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    Canonfire :: View topic - My Suss Forest Campaign
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    My Suss Forest Campaign
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    Forum Moderator

    Joined: Feb 26, 2004
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    Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:18 pm  
    My Suss Forest Campaign

    http://greyhawkery.blogspot.com/2013/12/campaign-search-for-lost-city-of-suel.html

    Any comments/ideas for hazards, mysterious locations, random critters is appreciated.
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:03 am  

    I like the possibilities, Mort! Happy

    What have you planned for patrols within the Suss? Elven, from Celene; Dwarven (mixed with human, Halfling, and gnome?) from the Principality; Orc (or other humanoid) from the Pomarj; or various human interests from the Wild Coast?

    I'm guessing your campaign's time period is ~576 CY, or at least before the Greyhawk Wars. Is that correct?

    What do you have planned for the Lost City? Dakkon-infested ziggurats? Collapsed ruins in a crevice with a waterfall running through the city? A magically hidden realm alive and thriving? Degenerate Suel dwelling in the ruins of a more medieval Tamoachan?

    SirXaris
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:12 am  

    Looks really cool, Mort! I'm with SirXaris; I'm dying to know what you have planned for the city itself.
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:07 am  

    I've played in but one campaign wherein my characters delved into the Suss Forest, and none of them particularly enjoyed it due to the nasty creatures lairing therein...

    One of the Gord novels (an Artifact of Evil book, I believe) included an adventure to the area you are describing. You could use that novel, if you have it, as inspiration as well.

    I recall them encountering a swarm of kobolds or goblins (forget which) fighting a howling pack of gibberlings. Too, there was a great green dragon that laired within the ruins itself.

    The original description of the Suss Forest in the Greyhawk boxed set includes orcs, gnolls, ettercaps, and susserus (of course) as denizens to be found.

    To this list I'd add such creatures as giant spiders and other arthropods, snakes, kech, trolls, hags, needlemen, cockatrices, blood hawks, shambling mounds, sphinxes, forlarren, chimera (or gorgimera), kampfult, korred, harpies, gorgons, giants (ettin included), ogres, grugach (wild elves), and perhaps a beholder (Gods help them!), lamia, minotaur(s), leucrotta, hydra, displacer beast, and/or grell at the ruins. Or that large green wyrm. Evil Grin

    Best of luck!

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:36 am  

    Great map, Mort!

    There are two small fiefdoms called Luxor and Karmagia about where you have Nol-Daer on the map in “Playing the Political Game” Dragon Magazine 90, p31.

    The master thief of Gryrax is detailed in the Complete Thieves Handbook.

    According to Imric von Suss-Varren's full title in WGA4, The Principality of Ulek apparently has a "Suss March." This could be one of the Principality's "twelve provinces" mentioned in the LGG.

    There's also a couple of Ulek NPC's lurking in the Greyhawk Wars "Adventurer's Book," namely Warden of the Jewel Augustos Clinkfire and war hero Rourk Splinterstone, now a Baron (18). A "Jewel March" and Splinterstone's "small barony" could be two more of the twelve provinces.

    I don't see WGQ1's Province of Prinzfeld on your map, but that may be for the best! Wink

    The map-seller in Greyhawk Adventures "House of Cards" places a "lost city" one hundred and twenty miles southwest of Elredd.

    Have fun! I'd be curious to see more updates as the campaign progresses.
    Forum Moderator

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    Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:04 pm  

    All good comments!

    I haven't worked on the city stuff yet since I hope to string it along for several weeks of searching aimlessly. Anyhoo, Lanthorn's list of monsters is quite on track for what I was envisioning. I didn't remember Artifact of Evil though, so I may have to look back into that.

    Vestcoat, I like the notes on those fiefdoms and provinces but I'm hoping not to get involved in politics (unless its Celenian since 3/5 of the party is evlen). I will look into this House of Cards reference. Not sure how I miss that since GHA is one of my favorite books.

    Xaris: Yeah 576ish and there is pretty much patrols as you described and I'm adding an evil faction within the forest that may be from a Fading Land.

    More details to come...
    GreySage

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    Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:07 pm  

    The Suss Forest is essentially the Mirkwood, so yes, spiders and araneas (if you use them) and ettercaps are all very very appropriate.

    Have you seen the first two Hobbit movies yet? A ruined fortress of an ancient witch-king, maybe a warlord brought down by the elves, would fit in nicely too, and orcs and goblins could muster there under the leadership of an ancient spirit.

    Also don't forget the role of sound in the Suss. The iconic Suss monster is the sussurus, whose whispering and rustling should be ubiquitous, and at night the gibberlings rise, their gibbering and howling piercing the dark.

    Gibberlings are interesting monsters as well. In many sources they come across as random hairy Underdark savages, but in The Gates of Firestorm Peak they became something more: they're evidence of a Far Realm cyst, a leak from another realm outside space and time, antithetical to the known planes. This has fascinating implications of what exactly the Suel of the Lost City were up to.

    But of course, it probably wasn't a Suel city originally. The Living Greyhawk column seems to imply that the Suel migrants colonized ruins of an older, stranger civilization.
    Forum Moderator

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    Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:48 pm  

    I've actually sprang the Sussurus on the players already. Gibberlings though, I'm saving for later as I loved them to death in Firestorm Peak and I'm sure they'll scare the pants off any level of character. I agree with your Far Realms implications fully.
    GreySage

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    Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:13 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    ...and I'm adding an evil faction within the forest that may be from a Fading Land.


    If you plan to have a rival faction after the same prize as your players, might I suggest one of the following:

    1) Priests of Boccob or Wee Jas, either of whom could be after whatever powerful magick may be found in the ruins, or knowledge located therein

    2) Sunifarel Brightrobe, a half-elven powerful wizard from Celene who is actually a member of the Boneshadow (servants of Iuz...see pages 89-90 in Iuz the Evil source guide if you have it); he need not be a ovect enemy, but perhaps serves as a double agent initially working 'with' the party who later betrays them in order to achieve his ends

    3) Humanoids of the Pomarj, or those loyal to the Slave Lords from that region

    4) Dwarves from the nearby Principality of Ulek

    just some ideas,

    -Lanthorn


    Last edited by Lanthorn on Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:24 am; edited 1 time in total
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:50 pm  

    There is a 2nd Edition adventure set in the Suss Forest (published in Vortext magazine #8) entitled "The Hidden Temple of Erythnul". Although it's supposed to be for a party of 2nd-5th level characters, it seems a bit tough for a group that low leveled. I've been waiting for my players to reach the right strength to send them through this.

    Another adventure that seemed to fit with the atmoshpere of the Suss Forest is "The Garden of the Hag Queen" (published on the Dragonsfoot website). Although not specifically set in Greyhawk, it seemed approporaite to me.

    Dane
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    Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:24 pm  

    I have wondered whether hags would be good in this context. I think I just love roleplaying them. rolleyes
    GreySage

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    Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:21 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    I have wondered whether hags would be good in this context. I think I just love roleplaying them. rolleyes


    Maybe a coven of hags can be your nemesis faction...

    Also thought about more creatures to add to your list of Suss Forest denizens: naga, su-monsters, owlbears, and stirges.

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:36 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    I have wondered whether hags would be good in this context. I think I just love roleplaying them. rolleyes


    In Creighton and Paul's take on the Lost City, it's located on a ridge rising out of a swamp. Swamps are always good for hags, whether you make them a side-trek or primary nemesis. I love role-playing hags also. Smile

    I was working up an outline for an adventure in the Lost City and had settled on the sussuri being something like the guardians, tasked with keeping intruders out, while the inhabitants of the caverns underneath the city were the cursed descendents of the suloise inhabitants, transformed into ettercaps.
    CF Admin

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    Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:06 pm  

    Some other ideas to consider playing with:

    - re-reading the portion of the Suss and ruined city in Artifact of Evil won't take you long, and will offer some additional ideas (and reinforce others already mentioned, like ettercaps ;) )
    - inspirations for elements within the ruined city map/stuff to steal for use in it: DL1 Dragons of Desolation, C1 Hidden Shrine..., and the Role Aids Lichlords adventure all have a number of pieces of maps you could fold/spindle/mutilate to your needs
    - if you want a larger scale/full ruined city to work from/modify, you could use the I1 Dwellers..., the 3.x version of Caverns of Thracia (which has a ruined jungle city atop the dungeon levels), the 3.x Lost City of Barakus, or the RQ Big Rubble boxed set; I've heard that the Earthdawn Parlainth: The Forgotten City boxed set is also good, but I've never played ED or checked the set out
    - you could also just take an existing city supplement/adventure and use it in ruined form---Dragon 80 includes "Barnacus: City in Peril", or the Sanctuary set from Chaosium, or Lankhmar, or CSIO, the Lost City of Gaxmoor, etc.; you've also got the various cities in WG8 Fate of Istus and in GH:tAB, and some free Midkemia downloads on the midkemia.com site too, among many other options (including razing a historical city map for your purposes, or using a real ruined city like Chichén Itzá @ http://www.destination360.com/north-america/mexico/chichen-itza-map or whichever suits your mood, etc.)
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    Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:14 pm  

    thedanered wrote:
    There is a 2nd Edition adventure set in the Suss Forest (published in Vortext magazine #8) entitled "The Hidden Temple of Erythnul". Although it's supposed to be for a party of 2nd-5th level characters, it seems a bit tough for a group that low leveled. I've been waiting for my players to reach the right strength to send them through this.


    This is a fun adventure, and I had forgotten that it was set in the Suss---I should add that to my summary of the adventure on my site. Thanks :D
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    Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:36 pm  

    Good ideas, guys. I'm glad none of my players read this forum. *fingers crossed*
    GreySage

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    Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:25 am  

    grodog wrote:

    - inspirations for elements within the ruined city map/stuff to steal for use in it: DL1 Dragons of Desolation, C1 Hidden Shrine..., and the Role Aids Lichlords adventure all have a number of pieces of maps you could fold/spindle/mutilate to your needs
    - if you want a larger scale/full ruined city to work from/modify, you could use the I1 Dwellers..., the 3.x version of Caverns of Thracia (which has a ruined jungle city atop the dungeon levels), the 3.x Lost City of Barakus, or the RQ Big Rubble boxed set; I've heard that the Earthdawn Parlainth: The Forgotten City boxed set is also good, but I've never played ED or checked the set out
    - you could also just take an existing city supplement/adventure and use it in ruined form---Dragon 80 includes "Barnacus: City in Peril", or the Sanctuary set from Chaosium, or Lankhmar, or CSIO, the Lost City of Gaxmoor, etc.; you've also got the various cities in WG8 Fate of Istus and in GH:tAB, and some free Midkemia downloads on the midkemia.com site too, among many other options (including razing a historical city map for your purposes, or using a real ruined city like Chichén Itzá @ http://www.destination360.com/north-america/mexico/chichen-itza-map or whichever suits your mood, etc.)


    Of course, there's always B4: The Lost City, which I think would work fine in the Suss. Or a bigger, more complex city (with more going on than just the different factions of priests and Zargon) could be expanded from that basic template.

    The cataboligne demon appeared in the Suss ruins in the Gord books.

    I still think Mirkwood is a good model for the Suss in general. From the Lord of the Rings wiki:

    Quote:
    Mirkwood dates back to the earliest days of Middle-earth. The Elves passed through it on their Great Journey from Cuiviénen into the Far West, and was where they made their first long stop at before continuing onward. Thereafter, Mirkwood was the dwelling of the Wood-elves (the Nandor, elves descending from the wandering Teleri elf Lenwë) for many thousands of years. The Sindarin elf Oropher, the grandfather of Legolas, established the Woodland realm proper, and it become the primary settlement of the elves from the Second Age onward. It was around this time that Men, possibly ancestors of the Northmen, began making permanent settlements in and around the forest. When Oropher was killed in the War of the Last Alliance, the kingship passed to his son Thranduil.

    Mirkwood had been called Greenwood the Great until around the year TA 1050 of the Years of the Sun, when the shadow of the Dark Lord Sauron fell upon it, and men began to call it Mirkwood, or Taur-nu-Fuin and Taur-e-Ndaedelos in the Sindarin tongue. From then on, Mirkwood became a haunted place inhabited by many dark and savage things. Sauron established himself at the hill-fortress of Dol Guldur on Amon Lanc within its southern region, and drove Thranduil and his people ever northward, so that by the end of the Third Age they were a diminished and wary people, who had entrenched themselves within the Mountains of Mirkwood. The Old Forest Road (also called the Old Dwarf Road) crossed the forest east to west, but because it was so close to Dol Guldur the road was mostly unusable. The elves then made a path farther to the north, which ended somewhere in the marshes south of the Long Lake of Esgaroth or Laketown.


    A lost land of the elves, once part of Celene until a dark shadow fell upon the southern woods, making it a haunted place inhabited by many dark and savage things. Elven ruins could be found throughout, including what was once a legendary city before its corruption...
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    Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:56 pm  

    Good references Rasgon. It would seem more logical that the lost city is elven-make. So far in my random encounters I've thrown out elven teasers with no concrete planning. Writings on overgrown stones, lost armor/weapons in thickets, etc. Regardless of the origins of the city the elves had to be searching in the Suss for longer than any other race/nation, so yes perhaps they intentionally gave it up to the evil that now holds sway.

    p.s. Finally dug out my copy of Artifact of Evil. Will be skimming for good Suss fluff soon.
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    Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:31 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    Of course, there's always B4: The Lost City, which I think would work fine in the Suss. Or a bigger, more complex city (with more going on than just the different factions of priests and Zargon) could be expanded from that basic template.


    Agreed, on both counts!

    rasgon wrote:
    The cataboligne demon appeared in the Suss ruins in the Gord books.


    Nit: it's in Saga of Old City, in a stone ring in the Abbor Alz, not in the Suss. The idea of the stone ring being a Suel ruin is interesting, though. There was a pretty extensive description of the site outside of the cairn/tomb/dungeon with the demon that was pretty cool.

    rasgon wrote:
    A lost land of the elves, once part of Celene until a dark shadow fell upon the southern woods, making it a haunted place inhabited by many dark and savage things. Elven ruins could be found throughout, including what was once a legendary city before its corruption...


    Could be interesting to tie that darkness to the drow, perhaps, given that the ruins are supposed to predate the Suel. Perhaps the ruins predate the olve as well....

    mortellan wrote:
    p.s. Finally dug out my copy of Artifact of Evil. Will be skimming for good Suss fluff soon.


    Good man! Don't forget the wilderness tables in the 1983 boxed set, as well as the faerie/spiders pair at the rear of the the MM2---the spiders one always stuck me as apropos for a section of the Suss for some reason. (That could lend some more significance to the drowic connection, if your drow all worship Lolth, too).
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