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    Canonfire :: View topic - Greyhawk: the Age of WYRMS
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    Greyhawk: the Age of WYRMS
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:17 pm  
    Greyhawk: the Age of WYRMS

    And no, that's not a mispelling, its intentional. I have mentioned this and I'm beginning to move forward with it. I want to pick some folks' brains over this. Here's the basic plot: Tiamat is building an army in a secret region of the Flanaess to take over the lands of mortals. Yeah, I know - its the basic plot of Dragonlance. I want to take this as far as I can from DL, however, and make it as Greyhawk as possible. The time would be post Greyhawk Wars (and in fact I have Tiamat as being behind at least some of it, to make things easier), and I'm thinking it would go into epic levels, around 30th or so, with a final confrontation against Tiamat herself. Obviously, I can use Spawn of Tiamat rather than draconians, all sorts of goodies from the Draconomicon, Dragon Magic and Races of the Dragon books, the Orbs of Dragonkind, gem dragons, chromatic dragons, metallic dragons, draconic creatures, half-dragons, and more. One of the biggest dilemas facing me at the outset is this: how to keep Bahamut and the good dragons as a force out of the picture for a good portion of the campaign, as well as groups such as the Circle of Eight, Iuz, and the like, leaving this something a humble group of adventurers take on. Any thoughts, ideas, advice, brainstorming, etc. would be greatly appreciated. You can discuss in this thread or in private messages. Chaoticprime stay out! This will probably be for our group. Wink
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    Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:56 pm  

    Well.... maybe Tiamat convinces Iuz to d something to keep Bahamut out of the picture. That keeps Iuz tied up, keeps Bahamut busy, then we just have to figure out how to keep those doo-gooder Circle of Eight tied up. 8)
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    Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:20 pm  
    I Wanna Play

    Hi all -
    Age of Wyrms - I wanna play.
    This is sounding like this is a home campaign and not a PbP campaign, but if it is or if you decide to allow PbP as the B Team I'd love to play. Sometimes you need to know what other adventuring groups are doing - even if it's not the minute details like a normal campaign, but something where we each play 3-5 characters (or an adventuring party itself) and you give us area's of need to be managed or encountered and we tell you the concepts that we do. I just wanna follow along with and maybe affect / effect the outcome!
    As always, I'm a Priest of Pholtus!
    In His Path and Glory We Follow!
    Theocrat Issak of the Church of the One True Path of Pholtus
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    Theocrat Issak
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:38 am  

    Gargoyle,

    If you have access to The Red Hand of Doom, (WotC D&D v3.5 2006) you should be able to glean some information from this. It also has a similar plot, and much of it could be snagged to use for your campaign. In particular, the Siege encounter and dragon bridge encounter near the beginning.[/i]
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    Michael Erin Sandar Bard of Midwood
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:37 am  

    SUPrUNown: That's what I'm thinking. Iuz is doing something that ties up Bahamut and the Co8. But what? I know I want to take the group into the Empire of Iuz at some point in the campaign, likely to get something they need. Any ideas?

    TheocratIssak: Right now, this is going to be a homebrew campaign. I might try a PbP/PbEmail game with it, but I have to work out the campaign details first. We'll see...

    Michael Sandar: Yeah, I've got RHoD, and it will play a large part in the middle of the campaign. Its a large part of what got me started. I'm also going to use Ashardalon info from the old 3E modules, and I'm thinking the Ghostlord might be the druid that originally defeated old Ashy...
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:48 am  

    I'm doing a "top-down" design for this campaign, meaning that I am starting with the top/end - Tiamat is the end encounter - and working back toward the beginning from there. So, I've figured out her goal, and need to fill in the pieces. Here are some of the big questions I have to decide as the story progresses (or regresses; I digress Laughing ):

    Bahamut & the Good Dragons: some sort of oath has been sworn by Bahamut which keeps him out of the picture, something that needs “mortals” to provide an out. Until then, Bahamut can only act indirectly, through subterfuge and minions. But what is this oath? And what will break it?

    The Circle of Eight: they are busy with some other important task, one that has relevance, something likely engineered by Tiamat herself. Could it be tied in with Bahamut’s oath?

    Iuz: this would be a perfect opportunity for the Old One to launch new attacks on the lands around. Would he? Is this what draws the attention of the Co8? Is it tied into Bahamut’s promise?

    The Gods: typically, the Gods of Greyhawk have been fairly aloof in standard WoG, and more personally involved in my campaigns. Would they intervene? Or is this a new test? Could the Gods have allowed this as a way of testing the people of the Flanaess?

    The Devils: Tiamat is at once both a goddess and a ruler of a layer of Hell. How do the other devils respond? Do they aid or thwart her? Do they take advantage of the situation, and strike into the Flanaess on their own? And how might this affect the Blood War, or other Planar factions?

    Ashardalon: the Sunless Citadel introduced this legend, which has since grown to semi-canon. He is even a vestige in the Tome of Magic, and has ties to Tiamat. What part might he, and the adventures concerning him, have to play in all of this?

    The Red Hand of Doom: another adventure that deals with a humanoid invasion of the surrounding lands using a cult of Tiamat, and many Spawn of Tiamat (introduced them, even), as well as many other draconic elements. Could this be used as a bridge for the middle levels of the campaign? Whole or only parts?

    Sardior & the Gem Dragons: do they stay neutral? Do they take part in any way in this mess?
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:58 am  

    Would the Gods intervene? Would Bahumat?

    It seems to me that if they send their highest priest to help, or lend a significant relic/magic item, then they are intervening.

    I dont like the deal with Iuz, because I cannot seeing these two playing well togeather. I can see Tiamat surrepticiously provoking Iuz, in order to tie up the circle of 8.

    I think the first question is, will the characters know from the beginning that they are facing Tiamat? It is much harder if they understand this as a crusade from the beginning
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:03 am  

    No, at first there will be little to no evidence of Tiamat's claw in events. It should become apparent about 8th to 10th level, maybe even later. Also, I'm not thinking that Tiamat and Iuz work together at all; its more one takes advantage of the situation the other has created. In this case, with Tiamat starting a war, attention is drawn away from Iuz who may take the opportunity to strike against his enemies. Or would he instead use the situation to simply strengthen his hold on what he already has? Take a breather from the ongoing skirmishes against Furyondy and the Vesve elves? No, the Old One and the Chromatic Queen do not work together.
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:08 am  
    Re: Greyhawk: the Age of WYRMS

    gargoyle wrote:
    . . . Here's the basic plot: Tiamat is building an army in a secret region of the Flanaess to take over the lands of mortals. . . . I want to take this as far as I can from DL, however, and make it as Greyhawk as possible. . . . Obviously, I can use Spawn of Tiamat rather than draconians, all sorts of goodies from the Draconomicon, Dragon Magic and Races of the Dragon books, the Orbs of Dragonkind, gem dragons, chromatic dragons, metallic dragons, draconic creatures, half-dragons, and more. . . .


    This is an outstanding idea! Absolutely, nothing says it has to be the Second Coming of Dragonlance (not that that kind of popularity connected to GH would be a bad thing). I am sure it can be made very Grey.

    Toward that end, how about tying in the end of the Age of Worms AP? Dragotha is, ostensibly, "dead." Maybe that gets Tiamat's attention, as Dragotha would have have opposed her on general principles? She decides "we are going now?"

    gargoyle wrote:
    . . . One of the biggest dilemas facing me at the outset is this: how to keep Bahamut and the good dragons as a force out of the picture for a good portion of the campaign, as well as groups such as the Circle of Eight, Iuz, and the like, leaving this something a humble group of adventurers take on. Any thoughts, ideas, advice, brainstorming, etc. would be greatly appreciated. . . .


    A) Keeping the Circle of Eight out of the picture is the easier task, I think. Mordenkainen is the key. Maybe Mordy figures he can USE Tiamat for his own ends? Certainly Mordy's ego is that big and he has helped evil before to maintain the Balance. So, if Mordy decides to sit on his hands, he can sideline the Circle of Eight, either having them do nothing or sending them off chasing some other thing. Maybe its a case of "let you and them fight and I'll watch" until Mordy decides to "step in" and order things to his liking.

    Alternatively, maybe Rary comes out of the Bright Desert swinging and Mordy and the Circle have their hands full? Mordy might also be working counter purposes to Tenser, maybe with the Circle caught in the middle and then practically neutralized? None of this need be overt but could take place "off stage, behind the curtain."

    B) How would Mordy use Tiamat? That brings us to Iuz! Iuz has recently seen his star wax and then wane in the GH Wars and its aftermath. Then, Iuz got caught up in that whole Expedition to the Ruins of (Castle) Greyhawk fiasco. Iuz isn't just active, he's hyperactive! And, as the Expedition adventure reveals, he is becoming increasingly reckless. An Iuz emboldened by his success in the GH Wars, stung by his defeat in its aftermath and now reckless in his attempts to recapture success might be deemed too unpredictable and dangerous for Mordy's purposes. So . . . time for Mordy to take Iuz off the chessboard.

    Certainly, Tiamat will recognize Iuz as a threat to her plans, as HIS clsaim to the FLanaess is well known, as are his connections to the Abyss. Tiamat, aligned with the Hells and with Iuz in the way, would have every reason to see the need to "deal with Iuz," probably sooner than later - no sense giving him time to react. Mordy, deducing much of this, can then arrange matters so that Tiamat launches a preemptive strike against Iuz, taking him out of the game early.

    Tiamat has options in how to neutralize Iuz.

    First, she could sponsor a return of the Horned Society (devil worshipers already) to create rebellion in Iuz' own realm, essentially recreating the Horned Society. She might even get Asmodeus to help on this score.

    Second, she could strike at Iuz' soul husks.

    Third, she could manipulate the Blood War to open a front on Grazzt's doorstep that might so press Grazzt that he withdraws all aid to Iuz, weakening him so he can do little.

    Fourth, Iggwilv and Iuz don't get along. The Expedition adventure is only just over and Iuz is not feeling friendly toward "mom" at the moment. So false information here and there, backed up by some cover action and it could The Family Feud that keeps home and occupied.

    Fifth, Tiamat could attack Iuz' holding directly, in a surprise first strike. She might not kill Iuz but she might put him to his heels. Iuz has already shown he can be bested by Vecna - twice. Tiamat is certainly in Vecna's neighborhood powerwise.

    Personally, I'd recommend a combination of No 1, 2 and No. 5. Tiamat neutralizes Iuz through a combination of a revived Horned Society and a surgical strike at the Boneheart on Dorakaa, feinting initially a move on the Soul Husks to confuse Iuz. Take out the Boneheart and cut Iuz' realm in half by reestablishing the Horned Society and Iuz will not be much of a threat until Tiamat has established her beachhead and is well on the way to conquest.

    C) Dealing with Bahamut is the tough nut to crack, IMO.

    Perhaps, Bahamut would not immediately rush to stop Tiamat because their enmity is not that overt in nature - the whole Good sponsors "free will" and "does not intervene directly, but only indirectly" thing?

    Perhaps Bahamut has others pressing concerns that keep him sidelined? Ashardalon that Soul Eating dragon is out there and dangerously close to demi-god status.

    There are all those Lung (Chinese) and Linnorm (Norse) dragons out there too, who do not answer to either Tiamat or Bahamut. Maybe they are up to something?

    Perhaps the Empire of Linn (Dragon Annual Maps 1 & RJKunst's Maure Castle references) and their "dragon masters" are up to sometghing, maybe even an attempt to bind Bahamut?

    I'd recommend Bahamut being occupied by prior engagement elsewhere. I'm torn between a struggle against Ashardalon and a struggle with some uber representative of the Lung or Linnorm dragons (its not just chromatics and metalics!).

    Hope this helps!
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    GVD
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:13 am  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    . . . I dont like the deal with Iuz, because I cannot seeing these two playing well togeather.


    First thing Iuz would probably do would be to try and RIDE Tiamat, make her his "steed." THAT is not going to go over well with Tiamat, I would suspect. Iuz and Tiamat are not a natural seeming pairing - Hells and the Abyss, Cats and Dogs, Oil and Water.
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:16 am  

    gargoyle wrote:
    Sardior & the Gem Dragons: do they stay neutral? Do they take part in any way in this mess?


    Yes. They don't really have a dog in this fight between Tiamat and Bahamut. But Sardior is another uber Dragon Bahamut must keep an eye on in line with my comments upthread on the role Lung and Linnorm dragons might play in keeping Bahamut occupied and off Tiamat's back.
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    GVD
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:03 am  

    You want to tie up the circle of eight and Iuz? Have most of the game take place during the Greyhawk Wars. That way both of those power-blocks are occupied. Then the Dragons are behind the Giants attacking the Yeomanry, and Dragons are taking behind-the-scene advantage everywhere they can, masked by the chaos of the war.

    Perhaps dragons are even masqureading as humans are serving as advisors to various human powers...

    It's a thought.
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:12 am  

    Arshardalon could easily be part of the plot as well, giving it an established history. And his takeover of the soul font might be a gambit for Tiamat, rather than a desparate gamble to stay alive. The loss of newborn souls might only affect humans (as the most populous and organized race that opposes dragonkind in general) or only PC race (as a more general strike against good). And the Gods are strictly prevented from doing anything by the Ban of the Unborn...
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:31 am  

    Ah, Dragon Wars, my favorite kind.

    Bahamut and Tiamat can have made a pact a long time ago, as long as one stays physically out of the fight, the other stays physically out of the fight. Tiamat, being sneaky, uses powerful proxies, maybe even sending an aspect at the direct summons of one of her minions (which is her answering her worshippers call, not making a move on Oerth, thereby not breaking the oath). This isn't to say that Bahamut wouldn't have his own agents working against her, just that he would by default honor his agreement in spirit and word, so he wouldn't have been building a power base all this time.

    I had a variation on the five dragon armies of Krynn when I was planning (am planning) on running Red Hand of Doom. I had a group of humanoids led by a black dragon in the swamps of Keoland. I orginally had three tribes (goblins, Kobolds, and orcs) under him, each led by a half-dragon child of his. It would be cool to have several other dragon led armies out there. And I don't mean just five of them, that would be too predictable. I could easily see a tribe of half-white dragon ogres sweeping out of the mountains with their draconic siblings and parents at their side, wreaking havok on some major outpost of humanity.

    And as a variation of what GVD had, perhaps the Lung are at war with the Gem, and Bahamut is trying broker a peace deal, which both of the dragon kinds keep sidelining in their attempts to get at each other. I'm not sure what would make them go at each other, but it shouldn't be that difficult.

    Or another possibility, also using GVD's suggestion, is to have the Linnorm attacking the Dragonborn of Bahamut's holdings, having been manipulated by Tiamat, and he is busy working against a threat to his worshippers, a little too busy to work against Tiamat. Maybe Tiamat has stirred the Linnorm and their human/oid allies and sent them against both Iuz and the worshippers of Bahamut. She has deniability (in case of direct questioning by the Platinum Dragon), and it keeps him busy so she cannot be the focus of his attention. It also keeps Iuz busy, while a carefully timed spike in the blood war keeps his papa busy, and perhaps a whisper in the right ears tells some enemy of Iuz just where some of his Soul Husks are, and their importance. After all, she doesn't have to be directly involved to get the job done. Iuz has plenty of enemies who will take any help they can get against him.

    End Result? Iuz is assaulted from two different directions, plus he loses a few soul husks, Bahamut is busy, and the good Gods are helping their followers against Iuz as they make a push against him, leaving her quietly unwatched as her forces move out in lightning fashion to take their objectives.

    Take it with a grain of Salt, but those are my thoughts. :)
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:57 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Anced_Math wrote:
    . . . I dont like the deal with Iuz, because I cannot seeing these two playing well togeather.


    First thing Iuz would probably do would be to try and RIDE Tiamat, make her his "steed." THAT is not going to go over well with Tiamat, I would suspect. Iuz and Tiamat are not a natural seeming pairing - Hells and the Abyss, Cats and Dogs, Oil and Water.


    However, the description of the Orbs of Dragonkind from the 1st ed. DMG says that the original orbs were perverted by DEMONIC powers so that they had power over all dragons, instead of just the originally intended evil dragons. Perhaps, the link to explaining the Iuz-Tiamat cooperation lies in the origin of the demonic interference. Or, Tiamat could just bribe Iuz with the service of a corps of ancient green dragons for 20 years in exchange for his non-interference or something.

    Don
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:43 pm  

    Thanks all, some really fine ideas here. Let me clarify a few decisions I have made about this campaign, though.

    First: Tiamat and Iuz are not going to be working together. There is no neccessarily direct enmity between them, but thier goals alone prevent them from cooperating. And I want Iuz tied up so that the PCs can focus on Tiamat and her plots.

    Second: This is a post GW campaign. Tiamat was finally able to launch her plot since all other forces in the Flanaess were so weakened by the Wars, and she found a place away from prying eyes to create her army - the ruins of the central Great Kingdom.

    Third: The PCs are the heroes of this campaign. That's why forces such as Bahamut or the Co8 must be kept busy. I want a good reason for them to be so, and not just "trust me, they're busy; moving right along...". Additionally, one of the few DL features I want is to have Bahamut's good dragons (and dragonborn) enter the battle later, AFTER the PCs have shown that they must.

    Fourth: I want the campaign to take the PCs from their humble little town to everywhere in the Flanaess; to the Pinnacles of Azor-alq, to the Empire of Iuz, to the Sheldomar Valley, to the Thillornian Peninsula, and maybe even through time (to the Isles of Woe? the ancient Seul or Bakluni empire? to the Kingdom of Vecna or the ur-Flan?), and with purpose. They need to stop Tiamat's forces, gain allies, learn secrets and gather mighty weapons to end this menace.
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:32 pm  

    Interesting ideas...

    Making it "as Greyhawk as possible" might be difficult if you plan to square epic-level PCs off against a goddess and legions of dragons, but your campaign does have a ton of potential. Here are some things that came to my mind:

    First, Tiamat's sudden interest in Oerth must be explained. Out of all the worlds, why this one? One plausible motive is that magic is fading on this plane and the evil dragons hope that Tiamat's involvement will somehow reverse the development. According to the Glossography, by 998 CY "magic was not a lost art, but, apparently, a fading one" (2). That's about 400 years from the current date. If things continue at that rate for thousand years, the adult dragons of today might be facing extinction or existence as unintelligent lizards by 1598 CY (within their lifetime!). Although Tiamat's goal will not justify the means, it could be interesting when the PCs finally learn her grand plan to restore Oerth's fading magic and find themselves sympathetic on some levels (especially wizards!)

    Perhaps the good dragons are resigned to this fate or Bahamut has quietly instructed them to move on to greener pastures, either way, this takes them out of the picture, at least initially.

    Fear of extinction causes many of the neutral and gem dragons to ally with the chromatics; convincing them otherwise could lead to good role-playing opportunities.

    In retaining the Greyhawk flavor, I would borrow elements from the Temple, Drow and Giant adventures by combining a series of different dungeon environments with a hierarchy of bad guys or several layers of scheming cults. Sneaking past foes of overwhelming power is another GH hallmark (D3, WGS1, WGR6). I would keep clashing armies, powerful NPC allies, and support from good nations to a minimum.

    Second, use as much existing material as possible. The Orbs of Dragonkind are obviously perfect for this campaign. The Earth Dragon and Beltar (with her red dragon aspect) are both unique GH deities with a draconic background. I'm not a close follower of Leonard Lakofka's work, but Tiamat and Bahamut are grouped with his Suel powers and some ties to that pantheon (Beltar again?) or reasons to travel to Spindrift Sound or the Sea of Dust could be interesting.

    Third, use the GH specific dragons and NPCs: shadow dragons, cloud dragons, dust dragons, obsidian dragons, and greyhawk dragons (Aestrella, Cobb Darg and, of course, everyone's favorite Mizaab Zalen). Also don't forget about the Mist Kingdom in TSB.

    As far as the Circle of Eight, they're not the Justice League everyone makes them out to be. Isle of the Ape provides a good example of their use, Vecna Lives does not. They're busy wizards and all nine of them don't have to be brought to bear every time an apocalypse is at hand. Read the "Calling Out the Cavalry" section in Night Below for some tips. Theodain Eriason and Hautna Masq are obviously going to be involved but probably too busy on their own end to directly help the PCs.

    For the finale with Tiamat, I would handle it with less-than epic level PCs and either give Tiamat a good chance of escaping (as Lolth did in Q1) or require the PCs to bring in supernatural aid that takes the fight out of the their hands (such as T1-4, WG6, WGA4). GDQ1-7 states it nicely: "surely one such as Lolth would not wish to let into her web any opponent she feels could give her a fair fight!" (3).

    Finally, I've always thought the Dragonnel has good potential for mid-level aerial combat with a touch of that imagery from the Dragon Highlords. Reports reaching Ulek of mounted Dragonnel units being trained in the Drachensgrabs could lead to the discovery of a hatchery maintained by Earth Dragon cultists or a Scarlet Brotherhood priest of Beltar. From there...who knows?
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:04 pm  

    vestcoat wrote:
    ... First, Tiamat's sudden interest in Oerth must be explained. Out of all the worlds, why this one? One plausible motive is that magic is fading on this plane and the evil dragons hope that Tiamat's involvement will somehow reverse the development. According to the Glossography, by 998 CY "magic was not a lost art, but, apparently, a fading one" (2). That's about 400 years from the current date. If things continue at that rate for thousand years, the adult dragons of today might be facing extinction or existence as unintelligent lizards by 1598 CY (within their lifetime!). Although Tiamat's goal will not justify the means, it could be interesting when the PCs finally learn her grand plan to restore Oerth's fading magic and find themselves sympathetic on some levels (especially wizards!)

    Perhaps the good dragons are resigned to this fate or Bahamut has quietly instructed them to move on to greener pastures, either way, this takes them out of the picture, at least initially.

    Fear of extinction causes many of the neutral and gem dragons to ally with the chromatics; convincing them otherwise could lead to good role-playing opportunities.
    ...
    For the finale with Tiamat, I would handle it with less-than epic level PCs and either give Tiamat a good chance of escaping (as Lolth did in Q1) or require the PCs to bring in supernatural aid that takes the fight out of the their hands (such as T1-4, WG6, WGA4). GDQ1-7 states it nicely: "surely one such as Lolth would not wish to let into her web any opponent she feels could give her a fair fight!" (3).
    ...


    There's some great ideas there... Thanks vestcoat! The reason I had Tiamat do this initially was just a "right place at the right time" or a sense of overall tyranny (LE after all...), but an actual attempt at "keeping magic alive"? Intriguing... And I do want to use all of the various kinds of dragons - metallic, gem, chromatic and others (though I prefer to leave the lung dragons to the Far West...), so this does stir up some draconic intrigue. As to requiring the PCs to bring in external aid in defeating Tiamat - no. I don't like deus ex machina, and I've found most players don't either. I want the PCs to do it, even if they die trying. Most recently, in the game I'm playing, my LE cleric sacrificed himself to break a terrible curse that had affected the entire party (of course, he also gained great power for it; he became the new Dread Lord of Barovia... Cool ). In my games, the PCs are the heroes, and do not need to call in external aid.
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    Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:06 pm  

    What a stunning coincidence! I am already running a campaign arc which I entitled Age of Wyrms! (I can send you some of the documentation if you like) Great minds must think alike! In my game, I used the idea from the FR Cult of the Dragon where the plan is to create Dracoliches. Since some of the cult cells are within the Empire of Iuz, there is a bit of an alliance of convenience. The Cult is not really in a position to tangle with Iuz (even though they have a few dracoliches and evil dragon allies) and Iuz really doesn't want to expend the resources it would take to crush the Cult's Rather, he would rather leverage some of their resources to help him do is dirty work as he fends off Furyondy, Highfolk, Veluna, the Wolf Nomads etc (my campaign is set during the Great Northern Crusade). So, they have an "understanding" of sorts since they share some common enemies.

    Your campaign idea sounds excellent and I think would really challenge your players, but be well worth playing and DMing. I would second the recommendation to look at the Red Hand of Doom material, since it would contain a number of useful items and save you some work!

    Cheers,

    Chameleon
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:49 am  

    Hey Gargoyle

    Rather than take up a whole huge amount of space on here, let me just invite you to swing by the house this weekend at some point and we can swap some ideas.

    I am running the finale session to my Return of the Eight campaign on Saturday Night, but I should be free around midnight or so.

    Oh, this chaoticprime's brother BTW.
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:30 am  

    OK, I'll probably see you late Sat or Sunday. BTW, the lich king is looking kick-****!
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:14 am  

    I think I can sideline Bahamut or at least slow him down. All citations are from Races of the Dragon.

    The conflict between Bahamut and Tiamat is called the Dragonfall War. See p.5. In this conflict, Bahamut has taken an oath not to oppose Tiamat and her spawn by similar tactics but to use agents instead, the greatest of whom are the Dragonborn. See p. 5 and p. 8. Bahamut prefers "subtle action" against Tiamat's schemes. See p. 157. I'm going to say this means the PCs might be Bahamut's chosen means of intervening. This would also stack with your plan to eventually introduce good dragons directly into the conflict, as Bahamut scales (pardon the pun) up his agents.

    Interestingly, there is a direct Greyhawk nexus for both Bahamut and Tiamat you may want to use. Bahamut is said to be allied specifically with Heironeous. See p. 152. Tiamat is said to be allied specifically with Hextor and to consider Heironeous her enemy. See p. 158. This Heironeous and Hextor connection can serve as a means to introduce the Dragonfall War without even mentioning dragons at first. The Heironeous and Hextor conflict also just screams Greyhawk so you start there and then seque into Tiamat and finally Bahamut.

    Hope this helps.
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:50 am  

    Ok, where are the Lungs and Linnorms? I always thought that the Lungs were a FR Kara~Tur thing, I didn't think that they had a presence in Greyhawk. And the Linorms? Were would they be? Gem Dragons were always a planner phenomenon so thats easy enough to explain and Shadow Dragons and Deep Dragons are a product of the bizarreness of the underdark so thats easy to explain as well but were do the other to fit in?
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:57 am  

    GVD: Excellent! Thanks a lot; I was going to get around to the RotD eventually. I hadn't realized it provided some ready-made plot info for my campaign. Cool As to the Heiromeous/Hextor angle, I had already been thinking about that, as I have Tiamat "breeding" her army in the ruined GK. This works out very well!

    manus-nigrum: The Linnorms are "officially" wherever you want them, though with their nordic folklore inspiration, I put them in the Thillornian Peninsula (and already have a plan for them; see further up the thread), and the lungs do have a presence in the Flanaess (and Kara-Tur was origianlly going to be the west of WoG anyway, as it is IMC), but I'm largely leaving them out. Shadow dragons were, in 2E, official Greyhawk dragons; the gem dragons represent a major group of dragons, in my view, the balance between good/metallic and evil/chromatic dragons. I just haven't decided what part they will play in this.
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:52 pm  

    OK, I've got some ideas here now, and a basic breakdown of events. The campaing will likely get split into 4 parts, each consisting of approxiamtely 7 levels. First, the PCs get involved investigating a strange new cult in the area. Second, the PCs are lead to believe that some force (perhaps Iuz) is behind this cult, and investigate, eventually "ending" this threat. Third, news of the war breaks out, and the PCs must gather allies and weapons/spells/knowledge to defeat the dragon army/armies. Fourth, they learn the terrible truth and must travel into the heart of dragon territory and defeat the final menace. Does this sound like a decent basic plot for 30 levels of play?
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:57 pm  

    Lung dragons are mentioned in Dwellers of the Forbidden City and Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk and probably elsewhere, so they definitely exist on Oerth. In Expedition, the "oriental" land to the west is called Shaofeng. In the past, it's been called the Celestial Imperium, Kara-Tur, and other names as well.

    According to Roger E. Moore's "Orbs of Dragonkind" article, shadow dragons were originally red dragons warring with the Suel Empire from the dragons' lairs beneath the Hellfurnaces who transformed themselves through shadowy rites.

    I thought it'd be cool to replace the Earth Dragon with Tiamat as the object of the Slave Lords' devotions, having them transform slaves into Spawn of Tiamat in blasphemous rites.

    As GVD pointed out, the PCs might well be the agency by which Bahamut acts; preoccupied with Tiamat's other schemes on other worlds, he might not be able to act more overtly than that even if he was so inclined.

    Any other NPCs who threaten to overshadow the PCs' glory should be distracted with other matters or simply killed off.
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:00 pm  

    You know, it may be kinda fun to use Iuz as a Red Herring. Drop all kinds of hints about Iuzite cultists, and then reveal that it was all a clever manipulation later on down the road. This ifts in terms of the kind of schemes a devil would work.
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:33 pm  

    manus-nigrum wrote:
    You know, it may be kinda fun to use Iuz as a Red Herring. Drop all kinds of hints about Iuzite cultists, and then reveal that it was all a clever manipulation later on down the road. This ifts in terms of the kind of schemes a devil would work.

    Yes, my thinking precisely. By diverting would-be heroes into fighting Iuz, Tiamat deflects attention from her schemes, and has the advantage of seeing a powerful opponent on the defensive. Diabolic machinations never produce a red herring without some merit! Cool
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    Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:36 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    ...I thought it'd be cool to replace the Earth Dragon with Tiamat as the object of the Slave Lords' devotions, having them transform slaves into Spawn of Tiamat in blasphemous rites.

    As GVD pointed out, the PCs might well be the agency by which Bahamut acts; preoccupied with Tiamat's other schemes on other worlds, he might not be able to act more overtly than that even if he was so inclined.
    ...

    Hmm, the Earth Dragon as a sham religion of Tiamat? That's an intriguing possibility... I was thinking of starting off with a kidnapping hook, and including the Slavers and their Earth Dragon could be an interesting element. Also, I just read over the 3.5 dragonborn a bit more thouroughly, and that leads into Bahamut acting more subtly against Tiamat. A PC dragonborn or two might appear in the party, AFTER things get going. Thanks again rasgon!
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    Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:15 am  
    Those darn pesky dragons

    Well, it certainly sound interesting. I agree with Vestcoat that you should use alot of the GH specific dragons, and the dragonnels are a marvelous idea, as are other critters like the lesser drakes like wyverns.
    The Mist Kingdom dragons are marvelous, and if you have acceess to both the "Savage Tide" adventure path and "The Scarlet Brotherhood", they both provide ALOT of great material, especially the islands where Fundamental Thought, and Sincere Assertion - the two founding Mist dragons - reside.

    Lastly, the Oriental Adventures was, indeed, originally placed for WoG, but there is an ostensibly Oriental, unchronicled place called the Celestial Imperium (Dragon Annual # 1, pg. 76, 1996), far to the west of the Flanaess, and could easily be used for bringing in the Lung dragons. In the Sea off the Coast, there is an enormous island called "Dragons Island" and the description is thus: "Tales from the Celestial Imperium speak of a land ruled by a dragon prince..." Also, just West of the Pearl Sea (and the Mist Kingdom), is the "Sea of the Dragon King" . And as far as taking the PCs all over the place, you couldn't ask for more.
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    Last edited by Icarus on Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:49 pm  

    gargoyle wrote:

    Hmm, the Earth Dragon as a sham religion of Tiamat? That's an intriguing possibility... I was thinking of starting off with a kidnapping hook, and including the Slavers and their Earth Dragon could be an interesting element. Also, I just read over the 3.5 dragonborn a bit more thouroughly, and that leads into Bahamut acting more subtly against Tiamat. A PC dragonborn or two might appear in the party, AFTER things get going. Thanks again rasgon!


    Sham is maybe not the best term used here. I think that a more appropriate methodology would to use it a a public facade but have the actual cultists know who or rather what it is that they are venerating.

    You could even treat it like a Greek mystery cult. The outside public facing facade is palatable and treated as a means of enlightenment. Have the cult even hire the PC's to do a few things for them. Make it look like the religious sect is going through a period of infighting.

    They are of course. The more advanced operation hiring the PC's doesn't like the heavy handed and often needlessly brash moves that the other sect uses and requires assistance in doing some "House Cleaning". Of course when the PC's find batorian idols in the basement it allows the primary sect to go "Gosh, that must be why they were so darned ornery. Thank you for foiling their dastardly evil plans noble heros."

    This allows you to do two things.

    #1 it sets your players up in the beginning to trust the villains.

    #2 It gives you the ability to say, "I told you so" way down the road when they are surprised by the revaltion that the people that they have been working for all along are really even worse then the neophytes they crushed in the beginning.

    Detail the religion of the cultists. The more work you do on this part the more interesting the onion becomes and the more they want to tear it apart. Thats the primary reason why I like running games in established settings so much. It lets you hone in on the details and focus on building a good story instead of trying to start out and create a world. Why reinvent the wheel?

    Gary Gygax is probably rolling over in his grave right now. I know he focused on the strategy aspect of the game and not the detailed story but its the aspect I like best about DMing.

    Ever see the Sam Jackson/John Travolta movie Basic? The convoluted plot line for Basic offers a good example of how a mystery story driven game could work. There are a few others I would recommend, Sunset Boulevard, Confidence, Citizen Kane.
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    Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:03 pm  
    Council of Wyrms

    Just a thought here ... have you looked at the old "Council of Wyrms" boxed set from 2nd Edition for inspiration? It convers almost exactly what you're talking about here. A campaign based on dragons.

    Thought it might help.

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    Last edited by Icarus on Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:46 am  

    Icarus: Yes, Council of Wyrms is what started the kernel of this concept. I have had a long-standing Council and a "Pax Draconis" IMC, and that's part of what I have to work with in the idea of this conflict. The meeting place for the hgih dragons to discuss draconic issues has been the Pinnacles of Azor-alq, held by the metallics, while the chromatics hold Fire-land, and often hold secret coucil there. The gem dragons are a didvied lot, and have no cetral authority, only occassionally participating in coucil. My view of neutrality is more "unaligned/uncaring", rather than the "militant neatrality" of Mordy.
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