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LostSoul
Faen
(8/1/03 12:33 pm)
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A new plotline
I've been thinking about making big changes to the plotline of the adventure, changing it from a dungeon crawl into something more reactive.

Here's what I've worked out:

Festrath & co. (the ones in the Moathouse) are one of a group of many temple cultists who have been sent out in recent years to recover old secrets about Tharizdun. Dunrath has been sent to Hommlet to investigate the nearby town and to provide any needed assistance to Festrath.

In the moathouse, Festrath has found one of the most important items to the Triad. A lost grimoire that sheds light on the proper ritual to discover the Champion. Festrath goes mad reading this, and his lackies are trapped in the moathouse by the dragon.

Enter the PCs.

Now, rather than simply trying to kill the interlopers, the cultist's first objective is going to be to get back to the Fanes, where they can pass on their find to the Doomdreamers (and risk the reward for good work). They may try to bargain with the PCs, overpower them while they slip away, or any number of things to get back to their masters.

If the PCs stop them and recover these artifacts, you can hound the PCs with attacks by temple forces that have one goal: to recover the lost artifacts.

If the temple is unable to recover the artifacts, well, just have another group return to the Doomdreamers with the same information. Or something. Kind of a cop-out to keep the plotline moving, but oh well.

The book reveals to the Doomdreamers that, in order to find the Champion, they will have to sacrifice one that "has caused the Champion and the Dark Lord much pain in the past and present." Signs point to our favourite cannoness of Retribution, Y'Dey.

The Doomdreamers give this information to all big-wigs in the temple - capture the Cannoness at all costs - and let things go. Assaults on Hommlet in general and the Cannoness in particular start to pick up, until finally one of the bad-guys grabs her (my choice would be a buffed-up D'gran, who sells the Cannoness to whichever temple can pay the most for her).

In an unholy ritual, the cannoness dies and from her screams and wails of ultimate pain, the temple is able to peice together the next step in their plan. The Champion is now revealed, but his powers still dormant. The "Night of a Thousand Screams", the ritual in which the temple must sacrifice a thousand innocents and wash the Champion in their blood, will wake his powers.

So the temple who has discovered this (I'm partial to Water) heads out to Hommlet on the Winter Solstice and kills the entire town in one wretched ritual.

Oh, and in the meantime, the Second (with nothing to do until he has to lead the excavation of the Temple of Elemental Evil), is in Verbobonc, stirring up a war between Furyondy and Veluna. This will keep the forces of Good from noticing Temple activity, and give the PCs an adventure when they head out to the City.

So with the Champion's powers realized, the temple digs out the Temple and lets Lareth do his job. Once all four powers are released... well, you know how it goes.

The PCs can mess this plan up any way they want. The more, the better. The more confusion they sow in Temple forces, the more time the PCs have to gather strength for the next step. This makes the adventure more "Reactive" to the PCs actions. Who knows where things will lead?

The basic timeline I worked out for this was:
Fall (D-Day) - PCs arrive in Hommlet, hear rumours of trouble or whatever.
Fall (D-Day + 30) - events in Verbobonc (poisoning of the water supply, assasination attempts, etc.) lead to open War between the allied forces of the Viscounty of Verbobonc and Furyondy against the forces of Veluna.
All Hallow's Eve (D-Day + 60) - Y'Dey is sacrificed in the Water Temple (after the Water Temple's successful attack on Fire), buying her from D'Gran for a trinket and a song.
Winter Solstice (D-Day + 120) - The Night of a Thousand Screams, wherein Lareth the Beautiful's destiny as Champion is awoken.
Each month thereafter - A new power is excavated from the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil.

Well, that's the plan, at least.

Trithereon
Verrik
(8/2/03 1:16 am)
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Re: A new plotline
Sounds fun.

I have a question though. You mention a Water Temple. Is there still a Mt. Stalagos with its CRM and Fanes?

If so, what happens if your players decide to take the fight to the Temples of Elemental Evil directly? They use what resources they have to find the source of the Evil and then march off to destroy the infestation. You may find yourself right back to square one.

Just a thought.

I'd like to point out that ...

Quote:
Now, rather than simply trying to kill the interlopers, the cultist's first objective is going to be to get back to the Fanes, where they can pass on their find to the Doomdreamers (and risk the reward for good work). They may try to bargain with the PCs, overpower them while they slip away, or any number of things to get back to their masters.


I had assumed that this was what the moathouse crew was doing. Dunrat's mission was to excavate the moathouse, collect any artifacts and return to the Fanes with his finds. Dunrat has quarters in the Outer Fane. He has a wagon on the way to help transport the artifacts back. Had any of them survived in my campaign, Dunrat would have stopped at nothing to recover thos artifacts from the hands of the infidels.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(8/2/03 8:22 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: A new plotline
I agree with Trithereon. Also, I'd say that there's no way that the destruction of entire town, particularly one as historically important as Hommlet, would go unnoticed.

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