(4/16/04 11:47 am)
Adapting for Earth|
I was thinking about setting the module in an alternate Earth. Alternate in the fact that spells & such work. Here are some of my ideas and the problems I see from them:
1. I was planning on setting it in the Venetian Republic circa 1509. Venice would replace Verbobonc. Hommlet, Rastor, and Mount Stalagos would be somewhere up by the alps. I'm not too sure about this, though; I think that setting it in Bavaria or eastern europe might give the campaign an interesting tone. One thing that Venice has going for it, however, is a cool scene that I came up with near the end of the game (Recovered Temple act):
The PCs are heading to the Temple when they see/hear about a great beast rising from the sea and devouring everything in its path. This is one of the Elemental Princes, which I'm going to replace with (a much weaker) Cthulu. The Recovered Temple itself might be right under Venice - or maybe just the Nodes.
I think I'm going to have the French laying seige to Venice, or just looting and pillaging in general.
2. Not too much magic. This is a big question I have: can I run the game the same way, without hurting the PCs, if there isn't much magic other than them & the bad guys in the world? One big change here would be the elimination of all good clerics. I might make Y'dey a Paladin or something (Knight Templar), and Jennithar some kind of Nun running an orphanage. Too hard on the PCs?
3. Humans only. I'm not going to change the stats, just have all creatures be human. PCs can choose to play a human character with the same racial stats as the demi-humans in the book, they just are human.
As long as this goes over okay with the Players, this shouldn't be a problem, except: Rastor's Dwarves and Orcs. I want to keep the same dynamic - two racial groups living in peace that usually hate each other - but I'm not sure what to use. And then there's the matter of the Dwarven Temple in the CRM. I think I might just have that temple be some kind of crazy non-human temple, fitting the mood, but I have to think about it.
Anyways. Those are my basic thoughts. Any questions/comments/ideas/problems you see?
(4/16/04 5:16 pm)
Magic Reduction + Humans Only|
If you're looking to reduce the magic in the game without completely crippling the players, then you may want to take a look at the Oriental Adventures Shaman class for a good divine caster. It's not really much of a caster class (compared to an artillery sorceror who happed to pick up Magic Circle vs. Evil), but if you give them "Align Weapon" as a 2nd level spell, they should be able to heal, protect, and buff the party well enough. (Or your party may just decide to be evil so they can get the cultist-Cleric's better spell selection... mine did.)
As for how to get realistic racial tensions without stepping on too many sensitive toes, you could try Germans/Austrians/Polacks or French/Basque/Spanish. I rather suspect that every nation in that area has been annoyed with another nation for overrunning it at some point in the past millenia. Alternatively, gypsies would work as well and are far easier to portray as sympathetic NPCs than orcs.
Additionally, you may want to consider replacing wizards and sorcerors with psions from the new Expanded Psionics Handbook. They're awfully powerful in certain combinations, but they're really limited in their ability to buff up other characters. Which will make your shaman, who's always out of spells having spent them on everybody elese, really kinda jealous.
If I were in your position, I'd certainly make half-elf a racial option (looks human, but with a slightly exotic ancestry) and maybe allow the PCs to discover tunnelling Tibetans (if you're familiar with the Good Omens use of Hollow Earth theory) to bring in either gnomes or dwarves as a racial option partway through the campaign. Everything is Under Control by Robert Anton Wilson can give you a nice 5-mile view of lots of conspiracy theories and names you can drop for any particularly well informed players to get nervous about.
Hope it helps,