Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default INX1 - Against the Dwellers of the Isle of Dread campaign idea help (Basic Fantasy)

    I spontaneously decided to set up a new Sword & Sorcery campaign in my homebrew setting and remembered my old idea to combine N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God, X1 The Isle of Dread, and I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City.

    Reptile God serves as the hook to get things rolling, and at the end said Reptile God will have the hint that leads the party to the Isle of Dread. On the isle, the city inside the volcano will be replaced by the Forbidden City.

    In the setting, a century of frequent and intense storms has weathered down civilization to just a few city states on the coast. In the inland areas, most farmland has become too swampy to grow the local crops, and many harbors have been lost to erosion. In this world, the snakemen see a hope that the time of their return to power has finally come.The Dwellers of the Forbidden City on the Isle of Dread are attempting to rebuild their kingdom and have send one of them to the mainland to establish the Cult of the Reptile God to provide them with minions and information about what is going on in the world these days.
    Because I already have a world I want to use, the local tribes on the Isle of Dread won't be Austronesian humans but semi-aquatic water genasi who are mortal descendants from ocean spirits. Not quite sure what major difference that will make in practice.

    All fits together beautifully, I think. Since Forbidden City and Isle of Dread are both sandboxes, I don't want to do too much in regard of scripting where the campaign will be going. After the lair of the Cult has been raided and the players make their way to the island, I want to continue the campaign very open ended and leave it up to the players what they want to do.
    For that purpose, I think the snakemen should not have any big plan on a time table that the players will have to prevent to save the world from being conquered by the serpents. Rather I really want to incentive the players to follow threads that they find interesting. But just dumping them on the isle does not seem to be enough for that. There needs to be at least some good initial hooks.

    I guess one obvious hook would be that the players want to find out who the masters of the Reptile God are. Not that they absolutely have to do it, but it gives some kind of destination the players can try to reach.
    And another one would be simply treasure. I want to run the campaign pretty traditionally in Basic Fantasy, which mostly is the Basic/Expert D&D game. And that means XP primarily come from hauling treasures back to civilization. And the Forbidden City offers a lot.

    But I think the serpentmen should be doing more than just sitting in their city waiting for someone to break into their houses. There should be something going on that also has them doing things in the surrounding jungles.
    There are also aboleths in the caves under the Forbidden City. the original volcano city in The Isle of Dread has the korpu, which are another ancient race of lovecraftian fish beings. Not a coincidence that both modules were written by David Cook. (I absolutely need to have a major human NPC named Zeb.) Perhaps they are manipulating the serpentmen in the city above to further their own obscure goals?
    I also like kuo-toa and want to have some of them live on the reefs surrounding the island. Also not sure what role they could be playing.

    That's basically all the initial ideas I have so far. Right now I am reading up on the three modules and the Basic Fantasy rules again. Any ideas come to mind how I could spice this up and expand it further?
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lord Torath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Sharangar's Revenge
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: INX1 - Against the Dwellers of the Isle of Dread campaign idea help (Basic Fantas

    Spoilers ahoy! If you don't want to have this 40-year-old module spoiled for you, look away.

    The southern half of the Isle of Dread is populated by ice-age mammals. The north half (the harder-to-reach half) has dinosaurs and such.

    The rakasta and phanaton on the southern half could be "under siege" by the reptile-folk who are expanding the empire out from the central plateau. Not so much under actual siege, but under semi-constant harassment. You could put some reptile-men villages and cities on the north half of the island.

    How did the reptile men get off the island to set up their lair on the mainland? BtB, the only access is from the south-east penisula, which is sealed off from the rest of the island by a giant wall. The people living on the penisula are the genesai, right? It seems unlikely that they would permit the reptile men to pass (although they might, I don't know). Answering how the reptile men got off the island could add something of interest.

    For example, there are the pirates based to the west of the island. You could change them to be reptile-folk, and they run a hoist on the side of the main island, allowing easier access.

    You could also have the reptile empire take over the village of Tanaroa (the one that guards the wall). The other cities are hard-pressed, trying vainly to hold back the reptile expansion. In this case, the pirates to the west could remain human (or genesai), and be resistance fighters against the reptiles' expanding empire.
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2020-04-03 at 02:24 PM.
    Warhammer 40,000 Campaign Skirmish Game: Warpstrike
    My Spelljammer stuff (including an orbit tracker), 2E AD&D spreadsheet, and Vault of the Drow maps are available in my Dropbox. Feel free to use or not use it as you see fit!
    Thri-Kreen Ranger/Psionicist by me, based off of Rich's A Monster for Every Season

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: INX1 - Against the Dwellers of the Isle of Dread campaign idea help (Basic Fantas

    I really like the idea of some of the pirate leaders are being charmed by the serpentmen in the same way as the cultists of the reptile god are.

    Having the Rekasta and Phanatons as enemies of the Forbidden City is a great idea. Somehow I had not even thought that far yet.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    rredmond's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    South Jersey
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: INX1 - Against the Dwellers of the Isle of Dread campaign idea help (Basic Fantas

    I hope to have something to add in the future, but this is shaping up to be one of my favorite threads! Great ideas.
    Awesome Rutger Hauer Jugger Avatar by Thormag
    OSRIC Wiki & Site
    I play at The Unseen Servant PbP Forums

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lord Torath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Sharangar's Revenge
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: INX1 - Against the Dwellers of the Isle of Dread campaign idea help (Basic Fantas

    When I ran it, I had the kopru in the center just starting to rebuild their empire. They'd charmed a young red dragon a year or so back, and used that powerful creature to take over the 'cannibals' on the caldera island. They organized this force against the inhabitants of the other village, forcing them to abandon it and build a new stockade up against the volcano wall. They also started working on a tunnel through the volcano wall so they could more easily expand their empire.

    That's where things stood when the PCs showed up.
    Warhammer 40,000 Campaign Skirmish Game: Warpstrike
    My Spelljammer stuff (including an orbit tracker), 2E AD&D spreadsheet, and Vault of the Drow maps are available in my Dropbox. Feel free to use or not use it as you see fit!
    Thri-Kreen Ranger/Psionicist by me, based off of Rich's A Monster for Every Season

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: INX1 - Against the Dwellers of the Isle of Dread campaign idea help (Basic Fantas

    I always wanted to use The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. One idea I have is to put it on an small island in the north, replace the gnolls with fishmen, and change the thing in the sphere to an imprisoned aboleth. Who the serpentmen want to get out and enslave to steal it's power. It just sits in its remote corner, hidden unless the players stumble on it, or learn about it from captured serpentmen leaders.

    I also plan to keep The Caverns of Thracia at hand, in case the players show interest in crawling a big dungeon. It can be dropped at any place on the isle.

    The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan thematically matches the Isle of Dread and is for the same range of levels. Though it has an ambiguous reputation, with some loving and some hating it.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: INX1 - Against the Dwellers of the Isle of Dread campaign idea help (Basic Fantas

    We've been playing a couple of times now and the party should finish the lair of the reptile god tomorrow and begin their journey to the isle.

    I have decided that captives that resisted getting charmed are not killed, but instead taken to the isle to serve as slaves clearing the ruins of the Forbidden City. These slaves are being transported by the pirates who come to Orlane once per month delivering supplies to the lair. Waiting for the next ship to arrive and wait in ambush for the crew is one way how they can get themselves transportation. There are enough former sailors in Orlane to get to the next port and get a full crew for the journey.
    The pirates have a landing site on the main island near their base, where they meet with a serpentman leader to get their orders. And from that spot there would have to be a slave trail leading to their main city.

    While I was looking for image references for the environment, I decided that I don't want to go with the typical tropical island style like Hawaii or New Guinea. In particularly I was wondering how big the mountains on the isle might be, and I realized that the isle is really very big. I am now using Tasmania and Taiwan as my environmental references, and their mountains are quite considerable. It also made me realize how sparsely the isle is filled with sites to discover. It really is a jump off point for creating your own material, I think.

    Because of the size, I think the rakasta and phanaton camps should be expanded into full villages with all the common services. Though I don't want to make it too easy and they are not automatically friendly. Access is something the players should earn through their deeds in the central forests. I think I want to turn Mora into the main port of the isle, where the players can sell their loot, buy most things, and get skilled horelings, with Tanaroa being a border outpost guarding the wall.
    Simply walking around and trying to hexcrawl would require adding a lot more sites. I think I really prefer to have the players get clues about the existance and location of sites first and then setting out to search for them. But I am not sure how to make that work for all of them.

    There really are four forests on the isle. The southern forst south of the wall where the humans live, the big central forest, the northwestern valley, and the northeastern wetlands. It likely takes days to cross the mountains that separate them, so I think they should have distinctively different characters. Sadly, the two northern forests have little indication of any intelligent creatures or ruins. There's the aranea lair and the dragon in the northeast, but the northwest sems completely uninhabited.

    I think the northwest valley would make a great site for the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. And I think that is what the serpentmen are really after. But they don't know where it is, so they first set up a main base in the Forbidden City at the center of the isle, which they abandoned thousands if years ago. They are hoping to find information about the location of the temple, and the aboleth living in the flooded tunnels beneath the city might know. But it's not going to tell them voluntarily.

    A fun idea I had was to base the compound that the serpentmen moved into in the Forbidden City (which that module doesn't detail) on the Temple of Death. I love all the stuff that David Cook made, so why not go all in. I think the monastery from Master of the Desert Nomads would make a great adventuring site somewhere in the mountains.

    The serpentmen are not only searching the city, they also have their own expeditions exploring the central forest. I made new wandering monster charts and serpentmen patrols are on them prominently. I guess they would have clashes with the rakasta and phanatons, which would be a great way for the players to gain their friendship.
    Does anyone have ideas what to do with the treants? They are just there near the center of the isle, but I never heard any campaign really doing anything with them.

    I remembered an old adventure from Dungeon, in which the kopru tried to charm the zombie master in one of the human villages and made him turn the corpses in the crypt into undead. I could easily make him a thrall of the serpentmen instead, but I am not sure if i want that yet. But I think the setup is a great opportunity to let me finally use vegepygmies. The players would expect zombies in the crypts of a zombie master, but I think vegepygmies might be quite the surprise. And I think many players might have no clue what they are. Putting it in the souther forest region would allow the players to find it pretty early after their arrival, when vegepygmies still are a real threat to them.

    I decided to do some reskinning for my campaign to better fit into my own setting, but these are really superficial and I don't think result in any meaningful changes: The phanatons I change to aaracockra and the aranea to chitines. I think they are cool and functionally more or less the same. The lizardmen I am changing into grungs, because grungs look fun. And the kopru will be aboleths.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: INX1 - Against the Dwellers of the Isle of Dread campaign idea help (Basic Fantas

    I've run the Dread/Dwellers combination before. Worked well. Dread then leaves you a bunch of possible other connections.

    There are the pirates on their island which you can tie to slavers (the villagers in the south being raided) which you can readily link back to the Slavers series (which then links to the Last Slavelord module-another island which you could just put back on the Isle of Dread). I increased the ability of the island shaman so he could Raise Dead, which meant the party's inevitable return, letting us run Torrents of Dread as well. Another good module is Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, which slides nicely into Dread if you want it there.

    Three Flowers (from Threshold magazine) connects back to Pirate Island, which can be the same pirates as the Isle of Dread. Dungeon magazine module "Vesicant" can extend the dragon (and city) information for Three Flowers. It also has phanaton which link back to your Isle of Dread phanaton.

    If your party is sea-based, link in a sahuagin attack and connect in the Evil Tide trilogy. Evil Tide can easily be merged into the native village(s) of the Isle of Dread (oh, those poor people). Shipwreck at Har's Point (Dragon magazine I think) is another good coastal adventure (with another sahuagin link)

    The Dungeon module "Floating Rock" is a great interlude as the party sails about. The sub-pieces of Sea Wyvern's Wake (which can be used for the reason to go to Dread in the first place) also provide good interludes.
    Last edited by ricks; 2020-06-10 at 09:36 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •