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(4/14/04 6:53 am)
Hommlet vs. Rastor
I have been frustrated at the idea of building up all the NPCs in Hommlet only to have the focus shift to Rastor. I don't think Rastor is as interesting a place, and the characters don't have the same emotional attachment to it.

In order to "fix" this, I've been tinkering with some ideas. The one I'm currently leaning towards is to artificially reduce the distance between Hommlet and the Crater Ridge Mines. Basically, I'm going for the Innsmouth type Rastor, where the people are creepy and inbred. They also know 'things' about the land and the area. In particular, they know about the "old paths." These are Lovecraftian short-cuts that those in the know can take. There's one near the moathouse, one near Nulb, and one near Rastor. It's debatable whether they're there because of the Tharizdun sites nearby, or whether the Tharizdum sites are nearby because the paths end near them.

Either way, a creepy driver and wagon will show up at the moathouse on schedule and offer to take the players to Rastor. If they accept (or follow the wagon) they'll discover the shortcut. Presto! All of a sudden Hommlet is still an acceptable base of operations.

Mr Kaze
(4/14/04 7:39 am)
Re: Hommlet vs. Rastor
Why does Rastor really matter? Couldn't the cult be seeding Hommlet with that tannembrosh or whaterver it was through their spies (inclusive of the waitress at the in who passes out food and drink to everybody)? Wouldn't it be more concerning for the party to see Hommlet falling to corruption instead of being a bastion of good times and family values for everybody?

While we're on the topic, don't forget that Verbobonc will also be distracting your PCs with its bigger & better economy. If you want to keep Hommlet as the focus, you'll probably want to run trade caravans between Hommlet and Verbobonc with increasing frequency as the PCs are selling off more loot in Hommlet, thus artificially boosting Hommlet's economy for the benefit of the burgeoning "Masterwork Cultist Goods" trade barons...

Them's my thoughts anyway.
::Kaze (figures that if the party has solved all of Hommlet's problems, then there's no real point in staying there. But if any cultists are still there, then the party should keep going back there...)

(4/14/04 7:57 am)
I agree
I agree completely. The players care more about Hommlet, which is why I want to keep the focus there.

The problem with the module as written (IMO) is that when the party starts exploring the CRM, Hommlet is simply too far away to be an effective base of operations (barring magical intervention such as teleport, mass fly, etcetera, which most parties don't have access to at the levels at which they start the CRM). This is why most of the campaign logs on this site show parties either operating out of Rastor or out of the rescued dwarven temple to Moradin. In fact, a number of threads have commented on how annoying it is to have to flesh out Rastor so much as it becomes the new base of operations.

With respect to trading, I do have Hommlet as a way-point for caravans. Since Hommlet has a history of adventurers operating out of it, they've developed the infrastructure to supply those adventurers. In particular, Spugnoir, the local representative of the Freemens' Guild (based on the medieval freemens' guilds), has a large supply of Quall's feather tokens which he can use to place special orders. Once completed, the orders are shipped with the next caravan to pass through, with a modest fee for carriage. Typical arrangement is half the amount up front with the balance due on delivery.

The players take advantage of this to buy on spec. They'll order something they couldn't normally afford before they leave town on an adventure, gambling that they'll find enough loot to pay the balance when they return.

Mr Kaze
(4/14/04 10:41 am)
If you're not in Greyhawk, then wiggle the map.
If you want a good excuse to relocate certain bits of the map -- if it's not too late -- you can check out the first post on my campaign thread, about 10 paragraphs down where it starts with:

"All this is happening around Hommlet because Hommlet had the extreme misfortune to have been built in an area littered with dimension-bending artifacts..."

There are enough known pieces in the campaign that I think it's entirely feasible to infer some others that can be used to provide campaign hooks for future games... And I think that redesigning the map ever so slightly achieves this very nicely. But I've also put the temple deep in the forest where it's difficult to find unless you know what you're looking for, so if your PCs have already visited it (or some other person reading this thread expects their players to be harvesting hobgoblin XP glands), it may be a bit tricky to use this design.

Of course, had they consulted their Fung Shui expert instead of their Adventurers' Tourist Bureau chairperson, the folks founding Hommlet all those years ago would've bloody well known better than to build right there...

Hope it helps (either your campaign or somebody else's)

(4/16/04 8:38 pm)
Re: If you're not in Greyhawk, then wiggle the map.
Shheeeeee... I thought this was a thread detailing a big brawl :lol

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