game about fighting evil etc.
i never had or seen Al Quadim stuff much till recently. The day of AlAkbar was a funny module i liked when i was 15 (including cover older friends at uni laughed at) and like Dragonlance books I just went into marvel comics, Morecock, 2000ad. I had seen gurps book and iron crown one on setting but i think at this time i just got into history reading and classics. Probably i was more into bronze age.
I might do desert of desolation and the master of desert nomads series.
Early tsr stuff needed more work to pad them out and were more like board game set ups in some ways. By Hickman era style became big things became highly detailed over written linear adventures and mostly less interesting and harder to work. Simple old dungeons don't need much to improve. Most have encounters, treasure, some simple goals, defence plans. Mostly I like to add lots of factions to meet or find signs of and be able to potentially work with. Rival competitions explorers or cults or greedy wizards are good. Factions that might be helped or used or aid you in a crisis or if captured are good.
i did make a god for my setting that was for my desert nomads in various settings and it was accidentally good...
Slave Lord Series
Slavery is bad and you can fight it and die trying!
These were early purchases long ago for me in 84. And i complected a set in several bundles and POD versions on drive through in 2019.
You could ignore tournament stuff but pregens also good for a lethal short campaign or npc meatshields or sent by factions as rivals.
The series has a good moral evil villain to stop
Know people hurt or taken by slavers enough bait
You are basically commandos, spies and at times infiltrators and assassins
Bad guys are just wealthy and greedy murder hobos
Spin it like James bond but with wizards and monsters but they take up spaceYour outcome could effect slavery world wide and effect many factions
Run it as a 1400-1600 European adventure, full of swashbuckling and some guns
1 Guild slavery banned from guild influenced lands
2 Noble family wants lost kin returned
3 Merchant clan wants slavery banned as devalues goods
4 A good church order funds and aids expedition to rescue pilgrim
5 Tribes folk want slavers to leave them alone pay in pearls
6 Criminal guild linked to rival slaver org put out of business
7 A foreign empire wants to know slavers secrets and possible risks
8 Slavers of the Forbidden City serpent folk have been short of human sacrifices
9 Drow clan short on slaves and tired of humans slaves thinking they own own slaves
10 Several religions of good has sent priests to recruit adventurers to eliminate slavers
11 Evil church want to get piece of the action, find out secrets and attempt to join them
12 Terrible lords of the under ground black lotus kindom dislike slavers raiding their drug addled labourers from surface plantationsMost want information, some hope for business leverage. Scarlet legion or Drow are involved in slavers but you could have them send stooges to test factions or test weaknesses. Have patrons help sailing you to anywhere needed and travel costs.
d12 Why I hate Slave Lords
1 Captured family members and took them away
2 Someone you know spoke against them and was stabbed
3 Town you came from was burned down by slaver raiders
4 Country that opposed them became strife with civil war and assassins and evil cults
5 Secretive agents of some brotherhood killed your family for opposing slavers
6 Churches opposed to slavery have been attacked and donations given to pro slavery faiths
7 They use bribery and corruption to change laws to be pro slavery
8 Common folk in clan driven off land by slave labourers and moved to city slums
9 Born into slavery and adopted into owners family, remember real family and slavers
10 Enslaved but escaped or left for dead
11 Saw a country opposed to raiding slavers destroyed and over run with humanoids
12 Noble sold own serfs from slavers and replaced them with thrall goblins
Also scarlet brotherhood might hire someone test the security and purge the weakest links in slavers and send party pretending to be a faction. End of A3 could include party employers informed slavers you were coming.
Extra factions, patrons and thinking about slaver's heroes influences
Monster types are a good guide for factions within a dungeon
Bosses have other motivations and interests outside slavers
A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity
-Slavers have yellow sails
-Despoiled city of Highport in Wastes of Parmarj
-Awesome ruins needs more work and some demon cults
-Overrun by humanoids hell yeah! Why are I not there now?
-Old invisible thief slaver boss trick and a witch doctor
-Sewers with crocs!Id name more bad guys and extend ruins. Have to find the temple for a while before entering would be ok. Perhaps question prisoner or escaped slave. Have some maps and handouts for the bosses to have at end - scribe and the thief.
d12 Ruin Encounters by Day
1 Pteradactyl d4
2 Harpies d4
3 Baslisks d2
4 Orc scouts x12
5 Aspis scouts
6 Doppelgangers 2d4
7 Dimetradons d4
8 Cannibal tribal hunters 3d4
10 Carrion crawler d2
11 Slavers 3d4 moving prisoners 2d4 with 2d4 guards and foreman with whip
12 Slaver comanders d3 with 12 orc squad with a sarge and a d4 ogres
d12 Ruin Encounters by Night
1 Leopard stalking victim
2 Ghouls 2d4
3 Zombies 3d4
4 Orc scouts 12
5 Orc infantry 12
6 Orcs off duty drunk 3d4
7 Orc priest and d12 cultists
8 Stirges d10
10 Shadows 2d4
11 Ogres d4
12 TrollCool boss guys (need names and more info)
Orc Chief of orc tribe might like names for both
Nameless thief runs base for slave lords
A2 Secrets of the Slavers Stockade
-Lost old castle of Drachensgrab is a slaver trade route base
-Processing and fattening of slaves (rendered puffin lard?)
-Several slave lord bosses to kill
-A-team style raid on prison
Monsters are mostly nocturnal but keep to human time mostly and by night let some monsters in fort loose or up from basement. If alarms ring use day table indoors and night for uncovered areas.
d12 Fort Day Encounters
1 Hobgoblin squad
2 Vipers d3
3 War Dogs 2d4
4 Bugbears x2
5 Gnolls 2d6
6 Escaped Slave x1
7 Slavers 2d6 with slaves 2d4
8 Slaver patrol with trader
9 Orc drunks d4 punishing slave
10 Orc matrons doing chores 2d6
11 Goblin riding warg
12 Giant Rats 4d6
d12 Night Encounters
1 Hobgoblin squad
2 Hobgoblin shaman & 2d4 hobgoblins
3 Cave lizard
4 Carnivorous Apes d3
5 Cave Spider d2
6 Escaped Slave x1
7 Cave Beetle
8 Spectral minion d8 HD in one or multiple peaple
10 Squad of orcs
11 Boggle wandering about like an idiot
12 Giant Rats 4d6
Cool boss guys
Markessa beautiful elf boss here for cash, power and chance to make vivisection monsters
Blackthorn ogre magi in human form second in command
Fyndax Alchemist assists Markessa's experiments
Kyvin Trist evil scribe (he talks in libraries and eats in bed reading books?)
A3 The Aerie of the Slave Lords
-Infamous for killing the party as plot device-Crazy caves of Drachensgrab made to look like has choice but not really much-Secret trip to Suderham and it's council of slavelord leaders
-Hidden City of Suderham urban adventure
-Bad guys just greedy crooked adventurer party not supernatural evil plots
-Catacombs with with warned enemies waiting intent on killing party, ask questions later
Its pretty narrative linear adventure with limited agency beyond surviving a ambush. Id try to not end of the cliffhanger of everyone beaten and murdered. My players beat the ambush anyway but were worried. The Drow could or priest might have a demon ally they use under duress at risk of their souls.
Cool boss guys
Feetia 10 fighter - buccaneer runs slavers fleet or raiders and transporting
Nerilas 11th level assassin leads a assassin order protecting slave lord interests
Mordrammo 9th Level cleric of the earth dragon
Ajakstu 9yh level wizard fears awesome staff near depleted, uses crystal ball to spy on party
Brother Millerjai 9th level monk of scarlet brotherhood involved in this part of evil scheme
A4 In the Dungron of the Slavelords
-Volcano erupts in the slavelords secret island capitol!
-Another party of greedy murderhobo billionaires to kill
-Players resurrected interrogated tortured then escape prison naked!
-Escape dungeon then volcano and kill the slavelords
-Possibly make friends with mushroom folk, they might know volcano coming
-I think a explanation for volcano might help not just dumb luck (dragons? Gods?)
-Maybe gods started volcano to bust you out of prison
Good dramatic idea of killing and put in a dungeon but most gamers would be upset. Perhaps some patrons might request dead slave lords bodies so they can raise dead or speak with dead. Might give players idea idea slavers will do this or do a cut away to some god in the land of the dead sending them home.
Cool boss guys
Stalman Klim evil high priest Probably WeeJas or of some evil god involvedTheg Narlot half orc fighter assasin runs assassins and orc hordes used by slavers
Edraive drow fghter/cleric, so drow again! those bastards!
Lemonster the Illusionist greedy hedonist
Brother Kerin of the scarlet brotherhood
Slippery Ketta the thief runs infiltration and thieves guilds across world