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ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(4/3/03 10:03 pm)
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The "why-not-more?" Ruined Temple
My players mused out loud a comment last session that I don't think I had thought about carefully enough. It wasn't addressed to me specifically, so I didn't bother responding. Which was good, because I didn't have a good answer ready :)

Basically, if this place has been plaguing the land for nearly 25 years now, how come anything is still standing? Why just destroy the lower levels? Why not raze the whole thing? Historical preservation as an official Verbobonc landmark? That's too much extra work and I'd rather be building my castle in Hommlet?

Any thoughts--beside the obvious 'because then there couldn't be two sequels!'?


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Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(4/3/03 11:35 pm)
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Re: The "why-not-more?" Ruined Temple
It would cost too much.

One thing that I as a Dane find fascinating by is the fact that in the States (well some places in the States), large buildings and other structures can be left standing, even when they no longer see use. I've read about old asylums in New Jersey, train stations (!) in Detroit, and old drive-ins just about everywhere. The way I understand it, the former owners aren't obliged to tear them down, or else the penalties for not doing it are not suffienciently harsh to make them do it.

If one of the world's most advanced economies can't be bothered to tear down old buildings, how can you expect it to be the case in a medieval economy?

Apart from that, teh hobgoblins don't bother anyone too much. They have learned to stay away from the areas controlled by Hommlet and in stead prey into the woods.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Trithereon
Here quite a while
(4/4/03 4:26 am)
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Re: The "why-not-more?" Ruined Temple
I think both its remoteness and taint of evil has spared the Temple of Elemental Evil from being torn down and its remains being used to build new structures.

In our own world history some of the Wonders of the Ancient World (which often had fallen into ruin through natural disaster, disuse and/or malice) were torn apart and the stone used to build new towers, fortifications and temples. It was often cheaper and easier to scavenge the bones of an old ruined temple to build a new one then it is to quarry and transport the stone from elsewhere.

However, the Temple of Elemental Evil has two distinct advantages when it comes to not being scavenged both in its remoteness and its history of evil. Its remoteness means that any stone would have to be transported long distances to be put to use. Then there's the taint of evil factor. In the D&D world divine magic is everywhere and potent. The blasphemous stone from a temple of evil might be seen as cursed and unfit for use in building a house, or goodly temple or even a fortification - not without the blessing of each and every stone ... and even then some may feel uncomfortable sleeping beneath the stone which has seen such unspeakable acts of evil.

In addition, it's dangerous business to tear down contemporary buildings with modern equipment so just imagine the danger involved in pulling down those enourmous buttressed walls of the Temple of Elemental Evil!

I assume that Hommlet has its own local quarry to supply its need of stone thus making the Temple of Elemental Evil not worth the effort and danger to tear it down.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(4/4/03 7:16 am)
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Re: The "why-not-more?" Ruined Temple
I've an even easier way to answer your question.

ZansForCans, when was the last time your PCs, having taken out the bad guy in his fortress of evil, actually destroyed the fortress? Have they ever?

I think Trithereon and Siobharek have the rest of the answer prettywell covered. The bad guys are dead...that's what's important. The rest need not be bothered with...or so they foolishly thought.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/4/03 7:42 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: The "why-not-more?" Ruined Temple
Also, it doesn't matter if the Temple is pulled down. It could just as "easily" be rebuilt (meaning that the DM just has to say it is rebuilt). At least this way, the good guys know where the evil will likely crop up. :)

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(4/4/03 9:47 am)
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Re: The "why-not-more?" Ruined Temple
All good points to consider. Thanks. I wasn't too much worried about having to explain it to them, but it did pique my interest enough that I wanted to metagame on it a bit :)

I do have a few devil's advocate replies though...

Abandoned structures in our world don't usually house (or haven't once housed) hordes of life-hating, destructive creatures. And actually, there is some anecdotal evidence that structures perceived to contain said things are brought to ruin with multiple castings of missiles of cruising.

Although it's true that in the Second Fall only an adventuring group did most of the damage, there were potentially many of the same political forces involved again. Since it all happened within the Temple though, maybe it wasn't as widespread of an incident as the First Fall was. But in that first case, it was truly armies that participated and some pretty serious magic to bind Zuggtmoy and seal the Temple. But as I2K said, maybe that was a better (or perceived safer) option than trying to banish her and her minions. I don't know of a good reference for the events after Emridy Meadows.

All in all though, I doubt it would take a few moderately-leveled spell casters more than an afternoon to collapse the thing: stone to mud, soften earth & stone, etc. Although I agree that there would probably be little desire for that token stone from the ToEE being built into your house ;)


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Thrommel
Can't leave now (mod)
(4/4/03 10:42 am)
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Re: The "why-not-more?" Ruined Temple
Remember that the forces who last assaulted the temple thought they HAD destroyed it - or at least the important part. They collapsed the dungeon levels - it's taken a LOT of work from the doomdreamers to clear those areas.

Also note that lower recovered temple areas aren't accessible from the main, ground floor level - there are two full levels worth of debris under the main temple. The recovered areas in RttToEE are only accessible via secret doors and are the two lowest levels of the dungeon.

So, it could be argued that the forces did not know about the secret back way in and, with the lower levels reduced to rubble anyhow, didn't feel the need to topple the main structure.

Think of it like Monte's nuclear waste analogy - people would rather pile it up, contain it in one area, and try to ignore it than spread it around and make everybody deal with it.

But a lot of RttToEE's plot relies on humans' incredible ability to be short-sighted and forgetful -- which is not unrealistic, IMO.

-Thrommel, who, for example, is near-sighted.

setanta14
Here for a while
(4/4/03 3:06 pm)
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Re: The "why-not-more?" Ruined Temple
Plus, the surrounding area is perceived to be (and literally is) haunted in the minds of the local populace. Kinda like in the movie "The Ghost and the Darkness" where all the workers building the bridge in Tsavo(sp.?),Africa refused to work because of the supposedly "possessed" lions prowling around and preying on the workers.

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