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(9/15/03 1:26 am)
When bad Gods go bad...der
The adventuring party I ran through Return To...originally consisted of:

Elberath - elf 2 fighter, 2 cleric
Arriana - elf 4 wizardess
Amara - halfling 4 rogue
NPC Lessa - elf 4 priestess

May help to understand a couple important house rules I use.
First - xp is the same for a well organized group no mater what you do. If you are not into sharing the xp, or not well organized, you will die in my games and might have a hard time finding ressurection. (so everyone will be same lvl)
Second - Death comes and goes when you have friends, gold, and one surviving member in the party. True Ressurection (was) 5,000 gold or so, not too shabby, so don't whine when you die. However, I give three "get out of party death" free deals when I start a campiagn. That is, ONE person somehow lives, or divine intervention to the worthy.

Both of those have alot of stipulations, but I tell you, they REALLY have alot of the groups I run do VERY good jobs in the game, work well together, and work on there characters and the NPC's of the world. You ever want a true ressurection, than you better use diplomacy with that lvl 17 guy (I placed one in Verbobonc).

Anyhow, I truely digress....greatly.

When the characters began, they moved really well together. And for this to have lasted just over a year, they needed to. Elberath established quickly that if the wizard steps within five feet of melee, he would shield bash her, and the rogue learned the value of flank. (two of these players are semi-new to roleplaying).

However, they cleared the moathouse with little difficulty and even thought of just touching that do-hickey at the bottom of the MoatHouse (gates in Grells) alot to keep getting xp. After awhile though, they decided the cold was too much and that I would prolly kill them :evil

In addition, they hired some dwarves, through selling there magical gear and sending letters out, to come and level the moat house once and for all. Though they had to do this while dealing with the problems in Hommlet.

Basically, they had very few problems. They thought most things out well, and even though I keep things very dynamic, I still couldn't stop there brilliance. They used silence well (rogue hide and ms to scout, find locations, than move just ahead of the party with the silenced coin, than toss it to create a sound-proof area as the rest of the group charged in). As such, they fought a quarter of the mines on there own terms. In addition, when I did mob them, they would just kill everything (usually with cloudkill).

I did however drop all of them once with ghoulish ghastly beasts (I never tell the party what they are fighting, I just discribe), but since this was in the moathouse, this was there first "get out of party death" free deal.

I also dropped them when they came to the adamantine door leading into the Spike and after they hammered it to non-functioning, they began, basically, ripping the doors off to fit into there portable hole. While they were doing this, the priest on the other side (once he could see them) did mass command, they ALL fell down under his sway, and those two wonderful prehistoric monsters ate them all. While in the stomach, Lessa got off a blade barrier (second "get out of party death" deal).

Anyhow, they loved it. They are now tied to the land so much, to the people, to the whole spirit of the area, they didn't want the just over a year campaign to end. Who am I to disappoint people. Especially when I have ONE character above lvl 15 and four hundred under lvl 8. Anyhow...

That was alot of crap to say to get to this point...

Thurzdin isn't done. He'll never be done. So the characters banished Imix and Ogremoch from this land (in my world, when Outsider killed on Prime Plane, they can't return for 100 yrs). So the "hero's" foiled his attempts at returning. It was them that brought his return to an end. And it is not only them that should pay, but them who should aid in his return back!

Thus far, I've written an awful lot, through three children stealing my dice, a wife bugging me to take the trash out and an adventuring party looking for more...I've still came up with this (and would like some imput or ideas):

15 years have passed, the land has certainly seen adventure, but nothing that should trouble the lives of these four powerful hero's. They have a castle, some land, and alot going for them. Unfortunetly, they did attend the funeral of Ostler, but have otherwise, enjoyed great happiness and relaxation.

This portion of the campaign, an extention, should bring the characters to around lvl 26ish...maybe abit more.

It involved the great wyrm red being "hired" to see to it the characters are destroyed. Personally, I adapted all of the dungeon portion of Dragon Mountian to 3rd (3.5) and made it seem as though 250 yrs. had passed (since I ran it a decade ago with person in the party that never defeated Inferanya and I said back then, that she would return someday :D ).

Anyhow, the Infernal has brought forth a vampire lord (because dominate is good) to near Hommlet who began a village (well, about 30 miles of Hommlet) named PeaceTide. He dominated a wizard who acts as the ruler of this new area that is attractive for the ppl that liked Hommlet for the smaller size and beauty it once was. The wizard uses illusions under the vampires command to appear not so dominated btw.

Within PeaceTide, your guaranteed a great mining job. This mining job is to "reach a great cache of gold viens that will have everyone exploding with profit" which will truely lead toward the Temple of Elemental Evil. Once the miners get the least bit suspicious, than the stone duager will be brought in to force them along.

During this opperation, however, the vampire lord came across an area of drow (tunnels bisected). Though the drow killed a few people, the "mayor" cleansed the area of them, and the ppl think him a mighty hero now. However, the drow are being used. In return for great sums of payment, the drow run message to the Great Wyrm Dragon for the vampire lord (which will link the two later for the party).

Anyhow, the infernal contacts priests of Gruumpsh to have them aid in all of this plot (not sure why I did this yet, something will come....hopefully)...

And he also shows himself to some acting as the Elder Elemental Eye, to again spark this religeon, and he allows them to begin to build up again....

Now, that was some of my brain storming. Basically:

Thurzdin has infernal use dragon to kill PC's so there time is consumed by her, and they won't see what else is happening (at least not for a good long time until they find a drow mssger). The infernal also used a vampire lord to use a wizard to use a town to have miners dig 60 mile underground tunnel basically to the Temple of EE. Finally, he's reignited the Priests of EEE and Thurzdin after he ressurects the First, and the Second (not the Third or Lareth because the got Talisman of Pure Good sicked on them).

I really have no idea yet how the Infernal with get the Orb of Silvery Death back from the players since they did Greater Planer Ally to have a solar guard it.

Have no idea how to get the players to aid in EEE's (Thurz-daddy) return before slain.

and Have no idea how to link much more past the "Dragon Mountain" which already took me a month to revamp to 250 yrs. time passage and to 3.5 ed.

ANY help would be appreciated...sorry you had to read through all my ramblings and never-ending brain storming :)

(oh, they are all lvl 17 now, would explain how since they did make magic items, but that would take alot more space, feel free to ask though :)

Judex Vincit Omnia

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