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(9/3/03 11:10 pm)
What if Big T. wakes up?
The number of players in my group fluctuates from 4 to 7 players. We have a core of 5 players which are normally available all the time, but even with these core players, chances are good one is missing.
So we decided that we'll play as long as we can gather 4 players.

That also means that some players are getting lost in the plot. Who does what, what clue was found where, etc.

So I decided that we'll have a "What happened so far" episode tonight. With a twist.
They'll be transported into the near future (10yrs) to see what will happen if they don't destroy the temple.

But what does happen?
I guess "End of the World" means "End of the World as we know it". With lots of evil creatures roaming around, the good people being those who have to fear for the lifes, etc.

My idea was that cultist infiltrate the big cities, trying to sell Tanbrosh. Then the "army of darkness" attacks and the cities have to face enemies within the city as well as outside the city.

The Drow are joining forces with Cultists, Lolth was promised to be one of the higher goddesses in the "new Pantheon".

Hextor tries to join forces with the armies of St.Cuthbert and Pelor. They refuse and attack the dark legions alone. And loose the battle for Verbobonc.

The idea is that ten years after RTTTOEE most battles are lost, and that the mad god rules again.

Now my group spawns in Homlet, gathers Information about what happend, gets a good reason to fight again and they might even have a few encounters in the may-be-future.

What else could happen if Big T. gains power? Any ideas? How will the gods react? I guess some evil gods will join forces, others will fight.
Will good and evil armies fight together?

What will a crippled Elmo know if he gets asked what happend? He'll know about the champion and the princes of EE, I guess.
How much would he know about things that happend more or less far away?

What will Homlet look like? Since it's a sacret place for the cultists with the obelisk and all, I guess there will be lots of them? Maybe creating a new temple?

And they use human slaves to build it?

Any idea are welcome ... I think my players will ask a lot... esp. a lot I didn't think about before. And since I'll present "facts of the past" I'd like to have a large list of stuff to tell them :)


(9/4/03 3:10 am)
Re: What if Big T. wakes up?
If I remember correctly, there were some "Gord" Novels of G.Gygax himself where exactly this happened...

(9/4/03 5:00 am)
Um... what's Gord?
And could you summarize parts of it here? The session will start in 5 hours ;)

While I've a heap of ideas by now, I fear that they are too close to my normal way of thinking, which seems to be pretty different from the way my players tend to think. ;)

Dave White
(9/4/03 6:20 am)
Re: What if Big T. wakes up?
"Gord the Rogue" was a series of novels written by Gary Gygax. It's got a lot of characters familiar to old-school D&D players, like the Cat Lord, Mordenkainen, Iggwilv, Iuz, Zuggtmoy, Obmi, and Eclavdra. The major plot thrust of the middle books is that the Circle of Eight and other agents of the balance are trying to prevent the forces of chaos and evil from reuniting the Theropart, an artifact that will free Tharizdun from his primal prison.

To make a long story short, in the novels, when Tharizdun awakens he destroys Oerth, then the Prime Material Plane, then every other plane he can get his hands on. It's the actual "end of the world" not "the end of the world as we know it."

However, the novels are decidedly not canon for the currently public Greyhawk setting (especially since Gygax destroys Oerth in one of the final novels).

Your idea is far more workable from a roleplaying standpoint, though. Though I suggest if Tharizdun is freed even the agents of evil will try to work against him once they realize his true goals. Don't just have evil unite under his banner - in the novels, the (mostly chaotic evil) bad guys were competing with each other as much as they were with the good guys and the agents of the balance. Anyone who gets in Tharizdun's way directly, however, is probably smashed into tiny little pieces. I might kill off several gods just for shock value (plus, it gives you a chance to use "Requiem for a God"), and maybe even make some unusual pairings between good and evil (Hieroneous and Hextor put aside their eternal combat to fend off an even greater foe?).

Maybe Tharizdun's imprisonment has temporarily dampened his powers to the point where he needs to recuperate - in secret, he's draining Oerth of all life, before he can move on. That might give the campaign more of a sense of urgency, as the party will need to figure out how to seal him back up before Oerth itself is a lifeless husk.

Dave "The Knave" White

(9/4/03 6:40 am)
Re: What if Big T. wakes up?
It's important to note that, according to the history, Big T was imprisoned by a group effort of ALL the gods, even the evil ones that were "promised a place in the new order" in your schema.

Not to say it's not workable, but it doesn't fit the story as-writ.

I would say that if Big T were to awaken and be freed, one of his first priorities would be to slay the gods...ALL of by one. First big clue in your future-scenerio? Clerics will find themselves powerless due to the death of the gods.

Next thought...many folks here seem to envision Big T as the "ultimate bad nasty "thing from beyond" creature with Far Realm written all over him". Time to rewrite the landscape entirely. The ground is blackened....the trees aren't really trees anymore, but more like large pustulent growths on the blackened earth with writhing tentacles.

If you can, read the second Thomas Covenant trilogy for a really MESSED UP landscape concept. This is right up the alley of a world that's been utterly transformed, but not quite utterly obliterated.

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

(9/4/03 8:01 pm)
I was thinking about Tharizdun's awakening and the old movie "Prince of Darkness". There's a line in the movie where the priest says, 'He is in all of us - in everything, down to the smallest part.' (Or something like that.)

I thought that somehow Tharizdun existed in every molecule in some way. But he's sleeping now, and things go on as they always have. When he wakes, he controls everything.

Who knows what that might mean.

(9/4/03 10:30 pm)
Session went well
It went pretty well :)

Sun was gone, Nerull dead, Pelor dead, Korrd missing ... lots of Mind Reading Patrols running the streets... it was pretty depressing and scary :)
The forrests and even the streets were full of nasty creatures.

They needed some time, but then figured that it was 7 to 10 yrs after their last memory.

The party, like all other inhabitants of Homlet had to work at Big T.'s new temple, build upon the first temple.

I had placed two trolls, 4 drows and 14 Orcs as guards - and a couple of other nasty stuff planned... just in case the party would start doing stupid things :)

And they did.
Kundar, Sorc 6 / Clr2 (Pelor), um.... Kundar, Sorc6 Former Clr2 of Pelor, stepped between a Drow guard and a child who should be punished...
So first Kundar and then our Monk lost some HP by the Drow Guards whips... before they were forced to continue work.

A couple of hours later the former Clr of Pelor couldn't stand it any longer and fireballed a group of four guards, killing the Orcs and burning 2 of the drows.

And then it went mad. During the fight they killed another 5 of the orcs, both trolls, 1 assasin, 4 clr (T) a female drow Wizard and two medium fire elementals.
The last one of standing of the party (the rouge) coup-de-graced one last cleric before he was hit by 6 bolts.

Then all party members heard a deep voice "This all must not happen. The Mad God must not raise again. It is up to you ...."

What else... ah, yes. Best quote:
Clr: Where is the sun?
NPC: It went away the day Pelor was slain...
Clr: *Shock*
Druid: Oh, your god is dead. I'm kinda sorry for you.

(9/20/03 11:24 pm)
Re: Session went well
Glad to hear the session went well :D

I'm a bit late to chime in, but if your players return to that alternate future, you might consider using Fantasy Flight's Midnight setting rules as inspiration for Greyhawk's dark future gone awry.

Also, for future reference, Christopher Siren's Gord website rocks:

Allan Grohe

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