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    Canonfire :: View topic - Moving a party across the Flanaess
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    Moving a party across the Flanaess
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:23 pm  
    Moving a party across the Flanaess

    My players' party is still mostly at 1st level. They just finished module B1 and we're getting ready for B2 (the immortal Keep on the Borderlands!), so I've placed them in the Yeomanry, which both modules have been retroactively located in. Trouble is, when the party gets to level 2-4 I want to take them on a module set in northern Tenh, almost clear across the Flanaess!

    What I'm looking for is suggestions on how to feasibly get them from here to there in a manner that won't seem contrived. Maybe I can make up a wilderness campaign or two where they're just traveling, but find something interesting along the way. Maybe I can have them daisy-chain from one module to another.

    So, does anyone have ideas for how I can migrate them smoothly from the Yeomanry to Tenh? Also when the party gets there, what could possibly draw the group up north toward Stonefist? And any suggestions for published modules I could use as convenient stopovers for a party in the first-fourth level range?
    GreySage

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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:38 pm  

    My suggestion?

    Put them through the U series with Saltmarsh and all its classic, old-style feel. Pirates, lizard men, and sahuagin. What a great time they'll have!

    After that, have them get a ship (maybe they claim the pirate vessel from the first module...or have them awarded a ship if they indeed thwart the sahuagin menace), hire a crew if they cannot sail the thing themselves, or get a berth aboard a vessel.

    From there, they can ply the waves around the coast of the upper Hold of the Sea Princes, past the Principality of Ulek, and then around the Pomarj! At this point, have them go through the infamous A series with the SlaveLords!

    FUN FUN FUN...by the time they get to where you want them, they will be quite experienced. Those that live, of course!

    -Lanthorn, Old School DM
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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:30 pm  

    Let them hire on a ship, and then just sail that way. Maybe to Greyhawk, across the Nyr Dyv, and even to Urnst. Then you're right next door?
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:52 pm  

    Now I don't want to take them on a couple whole series of modules--they shouldn't be higher than 3rd or 4th level for the "destination" module, so to speak.

    I do think having them journey overland to take ship from Keoland is a good idea. I was thinking of having them venture to Almor and then north from there, but maybe Greyhawk would be better. From there you could cross the Nyr Dyv and travel upstream all the way to High Hadleigh, or stop somewhere along the way.

    A stopoff in the Pomarj where they get tangled in with the Slave Lords might be just the thing. They have to pass by the area--around it, in fact, to reach Greyhawk, and it wouldn't be surprised if they were waylaid there.

    Any ideas for what sort of reason I could give them to pick up and travel out to Tenh?
    GreySage

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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:59 pm  

    peyre wrote:
    Any ideas for what sort of reason I could give them to pick up and travel out to Tenh?


    What's in Tenh as a destination that has special significance?

    -Lanthorn
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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:49 pm  

    That's part of the problem--I can't think of any, especially from clear across the subcontinent. Tenh is kind of a sleepy backwater and its neighbors roll their eyes at its fierce pride in its Flan ancestry.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:02 pm  

    Who wouldn't want to take a ship to the Free City of Greyhawk?

    They could also get in trouble and have to split on a ship.
    GreySage

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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:08 pm  

    peyre wrote:
    That's part of the problem--I can't think of any, especially from clear across the subcontinent. Tenh is kind of a sleepy backwater and its neighbors roll their eyes at its fierce pride in its Flan ancestry.


    So you've got me confounded why you want to get the PCs to Tenh if there's no particular significance. Please illuminate the Lanthorn on your plans or reasoning! Idea

    -Lanthorn, the Dimmed
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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:12 pm  

    A fair question. There's a module I want to DM them on. It's a homebrew one that I wrote with my brother and a friend back in the 80s. Now years later I'm going back and reworking it into a much better adventure, and I'm eager to try it out on a real party once they reach the right level for it--but the module is set in northern Tenh.
    GreySage

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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:26 pm  

    peyre wrote:
    A fair question. There's a module I want to DM them on. It's a homebrew one that I wrote with my brother and a friend back in the 80s. Now years later I'm going back and reworking it into a much better adventure, and I'm eager to try it out on a real party once they reach the right level for it--but the module is set in northern Tenh.


    OK, that helps a bit. Two questions:

    1) Is it possible/feasible to relocate the adventure somewhere other than Tenh that works for you?

    Many adventures that are listed can be placed in other regions than those listed. For instance, The Keep on the Borderlands as you mentioned earlier is "properly" placed (by canon) in the Yeomanry, but our very own SirXaris, an open and ardent supporter of this adventure, placed it in the Vesve (am I correct on this, SX?). If/when I run it as the "Return to-" restructured version I plan to place it in the Cairn Hills between Greyhawk and Urnst. Unless there are specific qualifications that are not duplicated anywhere else, it may be possible to translocate your adventure to someplace more feasible.

    2) What level do you need your PCs to reach for your planned adventure?

    thanks for your clarity,

    -Lanthorn, a Bit Brighter
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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:40 pm  

    Thanks. You have a good point, that I could very well relocate it. That does still leave me with a problem though: the module is set somewhere in the cold north; the weather is subarctic and there are barbarians who come down from the far north from time to time. And the party's way down south in the Yeomanry. Mad

    The adventure is for levels 2-4.
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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:32 pm  

    I think the ship idea might be the best. Since you need to get them from the Yeomanry up to Tenh, and have them 4th level at most, aboard a ship, the encounters are fewer and further between. (How are you with shipboard combat?) One or two encounters perhaps, and with luck, they could be as far as Greyhawk City. Then, maybe they could sign on with another captain who is headed up in the direction of Tenh. Another couple of encounters, and they should be there, 4th level and ready to go.

    Now, I understand why you, the DM, needs to get the players up to Tenh. But why would the CHARACTERS want to go there? Why would the PCs want to trek across the continent, from the warm and sunny Yeomanry, to hang out in the cold and snowy north? I'm not trying to sound critical, but I know my players would be asking that question.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:39 pm  

    That's just it, I can't think why they would. An urgent need to deliver a letter from the Freeholder of the Yeomanry to the Duke of Tenh? Not likely. Maybe I could find a reason for them to head to Greyhawk though? And once there, it'd be easier to conjure up a reason to travel north. Maybe they find something in the Caves of Chaos that points them in the direction of Greyhawk...
    GreySage

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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:23 pm  

    Personally, I've never been one for contrived plots, either as DM or player, so this could get tricky if your players (or you, as it seems by reading your posts) are of like mind.

    Here's an off-the-wall idea. If this is an adventure you are really interested in playing, why not have your players roll up characters tailor-made for that adventure...like a 'one shot' campaign. I've done it before, and sometimes it makes for good memories. "Hey, fellas, remember that time we played those Suel barbarians..."

    If that doesn't set well, maybe relocating it from Tenh to the mountains of the Lortmils. Could you change the barbarian theme to a dwarven one and still maintain integrity of your plot with some fine-tuning?

    Otherwise, if it is a distinctly "Frozen North Barbarian" type of campaign, this could get tricky without some finagling on part of you...and great acceptance on the part of your players.

    -Lanthorn
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    Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:34 pm  

    You don't need to think of THE reason to go anywhere, just A reason. You need the PCS to travel to places far away? Not a problem.

    From the Yeomanry you need to get them to a port city- Monmurg would do nicely, as it is close. The PCs might go there as messengers, or as merchant caravan guards. You are the DM. You have permission to misdirect the players, such as...

    Old man in tavern where PCs just happen to be: "They say the roads to Monmurg are dangerous. People have been turning up drained of their juices, like prunes. Happens at night mostly...when the fog rolls in."

    Yeah, say it in a New England accent. You know the one. Laughing

    Adventure hook? Nope. Just complete B.S., but I bet the players bite. Before they know it, they are in Monmurg, still wondering when "something" is going to pop up and turn them into prunes. And then you set them up in Monmurg. Either they annoyed somebody and need to get out of town very quickly (by ship obviously), they get hired on as merchant guards on a ship, are kidnapped/impressed, or get on a ship for some other reason. Either way, they are off to where you want them to go- Rel Mord in this case.

    Once in Nyrond, they run into a somebody who has interests in Northern Tehn. This man is really a Tenha agent who is in Nyrond seeking help to fight against/hobble the enemies of Tehn, but he has been rebuffed by the Nyrondese and now has no options left. Enter a group of capable enough looking foreigners with no ties to the Tenha government, or that or Nyrond. Score! The perfect tools! And so the agent is worried about rumors of Stonefist raids being made in the area where his interests lie, and is wondering if it wouldn't be wise to move said interests more to the south and away from any possible loss, even if it would mean a loss of profit. Could the PCs be so kind as to journey into the barbarian north and check into things for him? If they do, they ought to be careful, as it is rumored agents of Iuz are also lurking about up there too. They will of course be "amply" rewarded...

    C'mon! How much bait do you really need to use here? Laughing I am pretty sure your players want to have an adventure, so just send them on their way with decent enough reasons for doing so. What's hard about any of that? Traveling events also serve as a good way to introduce peripheral NPCs and real adventure hooks that you plan to revisit later on.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:33 am  

    How about the PC's go to protect missionaries of St. Cuthbert? His rival church of Pholtus, of the Theocracy of the Pale near Tenh, has long sought to convert the Tenhas and they often do so rather violently. Once the priests get established, the PC's can make their way north.

    Or perhaps they do have an errand to deliver a message to the Tenhas, on behalf of the Lords' Council of the Yeomanry. There was a group of treasure seekers from Stonefist which came through the Yeomanry recently, looking in the Hellfurnaces for ancient artifacts of their god. The Yeomanry could warn the Tenhas that these barbarians are planning a massive invasion.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:33 am  

    These are great ideas, guys! Thanks, I think I've found what I'm looking for. I'm not sure yet exactly how it'll go, but you've given me the start I was looking for. That's enough ideas that I can work something out. I think maybe I'll have them run into those treasure-hunting Fisters (Ha! I love that name for those jerks, even if Gary used the term before it took on a more salacious meaning). It'll be a "That's weird, what are they doing so far from home?" kind of thing that will tie in later. Or maybe the warning message would be better, perhaps spiced up with the "prunes" warning on the road to Monmurg. The Tenha agent is a great idea too, especially for a reason to head for the north.

    I should mention that ultimately, it probably doesn't matter much what I do for justification and all that, since my players are 7 and 9. Shoot, I relocated them from Mystara to Greyhawk just by DM fiat because I talked it over with the older and more thoughtful one, and she didn't think it even mattered, really. But I'm trying to show some consistency now that we're in Greyhawk, because I've started showing them maps and getting them interested in the geography etc. of the place. That's my only real objection to simply relocating them.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:30 pm  

    Hey, got a great idea! The party's about to set out on B12 Queen's Harvest. In the first part of that they search a basement full of traps and monsters and will probably pick up a few magic items while gaining some experience. There's a diary they're supposed to find that has an alarming passage which leads into the second part of the module. And at the end they face a party of evil looters who are also in the basement.

    I wasn't planning to take the party on the module's second half, so maybe I'll make the looters a group in the pay of Stonefist, and the diary entry is incriminating evidence about that which must be taken to the Lords' Council, who sends them as messengers to the court of Tenh. I can always run the kids through Keep on the Borderlands next time they roll up characters, or what have you.


    Last edited by peyre on Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:31 pm  

    Then I can salt the journey with eerie warnings of the road to the sea, a Greyhawk module or two along the way (maybe in the Pomarj), and of course the agent to entice them toward the northern frontier of Tenh.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:24 pm  

    Ok, so I have the means to get them out there worked out. But presumably there should be some incentive offered. Naturally the players will be inclined to accept because they're looking for an adventure (and don't have to make a months'-long hazardous trip in real lifesies), but their characters, not so much. Realistically speaking, the Council should be expected to offer them some sort of incentive.
      * Maybe a special magic item that the party wouldn't normally encounter so soon in their careers (though not a game-breakingly-powerful one), like one of those tomes that gives a point of Str/Con/Int/Wis/whatever?
      * Maybe a load of cash/gems/jewelry?
      * Maybe membership in some special order in the Yeomanry that accords significant local prestige?
    And how best to do it? Payment up front? Half payment now, half on return? Give them a note that requests specific reimbursement on their arrival at the duke's court? (Of course the Council would pay expenses over and above.)


    Last edited by peyre on Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:04 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:39 pm  

    I had the same situation with my players a while back. I found a short adventure in Dungeon Magazine #10 called "Secrets of the Towers". The adventure is a series of 12 towers that are linked by magical gates (some functional, some not). It is set up to span a wide range of levels and has a story-line that you can fall back on throughout the campaign. However, it can also serve as a great way to move the party around to various locations as they continue to adventure and try to discover the secrets of the towers, over time. Each tower is a short adventure in itself.

    Just a thought,
    Dane
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    Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:56 pm  

    Peyre,

    Just in case your mind isn't completley made up...

    Lanthorn wrote:
    ...Many adventures that are listed can be placed in other regions than those listed. For instance, The Keep on the Borderlands as you mentioned earlier is "properly" placed (by canon) in the Yeomanry, but our very own SirXaris, an open and ardent supporter of this adventure, placed it in the Vesve (am I correct on this, SX?)...



    -FWIW, I place KotB at the juncture of the Jewel and the Handmaiden rivers (just turn the maps 90 degrees) with some stuff from the Dungeon Magazine module "Wedding Bells" thrown in. I don't have the revamped KotB, but I've read that its canonicity is rather fuzzy (i.e., Nergal instead of a Greyhawk, deity, etc). The Yeomanry is actually a fine place for KotB, but I'm not sure its worth getting wrapped around the axel about, and this from a guy who getts wrapped around the axel over canon... Wink


    Lanthorn wrote:
    Personally, I've never been one for contrived plots, either as DM or player...



    ...me neither, so I'd just ignore the canonicity (such as it is) of the KotB being in the Yeomanry and simply place it somewhere in the NE, maybe along the Zumker River. No big trip required.


    Personally, Peyre, you could take it a little further south, because it strikes me as being in a somewhat warmer latitude, but that's just me. You'd still avoid a major trip. Failing that, you'll have to go the ship route, which it seems, you've already accepted.


    Good Luck! Wink
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:18 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    Peyre,

    Just in case your mind isn't completley made up...

    Lanthorn wrote:
    ...Many adventures that are listed can be placed in other regions than those listed. For instance, The Keep on the Borderlands as you mentioned earlier is "properly" placed (by canon) in the Yeomanry, but our very own SirXaris, an open and ardent supporter of this adventure, placed it in the Vesve (am I correct on this, SX?)...



    -FWIW, I place KotB at the juncture of the Jewel and the Handmaiden rivers (just turn the maps 90 degrees) with some stuff from the Dungeon Magazine module "Wedding Bells" thrown in. I don't have the revamped KotB, but I've read that its canonicity is rather fuzzy (i.e., Nergal instead of a Greyhawk, deity, etc). The Yeomanry is actually a fine place for KotB, but I'm not sure its worth getting wrapped around the axel about, and this from a guy who getts wrapped around the axel over canon... Wink


    Lanthorn wrote:
    Personally, I've never been one for contrived plots, either as DM or player...



    ...me neither, so I'd just ignore the canonicity (such as it is) of the KotB being in the Yeomanry and simply place it somewhere in the NE, maybe along the Zumker River. No big trip required.


    Personally, Peyre, you could take it a little further south, because it strikes me as being in a somewhat warmer latitude, but that's just me. You'd still avoid a major trip. Failing that, you'll have to go the ship route, which it seems, you've already accepted.


    Good Luck! Wink


    Thanks! Yeah, I have pretty much settled on the sea voyage thing, because the kids know where in the world they are now (I've shown them on the map etc.) Otherwise, yeah, I would probably have just picked up the party and moved them by DM fiat.

    I agree the Yeomany isn't necessarily the best place to locate KotB. I would have thought the southern Wild Coast, near the Pomarj, would have been a better spot for it--and, in fact, I may move it there, since I haven't gone and told the kids all about it yet.


    Last edited by peyre on Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:56 pm; edited 2 times in total
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:23 pm  

    peyre wrote:
    ...I agree the Yeomany isn't necessarily the best place to locate KotB. I would have thought the southern Wild Coast, near the Pomarj, would have been a better sport for it--and, in fact, I may move it there, since I haven't gone and told them all about it yet.


    ...that would put them a little bit closer.

    BTW, "getts" and "axel". I really should proof read more... Embarassed
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    Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:05 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    BTW, "getts" and "axel". I really should proof read more... Embarassed

    Ha, I didn't even notice those! No harm done.
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    Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:11 am  

    You could use a dirawaen, magical roads carved during the time when the Great Northern Kingdom of Aerdy was in power.
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf//modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2401
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    Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:25 am  

    Diamondsoul wrote:
    You could use a dirawaen, magical roads carved during the time when the Great Northern Kingdom of Aerdy was in power.
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf//modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2401

    Wow, I hadn't heard of those before. That's a good idea, though I think we're in the wrong area, and going to the wrong destination, to take much advantage of them.
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    Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:41 pm  

    peyre wrote:
    Ok, so I have the means to get them out there worked out. But presumably there should be some incentive offered. Naturally the players will be inclined to accept because they're looking for an adventure (and don't have to make a months'-long hazardous trip in real lifesies), but their characters, not so much. Realistically speaking, the Council should be expected to offer them some sort of incentive.
      * Maybe a special magic item that the party wouldn't normally encounter so soon in their careers (though not a game-breakingly-powerful one), like one of those tomes that gives a point of Str/Con/Int/Wis/whatever?
      * Maybe a load of cash/gems/jewelry?
      * Maybe membership in some special order in the Yeomanry that accords significant local prestige?
    And how best to do it? Payment up front? Half payment now, half on return? Give them a note that requests specific reimbursement on their arrival at the duke's court? (Of course the Council would pay expenses over and above.)


    The couriers would be well compensated. I'd recommend a combination of the three ideas you put forth. Give each PC a small magic item and member in a special order on their return, and pay them half in advance along with money to book passage on a ship and other expenses. You'd have to look closely at how long the journey would take, and decide on the PC's involvement once they get to Tenh.

    Depending on the frequency of magic items and gold in your campaign, you could give more or less powerful items and more or less gold, but ball park figures for the experience levels you're talking about would be +1 weapons of the character's choice, or a wand for spell-casters, and 150 gp per character per month the journey will take. As to the special order, I'd recommend some sort of military vanguard that is sent on special missions including reconaissance and responding to crises. The characters could even become officers, assigned hirelings or henchmen, and come to the attention of private citizens who will pay for their services.

    In Tenh, I recommend they be asked if they would lend a hand toward investigating the troubles growing in the Hold.
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    Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:46 am  

    Wow, this promises to be a lucrative assignment for them! I like the idea, though I'm forced to wonder if it might be somewhat unbalanced--in that it's a lot of reward without the players having to work very hard for it. I suppose that can be taken care of if I run the voyage right, and/or set them up with challenging stops along the way. It might even become a mission where someone in the party grumbles, "I should have guessed this seemed too easy for what they were paying us!"

    The party currently has a generous stash of gold from its recent adventures, so I might be more inclined to offer magic items over cash. They have only a few magic items currently (a +1 dagger & AC8 bracers for the MU, +1 chain for the cleric, plus a potion and a scroll IIRC).

    Hm, given all that, maybe a +1 something or other could be offered to each? The MU could get a wand with a handful of charges left. For the order, maybe something like a position in the Rovers of the Watch or something like that? The name of the order should probably evoke watchfulness or readiness, and also sound like an organization of free individuals rather than a fancy royal name--to keep it in character for the Yeomanry.

    Since the party has a load of cash, maybe the Council could offer to exchange the silver for gold, and the gold for gems/jewelry that will travel much easier--and hold onto much of it for them. So part of their reward would be doing the exchange at cost.

    So, how about this? They get their money exchanged (and probably want to take some of it with them). They get a big bag of gold for expenses, plus the Council has arranged their passage on a merchant ship headed for Greyhawk or somewhere. On their successful return they gain membership in the order. And (the main reward) they're offered these low-level magic items; they can take half now to help them with their journey, and claim the other half on their return; they choose what to take now. Does that sound about right?
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    Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:00 pm  

    It could be very dangerous, and the Yeomanry is so far away from Tenh practically no one has been there or even could place it on a map.

    I look at it like the Yeomen have saved up a lot of extra weapons and gold over the years, which they take from in times of emergency such as when the giants come down out of the mountains. They're farmers, who fight in militias, and because they have relatively few professional soldiers (most of whom are scouts), they don't mind equipping them with basic magic items or even paying them well plus expenses. So long as the Yeomen are convinced of the PC's trustworthiness, they will be treated with great generosity by these people.

    They could give the magic items as a reward, or in advance to help them on their journey.

    Your ideas would work great. As for the route, I would suggest the party get a ship in Gradsul, and go to Nyrond. They can travel across that good-aligned realm into Tenh with minimal trouble, and encounter anything you want them to along the way. They can also learn more about that part of the world, make friends there, and maybe even come to someone's aid. News of what the Fisters are doing would also be very interesting to hear, so as official heralds the party could stop at government offices and make speeches if they want.

    The Fisters who came through the Yeomanry left a path of death and destruction in their wake. It took a concerted effort to track them down, and one of the Fisters' nobles was slain or put in prison. So Stonefist and the Yeomanry may consider themselves enemies now.

    This adventure hook I shared with you actually comes from my own home campaign, where the Fisters are looking for the lost Swords of Vatun, their god. If they find them all, they will muster all of the northern barbarians and Vatun himself they believe will lead them in battle. So the PC's are trying to find at least one of these swords, and they must travel into the Hold to learn the legends about where they are. Their searches will take them to the four corners of the Flanaess.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 16, 2014
    Posts: 55
    From: Sacramento, CA

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    Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:25 am  

    Nice!! Good inspiration there.

    The party is currently on module B12, which is -officially- set it Mystara, but I was planning to transplant the area they're in to the Yeomanry. In the first part of B12 (we're not doing part 2) the party is doing a big favor for a local notable, Lord Kaerin Penhaligon. So he could send them to the Council with his recommendation and his vouchsafe of their trustworthiness. Also the boss fight in B12 part 1 is with an evil party that his butler let into the basement. I can make them the band of people hired by Stonefist to find the artifact, which would tie into the trip to Tenh and add to their credibility in the Council's eyes. I really like the "they've left a wake of destruction" idea too. I was going to have them looking for a Crown of Might, but a Sword of Vatun might be more plausible.
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