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    Canonfire :: View topic - Need help with campaign in central GH
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    Need help with campaign in central GH
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:04 pm  
    Need help with campaign in central GH

    Hello, I am trying to write my first campaign in Greyhawk, and I am having some difficulties. What I need is a little brainstorming, just to get me started with ideas, nothing too detailed. Admittedly, my outline is a bit ambitious, but I want to give it a go.

    The main idea of the campaign is that each player is a representative to a meeting of nations near the Free City, which have enslaved peoples. The Shield Lands called this meeting, admitting between the lines that they cannot handle the occupation by Iuz alone. So they thought that others with the same plight can help each other.

    The representatives, besides negotiations, will also form a special strike force that will perform missions of importance to each nation's cause. The available PCs are

    1) a Knight of the Holy Shielding (Shield Lands)
    2) A Knight of Luna from Celene, posing as an official when he is actually sent by the Order
    3) someone from the Wild Coast
    4) someone from Nyrond

    Now, the players will negotiate and choose the first adventure. There should be one for each land, and one that culminates the campaign in the Free City of Greyhawk. In the council, there is a traitor, an agent of the Scarlet Brotherhood, who will try to foil all the players' plans, and the final adventure will be discovering and hunting him or her down.

    I need help with one of the adventures, for now. I have already devised an adventure in the Wild Coast, where the players are sent to kill an Ogre Mage governing what remains of Elredd. There they will also see Kuranyie of Onnwal, and understand her plans for Orc reinforcements against Onnwal, so the next adventure should be a fight to retake Scant.

    My problem is the Shield Lands adventure. I have a general idea, but the details don't add up.

    I was thinking that a demon has survived the Flight of the Fiends, and lives in Axeport. Iuz bound him there to ensure obedience, as he was appointed governor of the town after Iuz's attack on the Shield Lands, or something like that. I want the players to want some item or something similar from the city, so that the demon will be its happenstantial guard. The demon has nothing more to do than plant the seeds of evil in everyone that approaches the city, as he can't escape it.

    I was planning for the demon to be way over the PCs heads in battle, but for him to have a weakness that lets the players get the artifact or whatever without a fight. The demon will try to bluff: he know what they want, and also that one of them is a traitor (which is a lie, but the PCs will not be sure, as they are from different backgrounds, and I will also prime them individually). He gives them a fake choice: either they fight him or they give him the traitor as a sacrifice. He does that so that they don't think about the third way, which is exploiting his weakness and taking the object safely.

    Now, I have several questions for brainstorming:

    * What object do they seek? At first I thought "something that discovers traitors, because this whole campaign is about spies from the Scarlet Brotherhood", but then I remembered that Zone of Truth can do that :( What is the benefit of this object to the Shield Lands' retaking of their land?
    * What is the demon's weakness? How can they defeat him? I was thinking that he can't enter some wizard's tower, and the object is in there. And there is another way in, hidden.
    * A bit unrelated: what can the Nyrond adventure be about? What problem do the Nyrondians want solved? Maybe something having to do with Almor?

    Thanks for reaching this far (if you did) Cool


    Last edited by Nameless_One on Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:14 pm  

    Concerning the demon, the answer to both questions is the same: the demon's soul object. The reason the demon wasn't subject to the Flight of Fiends is that he was bound to the Prime Material Plane through his soul object, which is similarly bound. There should be protections on the site of the adventure that prevent the demon from acquiring his soul object, as well as effects that prevent him from teleporting or otherwise leaving the area. The soul object should also be heavily protected, just in case the demon breaks free.

    As an aside, the Living Greyhawk campaign had a number of adventures that dealt directly or indirectly with the Flight of Fiends. I don't have all my resources available at the moment and I can't recall the titles, but if you can find the proper adventures you may be able to use them somehow. Basically, the adventures deal with the fact that the FoF was sabotaged and only appeared to work.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:18 am  

    Thanks for the reply! That is a good idea. I wonder though whether this object would be useful to the Shield Lands as a whole. Maybe I can explain this as the retaking of Axeport.

    Still looking for more, of course Smile
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:53 am  

    Perhaps the soul object is contained in/part of an enchanted object that strengthens evil forces or encourages them to gather in the area. Removing the object and it's attendant demon could remove a source of ongoing trouble for the Shield Lands - sort of like taking out a bridge the enemy uses to bring in reinforcements.

    Methinks this should fit in well with a retaking of Axeport.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:00 pm  

    Thank you! This sounds like a good idea, if a bit generic.
    One more angle I liked was that the Shield lands could have a Scarlet Brotherhood spy among the government, and the item from Axeport could be used to unmask them. Any comments? How could I flesh out this idea?
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:37 pm  

    might be a bit off topic but what exactly is a soul object and how does it function? i know iuz has one, but i haven't seen anywhere about how it functions.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:34 pm  

    theg_narlot wrote:
    might be a bit off topic but what exactly is a soul object and how does it function? i know iuz has one, but i haven't seen anywhere about how it functions.


    A soul object is an object to which a demon's soul is bound. In other words, if you control the object you control the demon. It's assumed that if you destroy the object you also destroy the demon's soul, thus destroying him forever. Because of this most demons keep their soul objects carefully hidden and protected. A little was written about soul objects in 1e AD&D, but I'm not aware of anything substantive that's been written since then.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:11 am  

    I thought of a solution to my problem (again with treachery in mind): there are spies that have infiltrated the government in Critwall, and for some reason (yet to be found), in Axeport some of their names can be discovered (maybe in documents).

    That's why the players need to go to Axeport.

    So now the questions that remain are:

    * What is the demon's weakness? How can they defeat him? I was thinking that he can't enter some wizard's tower, and the object is in there. And there is another way in, hidden.
    * A bit unrelated: what can the Nyrond adventure be about? What problem do the Nyrondians want solved? Maybe something having to do with Almor?
    GreySage

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    Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:11 am  

    Nameless_One wrote:
    . . . a solution . . . there are spies that have infiltrated the government in Critwall . . . in Axeport some of their names can be discovered (maybe in documents).


    Nice. I think I'd go with that. Wink

    Nameless_One wrote:
    * What is the demon's weakness?


    I like the "Soul Object" being espoused here. After all, if its destroyed then the demon is destroyed -- making the demon extremely anxious to protect it. It also makes the demon amenable to anything the players might demand of him, so long as the "Soul Object" is in their possession. Evil Grin

    Nameless_One wrote:
    * What is the demon's weakness? How can they defeat him? I was thinking that he can't enter some wizard's tower, and the object is in there. And there is another way in, hidden.


    Where's the "wizard's tower" located? Confused

    If "in town," make it accessible from the sewers -- a "weakness" in the defenses unknown to the demon, or the tower's guardian. Perhaps a waste chute (leading to a "water closet" Laughing) which your players can just squeeze through! (How badly do they want the "Soul Object?") Evil Grin

    If located in the country/wilderness, make is accessible through some catacombs located beneath the hill/cliff/etc., upon which the tower sits. Said catacombs could be infested with minor irritants; kobolds, jellies, etc. This could possibly explain the guardian's "over looking" of this area. Wink

    Nyrond? How about intrigue? Confused

    Everyone knows that the Pale is interested in forcing Nyrond to cede certain lands to them. How about a subtle and hidden power play, by the Pale, in the old Almor region? Politics and espionage call for thinking and role playing and not just more hack/slash/burn. Cool

    WARNING!! My e-friend, Theocrat Issak, is not going to appreciate your group's attempt to foil the Pale's efforts in this area! Laughing Laughing Laughing

    Just my thoughts. Happy
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:02 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Nameless_One wrote:
    . . . a solution . . . there are spies that have infiltrated the government in Critwall . . . in Axeport some of their names can be discovered (maybe in documents).


    Nice. I think I'd go with that. Wink



    Great! :D I like this solution too.

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Nameless_One wrote:
    * What is the demon's weakness?


    I like the "Soul Object" being espoused here. After all, if its destroyed then the demon is destroyed -- making the demon extremely anxious to protect it. It also makes the demon amenable to anything the players might demand of him, so long as the "Soul Object" is in their possession. Evil Grin


    My only concerns are a) the demon is definitely crafty enough to keep his soul object safe, and normally it should take a whole lot of effort to find it, and that is beyond the scope of one adventure. b) I am wary about letting my players do what they will with a demon Razz I am pretty sure they will run wild!

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Nameless_One wrote:
    * What is the demon's weakness? How can they defeat him? I was thinking that he can't enter some wizard's tower, and the object is in there. And there is another way in, hidden.


    Where's the "wizard's tower" located? Confused

    If "in town," make it accessible from the sewers -- a "weakness" in the defenses unknown to the demon, or the tower's guardian. Perhaps a waste chute (leading to a "water closet" Laughing) which your players can just squeeze through! (How badly do they want the "Soul Object?") Evil Grin


    Bwahaha, I like the way you think Evil Grin Even if that doesn't go in this adventure (and it might), the players will definitely enter the sewers of Scant in another adventure Cool

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Nyrond? How about intrigue? Confused

    Everyone knows that the Pale is interested in forcing Nyrond to cede certain lands to them. How about a subtle and hidden power play, by the Pale, in the old Almor region? Politics and espionage call for thinking and role playing and not just more hack/slash/burn. Cool

    WARNING!! My e-friend, Theocrat Issak, is not going to appreciate your group's attempt to foil the Pale's efforts in this area! Laughing Laughing Laughing

    Just my thoughts. Happy


    Razz Let's pit them against each other.

    Thank you for the suggestions! Happy I will post more questions as they come.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:08 am  

    Hey there! Here's a quick question...what year are you setting your adventure in? I'm guessing CY 591 (i.e., the time of the last of the 2nd Edition and first of the 3rd edition stuff)...but, I wanted to check...

    Personally, I didn't follow much of the Living Greyhawk stuff and I kinda stopped buying 'official' D&D stuff when it transitioned to 3rd Edition; but I DID buy the 3d Edition Greyhawk book along with the 2nd Edition Greyhawk, the Adventure Begins book which both bring the world up to 591.

    I think the Flight of Fiends, MUST have been really effective; and with this leaving only a few of the Demons/Devils on Oerth; the demon you mention would be THAT much more important as a leading member of Iuz' forces. He (or she) could be critical to the Shield Landers as a highly effective general/noble leading a significant part of the Shield Lands. To follow along with what you and others have said; perhaps he's the "Case Officer" or Spymaster who is running Iuz' spy network for the surronding area, including the Shield Lands, Furyondy, and possibly further abroad. There could also be documents/files whatver on various agents and somehow (through Divination or a spy of the Shield Landers or even a traitor or captured prisoner) the Shield Landers have found this out and sent the PCs to go retrieve the information.

    Also, if you don't like the soul-object idea; perhaps there is a powerful weapon or artifact vs. Demons (or generic evil, or whatever) which is a great threat to the Demon and/or it prevents him from harming the PC(s) wielding it. (Though, the PCs shouldn't know that!)

    As for the Traitor aspect...I like the idea that the Demon is just using it to screw with the characters' heads; but maybe there's some item (medallion of ESP, some kind of item with a permanent Detect Lie ability) that the Demon has and the PCs ALMOST get...but then it breaks or is destroyed or they couldn't quite get it...etc.

    Nyrond: the Tomb of Horrors novel (though set a little earlier; right after the war) had the idea that Nyrond was broke and so a group of adventurers went to the Tomb and its reputed horde of treasure to help Nyrond's finanical problems out. Other ideas could be any number of political issues (internal or external with any of the old Aerdy states) could be used as well as problems of the ongoing war in Tenh or against the Scarlet Brotherhood (in the Iron League states). The latter could help lead into the Scant adventures you're talking about.

    Anyway, just thinking out loud...I wish you well and you're adventures sound like a lot of fun! Keep us posted on how they turn out!
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:33 am  

    Thank you for your post!

    Yes, I am setting this in CY 591, I am following the LGG pretty closely. About the Flight of the Fiends, my original plan was to have the demon, an innately chaotic being, bound to Axeport by Iuz, as the city's "governor" so to speak, with a host of lesser demons as lieutenants. Iuz would bind the demon to the city so as to guarantee loyalty, but the FotF sent the lesser demons away and most people were either killed or got away. But the governor couldn't leave.

    I am not sure though, your angle is also pretty interesting, making this creature into an important villain. I think this might be a very different course, as there should be a network of spies I have to account for and a whole lot of stuff. I will keep it in mind, thanks.

    It's good to know about the Tomb of Horrors! I had never read it.

    Any more suggestions are welcome.
    GreySage

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    Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:37 pm  

    Nameless_One wrote:
    My only concerns are a) the demon is definitely crafty enough to keep his soul object safe, and normally it should take a whole lot of effort to find it, and that is beyond the scope of one adventure.


    That's why I suggested the "water closet." Demons don't need to do that thing we humans find so necessary! Its something that could easily "slip" the demon's mind -- or Iuz's -- it just never thought of it. Wink

    The effort is in finding out that there is such a thing as a "Soul Object," in the First place. Then, what the hell is a "Soul Object," that's Second. Third, finding out which "building" the "Soul Object" is housed in. Only then can they even begin the Fourth step; trying to find a way to get into the place! Shocked

    How long will they have to wander around the sewers just to find such a break in the magical defenses? No one, but no one, even knows its there! Otherwise, it would have been exploited already! Shocked

    Hell, you could have them running around down there for months! Always reassuring them that there is a way in -- they just have to find it! Evil Grin

    There's no telling what kind of developements you'll come up with in the meantime. Happy

    Nameless_One wrote:
    My only concerns are . . . b) I am wary about letting my players do what they will with a demon Razz I am pretty sure they will run wild!


    Aw, shucks, you can control that! Razz

    Think Demogorgon! Think Orcus! Your demon is answerable to someone, and its probably one of these two guys. Evil Grin

    There are limits on what your players can demand that the demon do. As the DM, you have to "role-play" the demon. Make the players understand that the demon might fear the destruction of it's "Soul Object," but it would fear the wrath of Demogorgon, Prince of Demons, or of Orcus, Lord of the Undead, even more. Having powers that rival even those of the Greater Gods, these two Demon Lords can punish your demon even after its death/destruction. Shocked

    Handing over the secret documents to the players -- in exchange for its "Soul Object" -- might anger Iuz, if he even finds out, but your demon's true master probably wouldn't care less, so, no harm no foul, as far as the demon is concerned.

    Without the demon's "Soul Object," Iuz could only "kill" the demon's manifestation, thus sending it "home." So, your players trade the "Soul Object" for the documents. Their "control" of the demon would be brief. Cool

    With the "Soul Object" firmly in it's possession, the demon probably couldn't depart Oerth for "home" fast enough. Wink
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    Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:47 pm  

    Enlightening stuff, man, really Happy Great ideas.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:20 pm  

    I've been thinking about the Nyrond part of the campaign...

    How about the LG adventure "The Silence of the Gnomes"? It has significant political implications, it involves a powerful evil, it contains a useful treasure, and as an added bonus it features gnomes!

    It's actually not bad if properly DMed. I've used it myself, and it was well-received.
    GreySage

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    Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:27 pm  

    bubbagump wrote:
    as an added bonus it features gnomes!


    Hey! I know you man. You just want to see all those poor innocent, hard working gnomes get butchered! Shocked

    Go ahead, deny it if you can, you . . . you . . . back-stabber! Laughing Laughing Laughing
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    Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:02 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Hey! I know you man. You just want to see all those poor innocent, hard working gnomes get butchered! Shocked


    Uh, yeah. Is that bad? (*look of blatant innocence*)
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:09 am  

    "Ok, hold it a minute! Just one minute here." (*walks over to book shelf*) Neutral

    "Ok. Nyrond . . . Nyrond . . . Nyrond . . . Ok! Here it is! Nyrond population chart." (*leafing through tome*) "Hmmm . . . Gnomes . . . gnomes . . . gnomes . . . Got it! Population of Nyrondian gnomes . . . hmmm. Wow! Holy *#@&%!!" Confused

    "Well . . . Oh-kay . . . you got me with that one! Nyrond appears to be overly populated by gnomes . . . Holy waste water! They're paying 5 gold pieces a head!" Evil Grin
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    Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:32 am  

    Don't be ragging on the Gnome; hunted by humanoids and beleaguered by humans. Yet both the Flinty Hills and Kron Hills both have the nerve to tell everyone to cram it and get the hell out of there homeland.

    Got more nerve then the other demihumans and the flan combined Laughing
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:00 am  

    You're telling me!? Man, I was knifed in the back by a Hairfoot Gnome Assassin of Tharizdun in Swedish bicycle shorts! Shocked

    Laughing Laughing Laughing
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:05 am  

    bubbagump wrote:
    the LG adventure "The Silence of the Gnomes"? It has significant political implications, it involves a powerful evil, it contains a useful treasure, and as an added bonus it features gnomes!

    It's actually not bad if properly DMed. I've used it myself, and it was well-received.


    sounds intrigueing. since LGH is no more, how can one access that adventure?
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    Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:06 pm  

    theg_narlot wrote:
    bubbagump wrote:
    the LG adventure "The Silence of the Gnomes"? It has significant political implications, it involves a powerful evil, it contains a useful treasure, and as an added bonus it features gnomes!

    It's actually not bad if properly DMed. I've used it myself, and it was well-received.


    sounds intrigueing. since LGH is no more, how can one access that adventure?


    I'm sure I've got an extra copy around here somewhere. Shoot me a PM with your email addy and I'll see if I can rustle it up.
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