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Here for a while
(12/24/02 3:50:40 am)
Alternate history of Thrommel for my non-Greyhawk party ....
My party has been fighting through the CRM for a while, and I think they will be Outer Fane-bound in a few sessions time. However, at the end of last session our wizard drowned in the nasty Dwarven water trap in the Earth Bridge complex. The remaining party members decided that the time had come for a trip to Verbobonc, to see if they could get him properly raised, and to sell off a bunch of stuff (notably Tulian's Eye). So therefore, next session will be a mainly RP-based session involving the trip to Verbobonc. I've been worrying for a while that since my party were all new to D&D before we started playing this campaign (and the smaller adventures I ran before it to get to the right level), they obviously have NO idea about any of the Thrommel-Greyhawk history type stuff, and indeed would probably be hard pressed to tell me that the world they are playing in is called Greyhawk. So I was thinking of ways to make Thrommel a bit more than just some vampire guy in a room.
I know that this may well annoy some of the Greyhawk fans out there, but basically I have completely made up a history based on what my party do know, and what they can find out. When they get to Verbobonc, they are going to notice several statues and paintings of a proud-looking man in armour and a smaller scholarly-looking man beside him. If they look even slightly closely, they will see that the smaller man bears a striking resemblance to none other than Hedrack (who they've grown to hate with a PASSION, and they know what he looks like to to a few nasty scrying incidents). I'm fairly sure that this will instigate some serious question asking from them, and what they will eventually find out is that the armoured figure is Prince Thrommel, who was ruler of Verbobonc but disappeared after going to fight the TOEE the last time. The smaller guy is indeed Hedrack, but the townsfolk will know him as something else (any ideas on a real-sounding name which is different from Hedrack, but sounds enough like it that the party will make the connnection?). Hedrack was Thrommel's scribe/page/trusted servant type when Thrommel ruled over Verbobonc, and he went to the battle at the TOEE too. What really happened is that Hedrack was involved with the cult even then, and betrayed Thrommel. He had powers greater than he let on, and he managed to deliver Thrommel to the cult forces, and the Doomdreamers. This act brought Hedrack great status in the cult, and led to him being where he is today. Basically, the events in sfarnon's Journal in the BOB then happened, with vamp Thrommel eventually being placed under Hedrack's control for maximum irony. This "secret history" will be find-out-able by the party, but not until the Outer and Inner Fanes (either through Varachan, Thrommel himself, or some added journals in Hedrack's chamber). The party will ocme away from Verbobonc with greater insight into Hedrack, and when they meet Thrommel it will be more than just a random vamp fight.
Anyway this was a long a rambling post, so I guess what I am just asking is : Any thoughts? :D

Still here? Wow.
(12/24/02 4:16:14 am)
Re: Alternate history of Thrommel for my non-Greyhawk party
Are your PCs interested in statues? If not then suddenly describing a statue in great detail might make the connection a bit too obvious. Unless of course, you also tend to place a lot of red herrings in your adventure. Personally I would use a more subtle method, that lets the PCs look for information and then come with it. A bard telling stories in a tavern. If the PCs show an interest tell them what the bard is singing about and hide the bit about Thrommel in there. If they ignore the bard so be it. It will be even easier when the PCs start trying to find information on the ToEE. Also place some red herrings in the story. Tell about other heroes that fought against the ToEE, but whoes pressence will have no impact on the game.

You could also design a small side track about the fact that Verbobonc used to have a great king, but now a days government is that much worst. A side track also has got the benefit of making a much deeper impression on the players.

Here for a while
(12/24/02 4:30:42 am)
Re: Alternate history of Thrommel for my non-Greyhawk party
Good idea with the bard thing, thanks. Actually, my party ARE quite interested in statues..... for whatever reason :) I think it's because two of them have now been petrified on different occasions, and now they view any statue they come across as a potential flesh-to-stone victim. You're right though, it might be a bit different with statues in a city. However, what I was really going for was the whole "hey, this picture/statue/etc looks a whole lot like...... uh oh....." thing. I think I might take your idea of a side-quest revolving around the newer, worse government though. I don't want to railroad them into looking at stuff and therefore be very unsubtle, but maybe I could have a townsperson show them an illustration of Thrommel & friend during the course of the side trek, just to let them see how it used to be in the city under wonderful Thrommel....... hmmm......

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