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Ebon Hand Cultist
(1/1/04 5:09 pm)
Other RttToEE-esque Adventures
First off, this is my first post on these (or any EZ) boards, so if my thread is in the wrong place, or if I'm mangling some other law of netiquette, my profound apologies.

That being said, I've been running the campaign since summer of 2002 (we can only get together when we're all home from college) and we're all loving it. The PCs have cleaned house in the Crater Ridge Mines and are just about to start having some real fun in the Fanes. This has been the first really consistent campaign I've ever run, although I've been slowly gaining experience with individual adventures since my early days in the 6th grade =P. Having an adventure/campaign like this has really taught me a ton of lessons about good DMing (at least, I'd like to think so), and now, facing the latter end of the campaign, I find myself looking back and wishing I could apply the lessons I learned to the beginning of the campaign. Since I can't do that, I instead look ahead to the next time, when I hope to be able to get off to an even better start.

This begs the question: are there any other D&D products out there like RttToEE? That is, "adventures" of this magnitude? While I think I might be able to nowadays, all attempts at putting together a campaign-sized game in the past have failed for me. I found the format of RttToEE to be perfectly suited to my style and needs, and I found it a lot easier to get creative with the framework already in place than to whip a campaign up from scratch. Therefore, I've been on the lookout for any other massive adventures, although I haven't found any. I was wondering if any of you fellow DMs have come across anything similar. In the meantime I shall peruse these boards (which I just discovered existed, to my surprise) and continue the adventure. Thanks!

Cordo Crowfoot
Deathmantle Cultist
(1/1/04 6:06 pm)
other mega-adventures...
To an extent it depends on what you are looking for from the mega-adventure. There are few if any which cover 10 levels like RttToEE does. WotC's City of the Spider Queen covers 10 to 18.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Monte Cook's The Banewarrens, although it is small as mega adventures go, covering levels 6 to 10. If you as DM and your players like Monte's stuff, this may be the way to go. Many people combine The Banewarrens with other lower level modules. That makes it a bit more work for the DM, and you may feel it sacrifices the epic scope of a mega-adventure campaign for the players to be doing other adventures which aren't necessarily tied together, but that's the way it goes.

Personally, recently I am leaning towards the new Necromancer Games sandbox style of adventures. Unlike heavily storyline based adventures, these give you a mini-campaign setting, and just kind of a very general path for the players to follow. This serves as a sort of sandbox for the players to find their own way and approach in. The two adventures I have along these lines are Lost City of Barakus and The Vault of Larin Karr. Lost City of Barakus is a hardback and is supposed to take players from about 1 to 5, but there is enough material there to play those same levels at 50% experience gain and still go 1 to 5. I believe VoLK is supposed to go from 4 to 9, so you could link the two together for sure, but they cover two different regions. It's quite a different approach from RttToEE however, so it may not be to your tastes.

Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/1/04 9:55 pm)
Re: Other RttToEE-esque Adventures
I'd recommend giving Bruce Cordell's Return to the Tomb of Horrors a try. It's 2nd Edition and would have to be converted, but it's well worth it. 2E level-wise it was about 15th, but it could probably be adjusted comfortably either way during conversion.


Mr Kaze
Ebon Hand Cultist
(1/2/04 8:56 am)
Re: Other RttToEE-esque Adventures
City of the Spider Queen didn't win a handful of awards for nothin'; it's both nifty and extensible. Unfortunately, it's written to make the best use of 3rd Edition rules -- all of the casters have and use haste to get double-casting which doesn't work any more -- so you'll need to do some general tactics-rewriting before you can get started. But there's just something wonderfully uncharted about the Underdark, especially if you're not confining yourself to the Forgotten Realms... I think it's the bebiliths. ;)

If you want something with smaller, easier to manage characters, Death/Terror/Madness in Freeport from Green Ronin worked fabulously for my first campaign. I tossed in Alderac's Dead Man's Cove (modification required) and Fantasy Flight's Daggers at Midnight -- both carry on the swashbuckling pirate theme quite nicely -- to help bolster the party's XP and coffers before getting to the end of Freeport.


Brother of Venom
(1/2/04 2:01 pm)
Re: Other RttToEE-esque Adventures
I'll back up what Gibbering said, with an added mention that 2nd edition had quite a few "mega"'s just not as popular a concept as it is now in 3rd edition.

Rod of Seven Parts was another of the "Tomes" series, and a grand adventure.

If you *really* want to inflict some pain (as well as suffer some, converting it all), seek ye out:

Temple of Elemental Evil (the original, T1-4)
Scourge of the Slavelords (A1-4)
Queen of the Spiders (G1-3, D1-3, Q1).

These three "book" modules, together, comprise one grand and glorious campaign that, if properly rewritten, would easily take a party from 1st through 20th...if they didn't wring your neck in the process.

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

Mr Kaze
Ebon Hand Cultist
(1/2/04 3:42 pm)
Re: 2nd Edition Conversions...
Oh, one thing to note from a player's perspective -- having just carved through "The Ghost Tower of Iverness" the other day -- about conversions to 3.5: "Do or Do Not, there is No Try" (that won't get you lynched, anyway).

Some examples of things that don't translate well for the players:

- When there is an obvious illusion, there is a will save. Your players won't care "how cool" it was in 2nd Edition; in 3.5, they're entitled to Will saves.

- There is no save-less "Arbitrary damage." If the "unknown energy" damage is inflicted because they're behaving in a bad way, then it'll probably be a will save for half, akin to what they get against Inflict spells.

- Make sure that you've got your schools of magic down -- they weren't included in the older works, but if your players "Detect Magic" saying "Very powerful, but I don't know what it is" isn't an acceptable result.

- Reality check your DCs on what you expect your PCs to try to do -- you can usually bull rush a Hill Giant at a strength check of 21, braced gets it up to 25; a hill-giant sized statue that offers no active resistance shouldn't be strength DC 30 to topple.

- When you encounter a random 2nd edition magical effect, convert it to 3.5 spells. If it is immune to most damage, put in a variant of a Wall of Force. If it deals back melee damage, put in a Fire Shield. Don't just accept it as-read; your players certainly won't.

- If there is an item of exceptionally scary variety that's casting both Mordi's Disjuction and Magic Jar as area effects every round, that's not a puny little 9th level encounter. Also note that, while "Guns don't kill people, people kill people," guns that kill people by ripping out their soul even when nobody's there to pull the trigger are, in fact, quite evil. So make sure that your alignment system makes sense. (Doubly so if you're trying to create a backstory that at least half makes sense...)

- If your players display craft and cunning when taking out a setient creature, their next fight shouldn't be against a fish that doesn't actually have enough space (per 3.5 rules) to swim in the water it supposedly lives in.

I guess what it really comes down to is this: 2nd Edition was the driving force behind 3rd Edition. The only thing that hasn't changed are the maps. Don't shortchange your players by skimping on the amount of preparation that you'll have to put into converting from 2nd to 3rd Edition.


Crimson Coil Cultist
(1/4/04 5:44 pm)
Re: Other thoughts
The WotC 3.0 adventures also have some connections you could try to bind up a bit more closely into a campaign - the problem there is that it doesn't give you any idea of what the world overall might look like.

I've just purchased City of the Spider Queen and I like it a lot. I'm a Greyhawk person by default, though, so some of the FR specific stuff will be challenging if I want to make it the next adventure for my Return group - I'd really need to find an analogue for Kiaransalee, for one thing :)

I also had some plans for moving the group into a conversion of the GDQ super series that have been alluded to earlier. There are already some conversion documents out there that would serve as a good start, but you really need to double check the treasure it hands out and change Eclavdra's role in the whole thing, as it clashes with where she's gone since in the Epic Level Handbook. I'm also doubtful you could run Q1, Queen of the Demonweb Pits without substantial reworking of its basic premise - it was hard enough with Lolth as a Demon Queen, but if you use her as published in Deities & Demigods, your party is going to need to be well into the Epic levels to even stand a chance.

I don't think a conversion of Scourge of the Slave Lords series would work quite as well... its outcomes are better documented in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (destruction of the slavers, eruption in the Drachensgrab mountains), plus - although they were enormous fun - they were also tournament modules and did a fair bit of railroading. The connection between A3 and A4 in particular is very heavy handed. The "Return" version may fit better into the published materials.

Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/5/04 5:50 pm)
Re: Other RttToEE-esque Adventures
Yeah the Freeport trilogy is quite good and they Green Ronin has just released Black Sails over Freeport which starts at level 6 and should cover about 10 levels.

Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/6/04 8:56 pm)
Re: Other RttToEE-esque Adventures
The original DL series, most recently available as a T$R Silver Anniversary adventure (about the size of RttToEE) called Dragonlance Classics, is a full campaign that would take PCs from about 4th level on up to 15+. This particular edition was written for both AD&D (2e) and the Saga system, so it is rules-light and story intensive, making it an easy conversion.

The campaign has a very epic feel-- the heroes are pitted against seemingly hopeless odds, searching for lost artifacts, discovering ancient secrets, etc. Although many would say that it is too setting-specific, I've had a look at it with an eye to transplanting it-- with some fairly minor tweaks (name and background changes), the campaign could be adapted to other settings.

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